Monday, 20 May 2013

Sundays are baking days..

Sundays have always been "baking day" in our house, and with mention on twitter of it having been International Baking Day yesterday we thought it was the perfect ocassion to celebrate with a yummy, Italian style, apple cake and to introduce our 'sweet' new cake stand! 
(Not that we ever need an excuse to bake a scrumptious cake...)

We got the recipe for this light, moist cake from G's Italian mother in law, or Nonna as we all rightly call her. It's one of many gorgeous recipes that have been passed down through the women in the family for generations and once you've tasted it you'll know just why! 

The best thing about this cake besides its wonderful texture and flavour, is that it's also very easy to make! It only requires ingredients that you're already likely to have in your pantry on any given day and the end result is incredibly pretty. What's not to like?

300 g of plain flour

100g of sugar
100g of unsalted butter ( melted)
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of baking powder 
2 large apples 
Icing sugar
Honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 200C
Peel, quarter and thinly slice the apples and set aside.
In a bowl stir in all wet ingredients first then add all the dry ingredients making sure everything is mixed well. 
Pour the mixture into a large cake tin then carefully add the apple slices, pressing each one down a little so that it is part submerged into the mix.
Decorate the cake with a few rounds of apple slices in a rosette pattern and finally dust with some confectioners sugar before placing it into the oven for about 30 minutes or until the cake starts to go golden brown and comes away from the sides of the cake tin. 
One nice touch is to take the cake out just before the end of its cooking time and brush some honey over the top then pop it back into the oven for a few minutes.. It comes out with a lovely glaze and even more delicious! 

You may have noticed our beautiful new "Allegra" cake stand which is providing the stage for Nonna's cake.  We wanted to create something reminiscent of what you might find displaying prized cakes in the windows of a traditional patisserie. Entirely hand made in Italy, its classic white sets off any type of cake and makes it ideal for mixing with existing tableware while its frilled edging just adds something extra special. 

Do you have a favourite cake recipe that's been passed down the family through the years? If so we'd love to hear about it! 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

A lot of inspiration from the littlest of creatures...

 The other day I watched my son sitting happily in the garden, fixed to the spot for what seemed like an age (at least for a 4 year old!).  Curious to see what had him so captivated I walked over to him and sat down only to find he was admiring a tiny ladybird munching on a leaf.  Although little boys are perhaps the most common appreciators of bugs and all sorts of insects we can't help but admit that creepy crawlies are fascinating! David Attenborough himself has dedicated a number of documentaries to these guys and their often dramatic lives!  Even in the smallest garden one can, if sitting for long enough, witness some amazing goings on. This is exactly what our close friend and nature and landscape photographer Claudia Beretti does.

 Looking at these fabulously detailed shots it's hard not to imagine the setting to be some tropical forest rather than an average European back garden. 

Claudia certainly inspired us with her amazing collection of photographs and after some thought we decided it was time to bring these little creatures into our homes! Not to worry though, our version is much easier to "handle"! 

These gorgeous plates are designed exclusively by G&M  in collaboration with a Tuscan ceramics artisan who brought two of our favourite insects to life. 
They are hand made, then dipped in classic white after which the artisan delicately hand paints the detailing of the dragonfly and butterfly making each one truly unique.

Our lovely butterfly and dragonfly plates will be available at Ginger & Mora from the end of June. These two insects are our own personal favourites but if you could choose, what bug would you put on a plate?