Workshop area & Cake

We're both up early this morning getting bits and pieces together to take into the shop.  So I thought I'd share a few pics of the new workshop area that we've been slowly setting up.  This is located upstairs above The Black Hen shop, and will be a fantastic space to be creative.

We are very grateful to our landlord, who spent many months upstairs fixing leaks, painting, re-bricking and basically providing us with a ripper of a blank canvas to create this workshop space.  This image shows the workshop side - we've spent a bit of time sourcing some awesome farmhouse tables that when coupled with these cross-back chairs, we're pretty sure the participants will be super comfy!

A little more to do before it's finished, but it's starting to come together nicely.

On the other side of this space we've set up a kitchen feel, where you'll be able to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, enjoy some nibbles and sit and chat with the other participants before returning back to your workshop.

We're also in the process of creating a sitting area and a kitchen table area, where you'll be able to sit during your workshop break time.

This is definitely an extension to the way the shop feels - creating spaces for people to not only enjoy a workshop but enjoy the whole experience of the space has always been our goal. This image shows detail within the space.

While I leave Noel to get on with things, I'll quickly pop home to make a yummy lemon & ricotta cake for us to share.  This is a extremely nice recipe I found on Cooking Melangery website.  I didn't have the exact ingredients, but it tasted pretty good just the same!

I'm soon back with a hot steamy cake in hand.  Worked stopped, noise stopped and we shared glances of OMG'ness!

The recipe calls for flaked almonds, but I only had slivers.

Enjoying a piece while sitting looking out the window....not bad way to spend your Sunday.

Recipe: Lemon Ricotta Cake with Almonds

120g unsalted butter, softned
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/4 cup lemon zest
Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
4 eggs, at room temperature, separated
2 1/2 cups almond meal
300g ricotta
Flaked almonds for the top

Line one 9x2inch cake pan with greaseproof paper.  Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 160c - I used my Stanley woodfired oven, so I know it works best for cakes at 200c.

Place the butter, sugar, vanilla seeds and lemon zest in an bowl and beat together until light and pale in colour.  Add the lemon juice, and mix well.  Then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well each time to ensure the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Fold in the almond meal and ricotta.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then gently fold into ricotta mixture.

Pour the mixture into pan, level the surface, sprinkle almonds, and then place into oven for 40 - 45mins - once again because I used my Stanley I knew it would be 1 hour.  Leave to cool in the pan for 10 mins before turning out.  EAT!

I better pack this baby away and get back to work.

Don't you just love the detail of this old building?!  Perhaps we'll see you at a workshop soon x Julie