Monday, 15 November 2010


I went up to Derby last week to catch up with some friends and family and couldn't resist stopping off in Bakewell while i was close by. It's a lovely little town and it's almost reassuring to know that you're never far away from a Bakewell tart or pudding!

It was a pretty chilly day (even the ducks didn't much fancy the water) so i got lunch in the tearoom above The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop which my mum assured me was the proper original one! Lovely grub in a lovely building and, of course, i didn't leave without taking a couple of Bakewell puddings home. I'll hopefully get out the the derbyshire area for a little break at some point, it's such a lovely place that i've never really investigated.

Saturday, 6 November 2010


I made the pumpkin ravioli i've wanted to do for tea tonight and, overall, i think it was fairly successful. I had slight issues with the pasta machine in that some of the dough keep getting brought all the way around the rollers and jamming it up (not really sure why, maybe wet dough?) but i got there in the end.

For the filling i just mixed together some cooked pumpkin, ricotta, nutmeg, parmesan, salt and pepper. I think it was the right balance of not too wet/not too dry plus it cooked well with no splitting of the ravioli parcels. On the whole very yummy, especially with a little drizzle of goat's cheese sauce.

Saturday, 30 October 2010


One of my friends went on holiday to France recently and brought me back some of my favourite treats- salted caramels! And not just caramels but a soft salted caramel spread type thing. YUM.

So with having some company this evening i finally got round to using the popping corn i've had propped up on a shelf for a fair while. Heated up with some oil, sugar and continual agitation it made a fairly decent popcorn, actually. Definitely worth having in the cupboard as something for a sweet treat!

Friday, 22 October 2010


It was my Nana's birthday yesterday and i thought i could use my sister as a bit of a courier service while she's going up at the weekend. I thought some nice home made biscuits would be a nice present and after having a look through a couple of my cook books, i decided to go for the stem ginger nuts from
The Great Britsh Book of Baking. They came out really nicely (probably some of the best looking biscuits i've made) and tasted delicous.

I wanted to use a nice little cardboard cake box to send them in but the logistics of it wouldn't have worked terribly well so i went for a cellophane bag to stack them in. I think it's nice that you can see the biscuits too, rather than just a mystery box!

It was also my brother-in-law's birthday two days ago and i went for a sleep themed gift bag which included some of my home-made hot chocolate. As you can see, i substituted some of the chocolate in the recipe for chilli chocolate- i love a warming kick of chilli with my hot choc, especially in the winter! I've also had it on good authority that it's yummy with a glug of cointreau (or other liqueur) in.

Home-made Hot Chocolate

3/4 cup quality unsweetened cocoa powder
6 ounces quality plain chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground clove

Make the mix:
Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process just until mixture is powdery -- about 30 seconds. Be careful not to over process. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

For the label:
To make hot chocolate, combine 1 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of this mix in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is incorporated and mixture is warmed through. Sweeten to taste and serve immediately.