Sunday, 31 January 2010

Last Night I Dreamt Of Pears

A Sunday recipe for you: Flourless Chocolate Pear Cake

85g butter, plus 1tbsp extra for the tin
85g golden caster sugar
85g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1tbsp brandy
3 eggs, separated
85g hazelnuts, toasted and ground in a food processor
4 very ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
icing sugar for dusting

1. Cut circle of baking parchment to fit base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1tbsp butter and brush inside of tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.

2. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot wate. Remove from heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a large bowl until pale and think; fold into the chocolate with the hazelnuts.

3. In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you'll have trouble folding them in). Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down. Bake for 40 minutes until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked through. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve with creme fraiche.
(Recipe from Good Food magazine)

Have a lovely Sunday!

Friday, 29 January 2010

A Sunny Friday

 After being kept awake for most of the night by the constant rain (i have a skylight in my bedroom, therefore rain is extra loud) i woke up this morning to an unfamiliar sight. It was blue skies and sun, and there was a lovely crisp breeze. Today was the first day of the year i have left the flat without a coat or scarf. Everyone at uni was in a good mood, and it was so nice to get down to some work with the sun coming through the big glass windows. When i got home the light was starting to fade and it was getting a lot colder but i didn't want to waste the opportunity for a sunny stroll round the park opposite my flat so i picked up the camera and headed straight down. I've posted some of the pictures of the lake in the middle of Platt Fields and a friendly goose. More days like this please :]   

Buon Pranzare

My flatmates and I showed up to support our lovely flatmate Jess' restaurant day. As part of her uni course, her and a group had to run a restaurant from scratch, feeding over 50 people a 3 course meal. It all went really well and for £12.50 a head, it was a bit of a bargain too. Here are some snaps of the lovely food we ate. You can see more of Jess's recipes on her blog

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Town Mouse & The Country Mouse

Did you ever read that story as a child? I went to a lecture this morning about the importance of place, and the identity you associate with certain places. I’ve spent time living in both city and countryside, and in more recent times I’ve done a lot of running between the two. On my bus ride home today I began to think about which I would choose to settle down in, which I prefer. What I realised though is that one tends to cancel out the other, they’re such different extremes. After spending a couple of weeks in the busy city, where one can hop on a bus at any time of day or night and do anything, I often find myself needing to escape to a quieter place. I’m lucky in that my parents live in the suburbs surrounded by endless greenery and it’s only a 45 minute journey away, so every once in a while I can run away there and feel I have a bit of space to slow down and take a minute to breathe.
What interests me though is that during the summer when I move out of my university halls and move back to my parent’s house, it doesn’t take more than a month of being in such a quiet, empty space that I begin to crave the excitement of the city. The countryside, despite being a huge open space confines me, I feel I have less freedom. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to decide where to settle, I like to be able to uproot myself and change my surroundings, so in a way I don’t feel I can connect to one particular place. What about you? Are you a town mouse or a country mouse?

Sunday, 24 January 2010


Flowers are something that never fail to brighten my mood, even when it’s rainy and windy outside. They somehow manage to make me feel better when I have them in my flat. My favourites are sweet peas but you don’t often find them in the shops to buy, so this week I’ve gone for some lovely purple irises with a jet of golden yellow down the middle. I arranged them in individual stems in empty Kopperberg bottles and lined them up on the windowsill in my kitchen. I love using empty bottles and jars as vases, especially if they’ve got labels or writing on them. I think they look a lot more natural. They really lighten up the room and make me smile whenever I come in.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A bit of a change

I'm going through a transition at the moment. I'm currently in the process of switching from a PC to a MAC. There was once a time when i could safely say i would never ever convert to a MAC, however just three months into my graphic design degree and i found myself wishing i had one. What excites me most is that in those three months i've only just scratched the surface of what you can do with them (yes, i do realise i'm a bit behind the times).
How lovely would it be to have a work space like these...

Monday, 18 January 2010


Hello All. This being my first blog, i thought i'd keep it simple and just say hello, and leave you with my favourite image of the day incase (like me) you need something to cheer you up on a dreary Monday.