Tuesday, 19 June 2012


it may not be a healthy post, it isn't rarely is anyway.
it may not be a recipe post, but it is maybe indeed an interesting post.

I don't know about you, but if you saw it in a supermarket, would you have the courage to pick it up? i mean, mayonnaise and wasabi?!!? it seems as though my mother certainly did! and i'm glad - it tastes surprisingly good! *try something new everyday* as Tesco would say!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Hearty Macarons for a hearty person.......

*warning: this may be a rare, long post with a few couple more images than usual. enjoy anyhow!

Happy Fathers Day to my amazing dad!! I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his support and care, especially when I get frustrated in not getting the sponge light enough or when my cheesecakes taste so bad that they would have to be chucked away. But no matter what, he would defo taste a bite or gimme a satisfying comment, you know - for a bit of encouragement and so and so. Mind you, I don't even know if his tummy aches are to do with any of the new recipes I have dug out and made a real mess of - eeeeeeeeeeeekk. 

Anyhow, I have made attempted to make heart macarons for this joyous day! Chocolate macarons were the first batch I had been successful with in the macaron world, and it was all thanks to my daddy who had encouraged me to get another pack of ground almonds the day after I had an utter fail the first time. 

Thanks dad, as I wouldn't be writing up this post if I had already given up on these beauties. 

So here they are! My attempt. I'm pretty sure I can't handle more than just piping macarons in a heart shape and eating them but I wanted to create something extra special for someone so amazingly special. They may not be the perfect heart shape or match up with their partner cookies, but its always the thought that counts, right?!

I mean, even if they aren't an even number, they are always great as single cookies placed in a scoop of ice cream.......

..........Or even a bowl of ice cream with a few extra scoops......and all the ice cream essentials (sprinkles, choc chips and toffee sauce)

Oh the hearty goodness that is bursting in that baby ramekin :O

an utter sugar high.

For the recipe and AMAZING tips for macarons (trust me on this one) go onto Brave Tart here! You're bound to have success even if it is your first time in the macaron world!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Mint and White Chocolate cupcakes

Today I am sharing with you a cupcake recipe with two of the most glorious ingredients on earth. - mint and chocolate. And oh-hohoho...not just chocoate. white chocolate. It does appear to be the most sweetest thing on earth and becomes a little "edgy" in this recipe. To be fair, the mint doesn't show up very well; but there are hints of it of course. 

Something I would pay attention to would be cutting the white chocolate small enough as they do tend to sink to the bottom otherwise. Apart from that, I am pleased to offer these cupcakes to the world! This, to be fair is a massive hit for my sister who totally adores these cupcakes and would hurry me up in snapping a few photos of them.

Something else I love about these cuties? Their little specs of fresh mint contrasting with the huge chunks of white choc. Although I had initially thought the chocolate pieces would melt and the whole cake would become all dense and soggy, they have surprised me! Taking a 180 degree turn, they came out ever so softly!

These are particularly fast to bake up, especially if its a last minute thing as you won't have to worry about frosting them. Which means you have to go through the process of letting them cool, making the frosting and then doing a whole load of more washing up. I know. I'm just lazy like that. Just simple "dust with icing sugar"!


Mint and White Chocolate Cupcakes
8g mint leaves
100g caster sugar
125g lightly salted butter, softened
2 eggs
150g self raising-flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
175g white chocolate, chopped
icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 12-section bun tray with paper cases.
2. Place mint leaves into a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 30 secs. Drain it then pat dry on kitchen paper. Place the leaves in a food processor or mini chopper with caster sugar and process until the mint is finely chopped.
3. Transfer mint sugar to a bowl and add butter, eggs, flour and baking powder. Beat with a hand held electric whisk for about a minute until light and creamy.
4. Stir in 100g of the choc and divide cake mixture between cases. Scatter with remaining chocolate.
5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until risen and just firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and lightly dust with icing sugar.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Bakewell tarts - mini.

Ahhh......one of the best of British. Their buttery pastry filled with a soft classic vanilla cake. And just as you think it is good enough, you find the warm apricot jam, snug at the bottom. And even if you don't find the caramelizing jam at the bottom, it may as well give you a sneak peak at the golden brown top! If you remember these little dare-devils, I guess this is a more traditional and simpler version :)

I particularly like these tarts due to the ease in making them and corporating little british bits and pieces into it at the same time. But most of all, they came together SO well! The pastry, cake and jam all cooked at the same time and was ready to be lifted out; how synchronised to they wanna be!? I really do just love their clean finish as well. The thin layer of jam and then the angel white sponge, all layered in a straight line. perfect.

These tarts traditionally incorporate a little cherry on the top or just a simple drizzle of icing but the bakewell tarts just being simple already makes my heart content! I didn't have any flaked almonds on hand either but I'm pretty sure they will go great. Just add before baking!

This no-fuss recipe is definitely a winner. The pastry cases don't even need to be blind baked. All you do is get the parts ready, slap them on top of each other and shove it in the oven! PLUS...there are so many variations - a different flavour pastry, substituting a bit of cocoa powder for flour or even using lemon curd or custard instead of jam! Here is a previous chocolate adaption from the recipe. Mhmmm........just looking at these photos make me wanna lick the sticky apricot jam :P

Here's the recipe for those eager jam lickers! And be surprised - it doesn't take much to make these.

 Bakewell Tart recipe

Shortcrust pastry
Make your own using:
150g plain flour
75g hard margarine
Approx 7 tbsp cold water
use 200g ready made short crust pastry

About 4-5 tbsp jam, flavour of your choice
Fruit - 4-5 tbsp stewed apple or small amount tinned peaches well drained etc.

60g soft margarine
60g caster sugar
60g self raising flour
1 egg
10ml water

1. Preheat oven to 190C/gas 5
2. Make the shortcrust pastry if not using ready made - rub margarine into flour and add water to bring it together.
3. Grease individual metal cases with a little oil. Roll the pastry out thinly and cut circles out of them. Line them in the cases, gently pressing them down.
4. Divide filling amongst cases
5. Make the cake mixture by placing all ingredients into a medium bowl and beating until light and fluffy. Spoon and divide amongst tarts, layering over the jam.
6. Place individual tarts onto a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.
7. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then take out of cases and cool on a wire rack.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Proud of her/it.

 I know I haven't been blogging much lately; I'm sorry. I know I haven't been cooking much of a storm up lately; I'm sorry too.

But no worries! My sister is here to save the day with her most amazing pizza! Its her first time cooking lunch and I'm pretty proud of her.

Well done!
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