Monthly Archives: July 2011
We found this little gem in a used book store!
I will not be terrible and say how silly astrology is…I’ll let this website do it for me: Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy
I may not believe in it but the Scorpio entry did make me most happy!
How do you measure up?! I think Sagittarius and Aries got the worst deal!
So, Simon munched through his healthy snacks; this combined with my love of the Flipboard App has called for a mid-week bake (I was building a motorbike engine out of gum-paste anyway so I may as well have had something going on behind the scenes in the kitchen).
So from my blog feed I ran across this recipe from Scrambled Megs for “the best carrot cake”! The best ever you say *raises eyebrow*? Carrot cake you say *raises other eyebrow*.
I am always intrigued and slightly skeptical of superlative recipes but I thought I’d give it a read through…
The more I read the more excited I became! This recipe has NO SUGAR! Let’s not get all pedantic about natural fruit sugars and other sweet things, let’s be happy to say there is nothing I’d stir into my Darjeeling.
The recipe also has NO BUTTER! OK, OK there is oil in there but this gives the option of picking which oil you want to use, vegetable? almond? perhaps coconut?! (ooooh, coconut)
Was this the recipe I had been waiting for; something built on a back bone of banana and carrot? Sweetened with dates and raisins? A cake I wouldn’t feel too bad about munching through the whole thing sat on the sofa watching The Glee Project?
AND, IT IS DESCRIBED AS THE BEST?!?! (The post has since been changed and it’s now not titled “the best”)
It must be made and made right now!
As usual I made a few minor tweaks:
- I switched the wholemeal flour for this malted stone ground because it looked lovely (I’m a sucker for a pretty package) and it was on offer (I’m a supermarket raccoon):
- I used 1 tbsn sesame oil and 5 of ground nut.
- I decided it would be easier for Simon to take small cakes to work than it would be to have a nine-incher poking out his Mulberry satchel…out come the cupcake cases.
Healthy, really tasty, I’m not sure why Scrambled Megs changed the name as I would agree with the first title: BEST CARROT CAKE!
Most weekends involve a spot of baking; this one was no exception…
I was on a bit of a mission this weekend for a number of reasons:
- Simon required healthy snacks
- I had found a pile of bargain cranberries in Waitrose
- M: What did you think of the loaf?
- S: Was it really healthy?
- M: Yup, no real sugar or butter…why?
- S: If it was really healthy make it again, if not, don’t bother.
Have a good week everyone, bake long and prosper…
Stockton Heath, the epitome of Cheshire suburbia…now home to a Chinese bakery and tea house!
Yes, I know there’s Wong Wong’s and things in Manchester so I shouldn’t wet myself too hard but still…awesome!
The Little Box of Treats is sort of a hybrid little English tea and cake shop/Chinese bakery:
It’s all about the oriental sweet goodness, less about the techno-orientals and Asian-grandmas in flip-flops (yes, racial stereotyping, but give me a break, I grew up being the only oriental in a big Caucasian school). No to the austere Victoria Sandwiches and raisin laden scones, but yes to WI ladies and middle-class couples with small obnoxious off-spring.
The lovely gal who served us was a total sweetheart…it got a bit busy when we were there and she’d sent some staff home as it was fairly quiet before hand; we had to wait like two whole minutes more for our order (yes, I chatted to her at the till, I chat to everyone at a till, I chat to anyone anywhere)…so, back to my point, oh yeah, she threw in some mango and some coconut pudding as an apology! SO SWEET…I plan to make her my new BFF.
Now, right, I was reviewing a bakery, so food…
Dreamy! Tasty good, super quality and really reasonably priced!
They do all kinds of goodness:
- Sweet buns
- Savoury buns
- Chinese sponges/cupcakes
- Dim sum
- Speciality Teas
- Bubble Tea
They sell samples of the speciality teas, I got a bag of five Fairy Blooming Jasmine for £7.50! You get four in a box from Fortnum & Mason for £12.50! I also got a sample of Rose Tea which is just a bag of teeny tiny little rose buds…again with the total Anglo-Asian greatness!
If anyone wishes to join me for tea and cake Asian style…I will pay, I will drive and chauffeur you, I will even carry you from the car to the bakery…ring me…NOW!
We are reinvesting in the business…
We are investing in some business cards…
Time well spent that would have otherwise been used nursing a hangover and watching Ace of Cakes
I hope they turn out well, the image looked slightly blurry on Vistaprint (but that could have been the hangover).
So our dear friend Carole asked Wondercat Bakery to make a graduation cake for her daughter Dale.
Dale has just graduated with a 1st class degree!!! CONGRATULATIONS DALE!!!
Here’s a colour version:
As you can see, we went for a blue and gold scheme as in our opinion it looked very “studious/university colours”.
The cake was a light vanilla sponge with a raspberry compote and a pink, raspberry, Swiss-meringue butter cream filling. The decorations were are crafted from petal paste and hand gilded or glittered. There is also some freehand piping work that again was hand gilded after drying…
We were generally quite pleased with the finished article…the fondant covered well, we got some nice clean edges and not too much glitter in the wrong places…it’s like walking on a beach but replace sand with glitter in inexplicable places.
The hats were a challenge! Finding a small head shaped object with a flat top was difficult…then the top bobble of our kitchen roll holder caught my eye! I think it worked well.
The raspberry S-M butter cream was delightful…so light and buttery and really held on to the raspberry flavour; which was just a cup of fresh blended raspberries…practically a heath food (or so we told ourselves as we shovelled a whole bowl of leftovers into our face holes-so much for carb counting)!
So nothing to do but add a few beauty shots…the graduation hat is belongs to Mykie (he knew it would eventually come in handy!)
We will also work on reducing the excessive use of ellipsis in the next post… 😉
Dinner at Mr Adam’s abode called for the Wondercat Bakery to whip something up.
We thought we’d throw caution to the wind, nigella to the bookshelf, and free-style a recipe…
It’s basically a pate sucree pastry case filled with a coconut creme patisserie and a blueberry/port compote. It was all finished with a flourish of sweet whipped cream, toasted coconut and some blueberries that had been sprayed gold (flamboyance, meet tart, get acquainted)…I also found some little sprinkles (like micro blueberries) so threw a handful on as well.
It is presented on Si’s birthday plate…a plate from the year he was born with a calendar and birds all over it! Retro-glamour.
So, it looked nice, maybe the lilly was a little over gilded (quite literally), but I didn’t make it with enough time to set…after it was cut there was a slow but steady flow of unctuous creaminess out of the pastry, like a sweet carbohydrate glacier.
I may make something similar again but it definitely needs a tweak or two before it makes another showing.