Popping Pink Champagne Macarons: Wear it Pink


If you do one thing this October, think pink

Staying true to the macarons it features, I’ll try to keep this post short and sweet. We’re coming to the end of Pink October – an annual international health campaign organized by various breast cancer charities to raise awareness and funds for research – and any mention of the dreaded ‘c’ word inevitably lends a certain seriousness of tone to proceedings. However, while cancer undoubtedly brings sadness and suffering to everyone it touches, the communities and support networks it creates are incredible. Rather than dwelling on the hurts and horrors, this post is intended as a celebration of life, of humans finding strength in adversity; above all it’s a toast to every woman who has ever been affected by this destructive disease.

Writing a food blog has made me think about what we eat in a very different light. While some simply consume for sustenance, there is a whole community out there for whom food is so much more. Cooking is an opportunity to explore our creative sides, to share experiences and mouthfuls with family and friends, to try new things, take a trip down memory lane, to celebrate, commiserate or simply to indulge. Food can also be used to positive effect, from the good old Blue-Peter-style bring-and-buy charity bake sale through to bigger events such as Action Against Hunger’s Love Food Give Food campaign. Continue reading

Toffee popcorn cake with chocolate ganache & hidden ‘pop’


Toffee popcorn cake with hidden ‘pop’

‘The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’

Cake is as synonymous with birthdays as parties, presents and singing. That’s not to say it doesn’t serve a purpose at other occasions or celebrations – anyone who reads this blog will know I’m a strong supporter of cake consumption on a pretty much regular basis – but very little can compete with a cake baked specially for a birthday. Whether it’s a simple sponge cake or a more extravagant affair, there’s something incredibly indulgent about a confection created especially for you.

However, while cakes can be beautiful, delicious and a joy to eat, it’s sometimes hard to recreate the utterly magical birthday feeling you get as a child, that sensation of complete surprise and delight. When deciding what to make for a friend’s birthday last week, I wanted to inject just a little bit of that childhood magic back into my baking. A lovingly made cake is a good start, but I needed something to make it extra special.

The answer? Popping candy. Continue reading