Squidgy Chocolate & Pistachio Squares

Chocolate Pistachio Squares

Squidgy little squares of nutty chocolate goodness

Before the age of about fifteen, I don’t think I’d ever made buttercream icing.

I’d eaten it, of course, at friends’ houses and birthday parties, spread over simple sponge cakes and smothered between the rounds of the ubiquitous caterpillar cake (one made an appearance at a 28th birthday we recently  attended, clearly caterpillar cake will never go out of fashion in some circles), but I’m pretty sure I’d never actually made my own buttercream at home.
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Chocolate Pistachio Éclairs

Chocolate Pistachio Éclairs

Crisp choux pastry, glossy ganache, pistachio cream

This weekend we celebrated Carnivorous Fiancé’s 28th birthday.

On Friday, we went for food with friends. There were burgers, booze and a butterscotch bourbon birthday cake for 16, made at the birthday boy’s request. Iced and eaten after dark, the cake was never going to make it on the blog, but with no shortage of sweet treats in the little loaf household this weekend, I’ve got a (possibly even better) recipe to share with you today.
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Best of 2012 | thelittleloaf


A pile of beautiful, buttery croissants

With just a few hours left until the new year, there’s little left to say other than thank you.

Thank you for your comments and support, for continuing to be interested in what I have to say, for reading and sharing my recipes and for sending me your amazing pictures when you make them.

Rather than posting anything new today, I’ve included a round up of your five favourite (by page views) little loaf recipes from the past year, followed by five of mine.

2012 has been incredible. Here’s to an even more amazing 2013. Continue reading

Chocolate Christmas Wreaths

Chocolate biscuit cake

‘C’ is for Christmas – the perfect festive chocolate treat

Saturday marked the official start of Christmas in the little loaf household.

We went in search of an oversized tree, cranked up the cheesy tunes, cracked open some bubbles and spent the afternoon stringing up lights and debating between different baubles. I baked a batch of gingerbread (which was delicious, but not quite perfect enough to make an appearance on the blog just yet) and the flat was filled with warmth, laughter and the scent of spices. Continue reading

Brown Butter, Raspberry & Pistachio Tarts (Gluten Free)

gluten free tarts

First up, a quick note to say that thelittleloaf is now on Facebook! If you read this blog and would like to see more recipes, photos and links, I’d love it if you’d head on over and ‘like’ my page.

I can clearly remember the first time I tasted maple syrup. My brother had a friend from Canada and one year he came back from his holidays with a little glass bottle of viscous amber liquid for us. I’d never tasted anything quite like it: silky textured and distinctively flavoured, like honey, but not and sweet as sweet can be.

We treasured that tiny container – this was a treat from all the way from across the pond with little likelihood of being replaced – and eked it out in little portions. My favourite way to eat this syrup, bizarrely, was straight up, poured over raw porridge oats and left to macerate for a few minutes until the mixture became beautifully soft and sweet. I’m sure my dentist – and my Mum – would have any number of objections but in my defence, this odd concoction probably wasn’t so very much worse than any of the sugar filled breakfast cereal options out there nowadays (it’s a tenuous excuse, but I’m sticking to it). Continue reading

Honeyed Pistachio Ice Cream

honey ice cream

Salty, sweet, smooth, crunchy & chewy – the ultimate ice cream experience

‘Well,’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best,’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”

I’m the kind of person who thrives on anticipation. I love nothing more than planning in a project at work, booking in my next holiday or organizing an event (don’t even get me started on the wedding . . .). But sometimes I look forward to the future with such a sense of excitement – whether it’s a weekend of activities or simply what I’m going to have for lunch that day – that I need to take a step back, to remind myself to live in the present and enjoy each moment as it comes. Continue reading

Apricot & Pistachio Frangipane Tarts

apricot tart

Summer is coming to an end.

While the last few days have seen warmer temperatures and clear blue skies, there’s an autumnal note in the air. Darkness draws in earlier each evening and there’s a coldness first thing in the morning,  a reminder of frosts to come in the not too distant future. Holidays in Spain and Italy are fading to a distant memory of long, lazy days, hazy heat, bare limbs in the evening breeze.

But I’m not letting go without a fight. Continue reading

Chewy Chocolate & Pistachio Cookies


Crispy, chewy chocolate chunk cookies with the crunch of whole pistachios

The recipe I’m sharing today is not a chocolate mousse.

I appreciate that this may be somewhat stating the obvious, but in my mind this post was always intended to be that mousse. Sometimes things work out wonderfully in the blogging world – long, bright evenings, lots of natural light, photogenic food, other times they conspire against you – unseasonal wind and rain, grumbling tummies that devour anything you’ve made before you have a second to click a single frame.

Apparently today this mousse was not meant to be. Continue reading

Pistachio & Lemon (Little) Loaf Cakes

little loaf cake

The dense, damp, syrupy crumb makes this cake utterly irresistible

This might just be one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten.

Those of you who read this blog on regular basis will know that this is not a comment to be taken lightly. I love cake. I eat it a lot. I live and breathe baking.  On our recent holiday in Italy in a round of Articulate the clue ‘Kate loves this’ resulted in an immediate and resounding chorus of ‘cake’, and change one letter in my name and I’d practically be named after the stuff. Cake is very important to me.

Pretty much every year I make my own birthday cake. Before you start feeling sorry for me, it’s absolutely out of choice. I love doing it; the magic of mixing together ingredients, transforming flour, butter and sugar into something that looks and tastes delicious, experimenting in the kitchen, sharing my birthday joy with friends and family and condensing it into a single slice.

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