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Interesting Times

Well, it’s all change in the kitchen as we have a new chef starting this month. It’s easy to get complacent and stuck in a menu rut so we are very excited about mixing things up a little and tweaking what we do.

Not reinventing the wheel, just a little remodeling. Watch this space…

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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Day in the life

 

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Bath Christmas Market Gluhwein

Bath Christmas Market Gluhwein

Yes, it’s that time of year again when the promise of Christmas is just around the corner. Literally round the corner, as the Bath Christmas Market sheds are being erected a stones throw from our café.

Whether or not you are a fan of the annual shed-fest, you can’t help but enjoy the atmosphere & festive spirit and also shout a loud “Hurrah!” for the seasonal return of Gluhwein (also called Mulled Wine).

As always, we will be offering fresh home-made Gluhwein in the café which we make ourselves to a traditional Austrian recipe. Don’t be fooled by bought in pre-bottled imitations (sadly widespread at this time of year).

Want to make some? Heat a bottle of robust red wine with a halved orange studded with cloves and a whole cinnamon quill. Add a splash of fresh orange juice & granulated sugar to taste. Bring almost to the boil then lower the heat.

Add a shot of Brandy or a shot of Amaretto for an extra kick!

Top Tips for the Bath Christmas Market: 

Visit during the week if you can. Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays are the best days. I cannot begin to describe how hard it is to walk around the market at the weekend!

The ski chalet at the Abbey Hotel (just opposite us) has a brilliant atmosphere for a tipple in the evenings.

Come in to Cafe Retro for a Gluhwein- it’s the best!

We haven’t had a stall in the market for a few years but we have our delicious homemade soups & goulash and of course the mulled wine here in the cafe for you to enjoy.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2015 in Day in the life, Recipes

 

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Honeybuns, deliciously gluten free

honeybuns1 honeybuns

It’s always lovely to stock a new product range and this one is something we are really excited about! I tried these products at a recent trade fair and was impressed with the taste, quality and packaging.

You can find Honeybuns in our Retro-to-Go take away shop

Honeybuns Bakery

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Day in the life

 

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Easter Rocky Road

Easter Rocky Road

Easter Rocky Road

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Day in the life

 

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It’s a Rocky Tiffin Road…

It’s a Rocky Tiffin Road…

WARNING: this may be addictive!

The basic ingredients are the same although I think if you add raisins & then cover the bar with chocolate you have a Tiffin, if there are marshmallows in it it’s a Rocky Road anything else is a Fridge Cake. As long as it tastes good, who cares?!

If you have been into the Café or Take-Away this week and tried some you may be desperate for another fix, so here’s how to make it:

March Recipe: Retro Rockin’ Tiffin

Generously line a shallow tin/dish approximately 20 x 20 cm square with cling film

Put 125g Digestive Biscuits into a deep bowl and bash with a rolling-pin. You don’t want the biscuits to be completely powdery but at the same time you don’t want the chunks to be too large as it will make the finished bar harder to cut. Mix in any other ingredients such as raisins/marshmallows/nuts/dried fruit, I would recommend doing this by sight as everyone has their own personal preferences.

Put 100g Butter, 2tbsp Golden Syrup into saucepan on a gentle heat until melted & bubbling. Remove from the heat & stir in 200g Milk Chocolate (broken into pieces) and stir constantly until the chocolate has all melted evenly.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together thoroughly until completely combined. Spoon it into the tin, smooth the top & place in the fridge.

 Rocky roadRocky road 2Rocky road 1

For my version, I crushed 2 Crunchie Bars with the biscuits for a honeycomb flavor and then threw in a handful of White & Pink Marshmallows. I then melted 200g Dark Chocolate with a small knob of Butter in a bain-marie (bowl resting above a pan of simmering water – make sure the bottom of the bowl does NOT touch the water) and spread it all over my cooling bar. A few Sprinkles later & back in the fridge to set for an hour or two.

Rocky road 3

I like the thick chocolate layer on top and use dark chocolate only because I find that more milk chocolate makes it a bit too sweet. Just try not to eat it all in one go!

DAIRY FREE VERSION: Use dark chocolate & a cooking spread (instead of milk choc & butter)

TOP TIP: Always have a small bowl of boiling hot water to dip your measuring spoon into when using Golden Syrup. A hot spoon will release the syrup more easily ensuring you get an accurate measure.Hot water pot

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2014 in Recipes

 

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Pink Hot Chocolate? Raspberry Romance or Strawberry Sweetheart!

Pink Hot Chocolate? Raspberry Romance or Strawberry Sweetheart!

Next week our White Hot Chocolate Sauce is going all a flutter by blushing Pink for Valentines. I used my basic recipe adding some red food colouring paste at the end. You want a bold colour as it will go paler once you add the milk.

As always, a note about food colouring: remember to start with a little and keep adding until you get the colour you desire – you can always add but you can’t take away! Pastes and gels are preferable to liquid colours as they don’t affect the texture of your recipe.

Add a few spoonfuls to hot milk, a dash of raspberry/strawberry syrup a squirt of cream and finish with some little heart sprinkles!

Or come in and try one of ours!

Raspberry Romance

Fed up of the usual Valentines Day rigmarole?

Why not take your loved one out for lunch?

Book a table here next Friday (14th Feb) and we will give you a complimentary Red Velvet Valentines cupcake!

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Day in the life, Recipes

 

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Valentines Hidden Heart Cake

Black Forest Hidden Heart Loaf Cake!

Black Forest Hidden Heart Loaf Cake!

After the success of my Battenberg with the hidden Union Jack inside  I thought it would be fun to make a hidden heart cake for Valentines Day. I found some amazing Cherry Essence and used Black Forest Gateau as the flavour inspiration. There are a few hidden heart cake recipes on the web, but here’s how I made my Black Forest Valentines Hidden Heart Loaf Cake (now that’s a mouthfull!!)

January Recipe: Valentines Hidden Heart Loaf Cake

First pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and grease & line a 1lb loaf tin (to ensure neat corners, lightly grease the tin then cross over two strips of measured baking parchment)

You need to make two sponges, one red & one chocolate. Each Sponge will be a three egg recipe – this is the easiest cake recipe ever! You weigh the whole eggs and that weight is the weight you need for all the other ingredients.

Cake One: Mix together using an electric whisk or mixer: Butter (or cooking margarine) and Caster Sugar

Add your Eggs one at a time, beating each one in fully before adding the next

Add a few drops of Red or Pink Food Colouring & Cherry Essence (I use red colouring paste to get a bright pink colour)

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT FOOD COLOURING: As a general rule pastes and gels are better than liquid colourings. Make sure you start with a little and gradually as you can always add but you can’t take away! Make sure you have a definite colour that you are happy with before you bake.

Gently stir in Self-raising Flour

Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Then leave for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling completely – then put it in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.

When the cake is completely cold & firm, stand it on it’s end and carefully draw your heart shaped cookie cutter down the length of the sponge. You can cut the cake into smaller sections if it makes it easier. When you have done this it is time to prepare Cake Two:

heart cake cutting heart cake cut through

Cake Two:

Re-line your loaf tin with parchment paper as before

Mix together using an electric whisk or mixer: Butter (or cooking margarine) and Caster Sugar

Add your Eggs one at a time, beating each one in fully before adding the next

Gently stir in Self-raising Flour & Cocoa Powder you need to substitute 25g of the weight for Cocoa Powder

Pour about 1/4 – 1/3 of the mixture into the lined tin then carefully place the heart cut out sponge lengthwise. Cover with the remaining mixture.

Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer come out clean. Then leave for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out. Dust with icing sugar or drizzle with pink coloured water icing.

Wait for your loved ones to be watching before you amaze then by cutting the first slice!

You could of course use Raspberry or Strawberry Essence instead of Cherry & bake with a lemon sponge – not substituting any flour for cocoa, and adding Vanilla Essence & Lemon Zest

hidden heart hidden heart cake

TIP: Turn your pink cake cut-offs into Truffle Pops!

Just crumble up and mix with enough buttercream (icing sugar & butter beaten together) to bind it together, then shape into balls. Refrigerate for an hour before covering in melted chocolate. You can make these into traditional cake pops too, my favourite Valentines themed ones are dipped in pink chocolate melt (which you can buy in Lakeland) & covered in sprinkles with a Love Heart attached.

making cake popstruffle ball cake pops

Love Heart Cake Pops

Love Heart Cake Pops

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Recipes

 

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