The Gillian Nelson Denman Bursary
The Gillian Nelson Denman Bursary

Do you know we have a Gillian Nelson Denman Bursary? This bursary is a great way to go to Denman, the WI education centre in Oxfordshire. It is open to all Gothic Valley WI members. You can go do a course on almost anything crafty or cookery! The courses at Denman can be pricey and […]

Vegan, wheat-free, nut-free cheesecakes
Vegan, wheat-free, nut-free cheesecakes

I wanted to make vegan cheesecake for a party, and then realised I also wanted to be able to offer it to my friends with nut and wheat allergies. I cobbled this together from a few existing vegan cheesecake recipes to see if I could do it. They were good, and reasonably easy. Next time […]

Wheat-free Waffles

A friend asked me to make wheat-free waffles this morning.  I have mixed success with wheat-free stuff, but thought I’d give it a go.  These came out awesome!  They are at least as good as normal waffles, so everyone might want to try them — not just those who can’t tolerate wheat. Ingredients: 1 egg yolk […]

Wedding (cup)cake

So, this past weekend I was honoured to be asked to bake a wedding cake for the wedding of two lovely friends. Photos of the cake and making process are on facebook:, and I used this recipe: A few tips: I baked a test cake using natural food colour.  It was tasty, but sort […]

Date Cake
Date Cake

Also an overdue Christmas post, here is my great Aunt Esther’s date and pecan cake, with a confession.  I hated this cake until I was about 30.  Now I can’t get enough of it.  I would make it all year, except the dates and nuts make it quite expensive.  But it’s awesome. Date Cake (nb: this […]

It was Stollen
It was Stollen

So a very long overdue post for Christmas — part one: Stollen This is my great Aunt Esther’s Stollen recipe.  She was from the German part of the family, so this comes from Germany, by way of America.  I know most Europeans like marzipan in their stollen, but we never used it, so this is the […]

Tamale making
Tamale making

Back in December, our lovely friend Gerry had our president, secretary, VP ambassador and other friends round to show us how to make tamales.  We learned tecniques for two different kinds.  I’m going to try to remember the basics. For the first kind, we took masa (ground white corn) and cooked it into a paste (actually, […]

Lemon Syrup Love Cake Recipe
Lemon Syrup Love Cake Recipe

This is based on Nigella Lawson’s cake of the same name, with a few modifications.  I made it recently for a special birthday. It works best in a silicone cake tin — preferably bundt-shaped (the silicone does not absorb the syrup so it all goes in the cake). Ingredients 1/4 cup soft unsalted butter 3/4 cup + […]

Vegan Banana Cakebread muffin recipe
Vegan Banana Cakebread muffin recipe

I don’t know what to call these — I made them to have a vegan alternative for the banana bread I was making for one of our meetings.  They have turned out great, so I thought I’d write the recipe down before I forget.  It’s based on our treasurer’s vegan blueberry muffin recipe. Ingredients 275g flour […]

The ‘black’ in blackberry jam recipe
The 'black' in blackberry jam recipe

What says ‘I love my WI’ more than the ritual death of a thousand cuts of blackberry gathering in the summer? The summer has been frustrating. Frustrating for sun lovers of all sorts, including the local blackberries. Normally the first batch of jam gets made by the end of July. However, our wet and cold spring […]

Heavenly Pie
Heavenly Pie

For my birthday, I decided to try my grandmother’s Heavenly Pie recipe.  I’ve never made it before, but have watched first grandmother and then mother make it so thought I’d give it a try. It turned out well — not quite perfect, but I can live with that and will definitely try it again. It […]

Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns

It’s Easter, so there must be hot cross buns. Hint: don’t use unbleached icing sugar unless you want these to look like you’ve glazed them with dulce de leche. Still, they are very tasty.

Rivet Cake
Rivet Cake

For a birthday at an industrial club, Holly made Rivet Cake. Actually, she made a trio of silver cakes. We love edible silver spray paint.

Irish Soda Bread

Matt requested the Irish Soda Bread recipe, so here it is: Irish soda bread 4 cups flour 1 tsp salt 1Tbsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarb (baking soda) 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup butter (cold) 1 egg 1 3/4 cups buttermilk* 2 cups of raisins** *Don’t have buttermilk? You can substitute 1 cup sour cream and 3/4 cup […]

N19 — food and fun

The N19 pub is located just down the road from our usual meeting place (the Shaftesbury), and is the local pub for many of the Gothic Valley WI members. It serves excellent food, including the best Sunday Roast in London (IMHO, and for a reasonable price). It has a good selection of real ale, ciders […]


We have made all the waffles in Gothic Valley, and the tasty vegan variety have inspired one of our number to buy a waffle iron. For her and other vegan and vegan-friendly types, here is our recipe (adapted from this, but quite different). Gothic Vegan Waffles 1 cup flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt (scant) 1/2 […]

Cinnamon Roll War I

Today Elin and Holly started the first Cinnamon Roll War.  This pitted the Cinnabon ™ recipe (actually, Elin’s improved version) against Holly’s gran’s recipe. We fought it out in Elin’s lounge. Actually, what the day entailed was eating a lot of amazing cinnamon roles, drinking gallons of coffee and tea, and having what the Swedish would […]

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28 months ago