Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Recipe Share ...

A gorgeous friend emailed me over a gorgeous recipe she had tried and thought I would love. I'm yet to bake this but wanted to share as it looks pretty darn divine ...

You will need: 
150g butter plus extra for greasing
125g dark brown sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200ml milk
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in tbsp of warm water
300g plain flour
 
For the icing 
200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100ml double cream
 
1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas mark 4 Grease a 30 x 20cm traybake or roasting tin, then line with baking parchment.

2. Put the butter, sugar, syrup, treacle and spices in a saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until it has melted. Stir in the milk and dissolved bicarbonate of soda.

3. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Slowly pour the melted chocolate mixture onto the flour, stirring constantly to make a smooth batter.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes. The gingerbread should feel springy when touched, and a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Let the gingerbread cool slightly in the tin then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

5. To make the icing, put the chocolate and cream in a glass bowl, then set it over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. 

Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Pour the icing onto the gingerbread and smooth it with a spatula. Don't cut the gingerbread until the icing has cooled completely.
 
You can freeze the un-iced gingerbread, wrapped in baking parchment then cling film, for up to three months.


I KNOW. 
T x

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy EASTER!

A QUARTER TO TWO and not a SCRAP of chocolate! What is going on? I am indignant. I expected the Easter Bunny to be on hand to feed me Hotel Chocolat truffles all day long, *opens mouth very wide and waits* ...

In the absence of chocolate, I find myself indulging in a childhood fave- yogurt and jelly. Am I the only one? Granted, by no means the sexiest of puds, but I have always found it utterly comforting. 


There has also been, as one would expect, a beautiful roast ham for brunch. This is as far as I got with the photography ...


Before I knew it, we had ravenously devoured the whole thing, before I thought to snap the actual joint. Sorry ...

A very Happy Easter to you and yours,
T x

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

FRUIT


Coming out of Finsbury Park station over the weekend, the air was unbelievably heavy with the smell of strawberries from the busy fruit stall right beside the exit. 

Strawberries are somewhat misleading though, don't you think? Their scent and glossy redness are only occasionally matched by a syrupy flesh, often it can be white, watery and bitter. Am I wrong?? In theory I always think, heavenly, in reality, I usually wish I'd chosen a punnet of something else.

Nonetheless, the smell in the air was heavenly. It made me think of summer; bees drunkenly hovering over flower buds, sweaty foreheads and heaving beer gardens. 

Though we now need not wait for the arrival of summer fruits, with a whole array imported from hotter climates all year round, it is always so pleasing when you begin to see new additions on market stalls or indeed in supermarkets.

And so, this morning I had golden plum along with my usual chopped apple, blueberries and yogurt. I know, VIRTUOUS, right? 

Downhill from here, I can assure you ...

T x

Monday, 14 April 2014

For the record ...

Good friends give you life advice, laughter, memories etcetera, etcetera. 


But great friends, great friends give you truffles. 



Sleep tight,

T x

Friday, 11 April 2014

Gorgeous Thursday (weather and food ... )

Last night I had the most delicious plate of duck- panfried with lavender and served with beautifully buttery dauphinois potatoes and sweet, sticky red cabbage.


It was absolutely WONDERFUL, I cannot tell you.

May your weekend bring you equally pleasing grub.

T x

Monday, 7 April 2014

One Wet Monday


I kicked off the week in one of my favourite places, Ikea, with my favourite person, D.

I came across two things that made me overjoyed:

This gorgeous pea green couch (please note, D not included with purchase) 

And ...

I've seen it before and, well, could I agree more?

T x

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Nowrūz

Last year I posted a photograph I had taken of a lovely table setting, marking the Iranian New Year, Nowrūz. 


I had been leaving the house of a family I was working with and was drawn to the array of objects arranged on a coffee table. I was told the correct name for this arrangement is Haft-Seen, and all of the items represent a different element of spring.

I remember it being such a damp, dark, nippy Friday evening and I had been feeling very much the victim of an extended winter; in short, spring felt far off. 

Here we are, just over a year later and I find myself unexpectedly back with the aforementioned family. I have returned to so many things that are familiar, yet much seems different. Here is a photograph of the same family's display this spring:


I found the contrast between the lighting in the images I have taken to be so stark, it made me smile. I actually love both, equally.

Today I was helping a little boy make an Easter bonnet, something I remember taking very seriously when I was in primary school myself. (I do even recall a first place prize one year, as you asked.)

We spent much of the day talking about letting go of certain feelings, so as not to let then overwhelm and lead us astray, but also respecting their relevance too. 

He was an incredibly charming, astute little boy, but one so full of rage and sadness he frightened not just his peers, but himself too, I sensed. A ruled line that he felt wasn't straight enough or an unwelcome glance from a passing face in the corridor was enough to cause an eruption, but behind it was the panic that it's all a bit hopeless and can't be changed. Pretty heartbreaking stuff considering he is just 8.

As I showed him how to weave strips of limp mint green and pink paper, I couldn't help but feel the current absence of light in his life, yet I felt so aware of his inner brightness, a wild flicker at the moment, but one I hope will become more visible to him as time goes on.

And on that note, I can't quite believe how speedily the year is racing by, and I so welcome the brighter mornings and softening nights, for myself and all around me.  

T x