Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Finally it was Easter!

It doesn't often happen, but this weekend - with Easter orders and the Farmer's Market today to bake for - I was actually fed up with baking!! But we had a wonderful couple of day's break in London...and Paul took me out or cooked every meal so I could have a complete rest from the kitchen...and although I'm so tired right now (see my post on Mozart's Girl for the early morning expedition that contributed to this...not that I regret a moment!) I know that I'm already looking forward to the Royal Wedding weekend and planning the treats I'll be making for the holiday...
So first thing on Friday morning came the spicy Hot Cross Buns...

I added to their fragrance this year with a special - and very authentic - ingredient. Beautiful essence of cloves from a fantastic company....Bakery Bits ....which sells all sorts of hard to find and indispensable bread baking ingredients and accessories. They were recommended to me by the British food writer, all round guru of local produce & radio broadcaster Vanessa Kimbell, and what a find they are. It was less than 24 hours after ordering that my parcel arrived (I bought some other lovely bits too!) Fabulous service and products...so now I'm recommending them as well!
Next, a Simnel Cake. I decided to leave the traditional sultanas, currants & raisins out of this one to give it a twist. I used dried apricots, plums & dates instead...but I had to stick with tradition for the 11 marzipan ball decorations on top to represent Jesus' disciples...or the customers would have balked!
Not really my kind of cake - to make or eat - but most religious celebrations demand traditional foods and I find it's best not to tamper with them too much!
Lastly...and because I knew there would be lots of child visitors to The Coffee Tree at the weekend...

Chocolate Truffle Caramel Nests. Don't they look cute? Rich dense chocolate truffle cake with homemade caramel sauce & sugar coated eggs...

So that was Easter made & delivered. And then we escaped for a couple of days...absolute bliss. I wanted to show you some of the gorgeous produce I bought on Sunday at the Farmer's Market...it all looked so beautiful!

Inspirational...already thinking of ways to cook it all. You see? It doesn't take me long to be refreshed & revived!
Have a wonderful Tuesday xo


  1. Rachel!! It now knows who I am and I don't have to do that Name/Url drop down thing. Wonder if it still will know when I reboot. Well consider me one of the children because today's fave is the funky little cupcakes with the eggs in them tho I will say the hot cross buns look fab too. Until I read they were marzipan I thought maybe you'd toasted marshmallows for the top of that cake. So what is essence of cloves? I buy and use cloves all the time--love them. Can buy them whole or ground. I do know there is such a thing as clove oil, very spicy and not to be indiscreet but some people into kinky and revolting sex use it. I have only a vague idea how so won't go on. It's funny tho to me cloves seem to have a sweetness, for example you can add a little to something simple like a Waldorf Salad (this is chopped apple, can have walnuts, celery, I add dates also has mayo, famous from hotel of that name) anyway I add cinnamon and cloves and it's much nicer. I also use them in sweet potatoes, apple pies, other things. So enjoy! And look there will be my picture. I may be no longer a blogtard. Who knew you needed a google account--had my aol email for over 20 years. Sorry to blather on so long!

  2. Oh that cake! Sinful and divine!

  3. The marzipan disciples made me laugh--I was raised a Catholic and some of the traditions now make me giggle just a bit but I agree--those traditions cannot be tested. I loved the little cupcakes with egg candies on top; I'm sure some little children were treated to them and smiled from ear to ear!! The vegetables and things look like a cover to a cookbook---
    I just purchased Sarah Levine's cookbook; I've wanted it for sometime; I can't wait to dive into it! Well, just a day and a bit more until the royal wedding!! How exciting!

  4. I am glad Easter has come and gone, and the hectic, busy baking period is now over for you. Hope you can get a bit of rest after the Royal Wedding holiday! I must say, the thing that most interested me, is the Simnel cake. I too, was raised Catholic, but have never heard of such a cake before. Very, very cute.
    By the way, I love the produce you picked up at the Farmer's Market. It all looks absolutely gorgeous! Glad you got some rest over in London! Paul is such a dear, cooking for you, so you could rest. Have a wonderful day sweetie! xoxo

  5. Love the Simnel cake, we don't have it here, I don't much like it but it's so Eastery. Am intrigued about the clove oil, thank you for that insight, Nancy!! I would undoubtedly go for a delicious hot cross bun, as I have both a daughter and sons, I would have to pay a penny for one each of them! Love always, the globe artichokes made my mouth water! xxxxxxxxxxxxx


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