Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Sizzling Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sundae


Date: 29/11/12

Background: Stacey and I decided to make a trip to our “local”, The Yenton, because we love it so much there that on Four Square, Stacey is Mayor *looks impressed*. After dinner, we wanted an after dinner puddingy treat.

What: Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sundae- Vanilla ice cream, with chunks of chocolate chip cookie, topped with whipped cream and drizzle with toffee sauce

Where: The Yenton, Sizzling Pub, Erdington

How Much: £3.49

What was Good: Stacey really was attracted to this dessert! The minute we sat down at the table the pudding menu caught her eye, and specifically a glowing image of this sundae beauty. So naturally when it came to choosing, I think the choice was already made! The toffee sauce was really thick and treacly- I feel as if I have tasted it before from another establishment… dot dot dot. The cookie pieces themselves were packed into the pudding, not just a scanty couple here and there. Also, for once, there was not TOO much whipped/squirty cream!

What was Bad: Personally, I did not think this was the best tasting pudding that there ever was. It was not extremely special and mind-blowing. The cookies were obviously pre-made pre-bought ones, and consequently they were dry with a hint of e-number for preserving and flavouring. It no way near as disappointing as the last pudding I have from a Sizzling Pub… But it just lacked that special something that I look for so often. It didn’t help that the ice cream had ice crystals again… Which really can ruin the texture and enjoyment of the whole dairy-fied desserty element… I also would recommend maybe using double chocolate chip cookies? Or something like a famous brand of dark chocolate American cookies with a vanilla cream filling? That is what springs to mind when I hear cookies and cream… And make it cheaper definately!!

Would I Buy It Again: Me, probably not, but I think Stacey would!





Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Costa Coffee.. Don’t Do This To Me!


Date: 27/11/12

Background: A LOOOOOOOOOOOONG day was spent doing mandatory training at work.. A very long day indeed. But, my lovely Stacey agreed to pick me up afterwards. So whilst waiting for her to finish, I went to the Costa Coffee at QEHB. As I am sure you are aware by now, I am determined to work my way through their pudding menu!

What: Honeycomb Crunch- Biscuity tiffin style-esque bar with a layer of milk chocolate, with honeycomb pieces

Where: Costa Coffee, QEHB

How Much?: £1.85

What was Good: It looked really nice. If you remember from my homemade mug cake, I decorated with crushed sprinklings of Crunchie®. This is because I absolutely adore honeycomb!! The texture, the colour, the sweetness, I just really really like it! So naturally the sound of this festive, sparkly pudding really appealed. I like the texture, the consistency reminded me very much of tiffin, you know almost Rocky Road-y? But without the fruit.. or marshmallows.. But, not quite a cake, but not quite a biscuit texture? It was lovely and soft but also very crumbly, and substantial, not light, but definitely not solid and cloy-ey. And generally speaking, I liked the honeycomb bits in it! I also really liked the combination of solid chocolate layer on top, paired with the soft, crumbly texture of the base.

What was Bad: However, it was totally lacking in flavour!!! They could have made it really decadent with an intense cocoa flavour, but they just did not fulfil this fantasy at all! It was sweet, but that was it really. Yes it feels rustic and homemade, but it had all the flavourful excitement of a boring pre packed treat…. Disappointing and sickly!!

Would I have it again?: No, I wouldn’t. I have yet to find a pud that lives up to the Gingerbread Muffin of Costa’s legacy



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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Mary Berry’s Christmassy Mincemeat Buns! [How to Make]


Date: 24/11/12

Background: Ever since Stacey bought me Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook, I have had a hankering to make something from within it’s glistening shimmering colourful pages. So with the Christmas Spirit ebbing towards us like a cheerful festive fog, I decided to make Mincemeat Buns, a recipe encompassing that Crimbo-In-A-Jar wonder, mincemeat, if you hadn’t already guessed.

What: Mincemeat Buns


  • 375g (12oz) Mincemeat
  • 250g (8oz) Currants (I used mixed fruit)
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g (5oz) Caster Sugar
  • 150g (5oz) Soft Butter or Margarine
  • 250g (8oz) Self Raising Flour
  • 32 cake cases (Or in my video, 12 silicone cake cases and a sandwich tin!)


  1. Measure out all the ingredients into one bowl
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes
  3. Divide the cake mixture evenly among the cake cases. putting them in bun tins if preferred
  4. Bake in the pre heated oven for 20-30mins or until golden and springy to the touch
  5. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and leave to cool

Video: Once again courtesy of the wonderful StaceyRaver’s Youtube

What was Good: OMG the smell! It filled the house with a spicy, mince pie like, winter-y aroma! It literally filled the very bricks of my home with Festive cheer! The cakes themselves are sweet and dense. Dense does not sound very attractive, but trust me, when you expect to devour a light fluffy fairy cake, and the weighty fruit and flavour filled nommable fills your hand, it is a happy moment. The cake itself is packed with so much fruit that it adds a real moist chew with every bite. For those that don’t like mincemeat, Stacey being a prime example, TRUST ME, it is nothing like eating a mince pie! The flavour is aromatic and intense, but the actual flavour of mincemeat is very subtle. Even Stacey is a convert now!

What was Bad: We both felt it lacked a variety of texture or flavour… So we were considering making an icing sugary cinnamony dust for the top? Or even a liquid fondant icing. What do you think? But all in all… Loved these buns of steel!

Would I Make It Again: YES!






Berry, M (2012) Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook. 3rd ed. London: Covent Garden Books. P465

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Quick and Easy Sparkling Chocolate Cake in a Mug [How To Make]


Date: 22/11/12

Background: The weather outside is frightful, but in with the cats is delightful, so whilst sat watching Ol’ Lord Shug (Sugar), Eat cake in a mug, in a mug, in a mug.

This pudding is NOT MINE, it is a recipe of the BBC Good Food Show Member Recipe by “Sarah”. This is a recipe I have made on several occasions now, and every time I make it, and listen to the tweaks other members (namely “cake monster) have made, I get a better and better experience! So I have adapted this a little bit, and I hope you enjoy making it! And the best thing is, is that I had all of the ingredients in the store cupboard.

What: Sparkling Chocolate Cake in a Mug


  • 1 coffee mug 2012-11-22 19.45.25
  • 4 Tbsp. Self Raising Flour
  • 4 Tbsp. Caster Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 3 Tbsp. oil (I use Sunflower/Vegetable)

To Serve:

  • Toffee/Chocolate Sauce
  • Crunchie® Chocolate Bar
  • Vanilla Ice-cream


  1. Mix together the wet ingredients in a bowl
  2. Pour combined wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
  3. Dollop the mixture into the coffee mug
  4. Cook in a microwave at 800W for 3 minutes
  5. Allow to cool for 1 minutes before turning the cake out
  6. Using a rolling pin, bash the Crunchie® bar to break it up into chunks and golden sparkly crumbs
  7. Drizzle the cake with toffee sauce, sprinkle with the broken Crunchie® and serve with scoops of vanilla ice-cream

What was Good: SPEED and SIMPLICITY! I made it all in the last 15 minutes of Eastenders, ready for eating whilst watching Young Apprentice on TV! The ingredients are cheap and, for me anyway, store cupboard staples! This is actually the best attempt of this recipe I have made so far. Aesthetics wise it did not look restaurant worthy, I admit that, because the cake refused to be decanted from the mug in one piece, but all in all wonderful combination of tastes, textures and flavours. The Crunchie® nuggets melt slightly into the cake, and as usual a Hot and Cold Pudding is just what you need when there is a storm blowing a gale outside.

What was Bad: The fact it didn’t look very neat and tidy… Although that doesn’t really bother me when making and baking cakes just for me. It had a nice chocolatey flavour but I felt it was lacking a little bit of depth. But for a cake make in a mug in around 15minutes, who can complain!?

Would I Make It Again?: Yes I would! If desperation calls I always have this recipe to fall back on and hug!



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Friday, 16 November 2012

Frankfurt Christmas Market. Waffles. I’M THERE!


Date: 15th November-22nd December 2012. We visited on 16/11/12

Background: Basically, when the Frankfurt Christmas Market comes to Birmingham, Me and Stacey NEED to be there! So be there we most certainly were!

What: Hot Nutella Waffle

Where: Broad Street, Victoria Square, Chamberlain Square and New Street, Birmingham

How Much?: £4.00

What was Good: It was hot, fresh and cooked right in front of me! I actually physically watched the stall holders pouring the gloopy batter right onto the piping hot waffle iron! WITH MY OWN EYES! Aaaaaaand, there was a wide selection of toppings to choose 68488_531856883511076_1664131720_nfrom, sprinkles, chocolate, Nutella, sugar, the list goes on! So when they handed me my fluffy soft prize smothered in my choice of topping, Nutella, I knew that I was in for a very festive treat! So stood in the Frankfurt Christmas Market with a festive pint in one hand, and my lovely pudding in a another, I sank my teeth into the piping hot waffle, and I felt instantly Christmassy. The texture and reminded me of a soft and squishy Yorkshire pudding, which was beautiful, and the hot melted Nutella in the waffley grooves was simply divine!

What was Bad: I cannot honestly think of anything to  improve this pudding, especially when combined with the atmosphere of the market, the music, the smells, the cold air with hats and gloves, and general happiness. I suppose it was just a little bit expensive.. Even still, honestly, you MUST GO to the Frankfurt Christmas Market and indulge in the wonderfulness that sits within the stalls there!


Waffle-O-Meter (LOL):



Thursday, 15 November 2012

Grandma’s Coconut Cake


I cannot do a usual review of this deliciously amazing cake, 2012-11-12 10.57.48because I have not managed to snaffle my Grandma’s recipe from her!

I mentioned in a previous blog that I am very very lucky, and more often than not I come back to Birmingham from Rugby with another sweet delectable goody, and this visit home was no different.

I had the sheer delight of coming back to my Brummy home with a golden, sweet, moist, moorish Coconut Cake. YUM!

Basically, this gorgeous cake of joy is a light soft coconut sponge cake, topped with a thick toasted desiccated coconut crust. It reminds me very much of a lovechild between a sponge cake and a macaroon. Absolutely delicious!

If only you could eat this cake with your eyes off this computer screen! This is a slab of heavenly coconut cake with ice cream and toffee sauce. One of my favourite ways of eating it!


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

You Can Never Have Enough Muffin!


Date: 13/11/12

Background: I had a somewhat not entirely interesting mandatory training session for 6 hours at work… And the only thing that got me through the day was the knowledge that a delicious pud was waiting for me just across the road for when I had finished!

What: Cherry and Almond Muffin

Where: Costa Coffee Shop, Queen Elizabeth Hospital- Birmingham

How Much?: £1.75

What was Good: It took so much willpower to not buy another Gingerbread Muffin I cannot even explain. But I NEED to try the whole delicious range of cakes and other sweet treats that Costa has to offer, so I chose upon the golden brown Cherry and Almond Muffin, garnished with sugar dusted toasted almonds. Classic case of eating with my eyes again!! The cake itself was slightly sweet, and had an aromatic hint of almonds within it. And what little sticky cherry jam there was in the heart, was very flavourful and intense!

What was Bad: I was entirely underwhelmed I am afraid! Apart from the jammy centre, there was no taste of cherry within the cake itself, and equally so with the almonds, there was only an aromatic after note! I mean don’t get me wrong, the texture was lovely, soft, light and  airy. Just the texture you would want from a muffin, but I was very sad about the muffin-y experience of today. I wanted a flavour sensation and ended up with a generic sponge flavoured sponge with some jam.

Would I Go Again: I most definitely WILL be returning to Costa! There are too many treats in store for me to sink my sweet tooth into! I just will not be having this muffin again!



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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Carrot Cake Comparison


Date: 11/11/12

Background: A new store “The Range” has opened in good ol’ Rugby, so we went there for a general Sunday mooch, and consequently had a coffee in their cafe.

What: Carrot Cake (Cake of the Day)

Where: The Range, Rugby store

How Much?: I got it for £3.25 on offer with a tea for one. But the cake itself would have been £2.40 (pricey!)

What was Good:

  • It was a carrot cake! If you remember my previous blog posts you will remember my passion for this particular nommable!
  • It was a light and airy cake
  • It had a nice sweet cream cheese frosting
  • It had delicious crunchy chopped walnuts to garnish it
  • I liked very much that it had an ooey gooey filling! Even if it was the same as the topping..

What was Bad:

  • Being pre-sliced, it was a starting to go a bit dry on the edges
  • The cream cheese frosting was not as nice as Jamie Oliver’s recipe from my previous blog
  • It was expensive for what it was!
  • It was not as flavoursome as my delicious cake of perfection I made previously either! It did not taste as though it had as much spice.

Would I go here again? For cake? No, too expensive! For general house/craft/hobby purchases? YES!




 1st   Jamie Oliver’s Carrot Cake with Lime Mascarpone Icing 



2nd  Nando’s do pudding?!



TROPHY3rd3rd   This Carrot Cake.. With a Measly



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