Tag Archives: love

Edible Valentine cards to share your love

edible hearts

Valentine’s day is a day to put teenage gloom or adult cynicism on hold and celebrate LOVE! Actually, it is always essential to stop and celebrate LIFE, LOVE and the here and now…  When I was younger, I despised the whole idea and  pretended not to care for cards… I hardly thought an annual day for love was on anybody’s agenda but the chocolate makers.

But maybe, just maybe, Valentine’s day is not so corny after all : Is it not just about WHAT and WHO makes us happy? Is celebrating happiness not a serious and important matter?! So I’ll give a short vacation to my sense of taste and my sense of ridicule, and I’ll embrace the day as a small romantic window to enjoy.     I have booked lunch at a very plush starred restaurant and I’ll be giving an edible card to my Valentine. Never neglect to celebrate the good bits, will be my new motto. I might even throw in a heart themed breakfast with the lovely edible flowers I bought at Borough market on saturday…

So here is my “Idea of the month”, none less.

Valentine's breakfast

Ingredients list:

  • Self-raising flour 425g- I used chesnut flour for one third and the result was light and spicy but I had to add 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda.
  • Pinch of salt
  • All spices (or 4 Spices) 1 Tbsp
  • Cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Mace 1 tsp
  • Ginger 1 tsp
  • Cardamom, 2 pods crushed
  • Honey 170 g
  • Soft brown sugar 375 g
  • Butter 115 g
  • lemon zest, 1
  • 1 egg plus one yolk – keep the white for the royal icing later!
  • 1 Tbsp of treacle- optional but nice

Have fun!

Heat the oven to 150°.

Mix all the dry ingredients into a big pot.

Melt the butter, honey, sugar and treacle on low heat. Let it cool first, then mix it in the dry mix and add the eggs and lemon zest. Beat well until you get a creamy base.

Reserve in the fridge for half hour. Don’t forget to line the baking trays. I use a reusable Silpat sheet on mine.

Spread the dough on your working surface and roll it down to 1 cm. Then with a sharp knife or shape cutters, cut out the heart or teddies shapes and transfer them onto your tray.

Bake for 30 minutes at 150°. The pieces will raise a little and take a nice brown colour. Don’t worry if they get a bit out of shape, you can always trim later.

Take some coloured or white edible paper and cut out similar shapes, then write little kind messages (or saucy ones) with an edible ink pen or a bit of food colouring on a thin paint brush. Either scatter them in an envelope of handmade paper as I did in the first picture or stick them with a bit of sugar paste at the back of you gingerbread hearts and teddies and then decorate the other side with sweets and icing! More is more- on this occasion.

Hanging hearts and my new kitchen hanging light!

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>Mascarpone and praline chocolate cake

>Mascarpone and praline chocolate cake

Ingredients list:
200g of “Pralinoise” by Nestlé or any other chocolate with praline
Mascarpone 280g
Sugar 50g
4 eggs (2 yolks and 4 whites)
Flour 80g
Cocoa 1 spoonful


This special milk-chocolate lovers indulgence was inspired by a mascarpone chocolate recipe I found on the delightful blog “Le plaisir de gourmandise” but I decided to make my version with whipped egg whites for lightness and praline based chocolate because it is about pure indulgence and the mascarpone already reminded me of Italian ice creams and sweets so the jump to praline (or Gianduja in Italy) did seem quite natural!

So here it is: a recipe I’ve fooled around with as you should with a lover after a plentiful, satisfying Italian feast! Appetite is a good, sensible thing when it comes to life’s best moments!..

Melt the chocolate with a spoonful of water but be careful to do it quickly as milk and almond-based chocolates tend to burn rather fast.

Add the mascarpone and sugar; then beat to melt it all. Beat the egg yolks with a fork and add them in. Whisk the whites until they form soft peaks and add this to the mix, alternating with spoonfuls of flour.

You should have a smooth and light, pale coloured batter. Add the cocoa to strengthen the praline taste- you don’t have too if you are a milk chocolate fan but I like my emotions a bit stronger…

Pour into a cake tin: I use flexipans for this because it is very moist and anything else seems to destroy it by attaching the sides…
Bake it in a hot oven (190 degree C.) for a maximum of 20mn. Take it out when the middle is still wobbly so you get a creamy, slightly runny centre of milk ganache with a light, spongy surround.

Enjoy with a cup of strong coffee – to choose as carefully as the male companion you’ll share this with… He has to be very special- Or you won’t share at all! 

>Forever London

>

I love living in London because..
…I can walk into a Michelin starred restaurant for lunch and get an unforgettable meal for under £35 !
…I can dress up one morning in a black bin bag and high heels and nobody will bat an eyelid (witnessed recently!)
….I can grab designer clothes for the price of a croissant at DWS sales or TKMaxx
…I can browse the best cookery books from all over the world at Books for Cooks in Portobello,
…I can pick unusual presents in silverware at Bermondsey square any Friday morn,
…I can travel from China to India or Japan just by changing postcode,
…I can walk with the squirrels at Kew garden tree top walkway and admire the giant sequoia from above!
…I can enjoy Lord Leighton’s moorish patio at Leighton House near Holland Park,
…I can have a cocktail in summer on the Roof Garden over Kensington High street,
…I can sunbathe (wishing…) in the Lido deck over the Serpentine,
…I can pop in to Borough market great food stalls and sample the best and the rarest!
…I can loose myself in Daunt Books panelled rooms in Marylebone…
…Or find a gem of a heirloom in the vintage stalls in camden market.
…I can gasp at Harrods Food halls as if I was still discovering them aged 13,
…I can climb on a horse to try and touch “Napoleon’s nose” under the archway of Pall Mall,
…I can go to the theatre on a whim and have to choose from 50 west end shows and 70 Fringe plays!
…I can hear Shakespeare outdoor in the original roof-less Globe theatre,
…I see the oldest door in England, next to the entrance to the Chapter house at Westminster Abbey,
…I can enjoy the beautiful solitude of the Ironwork gallery first floor of the V&A,
…I can meet a friend for high tea at Browns by the cosy fireplace on a cold day,
…I can enjoy boating on one of the most famous river in the world and moor on a heron infested island,
…I can go all emotional, coming across Lawrence of Arabia unassuming town house in Cowley street, Westminter,
…I can go back and again to feast my eyes on Velazquez Rockeby Venus in the National Gallery,
…I can watch “Bright Star” then plan to visit Keats and Fanny’s house in Hampstead next week-end!
…I can shiver in the War room Cabinet in St James, imagining London under the Blitz,
…I can have a movie star moment having tea in the grand William Morris period rooms of the V&A canteen,
…I can picnic on the lawns at Bishop Park (or anywhere else) and nobody kicks me out,
…I can decide to stay in and do nothing of the above : “because it’ll all still be there tomorrow”…

…I can do … pretty much anything I please! …That’s why I LOVE London

>I Love London!

>
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
from Boswell’s Life of Johnson