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Posts Tagged ‘2019’

The other day, I asked a couple of Facebook groups if anyone had a Robin Cake recipe.  I wasn’t disappointed with the results and recorded over half a dozen different methods/processes.  Today, I set to and baked two cakes, following two of the many recipes offered.

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But, first of all: What is Robin Cake?

Sadly, I cannot find a definitive answer, other than it seems to be fairly local to me, in and around Huddersfield.  My mum used to cook it all the time.  There was always some robin cake in one of her cake tins.  Other tins might have had iced buns in them, made from a similar recipe.  The robin cake itself however, was never iced or decorated in any way.  It would be made one day and then kept for what seemed like ages (perhaps a week), towards the end of which time a bit of butter on your slice wouldn’t go amiss. 

Mum is beyond telling me how to make it now, but it seems that she gave Sharon a recipe some time ago.  This was the first of the two I have made today.

I make no apologies for the use of lard, or for employing imperial weights – these are old, traditional (family?) recipes, so they are what they are. Some of the other recipes, not cooked today, use all butter or all margarine, so – it’s your choice.

Recipe 1 (Mum’s/Sharon’s)

12oz self-raising flour,
10oz sugar,
3oz lard, 3oz margarine,
4 eggs,
2 t’sp BiCarb,
pinch salt,
‘some’ milk.

The METHOD for this cake used the creaming method. I creamed the sugar and fat together and then add the eggs one at a time, beating well each time. I then added the dry ingredients (which had been sifted together). I added enough milk during this process to leave a fairly sloppy but not too runny mix.  It was baked at 170oc (fan oven) for almost an hour – which might have been a tad too long. It was still sloppy after half an hour and sank soon after I prodded it – so the final ten minutes I gave it might have been unnecessary.

cake-1

 

Recipe 2 (From Mandy Haigh, her Gran’s recipe Facebook)

12oz self-raising flour,
7oz sugar,
3½oz lard, 3½oz margarine,
2 eggs
pinch salt,
‘some’ milk.

The METHOD for this was to rub the fat and flour together and then to add the sugar.  I added the sugar early because it helped to more easily distribute the higher fat to flour ratio. Then I added the beaten eggs.  At this point it became obvious that the mix would be too stiff – so I added about the same volume of milk (as egg). The mix was slightly stiffer than recipe 1, but it soon sorted itself out in the oven.  This cake was also baked at 170oc (fan oven) for about 40 minutes. It was a much more confident bake than recipe 1.

Cake-2

Of the two cakes I have cooked today, the second recipe has worked the best.  They both taste ok, but recipe 2 was closest to what I remember (still not ‘quite’ right though – so I will have to try another recipe next time).

 

Also see:
https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Look,+learn,+taste+and+buy+at+museum+bake-in%3B+Buns+and+biscuits+great…-a0264153390

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I can’t say that we were over impressed with Jerez.  Sadly, because I had built up a fairly high impression of what it would be like, I was quite disappointed. I expected a gentility that simply wasn’t there (imho).

Jerez de la Frontera is:

  1. Home to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, which, according to Wikipedia, is one of the four greatest schools of horsemanship in the world.
  2. Host to an International Grand Prix circuit, used for MotoGP, F1, F2 and World Superbike championships.
  3. Home for most of the world’s sherry producers and the spiritual home to one of the biggest producers, Gonzalez Byass.

 Yet, despite all this, it appeared to me to be run down and dirty.

I accept that Jerez is a very old city, with a rich and varied history, but, despite the prestige and money those international events/producers bring into the city, along with tourists, it wears an air of neglect.  We have visited several old cities in Spain with equally rich and varied histories but they have been cleaner and their buildings have, to a large extent, been or are being maintained. I’m thinking here of Salamanca, Avila, Toledo, Cordoba and Segovia – none have the aforementioned air of neglect and yet, all have similarly long and unique histories.

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unpleasant tapas

The old town’s main square and streets off it, house the restaurants and bars that provide food and drink for tourists and locals alike.  Certainly, the town comes alive at night with tables popping up where none were to be seen at lunchtime.  We chose badly at lunchtime; presented with what were probably the worst tapas we’ve ever eaten: Over vinegared Ensalada Rusa (why vinegar? Why?), Queso that began to sweat in the heat, tab-end sized Croquetas (with soggy fries for garnish) and a fairly tasty piece of ‘Lomo’ in sherry sauce – covered with soggy fries again.

Our evening meal was better.IMG_1823 copy

Sharon had spent a bit of time on Trip Advisor and had come up with a number of options for us to dine at.  I put the first one (top of the list) into MapsDotMe and off we went.  Sharon saw something on the menu that she liked and I knew I would find something, so we stopped there – there was no point dragging ourselves around the town. Bar Juanito looked to be a nice place, and it was – see my review on Trip Advisor.

Before eating lunch, we’d decided to take the tourist bus-trip (City Sightseeing Jerez) which for €17 also includes a tour of the Bodegas Tio Pepe, the home of Gonzalez Byass in Jerez.  The bus trip itself was interesting enough, and explained much of Jerez’s history.  One fact that stuck with me was that many years ago (perhaps hundreds?) the city fathers allowed people to erect buildings alongside the more ancient city walls.  The idea being that this would help to preserve and protect those walls.  However, as we were driven past, I noticed that the buildings that had been erected are also falling into disrepair.  It’s sad that a city of this note and with this heritage cannot be better looked after.

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Our trip around Bodegas Tio Pepe was interesting and by far the more entertaining time of our trip. It is followed by a tasting of Tio Pepe itself and of Croft Original.

Our hotel had been chosen for its position, its price and its description on Booking dotcom.  Although we’d booked and paid to visit the Jeys Catedral Jerez, the hotel seemed to be called Hotel Belles Artes (as well?) – see my review on Trip Advisor.

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When we first bought our small apartment in Spain, it followed a fair bit of research (mostly by Sharon) and we even tripped over to Manchester to visit a Holiday Roadshow put on by one of the various T.V. shows.  All sorts of help and advice was available and from here we made what we thought was the good decision to use English lawyers, based in Spain. With our (then) complete lack of Spanish and uncertainty of the rules, we used a company that has their Costa Del Sol branch in Marbella.

banco-santanderWe asked those lawyers to set up a bank account for us in Spain, something that the roadshow representative said was part of the package, but which they, when it came to it, had a reluctance to do. Suffice to say, they made something of a minimal effort to help us with that task and we ended up with a Banco Santander account, at an office on the Puerto Banus side of Marbella – roughly 40-50 minutes’ drive from our apartment.

The manager was ok, he spoke good English and he did what he could to help us get up and running.  However, no matter how many times we tried or what he told us could happen; getting our account transferred to our more local Los Boliches branch was impossible.  We had to trail to the far side of Marbella for all sorts of reasons, including a new debit card for Sharon which could not be posted to our apartment – (“we can only post these to your home address but cannot post them outside the country and your home address is in England”!!).

We also found the local branch in Los Boliches so unhelpful at all stages that we decided to change banks. That isn’t easy over here, there’s no real help from the banks themselves, but we were lucky enough to have Banco Sabadell recommended by the local lawyers we are gradually transferring our business to.  The manager we dealt with helped us with everything he could – which did not include closing our Santander account.  Following yet another unsuccessful visit to the Los Boliches branch (along with a Spanish speaker) we had to go to the Marbella branch (again!).

indexWe phoned first and were assured that we could (only) close the account at the branch that held the account. So off we went.

Only to be told, after they had cut up our bank cards, that they COULD NOT CLOSE the account because there was a c.€55 charge due on 8th January (to cover charges for period ending 31st December). Why couldn’t they take cash for that?  “es impossible!”. Our Spanish speaker was as perplexed as we were but, in the end, we had to leave €100 in the account to pay whatever the exact charge would be on the 8th January.

We are assured that we can then close the account at the Los Boliches branch.

Assured!

We’ll see.

Photo Credits:

https://www.bitterwallet.com/complaints/complaint-about-santander-youre-not-the-only-one-36262

https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.santander.co.uk

 

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