Making Chocolate With Disney Cakes And Sweets

I love a good recipe book. Actually I love going through a recipe book and gleaning great ideas to adjust and adapt to our family’s way of cooking and eating.

People often comment about how much I do with my girls, and how busy we always are, but the truth is, a lot of it comes from outside inspirations – like this morning: we made Fruity Chocolate Chunks from Issue 1 of the Disney Cakes And Sweets Collection. It was a fun activity I probably wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

The girls had a lot of fun with it. We didn’t have a single one of the ingredients in the original recipe, but they recommend substitutions too, so we made milk chocolate with hazelnuts and candied orange peel.

I used my Thermomix to temper the chocolate to a perfect 37 degrees Celsius, which was also ideal because it means the chocolate never got too hot for the girls to handle. 

While the chocolate was doing it’s thing, I gave Ameli the job of crushing the hazelnuts. I could have done it in seconds in the Thermie (or a food processor), but I decided to stretch the activity as long as I could. I put the hazelnuts into a cake pan and gave her a mallet, covering it with a napkin and let her hammer it. An easier option would be put it all in a ziploc bag and hammer it that way, but the girl had fun anyway.

Next up, we sprinkled orange peel over the hazelnuts and mixed them together in a silicone tray before pouring the perfectly tempered chocolate over it.

While the kids licked the chocolate off the spoons and bowl, I popped it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

A little while later, we had perfect chocolate snacks, easy, simple and fun. And they’d make lovely gifts too!

There are a few more recipes from issue 1 that Ameli’s asked if we can try, as well as Winnie the Pooh icing guides and a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter, both of which Ameli can’t wait to use! I’m sure you’ll see more of our adventures in baking and sugar craft soon!

Foraging For Food: Crystalized Lavender

We moved into a new house this week, and when I say it’s been mayhem and madness, I’m not joking. I’ve spent five days unpacking boxes, and it feels like I’ve barely made a dent. I’m sure it’ll all come together in one smooth motion but till then, I’ve had little to no time for foraging.

I have put a little time into the garden, however, and put down seed for the grass to regenerate in the bald patches, as well as transplanted some of the herbs from the kitchen. It is trial and error at the moment, and while the courgette plants (zucchini) are doing well in their new home, and the salad is coming on nicely too, the basil has taken it all quite badly and currently looks a little forlorn. I might need to start again on that, and perhaps keep it indoors.
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365-223 to 365- 229 A Week in Pictures

For the time being our weeks have taken on a distinctly domestic flavour. We’re preparing for our next trip in October, so laying low for the moment, saving up and living frugally. But even so, friends need to be seen, family visited and life must continue, so the odd slow at home day is always a pleasure.
Read more: 365-223 to 365- 229 A Week in Pictures

Just have to Share – Lemon/Orange Muffins

A blogger that I regularly read, Joxy from Free Range Family, recently posted these beautiful orange muffins. I had to share them with you. I’ve also replaced the oranges juice and zest with pureed apple & cinamon (my favourite!) and with liquidised bananas. They were fabulous and they freeze and defrost really well too. Try them. Seriously. They are great!

Read more: Just have to Share – Lemon/Orange Muffins

Just Have to Share – Chocolate Spoons for Coffee or Chocolate Milk

I love these super simple chocolate spoons. They are a lovely final ‘ooohhh’ at the table after a dinner party, and make a luxurious hot chocolate when added to hot milk. You can also melt the chocolate and pour in to molds with a swivel stick in the centre if you have suitable supplies.

Read more: Just Have to Share – Chocolate Spoons for Coffee or Chocolate Milk

365-77 to 365-83 A Week in Pictures

We had a slightly busier week, although illness is still firmly imprinted on our household. Nonetheless, a visit to the in-laws in Somerset, a quick stop-in at a local art gallery, a trial day in cloth nappies and a product launch for shoes to make you skinny while eating cupcakes made it all pass really quckly.

Read more: 365-77 to 365-83 A Week in Pictures

Just Have to Share – Easter Egg Nests

These are really simple, easy and quick to do. With a little supervision, these are great to do with toddlers too.

Last year I wedged a name card between the two eggs in the nest for Easter Sunday lunch place settings and they served as lovely table decoration tooas well as  an after desert snack. Read more: Just Have to Share – Easter Egg Nests

365-70 to 365-76 A Week in Pictures

I seem to be saying that I’ve had a dull week quite a lot lately, yet when I look at the pictures, there always seems to be things happening in my life. Although we’ve been overwhelmed by the world’s worst case of ‘teething baby’, and fevers and stomach bugs in all three of us, we do still seem to find time and energy for the act of living.

Read more: 365-70 to 365-76 A Week in Pictures

Just Have to Share – Cardamom Braid

One of my favourite things in the world is the smell of freshly baked bread. And this here is no ordinary bread. Although primarily known for its use in Indian cooking, cardamom is also used in Scandinavian and Finnish sweet breads, such as this one.  Beautiful warm or cold with butter, this is a treat not to be missed!

Read more: Just Have to Share – Cardamom Braid