Claire Ptak’s Rye Chocolate Brownies

Rye Chocolate Brownies4

A brownie, for me, is the little black dress of the baking world. They bake up in batches to feed a crowd, can be stacked high and eaten with fingers or served singly with toppings for something more refined. Like that little black dress, they can totally miss the mark – I can count the number of brownies recipes I trust implicitly on one hand, excluding my thumb – but as with fashion, on occasion, a new season contender can jump in to shake up the status quo. Hello rye chocolate brownie with flaky sea salt. Continue reading

Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes

Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Is it too early to be feeling festive? Because of complications with our little loaf-to-be (see this post) we’ve decided to stay close to our specialist hospital in London this Christmas, and will be celebrating in double family style (my husband’s and mine) for the second year running. Mentioning that we’ve voluntarily spent Christmas with both parents and in-laws together gets the odd raised eyebrow, but if it’s anything like last year, we’re going to have a ball. The three bird roast has been ordered, bedrooms allocated and my phone is full of tentative present ideas. This is a time of year to embrace family, and we’re so fortunate for what we have. Continue reading

Chai Spiced Pear Porridge + WIN Ceramics

Chai spiced porridge with mapled pears & pecans & cream

Today we’re doing something a little different. I’ve got a recipe for you – this creamy, comforting bowl of porridge jazzed up with mapled pears, spice and pecans to warm your autumn mornings – but there’s a little something extra on offer, too. I don’t own much in the way of ceramics. so the eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that these rather charming breakfast bowls are new. New to me and potentially to you to as I’m offering one reader the chance to win a set, plus a copy of my book. It’s not often you see a sponsored or branded post in this space, but these gorgeous bowls come from a company called Loaf and with a name like that I simply couldn’t resist. Continue reading

Blackberry Mousse with Vanilla Cream

Blackberry Mousse Vanilla Cream

Remember those tiny pots of Petit Filous you’d eat as a child? The flavour of this mousse is not dissimilar, served in glasses and sprinkled with hazelnuts as a nod to grown up sophistication. It’s mousse, so the texture is creamier, but it still reminds me of childhood puddings. Blackberries are all but gone from the markets by now, but if you can sneak a punnet or two before the November frost creeps in, I’d recommend making this mousse.  Continue reading

Homemade Penguin Bars (or Tim Tams)

Homemade Penguin Bar Bite

With 31st October just around the corner, my mind is turning to bite-sized snacks. If you’ve bought my book or read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m not a big fan of packaged treats. If there’s a shop-bought something I’m craving, I’ll likely try to recreate it at home. Every Halloween as a child, in amongst the fang-shaped Haribo and fun-sized Mars Bars that filled my trick or treat bag, I’d almost always end up with a Penguin bar scrabbled from the biscuit tin of an unprepared mum. Penguin bars were pretty much a staple 1980s snack in every household except ours, so while it might have seemed boring to some, the addition of this run-of-the-mill chocolate bar to my seasonal stash was always very welcome. Continue reading

Churros with Chocolate Orange Sauce

Churros with Chocolate

This Thursday just gone we jumped on a plane and spent the long weekend in Seville for some much needed r&r. After a detour to Malaga due to thick mist on the runway, our weather prospects didn’t look great, but two hours later we arrived to a city bathed in autumn sunshine. Having filled our bellies with tapas we decided to skip on cultural activities for the afternoon (if you know us well, it didn’t take much persuasion) and spent the rest of the day sunbathing beside our hotel’s rooftop pool. Continue reading

A Little Loaf

little loaf
I’m keeping it short and sweet today but first of all, thank you. For your lovely comments on this post, but also for your emails, texts, Facebook messages and more. I’m overwhelmed by how many wonderful individuals there are out there and truly touched and humbled by your words of encouragement, stories and love.

Today we’re sticking with a carbohydrate theme and a loaf a little bigger than the one currently in my tummy (although he’s doing his very best to catch up with more kicks and wriggles every day). This recipe is originally from Homemade Memories and has been reproduced online by the lovely people at Design Sponge. It’s a gorgeous space and I’m honoured to have been featured. Continue reading

Leek & Potato Pizzette + News!

Leek Potato Pizzette
The morning after the launch party for my cookbook, back in June, I woke up early with a racing heart, a slight sicky feeling and butterflies in my stomach. Given the gallons of prosecco that were consumed the night before, this shouldn’t have been surprising. Except that I hadn’t been drinking. Twenty one weeks later and it’s about time I shared some important news with you. I think you might guess where I’m going with this . . .  Continue reading

Blackberry + Apple Crumble Bars

Blackberry Apple Crumble Bar

I’m blaming the succession* of crumble recipes on this blog for the arrival of autumn and a strong urge to cosy up warm with comfort food. The dish itself does the job for a dinner party or even as a single serving. However, I’m powerless to resist topping a classic crumble with a scoop of ice cream, so in the interests of some semblance of health, I’ve been making these ‘breakfast’ style baked goods (and then eating them for dessert).

*Succession meaning two in as many weeks which, when you live with one other person, is a fair amount of crumbly goods to be getting through. Continue reading

Squidgy Chocolate Apricot Loaf Cake

Chocolate Apricot Loaf Cake slice

If, like me, you watch more than your fair share of food programmes, you’ll be aware of a running theme. Every time a presenter takes a bite of the food they’ve just prepared or been served or discovered by the side of the road in some exotic country – Great British Bake Off judgement and soggy bottoms excluded – they declare it the best they’ve ever eaten. Food bloggers can be guilty of the same hyperbole – it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment that nothing else compares; it’s not exaggeration, it’s how you actually feel. So here goes . . . this is the most delicious chocolate loaf cake I have ever eaten.

Continue reading