A picnic on a lazy Summer’s day is my idea of heaven. But things are pretty hectic here at VelvetFig HQ and I’ve got some exciting projects to work on this summer.
I’ve been busy working in my home economist role recently shooting a cake decorating book with Mich Turner. I absolutely love getting stuck in to this kind of project. I love the excitement of being on set and I get a buzz making sure everything is prepared ready for shooting.
As well as preparing ingredients, I’ve baked cakes in advance so they are ready for decorating. Getting all the equipment together, making sure it is clean and in the right place when photography starts is a vital part of my home economist role. I also keep the prop areas clean, tidy and organised as well as assisting with baking and decorating during the shoot. It’s a huge adrenalin rush getting everything ready and making it look really good – I love it!
The book is due to be published next spring so keep an eye on the VelvetFig facebook page where I hope to share it soon.
In addition to filming, I’ve also got some cake orders to bake for. And then I will be well and truly ready for a picnic or two.
One of my family’s favourite summery snacks is Sunshine Bread. It’s perfect for picnics, a great partner for a summer salad or a quick and easy supper with a bowl of soup. I thought I’d share the recipe so you can give it a go too…
Sunshine Bread (serves 8 people):
500g strong white flour
1 sachet of dried fast action yeast
pinch of sugar
1 tsp salt
350g luke warm water
1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 balls of fresh mozzarella
100g grated cheddar
1. In a free standing mixer or bowl lightly mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
2. Make a well in the flour and stir in the water. When it comes together knead with a dough hook or by hand for 10 minutes until soft and pliable.
3.Cover and leave to double in size for approx 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 180/gas mark 5 and grease a 20cm loose-based cake tin with olive oil.
5. Meanwhile make the filling by placing all the ingredients (except the cheeses and a sprig of basil leaves) in a food processor and blitz until smooth and spreadable. Add a little more olive oil if necessary.
6. Roll out the dough until its approx 36cm x 28 cm in size, spread the filling and the cheeses over the rectangle of dough.
7. Roll it up lengthways quite tightly, cut into 8 pieces and place these into the greased cake tin.
8. Bake in a pre-heated oven for around 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
9. Decorate with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of sea-salt.
Equally delicious warm or cold! I can never resist tucking in when it is fresh from the oven, but it also goes really well with cold meats for a picnic treat. It’s brilliant for barbeques too.
So make sure you have a relaxing Summer and enjoy some Sunshine Bread - and sunshine - with your family.