Liverpool F.C.

Liverpool F.C. ~ Kop cakes

Introduction: Under no circumstances should a kickball supporter attempt this recipe. It’s just too fiddly. Kickball supporter, know your limits!

The Kop at Anfield dates back to 1905-06, the season that saw Liverpool lift the second of their league championships. It was christened as the Spion Kop by Ernest Jones in memory of the many scousers who died in the Battle of Spion Kop. The battle was fought about 24 miles from Ladysmith on the hilltop of Spioenkop (meaning hill with a view) along the Tugela River, it was between the South African Republic and the Orange Free State on the one hand and British forces during the Second Boer War during the campaign to relieve Ladysmith and resulted in a British defeat.

Preparation time: 45 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Home kit: 2 12-cup muffin tins or silicone pans with cupcake liners, 2 small mixing bowls, 1 medium and 1 large one, a spatula, a shallow bowl, a mixer and a piping bag with a drop flower nozzle (I say again; kickballers, step away from the kitchen!)

Away kit: 31/24/12/6/4/2 or 1 tea plate(s)

Serves: 31/24/12/6/4/2 or 1 very greedy person


For the cupcakes:

  • 375g sifted cake/ supreme sponge flour (Sainsbury’s sell supreme sponge flour)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 bottle (38 ml) red food colouring
  • 112.5g unsalted butter, softened
  • 337.5g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 small teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 small teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 150g unsalted butter (don’t use spreadable butter)
  • 250g cream cheese (mascarpone is best)
  • 225g – 450g cups royal icing sugar, sifted (to taste and consistency preferred)
  • 200g Nestle Milky Bar (1 large bar)

Method: Preheat oven to 180oC

First half – the cupcake batter

Line up the two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into the medium bowl and set aside. In the small bowl, mix food colouring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside.

In the large bowl, using a hand mixer or electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then beat in the vanilla and the red cocoa paste. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the whole milk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of the milk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with the jolly old spatula.

Second half – a bit more prep and cooking

In the other small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Be careful as it will fizz. Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well. Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they are a little under 3/4 full. Place muffin tins in your preheated oven. Bake for approximately 20 mins, rotating pans halfway through. The cupcakes are done when you are able to pat the tops and the cake springs back up. If it sinks down they are not yet complete. Or you can insert a toothpick into the centre of a cupcake in the centre of the tin and if it comes out clean they are done.

Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Extra time – frosting

Make sure all of your frosting ingredients are at room temperature.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over boiling water stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn. Once melted remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature

In another mixing bowl, mix butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Add cream cheese and mix until fluffy. Add the cooled melted white chocolate and mix until combined.

Slowly add the sugar, one cup at a time until you have the consistency and taste that you prefer.

Full time result

This required a steady hand and a clear mind. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, I like to use a drop flower nozzle. The icing can get a little soft while using. If so, put the iced cup cakes in the fridge until the icing has set. Serve on the tea plates and scoff.

Liverpool F.C. ~ Lamb Shankly

Introduction: My recipe for lamb Shankley had to contain red wine AND redcurrant jelly. This recipe requires some degree of self control as there is kitchen jiggery pokery to be done on return from the pub/match. So limit yourself to just the ten pints of lager.

William “Bill” Shankly OBE (2 September 1913 – 29 September 1981) was a Scottish footballer and manager who is best remembered for his management of Liverpool. He is regarded as one of football’s greatest ever managers.

Preparation time: 1 day

Cooking time: 3½-4 hours (easily enough time to go to the match and back)

Home kit: direct heat proof casserole, plate for resting stuff.

Away kit: 4 plates, knives and forks

Serves: 4


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks, trimmed
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into four
  • 1 large stick celery, cut into four
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut into four
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed lightly
  • bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • A bay leaf, cracked
  • ½ bottle light fruity red wine
  • Same amount (2/3 pint) vegetable stock
  • 6 tbls. Tomato puree
  • Generous pinch sea salt
  • 5 tbsp. redcurrant jelly

Method: Preheat your oven to 160oC TOMORROW!

First half

Heat the oil in the heatproof casserole over a medium high heat and brown the lamb shanks all over, until evenly coloured. This takes about 30 mins. Set them aside.

Reduce the heat and add the carrot, celery, onion. Fry until the onion is soft and translucent. About 5 mins. Add the garlic, fry for another minute and lastly the peppercorns and herbs (put them in a bag if you like to make things easier, no need to strain stuff later).

Pour in the wine and stock, add the tomato puree, pinch of salt and stir it up, now return the shanks to the casserole and set it aside to cool. Chill in the fridge overnight. (This helps to tenderise the meat.)

Second half

The next day (see, told you), preheat the oven to 160oC/325oF/Gas 3. Place the casserole, covered with a lid, into the oven and cook for 2-2½ hours, or until the meat is tender. If you’re back from the pub, slightly uncover the pot for the last hour so that the liquid will start to reduce. If the simmering becomes too lively during cooking, reduce the temperature slightly. Or just leave it covered, it’ll be fine.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Remove the shanks from the cooking liquid and place in a roasting dish. Spoon over a couple of ladles of the cooking liquid to keep the shanks moist. Roast the shanks in the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Take out of the oven cover with foil and leave to rest for about 30 mins.

Extra time

While it’s resting remove the vegetables from the cooking liquid by straining through a sieve. Heat the cooking liquid until boiling, then simmer down until the volume has reduced by half, unless of course you’ve been down the pub for hours and it’s reduced to smithereens already. Stir in the redcurrant jelly until melted.

Full time results

Serve the lamb shanks and reserved vegetables with mashed spuds, seasonal vegetables and the gravy.

Hmmm mmm. Lamb Shankly was made for me and I was made for Lamb Shankly.

Liverpool F.C. ~ Scoused herring

Introduction: Found swimming in The Pool, catch your herrings off the coast of Lancashire and scouse them up!

A scouser is named after a dish which I have not tried to cook as yet called lobscouse: a stew of meat and vegetables and hardtack that is eaten by sailors. I will find and post a recipe for it soonest.

Preparation time: 2 days and 3 hours and 20 mins

Cooking time: 0 mins (it’s a marinade!)

Home kit: medium saucepan, colander, casserole dish, fridge

Away kit: 1 serving plate

Serves: 6


  • 6 herring fillets (about 8 oz/225 g each)
  • 1½ tbls. salt
  • 1 tsp. English mustard powder
  • 2 large dill gherkins
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced

For the marinade:

  • 1 pint (570 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice berries
  • 1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • a couple of bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. soft brown sugar

Method: preheat the fridge to cold (it’s a marinade!)

First half

Make the marinade in a saucepan by combining the vinegar, spices, chilli, bay leaves and sugar with 5 fl oz (150 ml) water. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave until cold. Next, sprinkle the herring fillets with the salt and let them drain in a colander for about 3 hours. After that, rinse off the salt and dry off any excess moisture with kitchen paper.

Second half

Cut each dill pickle into three lengthways, spread the side of each fillet thinly with mustard and place a piece of dill gherkin and some slices of onion horizontally at what was the head end of each fillet. Then roll them up from the head to the tail end – the skin being on the outside – and secure each roll with a cocktail stick. Pack them into an the casserole or dish and sprinkle the remaining onion on top. Pour over the marinade, cover the dish with cling film and put it in the lowest part of the fridge.

Full time results

The herrings will not be ready for serving for at least 48 hours and, in fact, they will keep well for at least a week. Stick on serving plate and eat with slices of fresh crusty bread.

Kop Cakes

I gave these a try for the first time yesterday and here’s how they turned out.

First of all I sifted flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl.  Then mixed some bright red food colouring into some strong cocoa powder.   This was more brown than I expected, the red food colouring was obliterated by the cocoa powder.


The I beat some butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.


Then beat in the eggs, I beat them up a little before adding them to the butter and sugar, I am told they curdle if you stick them in all at once.


Then in goes the vanilla essence and red cocoa mixture.

image And, I don’t know, I was beginning to think this is looking rather yummy!  Then a third of the flour mixture went in and half of the whole milk.  Now a third more flour, more whisking followed by the other half of the milk and lastly the remaining flour. More whisking until all was beautifully combined.


There’s still a little more to do…  I mixed up some vinegar and baking soda now and a little chemical effervescence ensued and mixed that into the big bowl.  Attaining a drop consistency, which is when you pick up some of your mixture and it slowly drops off your spoon or in this case the whisk balloons;

image  Hmmm mmmm.

Time to put the mixture into about 30 small cup cake thingies.  I used a dessert spoon to dish out as it fills them to about 3/4 full.  Which is what you want.


And yes Mum, I am going to lick the bowl even though there are raw eggs in it!  Ah, childhood memories are flooding back of being slapped on the back of the head for that.


Into the oven for 20 mins, turning after 10.  Test if the Kop Cakes are ready with a koptail stick.

image If it comes out clean like this the Kop Cakes are kooked!

These bad boys are not quite the right shape but I’ll have to get that right next time.  Quite a lot of faffing about but they do taste really good!


I’ll be making the frosting for them while the Lamb Shankly is in the oven ready for our Kickball Cuisine lunch later today.

Lamb Shankly in the making

I have begun preparations for tomorrow’s Lamb Shankly extravaganza for my friends Jay and Aki.

I have just trimmed the lamb shanks, collected all the marinating ingredients together here;


The trimming was pretty easy to do.  I used the Aussie YouTube instructable here;

Then I heated some olive oil in a big casserole dish and browned the lamb all over, this took about 30 mins.


Then I chucked in the veggies, herbs and wine…


Resulting in this which will be chilling in the fridge overnight.


Ahright! Ahright!

This weekend’s Kickball Cuisine endeavours have already not gone to plan.  I have planned Scoused Herring but, would you believe it, herring is out of season. I didn’t even know fish had seasons.

Anyhow, I have replaced the herring with sea bass which is a whole lot healthier by all accounts and therefore should not under any circumstances be used for Kickball Cuisine!image

The menu I am cooking for my good friend Jay is;

  • Starters – Scoused herring
  • Main course – Lamb Shankley
  • Kop cakes for pudding

Guess which team he supports?

I am pretty sure I have all the ingredients now.  Looking forward to a lovely Liverpool Sunday.  I haven’t decided on the vegetable accompaniments yet.  Any ideas?

I watched the Wigan vs. Man Citeh game last night and was cheering on the new heroes of the Premiership.  A shame they join Reading and QPR in the drop.  But Warren did come up with the name of a dish, Wigan Wheels.