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  1. Mother’s day was last weekend, it is always a busy weekend for Afternoon Teas at Thomas Oken Tea Rooms and delivered to people’s houses through Oken’s Kitchen.

    I love mother’s day, Mums are great and how lovely to have a whole day dedicated to how wonderful these ladies are. At the tea rooms we are always thinking of ways to make mums feel even more special on Mother’s day. This year we wanted to give each of them a flower. But we’re not florists – we're foodies. So what better than an edible meringue rose sandwiched together with white chocolate ganache, on a lollipop stick. 

    Rose

    They're so easy to make and look so impressive, they're absolutely delicious too. What a lovely gift to give individually or what about making a whole bunch and presenting them like a bouquet of flowers.

    You don't even have to put them on a stick, why not pile them up on a serving platter and serve for dessert at a summer BBQ, or as sweet snacks for a night in with the girls. 

    Here's the recipe:

    It makes around 15 full roses (30 shells) depending on how big you pipe them. 

    Equipment: 
    Standalone mixer (not absolutely necessary but very useful!)
    2- 4 Baking sheets lined baking paper
    Disposable piping bags (you can use re-usable ones but make sure they are spotlessly clean)
    Flower piping tip
    Round Biscuit Cutter Set
    15 cake pop sticks

    Ingredients:
    4 Large Eggs
    210g Caster Sugar
    Gel food colouring of your choice
    200g White Chocolate broken into pieces
    50ml Double cream 

    Roses

    Method:

    1.  Preheat your oven to 140 degrees Celsius. Use a round biscuit cutter, the size you would like your roses to be and draw round it onto your baking paper to form circle guidelines you can follow when piping your roses. 

    2. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks into the bowl of your mixer, ensuring absolutely no egg yolk break off and fall in the whites. If any 'goldfish' of egg yolk escapes into the whites the meringues won't work. Don't throw your yolks away - make a delicious custard or something from them! 

    3. Whisk the whites until they start to hold their peaks, add the sugar in a little at a time then add the gel colouring - I like to use a cocktail stick to save the mess, and because you can add a small amount to make sure you get the exact colour you want. The mix should be lovely and glossy and stand up easily in peaks. If you're feeling adventurous hold it over your head - if it doesn’t fall out its ready to use!  

    4. Transfer the mix into your piping bag with the nozzle already in. I use a pint glass for this - pop the bag inside the glass then fold the excess piping bag over the sides of the glass. Fill the piping bag in the glass with the meringue mix, you don't want to fill the bag up too much as the meringue will splurge out of the top. 

    5. Take the piping bag out of the glass and twist the top so the mixture travels down the bag and just starts poking out the bottom of the tip. Now it’s time to pipe! Start in the middle of your pre-drawn circles and pipe in a circular motion outwards. The nozzle needs to be about a centimetre from the greaseproof paper. As you come to the edge of the circle release the pressure a little so the rose tapers off. 

    6. Pop the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 100 degrees. Leave in the oven for an hour and a half, they're ready to come out when they peel off the baking sheet easily. 

    7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. In the meantime prepare the ganache. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Pop it in for 30 second intervals stirring in between until the chocolate is melted. Then mix in the cream. You want it to be quite a thick mixture as it needs to be strong enough to hold the stick in-between the rose halves, and not to make the meringue go soggy. 

    8. Transfer the ganache to another piping bag and snip off the bottom leaving a small hole. Match up you rose halves so they are all similar sizes. 

    9. Pipe the ganache in a circular motion onto one half of your rose pairs until it is about 5mm from the edge of your rose. Squish the stick in and add more ganache to the top of your stick, pop the other half of the rose on top. And voila! There you have your delicious edible rose. Repeat with the rest of your rose halves.

    These yummy treats will keep in an air tight container for a couple of days, but are better eaten on the day they are made.

    Enjoy!

  2. We thought the party season ended in January, but ours seems to have carried on right through!

    dining table

    The new year marked the launch in our ‘cook you own dinner party’ parties. These are a great way to celebrate in a different way with a group of up to 12 friends. All you do is choose your date, choose your menu and let us do the rest. We will have all your ingredients chopped and ready for you when you arrive so you can concentrate on the fun stuff. Bring your own bubbles and learn some great new recipes, and take the recipe cards home with you, so you can recreate your dishes time and time again. 

    cooking party

    The parties we have thrown so far have been such great success and so much fun, we can’t wait to do more!

    We have also launched our children’s cupcake parties with the fantastic Saffron from Caking and Baking. She has a number of different packages to choose from so take a look at our party page to see the options on offer. These are a great way to help your children celebrate, with none of the hard work for you, you don’t even need to worry about party bags as the children will take away their creations.

    ingredients

    We’ve been working hard meeting with talented local cooks and chefs to bring you a whole array of cookery lessons from our little shop, we now have everything for authentic Indian cookery right through to Macron classes and Chocolatier workshops. All of our amazing teachers are available for private parties, so let us know if you would like something specific and we will do our best to organise it for you.

    So basically – whatever the celebration – we have a party that is perfect for you. And we can’t wait to help you celebrate!

     

    cooking group