Friday, 14 January 2011

The BEST cookies I have ever had!

I have made a lot of cookies in my time and hadn't found a recipe that hit the spot until recently. This recipe by Dan Lepard is one of the best I've ever made. Really easy and even better...really tasty! (ABOVE) I served one with strawberries and a teeny bit of whipped cream (done by hand, boy did I feel it!) the perfect indulgence!


125g unsalted butter, softened
225g light soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg
25g cocoa
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
175g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g milk or dark chocolate, chopped roughly into big chunks
150g brazil nuts, cut into quarters


Put the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg, then stir in the cocoa and cinnamon. Add the flour and soda, work until combined, then mix in the chocolate and nuts; I use my hands because I find it easier to scrunch up the dough and get the mixture really even. Pinch off nuggets of dough the size of a ping-pong ball (for regular cookies) or unshelled hazelnut (for mini ones), and roll between your palms until smooth. Cover a baking tray with nonstick paper and place the soon-to-be cookies on it 3-4cm apart. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted)/350F/gas mark 4 and bake for eight to 10 minutes (for mini cookies) or 12-14 minutes (for regular ones). Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack with a spatula. Once cold, store in an airtight container.

A week of culinary delights...

I don't know what's got into me this week but I seem to have spent a lot of it in the kitchen! Maybe it's because I'm going back to Uni this weekend where funds and time is limited to whip up propa bo food! I love cooking but don't do as much of it at Uni because it's difficult cooking for one plus I don't have as much time to labour over slow roasted stews and beastly sponge cakes.

So this week I've made apple and cinnamon muffins, ginger biscuits, sticky toffee pudding (which was to die for!), carrot and coriander soup and last nights tea which was homemade burgers and chips which, if I say so myself were AMAZING! So much better than bought in my opinion! And the best thing is I have popped the majority of this in the freezer for my mum so she's got some meals and treats for the next month. So, she doesn't have to come home and spend ages cooking herself tea. Sorted!

The burgers were from a brilliant recipe by Jamie Oliver in his Ministry of Food cookbook but it can also be found on his website...

as for the chips well they were a bit of an experiment putting together quite tips and recipes I'd read but here's the gist of it (I know it's a very lengthy process but trust me it's so worth it if you have the time!)...

1. Cut up a few potatoes into chip shaped pieces roughly the same size so they will cook in the same amount of time.
2. Put the potato pieces in a bowl of cold water and put in the fridge overnight. This gets rid of a lot of the starch.
3. The next day give the potatoes a good rinse in fresh cold water and drain off.
4. Plunge your chips into a saucepan of boiling water and then simmer very gently until the point of a knife will penetrate the chips easily.
5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chips from the pan and lay them out on a tray. Let them cool down completely.
6. Add some oil to a frying pan and lightly fry the chips. Don't have the high too high and remove the chips as soon as they start to brown off.
7. Let the chips cool down completely again and then put in the fridge.
8. When it's time for tea, place your chips on a baking tray and put in the oven on gas mark 6/7 and cook until they are golden brown and crispy.
9. Sprinkle a bit of salt over them and serve!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


A card for my friend Megan's birthday...blow out the candles!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Best New Year's Eve...EVER!

I've just got back from Disneyland Paris where me and my mum spent the whole of New Year's weekend. It had to be the best I have ever had! Two whole days in the park and welcoming in 2011 stood next to the Disney castle with sparkling fireworks raining doesn't get much better than that. Hopefully 2011 will be as magical!