Monday 20 June 2011

So much baking...!

I have a lot of private orders this of the pitfalls (and pleasures) of being a baker is that I am the first port of call for friends & neighbours when birthdays, weddings, christenings, bar mitzvahs etc come around! I soon have to bake 360 rabbit shaped shortbread biscuits as wedding favours/place cards for a neighbour...and above you see another creation for a 17 year old's birthday tomorrow. Dark chocolate & vanilla cupcakes...they're for a boy, so I didn't want them to look too feminine...but I couldn't resist a little 'sophisticated' gold sparkle!
The Coffee Tree has had a busy week too...sunshine and warmer temperatures mean that people love to find somewhere that they can bask in the sun while drinking coffee & (hopefully) eating cake! So some of the deliveries have included...
Lemon & Organic Strawberry Muffins....with sharp lemon curd glazing the tops a little...
Grasshopper Bars...a brownie bottom, peppermint middle and chocolate top...I sprinkled the finished tray with crumbled Aero bars for extra colour too...

But only thought of it after I took this photo...!

I had a special request to deliver some type of cheese scone on Saturday morning - these contained spring onion snippings and wholegrain mustard too...

Also on Saturday, there was a big and beautiful Pistachio Cake with Honey Butter Frosting...

that I was very tempted by...and a Lazy Daisy Cake which was from a lovely recipe that I found on a fabulous foodie blog that I've just begun to follow...The English Kitchen

It's a fairly plain cake with a caramelised coconut brown sugar top...

We're now into English gooseberry season...I really love their clean, grassy tang and clear green colour so I use them as often as possible during the short time they're with us. These muffins had an elderflower glaze (it complements the fruit so perfectly...)

And finally...I made some Fresh Apricot & Almond Muffins. Based on the very first recipe I posted on this blog, which was from the incomparable Ottolenghi - the cookbook they were an absolute delight. The originals were made with plums - but the apricots worked beautifully too..

they are, in fact, one of the few fruits that tastes better cooked - in my opinion, of course! To make them extra special, I baked them in some rather extravagant mini loaf cases I had - not great for the profit margins, but sometimes the artistic heart overrules the head!!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend...I would love to serve you one of these with a cup of something delicious at my kitchen table - but I'll send you my love instead xo


  1. oh ALL looks so good, my friend

    hugs to my girl alice

    sending SUMMER love,
    kary and teddy

  2. And - I would love to join you in that treat, too! I know that baking is not easy work. Hopefully you have some help, particularly in the cleanup, which is my least favorite part of it all.:-) Everything looks delicious!

  3. Sighing sadly. Deep in hunger lust. No cakes or cookies for a week. Want it ALL. Esp the one with the pistachios on top.

  4. I really don't know how you make so many delicious treats at one time, my head is spinning. I would love a cup of Earl Grey and one of those apricot almond muffins. Divine! Then just to be able to taste a little nibble of each one.
    You truly have found your calling. xoxo

  5. Dear Rachel,

    Everything looks lovely, as usual! I think the birthday cupcakes are gorgeous, they don't look feminine, but have just the right sparkle for a birthday party...very elegant too! Thanks for sharing the pic of the lazy daisy cake. The topping of the one I make, is made with brown sugar, coconut, and condensed milk. Looks like you have been keeping very busy. I hope to see a picture of the rabbit shaped wedding favors too. It was a pleasure reading your post and seeing all your latest delights! xoxo

  6. This is, by far, the most extravagant post I've read---my goodness Rachel!!!! You've been so busy! I have never had a gooseberry- but I love the color!!! And apricots are my absolute favorite- I use them in many things I make, including a rolled pastry- when my girls were little, I used to buy apricots for them as a baby food because of their high Vitamin A content and I would sneak a little for myself---they are an indulgence I adore!!! Bravo Rachel for an extraordinary week of baking!!!!'xoxo Joann

  7. Gosh you have been a very busy bee! I love everything and would gladly relieve your customers of a slice or a portion of each!
    I love the mini loaf cases, but they are frightfully expensive, which has put me off using them, but I may have to give in to temptation!
    I hope you have managed to find a little time to have to yourself during your busy week as you are a sweetheart and deserve time to enjoy your lovely husband and darling Alice.
    Love Morwenna

  8. I would like a cheese scone followed by a gooseberry muffin please! How I wish I could have one of your cakes, they're worth a million dollars (well, at least $90000!)
    Love always xxxxxx

  9. Crumbs Rachel and i thought I had been busy. You have really outdone yourself this week. Sorry I missed your post earlier but things have been a bit hectic here with work and cakes and being general gofer to teenage children. Your gooseberry muffins look fabulous. Hadn't thought about using elderflower in icing until the other day when Dan made several bottles and it suddenly struck me how tasty it would be in an icing. Take care and happy baking. Helen x

  10. Dear, dear Rachel. I'd love to visit you and to have a cup of tea together, baking something and chatting and laughing. Miss U. (Cupcakes looks gorgeous!)

  11. Wow, Rachel! What a creative output! I, too have never tasted a gooseberry...they all look heavenly. I certainly couldn't decide if I were there! Now I really, really want you to complete your book so I could make some of these delectables!! Hope you got some rest today and will tomorrow, too, honey! Love, Sherry xx


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