Sunday, 31 January 2016

Coffee Cake & Butterscotch Drizzle

I am a self confessed tea addict, I want one morning, noon and night. The only way coffee will ever do it for me is when it comes in either one of these two forms, iced with a heaping pile of vanilla ice cream speckled with beautiful real vanilla beans or in a cake with some sort of sticky sweet drizzle.

Today is a sweet sticky drizzle kind of day for me so I am going to show you how I make my Coffee cake marbled with bitter sweet dark chocolate, layered with freshly whipped butterscotch cream and drizzled generously with my butterscotch sauce

What You Need:

Coffee Cake
- 120 grams of softened unsalted butter
- 60 grams of brown sugar
- 60 grams of caster sugar
- 120 grams of self raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of sour cream
- 1/4 cup of buttermilk (I made my own with a squeeze of lemon in milk and letting it sit for 5 mins)
- 2 tablespoons of extra strong espresso
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

Chocolate Marble
- 1 tablespoon of hot strong espresso
- 3 cubes of extra dark chocolate (I used 70 %)

Cream filling
- 1 cup of double cream
- 1/4 cup of butterscotch sauce

Butterscotch Sauce
- 60 grams of butter
- 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of thickened cream
- 2 teaspoons of golden syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt ( or another 1/4 teaspoon if you like it saltier)

What To Do:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
2. Blend the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
3. Mix in the eggs and sour cream and mix until smooth
4. Mix in all the dry ingredients until well combined
5. Pour in the buttermilk and espresso into the mixture and mix until smooth and combined
6. Pour the batter into a lined 9in x 9in pan.
7. Set this aside while you make your chocolate marble
8. Combine the hot espresso and chocolate together and mix until smooth
9. Now dollop the chocolate mixture in a polka dot fashion all over the cake batter
10. To create the swirls use a skewer and swirl the chocolate around until it forms a pretty pattern.
11. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
12. While the cake is baking prepare your butterscotch sauce so it has time to cool
13. Combine all the butterscotch ingredients in a pan and simmer for 2 minutes
14. Set the butterscotch aside to cool completely
15. Use square cutters or a knife to cut out 9 squares of coffee cake once it has cooled
16. To make the cream filling simply whip the double cream and cooled butterscotch sauce until it has just stiffened
17. To assemble simply layer the cream and cake and finish off with a generous drizzle of butterscotch. The more the better!
18. Enjoy cool or warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

There is also something great about this cake, If you are in the mood, forget the cream and butterscotch, Simply enjoy a square on it's own for a delicious bitter sweet hit.


xx Mel

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Hot Chocolate Heaven

Nothing beats a good Hot Chocolate. Imagine a lazy Sunday lounging around with a big steamy cup of hot chocolate while flicking through an issue of Vogue Living... That's my idea of the perfect relaxing weekend!

Sometimes when I feel like a little Sass in my hot chocolate I like to deviate.
Peanut butter hot chocolate, Bailey's Hot chocolate, Peppermint hot chocolate... I could go on and on...

Today i'm going to show you my Peanut Butter Hot chocolate recipe!

This recipe is great especially if you want to have some friends over you can wow them with a pot of this ridiculously decadent Hot chocolate.

What You Need: (To make 1 Large pot)
- 2 tablespoons of Peanut Butter
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 100 grams of dark chocolate
- 5 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 cups of milk (amount depends on how strong you like your hot chocolate)\
- Mini Marshmallows (optional)

What To Do:
1. Mix the Peanut butter, cocoa powder, chocolate, sugar and 1 cup of milk in a pot
2. Simmer gently until everything has melted and combined
3. There are two options with the rest of the milk, you could either froth it with a milk frother or you could add the rest of the milk to the pot and heat.
4. Pour the Hot chocolate into a large teapot to serve.
5. Serve with mini marshmallows if desired. I like to toast mine with a blow torch for that extra toasty effect

Now on to the important stuff .. what I would love to serve my hot chocolate in ...

This Gorgeous Robert Gordon Hug Mug! .... I think I'm in love....

And what better to serve the Hot chocolate in than a gorgeous simple white teapot like this one by Donna Hay

Oh Ps.... To top off my week... I got to See Nigella Lawson at the Opera House!


She was every bit as amazing in real life as she is in her shows ! Stunning, Funny, and down to earth!

Annabel Crabb and Nigella Lawson - excuse the bad quality photo!


xx Mel

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Dreamy Passionfruit Slice

There's one dessert that almost all Chocolate haters I know LOVE. It's the passionfruit slice. When I go somewhere that requires a sweet treat and I am told the host is not a lover of chocolate I know exactly what to bring. The buttery, coconut biscuit base contrasts perfectly with the creamy and tangy passionfruit top. It's a simple recipe that's easily manipulated to fit in with ones tastes and requires very little effort!

What You Need:

Biscuit Base: 
- 100 grams of melted butter
- 1 cup of self raising flour
- 1 cup of dessicated coconut
- 1/2 cup of caster sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

Passionfruit Top:
- 1 1/2 cans of condensed milk
- Juice of 2 lemons 
- 5 small passionfruit (If using large ones use 2, if medium then use 3)

* Tip: Make sure you use fresh ingredients, nothing from the can! I used freshly squeezed lemon juice and passionfruit picked straight from the vine !

What To Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
2. Combine all the dry ingredients from the biscuit base, in a mixing bowl
3. Mix in the melted butter and vanilla until well combined
4. Spread into a lined 20cm square tin and press softly until it is flat
5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes
6. While the base is in the oven combined the ingredients from the Passionfruit top 
7. Mix until is has thickened slightly
8. When the biscuit base comes out of the oven pour the Passionfruit top onto the biscuit base. 
9. Return to the oven for another 12-15 minutes until the edges are very lightly golden
10. Leave to cool before cutting and serving. 

Here you have it ! A perfect summery treat!


xx Mel

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Florence Broadhurst LOVE

I have always loved Florence Broadhurst designs, it embodies what I love in a look chinoiserie with a touch of Hampton's chic. The colours and patterns make her designs fit in perfectly anywhere.

For Christmas I received a gift that I didn't even know existed! something I didn't know I loved until I held it in my hands....

A Florence Broadhurst Dinner set!! The items are great quality bone china, they feel sturdy but light and the mug is my favourite part. the perfect size and look!

Here are some other Florence Broadhurst things that I absolutely love! And if I had the budget they would all live in my home with me!

I can imagine these cushions on a luscious bed in a seaside cottage

I can imagine this plate as part of a collection in a quirky New York style loft

I can imagine tending to a Garden with these in a beautiful ivy covered terrace 

Well ..... A girl can imagine .....


xx Mel

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

My Getaway

Happy New Year!!

I'm sure most of you are just starting to get back into the swing of work... I know I am. As I sit at my desk in my pretty cool nine to five job I can't help but think back on my little holiday over the Christmas and New Year break. I spent most of my first day at work day dreaming about being in the sun again, lazily floating along in the cool river, drink in hand, music and laughter echoing off the trees. It truly was the perfect definition of a holiday. Family, Friends, Food, Fun and Relaxation.

I thought I would share a little snippet of what I got up to this Holiday !

I watched an awesome fireplace being built 

The finish product. I cooked the PERFECT steak on the grill side

What a perfect view

I watched enemies become best friends. These two started off hating each other, not being able to be in the same room. After a few days together on our holiday they became inseparable. It was beautiful to see.  

Sampled some local wine 

Ate some delicious in house made Duck terrine <3 

For NYE we built an amazing bonfire 

And when the fire died down we cooked some Damper the cool way! Wrapped around a stick and then drizzled generously with golden syrup. 

I Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday as much as I did ! <3

xx Mel