Thursday, 14 March 2013

Puro coffee goodie bag

When I was contacted by Puro coffee and asked to sample some of their blends I had to accept...  While my first cup of the day is always Yorkshire tea, I do enjoy a few cups of coffee through the day so was happy to change from my usual to Puro!



The gift bag was amazing... 3 blends of coffee, sachets of hot chocolate and sugar, a lovely Cafetiere and 2 cups and saucers, all wrapped up in a lovely hessian bag. Just look how beautifully presented it is...
  

A friend popped round for coffee so we chose the Organic blend, made with beans from Peru and Honduras. It was a lovely smooth easy drink and went perfectly with the brownies I'd made the day before.


A little about Puro Fairtrade Coffee;

 Puro was created in 2005 and since its conception, has always sourced Fairtrade, organic and shade grown coffee. They recognise that in this day and age, with a growing ethical and environmental awareness, as consumers we want to know that we are purchasing a product that comes from a conscious heart and therefore paving a way for a better future. They are at the forefront of buying and protecting rainforests and are actively working alongside the World Land Trust, whose patron is Sir David Attenborough. For every cup of coffee sold, money is given to buy and protect areas of rainforest in South America. To date, they have saved over 5,600 acres (approx 6,000 football fields) of rainforest across 3 Puro reserves in Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia with the help of their loyal clients. 

 You may have already come across them as they supply some of the UK’s leading chains of cafes and restaurants, such as National Trust, Le Pain Quotidien, Leon, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Wyevales Garden Centre, amongst many others.

Puro have made a short film (a documentary brought to your right from the heart of the South American Rainforests, and filmed recently about their ongoing projects). Click here to view.

I had an Italian themed event so thought one of the cupcake flavours should be tiramisu, perfect opportunity to use some of my coffee to bake with.



Tiramisu cupcakes
I topped and filled with mascarpone frosting and a dusting of cocoa.


  • For the cupcakes:

  • (makes 24)
  • 535g granulated sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 160ml milk
  • 160ml water
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla essence
  • 375g plain flour
  • 175g soft flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
For the coffee flavouring
1/4 cup of strong Puro coffee
1tbsp Marsala

1) Preheat oven to 140C/Gas 4. Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners.
2) Process sugar and butter in a food processor until very creamy, scraping sides as needed, 1 to 2 mins. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, pulsing after each addition. Add the milk, water, and vanilla and process to blend.
3) Whisk both flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients, in 3 batches to the wet, pulsing, and then scraping batter off the sides of the processor as needed after each addition. Process until the batter is very smooth and pourable like pancake batter, about 2 mins.
4) Evenly pour the batter into the prepared cups, filling them 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and the tops are golden, 18 to 25 mins. Cool slightly in tin, and turn out of tin when cool enough to handle. Cool cupcakes completely on a rack.
5) Once cooled, use an apple or cupcake corer to scoop out the centre and fill with  frosting. Using a fork, prick holes around the surface of the cupcake and pour over a teaspoon or two of the coffee flavouring, allowing it to seep into the holes. Add a swirl of frosting and a dusting of cocoa and enjoy!

Happy baking xx

Monday, 11 March 2013

Carmela's Kitchen Italian pasta making event

I was invited to attend Carmela's past making event this weekend, so naturally accepted! 

Not only is Carmela an Italian mama to four beautiful bambini, she also works alongside BBC Radio Northampton, writes her blog (Carmela's Kitchen), tutors at The Bay Tree Cottage and teaches from her kitchen in Northampton. When she's not doing any of the above, she manages to find the time to write her 'Family Italian Cookery Book'. 

The evening was fantastic! She taught around 70 people the art of making pasta. From a simple egg pasta dough to pressed herb pasta and farfalle, spaghetti and tagliatelle. 




 I didn't get to join in (this time) unfortunately, but it was still fun to watch everyone getting stuck in! I did have a table set up though selling some Italian themed cupcakes and brownies


 

Alongside me were some other lovely stands;


The Italian Shop, Northampton; Oils & Spices from Gourmet Spice Co.


Jams and chutneys from White's Delights; Apple Juice from The Orchard

I've just finished off the last Amaretti Crunch cupcake so thought I'd share a pic of the inside....


It's a vanilla cupcake filled with Amaretto soaked crumbled Amaretti biscuits, topped with a vanilla frosting and more of the Amaretti biscuit mixture..... was every bit as good as it sounds, shame it was the last one!!

Happy baking 

Julie xx