Thursday, 7 November 2013

Bonfire Baking & Cute Cafés

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After a slightly troublesome start to my baking activities in Birmingham, I realised last week that I hadn't had a go at making anything much recently, and was particularly disappointed that for some reason things had become really busy and I hadn't done anything creative AT ALL for Halloween. This is upsetting to me. I did at least have a nice coffee in Urban Coffee, and appreciated their cute cup lids!
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So this week I got back to baking. Partly thanks to my friend Dario's inspirational sourdough-making talent, and his gift of a portion of his sourdough starter which is now growing/fermenting/whatever it does (and has been named 'Hermione' by Coral) in my fridge. More about my bread making activities later... here is my first attempt, and the second is currently rising in the fridge (in fact, most of this first attempt is now bloating up my stomach which has been hit with rather more bread and butter than is probably healthy). Washed down with some wine, thanks to another housemate.
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With the fortunate prospect of attending two celebrations on Saturday night, it seemed that some crowd-pleasing cake-making was in order. With a glut of foraged apples from my grandma's garden still in the fridge, this Apple Crumble Cake recipe (from one of my favourite baking blogs 'Daily Delicious') did the trick. It's essentially a spiced sponge cake mix, on top of which you layer thinly sliced & peeled apples, before topping with apple crumble topping (made from oats, flour & butter)... then bake. I also added some toffee sauce. Toffee apple crumble cake. So many good things in one place.
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Hmm wine seems to be a background feature of these photos doesn't it? Well from coffee to wine to tea... I found this incredible cafe in King's Heath, Birmingham.
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I want to live in King's Heath/Moseley area. They have the fantastic Hare & Hounds music venue, and they also have the Kitchen Garden Café, which is rustic & charming and has live music in the evenings, and not to mention a killer macaroni cheese.
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I can just imagine it after dark... fairy lights, draped around its greenhouse-like feel, scattered with colourful mismatched chairs, folk music, and herbal teas (although there's also a mean selection of interesting ciders, spirits & beers by the looks of it!).
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I wedged myself into one of these funky chairs in the corner between the table and a piano, and thought about all the things I desperately want to do and make and create and invent at the moment. Which is why I like to call all of this café-hopping, baking, experimenting, munching, exploring and tea drinking......
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..... research. Big plans start in small places.

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