Thursday, 11 December 2008

Bakey Cake-iness

Blimey, I'm really getting back into this blogging lark, am I not?!

Well today has been a bakey kind of day. In fact, all week has been a mass baking fest in the No.9 kitchen. With a few angels thrown in for good measure.

As many of you are aware by now, I am a massive fan of recipe books. Really cannot get enough of 'em. There is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down next to one of my teetering piles of recipe books and having a flick through, finding things I haven't baked before. So today, I baked these.....

Please note the fact that I got through a cup a tea, a cappuccino and a glass of water whilst creating! I have no idea what the scissors were for though...

I have never made a carrot cake before. Can you believe that? I think it's mainly because I'm not a huge fan of carrot cake. I would always go for chocolate cake, or fruit cake over carrot, but I am obviously not going to be eating this one myself! It has lemony cream cheese icing. Yum. Maybe I could be persuaded to sample a teeny slice...just for research...

The strudel cups are dee-licious. Seriously good. I made up a lot of the recipe, but basically it consists of filo pastry, half a jar of mince meat, ground almonds, lemon zest, chopped nuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon and some sultanas and sugar.

This is my trusty Bara Brith (Welsh tea loaf)...sells VERY well and lots of people come back for more. Oh dear, I don't mean to brag, it's just such an easy cake to make and very popular. It basically consists of fruit soaked in strong tea overnight and then flour eggs and sugar added. It freezes really well and tastes fabulous with a little butter spreaded on.

We have been selling these hearts and stockings for one of the girls who runs the crochet and knitting classes for us. They're made from recycled jumpers and blankets and filled with lavender. Clever eh?! (Not as nice as the ones over at the Ragged Roses house though- these ones are a bit scratchy!!)

These are my favourites, our stained glass Christmas decorations. We have hung them in the front window of the cafe and when the sun shines they twinkle beautifully. Several people have made purchases already (including one of the girls who works for us- we paid her her wages and then she gave us most of it back again!)

Despite all of this I am still not feeling Christmassy!

We have had some really exciting news today...two official looking chaps came into the cafe this afternoon and said that we has been nominated for a Business of The Year award. Apparently the winner is going to be announced next week. I don't expect for a minute that we will win, but one of the guys said that he is amazed, given how long we have been open, that we have been nominated at all. I have been beaming ever since. Yay!

Well maybe I am feeling a little bit festive....


Lynn said...

Congrats on the nomination!! Wonderful but not at all surprising. I'll be right over for a celebratory slice of the Bara Brith and a cup of assam...

periwinkle said...

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you - I'm not feeling very festive either
lisa x

Lisa said...

Well done you!
Thanks such brilliant news.
Keeping fingers crossed.
Now why don't I live nearer?
Lisa x

Rosesposes said...

Hi Anna
All those cakes you make look delicious. I definaetely think your cafe should be up for nomination all the hard work you put in. Its a nice treat to go to a cafe and have such a beautifull selection of cakes on offer. Well done to you , you deserve it. I should imagine it brings you joy to have built it up
x dom

driftwood said...

congrats on the nomination! oooh those cakes look good. xx

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh what fantastic news, you must be sooooo excited! Wishing you lots & lots of luck!
MMmmmm, look at all that tempting goodness. Yummy!
love Alison

April said...

Huge congrats on the nomination - what an amazing achievement!

Glad to see you're keeping busy and the shop is going well


April xx

Pretty Practicals said...

I love looking at cake recipes too, although I never bake anymore. Once I'd discovered that Dave (my husband) and Cecily (my daughter) can both bake superb cakes, there seemed little point in making them myself.
My fav recipe book is an old Good Housekeeping one that I bought in the early 1980's.
With love, Liz

dottycookie said...

Congrats on the nomination! Hope you win!

I'm not keen on carrot cake either, but Bara Brith - yum!

Ragged Roses said...

Anna, Anna, Anna that is such wonderful news. You see just how excited I am for you I had to write your name 3 times (not easy to do with a cat on your lap refusing to let you move your arms!). Fingers crossed for you. I love the sound of that lemon icing on the carrot cake and the bara brith, wrong spelling I know! Thanks for saying my hearts are soft, although I do love the look of the ones in your photos. Have a good day, enjoy your pink stuff tonight

mollycupcakes said...

Well done Anna, i will have everything crossed for you. The cafe is just a amazing place to visit, you all have such a lovely happy and homely feel to the place, if lived closer it would be my drop in everyday for a coffee, cake and chat lol
Loving the the look of that carot as you know it's one of my favs but i never bake it myself. Now I'm going to give that one a try, that's if you're send me the recipe? cheeky moo i know lol
Hoping you have a fabulous Christmas, come on you get into the Kissmas mood hehe! let it snow, let it snow, let it snow lol
lots of love,
a still floating on cloud nine Catherine x

Petticoat Lane said...

Just come back off holiday to read your wonderful news.....CONGRATULATIONS on your nomination sweetie, so well deserved, I'll keep everything crossed for you.
Your baking looked delicious....Any chance of you popping round to do my xmas baking for me?!
Love all the little bits and bobs you're selling in yout cafe, that's what makes it such a special place to visit.
Jane. xx

Vintage Tea said...

Congratulations on your nomination!

Victoria x

Moogsmum said...

Oh wow! Congratulations on your nomination!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Your baking looks fab. I love carrot cake but have never made one myself!


Cowboys and Custard said...

All that hard slog will reap rewards dear Anna.. just you wait and see. I wish you all the very best for the Business award.. you so deserve to win it!!!
As for those scrumptious cakes.. when I have recovered my taste buds and appetite.. I'll be round!!
Save some Bara Brith for me.. oh and a filo strudel.. and extra large slice of carrot cake... I have a lot of catching up to do!

Miss sew n sew said...

Your strudel cups look yummy and eyecatching too! Well done on your nomination thats fab I have my fingers crossed for you!
Have a wonderful christmas

Petticoat Lane said...

Just popping back in to wish you and all your lovely family a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2009. I'm sure it will bring with it lots of wonderful things to your life.
Lots of love
Jane. xx
P.S Thank you for the lovely card.

Janette said...

Merry Christmas Anna,

hope you and your hubby enjoy the holidays ready to take on the New Year afresh.