Write your Mind….. Feed your Mind!

An extremely important part of a Write your Mind workshop is the food! All home made and including sourdough bread, pauses in the day’s writing to share lunch, and breaks for morning coffee and afternoon tea with cake are just as crucial when it comes to well-being as the writing and reflecting that goes on between the group. 

By popular request, I will be sharing some of the recipes that have featured in the workshops from my home on this blog.


Rhubarb Flapjacks

Feed your mind therapy New Forest Jo Bisseker Barr


100g Self-raising flour
100g Oats
100g Butter or Stork margarine
1 tbsp Golden syrup
100g Sugar
Slightly stewed rhubarb (or a peeled and chopped eating apple)
25g raisins
1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed Spice
Mixed seeds eg. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, linseed



Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan.

Stir in all the dry ingredients except raisins. Spread half the mixture onto a square tin or small tray lined with baking paper. Spread the fruit on top, and sprinkle the raisins. Top with the rest of the mixture. Scatter mixed seeds on the top.

Bake for 15 minutes at 190°c. Mark into slices while still warm.

I normally double amounts


Tattie Cakes

6oz sugar
7oz soft baking marg/butter
2 beaten eggs
10oz freshly cooked warm and well-mashed potato
5oz sultanas
5oz SR flour


Grease a 12″ x 8″ tin and set oven to 180°c. Cream fat and sugar until pale and fluffy. Stir in eggs, potato, fruit, then flour, beating gently. If too loose, add 1 or 2 oz more flour. Smooth in the tin and bake for 45 mins until springy. sprinkle with caster sugar immediately. Cut into slices.


Chocolate Brownies

185g unsalted butter

185 g best dark chocolate

85g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

50g white chocolate

50g milk chocolate

3 large eggs

275g golden caster sugar


  1. Cut the butter into smallish cubes and tip into a medium bowl. Break the dark  chocolate into small pieces and drop into the bowl.  Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, then sit the bowl on top so it rests on the rim of the pan, not touching the water.  Put over a low heat until the butter and chocolate have melted, stirring occasionally to mix them.  Now remove the bowl from the pan.  Alternatively, cover the bowl loosely with cling film and put in the microwave for 2 minutes on High.  Leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature.


  1. While you wait for the chocolate to cool, position a shelf in the middle of your oven and turn the oven on to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4 to heat up. Using a shallow 20 cm square tin, cut out a square of non-stick baking parchment to line the base.  Now tip the flour and cocoa powder into a sieve held over a medium bowl, and tap and shake the sieve so they run through together and you get rid of any lumps.


  1. With a large sharp knife, chop the white and milk chocolate into chunks on a board, so that you end up with rough squares.


  1. Break the eggs into a large bowl and tip in the sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake.  This can take 3 – 8 minutes, depending on how powerful your mixer is.  It is ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume.


  1. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a spatula. Plunge the spatula in at one side, take it underneath and bring it up the opposite side and in again at the middle.  Continue going under and over in a figure of eight, moving the bowl round after each folding so you can get at it from all sides, until the two mixtures are one and the colour is a mottled dark brown.  The idea is to marry them without knocking out the air, so be as gentle and slow as you like.


  1. Hold the sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and resift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly. Gently fold in this powder using the same figure of eight action as before.  The mixture will look dry and dusty at first, and a bit unpromising, but if you keep going very gently and patiently, it will end up looking gungy and fudgy.  Stop just before you feel you should, as you don’t want to overdo this mixing.  Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks until they are dotted throughout.
  2. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.  Gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin and paddle the spatula from side to side across the top to level it.  Put in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes.  When the buzzer goes, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin.  If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin.  Take out of the oven.


  1. Leave the whole thing in the tin until completely cold, then lift out. Cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into four squares and finally into triangles.  They will keep in an airtight container for two weeks and in the freezer for up to a month.

more recipes to follow! let me know if you have any requests…..


Leave a comment

Copyright 2017 © All Rights Reserved