Squidgy little squares of nutty chocolate goodness
Before the age of about fifteen, I don’t think I’d ever made buttercream icing.
I’d eaten it, of course, at friends’ houses and birthday parties, spread over simple sponge cakes and smothered between the rounds of the ubiquitous caterpillar cake (one made an appearance at a 28th birthday we recently attended, clearly caterpillar cake will never go out of fashion in some circles), but I’m pretty sure I’d never actually made my own buttercream at home.
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
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.
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.
A pile of beautiful, buttery croissants
With just a few hours left until the new year, there’s little left to say other than thank you.
Thank you for your comments and support, for continuing to be interested in what I have to say, for reading and sharing my recipes and for sending me your amazing pictures when you make them.
Rather than posting anything new today, I’ve included a round up of your five favourite (by page views) little loaf recipes from the past year, followed by five of mine.
2012 has been incredible. Here’s to an even more amazing 2013. Continue reading
Squidgy chocolate brownies with raspberries & crunchy amaretti biscuit
Celebrity chefs are making us fat.
Or so the media might have you believe. According to recent research from the British Medical Journal, recipes from the likes of Jamie, Hugh and Nigella are less healthy than a supermarket ready meal. The study shows these recipes to contain, on average, considerably more calories and saturated fat than their pre-packaged counterparts, casting the latter in a much more favourable light. Continue reading
Flourless chocolate sponge filled with chocolate amaretto cream
When did food start getting smaller? I’m not talking super-sized fries or ridiculous restaurant portions here (global obesity statistics suggest that serving-size is anything but under control), but pre-packaged foods: the biscuits, chocolate bars and ice creams of this world.
The other day Carnivorous Fiancé was feeling a little bit under the weather. Food being my go-to solution for many of life’s smaller problems, I popped to the shops to buy him our ultimate childhood treat: a mint cornetto. Pulling it out of the freezer cabinet I was taken aback by how small it seemed, a thought only compounded by seeing it in Carnivorous Fiancé’s (much larger) hand as he polished it off in a matter of mere bites. Continue reading
Moist chocolate sponge cloaked in chocolate & rolled in coconut
Saying goodbye can be hard. Any way in which the blow can be softened – if only by butter, chocolate and sugar – has got to be better than nothing.
On Saturday two of our friends threw a leaving party. At the end of December they leave for Australia where they plan to spend year at absolute minimum, more likely two with very little likelihood that they’ll make it back for our wedding next summer. Continue reading