Little indulgences | Yvonne & Guite’s canelés

You might not know this about me just yet but I love slow mail. Hand-written letters, postcards, surprise parcels, you name it, I send it.

But more often than not, my own mailbox seems to only bring me bills and useless ads for places I’ll never visit.

But last week was anything but that, because instead of all those things I immediately put in the (recycling) bin, I received a pretty little white patisserie box promising “Little Indulgences“…
Cake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewCake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewOnce I lifted the lid, familiar aromas of vanilla and rum perfumes the room. The accompagnying cards are delightfully retro but I can only focus on that sweet smell that brings back childhood memories. With trembling hands, I open the tissue paper standing between me and those “little indulgences”.Cake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewAnd here they are. Rows after rows of perfect canelés (both in the Regular and mini sizes).
Cake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewI first discovered those delightful Bordeaux specialities when I was just a kid travelling with my grandmother. I can’t even remember where it was or when, but this first bite into the caracteristic caramelized crust, followed by the chewiness of the soft interior is something I have never forgotten. The apparent simplicity of the canelé, and yet the complexity of flavour and texture fascinates me. It is around that time that I fall in love with desserts and start baking frantically. Cake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewCake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewThe first bite brings me back to this first taste I ever had of canelé. Yvonne & Guite prides itself on making canelés “as they should be” and I don’t think there’s a better way to put it.

Which is not really surprising. Caroline, Yvonne & Guite‘s founder, started her company in September last year but just like I did, she fell over in the caldron of canelés in her childhood. She experienced in the family kitchen with her sister, began baking them on a regular basis after being gifted moulds by her mum, start developping her own recipes as she couldn’t find anything she was entirely happy with in books or on the Internet… 
Cake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewAfter failing to find the perfect canelés for a house party, Caroline makes it her mission to introduce London’s foodie to this traditional French wonder. The canelé revolution is on its way.yvonne-guite-12Made with all-natural ingredients, freshness truly is key when it comes to canelés. Since no artificial colouring or preservatives are used, they’re best if eaten within two-three days of their baking date. Challenge accepted!Cake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewYvonne & Guite’s canelés have the most perfect of textures: slightly crisp crust and soft, very moist interiors. Just how they should be. 
Cake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewCake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewCake + Whisky | Yvonne & Guite's canelés reviewCan we all please take a second to admire how cute the mini-canelés are? I must admit I liked the regular-sized one better (mostly because they fitted my childhood memory better though!), but those would make the best of gifts, wouldn’t they? #DefinitelyOnMyChristmasList

If you feel like you need a box of canelés in your life (trust me, you do!), you can order them by contacting Yvonne & Guite by phone at 0795 794 6984 or email at hello@yvonneguite.com.

Regular and mini-canelés are also distributed by Bonativo, who is taking London’s farmers and producers online in a bid to make food shopping more local and sustainable (click: Bakery | Cakes & Brownies).

*I was gifted this sample box by Yvonne & Guite but all over-excitement, opinions and pictures are definitely mine! 

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Little indulgences | Yvonne & Guite’s canelés

Gift Guide | For your (London) visitors

Since I’ve been living in London, I’ve had loads of people coming over to spend a few days in the capital, tour all the sights and eat some world famous breakfast.

And if I enjoy creating little guides of things for my visitors to see and do, there’s absolutely nothing I love more than putting together little London gift bags to make them feel truly special upon arrival and remember the fun times once they’ve left.

The content of my gift bags usually varies depending on what I stumbble upon while shopping, but here are a few of my absolute favourites!

Cake + Whisky | Gift Guide for your London visitors1. This Gin & Tonic Lip Balm is just genius. I mean, it’s basically a cocktail that keeps your lips soft. What more could you possibly ask for?

2. I’m such a kid at heart! I LOVE Legos and this Big Ben Nanoblocks make for the perfect alternative to tacky snowglobes!

3. Tea is obviously a must and I like to get a small tea caddy from Fortnum & Mason for the added wow-effect. I tend to get classic blends such as Earl Grey or the Royal Blend but their Peach Balck Tea and Elderflower Green Tea are also cracking!

4. I have a stock of Cath Kidson purses at home, so if you ever visit me, it’s very likely you’ll be handed one as soon as you pass the door. I’m absolutely obsessed with purses so it’s near impossible to resist buying them and my friends have loved being gifted some as it’s so convenient to keep everything together, keep currencies separate, not lose your Oyster card at the bottom of your bag…  Win-win then?

5. Burt’s Bees lip balm was one of the first things I ever bought when I first lived in London, so this one has quite a sentimental value to me. Plus they’re absolutely ace, entirely natural and now come in so many flavours!

6. Don’t we all need something sweet in our lives? I believe we do, so I always try to include some treats in my little London boxes, be it Jelly beans or a bar of Green & Black Chocolate!

Do you put together gift bags for your visitors? What do/would you include in them?

Gift Guide | For your (London) visitors

Christmas gift guide – for him

I’m all Fah-lala-la-la lately. I bake orange and cranberry cake (recipe coming soon), shop ’til I drop, wrap everything I put my hands on and write gift guides non-stop.

I’ve always found it more complicated to buy presents for guys. I could easily buy my sister a present a day for a year and still have ideas. I always know what will make my mum happy. But when it comes to my dad, brother and boyfriend, it’s a completely different issue! My mind goes empty in a matter of seconds and it takes me ages to find something that would make a good present.

Hopefully you’re better than me, but in case you’re still a bit unsured of what you want to give your male loved ones, here are a few of my favourites…

christmas-guide-him

1. He’s a bit of a Mike Guyver? This brilliant multi-tool utility case will allow him to have everything he needs at hands no matter where he goes!

2. He’s always in for a party? Aren’t these Cartridge shot cups the cutest? I grew up in a family of hunters, so I can think of far to many people I could give those to, but if you’re after something more conventional, the LSA shot glasses paddle is equally wonderful!

3. He never knows what to wear? I absolutely LOVE this Jack Wills Pheasant TShirt. It’s both basic and quite quirky, and would make any guys’ wardrobe that extra bit special!

4. He loves chocolate? And beer? I can’t wait to try these beer chocolate truffles! It seems like the perfect solution to all my perfect-present searches! Beer truffles for everybody!

5. He already has everything? What about getting him tickets for whatever event he’ll enjoy… Concert, play, football game, the possibilities are almost endless!

Hopefully you’re doing better than me when picking presents for your dad, brother(s), male friends and boyfriend! What will you be giving them?

Christmas gift guide – for him

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE – For your BFF.

It’s this time of the year again… and I couldn’t be more excited!

I’m crazy about all things Christmas-ey, all the Fahlalalala, the lights, the trees, all of it. Hell, I even LOVE wrapping presents! And I’m also one of those people who actually enjoy buying them. I start in July (no kidding!), make endless idea lists, walk miles and usually shop ‘til I drop.

So I thought I’d write up a few gift guides for all those important people in everyone’s life… Starting today with the BFF!

She’s for sure a very special person, always there when you need her, no matter how busy she is and the distance between you. And she for sure deserves something nice for answering all your bored/crazy/drunk texts!

christmas-guide-bff

1. For the health junkie: a BKR bottle. I got one for myself a few months ago and I don’t think I could ever go back to not having one. It is just so convenient, and they come in a gazilion pretty colours. Just too cute. BKR bottle, $30.

2. If she’s a tea lover: I can not recommend The Blue Bird Company enough. It’s a brilliant small company from Brighton that sells creative (and delicious) loose-leaf teas (including one called Moji-Tea, yup!). But as far as festive presents are concerned, it would be a shame not to go for my favourite from their Christmas collection, the Christmas Cake tea. Not only does it taste EXACTLY like Christmas (cinnamon and cloves), but it has sparkly sugar snowflakes! Christmas Cake Tea, The Blue Bird Tea Co., £5.25

3. If she’s a the foodie: Chocolate truffles are a festive staple. But those are 1. white chocolate 2. Mojito-flavoured. Need I say more? Mojito chocolate truffles, Hotel Chocolat, £3.75

4. If she wishes she was French: Sure, you could get her Ladurée macaroons. But I’d rather go for How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are. It sounds a lot more fun, doesn’t it? How to be Parisian wherever you are, Anne Berest, about £13

5. If she’s a fashionista: I’ve learnt the hard way that when it comes to presents, less is more. Even more so when it comes to “beauty” gifts. My advice? The iconic Rouge Noir from Dior, in a pretty box, and voilà!

Hopefully there will be something for every kind of BFF! What will you be giving yours?

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE – For your BFF.