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My Local Farm Shop

Yesterday I popped along to my local farm shop. It made me realise how fortunate I am to have it on my doorstep and that I should try and support local farmers more often.

Nearly everything is sourced locally so obviously less impact on the environment and all much fresher and free from preservatives.

I know that the big supermarkets are much more convenient but from now on I intend to use my farm shop a lot more frequently.

The butcher there really knows his stuff and the staff are very helpful, the chickens are always second to none.

They have  beautiful grounds with gorgeous little animals running around, there are lots of events going on throughout the year which I feel is fab for the local community.

When Dylan was small he went to the village school, Ashlyn's were  always happy to arrange events for school trips, teaching the children about farming, animals, crops etc.

There is a lovely little cafe/restaurant which serves homemade produce, including the fab sausages and bacon they sell in the shop, to traditional homemade cakes. With stunning views over the Essex countryside it really is a lovely way to dine.

  • 8oz S/R flour
  • 8oz stork ( or butter)
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of camp coffee (or 2 teaspoons of good instant mixed with 2 tablespoons of boiling water)
  • 2oz of finely chopped walnuts
  • 8 walnut halves to decorate
  • 1lb icing sugar
  • 6oz softened butter
  • a little milk mixed with coffee

Method (Preheat oven @170)
Mix Flour, sugar, butter, eggs and coffee together, either by hand or in a food processor, until soft and creamy.

Fold in chopped walnuts.

Divide between 2 prepared sandwich tins.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until the tops springs back if pressed gently.

Mix icing sugar,butter and coffee milk together in a freestanding mixer (or with a hand whisk)

I mix mine with paddle attachment for about 10 mins for a really lovely fluffy butercream.

Sandwich 2 cakes together with two-thirds of buttercream, then  top with the rest, add walnut halves for decoration.