Odds and Ends

Ruby's Recipes

ruby's recipes written in hand-coloured letters

This is a collection of Ruby's favourite recipes, mostly from 'off the wall'.

Look out for Ruby tips!


This is a simple recipe based on a pancake type mixture that can be baked quickly in a microwave. You will need a six-hole silcone rubber doughnut mould or six paper cake cases.

  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 60ml milk

  1. Mix all the ingredients together well.
  2. Spoon into the mould or cases, making sure they are all filled the same.
  3. Microwave for 3 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool in the mould for a few minutes then carefully remove on to a cooling rack.

Best eaten while still warm as they become rubbery when cold.

Mix ingredients in a jug then the mixture can be easily poured out.

Add a teaspoon of ground ginger or cocoa for a different flavour.

Coat with icing and sprinkles to add colour.

Ruby Crunch

Rice Krispies squares. You will need a swiss roll tin or other shallow cake tin and a medium-sized saucepan.

  • 25g butter
  • 125g marshmallows
  • 75g Rice Krispies

  1. Gently heat the butter in a pan until it melts.
  2. Add the marshmallows and stir constantly to stop them burning.
  3. When all the marshmallows are melted remove the pan from the heat and quickly mix in the Rice krispies.
  4. Tip the contents of the pan into the cake tin. Using a table knife press the mixture down, working into the edges of the tin.
  5. Smooth the mixture down to a thickness of about 1cm. Work the free edge into a straight line.
  6. Using a sharp knife mark out the squares then leave the tray to cool. When cool cut out the individual squares with a knife.

It helps to use a bendy knife.

Dog Biscuits

Although dogs can and will eat these biscuits we called them Dog Biscuits because we used a dog-shaped cutter! You will need a biscuit or scone cutter and two baking trays.

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 15ml ground ginger
  • 15ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 125g dark brown sugar
  • 75g block margarine
  • 45ml golden syrup
  • 1 egg

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease two baking trays
  2. Sieve flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spice in a mixing bowl.
  3. Warm sugar, margarine, and syrup in a pan. When melted add to dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in egg and mix well to form into a soft dough.
  5. Roll out on a floured board to 5mm, thickness. Cut to shape.
  6. Bake for about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool on the baking trays until firm then transfer to a wire rack.

You can use ground cinnamon, demerara sugar and black treacle instead of ginger, brown sugar and golden syrup to make a darker biscuit.

Simple Scones

Quick and easy to make. You will need a baking tray and it helps to have a rolling pin and scone cutter but if shape isn't important using your hands and a knife will do.

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g soft margarine
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 15ml milk

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Grease a baking tray.
  2. Mix the salt into the flour and rub in the margarine, using your fingertips, until the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
  3. Carefully add some milk and mix to a soft dough. (Don't use too much milk).
  4. Roll out the dough to about 1cm thickness then cut out with a cutter to the rquired size ((5cm to 6.5cm).
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Brush the top of the scones with a little milk to give a golden finish.

If you don't have a cutter use a knife to cut the dough into squares.

Pizza Dough

Quick and easy to make. You will need a baking tray.

  • 150ml warm water
  • 250g plain flour
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 2.5ml active dried yeast
  • 2.5ml salt
  • 2.5ml sugar

  1. If you are wanting your pizza as soon as possible pre-heat the oven to its hottest temperature.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and work together to form a dough.
  3. Tip the contents out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead the dough for one minute.
  4. Cut the dough into two and roll each half out into a ball.
  5. Press and stretch out each ball to about 30cm in diameter. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. If using straightaway cover with your favourite topping. Otherwise wrap in cling film and freeze until required.

To get the right water temperature put 75ml of cold water in your measuring jug then add 75ml of boiling water, then give it a quick stir.

Cheese and Onion Bread

A tasty loaf that can be cut in slices or pulled apart in junks! You will need a large (1kg) loaf tin

  • 450g strong white flour
  • 45g butter
  • 1 onion
  • 7g easy blend dried yeast
  • 175g grated cheddar cheese
  • 5ml mustard powdersalt
  • 5ml salt
  • 5ml pepper
  • 150ml lukewarm milk pepper
  • 150ml lukewarm water

  1. Finely chop the onion and fry with the about half of the butter until soft.
  2. Mix the flour, yeast, salt, pepper, onions and ¾ of the cheese. Slowly work in the milk and water to form a dough.
  3. Tip the contents out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for ten minutes.
  4. Return to the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.
  5. Tip out the dough and punch it down and knead it for about a minute. Divide it into 20 parts. Form each part into a ball.
  6. Place ten balls of dough in the loaf tin. Melt the remaining butter and brush the tops of the balls.
  7. Place the rest of the dough balls on top of the first layer and brush over with the last of the melted butter.
  8. Loosely cover with a tea towel and allow to rise again for another 45 minutes.
  9. Springle the last of the cheese on top and bake in an oven at 190°C, gas mark 5, for about 40-45 minutes.
  10. Knock out the loaf from the tin and tap it on the bottom. If it doesn't sound hollow pop the loaf back in the oven gor a few minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Remember to heat up your oven well before you put the loaf in!.

Ciambellone (Italian Doughnut)

Traditionally made in a ring tin, (you will need a 20-23cm ring or bundt tin) but the batter can be split between two 500g loaf tins to make a pair of cakes, (one to freeze?).

  • 150g sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml yoghurt
  • 200g plain flour
  • 10ml baking powder
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • 1 lemon

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease the ring tin well with butter.
  2. Melt the butter and add sugar, yoghurt, eggs, vanilla essence and the zest from the lemon.
  3. Beat well until the mixture is nice and creamy.
  4. Slowly add the flour and baking powder, and gently fold in with a spoon. Continue folding until there are no lumps of flour.
  5. Pour into the ring tin then bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven but leave in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

It helps to sieve the flour and baking powder into the bowl!

Don't waste the lemon! Extract the juice and warm it in a microwave. Disolve as much sugar in it as you can then pour over the cooled cake to make it a lemon drizzle cake.

Leave out the lemon zest but add 150g of blackcurrants or raspberries instead.

Victoria Sponge Sandwich

Quick and easy to make. You will need two 18cm diameter sandwich tins.

  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 100g soft margarine
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 eggs

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease the sandwich tins.
  2. Beat the margarine and sugar together until it is pale, white and creamy. (Castor sugar dissolves quicker than granulated sugar).
  3. Add one egg and beat for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the second egg and beat for a couple of minutes.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Leave the cakes in the tins for about ten minutes then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack.
  7. When cool sandwich the two cakes together with jam. Apricot or raspberry jam are best. Dust the top with sieved icing sugar.

If you have a small blender you can grind granulated sugar instead of using castor sugar.

For variety substitute 25g of flour with 25g of cocoa to make a chocolate sponge. Mix one teaspoon of instant coffee with as little water as possible and add to the mixture to make a coffee sponge. These cakes should be sandwiched with butter icing.

If the cake sticks in the tin don't worry! Carefully remove the stuck part with a thin knife and match it to its cake. Put the damaged sides in the middle of the cake and no-one will know!

Butter Icing

Enough to sandwich two cakes together.

  • 50g butter or soft margarine
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 10ml cocoa (for cocoa icing)
  • 2.5ml vanilla essence (for cocoa icing)
  • 10ml instant coffee disolved in a little water (for coffee icing)
  • 25g melted chocolate (for chocolate icing)

  1. Beat the butter or margarine until it is soft.
  2. Slowly add sieved icing sugar and beat in until the icing is smooth.

This icing can easily be mixed with just a fork.

Use a knife to spread the icing. If the icing is hard to spread dip the knife blade into a mug of hot water, the warm blade makes the icing easier to spread.

Catherine Wheels

Tasty biscuits. You will need two baking sheets, a rolling pin helps too.

  • 125g plain flour
  • 75g butter
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 5ml baking powder
  • 1.25ml salt
  • 5ml cocoa
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • 15ml water

  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
  2. Rub in butter to make fine crumbs.
  3. Mix in sugar and vanilla essence. Add in water to make a soft dough.
  4. Split dough into two halves and work in cocoa to one half.
  5. Roll out each half into a rectangle 18 x 22cm.
  6. Lay one half on top of the other and gently press together.
  7. Roll up from a long side then set aside to chill for 30 minutes.
  8. With a sharp knife cut into slices 1cm wide.
  9. Place on baking sheets, well spaced apart as the biscuits will spread slightly.
  10. Bake at 180°C, gas mark 4 for 15-20 minutes until the plain part is golden.
  11. Allow to cool on a rack.

Mark out the rectangle on baking parchment/greaseproof paper and place half the dough on top. Cover with another sheet of paper. Do the same for the other half. This gives you a guide and saves the mixture sticking to the rolling pin.

Wrap the roll of biscuit dough in clingfilm and keep it in the refrigerator for when you need extra biscuits in a hurry!.

Chocolate Spice Cake

A nice slab cake with a slightly different texture. You will need a 20cm square tin.

  • 100g margarine
  • 200g sugar
  • 50g plain chocolate
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2.5ml cinnamon
  • 2.5ml mixed spice
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 120ml milk

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm square tin.
  2. Beat the margarine and sugar together until it is pale, white and creamy. (Castor sugar dissolves quicker than granulated sugar).
  3. Blend in melted chocolate and egg yolks.
  4. Sieve salt, spices and flour into the mix alternately with the milk.
  5. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.
  6. Place mixture in tin and bake for about 45 minutes.
  7. When cool spread the top with chocolate butter icing.

When beating the egg whites make sure that the bowl and beaters are grease-free.

To make sure the cake comes out of the tin cleanly line the base with greaseproof paper.

Carrot Cake

A nice slab cake with a slightly different texture. You will need a 20cm square tin.

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2.5ml mixed spice
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 150g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 30ml milk


  • 50g butter
  • 30ml orange juice
  • zest from 1/2 an orange
  • 225g icing sugar

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm square tin.
  2. Mix the flour and spice, add the sugar and carrots. Add the egg, oil and milk and beat well until completely blended.
  3. Place in tin and bake for 40 minutes.
  4. Turn out and cool on a rack.
  5. Melt the butter, orange juice and zest in a saucepan.
  6. Beat in the icing sugar then cover the cake.

Sieve the sugar to remove any lumps, or put in a small blender.

For a smoother textured cake put grated carrot and sugar into a small blender.

If the icing sets too quickly dip the knife into a mug of hot water.

Jayden Chocolate Crunch

Chocolate cornflake 'cakes'. You will need some fairy cake paper cases, a small bowl and a saucepan.

  • 50g chocolate
  • 60g cornflakes

  1. Partly fill a saucepan with water and gentle place a small bowl on top. Break up the chocolate into bits and place in the bowl.
  2. Carefully heat the water and stir the chocolate as it melts. When the chocolate is fully melted remove the bowl from the water.
  3. Keep stirring the chocolate then pour in the cornflakes and gently stir until the flakes are well coated.
  4. Allow to cool a little then carefully form clumps of mixture with your fingers and place in a paper case to cool.

Don't put too much water in the saucepan or it will overflow as it heats.

Use a pair of desert spoons to measure out the coated cornflakes.

Romans Monocles

Half a French biscuit. One each should be enough! You will need two sizes of cutter. (This recipe originates from Romans-sur-Isère in France but they make it twice the size with two holes and call them Lunettes de Romans).

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 140g butter
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 5ml vanilla extract
  • some jam

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C - 190°C, gas mark 4 -5. Grease two baking sheets.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg, salt, ground almonds and vanilla extract.
  4. Sieve in the flour and mix gently to make a soft dough.
  5. Roll out the mixture to about 5mm thickness.
  6. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
  7. Cut out biscuits with a cutter about 6cm in diameter
  8. With a cutter about 2cm in diameter cut a hole in the centre of half of the biscuits
  9. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  10. Leave on the baking sheet until firm then transfer to a cooling rack.
  11. Put jam on the biscuits without a centre hole then sandwich on top with a biscuit with a hole. Dust with icing sugar.

Use castor sugar or ground granulated sugar instead of icing sugar in the mix and save the icing sugar just for dusting.

Use more than one flavour of jam for added colour.


Tasty small tarts. You will need a 12-hole jam tart tin.


  • 120g plain flour
  • 25g lard
  • 25g block margarine
  • 15ml cold water
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • 50g sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 eggs
  • a little raspberry jam

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
  2. Mix the salt with the flour, rub in the lard and margarine.
  3. Slowly add the water and stir in with a knife to form a ball.
  4. Roll out the pastry thinly and cut into 5cm rounds. Reserve the scraps
  5. Line a 12-hole tart tin.
  6. Beat the egg and slowly add to the almonds and sugar sufficient to make a soft mixture.
  7. Place a (very) little jam into each case then top with a spoonful of mixture.
  8. Roll out the pastry scraps and cut into thin strips and use to make a cross on each cake.
  9. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Use a small blender to grind whole almonds and sugar together for extra flavour.

You can use strawberry jam instead but don't use too much!.

Best Brownies

No chocolate brownies. You will need a 20cm x 20cm tin.

  • 140g butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 1.25ml salt
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 65g plain flour

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3.
  2. Line the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper or aluminium foil.
  3. Using a saucepan large enough to support the mixing bowl add water to the pan to just below the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Heat the water to a gentle simmer.
  5. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and the salt in the bowl. Stir until the butter has melted.
  6. Remove the bowl from the pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the vanilla essence and the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth.
  8. When the batter looks thick and shiny add the flour and beat with a spoon about 50 times. (Or use a hand mixer). The batter is sufficiently mixed when it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  9. Spread evely in the tin and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges look dry and the centre slightly under-done.
  10. Allow to cool completely then remove from the tin. Cut into 16 sqaures.

Extend the tin lining a couple of inches on each side to help in lifting out the brownies.

Put the brownies in a freezer for 20 minutes before cutting so as to get cleaner edges.


A tasty treat You will need a 17.5cm x 17.5cm tin.

  • 100g hard margarine
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 60ml golden syrup
  • 200g porridge oats

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3.
  2. Line the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper or aluminium foil.
  3. Melt the margarine in a pan and add the sugar and syrup, stirring until well mixed.
  4. Take off the eat and add the oats, stirring until well mixed.
  5. Press the mixture into the tin then bake for 25-30 minutes until firm.
  6. Allow to cool completely then remove from the tin. Cut into 16 squares.

Extend the tin lining a couple of inches on each side to help in lifting out the brownies.

Press down the mixture using the knuckles of the hand, the mixture doesn't stick as much and it keeps the palms clean.

Lemon Cheesecake

A simple, tangy sweet. You will need a 20cm tin, (loose bottom or springform).

  • 175g gingernut biscuits
  • 55g butter
  • 397g condensed milk (1 tin)
  • 300g full fat soft cheese (1 tub)
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 tsp lemon curd

  1. Crush the biscuits thoroughly.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan then stir in the biscuit crumbs.
  3. Tip the mixture into the tin and press down firmly to make the base. Refrigerate for at least ten minutes.
  4. Zest and juice the lemons
  5. Put the condensed milk and soft cheese in a bowl and mix until smooth.
  6. Add most of the zest and 60ml of the lemon juice and beat until the mixture thickens.
  7. Pour into the tin and smooth down with the back of a spoon, making sure to press out any bubbles.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or better still, overnight.
  9. Finish off with the rest of the zest and lemon curd as desired.

Microwave the lemons for a minute releases more juice and makes the mixture thicken quicker.

Add a teaspoon of hot water to the lemon curd if you want to 'dribble' it, otherwise just spread evenly with the back of a spoon.

Butterscotch Biscuits

Crisp and tasty sweet biscuits, you will need a couple of baking sheets or shallow trays.

  • 125g butter
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 15ml golden syrup
  • 150g self-raising flour

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 4.
  2. Prepare two baking sheets.
  3. Cream the butter and soft brown sugar.
  4. Mix in the golden syrup then slowly add the flour.
  5. Knead gently until the dough is mixed completely.
  6. Divide into 24 portions and roll each into a small ball.
  7. Place on the baking sheets, spaced 50mm apart. Press each ball down lightly with a fork.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  9. Square off the dough then cut into three equal parts. Cut each part into two. Repeat twice more. This helps to make the biscuits the same size.

    Chill the dough for 20 minutes to reduce spreading and produce a thicker biscuit if desired.

    Bake only one sheet at the time so that all biscuits can be baked evenly.