Be Still My Beating Heart - Valentine's Chocolates

Hotel Chocolat offered me the biggest most lush box of chocolates ever and what do I do? Turn it down for a smaller box, well actually it is a Valentine's Day Hamper, but hey I downsized! Why? You might ask. Well, because the smaller box has a raspberry riot slab. Doh!

The thing I love the most about Hotel Chocolat is their flavoured chocolate. They are divine and not to be shared under any circumstances! I know that seems harsh and not very romantic, but that is just the way it is.

The raspberry riot is a huge block of lush raspberry flavoured chocolate with milk chocolate poured over the top and covered with little nuggets of freeze dried raspberries and meringue. Mmmmmmmmm, I am in love.

And the rest of the box you may ask. Well, it isn't half bad either. One of my personal favourites are the caramel buttons. Did I tell you how much I like their caramel chocolate too? Then there is mellow vanilla truffles, engraved chocolate sweetheart, an engraved dark chocolate heart and milk chocolate hearts with a hazelnut praline filling.

Hotel Chocolat have a whole range of Valentines Day Gifts, so why not pop over there and have a look?

I wasn't planning on having a giveaway so soon after my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Bonanza, that seemed to last for months. I was going to have a giveaway dettox, but hey, I couldn't deprive you of chocolate. If you have been dieting this month, you may now be desperate for chocolate and who am I to say no.

So if you would like a Valentine's Hamper from Hotel Chocolat then:

1. Leave a comment to say you would like to win a chocolate hamper from Hotel Chocolat.
2. Follow Tinned Tomatoes on google connect or networked blogs (down the side panel) and leave a second comment to say you have done so.
3. Follow me @tinnedtoms on twitter and leave a separate comment to let me know you have done so.
4. Follow @HotelChocolat on twitter and leave a separate comment to let me know you have done so.
5. Tweet the competition using (Win a Valentine's Chocolate Hamper from @HotelChocolat #competition #win and leave a separate comment to say you have done so.
6. Like the Tinned Tomatoes Facebook Page and leave a separate comment to let me know you have done so.
7. Like the Hotel Chocolat Facebook Page and leave a separate comment to let me know you have done so.

If you add everything into one comment you will only get one entry, so remember to write a separate comment for each entry.

The giveaway runs until 14 February 2012. This giveaway is open to UK residents only.

Bookmarked Recipes - January 2012 roundup

Bookmarked Recipes

1. Banana, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies
Ros (The More Than Occasional Baker)
Recipe bookmarked from Cupcake Crazy Gem

2. The Alchemists Chocolate Cake
C (Cake, Crumbs and Cooking)
Recipe bookmarked from The Guardian Newspaper, June 2008

3. Trinidadian Black-Eyed Pea Stew
Janet (The Taste Space)
Recipe bookmarked from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian.

4. Pane co' Santi (Saints Bread)
Heather (girlichef)
Recipe bookmarked from Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook by Tessa Kiros

5. Wheat & Jaggery Cake (eggless)
Poornima (Tasty Treats)
Recipe bookmarked from Spicy Chilly

6. Chickpea Piccata
Janet (The Taste Space)
Recipe bookmarked from Appetite for Reduction

7. Broccoli & Cheese Soup
Jacqueline (Little Tums)
Recipe bookmarked from Notes from my Kitchen Table by Gwyneth Paltrow

8. Pumpkin Chili
Janet (The Taste Space)
Recipe bookmarked from Isabella's blog, but originally from oh, ladycakes

9. Smoky Tomato Risotto
Heather (girlichef)
Recipe bookmarked from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies

10. Honey and Spelt Cake
Ros (More Than The Occasional Baker)
Recipe bookmarked from Cake, Crumbs & Cooking

11. Pineapple-Ginger Exlixir
Heather (girlichef)
Recipe bookmarked from Vegetarian Times

12. Sweet and Sour Cauliflower
Emily (Triumph Wellness)
Recipe bookmarked from The V Word

13. "Alternative" Puff Pastry
Simona (Briciole)
Recipe bookmarked from Mangiare รจ un po'come viaggiare (Eating is a bit like Travelling)

14. Tofu Mini Quiche Cups
Emily (Triumph Wellness)
Recipe bookmarked from Fat Free Vegan

15. Citrus Yoghurt & Black Sugar Pudding
Jacqueline (Tinned Tomatoes)
Recipe bookmarked from The Good Table by Valentine Warner

16. Wreath Bread with Herbs
Graziana (Erbe in Cucina)
Recipe bookmarked from My Custard Pie

17. Baked Vegan Chimichangas
Emily (Triumph Wellness)
Recipe bookmarked from the Happy Herbivore

Here ends this month's Bookmarked Recipes and so February's Bookmarked Recipes is open for business. I discovered a few new blogs this month, which is always a good thing and I hope to meet a few more bloggers next month.

If you would like to be included in the next roundup, just add your post to the linky at the bottom of this post. Please remember that bookmarked recipes must be suitable for vegetarians, in line with this blog. You can find the guidelines, current challenge and past roundups here.

Bookmarked Recipes February will be open until Saturday 25 February 2012. Please join in next month and unearth some of those unloved bookmarked recipes.

Head over to The Food Blog Diary regularly for all the latest foodie challenges, competitions and giveaways.

Add your Bookmarked Recipes for February to the linky below. The linky will remain open until the evening of 25 February 2012.


Citrus Yoghurt & Black Sugar Pudding

I was really excited when The Good Table dropped onto my doorstep and I have really enjoyed reading it, but it has taken me months to get around to making something from it. I don't quite know why. So I am glad to get started and this was an ideal dish to start with. Simple and very quick to put together after a hard day at work. Just layer it up and pop it in the fridge and by the time you have finished your main course it is just perfect. A nice light end to a meal.

In fact that is what I like about this about this book, it is full of comfort food that anyone can make, nothing fancy, just simple recipes full of fabulous flavours to tempt anyone lucky enough to pick it up and turn the pages. There is even a chapter on toast or as Valentine puts it "Toast as a Vehicle".

* Boiled New Potatoes with Stinking Bishop & Spring Onions
* Artichoke with Poached Egg & Hollandaise Sauce
* Ceps & Apples in Puff Pastry
* Mushrooms Baked with Hazelnuts & Pecorino
* Tomatoes with Dijon Mustard & Cream on Toast
* Pear & Chocolate Frangipane Tart
* Barbecued Pineapple with White Rum

Tempted yet?

When I reviewed Jamie's Great Britain, I received a lot of positive comments about the fact I gave a recipe count of the dishes suitable for vegetarians, so that is something I intend to take forward with this and future cookbook reviews.

The Good Table
by Valentine Warner
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (5 September 2011)
ISBN: 978-1845335403
Veggie Recipe Count: 84
Note: Several of the dishes not included in the count could also be easily adapted to suit vegetarians.

print recipe
Citrus Yoghurt & Black Sugar Pudding

January 26, 2012

A simple dessert that can be whipped up a couple of hours before you need it and left in the fridge. So quick and easy. The muscovado sugar makes a sweet syrup which cuts through the tang of citrus. Just scrumptious!

Oh and you can reduce the quantities quite easily, it doesn't have to be exact to be yummy. Just throw it together and then marvel at the flavours.
  • 1kg greek yoghurt
  • finely grated zest of 3 large unwaxed limes
  • finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed oranges
  • finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
  • 150g muscovado sugar
1. Put the yoghurt in a bowl and mix in all the zest.2. Take a glass serving dish and put just under half the citrus yoghurt in the bottom, then evenly scatter over half the sugar. (Muscovado tends to get little hard lumps in it, so really try to crumble them out between your thumb and finger.)3. Add the rest of the yoghurt in dollops over the sugar and them gently spread it out with the back of a spoon so as not to drag the first layer of sugar around too much.4. Scatter the rest of the sugar on the top and place the puddin, covered, in the fridge for up to a couple of hours but no more.5. Serve alone, or with biscuits, or poached fruit - or both, God damn it!
Total time: Yield: Serves 6-8

Disclosure Statement: I received this book free from the publisher to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

I don't often make cupcakes. I am not a huge fan of them to be honest, although they do look so pretty and tempting. However, a while back I bought a set of large piping nozzles from Lakeland and I wanted to try them out.

I got in touch with Prezzybox and asked them if they could send me one of their Mini Cupcake Makers to try and before I knew it, it had arrived, all pink and pretty.

Cooper was very excited to try it out. Every time I turned round he would be following me with the box. He couldn't wait for the weekend to come and the making of the cakes.

The Mini Cupcake Maker is super easy to use. When you take it out of the box, give it a quick clean then wipe it over with the smallest amount of oil and switch it on to heat up. This takes about 5 minutes. Then spoon your cake mix in, until each well is 2⁄3 full (there is no need to use cases, although you can if you wish). Shut the lid and leave the cakes to bake for 8-12 minutes and voila. The cutest little cupcakes that just slide out of the wells.

I used the recipe on the box for my first trial, just adding a little vanilla for extra flavour. I was very pleased with them. A good basic recipe to start with. I piped orange flavoured butter icing onto the cupcakes once they were cool. What a diffence it makes using a decent sized nozzle. It make icing the cakes a breeze. The icing wasn't perfect, but much better than my previous attempts.

print recipe

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes
A good basic vanilla cupcake mix.
  • 125g soft, unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Add your butter and sugar to a stand mixer and mix until pale and fluffy. (You can do this by hand or use an electric hand whisk)2. Add the vanilla, milk, eggs and flour and mix until combined. Do not overmix as this will result in a heavy cupcake.3. Spoon some of your cake mix into each of the wells until they are about two thirds full.4. Bake for 8-12 minutes until a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.5. Slide out of the wells and leave to cool on a rack before icing.notes: If you are baking these cupcakes in an oven. Spoon the mixture into cases and bake at 325f/160c/140c fan/gas 3 for about 16 minutes. Do the skewer test with these too.I have given the time for one batch of cupcakes using the cupcake maker.
Total time: Yield: 18 mini cupcakes

print recipe

Orange Butter Icing
Fresh orange juice and orange peel give this butter icing a lovely subtle orange flavour.
  • 150g soft, unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • finely grated peel from 1 orange
1. Whizz the butter in a stand mixer (you can also use a whisk or an electric hand whisk) until really soft.2. While the butter is whizzing gradually add the icing suagr, orange juice and peel. Whizz until smooth.3. Pipe onto your cupcakes preferably using a disposable piping bag (less washing up) and a large nozzle (gives a more professional finish).4. Top with a wee chocolate decoration or any other decoration you prefer.
Total time: Yield: enough for 18 mini cupcakes

The Mini Cupcake Maker from Prezzybox, comes in at a bargian price of £19.95. They also have a large selection of other Cupcake Goodies.

Disclosure Statement: I received this mini cupcake maker free from Prezzybox to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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