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

Malted Chocolate Cake with Maltesers

Do you like chocolate??? More of a rhetorical question really, of course you do!! I’ve been searching for a new take on the chocolate cake for a while and this is it! It’s rich and yet has a malty flavour which adds depth but an unexpected lightness which lifts this cake to another level along with the sweet chocolate icing and Maltesers; the crowning jewels to this grandiose cake.

Here is the recipe from Mary Berry Malted Chocolate Cake

What a treat!

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Excellent as it doesn’t take too long and is simple. Perfect as a family treat or special occasion. Thanks Mary Berry, yet another beautiful recipe. Another favourite! Highly recommend you make this for the weekend.

Enjoy Stephy x x

Gnocchi, Tomato and Basil Sauce with Mozzarella

After a long week at work I wanted something tasty and comforting. Although here in England the nights are getting lighter (summer soon!) it’s been a dull, drizzly day. I soon cheered up to find my little niece was staying over so I was in need of a hearty but quick tea to satisfy a famished three year old as well as myself.

Italian food is always a good idea. It’s pronto food!! So here’s what I made;

Gnocchi drenched in tomato and Basil sauce with added mozzarella

Ingredients

500g Ready Made Gnocchi
1 Large White Onion
2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
1 Handful of Basil Leaves
200g Ball of Mozzarella, in small cubes

Method

Firstly preheat the oven to 180degrees. Chop the onion and fry it for 5mins in a large frying pan. Add the tins of chopped tomatoes and simmer. Season it well with salt and black pepper.

Boil the gnocchi until it is cooked through (little tip, when it is cooked it floats to the top) and then add it to the sauce. Place it in the preheated oven for 15mins topped with the mozzarella cubes.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this and it had the approval of my niece too!! You could do different variations as well by adding bacon or serving it with a meat dish. I had mine with a lovely side salad and bread to mop up the sauce. Bellisimo. Buon appettito x x

Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Broccoli

After all the amazing food I ate in France, along with the many cakes, I have decided to go a little healthier. I believe it is good to have treats so I’ll still be baking cakes but it is lovely to eat colourful foods, fruit and vegetables to make you feel good.

I trawled Amazon for various healthy cook books and I stumbled across this gem ‘The Medicinal Chef’ by Dale Pinnock. His approach to cooking is extraordinary. He uses healthy food but makes it interesting, so you don’t really deprive yourself of anything. Just eat good food that’s healthy.

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The book contains different categories that target certain health issues including;

– Skin
– Heart
– Respiratory System
– Digestive
– Wellbeing
– Mental Health & Nervous System
– Joints & Bones

Within these categories he names health issues and informs you of the best foods to eat for the condition. It’s very interesting and it definitely works.

Here is a recipe taken from the book, a healthy tea, a real crowd pleaser. When I made it everyone had clean plates so it must have been tasty! In the recipe he only adds spinach but I added baby florets of broccoli and found that worked well.

Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Broccoli

Serves 4

Ingredients

– 180g Walnuts
– 50g Fresh Basil leaves
– 2 Garlic cloves
– 1tbsp Flaxseed
– 3tbsp Grated Cheese
– Olive Oil (In the recipe it said 1tbsp I found this was not enough so I probably added 8tbsp or more. Just get it to the consistency you most prefer. I like it quite loose, not too stiff. )
– 350g Spelt Pasta
– 3 Handfuls Spinach
– 100g Broccoli, in baby florets

Method

In a blender blitz the walnuts, fresh basil, garlic, cheese and add the Olive oil gradually to form a paste. I like mine fairly loose but if you like it a little thicker, add less oil.

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When the pasta and broccoli are cooked drain them and put them back in the pan mixing through the pesto and add the spinach to wilt it down.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Check out Dale Pinnock cracking chef, proving we can eat healthy but tasty appetising food.

Stephy x

Brasserie Georges, Lyon

Brasserie Georges is in the heart of Lyon city centre, conveniently situated near the train station. It was established in 1836, building an excellent reputation for first class service and gourmet food. A friend recommended this restaurant to me; what a recommendation.

Whilst in France of course, I sampled multiple patisseries and boulangeries but not eaten out in a traditional, historic restaurant. I was so pleased to have had the opportunity to visit Brasserie Georges.

We booked a table, as you can imagine it is very popular, so it gets busy. We were greeted by kind, attentive staff and were seated promptly. The menu was excellent with traditional French dishes, some local to the area and more less adventurous dishes – basically pleases all diners.

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The menu was written in French and English, this made it much easier!

I ordered a Sirloin Steak (rare) with dauphoinse potatoes, a pepper sauce and green beans. Of course, a glass of red wine to accompany the meal.

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The dauphoinse potatoes were trés bon! I was very chuffed with the portions too; very generous!

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Of course, bread to mop the plate of the sauce. My plate was clean by the time I had finished. ‘Compliments to the chef.’

As the meal was large I didn’t want a huge dessert but craved something sweet to finish the meal off. I ordered a café gourmand which is an espresso with a selection of small pastries. Perfection!

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A tasty end to an exquisite meal. Mercì beaucoup Brasserie Georges!

If you’re ever in Lyon, sorry correction; when you are in Lyon, as you must visit, please, please go to Brasserie Georges to experience good food, good wine and good service! Viola.

Stephanié 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