Forgotten Blackberry Pudding from The Hempstock Farm

Just last week Neil Gaiman's much anticipated The Ocean at The End of The Lane was released to the masses. With a title like that I wasn't sure what to expect. Except the unexpected which is what is expected when reading Neil Gaiman.

My first love is reading. Baking allows me to relax and escape the stresses of everyday life. Reading allows me to escape to other times and places.

When I first moved to the UK I'd go to Waterstone's on my lunch breaks and get 3 books for the price of 2. It’s how I discovered Neil Gaiman for the first time, I picked up Fragile Things as my third book and I've never looked back.

I want to tell you about The Ocean at The End of The Lane, but I am not really sure what to say or how to say it. It’s everything I wanted it to be and nothing I expected it to be.

However it was never my intention to review the book here, but to share with you a dessert inspired by the delicious sounding food from the Hempstock Farm. As this is a “forgotten” pudding it was fitting for our main character. Then on the day that changed everything he has homemade blackberry jam, so blackberries were a must. It was so easy to make and so absolutely delicious. I imagined I was using fresh eggs and cream from the Hempstock’s! 

Forgotten Blackberry Pudding
6 large egg whites
½ tsp salt
250g sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
250ml double cream
350g blackberries
250g blueberries

Preheat the oven to 220C/450F/gas7. Whisk the egg whites and salt in a mixer or with a hand mixer. You can whisk by hand, but it would take forever! Once peaks have formed gradually add the sugar. Once it’s all mixed in whisk in the cream of tartar and vanilla until stiff and glossy. Butter up a swiss roll tin or baking sheet (with sides) and then spread the mixture into the pan and even as best as possible. Put in the oven, close the door, turn off the oven, and forget about it until the morning. Do not open that oven door no matter what!!

to serve: If you can get it out of the pan in one piece awesome, I couldn't figure out a safe way to remove it. So, I just left it in the tin. Then I whipped up the double cream until it’s thickened, but still smooth. Spread over the cooked marshmallow meringue and spread over the berries!

It's amazing where inspiration comes from. What has inspired you lately?? 

notes: The Ocean at The End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman (Amazon UK & USA); Neil Gaiman; Our main character in Ocean’s is in love with books and for his 7th birthday, the birthday where the story starts, he receives a whole set of The Chronicles of Narnia. I am currently giving away a whole set of The Chronicles of Narnia a couple posts below. If you love books and know a child who you’d love to share the stories of Narnia with you should enter for a chance to win!; Neil has a lamp post!!; Recipe is adapted from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson it’s also found on her official site

Banana & Peanut Butter Chip & Marshmallow Muffins {Cupcake Book Club}

This month's Cupcake Book Club book is/was Leftovers by Stella Newman. The story is about a woman who takes a quiz in a fashion magazine that tells her she is a leftover. But is it so bad to be a leftover? I mean you might have been yesterdays dinner, but today you can be transformed into something new with a few minor changes.

Our main character, Susie, has a thing for pasta. Pasta is easy to add to any leftover to make it a new dish. I had thought about posting my homemade mac and cheese, but I forgot to take pictures.

Then just this weekend I had 3 black, not brown, black bananas. Our main character never throws anything away including black bananas. I thought I'd take a note out of her book and make banana muffins. Using my tried and tested banana muffin recipe (below) and adding in a 1/2 cup of peanut butter chips and 1/2 cup mini marshmallows.

The Best Banana Muffins:
3-4 ripe bananas smashed
5 tbsp melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven 350F/180C. Mix bananas and butter. Mix in sugar, egg and vanilla. Sprinkle in baking soda and salt and mix. Slowly add flour, blending after each addition. Place in muffin pan, lined or unlined. Bake 18-20 minutes. 
Add 1/2 cup of this or 1/2 cup of that. I added peanut butter chips and marshmallows this time! 

I enjoyed Leftovers and I would recommend it to any one who loves a good light novel. There is still time to read and make something to join in this month's book club if you were so inclined to do so!! 

notes: Cupcake Book Club hosted by Kelly from American Cupcake in London; Leftovers by Stella Newman

White "Witch" Ice Cream w/Enchanted Turkish Delight {The Chronicles of Narnia}

When I was a kid I was channel surfing and I came upon a cartoon about some kids trapped in a winter world and a really horrible witch was after them. I changed the channel it scared me, as most 1970’s cartoons did.

It was years later before I discovered that the cartoon I was watching was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Even more before I got around to reading the book. I have to confess I have yet to read the whole of The Chronicles of Narnia, but I am making my way through.

However when I was brainstorming a Narnia inspired food, in my case dessert, I knew I was going to stick with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Even more I knew I was going to base it on the horrible witch that freaked me out when I was a kid. I love a good villain.

As the White Witch holds Narnia in a state of winter without Christmas for 100 years I decided on ice cream. White “Witch” Chocolate Ice Cream with specks of rose flavored Enchanted Turkish Delight dotted through out.

It’s an interesting combination, just like I find the White Witch interesting. However it is good unlike the White Witch, unless you want to start the argument that she’s good at being bad? Probably shouldn’t go there… First you need to start with the Turkish Delight as it should set over night. If you have enough free time in one evening you could also make the custard for your ice cream and let them both set over night. Then all you have to do the next day is churn and mix in the Turkish Delight!

Enchanted Turkish Delight

There is more magic then science when making Turkish Delight, thermometers are no good, only a lot of time, love, and mixing! A lot of Turkish Delights have pistachios, hazelnuts, and pinenuts I have left them out as I am folding it into ice cream and I wanted it to be smooth and white! These will be softer then store bought Turkish Delight.

200g desiccated coconut
500g granulated sugar
125g cornflour
1 tsp rose water
600ml water

Line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment and scatter about 50g of the coconut at the bottom of the tin, set aside.

Have a bowl of cold water at the ready. Put the rest of the ingredients into a heavy bottom saucepan and dissolve the sugar and cornflour over a medium heat stirring continuously.

You will start to see small lumps form, at this point whisk it until it’s smooth and looks like glue. Switch back to a spatula, you will need a spatula to gently and continuously scrap the sides and bottoms of the pan. You have to keep it moving and it will take a while so get comfortable! In about 20 minutes after the lumps, it’ll start to hiss and bubble. This is only you’re half way mark. It needs to cook for another 20-30 minutes to get the correct texture.

Once you have passed the 20-30 minutes you can start testing. Place about a teaspoon of the goo, as I referred to it, into the cold water press gently together with your fingers if it crumbles apart it needs to cook a bit longer, if it gently gives and stays intake you’re good to go.

Take off the heat and dollop the goo into your prepared tin. Smooth it with the spatula as well as you can and sprinkle another 50g of coconut on top. Press it down with your hand to flatten.

Leave to cool overnight or about 8-12 hrs. It should be springy to the touch and no indentations left. Cut it up half into cubes and the other half into tiny pieces toss all of it in the rest of the coconut. Make sure to keep it in an open bowl, as it will sweat if kept in an airtight container. Eat within a week.

White “Witch” Chocolate Ice Cream

This ice cream has a custard base and like the Turkish Delight requires stirring, but not nearly as much. On it’s own it’s a gorgeous decadent ice cream, the Turkish Delight offers a reprieve of that richness. It’s a sweet surprise that the Turkish Delight gives the ice cream. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out and I’m happy I took the risk as it was delicious.

230g white chocolate, broken up
250ml whole milk
130g sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
500ml double cream

Have everything ready: place the broken up white chocolate in a bowl with a sieve over the top, have your eggs separated, gently whisked and the double cream measured out.

Then in a saucepan gently heat the milk, sugar, and salt. Once the sugar is dissolved and the milk mixture is warm slowly pour it onto the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then pour back into the saucepan.

Stir continuously over a medium heat with a spatula, if your spatula with stood the heat of the Turkish Delight it’ll be safe to use here, scrap the bottom and keep the mixture moving. It’s ready when the mixture coats the spatula.

Pour the custard over the white chocolate through the sieve. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the cream. In the ice bath that you had prepared stir the mixture until it’s completely cool. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or until thoroughly chilled. Then freeze in your ice cream machine according to the machines instructions.

To Finish: Fold the tiny bits of Turkish Delight into the ice cream before placing in the freezer. Freeze in the freezer and then serve it up whenever you’re feeling a bit witchy. 

If you like my ice cream find it on The Chronicles of Narnia Food & Feasts page and click like below my entry! If you see any other fun Narnia inspired treats you should like them too!! I hope I have inspired you to re-create this ice cream or create something of your own based on this beloved series! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Giveaway CLOSED

Would you like to win a complete set of The Chronicles of Narnia?? Maybe for you? Or someone you'd like to share the magic of Narnia with? Whoever it's for there are 4 ways to enter! 
  1. Leave a comment below telling me who your all time favorite villain is! 
  2. For another entry "like" my Facebook page and leave a separate comment below saying you did so.
  3. For a third entry "pin" it on Pinterest and leave a separate comment below saying you did so. 
  4. For a final entry follow me on Twitter @unitedcakedom and leave a separate comment below saying you did  so. 

If the comments aren't separate they will be counted as one. UK Residents only. Winner will be chosen at random at the end of the Narnia Food & Feasts competition. To find out if you won you will have to come back to check and you will have 48 hours to email me with your details or another winner chosen by random will be chosen. Good Luck! 

notes: I’m and 80’s kid (if you didn't guess that from me just celebrating my 30th birthday!); Turkish Delight is adapted from Sugar & Spice by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra and the White Chocolate Ice Cream is from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz; I have had a quick look and an easy way to re-create this ice cream is to buy white chocolate ice cream (Waitrose was the only place I saw online that sells it) and buy some Turkish Delight, chocolate covered would ruin the snowy white affect, but either would do. Dish up the ice cream and sprinkle Turkish Delight on top! Easy Peasy. 

Lime Shortcakes! {weekend baking}

My husband likes anything citrus. Especially limes, they are his absolute favorite! However he is not a huge fan of strawberries. (What is wrong with him?! ha!) So when I make strawberry shortcakes, I decided to make lime shortcakes for him. 

They are very sour but super yummy!

I made the Lime Shortcakes by using the same recipe I used for my Strawberry Shortcakes. If you want a shortcut, Bisquik has a recipe on the box for shortcakes that are easy to make.

I used the zest and juice of 4 limes. I took 3 more limes and with a paring knife, sliced the membrane out and arranged it on the bottom of the cake. (picture below)

Then, after I whipped my cream, omitting the vanilla, I slowly added about 1/4 cup of lime juice and a few pinches of zest.  You can make another shortcut by using Cool Whip and just add the lime juice to the thawed whip.

On top of my bed of limes, I put a dollop of lime whipped cream, put the top of the cake on, topped it with the cream and sprinkled lime zest.

It was a hit! ~ Janet

Homemade Strawberry Jam with Janet

One of the things I look forward to every June is going to Spencer Farm and pick strawberries. 

The kids love berry picking! Every year I have high hopes that we pick enough to make jam. 

But year after year the delicious berries are eaten up before I can I hide some away! 

Until this year! We picked 28lbs of strawberries! So, my oldest mini baker helped me make our very first batch of jam. It turned out beautifully!!

You can find the recipe I used at H Family Happenings, where I guest post, last Friday, my strawberry picking experience for her Flaunt my Friend Friday! 

It is very satisfying to eat the jam we made from the berries we picked. Next year maybe I can even grow my own....hmmmmmm....;0) ~ Janet 

almost empty jar

Update: June 2014
Homemade Strawberry Jam

I was lucky again this year to get enough strawberries to make the jam again! The jam, like the strawberries won't last that long, it's that good! ~ Janet 

Dear Blog, (2)

Happy 2nd Birthday!! 

I am sorry I only really write to you once a year on your birthday, but I'm usually pretty busy baking, posting my baking, taking care of kids and a husband, hanging out on social media sites (twitter, pinterest, facebook) promoting you etc... It really doesn't leave me a lot of time to have a heart to heart with you. 

As it's your birthday and all I think it's about time we had that heart to heart. Really  more of a reminiscing of the past year... here are a bakers dozen of our time together. 

1. Remember that time when I made coffee extract and I questioned if I had made it right? I made it with just coffee. Then I went to Starbucks for a freakin' lot of espresso to make it again and there was like no difference?? 

2. OMG do you remember the Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars I made for the 4th of July? They were so amazing ... I am drooling just thinking about them. 

3. Do you remember I baked a whole weeks worth of Harry Potter inspired treats? Yeah? It's a lot of work sorting out a themed weeks worth of bakes! But oh so rewarding. 

4. It seems like yesterday I hosted my first giveaway of a book I absolutely adore! 

5. Remember the Mickey Mouse cookies I made for Baby Baker's 3rd birthday? They were so cute and she loved them! She is more of a fan of Dora the Explorer at the moment. Wonder what she'll like in a half a years time? Do you also remember the sugar cookies I decorated to look like pizzas for the bigger Mini Baker?

6. Remember when I didn't win the Hummingbird Bakery Cupcake Competition? My Peach Melba Cupcakes were pretty amazing. Hey their loss, right?! However I was a runner up in the Lola's Cupcake Competition and received a voucher for 10GBP to spend at their shops. I still haven't made it to London since then...note to self: plan trip to London! 

7. I did spend the day in London with my good friend Bijal, remember that? I dragged her to bakeries I had yet to visit. It's a hard job being my friend sometimes. I make you eat cake with me. :0) Here is a link to Part 1 & Part 2 of that day! 

8. Remember when I was all nervous about attending my first (and only) Clandestine Cake Club? I thought they made you guess the location and that if you couldn't figure out a series of riddles you were just shit-out-of-luck and had to eat a cake to yourself. It's not like that. They tell you a day before the "secret" location. Was a little disappointed to find out I didn't have to figure it out by clues and riddles. Ah well, I was really happy with my Cherry Cola Bundt Cake and the group of people I met that night. Hoping to attend again in July! 

9. The majority of the cupcake recipes on here are for the Cupcake Book Club hosted by Kelly from An American Cupcake in London. Remember the everything is not as it seems Red Velvet Cupcakes and Toffee Bakewell Tart Cupcakes? They were for 2 different books, but both were good. 

10. Except these cupcakes ... Do you remember the Slo-Mo Cupcakes I made to celebrate World Book Night? I gave out a Judge Dredd graphic novel. I make a lot more cupcakes then I thought? 

11. These Raspberry & White Chocolate Celebration Brownies have been a big hit! Not sure how or why but they are my most viewed for this year. Remember my friends requested them for our dinner night? All who tried them loved them! 

12. Hey, do you remember when I bought that mini doughnut silicone pan from Lakeland's? Who knew it would get so much use? I have made a lot of fun mini doughnuts and plan to make a lot more! 

13. It only happened a month ago, but I will never forget my baking day at Cake Boy

So, there it is 13 memories of our year together. I'm looking forward to having another heart to heart this time next year. Same time, same place yea? 

I'm planning a few themed weeks, first one hopefully coming at the end of the month, other then that who knows where 2013/2014 will take us! 

I almost forgot to mention you're update look, remember we did that? I hope you're happier now that you look all nice and stuff. 

Love always, Lisa

Happy Peanut Butter Cookie Day!!

June 12th is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. I love peanut butter and I love cookies. It’s also my close friends birthday today and she loves peanut butter cookies too! So, I just had to celebrate this national day this year!

There are so many “national” days that I can’t and I won’t ever try to keep them up with all of them. But as I said just above today was just too good to pass up.

I have made a lot of peanut butter cookies in my short baking career and there is only so much you can do to a peanut butter cookie.

Making them taste like, a childhood favorite, Nutter Butters is an ingenious idea! They are huge so it will probably be a better idea to make them smaller then I did, as I've ended up halving them. No way I can eat one on my own the size I've made them! The filling I could eat by itself. I love peanut butter. I've said that already. My fickle heart talking again…

These come from Hedy Goldsmith and her book Baking Out Loud. I found the recipe in more the one place all over the net. As they are on the cover I am assuming they were like her hit single that was released to the press to give everyone a taster of her book.

Anyway I have given it to here, with my own commentary in the directions! Happy National Peanut Butter Day!! Happy Birthday Lauren!!

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup plain flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup salted peanuts
114g unsalted butter, at room temp
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt (kosher)
½ cup creamy peanut butter, at room temp
1 large egg, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

  1. Preheat your oven to 190C/375F and line your tray(s) with parchment paper/nonstick liners.
  2. Sift the flour and baking soda in a large bowl, then add the oats and peanuts.
  3. Beat the butter for a few minutes, once it’s smooth add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt and beat for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides before adding the peanut butter, beat until just combined. Then add the flour and beat until just combined. We don’t want any over mixing!
  4. Using a tablespoon shape the dough into balls about the size of a walnut or if you’re like me the size of a golf ball. Place them on your lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart and smoosh them slightly down with the palm of your hand. Apparently you should have 36 cookies to make 18 sandwiches, I had like 24 so only like 12 sandwiches.
  5. Bake them 11-13 minutes, if you have more then one baking sheet about half way through switch from top to bottom and turn them around to ensure even baking. Once they are golden brown around the edges they are ready!
  6. Let them cool completely on a cooling rack.

Peanut butter filling
3 cups icing sugar
145g unsalted butter, at room temp
¾ cup creamy peanut butter, at room temp
1 ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
½ tsp salt (kosher)

Place everything in the bowl of your mixer and beat for a bout 3 minutes until it’s soft and smooth. Once it’s all come together gather it all together and on your counter shape into an 18 inch log. However I did not have enough cookies to sandwich together 18… see step 4 above. Once it’s a log cut into 1 inch pieces. Place the filling pieces on one side of half the cookies and sandwich with the remaining cookies! Gently press down so that the filling reaches the edge. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days! I doubt they will last that long! 

notes: National Peanut Board; Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies; Peanut Butter Blossoms; my Baking Out Loud review I'm watching MTV Hits Kelly (Clarkson) vs Ke$ha top 10 not really sure why? They really aren't comparable

Flour Focaccia & Sweet Potato w/Thai Curry & Coconut Soup

This time last week I posted a book review for flour, too and today I'm sharing with you what I made from it so far!

I made focaccia, the bread that makes all the flour sandwiches great! I don't think mine would pass the test though. I might have pulled them out a little too early and they were all smooshed together so came out all sorts of shapes, but I'm happy with them. So, I think that's all that matters.

To go along with the sandwiches I made Sweet Potato with Thai Curry and Coconut Soup. Do to schedule upheavals I didn't eat the bread with the soup. But the soup was delicious!! I love a good soup and this is a good one! I know I'll be making this one again, but not before I try a few more from this book! 

make mine a double

A double shot of espresso. I love coffee flavored bakes!! This loaf cake has coffee in the cake and in the frosting! Double yum! 

I realized lately that I love a lot of things. I love apple, cinnamon, apple + cinnamon, vanilla, brownies, peanut butter, caramel, coffee, and so on. I also realize that when I make something with these flavors I am always going on about how I love them. You all must think I am very fickle.

Maybe I don’t have to just love one thing? I mean my relationship with flavors doesn't have to be monogamous does it?? I didn't think so.

When someone my husband knows let it be known that he enjoys coffee and dark chocolate, great flavors on their own, but even better together, I made this chocolate and coffee loaf and topped it with my favorite espresso buttercream and chocolate sprinkles with him in mind!

I am told he really enjoyed it. I did too. I didn't give up the whole loaf, because like I said I am a huge fan of coffee flavored bakes! Also I’m not that generous and maybe sometimes a little possessive? Not possessive enough not to share the recipe with you! Enjoy!

Chocolate Coffee loaf
190g butter
130g plain flour
190g light brown sugar
3 large eggs
60g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder 
20ml whole milk
1 tbsp coffee extract

Preheat 170C/325C/gas3. Grease a 2lb loaf tin with butter and lightly flour it tap out the extra flour. 
Cream the butter and sugar together until it lightens in color and is fluffy. While the butter and sugar are beating sift the flour, brown sugar, and cocoa powder together in a separate bowl and measure out your milk. Then lightly beat the eggs in a jug and gradually add the eggs, making sure it's completely mixed in. Add half of the dry ingredients, then half the milk, then the other half of the dry, and lastly the rest of the milk. Mix well after each addition and scrape down the sides as needed. Up the speed to med/high until it's a smooth even batter. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about 1 hour, check on it just before the hour is up and take out if a skewer comes out clean or give it a few more minutes if it's not. Allow to cool in the tin for a bit before trying to turn it out. 

Espresso Buttercream:
I used the same recipe I used on these espresso cupcakes just follow the link and half the recipe for the buttercream.

notes: Check the side bar for buttons to all the things I love! The recipe is adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days. How to make coffee extract

A Failed Attempt at Macarons

Macarons are a bit tricky. I have only tried them once before, before I knew what they were really. I thought they were like whoopie pies so I baked them in my whoopie pie tin...yeah that was a big mistake. I've linked that post below.

This wasn't a baking mistake. This was a I ran into the store in a hurry grabbed what I thought was gel food coloring, but it wasn't it was just in a package that looks like the food gel coloring that I had bought before type of mistake.

So, when I opened it up and realized it wasn't the right type of coloring I thought well I could leave them plan or try it out. So, I tried it out. They were very grey and I didn't want to risk adding too much more coloring in and making them taste horrible. A gel or paste coloring is a must to get a bright bold color.

I guess I lied a little it was a baking mistake as well as they stuck to the paper. In the instructions it says to lift them up and if they peel away they are done. I pulled them out after more then the allocated time as they were starting to color on the top. I didn't bother with the filling. Oh and one last thing I added the color at the wrong time. But on the plus side I did get the "feet" around the edge on most of them!

It's hard because I always feel a bit annoyed when things don't turn out as I wanted. It's just the amount of time and effort I put in I expect it to pay off. It has paid off as a lesson, but not in a stunning delicious treat! Think I would have preferred a treat, but at this point I don't have a choice.

I'm not bitter. Maybe a little. I'll get over it by the time this post is actually posted. I'm writing this the night before. If I had waited to write it this morning it'd probably be a completely different post. I'd probably be more positive.

As they are still edible once scraped off the paper, I think I'll just go eat some now.

Will need to try these again another day. I won't be beaten!

notes: chocolate macaroons baked in a whoopie pie tin

Fluffy Puff Puffs: Gourmet Marshmallows {review}

Fluffy Puff Puffs are an online company that makes gourmet marshmallows. 

They want to show the world that marshmallows are versatile and make a great sweet treat for any occasion.

They offer a variety of flavors ranging from their best seller Key Lime & Ginger Pie Mallow, White or Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle Mallows, Sugar & Spice, Salted Caramel, Love Current, Lemon or Lime Punch, Toasted Coconut, Cookies & Cream… the list goes on and the possibilities are endless! 

They are made without preservatives and are gluten free. Please check the official site for more information on what and how the mallows are made!

Recently Fluffy Puff Puffs sent me a selection of marshmallows to try out. Here are the flavors I received:

Sugar & Spice
A vanilla marshmallow covered in sugar and warming spices like cinnamon.
It had a nice balance of flavors and a nice crunch with the coating.

Raspberry & White Chocolate Drizzle
A raspberry flavored mallow w/a white chocolate drizzle
This was probably my favorite. It had a strong lovely raspberry flavor. 

Love Currant
A blackcurrant flavored mallow.
My least favorite, but only because I don't like blackcurrants. The flavor was good and my girls liked it! 

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle
A vanilla marshmallow with a white chocolate peanut butter drizzle.
I was a little disappointed with this one. I thought the mallow was going to be peanut butter, but the only peanut butter taste I got was in the drizzle. I am a huge peanut butter fan so, would have liked a stronger peanut butter taste, but that's just me! The vanilla mallow was good though!

Lime Punch
A lime flavored mallow
It tasted like lime and that's what counts! 

Lemon Punch
A lemon flavored mallow.
A great citrus flavor and very refreshing!

Key Lime & Ginger Pie
A key lime flavored mallow on top of a ginger biscuit crust.
This one was very good! I can see why it's a best seller! The lime flavor is mellow enough (not quite as strong as the Lime Punch) to compliment the ginger base nicely! 

Next time you’re throwing a party or in need of a special gift or if you’re just a marshmallow fan and want to try out some fun flavors check out the official Fluffy Puff Puffs site! (website no longer available 2017)

A big thank you to Louise for giving me the opportunity to try out these lovely gourmet marshmallows! 

flour, too {book review}

If you ever wondered how a successful bakery/café is successful, then you must read Joanne Chang’s second cookbook flour, too.

Flour is a bakery that currently has four different locations in the Boston area. I’m not lucky enough to have ever lived or visited Boston before and therefore I have never visited the café before. I will have to get to there next time I am stateside, if not for the bakery, for my cousin who is lucky enough to live there and has had nothing but praise for flour.

In flour we read all about the sweeter side of the bakery, in flour, too we get to divulge into the savory side: sandwiches, soups, dinners, party food, and of course dessert!

Joanne holds nothing back and gives very detailed instructions on how to reproduce flours goodies at home. Which can seem a little daunting, but as I just said the instructions are very clear and in-depth. You should have no problem if you take the time and read through the recipe and prep ahead of time.

It’s one of her tips in the introduction; you know how TV chefs/cooks always have everything prepped and ready? Joanne says that is a key to success! She also is really good at telling us when something can be done ahead of time and how long it will keep.

As Joanne is professional trained, at many different restaurants around the US, she likes to weigh her ingredients when baking. So, us UK cooks and bakers can cook and bake by weighing everything like we normally do! No need to rush out and get a set of cups for this book!

You may recognize Joanne from an episode of James Martin’s United Cakes of America program on. In an episode when he’s visiting Boston, he stops in at flour and makes brownies with Joanne. They make them the flour way and with an old early recipe for brownies to compare.

Normally at some time in my book reviews I like to list what I’d like to make from the book. Sort of like a wish list. As I started writing the list out I realized I’d like to make pretty much everything in the breakfast section sweet and savory, everything in the soup section, and everything in the dessert section. I also want to make a good number of things in the sandwiches, salads, mains, snacks, and drink sections too! It was just too much to list!

I’m constantly looking for inspiration when I’m meal planning and I have found plenty with flour, too! I can’t wait to share with you what I make first. It’s going to be a soup for sure, still undecided to which one, and flour’s signature focaccia! Then if I can get myself sorted I might have a go at the Classic Apple Turnovers or maybe the Best Boston Cream Pie? So much to make and so little time!

notes: flour café official site; flour Amazon UK & US; my cousin I mentioned above had her copy of flour (book 1) signed and wrote about it here on a book blog we both contributed to! James Martin’sUnited Cakes of America