Tag Archives: Summer

Eton Mess

3 Aug

This is a classic English desert enjoyed in the summer (when we have it!). This is such an nice easy thing to make, especially with an easy quick meringue recipe!! Although I don’t always make this at home (I don’t like cream) my fiancΓ©e loves this pudding, it’s his favourite so here we go!!


1 egg white
300g Icing sugar
150ml Double cream
1 punnet fresh strawberries
1 punnet fresh cherries
50g caster sugar
1tsp Vanilla

Estimated time: 15 minutes


First the meringue, I said in an earlier post that there are three types of meringue, well technically there are four. This is the fourth type and the quickest, it’s very sweet and not to be used on it’s own, which is why I only use this for meringues that are to be mixed with cream and flavourings!


Weigh your icing sugar into a bowl and add your lightly whisked egg white. Stir these two together until you are left with a paste that will roll into a ball around the spoon while stirring. If you want to add any colours or flavours add a tiny amount now.

Place a piece of grease proof paper onto the turn table in your microwave. Spoon small amounts of the paste onto this paper, make sure you spread them apart! Cook these for about 2 minutes, they are so fun to watch!!


While these are cooking, and cooling pour your double cream into a bowl with the vanilla and caster sugar. Whisk this to soft peak to create a nice Chantilly, make sure you taste the Chantilly to get the right amount of sugar to your taste. Believe me, this isn’t what normally gets used but adds so much more flavour than just cream!


Now chop up your strawberries and cherries. For the cherries I quartered them as its so much easier to remove the pips that way and the strawberries I cut them into small chunks. Place the fruit into a small bowl and add about two spoonfuls of granulated sugar. Stir these together and let them macerate.


By now you have all of your components so its time to build πŸ™‚ I started with a layer of the Chantilly at the bottom, then crushed meringues. You’ll notice these meringues are much more powdery than normal ones, don’t worry, with the fruit and cream you will not notice! Next goes a layer of the fruit with some of the amazing juice and then repeat until you are at the top of the glass or bowl.


Now stop reading this and eat it, honestly the best Eton mess I’ve ever had, this is so a family favourite now!! I really hope you all enjoy this and enjoy the summer were having!!! And try this with different fruits and combinations!


Tomato Pesto

24 Jul

Ah pesto, I properly fell in love with this in New York in the first restaurant we went to. We had freshly made open sandwiches which were amazing. Mine had both tomato pesto and normal pesto, these were both so fresh and colourful they tasted amazing πŸ™‚


2 packets of fresh basil
1 Clove of garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
10-15 Sundried tomatoes
25g Grated Parmesan

Estimated time: 15 minutes


Get a pan of water and bring it to the boil, fill another bowl with cold water. Once boiling put all of the basil in for 30 seconds, once the 30 seconds is up fish out the basil and place it into the cold water. Blanching the basil like this prevents it from looking its colour later on.


Now your basil is blanched do the same with your peeled garlic, blanch the garlic for 1 minute and then put this in the cold water with your basil.

Using your hands squeeze the water out of the basil and place it into a blender or food processor along with the garlic and start to blend them together.


Slowly pour in olive oil a small bit at a time so that it starts to form a paste. To this add a handful of the Parmesan and allow to come together. Add more oil if needs be.

Now add your Sundried tomatoes and allow to blitz completely, you’ll see the colour change as they blend together. Now’s the time to add salt and pepper before tasting to see if any more is needed. If the pesto is quite thick then slowly add more oil πŸ™‚


And there you go some unbelievable tasty tomato pesto for everyone to enjoy whether its in a salad as a dip or cooked with pasta! This can be used for everything and anything, although I wouldn’t recommend it for breakfast :p I ope you enjoy this guys πŸ™‚

My Cake Course!

20 Jul

So as you all know I’ve just been on a cake decorating course in Farnham for 6 days. We worked with marzipan, royal icing, sugar paste, pastillage and even sugar florists paste!!

We learnt how to professionally marzipan round and square cakes for royal icing and sugar paste. Followed by marzipan roses and models of teddy bears! So much easier than I ever thought they were!


Then the love hate relationship with Royal Icing began! We iced our cakes with precise techniques before making our own run outs in the shapes of flower petals and butterflies.


Once the icing had set we began to decorate our cakes using precision piping (traditionally seen on wedding cakes) and our run outs. This is what my cake turned out like πŸ™‚ I like to feel its very summery! The pieces of foam are what we used to make our flowers and butterflies stand up, we used royal icing to as a glue and stuck the wings or petals in, using the foam to balance them while drying. I chose to leave the foam in the hope that it would prevent them from breaking on the various train and boat journeys back home! Only two wings broke so I think it worked well :p


Sugar paste cake, probably the easiest thing to ice cakes with! This was our square cake on which I tried using a cutter to create outlines on my cake around the corners which I then filled in using Brush Embroidery (royal icing again!). Around the bottom of the cake to hide join lines I used the shell technique to fill in gapes between my flowers which I feel made it very ‘classy’ :p I finished my cake off with a purple drape, also out of sugar paste across the middle to the two back corners. I was going to finish it with a Calla Lilly but I didn’t have time on Saturday!


The final day, Saturday 😦 We learnt how to make fabric flowers, these are the flowers often seen on cakes that are incredibly fragile but so life like its amazing! These are so fun and rewarding to make, sadly in the rush of catching my train home I left my roses carefully wrapped in tissue in a box on my desk 😦

If any of you feel like going on one of these courses I strongly recommend it, this was possibly the most exhausting and fun holiday I’ve had in England. Just amazing!!


Dads Birthday Cake!

29 Jun

Sorry it’s so late everyone! Today is my dads 60th birthday so were having a huge family get together. So although I haven’t had time to create anything tasty for all of you I want to show you what I have been spending my evenings doing!

So my dad loves The Lord Of The Rings as do most of my family so for his birthday I have made a Lord of the Rings cake for him, I hope you love it as as much as I do!!!


White Chocolate and Orange Cupcakes

15 Jun

So everyone loves chocolate and orange! These are some extremely decadent cupcakes just waiting to be served at a summer party, filled with orange curd and topped with a lovely butter cream, no one could turn that down!!


225g Butter
225g Caster sugar
225g Self-raising flour
4 Eggs
2tsp Baking powder
2tsp Vanilla
300g White chocolate chips
500g Orange curd

150g Butter
Orange curd
250-300g Icing sugar

Estimated time: 60 minutes

Weigh your sugar and butter into a bowl. Cream these together until nice light and fluffy, this will take a few minutes πŸ™‚

Once the butter is light in colour stir in your vanilla essence. Once mixed in start adding your eggs one by one, allowing each to fully incorporate before adding the next. At this stage the mix will become very runny and start to look curdled. Don’t worry, this is fine, it will not change the outcome of the cake!!


Once all of the eggs have been added, slowly mix in some of the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder). Carefully fold this in to the mix in stages so that you don’t allow lumps to form, and you won’t knock out as much air πŸ™‚

Finally fold in the white chocolate chips before spooning the mix into cupcake cases. Bake these in the oven at 180c for 15-20 minutes. When they are done they will be a nice golden brown colour and a skewer will come out clean.


While the cakes are cooking start weighing your butter into a bowl. Start mixing this with a wooden spoon or a hand held mixer, or in a standing mixer. Just let this mix for hours :p or just until you have a really pale smooth paste πŸ™‚ make sure you scrape the sides down every so often so that it all gets well beaten. This will probably take about 10-15 minutes.


Once the cakes are cooked and slightly cooled carefully cut a circle in the top of the cake and remove the middle, don’t chuck it away as you’ll put it back afterwards. Do this to all of the cupcakes but try to make sure you keep the right ‘lid’ with the right cake!

Once they have all been cut spoon about 1tsp of the orange curd (this recipe can be found in a previous blog) into each cake, you want it almost filled to the top which may call for more curd. Once filled place the lids back on the cakes so that the curd is hidden.


Now add the rest of the curd to the butter which by now should be really soft allowing the curd to mix in easily πŸ™‚ as soon as the curd is mixed in start adding the icing sugar, I found it a lot less messy and easier to judge the amount by adding the icing sugar a few spoonfuls at a time. I gave you a rough measurement of the sugar because people like their icings different, some like them really sweet and others not so much and as you don’t need to pipe this icing it doesn’t have to be very thick so you can change the amount you use depending how you feel.


Once the icing is smooth you can ice the cupcakes I went for classic icing starting to drip over the edge of the cake but you can do what ever you feel sits the occasion best!!


And there you go, some extremely fancy tasty cupcakes ready to surprise everyone with their orange filling. These are wonderful for pudding or as an afternoon tea in the garden, these of course go very well with a nice cup of tea :p enjoy everyone!!

Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry

12 Jun

This is a tasty light dinner, brilliant for summer and a good way to use up any left over roast chicken πŸ™‚ this uses and really enhances the fresh flavour of asparagus and thyme creating a wonderful light meal!!

Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry2

2 Red onions
1 Bunch of asparagus
A handful of mushrooms
2 Cloves of garlic
Leftover roast chicken picked
4 Sprigs of thyme

Estimated time: 20 minutes, 40 minutes if using raw chicken


The chicken, I haven’t given an amount because it is up to the person and how many you are making this for. I only made enough for four people and didn’t actually have much chicken left. I took as much chicken as I could get from our leftover roast and chopped it into bite size pieces that are small enough to warm through quickly. Once chopped I left it to one side until needed.

If you are using raw chicken, chop it into small pieces and cook in some olives oil with some salt and pepper. Just allow the chicken to cook as you don’t want it to start to burn. Nice cooked scrape onto a plate or bowl and leave to once side.

Start by peeling and chopping the two onions, don’t worry about any fancy cuts, just a rough dice will be enough, we’re not cooking for Michelin star chefs :p once chopped scrape them into a large frying pan or wok with a small amount of olive oil, start to warm the pan.

Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry

While the pan is heating and the onions starting too cook you can roughly chop your mushrooms, I choose to keep the, quite chunky as they cook down a lot! Add these to the onions and stir now and again.

Once the onions and mushrooms have started to cook finely chop you garlic cloves. Add this to the pan when the mushrooms are almost cooked as garlic burns very easily and doesn’t taste nice!! Stir the garlic in and leave everything gently heating.

Now the asparagus, I love asparagus it is such a summery vegetable once that sadly doesn’t last too long, but never mind it’s here!!! Take your asparagus and wash it in cold water to get rid of the grit. Prepping asparagus is really easy to do. Take one stem at a time, if you squeeze the very end you’ll feel that it is slightly harder than the rest. At this point just snap it off, on most bits of asparagus it will be about an inch at the bottom. Once all snapped and washed chop the asparagus into pieces and add to the pan.

Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry1

Allow the asparagus to cook for about 5 minutes until almost done before adding the chicken. Stir the chicken through so that it will come back up to temperature.

Finally the thyme, with your sprigs you should be able to run your finger and thumb down it removing the leaves as you don’t really want the stems in the dish. These are often quite woody and don’t cook down! Once your thyme is picked stir it into the pan and allow to cook for a few minutes.

Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry2

And there you have it, a healthy and very tasty meal using fresh herbs and also finishing leftover food!! This is definitely a meal for the whole family, it’s quick and easy to make. This goes really well with pasta or if you want you can have new potatoes πŸ™‚ hope you enjoy it!!!!

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