Monday, 29 June 2015

Eggy Puffs

I realise that's not the most tempting of titles, so I welcome all suggestions as to what to call these little crustless quiches (perhaps that's my title?) that are perfect for a snack, picnic or, the reason I made them, for Baby Led Weaning.  I was looking for a way to introduce a little meat without him having to pick up a chunk and gnaw at it - we're not quite there yet - and something to give a nice veggie hit of something he'd not tried before and doesn't work well in a baton.  Enter, spinach.  These perfect little lovies give your perfect little lovies the iron, dairy and protein they need in just one hit - fabulous, and mummy points for you (makes up for the chips you gave them earlier in the week, right?).

These don't take long to whip up and are easily doubled.  They can be eaten warm or cold, but don't taste great straight for the oven; the heat takes away their flavour and squishy texture that my son finds so fun.  And it's this squishy texture that helps the babes as they learn how to grip.  Expect a few pieces of these shooting out of their fists as they squeeze to hard, and get the camera ready for the look of shock when that happens.

One final point.  A silicone cupcake mould is essential here to make sure they don't stick and are easy enough to release from their cooking prison.

Puffy Eggs - Makes 6

Eggy Puffs - Great for Baby Led Weaning
Eggy Puffs - Great for Baby Led Weaning

  • Tsp oil
  • 2 spring onions, chopped into thin rounds
  • A good handful of washed spinach
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Knob butter, melted
  • Couple of slices of ham
  • Grated cheese - amount to taste
  1. Heat the oil and fry the onions until soft.  Add the spinach and stir until wilted.  Remove from the heat.
  2. In a jug whisk the eggs, milk and butter until combined and pour evenly between six cups in the silicon mould.
  3. Tip the spinach mixture into the empty jug and chop until quite small with kitchen scissors (you can use a knife on a chopping board but this way is so much easier and not at all messy).
  4. Add the ham, torn into small pieces.
  5. Divide the spinach and ham mixture between the cups of egg
  6. Top with a good smattering of grated cheese (to taste - I add loads!)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Ultimate English - A Review

Suffice to say, life has been super hectic of late; moving house, to another county with a rambunctious child, a whiny I-don't-want-to-sleep baby (what's up with him is anyone's guess) a bouncy dog and two desperate-to-escape cats is NOT recommended.  So it's taken me a while to sit down get social (Hi, Twitter, I'm still here!) and write a post or two.

Ultimate English Totally Luxurious Vanilla and Clotted Cream Fudge
Totally Luxurious Vanilla and Clotted Cream Fudge
Luckily, the folks over at Ultimate English sent me some delicious fudge to try which has given me a much needed sugar boost to get me through the last few days of moving, unpacking, building flat pack, going to the tip and cleaning, each activity interspersed with the popping of a piece of soft, sweet rich sugary milky goodness (pop! another piece just found its way in).

I was sent four treats to try.

The Totally Luxurious Vanilla and Clotted Cream Fudge, my favourite and currently sat in front of me, is flecked with vanilla seeds and has a pleasingly grainy texture of the fudge I remember eating back in the day. It's also the richest of the four, meaning it's lasted the longest in this household

Ultimate English Awesomely Smooth Salted Caramel Fudge
Awesomely Smooth Salted Caramel Fudge
Up next is the Awesomely Smooth Salted Caramel Fudge which, true to its name, is awesomely smooth in texture with the slightest hint of salt that doesn't totally overwhelm.  My mum, a salt hater actually said this was alright; my husband, a salt lover, said it was 'Amazing', only just understood through the mouthful of fudge.  

Ultimate English Simply Marvellous All Butter Fudge
Simply Marvellous All Butter Fudge
The last fudge, thSimply Marvellous All Butter Fudge is so buttery you could spread it on toast.  I wasn't over keen on the texture; somewhere between the grainy Vanilla and Clotted Cream and the smooth Salted Caramel varieties, I needed it to get off the texture-fence.  Having said that, the sweet buttery taste, made with 16% pure butter no less, made it a hit with the three year old.

Finally, a non-fudge contender, the Unbelievably Wonderful Coconut Ice.  I remember making and tasting coconut ice at school.  Urgh.  The manky texture, like chewing on blocks of damp sand, overly sweet, not at all coconutty -  happily, not at all what you'll find here.  I've not had coconut ice since that incident school put me off for life so I'm probably not the best person to review thanks to lack of comparison, but after eating all that fudge, the not-too-sweet coconut flavour and texture really hit the spot.  The pink squares were not so pink you worry about what it could do to your stomach lining, just pink enough to make you wonder if that colour would look nice in your downstairs loo (that's a complement, by the way!).  I'll buy Coconut Ice again, but only Unbelievably Wonderful Coconut Ice.

Ultimate English Unbelievably Wonderful Coconut Ice
Unbelievably Wonderful Coconut Ice
The Ultimate English range scored the most points when I looked at the Best Before Date.  November.  This year.  Brilliant.  I bought some fudge not so long ago that went off in over three years.  This stuff is meant to contain butter and condensed milk FGS; if it lasts that long, it can't be good for you.  If I'm going to be bad and eat loads of sweets, they'd better be natural and not full of E-numbers.  Sure enough, the 'I'll last forever and screw your brain' fudge ingredient list started with an E; this fudge?  Starts with Sugar, ends with Pure Vanilla extract (with more yummy stuff in between and nothing I don't recognise).

Where can you buy it, and how much for?
You won't find these treats in large chain stores, no siree; these beauties are the preserve of local delis, cafes, farm shops and independent retailers in and around Yorkshire, with over 300 outlets - head to The Ultimate English Website to find your nearest stockist, with prices at £3.99 RRP for a 180g box.  Sadly, I couldn't find where to buy it online.  Gutted that I scoffed the lot so quickly now that I can't replenish my stores.  However, with the brand being only one year old, The Serious Sweet Company are rolling out a plan of sales support for premium independents at venues across the North West for Summer 2015 - so watch this space for your local stockist - Sorry, Londoners!

Share with me - what's your favourite English sweet treat?

*Ultimate English sent these treats for me to ry and review.  All views are my own (and my family's).

Sunday, 7 June 2015

American Style Pancakes

I love Sundays. I realise this isn't a statement that makes me unique, but I do. And this is why.

My son is a Daddy's boy. Through and through, probably because they are the same mental age, but it means I'm generally not involved in games concerning cars, superheros, fire trucks... I just don't have the imagination for it and the child knows it.  I'm about finding fun, my husband creates it.  But even the car I made from a box, Daddy got the credit for (and the a-hole took it!)

However, Sunday morning is our time - one of the first things out of his mouth is 'Can we make pancakes, mummy'.  I love it.  Every week, my baby boy and I make delicious pancakes for the family - he cracks the egg, pours in the milk, gives a little stir before he gets bored.  Super easy, super fluffy, super quick and even better, child friendly, both in the making and the eating.  They are resolutely family friendly too - no baddies in the salt and sugar world in these babies means they are the perfect Baby Led Weaning food.

But like the three bears, we all have our own ways to guzzle these:
  • The baby - plain with a side of banana 

  • The Child - SMOTHERED with Nutella (It's the weekend after all)

  • The Man - sandwiched with pancake crack (also known as Pancake Syrup from Tate and Lyle) and bananas, sometimes topped with a few blueberries

  • Me - Stacked with maple syrup and fresh fruit (main picture) with a Nutella pancake chaser because I just can't resist.

One mix of this bad boy makes enough for a greedy Sunday breakfast for me and The Man, three for The Child, one for The Baby and one or two for the dog (not surprisingly, he has his plain).  There are around 20 pancakes about 7cm in diameter using a pancake pan but if using a frying pan you can choose your own size - but any bigger than 10cm or so won't cook inside before the outside is done.

When The Baby has a bigger appetite, I'll simply make double and keep the rest in the fridge until needed (a blast in the microwave will bring them back to life) or freeze until you have visitors, or more likely, need a snack-like bribe for the kids.

Finally, if you eat these every week, do invest in a pancake pan - they somehow make better pancakes and satisfy my need for uniformity in an otherwise crazy life.  Mine is from Amazon, here, but you can also get one with smiley faces here!  I've got a Christmas one too.... Sad.

American Style Pancakes (makes 20-24 small pancakes).


  • 200g self-raising flour

  • 1tsp baking powder

  • 300ml milk (semi-skimmed works best but if making for a baby, try to use whole if you are concerned)

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 tsp flavourless oil (we use sunflower)

    PicMonkey Collage
  1. Simply place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk until the consistency of double cream and no lumps remain.

  2. Brush a non-stick pan with a the oil - there only needs be a super light coating.  Best to use a frying pan or, even better, a pancake pan like in the pictures.

  3. Heat on a medium heat until hot then pour a tbsp of batter into each pancake hole or into the pan until all holes or full, or you've no more room in your pan without them touching each other.

  4. Fry over a medium heat until little bubbles show on the uncooked surface then turn and cook on the other side.  If you are unsure, lift the edge of a pancake to see if they are a light golden brown and ready to turn.

  5. Cook on the other side, checking after a couple of minutes to see if they are done.

  6. Slide onto a serving plate and keep warm until the rest are cooked.

  7. Repeat until all batter is used.

  8. Serve topped with your favourite sweet topping

There's no need to serve them sweet - with no sugar in the batter a topping of cream cheese and ham might be nice?  Give it a try and let me know.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Feta and Pomegranate Cous Cous Salad

Summer just can't make up it's mind this year.  One day we're barbecuing, next we're stewing, so when asked to make a salad to go with a barbecue, I put my mind to work for something that can used another time.

Let me explain.

I always make enough to feed an army; I cant bear the thought of someone coming to our home for dinner and going home hungry, or the thought that I might take food to someones house and be seen as stingy. No, no, no.  So invariably, no matter how delicious the food, I always end up with leftovers.

I also can't bear the thought of eating summery salads on a freezing cold, blustery day; food must match the surroundings (think tapas in the sun in Spain, or a steaming cappuccino in a piazza in Italy).

Finally, I love leftovers; I love opening my fridge and seeing cling filmed bowls of good food good to go - it makes me happy.

So this salad had to be good for this changing weather.

With all this in mind, I went for a glorious cous cous salad, emboldened by the sprinkle of pomegranate and brought back to earth with mint and feta.  Perfect on a summers day with a barbecued chicken thigh or two and actually, even better served up alongside a lamb Tagine on a blustery day, which the next day just happened to be - you could say I planned it that way....

Feta and Pomegranate Cous Cous Salad (Serves 6-8)

  • 300g cous cous
  • 450ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • A fat clove of garlic (or two, depending on taste)
  • A good squeeze of lemon juice
  • 250g pack feta, crumbled into large chunks
  • Olive Oil (extra virgin if you have it)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Large bunch Mint, leaves chopped
  • 2-3 salad/spring onions, snipped into rounds about 5cm in width
  • Seeds from one pomegranate

  1. Pour the stock over the cous cous in a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave to soak for 5-10 minutes
  2. Fluff the cous cous with a fork and add the garlic, lemon juice, feta, olive oil, mint, spring onions and a good grind of salt and pepper and stir well, taking care not to break up the cheese.  You can make ahead until this point.
  3. Tip the salad into a serving bowl and top with the pomegranate seeds just before serving so the colour doesn't bleed.
  4. Tuck in


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Salted Caramel Brownies

As news arrived that we could be moving in just two short weeks, euphoria was quickly replaced by panic when I realised I'd no longer be able to get my weekly (OK, daily) Salted Caramel Brownie from the local bakery.  Argh! So when I agreed to make dessert for our Bank Holiday Monday BBQ with our friends-who-have-given-us-a-place-to-live, I knew what needed to be done.  I need these in my life.
IMG_8366The bakery brownies, dense with a slither of salted caramel running through the middle were perfect apart from one thing - they were less than an inch high but quite large in shape, more like a flapjack. No good.  Brownies, to me, are a large squidgy cube allowing for maximum fudginess and little chance of going dry, so I made that change first by using a 20cm square tin (I'd prefer 23cm but the damned thing is in storage). The brownies I made were indeed chocolatey with salted caramel running through the middle but were sweeter than their bakery counterparts snd much, much fudgier.  They were also much saltier than I'd like and I have a thing about salt in my boys diets, so I'll made sure I use a little less next time - the recipe below uses less salt than I used (for that intensely salty hit, use a full teaspoon of salt in your caramel).  I'd also be tempted to put all of the caramel in the middle and not bother with the topping - one to try next time I guess!
I've another brownie recipe in mind to use for those who enjoy something sweet but don't have a hugely sweet tooth (such as me). However, should you be the sort who enjoys the feeling that their teeth may fall out straight after chowing down on their sweet treat, like The Man, punctuated and tamed by that seriously salty hit, then this is the recipe for you my friend.
How to:
  • First, take 200g unsalted butter and melt in a pan over a low heat. Once melted, add 100g each of 70% cocoa and 50% cocoa chocolate, broken into pieces (no less or you wont get that lovely fudgy-ness) and take off the heat.  Leave until all the broken chocolate has melted.
  • IMG_8353Next, take 175g Carnation Caramel from a 397g tin and mix in half a tsp of flaked sea salt - make sure you use the good stuff here, not your 30p saxa table salt. Set aside.
  • Take the remaining caramel and whisk together with four medium eggs at room temperature and 200g golden caster sugar, until all mixed together
  • Add your melted chocolate and butter concoction and beat until smooth
  • Finally, weigh 130g plain flour and 50g cocoa and sift together over your chocolate and caramel mixture. Beat until just mixed - no more!
  • In a greased and lined 20-23cm square tin, add half of your mixture and smooth. Take half of your caramel and sea salt mixture and make five 'stripes' across your brownie mixture, then finally top with the rest of your brownie batter.
  • IMG_8360
    Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
    Take the second half of your salted caramel and make a further three thick stripes then, using the end of a knife, drag it through the caramel to make a feathered effect, taking care not to disturb the mixture below. Sprinkle with a further half teaspoon of sea salt.
  • Bake at 180 for 25-30 minutes, until the brownie has risen but still has a slight wobble to the centre.
  • Leave to cool, or if you're feeling rebellious (or simply didn't make this early enough in the day because your kids were being 'challenging'), eat just warm with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.
  • Brush your teeth. Well.
Keep an eye out for the less sweet recipe to follow, should you feel the need.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

A Food Revolution - A Review

  • WhereRevolution Macclesfield  
  • When: Wednesday, 12.30pm
  • Who: Myself, my husband and our baby in his pram
  • How Much: Less than £10 for a main course on average
Think Revolution. Think sticky floors, chilli vodka and cheesy Saturday night music? Think Again.
Revolution. Now that brings back some memories - hazy ones, but memories none the FullSizeRender_1less.  Often a destination for a start out drink on a Saturday evening, more often an 'ended up' place - 'Oh, we ended up in Rev's, cracking night' etc etc, Rev's has been the scene of many a messy evening, always sponsored by Absolut Vodka Cocktails. Now, it seems, Rev's is also the scene of style, fabulous food and innovative drinks with a new menu to boot - their new relaxed sharing style of dining that 'is at the centre of the foodie scenes in New York and San Francisco', was one I was keen to try when invited.
You can't have a post about Revolution without a Disco Ball
Never having been in Revolution during the day, I entered with my baby with trepidation, but they were more than happy to accommodate us, moving chairs for the pram and making sure we had enough room without causing a fuss.  There aren't any children's menus (that I could see) which is to be expected in a bar, but I was reassured they could accommodate our little man when I looked around and saw lots of happy families enjoying the chilled out music coming from speakers, the funky, industrial inspired interior and, of course, the food.
So, on to the menu.  
I'm ashamed to say I was expecting classic chicken in a basket, everything-tastes-the-same-deep-fried platters and still-radiating-with-microwaves-when-it-arrives Lasagnas.  I'm happy to say I was very wrong; they stuck to their promise of American Deli-style produce with salt beef sliders, buttermilk chicken, burritos and shrimp all gracing the menu with nothing microwaved in sight.  Fabulous choice for those more adventurous (popping candy and Armageddon sauce on a burger, anyone?) and just as much to choose from for the more picky amongst us.
I REALLY wanted one of the sharer crates I spied on a neighbouring table, involving  pulled beef sliders, viper dusted fat chips, buttermilk fried chicken and dough dogs, but I knew I'd struggle to share and had to turn my attention to the wider selection with an initial reluctance.
Fruit Water
BBQ Crackling Puffs
With this in mind, we perused the menu whilst sipping on water (stylishly served in a carafe bearing chopped fruit - very now, very Pinterest) and munching our BBQ Crackling Puffs, deliciously salty, devilishly crunchy and decided, after much deliberation to start with a few Sharing Plates. At 3 for £13 they struck me as the perfect way to start a night out with friends or a quick snack break with a chilled Prosseco whilst shopping. We devoured Dough Dogs (inspired by corn dogs, hot dogs on a stick, bloody gorgeous, my son would kill for them), Crispy Goat's Cheese Bon Bons (perfect with their homemade Armageddon sauce - which will knock your socks off) and Butterfly Breaded Shrimp (which happily took me back to a drunken afternoon on a pier in San Francisco).  I normally avoid 'breaded' thanks to many heavy, oil-soaked experiences, but these breaded bites were gently battered and fried to give a light taste and texture, not a drop of oil to be seen.  We were impressed.  We were surprised.
Sharing Plates (CW from top) - Battered Shrimp, Crispy Goats Cheese Bon Bons and Dough Dogs
For our main course, despite the extensive menu, we both headed for the burger section. He chose the Smokin' Bacon, resplendent with Wotsits (yes, the crisps - they work), dripping with cheese and bursting with BBQ onions.  I plumped for the healthier San Fran Chicken, fresh as dawn, laden with beetroot, sunblush tomatoes and avocado - right up my street.  More choices were to be made - Normal skin on fries or sweet potato? Vapor dust (spicy I'm told) or BBQ dust? (he went for normal with BBQ, I had plain sweet potato.  Good fries all round).
San Fran Burger with Sweet Potato Fries
FullSizeRender_2 (2)
Smokin' Bacon Burger with Skin On Fries with BBQ Dust
Chocolate Fluffwich
Chocolate Fluffwich
Banoffee Fluffwich
Just when we couldn't eat another bite, the dessert menu appeared and two 'Fluffwich'es were ordered; Chocolate for me, Banoffee for him; The fillings, wrapped in a sweet bread and gently fried until molten, were sickly sweet and gorgeous.  Both were stuffed with Fluff, that marshmallow stuff you see in the American section of Selfridges, then mine with Nutella, his with banana.  Only one complaint - mine could have done with a bit more Nutella, but then even with a 1kg jar on the side I still wouldn't be happy!
This review wouldn't be complete without a review of the impeccable service, from the smile from Shelley as we arrived, to the asking if we'd like to wait for our mains or go ahead, through to the attention with the drinks - not overly fussy, friendly and attentive.  Perfect.
Blue Moon Cocktail
We were both hugely surprised at what we found at Rev's; memories of those sticky floors were quickly fading to be replaced with memories of style, good food and good service. But, whilst I and Revolutions may have evolved, grown and matured over the last few years, a trip to Revolution wouldn't be compete without a Absolut vodka based cocktail now, would it?
  • Who should come here?: Anyone; families, friends, colleagues; but I'd avoid bringing your gran and avoid children after 6pm ish.
  • Is it value for money?: Absolutely - you get plenty of grub for your GBP and won't leave feeling you've been 'done'. You could go to a chain competitor and send much more for microwaved fare. And on Monday's, there's 50% off certain dishes - see you there!
  • Revolution kindly invited me to review their menu and the meal was free of charge - thanks guys!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Combat Boredom - Jammy Biscuits

n Mondays, I have two children with me, a five month old and an inevitably bored-for-some-of-the-day three year old.  Today, to combat said boredom, satisfy my/his sweet tooth and take my mind off the fact we STILL haven’t heard from the solicitor, I took to Google to figure out what could be done to rectify the situation.  Today I'm cooking for necessity - there is no room for error here; one mistake resulting in less than perfect produce will inspire a tantrum worthy of, well, a three year old.  Anything that takes longer to do than ten minutes results in flour, butter or anything else he can get his hands on being flung about the kitchen and on to the dog.  So, no making up of recipes here!
FullSizeRender (2)We ended up making some deliciously gooey Jammy Biscuits to pass some time; just five ingredients and a pair of clean hands and you’re off (NB in our house clean finger nails and no sight of bogies passes for clean – his bogies that is), with lovely, time saving instructions from  Hard to get wrong, this forgiving dough allows little hands to abuse it and still turn out a biscuit you’d give to a friend rather than an enemy… and the fact that these particular little hands made less than perfectly shaped biscuits (those on Good Food were clearly made by, oooh, say, a five year old), makes them all the more endearing.  The only thing I’d note is to use bloody good jam – is it worth doing any less?
How to?
  • Measure out 200g self-raising flour100g sugar (recipe calls for caster but only had granulated so it had to do) and 100g butter and get your little hands to rub
    together to make a breadcrumb like texture – ‘i said rub, not throw!’
  • Finish off for them when they get bored.
  • Dribble in a lightly beaten egg and get those hands in again to form a dough – I left this to the little hands – I have nice nails and I’d like to keep them that way.
  • Roll said dough into a sausage about 5cm in diameter and cut into 2cm thick rounds – you’ll end up with 12 or so.FullSizeRender (1)
  • Stick your little ones finger in the middle of each to make an indentation into which you’re going to plop a teaspoon of jam (alternating a spoon full for yourself of course).
  • Put them on a baking tray, leaving a good 3cm around each one for spreadage and bake for 10-12 minutes at 190 degrees.
  • I don’t need to tell you that hot jam is like molten lava, so make sure you leave them a bit before you get greedy and shove one in in one go…. erm I mean allow your little horror to eat one delicately (I’m not talking from experience here or anything…).
May your day pass a little faster, if not sweeter.

Monday, 16 April 2012

I'm back Baby! Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie

It's been a while, hasn't it? You may be wondering where I've been, why I stopped writing my beloved blog, what happened to me. Or maybe you're not, but the answer is simple.

I went off food (cue gasps of horror from my fellow foodies).

I couldn't face the thought of cooking even to satisfy mine and my husbands basic need for nutrition, never mind for fun. I just didnt fancy anything to eat, and if I did eat, I generally felt a little bit sick. And then, when I managed to cook something worth writing about, I barely had the energy to log onto blogger nor the imagination to make it witty, entertaining or informative. My mind was completely elsewhere.

Now, all the mums out there probably have a light bulb pinging above t your heads as you realise what's going on here. Yes, you guessed it, in February I had a beautiful, beautiful Baby Boy (if I was the type to have smilies in my blog, I'd pop one in here!).

My baby boy, 7 weeks old
You may now be wondering why I didn't write about my pregnancy and how that affected my love for food and I'll be honest and say my innermost thoughts about my pregnancy were not something I wanted to share with people I didn't know. I wouldn't have minded sharing something basic and primitive; heck, my bump pictures went to everyone I knew, but that wouldn't have made nine months of blog posts. How I felt inside, my fears, my upas and down,s now that would have made some interesting posts, but it just didnt feel right. Iwas also in shock for the first eight months!! I was terrified about what was happening to me, to us. It all happened a little quickly and took me by surprise (strange really as I know all about the birds and the bees). Let me explain - last May, my husband and I thought 'maybe we should think think about starting a family'.... Baby Boy came along in February. You do that math. To say I was taken aback was an understatement and it took until I held my baby for the first time to realise what it meant to me. It meant the World then. I can't even put into words what it means to me now.

So, now you maybe wondering, given the enormity of bringing a child into the World, what on Earth made me decide to write my first post back in the world of Blogging about a Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie (I'm wondering that that myself right now as I can't abide peanut butter. I digress). Not exactly Earth shattering stuff to anyone else but it is to me. Let me explain.

Having a baby puts a strain on every single relationship you have. Your parents, your friends, your boss, but most importantly and significantly, your partner. Whilst pregnant, I read article after article telling me to be prepared for the worst to hit us. Your relationship will change, they said. You will fall of of love (albeit temporarily), they advised. You wont have time for each other, they preached. On the first point, they were (unsurprisingly) quite right. It has changed, but for us, it's for the better. The decisions we make together as parents have given us confidence in each other, the way my husband is with our little boy fills me with awe, as does his complete and utter devotion to us. I love that he gives his time to us and looks after him without being asked, or even hinted at, so I can have some time back given the all consuming nature of having a newborn. Most recently, he took our baby boy whilst telling me I had to get back to my blog. He knew how much I missed it and he let me have that time for the newborn fog to clear and re-discover my love for food.  
My Boys

A big part of cooking for me is feeding those you love and for that reason, I chose to make something I knew he would adore, as a thank you for him just being him. A massive treat , even though it's not at the top of my wish list for a pudding. But one bite of this and I wonder what I don't like about it. I think it's just the thought of the peanut butter. I hate the cloying consistancy for a start, but this delicious pie takes away that particular consistency and leaves behind that crunchy texture and gloriously peanutty taste that I have to admit, I rather like. Add to that some of the best dark chocolate, double chocolate chip cookies and a mountain of cream, and what's not to love? Just don't think about the calories (pah, who cares about Baby Weight anyway?)

I wrote once that in a years time I wanted to change my life... I didn't for a second think it would change in this way but my God, am I pleased it has.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie
(Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook).

  • 250g double chocolate chip cookies
  • 40g unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 160g caster suagr
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 500ml milk
  • 180g peanut butter
  • 120g dark chocolate
  • 250ml double cream
For the topping
  • 350ml double cream
  • 50g icing sugar
  • Grated dark chocolate to decorate

1. In a food processor, whizz the cookies to crumbs, before adding the butter and whizzing again to combine. Tip into a 20cm tin and push down into an even layer covering the base of the tine, with the back of a spoon. (A springform tin gives the neatest finish, but I couldn't find mine so used a loose bottom tin. Just expect the finished product to not have such defined layers until you cut into it). Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Whilst chilling, start the filling. Mix together the egg yolks and milk and tip into a saucepan containing the cornflour and caster sugar. Place over a low heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time. As it reaches boiling point it will thicken and look like wallpaper paste, which is exactly what you are looking for. Take off the heat and stir in the peanut butter.

3. Take half of the mixture and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the warm mixture has melted the chocolate and you have a chocolately/peanutty gloopy mass. Pour this on top of your biscuit base, smooth out and cover with cling film (push the cling film into the tin to rest of your topping. It wont stick, it will just stop a skin forming. Pop back in the fridge for another 40 minutes.

4. Cover the remaining peanut butter mixture with cling film as before and leave to cool. Once cool, whip the cream to soft peak consistency and fold into the remaining peanut mixture. Pour this on top of your chilled chocolate and pop back in the fridge for a further 50 minutes.

5. Finally, to make the topping, whip the cream together with the icing sugar, again to soft peak, and spread across the top of your pie and top with the grated chocolate.

Now, you can serve the pie straight away, but it will benefit for being in the fridge overnight. Besides, you wont fancy the pie straight away as you'll feel sick from all of the spoon licking you've just done. Don't try to tell me you didn't. I know you did.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Boys Christening Cake

OK, I realise I'm a little late with this boastful blog post, but you'll be pleased to hear it's another short but sweet entry. It's so late because I was waiting for my wonderful husband to give me the SD card for the camera on which I was sure to find some glorious pictures of my creation. But no, while I was carrying out my Godmotherly duties, he forgot. How lovely. So, All I have is this terrible picture of the case I made for my gorgeous Godson on his Christening.... It doesn't do it justice, I know....

(The Gin in the background was to sterilise the cake board.... I don't have a problem, honestly!)

Until next time...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Baby Girl Christening Cake

It's a Girl! Actually, it was three girls for my friends sister and she asked me to make three cute christening cakes. How could I say no!?

I didn't of course, and I spent a good while over the last month or so fashioning the decorations for three identical cakes, the only difference being the flavour of each, and the names.

It was a labour of love, but just to show off, here's one of them.

And that's if from me today! This is nothing more than a post to show off something I'm proud of.... and there is another show off post tomorrow.

Until next time.