Tales from kitchen and cellar

Posts Tagged ‘leaves’

Autumn Leaf Cake

In Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on November 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Autumn Leaf Cake












Here is a recent cake I made that was inspired by the falling autumn leaves. It was a time consuming cake but not difficult.

Make yourself a chocolate cake, there are enough recipes out there to suit you and coat the cake in two layers of chocolate buttercream. I made a chocolate ganache buttercream on this occasion.

You do need to buy fondant icing in at least two colours, here I chose pumpkin orange and caramel brown. You will also need some leaf cutters in at least three different shapes.

I used oak, maple and ash I believe!

Warm your fondant icing in your hand and kneed until pliable. You can then roll out a little sausage shaped length in two colours and twist together. Roll out to a good pound thickness and cut out your leaves. Do this in small batches so you get a range of marbled leaf shapes.

Leave to harden over a curved surface such as a rolling pin or wine bottle, leave some to dry flat.

When the leaves harden arrange at the base of the cake pushing into the icing to neaten the edge and in a pile on the top.




Prosciutto and Spinach Salad

In Cooking, food, Food and Drink on April 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

Shiny Tasty Salad

Looking back on this week’s blogs I thought maybe it was time to step away from the sugar and toward the healthy, fresh and tasty. At last the sun is shining in this little corner of southern England and it would seem Spring is…well, springing! So what better way than to celebrate with a delicious lunch of spring greens, tomatoes and or course a good quality proscuitto.

Like many cooks I cannot stress enough the importance of a good ingredients and my local market provided all the inspiration I needed. The spinach so green and verdant begged to be bought. The tomatoes on the vine although a little early were as succulent as any I have seen in the summer months. A really good quality prosciutto makes this salad and of course a decent extar virgin olive oil finishes the dish off.

It’s a simple salad that can be adapted to whatever you have to hand some radicchio would add a nice bitterness or some creamy mozzarella would add clean colour and texture. Some toasted hazelnutes too would add crunch and would be pleasing to the eye.

This recipe is more a list of ingredients that you can adjust in quantity depending on your and taste.

Ingredients for one

Handful or two of baby spinach leaves

2 gardeners delight tomato or if you see them heirloom tomatoes

Small handful of frisee lettuce

2-3 slices prosciutto

For the dressing

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon vinegar

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


Wash the salad leave and chop the tomatoes, add extra herbs such as basil if required.

Mix the mustard with the salt and pepper (to taste) whisk with white wine vinegar and then add the oil whisking a little in at a time. If to acidic for your taste add a pinch of sugar.

Dress the salad with the vinaigrette. Place the prosciutto or similar style ham on top and dress with a little more extra virgin olive oil. Garnish as you like with other goodies such as mozzarella, nuts, or baby shoots.