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Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

Hip hip hooray! Today is T and Cake’s 2nd birthday! Wow, where have the last two years gone? So much has happened over that time and hopefully there are many more adventures to come. My new kitchen units have arrived (all 120 boxes) and hopefully I’ll soon be busy experimenting with new toys and fancy settings on the oven. I’ve also had the good fortune to get an allotment which will require rather a lot of heavy duty digging over winter but should provide some beautiful fresh ingredients come next summer. But what is a blog without people to read it? Here’s to you, kind readers. Thank you for stopping by, leaving comments and making this blog what it is. I’m sorry not to be able to share this birthday cake with you in person but we can celebrate in spirit. Cheers!

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I’ve been wanting to make ice cream for weeks now and have finally made enough room in the freezer to warrant a batch. But when it came to it I struggled to pick from a plethora of delicious recipes. I should just declare this the summer of ice cream and make a different recipe each week. In fact,  I’m seriously tempted to take up the challenge. I don’t know how I settled on marmalade ice cream but I couldn’t wait to make it and ended up starting the process on Friday night so I could churn my ice cream the next morning and have a taste before lunch. I get very impatient when I have to wait for a taste so it’s something of an achievement that I actually waited until my ice cream was frozen! The scent of the custard as it was cooking was mouth-wateringly good and I was seriously tempted to stop the recipe right there – just think of how good a creamy, thick, orange custard would be with a slice of chocolate cake. (more…)

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On a recent trip to Rome we rented an apartment just outside of the historic centre and a stone’s throw away from the famed Bar Pompi, renowned for its tiramisù. The classic Italian dessert comes in a variety of sizes from dinky single-serving boxes to giant take-away slabs for dinner parties. Their excellent tiramisù also comes in all manner of flavours: there’s the classic coffee, nutella, chocolate and banana, pistachio, strawberry, forest fruits and this summer’s limited edition piña colada! I didn’t happen to see a cherry version but I’m certain it’s been done before. Inspired by the delicious Italian amarena ice cream and all the fresh cherries appearing in the shops I decided that it was time to make a tribute to Bar Pompi. (more…)

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Happy Easter!

Come Easter I suspect that many of us have a little bit of chocolate and other various goodies stashed away for the occasional treat (or all-out indulgence). In our house it usually gets scoffed pretty quickly but if you have any leftovers tiffin (or rocky road) is a fun way to use it up. Admittedly I went out and deliberately stocked up on tiffin ingredients but we are rather partial to a sweet treat round here and there’s been some very labour-intensive DIY (I have my very own mini-wrecking bar and hard hat!) going on over recent weekends that’s necessitated a few extra calories. (more…)

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It’s that time of year again where bloggers around the world unite to profess their love of their favourite chocolate and hazelnut spread. Organized by Sara at Ms Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso, February 5th 2012 is the 6th annual World Nutella Day, let’s celebrate! (more…)

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I’ve been leafing through Dan Lepard’s wonderful book, Short and Sweet, ever since Christmas trying to decide what to make. The problem is there’s too much choice. Everything looks good. How do you pick between passion fruit melting moments, a chocolate cake that uses pears in place of butter or a gorgeous-looking double espresso brazil nut cake? Solution. Open up the book and ask someone else to pick for you. In this case my non-cake fan, but crumble-loving husband picked out a marble cake topped with crumble. Good work! He wins another chance to choose a recipe but I suspect next time he’ll ask to choose from the Hairy Bikers’ Pie Book. (more…)

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I don’t often have prunes in the store cupboard (I’m not sure why, they’re really very nice) but at Christmas they always make a welcome return to my kitchen ready to be wrapped in bacon and offered up as canapés or soaked in booze for sticky, fruity puddings. They’re one of the few fruits that get my approval to be paired with chocolate because their rich flavour brings out the fruitiness of a good dark chocolate. Prunes and chocolate are best friends with armagnac (probably because they come from the same area of France and spend long nights in the cupboard chatting in French and shrugging their shoulders at the state of my kitchen) and combine to make an indulgent, gooey truffle that you’ll have a hard time sharing.

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