My Mom was a great baker and my fondest childhood memories are of all the biscuit tins in our pantry that were always packed to the brim with wonderful goodies. No one went hungry for treats in our house. This has been a feature that I have tried to in still in my family household and I could not help smiling recently when I received an email from my daughter who is currently working in South Korea as an English teacher.
Her dilemma begins with the fact that she lives in a small apartment that only has a 2 plate gas hob. Her email appealed for help from a baking point of view as she has no oven. Although baking is quite near impossible without an oven, there are a couple of goodies that one can make successfully on the stove top and I would like to share some of the recipes with you that I have sent to her.
1. Coconut Clusters
Ingredients: 125g Margarine
2 cups Sugar
2 heaped Tablespoons of Cocoa
½ cup Milk
3 cups Rolled Oats
½ t vanilla essence
Method: Boil margarine, milk, cocoa and sugar together in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients mixing well. Place small ‘clumps’ on a greased baking sheet and allow cooling for setting.
2. Date Fingers
Ingredients: 125ml Sugar
125g Butter or Margarine
1 t vanilla essence
½ – ¾ packet of Marie Biscuits
Method: In a saucepan boil the sugar and butter together. As soon as it begins to boil, remove and add well beaten egg. Return to the stove top and add the dates which have been chopped into smallish bits. Now boil this mixture until it takes on a pulpy texture. Remove from the stove top stirring in the vanilla essence and adding the crushed biscuits mixing well. Allow the mixture to cool a short while until you are able to work with it. Take small amounts and roll into a finger shape then roll in coconut. Place on a greased plate and cool before eating.
3. Peanut Clusters
This is really simple, quick and very tasty. Break up a slab of plain chocolate and melt slowly in a saucepan over a low heat. As soon as it is all melted, mix in unsalted peanuts with a fork. Mix well. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased baking tray or plate and leave to cool.
Above are just a few easy treats to make but there are also lovely tarts and cakes that can be made without an oven. Here are some ideas:
1. Cheese Cake
Ingredients: 1 tin Strawberries
1 tin Condensed Milk
1 tub plain smooth Cottage cheese
½ cup Lemon Juice
Base: Prepare your base of either crushed Marie Biscuits or a sliced Swiss roll cake and line a tart dish.
Mixture: Mix condense milk and cottage cheese. Add the lemon juice and spoon out onto the base.
Glaze: Boil ¾ of strawberry juice. Mix 1 dessert spoon of custard powder to the remaining juice and add to boiling mixture. Thicken and pour over above. Place in fridge to cool.
2. Pineapple Flan
Base: 180g crushed Tennis Biscuits
90g of melted butter
Mix the above together and press into a tart dish.
Filling: 1 pineapple jelly
1 small tin of Ideal Milk
500g pineapple pieces
Strain the pineapple pieces and make the jelly using the juice. Place the jelly in the fridge to cool but not to set. Chop pineapple leaving some for decorating. Whip the ideal milk until double.
(Tip: Place the tin in the fridge for about 2 hours before opening and whipping) . Whisk in jelly and chopped fruit. Pour out on to the base and set in the fridge. Decorate with fresh cream and pineapple.
Then finally one for a cold wet day when you want to curl up with a sweet snack and a good book.
Ingredients: 1 egg
25ml Melted butter
15ml Baking Powder
1 t Vanilla Essence
Heat a deepish pan with oil for deep frying. Beat eggs and sugar adding milk and melted butter. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the liquid mixture to form dough. If the dough is too soft for rolling, add a little more flour. Roll out to a thickness of about 1.5cm and cutter using a donut cutter. Drop into hot oil and cook until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper. While still warm, place in a brown paper bag containing castor sugar and shake. Add jam and cream if desired. Another great covering is simply to add a few drops of boiling water to a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar. Mix to a fairly thick consistency and spread on the doughnut top. For a chocolate topping, simply add a bit of cocoa to the above icing mixture before adding boiling water.