Baking cakes

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In an exciting new venture, I am now baking some cakes for a local business The Earl Grey Tearoom, in Southborough.

So far, I have made them a carrot cake with mascarpone icing (left) and two Victoria sponges with butter cream icing and jam. I have also supplied them with some spiced almond and pistachio biscotti – great for dunking in your coffee or tea!

I hope this venture will continue for a long time – it is great for Southborough to have an independent tearoom and I love the fact I can make a cake and deliver it on foot! I must also admit, I have missed not baking cakes regularly. There is something I find relaxing about mixing together ingredients to produce a (hopefully!) light sponge cake and then decorating it. The very hot weather has made the mixing quite problematic but hopefully by the end of the week, as temperatures return to near normal, cake mixes will go back to the right consistency. Since my youngest went off to University, I can’t justify baking anything for just me. My neighbours have become my testing ground so if you see me crossing Prospect Road with plates of cake or biscuit, you know I am experimenting again.

 

Elderflower cordial

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Last week, just before a very wet and windy day, I picked elderflowers so I could make cordial. I love the scent of the flowers!

As well as making a refreshing drink for the summer, I use the cordial in recipes with gooseberries as the two flavours go together so well. Our family favourite is gooseberry cobbler.

The flowers are soaked in a sugar syrup with lemons and citric acid before being strained and bottled. The cordial keeps well in the fridge once opened and lasts longer than most recipes say it will – I have tried it after 2 years and it still tastes of elderflower!

I am selling 500ml bottles for £4 each – please contact me via this post of you are interested as numbers are limited.

 

And finally, savoury muffins

Finally, I have made three flavours of my savoury muffins – pancetta and olive, goats cheese and sundried tomato and onion and pepper. These freeze excellently and can be added to packed lunches. They also go well with soup in the winter.

These muffins have been made for selling at the Penshurst Farmers’ Market on 3 June. If you are in the area, come along and taste before you buy!

Ginger biscuits

The last batch of biscuits have been baked for Penshurst Farmers Market on Saturday 3 June – now they just need to be packaged. These are ginger biscuits, topped with stem ginger and would be delicious with ice cream, fruit, a cup of tea or even with a crumbly white cheese!

I have lost count of how many biscuits that is in total, but I think it is somewhere in the region of 1,000.

I will have tasters available for most of the biscuits so if you are near Penshurst tomorrow morning between 9:30 and 12:00, why not come along and try before you buy.

Savoury biscuits

This evening, I have made savoury seeded biscuits and cheesy biscuits – all are made with buckwheat flour so are suitable for gluten free diets.

These are being packaged up ready for selling at Penshurst Farmers Market on Saturday 3 June.

Tomorrow will be my last day in the kitchen for this event – more biscuits and maybe something different!

Chocolate butter biscuits

This afternoon, the kitchen has been filled with the aroma of chocolate biscuits baking in the Rayburn. Rather tempting! Luckily for my waistline, these will be packaged up ready for Penshurst Farmers Market this Saturday 3 June.

All my biscuits are made with organic flour and eggs. I use butter in most of them, as I think it improves the flavour.

Back to baking …… next batch is a savoury one. Watch this space!

Making biscuits

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I always make biscuits at Christmas and I make savoury biscuits regularly, but I haven’t made sweet biscuits for a while so I thought I would try out a few this afternoon.

Pictured here are vanilla, ginger and lemon biscuits. They may not have the shelf life of shop bought ones, but they do taste good! Try them with your afternoon cup of tea or perhaps with ice cream and fruit for a midweek pudding.

I will be selling these and other types of biscuit at the Penshurst Farmers Market on Saturday 3 June (market is open 9:30 until 12:00) – I hope to see you there!

New chutney recipes

This week, I have tried making a new chutney with rhubarb, flavoured with coriander and curry powder. It looks delicious but needs to mature for a month before tasting! Making chutneys is always a time consuming task, not just with the long slow cooking but also allowing it time to mature in a cool, dark place. If you are tempted to taste it too soon, it can be too vinegary or too spicy. However, after a month or two (depending on the recipe) the flavours have mellowed and the chutney is ready.

I delivered a batch to Southborough Butchers last week which were made in January but which are now ready to eat. If you are local to Southborough, they have 4 variations available as well as my apple and chilli jelly :

  • Apricot apple and hazelnut
  • Plum pear and apple with chilli
  • Pear and apple
  • Spiced damson

All these chutneys go well with cheese, cold meats, sausages and even with curries. We have also used the spiced damson chutney as a sauce for pan fried duck breast and as a gravy enhancer.

If the rhubarb chutney passes its taste test, I will make more and market it. Watch this space!

Stock clearance

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In order to make space for new chutneys and other preserves, I am having a stock clearance sale . All items are available on a first come first served basis, so if there is something you particularly want, please contact me as soon as possible.

Stock available : 300g jars

1 x Apple and sultana chutney  £2.50

1 x Pumpkin and raisin chutney  £2.50

1 x Apricot apple and hazelnut chutney  £2.50

5 x Victoria plum jam  £2.00 each

5 x Raspberry jam  £2.00 each

7 x Luxury apricot and brandy mincemeat  £2.00 each

4 x Seville orange marmalade  £2.00 each

8 x Dark Seville orange marmalade  £2.00 each

 

Stock available : 200g/190g jars

18 x Spiced Damson chutney  £1.50 each

12 x Blackberry jelly  £1.50 each

4 x Cranberry and orange compôte  £2.00 each

1 x Spiced redcurrant jelly  £1.50

Please email me at toobusytomake@btinternet.com or message me via my Facebook page Too busy to make