A tangle of inky black tagliatelle
The first rule of getting married is: don’t talk about getting married.
Ok, I’ll rephrase. Do talk about it to a select few people, suppliers for example, without whom the big day is pretty unlikely to even happen at all. Talk about it with enthusiastic friends and family, people you’ve not seen in a while or as a subject to fill that awkward moment when you’re stuck somewhere like a lift with a stranger and need to make small talk. But don’t talk about getting married to excess. Continue reading
Perfect for a quick & simple breakfast
If I asked you to think of the best thing that happened in your life this last week, what would it be?
Anyone who read my most recent post will know that we celebrated our eight year anniversary this weekend. Smiles filled our flat, glasses were raised and some seriously delicious celebratory food was consumed. It was a wonderful weekend, a truly special occasion and probably what I would highlight as my most amazing thing if asked the question above.
Rich, chocolaty & packed with peanut butter flavour
Eight years ago last Friday, I met my husband-to-be. The next day I baked him brownies.
Back then, the thought of writing a food blog hadn’t even entered my head. The online world was a very different place: basic WordPress was only just up and running, Facebook in its infancy and YouTube launched that year. Blogs like Delicious Days and Seven Spoons might have just got started, but the idea of writing about food on the internet was still just the seed of an idea in the minds of Joy the Baker, Deb Perelman and numerous other bloggers we know and love today. Continue reading
Sweet banana, crunchy cocoa nibs & toasty maple walnuts
What’s your favourite thing to do with a blackened banana?
Breads, cakes, cookies, muffins and smoothies are all pretty wonderful ways to use up an overripe banana or two. The ice cream I’m sharing today is even better. But to be honest, I’d be happy if you made any of the items listed above, as long as your bananas don’t end up in the bin.
Little chocolate pots topped with crunchy cocoa nibs & whipped cream
Mention the words ‘chocolate’ and ‘mousse’ and three distinct childhood memories immediately spring to my mind.
First up is that of eating little plastic pots of the stuff after the occasional mid-week meal. Nowadays I’m pretty scornful of these foamy excuses for mousses (think ingredients including reduced fat cocoa, skimmed milk, gelatine and some sort of starch), but then they were something of a childhood treat and certainly a step up from Petit Filous in the excitement stakes (chocolate; not yoghurt!). I can clearly remember the satisfying ritual of peeling back and licking the lid, scraping out each mouthful with a tiny teaspoon and trying to make my mousse last longer than my brother’s without him trying to steal any as I ate. Continue reading
Chocolate almond pastry, chocolate frangipane & sweet, fresh cherries
How many times have you wanted to bake something only to be thwarted by a store cupboard shortage or lack of ingredients in your local shop?
This post is less of a recipe than a series of ideas and suggestions around a theme. While making drunken plum tart several times over Christmas, I fell more than a little in love with frangipane and have been looking for other ways to use it ever since. Previously I’d associated frangipane with the sickly sweet almond filling you often find in croissants – a heavier, altogether different beast from the light, sweet simplicity of the version I made at home. With a new-found favourite and a new technique added to my baking repertoire, I was keen to get experimenting.
Homemade egg tagliatelle – simple and delicious
Sometimes it makes sense to take shortcuts in the kitchen. Life is, as they say, too short and I’m more than happy to buy pre-prepared ingredients like all-butter puff pastry if it means a little more time with my friends and family or freedom to pay attention to the rest of a recipe.
Sometimes it doesn’t. Hummus and pesto are two major bugbears of mine, both such staple ingredients (in certain middle class sections of society anyway), perennially popular yet tasting of little more than the cheap, bland ingredients from which they are made (sunflower oil and cashews instead of olive oil and pine nuts? Yes, Sacla, I’m looking at you). Continue reading
Wholesome soda bread studded with three types of seeds
Waking up and eating is a joy. I adore breakfast and can’t imagine a day without it, so it pains me that so many people skip this meal on a regular basis.
While people around the world are making resolutions to restrict their diets, I’d like to suggest you add something to yours. If you don’t eat breakfast every day, why not make the time to do so? It kick starts your metabolism, limits snacking and overeating and is recommended by pretty much every nutritionist out there. It’s so wonderfully satisfying to start the day with a delicious meal, however small, and the perfect opportunity to try a whole host of recipes and flavour combinations. Continue reading
Crisp choux pastry, glossy ganache, pistachio cream
This weekend we celebrated Carnivorous Fiancé’s 28th birthday.
On Friday, we went for food with friends. There were burgers, booze and a butterscotch bourbon birthday cake for 16, made at the birthday boy’s request. Iced and eaten after dark, the cake was never going to make it on the blog, but with no shortage of sweet treats in the little loaf household this weekend, I’ve got a (possibly even better) recipe to share with you today.
Soft, sweet frangipane studded with drunken plums
After all the festivities of the past week or so, it might seem a little indulgent for my first post in 2013 to feature ‘drunken plums’. But rather than being anything overtly boozy, this fruit is roasted in just a little brandy, butter and sugar, improving on the flavour and sweetness with such subtlety that it’s pretty difficult to detect. So difficult, in fact, that I could have simply called this ‘Plum Frangipane Tart’. However, there’s something wonderfully satisfying about the sound of a drunken plum . . . Continue reading