i like to bake. cakes and pies and biscuits and bread. sometimes i make lemon curd and sticky jam and put it in pretty little jars. i sell it all at markets. and then i write about it here.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

rocky road tiffin

Rocky roads are one of my all time favourites, (are they cakes? or biscuits?) both to eat and to bake. Which is ironic really as there is no actual 'baking' involved. My favourite part of the rocky road process is the melting of the chocolate. It's like being a child all over again. There's also something quite therapeutic about recipes that require throwing all of the ingredients into a bowl and simply mixing. So whilst searching through my cupboards for some cake-related inspiration I pulled out a sticky tin of golden syrup. My thoughts turned to chocolate tiffin. So came about my most recent creation, an amalgamation of tiffin and rocky road. Fit to bursting with biscuit, raisins and marshmallows, what's not to like?
rocky road tiffin
500g Cadburys milk chocolate
175g butter
4 tbsp golden syrup
150g digestive biscuits
100g cornflakes
100g sultanas
100g marshmallows
100g white chocolate (optional)
1. Place 300g of the milk chocolate into a large heatproof bowl with the butter and syrup and melt over a pan of simmering water.
2. Crush the biscuits and cornflakes and chop up the marshmallows. 3. Stir all of the ingredients, except the white chocolate, into the melted chocolate mixture until evenly coated.
4. Pour the mixture into a into a 23cm square baking tin lined with greaseproof paper and level with the back of a spoon.
5. Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
6. Melt the remaining 200g of milk chocolate and pour this over the chilled mixture. Chill for a further couple of hours until set.
7. If using the white chocolate, melt it and drizzle over the top of the cake. Chill until set and ready to be sliced and served.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

evening post

On Thursday, 28th April Pass the Teapot was featured in Bristol's Evening Post. I was so happy with the result and have journalist Mark Taylor to thank for writing such a fantastic article. I think  this deserves a post all to itself.

Monday, 2 May 2011

harbourside market

The bank holiday weekend saw the launch of the Harbourside Market in Bristol. A 3-day event that featured all manner of talented people selling their wares and an event that I felt honoured to be given a stall at. The market lines both sides of the walkway along the river and I chose view over shelter by setting up on the side closest to the river. Weather-wise, we were lucky that the forecasted rain stayed away, with the only slight irritation being the incessant wind which was relentless in its bid to blow away carefully placed products. I was lucky - cakes tend to weigh things down - so the most I had to contend with was flyaway bunting. Oh and my very wind-burnt cheeks at the end of the day.

New additions to the stall included a lemon and semolina cake and a jar full of ginger shortbread biscuits, which went down particularly well with the under-5s. As usual, carrot cake was the best-seller, which had sold out by lunchtime. The Harbourside Market will run every Sunday from now on and it's one I hope will become a regular in Pass the Teapot's market diary.

Friday, 29 April 2011

a royal cupcake

When I heard the news that Prince William had proposed to Kate, I was pleased for them, of course, as I would be for any bride and groom to be. When I heard that everyone would be given a day off because of it, the thought of an extra lie-in caught my interest, sure. But that's where my excitement ended. I did not anticipate the crazed wedding fever that has gripped the entire nation. For the past few months I haven't been able to walk 10 metres without facing a Union Jack, celebratory bunting or a commemorative piece of crockery. Big companies have cashed in on what is essentially just two people getting married. Doesn't that happen every day? I mean, Kate dolls? Please. Who is buying this stuff?
But despite my cynicism, the wedding build-up has been firmly fixed on my TV since 8am. Elton John has just arrived. People are cheering. Lots of Americans have camped out next to Buckingham Palace. They're interviewing a magician that went to school with Kate. Is that really necessary? It's not even 10am and my friend has arrived armed with a bottle of Pimms, waving a Kate and Wills Union Jack. There is a sense of celebration in the air. I'm not fussed about what Kate is wearing or how many steps she takes down the aisle, but I did put Kate and Wills' faces on a cupcake.

Monday, 25 April 2011

my cakes are in a cafe

This morning I delivered a batch of 'I Love Bristol' cupcakes to The Daily Meal on Gloucester Road. It opened just over a week ago and the quirky decor and delicious food on offer caught my eye. I popped in with some samples and the result is a batch of my cakes sitting prettily for sale atop their counter. Fingers crossed they go down well with The Daily Meal customers.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

dedicated to mini eggs

It's Easter and for me, that's a good enough excuse to bake. In fact, out of all of the holiday seasons, Easter lends itself nicely to such an activity. I considered what to make. Simnel cake, chocolate nests, hot cross buns... and settled on the less traditional Mini Egg cookie. As a life-long fan of the Cadburys Mini Egg, a post dedication is long overdue. And what better time of year to put them in a cookie and write about it. I'd go as far as to say that when surrounded by freshly baked cookie dough, the Mini Egg really does come into its own.

So here they are. And yes, that is a burnt one you see in the background. I made these in my parents' kitchen and, not being used to the oven, I set the temperature to 220C instead of 170C. Luckily I redeemed myself with a second batch.

mini egg cookies
225g butter
350g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g Cadburys Mini Eggs
Preheat the oven to 170C
1. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well with an electric hand mixer.
3. Add the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda and mix well.
4. Mix in the Mini Eggs until evenly dispersed.
5. Arrange the mixture on a well-greased baking tray in small round balls, spaced apart to allow for spreading.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

And while we're on the Easter theme, here is a picture of the best Easter eggs I have seen. Marks and Spencer's eggs, Eggward and Eggna.