Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Tiramisu Veloce, Quick Tiramisu

I love an Italian classic dish. When I go to an Italian restaurant I usually order a dessert. Sometimes I'll order a tiramisu or a lovely sharp tart. The best tiramisu I ordered was in Milan, it had the perfect combination of alcohol, sponge fingers, mascarpone cheese and chocolate. As much as I love tiramisu, I've never actually made it at home. Until now, that was in part due to WH Smith selling a number of cookery books, including Jamie's Italian for £3. Flicking through the cookery book I was inspired by a number of desserts but I was eager to try this quick tiramisu. I fancied a quick dessert with minimal effort and this recipe certainly does the trick. The flavour of the coffee and orange zest was strong, but me being a lover of a strong hit, I added a couple of tablespoons of rum which I felt enhanced the flavour. 

15 sponge fingers
285ml pint good strong coffee, freshly brewed
4 tablespoons caster sugar
500g mascarpone
2 vanilla pods
140ml pint vin santo or sweet cherry
zest and juice of 1 orange
100g best-quality dark chocolate

Get yourself a medium deep bowl or dish about 20 to 25 cm/ 8 to 10 inches in diameter and arrange your sponge fingers snugly in layers on top of each other. Sweeten your coffee with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Pour the coffee over the sponge fingers, making sure the top later is completely covered - you'll see the coffee being sucked  up the sponge. Wile that's soaking, put your mascarpone into a bowl and whisk it up with the rest of the sugar.

Score the vanilla pods length ways and scrape the seeds out into the bowl of mascarpone keeping the pods for making vanilla sugar if you want to. Continue whisking and as you do so, drizzle in the vin santo or sherry. You want to get it to a loose, shiny consistency. If it's still too thick you can use a little of the orange juice to loosen it before you squeeze the rest of the juice over the sponge fingers. Smear the vanilla mascarpone over the sponges and either grate over all the chocolate or make shavings using a knife or a peeler. Sprinkle lightly with a little finely grated orange zest and keep in the fridge until you're ready to serve, as it's best serve chilled.


Saturday, 10 March 2018

Barista School at 200 Degrees Review

A few weeks ago, I received an invite to check out the barista school at 200 degrees coffee shop in Birmingham with a couple of fellow bloggers. I love coffee, but I'm more of an instant coffee type of girl. Although I like to have the occasional cappuccino, latte and frappuchino at a coffee shop, I'm not one to visit coffee shops several times a week. As much as I love coffee, I know very little in the art of making a proper coffee using ground beans. So when I received the invite, I had to take the offer so I can go back to a classroom and learn all I need to know on how to make the perfect barista.

First thing is 200 Degrees is an independent coffee shop with a few shops across the Midlands. The shop that I visited was located on Colmore Row, in the heart of Birmingham. 200 Degrees have two floors, the first floor is where you can buy luscious coffee and lunch, on the ground floor is where they host the barsita class. The barista class is held once a month and is held in a light and airy room.

The knowledgeable teacher for the barista class was Alex who expertly taught myself and other keen bloggers the art of making barista. Also part of the class is learning all about the history of coffee, where in the world coffee is made, the process it goes through before it becomes much loved coffee beans and arrives in the UK. I found the information about the history of coffee informative, yet relaxed, knowledgeable and Alex expertly  answered all our many questions.

After our coffee lesson, we got to sample the coffee that is made on the professional coffee machines which cost a whopping £3,000. The bloggers first learnt all about the difference between a good and bad espresso. After we were taught about the importance of collaboration of water and crushing the coffee beans when making an espresso, I was given the opportunity to make my own espresso. Now, having never crushed my own coffee beans before, I initially struggled with using the coffee machine  I certainly didn't have the nack initially. However, once I realised how to do this, I was making several espressos - they were strong but good.

Following our successful go at making an espresso, we began to make lattes.

After we learnt how to make lattes, the group settled with a luscious light lunch. I must say the sandwiches and cakes were absolutely delicious.

Have I tempted you enough to treat yourself to a barista class? If so, check out 200 Degree Barista Schools website where you can book and learn how to be a master barista. 

Disclaimer: I was invited to check out the barista class from 200 Degrees. All opinions are my own. 


Sunday, 4 March 2018

February 2018 Monthly Eatings

February quickly flew past and we are hopping into March. I don't think I ate as much in February compared to previous months, but I managed to check out a few restaurants in Dudley, Birmingham and Shrewsbury.

Harvester - Dudley

Cappadocia Restaurant - Turkish

Arothai Restaurant 

200 Degrees Birmingham


Thursday, 1 March 2018

What happens to your body during a cleanse

What Happens to Your Body with Organo Gold's Cleansing?
Ever felt slightly unwell or run down from an upset tummy? Of course you have. When you are feeling unwell due to a stomach bug, it's your body's way of trying rapidly cleanse your body of substances. It may not feel comfortable at the time, but the after affects are definitely worth it. 
Organo Gold has helped millions of people provide a subtle, critical cleansing. Let me tell you more about this process. After a busy and hectic day you want to cleanse your body, whether this is a 
a refreshing shower or a long soak in the bath - I know that I do. After a relaxing shower or soak in the bath, you probably will cream your skin, take the time out to put some deodorant on and brush your teeth. All these tasks bring about a great renewal feeling to your mind and your body. 

After that shower, you head to dinner and decide that you would enjoy a warm cup of Organo Gold Mocha coffee. While you drink it, the Organo Gold coffee is going to subtly work to cleanse and refresh the inside of your body. But where do the bodily wastes go? It is not as easy as washing them down the drain. They must exit the body, and they do so through your skin, the excretory process, or even through the mucous membranes.  It may sound yucky, but it's true. 

After drinking Organo Gold, your hair might become a bit more oily than it normally feels. Your skin may excrete a bit more sweat or oils than the norm. You may experience minor bouts of loose stool. And your sinuses may subject you to an extra few tissues. But do not let these effects alarm you! The product is simply seeking to wash out the wastes from your body and is moving them out of your system. This is why after you've had that shower, brushed your teeth with Organo Gold toothpaste, and enjoyed a cup of Organo Gold coffee, you should not be alarmed by any of the above cleansing reactions that your body might exhibit. 

Over time, you will find that your body reacts in a more subtle manner to the ongoing cleansing process and you likely start seeing smaller reactions from your body. This is because your system will adapt over time and get to the point where it has only the daily "marauders" to evict. 

We hope this makes sense. After all, you don't expect your shower water to be clear and sparkling after your shower, do you?

Disclaimer: In collaboration with Organo Gold. 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Quick Fruit Crumble

I'm having a bit of a cookbook cull, sorting through the books I rarely use and treasuring the ones which I use all the time. Weight Watchers Cook Smart Family Food is one of the oldest cookbooks I  own and one of the bookmarked diet cookbooks that I use. A few lazy Sundays ago, I fancied a warming crumble, but without the calories. It would be impossible to make a pudding with 0 calories, but this crumble is actually very fruity and only contains 240 calories per serving. This crumble is incredibly quick as it uses tinned peaches as the main fruit, but you can swap this for tinned fruit cocktail if you wish. From start to finish this crumble will be ready in around 30 minutes and as it's lighter on the waistline, you could treat yourself to a second helping. 

1 x 420g can peaches in natural juice drained
1 ripe banana, sliced thinly
50g low fat polyunsaturated margarine
100g plain white flour
1 tablespoon light brown soft sugar
2 tablespoons porridge oats
freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/ 190C/ Fan Oven 170C
Tip the canned fruit into a medium size baking dish - chop the fruit if necessary. Mix in the banana sliced.
Place the margarine, flour and sugar in a food processor and whizz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the porridge oats. Spoon this topping over the fruit and sprinkle over nutmeg.
Place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the topping is lightly browned.

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