Desserts for entertaining

Sloe Time and Worth the Wait.

sloes in sieve and blackthorn branch with wild dyed cloth

Ripe Sloes and Blackthorn Branch

The Sloe is the fruit of the capricious blackthorn. As early as march bride-like veils of  white gossamer appear to billow and waft along the length of the hedgerows and field margins. An illusion created by the densley packed floral display of this early flowering  bush. The blackthorns small, delicate, lacey white flowers appear well before its leaves have even thought about getting out of bed for spring. This apparition, and the wonderful accompanying scent always stops me in my tracks, a happy acknowledgment that warmer weather and spring sunshine are on their way before too long. Continue reading

Join the Fun – Behind the Scenes at Tray Bakes: A wonderful chocolaty chance and a demonstration too!

Tray Bakes

Dedication to the cause of cakes

Tour of the Penrith premises kitchens and a demonstration by Stirring Stuff on July 16th in aid of Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.

 

tray bakes poster (002)

 

Stepping inside Tray Bakes kitchens is like being invited into the world of Willy Wonka. After a ceremonial dressing in protective cloths you step thorough double doors, across the threshold of reality into a different space. The smell of chocolate and baking is glorious. Tray Bakes dedicated and highly skilled workforce of bakers, mixers, pipers, spreader and finishers are deep in a happy and contented concentration. A mesmerising rhythm soothes, as vats of molten chocolate are stirred, and golden syrup is poured lava-like into cauldrons of melting deliciousness. In another room, ovens are industriously filled, and cooked goods expertly hand pressed before being passed to the finishing room, for the final spreading and piping of chocolate or fondant. The packing room is piled roof high with pallets of Tray Bakes for sending out across the UK (from ‘At Home in Cumbria’). Continue reading

One tub, several spoons. Orange and White Chocolate Ice-Cream, a treat for the May weekend.

orange and white chocolate ice cream three scoops

Scoops of White Chocolate and Orange Ice-Cream, served with amaretto biscuits

 

May bank holiday weekend and the sun is planning on shining. Sun shine and warmth conjure images of lazy days, bluebell walks and family time. And  is it my imagination, or can I hear the tinkling and familiar tune of the ice cream van approaching? This rich and velvety orange ice cream will definitely knock the socks of anything you can buy. The white chocolate adds a satisfying, slightly chewy texture, the sugar content  is reduced so that its not overly sweet. Cooking the orange zest strips with the milk translates into a mellow orange undertone and the fresh zest adds spark.  Continue reading

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