Peach & Prosecco Lollies

Can you believe that I had never tried Prosecco until my friend bought me a bottle for my 21st birthday?!

Since then I have decided that every occasion, no matter how small definitely deserves a tipple. I swear I’m only a little bit addicted… (Everything in moderation eh!)

I’ve loved experimenting with pimping my Prosecco, adding elderflower is another love of mine!

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For this blog post I thought I’d show how easy it is to make peach Prosecco lollies – they are floral and fragrant, subtly sweet and a little tangy! Find the recipe below.

I’ve been so thankful that we’ve had a few days of sun lately, so these are the perfect lolly to enjoy in the garden as the sun is setting.

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I love the pretty peach colour of them, and if you don’t follow me on Instagram, you won’t have experienced my full edible flower obsession (lucky you). How beautiful do these look?!

Here’s what you’ll need: Makes 6 lollies

4 white peaches (I prefer white fleshed peaches to yellow ones. Yellow have a more tart, slightly stronger taste, whereas white peaches are much more sweet and fragrant. Generally flat peaches have white flesh.)

1tsp sugar

1tbsp lemon juice

225ml prosecco (37ml per lolly depending on the size of your moulds)

lolly moulds

food processor/blender optional

How to make them:

Remove the peach flesh from the stones and either place into a small bowl and thoroughly mash to a puree, or blitz in a blender.

Add the sugar and lemon juice and puree again.

Put the mixture into a large jug and slowly pour in the Prosecco whilst gently stirring the puree into the Prosecco.

Pour into your chosen moulds, and don’t forget the lolly sticks! Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

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Millie xxx

 

Hot Cross Buns (and my take on Easter)

Easter is fast approaching but I reckon there’s just enough time to crack on with some last minute baking before family arrive. Cue my Hot Cross Bun recipe.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have a bit of a sultana complex in the fact that I dislike them so much that I feel like I’m actually chewing on a slug whenever I eat them, not fun! So these are sultana free but packed full of a mix of slightly less traditional dried fruit! I think the mixture makes these  so much more special.

I found a ‘luxury berry mix’ in my local health food shop and it contains dried cranberries, blueberries, golden berries (cape gooseberry/physalis) and raisins.

Cape gooseberries are a little sharper and have a satisfying crunch to them, which when mixed with all the other berries adds so much depth.

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A candid shot of my mum eating one of of these straight out of the oven. Apparently they smelled too good to wait until after I’d finished taking photos 😉

I’ll pop the recipe at the bottom!

I remember childish conversations with my older brother about whether we’d stand in front of each other if one of our lives was at risk (morbid, I know!) and I’m sure we came to the conclusion that we’d take a bullet for each other. Thinking as an adult, I know I love my brother and all my family and friends so much but I obviously  hope to never be in that situation. It makes the story of Easter so much more real for me though.

As a Christian, Easter is so much more to me than hot cross buns, chocolate eggs and bunny rabbits. It is a time to remember the importance of Jesus’ death on the cross, and how it means that through him, we can come to God our father and have a very personal relationship with him.

I was reading Isaiah 53 and verse 5 says ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.’

We are healed. Jesus has taken that bullet for us. For me. No ifs and no buts. God loves me so so much that he let his son die (and rise from the dead) as a sacrifice to pay for my sins so that I could be close to him.

That’s love.

I can talk about hypothetically dying for my family but I haven’t. But Jesus did. He did it for me because he loves me. How beautiful is that?

For those of you that aren’t Christians that read my blog, heres the recipe now, I promise!!

Ingredients:

275ml Milk

1 tsp/ Half a Sachet of Fast Action Yeast

2 tbsp Sugar

2 tbsp oil

500g Plain Flour

1tsp Salt

1 tsp All Spice

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Cloves

1/2 tsp Ginger

100g Raisins

100g Mixed Peel or Luxury Dried Berry mix (cranberries/blueberries/golden berries/raisins)

Zest and juice of 2 Oranges

Crosses

6 tbsp Plain Flour

3 tbsp Water

Mix to a paste

Glaze

2 tbsp Caster Sugar

4 tbsp Fresh Orange Juice

Method

Heat the milk in a saucepan until its warm but you can still dip a finger in it comfortably.  Off the heat mix in the yeast and sugar and set aside

In a separate bowl, mix together your flour, spices, salt, zest and dried fruit.

Pour in the oil, milk mixture and orange juice. Bring all the ingredients together by hand until you have a combined dough.

Very lightly flour a board and knead the dough for 5 minutes until it is smooth.

Leave it in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and place in a warm spot for about an hour, or until its doubled in size.

Knead for another 10 minutes and divide into 12 equal balls.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius.

Place spaced out in a lined baking tray, cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove for another 1 hour until they have doubled in size again.

Once proved, remove the cling film, pipe over the flour mixture in crosses and put in the oven for 2o minutes until golden.

Whilst they are baking, put your glaze ingredients in a pan and boil for 5-6 minutes until it has a syrupy consistency.

Brush over the warm buns.

Break open and serve with a generous spread of butter.

Enjoy! Millie xxxx

 

Earl Grey Meringue Kisses

It’s not very often that I will gladly blow my own trumpet, but I am going to toot away about these meringues. Not like that.

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You know when you eat something and it is just perfect? Well these are just perfect. And I promise it’s not just me that thinks this. I’ve managed to get my family and my work colleagues hooked on them too! I think we are all a little obsessed…

I sort of feel a bit Heston/Willy Wonka at the moment. Its so odd to bite in to a meringue and to feel like you are drinking a cup of deliciously citrus flavoured tea. Honestly these are so good!

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These are great for little gifts and I will 100% be creating my take on an Eton mess with them! If it goes well I’ll give a little update on here!

Earl Grey Meringue Kisses Ingredients: (makes approx. 3 baking trays of meringue kisses)

4 Large Egg Whites

300g Caster Sugar

1 1/2 tbsp Ground Earl Grey Tea Leaves (from about 5 tea bags)

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

Start slowly whisking your egg whites in an electric mixer to begin to form small air bubbles. This helps stabilise the meringue structure.

Whilst it is mixing, put the sugar in a lined baking tray to heat in the oven for 5 minutes. This step isn’t necessary but makes the sugar dissolve in the eggs much easier and it makes the meringues even glossier. (If you decide not to do this step, only preheat your oven to 100 degrees C.)

Turn up your mixer to a high speed and mix the egg whites until you create stiff peaks.

Remove your sugar from the oven and turn it down to 100 degrees C.

With your mixer on a medium speed, add a tablespoon of the hot sugar at a time ensuring it has fully dissolved before adding more. (You can tell it has dissolved as it won’t feel gritty when rubbed in between your fingers.)

Once all the sugar is incorporated, whisk on high speed for 5 minutes and you will have stiff glossy peaks. Try holding your mixing bowl upside down – nothing should fall out!

Grind up your tea leaves in a pestle and mortar (although most leaves from teabags are finely ground enough) and fold with a spatula into the meringue mixture until combined.

Piping:

Put the mixture into a piping bag and cut the tip off to create a hole about the size of a 10 pence piece.

Pipe onto a baking tray lined with silicone or greaseproof paper. To pipe, hold the bag horizontally about an inch above the tray, slowly squeeze the bag, and gently pull up to form the peak.

Alternatively, spread into large circles on a lined baking sheet to make pavlova layers.

Place the trays into the oven and bake until they can be gently lifted off the paper. This usually takes 40 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven. Only open the oven door to check after they have been baking for at least 30 minutes… be prepared for the amazing smell that will engulf you as you open the door!

Leave to cool completely, and then enjoy!

Millie xxx

Messy Eclairs

Lemon and Berry Eclairs

I’ll be completely honest, I had no plan to make or photograph these eclairs for my blog- hence the slightly disheveled decoration. But then I thought ‘why not! They still look cute!’. 

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The mixture of the sweet but lemony cream and tart berries is such a delicate, classic pairing and makes a delicious alternative to your regular chocolate eclair.

As there were a few left the day after, I got my brother to take some photos (payment in eclairs obviously) so if the icing has gone patchy from the juices in the berries that’s why! I’d recommend topping them with berries just before serving.

I am a bit of a perfectionist and these don’t look quite as neat as I’d like but I promise they tasted good.

I’ll pop the recipe and ingredients below.

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I managed to find a choux pastry recipe from Sadaharu Aoki, a top pastry chef in Paris, and I just improvised when it came to the glaze and filling!

Choux Pastry Ingredients (makes approx. 15 13cm eclairs) :

75g water, milk, and butter

5g salt and sugar

100g strong white flour (sifted)

3 eggs (gently beaten)

Piping bag and small nozzle with about 16 teeth

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Method: Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

  1. Gently simmer the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a pan until the butter has melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in all the flour until it is fully combined.
  3. Place back on the heat and and mix the dough for about two minutes to cook out the flour. Be careful not to scrape off the starchy layer that will appear at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Take off the heat and stir for another two minutes to release some steam. Add in half the eggs and mix until combined.
  5. Slowly add in the remaining eggs making sure it is all combined well.
  6. With the nozzle in the piping bag, place the pastry into the bag and carefully pipe about 15 lines onto a baking sheet with baking paper on. Each one should be about 13 inches long maximum.
  7. Dust with icing sugar and bake for 35 minutes or until a deeper golden brown colour is achieved.Leave to cool completely.

Filling and Topping

For the filling I just whisked until soft peaks a small tub of double cream (whipping cream is probably better as its a bit lighter but I made do with the ingredients I had) 1 tbsp icing sugar, the zest of 1 lemon and 2 tsp lemon juice. Put the cream in a piping bag, make a hole in the end of the eclair and pipe it in!

For the glaze, I defrosted a handful of mixed berries and separated the juice that they produced into a small bowl. The berry juice adds a natural pink flush to the icing, but feel free to colour with gel food colourings.

I then mixed about 200g of icing sugar, with a couple of the teaspoons of berry juice and a good squeeze of lemon juice until I got a thick water icing mixture. Dip the eclairs in the icing, scatter with berries and you are done!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is nothing better than a freshly made eclair – the cream has had no time to make the pastry soggy so you get the perfect balance between the crisp outer shell and the soft centre.

Enjoy! Millie xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ditsy Flowers

Happy birthday to the most incredible of mums. My most favourite human being, closely followed by my cat.

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I made these Lemon and Elderflower Mini Loaf Cakes for my mum for her birthday.  She is a lover of flowers, and right on cue in time for her birthday my edible flowers bloomed. The mixture of cornflowers, chamomile, lavender (and mint) just looked so pretty on these cakes.

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I decided to decorate with a mixture of crystallised and fresh petals and whole flowers. My kitchen looked like a flower fairies haven whilst making these!

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Take your favourite cupcake recipe (for 24 cupcakes), add 1 tablespoon of elderflower cordial and the zest of 1 lemon to the mix and bake as normal.

I added a syrup over the loaves when they were still warm which infused the flavour even more throughout the cakes. All I did was heat the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of elderflower cordial and 55 grams of caster sugar until all the sugar had dissolved!

Pour over the cakes when warm, holding back enough syrup to add to some icing sugar for the frosted icing on the top.

Enjoy!

Millie xxx

Watermelon Frenzy Take Two

I promised I would, and here it is. My favourite savoury watermelon recipe – ‘Watermelon Salsa’.

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I’ve never been a massive fan of salsa from jars – it always seems to be either too spicy/too vinegary/too watery for me.

This watermelon salsa has the most perfect blend of heat and sweet and I’d eat a whole bowl if I could.

Its very easy to make, but I’d say the finer chopped the better, so if you have the chopping patience it’s well worth it!

My mouth is honestly watering right now thinking about scooping salty tortilla chips into this juicy salsa… haha!

Read below for the ingredients.

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Ingredients  – (Makes 1 large bowl of salsa)

3 Cups Watermelon (finely diced)

1 Cucumber (finely diced)

1 Jalapeno (finely diced)

1/2 Red Onion (finely diced, add the whole onion if your a big onion fan!)

5-10 Basil leaves (finely chopped)

Zest of 1 Lime

Juice of 3 Limes

1 tbsp Caster Sugar

1/2 tsp Ground Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt

Method

  • Finely chop the watermelon, cucumber, jalapeno, onion and basil and put into a large bowl.
  • In a smaller bowl, mix both the lime zest and juice, sugar and pepper until the sugar has mostly dissolved.
  • Pour the liquid over the chopped ingredients and toss gently.
  • Sprinkle the salt over the top and gently mix.

This is a great party/picnic/sharing recipe, if you can manage to avoid eating it all yourself.

Enjoy!

Millie xxx

Watermelon Frenzy

I have been in my element with the amazing weather this week.

As soon as the sun comes out, I feel obliged to buy a ginormous watermelon and pretend that I’m sat by a pool in the South of France munching on slice after slice…

I’m pretty sure none of us could get through a whole watermelon in one sitting though (challenge?!) so I’ve decided to share a couple of my favourite watermelon recipes over the next few days to avoid letting one half of it get forgotten about in the bottom of the fridge!

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These icy watermelon slushies are amazing.

Just cube up some watermelon, chuck it in the freezer for a few hours, preferably overnight and whizz up in a blender. I like to mix guava juice in with mine to get the perfect consistency but you can add anything! Water… lemonade… be creative!

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I did look like a bit of a numpty sprawled out on the grass photographing drinks but it was definitely worth it.

Keep your eyes peeled for my next watermelon recipe, its a savoury one (whaaat) but its delish.

Enjoy! xxx