The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have

Chocolate Ice-Cream 3

“The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have” is quite a statement but it something that I do take very seriously. So I would like to introduce to you Cafe Fernando’s best chocolate ice cream ever (without an ice-cream maker!).

The most important qualities of a good chocolate ice-cream for me is the creaminess and intense taste of the chocolate and this recipe get’s it just right.

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Unlike other ice cream recipes that use egg yolks to get the creaminess this recipe uses a combination of cornstarch which holds it together and sweetened condensed milk giving it a slight undertone of caramel.

It’s mouthwateringly delicious and I promise you if you serve this up for a dinner party there will be none left!

Chocolate Ice-Cream

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have (Adapted from Cafe Fernando)

  • 400 gr. sweetened condensed milk
  • 180 gr. whole milk
  • 175 gr. double cream
  • 170 gr. quality dark-chocolate, chopped finely
  • 25 gr. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp cold water

1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk and heavy cream until combined. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

2. Take off heat and add the finely-chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until the chocolate melts and the cocoa powder is completely dissolved.

3. In a separate small bowl mix together the cornstarch and cold water until completely dissolved, and add to the ice cream mix. Whisk until combined.

4. Return to the heat and cook, whisking constantly, scraping the sides and the bottom of the pan to prevent burning, until thickened, for 5-8 minutes (don’t let it thicken too much!)

5. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside, uncovered, to cool for half an hour. When the bowl is cool enough to handle, cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly (preferably overnight) in the fridge.

6. Before transferring the chilled ice cream to the freezer, stir or whisk to dissolve the skin on top and scrape into a container. Cover with plastic, this time pressing the wrap against the ice cream to create an airtight seal. Put the lid on and freeze until firm enough to scoop.

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P.S. Thank you Joanna for sharing this recipe!

À la Plage, À la Piscine

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It is miserable day today. It’s raining, it’s grey and I can hear the wind shuffling through the trees outside. It’s the perfect day to share with you these amazing pictures by Gray Malin. 

Shooting from doorless helicopters, the 27 year old photographer Gray Malin from Dallas has taken some exceptional images that according to me capture the spirit of summer. From the USA to South Africa, from Australia to Brazil, his series “a la place, a la piscine” results is a beautiful emergence of people patterns upon the landscape. These pictures turn real life scenarios into a beautiful pattern displaying an order of colour and shapes making chaos look pure. Don’t you think there great? 

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P.S. I’m slightly tempted to look out for Wally in these pictures, they really remind me of the Where’s Wally books 🙂

Blood Orange with Dark Chocolate

ImageImageHello everyone! How was your weekend? I had a lovely weekend, my sister arrived on Saturday from Mallorca and will be staying with us for a couple of months. We spent the whole weekend catching up, watching girly movies and stroking each others hair – I’m so happy to have her around.

When we went out for breakfast on Sunday I came across the most delicious looking Blood Oranges and had to whip something up with them. I love Blood Oranges – I don’t know if its the intensive taste or just the incredible colour but i’m all over them. They just so “moody”. 

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It’s a very simple recipe but elegant and sexy at the same time so for me it’s the perfect after dinner treat. 

Blood Orange with Dark Chocolate

  • 2 Blood Oranges
  • 100g of quality dark-chocolate

1. Line a tray with baking paper. Peel the oranges and separate the wedges onto the tray. 

2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for around 2 minutes, mixing every once in a while. 

3. Simply dip in the orange slices and let them cool on the baking tray. 

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Optional of course is adding any sort of sprinkle. I am a huge fan of salted chocolate so I dusted the oranges with some sea salt. 

Tell me lovelies, whats your favourite citrus fruit? What do you think of the blood orange?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Yay! It’s Friday again! I do love a good Friday. What are you up to this weekend? 

I’m working through a long list of things to do today including, wedding invitations, starting on my new master plan, fix the fence in my back garden, etc. One of those days ;). 

So this weekend i’m looking forward to sum guilt-free indulgence. I love rewarding myself after an long accomplishing week. 

I hope you had a good week my lovelies and you have an even better weekend. Here is some links for weekend fun and some indulgence ;). 

I’m treating myself to a new haircut 🙂 which i’m really excited about as I’m going shoulder length!

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I’m definately trying this Chocolate Caramel Tart this weekend – can it get any more indulgent!?!

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What a great dinky present – i’m still laughing. 

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Great post on Grounding – what a lovely new ritual for spring. Would you try it? Shall we join in? 

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What a clever idea! New York City Coffee map.

ImageAm stocking up on more Sensibio H20 Cleanser Solution. It’s one of my staples, it’s the best wipe-off cleanser ever! 

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Cover Girl

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It continues to amaze me

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A Caramelised Sugar House

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Can you imagine a house made from sugar? Well check out this incredible solarium created but the artist William Lamson. The house which was created fro the Storm King Art Center’s Light and Landscape show in 2012 and is made entirely from sugar.  

Each of the 162 panels is made of sugar cooked to different temperatures and then sealed between two panels of glass. The space functions as both an experimental greenhouse, growing three species of miniature citrus trees, and a meditative environment.

Do you think it’s just incredible? 

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The Can’t Go Wrong Sponge Cake

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I started baking when I was very young. My mother has always been a fantastic home cook and she was amazing at getting my sister and I to join in.

I can’t remember what my first cake recipe was or when I began to bake but as far as I can remember I have always had a sweet-tooth. I was slightly larger when I was in my early teens (I will bore you with that story next week 😉 ) so my amazing family tried as much as they could to avoid keeping sweets & chocolate in the house to help me out.

However, being young, rather cheeky and certainly persistent, I decided to learn how to bake my own cakes instead!

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One of my favourite recipes when I was young was The Can’t Go Wrong Sponge Cake. It comes from a terrific book called “Easy Peasy Sweety Pie” which I would recommend to any mother who would like to encourage the kids to bake!

It might not be the most exciting of cakes but it’s fluffly, it contents your sweet tooth and above all it is sublimely easy to make. So easy that I could whip one up after coming home from school and  it would be ready by the time I had to go up to my room to do my homework.

Another great thing about this cake is that once you have your basic sponge you can make up pretty much any flavour you like. I went bananas this Sunday and decided to for 5 variations: Lemon & Almond Drizzle Sponge Cake, Orange Sponge Cake, Lime and Mint Sponge Cake, Banana & Almond Sponge Cake and Chocolate Sponge Cake.

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They were all delicious and although I was positive that the lemon was going to be my favourite, in the end I ate two banana ones instead (told you I went bananas :P)

Best Ever Can’t Go Wrong Perfect Sponge Cake 

  • 3 large eggs, weighted in the shells
  • Same weight in butter, sugar and self-raising flower
  • Milk/ Lemon Juice/ Orange Juice/ etc. (depending of flavour) to loosen
  • Pinch of salt (Never without salt!)

Preheat the oven to 180C and

1. Whisk together in a stand alone mixer the butter and sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add one egg at the a time. Once the mixture is fully combined sieve in the flour and salt and fold it in.

If you prefer a moister cake (I definitely do) then you simply need to exchange some (not all!) of the flour for ground almonds.

Now for the flavours:

Tea Party Lemons

Lemon Drizzle Sponge Cake

3. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the sponge cake mix and mix it in. Spread the mixture in the pre-greased cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.

4. Once the cake is cooked (but still warm) prick some holes in the top and drizzle with a combination of lemon juice, lemon zest and brown sugar (if you use brown rather than white it gives it a delicious crunch)

Tea Party Oranges

Orange Sponge Cake

As per above however substitute lemons for oranges.

Tea Party Limes

Lime and Mint Sponge Cake

As per above however substitute orange juice for lime juice. If you would like to include the addition of mint then just add some mint leaves to the drizzle along with the lime juice, zest and sugar.

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Banana & Almond Sponge Cake

Simply squash 2 very ripe bananas into the sponge cake mix and add a tablespoon of milk to loosen the mixture. I used almond milk as I thought it would compliment the ground almonds I substituted for some of the self-raising flour.

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Chocolate Sponge Cake

Add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, 1 tbsp of milk and 1tbsp of vegetable and follow cooking instructions as per above. I sprinkled the chocolate sponge cake with chocolate junks and some sea salt but I it would also be delicious with some icing cream i’m sure.

What your can’t go wrong recipe that you swear by? When did you start baking?

Beautiful Roses by Nick Knight

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Nick Knight is a British photographer who has a reputation for pushing boundaries both technically and creatively. He continually challenges conventional ideas of beauty working on a range of often controversial subjects such as racism, disability, agism and more recently fat-ism.

Knight’s work has been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Saatchi Gallery, the Photographers Gallery, the Hayward Gallery and the Tate Modern however recently I stumbled across these incredible flower photographs that he published on his Instagram account. Aren’t they beautiful?

I hope your manning though the week guys, its nearly Friday 🙂 x 

Hair Crush

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How long is your hair? Mine is long at the moment, below my shoulders, and I’ve been thinking about a change. Having said that, the wedding is coming up soon (6 months! Argh!) and so I don’t think I’m brave enough to chop it all off but i’m really liking these shoulder-lenght hairstyles.

They still have that breezy easy feel to them but it won’t discard me having long hair for the wedding. I love the fuss-free boyish look it gives off and it’s such an easy way to update your look. What do you think? 

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P.S. Check out these fantastic 4 Tricks to Easy Peasy Tricks to Beautiful Hair 

Super-Easy Rosemary & Lavender cookies

ImageI’ve been indulging myself with far too many cakes and tarts lately. I always like to have something sweet in the house in case anyone gets the munchies so instead of whipping up yet another chocolaty, gooey, three tear desert I decided to try out these lovely and simple Rosemary & Lavender butter cookies. 

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They are very simple and quick to make and they are delicious to have with coffee. My flatmate and I got through 6 in about 5 minutes!

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Rosemary & Lavender Cookies

  • 225g of unsalted butter
  • 170g of caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 375g of all-purpose flour  
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary 
  • 1 tbsp edible lavender buds
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sugar for dusting

1. Cream the butter and flour in a stand alone mixer of a medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in the whole egg and the vanilla extract. Slowly stir in the flour, rosemary, lavender and pinch of salt until all the ingredients are combine. 

2. Half the dough and place each half on a piece of parchment paper. Roll each half into a log shape using the parchment paper and then place in the freezer for at least an hour. 

3. Pre-heat the over to 190 C. Unwrap the dough and it coat with the egg white and then dust it with caster sugar. Cut the dough into 1cm junks and place them in the oven for around 15-20 minutes. 

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