Re-Living the Magic of the Marshmallow Puff

Pinterest is my second favorite social media site. It has given my blog more views then any other site.

Magic Marshmallow Puffs were my first viral pin on Pinterest! It had 4 re-pins!

No joke - after that it spread like wild fire, becoming my most viewed post for months.

That was 2 years ago.

Recently I have been looking back at older posts to see how far I've come and the magic marshmallow puffs just stood out and I realized they had a lot of potential to be more! 

I remember the first time I found Jus-Rol's Croissants, I was so excited that I bought like 4 of them, it was just something I had missed from home. 

It was difficult to decide there is so many different things that could be added besides the classic cinnamon and sugar combo! 

Here is a list of my ideas: 
  • a teaspoon of homemade butterscotch and marshmallow
  • 1 Cadbury Mini Cream Egg and marshmallow 
  • 1 Rolo or Munchie and marshmallow 
  • a teaspoon of jam/marmalade and marshmallow 
  • a teaspoon of Nutella or Lotus Spread and marshmallow 
  • a square of chocolate, a golden graham, and marshmallow (S’more puff)
  • a teaspoon of pie filling and marshmallow
  • a teaspoon each of peanut butter and jam and marshmallow (PB&J sandwich puff)
I went with the Cadbury Mini Cream Egg and the homemade butterscotch and it did not disappoint. 



Magic Marshmallow Puffs (re-visited)

1 pkg of Jus Rol Croissants (6 croissants)
6 marshmallows 
3 Cadbury Mini Creme Eggs
3 tsp of homemade butterscotch

Lightly grease 6 cups of a muffin pan and preheat the oven to 190C/350F. 
Unroll the triangles, place a marshmallow and other filling (in this case a Mini Cream Egg and a teaspoon of butterscotch) in the middle of the triangle and fold the points up.
Place them seam side up in the prepared muffin pan. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes.



You could add a frosting if you'd like. I don't think these ones needed it, as they were sweet enough! They are really like magic as they are effortless and delicious!

Jus-Rol sells all sorts of different pre-made pastry that takes the stress out of being creative with flavors and experimenting!

notes: In association with Jus-Rol. See my contact/policy page for further information. In the USA these croissants are the same as Pillsbury's Crescent Rolls. Are you on Pinterest? Follow me and I’ll follow you back! 

Wonka’s Nutty Crunch Surprise {belated World Book Day treat}

These were made originally for World Book Day, but I didn't make them in time for the big day.

That big day was March 6th, but I think it’s important to encourage children to read any and every day of the year!

Growing up I was always in a low reading group. We were never told, but we weren't clueless, we knew all knew where we stood. 

As an adult I think it's weird that I was in a low reading group. I just remember reading all the time. Always before bed, I'd curl up with a book and I still do!!

I can only speculate, but I hated reading out loud. It really wasn't my thing. I hated the attention, everyone listening and if I made a mistake or stumbled on a word I didn't want to be singled out. 

It's funny how things change or stay the same over time, I am not so worried about things like reading out loud, but  my love of books has not changed!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of the first chapter books I remember reading. I took it out of the school library - if I remember correctly there was also a waiting list for it.

I used to pretend that I was Charlie. The Charlie who was already running the factory, I mean who wouldn't want a chocolate factory??

I know I do! And while making these bars, I sorta felt like I did!


Wonka’s Nutty Crunch Surprise

200g milk chocolate, broken up
50g butter
75ml golden syrup
165g digestive biscuits, finely crushed
75g flaked almonds
25g rice cereal

Line and grease an 8 in square cake tin. Melt the chocolate with the butter and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan of water. Stir until completely melted. Gently fold in the biscuits, almonds, and cereal to the melted chocolate. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press down with a spatula until smooth. Then cool in the fridge before cutting into bars.

Nutty Crunch:  

50g flaked almonds, finely chopped
100g granulated sugar
2 tbsp water

Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, Leave on low until the sugar has dissolved. According to the recipe you want increase the heat and wait for it to caramelize.

However, I had my burner on the lowest heat and twice the sugar mixture seized up and crystallized before it turned a caramel color. I used a pastry brush to keep crystals forming on the sides of the pan, but it didn’t seem to make a difference.

The third time I just included the chopped almonds to basically make sugar coated almonds and worked with it. Set them aside to cool.

Chocolate Coating

200g milk chocolate

to finish: Melt it using the method above.

Lay the cut bars on a sheet of grease proof paper, using a table spoon gently spoon the melted chocolate over the bar then sprinkle the sugared almonds on top. Repeat until all bars are chocolaty and nutty!


They were super good, because just like rocky road when you mix sweet and salty things you can never fail! These would be great for a picnic or just an after school treat! 

notes: The recipe was adapted from Roald Dahl’s Completely Revolting Recipes and other tasty treats! Next month I’ll be taking part in World Book Night (April 23rd) again, which is encouraging young adults and adults who don’t read a lot. I cannot wait to collect my books and give them out!!

Holding it Down in London Town {Johnny Cupcakes}

A week ago Saturday, I took my family on a road trip to London, for the sole purpose of visiting a very special place in Carnaby.

Johnny Cupcakes! They were celebrating their 3rd year in London!

I have a small-ish collection of Johnny Cupcakes T-Shirts, sweatshirts, bags, stickers, and buttons that is still growing!

With the promise of new in store only T-shirts and to meet the Johnny of Johnny Cupcakes I had to go!


We did have a bit of a wait, the store is pretty small and can only fit so many in at a time, but the crowd was friendly and we had a great time talking with the other fans! 

When we got closer to the storefront, Johnny was outside performing magic tricks! My girls loved it! According to his profile on the website he wants to be a magician when he grows up. I think he’s well on his way!

Overall it was a great afternoon out, I got a fun t-shirt (the same as Johnny is wearing in the pictures above), and I got to meet Johnny!! He gave the girls buttons and they happily posed for a picture with him!

It’s not just the creative and fun clothes and accessories that I love about the JC brand, but the story behind it.

Johnny “Cupcakes” Earle is the CEO and Head Baker of Johnny Cupcakes; he started the brand in 2001 out of the trunk/boot of his car. He took something that started with his friends calling him enduring names like Johnny Appleseed and of course Johnny Cupcake, added a bit of fun and creativity, then turned into a successful business.

It’s the sort of story that makes you believe that anything is possible if you are willing to take a chance and do something that makes you happy!

My eldest drew this after our visit.

notes: This post is not endorsed or in association with Johnny Cupcakes. I went because I love it! If you’d like to visit Johnny Cupcakes in London Town you can find it at 10 Foubers Pl. Carnaby, London, W1F7PF UK; for other locations check the website and if you can’t visit one of the awesome stores you can always order online, they ship internationally!

Cherry Garcia Cake

Usually I get an idea for a cake and by the time I actually make it, it is something completely different.

The theme for this month’s Clandestine Cake Club in Reading was cakes inspired by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors. I wanted Peanut Butter Cup, but it was already taken. 

I couldn't decide between Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia so I gave the decision to another and she said I should go with Cherry Garcia!

Originally I wanted to make this cake as a cherry chocolate chip layer cake, with cherry buttercream and a ganche topping.

However this is what I made instead! I had decided that I didn't want to do a layer cake and at first I thought of making it in a loaf tin, but then after talking to another cakey person online settled on a tube pan.

Also, since it was based on an ice cream flavor, I wanted to replicate ice cream cakes I had from Dairy Queen in my childhood. They had like a cookie crumb middle layer that I loved.

That’s why I attempted to add a streusel in the middle and top. It just sort of baked into the cake so it didn't give the affect I was after, but it still turned out amazing!

I’m going to apologize for the inconstancy in the recipe I used a base American recipe that used cups, before adding in and adjusting it in grams. Then my littlest person messed with my timer so I had to guess a little bit on how long it was in the oven. I explain more below!



Cherry Garcia Cake:

1 ½ sticks or 171g unsalted butter, room temp
1 ½ cups sugar 
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla paste
1 ¼ cups of cherry yogurt
2 ½ cups of cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
50g dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup frozen cherries, chopped (keep them frozen)

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas5 and grease the tube liberally with butter before lightly dusting it with flour. Tap out the excess flour.

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each time they are completely incorporated. Then add the vanilla, before adding the cherry yogurt.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and mix until just incorporated. Then fold in the dark chocolate and frozen cherries.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Streusel

¼ cup light brown sugar
½ cup plain flour
50g dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup frozen cherries, chopped (keep them frozen)
85g cold unsalted butter, chopped

In a bowl rub the sugar, flour, and butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs then fold in the chocolate and cherries.

Place half of the batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle over half of the streusel before topping with the rest of the batter and rest of the streusel.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. I set my timer for 45 minutes because I always check my cakes 5 minutes before the recommended time. But my time was tampered with, so I had to guess when 45 minutes had passed. I think my cake was in for at least 60 minutes if not five minutes more.

Cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before removing it, however my pan was a spring release so I released mine after about 10 minutes and making sure the cake wasn’t stuck to the sides. Then carefully transfer to a wire rack

While it’s cooling make the ganche:
100g of dark chocolate
½ cup of double cream

Melt the chocolate and cream in a bowl over a simmering pan of water. Gently stir it while it’s melting until it becomes think and glossy.

Once the cake is cool, pour over the cake and use a spatula to smooth it out. 


Ben & Jerry Inspired Cakes {Clandestine Cake Club}

When I tell people I am going to Cake Club, what I call it for short, I get asked "What's that?"

I usually respond with "It's a secret."

Then because I don't want to be rude, I explain myself. 

I suppose I’m so used to running in a baking/cooking crowd online I forget the people in my real life don’t always know what I’m on about! 

It’s one of my main reasons for loving cake club! Sharing with a group of people who love to bake and eat cake as much as I do!


This month’s theme was Ben & Jerry Ice Cream inspired cakes! I've listed them in order of the collage above; images of the ice cream are either next to or above the cakes!

Louise made a Baked Alaska, she made a soft vanilla sponge with a marshmallow fluff middle, topped with a vanilla buttercream covered with marshmallows and white chocolate chips.

Clare made us a passion fruit cake inspired by the sorbet and Greek yogurt Ben & Jerry’s. It was delicious she made her own passion fruit curd!

Jen, from Blue Kitchen Bakes, made a delicious Cookie Dough Cake! Inspired by the ice cream of the same name. It was a vanilla sponge with egg-less cookie dough in the middle and frosted with vanilla buttercream!

I made a cake inspired by Cherry Garcia, so I made a cherry cake with cherries and chocolate flakes topped with a dark chocolate ganche! My recipe will follow in a later post!!

Then Katy had Peanut Butter Cup a newer flavor to the UK freezer section and also my favorite Ben & Jerry’s ever! She made a gorgeous chocolate sponge with a peanut butter frosting and covered the whole cake in peanut butter cups! 

Clara & Fiona brought us a Mint Chocolate Chunk cake, inspired by a flavor that’s available in their shops! It was a chocolate sponge with a refreshing mint and chocolate chip buttercream!

Over all another successful night!

notes: Look for a Clandestine Cake Club near you!! It’s a great way to get creative in the kitchen and meet new people!! When I was telling my husband our theme I said "We're making Jen & Berry inspired cakes." Yeah, I do that a lot. That and make up new words! Stay tuned for how I made a Cherry Garcia cake! 

Elvis is Alive!

He isn't alive in the same way as you or I are alive, but he has maintained a form of immortality. As long as his music/movies are still around and people still listen/watch it, then he is living through all of us.


My parents had a full collection of all his music, so I grew up listening to Elvis. My favorite song is Kentucky Rain; it was on all my mix tapes before Napster arrived and then it was on my mix CD’s.

Anyhow I used to get funny looks when I had my "old" country Elvis songs were mixed with my dance music. I like variety!

The fact that he has had a cupcake named after him as well gives him a form of immortality! 

He was known to like a fried peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich from time to time. 

These cupcakes aren’t fried, but they are a delicious banana cake topped with a chunky peanut butter frosting and a cheeky candied bacon slice in between the cake and frosting!

The amazing Elvis toppers are printed on edible rice paper with edible ink, they are suitable for vegetarians and are gluten free!!

I received them from the lovely website Birthday CakeTopper, they have a wide selection of full cake and cupcake toppers and if they don’t have what you’re after then you can just ask! UPDATE 2017 -They no longer exist. 

Elvis Cupcakes:

190g plain flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarb or soda
pinch of salt
114g butter, room temp/cubed
60g dark brown sugar
60g golden caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
2 medium eggs
2 bananas, mashed

Preheat the oven at 180C, line a muffin tin with cupcake cases. Sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Beat the butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla paste and one of the eggs, mix until combined before adding the second egg.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the mashed banana give it a quick mix before dividing between the cupcake cases.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, cakes should be a rise golden color and a skewer should come out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Chunky Peanut Butter Cream:

130g butter, room temp
300g golden icing sugar
3 tbsp milk
60g chunky peanut butter

Beat the butter until fluffy, then add half of the sugar and a tablespoon of milk. Beat until smooth, then add the rest of the sugar and milk. Once it’s all incorporated beat in half of the peanut butter then fold in the rest it gives it a nice peanut butter like swirl in the frosting.

Candied Bacon

Brown sugar, enough to coat the bacon
3-6 slices

coat the bacon in the brown sugar and bake for 20-30 minutes in a preheated oven of 200C

to finish:

Elvis Cupcake Toppers

Place half or more candied bacon slice to the top of the cupcake, hold down with a little bit of the frosting. Then pipe or spread the rest the frosting on top before adding the cupcake toppers. Put them on and press down carefully!

notes: Toppers were provided for this post, please see my contact/policy page for more information. I put them in a Hawaiian type case for his role in Blue Hawaii! While I was baking the cupcakes I listened to an all Elvis all the time radio station on my radio app!

Jus-Roll with the Turnovers


Puff pastry is more time consuming then other pastries. I’m all for making it yourself, but I’m also all about making life easier. I am a busy full time mom and especially more recently a full time blogger, I make short cuts when and where I can!

So, when I make my girls their favorite pasties, homemade pizzas, sausage rolls, or simple easy desserts like these turnovers, I buy puff pastry. I always have and until I have excessive amounts of free time, I probably always will.

The fruit and nuts in this recipe can be swapped around to suit your taste! My local store doesn't sell the all butter version of the puff pastry sheet, so I used butter as a glaze and ate these with some cream! Ice cream would be a good accompaniment too!

Peach and Pistachio Turnovers

1 Jus-Rol puff pastry sheet (use all butter if available)
flour to dust
4 tsp apricot jam
30g pistachios, chopped
2 fresh ripe peaches, stones removed and halved
1 egg beaten or melted butter

Preheat the oven to 200C. Unroll the pastry on a floured work surface and cut into four equal-sized squares. Spread one heaped tsp of jam diagonally along the center of each pastry. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and then place one peach half in the middle of each pastry square cut side down. Fold over two opposite corners of the pastry, so they overlap in the middle on top of the peach. Now brush them with the beaten egg or melted butter. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool. Serve with cream or ice cream!



notes: in association with Jus-Rol, please see my contact/policy page for more information. I used more of my Whynot pistachios! See my pistachio cupcakes to find out more! Recipe is from Jus-Rol 30 best loved recipes. Check out my facebook page for how I make my girls favorite pasties!! 

Hot Chocolate Serves a Greater Purpose

I like a coffee here and there throughout the day. Turns out my two little ones like my coffee as well. They won’t eat peas, but they drink coffee.

Seriously what is that all about?


Basically hot chocolate is the only way I get to enjoy a WHOLE cup of coffee to myself.

I make them hot chocolate and they pretend to be drinking coffee.

I figure I’d get a lot of hate for making my children coffee. It apparently will stunt their growth and the 4 year old does not need that because I am under the impression she isn't going to get very big anyway!

Hot chocolate is also better when it comes in fun flavors!

Mars have recently released a new selection of drink pouches, Galaxy Ripple & Caramel, MilkyWay Magic Stars, Maltesers and of course Mars bar!

Their favorite is the Mars MilkyWay Magic Stars, because it comes with little chocolate stars and they love anything to do with magic!

My favorite is the Galaxy Caramel one! Perfect for these chillier nights we are still having!

What’s nice about these as they can be made with water or milk and a couple of them can be made hot or cold. Chocolate milk is always a treat at dinner time!

It hasn't completely stopped them from wanting my coffee over their hot chocolate, because whatever mom has is always better then what they have, even if it isn't! However it has helped the cause and I usually get at least one cup of coffee to myself!! 

notes: the product was sent to me to try out, for further information please see my contact/policy page. Available from Asda and Tesco for £1.99.

It’s not easy being green …

… unless you are a little pistachio cupcake full of nutty goodness then it’s slightly easier.

It's easier then being a blogger with writers block.

Recently when I sit down to write about what I just made or product I just tried I stare at the screen not sure where to start. 

I usually end up with something and I’m happy with everything I post otherwise I wouldn’t post it.

It’s just that it used to come a lot easier and it bothers me that I’m struggling.

At least it’s not a baking block!

That has been non-stop recently, maybe that’s where the stress is coming from. Trying to keep my site up with all the baking I’ve been doing? So, maybe I’m putting unnecessary pressure on myself.

Perhaps? But for now I'll get back to the real reason I’m writing a post! I made pistachio cupcakes! Whynut, a local company, sent me some of their delicious pistachios and pistachio paste to try out.

I used the pistachio nuts and paste in the cake and used the paste in the icing to give it its green color! Of course it’s not easy being green!

My girls were very skeptical of them because they were green. Once they tried them though they thought they were great!

I will have to wait until Thursday to find out how they got on at the toddler group bake sale!

The only thing I would do different is the icing. I don’t get on well with icing that is just icing sugar and water and in this case pistachio paste. I should learn to trust my instincts and made a buttercream, but I didn’t! So, anyhow here they are!



It’s Not Easy Being Green Pistachio Cupcakes:

50g/2oz pistachios
140g/5oz golden caster sugar
140g/oz5 butter, softened
2 medium eggs
140g/5oz self-rising flour
2 tbsp pistachio paste
3 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 160C/140Cfan/gas3 and line your muffin tin with liners. Place the pistachios with half of the sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

In a bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) place all the ingredients including the sugar and chopped pistachio mixture. Beat until smooth. Divide into cases about ¾ full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Use the skewer test to make sure they are completely baked. Cool in the tin until completely cool. Then make the …

icing:

250g/9oz icing sugar/ confectioners sugar, sifted
1-2 tbsp of pistachio paste
1-2 tbsp water

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add 1 tbsp of water to the icing sugar whisk into a paste, add the pistachio paste and whisk until smooth. I added a further tbsp of water and I think it was a bit runny, so just add it until you get a consistency you are happy with.

to finish:

Edible glitter or chopped pistachios.

I say to leave them in the tin, because the cakes were coming away from the cases. Which is bad for this type of icing. So, if you’ve taken them out to cool stick them back into the tin. If the cake(s) have peaked trim them up, if you want a flat surface. Then spoon the icing on top of each cake. Gently spread if needed, mine was too runny so it just spread on its own. Then using 1 pinch of edible glitter sprinkle all 12 cakes. I know some people have an issue with edible glitter, but I literally took a pinch in my fingers and sprinkled 12 cupcakes with it. If it’s an issue for you just leave them off and use chopped up pistachios! 

Leave to set then enjoy!

notes: Whynut: Premium Quality Nuts provided me with the pistachio’s and paste for this post, views and opinions are my own. Please see my contact/policy page for further information. They have hazelnut paste and spread available on their site too! All their pastes and spreads contain no additives, E numbers, or preservatives! Recipe is adapted from Bakes & Cakes magazine Summer 2013.

Homemade Double Deckers!!

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” ~ unknown 

I had never had a homemade Double Decker before.  Nor have I had homemade nougat before…

… until now. 

All because I did something I’ve never done before! 

I made nougat.

I used to think it wasn’t possible to make things at home taste as good as bought goods. I’ve learnt through experimenting that I can recreate things in the kitchen, which taste just as good or better then store bought!

When food and treats are made at home, you can control what goes into them. So many things today have additives that aren’t needed!

Homemade treats always make a great gift as well.

For all these reasons and more I will always prefer homemade food and treats to anything you can buy pre-packaged!

I’ve worked with Good to Know Recipes in the past and when they recently contacted me about creating a homemade treat for them to share on their site, I said yes!

I’m all about sharing with everyone my love of making homemade goodness!!

Nougat is pretty simple to make, but it will need attention. Generally when making homemade candy and sweets you should keep children away, the hot sugar can give serious burns. I burnt myself when I made fudge for the first time. It was not pretty!



I’m going to share first how I made them, and then I’m going to add in how I will do it differently next time. I learned a few things with my first attempt! So, here is how I made Homemade Double Deckers -

What you’ll need:

1x2lb loaf tin
1x1lb loaf tin
greaseproof paper
wooden spoon
sugar thermometer
stand or hand mixture

Chocolate Base:

450g milk chocolate, broken up
150g rice pops (rice krispies)

Line a 2lb & 1lb loaf tin (see my notes on how I would change things) with greaseproof paper. Melt the chocolate using you’re preferred method, let it cool slightly before mixing with the rice pops. Once completely coated fill each tin about half way with the chocolate coated cereal. Set in the fridge.



for the nougat:

560g granulated sugar
75ml (5 tbsp) of water
500g glucose syrup
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 tsp of honey
½ tsp of vanilla

In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water and glucose syrup, over a medium-high heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon except when you need to brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water to keep it sticking to the sides.

Once dissolved put the sugar thermometer into the saucepan and put the heat on high until the mixture boils. Then bring it back down a little to medium/high, do not stir it or cover it!

When it reaches 120C/248F place the egg whites in a very clean and dry bowl of a stand mixer and whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form.

When the sugar mixture reaches 150C/302F immediately remove the pan from the heat, wear oven gloves and be careful. With the stand mixer on a medium speed pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites in a steady stream; don’t allow it to pour down the side of the bowl or on the whisk.Once it’s completely incorporated beat for another 3 minutes or until thick and glossy. Take out the loaf tins from the fridge while it's beating.

Working quickly, stir in the honey and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Then pour on top of the cold set chocolate cereal base. You shouldn’t have to smooth it, but if you do use the back of a spoon dipped in hot water. It will melt the chocolate base a little, but once it’s in the tin just stick it back in the fridge for a little while. I waited over night to finish them, but I would give them at least a half hour or more to reset the chocolate base.

To finish:

350g milk chocolate

Melt the chocolate using you’re preferred method then once the nougat and chocolate base are cool spread over the top of each ‘loaf’. Once it’s set use a sharp knife to cut into bars. You could dip the knife into hot water to try to make it easier, but it will just melt the chocolate. Then enjoy!

Here is what I would do differently next time:
First I would have used 3 1lb loaf tins instead of the 2lb loaf tin at all. Or even another size cake tin. The loaf tin just makes it easy to cut into bars. (see picture below)
-You can split the chocolate base in half, but the amount of nougat would be difficult to split. So, you could make 2 loaf tins of double deckers and use the left over nougat for nougat and spread that in a lined and greased tin. Or use rice paper if you have some to lay on the bottom and top of your nougat. 


The second thing I might do differently is to make the nougat first. When I poured it on top of the chocolate cereal base it started to melt the chocolate and I had to set it again in the fridge. Which is fine as it did set, but it might have been easier to make the nougat and then before completely set, stuck the chocolate base on top. However it might not have stuck together that way? I won’t know unless I try it!

Third I might have cut the bars first before covering with chocolate. That way all the sides would be covered with chocolate as well and may have helped keep the nougat from drooping over the sides. If you decide to do this realize you may need a bit more chocolate. The nougat does have a mind of it’s own and if sat too long will start to move.

Warning: The nougat is super chewy and yummy! So, just take care when cutting it and biting it! I just don’t want to feel responsible for anyone losing teeth or a finger!! 

notes: I made this for Good to Know Recipes Homemade Campaign. The nougat recipe was adapted from The Vintage Sweets book by Angel Adoree. Homemade treats are wonderful, but not always cheaper. I bought 2 bars of Sainsbury's Fairtrade Smooth Milk Chocolate 400g each at 2.50 a bar. 

British baking through the years {guest post}

The British are renowned for their collective sweet tooth and there are cake shops and confectioners in every town, plus online stores selling delectable goodies … not to mention food blogs like United Cakedom.

So when did the great British tradition of cake baking begin?

As with many things, baking is something that has evolved with technology as well as the availability of ingredients. Back in the Middle Ages, sugar was largely unknown, and food was sweetened using honey and maybe even fruit juices. Ovens weren't available in the home unless it was a very affluent family, and bakers made both bread and cakes. Wheat bread was for the rich; the poor ate black bread and rye. Cake was either pudding, or resembled bread.

As merchants travelled further afield, spices and dried fruit appeared in Britain, along with the wonder ingredient - sugar. However, all of this was expensive until it became more abundant in the 17th century, so saffron, raisins and sweet doughs were still only available to those who could afford them. Even gingerbread was made with breadcrumbs, which gives us a clue to the name. Many cakes were still called ‘bread’, even if they were technically biscuits, and were leavened with yeast, ale, or even more bizarrely, smelling salts. Some similar ‘cakebreads’ that might hark back to those times include teabread and even shortbread.

The emerging middle class during the 17th century meant that ordinary people could afford to imitate the rich. Mince pies, Cornish pasties – especially those with fruit in one end and meat in the other – and seed cakes became popular, especially as they were also filling and full of good flavours.

The 18th century brought the industrial revolution, and with that the introduction of the semi-closed oven, which improved cake making beyond the heavy puddings and breads. Working class people may still have been eating basic stuff most of the time, but on special occasions, they too got to sample delights such as Christmas cake, Simnel cake, and biscuits.

It was only well into the 19th century that yeast-based cakes declined and were replaced by those that were raised with eggs and baking powder. Cakes became seriously less dense, and decidedly less stodgy. The refined cakes that we know now, such as carrot cake, Victoria sponge, cheese cake and tray-bakes developed from this time onwards, brought, in some cases, from across Europe, and refined still further.

Because the emergence of modern cakes has been relatively recent, so is that of the cake stand. Back in the Victorian era, high tea became popular, and that meant the need for cake stands to ensure that the soft confections stood high and proud above the rest of the food.

The fashion of the day has always gone into the design of cake stands, so during the Victorian age, you might have seen frilly, decorative wire stands or crystal glass ones; during the 20s, Art Deco was at the fore, so geometric-shaped stands in octagons and squares were more popular.

For me, there’s nothing like seeing your beautiful cake standing aloft on the table, held up by an equally gorgeous cake stand. And those tiered stands you can buy? You know, those Victorian-style ones with a hoop over the top? Fill them up with cupcakes or cookies and watch the food disappear!

~ Cheryl 

Thinking of You

Whenever I catch sight of the post person or a delivery van out the window with a package I get super excited.

 It’s so much fun getting post!!

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, because anytime I get the post both of my girls are all over me asking if anything has come for them!

When an unexpected package arrives it means someone was thinking of you! 

Sometimes it's because you bought something for yourself that you have been waiting for.

Either way it's fun, right? 

So, why not send someone you’re thinking of a gift and make his or her day?

Or of course yourself! 

Maybe you have a special occasion coming up? Anniversary, birthday, Easter isn’t too far away and right before that is Mother’s Day! Perhaps you just want to let that someone know you’re thinking of him or her!

That’s when you should visit Hampergifts, they have an incredible range of hampers; anything from food hampers to wine hampers or cheese hampers even sweet hampers and picnic hampers!

I’m drawn to the picnic hampers; maybe it’s a longing for spring to finally arrive!


However I finally choose the Lindt Chocolate Gift Basket, which arrived quickly and was packaged with care!

Full of chocolaty goodness what girl or guy would complain! There is enough to share, but not too much that you can’t keep it all to yourself!

There is nothing wrong with not sharing. I wouldn't judge you. Now all that’s left is who to send your Hampergift too?



notes: In association with Hampergifts, for more information please see my contact/policy page.

Apple Cinnamon Puffy Oven Pancakes

It’s Pancake Day!!

Or Shrove Tuesday, the day that precedes Lent. 

Many Christian denominations celebrate Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day as a way to use up the rich or fatty foods they don't eat over Lent. 

I don’t need an excuse to make pancakes. 

Nor do I need an excuse to eat them.

However I will use any excuse to do both!

Plus it’s just silly not to eat pancakes on a day dedicated to pancakes.

I mean you’ll hurt their feelings.

No one wants that on his or her conscience.

Apple Cinnamon Puffy Oven Pancakes take a little more time to cook, but no more effort then normal pancakes. 

They are good, definitely worth the extra time. 

I say that about anything apple and cinnamon though so I’m a bit biased. I cut them up like a pizza, that way I could pick it up with my hands, way easier to eat that way! 


Apple Cinnamon Puffy Oven Pancakes:

2 tbsp of butter
2 large eggs
½ cup plain flour
½ cup milk
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Place the butter in a 9 inch pie plate and place in the oven.
While you wait for it to melt, lightly beat the eggs before adding the flour, milk, and salt until just combined. Do not over mix.
Using oven mitts remove the pie plate tilt the pie plate until the bottom is covered with the butter, sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the melted butter.
Then arrange the sliced apple over the top before pouring the batter over them.
Bake 25-35 minutes or until puffy and a deep golden brown.
Immediately loosen the edge, I used a butter knife, and turn it upside down onto a plate or cutting board.
Cut up and serve as is or with maple syrup!
Enjoy!

I hope you all have a happy Pancake Day!! 
What's your favorite type of pancake? Toppings? 


notes: These are basically Yorkshire Puds, but don’t tell anyone okay? The recipe comes from a Betty Crocker Cookbook. How I convert butter

Pancake Facts with AGA Living


Tomorrow is Pancake Day! Finally! It seems like it's come so late this year.
Here are some fun pancake day facts from AGA Living!!
They would love to see you're pancake creations, share them on Facebook or Twitter!! 

Drinks are on Me! {Margarita R-Evolution}

I graduated from University with a degree in Visual Arts, but I hadn't declared my degree until halfway through my 3rd year. Until then I took enough classes to either do the Visual Arts degree I ended up with or a degree in Science, more specifically chemistry.

I loved being in the chemistry lab, but not as much as I loved the print studio.

Recently I was given an opportunity to replicate a chemistry lab at home with a Margarita R-Evolution Kit. The first bonus being I wasn't going to be graded on it and the second I'd get to drink/eat the "experiment." 

The kit includes everything you need to create 3 different ways to enhance a margarita and make it fun! The 3 ways include a Citrus Foam, Azure Bursting Pearls, and Margarita Spherification.

I choose to start with the Citrus Foam! Basically you blend with a hand blender Soy Lecithin, which is provided in the kit, with sugar syrup, orange, and lime juice.

It’s fun watching the foam bubble up and as long as there is enough liquid to blend, you can keep making foam. What a great way to dress up a cocktail!

It did add a little extra citrus kick to the cocktail and I had as much fun drinking my margarita as I did making it! The instructions were clear and easy to follow I think anyone who has an interest in playing in the kitchen, drinking, or science would benefit from this kit or one like it. There are other types available.


I can’t wait to try out the other ways! Hoping to host a cocktail night soon, which would be a great opportunity to use this kit to it’s fullest!

notes: You will need to have the ingredients to make the cocktail and a few other juices and liquors to use this kit to it’s fullest. The kit was provided for me to review, by Cheeky Monkey Cream Chargers, please see my contact/policy page for more information. 

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