Chocolate Orange Madeleines

Chocolate Orange Madeleines

My name is Kate and I’m addicted to buying cookbooks. In between purchases I try to get my fix from blogs and magazines and websites, but there’s nothing quite like a physical cookbook with its secrets and stories and real pages to prop open. Ask my husband to verify this fact and he’ll wryly smile before leading you to our spare room where a whole wall of evidence awaits: Ottolenghi snuggled between Annie Bell and Richard Bertinet, beneath rows of River Cottage, River Café, Hugh, Delia, Jamie and more.

This army of cookbooks isn’t just made up of big name bestsellers. I love to see how home cooks approach recipe writing and the recent rise of food blogs to books has opened up a new world of temptation as far as cookbook buying goes. These books don’t just share recipes but invite you into the kitchen of their author, the personal tone making them incredibly satisfying; a feeling of sitting down at someone’s table rather than simply being dictated what to make. Continue reading

Chocolate Coconut Sorbet Bars (aka Frozen Bounty Bars)

Chocolate_Coconut_Sorbet1

Back in March we spent a week in St. Lucia. As well as making it a blissful place to flop flat out and drink cocktails, the blazing sunshine gives the island the perfect climate to grow sweet bananas, pineapples, papaya and coconuts. Every day at the beach the same elderly man would walk past touting the ‘best water in the world’, and each time he cracked open a fresh coconut and inserted a straw I felt like we’d escaped into a Bounty advert (minus the dodgy ’80s hair and make up). Continue reading

Giant Ice Cream Peanut Butter Cup Pie

Giant Ice Cream Peanut Butter Cup

Every week when my blog goes out, I’ll get an email from my Dad. Aside from the spelling and punctuation which, as an ex-publisher, he always picks up on, the messages range from complimentary to longing: ‘looks delicious’, ‘definitely not on my diet!’, ‘reminds me of our trip to X’ or ‘I wonder if your mum might make me that.’ Dad, I’m afraid to say this definitely falls into the ‘not on my diet’ category. Everyone else, if you’ve given up sweet stuff for Lent you might want to look away now . . . Continue reading

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

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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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

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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Salted Caramel + Cocoa Nib Brownies

Salted caramel
I first tried one of Milli Taylor‘s brownies around this time last year. We’d been chatting online about various food-related things and realised that we live pretty close to one another. Milli had some goodies going spare from a catering job so promised to drop a few samples round the flat while we were out. Several bemused messages later, it dawned on us that she’d left them in the wrong street and I ended up having to tiptoe my way down a stranger’s garden path to retrieve the box from behind the bush by their front door. Not the easiest brownies to get hold of, but some of the best I’ve ever eaten,  so when I received a copy of Milli’s debut cookbook, I knew this recipe was the one I’d have to make first.  Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Writing a Cookbook

Chocolate fondant

Are you bored of these photoshoot updates yet? I couldn’t resist sneaking in a few final pictures from the week just gone. So that’s a wrap, the final Homemade Memories photograph has been taken, the last prop carefully washed up, crumbs cleared away and leftovers distributed to my nearest, dearest and hungriest. On Thursday I got the first round of printed pages to proof read and this weekend just gone – in between packing up our whole flat and moving in with my parents for renovation work to begin (phew!) – I set to work on marking up those final little amends.

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Dark Chocolate Coconut ‘Bounty’ Bites

Bounty bite chocolate

This time one week from now I’ll be hundreds of miles from home, sitting by the side of the pool at my parents’ house in Italy. We haven’t left the country since our honeymoon in Bali last year and I’m itching to get out of London, away from my daily commute and into the holiday swing. This year we’re spending the week with both my parents and big brother as an Italian family warm up to my 30th birthday at the end of July. There will be barbecues and sunbathing, amazing food (made by both my Mum and restaurants like this) and plenty of wine enjoyed over meals where we wonder for the umpteenth time if we might prefer a permanent life in the Tuscan hills over London. Continue reading