Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category


So apples may not seem like the most interesting topic, but I was just reading this fascinating article on BBC news … Did you know, for instance, that that tasy, refreshing variety, the Granny Smith apple was discovered growing on a rubbish heap in Australia?! It grew completely by chance, and was found and cultivated, rather than thrown away. What a lucky fruit!

Did you also know that all Bramley apples came from one single parent tree that was grown around 1810 in Nottinghamshire by a young woman called Mary Anne Brailsford? Every single Bramley apple pie every made and scoffed owes its existence to that one, humble, Regency seed.

Is it just me, or is that kind of amazing?

Go here if you’d like to read the article for yourself: British to the core.  As for me, I think I’m going to go and eat an apple.  Lush!

PS – I probably shouldn’t admit this, but when I was very little (about 5 years old) I hated the name Clare and wanted to change it to something different every other week.  For quite a long period of time I decided I wanted to be called – wait for it – Rosie Apple.  Yes, that was what I seriously wanted my name to be.  I think I even refused to respond to anything else for a day or so.  Oh dear!

Read Full Post »

Food for the eyes:

An Afternoon Tea, Federico Andreotti

I usually have sour cream with chilli, fajitas and the like, so when I read about this recipe I was a bit sceptical, but it was actually delicious.  There’s sour cream in the cake and the icing and it works really well with the sharpness of the blueberries (which are also in the cake as well as on top of it). I’m not sure what it is, but something about this cake makes it really impressive when you serve it – the Gent and our flatmate both said “wow!” when it was served up – and considering it’s actually really easy (and with those blueberries, it stays wonderfully moist, so it’s quite hard to mess up!), it’s a great cake for serving up for friends and family.  Of course, a day doesn’t go by without us Brits having afternoon tea (hehehe!) and this would be ideal for just such an occasion.

I followed this recipe from Good Food: 101 Cakes & Bakes – I’ve tried a few recipes from here and they’ve all been good so far, so I recommend it. I also often use recipes from here as a basis for my own variations and so far so good!  A variation of the recipe (the icing/frosting is different) is also available online: Blueberry Soured Cream Cake with Cheesecake Frosting.

I wish I’d taken a photo of the cake after it was sliced, as the inside looks lovely with all those purply cooked up blueberries.  Oh well, just an excuse to make it again!!

And speaking of baking – if you ever get the chance to bake/taste the coconut and lime cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery recipe book, take it!  They are my favourite cupcake combo, all zingy and light and lovely!  In fact, this is my main book for cupcakery and I heartily recommend it!

Read Full Post »


Look what I just made!

The yellow ones are vanilla and the pink are rose-flavoured. YUM!

Read Full Post »


What is it that people love so much about cupcakes?

I’m afraid I don’t have an answer, but I do have an addiction to the darn things.  So when I saw this book for £5 at my office’s book club, I just couldn’t resist:

Huzzah for many different recipes (for the cake and icing) and lots of inspiring ideas.  There’s even a recipe for Earl Grey cupcakes and another for rose icing (I love all things rose-flavoured).

The only down side?  This means that I’m sorely tempted to buy lots of fun cake-decorating bits, like brightly-coloured sprinkle shapes and coloured sparkly sugars.  I managed to be sensible at the weekend and only bought fairly necessary and non-frivolous baking equipment: a cooling rack, a spatula (in a pretty colour, naturally) and I ordered some scales for the kitchen as they didn’t have the ones I wanted.

While on the subject of cupcakes… if you happen to live in the area, I can recomment the yumminess of The Swallow Bakery’s cupcakes – super-nom-noms.

If the first bite really is taken with the eyes, then cupcakes must be one of the most delicious and filling foods in the world.  (No mention of their fattening qualities, thankyouplease!)

Read Full Post »