Archive of ‘Reviews’ category

Mini Bleeding Heart Halloween Cakes

Mini red velvet layer cakes with ermine frosting topped with a bleeding heart and ganache 'blood'; perfect for Halloween

I haven’t had as much fun in the kitchen in a long time as I had making these mini bleeding heart Halloween cakes; yes I am still trying to clean the food colouring off my hands and worktops but it was a fun and almost therapeutic craft project. The hearts are the brainchild of Lily Vanilli, an incredibly talented baker and author who originally designed the hearts as an anti-valentines cake. I thought they would be great for Halloween and would look even more impressive placed on top of mini red velvet layer cakes with a cascade of ganache ‘blood’ down the side. (more…)

Norwegian Fjord Trout

norwegian-fjord-trout-pan-fried

Last week I attended the Good Housekeeping Institute in London for the UK launch of Norwegian fjord trout, a unique and versatile salty-sweet water trout which until now has not been readily available in the UK. It has a mild, delicate flavour and melt in the mouth texture and it doesn’t taste ‘fishy’, which makes it perfect for people who are a bit on-the-fence about fish. It is also incredibly healthy, it’s an oily fish which stores it’s fat mainly in it’s belly which means that the flesh is lean and full of protein, vitamins and omega. (more…)

Tangzhong Chocolate Swirl Buns & VonShef Stand Mixer Review

tangzhong chocolate swirl buns

One of the biggest powerhouses in any baker’s arsenal is the stand mixer, it renders a great many tasks considerably easier and enables you to do other things whilst at the same time mixing cake batter, making meringue or kneading bread dough. Unfortunately they are generally prohibitively expensive, which is why when my (second-hand and gifted) KitchenAid mixer exploded I was unable to afford to replace it and have been without one for a long time. I still have it, sat in a cupboard awaiting the time when I get round to finding a replacement circuit board for it, but I keep forgetting to do so. (more…)

A Last Minute Picnic

A last minute picnic with Higgidy

The British Summer has been fairly elusive so far; May gave us a taste of warm, sunny weather, but then the entirety of June was a complete washout and so far July hasn’t been much better; fingers crossed for August… The less than perfect weather doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a picnic though, but it is definitely safer to take advantage of those rare times when it isn’t raining and go for a spontaneous one rather than planning in advance. You could even have an indoor picnic; there is something quite fun and rebellious about eating your food on a blanket on the floor rather than at the table; or you could have a bed picnic! (watch out for crumbs). (more…)

Sausages With Beer Pretzel Buns, Beer Braised Onions & Roasted Garlic Butter

Sausages with beer pretzel hot dog buns, beer braised onions and roasted garlic butter

So apparently this week is #NationalBBQWeek, but as I write this it is dark, wet and miserable outside, most decidedly NOT barbecue weather…hopefully it will pick up for the weekend in time to get the BBQ out (not that I actually even own one…). But even if the weather doesn’t improve, you can still enjoy some BBQ food with these sausages with beer pretzel buns, beer braised onions and roasted garlic butter; as the sausages can just be cooked in a pan or oven. (more…)

Gin And Bitter Lemon Sorbet

Gin and bitter lemon sorbet - a light, refreshing grown-up treat

My fiance is a bit of a sorbet fiend, he would eat it almost every day if he could; but I think he got through this batch more quickly than any other sorbet I have ever made before…it must be the gin… And to be fair, this gin and bitter lemon sorbet is pretty much everything you could ever want from a sorbet – light, refreshing, not too sweet and a little bit boozy… (more…)

Banana Rum Caramel Bundt Cake & Bake Box Review

Banana rum caramel bundt cake - moist banana cake with banana rum caramel sauce

Can you believe that up until now I have never owned a bundt tin? I have always coveted one, but they are quite expensive (I want a Nordicware one…) so I have never been able to justify buying one. So I was rather pleased when a box full of baking goodies that I was sent to review happened to contain a bundt tin; it is not a Nordicware one, but a silicone, half size (6cup) tin. The size is actually perfect for me, as as beautiful as full size bundts are, they are rather large and make a bit too much cake for a family of two… (more…)

S’mores Eclairs & A Giveaway

S'mores eclairs - crisp, craquelin topped choux pastry fingers with toasted marshmallow creme patissiere, chocolate, toasted marshmallows & crushed digestive biscuit

The last few days I have achieved precisely nothing. The reason for this is three months old, loud, and prone to waking at 4am; aka my niece. I was babysitting for a couple of days and despite my best intentions to get some work done while she was here I failed miserably; if anyone can share the secret to taking care of a baby and dog whilst also working and doing the cooking and cleaning AND somehow managing to fit in some time to sleep please do share! The whole experience left me in need of something sweet, but fitting in baking and photography as well would have been a step too far! Unfortunately I made (and ate) these s’mores eclairs a couple of days before babysitting, so there were none left by the time I needed one! (more…)

Popcorn Rocky Road & March 2016 Degustabox Review

White chocolate drizzled popcorn rocky road bars

Welcome to my review of the March 2016 Degustabox. If you’re not familiar with the Degustabox then in brief it’s a subscription service whereby each month you’re sent a box full of goodies to try; most are either new brands or products and it works out far cheaper than buying everything individually in the shops. It is a bit of a lottery however as you have no idea what you will be sent, some products you may love, and others you might not be so keen on; the surprise element is quite fun though, and it encourages you to try products that you wouldn’t normally think to buy. If you fancy giving a box a try yourself then simply enter the discount code BLDEG15 at the checkout and you’ll get £6 off your first order! (more…)

Berry Cider Cake With Mascarpone Cream

Berry cider cake with mascarpone cream icing - light, slightly spiced cider cake with berries & a thick layer of vanilla mascarpone cream

A marvelous thing happened the other day – I was able to go outside without a coat! Since then there have been a few days where it has been warm enough to venture out without one (though certainly not every day!), the sun has been making a regular, much welcomed appearance, and last night it was still just about light at 8pm. All of this has left me in quite a cheery mood and very much ready for summer, and what better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than with a suitably cheerful cake? This berry cider cake is exactly that; although it may be a little early for berries I just couldn’t resist buying some, more for their beautiful, bright colour than anything else! (more…)

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