Honey Cupcakes with Kentish Cobnuts

When I was out walking the other day I noticed signs of Autumn had started to appear. The leaves on the trees are starting to change colour, mornings are feeling a little cooler and crops are ready to harvest. The corn in the field has been cut down leaving stumps looking golden and sad in the field, apples are nearly ready to pick and soon it will turn cold. On Potash Farm in Kent it is cobnut harvesting season. Cobnuts are a bit like hazelnuts and  are native to Kent. Cobnuts have been growing around St Marys Platt in Kent since the early 1800s and Potash Farm is home to large orchards of these trees. The people who harvest the cobnuts are called nutters, which makes me smile.

Potash Farm make a wide range of delicacies from their cobnuts, last year I tried some Handmade chocolate and cobnut fudge which was gorgeous. They have now added to their range with single origin chocolate slabs with toasted kentish cobnuts and kentish honey with toasted cobnuts. When I saw the honey I thought it would be ideal for making some honey cupcakes. The honey is made from the local Kentish bees and contains whole cobnuts floating in the honey, prefect for afternoon tea. RRP £6.95 for a 200g jar or £13 for two jars.

Potash Farm Honey with cobnutsI had plans to decorate my cupcakes with some of the single origin chocolate slabs with toasted kentish cobnuts RRP £6.50 for 120g, lightly toasted and caramelised cobnuts encased in single estate Ecuador plain or Ghana milk chocolate but sadly it was too delicious to keep and we ate it before I had a chance to make my honey cupcakes.
Potash Farm cobnut chocolateI decorated my cupcakes with a honey butter icing and topped each of them with a Kentish cobnut. They were really tasty, lovely sweet cakes that would make an ideal afternoon treat with a cup of tea.

Honey cupcakesNeedless to say they did not last long and the whole family enjoyed them. The cobnuts make an ideal addition to the top of the cake, adding a welcome nutty crunch to the sweetness of the cake. Although the cakes were sweet they were not overpoweringly so, the honey added a delicious flavour.

Honey cupcakes

Honey Cupcakes
Yields 12
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 115g butter
  2. 115g caster sugar
  3. 115g self raising flour
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 tbsp honey
  6. For the icing
  7. 100g butter
  8. 5 tbsp honey
  9. 5 tbsp icing sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C, Gas Mark 5.
  2. In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar until soft.
  3. Add the eggs, honey and flour and mix together
  4. Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases
  5. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven until golden.
  6. Leave to cool.
  7. To make the icing cream together the butter, sugar and honey until soft and creamy.
  8. Divide between the cupcakes.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
Link up your recipe of the week

I was sent some honey and chocolate from Potash farm in return for an honest review.

Alphabet Photography Project: P is for …

Pond

PondNot far from us there are a variety of ponds. Some of them have been created for educational purposes, with a wooden deck around them allowing children to bring nets and dip to find wildlife. When my son was smaller he went with a net and a jam jar and was excited to find all the different creatures that live in the pond. He found lots of tadpoles, some with just tails and others with legs on the way to becoming a frog. The change is fascinating, we used to keep them in jars when we were little and release the little frogs when they were formed. We would watch carefully each day to see the differences. Pond skaters skimmed across the surface, their feet making little dips in the water as they skate magically across the water, too fast to be caught. Dragonflies dipped and danced in the reeds, pausing in the air for a second and moving away just as you thought you could capture a photo. Iridescent in their colours, greens and blues with shimmering wings. Under the water we could see little fish, swimming together and then apart. Trying to catch them resulted in nets full of dripping weed as they darted away quickly.

As well as the dipping ponds there is a large pond which used to be a quarry. Notices are placed round the edge with the ominous warning, deep water stay back. The pond is home to plenty of birds, swans swim round the edges as if they are on sentry duty and can get aggressive on occasion. Once we were attacked by the swans.. Moor-hens swim quickly across the pond, heads bobbing as if they are in a hurry. Flocks of Canada geese swim placidly across the surface, sometimes stopping at the side to preen and sometimes honking at each other. The sight is peaceful and makes you linger for a while, watching the sun sparkle on the water.

Joining in with the Alphabet Photography Project over on PODCast, why not go and see all the other photos?

O is for …

N is for ….

M is for …

Looking Smart With House of Fraser

My husband always dresses smartly, I have days where I look scruffy, usually when I am cleaning the house. My husband is always well turned out. A well ironed shirt completes an outfit and can work well with jeans, casual trousers or a suit. House of Fraser is a great place to find shirts of all styles, from well known brands to smart and casual shirts. My husband was looking for a smart shirt to take him from the warmer summer days into the cooler days of Autumn. He chose this New & Lingwood shirt in a blue gingham pattern.

House of fraser shirtIt is a formal shirt but looks well teamed with a pair of chinos. The blue gingham pattern is stylish but not overbearing. The cuffs fasten with a press stud button which makes them look a little unusual. I think it looks really smart and would look great on an evening out. It would also work well for work.

House-of-frazerThe shirt looks good both when sitting and standing. The dog came to investigate what we were doing in the garden and was quite taken with the shirt as well. He had to pose with my husband to get his photo taken. I think he thought it was all a great game.

House-of-fraser-6

house-of-fraser-4Eventually the dog got tired and went in allowing my husband to show off the outfit better. I think he has made a great choice and will get a lot of wear out of this shirt in the Autumn months. The shirt is 100% cotton so it will be easy to wash for me as well. It can be washed at 40C so I don’t need to do anything special, apart from make sure nothing red goes in the same wash.

house-of-fraser-3What do you think of my husband’s choice of outfit? I think it looks really smart.

Written in collaboration with House of Fraser.

Eggs Benedict

Poached eggs are not something I have ever mastered. I know the general idea, boil some water, crack the egg into it and leave it to poach. It should take about two minutes for a soft poached egg and done correctly they taste lovely. In theory it sounds good, in practice I have never been able to get it right. This weekend I decided I was going to experiment and try and make Eggs Benedict. I got the recipe from British Lion Eggs, who have a wide range of recipes for poached eggs. Eggs Benedict is one of those recipes you imagine ordering for breakfast in a smart hotel. It should arrive on a trolley under a silver dish, delivered by room service by a person in a smart uniform. The sort of breakfast you expect on a leisurely weekend when time is yours to enjoy.

Eggs Benedict

Poached eggs on toasted muffins with a slice of ham and a dash of Hollandaise sauce, it is an American dish. Americans love breakfast, I remember huge stacks of pancakes smothered with maple syrup and a side order of bacon, breakfasts served with strange sausages resembling burgers and eggs done as you asked. This is a much lighter breakfast but in a way much more decadent.
Eggs benedict

The poached eggs are delicious, with a taste all their own. A sprinkling of black pepper completes the dish and cutting into the egg it releases the yolk which mingles delightfully with the Hollandaise sauce. You can buy ready made Hollandaise sauce or attempt to make your own. It is simple enough to make but it is an idea to let the white wine vinegar cool before adding the eggs and melted butter. Mine tasted nice but looked a little odd, something that I will improve with practice.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is a special treat for a weekend breakfast. Other variations on it use bacon instead of ham or even smoked salmon for a more luxurious treat. It is a great way to start a lazy day and brings a feel of holiday to the day.

 

Eggs Benedict
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. For the sauce
  2. 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  3. 75g/3oz butter, melted
  4. 2 large British Lion egg yolks
  5. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. To complete
  7. 2 large British Lion eggs
  8. 2 slices ham
  9. toasted muffins
Instructions
  1. To make the sauce add the vinegar to a pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce by half.
  2. Get a small heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Add the egg yolks and vinegar in the bowl and whisk until trails are formed. Keep whisking as the butter is added gradually and the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Add some water into a pan and bring to a simmer. Crack the eggs into the water and poach for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Toast the muffins then add a slice of ham, poached egg and a little sauce onto the top.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/

 
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Orange Soreen Trifle

When you have a teenage boy you often find that the fridge has been emptied, like gannets they need to eat everything in sight. Our family loves Soreen, there is a variety to suit everyone. My husband loves the original malt loaf, I like the banana loaf and my son loves all the varieties. Soreen have just introduced a new Soreen Orange loaf, containing orange pieces, tangy fruit juices and sultanas. Soreen kindly sent me some loaves to try.

Soreen orange loaf

The Soreen orange loaf is lovely and squidgy and a perfect snack with a little butter. Containing only 84 calories a slice, it is a guilt free snack as well. You can currently find it in Sainsbury’s at RRP £1.25. From September you will also be able to find it in Asda. It has a lovely orange taste which the family all loved. It is perfect for Breakfast, a mid-morning snack or with an afternoon cup of tea.

Orange Soreen loaf

Eating it I had an idea to turn the Soreen orange loaf into a decadent Summer dessert. I thought that it would make the ideal base for a trifle. I mixed the Soreen orange loaf into an orange jelly made with mandarin oranges and their juice. Once this was set I topped it with a layer of cold custard and whipped double cream. Some cake sprinkles added the final touch.

Orange Soreen Trifle

It was a lovely refreshing dessert, the tang of the oranges mingled well with the sweetness of the custard and the cream. It would be easy to eat several bowlfuls of this, forgetting that it is more calorie filled than the original loaf. It is a great way to end a meal and is slightly more refreshing that a standard trifle, more suited to warmer weather. If you had a big glass bowl this would make an ideal centre piece for a party table, quickly scoped out into bowls to delight your guests. It was a big hit with my family and did not last long.

Orange Soreen Trifle
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 packet orange jelly
  2. 1 tin mandarin oranges in juice
  3. 1 pint milk
  4. custard powder
  5. 220ml double cream
  6. hundreds and thousands
Instructions
  1. Make up the jelly, using half a pint of boiling water and dissolving it. Make up to the pint using the juice from the mandarin oranges and topping up with cold water. Pour into a bowl and add the mandarin orange segments. Leave to set.
  2. Make a pint of custard using the custard powder and leave to cool.
  3. When the jelly is set top with the cold custard.
  4. Whip the double cream until stiff and add to the top of the custard.
  5. Decorate with hundreds and thousands.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
Disclosure: I was sent some orange soreen in order to do an honest review.

Link up your recipe of the week