Category Archives: Ideas

Ridiculous Baking: Make Your Own Mini Lollipop Cupcakes!

Ok. I have been told off a bit recently for posting too many cake-themed posts. Personally, I think that this is ridiculous because who can possibly have too many cakes?

And, anyway, I have no choice: I must show you this recipe because I just think that these are too adorable for words! In fact, if I could make them every week and just have them as a permanent fixture in my kitchen, I so would.

What you’ll need:

1 batch of Foolproof Basic Mini Cupcakes  (I’ve made the mini version here but you can always make full-sized ones if you like)

1 batch of Foolproof Frosting in the colour of your choice – it doesn’t have to be pink!

A bag of clear, hard-boiled sweets, the old-fashioned kind. (I bought mine from Marks & Spencer, they were 99p for a big bag)

Wooden cocktail sticks, or proper lolly sticks (you can buy these from craft shops such as Cake Craft World or HobbyCraft)

Sprinkles and edible glitter to decorate, if you like to go a bit overboard, like me

A baking tray lined with silicon or greaseproof paper

Step One:

Once your cakes are baked and cooled, you can begin by icing them! But first, you need to make sure your oven’s hot. If it’s still on from the cakes, turn it up to 200 degrees Celsius, and if you’ve made your cakes in advance, turn it on.

You can use a teaspoon or a piping bag and nozzle, whichever you like.

(I use, and really recommend, these Easy Squeezers by Cuisipro – they cost under five pounds and I know that they are stocked in Selfridges but I am sure other stores sell them too.

Somewhat embarrassingly they are designed for children, but I find them perfect for icing smaller cakes quickly and neatly! Cuisipro haven’t paid me any money to say this, or sent me any free stuff, by the way.)

However, you choose to ice your cakes, ice them carefully with a swirl and pop them back on the cooling rack when done.

If you are decorating them with sprinkles or edible glitter, do this now before the icing has set.

Step Two:

Take a boiled sweet in the colour of your choice and, using a sharp knife, cut it into quarters or halves, depending on how big you’d like your lollipop to be. I quartered mine.

Cut through the sweet by very carefully placing the blade of the knife over the top of the sweet and, in one firm motion, pushing down to break apart the sweet. This ought to give you a clean break. For goodness’ sakes, be careful of your fingers!

Now, place your quartered pieces of boiled sweet onto your lined baking tray, making sure that they are evenly spaced:

Now, pop the tray in the oven, but leave the door ever so slightly ajar. These need hardly any time at all – usually about 60 seconds – to melt. Keep a close eye on them, and once they have melted and begun to bubble slightly, take them out at once.

Be warned: I f you leave them in for too long they will very suddenly lose their colour and go all syrupy.

Step Three:

Now, working very quickly before the sweets set again, gently pop your toothpicks or lolly sticks into the bottom of each sweet. Press it in and roll it over slightly, to ensure it is surrounded by the sweet and will be held in place firmly when it sets.

Repeat this with all of your sweets.

If you’d like a perfectly round edge to your lolly, take a butter knife and gently oil the blade with olive oil. Carefully squidge and press in the sides of the lolly in when it’s still melted to smooth and mould it, and this will give you a perfect edge.

You don’t have to do this, though; I think it’s quite fun to leave them a bit rustic, it looks adorable.

When you are happy with the shape of your lollies, just leave them on the tray for a minute to cool and harden fully!

Step Four:

Once your lollies have fully hardened, remove them from the baking tray by gently pushing the blade of a knife underneath them and pulling them off. They ought to pull off quite easily.

Repeat the above steps until you have all the lollies you need!

Now, if you have made mini cupcakes and used cocktail sticks for your lollies, you will need to just trim the sticks slightly to make sure that they fit in the cakes properly.

Just take about an inch or so off for mini cakes, or leave them at the full size for standard-sized cakes.

Now for the fun bit! Gently push your lollipops into the top of each cupcake:

…and repeat with the rest!

Try varying the design and arranging on a pretty stand or plate to make even more of a visual impression.

Now eat and enjoy!

See you tomorrow, and thank you very much for reading my post!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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Deliciously Decadant Dulche de Leche Brownies

I love brownies. I imagine that pretty much everyone loves brownies. But here’s the question: how to make them better? What’s the ultimate brownie?

I was rummaging through my cupboards the other day when I found a jar of Dulche de Leche. This traditional Argentinian caramel is, in my humble opinion, one of the most delicious things in the entire world! (and it’s low fat too. Yes, seriously).

You can make it yourself by gently boiling a tin of condensed milk, but I must confess I tend to buy it as I never get quite as amazing results.

Mmm, just look at that. Doesn’t it look fabulous?

So, I thought; why not combine dense, squidgy chocolate brownies with a swirl of delicious Dulche de Leche? Surely one of the best, most indulgent puddings ever!

The brownie recipe is adapted from a book called ‘The Sweet Life in Paris’ – well worth a read! I have jigged around the quantites, and added ground almonds to make it a little denser and moister.

What you’ll need:

100 grams plain flour

40 grams ground almonds

120g butter, at room temperature, plus a little extra for greasing the tin

175 dark chocolate, finely chopped (use a brand with a high cocoa content of at least 70% – Green & Blacks is good and reliable)

25g cocoa powder

3 large eggs

200 grams soft light brown sugar

1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract

Roughly 250ml Dulche de Leche (this is variable, use a little more or a little less depending on your preference, but don’t go overboard or your brownies won’t set!) I like Casa Argentina Dulche de Leche, available from Waitrose – it comes in a 450g glass jar and it’s the smoothest I’ve found.

Equipment:

An 8-inch (20cm) square cake tin

A length of tin foil

A hand or balloon whisk

A wooden spoon or spatula

A saucepan

A wire cooling rack

A spoon and knife

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

Grease your cake tin lightly with butter, and line with the tin foil, like so:

You might need to use two pieces of foil and overlap them.

Grease the tin again, over the foil.

Using tin foil gives the outer edge of the brownie a good, chewy outer edge and stops it from falling apart when you try to cut it – important in this case because this is a very squidgy brownie!

Step Two:

Melt the butter on a low heat in a saucepan, until is it beginning to froth gently.

Now add the chopped chocolate – stir it continuously until the chocolate has fully melted and the mixture is smooth.

Now, take the pan off the heat, and whisk in the cocoa powder.

Step Three:

Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Your mixture might go a little lumpy at this point; if it does, don’t worry! It’s just the eggs reacting to the slightly warm mixture. It’s not a problem.


Now, fold in the sugar, then the flour, and finally your vanilla extract.

This will give you a beautifully rich, dense and extremely thick mixture!

Step Four:

Now for the fun bit!

Assemble your greased and lined cake tin, your brownie mixture and the Dulche de Leche.

Spoon half of your brownie mixture into the cake tin, levelling it gently with a spoon.

Make sure it gets into all the corners! Don’t worry; again, it will look a bit lumpy.

Now, using a spoon, drop just under half of the Dulche de Leche on top of the brownie mixture, in even blobs. Swirl a knife through the mixture carefully.

Next, spoon over the rest of your brownie mixture on top. Level the top as best you can, then drop the rest of your Dulche de Leche into the centre of your mixture.

Using a knife, very gently swirl it out until you have a pretty swirled pattern!

Step Four:

Pop the tray in the oven. After half an hour, take the tray out. If the centre feels just lightly firm, they are done! If the centre is not firm, pop back in the oven for up to an extra ten minutes.

Once your brownies are done, take them out of the oven and leave the tray to rest for five minutes.

Then, take your wire cooling rack and gently lay it on top of the brownie tray. In one quick motion, turn it over so that the tray is upside-down on top of the cooling rack. Carefully lift the tin off the top of the brownies – the foil should still be on top of the mixture.

Wait for another five minutes, then gently peel the foil off the brownies – be patient, if you do it too early you’ll lose chunks of brownie when peeling it off!

Now, slide onto a chopping board, cut into squares and enjoy! These are great on their own, cold or fresh out of the oven, or warmed through with a dollop of cream.

These brownies will keep quite happily in the fridge or an airtight container for up to three days.

Note: I am really sorry but I don’t have a picture of the finished article; Alex and his brother arrived home and thought it would be fun to start pulling my hair and taking pictures of me with ‘stretch face’ and so I sort of forgot to take the last batch of photo’s.


However, I promise you, these are utterly delicious, and well worth a bake.

See you tomorrow!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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Review: Thu Do Vietnamese – A Contendor to Cafe East’s Crown?

Face Judgement: Yay! It was great!

Thu Do Vietnamese Restaurant

237 Lower Road, Surray Quays

London SE16 2LW

Alex and I have a little guilty pleasure.

Whilst there is no shortage of good food in Borough, there is a shortage of cinemas. And, sometimes, when it is mid-week and we feel lazy and fragile, we like to go to the cinema and also to eat.

Sadly, in many areas of London, good food and the cinema is not compatible. Of course, there are lots of amazing boutique and art-house cinemas which offer great food and clever films, but I am not talking highbrow viewing.

No, I’m talking the full Cineworld / Odeon / whatever blockbuster experience; lots of surround sound, flashing lights, large chairs with cup holders for three-pint paper cups of fizzy drinks, and sticky carpets.

It was in a car park next to Surrey Quays Odeon – just next to Canada Water tube and thus a short hop from London Bridge – that we found our usual haunt and haven’t looked back since; the frankly amazing Vietnamese restaurant, Café East. We have spent many happy evenings stuffing ourselves to the brim with Pho there and then waddling over to the Odeon, smugly swerving away from the popcorn counter.

One of Alex’s brothers, Charles, is currently living with us whilst he finds a flat in London, so last night we decided to take him to the cinema, and introduce him to the delights of Village East.

Oh, cruel world. We had elected to go on Tuesday, because usually we go on Wednesday and forget the monstrosity to non-Orange customers that is Orange Wednesdays, and encounter a packed cinema and even more packed Village East. But, this time, we had really dropped the ball.

Upon arrival at Village East, we quickly realised that the lights were off and it was eerily quiet. Turns out Village East is closed on Tuesdays. Noooooo!

In a big fat panic, I cast my mind back, and remembered that we had once eaten at a rather good Vietnamese restaurant just around the corner, on Lower Road. As a last-ditch effort to save our Viet and Cinema evening, and with a good hour to go before the film started, we decided to give it a go.

A pleasant, just-over-five-minute stroll took us to Lower Road, where, at number 237, in a slightly unprepossessing location surrounded by lots of Estate Agents, we found Thu Do.

It’s a sweet-looking little place: tiny inside, and surrounded by an adorable wooden picket fence outside with tables and chairs for smokers and cold-bravers.

Please forgive the picture quality; it was rather dark!

Upon entering, we found a fairly empty restaurant with one local Vietnamese couple eating their supper quietly in the corner.

The extremely sweet owner then noticed us and bustled out of the kitchen, asked us to sit wherever we liked and gave us the menu.

This place is a proper husband-and-wife team effort. It is a family restaurant; the cooking is done by the wife, and the husband serves. Do not come here if you are looking for a very smart restaurant; whilst the décor is pleasant enough and the place is clean, the interior is not anything special.

The food, however, is.

To start, I ordered one of my favourite things; Vietnamese Summer Rolls, or gỏi cuốn. These were absolutely outstanding. Really fresh, perfectly at room temperature, with a generous amount of filling, juicy prawns, fresh coriander and rice vermicelli.

I also noticed the addition of tiny, weeny strips of seasoned egg in these; I have never had this in a summer roll before, but it worked beautifully!

The boys, feeling less healthy, asked for Chicken Wings and Crispy Fried Squid. Alex is really particular about his chicken wings; he pronounced these really, really good, and certainly as good as any we used to have in Asia.

Fried to a crisp and coated in just the right amount of Shrimp Paste, these came with a scattering of tine, gloriously flavoursome pieces of onion.

Yum.

The squid was just as good; searingly hot, sublimely fresh, wonderfully light and crispy, perfectly flavoured and not at all rubbery.

But it was the Pho that really stole the show, for me at least. Charles and I went for Chicken Pho (phở gà) and Alex went for Beef (phở bò).

It was, for me, perfect Pho; clean, really fresh, beautifully flavoured stock, homemade rice noodles (and the chicken is organic, which is amazing at these prices).

Alex’s beef was very good, but whilst I preferred the Thu Do Chicken Pho, Alex preferred Café East’s Beef Pho, as he said the soup was just a little better flavoured. So, there we go – one win for each restaurant.

In closing, there were three things I really loved about Thu Do.

Firstly, the food. It was genuinely – and somewhat surprisingly – fantastic.

Secondly, the atmosphere. Café East is more of a canteen-style place and I do not mind that in the slightest. But, here, it is a very personal affair; the husband and wife team seem genuinely delighted to have you in their restaurant, and the service is so attentive and sweet.

Thirdly, the price: It was amazing. The boys drank beer, I drank diet coke, we are until we were stuffed, and out bill came to, in total, £44.00. You really can’t say fairer than that.

See you tomorrow!

Love,

Jessy xxx

PS: If you go, here’s a tip: Ask for chopsticks if you prefer them, as the gentleman owner seems to usually give Westerners a spoon and fork.

PPS: We went to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy. It was awesome!

Thu Do: Scores on the Board

Food: 9/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Service: 10/10

Value: 10/10

Because they have NO INTERNET PRESENCE AT ALL – like, no reviews, no website, no nothing, not even a phone number (this is kind of cool; feels like a real hidden gem!) I thought i’d give you a map:

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Beautiful Pink Pillowy Raspberry Ripple Meringues

Right. I am really sorry I have not posted for a few days. There is, however, a reason for this.

I have spent the past few days conquering my own personal Everest, my Bête noir – these meringues.

As Alex’s mother will tell you, this is my fifth attempt at making these – I really wanted the recipe to be perfect, and it took quite a lot of whisking to get there! Inspired by Comptoir Gourmand’s beautiful meringues,  the recipe has finally been perfected and here I am, presenting it to you.

What you’ll need: (makes approximately 6 large meringues)

3 large fresh egg whites (OR three tablespoons of Two Chicks Liquid Free-Range Egg White. This excellent, pure egg white in a cardboard container can be bought from Waitrose, and it is fantastic when making large quantities of things such as meringues, as you don’t end up having to find ways to use up lots of egg yolks).

A pinch of salt

175 grams caster sugar

Natural red food colouring* (such as India Tree’s excellent Natural Food Colourants)

Edible Glitter (optional)

Equipment:

A whisk – preferably an electric one unless you have very big arm muscles

A large, clean bowl

A baking sheet, lined with silicon paper or greaseproof paper

 

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees c. (If using an Aga, they will go into the warming oven.)

Break your egg whites into your mixing bowl, and add the pinch of salt. Whisk thoroughly until they have formed lovely stiff peaks – you ought to be able to turn the bowl upside down without the mixture falling out. As ever, when you think they are done, give them an extra minute!

When you are satisfied that they are stiff enough, whisk in the sugar, half at a time, and whisk until the mixture is very stiff and glossy.

Step Two:

Now, drop tablespoon-size blobs of the meringue onto your lined baking sheet, making sure that there is a few inches gap between each blob of meringue.

Once you have used up all your mixture, it’s time to swirl!

Step Three:

Take a toothpick or cocktail stick. Dip it lightly into the food colouring, and repeatedly poke holes into the meringue with your food-colouring-covered cocktail stick, refreshing each time.

It will look like this:

Now, once this is done, hold the meringue in place with a tablespoon and, using the cocktail stick, lightly and carefully swirl the food colouring into the meringue mixture, creating a gorgeous ripple effect.

Try to get the cocktail stick right into the meringue, so that the ripples run right through the body of it, and don’t just sit on the surface!

When you are happy with your shape and ripples, repeat with the next blog of meringue, until you have completed the whole tray.

Now, pop the tray into the oven, immediately turn it down to 140 degrees celsius (this is a trick I learned from Delia if not using an Aga, and is very good) and leave for exactly an hour, two hours if using the warming oven of an Aga.

Step Four:

If using an Aga, take them out after two hours. If using a normal oven, after an hour, turn the oven off but leave the meringues in there to cool for half an hour if you can; this will ensure that they dry out thoroughly, giving the best texture.

Remove from the baking sheet, ready to serve! I like to sprinkle a little edible glitter over mine because I think it looks gorgeous, but this is entirely up to you.

Step Five:

To serve, simply place the meringue in a bowl and serve with a handful of fresh raspberries and a dash of single cream. Just beautiful.

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

*Note: I initially really wanted to make these with fresh raspberry swirls. I tried every variation I could, but every single version came out of the oven with brown swirls, from the naturally occurring sugars in the fruit, so I had to give up and use food colouring.

 

However, it really makes no different to the flavour, and as you can see, brown meringues are not quite so beautiful!

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Easy Homemade Sparkly Chocolate Truffles

A disaster of epic proportions has befallen me.

My oven has broken.

The timing was particularly crap (please excuse my French) because I was making meringues, and only discovered that the oven had died a horrible death when I tried to put them in.

Therefore, the next week or so will be all about no-cook recipes, cooking on the hob, and Autumn salads.

Today, however, called for something a little more along the lines of comfort food. Thus, I present to you these Homemade Sparkly Chocolate Truffles.

These little beauties are spectacularly easy to make, look utterly beautiful, and taste even better. They also do not require an oven. They would make a lovely gift wrapped up in ribbon!

This recipe makes about 25-30 chocolates.

What you’ll need:

200ml thick double cream

200g good quality chocolate of your choice, broken into chunks (I actually used 100g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate, both Green & Blacks. This, I find, gives a slightly sweeter result than using just dark chocolate, but of course it depends on your preference!)

80g light brown sugar

A little pot of edible glitter; I used gold here, but you could make these with white chocolate and use silver glitter to make little Christmassy ‘snowball’ truffles.

You can buy this from stores such as HobbyCraft, or online at Cake Craft World

Equipment:

A saucepan and wooden spoon

Greaseproof or silicon paper

A fridge

Step One:

The base of a chocolate truffle is the ganache. This is the easiest way I have found to make it, and it’s never gone wrong.

First, pour your cream into a saucepan, and add the sugar.

Heat gently, stirring constantly, until it just reaches simmering point. The reason you simmer it is because the heat breaks down the sugar and ensures a good, even distribution.

Simmer for about a minute very lightly, and then take off the heat to cool.

Step Two:

Break your chocolate into small pieces.

Once the cream and sugar mixture has cooled slightly (it just needs a minute off the heat) add your chocolate, giving it a good stir with a spoon until the chocolate has all melted and you are left with a lovely even mixture.

The reason you leave it to cool slightly before adding the chocolate is that the mixture will split if the cream is still at boiling point.

Step Three:

Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, you will be left with a gorgeous, glossy ganache. Scrape it into a bowl, cover it, and pop it into the fridge to cool – this will take a minimum of two hours, and ideally you’d leave it in there for up to about four.

Step Four:

Once your ganache has been chilled for at least two hours, take it out of the fridge.

Now comes the fun part!

Place a square of baking paper or silicon paper onto a plate.

In a small bowl or ramekin, mix up 1/3 cocoa powder and 2/3 edible glitter.

Cover your hands liberally with cocoa.

I warn you, this gets very messy!

Now, using a teaspoon, spoon out a piece of ganache and very lightly roll it into a rough ball shape with your hands. Do not try to work the ganache for more than a few seconds or it will melt and you will not be able to roll it!

Now, place it into the ramekin of glittery cocoa and roll it around with your finger very gently, ensuring the outside of the chocolate is well coated.

Then lightly pick it up and place it on the plate which you have covered in baking or silicon paper. Repeat this until you have used all of your mixture.

Pop into the fridge to harden a little more, and these will be ready to eat in fifteen minutes.

If you are giving them as a gift, you can pop them into a little box filled with tissue paper and wrap it in ribbon. If you intend to eat them all yourself, just put them into an airtight container and they will keep happily in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks or so.

Enjoy!

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

 

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Healthy Autumn Comfort Food: Glorious Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

I spent a lovely day with my mother on Wednesday, and she showed me what she had been growing.

It was utterly glorious; autumn was everywhere, in the crisp, cold air; in the fallen apples littering the floor mingling with the leaves…and in this simply beautiful butternut squash!

Being the best mummy in the world, she let me have it, and I ran back to London clutching it in my paws, trying to work out what best to do with it.

In the end, I decided on a classic, simple butternut squash soup. This recipe uses ginger and cumin for a touch of depth, and it fills the house with the most glorious aroma whilst it is cooking.

This delicious soup is easy, quick to make, and freezes beautifully. Just the thing on a cold autumnal evening; serve with a big hunk of good crusty bread!

What you’ll need:

A good knob of butter

One butternut squash (or two x 250g bags prepared cubed squash from any supermarket)

500ml good quality vegetable stock (If you don’t have any homemade stuff, I find Knorr Stock Pots really good)

One large onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

A few slices of ginger, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Equipment:

A chopping board and sharp knife

A saucepan

A blender

 

Step One:

Melt a generous knob of butter in a pan under a low heat. Add your roughly chopped onion, garlic and ginger to the pan and let it gently cook down, stirring occasionally.

Step Two:

Whilst your onion, garlic and ginger are gently softening, cut the butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon…

…and then cut into rough cubes.

Step Three:

By now, your onions, garlic and ginger ought to be beautifully softened, but not browned. Pop the butternut squash into the pan, and add the ground cumin and nutmeg. Enjoy that small, isn’t it glorious?

Step Four:

Now, pour in your vegetable stock , turn the heat up slightly, and pop the lid on your pan.

Now, go and have a glass of wine or something; let it simmer away gently for about half an hour, stirring occasionally, until the squash is softened. Take the lid off for the final ten minutes if you remember.

Step Five:

Put the mixture into the blender.

Blend until it is smooth, in batches if you need to. If you like, you can always skip this step and leave it chunky, but I find that blending it really brings out that amazing velvety-ness.

Step Six:

Pop it back in the saucepan, heat it gently, check the seasoning (I like lashings of black pepper with this soup) and serve.

Enjoy it on its own, or with a decadent knob of butter or Crème fraiche in the middle, with a lovely hunk of good bread. Bliss!

 See you on Monday. Have a glorious weekend!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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Heaven Is Shaped Like A Meringue

Well, hello! I am back from holiday, over the jetlag, and feeling like a happy bunny. Who knew London could enjoy such gorgeous weather in October? (And the last laugh is on me, because it was bucketing down with rain in Phuket. But, I digress.)

I had a whole lot of posts planned about some delicious local foods which we stumbled upon on our trip – but that will have to wait. Because I got distracted. By a display of meringues.

Good Lord, have you ever seen such beautiful, blousy things? I was waddling through the city this afternoon on the way back from lunch with my sister and Daddy, and as I passed Leadenhall Market my eye was caught by a horrendously inviting stall, selling an array of gorgeous pastries – and these little stunners!

Naturally I almost farted in excitement and ran over to the stall and bought myself one of these meringues. The rest of the stuff looked gorgeous, too, but I am afraid that I only really had eyes for these.

The lovely, patient French gentleman manning the stall explained that the stall is run by Comptoir Gourmand, a lovely patisserie on Whitecross Street, EC1.

And, ladies and gentlemen, if their meringues are anything to go by, I will be fasting for a week and visiting this little place tout de suite.

My modest £2.50 investment bought me a heavenly meringue practically the size of my own head (I chose a beautifully marbled vanilla and raspberry specimen, but there were other varieties too) and upon abandoning my other business and rushing home to give my purchase the attention it deserved, I can happily say that this was one of the most glorious members of the meringue family I have ever had the pleasure of consuming.

Each meringue is huge and would happily feed four normal-sized people, or one very greedy Jessy. Light as air, with a beautifully crisp outer shell and gently squidgy centre, just the right amount of sweetness and perfectly shot with raspberry, this was as good as they come.

Go, meringue lovers, and buy one of these (Kitty, I’ll post you one). They will enhance your life immeasurably.

(I’m sure their other stuff is very good, too).

See you tomorrow!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Comptoir Gourmand, 126 Whitecross Street, London EC1

Tel: 020 7490 2828

Leadenhall Market: http://www.leadenhallmarket.co.uk

 

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