Thursday, 24 February 2011

Go! Bay Tree

We have had our take away shop for almost 2 years now. It is located just opposite The Bay Tree door, within the courtyard. We sell primarily cinnamon scones, but also soup, chowder and sandwiches. Ideally, we sell anything that we serve in the restaurant, and, also ideally, we make some things in Go! that we don't serve in the restaurant. We have been experimenting with new flavours of cinnamon scones....currently we make apple ones. People are curious-ish, but prefer the old favourites. The difficulty with Go! is that there isn't quite enough space to bake easily. Storage is another problem, as take away needs a lot of packaging. HOWEVER, I love our take away, and feel it needs more attention, more research and more application. To this end I have bought 3 new cake books on Amazon.....Lorraine Pascale (who makes it all so easy on TV), a new Hummingbird book, and one other whose name I have forgotten, and which I probably didn't need.
I am still making the red velvet cup cakes, but need to find a source of red food colouring in larger quantities. Must phone cash and carry today about that. I saw a great cup cake stall at a market in Manchester city centre a couple of weekends ago, and had to walk past several times memorising the flavour combinations, and then scribbling tham down! I obviously havn't got to the creative stage of cup cake making, as I still need so much inspiration from others. I shall keep working at them.....I think William is coming round to the idea (see second last post)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Tuesday seems to be blog day

In 2006, in the white Bay Tree book, I wrote 'For years I fought against having systems. I felt they were soulless, that they suffocated spontaneity and that they would make The Bay Tree predictable: I was wrong! My lack of systems made me predictably chaotic and meant that I achieved a fraction of what we all achieve now. The evolution of the meringue is a good example. As you know, meringues need a very low temperature to cook, but they must go in at exactly the right temperature and remain undisturbed for the right length of time. In a busy kitchen with only one oven, that is just not possible before or during lunchtime, so the system is to make them at 2.30 at the end of lunch, set the timer, and John the wonderful dishwasher turns them off if I have gone running. It's the perfect slot, and the system provides us with an appealing, simple to serve dessert ready for the next day.'
So now, my system is to write my blog on a Tuesday....I'm not happy that it's always the same day, but it does make it happen.
Planning is equally important as the achievement of systems, and I must now plan both my menu for tomorrow lunch and my 'girl's' evening menu for tomorrow night (that's at home, not at The Bay Tree).We will be repeating today's roast loin of pork with roast potatoes and Nick's honey and ginger sauce, as we got lots of compliments for it.

Below is a photo of my latest batch of red velvet cupcakes. At least they are red.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

red velvet cupcakes

I have started to make cup cakes for our take away shop (go! bay tree). This is in spite of William's abhorrance of them, and total discouragement of any activity in the direction of producing them.The thing is.... I really like the cake part of cup cakes, but the icing is what makes them special, and I often find it a bit sweet. To make cup cakes ( or buns as I would have called them)  look desirable, you really have to go to town with the topping. This isn't my forte.
Anyway, I have the lovely Hummingbird cook book, and every now and again I hit on a new recipe to try, and the latest one is the red velvet cupcake. You use an incredible amount of red food colouring....20 grams to a mixture that only has one egg, and my first effort was quite successful in terms of the cake, but the icing wasn't voluptuous enough. My third batch didn't even manage to be red, so they are just labelled as mere cup cakes, and, to be honest, 'voluptuousness' is still absent.
I saw lovely red velvet cup cakes in Tescos this evening.....
Maybe Olwen from 'in the gateaux' could give me some tips?