Saturday, 21 May 2011

'the hotel'

if you've been keeping up with channel 4's 'The Hotel' every Sunday evening, you'll notice that the fly-on-the-wall show is filmed at The Damson Dene up in the Lake District.

a few months ago, we posted pictures of some of the deserts featured on the menu over at The Damson Dene, including a raspberry pavlova, which were very tasty indeed.

check out the original post, Cakes In The Lakes, for an idea of the deserts served at 'The Hotel'.

catch up with The Hotel on 4oD now.

the du-can have cookies loophole

much to the disapproval of a few, i started the dukan diet this week. there has been much controversy around the 4-stage diet recently questioning whether it really works. as a girl who wants to lose a handful of "LBs" in time for the summer, i wanted to see for myself especially as it allows me to continue with my morning coffee ritual and promises pancakes (sort of).

i won't bore you with the ins and outs but the diet is split into 4 phases, attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilisation, which you are granted a certain amount of oat bran in all phases. after completing my 3-day attack, i was allowed to increase my daily oat bran intake of 1.5 table spoons to 2! score!

looking to be creative with my limited options, i decided to search around for a recipe that included oat bran. after scouring the internet, i found the below recipe here.

Oat Bran Cookies

- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp oat bran (i only used 2)
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tbsp non fat yoghurt
- 1 tabsp sweetener

- pre heat the oven at 180 degrees
- mix all of the ingredients together into a smooth and thick consistency
- pour into the baking tray
- bake for about 15 minutes (more if you want crunchy biscuits)

NB/ in a normal cupcake baking tray, my mixture made 4 mini cakes.

i will say, dukaners, do purchase yourself some proper sweetener when using this receipe. i wouldn't suggest you use a few canderel pills out of sheer desperation in the hope that they'll dissolve properly into the mixture...that would just be stupid....

TIP: if you have some sort of grinder (such as one you'd use for coffee) a tip would be to use this to grind the oat bran down to a flour consistency so the texture is more light and fluffy.

Monday, 16 May 2011

baker's delights - the cook's measure


i spotted this nifty measuring alternative about a year ago while i was on a woodland country walk up in the lakes. about half way through, after missioning it up 90% vertical hills and waterfalls, mother and i stumbled some sort of bakers' heaven - a kitchen shop complete with tea rooms (this is a true story by the way). i'm a loser who loves any type of pointless utensil such as pastel silicone spatulas or partitioned brightly coloured lunch boxes (seriously) so when i saw this retro-esque cooks measure, i may have let out a squeal or too. mother was also gushing as this particular tool reminded her of one she used to own back in the day (that's way, way back).

used only for dry ingredients, such as desiccated coconut, sugar, rice and flour, this cook's measure serves as a handy companion when you can't be bothered to dig out the scales from the back of the cupboard (guilty). however, it's not really practical if you're planning to use large quantities but if you're a sucker for aesthtics, this is for you!

tala's cook's measure available at lakeland for £7.99

hummingbird bakery's sneak peak at new shop

our favourites, hummingbird bakery, have been posting pictures all day giving us an exclusive sneak peek at their new shop in spitalfields. looks like it's going to be their biggest store yet and even includes a private consultation room for those all important orders.

discussing the further growth of the hummingbird bakery brand, founder and author of two major best-seller cook books, Tarek Malouf, says: “The success of our first cookbook has been phenomenal in spreading global awareness of The Hummingbird Bakery and we are continually receiving requests from our fans to open new bakeries in their home towns. They may be pleased to learn therefore that we are already in advanced stages of planning the opening of new bakeries in London, around the UK and internationally."

the new bakery at 11 Frying Pan Alley in Spitalfields is due to open in june.

Monday, 9 May 2011

lisa loves lola

capital fm dj and britain's next top model host, lisa snowden, expressed her love of lola's cupcakes today with a picture of the treats via twitter. yum!

royal wedding cake!

for those of you who are experiencing the royal weddings blues one week on, see the duke and duchess of cornwall's wedding cake below! amazing!!!

winkwell cakes can reveal that the cake was in fact assembled in Buckingham Palace itself 2 days before the wedding. The 8-tiered fruit cake, decorated with 900 sugar flowers, took 5 weeks to make.

"I could not believe I finished it in time but we were all really pleased with it. I worked at the palace for two days before the wedding, setting it up with my team.

‘The hardest part was transporting the cakes from Leicestershire to the palace - we were worried they would get damaged - then we had to assemble them."

on discussing the design, Ms Cairns said, "The picture gallery has high ceilings and is an imposing room so I wanted the cake to have presence but not to be imposing and I think it worked.

‘Catherine did not want it to be seven feet tall, she didn't want it to be towering and thin, and I think we succeeded.

‘We reflected some of the architectural details in the room so the garlands on the walls were reproduced loosely on the fourth tier - we've used roses, acorns, ivy leaves, apple blossom and bridal rose.’"

the second cake, below, was requested by Prince William and baked by McVities. The chocolaty 3-tiered sponge was created with biscuits, taken from a secret Royal family recipe.

to see more about the intricate details and the design of the wedding cake of the year, check out the interview with Fiona Cairns below.

(source: Daily Mail)

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