Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Wing Assignment

It won’t take you long to spot that this post has nothing to do with food. It also has nothing to do with drink (unless you count my eager sampling of many Red Bull cocktails…I never knew there were so many permutations of the drink!…I think I may have tried them all…Red Bull Cola, Red Bull tonic, Red Bull cranberry???….all accompanied by a rather too hefty helping of vodka, followed by not nearly enough sleep later on…what a surprise!…..anyway enough of that disgraceful behaviour).

This post is about an art exhibition I visited at the end of last week. An art exhibition you say? Well, it wasn’t any old art exhibition, it was a very special art exhibition created and inspired by two of my family members. There you see, now it all falls in to place. I am, to be honest, writing about this because I was in awe and admiration at the talents of my cousin Asa Medhurst and his long-term partner Nina Farrell.

Asa and Nina have been together, as partners and artistic collaborators for a long time now (almost 20 years) and both are collectively responsible for curating The Wing Assignment, their most recent project.

The Wing Assignment began life when Nina went off in search of wings for a personal project. Having searched the internet she finally found what she sought, but her search didn’t end here.  On their arrival the wings simply became a catalyst that set her imagination and ideas soaring. This was the trigger that led to this remarkable exhibition.

In an interview for The Wing Assignment Nina described how she was

 ”captivated by the wings and the act of receiving them as an object, they evoked such a strong response and offered so much potential and opportunity that I was awake most of night imagining the possibilities”

And unlock those possibilities she certainly has! Not just in herself, but in the artists, friends, colleagues and collaborators that submitted work.

Wing package: Photo courtesy of The Wing Assignment

On registration would be contributors were sent a set of wings (sustainably sourced and a by-product of the food industry) by post, or as a scanned digital image. With it a brief asked the recipient to use them as inspiration for a piece of work. That was where the brief ended and the participants encouraged to explore their own  possibilities. Those first participating artists (mostly friends and colleagues) returned an eclectic array of work. Requests flooded back to them and the project grew in momentum. Word of mouth brought contributors from all over the world, as more people wanted to take part. Even one of my friends Paola from Dr Zigs giant bubbles submitted work (without me even telling her about the project!!).

In the end a total of sixty people contributed work which expressed such a vast array of ideas and offered many interpretations of ‘wings’, that it was impossible to leave uninspired. Themes of flight, freedom, life and death predominated and were portrayed with such beauty and emotion. Clearly I am not an art writer or critic, but I love art with a passion, so felt amazingly privilaged to be invited.

Nina Farrell with her work ‘282 Days-The Alchemical Transformation’

Asa and Nina and many of their contemporaries are hugely experienced graphic artists, creatives, illustrators, painters and photographers and the quality of the work on show reflected this, but I also have to show some awe for Asa’s little sister, Sadie Medhurst who has only recently started to air her writing talents. Her poetry is young, raw and unhindered by the restrictions of convention and format. Its full of life and emotion, as is her blog which clearly marks her out as an emerging talent still learning her craft.  At twenty-four she has plenty of time ahead.

Poet Sadie Medhurst…enjoying the free bar 😉 and below, her poem written for the Assignment: picture courtesy of The Wing Assignment

And finally, before I bore everyone with further tales of my talented family (of which I am without doubt very proud), I also have to mention Kate Withstandley, my sister. She wasn’t exhibiting this time, and was like me generally helping out and having a great time, but as a freelance photographer and writer of all things related to art, she will definitely be putting across her views on the night on her hugely successful art blog.

Kate helping out at the print shop

So without further ado here are more pictures from the night….

Asa Medhurst, in conversation. Sarah Carpenters ‘Dispersion’ behind.

Shaun McGrath’s beautiful ‘Fledgling’….part hair piece/wig/milinary….it crosses all the boundaries and below Phil Fisk’s photograph using the creation

Eleanor Bedlow’s ‘Transition’

Gareth Morgan ‘Victory’

Lucy Welby ‘One for Sorrow’

Asa Medhurst ‘Wing Vortex’

Andre Wee ‘Shatter’

Carne Griffiths ‘Two for Joy’

I came home clutching this signed Andre Wee print, much to my delight!

The Wing Assignment finishes at the Red Bull Studios on Tooley Street, London today, but all the artwork is on their website where you can also buy limited edition prints (a series of 100 signed art prints of each picture).

If you would like to find out what’s next for The Wing Assignment please email: news@wearetheassignment.com or if you would like to take part in the next Wing Assignment please email: register@wearetheassignment.com

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My Global Feast dish: Apple and cinnamon tart with bara brith ice-cream and Welsh Penderyn whisky

It’s rather remiss of me not to have posted this recipe yet. The glitz and excitement of Global Feast, the Olympics and Paralympics have already faded as Autumn kicks us up the backside with its sudden chill and yet more rain.

So what better to refresh the memory than a recipe that transcends that moment, staying with us well into the chillier months of the year. It is aptly seasonal, warming and British, but also light and full of the exotic spices that remind me of that hot and heady night back at the beginning of the Olympic celebrations.

Sponsored by Penderyn Welsh whisky the dish was accompanied by a shot of their Madeira finished single malt. Whisky isn’t always my drink of choice, but this is to die for! Smoother than some whiskies and with the toffee and honey undertones, this is definitely my kind of whisky! So nice was it that I kept making people try it (even though it was only 10 am!!), most claimed it was too early for whisky, but Kerstin (msmarmitelover) happily joined me for a taster.

I’m no going to pass over the recipe for everything I served on the night. A simple slice of apple and cinnamon tart, a bit of ice cream and some salted caramel sauce is more than enough to satiate the sweetest tooth and topped off with a shot of that damn fine whisky the dish is complete.

For one loaf of Bara Brith….of which you will need about 100g

200ml Strong Cold Clipper English Breakfast tea

50ml of Penderyn whisky

175g mixed fruit

200g brown sugar

425g Doves Farm self-raising flour

2 beaten eggs

A large teaspoon mixed spice (I used Steenbergs. Their spices are probably the best I’ve ever used!)

Soak the fruit in tea and whisky for at least an hour.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl then put into a 1 litre greased, lined loaf tin. Bake for about an hour and a half gas mark 5/150 degrees C

For the ice cream:

1 litre double cream

1.2 litres single cream

8 egg yolks

200g caster sugar

3 vanilla pods split lengthways

Put the cream in a large heavy bottomed pan and heat gently. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pods out with a sharp knife and add to the pan along with the pods. Heat until it just starts to come up to boiling point then remove from the heat and allow to infuse.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl for about 5 to 10 minutes until pale and thick.

Remove the vanilla pods from the cream and pour a little of the cream on to the eggs. Whisk slowly to mix in then continue adding the cream until it is all combined.

Return the pan to the heat and cook slowly stirring constantly until thickened. Once it has thickened pour the mixture into a large cold bowl. It needs to cool quickly to stop the egg over cooking and to speed up this process you can also stand the bowl in a washing up bowl full of cold water or ice. When cold transfer to an ice cream machine and churn until almost frozen.

Once the ice cream starts to thicken crumble in about 100g of cooled bara brith, plus an extra shot of whisky (if required). Serve with the apple and cinnamon tart.

Vanilla salted caramel sauce: ….for decorating the dish really…

150g unsalted butter

400g caster sugar

100g golden syrup

250ml double cream

A couple of pinches of Halen Mon Vanilla Salt

Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Add the cream and vanilla salt and give it a quick stir. Test to see if it needs more salt. Cook for another minute or so and then remove from the heat and transfer to a jug.

Swirl some of the sauce on a plate and top with a slice of apple and cinnamon tart and a scoop of ice-cream

Apple and cinnamon tart:

Now, this isn’t really a Welsh recipe, but it does reflect my Kentish origins. I grew up in the garden of England before decamping to Wales so I suppose in a way i’m fusing food from my English upbringing with the Welsh produce that influences my cooking now. This recipe is really a variation on Canterbury tart, very traditional down that way!

400g sweet short crust pastry (200g plain flour, pinch of salt, 100g butter, 60g caster sugar, 1 egg yolk, iced water: Mix the flour and butter together, add sugar when the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add egg yolk and a couple of tables spoons iced water. Mix with a flat knife until it forms into a ball. Rest for about half an hour then roll out to fit a 9 to 10 inch tart tin. Bake blind for about 15 mins gas mark 6/200 degrees C. Remove from the oven and take out the baking paper and beans then return for a further 5 minutes.)

6 or 7 good-sized dessert apples (Discovery & Worcester Pearmain are early UK varieties although the apple harvest isn’t so good this year)

2 lemons (finely grated zest and juice)

2oog caster sugar

50g butter

125ml double cream

3 large eggs

40g demerara sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus 1 extra)

Coarsely grate the apple into a large bowl and mix with lemon zest and juice.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs and caster sugar together for a couple of minutes. Add the melted butter, cream and apple mixture and a couple of pinches of cinnamon.

Carefully fill the pre baked pastry case (see above) with the mixture.

Mix the Demerara sugar and extra cinnamon and sprinkle it on the top of the tart. Bake in the oven gas mark 6/200 degrees C for about 40 minutes (maybe less) until the apple looks soft and the top is golden brown and set.

All photo’s courtesy of Kate Withstandley freelance photographer

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Preserving workshops, Morrison’s magazine, BBC Radio ‘Wales on the Menu’ and a simple plea

So, another busy week ends and I have lots more exciting things to report, plus a heartfelt plea to my readers.

But lets start on a high note! Last week, as some people have mentioned to me already, there was a little piece in Morrison’s supermarket in-store magazine about supper clubs. Moel Faban was one of four mentioned and asked to contribute to the article. I’m not a big fan of supermarkets as most will know and tend to only use them for basics, so it’s slightly strange being written about by one, but also nice at the same time. It’s only a small mention mind (and they spelt Faban wrong), but its nice to have some recognition for starting the trend in Wales 🙂

On that note, it will be our third birthday this coming October. How time flies!! Keep an eye out for dates as we might have to have a special celebration!

The other thing that happened last week was that BBC Radio Wales’s Wales on the Menu programme contacted me. In it Simon Wright challenges home cooks to get their speciality dish on the menu of a top restaurant.  I like this programme myself, so when they asked me to pass the word out to my followers, or anyone that might be keen to take part in the new series I was happy to oblige. Lets see a few more North Walean cooks getting themselves on the map!

If you want more information about taking part, or know anyone that might be up for a challenge, you can email them at walesonthemenu@presentable.co.uk 

I finished the week catering for a big birthday bash on Saturday, followed by a day of preserving workshops on Sunday. Organised  by Moelyci Environmental Centre and the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, they were a way of welcoming Autumn and celebrating the harvest.

Workshop photos taken with my camera by Emily @Moelyci: picture 1 showing a less than glamorous me (oh how I wish I was a little photgenic) with the morning group; then measuring out the fruit, Moelyci strawberries frozen during the summer months and then defrosted for jam making; and finally everyone in action!

When I say harvest it is with a little sadness that our British one is rather depleted this year. It is noticeably thin on the ground with the apple yield down (my tree only grew two very small apples), hardly any black currants in comparison to last year and most soft fruit faring badly in the face of a deluge of rain with little sun to even things out. Earlier in the year my Mum complained about the ruined Kentish cherry crop. Usually her little tree is positively bowed under the weight of fruit. This year they failed to grow…and when they did get going they failed to ripen. I missed out totally and have had little to turn into jam. The only thing I have plenty of is gooseberries which I picked and froze before I went away for the summer. They will soon be turned to jam and made into other lovely desserts.

On the day of the festival the heavens opened again and drowned us all day. Thankfully my two preserving groups (eight in the morning and eight in the afternoon) and I remained dry in our little catering marquee, warmed by three gas stoves and cheered by a heavenly aroma of fruit and spices which greeted the senses of anyone entering. We didn’t care about the rain.

When asked to run the workshops I doubted my own abilities. I thought that seasoned preservers would know more than me and put me to shame, but I surprised myself with the amount of jamming knowledge i have stuffed away inside my head. I not only passed on basic tips but encouraged experimentation and bravery. Each little group chose different spices and seasonings for their chutney; a little indian pickle spice here, some chilli flakes there, a bit of star anise and mustard seeds a plenty. In our jam session we tried different quantities of sugar (to see if it affected the set) and ways to tone down the sweetness of strawberry jam. Most of all we had fun. Which is what cooking is all about after all!

Moelyci is a regular host for such events but sadly it is, like many small organisations in the UK, being threatened by the recession. In recent months it has lost income streams that make proactive fundraising approaches necessary to make sure it survives.

Moelyci was once an industrious Welsh upland sheep farm owned by Penrhyn Estates. In 2003 the last tenant moved out no longer able to make a living from the farm. The farm was at risk of being sold and developed into a holiday home complex which would have destroyed the natural landscape (250 of its 340 acres now have SSSI and SAC European status). Instead the community got together, raised the income and a mortgage and saved the site for the local community. These days Moelyci has received critical acclaim for its conservation management, its social enterprise principles, educational opportunities, preservation of the areas natural heritage, market garden and abundant fruit fields. It’s been visited and filmed by Iolo Williams for S4C, BBC Countryfile and is a small hub of cultural opportunity. Everyone involved with Moelyci (not just myself) would like to see this grow and expand.

Sadly critical acclaim doesn’t pay the mortgage (which is a large one), or staff to run the place and take these plans forward. The centre is run by a small paid workforce, plus a dedicated band of volunteers who help with its upkeep and development. An elected group of volunteer ‘directors’ (of which I am one) help make and drive plans forward. Readers will know that I get a lot of produce from the market garden there and have been a visitor to the place long before I became a director. I have a vested interest of course, as do the employees who are keen to continue working there, but this is a valuable natural resource for the whole community too. Better this than a holiday home complex?

So why am I writing about this? Well this is the heartfelt plea I mentioned earlier. Anyone can become a member of Moelyci Environmental Centre. It has Industrial & Provident Society (IPS) status and it’s  co-operatively owned by its members. Like the Centre for Alternative Technology you can ‘buy’ non-profit making ‘shares’ which brings you membership. You will receive regular information, discounts on courses and the opportunity to rent an allotment on the site. If you don’t wish to do this you can make a one off donation, or just come along and buy produce from the market garden (they run a small veg box scheme) or bring along your green garden waste for composting. Moelyci is also an open access site so you are welcome to go for a walk across the hills and in the woods that surround the farm. All of this support will help make sure that Moelyci Farm, the land and the Mountain survives and develops for the benefit of the community, the environment and the future generations that will learn about its heritage. For more information email office@moelyci.org or phone 01248 602793 or simply pop in and visit this historic farm.

Thanks all xx

Image courtesy of Steve Jones @ Ultra(lazy)runner blog

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The Green Man cake diaries (part one)

Curry and tins of lemon cake photo courtesy of Lizzie Morrell

If there is one thing the crew of the Green Man love as much as their cheese its cake. Lots and lots of cake.

During my cooking stint I made more cake than I probably make at home in a year. I baked cake with fruit, cake without, steamed sponge cake, plain sponge cake, cake with jam, cake with cream, cake with caramel sauce and cake with chocolate. We made cake for lunch, for afternoon tea and various sponges for dessert after dinner. If we didn’t make cake we made pudding (bread pudding, sponge pudding) or flapjacks. We even made dairy free cakes (more on the challenges of that in another post).

Cake became such a fixation that it even penetrated the radio system used by the crew to communicate with one another….at four o’clock a lone voice could be heard crackling across the airwaves, “cake or death”? (For anyone unfamiliar with Eddie Izzard’s cake or death’ sketch check it out here…this is my nine-year old son’s favourite version).

Huge tray of Apple sponge photo courtesy of Lizzie Morrell

Anyway, now you understand how much they love cake you will perhaps get some insight into just how many we had to bake. It’s hard to keep the choice varied and although we are full of good ideas at the beginning this becomes increasingly difficult as the days roll on and our cake repertoire becomes depleted, our energy levels droop and our enthusiasm for baking cake begins to wane.

To ease the burden we bought in a few staples (bara brith and Welsh cakes from Askews bakery) but that crew are a picky bunch and they inevitably chose the ‘posh’ freshly made cakes over the simple buttered bara brith (even though it is delicious) leaving it rejected on the side of the tray.

At home I make dessert maybe once or twice a week and bake cakes even less often (unless required for supper club). At the Green Man there were times we made three cakes a day! And not just any normal sized cake either, but industrial quantities, six times the usual recipe, in huge trays. We made so much cake that Kate, from the production team really did start a cake diary!!

Over the past two years I have discovered that the crew have a few favourites….so with that in mind here is our very own cake diary with a list of our top festival bakes (with recipes for all of those that asked!)

1. Rich chocolate cake or chocolate mousse cake with strawberries and cream or chocolate brownies

All a variation on a theme, that theme being chocolate. Whether it be Nigella’s chocolate mousse cake or Hugh FW’s chocolate brownies (recipe below taken from his book Everyday), everyone loves something with chocolate in it and this version is very hard to beat!

  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 275g dark chocolate (about 70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  •  3 medium eggs
  •  125g caster sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 150g self-raising flour (I use wholemeal, but white works well too)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Grease a shallow baking tin, about 20 x 25cm, and line with baking parchment. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set the oven to 180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4 and put the bowl in it until the chocolate and butter start to melt. Stir, then put back in until completely melted. Meanwhile whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined. Next beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth then fold in the sifted flour and salt gently with a large metal spoon. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should be firm but the underneath should still be a little moist. The heat will help finish the cooking process and if you leave it in too long they will become dry.  Remove from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.

2. Lemon trickle cake

Recipe taken from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s book Everyday as well. Its pretty similar to most other lemon trickle cake recipes, or in fact any Victoria sponge cake recipes.

175g unsalted butter, 175g caster sugar, zest of three lemons, 3 eggs, 175g self-raising flour, a pinch of sea salt and a drop of milk or lemon juice if needed.

Grease and line a 1 litre (2lb) loaf tin and preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170 degrees C.

beat together the softened butter and caster sugar with a hand blender. It should be very pale and creamy. Add the lemon zest and eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour each time to prevent the mixture curdling.

Fold in the remaining flour and salt. If the mixture is a bit stiff add a drop of milk or lemon juice to make it looser. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 45 to 50 minutes. It should have risen quite well and started to split on the top.

While the cake is still warm pierce the top with a thin skewer  making lots of little holes all over the top. Mix together 200g icing sugar with 75ml lemon juice. Pour this over the warm cake slowly, so that it all soaks in. Leave in the tin to cool then cut into slices.

Lizzie icing lemon trickle cakes

3. Apple sponge with vanilla salted caramel sauce

For the apple sponge:

Peel and core 1k dessert apples and place in a pan with a couple of pinches of cinnamon, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a couple of tablespoons honey. Cook gently until pulpy and almost a puree. Spread this over the base of a deep oblong or square dish.

Cream together 200g caster sugar, a few drops of vanilla essence and 200g unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 eggs one at a time adding a little flour each time so the mixture doesn’t curdle. Fold in the remaining flour. Spread the mixture over the apple puree and smooth the top. Cover lightly with a piece of damp baking parchment and cook in a preheated oven, gas mark 4/180 degrees for about 25 mins. To ‘steam’ it in the oven place a tray of water in the bottom, this helps keep it slightly damp and prevents it drying out too much. Cut into squares and serve on top of some vanilla salted caramel with the apple puree on top.

For the caramel sauce: 150g unsalted butter, 400g caster sugar, 100g golden syrup, 250ml double cream, a couple of pinches of Halen Mon Vanilla Salt

Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the cream and vanilla salt and give it a quick stir. Test to see if it needs more salt. Cook for another minute or so and then remove from the heat and transfer to a jug. Pour a little over the sponge

4. Jamaican rum and ginger cake

Another Hugh FW recipe. The reason I’ve used his book so much is that the cake recipes are very simple, don’t have too many ingredients, are quick to prepare and are effective. Hugh knows his stuff so why change it? As they say ‘don’t fix it if it isn’t broken’.

This cake I did tinker with a little (by adding more stem ginger, Morgans spiced rum and a little cinnamon too)

100g unsalted butter, 125g dark muscavado sugar, 150g black treacle, 150g golden syrup, 75ml Morgans Spiced Rum, 2 eggs, 225g self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of sea salt, 6 to 8 balls of preserved stem ginger finely minced (plus some of the syrup)

Prepare a loaf tin as per the lemon cake recipe. Preheat the oven gas mark 4 / 180 degrees.

In a saucepan melt butter, treacle, syrup and sugar. Leave to cool a little then mix in the rum then eggs.

In a large bowl sift the flour, salt and spices. Add the butter and syrup mixture and stir until smooth. Mix in the ginger plus some of its syrup. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes or until a skewer stuck into it comes out clean.

If it starts to go too brown on top you can cover it with a piece of foil. When cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool. Brush the top with a bit of extra ginger syrup.

This cake gets better after a couple of days. Warp in foil and keep in a sealed tin.

5. Banana and walnut loaf

200g soft butter, 200g soft brown sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional), 4 eggs, 200g plain or wholemeal flour, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 4 large mashed bananas, 150g chopped walnuts or pecan nuts

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one adding a spoonful of flour with each to prevent curdling. Fold in the rest of the flour and baking powder, followed by the bananas and nuts.

Spoon into two 1lb loaf tins, greased and lined with baking parchment. Level the top and bake in a preheated oven (gas mark 5 / 190 degrees C) for 20 to 25 mins. It should spring back when pressed lightly.  Leave to cool in the tin for a few mins before turning out on to a wire rack.

This keeps well wrapped in foil and is quite versatile. Spread with butter, or eat warm without.

6. Carrot cake

I made a couple of versions of carrot cake during my cooking stint but this is by far the best recipe I have ever used and modified

300g plain flour, 175g soft brown sugar, 175g muscavado sugar, 3 large eggs beaten, 175ml sunflower oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla essence, half a teaspoon grated nutmeg, 2 good teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda, half a teaspoon salt, 300g grated carrots, zest of one orange and juice of half, 60ml sour cream (omit if dairy free)

For the icing: 120g cream cheese, 50g unsalted butter, 50g sifted icing sugar, juice of half a lemon or orange

Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 / 150 degrees C. Line and grease a 20cm cake tin.

Mix together eggs, oil, vanilla, orange juice, zest and sour cream (if using) with a whisk until well combined. Add the sugars and mix well ensuring there are no lumps.

In a separate bowl mix flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, bicarb and salt. Fold dry ingredients into the wet and mix well. Then mix in the carrots. Spoon into the cake tin and bake in the oven for about an hour and a half. To see if its cooked insert a skewer, if it comes out clean its done.

7. Apple and orange sponge

  • 6 granny smith apples,peeled,cored and cut into quarters
  • 2 oranges,rind and juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 200g unsalted butter,softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs,large
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
Put the sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and beat until light and soft. Beat in the eggs one by one. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture and mix well. Add the apple quarters, orange rind and juice and honey and stir together with a spoon. It will look rather chunky but don’t worry.

Butter and a small roasting tin. Pour the mixture in to the tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen or until nice and golden. The apple should now be nice and soft although still visible in the sponge, which will have risen around the chucks. Serve with whipped cream.

8. Cup cakes for which we managed to enlist some help. In between manic cooking we opened up the kitchen to a few of the kids for an impromptu baking session. Their fab efforts were greatly appreciated at tea time, with each crew member having their very own bespoke cake!

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