26 June 2019

Peach & Raspberry Almond Cake

I'll never complain about summer rain – I mean, what is more delicious than pottering around the kitchen with the back door ajar while it pours? Plus, when there is rain there's no irrational FOMO, so, lately, my thoughts have been healthier, more creative, inspired and, obviously revolving around baked goods. The result: a fruit-filled, bakewell-style cake that, if it were just a smidge warmer, I'd be serving with iced tea. But it's still steaming cups of coffee and I'm quite happy with that.

This recipe is adapted from Emily's Blackberry Plum Crumble Cake recipe over on her blog, De La Terre. I recall (very fondly) Sunday afternoons sitting cross-legged on her bed eating that cake with mugs of Earl Grey, exactly as she recommends it in her post. Those memories are what I miss the most about living in Bristol.  

Peach & Raspberry Almond Cake 

Serves 9 
150g unsalted butter room temperature
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
150g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g raspberries (I used frozen as they're a lot cheaper)
150g fresh peaches, sliced
50g flaked almonds
40g apricot jam (I like Bonne Maman)

1. First toast the almonds. You can buy them toasted already but I prefer to do it myself – just something about the smell that fills the kitchen. Preheat your oven to 180°C and spread the flaked almonds across a baking tray. Pop in the oven for two minutes at a time until the nuts are toasted to your liking.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time (make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl in between each egg if you're using a freestanding mixer).
4. Add the vanilla and cinnamon, then sift in the flour and bicarb. Mix until everything is just combined.
5. Stir in the raspberries and pour into a lined, square tin. It's quite a thick mix so you may need to spread it out with a knife or the back of a spoon. Press the peach slices into the cake batter and bake for 30-40 minutes – mine took 38 minutes but it largely depends on your oven, so keep an eye from 30 minutes onwards.
6. Leave the cake to cool a little in the tin - about 10 minutes, then heat the jam in a small pan or the microwave. Spread the apricot glaze over the top of the cake and sprinkle the toasted flaked almonds evenly over the top. Optional: dust icing sugar over the top for that gorgeous almond croissant aesthetic.

If you make this cake please do let me know! You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @wnwrote 

21 May 2019

Pink Lane Bakery – Newcastle

It's my birthday on Friday and all I can think about is Milk Bar's Birthday cake. I watched Christina Tosi's Chef's Table episode this morning while I got ready to go out and if anyone is yet to walk into my life and instantly be my best friend, it's her. "Life's too short to worry about how many cookies you ate today" – isn't that the soundest advice you've ever heard? And it's exactly what I'm repeating to myself as I bite into my second brown butter compost cookie of the day (warm out of the oven with a glass of cold milk, obvs).

If, like me, you have to have something sweet and salty and beige and buttery and delicious every single day of your life, get yourself to Pink Lane Bakery. It's a little closer than Milk Bar (I have a thing with outrageously out of reach New York-based bakeries, it seems) and it's pink, so obviously you have to go even if just for the gram. Oh and! They serve up their own version of Tosi's crack pie which... I still have not tried. But it's my birthday on Friday.

Being in Newcastle, Pink Lane proudly puts its own stamp on traditional. I tried their cheese and potato pasty and it was nap-inducing delicious. Lots of cheese! Lovely red onions! Not too many potatoes! Perfect.

Aside from all the baked goods, my favourite thing about Pink Lane, which is something a lot of places have adopted lately, is the bakery is just a few feet behind the counter where you order. There's something quite fun about seeing what goes on behind the scenes as you buy your morning coffee and bite into a still-warm pain au chocolat.

Pink Lane Bakery, based in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, is open Monday-Saturday 8am-4pm. Follow them on Instagram @pinklanebakery or check out their Facebook page here.


6 May 2019

Kiln – Newcastle

Can anything make the emotional slog of a 9-hour train journey (make that five train journeys) better? I didn't think so, but train rage has a way of leaving my body as soon as I reach my destination, no matter how many delays, run-over cows (yes, really) and cancellations. Plus, the promise of a decent breakfast the following morning was enough to wipe the trauma from my mind completely. I was visiting my brother and his girlfriend in Gateshead a few weeks ago, determined to get away; a nice little break from Wales and a nosy to see what the North East brunch scene had to offer.

Bar, cafe and pottery, Kiln is everything I love all in one. Their brunch menu is perfection – simple dishes that are clearly made with love. I had the eggy in the hole (cute!) which consisted of two poached eggs in a huge square of focaccia (my favourite), tomatoes, mushrooms and aioli, served up on one of their gorgeous handmade plates, which you can even buy to take home. It was delish and I was sold.

I loved Kiln so much I almost – almost – considered applying for the full-time position advertised outside... however, I'm trying this new thing where I don't rush into big changes, but that's a topic for another blog post.

There is loads more to find out about Kiln (and a couple of menus to pore over) on their site, which you must check out as it is absolutely beautiful. Obviously, pay them a visit too if you're in the area; I can't wait to go back!

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