Petit Four – A Cheshire Delight

 
During a Saturday stroll through Wilmslow town centre, an Artisan Market was in full swing and whilst browsing the many exotic stalls we stumbled upon a fantastic display of miniature cupcakes.
 
They looked so delicious that we couldn’t resist purchasing a little box of six as an afternoon treat to take home, and we weren’t disappointed.
 
My chosen three flavours were chocolate orange, summerfruits and lemon. I couldn’t decide which one to start with as they all looked too pretty to eat, but after the first melt-in-the-mouth moment, temptation got the better of me and they were gone in an instant. 
 
 
 
 
The makers of the petit four treats is Tinakiiana and they are based in Norley Cheshire.
 
Inspired by the amazing displays seen in Parisian patisseries. They are a family team who have sought to combine a love of baking with the visual arts.
 
 
 
 
Each petit four is individually made using natural flavourings and locally sourced free range eggs.
 
Tinakiiana aspire to make little delicacies which are a delight for the eye aswell as the tastebuds an have a fantastic variety of flavours including:-
 
Caramel 
Cherry & Almond 
Double Chocolate & Vanilla 
Strawberry
Butterscotch 
Raspberry & Coconut
Chocolate Orange  
Chocolate
Orange Violet           
Liquorice & Chocolate 
Ginger
Chocolate & Chilli 
Lime & Coconut
Belgian Chocolate 
Vanilla Fudge
Tiramisu                                
Lemon 
Chocolate Mint
 
 
 
 
 
Wedding tiers and platters are available to order aswell as standard sized cupcakes. 
 
Top cutting cake and 100 personalised petit fours 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Favour boxes are available to order with 2 personalised petit fours 
 
 

 
They also have an after hours selection with the following flavours:-
 
Tia Maria 
Chocolate Brandy
Amaretto 
Limon cello 
Orange Whisky cream
Malibu
 
Tinakiiana petit fours are perfect for weddings, hen parties and anniversaries and can be designed so suit whatever event and colour scheme you want. 
 
Try them for yourself – Our verdict 10/10 

It’s ‘Cupcakes Galore’ at Leah’s Pantry

Leah Stevenson shares her cookery secrets and techniques in her countryside kitchen called The Pantry at Harrop Fold Farm.

 

Here, she offers a range of cookery demonstrations, tastings and Cupcakes Galore’ days, all of which use the very best local produce.  Her training and experience combine to produce an outstanding portfolio, leaving you with no doubt that what you will taste is exquisite perfection.
 
Leah graduated from university with a first class degree in Food Marketing before going on to gain a diploma at Le Cordon Bleu, London. She was then employed as a buyer of pantry and confectionery goods in the Harrods food hall followed by a spell as manager of the Rivington Deli in Shoreditch. Leah has also trained with Slattery’s Manchester and has obtained John Slattery’s prestigious Course Skill in Chocolate. Are you drooling yet? 
 
 
Harrop Fold Farm nestles in 20 acres of its own land on the western side of the Peak District National Park and has magnificent views over the Cheshire Plain to the Welsh Mountains.  It is a jaw-droppingly stunning vista.
 

The farm itself is home of the Stevenson Family and has been sympathetically restored in the spirit of the original 17th century buildings.

It offers award winning bed & breakfast as well as self-catering cottage accommodation, with each room individually designed to make your stay welcoming and luxurious.

There is a vast choice of food, all of which is prepared using the finest local ingredients, whilst the Stevensons also use their own free-range eggs and home-made preserves.  Leah also offers a service providing picnic hampers for your stay.
 
Leah’s Pantry was highly recommended to me by a friend and, after browsing their website, I booked myself and my family on a ‘Cupcake Galore’ course for St Patrick’s Day/Mothers Day weekend.
 
So on a very sunny spring Saturday morning, me, my 2 children (aged eleven and 15), my mum and my future mother-in-law all headed off to the farm. As it was St Patrick’s Day we listened to The Pogues riotous Gaelic stylings as we drove through the beautiful Cheshire countryside. 
 
The drive itself is breathtaking, but on a spring morning with the sun shining, daffodils nodding at the roadside in the gentle breeze and lambs leaping in the fields, it was quite simply Britain at its beautiful best.
 
On arrival at Harrop Fold Farm, we avoided the hens in the courtyard but were surprised to see three peacocks on the doorsteps and patio of the main house which added to our excitement.
 
 
We were greeted by Leah and welcomed into her pantry, a lovely retro farmhouse kitchen with views across the Cheshire countryside.
 
Everything was ready for us. Ingredients ready measured, recipe folders, lovely retro pinnies and a cup of tea served with a home-made biscuit.
 
Another three women joined us on the day making it a total of eight. One of them was a bride wanting to learn how to create perfect cupcakes for her own wedding cake, which filled me with great excitement to see how she would get on.
 
Leah explained every aspect of cake making to us, ensuring that whether you are a beginner or master-chef equivalent, you would not feel intimidated. And because of that, it was fun from the off.
 
We had four batches of flavours to make between us; I chose lemon.  The other delicious flavours were blueberry and vanilla, raspberry and white chocolate and good old milk chocolate. We all had a giggle stirring our mix and spooning it into the cake cases before they were to be introduced to the oven.
 

As the smell of slowly baking cakes began to waft through the kitchen, we began our lesson in cake decorating using coloured rolled icing.
 

  

This is where everyone’s creativity came to the forefront.
 
We were all shown how to make an iced rose (easier than I thought!) before we went on to create a variety of decorations like butterflies and caterpillars, doves and leaves, bunnies and easter nests.  It was so much fun for everyone.
 
A lunch is included as part of the day so we headed across the courtyard into the dining room of the farmhouse B&B where we enjoyed two delicious courses. The carrot & coriander soup was served with walnut bread (wow!), followed by chocolate brownies (double wow!), all washed down with locally-pressed apple juice. The peacocks in the garden then managed a full on pose as my children snapped away at them on their cameras.
 
 
It was then back to the pantry for the finishing touches and to attempt to master the swirly buttercream icing topping. We needed a few tries to get the hang of the technique, but looking at the final results we were all blown away at what we had achieved in our novice statuses. 
 
      
 
The lemon cake had the centre scooped out and was filled with lemon curd and topped with swirly meringue (yummy!) whilst the chocolate cakes were rocky road style, topped with chocolate ganache, marshmallows and sweets.

The bride-to-be who was sharing our experience had also made her decision on what to create for her big day, as she chose a simple design of pale pink buttercream sprinkled with little white edible pearl balls and white doves. They looked beautiful and I could imagine them done as a bulk batch.
 
We each came away with a confectioner’s box of twelve cakes, comprising three of each flavour that we had decorated ourselves. We all agreed that it was an amazing experience that we had loved.
 
   
  
The whole atmosphere was idyllic. Leah’s professionalism and attention to detail was outstanding; she makes everyone feel welcome from the moment they arrive. I could not recommend this course highly enough to anyone.
 
We enjoyed it as a family experience but it would work brilliantly as a group of women on a hen party, perfect for our Beautilicious Brides Over 40 ( there is a max of eight), whether it would be just for the course itself or to hire a cottage and stay overnight.  It would also suit DIY brides that want to make the cakes themselves and save on the expense of having one professionally made.
 
Our day cost £65 per person including ingredients, recipe file, tuition, two course lunch and  twelve cakes. In my opinion was great value for money, but it’s tough to put a price on a fabulous, fun experience in which you learn a new skill. 
 
One thing’s for sure – I won’t be buying any birthday cakes for a long time yet, thanks to Leah.
 
Leahs Pantry –  www.leahspantry.co.uk
Harrop Fold Farmwww.harropfoldfarm.co.uk
 
All our features are aimed towards our readers being Brides Over 40. Rather than calling these fabulous ladies mature Brides we call them ‘Beautilicious Brides’ who are marrying later in life, whether it be a first or second time wedding or even a celebration ceremony for renewing vows”                                  (Janet – Creative Director at Beautilicious40 Bride)