Dundee

Artisana- Vintage Mobile Patisserie and Gourmet Brownies

I was looking forward to this weekend for months as i was called to The Forbes of Kingennie Country resort Christmas market near Dundee. The reason for my visit on this cold December weekend was a Brownie maker called Ailsa Hayward and her gorgeous little revamped vintage brownie van . Ailsa studied Patisserie in London at Le cordon bleu and lived in France for a time where she fell in love with a battered old Citreon van , now lovingly restored and called "Fleur ". Ailsa hails originally from the Isle of Sky but now lives and works in the Angus countryside with her beloved Fleur. Anyhow i was hear to see what all the fuss was about and was desperate to try a brownie or 2 or 3 or 4 or maybe even more!! Ailsa had prepared a couple of boxes packed full of all different flavours of brownies ( Is there more than one flavour  i thought ? ) There was also an amazing Chocolate Mud cake with a spiced pear and Hazelnut crumble topping - simply to die for with rich chocolate swirls of creamy chocolatey icing on 3 big fat tiers - devine. My first brownie and a trip straight to heaven was a Dense Chocolate and salted caramel ( isle of sky sea salt) Brownie - oh my lord !! Could a brownie taste any better ,have a better texture, look any better or make a woman smile any more than this brownie did - No i dont think so . Next up was a really creative and unique little square of the most delicious creamy tablet with a little nob of chocolate brownie baked into the middle - how blooming clever is that ? It was an absolute triumph and i loved it - something different and unique that worked . Next up was another excellent brownie that tasted of brownie but was subtly flavoured with rosewater . It was like a mix between a turkish delight and a brownie and it shouldnt really work but it absolutely does . But my absolute favourite for taste ,flavour, creativty and by being unique , The Gin Bothy Mincemeat brownie . An amazing Chocolate brownie with a thin layer of mincemeat ,soaked in gin and then a pastry star to decorate . Oh my word - was i in heaven , i could have cried but i couldnt look this foolish in public . I cant express how good these brownies were , so you will just have to try for yourself . Fleur can be seen all over the Angus countryside and you can order brownies online at the  website . Well done Ailsa - Best Brownie maker in the land !!

Baking with Melanie Andrews

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