Lucy’s cauliflower and broccoli cheese

We’ll actually it’s Jamie’s really, but I love it so much I have adopted it in to my repertoire x I’ve been making it so much lately as it’s great in this cold weather with a nice bit of toasted Ciabatta lashed in butter x

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Ingredients

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 500 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 500 g fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 75 g mature cheddar cheese
  • 1 kg fresh or frozen cauliflower
  • 2 slices of ciabatta or stale bread
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 25 g flaked almonds
  • olive oil

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Peel and finely slice the garlic and put it into a medium pan on a medium heat with the butter. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour for a minute to make a paste, then gradually add the milk, whisking as you go, until lovely and smooth. Add the broccoli (cut up first, if using fresh) and simmer for around 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is cooked through and starts to break down, then mash or blitz with a stick blender (adding an extra splash of milk to loosen, if using fresh broccoli). Grate in half the Cheddar and season to perfection.
  2. Arrange the cauliflower in an appropriately sized baking dish (cut into florets first, if using fresh), pour over the broccoli white sauce and grate over the remaining Cheddar. Blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then pulse in the thyme leaves and almonds. Toss with a lug of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then scatter evenly over the cauliflower cheese.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden and cooked through, then enjoy!

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Lucy’s first job x

Wow……….. the 11th of November was my last post, it’s been such a long time since I have spoken to you all!! Sorry x

Maybe I should try to explain why I’ve not been around the blogosphere for such a long time?!. x

After 8 years, I’ve finally got a job!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woop woop!!! 🙂 x

And I loving it…………. Back at the beginning of December I started working for a cute little florists called Pollination here in Edinburgh delivering their gorgeous arrangements around the city x

And I haven’t looked back since, it has done my confidence the world of good being out there meeting people on their doorsteps or place of work, where I get to hand over delicious looking bouquets and get to see their eyes light up whilst doing it xxx

I have to say, It’s been so nice having something to get up for in the mornings again and also just having a bit of structure back to my day after all these years! A few extra pennies in my purse has been rather lovely too, I must say x

And although this job may not last that long, it is a huge step in the right direction and has definitely given me a taste for work again x
PollinationOh and you might just spot me out and about in my cute little van (it’s usually a lot cleaner than this) and if you do please give me a little wave x

Or perhaps you would prefer a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers delivered to you by little old me, if so you should get online at:

www.pollination.co.uk 

and get ordering!!!! 🙂

Pollination

Strawberry cake

Just found this post sitting in my drafts folder from a few weeks ago and thought it was about time I posted it ……oops x

I made this at the same time as I made my Lemon meringue cupcakes for the Itsgood2eatcake2 event and have some how forgotten to schedule it…..haha x

But here it is now, better late than never x 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 210g self-raising flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing tins
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g fresh strawberries hulled, to decorate

For the filling

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • pink food colouring
  • 3-4 tbsp strawberry jam
  • A few fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

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Method

Buttercream

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, a quarter at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the food colouring and mix thoroughly.
  4. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

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Sponges and construction

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the base of each tin with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour, cornflour, sugar and baking powder into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until evenly mixed. Add the butter, eggs, strawberries and vanilla extract and process briefly until well combined, but not overly processed.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 cake tins and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean.
  4. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in their tins for 10 minutes and turn out on to wire racks.
  5. When the cakes are completely cool, remove the baking paper circles from their bases. Place 1 cake on a plate and spread with a thin layer of strawberry jam.
  6. Then place a thin layer of sliced strawberries on top of the jam.
  7. Hold the second cake and ice the underside of it with a 1cm thick layer of vanilla buttercream.
  8. Carefully place on top of the first cake, iced side down. Once the cakes are sandwiched together, ice the top with the remaining buttercream and top with the fresh strawberries.

This cake is best served immediately, as the fresh strawberries do have a tendency to soften and bleed their juice into the the icing quite quickly.

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Lemon meringue cupcakes x

Blog photos_0035_edited-1It’s been quite a while since I last posted a recipe for you all, I’m so sorry!!!

Luckily I have a great recipe for your delight today, in fact it’s one that I have perfected for some time now, just for you!! I hope it makes up for my absence?! x

I’ve been making these Lemon meringue cupcakes all summer and I have to say they are loved by all my friends!! Perhaps that’s why I keep making them so often!!……haha x

I do love them myself too, but I have always been a sucker for lemon meringue x

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Ingredients for the sponge

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • seeds of ½ vanilla pod
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g self raising flour

Method for cupcakes sponge

  1. Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.
  2. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to seperate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in 2-3 tablespoons of flour. This will rebind the batter.
  3. Once all the egg has been incorporated into the butter mixture, sift in the flour and stir until the batter is just combined. This will ensure the sponges stay light and fluffy.
  4. Using a plastic piping bag or a tablespoon, carefully place the batter into the cupcake cases until two-thirds full only.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, at 175ºC, depending on your oven. The cupcakes are cooked when the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge, it should come out

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Ingredients for toppings

  • Jar of lemon curd
  • 120g of egg whites (approx. 3 large eggs)
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 240g caster sugar

Method for toppings

  1. Whisk the whites and cream of tartar until foamy then add half the sugar and continue whisking until glossy and thick, do not over beat. Add the rest of the sugar and whisk for a few seconds.
  2. Pipe a ring of meringue around the outside of the cupcake.
  3. Place a teaspoon of lemon curd into the centre, then top with a second rosette of meringue. Add a few jelly segments to the meringue and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.
  4. Place on a baking tray and place into the hot oven to brown for a couple of minutes. Remove, dust with icing sugar and serve cool.

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More cake!!!!! #ItsGood2EatCake2

After the success of the the first It’sGood2EatCake charity cake eating event, the Edinburgh Bakers held there second event last night for the amazing Edinburgh children’s cancer charity Itsgood2give run by Lynne McNicoll.

It’s only 3 weeks now until Lynne and Wilma (and 29 others) are going to be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the charity, they have raised £86,000 (approx) so far and are hoping to reach their target of £100,000 by the time all the monies are in, so if you would like to help please pop over to either or both of their donations pages here or here and give generously x Good luck when the time comes girls x

The Venue this time was the stunning Cafe Musa on the mound again, which is always just the perfect place to enjoy cake and good company x With Alison, Wilma, Wendy and Lou doing such a great job hosting and organising everything in the background with military precision everyone got their cake and was able to stuff their faces to their hearts content. ♥

And of course I was allowed the honour of taking photos again this time of all the wonderful cakes that everyone had lovingly created and brought along with them, before they were devoured x Special thanks to Lauryn and Nadine for helping me get through all the cakes by writing all their labels and running them to the table to be photographed, they are wee stars x I’d still be there yet without their help x

There was a raffle again this time, with lots of amazing prizes (one of which I won…………Yeah!!) , the raffle tickets were diligently handled and sold by Ross again with the help of one of his friends this time.

And the star prize was another glorious cake made by Lou at LoulaBelle Bakes fair hands x Totally stunning, with an actual teacup and saucer made out of fondant on the top!

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All in all, it was another glorious evening with great friends, that has hopefully raised a tonne of cash for a very deserving charity x

Fireworks!!!!!! #Oooh #Ahhhh

Last night was the Virgin Money fireworks display to signify the end of the the International festival here in Edinburgh. And it always a spectacular show and this year was no exception,  we really are so lucky as residents in Edinburgh to have so much going on around us xx I hear that this year involved 400,000 fireworks!! Wow x

So I thought it was a perfect opportunity for me to play with my camera and learn a new skill. I filled my little flask with some Lapsang Souchong and packed it in my backpack along with  a couple of slices of cake, oh and my camera and headed up to the Meadows area in the city to a site that I had sussed out would be perfect earlier in the week and set myself up for a an hour of oohing and ahhing.  And here are a few of the shots I got xx

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Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

 

Fireworks