Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

Pimm’s Fruit Tarts

Pimm's fruit tarts - crisp citrus shortcrust pastry filled with Pimm's creme patissiere, cucumber & mint jam, strawberries, orange & apple

Did you know that the Queen has not one but two birthdays? Obviously there is her actual birthday, on April 21st; but since 1748 the sovereign of the UK has had an ‘official’ birthday which is generally set around the start of June, to coincide with a higher probability of good weather for outdoor ceremonies. For her 90th birthday this year, June 11th is the official date, but celebrations will begin on June 10th as well as there being events on May 12-15th. (more…)

Tropical Fruit Coconut Tart & A Giveaway

Tropical fruit coconut tart - crisp coconut pastry filled with coconut creme patissiere & tropical fruits

We have had some truly glorious weather recently (interspersed between some very wet and miserable days…); as I write this I am overlooking our back garden, which is beautifully warm and sunny, aaand horrifically overgrown…all the plants have had a sudden growth spurt and it is getting towards the point where even the dog can’t venture out any further than the patio due to the height of the weeds (he is only small). It needs some serious work doing to it; not just weeding, but leveling, digging out a couple of trees, extending the patio, laying a path, building vegetable beds, mending the fences etc. etc. I thought about starting work on it the other day, but I just couldn’t face it so baked this tropical fruit coconut tart instead which was a much more satisfying use of my time. (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…)

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…)

Toasted Coconut Pancakes With Chocolate Fudge Sauce

Toasted coconut pancakes with chocolate fudge sauce and banana, a decadent breakfast or brunch.

I have been on a serious pancake drive recently and have been craving them ALL THE TIME… I have pretty low willpower so needless to say I’ve been eating a lot of pancakes! I’ve been making loads of different kinds – banana spelt, apple rye and cinnamon, the classic crepes with lemon and sugar, broccoli and feta and these toasted coconut with chocolate fudge sauce and banana. I was originally just planning on making plain coconut pancakes but at the last minute decided to toast the coconut first; I am glad I did as it adds a whole extra depth of flavour. I then also decided that seeing as I was making that extra bit of effort that I needed to go the whole hog and make chocolate fudge sauce as well; again, an excellent decision. (more…)

Some Thoughts On The Subject Of ‘Artisan’ (The Craftsmen’s Dinner Campaign) & A Competition!

Ferraby-Knives-image-1

Ferraby-Knives-image-11

I have great respect for anyone who has the drive and talent to be able to forge a career as a craftsman; I know from firsthand experience that it certainly isn’t an easy path; I trained at university in jewellery and silversmithing and then tried to make a living selling my handmade silver jewellery. I failed. Sure, I could have tried harder and for longer, worked on honing my skills and maybe I could have got somewhere, but I found the whole experience quite frankly utterly disheartening and expensive and I lost any enjoyment in the craft. Traipsing around the country with your stock and display set-up to craft fairs that charge you an extortionate amount of money just to have a stall there with no guarantee of actually selling enough (or anything at all) to cover the costs was not fun, so I quit. I still make the odd piece of jewellery, for myself or as a commission but I think that I am better off just doing it as a hobby. (more…)

Hokkaido Milk Bread Hot Cross Bun Loaf

Hokkaido milk bread hot cross bun loaf, perfect for Easter - Domestic Gothess

The best part about any holiday or celebration is the food, and more specifically, the baked goods; cakes and breads feels so much more special if you only consume them once a year. My favorite Easter bake is hot cross buns, though I do also love Simnel cake, but I have a particularly weak spot for sweet enriched breads. I generally bake at least one batch of hot cross buns around Easter time every year; I decided to do something a little different this year though and baked a hot cross bun loaf using my hokkaido milk bread recipe as the base. (more…)

Refined Sugar-Free Oatmeal Spelt Pancakes With Cinnamon Apples & January 2016 Degustabox Review

Refined sugar free oatmeal spelt pancakes with cinnamon apples - light, fluffy, healthy pancakes made with ground oats and spelt flour, sweetened with carob syrup

Welcome to my review of the January 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…)

No-Bake Superfood Granola Bars

No bake superfood granola bars - chewy, filling and super healthy granola bars packed full of seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oats and dark chocolate

I’ve been trying to keep fairly healthy this month, and other than gradually polishing off the remains of the Christmas chocolates I’ve been doing quite well; I’m not dieting per se, just cutting back on the cakes and biscuits for a while. I still find myself in need of a daily mid-morning snack however, something that I can just grab and go and that satisfies any sweet cravings I may have. A granola bar fits the bill well but I think that when it comes to most shop bought versions they are not actually very healthy (or filling) so you may as well just be eating a bar of chocolate…so I made my own, and crammed them full of super healthy and filling ingredients. (more…)

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