One of the most pleasing things about being back in the UK is the sheer variety of fruit and vegetables on offer. Fourteen years without summer treats like rhubarb, gooseberries and raspberries have served to remind me how lucky we are in this country to have such an amiable climate – we tried many times to grow rhubarb in Turkey, but once June came along, it literally cooked in the ground. Continue reading “Rhubarb & ginger tray-bake”
It’s official. Spring has well and truly sprung. Well, it has in this part of the world anyway. We have early rhododendrons, all kinds of magnolia, and camelias galore. Not to mention the daffodil fields, which are now in full bloom. I am pleased we are leaving for Turkey in a week’s time, as I hate to see the daffodils which have been grown for their bulbs dying out – they look so sad.
When is a cake a cake and when is it a torte? Sachertorte is the one that everyone knows, and it turns out that ‘torte’ is simply a German word for ‘cake’, though Sachertorte originated in Vienna of course.
It seems that if a cake contains luxury ingredients, such as ground nuts and fresh fruit, rather than just flour, butter, eggs and sugar, then it may well be a torte. Tortes also tend to be more dense in texture and less tall than their cakey cousins, so I’ve decided today’s offering qualifies on all counts. It contains ground almonds and fresh fruit, it has a deliciously fudgy texture, redolent of marzipan, it is under-tall and it looks pretty posh, even though it is extremely simple to make. Continue reading “Gluten-free berry almond torte”
We’re on countdown to our trip back home to Turkey early next week. It feels as though we should have loads of things to do, but we left most of our summer clothes there when we came back here in December (not a lot of call for shorts round here over the last couple of snowy months), so packing will take about five minutes.
We’ve been up in Warwickshire looking after a couple of dogs and a cat while their owners were away, taking the opportunity to catch up with our family and friends in the area, including introducing ourselves to Robin’s newest grandson, who put in an appearance a few hours after we’d left Warwickshire on our previous visit! Continue reading “Bakewell Tart”
It’s been an eventful few days. Never mind the John Le Carré-style Salisbury poisonings, the Tillerson firing and the prospect of Kim and ‘The Donald’ planning a love-in, we are much too busy in Cornwall being up to our withers in ‘Cream-Tea-Gate’ to worry about any of that malarkey.
If you’re not already up to speed with the news story of the week, the National Trust managed to completely outrage the entire county of Cornwall over the weekend with an advert for its Mother’s Day cream teas at the Lanhydrock Estate. Continue reading “Jenny’s cake (blackberry & apple teacake)”
Wimbledon starts tomorrow and rain is forecast – what could be more British?
We are in the UK for the rest of this summer, hoping to move in to our new home in Cornwall at some point before we head back to Turkey in September. Six months after selling our house in Warwick, we have still to exchange contracts on the new house and the process is beginning to resemble pulling teeth without anaesthetic. Continue reading “Rhubarb & ginger praline Pavlova”
I am a very cheap date when it comes to chocolate. Thorntons? Meh. Godiva? Double meh. Green & Blacks? Wouldn’t give it house room. And as for that 90% cocoa butter carry-on, what on earth is that all about? As far as chocolate is concerned, there are only two contenders in my book: Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut or Cadbury’s Flake. The rest, you can keep. Continue reading “Decadent brownies with salted almonds”
Our friends have sold their apartment and the deal concludes this coming week, so they are having a farewell dinner for a few of us this evening. My task is to bring the pudding. I had planned to make Heidi’s Tongan coconut tart, which we came across on our recent holiday there (a kind of lovely gooey coconut custard in a crunchy case). Unfortunately, one of the other guests hates coconut, so I’ve had to have a re-think. I WILL do the coconut tart, but you will have to wait a bit longer for that one. Continue reading “A very lemony lemon meringue pie”
It’s official – I am in love with humpback whales, and I think I am hooked for life.
Sorry about the prolonged absence, but we have just returned from the most fantastic holiday, the main focus of which was swimming with humpback whales in the Ha’apai group of islands in Tonga. Continue reading “Having a whale of a time (and spiced apple cake recipe)”
I’ve just spent a fascinating five minutes watching another giant hornet (or it might be the same one – brown head, brown wings, yellow striped jumper, six engines…) trying to take off with a cat biscuit that one of our mob left in their dish outside on the terrace. Our cat biscuits are about the size of a British penny, so that gives you an idea just how big these pesky beasts are. The locals call them donkey bees – not sure why that is – maybe because of their penchant for carrying things around. Anyway, he was having trouble getting enough lift, so he solved this by nibbling all around the edges of the biscuit to make it a bit smaller – hey presto, we have lift off. He’s probably got a very fully tummy though, so I’m not sure whether he’ll make it safely to his destination with his prize. Continue reading “The Sacrifice (and raspberry ripple muffins)”