As I stand on the train, crushed between other Londoners laden down with various bags, gym kits, laptops, shoe changes, make up and other every day essentials, I one day started to wonder whether my rucksack full of food in addition to the aforementioned items was representative of a standard London lunch.

The following day, I took a picture of my lunch and posted it on Facebook, for a sense of affirmation that everyone else ate as much for lunch as I do. The response I received, appeared to indicate apparently not.

Lunch #1

So I posted again the following Monday, as these tend to be high Tupperwear intensity days. Again, positive responses and intrigued friends enquiring as to contents of said, generic, plastic food containers. (Please note that the use of the word Tupperware is as a generic brand and purely synonym for food container, rather than any particular endorsement of the Tupperware brand over others.

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It seems that others do eat less than me for lunch on most given days, since my towering plastic stack does not even stand for the totality of my daily food consumption. Porridge, breakfast biscuits, nuts and chocolate are in my desk drawer / storage cabinet.

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I like to claim that this is amplified lunch stash is due to the fact that I tend to eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner at work. As an ex-colleague and healthy living ninja consultant friend of mine, Sarah, sighed, at least if you have to eat dinner at your desk it is home made.

I don’t always get time to leave the office during the day, and the fear of not having sufficient snacks to banish any hunger pangs during the day feels me with an even greater fear than having to stand the entire commute from Tooting to Blackfriars (how on earth would I put my make up on then!?).

So, you may just want to know now exactly what is lying inside the contents of my boxes of foodie pleasure? Here are some of the recipe and snacks I have used:
– Boiled egg and veggie (Quorn, etc) sausage for brekkie, washed down with a latte
– Berries to add to my high protein yoghurt for second breakfast
– Peanut butter and marmite sandwiches on brown / soya bread
– Soup as I like a warm lunch, e.g. Hemsley and Hemsley (see here) or a good old tomato and basil for first lunch
– Some sort of carb/ veg/ protein dish such as an omelette, sweet potato and feta salad or roast veg with halloumi or prawn stir fry for second lunch
– Slice of cake or muffin remaining from the weekend’s baking activities
– Other afternoon snacks such as sugar snap peas and crudites to have with a dip or the odd bean salad that Will brings home from his long days away.

I cook or prepare most of the more time-consuming elements of this ensemble on a Sunday night, in order to last me the week. Store cupboard staples such as porridge, popcorn, breakfast biscuits (e.g. Belvita), and chocolate in addition to the above are kept at work.

What do you eat for lunch in the office? I’d love to share recipe ideas!

I had been thinking about making Swedish St Lucia buns since I watched Paul and Mary’s Christmas Masterclass in December. I then discussed the brightly coloured balls of goodness with Bronya (of brioche fame) over Christmas, and decided to make some myself. Coincidentally Will and I were off to Stockholm in mid Jan, and so it seemed like a good idea all round.

I am not a big fan of bread making, however I figured that the more I do it the less I will be scared of yeast failure, and less confused by the way that it seems to have a life of it’s own.

I followed the recipe of Mr Paul Hollywood himself, which you will find here, and actually it all worked out OK. I loved the brightly coloured saffron and the way it infused in to the milk.

Milk and saffron  Infused saffron

Whilst the recipe is straight forward, what takes the time is the double proving of the dough. I put my dough under the kitchen radiator in a bowl covered in cling film, since Paul suggested a warm, dry place to undertake the activity.

dough    Shaped dough

I watched with satisfaction as, true to form, the dough did double in size over a few hours. I then shaped the dough in to the suggested S, bull and cross shapes, and completed the look with raisins in appropriate crevices of dough. Just after 25 minutes in the oven, these golden yellow little beauties appeared.

image9   image10

 

A last minute egg wash pre-cooking gave a lovely shiny glaze and I would definitely recommend doing so. The saffron flavour was sweet but subtle, and they were nice buttered with breakfast or as a midday desk-based snack.

We had a great time in snowy Stockholm, not just for the lovely scenery but for the delicious cakes. Our favourite was definitely the Princess cake, regally coated in green marzipan and filled with light vanilla sponge, custard AND cream!

 

 

 

 

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We also really enjoyed what seemed to be the cake version of a Viennese whirl, and a delicious cardamon – vanilla cream filled doughnut / muffin! Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

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Our next adventure will most likely be our wedding, which has been keeping me reasonably busy! I would like to write some blog posts on healthy eating for brides, since it is quite a challenge for me, so watch this space.

 

 

Hello my little pumpkins and happy Halloween!

I’m not sure when it became a “thing” to wish people a happy Halloween in the warm autumnal daylight of this fine Friday, but still, if a colleague says it to me then I am more than happy to return the greeting.

To honour the occasion, I had made a pumpkin pie. That, and the need to empty out some of the tins from my grocery cupboard. I have made what you could call a “proof of concept” in consulting language, a quick and easy version of pumpkin pie in order to test out the feasibility of using a real pumpkin.

In addition, I conveniently had all of the ingredients in stock, including a tin of pumpkin puree that I bought LAST Halloween – it was still in date though, I checked!

Pumpkin puree

The back of the pumpkin puree tin detailed a recipe, details of which can  be found here

It really was very easy, and just included the two tins above, two eggs, some sweet pastry and some tasty spices…spices

I blind baked the pastry case, and then mixed all the ingredients together with a hand whisk. Pour the mixture in to the pastry case, and bake for approximately 50 minutes.

Pre-oven

I probably cooked mine for either a little too long or at a little too high a temperature, as the pie came out a little brown on top. However this really did not impact the taste at all. In no way did it taste burnt and was still moist and full of sweet, spicy flavour.

cooked pie

Whilst Americans may enjoy pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, I was quite happy to enjoy a slice with a cup of tea. Far more English… pie slice

Despite being on holiday / wedmin trip in Northern Italy, news of the GBBO #bincident earlier on in the series and the scandal it created reached my ears last week.

After dwelling upon the “bincident”, and other more mainstream portmanteaux (a word formed by blending sounds from two or more distinct words and combining their meanings – Wikipedia) – Brangelina probably being the least academic of them, my mind wandered to the fairly modern world of sweet dessert hybrids. Despite never having seen a cronut (croissant and doughnut) in real life, I get the picture, and quite enjoyed an apple and cinnamon duffin (doughnut and muffin) once in Starbucks.

It was by complete coincidence then, that in the Asda magazine that I picked up last week, there were recipes for aTownie and Pieclair.

I had thought it was an invention of the ever-impressive Asda magazine, however Bea’s of Bloomsbury is claiming the title according to this article.
http://www.today.com/food/move-over-cronut-its-time-townie-6C10411620

Joe and Sophie (Jophie?) were coming to stay, so I thought it an appropriate occasion to trial this new idea. I used a combination of the Asda magazine (paper form only I’m afraid) and this recipe that I found online. http://sortedfood.com/#!/townie/

Starting with a sweet dessert pastry base, I part-baked the shell in a silicone mould to make it easier to remove the townie once finished.

sweet pastry

I then added the tasty pecan mixture. I don’t often cook with nuts and so found it hard to tell when the mixture had cooked sufficiently.

pre-baked pecans

It did rise up a little and go nice and golden brown though.

post-cooked pecans

I made a brownie mixture in much the same way that I would make triple chocolate brownies https://lydiatoson.com/2013/09/08/coveted-triple-chocolate-brownies/ and poured on top of the baked pecan mixture. 20 minutes in the oven later, smelling superbly chocolatey, was my townie!

Chocolate townie     baked townie

I was rather pleased with my townie, I liked the encasing of a chocolate brownie, although in retrospect I probably overdid it slightly, so keep an eye on it is my recommendation!

Still, it was very tasty whether served warm or cold. Oh and the little ones were good for lunchboxes, and more robust  to being knocked about during the morning commute than a normal brownie.

I may go for a pieclair (yep – a pie made of eclairs!) or a pike (apple pie atop a raspberry cake) next…

Wow, summer is going by very quickly so far! In the midst of wedding season, and as I am preparing to make a cross-channel wedding cake, I thought I would share some pictures of cakes that I have made to date for dear friends to celebrate their amazing weddings.

According to Wikipedia, one of the first traditions relating to wedding cakes began in Ancient Rome where bread was broken over the bride’s head to bring good fortune to the couple. In medieval England, cakes were stacked as high as possible for the bride and groom to kiss over, if they successfully kissed over the stack they were guaranteed a prosperous life together.

It is such an honour to be part of a good friend’s wedding by making their wedding cake, and following a drunken conversation at a hen do I received a call the next day from Kiren, one of my best friends, just to check that I was still OK to make her wedding cake. Hours of practice and many carrot cakes later, there we had it. Sufficient wedding cake for 300 people at her and Raj’s beautiful, colourful and joyous wedding.

Cutting cake

At the bride’s request, I made everything as carrot cake, including three lots of two-tired cakes with cream cheese frosting and a pile of rose-topped cupcakes. I had some ornate sugarcraft flowers and a lovely plaque and personalised cake knife to commemorate the day.

Cakes

I also made lots of back up cakes for the caterers to cut up, but after an all-day eating extravaganza there was so still much cake left!

There was so much cake left after all the delicious food, that the bride wandered amongst her guests encouraging them to eat more!

Beautiful bride enjoying her cake!

I was so excited when some other great friends Vic and Ro wanted me to make their wedding cake for their summer garden party – themed wedding. They are such creative, fun people themselves that I knew their wedding would be great fun – and it was!

 

Happy couple

They wanted a relaxed, colourful feel which is why we used fresh flowers for the cake decorations. I knew that I was on to a good thing when, the morning before the wedding, I went to a florist in Thame, Buckinghamshire to collect the flowers that I had planned to use on the cakes, and there was a collection of flowers waiting there for Mary Berry! Talk about a good baking omen!

Coconut ice and biscuits BrowniesChocolate cake Love is sweet

I really enjoyed making the different cakes, including chocolate orange and Victoria sponge, as well as the other treats such as coconut ice, chocolate brownies and jammy dodger biscuits.

There was a slight issue in the 30 degrees heatwave that came from nowhere, but still we managed to keep the flowers looking fresh by not assembling the cakes until just before the meal. Luckily Vic’s mum who was hosting the wedding in her wonderful garden had a huge kitchen. I did have to demand that the caterers moved their 80+ creme brulees out of my cake fridge in order to store the cream-cheese frosted carrot cake centre piece, but all’s well that ends well, right?!

Carrot cake
I think my favourite decoration though was the miniature teaset that I stumbled upon whilst browsing eBay for teapot necklaces. It was too sweet not to use and I thought the perfect decoration for such a classic cake as Victoria sponge.
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Right, I’d best get back to finishing off the icing of my Dutch cousin Niek’s wedding cake ahead of his marriage to the lovely Ismay. I’m excited about hearing them say Ja (“I do!) and celebrating Dutch style!

Lambs are in the fields, and daffodils on the streets on Tooting. Spring is here.  Along with the showers, sunshine and flowers of March comes Mother’s day, closely followed by Easter (to be discussed separately).

Two tea-related recipes coincided over the week before Mother’s day, although as usual there is some delay in writing about them. The first was camomile and vanilla gluten-free cupcakes, and the second some teapot shaped cakes for mum and the M.I.L. I do love tea, and teapots, and tea cups, and afternoon tea, and most tea-related activities.

Whilst on a weekend in Essex visiting friends, we went to an antiques market and I came across a musical teapot. Made in 1950s Japan, this fairly ordinary looking teapot has a clockwork mechanism underneath it that means it plays a tune every time the teapot is lifted. You have to wind it up occasionally, and I had to buy it immediately. This may have been the start of the revival in us drinking tea from the pot.

Teapot and cakes

Is it tea cupcakes? Or teacup cakes? I’m not too sure of the correct terminology, but either ways these cakes really do taste of vanilla and camomile, and are lovely served with a pot of camomile tea, or in our case, Sri Lankan Ceylon tea.

I made the cakes in silicone teacups, using Ruby Tandoh’s camomile cake recipe for the Guardian here, however substituted gluten-free flour as I had my aunt and uncle, Moy and Keith, coming over one sunny Sunday afternoon. The camomile buttercream icing set them off perfectly and was not too sweet.

The cakes were rather dry; I blame the gluten-free flour, which tends to suck moisture out of most cakes. I would try them again with ground almonds instead. However if you did want to use gluten-free flour you could just increase the quantity of tea and butter liquids, I’d say by 30%.

Camomile cakes

Following from the antiques fair success of my musical teapot, and the (relative) flavour success of camomile and vanilla, I had been thinking about teapots and tea and cakes, and thinking about teapot cakes. It took me several days of the journey to and from work to conceptualise what I wanted to make, but eventually I managed to spend Tuesday night the week before colouring fondant icing and making handles and spouts, and flowers and hearts. I wanted them to firm up before I put them on to cakes, so they needed a few days to dry out.

Thursday night was planned for making cakes, but after a long day at work one drink with a colleague turned in to several more and Friday night was a bit of a rush to get the two cakes made.  I did manage it though, and used a giant cupcake mould in addition to two Pyrex bowls to get two slightly different globe-shaped cakes. I used a basic chocolate sponge recipe and cream cheese frosting to sandwich the two halves together. I had to carve some stray bits of cake off to smooth out the shape of the cakes.

I covered one cake in fondant icing that I had rolled out thinly, and added an extra bit on top to make the lid. I used some runny white icing to stick on my flowers and hearts. Because I had to transport the cakes to Bristol I didn’t put the handle and spout on to the cake until we got there. I didn’t fancy our chances of getting it down the M4 intact!

Teapot flowers

The handles and spouts crumbled when I tried to assemble the teapot cakes on the Friday night, however I think this is because I didn’t put cocktail sticks in to them as supports until the icing had already firmed up several days later. If I was going to make them again, I would definitely make sure I do this on the day I shape the fondant. Luckily I used Fimo as a backup and it only took a few minutes to cook it once I quickly shaped some pieces. I would suggest using Fimo even though it is not edible, as it is a lot sturdier.

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I didn’t take any pictures of the assembly process, however did do a Google search on “teapot cakes” and got some ideas from sites such as this one here

I used cream cheese frosting with lilac food colouring for my second teapot cake, and decorated it with flowers, lid, handle and spout in a similar fashion. I really enjoyed making the cakes and although they were not 100% perfect, they were lovingly made and I’m sure I could do a neater job of icing them next time.

M.I.L. teapot

It was great to make a mother’s day pressie that was enjoyed by all the family, including myself, and the cakes did not last long at all! I’d say they provide 6-8 medium-sized slices of cake so it isn’t really a sufficiently large volume of cake for a big celebration, instead better suited for family times.

Happy springtime!

Flowers

Biscuit postcards

Wow, so it’s mid-February already, how did that happen? The weather has been blowing a gale here in London along side the non-stop rain. What else to do on rainy days other than experiment with new recipes and bake, of course?!

During January (notebly absent from my blog) I discovered a number of delicious veggie curry dishes as well as soupy/ stewy staples. Since it was Valentine’s day yesterday I thought I’d share some of the treats I made my sweetheart (cheesey, I know!)

First up and actually not for Valentine’s day but to sweeten up the people I am working with, some white chocolate and fresh raspberry cookies, which to be fair are red and white-themed.

Raspberry and white chocolate cookies

The recipe I used was another gem from the Carnation website, and these truly taste delicious. Soft, chewy, and full of chocolate and fruit, I think they are a tastier, fresher and preservative / junk free version of the ones you can buy in the supermarket in brown paper bags. They also stay fresh for quite a few days (if they last that long!).

Using this recipe I found that rolling the dough in to balls worked a lot better than trying to flatten it out. The cookies flatten and expand a lot whilst cooking so space them apart and only put a few on each baking tray. Patience is a virtue, plus you get to eat the early batches whilst the rest are cooking!

Also, use frozen raspberries if you wanted to, as they are a) cheaper and b) easier to squidge in to the dough. Unlike fresh raspberries they don’t fall apart under pressure.

So, cookies are good. Always good.

On to Valentine’s day. I had George the tortoise in the spirit of things…

Valentine's tortoise

…and was even given a belated tortoise birthday cake that week by my talented friend Steph. It tasted very chocolatey!

Cake

On to my Valentine’s iced biscuits. It took me a while to find a recipe that I was happy with, I wanted it to be interesting (not bland) and also not to expand too much so that the biscuits would lose their shape.

Using a spiced biscuit recipe not dissimilar to the one I used at Christmas from Ocado,  I then used roll out fondant icing to make these envelope biscuits, inspired by Domestic Sluttery’s efforts (http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2013/02/baking-for-beginners-valentines.html). I loved this idea, since I love things all stationery and letter-writing. Edible letter-writing!? Yes please!

The biscuit recipe is so easy, although I would recommend chilling the dough for 30 minutes in the fridge since this does stop the biscuits from spreading and losing their shape whilst cooking.

I purchased some edible icing pens online and admittedly could do with some practice, since this was my first attempt at using them. I rolled out fondant icing and stuck them on to a biscuits with a little glace icing.

Biscuits

I made a selection of biscuits with lemon glace icing, although again I think I need to practice my “flood icing” technique. After all, practice makes perfect right?!

Messy biccies

Since we are still in the Christmas spirit time of year, I reckon it’s not too late to write a little about some of the festive feats that I attempted in the build up to Christmas day. I can also introduce you to George, the latest addition to our family and the finest tortoise in all of Tooting, South London!

George

More cards

Taking inspiration from a couple of my favourite chefs I made some “edible Christmas cards” for friends and family. I love to give and receive home-made gifts and these are all straight forward to make. Positive feedback all round, and the biscuits and chocs looked pretty when packaged up in some Orla Kiely gift boxes.

Edible Christmas card Boxes

I needed recipes for biscuits that wouldn’t go stale within a day or two. Requiring a recipe for guaranteed success, I used Delia Smith’s shortbread recipe (http://www.deliaonline.com/how-to-cook/baking/all-about-shortbread.html) which I then spiced up with orange zest, dried cranberries and drizzled with white chocolate. See the heart and teapot shaped biscuits below.

Platter

Frances Quinn’s amazing Christmas creation for the Telegraph, which featured owls, pinecones, stars, and was simply beautiful. I used her gingerbread leaf recipe to create a much simpler, Christmas tree-shaped biscuit. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/10526360/Bake-Off-Frances-Quinns-12-Days-of-Christmas-recipes.html

Christmas tree

The little round cups are Millionaire’s Shortbread (https://lydiatoson.com/2013/12/08/millionaires-shortbread-for-mum/), making them in little cases makes them easier to pack up and prevents crumbly bottoms.

Packing up

The Carnation website also has a fail-proof coconut ice recipe (http://www.carnation.co.uk/Recipes/70/Coconut-Ice). I like to use the coarsely grated desiccated coconut (who knew it came in three grain sizes!?) from the Sri Lankan mini market around the corner from our flat. You have to leave the coconut ice to set for at least a few hours after assembly, so this is one to make in advance. I made mini bounty bars by double dipping the coconut ice pieces in good quality dark chocolate, melted over a bain-marie.

In addition to foodie bits, I crafted together some non-edible Christmas cards for those I wanted to correspond with via Royal Mail. I happened to lose my list of “cards to be sent”, resulting in some friends and family receiving no cards whilst others received two. Oops! I will send out New Year’s cards once I have worked out who received what!

Tree cards  cards Tree card

Each little envelope on this card contained a message on a tiny piece of paper, or some glitter and Christmas sparkle.

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Running out of time to make a card for everyone, I found these Tooting salutations at the Broadway market.

Tooting cards

I made a gingerbread house to take round to my lovely friend Lucy’s house over the festive season, which was good fun although some structural improvisation was required to get the roof to fit.

Gingerbread house

I also missed the opportunity to photograph George the tortoise with any edible treats, however I did lend my Christmas present to my friends at www.moorechampagne.com as they launched their online media campaign the week before Christmas. Check them out for unique and distinctive grand cru grower champagnes, perfect for celebrations and enjoyment at any time of year.

Moore Champagne

I think that’s probably all for now, although my next blog may well feature some Moore Champagne in the form of celebratory New Year cakes, and possibly George too.

I say this to friends on a fairly regular basis, but I am a big advocate of soup. It is usually super healthy, low fat and nutritious, using inexpensive and easily available ingredients. No matter how tasty a salad or sandwich may be, soup for workday lunch is lovely and soothing.

Imagine my pleasant surprise then, when on my Twitter newsfeed pops up a link from Vogue. On the subject of soup. Most surprising.

http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com/recipe/broccoli-ginger-white-bean-soup/

http://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/2013/10/16/hemsley-hemsley-roasted-butternut-tomato-soup-with-rosemary

Hemsley & Hemsley

I have made soup since my student days, many moons ago. A few years I ago was encouraged in my experimentation by flatmate Gill exclaiming from the kitchen to my bedroom upstairs how creamy my tomato and roasted red pepper soup was. I also used to test new recipes on Bec and Tom, my good school friends and short-term housemates, when we resided in the Grove Palace of Birmingham.

I have continued with my testing, and have had some fails (notably tofu and broccoli whilst living in Tunbridge Wells which ended up the consistency of blancmanche). I am always happy to try a recipe once, and whilst sceptical of some of the slightly more exotic ingredients (what exactly IS Tamari? Some relative of tamarind?) in the Vogue recipe, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and spent a few hours in the kitchen one Sunday afternoon.

Tomato and squash

I am really rather glad I did give them a go. They are easy to follow and go in to detail about the nutritional benefits of each key ingredient, making you feel as though you‘ve done something great before you have even started!

I’d high recommend both for simplicity, healthiness and, most importantly, tasting delicious! I adapted the broccoli and ginger soup recipe slightly, using miso paste and hot water instead of “bone broth”, and coconut oil instead of flaxseed oil.

Broccolli and ginger

You blend all the ingredients at the end so it has a smooth, creamy texture. I warned my long-suffering new-recipe taster Will that there was no fat in this soup, no cream or cheese that he usually enjoys, and that in fact it was a vegan recipe. There was, however, little hesitation to try the soup since it smelled amazing, warm and of ginger, coriander and coconut.

Blending

I was pleasantly surprised upon his announcement that it was one of the tastiest soups he had ever eaten. A brief debate ensued, regarding who was going to take the final portion to work. I won, since the chef always wins such debates…

Due to the “storm” that was about to hit London (even Barry the Thames Barrier has gone down) on Thursday, my train to the gym was severely delayed, therefore I abandoned exercise and was able to come home from work at a decent time.

My Mum and Dad were coming late last Sunday night, determined that we would fit in a Lebanese at a newly opened local establishment down the road upon arrival. The purpose of their visit was some minor DIY, and I needed to give them energy whilst tiling my kitchen windowsill the following morning.

So I recreated one of Mum’s favourite biscuits, if that is indeed the culinary category in which this treat falls. Millionaire’s shortbread. What better tea time (or any time) treat?

Sparkly shortbread

Crunchy shortbread biscuit, a large amount of soft, sweet, caramel, and a definitive dense chocolate topping, The chocolate and biscuit are working together to hold in that caramel, and the ratio of biscuit to caramel in this recipe is far more generous than most shop bought equivalents (and of course contains no nasty preservatives).

As has been a feature of several recent(ish) posts, I have borrowed someone else’s recipe (in this case Carnation’s, of condensed milk fame) and adapted it a little.

http://www.carnation.co.uk/recipes/60/Millionaires-Shortbread

This is a rather simple recipe, and you don’t even need a sugar thermometer to get the caramel right (see reference to disastrous macarons in previous post I am still holding out for one for Christmas).

I have made this recipe several times, and feel that I am close to perfecting it. I find the base works best when you blitz the shortbread in the food processor, finer crumbs = sturdier biscuit base. This is the cheat’s shortbread base, you can also make your own from scratch which is straight forwards but more time-consuming.

Stirring up shortbread

Next, you make the caramel. Gently stir together the butter and sugar until fully melted, and then drizzle in the condensed milk, stirring continuously as you don’t want it to burn. I don’t know why but I find a wooden spoon helps this process. And you can smack away any fingers trying to get an early dip of the sweet nectar!

Keep stirring even though you don’t want to, for fear of burning. I also have a fear of the caramel not setting, so I do stir it until notably thicker. Then pour on to the cooled shortbread and leave to chill out for a while.

Caramel

Leave the caramel to cool in the fridge and melt two bars of chocolate (200g in total) over a bain-marie, which is easier to control the temperature than melting in a saucepan directly. Dark, milk and white chocolate toppings are all delicious, or even a combination of them together.

To get a celebration-like finish to the shortbread, I then melted white chocolate and flicked it across the top, then scattered tiny edible gold stars over the tray.

Mini shortbreads

I am experimenting with finger-sized treats that I can parcel up as presents, and so made some tiny shortbreads in silicone petit-four cases.

Petit fours

My biggest tip for making shortbread is to score the chocolate topping before it has entirely set, otherwise it is a nightmare to cut in to straight lines.

Scoring the chocolate topping

There are loads of sweet (terrible pun – sorry!) recipes on this site. I want to try the fudge recipe next time, but not until I have my sugar thermometer…

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