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More from Meersbrook... Artists’ Cornucopia

What lies beyond the yellow window frames and the wooden mannequin of the tiny Artscene shop on Chesterfield Road?

Well, Artscene is owned by Pat, and it’s a true cornucopia for the artist. For such a tiny shop Pat manages to stock a huge variety of equipment; pencils and pastels, charcoal and calligraphy pens; papers of all kinds from tissue to card, from watercolour cartridge to canvas; oil, acrylic and watercolour paints; brushes made from synthetics, sable or squirrel. (Yes, squirrel. Apparently they have a marvellous carrying capacity!). There are books of techniques, of artists, of stickers; there are boxfuls of stamps and stencils, glues and glitters. Many of the stock can’t be found in the bigger stores.

Pat only advertises by word of mouth and finds her most regular customers are students (who get a 10% discount), artists and retired people. Pat is inspired by the atmosphere and colour in the works of Monet, Turner and David Curtis. She paints and works in pastels at home. One of her works is hanging in the shop.

She says, ‘I paint for pleasure. My favourite items in the shop are watercolours, brushes and paper.’ Pop in, you’re bound to find something inspirational. 35 Chesterfield Road, S8 0RL Tel: 255 5299, Open Monday - Friday 11.15 - 4pm, Saturday 11.15 - 3pm

VL Zander’s Chocolate and Orange Christmas Cake

Instead of a Christmas cake this year, give yourself a treat and a break from tradition with this Chocolate and Orange cake. It is very rich so be warned, but people will love you for it and you won’t still be eating it in March. In fact why wait till Christmas, it’s really good for breakfast with a coffee, but don’t tell anyone.

For the Cake: 150g chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids) 125g caster sugar 125g butter 75g S/R flour Pinch Bicarb 1.5 tspn baking

powder 2 tbspn cocoa 2 tbspn orange juice Grated zest of an orange 1 tspn vanilla extract 4 egg yolks 5 egg whites Ganache for the topping and filling: 150g chocolate about 70% cocoa solids 150ml double cream 1 tspn vanilla extract 1.5 tbspn clear honey Zest of an Orange 30ml Brandy or Cointreau (optional) 2-3 Oranges segmented (optional for middle of the cake) Candied Orange Slices (optional for the top)

For the Cake: 1. Preheat oven to 160C 2. Melt chocolate in bowl over pan of simmering water 3. Cream together till light and fluffy the butter and 120g of the sugar (save 5g of sugar for egg whites) 4. Beat egg yolks for about 30 seconds

13 New Heeley Voice December 2013 Issue 59

5. Gradually add, stirring continuously, (slightly cooled) chocolate, vanilla extract, orange zest and lightly beaten egg yolks to the butter/sugar mixture

6. Add flour, Bicarb, baking powder and cocoa to the mix, folding together gently with a metal spoon adding orange juice

7. Whisk 5 egg whites until stiff adding remainder of sugar half way through to make them glossy

8. Fold egg whites into the mixture using a metal spoon 9. Pour mixture into a lined 22cm spring cake tin 10. Bake for about 25-30 mins till it feels slightly springy to touch and a clean skewer comes out clean (GENTLY open the oven door and only when the cake doesn’t wobble too much should you test with a skewer)

11. Allow to cool for 15mins in the tin before turning the cake out and cooling completely before slicing in half and applying the topping/filling

For Ganache topping/filling: 1. Break chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl (with Brandy or Cointreau if using)

2. Bring cream, vanilla extract and honey to gentle boil 3. Pour cream over chocolate and allow to melt slightly before stirring to mix

4. Once it’s cooled slightly, cut in half and put some ganache on the bottom half of the cake, arrange the orange segments if using

5. Put top back on and coat the whole of the cake with the rest of the ganache (sides as well) and orange zest

6. For a real Christmassy look and taste, decorate with candied orange.

7. Leave cake for about half an hour to allow topping to set (if you can!)

8. Eat...Mmmm! 0114 250 0613

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