This time last week, I was enjoying wonderful views of Falmouth harbour from my bedroom window. The skies were blue, I was with good friends and the kitchen table sported an almond apple cider cake. What could be more perfect than that? Read on for the recipe.
I was lucky enough to grow up with an Aga in the house. This meant plenty of slow cooked meals. There’s something about slow cooking that really brings out the flavours of ingredients and melds them into something richer and more flavoursome than the sum of their parts. These days, I only have an ordinary electric cooker, so I don’t tend to do much of that sort of cooking. At least I didn’t until I was sent a Von Shef slow cooker to try out. Those delicious childhood stews called to me and I knew I was very soon going to make a slow cooker vegetable stew.
A couple of weeks ago, The Book Shop, here in Liskeard, had a Books Are My Bag party. This entailed a local author coming in to read to the kids, music, a living statue in the window, jugglers and more. The colour for the event was orange, so what could I do but make some orange mini cakes?
Some say Autumn starts here in the Northern Hemisphere on 1 September, some say the 22nd. Either way the apple season has started and to me that means one of my favourite times of year with morning mists, clear warm days and cold nights – if we’re lucky. The first few apples have been gathered from my mother’s garden and honey apple cardamom mini bundt cakes were calling.
For years I’ve raged against the invasion of the very American Halloween and associated trick or treating; in the UK, we have All Hallows Eve, from which Halloween is derived. Just five days later we have our very own Guy Fawkes Night, with its pagan effigy burning associations – OK Guy Fawkes was a Catholic, but never mind. Well, finally I’ve come to the conclusion that if you can’t beat them you’d better join them and this chocolate pecan pumpkin cake seemed like a good start. In fact I had no choice; this month’s We Should Cocoa theme is Halloween.