Monthly Archives: November 2011

Brussel Sprout Wreath

The halls are beginning to get decked, the high streets are adorned with lights that are switched on by minor celebrities and tomorrow is the first Sunday in advent. Every household has its own traditions over the festive season, we have many. One being that I make a wreath to hang on the door during Christmas. Over the years they have evolved from a quite traditional wreath to last year’s alternative, yet still festive, creation. Read the rest of this entry

Cold Smoking with Seasoned

Seasoned is a Midlands based cookery school run by Clare Tetley. Not only does she run a business providing  fabulous day courses throughout Derbyshire & Shropshire she has a brownie recipe to die for. I met Clare back in September 2010 when I started my business and we have worked on various projects over the last year. As Hubs has dabbled with smoking food in the past, he helped Clare road test a food smoking course that is now available through Seasoned. Both Hubs & I believe smoking has the amazing ability to transform a food. I certainly believe a bacon sarnie tastes even better if the bacon is smoked.

Essentially there are two ways of smoking food. Smoking food at home doesn’t require lots of expensive equipment. Read the rest of this entry

Red Velvet Cakes

Today Hubs leaves a company he’s been with since he graduated and is heading to the big smoke of Derby to be a big, bossy, managerial engineer kind of thing. His current workmates have been testers for my baking experiments over the years from the Beetle Cakes (that left some horrified) to not so successful bakes that, because they are blokes, were still politely inhaled.

As part of his leaving day I promised to bake anything they requested and that meant Red Velvet and Lardy Cake. Two bakes that I’ve never made, let alone tasted. While Red Velvet cake is a big trend at the moment it’s yet to hit the rolling hills of Derbyshire. The Lardy Cake disturbed me. During baking stage the lard, of which I hate the smell of in the first place, leeches out of the bread and essentially fries the bottom of the bread. Then when it’s cooling in the tin the bread soaks it back up again. Read the rest of this entry

When baking goes bad

Every once in a while things go wrong in the kitchen. Grand ideas turn into unmitigated disasters. As requested by twitter here is the blog to prove that sometimes baking does go wrong, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a learning experience and sometimes the ugliest baking tastes the best.

We won’t talk about the breadmaking class ran few weeks ago where thanks to getting distracted by chatting to the students and answering questions I managed to overknead the dough. This then turned into a lesson on what happens when you over knead dough and showed that while the dough would no longer be good for a loaf of bread, it would certainly be acceptable for pizza dough. Then there was the time I baked a banana bread as a present for a friend, I was busy and made a silly ingredient substitute leading it to cook much faster in the over, hence burnt cake. Many problems with baking can be solved with a reliable cooker, or at least using a thermometer so you know what temperature your oven is but there are times when it can be a problem with ingredients.

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