What Thea Did Next: Cuddles, Cheekiness & Chocolate

Thea has been extra cuddly recently (which is saying something, as she is a cuddle monster!) She has taken to saying “I want ALL the cuddles!” and really means it. She’s been waking up at about 6.30 most mornings, needing a wee, (thanks, potty training!) so climbs into bed with me after I take her to the bathroom. Ryan leaves before six on week days so Thea and I have lots of cuddles before Ava wakes up, as I desperately try to get a few more minutes of sleep!

Thea and Mummy early in the morning

“I want ALL the cuddles!”

She totally fell for these giant garden gnomes we saw in Asda. She thought they were all Father Christmas! Thea and the gnomes

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Thea and Ava’s latest antics: stickers, brownies and scissors

Thea has been exceptionally cheeky this week. She decided that my new pot of ivy needed a bit of extra decoration… I really, really hate stickers. Ivy pot decorated with stickers It is quite nice to see her like this though, as she’s been feeling really ill for the past week and a half, so it’s good that she’s back to her normal self. Though she’s totally playing us, as every time we ask her to do something she doesn’t want to do, she coughs and says “I can’t, I’m still a bit poorly!” Continue reading

Peppermint bark.

Quick Christmas Gift Recipe: Peppermint ‘bark’

Here’s a super easy ‘Peppermint Bark’ recipe from my sister Debbie.  It’s perfect for wrapping up in pretty paper or bags and giving to teachers, neighbours, or anyone else who deserves a festive treat.

Best of all, it doesn’t need baking and only has four ingredients!

How to make peppermint bark

You will need:

200g dark chocolate
200g milk chocolate
100g white chocolate
12 candy canes

First melt about 200g dark chocolate in a bain Marie (a bowl over a saucepan of hot water). Be careful that the hot water doesn’t touch the bowl, or the chocolate goes all weird and you’ll have to start again!)Dark chocolate melting over a bain Marie Continue reading

ingredients for gluten free brownies

Easy gluten-free walnut brownie recipe

Who doesn’t love brownies? No one I’ve ever met, that’s for sure! I made these with Ava and Thea and they turned out very well, even if I do say so myself.  Easy gluten-free walnut brownie

They’re to take to a BBQ and the host can’t have gluten, so I substituted Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Flour for normal flour and hoped for the best!

Ava loved breaking up the chocolate and Thea liked shouting out the numbers as I weighed the ingredients.Thea and Ava helping make brownies Continue reading

ingredients for Death By Chocolate cake

Death by chocolate: decadent gluten-free cake

It was my sister’s birthday at the weekend so I wanted to make her an awesome cake, but as she can’t have gluten, it needed to be gluten-free.

I was perusing my favourite baking book, The Great British Book of Baking, by Linda Collister, when I spotted a recipe for Death by Chocolate, which I had somehow never noticed before. Not only is it gluten-free, it’s also a real celebration cake, as it’s incredibly rich. The 500g of chocolate alone cost £5, so it’s definitely a ‘treat’ cake.

This seems like quite a simple recipe, and actually it is, but it takes quite a bit of patience, as you will see!

For the cake:

300g good quality dark chocolate (I used Green & Black’s Cooking Chocolate)
150g unsalted butter, diced
5 medium eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g caster sugar

For the topping:

200g good quality dark chocolate (I used Green & Black’s)
100ml double cream

Preheat oven to 180°/350°/gas 4 (160° for fan ovens.) Grease and line the base of a 22cm spring clip tin. (I used a 20cm tin and it worked fine.)

Break up the chocolate and put it in a heat-proof bowl with the butter over a pan of hot water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water, and don’t boil it or the chocolate will go all clumpy. Once it’s melted, take it off the pan and leave to cool whilst you whisk the eggs.

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