While going through my cookbook collection I remembered a recipe for a “sheet” cake by Nigel Slater that I had wanted to try. Off work for a day I made Nigel’s Victoria Cake, with of course some minor revisions. A simple, straightforward cake easy to prepare–Victoria Tray Cake, a little jewel from the kitchen.
COOK VS CHEF
The past 10 years of my blog, Bijouxs Little Jewels from the Kitchen, I have honed my skills in food photography and cookbook design, working solo to create a brand of food style and books I am proud to call my own. I am not a chef, however I am a skilled, experienced cook, specializing in home cooking as a private chef for clients and my own family. I adore Nigel Slater’s Cookbooks and his writing.So honest and talented he has influenced many recipe ideas into my work as a private chef, and also cooking in my home for family and friends.
The Victoria Tray Cake comes from this book, which I highly recommend. This is the kind of cookbook you pick up from time to time and read more from his seasonal kitchen diary, loaded with recipes.What a marvelous idea to begin a kitchen journal. I have my little jewel collection file with hundreds of my favorite recipes, many of which I have shared with you on the blog. At this time, 490 recipes are all free on my website so grab them while you can.
I love simple baking as my skills lean towards cooking, which for me is a much more flexible kitchen experience. This cake therefore is very simple. A sheet cake that is prepared with on hand pantry ingredients and utilizes frozen fruit, perfect. Great for snacking, packing for lunches or alongside a cup of afternoon tea.
Victoria Tray Cake-another little jewel from the Bijouxs Kitchen.
Let’s get pickled. Spiced Pickled Grapes are sweet, crisp and spiced–another simple Little Jewel from the Bijouxs Kitchen.
Pickles can be much more than cucumbers. I love to make pickled vegetables and fruits. They are easy to make, no canning required. The result is crisp, fresh and tangy sides which make great condiments for meats and salads. In the Spring it’s time for these wonderful Pickled Peaches with Brandy topping both both savory and sweet dishes. Spice up your cocktail hour with Quick & Spicy Pickled Vegetables. This Quick Thai Cucumber Pickle makes a simple side salad and uses just one cucumber.
My recipes are often driven by the need to not to waste food. We used to pickle to preserve food. My Grandmother pickled or preserved just about every vegetable and fruit she grew. After surviving the Great Depression she planned ahead. My favorite book with introduces the concept of “cooking with economy and grace” in An Everlasting Meal. This is a lovely book that I needed back in 2011 with a job loss looming, not so far off in today’s work climate. This pickle is a take on Tamar Alder’s pickle recipe.
SPICED PICKLED GRAPES
I had an extra bunch of sweet red grapes left from a charcuterie board I served recently. Feeling it’s now time for some fresh flavors as Winter begins to turn to Spring. Quick pickling is a method to capture the freshness of the ingredient and flavor with a sweet-tart vinegar based brine-don’t worry it is easy.
First, up make the brining liquid which consists of vinegar, brown sugar and some flavorful spices. Bring to a simmer then pour the hot brine over the grapes in a heat-proof bowl.
Allow to cool to room temperature. Place in glass jar and store in the refrigerator. They should keep tighly sealed for about a month. I always check by a quick smell to make sure food is still fresh.
Honestly, I have been snacking on the grapes right from the jar. Think also of using the grapes along with creamy goat cheese tossed in a simple salad of tender baby greens.
Preserving today is a little jewel.