Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes + a Fourth Blog Birthday

Chocolate coconut cupcake toasted coconut
The last time I celebrated a fourth birthday, I was about 3 feet tall. My party took place at the brilliantly named Roly Poly Club, a room made up of what I remember as wall-to-wall bouncy castles where my friends and I careered around, fuelled by the heady mix of excitement and mint choc-chip ice cream (there are rosy-cheeked, chocolate-covered photographs to prove this). My mum reminded me recently that I wrote her a shopping list beforehand ‘in case you get it wrong’, consisting simply of ‘mus bus’ (Mars Bars) and ‘sossighes’ (sausages). All the essentials then. Continue reading

Buckwheat Galettes with Leeks, Romesco + Brown Butter Fried Eggs

Buckwheat_galettes_egg

When I was growing up, Pancake Day in the Little Loaf household involved crêpes. Not the fluffy stacks of American-style pancakes which have become so popular, but good-old fashioned, lacy thin crêpes with all the added fun of flipping involved. Of course one would always stick to the pan, another to the ceiling and nobody could eat at the same time as we flipped and rolled and trailed spoons of batter all over the hob and floor, but that was all part of the chaotic fun that was Shrove Tuesday.

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Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream Pie with Bourbon Butterscotch & Pretzel Crust

Bourbon_butterscotch_ice_cream_pie

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and this year we’re going out. Not for a romantic meal, mind you, but because not just one but two of our friends are turning thirty, accompanied by the requisite parties and presents. Some people might be sad to miss out on ‘the most romantic night of the year’ but I’m happy to. We’ve never been ones for joining the doey-eyed masses in restaurants on Valentine’s Day, instead preferring a date night in with just each other for company and a menu I can take charge of. More specifically, a menu which includes a dessert like this Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream Pie with Bourbon Butterscotch and a Pretzel Crust.
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Apple, Maple & Walnut Cookies

Apple_Maple_Walnut Cookies

This year January has taken its cue from Christmas with gluttonous ease. Rather than observing an abstemious month of little or no alcohol, fewer desserts, low-fat-this and diet-that, we’ve eaten and drunk our way round London, Paris and Yorkshire. A birthday was celebrated several times over with rounds of cake and cocktails, an anniversary with an epic ice cream pie (more on that next week, just you wait) and Paris passed by in a blur of macarons, garlic butter and a Paris Brest the size of a tyre (albeit an elegant, pastry cream-filled one). Today we’re not going completely cold turkey, but these Apple, Maple & Walnut Cookies are at least a step in the right direction.

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Rhubarb & Blueberry Crumble for Two

Rhubarb blueberry crumble

Just as it feels like winter has been dragging on too long, fluorescent sticks of shocking pink rhubarb begin to appear in the greengrocer. Their arrival always feels like a turning point, some brightness in amongst the still short days and a promise of spring to come. That said, spring is still a fair way off so today we’re roasting that rhubarb – plus a handful of frozen blueberries – beneath a crunchy, buttery crumble for the ultimate in winter comfort puddings.

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Homemade Memories: My Cookbook Cover Reveal

Homemade Memories
‘If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done before’ -
 Thomas Jefferson.

This time last year I’d just signed a cookbook deal with my publisher, Orion. I had an enthusiastic editor, a slightly scary deadline and a rough proposal consisting of 100 recipes – some of which I could make with my eyes closed, most of which I’d only tasted in my dreams. Thousands of words, dozens of kilos of butter, sugar, cream and chocolate and countless sleepless nights later, I’m slightly speechless to confirm that I DID IT!!!  Continue reading

Salted Apricot + Chocolate Caramels

Chocolate Coated Salted Apricot Caramels

Happy New Year! After a full week back at work for most, I’m a little slow off the mark but I promise this recipe is more than worth the wait. We’re jumping into January with a bang: there’s caramel, chocolate, gooey salty-sweetness and not a leaf of kale in sight. Although if you’re the kale eating kind, don’t click away yet because these, believe it or not, are healthy salted caramels. Continue reading

2014 in review | The Little Loaf

Baked churros

2014 has been a bit of a whirlwind. All-time highs have been accompanied by unexpected lows, but as the year draws to a close I’ve got my sights on nothing less than an epic 2015. Exciting things are afoot – not least the release of my very first cookbook (look out for a cover reveal in January) – but before we get there, here’s a little round up of my ten favourite recipes and posts from the year just gone. Continue reading

Festive Chocolate Fudge

Festive chocolate fudge

Aside from a family sized tub of Celebrations (which disappeared with alarming speed), this fudge is the first sweet treat to pass through our brand new kitchen. We moved in last Thursday and while I’m eager to share some photos with you all, there hasn’t been a moment to take them in between long dark evenings and party-packed weekends. Suffice to say I’m thrilled with the vast new expanses of work surface and storage, our beautiful ceramic sink and a fridge big enough to fit all sorts of little loaf delights. Now, let’s talk fudge.

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Top 10 Cookbooks of 2014

paris_pastry

With Christmas present purchasing in full swing, I thought now was as good a time as any to bring you my Top 10 cookbooks of 2014. The nature of a Top 10 means this isn’t an exhaustive list – I’ve left off some of the bigger hitters as the latest Ottolenghi or Jamie Oliver is a pretty safe bet – but these are the books I’ve enjoyed for their writing, recipes and gorgeous photography over the course of the year.

Paris Pastry Club by Fanny Zanotti

For the confident baker and those with chefly aspirations. Fanny is the pastry chef at Chiltern Firehouse and writes the blog Like a Strawberry Milk. Her book has the same dream-like quality as her blog with beautiful, stylized photography from none other than Helen Cathcart (the photographer who shot my book). There are some seriously beautiful, plated, restaurant-style desserts in here but also simpler baking for those less experienced. Read my review of the book (and a recipe) here.  
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