Sunday, 30 December 2012


2012. It's been a big one.

I've seen some amazing things...

Eaten some amazing things.

This was, by far, my favourite part. I married my best friend.

I just wanted to say thank you. To all my family and friends. To everyone who has read and commented on this blog. To everyone who has made this year amazing. Here is a champagne cake for you. (Recipe to follow tomorrow).

Monday, 24 December 2012

We Should Cocoa: Cinnamon Cocoa

This month's spicy We Should Cocoa is hosted by Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog. Last month's bread challenge round up can be found here. You can find out more about We Should Cocoa on Choclette and Chele's blogs.

It's very quiet. It's that peaceful moment on Christmas Eve when everything is done and you can just sit. Eat a mince pie. Drink cocoa.


(Per Person)


200ml milk
2tbsp double cream (plus extra for whipping and serving)
1tbsp cocoa powder
Small pinch of cinnamon
Sugar to taste


1, Whisk the milk, cream and cocoa powder together and heat in a small saucepan until simmering.
2, Pour into mugs and add sugar to taste.
3, Top with whipped double cream or marshmallows.

Winter Mess

There is something so beautifully Christmassy about pomegranate seeds. The bright red flecks of encased juice that burst under your teeth. They add a touch of sparkle.

A tasty alternative for someone who doesn't like Christmas pudding.

Serves 2


200ml double cream
30gr crushed meringue
50gr pomegranate seeds, about half a pomegranate
Edible glitter (optional)


1, Lightly whip the cream to soft peaks.
2, Fold in the meringue.
3, Fold in half the pomegranate seeds.
4, Serve immediately with the rest of the pomegranate seeds.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Washi Tape Letters

I know someone who firmly believes that wrapping presents is one of the best part of Christmas. I, however, am rubbish at wrapping presents. I cheat big time on most gifts. In a bag, a jar or a box are my defaults.

This year, I bought some beautiful crisp white paper bags for my hand knitted and crotcheted gifts but decided that they needed a little something extra. A quick root around in my craft box unearthed some washi tape...

1, You will need a pair of scissors, a black marker, some washi tape.
2, Some cellophane.
3, Draw an outline of your letter.
4, Stick small strips of tape down, making sure they overlap.

5, Cover the letter completely.
6, Cut it out.
7, Peel off the cellophane.

Stick down and you're done.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Spice Sugar Cubes

There is more to Christmas than the big day. Decorating and getting in the festive mood is all part of it.

For the tree, we draped bright white lights and twined beaded ribbons around its branches. Hung glittering icicles, snowflakes and white iridescence baubles. Balanced the Christmas Monkey on top. Brushed my hand across the needles and breathed in its earthy pine scent.

Pinned snowflakes and baubles around the book cases and hung prancing reindeers off picture frames.

After a bit of scavenging in the park, I finished the door wreath. Restrung the plain white star lights in the windows. Baked gingerbread.

These are the parts of Christmas that I love. Clear blue skied winter mornings, looking across the Kentish downs with a cup of Christmas blend. Just pop one of these spicy sugar cubes in for that extra festive kick.

Makes 15

70gr granulated white sugar
1tsp Christmas Spice Mix*
2 drops orange extract


1, In a small bowl stir the sugar and spice mix together.
2, Drop in the orange extract and a few drops of water. Stir this together, gradually adding drops of water until you have a damp snow like consistency.

3, Press firmly into moulds and leave somewhere warm to dry out completely for two to three hours.
4, Remove carefully from the moulds and store in an airtight container until use.


Christmas Spice Mix

I make this in bulk on Stir up Sunday. It's great for anything Christmassy from puddings, mincemeat and has even been known to make its way onto our Boxing Day ham.

The basic recipe is 2 tbsps of cinnamon, all spice, ginger and nutmeg together with two ground cloves. I added a teaspoon of vanilla powder on this years blend. Can be easily scaled up.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Let's Make Christmas at Rococo Chocolates

I can't think of a better way to kick off December and a month of all things Christmas than to write this post.

Organised by the queen of gift swaps Vanessa Kimbell, Chantal Coady of Rococo Chocolates very kindly allowed a group of bloggers into her south London chocolate factory for the Let's Make Christmas Gift Swap. Chantal's story of her love of chocolate can be found in the introduction of her book, Rococo: Mastering the Art of Chocolate. A truly mesmerising and well written book combining captivating photography, design and a plethora of recipes.

Chantal welcomed us warmly to Rococo.

A cup of deliciously warming hot chocolate.

A table laden with treats.

Barry and the team at Rococo show us how to make ganache and temper chocolate.

I have a go at dipping. Excuse my left hand impression of The Claw.

Kate and Fleur have a go.

A Marshmallow Game Cube.

A gaggle of geese, a school of fish, a charm of hummingbirds. But what do you call a group of food bloggers?

Vanessa gives her introduction to the gift swap, laughs and smiles guaranteed.

Lucas Hollweg gives his thoughts on the chocolate industry and judging.

I took Raspberry (, Cranberry and Orange) Marshmallows from the Rococo book (I think I was the only one who made something from the book that didn't involve chocolate!) and some Cinnamon Spritz Cookies with White Chocoate Gananche, the recipe for which will be posted shortly.

I got some beautiful cupcakes from Linda at Filled with Love and London Busy Body's chocolate fig spread, which is utterly delicious and I can't wait to make some for Christmas morning breakfast, in return. A very happy swap!

A huge congratulations to all of the winners and runners up!