Lemon Drizzle cakes with tea

Lemon Drizzle Tea & Cakes

As a cake enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for some nice cakes and came across Lemon Drizzle Tea & Cakes on twitter. They’re a market stall run by Charlotte Gee and Claire Simpson and they sell gorgeous cakes by the slice, individually wrapped. This appealed to my sweet tooth without the negatives of committing to an entire cake. I decided I had to try their slice of Earl Grey cake, made with tea from Saddleworth Tea, so spoke with them on twitter and they kindly reserved me a slice on the day I said I would be visiting!

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elgatonegro05

at El Gato Negro Tapas

Having heard much about El Gato Negro since it opened, I have wondered how good it actually is with all the hype. I was meeting the ladies for dinner one evening and we decided to pop in, although to our dismay we discovered that they were fully booked up. I endeavoured to organise another meeting to try this place out.

That fateful day eventually arrived, although one of my friends couldn’t make it in the end. However, by this point she had visited El Gato Negro prior and so, I went in with my other friend to try the menu out.

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Hey Little Cupcake cakes

at the Hey Little Cupcake Decorating Class

I bake for a hobby and have been doing so on and off since I got my own kitchen (sorry house shares, I did like the company but clearly I like baking more!). I’ve never been one for heavily frosted cakes, icing or sugar paste; I find them to be mostly too sweet for my liking and they deter from the gorgeousness of the sponge hiding underneath. However, I have no doubt that there is a skill in decorating cakes, so I signed myself up for a Cupcake Decorating Class with Hey Little Cupcake! At only £35 per person, this seemed like the ideal way of experimenting without having the fund the tools myself. This took place in their Spinningfields store (they also have a stall at Selfridges in the intu Trafford Centre).

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Japanese style cucumber and carrot salad

Japanese style cucumber and carrot salad recipe

This easy salad is influenced by Japanese cold soba noodles. I love this dressing so much so I decided to make an alternative meal which doesn’t use any noodles. The crunch of the vegetables is a lovely substitute and the addition of a protein makes this salad more nutritionally balanced.

Feel free to leave out the mirin in this recipe, as I find that sometimes the vegetables themselves are sweet enough without it. You can make this recipe gluten free by switching the soy sauce for tamari and the Shaoxing rice wine for dry sherry.

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