Bakewell Tarts

Bakewell Tarts remind me of a time in University when a friend of mine stepped in to help another friend out with a photography project that involved posing topless with nothing but a couple of cherry bakewells to hide her nips.  Naming no names, but to this day I can’t eat a cherry bakewell without thinking about her 🙂

Anyway, I’ve scoffed a lot of bakewell tarts in my time – my favourite tart by a long way – but never tried making one myself.  I always thought frangipane was a bit of a nightmare.  But, they’re actually not that difficult – especially if you cheat by buying ready-made pastry and don’t bother making the jam yourself.  Pfft!  Who’s got the time for that?

Bakewell Tart (from Mary Berry’s recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry
  • Seedless raspberry jam
  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • Ready to roll royal icing
  • Piped pink fondant icing
  1. Set the oven to 180 (fan) and line a fluted tart tin (preferably with a removable bottom – easy) with the shortcrust pastry.  Pop it into the fridge to cool for half an hour.  Line with non stick paper and fill with baking beans.  Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the beads and bake for a further 5 minutes.  Set it aside and allow it cool (very important!).
  2. To make the frangipane filling cream together the butter and sugar, then add the ground almonds, egg and almond extract. 
  3. Spread the bottom of your cooled pastry case with raspberry jam and then spoon in the frangipane mix on top.
  4. Turn down the oven to 160 and then bake the tart for 35 minutes (or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave the tart to cool.
  5. Remove the tart from its tin and then use a tin as a cutter to get the right size and shape of rolled out icing.  Decorate with loops or lines of piped pink fondant.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!  ♡

*Bill’s Summer of Music

I can’t remember the last time Sunny and I had a date night.  We’ll be celebrating our fourth (wait…is that right?) wedding anniversary at the end of August (…is it the 26th or 27th…?) and we’ve never really done the whole date thing, even BC (Before Canine!).

Anyway, a few weeks ago Bill’s got in touch and asked if I’d like to come along and sample their new summer menu.  They also said I could bring along a guest – so, I said, “Yes please!” and brought along Sunny for a little pre-wedding anniversary date night 🙂


Throughout June, July and August, Bill’s has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love with live music events in its restaurants up and down the country, and on the 27th of July it arrived at their Cardiff Bay Restaurant – which not only meant a lovely meal for us but also an evening of live music.  They had Malaika (above), who sang some of her jazz and blues songs, as well as some covers, as well as Millie Jane Franks, who sung a beautiful cover of Fix You by Coldplay.


I’d never been to Bill’s before – but have no idea why, because the food was absolutely lush from the first course (these breaded halloumi sticks and pork dumplings) right through to dessert (by which time I completely stuffed and had to waddle back to the car – and we’d parked all the way up by the Norweigan Church too, pfft!).






Thanks to Bill’s for such a lovely night of food and music! ♡

The Vegetarian Food Studio

In case you didn’t know, my mother-in-law is Indian (…Gotta be careful what I write next, I know she’s reading!  Hey Mum!).  Before I met Sunny, I could probably count on one hand how many times I’d eaten Indian Food.  I just didn’t get it, but then my only experience of the stuff was sloppy school dinner curry (Which had raisins in it…?  What even?  That still wrecks my head!) and the tinned curry my Dad used to buy.  Fast-forward ten years and it’s hand on heart some of my favourite food (…not that I had much choice in the matter!).

My mother-in-law knows good Indian Food (particularly Vegetarian Indian Food as a strict veggie herself) and isn’t afraid to speak up when she’s served something that isn’t up to snuff.  So, when she came down to visit a few weeks ago and we decided to take her to one of the top-rated Vegetarian restaurants in Cardiff, I was a little nervous.  Also, as a meat eater who’d never set foot in a Vegetarian Restaurant before, I wasn’t sure what I’d even order.

Honestly?  The only criticism we had was of ourselves – that we hadn’t visited sooner!  Sometimes it’s hit and miss with Indian Restaurants, a bit of a balancing act; the food can sometimes be too spicy, or not spicy enough, or too oily, or too expensive, or lacking flavour.  But the food at Vegetarian Food Studio was spot on and very reasonably priced – and the service friendly.  The menu was absolutely massive, with plenty of choices and meal options.  I quickly picked out a couple of favourites (Channa – chickpeas – and Aloo Parantha – a potato stuffed flatbread), while Sunny picked out a couple of childhood favourites and when they came we weren’t disappointed in either the portion size or the flavour.  Yum!  No wonder this place takes evening bookings for four weeks in advance!

They also offer takeaway food – including Indian sweets and light bites.  Definitely worth checking out if you’re Vegetarian or a fan of Indian Food. 🙂




Vegetarian Food Studio
115-117 Penarth Rd, Cardiff CF11 6JU

*Creams

A couple of weeks ago I was walking down St Mary’s Street for the first time in a long time – actually looking around instead of at my feet for a change! – and I couldn’t believe how many ice cream places have popped up.  Back in the day, my mates and I only had the unlimited ice cream bowl from Pizza Hut to tickle our taste-buds if we fancied something cool and sweet to finish our weekly trips into town.  Oh, how times have changed!  How come places like Creams didn’t exist back then?!  Can you imagine if they had?

So you can imagine how excited this lady was when Creams got in touch and asked if I fancied coming along to get the scoop on their new summer menu (…see what I did there 😉 ).

As well as their usual mix of sundaes, crepes and waffles is their new Bubble Waffle range – which is basically a sundae wrapped in a hot waffle.  Sunny – who didn’t need much convincing to come along and join me for a cheeky ice cream lunch – couldn’t believe the size of it when it landed on our table, but easily managed to polish it off.  Due to their shape and texture, Bubbles Waffles are much less filling than their traditional counterparts, but just as good!



I went for their After Eight Sundae (I’m a huge fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream) and loved every bite.




Have you ever been to Creams?  What’s your favourite ice cream flavour? 🙂

Jammie Dodger Cheesecake

Did you hear about the gang who stole £20,000 worth of Jammie Dodgers?  No, this isn’t the opening of some joke, this is something that actually happened in South Wales a couple of years ago.  Basically a gang from Liverpool travelled down to the Burton’s Food Factory in Torfaen and stole a trailer containing £20,000 worth of biscuits.  The not so artful dodgers (…see what I did there?) were eventually caught and the trailer found.  But the biscuits?  Scoffed – I’m assuming – because they were never found.  Perhaps the funniest part of this story though is the fact that one of the thieves – whilst being led from the dock to start his eighteen month jail sentence – chirped up and said, “Anyone want a biscuit?”

Anyway.  It was my Mum’s birthday last week, which we celebrated quietly with a takeaway curry from our local and a game of Cards Against Humanity.  I adapted my old Mallow Cake recipe and made this Jammie Dodger Cheesecake using digestive biscuits for the base, and plenty of jam, whipped cream and Jammie Dodgers for the topping.

I have to say I’ve never been a huge fan of Jammie Dodgers (I’m more of a Hob Nob/Custard Cream kinda girl), but they worked really well in a cheesecake!  Yum! 🙂

Happy Birthday, Mum!