Making time for everything in a hectic week is not easy. Just take this blog and my appalling lack of updates recently. Falling behind and running out of time really stresses me out so I know I need to start making a big effort to become more organised and pro-active. I have been busy the last few weekends, which is when I do most of my baking, but if I had prioritised post writing over grand prix watching I wouldn’t have left a full week between recipes.
To try and help myself out a bit I’ve been organising wherever possible. I bought a big weekly calendar which I have pinned on my wall (right where I get ready every morning so there is no escaping it!) where I schedule my posts for the week ahead. I can also tick these off when they’ve been posted – always fun! My baking equipment had spread to all corners of my bedroom, the curse of sharing with a non-baker and having a small kitchen, so a small set of drawers were purchased to store my photo props, cake tins, cutters and cake decorating bits and bobs. I also bought an adorable little Moleskin note book that fits in to my handbag where I can jot down any ideas or make plans when inspiration strikes.
So these muffins mark the start of a new organised Kirsty…or something like that! They are good muffins though, using mango to provide delicate sweetness and coconut to give them a tropical flavour. When baked mango becomes soft, sweet and luscious adding great moisture to cakes. Coconut flakes add contrasting texture as a finishing touch.
This pretty pistachio cake was made at the weekend for my mums birthday, which is today. Don’t worry, I’m not giving her a really stale cake for her birthday, we celebrated when she and my dad visited on Saturday. We had a lovely evening, a quick late afternoon wander around the shops then to Browns on George Square for dinner, where I had an amazing coconut and cardamom brioche and butter pudding.
So this post is for you mum. The most wonderfully caring, supportive and awesome mum a girl could ask for and I hope you have had a wonderful day (even though I wasn’t there!). (more…)
Deep in the midst of summer, as we are, I find that when I want cake I want there to be fruit involved. When the shelves of the supermarkets and grocers are actually filled with local fruit I think it would be such a shame not to take advantage, as this is when the flavours are at their height.
Apple and blackberry is a classic combination. Here, the apple is providing a subtle background sweetness which is pierced by bites of sharp blackberry. The sponge is delicate and moist, with the crumble topping adding the contrasting crunchy texture and a gently warming spice.
Wrap this crumble cake in parchment paper, make a flask of tea, grab a blanket, call a friend and head down to the park for a casual, al fresco afternoon tea. Sounds like a dreamy afternoon to me!
When I came across this recipe for coconut loaf it was like a revelation. I mean, coconut…in loaf form. What could be better? Possibly nothing but that didn’t stop me tampering with the recipe a little bit.
Coconut and lime. These two flavours really do spell summer, don’t they? As we are slap bang in the middle of summer I can think of no reason not to make this recipe. My favourite way to enjoy this loaf is toasted, topped with a little butter and raspberry jam. The smell of it toasting, lovely.
This loaf is quite dense, and not as moist as a banana loaf, which is why I think it benefits from being toasted. It takes a good hour to cook, so I would recommend covering it with tin foil after about 40 minutes to make sure the top doesn’t get too overdone. The crust will be quite substantial though, but its contrasting texture is one of the best qualities.
I have to start by talking about Andy Murray. He’s not my very favourite player and it took me a while to really get behind him but he has really grown on my over the past two years. I’m so, so delighted that he won Wimbledon! It was such a deserved victory after all this time and to take the victory over Djokovic the way he did (even though it was still painfully close in parts) was really a brilliant effort. Well done Andy! However, the next big tournament is the US Open where I will be well and truly back to my ‘¡Vamos Rafa!’ ways.
I watched the Wimbledon final with some friends in Aberdeen. It was a gorgeous day and as we’d be spending the majority of it indoors we went to the beach in the morning. It was even warm enough for a paddle in the sea and some delicious ice cream. I had white chocolate and pistachio and rhubarb sorbet, which was amazing and I will definitely have to try to recreate.
The main reason for my being up in Aberdeen was to go to my cousins wedding. It was a great day and the whole family were there for the celebration, a big party and BBQ in my aunts back garden. They both looked lovely and I wish them lots of love and happiness for the future.
Anyways, enough about my life. On to the cakes! I made these cupcakes for the wedding. They are a perfect combination of summer flavours, with the fragrant orange and sweet bites of nectarine. When baked the tartness of the nectarine is softened and the sweetness enhanced, delicious. I topped these with a whipped cream icing which is much lighter than a buttercream and I think really compliments the flavour combination.