Small mercies x

A very short post today x

The last few days have been a trial for me and it is small mercies that have gotten me through the worst of the unexplainable rage and mood swings that I have experienced!!

Like these beautiful new measuring cups that came in to my possession only a few days ago! 🙂 x

Measuring cups

They are so cute and adorable, aren’t they?

Measuring cups

I was lucky enough to come across them in Anthropologie on George Street here in Edinburgh and it took only seconds for me to decide that they would be mine after finding them x

Measuring cupsI can’t wait to try them out over the next few days when I bake!!

But what to bake???

Watch this space 🙂 x

Advertisements

Mamma’s fruit loaf

Ok, I don’t actually call her Mamma, just Mum x But Mamma sounds so much better, don’t you think? heehee x

When I first started baking this time last year my Mum wrote down here recipe for Fruit loaf and it’s been pinned to my notice board ever since waiting patiently for me to get round to trying it out!! I’m not sure it is quite up to her standards yet, but I think I’ve done not bad for a first attempt and will play around and perfect it to my own tastes in the years to come x

Fruit loaf

Ingredients:

  • ½llb Unsalted butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups Sultanas
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups self raising flour

Fruit loaf

Method:

  1. Line a loaf tin with backing parchment.
  2. In a medium heavy pan add the butter, sugar, sultanas, water and bicarbonate of soda on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, then turn up the temperature to full and bring to the boil, then continue boiling for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for a couple of hours.
  3. Beat the eggs and them to the mixture, add the flour and mix well.
  4. Transfer mixture to the loaf tin and place in the oven at 170°C for 1½ hours.

Fruit loaf

I like mine with lashings of butter and a pot of tea x

Thanks Mum xx 🙂

How do you like yours?

Best day of my life, ever!!!!

I’ve just had an awesome day, in fact possibly the best day of my life so far!!! Incredible statement I know, but I’m not exaggerating, let me explain xx

As I mentioned back in my post here I had signed up to hang out with a group of ladies with the express purpose of enjoying lots of cups of tea and copious amount of delightful traybakes!! 

Well that was this evening!!! And you won’t be astonished to hear that I loved every minute xx

In all honesty I was really too awkward, shy and nervous for most of the evening to make the most of it, but I did it and everyone that I met was so lovely and welcoming x

But what made it so incredible for me was how everyone just treated me like any other girl there even though I still look and sound like a bloke in a frock!! And that is the first time in my life that I have been accepted in that way at a social gathering  for who I truly am!! It made me so happy, I’ve been bouncing off the walls since I got home (nothing to do with all the sugar I consumed….haha!!) and now as I write this I have a little happy tear in my eye xx And lets me know I am on the right path for a happy future x

Edinburgh cake ladies

So here’s how it worked, everyone arrived and plated up the goodies until the table you see was full to bursting!

Then we all got our hands on very large plates and filled them with yummies to take to our tables to consume x

I must admit I went up for a second plateful, well I thought it would be rude not too after everyone had gone to so much effort!! ;p

Edinburgh cake ladies

Then when we had all chatted for a while and our tummies were full, everyone reproduced their boxes and filled them back up with a selection of the leftovers!! What a great system, eh? x

So all in all a success in my eyes x

Thank you ladies xx

A cup of tea, please!!

If you had said to me 6 months ago that I would stop drinking coffee and that I would be converted in to a tea drinker, I would have laughed in your face most probably!!!

But that is in fact what has happened………….shocking!!! I know!!!

I had managed to go 38 years turning my nose up at even the thought of drinking tea, albeit until I started attending a local tea tasting club held at Tea at 94, a cute little tearoom on Buccleuch Street in Edinburgh back in September 2012. After my first time there, I was hooked and I’ve been trying out lots of different teas and infusions to see which ones I might like most, ever since x

My favourites at the moment are Twinings “Indulgent Vanilla Chai” and Twinings “Original English Breakfast” but as I’m trying lots of new teas all the time this is subject to change in the near future xx As you can see I’m building up quite a collection now, to go with my many (15) beautiful  tea sets that I seem to have accumulated…….heehee x

Tea shelf

Tea shelf

Tea shelves

Which tea is your favourite? xx

Strawberry cloud cake

I came across this intriguing recipe a couple of weeks ago for a cake that is frozen and just had to try it out for myself, just purely for research purposes you understand…….haha x And I loved it…………Mmmmmmmm………it just melts in your mouth!! I highly recommend it to you all x

Ingredients:

  • 150g plain sweet biscuits (I used Honey Grahams)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1½tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g butter, melted

filling: 

  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 250g (1 punnet) ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Line the base of a 26-28cm spring form cake tin with baking paper or waxed paper. This makes it easy to lift the cake out later.
  2. Make the base by putting the biscuits in a brown paper bag and crushing them into crumbs by beating carefully with a rolling pin. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl and add the coconut, cinnamon and melted butter. Stir well to combine.
  3. Press firmly into the base of the prepared tin. It doesn’t need to be a thick layer – just enough to cover the bottom of the tin. Refrigerate the base while you prepare the filling.
  4. Place egg whites, sugar, sliced strawberries, lemon juice and vanilla in the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer.
  5. Beat on high speed for about 6-8 minutes until the mixture is very thick and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved. To test whether it is ready, rub a bit of the mixture between your fingers. You should not feel any gritty sugar – if you do, beat a little longer.
  6. Spoon the filling over the chilled base, smooth the top, cover with a sheet of baking paper and freeze for at least 4 hours. Then add some decoratively cut strawberries to the top.
  7. To serve, cut cake into wedges using a knife that has been warmed in hot water.

This was me enjoying a slice along with my my first ever cup of Lady grey tea. It melts really quickly, so I had to eat it fast! Well that was my excuse and I’m still standing by it x

Afternoon Tea for 2 ♥

With the opening of my tearoom getting ever closer (hopefully), I thought it was about time I started working on the menu!!

No easy task, let me tell you!!!

But over the weekend I thought I would have a play around with possible components of an afternoon tea!!

There are so many options that I could have gone for but I decided just to keep it simple for this practice run.

So for this. my first attempt I went with Date and walnut scones, mini raspberry tarts ,  mini blueberry tarts, pistachio macarons and lavender macarons.

My mini fruit tarts were scrummy, I think the pastry was a bit too thick this time, but that is easily remedied for future attempts!

However, I’m really, really pleased with my macarons recipe, I just need to practise lots of different flavours now!!

What I’m not sure about is the quantity, would this be enough for 2 people? Or is it too much?

I’m also wondering if there should be something chocolaty included and/or possibly something more spongy too?

So many options…..haha x

But I want to get it right, so I’d love to hear your thoughts x

Birthday presents x part one.

I’m sure it was hard for any of you to have forgotten it was my birthday on the 1st of july, I mentioned it enough times…..haha xx

I spent my birthday with my sister and her family up north and had a fabby day all round as previously discussed over on my Birthday post last week xx Well I was fortunate enough to get some amazing gifts for my Birthday too and I want to share a few of them with you as I think they are worth you all seeing xx

The first one that I would like to share with you is from my very dear and lovely new friend Anne. She  popped round just after my birthday dinner to drop off a pressie for me which blow me away, so much work must have gone into them. She makes lovely home made cards and gave me this large stash to me with a lovely hand decorated notebook too (which there is no photo of….oops). I’m a very lucky girl!! Both for the gift and the friendship, thank you Anne x

All photos taken by Luke (my nephew) x