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Monday, 23 May 2011

Rocky buns in memory

Tomorrow, I will gather with my family to pay tribute to a wonderful, dear lady, my sweet, gracious, loving and greatly loved Granny. I will miss her so much and her amazing home baking.
I’m going to follow her often used recipe and take comfort from the sticky, sweet, imperfect dough.
Children, grandchildren, neighbours, colleagues, friends and even a friendly pheasant came tapping at her window for these tasty cakes. She also believed every home should have a Bero book, so if you don’t have one, invest in some flour and send away! Simple pleasures.
Makes 10 ish.
You will need:
225g Self raising flour
pinch salt
100g margarine (my Granny used Stork, you can of course use butter if you're feeling flush!)
75g dried fruit
25g mixed peel (not essential, you can add glace cherries or dried apricot as a variation)
50g caster sugar
1 medium egg
milk to mix
Heat oven to 200’C and grease two baking trays (my Granny gave us ours as an engagement gift).
Mix the flour and salt, rub in the margarine.
Stir in the dried fruit, mixed peel and sugar.
Mix to a stiff dough with the egg and milk.
Place in rough heaps on the baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes.

For best results, eat warm with tea served in a china cup.
Be comforted.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Let them eat cake

After seeing and eating such an epic amount of cake with my lovely cake buddy (we managed amazing cheesecake, lemon layer, tower of sin and apple and cinnamon) and meeting so many passionate bakers, it seems right that this blog post should be written while munching leftovers for breakfast.

Lynn, the bakelady welcomes us all.

Staring, drooling, waiting patiently...

Last night's Clandestine Cake Club was delicious and delightful. Brought together by Lynn and hosted by the lovely Alana at Fredericks. The real stars of the show however were the cakes, all baked to the theme of Homespun Harmony which ignited imaginations and resulted in classic and new creations. Be prepared, these photos will make you want cake, now. My memory is a haze of sugar so the titles are largely guessed, apologies if I get it wrong.

Lemon and raspberry roulade made by Edinburgh Foody.

Lemon Polenta cake with Limoncello syrup by Edinburgh Eats. See her post on the event here, and get the recipes too.

Classic Victoria Sponge by Stephanie of Sunday Brunch Club fame, following a Delia recipe.

I snapped this beauty and when I went back to check what it was, it was gone... can anyone identify?

Tower of sin by Great British Bake Off contestant, Bakers Bunny, lurking in calorific glory in the shadows!

A pink treat, white chocolate and raspberry by Ideas Spotting.

The cake line up.

Apple and olive oil cake (not sure who made it) in the background and unidentifed in the fore...

Tucking in at last.

Apple and Cinnamon Cake made by Lynn, the recipe is here, happy baking!

What it says on the tub.

A pimped up, grand version of the raspberry and white chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream.

The end. Well, not quite.

Here is the take away plate which I duly shared with C and still had some for breakfast. Rather than simply stuffing my face, I tried to take a bit more time over the flavours back home. Next time, I'll take notes at the event too!

Clockwise from white sponge - Angel cake with rhubarb and strawberry compote, Apple and olive oil cake, cinnamon and apple cake with cinnamon cream frosting, sour cream and blueberry cake, Dundee marmalade cake, lemon polenta cake with limoncello syrup and candied orange.

Here are our tasting notes:

Angel cake - as light as angel's wings, delicious texture (not unlike milk roll), easy to eat in vast quantities, intensely fruity compote. In all, rather like a deconstructed summer pudding. Great alternative to more traditional cake.

Apple and olive oil cake - a hybrid cake - somewhere between a sponge and a fruit cake, bold juicy flavours, perfect with tea.

Cinnamon and apple cake - made to an original recipe by Lynn (above). This is a dense cake as you might expect from an adopted muffin recipe, apparently easy to vary by replacing the apple with choc chips, finished with a super smooth frosting so tasty you could devour by the spoonful.

Sour cream and blueberry - a delicious, moist cake, with a zingy blueberry filling which contrasted well with the sugary icing.

Dundee marmalade - a real classic, looked inviting and tasted moreish. Job well done.

Lemon polenta - the polenta gives an intriguing texture to this sticky, sweet sensation. One of the most inventive flavour combinations and Katey even made her own limoncello - now that's homespun harmony if ever we saw it.

Desperate to get my hands on some more recipes so please share with Lynn, with me, with all! And please leave your comments, how many slices of cake did you manage? Did you have a favourite? Which one did you make? I'm curious.

Friday, 6 May 2011


Delving into our archives, we thought we'd share a very special celebration with you, a wonderful gathering in a fabulous setting to mark a friend's thirtieth birthday.

This was a rare event for us as it combined creating the canapes and enjoying them as guests (without the pressure of creating dinner as well). After we dished up the tasty morsels below, we simply enjoyed the party and the fireworks! Lucky us.

Hot smoked salmon mousse, lemon zest, homemade buttery oat biscuits.

Stilton gougeres.

The beautiful dining room.

And the "unbelievable" fireworks (almost enough to send me into labour!)

Sparkling sparklers (still as much fun as you remember).

Finally, plenty of bacon for breakfast (apologies for the blurry i phone shot) and a short walk in the fresh country air (to the pub for rugby watching). Happy days.
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