Joyous Jaffa Cakes

I love Jaffa Cakes, a low fat-low calorie snack. However I always buy them therefore, when I stumbled across this recipe online, I had to try it! I found it at this website Jamie Oliver

I’m a huge fan of his cooking and recipes. Having never made them before I was a little apprehensive however they turned out beautifully.

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I used way more than 100g of chocolate. I opted for Terry’s Chocolate Orange and used nearly two!!! You can never have too much chocolate. I also used orange and tangerine marmalade but didn’t sieve the zest out as the recipe advised. I think it gave it a nice bitterness next to the sweet, zesty chocolate.

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They were delicious with a cup of tea, a perfect afternoon treat. They are the perfect balance of sweet and zesty. Compared with shop bought they highly exceeded my expectations but I’m not sure they are as low calorie. (I’m guessing not, with the amount of chocolate on top.) Grab one while you can though; they don’t hang around for long.

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Madeleines with Chocolate Sauce

Madelines….They. Are. Delicious.

I recently bought a Madeleine tray from my local hardware shop. They are not something you see much in English shops, being French. So when I saw it I jumped at the opportunity. Only costing £12 I was well chuffed.

I recently watched a cookery series by Gordon Ramsay called ‘Ultimate Cookery Course.’ I really enjoyed it and it was great as he didn’t swear either! I bought the book to accompany the series and saw his recipe for madeleines and decided to make them for breakfast.

Having travelled to France I was surprised to discover they are not something as common as I once thought. Everyone seems to eat brioche, perhaps it’s a regional thing I’m not sure.

They were delicious and I have to say it was very satisfying having got up early especially to make this little sweet treats. They don’t keep well so it’s best to eat them fresh that very morning.

Here’s the recipe I used Madeleines By Gordon Ramsay

Viola….

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I heated 100ml of double cream until it was boiling and turned the heat off and added 200g of good quality milk chocolate and whisked well to form a chocolate dipping sauce. C’est tres bon!

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These little cakes are great for a leisurely weekend breakfast or if you have family or friends round for breakfast. You can make the batter in advance the night before, leave it in the fridge and then prepare your Madeleine tray, add the mixture then bake them.

Hope you enjoy these, I love their shell shape, so pretty. Just the thing I want to see and eat in a morning.

Stephy x x

Afternoon Tea

An English tradition of afternoon tea has to be one of my favourite things. The cake being the highlight of course and the company you share it with.

I recently arranged an afternoon tea for some friends to visit a beautiful hotel called Netherwood Hall, in Grange Over Sands, UK. It was great to get together in a stunning setting overlooking Morecambe Bay.

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The views were breathtaking and we were fortunate to have lovely weather, not something you can always guarantee in England.

We enjoyed drinks on the terrace.

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Followed by retiring into the salon and having our relaxing afternoon tea. We didn’t sit at a large table – there was 12 of us – so we just sat on comfy sofas and enjoyed a beautiful, relaxed afternoon tea.

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Afternoon tea with a view…..

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To finish it all off we even had this beauty to demolish….

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A delightful afternoon with friends. I will definitely try to arrange this again at such a special location.

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Netherwood Hall Hotel is the place to be; for afternoon tea.

Stephy x x

Move Over Coffee, Tea Has Arrived

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the French have an obsession with tea. I was expecting to drink lots of coffee but no! They enjoy a cuppa just as much as the English. They are very passionate about it too.

I drank some beautiful tea in Lyon, France. It was in a traditional Chinese tea room with a French twist. Very extraordinary and unique.

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It was very delicious and refreshing and felt much healthier than drinking a strong coffee or espresso.
To prove my theory about the French’s obsession with tea, a friend sent me this interesting article about France’s Silent Tea Revolution an interesting read.

Who knows, in the future coffee will be no more and tea will be the normal accompaniment with a croissant!? Watch this space….

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Stephanié x x

Betty’s Tea Room, York

I’ve always wanted to visit Betty’s in York, UK. A very traditional tea rooms established in 1919, it’s quintessentially British, from the service to the staff attire.

Due to it’s high standard and excellent reputation it gets exceedingly busy. When we went they were queuing out of the door today! Foreseeing this, I pre-booked a table in their Belmont Rooms, on the first floor. We were sat down much quicker, avoiding queuing in the cold.

We were made to feel very welcome; sat on a beautifully laid table. The staff couldn’t be more helpful, so respectful and attentive. We felt very special and well looked after.

I ordered Betty’s Earl Grey Tea. It was so lovely; served in a traditional tea pot with the leaves and a tea strainer – as it should be in my opinion.

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We were then presented with an exquisite afternoon tea stand with sandwiches including; coronation chicken, roast ham with a sweet whole grain mustard, egg with cress and prawn. They were extremely tasty, freshly prepared and they were more than willing to bring more if required. I thought about it but looking at the rest of the stand I wanted to make sure I had enough room for the cakes! After all that’s what it is all about the sweet treats. Hehe.

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I then sampled the stunning homemade sultana scones with jam and clotted cream – need I say anymore. An absolute pleasure to eat!

Then the highlight (in my opinion) the patisserie cakes.

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The fruit tart was particularly good but my ultimate indulgence was the Black Forest macaron with a rich, chocolate cream filling with fresh cherries and an alcoholic kick at the end. Divine.

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We had a delightful afternoon, the ambience was fabulous, with a lady playing the piano, it was extremely relaxing. If you’re ever in York you must visit Betty’s, to experience a traditional and friendly food experience. There are not many like Betty’s around these days sadly. We are swamped with franchises setting up coffee shops and cafés, don’t get me wrong I like some of them but feel we should maintain our traditions and heritage in the classic and individual tea rooms of English history and culture. I understand you pay the price but it’s a small price to pay when you receive an excellent service and a day you won’t ever forget for being so lovely!!

Please note Betty’s also sell cakes, bread, souvenirs and gifts which are worth looking at. As well as being a fabulous tea rooms they also sell excellent produce, perfect for a gift or to take home for yourself.

Betty’s Tea Room a must to visit and the perfect way to spend my New Years Eve. Have a lovely evening everyone.

Stephy x x

Bouillet Patisserie – Lyon

Having already sampled the delightful gateaux’s in a patisserie in the centre of Lyon we decided to travel around the city to discover more culinary delights!

Viola we found this fabulous patisserie. The Macarons were a delight. I scoffed the most tastiest Macarons I think I’ve ever eaten!

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It was well worth the steep climb to reach the shop, French streets are so pretty. Rustic and full of charm and character.

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I ate a variety of flavours including; pistachio, coffee, chocolate orange and lemon. Tres tres bon! Before you ask, no I didn’t share them, I ate them all myself as something’s in life are meant to be indulged by oneself and this is one of them.

The patisserie Bouillet is well worth a visit.

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You are truly spoilt for choice, not a bad thing, but I found the Macarons particularly superb!

Next to try making them myself…….

Stephanié x x

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