Mr C and I are on a bit of a health kick at the minute - nothing crazy, just trying to make better choices - and that means ditching the share bags of Cadburys for something a bit more refined and, dare I say it, grown up.
I’ve been perusing the dark chocolate aisles in awe and wonder, there’s such a wide selection, flavours, percentages and choices, it can be quite overwhelming!
I was catching up with some recent Desert Island Discs episodes and the most recent conversation was with Julie Bentley. Ms Bentley is the Chief Executive of the Guide Association and she spent much of the talk with host Kirsty Young defending the concept of Girl Guides. Are they still relevant? Should they be modernising and discussing sex education as they apparently have recently, or rather preserving the youth of today?
This week, I passed the Baking recipe app to Mr C and asked him to pick something he might like. The app is full of photographs, so it makes choosing what you want both a) easier because they are some fantastic photos and b) harder because you want to try a little bit of everything. He opted for the Chocolate Butterfly Cupcakes, which I thought looked complicated but weren’t once I actually looked into it.
I wasn’t actually planning on baking this week - lots to do and not too much time to spend in the kitchen. However, as I am officially addicted, I looked for a quick and simple recipe that I could do without too much thought. There was also a request from other members of the household for some brownies.
Lo and behold.
I love chocolate, I really do, but I wasn’t 100% sure this recipe was for me.
This week’s bake was chocolate chip cookies that I have been dreaming of making for a long while, since the middle of the actual Bake Off marathon. I sourced a recipe and, once again, was happy that my ingredients cupboard featured everything I needed except chocolate chips. I decided to buy both chocolate chips and chocolate chunks and mix things up a bit.
Oh my god, they were so good! I made two batches.
The Bake Off is getting pretty difficult now, with the semi-final last week and the final coming up. I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t be able to make anything they did in the show itself, but I was keen to be inspired. They baked the following:
Signature dish - Petit-Fours Technical challenge - Fraisier cake Showstopper - Choux pastry gateaux I figured that chocolate eclairs would be a good compromise, although the recipe confused me a bit as it seemed to have chocolate on the inside and white icing on the outside.
I was looking forward to this biscuit episode of the Bake Off, but actually when we got to it, it wasn’t all that biscuity after all. The options this week were as follows:
Signature dish - Crackers Technical challenge - Chocolate teacakes Showstopper - Gingerbread construction I’m not really a massive fan of gingerbread - I don’t mind the occasional biscuit or nibble but an entire house was a bit too much for me!
A week or two ago, I posted about my favourite Quality Street options when presented with a tin of the delicacies. I had a few messages suggesting that Quality Streets were an unknown, but Roses were more popular. For example, Amy said:
I have no idea what Quality Street is but I know what Roses are and I know what Cadbury Favourites are so I’m assuming they’re along the same lines, only Britisher.
It is that time of year again, the one where the seasonal aisle in the supermarket becomes full to bursting with sweet treats - chocolate and Christmas puddings galore.
In honour of the occasion, and because wherever I turn there appears to be a new tin of Quality Street, Roses or those Miniature Hero things, here are my favourite five Quality Street sweets.
Fudge. Clearly, because it is just like a mini fudge bar, and everyone knows a finger of fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat.
Naturally, Christmas is all about chocolate, but as it is hard to consume the stuff via the internet, I have been looking at alternative advent calendars. There are quite a lot to choose from.
Firstly, a totally selfish plug first, we have the Sidepodcast F1 Advent Calendar 2009. If you’re slightly interested in Formula 1, each day of advent there will be a three minute podcast running through the key moments of the 2009 season.