As I write this I am sat staring wistfully out of my window. Its slowly starting resemble summer out there and I would prefer to lying in a park somewhere with an ice cream or a big cold glass of pimms. Instead I am stuck inside nursing another day of killer headaches. But I can dream. In a few days I will be escaping to Paris for a few days of wine, pastries, walking and wine (yes wine deserved a second mention). Fingers crossed the whisper of summer travels with me. For me the best thing about summer has to be the fruit, fresh red cherries that stain every piece of clothing imaginable, juicy peaches that are impossible to eat without getting covered in sticky peach juice, summer is a bakers delight, a nice fresh break from the rich and heavy flavours we associate with winter.
As it is the queens 90th Birthday today, it seems appropriate to start thinking about summer and the picnics, garden parties and summer fairs that I long for. For a really quick and simple summer dessert you can’t really get much easier than the Eton Mess, a basic mix of meringue cream and berries and it’s a classic for good reason, it’s an absolute winner. But you don’t need a recipe from me for that! So instead take a look at this recipe I did for stork taking the idea of an Eton Mess and translating it into cake! It is super simple, it uses an all-in-one method so takes mere minutes to put together and its a nice alternative should the weather take another turn and the warmth dips a little. Full recipe is available here.
Summer isn't just about cake for me it is all about the picnic. I love a picnic. love. I need it to have a real blanket, not one of those clever inventions with the plastic bottom, no a real blanket. There should also be pimms, scones with all the fixings and of course plenty of savoury snacks. homemade scotch eggs or sausage rolls will always make an appearance. Neither are difficult recipes to make and thankfully you can flavour them exactly the way you want and hands down a handmade version always beats a mass produced version both of which generally suck! For my ideal scotch egg I want classic flavours of sage and pork but for sausage rolls nothing beats pork, garlic and fennel. It is such a classic flavour combination, fennel seeds are one of my favourites and I will never bore of them, used sweet or savoury. If you want to make things easy you can use ready made puff pastry but I think it is worth a little extra effort to make some cheats pastry, rough puff pastry. To take my pastry up a notch I also flavour it with paprika, it gives the pastry flavour but also a little boost of colour. The full recipe is available here.