Peonies and Pottering

What I have been up to this weekend…

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A trip to Waitrose for baking goodies and peonies. The checkout lady was quite horrified at how much butter, chocolate and cream I bought and said consolingly “At least you’re still slim so you can eat it all. For now.”

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I put my peonies in pride of place, and got down to some sweet, simple baking. 

I did an experiment a few weeks ago on Tesco Value products and the results were so horrible, I’ve been fleeing to Waitrose ever since. I’ll write a future post on what happened, but I still have quite a wide variety of ingredients I am trying to use up. Currently, I am putting them to one side, and playing about with nice and expensive butter and flour instead.

Snobbery aside, I really do think better ingredients produce better cakes. I whipped up one of the lightest, fluffiest, most tasty victoria sponges I’ve done in a while, and it really went down a real treat. The only downside is all the fresh cream in this cake means it has to be stored in the fridge or it goes off very quickly.

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Mmm, definitely could help myself to another slice.

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9 thoughts on “Peonies and Pottering

  1. Next time you’re in Waitrose keep an eye out for the Isigny St Mere raw-milk salted butter (blue packaging). It’s ridiculously good. There’s also an unsalted version but it’s pasteurized, so similar to Lescure.

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    1. I saw that last time I was in the store, but didn’t think to try it out. Thanks for the recommendation, next time! What do you notice between the tastes of raw-milk versus pasteurised butter? I’d be curious to know, haven’t really considered it before!

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      1. Flavour! It’s like the difference between a supermarket loaf and an artisinal sourdough. There’s more complexity and a pronounced lactic tang. It’s also quite heavily salted (3%) which can only be a good thing in my book. You may find it not to your taste but be sure to give it a go. I was amazed to discover that Waitrose carry it since anything made with raw milk is so difficult to get hold of in this country (aside from online).

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  2. That is a beautiful wedge of cake. I could certainly help out with polishing it off so it doesn’t need to see a fridge!

    It’s weird how check out people think they can judge you on your shopping. It’s not as if you’re going to shove them all in your mouth at once as soon as you get home! Haha. (Not always…) Sometimes I just go to self service to avoid the side eye. Looking forward to your Waitrose -Tesco Value product comparisons!

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    1. Checkout lady side-eye is definitely the only downside of shopping at Waitrose, my nearest branch doesn’t have the handy self-service option, which is definitely what I go for most of the time! Kind of looking forward to seeing what the checkout person’s reaction is when I go food shopping for this wedding cake and purchase a whole trolley-load of butter 😀

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  3. Beautiful! That’s what I call a Victoria Sponge. I’ve noticed my bakes are of a better quality when I’ve pushed the boat out and bought more premium butter brands. What happened which was so terrible with Tesco value?! :/

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