Saturday, 15 September 2012

Death By Chocolate Cake

Last week I did the unthinkable and made a cake that would give even the fittest Olympian a heart attack.

I'd seen similar cakes in pictures posted on the internet and thought I would give a shot at making one. It is the most chocolatey cake I have ever tasted and I'm pretty sure I am now well on my way to being diabetic.

I made two basic chocolate sponges, sandwiched them between chocolate butter icing, slathered more of the butter icing all of the cake, stuck Kit Kats around the edges and filled the base with Smarties. It was glorious!

Next time I attempt to make this, I will be sure to chill the Kit Kats beforehand... they got a bit soft and full of finger marks!

Monday, 3 September 2012

(A Terribly Clever) Apple, Sage and Shallot Tray Bake

I love M&S food and as of today, I love their apple, sage and shallot tray bake. It costs £3.29 for a jar and all you need is some pork and veg.

The M&S 'Terribly Clever' range is extremely convenient for busybodies who want posh dinners but don't have the time to make them. They stock a range of pastes, marinades and mousses that require simple ingredients and instruction. So far I have tried the chocolate mousse and the apple, sage and shallot tray bake. Both were really easy to prepare, affordable and tasted very 'posh'.

For the tray bake, I simply added 6 pork medallions into a freezer bag and shook them up with the tray bake. Then I popped them in a dish and baked them in the oven for 30 minutes. Whilst they were baking, I prepared some mashed potato and vegetables to accompany the dish. In total the dish took no more than 30 minutes to prepare and tasted just like roast pork with apple sauce and stuffing (minus the gravy). Sunday roast without the fuss!

Friday, 31 August 2012

Lemon Ginger Honey

The first time I tried a glass of hot lemon, ginger and honey was in a cafe in Dharamshala, India. I can't get enough of it and drink it like water. In addition to tasting fabulous, it's also a great remedy for colds - I'm starting to look forward to the winter now...

If you love lemon, ginger and honey, you really must give this a try - or even if you have a cold, I would highly recommend it. All you need is boiled water, lemon juice, ginger and honey - all affordable and obtainable from your local supermarket.

Here is how I make it:


1/2 lemon
25g honey
20g fresh (peeled and finely chopped) ginger - unfortunately I only had pickled ginger but fresh is best

Cooking Accessories:

A small drinking glass/ mug
A spoon for mixing

Add the honey to the glass
Squeeze in the lemon juice (remove all seeds)
Add the ginger
Add the boiling water
Stir and leave to stew for 5 minutes before drinking

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Philadelphia Freedom

Apparently chocolate Philadelphia isn't new to Americans. Having looked on the US website, they appear to  have every type of chocolate covered. One of the downsides of being a Brit is that you have to wait a bit longer for the news to arrive. I currently have an obsession with the US TV show, Once Upon a Time and found out that series 2 doesn't hit the UK until next year - it airs in the US next month! This is clearly what happened with chocolate Philadelphia...

About a week before this hit the shops, I made a chocolate cheesecake (inventing it as I went along) - I made the topping from Philadelphia and cheap dark chocolate. There I was thinking I was being innovative... a week later Philadelphia with Cadbury hit the supermarkets. Shamefully, I have to admit that it tastes better than my chocolate cream cheese but then it is Cadbury! The best way to describe it - smooth and chocolatey with a heavenly tang. It also tastes great dolloped on digestive biscuits - a cheesecake short-cut.

You can buy Philadelphia with Cadbury for £1.62 from most British supermarkets including; Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, ASDA and Waitrose.

Philadelphia with Cadbury... I love you, yes I do

A Bit Of Wensleydale, Gromit?

I love cheese. I love cheese so much, I once tried to throw a cheese party at university.

It's a very British obsession - I'm sure Wallace and Gromit would agree.

Lunchtime today consisted of crackers and cheese. What I love most about it is the fact that you can have it for a meal or desert. Many British gastropubs (posh pubs that sell posh food) and restaurants serve it as a desert... aka - the 'cheese platter'. I've never tried it as a desert (more of a fan of chocolate-based puddings) but I do love a few crackers at lunch.

What's more, you can have it with every cheese imaginable. My favourites are:

Le Roule

Today I opted for:

Ilchester Mexicana Cheddar - £1.19 (140kg) Tesco
Norwegian Jarlsberg - £1.44 (160kg) Tesco
Wensleydale with Mango and Ginger - £2.30 (230kg) Tesco
A slather of avocado (a great combination with the Mexican cheese)

It's quite obvious that the food shopping is done at Tesco but Morrisons (another leading British supermarket) stock a huge range of cheeses, in a variety of flavours. My favourite amongst the three has to be the Wensleydale. It has such a creamy texture - it melts and explodes in your mouth at once. The mango and ginger also give it a fruity/ spicy flavour. I just can't get enough of it and it doesn't surprise me that cartoon characters can't either!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I Heart Momos

If you've ever been to India or Nepal (or if you're lucky, Tibet), you'll know what these are.

They're quite simply heaven in a dumpling and come in a variety of flavours. Having been to India and Nepal, I have tried a large proportion of these! Chicken, pork, vegetable, cheese... even mars bar flavoured. The best way to describe them... they're a bit like spring roles filled with flavour!

My favourite to date has to be cheese and vegetable fried momos. I had these in a backpackers hotel in McLeod Ganj, Northern India (home of the exiled Dalai Lama). They cost no more than 100 rupees for a large plate (about £1.15) and I had them for dinner every night we stayed there (which was 4 nights... in a row). I don't think I have ever tasted a bad momo - this goes to show how amazing they are!

I have even managed to find momos back in the UK - I really am obsessed. About a year ago my dad informed me of a Gurkha food store in the military town of Tidworth, Wiltshire. He travelled to Nepal not long after my trip in 2010 and he fell in love with them too. In here we found... FROZEN MOMOS.

If you are ever in India, Nepal or even Wiltshire, I would recommend jumping on the momo bandwagon. They are to die for.

(Vegetable momos at the Pyramid Cafe - Rishikesh, India)

I also recommend:

Om Hotel (as mentioned above) - McLeod Ganj, India
Peace Cafe - McLeod Ganj, India
Gurkha Variety Store, Tidworth, UK

Do it. Do it. Do it!

Pineapple Avec Cinnamon

It really is that simple. 

I wanted some pudding and simply drizzled some cinnamon over a handful of pineapple chunks - it tastes delicious.

To make it more exciting, you can even sprinkle some brown sugar over it and grill it until it browns. This tastes more delicious!

A simple 5 minute tropical twist for desert!