My thinkings about baking and cooking and cups and saucers and teapots with lovely lids and sugar bowls and working for myself. Finally. At last. Yippee.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Learn the taste of Christmas

There is something about the SMELL of Christmas - cinnamon and nutmeg; warm chocolate; sage and cranberry. Maybe it's because you know that all of these translate into the most delicious tastes across all kinds of foods.

So, I'd like to share some of my favourite things with The Hidden Lane Tearoom CHRISTMAS BAKING CLASSES. Running over the next 2 Wednesday evenings we'll be making festive brownies and Christmas cupcakes and other edible seasonal delights. We're offering fizz and nibbles (Some stilton and pear pate with home-made cranberry jelly - one of my favourite savoury treats) to keep your energy levels high and you get to take what you bake!

Email to book a space. Bring some friends. Step into Christmas!!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

China cup cakes and other loveliness

We've taken cup cakes up A LEVEL. You can now buy them individually in lovely little china teacups and gift them to someone with taste.

Even better. Buy one for yourself and eat while watching a soppy Christmas film. YULE love it. Promise.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

How to: German spiced Christmas biscuits.

300g plain flour
pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
11/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1tsp black pepper
100g soft brown sugar
100g soft butter
2 large eggs mixed with 4 tbsp of runny honey.

Mix all the dry goods together in a food processor. Blitz, with the butter and then pour in the honey/egg mixture - only use enough for the mixture to come together in a ball in the processor. Once it has, you don't need any more egg/honey. (This bit always affected by the size of the eggs, and chickens being chickens - free range of course - you never know what's inside the shell until you crack it!)

Roll out the dough quite thinly and stamp out biscuits with Christmas cutters. Put them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, make a hole in each biscuit so that you can hang it (use the thick end of a wooden skewer ideally, and wiggle it about.)
Put the biscuits in the fridge for half an hour.

Bake at 150 degrees (fan oven) for 20 mins.

Decorate however you fancy - either with rolled out royal icing or with sprinkles or icing sugar and lemon juice mix.

Dry. Hang. Eat. Enjoy.

snow, snow, snow, snow, SNOOOOOOW! And fat shortbread.

I've been busy making some food gifts that will be for sale shortly in the Tearoom. I really enjoy being able to play like this and love the whole Christmas, food, flavours and smells thing.

Frustratingly this morning, my shortbread tree decorations just kept swelling in the oven until they looked like very fat versions of what they were supposed to be. After shouting at the oven for a bit (I find this usually works) I popped the shortbread shapes into my very cold fridge and left them for an hour before baking them and this time, oh yes, they stayed the shape they should be and I am congratulating myself at having invented this little piece of baking wisdom.

Haven't iced them yet, so no photos. But on this first day of Christmas forget the partridge and the pear tree. I've got hand sculpted starry shaped shortbreads just begging to be hung. Or eaten.