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Coco&Me » Blog Archive » Sunshine?
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April 10th, 2013


(pic taken end of March)
Hello~! How’s things?
We’re now in April, & I write this on, believe it or not, a sunny day!
And it is so unbelievably quiet in the house, it is just me & the humming of my laptop. The kids are out for the day to their friends’. And I thought I’ll steal a moment to write to you here. Despite the sun, outside is still a bit nippy, & it feels similarly cold in the house too, as the Edwardian house of ours never gets really warm. My father says we ought to change to those double-glazed type windows, but we love our old sash windows, & we can’t bear the thought of stripping away the original features, so I suppose there’s no point in complaining?
Instead, I have a hot mug of tea by my side as I write. I’m recently playing with the way I make tea, after reading about how Joël Robuchon makes his, I had to try it – milk (preferably room temperature) in the (pre-warmed) cup first, then pour brewed tea on top. Although I see that there seems to be a bit of a debate to which goes first, at the end of the day, I think there is no right or wrong answer (do as you please, I say!). I think ‘milk-in-first’ (MIF as some call this),  seem to make the milk & tea become ‘one’ better, & that the milk smells less dairy-like. This probably has to do with how MIF version doesn’t break the proteins in the milk as opposed to MIA (Milk-in-after). I’ll try the MIF method for a while I think! ^^
Things at the market for me is good, good, then bad, good, super-good, good, bad, super-bad, good. (Lol!) The weather has been truly atrocious. So cold & so windy. It’s been snowing a fair amount too. On one of the Saturdays there, I have possibly & probably done the worst-ever too. And that’s something of a record after seven years of trading…!
At times like that, I wished to be not doing this anymore.
But, there are customers of whom I am blessed to have, especially the dearest ‘regulars’ & locals who visit my stall & drop their money my way. I think some of them are doing so out of a support-consciousness, to keep me & this cake stall going. I feel so, & that’s why I feel blessed. (And actually I know so, as one of them actually told me! ^^) When customers come & tell me that they make a point of purchasing cakes from me every-time/ every year there is a celebration or a cake-need, & when literally dozens of people come up & say they have been missing my cakes in the beginning of the year (I took the whole of January off), I think to myself, maybe…, maybe I can carry on pushing the boat out a little longer… So thank you Broadway Market goers…!
(Pic from last month. My daughter S’s birthday cake. Every year it is the same – Japanese strawberry shortcake!)
www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco and Me - cookie cutters from Weitz, Hamburg
(Newly purchased cookie cutters from Hamburg trip last week. I can’t wait to try them all! Perhaps I can use the carrot cookie on top of my carrot cake? It’ll be a great alternative to those marzipan carrot shapes that I absolutely detest!)
I’ve recently been playing around with apple-desserts, so next time I write to you, it will hopefully be a recipe! ;) Stay tuned! ;)


  1. You are finally back. :) I really miss your writing very much and that’s a lovely cake. :)

    Comment by Ange - April 10, 2013 2:26 pm

  2. Ange, awww, bless! You’ve made me smile, thank you! xx And yep, phew! It feels good to finally have a new post online! ;)

    Comment by tamami - April 10, 2013 3:23 pm

  3. I sooo wish I could come and visit your stall every weekend at the market! Unfortunately I live too far away but I haven’t given up the hope of being in London one day and coming to try some of those lovely things you bake… That strawberry shortcake looks amazing! 7 years already..good job!

    Comment by Caroline - April 10, 2013 4:07 pm

  4. Caroline, :) :) :) !!! that’s super sweet of you!! Thank you!! Hope to see you one day too!! As for the 7 year thing…, yeah…, jeez, time flies huh?! I started in Summer 2005. I have taken weekends off here & there though, especially the year I gave birth to S, I took 6 months off too! Lol, I try not to think of all those eggs I cracked. (atleast they are all free-range I guess?!) am I off to egg-hell one day…??

    Comment by tamami - April 10, 2013 4:17 pm

  5. Lovely to read your post again, Tamami. Beautiful strawberry shortcake too. Hope things pick up at the stall with the warmer weather and I’ll be stopping by next month to pick up some goodies :)

    Comment by Christine - April 11, 2013 5:32 am

  6. Hello~ Christine!! xx thank you! xx Yes, the weather plays such a role, so hopefully it’ll be warmer soon! Lookin’ forward to meeting you!! xx All the best! T xx

    Comment by Tamami - April 11, 2013 9:50 am

  7. Dear Tamami

    I am writing from a London based TV production company and I was hoping you could help me. I didn’t find a better way to contact you.

    We are making a new online short series program called ‘My family and other recipes’ and we are currently looking for people who enjoy cooking and have a particular dish that has been passed down through the family. We are interested in the dish itself but very much more interested in the actual person making it, what the dish means to them and the wider family context.

    So there is a different warmer feel to this program and is very dominant on the person making the dish.

    I was hoping you may know of someone who cooks a special dish but also has an interesting family background. I also noticed your blog is very popular and well respected in the food community. If you have a news post, would it be possible to post the following notice I have written up below. I would really appreciate it.

    Warmest regards

    Sophia Luvara

    My Family and Other Recipes
    An exciting new documentary series calling out for people who have a special recipe that has been passed down through their family and a story to tell.

    Do you have a family recipe, passed down the generations, that you want to share with the nation? We want to discover where your recipe came from and what it tells us about your family history.

    Whether it is Saltfish, Ackee & fried dumplings, Roast Beef & Yorkshire pudding, Lancashire Hot Pot, Neeps, Tattiess & Haggis or Mattar Kachori – this is the food that brings families together and takes us back to our roots.

    We are looking for a charismatic personality who enjoys cooking and has an exciting family background. We look forward to hearing from you.

    To apply:
    Email: sophia.luvara@springfilms.tv
    Tel: 0203 327 4930

    Comment by sophia - April 12, 2013 10:35 am

  8. Hello Sophia! That sounds like a very special & interesting programme! :) I don’t have a news page as such, but I know that a lot of the readers check out this comments section, so I’m sure they will read your message too! Good luck with it all! And do let me know when it’s done, as I’d love to see it! T x

    Comment by tamami - April 12, 2013 12:27 pm

  9. Hello Tamami! Very nice to read a new post from you! Business must be difficult for small businesses right now, but please carry on as I am sure you are spreading happiness with your cakes. I will look forward to your new recipe!

    Comment by Louise - April 12, 2013 1:17 pm

  10. Hello Louise!!! Thank you for your kind words! That’s very sweet of you. :) :) :) I’ll try my best to write a recipe for here really soon! All the best! T xx

    Comment by Tamami - April 12, 2013 2:53 pm

  11. Greetings Tamami! I know what you mean about the ups and downs of the Markets! I pushed through all winter with such low sales (who comes to an outdoor market in cold and rain??) and now here in Texas, Spring has sprung and sales are back up. I too wonder if I should keep this up, but I love my baking days so much I can’t imagine NOT doing it!! A question…what do you do with all your leftover unsold goods? I tend to give them away to other vendors and then save a bit for some folks that know to check with me on Saturday afternoons to buy any leftovers at a greatly reduced price. Do your husband and kids eat anything not sold?
    Glad to see you here on your blog!
    With fondness for you~Diane

    Comment by Diane - April 12, 2013 3:19 pm

  12. Greetings to you too Diane! It is wonderful to hear from you. :) :) :)
    I’m sorry to hear that it has been tough at yours aswell… I feel exactly the same about the ‘loving baking’ part! :)
    As for the leftovers: like you, I pass them on to other vendors. In return I get things from them. It’s a ‘swap’ basically! It’s really good, I get excellent meat, fish, flowers, salads… In most cases, they are having a bad day too anyway, so it is a win-win situation! I also sometimes give cakes to friends that live on my street.
    Anyway, Diane, hope you & your lovely family are doing well!! Warmest regards, Tamami xx

    Comment by Tamami - April 12, 2013 7:12 pm

  13. たまみさんこんにちは。


    約5年ぶりでちょっと緊張?していますが、1週目の土曜日の予定にマーケットを組み込んでます!出店されますよね?いつもはブログで見るだけの可愛くておいしそうなお菓子をとうとう食べられるのかと思うとワクワク♡ お会いできるのを楽しみにしています!

    Comment by ゆみこ - April 18, 2013 3:05 pm

  14. ゆみこさん

    Comment by tamami - April 18, 2013 5:06 pm

  15. Yay! You’re back! :) It was lovely to see you at the market a few weeks ago. I hope for your sake (and everyone else’s!) that the winter is now well and truly behind us. I bet you’ll have an amazing market day this weekend!

    Also – what a fab birthday cake, a real work of art… your daughter is so lucky! xx

    Comment by Rachel - April 19, 2013 9:48 am

  16. Hello Rachel!!!! Great to hear from you!! It was so lovely to see you hop over my end the other week! Thanx! Yes, the weather tomorrow is supposed to be super-good, so fingers crossed it will be a nice day! ;-) Rachel, have al lovely weekend also, & keep up with the wonderful blog too! Am always inspired by the subject matter & the art-imagery you choose. T xx

    Comment by Tamami - April 19, 2013 6:15 pm

  17. Hi! *waves madly* I don’t add milk or sugar to my tea, at all, & I like it *strong* ;) I will put milk in my coffee, but no sugar. Happy birthday S :) What is the difference between Japanese strawberry shortcake & strawberry shortcake? I hope your weather straightens out into a lovely nice spring, for your trading. I’m waiting for the winds to bring in the rain from the Midwest (minus the snow & tornado activity).

    Comment by jonquil - April 19, 2013 6:33 pm

  18. Hi Jonquil!!!! *waving madly back to you too!xx*
    The only similarity between the Japanese strawberry shortcake & strawberry shortcake is just the name! For a reason I don’t know why, the Japanese people call a soft genoise sponge with cream with strawberry decoration a ‘Japanese strawberry shortcake’. Lol! As for the Americans, they’d be expect it to be strawberry & whipped cream sandwiched with biscuit.
    Anyway, thank you for always commenting. It’s always lovely to hear from you! May there be good weather going your way! Best, T xx

    Comment by tamami - April 19, 2013 7:35 pm

  19. I was so happy when i saw your new post. The weather will get better soon. I still on holiday and was craving for your carrot cake:)). Hope you’re well and please keep us updated

    Comment by T. Anh - April 23, 2013 2:34 pm

  20. Hello Anh!!! Thank you!!!! :) :) :) :)
    I’m so happy that you like my carrot cake!!! Lol! C u! xx

    Comment by tamami - April 23, 2013 4:26 pm

  21. I had to check in on your blog as I am in Japan now and am amazed at the cakes here… I had no idea the Japanese have such a passion for cake, creme caramel, even the ones with the carved fruit on top. It made me see your cake stall with new eyes – sadly I can’t visit anymore as I’ve left London but I always loved the beautiful display and now I can understand more of where your beautiful design and idease comes from…I even saw gallettes!

    Comment by zoe - May 9, 2013 9:11 am

  22. Hi hi Zoe!!! :) :)
    Thank you for leaving a comment! :) :) Oh I envy you~!! You’re in Japan?! I suppose on hols? Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!! And yes, the Japanese love their sweet pastry & they also like cute/ beautiful things too! I guess what you are seeing there is a marriage of those two. How sad to hear that you can’t come to the market anymore though… Please check in here now & again! Chao! x

    Comment by tamami - May 9, 2013 9:19 am

  23. I’m going to envy myself when I’m not here anymore!! Yes the marriage of sweetness and cute/beautiful sums it up perfectly, I knew the Japanese were wonderful at savoury food but the sweet stuff has been a happy surprise… and the sushi etc is so healthy that it kind of balances itself out….. right??!! xx

    Comment by zoe - May 9, 2013 9:33 am

  24. Hi Zoe! Oh please don’t mention sushi! That’s just too good to think about & you’re making me hungry! And it’s still hours before lunch here! Lol! And yes, many Japanese food is healthy, so enjoy!!! x

    Comment by tamami - May 9, 2013 9:40 am

  25. do you have a recipe for the delicious looking strawberry shortcake cake?
    thank you!

    Comment by susan steigman - June 7, 2013 3:38 pm

  26. Hello Susan! I’m afraid I haven’t written it down for the blog as yet. But basically, it is a genoise sponge with chantilly cream! x

    Comment by Tamami - June 7, 2013 6:59 pm


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