Monday, 21 March 2011

Elemental E-News...

If you love to surf Elemental News - and if you don't already receive our updates via email - you can now click here to join our mail list. Receive recipes, availability, stunning properties, beautiful locations and all the latest news from our kitchen table.

A unique treasure...

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Occasionally, we like to feature some of our favourite collaborators, agents, clients and locations. This week, a special mention goes to George Goldsmith. Our bookings via the team at the Edinburgh-based agent have taken us to beautiful locations throughout Scotland including Knock House on the Isle of Mull, which we'll be visiting again in the summer. We can highly recommend the many exclusive properties featured in the 2010 brochure. It was also an honour to be included as a George Goldsmith recommended chef! The 2011 brochure is coming soon. Meanwhile, you can find out more at

Monday, 14 March 2011

Elemental Music...

Rainy days & mondays always get me down. So said The Carpenters. Maybe we were a little quick to announce the arrival of spring - it's been raining (and snowing) since the weekend here in Scotland. Still, we like to find a way to look on the bright side and so - James Lowe - our resident chef & singer-songwriter is sharing a free download from his debut album Radio Friendly. His beautifully melancholy, Falling In is a reflection on starting another rubbish day and finding a way to turn it around in your mind. Just click on this link to James Lowe - Facebook Page, go to Band Profile and download your free song.

"clouds crying out loud won't bring me down...."
- James Lowe

Find out more about music from James Lowe at his official website

Photo via google images

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Recipe - Crunchy Apple & Cinnamon Cake

We adore Afternoon Tea - and creating freshly baked cakes is part of our daily ritual when on an Elemental Kitchen assignment. Who doesn't love to come home after a day's rambling or sight-seeing to a delicious pick-me-up? So, this month's recipe, created in collaboration with our friends at Ardross Farm Shop is a light & sweet cake - with British orchard apples - ideally served with endless earl grey, lady grey or traditional afternoon tea....

Crunchy Apple & Cinnamon Cake

This apple cake makes for a lovely afternoon tea or morning coffee treat all by itself, but is also great as a pudding on cold pre-spring evenings, served warm with a generous glug of custard.

Feel free to experiment with apple varieties for this - depending on how subtle or pronounced an apple flavour you prefer. I like to use a cox apple for this, but bramleys, russets, gala... use your favourite!

For the base

115g butter, at room temperature
115g caster sugar
2 large eggs (preferably free range)
115g self raising flour
2 apples
pinch of cinnamon

For the crunchy topping

3 tablespoons demerara sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180 centigrade and line a 20cm sponge tin with baking parchment

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add and incorporate the eggs one at a time
Peel, core and grate the apples, then fold into the mix
Fold in the flour and cinammon, then transfer to the tin and bake for around 20 minutes
At this stage the sponge should have a firm top but not be quite cooked - now mix the demerara sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the cake before returning to the oven
Bake until the cake is cooked through (a skewer inserted will come out clean). Depending on your oven, this may take 10-15 minutes. The topping will be crunchy and the apple in the cake cooked through
Transfer to a wire rack and remove from the tin once cool

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