Going full croissant

IMG_4600I’ve had a crack at making almond croissants.  I strongly suspect these would have turned out better if I’d parked the almond element for my first attempt, but no.  I had to go full croissant.

The end result appears quite nice, but to be fair, a sprinkle of icing sugar and a kindly Instagram filter, and I’d probably look like hot stuff too.

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Double chocolate and raspberry tart

Chocolate & raspberry tartI’ve been hanging round third place on our GBBO leaderboard, and it’s sadly too late to change that now. But, I’m determined to go out fighting!

Here’s my double chocolate and raspberry tart. I got lucky with these raspberries – look at them, they’re neon! – as they’re almost out of season, but these were really tasty.

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Ultimate Vanilla Crème Brûlée


Creme brulee 3This might be the best pudding I’ve ever made. And it still came second to my friend Charlie’s cinder toffee version in our GBBO challenge!

I used this BBC recipe, but I’ve got fancy pants vanilla essence which contains vanilla seeds, which I used in place of the vanilla pod because I’m not made of money, it gives a lovely flavour and you still get the flecks of vanilla. I also used this almond puff pastry sticks recipe to serve with them, but I found them a bit too dry.

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Bake off biscotti

I, along with several of my friends, am watching this year’s Great British Bake Off very carefully. Don’t get me wrong, I always watch it, but this year is different.

I put a call out on Facebook to see which of my friends would be interested in a GBBO challenge – baking our version of the contestant’s weekly contest in a mini competition of our own. I did exclude my lovely friend, Lenka, who is insanely talented on the baking front (check out her Facebook page), so she’s judging (albeit remotely), and showing us how it’s done.  She’s basically a young, Slovakian, Mary Berry.

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Easy peasy pain au choc

Jus-rol pack of pain au chocolatI do most of my grocery shopping online (the “big” shop), so I don’t even remember how I found them, but JUS-ROL have started making pain au chocolat in a can*.  They give you the pastry and the mini chocolate sticks and you take all the glory of hot pastries, straight from the oven.

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Craft fair: the aftermath

Craft fair 1OK, so don’t get excited.  The craft fair was a total bust.  I was a bit sad about it because I’d been so excited, but these things happen.

I was very proud of the way my stall looked.  I went into this with my friend Lenka, who bakes beautiful cakes, and we were supposed to be sharing a stall, but when we arrived they’d given us an extra long pair of tables as someone had called in sick. Continue reading

Weddings, Weddings, Weddings

photoI was recently a bridesmaid for my beautiful friend Charlie, and what a wedding!

I (among many people) made various bits for the wedding, including baking this collection of buns to look like a wedding dress for the hen do (it received good reviews from Charlie’s auntie) and sewing the tie for Charlie’s two-year old son for the big day.

I also made a couple of bits towards their wedding present, including a Mr and Mrs framed photographic print and Mr and Mrs bunting (notice a theme?).  We gave them those (along with a picnic basket that I really wanted to photo (2)keep!) the week before the wedding, but I didn’t realise they’d feature on the big day too!

Neil, the talented photographer from our own big day (who is also a friend) was also the photographer for our friends’ wedding (he’s the groom’s brother).  His wife, Amy, helps him with the photography business and is aspiring to become a wedding planner – my bunting got a nod in her recent blog post!  Click here if you would like to have a gander, and that beautiful cake at the end?  My friend Lenka made that.  What a lovely wedding!