Sunday, 24 May 2020
- FOR THE SHORTBREAD BASE
- 180g soft butter
- 125g caster (super fine) sugar
- 280g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- a pinch of salt
FOR THE GINGER TOPPING
- 180g butter
- 100g golden or corn syrup
- 375g icing sugar
- 6 tsp ground ginger
- 50g chopped crystallised ginger, or pistachio nuts to sprinkle on top
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350Fan/Gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 9x13inch (24x34cm) baking tin.
- To make the base, cream together the soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter/sugar, mixing gently until you have a dough.
- Press the dough into the tin, levelling it out as evenly as possible using a spatula. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until the shortbread is light golden. The centre will seem a little soft but will firm up on cooling. Set aside to cool.
- To make the topping, place the butter and golden syrup in a large pan and melt over a low heat. Sift the icing sugar and ground ginger into the pan and keeping the heat as low as possible, whisk until the mixture is really smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk again until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Pour the topping over the base and spread out evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle over the crystallised ginger or pistachio nuts and leave to set for 1-2 hours before cutting into bars.
HAWKER SIDDELEY NIMROD PROTOTYPE XV148 BEING PREPARED FOR ITS MAIDEN FLIGHT AT BROUGHTON ON 23RD MAY 1967 - 53 YEARS AGO TODAY.
XV148 was flown from Broughton to Woodford by Hawker Siddeley chief test pilot John Cunningham, with Avro's chief test pilot Jimmy Harrison as co-pilot, one navigator, two flight engineers and two observers.
The British government announced the conception of the Nimrod - 'The Mighty Hunter' from various religious mythology - in 1965 as the world's first land-based, pure jet, long range maritime reconaissance, anti-submarine and search and resuce aircraft.
The aircraft was originally a civil de Havilland Comet 4C airframe (c/n 06477), the final Comet airframe on the production line.
The decision was taken to use the well proven Comet airframe to replace the Avro Shackleton and convert the last two unsold Comets into the main Nimrod development prototypes.
XV148 was the aerodynamic prototype, having what would become Nimrod's customary 'bath-tub bubble' skirt structure of the unpressurised weapons bay and large nose radome, along with modified wing centre section and enlarged air intakes to accomodate the Nimrod's Rolls-Royce Spey 250 engines. It was also fitted with the Nimrod's navigation and attack systems. Nimrod fuselages are 6 feet shorter than a Comet 4C and this alteration reduces the aircraft's directional stability, therefore the dorsal fin was enlarged in June 1967.
The aircraft undertook extensive flight trials at Woodford, along with airframe and engine development work. It was used by the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment for assessment trials at RAF Boscombe Down during 1968 until being returned to Woodford for futher development work by HS. 1969-70 it was prepared for missile testing work and then from 1970-72 it conducted AS12 & SSII trials from Woodford and Boscombe Down. In 1972 XV148 participated in Searchwater development work and was then allocated to the Radar Research Establishment at RAF Pershore in 1975 for avionics and weapons sytems research. It was moved to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Bedford in 1977 and was finally retired in 1982, with its final flight being to Woodford for structural stress and fatigue testing. As part of this testing the nose and tail sections were removed and the remainder of the fuselage and wings were used as a ground fatigue test specimen to determine the fatigue consumption of the type, allowing any problems to be discovered quickly before they became widespread.
In 1999 the airframe was scrapped. Most of it including the bare nose section was acquired privately from BAE systems and moved to Guildford for long term restoration.
As of 2015 the nose section was basically complete barring some cosmetic elements.
It's sister XV147 was 75 percent complete as a Comet 4C when Nimrod development began and was consequently still fitted with the Comet's Rolls-Royce Avon engines. XV147 was flown to Woodford as a Comet 4C in 1965 for conversion and was used for sytems development but was not aerodynamically representative of the production Nimrod. It took its maiden flight as a Nimrod prototype two months later on 31 July 1967.
Production of the Nimrod continued at Broughton, with wing centre sections, fuselage sections and outer wings being built until 1970 & transported to Woodford for final assembly.
Friday, 22 May 2020
Ottolenghi's simple yet irresistible Blueberry, Almond and Lemon Cake is an easy bake that won't fail to impress. With fresh fruity flavours, this classic loaf cake is the perfect accompaniment to your afternoon tea.
For all the tins, trays and moulds that can be used to great effect in baking, there’s nothing quite like a simple loaf cake to reassure one that all is okay with the world. This is timeless, easy and also keeps well, for 3 days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
|150g||unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing|
|2||lemons: finely grate the zest to get 2 tsp, then juice to get 2 tbsp|
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
|3||large eggs, beaten|
|90g||self-raising flour, sifted|
You will need: a loaf tin (11 x 21cm) and a free-standing food mixer.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Grease and line a loaf tin 11 x 21cm, and set aside.
2. Place the butter, sugar, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and vanilla in the bowl of a free-standing food mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on a high speed for 3–4 minutes, until light, then lower the speed to medium. Add the eggs, in small additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl. The mix may split a little, but don’t worry: it’ll come back together. Add the flour, salt and almonds in three additions. Finally, fold in 150g of blueberries, by hand, and pour into the prepared loaf tin.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining 50g of blueberries over the top of the cake. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, until the cake is golden-brown but still uncooked. Cover loosely with tin foil and continue to bake for 25–30 minutes, until risen and cooked. Test by inserting a knife into the middle: it’s ready if it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside, in its tin, to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice into a bowl with the icing sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour over the cake and gently spread out: the blueberries on the top of the cake will bleed into the icing a little, but don’t worry: this will add to the look.