July 2020

In the height of lockdown we felt very strongly we should be using our cooking skills to support others. So, we worked with one of our friends and 2 other local businesses to set up an initiative called Cakes For Champions. Between us we provided over 3000 cakes  on a not for profit basis for frontline NHS staff at local hospitals and health centres.  We delivered weekly to  The Lister and Luton and Dunstable hospitals and the community hubs in St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and Harpenden. During their shifts the staff were limited to where they could take their breaks ( if they got them) and the normal food outlets were not operating. Our usual response to someone's troubles is to bake them a cake and we felt that this initiative provided a little of that comfort to our wonderful NHS staff, who faced huge challenges and risks every day.

The cakes were very well received and we are delighted that we could do our bit using the skills that we have.  We are grateful to everyone who donated to our fund raising efforts which covered our basic costs of ingredients, to Gill Ingram for distributing the cakes, to Quotidien Bakery and Brewery Tea Rooms for helping make the cakes and Tilly Todd and Felicity Cripps for design and social media marketing

As lockdown has eased and hospitals are getting back to a more normal operating system we have decided to bring the initiative to an end.  The small amount of remaining funds have been distributed to NHS charities that support staff and patients.

October 2017  The Larder Louts - Cookery Courses for active seniors in Harpenden

October 2017 The Larder Louts - Cookery Courses for active seniors in Harpenden

apple brown bettyjpg
We have just finished our latest series of cookery classes for older people.  We had 12 gentleman join us for the 3 classes in Cornelia's Coffee Shop in St NIcholas' Church, Harpenden. Over the 3 weeks we made Chicken, Bacon and Tomato Cobbler, Victoria Sandwich Cake, Fish Pie, Apple Brown Betty, Quiche Lorraine and a Lemon Cheesecake.  The course was very lively and  everyone was very proud of what they achieved. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the most frequent comment was that they wished they could come every week!  The recipe for our traditional, delicious and seasonal pudding Apple Brown Betty can be found below.

Between 300 and 350g (12 - 14 oz) dessert apples
1 -2 tablespoon sugar ( according to taste and the sweetness of the apples)
2 tablespoons raisins or sultanas
1 tablespoon water
75g (3oz) bread (about 2 slices)
25g (1 oz) Butter (2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon cinnamon, mixed spice, or ginger (optional)
2 tablespoons demerara sugar

1. Turn on the oven to gas 6, 200°c
2. Peel ( if wished),core and chop the apples into small chunks.
3. Place into an ovenproof dish
4. Add raisins, if using, and sugar to taste
5. Add 1 tablespoon water. Put to one side whilst making the topping
6. Grate the bread or break up into very small pieces. Place into a bowl
7. Add the demerara sugar and cinnamon or other spices ( if using).
8. Melt the butter in a small pan on the hob or in the microwave. Pour onto the breadcrumbs and mix well
9. When all well combined spread the breadcrumb mix all the the top of the apples. Press down very gently
10. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes by which time the apples should be soft and the topping crispy and slightly brown
11. Serve hot or cold with cream, custard or ice cream
© The Kitchen Front 2017