Green & Black’s Chocolate Strawberries

10388123_10152068654042096_7259499987072648998_n10155894_10152068713207096_8251646066935708489_n10390550_10152068739327096_1962195154212776210_n10343688_10152503516813023_8931396454492136735_nNot quite a recipe as such but some very pretty photographs I took of my yummy srummy Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!

An absolute treat that most definitely calls for luxury! I used the best strawberries I could possibly find (Marks & Spencer) and some very indulgent Green & Black’s Milk and White Chocolate! Mmmmmm…..! :)

These were a (very) quick treat to take around to Zoe’s for an impromptu BBQ (making the most of the sunshine in the UK) so I didn’t have time to properly temper the chocolate. Instead I went with the tried and tested method of melting the chocolate in a bowl over the hob!

1) It only takes a few moments but its dead easy, simply place the roughly chopped chocolate in a bowl. Half fill a saucepan with hot water, and put the bowl over it, making sure that the bowl does not touch the bottom of the saucepan.

2) Slowly heat the water, ensuring it does not boil. Stir regularly using a flexible spatula so that the chocolate melts smoothly. This way means that the chocolate is slightly thicker than it would be if you had tempered it but it’s still easy to work with! :)

3) Once the chocolate has melted, pour it in to a ramekin and grab your strawberries!

4) Dip your strawberries in to the melted chocolate and coat about half of the strawberry, place on to a sheet of baking paper to set and continue the same process with the rest of your strawberries.

5) Once you have finish place the baking tray with your strawberries on greaseproof paper in to the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

6) For the white chocolate decoration, simply follow the same melting directions and very carefully pour the melted white chocolate in to a piping bag (that is opened up over a tall glass) and leave for around 15 minutes for the chocolate the cool and slightly set.

7) Remove the strawberries from the fridge and decorate however you wish with the white chocolate before popping them back in to the fridge for another 20 minutes.

Enjoy with fizz!!!! Any excuse!

Love S xx

Coconut & Cherry Flapjack


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Sundaaaaaay baaaaaking! :D

I’ve not put up an actual recipe for a little while, so I thought I would treat you all to this little delight…Coconut & Cherry Flapjack!

I often talk about my love for almonds, but did you also know I’m a sucker for oats and coconut too?! I know…all the best ingredients! ;)
The Boy has worked the past two nights, doing his DJing thing for the last time before starting up again in September. Thats right folks, I get him all to myself on the weekends allllllll through summer! (Think beer gardens, dancing, cocktail making and picnics)!

To celebrate, I baked this last night (around 12am, practically Sunday – all is fair in love and baking) ready for him to nibble on today with some coffee :)

The best thing about this recipe is that there is no need for a mixer (sorry, Penny) and you can pretty much whack all the ingredients in together…mixing, baking and cooling all in an hour.

You could be munching on these in 60 minutes! What are you waiting for?!

Anyway, enough talking….time to bake and eat, people :)

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Ingredients:

200g Unsalted butter
200g Demerara sugar
2 tbsp of Golden syrup
275g of Porridge oats
150g Desiccated coconut
100g Glace cherries (chopped)

Recipe:

1. Preheat the oven to 160c/325f/Gas Mark 3 and grease a baking tray (mine was 11 x 9 inch)

2. Heat the butter, sugar and syrup in a large saucepan over a low heat and stir gently until just melted

3. Once the mixture has melted, add in the oats, coconut and chopped cherries. Stir until evenly combined

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4.
Pour the mixture in to the baking tray and spread the mixture evenly. Use a spatula to press the mixture down and ensure a smooth surface

5. Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes

6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the baking tray for 15 minutes before using a sharp knife to cut the flapjack in to squares

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7. Carefully transfer your flapjack to a wire rack to cool completely

8. Enjoy!

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Love S & P x

 

Budapest Photo Album – April 2014

IMG_6214A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to take a lovely little holiday to Budapest!

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and has two sides, Buda and Pest, stretching along the banks of the Danube, representing two different characters of the city. Budapest has so much to offer its residents and visitors; Museums and galleries, churches and synagogues, palaces and historic buildings, baths and pools – all packaged up neatly in this beautiful city with its stunning mix of architecture.

Buda, on the West side of the river is hilly and semi-suburban. It has winding, narrow streets working their way up into the hills where you can find Buda castle and the beautiful Fisherman’s Bastion!

Pest is the urban centre of the city, on the East side of the river.  Parliament, the Basilica, the Synagogue, the Opera House and the Central Market Hall are all here and within walking distance of each other.

Buda provides great views of Pest, and vice versa.  Between the two cities at the northern end, in the middle of the river, lies Margaret Island, a gorgeous park with lots going on – we loved it there! Really beautiful park and lovely, relaxed atmosphere!

Whilst in Budapest, some of our favourite delights included; Langos (google it!!), authentic goulash, hungarian ballet – Romeo & Juliet, both the Gellert & Szechenyi baths, the architecture, the Fisherman’s Bastion and yummy ice cream!

We spent 5 amazing nights in this beautiful city and loved every minute of it!

Apologies for some of the dodgy photos – spent too much time having fun instead of making sure they were all perfect ;)

Love S xx

Lemon & Raspberry Bundt Cake

IMG_6842Saturday! Woo! By far, my favourite day of the week! Today I have mixed emotions about my Saturday….I’m uber excited to be seeing the Arctic Monkeys tonight and some lovely friends over the weekend but, myself and the boy have to sit through 4 and a half hours worth of coach journey down to London to get to the good stuff! :)

Its cool, Dave has his iPad and I have my ideal homes magazine (addict) and of course….we have each other and our sometimes very strange topics of conversation! (I tend to talk about strange stuff when I’m tired, such as how I like to watch pigeons hop down stairs….!). I love that we never run out of stuff to say though :)

This week one of my lovely work colleagues left to go have her baby! She hasn’t found out the gender of her baby but I am *convinced* she is having a boy!

We decided to give her a bit of a send off in the form of a fuddle in the office kitchen, everyone bought food and gifts and it was a lovely way to spend a friday afternoon :)

I had planned to make little cupcakes, iced in either blue or pink (original) with some very cute baby feet cake toppers that I had found whilst on holiday in Norfolk in February…..Alas, true to how I roll, I had forgotten that I had thrown my cupcake baking trays away (ruined) and had forgotten to buy more….!

This is where my beautiful Lemon and Raspberry Bundt cake stepped up to the plate (!) I ended up making this one in a bit of a rush so unfortunately I don’t have loads of pictures of the process like I usually do – sorry! :(

However, ingredients and recipe below……

Ingredients:

For the cake

230g Self raising flour
1 tsp of baking powder
16 tbsp of soft butter
230g Golden Caster sugar
4 eggs
Finely grated rind of 1 unwaxed lemon
4 tbsp of milk

For the topping

110g unsalted butter
2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
500g of icing sugar
Pack of fresh raspberries

Recipe:

1. Preheat your oven to 190c/374F/Gas 5 and prepare your bundt tin

Tip: some people struggle to properly prepare their bundt tins and as a result, they are unable to turn their cakes out without damage. To properly prepare your bundt tin, melt a small amount of butter and use it to brush an even layer all around your tin – especially all the nooks and crannies!  Next sieve some flour over your lightly greased bundt tin, ensuring that you cover the whole of the inside before tapping out the excess flour over the sink.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl

3. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, lemon rind and milk and beat together until smooth

4. Pour your mixture in to the prepared tin and place on the middle shelf in the oven for about an hour – ensure you start checking it after around 40 minutes

5. Once out of the oven, leave your cake to cool completely in the tin before turning the cake out on to a wire rack

6. To make the topping, mix the butter, lemon juice, lemon rind and half of the icing sugar in a large bowl until smooth

7. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and continue to beat until smooth

8. Spoon your icing on to the cake and decorate however you wish before adding your fresh raspberries to the top of your cake!

Enjoy! :)

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Love S & P x

New Cake Toppers – Sweet Little Girls!

IMG_6481A lovely work friend, Patsy, recently asked me to bake her a cake for her father’s 60th – (eeek, pressure!).

I was both very excited and very nervous about this bake – what if I messed it up?!

To add to the nervous, Patsy requested a carrot cake – amazing choice but I’d never made a carrot cake! Cor blimey! This felt like I was starting to bite off more than I could chew! (excuse the pun)!

Today I am going to focus on the cake toppers that I made for the cake – 4 in total – each to look like one of Patsy’s beautiful nieces!

Patsy sent through the pictures and I set to work on 2 blondes and 2 brunettes, each in different sizes with different coloured dresses, hair styles and eye colours!

It took 22 hours over 2 weeks, copious cups of tea and more than a few swear words over my ridiculously unsteady hand (the faces are hand painted)! but here are the finished products…..I am very proud of them :) I hope you like them!

 

Carrot cake recipe and pictures to follow shortly!

Enjoy!

Love S & P x

Cadbury Creme Egg Easter Brownies!

IMG_50345 weeks since my last post! 5! Where have I been? Well, my lovely fellow bloggers, I have been prancing around Budapest, attending theatre shows, watching gigs with friends, generally being smug and giddy about our new engagement and ….. baking of course!

As you are all well aware, Easter was a little while ago…..but, I baked these little beauties! The perfect brownie – a recipe I adapted form the Hummingbird Bakery!

They were really delicious and an easy variation on my normal brownies…these, like my standard brownies, didn’t stick around for long!

The key to making sure that these work is to freeze the cadbury creme eggs first! This stops them from completely melting whist the brownies are baking :)

Ingredients and recipe below, enjoy!

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Ingredients:

5 large eggs
500g caster sugar
120g plain flour
100g cocoa powder
250g of unsalted butter (melted)
50g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
50g Milk chocolate, roughly chopped
2 bags of mini Cadbury creme eggs

Recipe: 

1. Preheat your oven to 170c/325f/Gas 3 and prepare your baking tray

2. Beat your eggs and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy

3. Add the sieved flour and cocoa powder and beat until all ingredients have been well incorporated

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4. Pour in the melted butter and beat again. Now stir in the chopped chocolate

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5. Spoon the mixture in to your prepare baking tray and gently press the cadbury creme eggs in to the mixture

6. Bake in the over for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is firm but the centre is still soft.

7. Leave to cool completely before serving :)

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Love S & P x