Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Waffles With Spiced Honey Glazed Pineapple

I'm so over January! I'm over waking up in the dark and rushing around trying to catch the natural light to take pictures. Roll on the summertime, with light, warmth and long days. 

To help lift my spirits a bit, I wanted to bring on the summer vibe with some tropical fruit - the mighty pineapple. I had also intended to try and do some more healthy recipes for the coming month. I'm  afraid that the regular snacking on my creations is starting to show on my tummy & I'm not liking it! I figure if I make healthy stuff at least once in a while, I'll be giving myself a better chance of keeping it under control!

So today I bring you, waffles with spiced glazed honey pineapples and cinnamon fromage frais. If you wanted to be super good you could just leave out the waffles, note that's not what I did as I didn't want to go crazy :)

The recipe is very simple, I don't have a waffle iron (to reduce temptation), so I bought the waffles. The pineapples take about 20 minutes to make including preparation time so it's really quick. Click here for the link to the recipe.

This is actually very tasty. You have a beautiful mix of different textures with the waffles, pineapple and fromage frais. There is also a tartness from the lime and the fromage frais to offset the sweet flavours: all in all a big thumbs up!

Before I forget, I will be announcing the winner of the giveaway in Friday's post so look out for that!

Tell me, what is your favourite season and what have been your highlights for this month?

Peace & Love


Pin It

Friday, 27 January 2012

Delphine's Chocolate Cake

When you bake as much as I do you need to set some boundaries to ensure you can fit in your clothes. 

Rule number one is not to eat too much cake or as the Notorious B.I.G. said 'Never get high off your own supply'. Clearly to say no cake ever would be unrealistic. But how much is too much? You can imagine how difficult this potentially could be for me but I've pretty much got it down to a fine art. 

This week though, I broke that rule and I made a cake just for me. It was one of those weeks where I did things I don't normally do, like stay away from my laptop and take long walks rather than drive everywhere and eat whole cakes for myself.

The cake is an authentic French recipe, given to me by one of my friends. It is rich and indulgent and really easy to make.

Delphine's Chocolate Cake

200g plain chocolate
125g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp of self raising flour

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/ 350oF/ Gas 4. Grease and line an 8" cake tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a pan over a gentle heat until just melted. Leave to cool slightly.
3. Add the sugar, eggs and flour and mix thoroughly.
4. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.

You can of course dress it up with cream or raspberries but I ate it just as it is, slice by tasty slice. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Peace & Love


Pin It

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Candy Kisses For Sleeping Beauty

A kiss seals two souls for a moment in time ~ Levende Waters

Hello my friends. I find myself in a bit of a Sleeping Beauty mood at the moment, well Sleeping something at least! Do you ever get those times when no matter how much sleep you get you still feel tired? I'm thinking I'm in need of some sunshine or a handsome prince to come and wake me from my slumber! :) Seeing as that's not going to happen anytime soon it's on to plan B; cupcakes and hibernation, oh and easy recipes to make. 

The lip toppers are to give me that boost that I need - one that can only come from loving lips! I bought a lip candy mold a while back and have not had a chance to use it yet so as there's no time like the present I thought let's go! Candy moulds can be bought online or in craft or cake decoration shops. Wilton do an extensive collection so that is always a good place to start. 

Check out this cool link (here) for a vanilla cupcake recipe with a handy how-to video.

Never a lip is curved with pain
That can't be kissed into a smile again ~ Brete Hart


Peace & Love

Pin It

Monday, 23 January 2012

Off The Deep End (Honey Cupcakes with Clotted Cream)

Hello All

Just wanted to let you know that I am now writing for the Off The Deep End blog... Exciting times!

Check out this link for my first post; Honey Cupcakes with Clotted Cream. I'll be writing for them once a month & will keep you updated with the posts.

Peace & Love
Pin It

Friday, 20 January 2012

Wonderful Love & Lollipops

Everyone says that LOVE hurts.
But that's not true. Loneliness hurts. 
Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts.

Everyone confuses these with LOVE.
 But in reality, LOVE is the only thing in this world that covers up all the pain and makes us feel wonderful again.

Peace & Love


ps click here for a recipe link. I used strawberry flavouring and red food colouring with some silver dragees for decoration.
Pin It

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Chocolate Chip Amaretti Biscuits

I learnt something this week. It's pretty simple but will be invaluable for you when you are trying to bake anything. In fact it's more like two things, maybe three;

Lesson 1: Don't let yourself get distracted by phone calls from friends or take a bath when you have cookies in the oven. It really isn't the best, stay focused!

Lesson 2: Use your common sense with recipes as not all of them are legit. The recipe I followed said to bake the biscuits for 15 minutes but after that time they were still completely uncooked. In the end I looked up other recipes and they said to bake the cookies for 40-45 minutes!

Lesson 3: Recipes always seem to take me longer than the recipe says it will. This is actually my problem because I like to do a million things at the same time. Focus!

Recipe for Chocolate Chip Amaretti Cookies
(makes lots, maybe 26)

  • 170g/6oz ground almonds
  • 170g/6oz caster sugar
    2 egg whites
    15ml/0.5 fl oz amaretto liquor
    Chocolate Chips (optional) enough for 1 per biscuit

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a large bowl beat the egg whites until firm peaks stage.
  3. Mix the sugar and the almonds gently into it using a metal spoon.
  4. Lastly add the amaretto liquor and fold in gently until you have a smooth paste.
  5. Make small balls using approximately half a teaspoon of the mixture. Place the balls approximately 2cm/¾in apart, as they will expand whilst cooking.
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the cookies have risen, are a deep golden color and have tiny cracks. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. If you wish to add the chocolate chips do so when they are first out of the oven and the biscuits are still soft and warm. Place one chocolate chip in the centre of the biscuit. The chocolate will harden again as the biscuit cools.
  7. When cool gently peel cookies from parchment. If they stick to parchment, turn the paper over, take a damp paper towel and gently wipe the bottom of the parchment paper to loosen the cookie.
And there you have it, another quick and tasty recipe for desserts. This is actually a quick recipe, even I did it in a reasonable time, when I wasn't having a bath or talking on the phone :).

Let me know how you get on with the recipe.

Peace & Love
Pin It

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Petit Pain Au Chocolat

Happy Tuesday folks! Yesterday was a day of three pretty cool things. First up, I had the privilege of getting a sneak peak of David Hockney's upcoming exhibition A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy of Arts during a preview showing for friends and family. 

There are two things I love about preview showings; the first is being able to see the art in peace. This will almost definitely be a very busy exhibition so to get to see it like this was amazing, especially in such a grand institution. The other cool thing were the refreshments; more specifically the Champagne that flowed and flowed! 

No photography allowed but I managed to sneak the corner of one pic! :)
The second thing I did yesterday was to enjoy the beauty of the winter sun. I confess that last weekend I stayed in to avoid the frost and bitter cold. I just looked out of the window, said no & curled back up again - shameful! This was no longer an option come Monday and I realised that I had been missing out! The snaps below are taken from my garden. I love how nature can bring forth beauty even in the starkest environments.

The third and final cool thing I did yesterday was to make some Petit Pain au Chocolats - with Flake chocolate :). I had seen this recipe a while ago on another blog and have been wanting to try it because it looks so simple. As I was assembling the petit pains I had a brainwave and thought, "I wonder what it would taste like with a Flake?"

The answer is delicious! Plus the Flake actually retains its flakiness which adds an interesting texture to the bread. It's definitely worth a go as it's really so simple. I enjoyed mine with a cup of coffee.

Recipe - Petit Pain Au Chocolat

  • 1 sheet ready-made puff pastry cut into 12 squares
  • 1 large egg beaten (for glaze)
  • 200g of your favourite milk or dark chocolate, each cut into 2cm pieces (you may not need all of the chocolate)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200ºC/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with greasproof paper. 

2.Brush the top of each puff pastry square with egg glaze. Place 1 piece of chocolate on each pastry square. Roll up the dough tightly, enclosing the chocolate in each square. If you don't roll it tightly it will puff out and be very fluffy! 

3. Place pastry rolls on baking sheet, seam side down. Brush tops of pastry rolls with remaining egg glaze. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake until pastries are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Best served immediately.

Definitely give this one a try!

Peace & Love

Pin It

Friday, 13 January 2012

To The Child That Is Waiting...

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending a baby shower for my good friend. The theme was an English Tea Party and after much deliberation I came up with a menu, with help from my long-suffering sister.

Tea Party Menu

Finger Sandwiches (all on white bread)
Ham and Watercress
Cream Cheese and Chives
Cream Cheese and Cucumber

Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting (some topped with strawberries)
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
Toffee and Banana Cake
Victoria Sponge
Lemon Drizzle Cake
Chocolate Eclairs

Champagne and Strawberries (generously provided by Mummy-to-be)

I've been to a lot of baby showers in my time, but this one was truly beautiful and involved us taking time to bless the baby and appreciate the amazing gift of a new life. It was so moving that I almost got broody (almost!)

Have a look at a handful of the pictures from the day and join me as we wish them all the best for the future.

Peace & Love

ps Special thanks to my sister for coming to my rescue at 3am the night before. I will always love you xxxxx
Pin It

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

I'm Going In.... Best Cupcake Ever!

My name is Bailey Ana and I am an insomniac.

It's true, I go for days on end with about 3 hours sleep a night until I become exhausted and think my life is falling apart and then my body goes on strike and I get a decent nights sleep. In fact it's probably  takes about 2 days of being a zombie before I feel like a human being again. 

It used to stress me out, (my insomnia), because obviously I'd be thinking about all the sleep I wasn't getting & how tired I was & the stress cycle would continue. More recently, I've decided to go with it and see it as a time for inspiration. Without exception my inspired ideas and thoughts come at night. In the twilight hours I can plan and think clearly so now I try to go with the flow. Plus me stressing about it doesn't actually help me to sleep so why bother!

One of my dilemmas for last night was what I was going to do with the leftover batch of red velvet cake mixture in my fridge. I love Red Velvet cake as much as the next person but I wanted to do something a little different, something fun and tasty and a little bit exciting but more than anything I didn't want to buy any new ingredients. 

This morning (a first) it came to me. 

Red Velvet cake with mini cake balls (an uncovered cake pop) and a toasted meringue topping.


I was excited because in theory all of these elements should work well together & I was so right. In fact I would go as far as saying that this is probably one of the best cupcakes I've ever made. They literally melted in my mouth. 

I had all of the ingredients in the house; red velvet cake mixture, cream cheese frosting & some leftover vanilla sponge in the freezer. It was almost a simple task of baking the cupcakes & making the meringue. If you had to make it from scratch it would probably be a much bigger hassle but this is another one to put in the 'definitely worth it' category.


Red Velvet cake mixture (get recipe from here)

Cream Cheese Frosting (get recipe from here)

Cake balls (get instructions from here)
Make the cake balls half the size of the ones you would use if you were making a cake pop.

Meringue (see recipe below)

1. Bake your cupcakes and leave to cool. 
2. Make the mini cake balls using approximately 15g of cake mixture per ball.
3. Using a teaspoon cut out a small area from the top of the cupcake for the cake balls to rest on. Do not cut them too far down. Place one ball on each cupcake.
4. Make the meringue using the following recipe. It makes just enough for 12 cupcakes so you will need to make more if you have more cupcakes;

2 egg whites
4oz/110g caster sugar 

Beat the egg whites until stiff, then beat in the sugar a little at a time until stiff and smooth. Use this mixture to fill a piping bag, and pipe over the cupcakes. Brown with a blow torch or under a preheated, hot grill. If you use a grill be careful because they brown very quickly!
5. Eat or serve to happy people!

I'm pleased with myself for getting inspiration in the daytime and I'm hoping this may lead my brain to shut down a bit at night so I can actually sleep! A girl can dream :)

Peace & Love

Pin It

Monday, 9 January 2012

Mini Chocolate Eclairs & Mutiny

In an attempt to to be kind to myself, I swopped my workout at the gym today for a gentle class of Pilates aimed at retired people. That backfired. This is the second time I've taken the class and for whatever reason (the fact that I am clearly under 65), the guy who runs it, takes one look at me, apologises for the gentle pace (which is what I go there for) and then ramps it up!!! Needless to say, I almost didn't manage to get a post up today, I am shattered, my body hurts and my brain is refusing to come up with coherent sentences: in short there is a mutiny going on!

Fortunately for me I had a secret weapon up my sleeve to kick start my body back up again - mini chocolate eclairs. There are quite a few steps to this if you are making everything from scratch but they are tasty and worth the effort if you're having people over or it's an occasion or you're just really keen. They are especially nice to come home to when you have overdone it and your body has gone on strike. Only the richest of sugary foods was going to encourage my body to pull itself together and work with me, if only for a little while.

Last week, for a baby shower, I turned my hand to choux pastry, adapting 3 different recipes to make some mini chocolate eclairs. This was my first time making them and as I'm not a great lover of choux pastry I was more than a little intimidated - how would I know if I got it right, I haven't eaten an eclair for ages?? Improving my pastry skills is one of my (many) goals for 2012 and I had some left over marshmallow flavoured cream from a birthday cake so I figured, why not!

Choux Pastry Recipe 

Makes about 24 mini eclairs

Choux Pastry (adapted from How to Bake by The Great British Bake Off)
100g plain flour sifted
175ml water
1/4 teaspoon salt
75g unsalted butter at room temperature
3 eggs beaten

Marshmallow Cream (adapted from the Whoopie Pies by Love Food)  
100g marshmallows
100ml double cream
1 1/2 tbsp milk

Chocolate Topping (from all recipes UK)
2 tablespoons butter
60g plain chocolate, chopped
125g icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6 and line a baking sheet with greasproof paper
2. Put the water, salt and butter into a medium sized pan and gently heat until melt the butter is melted, then quickly bring to mixture just to boiling point before adding the flour.
3. Take the pan off the heat and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until it turns into a smooth dough.
4. Put the pan back on the fire and slightly cook the dough for about 2 minutes until it comes away from the pan in a smooth ball.
5. Tip the  dough into a mixing bowl and leave to cool until it is it just warm then gradually add the eggs using an electric mixer. You will not need to add all of the egg so leave a tablespoon or so. It needs to be shiny and paste like but not too wet.
6. Pour into a piping bag and cut off the end. Pipe 5cm lengths of dough onto the baking sheet, leaving enough space for the rolls to expand.
7. Bake for 15 mins then reduce the temperature to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Quickly open and close the door to let out the steam and then bake for a further 10 mins.
8. Remove from the oven and poke a small hole in one end of every roll to let the steam come out. Return to the oven for 3-5 mins to make sure they are fully cooked on the inside.
9. Cool on a wire rack.

Marshmallow Cream
1. Melt the marshmallows and milk in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
2. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until it holds firm peaks. Fold the cooled marshmallow mixture into the cream and leave to set in the fridge for at least 30mins.

Chocolate Topping
1. Heat 2 tablespoons butter with chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and stir in icing sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla. Set aside.

To assemble: Slice each eclair in half lengthways. Pipe some cream onto the bottom half of each eclair. Replace the tops and spoon on the chocolate topping. Chill until serving. The eclairs get soggy if left for too long so it's best to assemble them when you are ready to eat them. You can freeze the eclairs and take them out 10 mins before you are ready for them to defrost.

I'm now off to bed, my sugar high has ended, my vision is getting blurred. I hope you had a great start to your week and don't forget there are still a few days left of the giveaway. Click here for more details!

Peace & Love


Pin It

Friday, 6 January 2012

Love Never Fails

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does, Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up. James A. Baldwin

You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. Sam Keen

Love is absolute loyalty. People fade, looks fade, but loyalty never fades. You can depend so much on certain people, you can set your watch by them. And that's love, even if it doesn't seem very exciting. Sylvester Stallone.

On the 1st of January this year, my in-laws celebrated 40 years of marriage. Even as I write that sentence I am in awe of how they managed to go the distance and make it through living in different countries, raising children and semi-retirement. So few marriages last that long, mine included, and it seems that everyday someone else is calling it quits. I'm grateful to have a real life example of enduring love and commitment to give me hope.

The pictures are of the cake that I made to celebrate the occasion, your 40th anniversary is known as the Ruby Anniversary, hence the red accents on the cake.

For all of you out there, make sure that you love and look after each other. x

Peace & Love

Pin It

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Tea and Cupcakes

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux.

This is a busy week for me with some serious life shaping stuff happening. Major changes mixed in with birthdays, anniversaries and baby showers: in other words cakes, cakes and more cakes! Yes, life changing stuff must be marked with cake.

Cake and Tea. 

Generally we use cake as a mark of celebration and tea for everything and anything! For me, baking has become a solace and a place to channel my love and creative energies. The thing is, you can't be angry or bitter and bake something tasty. Food that is cooked with love just tastes different, you can't put your finger on it or explain it, it just does. I bake to stay sane and to keep my heart soft and filled with love. I drink tea because it's tasty and warm and strangely comforting.

Today, in amongst the many cakes I have this week, I decided to use some of the leftover cake mixture to try out these cute silicon tea cup cupcake moulds. I bought mine online from Amazon and they are just as cute as they look in the pictures! The two cupcake flavours are vanilla and chocolate and both are topped with a cream cheese based frosting. For the vanilla cakes, I coloured the frosting pink and the chocolate cakes have had a touch of Nutella added to the frosting. I just couldn't resist after the fun I had last time.

If you want to make Cream Cheese Frosting use this recipe below adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Book;

Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough to cover 12 cupcakes.
300g icing sugar, sifted at least TWICE

50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Beat all of the ingredients together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on slow speed until the mixture comes together and is smooth and well mixed. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny. If it does get a bit runny then leave in the fridge to firm back up again before you use it.
The actual recipe advises you to mix the butter and sugar first before adding the cream cheese but I always had lumpy or runny icing with that approach. You may have better luck than me though! 

So find yourself a cup of tea, a cake and tell me, what or where is your happy place? 

Peace & Love

Pin It


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...