I've made cake pops before and found them to be very messy. This is my super simple alternative.
Simply dip the end a cake pop stick in melted chocolate and push up into a marshmallow. Allow to set.
Dip the marshmallow pops into melted chocolate, add sprinkles and leave to cool.
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Crème Brûlée is one of my all time favourite desserts, so I'm super pleased to be sharing this great guest post all about Crème Brûlée today.
Coffee Crème Brûlée 101
Coffee crème brûlée is a dessert that always seems to go down well, no matter what the occasion, and it's not difficult to make either. If you're new to this delicious treat, read on to find out the basics of the pudding and how you can make it too.
Crème brûlée with a twist
Crème brûlée has always been a popular inclusion on pudding trays and dessert menus, but you don't have to stick to the tried-and-trusted recipe: there are simple additions you can make to the dish, including coffee beans.
Adding ground coffee beans adds an extra level of depth and flavour to the dessert, as well as creating a different texture to the custard. The crème brûlée is then topped off with a crunchy, sugary caramel topping, that matches the taste of the coffee underneath.
What you need
The ingredients for a classic coffee crème brûlée are 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream, 1/3 cup of coarsely ground dark roast coffee beans, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 8 large egg yolks, 3 tbs of turbinado sugar and a pinch of kosher salt. For a lighter custard, reduce the number of egg yolks to suit your own preference.
These ingredients aren't set in stone and you'll find many variations of the coffee crème brûlée doing the rounds. When making your coffee custard, you can use your favourite kind of beans or blend — you could even drop in a pre-made shot from a Tassimo (http://www.tassimo.co.uk/), or a similar coffee maker.
Making the crème brûlée
Use a saucepan on a medium heat to bring your cream, coffee, sugar and salt to the boil, stirring every so often. Remove from the heat, cover the saucepan and then leave for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C and place six 3/4 cup ramekins in a suitable baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and carefully add the warm cream. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup, removing the coffee grounds if required. You can then divide the custard between the ramekins.
In the oven
Pop the baking dish into the oven and add hot water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30-35 minutes, then allow to cool in the water for 30 minutes. You can then remove the ramekins from the baking dish, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate them for at least 4 hours (or up to 30 days).
When your custards are ready, sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top of them, making sure it's spread evenly. You can then caramelise the sugar with a hand-held kitchen torch until it's browned and melted, or use a broiler to caramelise the sugar instead.
And there you have it — six perfectly made coffee crème brûlées to share with your guests. Once you've got the knack of making the dessert, you can customise it to suit your own tastes and coffee preferences, or those of your family and friends.
What do you add to your Crème Brûlée?
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
How do you spend money on a day to day basis? Do you spend direct from your bank account or on a credit card?
We do most of our spending on a credit card, which we then pay off at the end of the month. It's very handy and makes shopping super easy, but does mean we tend to not have full control over our expenditure. More often than not we end up surprised at the monthly bill and wonder how on earth we managed to spend quite so much.
The Kalixa Pay prepaid MasterCard® provides the convenience and security of a debit card with the added benefit of added control over your spending. It can be used instore, online and even abroad. You can top up in one currency and spend in another with no exchange fees, transaction charges or commission on purchases made abroad. You can even use the card to withdraw money at over 1.2 million ATM's around the world. If you've got money left over when you return home you just carry on using the card as usual, there's no hassle exchanging the money back.
Budgeting is made easy as you get a free e-mail or text everytime you spend over £5 telling you exactly what you have spent and what you have left availabe. Simply charge the card with whatever you want to spend on a weekly or monthly basis, there's no overdraft so no danger of overspending and no expensive overdraft charges.
I REALLY like the idea of a Kalixa Pay card for holidays, it would definitely save the money we waste on currency brought home that never gets changed back. I do think it would help me budget more easily too, especially with the text reminders as I'm terrible for forgetting to check my bank balance.
When would you use the Kalixa Pay prepaid MasterCard® ?
The Kalixa Pay prepaid MasterCard, including the eWallet service, is available for a one-off payment of £6.95.
This is a collaborative post
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
My little boy has never been one to sneak things to school, at least nothing other than banned pokemon cards in his coat pocket. My little girl however, is a different story, we have to check pockets, her wrist and any junk models before leaving the house and again when leaving school as she has a tendency to sneak things in and out of both places.
She made a beautiful treasure chest in school a few weeks ago, we brought it home and to my surprise it was FILLED with craft buttons, not just a few, but literally about 50 of them. I had to sneak them back to school the next day.
Just this morning I spotted a bracelet on her wrist, while I was removing it and explaining that bracelets were not allowed in school, she asked about watches, and rolled up the other sleeve to reveal a watch. You've got to admire her efforts. I almost let her keep the watch on, thinking it might help her learn to tell the time, but then I had visions of it dropping down the toilet or getting wet int the sink so swiftly removed that as well. However, if it had been this very cool plastic strap watch from The Watch Hut I might have let her wear it. As well as the waterproof plastic strap I like that it has numbers and minutes to help with time telling.
I'm still a little bit surprised that my once tomboy daughter actually wants to wear bracelets, watches and skirts. The girls at school have clearly had a big influence on her. It was just this time last year that she refused to wear anything girly at all and lived in jogging bottoms and boys T-shirts.
Do your children try to sneak things into school?
This is a collaborative post.
Monday, 27 January 2014
Lots of things changed for us in 2013. H started nursery, S finished nursery and started school and everyone generally seemed to grow up a lot.
My highlight of last year has to be our family holiday to Florida. It was the first big holiday we've taken with children and the first time in years we've been able to really relax away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. We watched amazing shows, Little S was even super brave in The Lion King and spoke in front of the whole theatre. Z found a new love for roller coasters and Mickey waffles, although by the last day he did order fruit instead. Everyone adored the water slides, even H was brave enough to try by the last day.
We all had such an AMAZING time, I wish we could go back every year.......BUT the things that really mattered were the simple, everyday moments. Being handed funny drawings and little notes. Playing hide and seek in the garden, snuggles in front of the TV, watching graduations and nativity plays. Those are the things that REALLY mattered to me and those are the memories I will treasure forever.
Here are my Magical Moments for 2013
Which moments have mattered to you this year?
Monday, 13 January 2014
These cupcakes actually looked a lot better than the photo, and were so easy to make.
We just made standard sponge cupcakes, covered with thick icing, added a marshmallow to the centre and decorated.
The kids loved them!
Have you made any snowman cupcakes this year? Pin It
Monday, 23 December 2013
First make your gingerbread, we used this basic gingerbread recipe.
Top Tips for making a Gingerbread House
What do you think?
Top Tips for making a Gingerbread House
- Use cutters, we got ours from Lakeland.
- Roll the dough quite thin, and cut with the cutter before and after baking for a clean finish.
- Once baked if you've left window holes, crush some boiled sweets in the windows and bake again till melted.
- Use Royal Icing, it's wonderfully thick and sticky, just perfect for holding walls together.
- If you need extra support try DUPLO scaffolding.
What do you think?