Friday, 11 June 2010

Victoria Sponge - Ocado Recipe

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Saturday, 5 June 2010


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Gullane Beach East Lothian

If you don't have time for Cape
Cod you may have time to get to one of the great British Beaches along our lovely coastline. This is our favourite this week

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Friday, 30 April 2010

Tarts on Thursday: The Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Brownie

We will never ever accept things for free or payment on this blog. It's all about Passion. Whether its chocolate, cakes, fonts, shoes or olives - its about the best and beyond. We often discuss the merits of different chocolate and whether it adds to the mix or there's no difference when cooking.

We were all pretty neutral about the benefits of Premium or Smart Chocolate for Cooks until we tried Green and Black's Dark Cooks' Chocolate (Organic). This truly does make a difference. It's also worth looking inside the wrapper at the recipes - White Chocolate and Rosemary Panna Cotta. Grown-up version of Willy Wonka Recipes.

We've tried several versions over the past couple of months and this is definitely way and beyond the best. (thank you Zar) This is based on The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook P100 (Published 2009). There are lots of theories about their cakes, more another time but this is the best Brownie we've ever, ever made (and we've made a lot). 

We use a smaller baking tray and bake for 20mins in our ovens it would be burnt to a crisp if we'd baked for the rec time of 30-35 mins. Using a microwave to combine the two main ingredients is our contribution to time-saving.  They also rec dusting with icing sugar at the end. Obviously this is optional. However, for us it's a waste of a good Brownie, it also makes us sneeze.



200g dark chocolate
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 eggs

a 33 x 23x 5 cm baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper

1 Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3

Put the Chocolate and butter in two microwave friendly bowls and melt (combine once melted to a smooth consistency).

Add the sugar and stir until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir. Finally, stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the baking tray (remember the greaseproof paper) and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes (our experience tells us 20-25 mins if you want the gooey centre). It should be flaky on top but soft in the centre. Be careful, otherwise the edges become hard and crunchy. Leave to cool a bit (preferably completely).

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Tarts On Thursday - Hotel Tresanton

As the seasons shift we still tend to think of cake but travelling too. Especially, if we can fit Afternoon Tea in. There are numerous obvious examples of great or innovative service. Our favourite by far is at the Hotel Tresanton on the edge of St Mawes. There aren't many hotel staff who greet every guest as if they are truly special.

After years of searching we've found one and they deserve to be lauded for it.  Is this what visiting a Four Seasons Hotel is like? We don't know yet, all we know is that the Afternoon Tea is reasonably priced and sitting in such effortlessly chic, serene surroundings is utter BLISS. We travelled miles for this and it was worth every penny or pound in this case (£10.00 - tea, slices of lemon drizzle cake, brownie and scones with jam and clotted cream).

If you go tell us what you think - you won't be disappointed and if the sun is out you may even get to sit on the Terrace. Bellex

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Tarts on Thursday - Coconut and Chocolate Cake

This is easy. So easy a five year old made it. So easy hopefully we can all make it. It's a classic combination of good old Cadbury's Milk Chocolate, lots of coconut wrapped in a simple sponge - delicious. Some call it the cake equivalent of a Bounty Bar. If you hate coconut pass on this but if you like it we suggest you try this. This is from site search chocolate and coconut and it will appear it looks as if it was originally in delicious magazine.

Serves 16
30mins to make, 40 mins to bake plus cooling

350g unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing)
150g desiccated coconut
350g self-raising flour
350g caster sugar
6 eggs lightly beaten
200g Cadbury's Milk Chocolate, broken up

1 Preheat the Oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4, Grease a deep 23cm round cake tin with butter and line the base with baking paper. Put the butter into a bowl and put in the microwave on high for 1 min or until almost melted

2 Put 100g coconut into a large bowl. Add the self-raising flour, sugar, eggs and the almost-melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth and combined.

3 Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 45-50mins or until risen. No special heart-tin is required use a standard circular one and cut the heart shape when coooled. It should have risen and be pale and golden on top and firm on the surface. A skewer should be inserted to make sure its cooked i.e. it should come out clean. However if in doubt bake a little longer and cut the burnt bits off - noone will know and all the best chefs do this. We know - we've seen them do it!

4 First time, cut a heart template out of paper and follow the shape as you cut the outside of the cake. Second time and more, don't bother you'll manage fine

5 Put the Chocolate in the bowl and melt pour over the top of the cake letting it drip and run down the sides before using a knife to coat any obvious gaps. Sprinkle over the remaining coconut and voila you have a great cake that keeps for several days in an airtight container (if you don't manage to eat it all at once)!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Tarts on Thursday - Chocolate Mousse

Never met anyone who didn't like Chocolate Mousse. This is the best! Made by Laura from The Dessert Deli you can purchase them from Harvey Nichol's, Selfridges and Partridges. You can see more of Laura's amazing cakes, tarts and cookies at and if you're ever near the Northcote Road SW11 weekends only you can pick up the same produce in a slightly more relaxed setting.