Summery Iced Lavender Cake

lavender-cake-shoot-3-food-photographers-brighton-heather-wilkinson-food-styling

A few pics from a recent summer commercial photo-shoot, featuring a gorgeous iced lavender cake and an incredibly stunning country house garden. Late afternoon sunlight in mid summer is just so perfect!

Photos by me and styling by my talented Mum Sally Wilkinson.

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Whisky Hot Cross Bun Pudding

Whisky ht cross bun pudding by breakfast by the sea

If you find yourself overburdened with hot cross buns this Easter then let me tempt you with this recipe. My twist on bread and butter pudding but even easier to make because the fruit is already in the buns – oh it also has a little luxurious boozy twist. Well why not!

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A preview of some new work

Summer fruit sponge cake photography by hew design.co.uk

I’ve been updating my portfolio recently so I thought I’d share a couple of preview pics with you. I think beautiful cakes are probably my most favourite food photography subject – probably because I’m always hopeful a slice might come my way!

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Chocolate Guinness Cake

Chocolate Guinness Cake via Breakfast by the Sea Blog

There’s a small chain of Brighton-based coffee shops called Ground, who serve some of the finest coffee in Brighton. That is where I got my first taste of Chocolate Guinness cake. 

The cake is designed to take on the classic look of a pint of Guinness, with its rich dark brown bottom and fluffy white top. But it contains Guinness too – and that is what gives it its beautifully moist texture. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t taste of beer.

One of the best recipes I’ve found is this one by Nigella Lawson, laden with butter, sugar and topped with a vanilla cream cheese topping. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted, but then this is a celebration cake, so I think its ok to push the boat out every once in a while!

And if you don’t fancy making your own and happen to be visiting Brighton, I can’t recommend Ground highly enough.

All photography © Heather Elizabeth Wilkinson 2013

 

Cinnamon rock cakes

This post was inspired by a recent trip to Rye in East Sussex. The weather that day was absolutely bitter – they type of cold that really gets into your bones, so a hot mug of tea and a decent piece of cake are pretty much essential. I stopped in a lovely little cafe but I was in such a rush to get the train back that I didn’t pay much attention to the name – whoops!

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Carrot and Orange Loaf Cake

Have I mentioned that I moved house recently? Well that’s why things have been a bit quiet on the blog recently. It’s well-known that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, and I can confirm this is very much the case.
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Strawberry mascarpone tart

All photography © Heather Elizabeth Wilkinson 2012
 

Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries is one of my most cherished cookery books, and I find myself returning to it again and again for inspiration. His warm, and somewhat magical, writing style and beautifully simple recipes tick all the right boxes for me.

There’s rebelliousness to Nigel’s cooking that I really admire. He inspires me to feel that cooking is an adventure and perfection is never the aim. Preparing meals to please yourself and your loved ones – that’s what it’s all about. I say hooray for Nigel. I bloomin’ love him!

Anyway, enough of the Nigel love-fest and on with the cooking. This is one of my favourite recipes from Kitchen Diaries 1. Rather than using the almond or orange biscuits that Nigel suggests, I opted for crushed shortbread (shortbread fingers, to be exact).  So what I ended up with was a version of a strawberry shortcake tart – and my goodness did it taste good!

The tart makes an ideal dessert, but my preference is as an afternoon treat accompanied by a glass of chilled prosecco.

You can find Nigel’s recipe here.

Kentish Cherry & Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream

The English cherry season is so very short,so I get really excited when the first of the Kent cherries start to make an appearance. Fat, juicy and the most beautiful deep red, they really are in a different league to the smaller, tasteless imports available all year round in supermarkets.

I invested in an ice-maker a few months ago. Just a cheap and cheerful one, nothing fancy. Not sure it was the wisest move in terms of keeping my waistline trim, but I’m trying to be really good and use only occasionally (by occasionally, read twice a week so far – eek! Excitement gets the better of me some times. Must do more cycling…). The difference a machine makes is quite remarkable: no crystals or lumps. I’m a very happy camper indeed.

My recipe is currently featured in Crumbs Magazine too, but I’ve slightly tweaked the cream/milk ratio here.

So, here’s my current seasonal fav. The combination of sweet cherries & bitter chocolate is pretty special.

You will need
250g fresh cherries

3 tbsp golden caster sugar

80g good quality dark chocolate (70%)

150ml semi skimmed milk

150ml double cream

50g caster sugar

Serves four
1.)  De-stone the cherries and cut into halves. Place in a saucepan with the caster sugar and cook over a low heat until softened. Set aside to cool.
2.) Once cool, blend in a food processor until you have smooth puree.
3.) Break your chocolate into tiny pieces (alternatively, place it in a sandwich bag and crush gently with a rolling pin if easier).
4.) In a large measuring jug, add the milk, cream and sugar and cherry puree and mix gently until combined.
5.) Pour the mixture into your ice–cream machine and allow it to churn for a few minutes before gradually adding your chocolate pieces, one spoonful at a time. Timings will vary depending on the type of machine you have.All photography © Heather Elizabeth Wilkinson 2012

 

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