Sunday, 28 October 2012

McFlurry® Mini Moment of the Month {TWO}


No I’m not chatting about Mini McFlurry’s®, although I kind of feel they would take off! I am going to try the promotional Limited Edition McFlurry® from Maccy-to-the-D’s (McDonalds®…) every month and give a mini review about it! Prepare to be emersed in Registered Trade Mark symbols!2012-10-27 15.48.13

The new promotional McFlurry® at Maccy’s this time is Nestle KitKat®! For those that do not know a normal KitKat® is 2 wafer fingers covered in milk chocolate. A KitKat-McFlurry® consists of nuggets of the wafer-chocolateyness covered in milk chocolate scattered within the icecream and swirled with Nestle chocolate sauce.

I cannot say I did a screech of joy when I heard that this was the promotional McFlurry®… Mainly because I am not a massive KitKat® fan really. Don’t me wrong, I am often partial to a KitKatChunky- Peanut Butter® every now and again! But the thought of bits of boring wafer floating wrong in cold ice cream did not fill me with anticipation and longing.

And… To be honest… I was about right. Chocolate goes hard in ice cream!!! And this was no exception!! And when that happens I 2012-10-27 15.48.37instantly lose interest. If I have to work my nashers to munch on cold chocolate I am somewhat less than amused. And to be fair, the chocolate sauce was not much to write home about either. Maybe this could have been helped if it looked a bit more appetising.. who knows. For £1.39 what do you expect, I suppose…

Needless to say I will not be purchasing this cheap-sweet-treat again! Give me a Cadbury’s Crunchie® McFlurry® anyday!!

Friday, 26 October 2012

BBC Good Food Show Live 2012


AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH! I am so excited!!! Open-mouthed smile.

I have just booked tickets for me, my grandparents and my auntie, uncle and cousins to go to the BBC Good Food Show Live- Winter 2012 at the NEC in Birmingham! Open-mouthed smile 

I went about 4 years ago with my Grandma and Grandad and had an amazing time! Lots of freebies, taste tests, interesting stalls and exhibits, and to know you are in the same building as some of TV’s great chefs, cooks gfs_birminghamand foodies!

Hopefully this year will be no exception!!! Open-mouthed smile

I am going on Saturday 1st December, and it runs from 0900-1800. So I will be preparing for lots and lots of crowds of people, lots of walking, but lots of lovely foody memories also! As well as entrance into the show, I will get to see the Italian Stallion (awful awful awful play on words) that is Gino D’Campo in the Super-theatre at 1730!!! Open-mouthed smile <3. ANNNND to top it all off.. We are going to be in the same building as MARY BERRY & PAUL HOLLYWOOD! THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!!


For those who are interested, for standard admission+entry into Super-theatre, tickets cost:

CHILD (6-17)- £11

ADULT- £22.50

Over 65s- £17

If you are interested I definitely suggest booking now before the tickets sell out!! Click HERE for the link to buy tickets!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Jamie Oliver’s- Carrot Cake with Lime Mascarpone Icing [HOW TO MAKE]


Date: 21/10/12

Background: We (Me and Stacey) are proper getting into this baking lark! We are enjoying our weekend free time by baking all sorts of yummy things! I recently brought back all my cookery books from back in Rugby, and one of these was Jamie Oliver: COOK with Jamie- My Guide To Making You A Better Cook. If you hadn’t guessed the recipe for this cake came from this book.

ALSO, with this being the last day of National Baking Week, this amazing cake is our contribution!

What: A Rather Pleasing Carrot Cake with Lime Mascarpone Icing

How Much?: If I am honest it was probably a slightly more expensive cake than I am used to making because I had to buy extra ingredients to those that I normally have in my store cupboard. So I actually ended up spending about £10….


  • 285g/10oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 285g/10oz light brown soft sugar
  • 5 large free-range/organic eggs, separated
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 170g/6oz self-raising flour, sifted20121021_140750
  • 1 slightly heaped tsp baking powder
  • 115g/4oz ground almonds
  • 115g/4oz shelled walnuts, chopped, plus a handful for serving
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • A pinch ground cloves
  • A pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 285g/10oz carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • A pinch of sea salt

To decorate:

  • 115g/4oz mascarpone cheese
  • 225g/8oz full-fat cream cheese
  • 85g icing sugar, sifted
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
  2. Grease and line a 22cm/9inch square cake tin/round equivalent
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy
  4. Beat in the egg yolks 1 by 1, add in the orange juice and zest and st ir
  5. Stir in the sifted flour and baking powder
  6. Add the ground almonds, walnuts, spices and grated carrot and mix together well
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff
  8. Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the cake mix (use a metal spoon)
  9. Scoop the mix into a prepared cake tin and cook in a preheated oven for around 50mins until golden and risen
  10. Check the cake using a cocktail stick (or a skewer or in this case a long pronged fork) by spearing the centre of the cake, wait for 5secs and if it comes out clean it is cooked! If slightly sticky put back into the oven
  11. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for at least 10mins, then turn out onto a cake rack for at least an hour
  12. Mix all the icing ingredients together and spread generously on top of the cake and sprinkle with chopped walnuts

What was Good: *cries with pure happiness*. Out of all the cakes I have ever made, this delicious stupendous utterly luxurious carrot cake was beyond the best. The cake was so so moist, but the texture of the walnuts within it added a surprising crunch and beautiful flavour. I believe the moistness mainly comes from very clever addition of ground almonds, and the airiness from a combination of ingredients (baking powder, SR flour) but also clever technique (whisked egg whites folded in).  There was a really nice amount of carrot within it also. At first I wasn’t sure if the delicious tangy lime mascarpone icing would be too sickly, but with the cake it was a wonderful combination and worked very well together. The flavour was very subtle from the spices, but they came, especially the nutmeg, as a scented after note. I cannot rave about this cake enough. Honestly. No Joke. Thank you Jamie Oliver you beauty!

What was Bad: NOTHING. Literally. Even though we would probably add an extra tsp of spices next time, it is not like the flavour wasn’t there! But we seriously could not think of another improvement. Expect this whole beast to be gone within a few hours!!!


WAFFLEWAFFLEWAFFLEWAFFLEWAFFLE (With more spice it would receive even more waffles!!!!)


Friday, 19 October 2012

Grandma’s Fruitcake [HOW TO MAKE]


Date: 15/10/12

Background: My Grandma, and consequently my mum also, is my baking teacher and idol. Some of my earliest memories are of stood on a chair in my Grandma’s kitchen making fairy cakes and scones with her. Ever since I have been at university, virtually whenever I came back from Rugby to Birmingham I brought with me a delicious homemade creation from my lovely Grandma. Be it apple pie, coconut cake, chocolate cake, lemon meringue pie or Christmas pudding, regardless or the contents, a cake tin was a welcome addition to our communal kitchen.

After being at home for the weekend prior to coming back to Brumland to start my new job, she had made me a lovely fruitcake, to take to work Smile. A few years ago she had given me the recipe for this cake. And it is one of the easiest cakes to make!

What: Grandma’s All-In-One Stork Fruitcake- Recipe from my Grandma Smile

Ingredients: 2012-10-16 17.14.36

  • 4oz Stork margarine
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 8oz self raising flour
  • 12oz mixed fruit
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4pint milk
  • 2tbsp walnuts for the top

Method- see how easy it is!

  1. Put all ingredients into a bowl
  2. Mix ingredients together
  3. Pour mixture in a greased and line 2lb loaf tin
  4. Place in a preheated oven- Gas Mark 3 (160C)
  5. Cook for 1.5-1.75 hours
  6. Best eaten after 24hours Smile

What was Good: Some fruit cakes can be quite dry, but my Grandma’s fruit cake is definitely not that! I love light fruit cake, when I say light I mean, you know when you cut a fruit cake open and the cake itself is light in colour with fruit within it, not dense and sticky like a Christmas cake. The mixed fruit in it was a selection of glace cherries, raisins and sultanas, which helped to keep the cake lovely and moist, and the mixed spice added a lovely autumnal flavour and scent to it as well. It was a fantastic ‘store cupboard’ cake, not just because it can be made with ingredients you can easily find in your store cupboard, but also because despite it now being 4 days after cutting it, it still tastes as fresh as the first day! So I can keep it airtight in the store cupboard for days! Another of my favourite things about this lovely cake are that the walnuts used to top the cake add a delicious flavour, and fab texture when biting into it.

What was Bad: I for one am not going to disrespect my Grandma by saying anything bad about her baking Smile She made it because she loves to cook for people, and I am very grateful!



2012-10-16 17.16.14

Thursday, 18 October 2012

I Vote USA!- Frankie and Benny’s Version


Date: 15/10/12

Background: I want to say it was in the name of trying food from different “countries” aka research… But realistically it is because Frankie and Benny’s are 20121015_181544AMAZING and they do like super-awesome food, especially pudding! Thus, Monday Madness (20% off your bill!) it was for Stacey and I!

For those that do not know of Frankie and Benny’s it is an American themed restaurant chain, specialising in American-Italian cuisine! They do a delicious range of pasta dishes, calzone, burgers and other classics, as well as spectacular array of puddings, sundaes, crumbles and waffley-pancakey deliciousness.

What: Sticky Toffee Pancakes

Where: Frankie and Benny’s

How Much?: We chose off the ‘Specials Menu’ and so it was £10.95 for two courses! (+Monday Madness 20% off!)

What was Good: Oh My Goodness!!!! American pancakes are simply divine! They are like mini sweet soft sponges! They soaked up all the river of sweet toffee sauce and so when you bit into the pancake the sauciness in them oozed out into your tongue. Topping these were lovely little honeycomb-chocolate nuggets, so they began to melt slightly, softening them and yet they still remained crunchy. To compliment the warm cakes-of-pan, sandwiched between them was a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. ONCE AGAIN. Warm pudding, cold ice cream WINNING. And even more winning is Frankie and Benny’s!!

20121015_183716What was Bad: I suppose, compared to the waffle pudding which I reviewed from F & B before, and consequently Stacey also had for her pudding because she missed it that much, the pancakes sadly were slightly soggier…. BUT this was not really a negative as such. I just think that the texture of the waffle supported the sauce and ice cream for longer than the pancake could. I still want to eat these again though!!!




Monday, 15 October 2012

I Vote United Kingdom!


Date: 14/10/12

Background: For my World Pudding theme of late in my blog, and simply because I love a cake lunch, I went to Marks and Spencer’s in ROYAL Leamington Spa. That statement itself is very British. I mean, Marks and Spencer (for those of you that do not know) is a major British retailer with 703 stores in the United Kingdom and 361 stores spread across more than 40 countries. It is a beacon of pure Britishness in all it’s glory, and the cafe does sell some rather tasty goodies. And as for Royal Leamington Spa, for those of my readers who have not had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful town, with it’s elegant stunning white townhouses, spacious parks, and well known for it’s often upmarket shops, you must add Leamington to your list of places you need to visit-if anything, for it’s culture!

What: Ginger and Treacle Loaf Cake

How Much?: £2.95

What was Good: Its dense rich amber colour was enticing enough. I am a sucker for a good loaf cake, especially if it has the words ‘ginger’ and ‘treacle’ in it’s name. My mouth started to water at the thought of it! I absolutely love the sticky and chewy qualities that treacle tends to give cakes, and with the Autumn arriving as if from nowhere, with turning leaves and a cold chill in the air, the idea of a warming ginger spice was a very welcome one. The topping of the cake was an interesting choice, but more on that later. The loaf cake certainly delivered on the texture front. It was moist, dense but not cloy-y, very flavoursome confection, and I enjoyed it very much. I will definitely be trying to make/bake and review this cake, so watch this space!

What was Bad: Unfortunately, I was not entirely sold on the topping. It was drizzled with a little white chocolate icing, however it could have been yoghurt Confused smile, and sprinkled with crystalized ginger. I can see why the crystallized ginger is appropriate, I did not like the texture, and the icing, although not unpleasant, I do not believe ‘went’ with the gingery cake. When making it myself I will also ensure that more ginger is added to the actual cake batter itself, because although it had a lovely flavour, I believe it could have benefitted from being more robust!



2012-10-14 14.40.13

Sunday, 14 October 2012

I Vote Germany!–Guest Blog by Stacey Downton


My lovely Stacey went to Germany in August (I have been bad and not got her to do a guest blog until now Confused smile) and she had this beautiful pudding. So for my “where in the WORLD can you get the best pudding!?” theme she has kindly offered to guest-blogify for me! Open-mouthed smile So here it is!

Date: 30/8/12


As a Samsung Mob!ler (kind of like a brand ambassador) I’m really lucky in the fact that I get to travel to lots of weird and wonderful places with my friends and colleagues at Samsung. This time round we were all in Berlin for IFA 2012 which is a very large consumer technology fair in which Samsung had a HUUUUGE exhibition!

There were 100 mobilers from all around the world and as a treat for us (because we all work REAAAAALLLY hard…) Samsung kindly hired out the Restaurant Nolle for us, so that we could say goodbye to our new found friends from all over .

The Restaurant Nolle was an exquisite venue for our party. It is full of 1920’s elegance and lives under a railway bridge….every so often there would be a rumble as the train went over. Also it served a wide range of alcoholic drinks and plenty of German beer!

What: Warm chocolate and walnut cake with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

How Much?: Who knows? Ask Samsung Winking smile

What was Good: The texture of the cake was very fudge-like. It was chewy and gooey like a chocolate brownie. I loved it. Plus there was nuggets of walnutty goodness which added a crunch that was simply delightful! The fact that the cake was served warm and the contrasting coldness of the ice cream made me even more excited. I love this combo.

Also the presentation was fantastic. It looked very pretty!

What was Bad: Call me picky but I think they could have left the whipped cream out and it would still have been an amazing pudding (Amy: Finally somebody who agrees with me!). Also it came with a little plant thingy…I call them syphilis…but that’s not their real name (Amy: I hope she means Physilis Confused smile), either way I’m just not a fan…please decorate my pudding with extra walnuts or chocolatey bits! Smile




Link to Stacey-pops and her amazeballs Samsung techno-blog {I am a link- Click Me}

Saturday, 13 October 2012

“Happy Anniversary To You..” is that even a song?


Happy Anniversary To You, Happy Anniversary To You.. No it is not a song, but when your grandparents are presented with a(beautiful) cake with candles to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary (50 blinking years! That is half a century! More than double my age!") What song are you supposed to sing?2012-10-13 21.47.16

My wonderful grandparents are the centre of our family (my maternal family anyway). It is quite emotional to think that absolutely none of us would be sat there if it wasn’t for them. They have been a couple for over 50 years, and in their time together they have lived in 3 houses, birthed 3 children, who have consequently gone on to all marry and have 6 grandchildren between them, and to top that off, they are “Great-greats” to 2 great-grandchildren (my beautiful nephews).

So to celebrate this, as my Grandma did not want a ‘big fuss’- despite them both more than deserving one- they both paid for us all as a family to go out for a meal at a fantabulous carvery restaurant in Dunchurch, Rugby- The Huntsman.2012-10-13 21.24.58

My A.A. (Auntie Andrea) works there you see, and has done since before I was born, and and so this is a lovely place to go if we have have a family meal because the atmosphere is always lovely and light, and the food itself is delicious!

So after a scrummy starter, and generous, tender, superbly cooked carvery dinner, we all enjoyed tucking in to one of a tasty choice of puds.

I was a bit too full for my usual choice, Mississippi Mud Pie? Coffee Panna Cotta? Warm Chocolate Brownie? Crème Brule?…. all a bit warm and stickily filling after such an extravagant meal, so I had homemade soft dairy ice-cream, and hot fudge sauce. My, my, my, after all my years of coming to the

Huntsman Carvery, I never get disappointed by that pudding. That hot fudge sauce has a flavour like no other! Sweet, but not to2012-10-13 21.24.27o sweet, bitter, but very tasty, chewy but smooth, and it combines so well with that substantial soft, silky, dense ice-cream perfection. I swear, if I could have a constant supply of this ice-cream and sauce I would be a happy happy person! FYI, as you can probably see from the picture, Hot Fudge is not the only flavour they do! Toffee, Chocolate, Strawberry, Butterscotch, Raspberry… and the list goes on, AAAAND you have the option of fluffy whipped cream and chopped nuts!

2012-10-13 21.50.41

And if that still isn’t enough then they EVEN do take-away!!! Open-mouthed smile My brother being the delicate flower that he is decided to take away is homemade Warm Chocolate Fudge Brownie with chocolate sauce!

So for a fantastic evening, with absolutely second to none company, all accompanied by food that tastes even better than it looks, I would definately give it 5 waffles!


And a final word, see that stunning professional looking anniversary cake? My cousin Abs, who is studying catering at Rugby college decorated that. Very proud of her Smile