Sunday, 30 January 2011

Afternoon tea in January

Afternoon tea can be fun when new Magi-mix is on hand to make chorizo and olive bread, topped with fennel, goats cheese and hazelnut spread. Sweet extras included giant Ginger Cake with Sparkles and tiny Hearts, orange jelly segments in orange peel cups, Violet jellies with blueberries topped with real violets...yes I was able to pick twelve....with a drizzle of cream laced with violet liqueur.

Star of the show and taste buds though was Hannah's gluten free cake laden with plums and blueberries made specially because of our friend Paula to welcome her back from a long trip to New Zealand.Have a peek at Hannah's blog and all her wonderful books.

Four of us tucked into a table of treats and thoroughly enjoyed our stolen moment of teatime madness.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Honey Marmalade

I was busy buying some sweet oranges in Sainsbury's, when I noticed that Seville oranges were available, so I bought a bag and thought I'd make a batch of marmalade and flavour it with our Stevington honey.

I read up my old Mrs Beeton cook book dated 1924, goodness knows how many printruns there had been since it was first published, and saw that she had four orange marmalade recipes. One of them was called Orange Marmalade made with Honey. Her recipe allowed 1lb of honey to every 1/2lb of prepared orange rinds. Then I looked up on the internet and noticed that making marmalade with all honey and no sugar made a soft finish which meant that it didnot set as well. Anyway,not having pounds of honey available, in fact just half a jar, I thought I'd compromise and make the usual mix but add the honey as an extra.

My mum used to make marmalade and I can just see us now, sitting round the large kitchen table, cutting up the rind by hand.

Well my new Magi-mix does it in seconds. It does the juicing well too. So all in all its an easy task. Result: the marmalade set well, the rind is thinly cut, the colour is glorious and the taste is fantastic. Can't wait for Saturday morning to come and try it out with warm toast and fresh brewed coffee for breakfast. Maybe I could make a marmalade honey cake for my February Open Days...Tuesday afternoons when the snowdrops and aconites are out in flower.