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Sunday, 31 March 2013

It's the easter bunny

I just wanted to wish you all a very happy Easter.

It's the half term holidays and I must ask you to forgive my short post today, 
but we are enjoying a few days away, 
 and so I am attempting to write this via my mobile phone. 
I do hope it turns out okay.

I made this little bunny for Miss B as an extra little easter treat and she loves her.
She has named her Bunny (very imaginative I know).
Bunny has been cuddled and dragged around all day and is now tucked up in bed and
sound asleep. 

I hope you have all had a wonderful Easter and were lucky enough
to get a little chocolate egg or two as well. 


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Lemon Meringue Cookies

It was terribly wet and windy here this weekend and there seemed little incentive to brave the elements, so
after taking Miss. B for her Sunday morning swimming lesson we decided to have some fun in the kitchen - a batch of biscuit baking beckoned.

We have a debate going on at home whether these lovely lemon treats are in fact biscuits or cookies.
What do you think?

I have to confess, it depends what mood I am in as to whether they are referred to as one or the other. Either way, they are so easy to make and do taste delicious, what does it matter?

You will need :

125g softened unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
2 tbsp condensed milk
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (unwaxed)
40g meringue, crumbled into small pieces. You can vary the amount here depending on how much meringue you would like in the finished cookie.
175g plain four
Pinch of salt (omit if you are using salted butter)

1. Preheat the oven to 150c / 130 fan / gas 2

2. Whisk the butter with an electric hand whisk or stand mixer until smooth and pale. Add the sugar and cream together until smooth and fluffy.

3. Add the condensed milk and grated lemon zest, and beat again until incorporated.

4. Sift in the flour and mix again. The mixture starts to get a little harder to work here, but keep at it.

5. Add the crumbled meringue pieces and mix gently but firmly until you feel everything is combined nicely.

6. Roll into small balls (about the size of a golf ball), place onto a lined baking tray and press down lightly.
Bake in the oven for approx. 10-15mins or until golden brown at the edges, but as I mentioned before, watch these little gems like a hawk so they don't over bake.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Now sit back in your comfy arm chair with your slippers on, the fire going and one of your creations in your hand. A warm drink would probably be quite nice too, and enjoy your day.


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Rich Flourless Chocolate Cake

It's that special day when all Mothers are made to feel like the million dollars that we know we are, right?
Well I hope that you have all enjoyed your day so far and as a little Mother's Day gift from me to you, here is the recipe for a very rich, and truly delicious, flourless chocolate cake, that is always sure to please everyone.
You will need :

160g good quality dark chocolate
Pinch of salt
160g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes. If you use salted butter simply omit the pinch of salt.
4 eggs, separated
120g caster sugar
160g ground almonds

1. Grease and line a 23cm tin. You will notice my heart shaped tin has made another appearance here.

2. Pre heat the oven to 180c / 160c fan / gas 4.
3. Combine the chocolate and salt in a heat proof basin and place over a pan of simmering water until the chocolate has melted. Once melted turn off the heat but leave the bowl on top of the pan of water. Pop the cubed butter into the melted chocolate and allow to melt, but avoid stirring just yet.


4. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites to form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

5. Now stir the chocolate mixture gently until the butter has melted. Remove the bowl from the pan. Using your whisk beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, one at a time. Gently fold in the egg white, until just blended.

6. Lightly fold in the ground almonds and pour the mixture into the prepare cake tin.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer placed in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tin.
Enjoy your Mother's Day celebrations and I hope you are pampered and fussed over, and feel as loved as you know you are.


Monday, 4 March 2013

"Please can I play?"

I was fortunate enough to have a few days away from work during the recent half term holidays, which I enjoyed so much.
The opportunity to spend time with Miss B and Little B was wonderful.
 Now that Little B is a wee bit older, he can interact with his big sister and they seem to be developing a lovely little friendship.
She is very attentive to him and you can see how much she enjoys having a little friend to play with.
I watched them enjoying our 'adventures in the car' and realised how lucky we are to have two amazing little people in our lives.
Making sure that we had plenty of 'supplies' for these adventures has resulted in the bulk of my baking being brownies, biscuits, and other such 'old faithfuls'.
Lots of lovely treats, but nothing really different to share with you at present.
I did howeve,r snap this picture of Little B watching Miss B playing in the garden during the holidays.
It was so sad to watch him standing with his nose pressed against the glass, longing to be out playing with her.
Sadly, he's not quite mastered the walking thing. He can stand quite nicely, but when it comes to moving the legs part they look like they made out of rubber.
My heart ached for him, longing to be out there - poor little chap.
When Miss. B realised he was watching her, she promptly came back inside, discarded her coat, scarf and hat in the middle of the kitchen floor, and took him into the play room.
Now there's a big sister who loves her 'little Moo'
I hope to have my baking mojo restored soon, and until then enjoy your day.