Tales from kitchen and cellar

Posts Tagged ‘celebration’

Christmas Breakfast with Bubbles

In Cooking, drink, food, Food and Drink on December 7, 2012 at 11:51 am

This week The Wine Place asked me to take a look at a wonderful English fizz,Brightwell Sparkling Chardonnay, and very delicious it was too.

I decided to pair it up with a scrumptious breakfast treat, classic Eggs Benedict.

Check out the combination hereeggsb


Jubilee Cheers!

In drink, Food and Drink on June 1, 2012 at 11:23 am










Binfield Brut

In honour of the Queen’s Jubilee it is definitely time to think about celebrating and what better way than with a true English fizz, this one is from just down the road from where I live.

Read all about it here in my new blog for Get Wokingham

I discovered this little gem was being made locally and in the same way as Champagne but without the price tag!

Here are a few more photos of my local English vineyard about to bloom..










The vine here is Reichesteiner…


Luscious Lemon Cake Part 1

In Baking, Cakes, food on May 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Luxury Lemon Cake

Today’s post is late in the making as I am creating a 70th Birthday cake for this weekend. It has been a lengthy process so I thought I’d take you along with me for the ride…a cake ride that is.

Today is all about the cake, a luscious rich lemon drizzle filled with lemon curd buttercream. Part 2 will be all about the finished article.

I’ve tried many recipes for a sturdy but moist lemon cake that can take the pressure when it comes to icing and filling. This is the best. The recipe is for a 6 inch cake. Double the quantities for an 8 inch and treble for a 10 inch. Which this beast surely is!


140 g self raising flour

140g plain flour

200g unsalted butter

200g golden caster sugar

4 medium eggs, beaten

Grated zest of one lemon and 2 tablespoons of juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Syrup glaze

100ml lemon juice

85g golden caster sugar


Pre heat oven  to 140 C fan 160 C conventional, gas mark 3

Make sure all ingredients are room temperature. Grease and line your tin. Sift the flours together then beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in a few tablespoons of flour into the creamed mixture to stop it curdling.

Fold in the remaining flour, then stir in the lemon zest and juice and vanilla extract.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour 25  (plus 15 minutes per 2 inch cake tin size)

Once cooked test with a skewer which should come out clean.

Make the syrup glaze whilst the cake is baking by gently heating the juice and sugar. Make holes in the cake and pour the glaze in making sure it soaks it up. Let it cool in the tin with the glaze. Then trim the top of the cake off so it is level.

I used a lemon curd butter cream filling to fill the cake, see below:

Ingredients Buttercream Filling

250 g unsalted butter

500g icing sugar sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

275g lemon curd.

Beat the softened butter until  very soft then add the icing sugar, a kitchen aid is best for this process, then stir throush the buttercream, adding more if you like a particularly acidic twang! Slice the cake in two fill with the lemon curd buttercream.

Then make another batch of buttercream without the lemon curd and cover the cake with a layer, chill then repeat so you layer the cake with buttercream see below. This is a great substitute for marzipan and makes a good firm base for the fondant icing to go over.

Tune in for the next instalment, the dressing of the cake!

Celebration Cup Cakes with Vanilla Buttercream mmmmm…

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on April 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

Fabulous Fairy Cakes or Cup Cakes

Today I have showcased the very popular cup cake or if you’re English and feeling nostalgic the fairy cake. It’s to celebrate a lovely honour that a fellow blogger has bestowed on this site. With many thanks to We Eat Things who have named Tales from Kitchen and Cellar Blog of the Month. I’m thrilled by the feedback and so to say thank you one of my cup cakes is winging its way virtualy to We Eat Things as a thank you! Check out their site, beautiful and full of great information I particularly liked their pithy take on the pros and cons of coffee. So, with that said let’s get down to some cup cake business!

These cakes are easy to prepare just make sure your butter is softened fully before you start. The humble cup cake is a great home baked treat and so much better than those bought in a supermarket and what’s more they are cheap and pretty too…


  • 100g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2  eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
  • 75g butter
  • 175g icing sugar, sifted


Makes 12 cupcakes

Preheat the oven to  180c Gas Mark 4. Place cup cake cases into a muffin tray

Using an electric whisk or food processor or wooden beat the butter and sugar until very light, pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well before adding the next. Add the vanilla essence. Carefully fold in the flour and if using the baking powder.

Using two spoons dollop the mixture into the pre prepared muffin tray and place in the oven for 10 – 20 minutes. Check after 10 minutes with a skewer try not to overcook the cakes or they will be very dry.

When baked leave to cool on a wire rack.

Make the vanilla butter icing

Using an electric whisk or food processor beat the butter until very soft.

Gradually add the sifted icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence and beat into the butter until you have a smooth paste. When the cakes are cool, using a palette knife place the buttercream on top of the cake  swipe into a swirl. Decorate with whatever sugary treats you like.