Tag Archives: cooking

Favourite posts this week

:: It’s starting to grow a little cooler these days, so this looks perfect for cosy evenings.

:: As you can see, it’s been a week of fig picking! This raw fig and raspberry pie looks amazing. So does this cake!

:: Trouble sleeping? Here’s some helpful advice. I really recommend taking the TV out of the bedroom!

:: Boobs are indeed brilliant. What an awesome lady.

:: We are trying hard to enjoy everything we eat. Cauliflower is usually where we struggle. Hoping that recipe will help us!

:: Click and drag. Do it! (You may need a spare 30 minutes)

:: Yummy cookies with saffron.

:: Luscious deserts with vegetables? Thanks Chucky :)

:: I love Nigel

Have a wonderful weekend



Chocolate mousse

Can you guess what we’re making?

It’s time to use up those egg whites!

Chocolate mousse is something I remember my mum making when I was very little, whenever my parents had dinner parties (80s-tastic!). I was allowed to lick the bowl :)

I made up my own recipe after reading a few from my favourite people (David/Julia, Raymond, Molly, Deb), so feel free to modify as you like.

I recommend using a good quality chocolate (70% plus) as it will make a difference to the overall taste.

Chocolate mousse
- serves 2 greedy people


100g  dark chocolate
glug of double cream
tablespoon vanilla extract (mine still tastes of rum, which was a good thing here)
a shot of strong coffee (I used what was left in our cafetière that morning)
2 eggs whites
6 teaspoons caster sugar


Combine the chocolate, double cream, vanilla and coffee in a heatproof bowl.

Melting for the mousse – mmmm chocolate soup

Melt the chocolate and above ingredients over a pan of simmering water. The water shouldn’t touch the bottom of the bowl – you don’t want the chocolate to overheat.

Meanwhile, start whisking the egg whites in a large clean bowl. This won’t take too long if you have an electric whisk, but it took me about 7 minutes to get them just right by hand.

The whisking begins…

When your whites have formed stiff peaks start to incorporate the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, whisking between each addition.

Whisking continued

When the chocolate has cooled slightly and the egg whites are ready, it’s time to start combining the mousse.

Using a metal spoon (so you don’t loose all those lovely bubbles) place 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate bowl and stir through in a figure of eight.

Mixing mousse

Once this third has been combined, stir through a tablespoon at a time until all the egg whites have been used. Try not to over-mix.

Pour into serving dishes and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Use your finger to tidy (and eat) your mess…

Optional: serve at 10pm after your husband has rocked your teething baby to sleep.

Chocolate mousse helps (parents) with teething – FACT.

How do you use your egg whites? Feel free to leave a comment below :)







Favourite posts this week

Gifts from a neighbour

:: Many congratulations to Lucy who is now, officially, a professional pâtissière! The exam sounds terrifying…

:: I love seeing London through the eyes of tourists :) Lovely photos from a lovely blog.

:: This is so true! The chocolate aisles are amazing but far too tempting. I just have to skip them altogether ;) Instead we go to see the cheese…

:: An amazing kitchen makeover! Not to everyone’s taste, but I think it’s FAB. Especially love how so much of it has been recycled from other people – one person’s trash is another’s treasure, right?

:: Fig, Apricot and Marscapone Tart -yes please! I’m sure there’s a fig tree in the village that would give us a hand with this.

:: I REALLY want sushi after seeing this review.

:: How to save tomato seeds – helpful next year, I think.

:: This would be perfect for lunch or dinner right now. I love Ottolenghi. It’s just criminal to put the oven on at the moment.

Hope you are all having a great weekend!





I didn’t make you truffles…

Not truffles

I am one of those people who gets grumpy if I don’t have a snack around.

It doesn’t have to be naughty, there are no chocolate bars or crisps around here, but sometimes I need something to perk me up.

When looking around one of our new supermarkets, we found “date pâté ” on sale (and ridiculously cheap too). Having used many dates that needed pitting for Shake’s birthday cake recently I could see the benefit of buying them already blended and in bulk.

I’ve seen so many recipes online where dates are used to sweeten treats and decided to just make something up that sounded good to me and wouldn’t take long to make (i.e. during nap time!).

Oh, just in case you wondered about the title, my step-father thought these were truffles and was pretty disappointed that they weren’t (until he tried them!).

Raw treat sweets – makes about 20

I haven’t been more specific with the name above as you can really change them up depending on what you have at home and what you like!


4 heaped tablespoons date pâté (or 2 cups pitted dates)
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cacao powder
2 tablespoons rolled oats


Put all ingredients in hand blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and combined.

Taking teapoon-sized amounts, roll into truffle shapes.

Enjoy with a cup of coffee (optional) :)

Store somewhere cool and dry.

Other flavour suggestions: cacao nibs, cinnamon, vanilla, dried apricots, dried figs, walnuts…




Some thoughts about carrots

Grated carrots

Today I prepared some carrots. I topped and tailed, peeled and then grated them. Some were huge, some were small and there seemed to be hundreds of them.

This isn’t particularly interesting I know, but whilst I was doing this I kept thinking to myself “If only I had my *insert brand name here* food processor”. There was a great attachment for grating vegetables really quickly and efficiently.

I then scolded myself for thinking this. I intentionally left the food processor in the U.K. as I didn’t use it enough to justify transporting it. I use a wooden spoon for mixing cakes. I really only used it for grating!

Another point I kept reminding myself was that we are here to live a simple life.

Why was I in such a hurry to grate these carrots? I’m not late for a meeting; I don’t have anything urgent to do; my baby is happily playing on his own; my husband is (always!) busy; the washing up is done; clothes are drying on the line..etc etc.

So I took a deep breath and carried on grating.

Yes, my hands are orange. Yes, I made more mess. Yes, it took some time (1kg of carrots!). But, I have the luxury of time and I couldn’t be more lucky.

Book Review: Your Brick Oven – Building it and baking in it

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It’s a great mix of good food and simple living, so it’s right on topic for a review on this blog. It’s light on text, but it feels like this was the intention of the author rather than any lacking of content, so I’m not faulting it for that.

The book is split pretty equally between the topics of building and using a brick oven. And leans slightly more towards inspiring you to build and use an oven rather than detailing the exact steps in how to do it. I’d love to know if this was intentional, but I can only speculate. In many ways, I imagine the lack of precise detailed steps makes the process less intimidating and may encourage a few more people to have a go. Which is a good thing in my eyes, and fits with how we hope this blog of ours can inspire others.

For context, I read the book as someone who has previously built a clay oven, and was already planning to build a brick oven. So I know the process roughly, and just needed to learn about the specific differences between the clay and brick approach. It did that well, offered a few innovative ideas for oven design (a built in ash box for one!) and some inspiring photos and stories about their restaurant and options for using an oven beyond the basic pizza party.

This felt like the right level of detail to me but it’s not a step-by-step guide in the sense of how to mix mortar or how to cut a brick. It simply mentions that you need to do those things at various points in the process. So if you’ve never done anything like this before you might want to read a little more around the subject but I’d still highly recommend this book as a resource.

I should repeat that this review is based only on reading the book. I’ll feedback again when I’ve put it into action.

Finally, here’s a photo to give you a feel for the content, and to demonstrate how this book goes beyond a few plans for laying bricks to offer something really inspiring:

Your brick oven

Wise words on food

Shake out.