Englishness in a glass

I was out walking the pup yesterday and suddenly noticed the huge numbers of elder trees that are in bloom at the moment. They seem even more overblown than usual somehow - maybe it's the delayed spring we had or maybe it's the fact that until last summer (before Katie) I very rarely ventured outside. And certainly not for a walk. Shudder.I thought to myself, why not pick some of them and make elderflower cordial. It can't be that hard, right? It's just water and sugar and elderflowers (obviously), and maybe a couple of other things. Once again my poo bag stash came in very handy. Last time it was for collecting wild garlic scapes, which are a lot nicer than poo, I can tell you.I used this [Read more...]

Because I’m not making enough things

And also because I've had an Architextures jelly roll knocking around since last October.And also because I just got my sweaty little mitts on a 60ยบ ruler.And also just because.In other news, it's Katie's birthday today. I made her a cake out of fancy dog food with a crushed kibble base, just like a cheesecake.I didn't try it, but she seemed to like it - it lasted about a minute and a half. Happy birthday, puppity. We love you.

Warning – gratuitous pie

I like to take a multicultural approach to life, especially when it adds extra opportunities for cramming dessert in my face. As it turns out, yesterday was Pi day (March 14, or 3.14 if you are American. Geddit?). It would have been rude not to mark this important date in some way - I would hate to accidentally insult any nationality, particularly one that I live with.Of course, this desire to make pie had nothing at all to do with this recipe that I happened to find the other day while looking for the perfect chocolate cake (that search is still ongoing, so any suggestions would be welcome). For the love of all that is good and holy - a chocolate pie. Pie. With chocolate. And pie. It is [Read more...]


I love peppermint bark. I make it every Christmas, to give as a gift and also just to have lying around for those unscheduled chocolate-requiring moments. You know the ones. In fact, I sent a few tins off the other day as my Craft-it-forward gifts (and they seem to have been well received). Normally I make a very straightforward type of bark - one layer of dark chocolate and one of white, with crushed candy canes sprinkled on top. This is very postage friendly, especially in the lovely cold English weather.But then I saw this recipe and knew that I had to give it a try. Peppermint flavoured dark chocolate ganache sandwiched between two layers of white chocolate, both sprinkled with candy [Read more...]


I am currently feeling a combination of smugly efficient and rather sleepy, having been up since 7 a.m. and made a birthday cake (for a friend's daughter) and a giant batch of granola by 9.Neither of these things is as time-consuming or complicated as they might sound. This was my third time making the world's easiest and most tween-friendly birthday cake and took about an hour from weighing the ingredients to bunging it in the fridge so I don't accidentally eat it. Underneath it's just a regular two layer sponge with buttercream, but covered in diabetes kit-kats and smarties and strawberry laces on the outside.The ratio of effort to squealy children is very gratifying with this cake. Just [Read more...]