Saturday, 21 April 2012

Zen Baker 'Baked with love' (Guest blogger)



~The zen baker goddess by J.Guthrie~
Once upon a time there was a husband & wife team who loved the traditional lifestyle of home baking, & growing vegetables on their allotment, accompanied by their numerous chickens, cats, a dog & a young daughter.
 I often wonder how they managed to find time to make the leap into turning their lifestyle into a full time business. But they did... and ZEN BAKER was born. I am proud to say that my dear friends Adam & Vicki are now taking the Northeast by storm with their array of delicious cakes, biscuits & breads, (Particularly famous is their 'Sourdough Fool' ) all baked with 'quality' rather than quantity in mind!
You can find them at an ever increasing number of Farmers Markets & shows in and around the Newcastle area, while they also offer home delivery services & custom orders. To celebrate their success I asked Vicki if she would put together a guest blog post for me, so I can help to showcase some of the amazing & talented people out there in world right now!  Check out the links below & make sure you follow them on Facebook :)


Zen Baking - How to relish the Springtime and find excuses to eat lots of cake. All at the same time.

I am often asked where the name of our little bakery came from, given that it is quite unusual and that we have a big purple, velvet Buddha who sits serenely and benevolently watching over our wares as we trade at our local farmers markets. The Zen Baker name was created in our home kitchen when we were experimenting and developing some of our earliest baked goodies. I came to the conclusion that there is a wonderful sense of peace, purpose and even meditation when baking, and moreover, when you create anything beautiful and unique for another person. This is a notion that goes far beyond baking, it can be applied to anything creative, and  it just depends on what stirs your personal spark. For me, it is baking things that brings this peacefulness forward. Even when the music in the kitchen has been turned up and I find myself dancing around bowls of flour, there is a focus and sense of purpose within that creative process the turns into something lovely. It also tastes rather marvellous as well.



With the onset of our beautiful British Spring, I have to ask, is there anything better than a light and breezy Springtime day with a cup of tea and a slice of lemon drizzle cake? We are in that time of year when the clocks have gone towards the lighter evenings, the first flowers are blooming, the grass starts to green again and the sun brings some warmth back to the soil. Its wonderful to be in the kitchen baking and then to be in outside, reflecting on how one gets us to the other. Its even lovelier to take a moment for yourself, feel the sun on your face, and then stuff lemon cake into it!

With that in mind, here is our quick lemon drizzle cake - easy to make and even easier to eat. One slice just isnt enough.


You will need - 
an 8 inch deep tin, lined and greased.
the oven set to gas 4/160 fan/180 electric

For the cake - 
225g/8oz butter
225g/8oz caster sugar
280g/10 oz Self Raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
grated rind of 2 lemons

For the ice -
175g/6oz sifted icing sugar
enough lemon juice to make a paste

Method - 
Prepare your tin and set the oven
Cream the butter and sugar, and mix in the rest of the ingredients
Put in the tin and level the top. Stick in the oven for 25mins, check with a cake test after 20 mins.
When the tester comes out clean it is ready.
Once cooled, make the icing by mixing in lemon juice with sifted icing sugar.
Poke some holes over the top of the cake with the cake tester to let the icing run through.
Smear icing all over the top of the cake.

Make a pot of tea. Take cake and tea into the garden/yard/park. Sit down somewhere nice.

~ Eat. Savour. Love ~
Check out zenbaker.co.uk for information on orders, markets and shows, and "like" The Zen Baker on facebook.

2 comments:

  1. I love lemon cake! Great to know that there are people around who are producing home made things with the emphasis on quality - I looked at the Menu on the site and it makes me wish I lived in the North East:)

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  2. What a beautiful post, I can feel the love & enthusiasm oozing OOOh, my mouth is watering ~ lemon drizzle cake!!! and such a lovely image thats leaves of you "dancing around bowls of flour". Thank you dear Julia for sharing. x

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