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To be tucked in...

Christmas Cake – My Mother’s Recipe – Stage 3

The baked Christmas cake has had 4/5 days to rest and recuperate.  At this stage, you could feed the cake more brandy and let it rest for a further few days.  Or you could break up the cake, adding more whisky and jam to balance the rich flavours.  Since the cake is rather rich, this…

Shiny Chocolate

Delia Smith’s Chocolate Cupcake

I have found some really interesting books in charity shops’.  Recently I came across Delia Smith’s ‘Delia’s How to Cheat at Cooking’.  It looks like it’s never been opened. This recipe is adapted from there.  These cupcakes use frozen mashed potatoes. Delia suggests using Aunt Bessie’s, but I had some mashed potatoes left over and…

Tea Infused Pastry with Creme Patissiere and Poached Pear and Mint Flowers

Pear for One

When there is left over pastry from making a sweet tart, I am loath to throw the cut offs. The collection of cut-offs, bits and edges of pastry are brought together, I knead it into a rough ball, wrap in cling fling and store it in the fridge.  It will be used up quite quickly,…

Fannings in a Teabag

What’s in Your Tea Bags? Dust or Fannings?

Tea bags have a bad rep nowadays.  Not surprising given that some supermarkets and brands use grades of tea which gives your brew the strongest colour in the quickest time.  It’s convenient to use teabags at certain times.  Easy enough to plop a bag in, dip the bag a few times in hot water, take…

Tightly Sealed Lids(lips)

Where to Store Your Tea?

You have got some amazing tea and you want to make sure it stays fresh and tastes as good as the first cup. The tea may have come in a tin, glass jar, paper or foil packet, or you may have been given a sample in a reseal-able bag. The Ideal Spot Tea needs to…

Bee and Stillness

Tea and Mindfulness … and Love Island

I was at an event recently where the speakers asked if anyone in the audience meditated at all.  There was a wide range of answers; from those who set time aside usually at the same hour religiously every day to others who dip in and out or those who they (think) don’t meditate at all.…

Stir To Relase

Elderflower Cordial

It’s that time of year when going for walks can be very useful.  Walks that include a bit of foraging of elderflowers for summer coolers, ice lollies and flavourings.  Best to make the cordial within 2 hours of picking the flowers. Ingredients 1kg sugar juice of two large lemons Zest of 2 large lemons 15-20…

Tea That's Been Browned Up

How Brown is your Every Day Cup of Black Tea?

I once heard a management consultant say he takes a brown colour chart from a DIY store with him to each new project.  When he is asked if he wants tea and how he takes it.  All he has to do is point to the shade of brown on the colour chart, showing how strong…

The Quince is There!

Chocolate, Almond Paste and Quince Tart

The quince preserve I made in late January is crying out to be let out to be enjoyed.  I had some left over chocolate pastry from the tea tasting event, and I wanted to make something to say thank you.  So, all I had to do was roll out the pastry for the tart base,…

Quince on a bed of Almond Paste

Chocolate, Almond and Quince Tart

The quince preserve I made in late January is crying out to be let out to be enjoyed.  I had some left over chocolate pastry from the tea tasting event, and I wanted to make something to say thank you.  So, all I had to do was roll out the pastry for the tart base,…