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 !!

T-Ann-Cake ( Last Assessed 2012)

Nominated online today and will be assessed at the end of March. T-Ann-Cake.
Nominated several times this week so looking forward to assessing this one -yummy .

T-Ann-Cake
27 Exchange. Street
Dundee
DD1 3DJ

Tel 01382 203950

NOMINATED AND ASSESSED 29.04.12

WELL WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT THIS FANTASTIC FIND TODAY IN THE HEART OF DUNDEE. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE RETRO FEEL OF T ANN CAKES CAFE . IN FACT I WISHED I COULD HAVE SAT AND ATE AND CHILLED ALL DAY HERE .LOVED THE GREAT CHALK WALL WITH ALL THE SAVOURY DELIGHTS AND THE UNIQUE TEAS AND COFFEES ON SALE -HAVENT SEEM THEM BEFORE . WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THESE GREAT FINDS IS THEY ARE INDEPENDENT AND HAVE THEIR OWN UNIQUE STYLE.THE KITCHEN IS ALL OPEN PLAN WHICH I LOVE AND THE CAKES --------OOOOOH THE CAKES !! WELL FIRSTLY BEFORE I DRONE ON AND ON, THESE ARE ALL MADE BY ANN OR HER HUSBAND . A PLACE THIS SIZE WITH THAT AMMOUNT OF RANGE AND QUALITY IS WHAT WE AT THE SHBA ARE LOOKING FOR .NOBODY IS HIRED HERE TO DO THE BAKING -ANN DOES IT ALL- IMPRESSIVE . THE GLASS DOMED DISPLAY STANDS WERE FILLED WITH UNUSUAL AND VERY DIFFERENT FLAVOURS AND TYPES OF CAKES SUCH AS CHOCOLATE FLOURLESS GANACHE CAKE,CHOCOLATE TABLET BROWNIE,PLUM AND CINNAMON CRUMBLE AND MUSCAVADO CHEWY MERINGUES -ALL UNBELIEVABLY EXCELLENT. THERE WAS NO ICED CUPCAKES HERE WHICH ARE NOW SATURATING OUR MARKET PLACE , JUST AN ASTONISHING AMMOUNT OF TALENT AND UNIQUE TASTES TO TANTALISE YOUR TASTEBUDS . THE LITTLE COBBLED STREET WILL FEEL MY FEET AGAIN SOON BUT THIS TIME FOR PLEASURE. WELL DONE THE TEAM AT T-ANN-CAKE.

Jessies kitchen ( Last Assessed 2012)

Nominated online today Jessies Kitchen in Dundee. Cant believe i have just been assessing this last week in Dundee and this comes in on my return home !!
Jessies Kitchen
3 Albert road
Broughty Ferry
Dundee DD5 1AY
Tel; 01382 778 488

winner2012Today was a beautiful drive through the Kingdom of Fyfe and back to Dundee for more nominations. Jessies was first on our list and wow what a place. Overlooking Broughty Ferry on an elevated position this superior Manor house has been carefully renovated into an amazing Tearoom/Cafe. Jessies overlooks their very own vegetable grounds which supply the kitchen with fresh herbs and leaves .On entering Jessies you find a bright ,airy and definately "Pink" room by by- passing the extensive display of cakes in the inner hall. The young and attentive staff give this place a trendy feel .Very clean and a good light lunch and High-tea menu. When we arrived it was full to capacity and the owner Ross was struggling to turn people away. The House is a work in progress with a "3rd" room now being renovated for more room.There is also a room for parents and children. I was overwhelmed with the not one but two boxes of cakes i was given to sample at my leisure and this alone proved confidence in their bakers ability.Three bakers take responsibility for the excellent cakes, Mary-Jane,Alison and Nicola. When we left we looked around the exceptional Garden centre and Farm Shop and i have to say that the plants and flower arrangements on display including the cut flowers were the best i have seen in any garden centre. The vegetables were the biggest i have seen also especially the "Dirty carrotts and Beetroot"!!! HUGE Anyway i digress as usual back to the CAKES.They were wonderful particularly the blueberry iced sponge and the Florentine-FAB.The Apple and Caramel iced cake was a new one to me and was incredible. I can not recommend this Place highly enough. Well done Ross and the gang.

Darlings Coffee Shop ( Last Assessed 2012)

DARLINGS COFFEE SHOP
134 HIGH STREET
ARBROATH
DD11 1HN
TEL; 01241238375

Darlings Coffee Shop On a personal note, I really liked this place. Food was very good. Nice selection of home made cakes. It's ethos behind it that I like, taken shot of blurb which explains its an ENABLE project helping develop young people's skills. Monies raised in cafe is reinvested in creating opportunities for youngsters. Sure enough, cooks, waiters and counter assistants all young and competent. Obviously well trained and taking their responsibilities to heart. My smokie and bacon ramekin with salad and mini oatcakes was delicious as was the strawberry tart. Even the art work on display was for sale and proceeds to art group members who have learning difficulties. I bought one ... . This place is worthy of support.
Darlings coffee shop

Baking with Melanie Andrews

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