Monthly Archives: June 2011

Loyalty Scheme

I’m currently trying to think of more ways to get people to regularly visit me at the Market Hall in Shrewsbury. Previously I have produced Loyalty
cards where people have got a free quarter of sweets after receiving 8 stamps. I’d like to do something universal to include the cupcakes and chocolates, but that might mean the loyalty card scheme might become complicated.

So I thought the best way to design a loyalty scheme for my customers it to ask my customers! I’m really interested in what your views and
opinions are what you’d think a good loyalty scheme would be. Please comment below or on the facebook wall 🙂


My Royal Wedding Profiteroles

After watching the latest series of MasterChef I decided I wanted to have a go at making a Croquembouch. I decided as I didn’t have a
croquembouch cone that I would make profiteroles instead; basically the same recipe but filled with fresh cream and coated in chocolate.

As the Royal Wedding was about to happen I set the challenge of making the profiteroles for the small gathering I was going to hold. I found
a recipe by John Burton Race (see below) and set to work making my first ever batch of profiteroles.

Choux pastry has previously been a mystery to me, I can be a little hit and miss with my baking skills, so I was a little worried how the
end result would be. I’ve managed to crack my cupcake making, and I use quite a simple recipe but effective recipe. John Burton Race’s recipe has few ingredients, so I felt it would fit my skill level, I also didn’t want to waste lots of ingredients if said recipe failed.

As you will be able to see from the pictures below the recipe turned out perfectly and I would highly recommend the recipe for first
time Choux pastry attempts. I also managed to make a very small but cute Croquembouch (it really is small, but at least I know with the right equipment I could probably do it!).  

I filled my profiteroles with fresh cream whisked together with icing sugar and flavoured with Violet. Violet oil is one of my favourite
ingredients; I love the floral tones it brings to sweet recipes. As it’s not everyone’s cup of tea I kept the Violet flavour quite subtle. Luckily my
friends who aren’t massive fans of floral flavours liked the subtle flavour…phew! I piped the cream into each profiterole and layered them up into
a pyramid. Once I had quite a large yummy mound I made a dark chocolate ganache with cream and a 53.5% dark chocolate. I didn’t measure the cream, I’m terrible for doing things by eye, so sorry I can’t give exact measurements. I made the ganache quite thick so the chocolate wouldn’t run all over the profiteroles, if you wanted quite a runny consistency either add more cream or just pour melted chocolate over the profiteroles. If you decide just to use chocolate make sure it’s not too hot as the cream inside the profiteroles might melt.

To carry on my floral theme I added Crystallised Rose and Violet Petals for a touch of colour.

Ingredients

  • 260ml/9¼fl oz milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g/3½oz butter, diced
  • 120g/4¼oz plain flour
  • 4 free-range eggs

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
  2. For the choux buns, combine the milk,
    sugar, salt and diced butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat gently and stir
    until the butter has melted.
  3. Quickly sieve the flour into the
    saucepan and whisk together with the liquid ingredients.
  4. Keeping the heat low, beat the
    ingredients together vigorously for about five minutes.
  5. The paste is ready when it clumps
    together in a smooth ball and comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan.
    Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  6. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs
    together thoroughly until there are no strings of egg white. Slowly, in two or
    more batches, beat the eggs into the paste.
  7. Fit a piping bag with a nozzle and
    spoon the choux pastry mixture into the bag.
  8. Pipe balls the size of a 50p coin onto
    baking sheets lined with silicone paper, or greased baking trays.
  9. Bake in batches in the oven for 20-25
    minutes, or until golden brown and crisp (if the buns are just yellow, they
    will deflate upon cooling). When they are done, the inside should be hollow.
    Tip them on to a wire rack to cool.

For the filling I whisked double cream with icing sugar (sorry for the lack of measurements) and added a few drops of Violet Oil to taste.


Shrewsbury Market Hall Revival

Last August we took over the ownership of the sweet shop in the Market Hall, we’ve finally got round to sprinkling the Toots magic on the unit after waiting for our floor to be resurfaced. We’ve now got one of our beautiful chocolate fridges positioned in the shop and customers can now walk straight into the shop. As a few of you will know the shop units in the market all have large static counters, we’ve removed ours making the shop feel much bigger and open. The shop looks so much better now people can walk into the shop and look at the sweets properly as well as being able to have more choice.

We’ve still got lots of improvements to make, but it’s a really exciting time all round. We’ll be stocking and providing all the fab
products and services available on our website as well as linking up with other shops in the market to provide some exciting services (announcements coming soon). We’ll have a dedicated Wedding Favour section, our handmade chocolates, truffles, chocolate bars, and lots of well known traditional sweeties, party bags, lolly pops and lots of special at weekends.

The Market has recently gone under a major revamp, with new shop owners in one particular corner turning the area into a vibrant Mecca for
crafts and vintage delights. My shop is situated just on the corner of the newly revamped area next to the Birds Nest Cafe, it offers a fabulous mix of whole foods serving Fair-trade tea and coffee, homemade soup and delicious freshly made sandwiches. I sampled a Hummus and Roasted Vegetable sandwich the other day. A great combination of flavours enhanced with some pesto and fresh bread. Arran and Victor have worked hard to transform the cafe area using fairy lights and really tree branches to decorate the walls and ceiling. All the furniture is recycled vintage pieces picked up along their travels.

Jo Bloodworth will also be opening a new shop at the end of June, which will be packed with fantastic gifts, retro glass ware and her own,
designed and made gifts such as dresses and aprons. Jo has a huge following in Shrewsbury because of her wonderful and creative one off pieces.

Dog-eared Vintage and Vintage Gem’s bring the retro sparkle into the crafty corner; both have a great selection of clothes and accessories,
and a must for any student or vintage fan looking for a statement piece with character.

Adding some glamour to our corner of the Market is SalakjitNail Art offering a range of services such as Manicures, Pedicures, and Gel
Nail Extensions on Saturdays.  Private Nail Parties for Adults and Children are also available

Ilovecompost.com has taken over the last unit in the corner, as a working artist Sam will be producing commissions from the shop while
helping to spread the arty message with classes for children. Recently she held a paint class where toddlers got the chance to paint cats and learn about how they moved; they finished the class with a story read by Susan from Pengwern books. A lovely interactive class with many more planned.

Lastly although not in the corner of the market Toot Sweets is based in, but something I really do believe is a gem and a must for any
foodie to visit; Mirage Mediterrean Mezze. Working within the food industry you really do get to experience lots of good and bad eateries. Mirage is one of the amazing ones; family run and bursting with so much potential. Situated at the back of the market in the opposite corner to Toot Sweets. Mirage sells a range of Mediterranean goods as well as serving freshly made food in its restaurant area, food is also available to take away. I often pop over for a wrap for my lunch; I can highly recommend the Halloumi wrap. A vibrant combination of salty warm Halloumi dressed with chunks of tomato, refreshing mint leaves and cooling cucumber; a vegetarian’s delight! With a range of mezze dishes (tapas style) you can sit down order a few dishes and while away the afternoon catching up with friends in the relaxed atmosphere. The Baklava is also exquisite; layers of puff pastry adorned with pistachio nuts and drenched in honey, baked and cut into cubes. I often find shop bought baklava is too sweet and usually baked to an inch of its life making the risk of breaking a tooth likely. Mirage’s baklava is definitely worth a try, moist, sweet and positively nutty!

The Market hall is bursting with a huge variety of different shops; fresh local veg, handmade cakes, delis, antiques, children’s clothing, a
fish bar…you name it and its here. If you’ve never been to the market I definitely recommend a visit the opening hours are:

Tuesday 9-4

Wednesday 9-4

Thursday 9-1

Friday 9-4

Saturday 9-4

The Market hall has recently joined facebook and will have a twitter account very soon. Please check out there facebook page, and if you’re
not already a member of the Toot Sweets Page please join.


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