Thursday, 9 June 2016

Day out in Windsor

We love Windsor and have been there countless times. We really like walking around town and along the river, walking past the Castle and check if the Queen is in and obviously do a bit of shopping. But one thing we've never done was walking The Long Walk.

Last Sunday was such a beautiful day so we decided we should go to the coast but last time we went, it seemed like the whole planet had had the same idea and it took us 4 hours to do a journey that should have taken us just under 2 hours so the thought of spending so much time in the car put us off and we decided to instead, pack a picnic and go to Windsor.

We parked on Kings Road and walked about 10 mins to the Deer Gate which is located halfway through The Long Walk. We then headed to the Copper Horse and admired the amazing view from up there.

This huge statue on Snow Hill was erected in 1829 and depicts King George III on his horse. Did you know that The Long Walk is used for the royal journey to Royal Ascot. Apparently, you can see Heathrow Airport and Southall from there.

We then found the perfect picnic spot under a tree and took some time to relax on the grass before heading back towards the Castle. On the way, we spotted lots of majestic deer, some horses and lots of pretty buttercups.

It was such a lovely day and according to my phone, we walked over 20km (I was wearing sandals and my feet are still sore).

Do you get this feeling where your weekend was so relaxing that it feels like you had a mini holiday? This was one of those. Oh, how I love summer!

 

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Such a beautiful gate house

 

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Copper Horse statue of King George III

 

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Can you spot the Castle far far away?

 

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Have a lovely week,

H.

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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Comfort Food – Pasta

Comfort Food Challenge
Once again, I’ve had a long blogging break. I love blogging but sometimes, I just cant find the time to bake or I just cook the same not very interesting food or when I do something nice, I just don't have time to blog about it.
I recently saw on Twitter that Jo from Comfort Bites had come up with a very interesting challenge: Comfort Food. And this month’s theme is Pasta.
I love pasta. I could eat pasta every day, it wouldn’t bother me. And when I read her post, I knew straight away what I was going to make.
My dish doesn't have any name and it is the most simple thing you could ever make. What’s so special about it is that it takes me back to my childhood and when my Grandma (my Dad's Mum) was looking after my sister and I on Wednesdays.
I’m not sure if it’s still the case now but when I was little (and living in France), we didn't have school on Wednesdays. Instead, we had longer hours and went to school on Saturday mornings.
So, on Wednesdays, we were at my Grandma. I don't remember her being a great cook to be honest but she used the most simple ingredients/foods to make great stuff.
So, for my pasta dish you’ll need pastas – she used to use Lumache pasta but I literally only saw them in a shop for the 1st time yesterday and I went crazy! so as I didn't have Lumache, I used spaghetti but you can use anything you want. You also need some nice ham and boiled eggs. That’s pretty much it. Extremely simple!
What makes this dish though is the tomato sauce you add to it. This is very simple too but I love it.
First, we need to make a roux so in a small pan, melt some butter (if you let it burn a little bit, it gives a slight nutty taste to it).
Once melted, add some flour (ideally, you need the same quantity of butter & flour) but I never measure my ingredients for this sauce) and mix well.
Then, add some tomato purée. Again, I don’t measure it so just add enough for the paste to be pink-ish. Then, add some water from the pastas and mix until you get enough sauce but it’s not too liquid (we don't want soup!) Taste it and maybe add a tiny bit of sugar.
Once the sauce is at a nice consistency, add it on top of your pasta and voila!
My perfect comfort food! It’s so comforting that I even made it twice this week. My Boyfriend was on holiday with his friends so I only had myself to cook for. It’s a quick dinner, perfect to eat in front of the TV. And if you’ve got too much sauce leftover, just finish it with a piece of baguette ;)
Comfort Food - Pasta
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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Mini Chocolate & Coffee Cupcakes

Welcome for Day 2 of Cupcake week.
Cupcake week 2013
I didn't use to like the chocolate & coffee combo. I could drink coffee and eat cake but coffee cakes were never a favourite of mine.
Last summer though, when we were in Brittany visiting my family, we went to visit a little chocolate factory: Chatillon Chocolatier. After the visit, you obviously had to go through the shop and could taste lots of samples…paradise.
There, I tasted a little coffee flavoured chocolate in the shape of a coffee bean and it was a revelation. I was sold to the taste of chocolate and coffee together.
For today’s cupcake, I made a simple chocolate batter, in which I added an espresso. However, despite the coffee being quite strong, the coffee taste is not as prominent as I was expected. It has though enhanced the chocolate taste.
I topped the cake with some chocolate buttercream and added the cherry on the cake or more precisely, a coffee flavoured bean on top of each cake.
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Aren’t they pretty? They are delicious too!
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Monday, 16 September 2013

Pumpkin Cupcakes & cream cheese frosting

Cupcake week 2013
It’s cupcake week, it’s cupcake week! And just like last year, I’m going to bake different cupcakes every day of the week.
To start off the week, I’ve used an ingredient I’d never used before: Pumpkin!
All the American bloggers I follow are crazy about pumpkin everything so when I saw a can of pumpkin purée in Aldi a while ago, I thought I'd try it.
The recipe I followed is the one from Joy of Baking. I love this website. The cakes are always so good and the recipes often very easy. And I love that fact she always translates the measurements  to metric.
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See, the ingredients are the usual ones. Just add some pumpkin purée and some spices.
I tried a bit of the pumpkin purée with a spoon but wasn't convinced. I’m guessing you cant really eat it straight from the can?
But then, I tried the batter…don't tell me you don't lick the spoon ;) and that was so good.
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Once cooled, I made a cream cheese frosting and I had to eat one straight away.
It was so good! Soft, moist, cinnamon-y, pumpkin-y. One of the best cupcake I’ve made in a while to be honest.
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Now, what can I do with the leftover pumpkin purée? Any ideas?

Stay tune for another flavour tomorrow!
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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Fleet, Farnham & Farnborough CCC

Clandestine-Cake-Club
I joined my local CCC back in January and after the 1st meeting, I was in love. I love baking, meeting new people and of course eating cakes so the Cake Club is perfect for me. When the lady running it decided to step down, I knew I had to take over. So now, with a fellow baker friend Katherine, we are running the club and yesterday was our very 1st cake club together.
We met at a lovely little café in Farnham called Lion & Lamb. I’ve passed this place many many times before but never stopped. What a mistake!
Lion & Lamb is a BYOB restaurant in central Farnham and they serve fresh, local & simple food. Quite a lot of our bakers really enjoyed the homemade fresh lemonade last night. But as we obviously brought our own cakes, we didn’t get the chance to try out their food but I can tell you I’m certainly going to go back.
They are open Monday to Friday, 9-9 ; Saturday, 8-9 and Sunday, 10-4
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Our theme was Great British Classics and we had a total of 11 delicious cakes!
  • Carrot & Walnut
  • Coffee & Walnut x2
  • Victoria Sandwich
  • Lemon Drizzle Cake
  • Raspberry Bakewell Cake
  • Victoria Sandwich with a Twist (Chocolate & Cherry)
  • Tea Loaf
  • Ginger Cake & Lemon Icing
  • Swiss Roll
  • Chocolate Fudge Cake
All cakes were amazing and  tried a piece of each of them.
I made the chocolate fudge cake, using Marry Berry’s recipe and I have to say it turned out fantastic…but as a bad blogger, I don’t even have a proper picture of it. You can see it though in the pictures below.
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We had a fantastic evening chatting, meeting new people and obviously eating cakes. I believe all the bakers also had a great time. Katherine & I are very pleased and we are very much looking forward to the next meeting.
Thanks again to the Lion & Lamb for hosting the evening.
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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Happy 14th July

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Today is the French National Day. In France, we simply call it “Le 14 Juillet” but here, in the UK, it’s called “Bastille Day”.
I’ve never really been the one to celebrate anything French…after all, I’m from Brittany (Brittany’s always wanted to be independent) but for some reason, this year I’m pretty excited about the National day. So excited that I made a cake for it and shared it with my fellow French team members.
After going to my last Clandestine Cake Club, where the theme was “A surprise inside”, I knew I wanted to use that theme for my French cake.
My cake required me baking 3 cakes: a blue, a white and a red one…you see where I’m going with that right ;)
I used a Victoria sponge recipe and simply added some food colouring to 2 of the cakes. Once they’d cooled down, I wrapped them up in cling film and the next day, I was able to level them out.
I then used some cookie cutter to remove some of the cake and re-assembled some other part and voila…
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There you have a pretty little French flag!
The cake was delicious (I’m a massive fan of Victoria sponge) and as I used paste colouring, it didn't affect the taste at all.
Have you got any plans to celebrate the French National Day? We are going to the Bastille Festival in London and I’m pretty excited about it. Apparently there’s going to be a snail race. I’m even going to be wearing blue, white & red.
Have a lovely Sunday!
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Monday, 8 July 2013

Pink lemonade

Pink lemonade 2
With the weather being that hot here in the UK, it is important to stay hydrated all day. Some may find water a bit “boring” so why not try this Pink lemonade from Peggy Porshen’s Boutique book. It is the last (for now) recipe I’m going to make from this book.
This recipe is super easy and only contains 4 ingredients (lemon juice, sugar, water & fruit juice).
It is also very versatile as you can use any juice you want. For this particular recipe, I used cranberry & raspberry juice.
As I love my lemonade very “lemony”, I added twice the amount of lemon that is in the recipe.
This recipe takes a bit of time to make as you need the liquid to simmer then cool down but it’s totally worth it. I made mine while preparing breakfast and my delicious lemonade was ready by mid-morning.  I also added some frozen blueberries to keep it even cooler and prettier.
Pink lemonade 1
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