Chocolate Custard

I love vanilla custard but sadly it doesn’t quite go with everything (almost everything but not quite!). That’s where chocolate custard comes in, ready to be poured onto delicious warm chocolate puddings or a black forest trifle.

This chocolate custard is a small tweak from my regular vanilla custard recipe, simply adding some chocolate and a little less vanilla (it’s nice to have a bit but you don’t want it to be overpowering). If you don’t really fancy making your own from scratch, but have some ready-made vanilla custard to hand, then I’ll also show you how to turn it into the chocolatey version…

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Hidden Hearts Cupcakes

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Sponsored by We Bake

With Mother’s Day fast approaching I’ve been challenged by We Bake to create something perfect for making with kids and what is more perfect that cupcakes covered in hearts with a secret heart inside.

These cupcakes are great for baking with little ones as they combine all the things my boys love about cooking… The cake mixture is really simple – put it all in a bowl and mix, you get to use cutters, you get to use food colour and best of all you get to use as many sprinkles as you possibly can to decorate the top.

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Coffee Buttercream

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One of my all-time favourite cakes is coffee and walnut. If I spot it in the cake cabinet in a cafe it takes a serious amount of willpower not to sneak it onto my tray. In my opinion, the key to a great coffee and walnut cake is a really good coffee buttercream, so I’ve been busy in the kitchen getting mine just right…

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The Mix-and-Match Cupcake Creator

Cupcakes are a great way to get creative in the kitchen. You can make one kind of sponge, another buttercream and perhaps a hidden centre for a little surprise.

I’ve shared quite a few cupcake recipes on here over time, but (especially for my simpler ones) I’ve always tended to go for the obvious match – chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream, vanilla with vanilla, etc… so I wanted to create a place where you can find everything together, allowing you to mix and match to your heart’s content. I’ve also got a collection of my more creative cupcakes just in case you don’t fancy having to come up with the combinations yourself…

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SPAM® Potato Skins (and a Giveaway!)

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This year SPAM® turns 80 and what better time to join the celebrations than SPAM® Appreciation Week, which it just so happens is next week (6th-12th March 2017).

To help you join in the celebrations, SPAM® invited me to share with you one of their recipes – SPAM® Potato Skins, which I’ve eaten several times since being sent the recipe last week and they’re really very moreish. I think the secret is to cut up the SPAM® pieces so they’re quite small, they get a lovely crispness on the outside when fried whilst staying soft in the middle, and they go really well with the sour cream and potato-filling in these potato skins.

In addition to sharing this yummy recipe, I’ve got 5 SPAM® Bundles to be won a bit further down the page. If that wasn’t enough for you, I’ve also got details of the SPAM® Can Tour and how you can win a VIP trip to the Liverpool event…

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One-Pan Lamb Chops with Crispy Potatoes and Minty Peas

My husband Jon has a long commute to work, which means that the boys can’t wait for him to get home before having their dinner. As a result I’ll quite often end up cooking twice. As you can imagine, cooking (and then cleaning up) twice can take up a fair bit of my evening, so I like Jon’s dinners to be as quick and hassle-free as possible, with minimal cleaning up if I can help it.

This one-pan lamb chops recipe is perfect for our mid-week dinners as (as the name suggests) it’s all cooked in the one pan, so there’s very little washing up and it’s ready in under half an hour too…

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(Better than at the Cinema) Sweet Popcorn

Since Christmas we have a new tradition in our house – Sunday film night. It’s something we’d attempted to start in the past but the boys never seemed to have a long enough attention span. Finally it’s working and it’s something we look forward to every week. We’ve recently subscribed to both Netflix and Amazon Prime and so try to choose things on there if we can. If you’ve got any recommendations for films the boys would enjoy on there (they’re 4 and 6) that Jon and I could happily sit through too then let me know in the comments.

One big part of family film night is the food. I always make a picnic-style tea which we eat together in the lounge and a big bowl of homemade sweet popcorn for pudding. It’s so simple to make and much cheaper than buying it ready-made…

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Homemade Strawberry Jam

Jam-making is one of those things that remind my of my childhood, or more specifically visiting my grandparents down in Devon. They lived up in the hills on the edge of a village and had a big garden full of homegrown goodies. At breakfast and tea time there was always a jar of homemade jam on the table whipped up by my Granny from something they’d grown (or blackberries we’d picked from along the lane)…

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Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

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As promised, here’s the recipe for my yummy chocolate cupcakes, all ready for the creation of my build-your-own cupcakes index which I’ve been busy working on and will be sharing with you soon. The idea is to have all of my cupcakes and buttercream recipes in one place so you can mix and match (with maybe a hidden centre in the middle too 🙂 ). The index is also going to have a round up of all of my fancier cupcake creations, such as raspberry trifle, white russian or millionaires’ shortbread as well…

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Win a Ciao Gusto Hamper

I’m excited to be bringing you a very delicious giveaway, your chance to win a hamper full of goodies from Ciao Gusto.

You may not have heard of Ciao Gusto before, but I’m sure you’ll know of some of their products. They bring together around 30 authentic Italian foods from Filippo Berio olive oil to Cirio tomatoes to Giovanni Rana pasta. Many brands that are regulars in my kitchen, as well as a few that are new to me and I’m looking forward to trying soon…

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