Tasty treats to make

Foodies Philippa and David left London to open a B&B in Penzance, Cornwall. These recipes keep their guests coming back for more.

Best-ever easy chocolate cookies

These quick biscuits are a piece of cake to make.

What you need

110g cold unsalted butter
115g caster sugar
135g flour
10g cocoa powder
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
This quantity will make 20 cookies.

How to make them

1 Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 or 190°C/170°F (fan oven).

2 Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, either by hand or in a food mixer.

3 Mix together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl, add to the creamed butter and sugar mixture and continue to mix gently until just combined.

4 Lightly grease two baking trays.

5 Divide the mixture into two: each half will make 10 biscuits. Roll into balls and place onto the baking trays, spacing the balls as far apart as possible.

6 Pop in the oven for exactly 10 minutes.

Tangy three-fruit marmalade with whisky

Adapted from the River Cottage recipe for Seville orange marmalade.

marmalade recipeWe much prefer a marmalade made with a combination of pink grapefruit, lemon and orange to traditional Seville orange marmalade – it's fresher and tangier and you can make it all year round. A lot of our guests agree, and some who weren't keen on marmalade have been converted by this recipe. The whisky adds a decadent touch. If you prefer, use a good-quality rum instead.

What you need

1kg (in total) of pink grapefruit, lemon and orange (usually two small pink grapefruit, one orange and two small lemons)
75ml lemon juice
2kg granulated sugar
40ml of your best whisky

How to make it

1 Scrub the fruit gently, remove the 'buttons' at the top and bottom and put them, still whole, into a preserving pan with 2.5 litres of water. Bring to the boil, cover and then simmer very gently for about one and a half to two hours or until the skins are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork. It's important to cover the pan as you simmer, or too much liquid will evaporate. Remove from the heat.

2 When cool enough to handle take the fruit out. Measure the water left in the pan – you should have about 1.7 litres. Make it up to this amount if you have less, or bring back to the boil and reduce if you have more.

3 Cut the fruit in half and remove the pips with a fork. Cut up the flesh and peel into thick, medium or thin shreds as you wish (we prefer thin).

4 Put the fruit into the strained cooking liquid, add the lemon juice and sugar and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
5 Once the sugar has dissolved, whack up the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Boil rapidly until it reaches setting point (see Tip, below). This usually takes 40 - 50 minutes - sometimes even longer (up to 70 minutes). Keep an eye on it; if it looks as if it’s going to boil over, turn the heat down and stir and then turn up again.

Tip We find the best way to test to see whether the marmalade’s reached setting point is as follows:
  • put a saucer or small plate in the freezer when you start to make the marmalade
  • take the saucer out when you want to test the setting point and put half a teaspoon of marmalade on it
  • leave for 30 to 60 seconds then push your finger through it
  • if the marmalade wrinkles as you push it and doesn't run back, it is ready: if not, boil for another three to five minutes and try again.

toast and marmalade4 When you reach setting point, turn the heat off, wait for a minute or so and stir in the whisky - it will bubble furiously but don't worry.

5 Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then stir gently to disperse any scum, pour into warm sterilised jars (invest in a jam funnel for this) and seal immediately with sterilised lids. Use within two years.

Find out more about how Philippa and David started their B&B

Get cracking in the kitchen with more tried-and-tasted recipes.

Fancy a B&B break? Check out Venton Vean.

Tell your own story on the Storyboard.

Come and chat on Logarty talk.

Sybil
Just made these biscuits. Yum

Just made these biscuits. Yum.

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