One pan Broccoli Mac n Cheese

Mac ‘n’ Cheese is the ultimate comfort food in my book.

No matter how good I’ve sworn to be, I can never, ever resist it.

If I go out for dinner and it’s on the menu, I will order it. And eat most of it, even when it was originally meant to be shared. #worstdiningcompanion

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

And yet, I had never made it at home. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

Especially since all you need are super basic ingredients I’m sure most of you already have in your fridge right now.

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

Plus it’s super easy and feels like a hug in a bowl.

A very cheesy, super delicious hug, that is!

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

And if you add enough vegetables in, it’s actually not that un-healthy a dinner option.

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

The perfect reward for surviving yet another Monday

(or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday and, ehh, sometimes, Fridays are tough as well right?)

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

One pan Broccoli Mac ‘n’ Cheese (serves 2)

Ingredients: 200g macaroni (or other short pasta), 1/2 pint milk (about 1 mug), 1/2 pint vegetable stock (about 1 mug), small chunck of Parmesan (grated), big handful of grated Emmenthal (or Cheddar), 200g broccoli, 1 tsp oil, sea salt, pepper, Tabasco

1. Cut the broccoli in bite-sized chuncks. In a big pot, heat up 1 tsp oil, then add in the broccoli and cook until tender. Remove from the heat and pour it out in one of the bowls you’re going to be serving in (save dirtying another dish!)

2. Add the pasta to the same pan with the milk, vegetable stock, Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Stir it around, cover and turn the hob down (it should be down to a very gentle simmer). Keep it covered as much as possible, stiring every now and then until the pasta is fully cooked and the milk has reduced down to a creamy sauce.

3. Check the seasoning and add more Tabasco/salt/pepper if needed.

4. Add in the cheese (Parmesan + Emmenthal/Cheddar) and the broccoli, give the whole thing a good stir and serve immediately.

‘OMG-SOOOOOO-GOOD’ eye-rolling absolutely compulsory!

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One pan Broccoli Mac n Cheese

Mini Chocolate Lava Cake

I’m having the Valentine’s blues.

No more brilliant excuse to buy all the cheesy cards, or have chocolate dessert at the end of every meal. Which is a shame, really, ’cause those are some of my very favourite things.

But you know what, I might just keep living as if #EveryDaysValentinesDay.

Surely, all those 50% off stickers are a sign that I should stock up on all the cards and heart-shaped everything. And as for chocolate, I never really need an excuse (and even if I did, chocolate actually makes you happy, right? So #JustWhatTheDoctorOrdered)…

Plus I have found the best ever recipe for mini chocolate lava cakes.

Mini chocolate lava cake | Cake + Whisky

Mini chocolate lava cake | Cake + Whisky

AKA the easiest, most irresistible and adorable chocolate puddings ever.

Mini chocolate lava cake | Cake + Whisky

Just look at that melted chocolate centre! #Thingsdreamsaremadeof

Mini chocolate lava cake | Cake + Whisky

Now tell me you’re not even a little bit tempted to join the #EveryDaysValentinesDay team…

 

Mini chocolate lava cake (serves 2)

Ingredients: 50g chocolate + 4 squares, 1 big egg, 40g sugar, 25g butter (+ some for the ramequins), 2 teaspoons flour (+ a bit for the ramequins)

1. Pre-heat your oven to 250°C

2. Melt your chocolate and butter (either using a bain marie or in the microwave)

3. Add in the egg, sugar and flour and give it a good mix

4. Pour 1/3 of the batter in two (buttered and floured) ramequins, pop 2 extra squares of chocolate in each pot and top with the rest of the batter

5. Bake for 9-12 min and serve immediately (preferably with a nice scoop of ice cream and some caramel sauce on top…)

Mini Chocolate Lava Cake

7 mince pies having an identity crisis

Mince pies.

The British Christmas staple if there ever was one.

Each family seems to have its own recipe that is not to be messed with.

I on the other hand am still to create my own, so I’m currently sampling every mince pie I can get my hands on (you know, in the name of research… Tough job but somebody’s got to do it!).

And while most places stick to the fruit-mix-in-pastry version, there are also some more… creative ones out there!

1. Crosstown’s mince pie doughnuts

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Crosstown Mince Pie doughnut

With its mini mince pie doughnuts, complete with brandy butter glaze and vanilla crumble topping, Crosstown has achieve the perfect jam doughnut and mince pie breeding. Pillowy sourdough dough, fruit-rich boozy filling and addictive signature crumble, I wouldn’t mind finding a big box of those under the tree!

2. Joe & Seph’s mince pie pop corn

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Joe & seph's mince pie popcorn

Going deeper into the novely mince pie market, you’ll find this brandy-infused caramel-coated popcorn which claims to be as “rich, fruity and aromatic [as] a mince pie”. I say, not a bad option for a Christmas movie marathon!

3. Rinkoff Bakery’s Mince pie cronut

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Rinkoff's Mince Pie Cronut

Given the choice, I’ll always pick a croissant over a pie, so Rinkoff’s mince pie cronuts is very much my idea of festive heaven! (Just don’t think about the calories content. It’s Christmas, it doesn’t count!).

4. Sainsbury’s Mince Pie Ice Cream

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Sainsbury's Mince Pie Ice Cream

Mince pie ice cream. Now, THAT is a game changer. Serving it over oven-baked apples, in a mince Pie milkshake, as a mince pie sundae… the possibilities are endless (hellooooo creative yet lazy Chrismas dessert!)!

5. Bad Brownie’s mince pie brownie

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Bad Brownie mince pie brownie

I wasn’t entirely convinced about the mince meat / chocolate combination until I tried one of Bad Brownie boozy and Christmassy Mince Pie Brownie. Dangerously good (just like evrything else they bake).

6. Mince pie chocolate 

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Nom Nom mince pie chocolateMade fresh in south Wales with boozy mincemeat and shortbread enveloped in milk chocolate, this Mince pie chocolate bar is every Christmas addict chocolate lovers’ dream come true (and a great stocking filler)!

7. Mince pie vodka

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Mince pie vodka recipe from Waitrose

Why not give your cocktail a bit of the mince pie treatment this festive season? This recipe from Waitrose seems easy enough to make a few bottles at a time (and I can garantee you’ll win at homemade gift giving then!)

Which of those mince pie treats would you like to try? 

7 mince pies having an identity crisis

Borough Market

You’d have to give a lot of money to miss out on the opportunity to explore a market.

A trip to a foreign supermarket is always one of the things I look most forward to when abroad on holiday, and I always come back with suitcases full of spices, sauces, sweets and other local specialities.

If anything, I like markets even more.

Especially one as epic as Borough Market.

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

If you’re a foodie, Borough Market is really close to the idea you have of heaven.

They have everything you could possibly wish for.

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky Ted's Veg | Cake + Whisky

Beetroot | Cake + Whisky

Mushrooms season is my favourite! | Cake + Whisky

From fruit and vegetables stalls, pilled high with the most gorgeous produce the season has to offer…

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

… to mountains of cheese

Ortiz tuna cans | Cake + Whisky

Jam | Cake + Whisky

Mountain Spice, London | Cake + Whisky

Mountain Spice, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

… along with some excellent deli products…

Eggs | Cake + Whisky

Brindisa, London | Cake + Whisky

… a few essentials (if you don’t think Iberico ham is essential, you’ve clearly never been to Brindisa!) …

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

… and piles of fresh bread, still warm from the oven.

And the best part is, you get to taste it all!

You can truly make a meal out of nibbling your way through the stalls.

But if you’re feeling quite peckish, Borough Market is also home to some of London’s best street food stalls.

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Brindisa, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Paella | Cake + Whisky

Raclette, hog roast, sandwiches, paella or Asian food, the only difficulty (as usual) is to choose!

London's best doughnuts: Bread Ahead | Cake + Whisky

Turkish Delights | Cake + Whisky

Macarons | Cake + Whisky

But whatever you go for in the end, make sure you save some room for dessert! 

Maybe save some for me as well?

Borough Market, 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL

Borough Market

Chocolate-dipped Golden Berries

I’ve recently re-discovered Golden Berries (also called Inca Berries, or Physalis).

Relatively difficult to find in the UK just a few months ago, they seem to have become more and more popular and I start seeing them everywhere nowdays. Which is perfectly fine by me.

Not only do those small golden, cherry tomato-like look lovely enclosed in their papery shell, but it’s also packed-full of anti-oxydants, vitamins and even has anti-inflamatory properties.

Currently snacking on | Chocolate-dipped Golden Berries

And covered in good quality, magnesium-rich Ecuadorian dark chocolate, it’s quickly become my favourite snack!

Currently snacking on | Chocolate-dipped Golden Berries

Making a big bowl of those will barely take you 10 minutes, and I swear you’ll be glad you use your time this way!

Currently snacking on | Chocolate-dipped Golden Berries

Chocolate-dipped Golden Berries

Ingredients: 100g fresh Golden Berries, 80-100g good quality dark chocolate (I used the perfectly balanced Hoja Verde 72%)

1. Melt your chocolate using the double-boiler technique.

2. When it’s melted, dip your berries in the chocolate and set aside to dry on a sheet of greaseproof paper.

I think those would make a brilliant addition to any chocolate dessert for that extra bit of wow factor we’re all after when entertaining. Or why not serving them with coffee for an indulging, yet healthy end to a meal? 

 

Chocolate-dipped Golden Berries

Sea salt Milk Chocolate Mousse

The first time I bought chocolate with sea salt in it, I was more than sceptical about whether or not I would like it.

But the second it touched my tongue, I was in love and blaming myself for not having guessed I’d love it. I mean, I’m SUCH a sucker for anything with salted caramel in it, so it only made sense, didn’t it?

And with this Sea salt & Milk chocolate mousse, I took the whole shebang a step further by adding yet more salt to my favourite Green & Black Milk chocolate with Sea salt.

Salted Chocolate Mousse Recipe | Cake + Whisky

The result went beyond everything I could have ever hoped for; what I got was perfectly balanced, sweet, salty, almost caramel-y airy and light mousses.

Trust me on that one: take a few minutes and make this tonight. You won’t regret it.

Oh, and did I tell you those were only about 180 cal each… #JustSaying

Salted Chocolate Mousse Recipe | Cake + Whisky

Sea salt and Milk Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients (serves 4): 1 bar of Green & Black Milk Chocolate with Sea Salt (100g), 2 big eggs, a good pinch of salt flakes 

1. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and sit it over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave to slowly melt, stirring occasionally.

2. Separate your eggs so you have the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.

3. Whisk the whites until they form soft peaks.

4. Add the egg yolks and the salt flakes to the melted chocolate and mix thouroughly (you might want to add a few spoonful of hot water as well if it gets to thick).

5. Fold the chocolatey mix through the eggs whites.

6. Divide the mixture between small glasses/cups and pop in the fridge for at least two hours for it to set.

Sea salt Milk Chocolate Mousse

Canelés recipe

I’d advocate for Sunday being re-named Cake day any time of the year, but even more so when the weather is as miserbale as it has been this past weekend.

When that happens, all I want to do is crawl under a blanket with a big mug of tea and an equally big piece of cake and stay there all day catching up on blog reading while watching re-runs of any series I happen to stumble upon.

To fight off the rain this weekend, I whipped up a big batch of one of my favourite treats: canelés!

A couple of those with cherry-flavoured green tea and one of the Sherlock Holmes movies and you won’t even notice the rain drizzling down your window!

Canelé recipe | Cake + Whisky

For 18 canelés: 660 mL whole milk, 8 egg yolks, 330g granulated sugar, 165g plain flour (I used 00), 1 vanilla pod, 2-3 tsp dark rum, 66g melted butter

1. Slice the vanilla pod in the middle and scrape to get all the seeds out.

2. Place the vanilla seeds and the milk in a saucepan and heat up until it reaches a small boil. Remove from the heat and let it cool down completelybefore adding in the egg yolks.

3. In a bowl, mix together the sugar and flour, then whisk in the milk and egg mix.

4. Pour in the rum and the butter and whisk thouroughly.

5. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 12h.

6. Pre-heat your oven to 200 °C.

7. Pour the batter into the moulds (you can use small muffin ones if you don’t have canelé moulds) and bake for 1h or until the top and sides are brown.

8. Remove the canelés from the moulds while still warm and eat warm or cold.

What’s your favourite rainy day treat? 

Canelés recipe