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Archive for March, 2010

Spinachy Tart

This is my first tart. And it’s a savoury tart. Wonders will never cease.

I’m not gonna lie, this is time-consuming. I made the pastry for the tart case from scratch, baked it, cooled it, made filling, filled it, and baked it. And it was really nice. Result!  But it is a bit posh for a regular day (or maybe I’m not posh enough). We had it as a main course for a light dinner after a whopping Sunday morning fry-up. It would make a good starter I think, with small slices served with some salad greens. For a posh dinner party.

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I have been meaning to make a Bakewell Tart for ages now and I haven’t got round to it.  Tarts do seem a bit daunting – the tart base, the almondy filling.  I bake cakes because, for the most part, they are dead simple. Hard to go wrong. Also, I am a sucker for all things almond and I have spent much of my hard earned on Gateaux Almond Fingers. I haven’t yet baked anything almondy as part of me was afraid that if it was a success, I would make it all the time and I would turn into an enormous fatty. My fate has been sealed with this Bakewellian Cake. I found this recipe (along with so many other fantastic recipes!) on The Caked Crusader’s blog, who originally borrowed it from Rosie at Baking Cakes Galore. They both baked the cherry version. I’m not a fan of cherry, and I recently bought a lovely jar of strawberry jam so I cracked it open for this recipe.

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Pecan Toffee Cake

I decided to make this cake as a change from chocolate. I’ve been overdosing on chocolate cake and cupcakes lately.  We had this cake as dessert with our St Patrick’s Day dinner guests. It’s quite similar to carrot cake with mixed spice and the moist texture that the carrot provides we get here from the dates. The pecans on top are a great addition to a tasty, easy to make cake. Recipe from  bbcgoodfood.com.

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These are truly great cupcakes. I recently bought the Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery cookbook by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas (you can get it on Amazon.co.uk). It contains recipes of the delights to be found in their bakery shops in London. It is great. I have unfortunately never visited the bakery. Yet. I say yet as I am definitely going to try to call in the next time I’m in London. I made a big batch of these cupcakes and the Truly Terrific Double Chocolate Cupcakes to bring in to college and they disappeared fast!  The book also gives a step-by-step guide to icing cupcakes. I just used a piping bag to ice these cupcakes. My attempt to swirl the perfect frosting is for another day.

Some pics after the cut, but no recipe. You need to buy the book for that 😉

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There’s a reason for my lack of blogging last month. I was frantically preparing for two conferences and then spent 10 days in California at one of the conferences/holidaying. While there I discovered the wonder that is Williams-Sonoma. This store has everything you could possibly ever need in the kitchen. Everything. And in cool colours with fab packaging. And I dragged a fair percentage of it back home in my hand luggage. Undoubtedly the heaviest  item lugged by a fairly willing boyfriend over 5000 miles is my new favourite kitchen item – a shiny black Artisan KitchenAid mixer. I am going to dedicate a post about all the things Williams-Sonoma soon, so we’ll get back to the KitchenAid then.

So when I found myself with some time this weekend to get back into the kitchen, I had to use the mixer!  What better way to get back into the swing of things than with some deliciously chocolatey cupcakes?

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