Saturday, 27 July 2013

Afternoon tea at the gorgeous Fawsley Hall

Last Sunday, myself and a bunch of 9 lovely ladies headed over to Fawsley Hall, nr Daventry for a friends (nearly 40th!!) birthday. 

We were presented with a beautiful selection of finger sandwiches, fruit and plain scones with jam and clotted cream and some gorgeous mini cakes and pastries, all washed down with lots of tea and chilled Prosecco... delicious!!

lovely tiered cake stand
mixed berry tart
Coffee and walnut profiterole
Chocolate and raspberry tart
I think there was still a little room for more clotted cream here....

After all of that indulgence, a stroll around the gardens was much needed
(Church of St Mary seen at the other side of the lake)



Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Recipe for Thorntons Orange and Cardamom dipped cinder toffee

I was recently sent a bundle of delicious Thorntons chocolates to play with and create some tempting recipes. Being a massive chocolate lover this was no easy task.... so many recipes, which ones to choose??
Belgian Milk Choc Block, Milk Choc Block with Fudge, Orange and Cardamom Choc Block, Special Toffee Milk Choc Block, Award-winning Pistachio Block, Hazelnut and Raisin Block, Award-winning Strawberry Block

Totally by chance I came across a recipe for cinder toffee (think honeycomb/Crunchie bars)... It reminded me that I still needed to have a go at making it after my lovely friend Rosie made some for one of our trips down to London... and it was lush!!



  • 100caster sugar
  • tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g Thorntons Orange and cardamom chocolate
  1. Put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix. You mustn't stir once the pan's on the heat, though.
  2. Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt, then turn to goo and then to a bubbling mass the colour of maple syrup - this will take 3 minutes or so.
  3. Off the heat, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and watch the syrup turn into a whooshing cloud of aerated pale gold. Turn this immediately onto a piece of reusable baking parchment or greased foil.
  4. Leave until set and then bash at it, so that it splinters into many glinting pieces.
  5. Melt the chocolate and dip the shards of honeycomb to coat. 
Enjoy!

Happy baking x


Recipe for Thorntons toffee fudge chocolate brownie

I was recently sent a bundle of delicious Thorntons chocolates to play with and create some tempting recipes. Being a massive chocolate lover this was no easy task.... so many recipes, which ones to choose??
I'm big into my brownies at the moment so my first thought was a brownie recipe and what better than combining both the toffee and fudge chocolates for this...

The toffee is a Mexican milk chocolate with chewy pieces of special toffee which I thought would be perfect melted in to the brownie. While the fudge is a creamy Papua New Guinea milk chocolate with soft fudge pieces.


Recipe

90g each of Thorntons toffee and Thorntons fudge chocolate blocks
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 eggs
icing sugar, to decorate


a 33 x 23 x 5cm baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper

Makes about 12 portions

1. Preheat the oven to 170C / 325F / GM3

2. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth. Or heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring at each interval until just melted.

3. Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir until well incorporated. Finally, stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the edges will become hard and crunchy. Leave to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar, to decorate. 

I like my brownies with a gooey centre so generally cook for just 25 minutes but if you prefer them a little more firm then check at 30.

Enjoy!

Happy baking x