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Curd Cakes & Pink Bunnies

I blogged some tima ago about gingernuts, a biscuit that quite a few of my heroes favor. Another sweet treat they enjoy is a curd cake — also known as a maid-of-honour, though I generally just say curd cake. A few readers have asked about these, so I thought I’d post a bit about them.

Curd cakes are made with soft cheese, which is a very variable term.  Some recipes say sieved cottage cheese, and some suggest something like Philadelphia cream cheese, maybe even the light version. My guess is, such an old recipe is probably very forgiving and flexible.

The recipe for the ones pictured is from this site, along with a little story about how they were named Maids of Honour by Henry VIII. But there are quite a few variations, so I suggest you browse a few recipes and pick one.
Here’s Delia Smith’s version. And this is Mary Berry’s. And there are plenty more – just scroll down.

 I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I plan to. I love to bake, but only ever do it when I know I have visitors coming, or am going somwhere and will bring something to share. Otherwise, if I just bake something for me, I will eat it all!

Yesterday a friend of mine was planning to drop in with two little girls and, since I wanted to use a couple of new biscuit cutters,  I decided to  make bunny-shaped and lamb shaped Easter biscuits with pale pink or white  royal icing. In the end I couldn’t get all the ingredients for royal icing (which dries glossy and hard) so I just used ordinary icing, with a tiny drop of red dye to make pink bunnies.

I’m no kind of decoration expert, so I just blobbed the icing on and smoothed it to the edges somewhat. I got better at it as I went along. The lambs were quite blobby with drips down the side.

I didn’t put any faces on, as I know when I was a kid I would never have eaten a bunny or a lamb with an actual  face! But a smooth pink, bunny shape, no worries. <g> And I did put tiny marshmallow tails on them.

Do you do any special baking at this time of year?


An author interview

Not an interview with me, but one with a friend of mine that I think you’ll find very interesting.

I’ve known CJ Archer since her first publication. In those days, indie publishing (self-publishing) was pretty new, and she had a bit of a hard time being accepted by other, traditionally published authors. Not that she mentions that at all. She just went on writing and publishing and writing and publishing — she’s clever, she works really hard and is totally professional — and her audience continued to grow and grow. 

With more than 3 million books sold, she’s been a USA Today bestseller for quite a while now, and her latest book hit the top ten in the Wall Street Journal Bestseller list. Her books are a meld of romance, mystery, historical  and fantasy. You’ll learn more about her and what she writes when you click on this link, which will take you to InD’Tale Magazine.

I hope you find her interview interesting. It starts on page 10.

The Watchmaker’s Daughter is currently free on amazon, so if you want to try her books, click here.

And by the way, she has no idea I’m doing this. She is not a publicity hound.


I adore figs. In my old house I had a huge fig tree that flourished — but the figs were inedible — small, hard and dry inside. I tried everything to make it fruit but they were always the same. And when I decided to kill it,  hiring tree loppers several times, it still grew back.

My new garden also had a large fig tree, and I was assured it grew edible figs. So I’ve been waiting, and watching the tiny figlets grow with great anticipation, and fretting that the possum or the birds would get to them before I did. My neighbor told me the figs were really delicious, which only added to my anticipation. But the trouble was, there weren’t many. 

My first taste was of one I found on the grass, with a bird peck into it. So eager was I to try the figs that I cut off the bird-pecked bit and ate it. It was delicious — a rich dark red inside and almost like jam. Seriously, it was the best fig I’ve ever tasted. 

I just picked two more — that’s a total so far of two and a half figs this season — not exactly the bumper crop I was hoping for. There are several more left on the tree, but they’re small and still hard and we’re into autumn now, so I doubt they’ll ripen. But today I found two that were ripe and ready to pick. The outside is green as you can see, so you have to guess ripeness by how soft it is. These two were perfect. There they are in the photo. Aren’t they a gorgeous color? And they taste delicious.

So I’m now looking up ways to make a fig tree fruit more prolifically. I gather a good pruning might help — seems they only fruit on new branches. So once winter hits, I’ll get out my trusty pruning saw and get cracking.

Are you fond of figs? They seem to be a fruit people either love or hate.