Home-made chocolate creme eggs

There’s something magic about chocolate creme eggs – the illusion of a real egg inside, but a hit of sweet, gooey yumminess instead.  You can turn them into an actual Easter activity with the kids this weekend by having a go at making them yourself.

You will need:

800g milk chocolate of your choice
100g sugar
100g water
500g white fondant icing
Yellow and orange food colouring

And any sized mould to suit your appetite.


⦁ Take 800g chocolate and melt it in a bain marie to 45C. Never a microwave, it won’t achieve a good melt and may burn the chocolate.
⦁ Pour two-thirds of the chocolate on to a large marble surface. Ideally you will have this installed already and call it your counter.  Temper it with a palette knife and a scraper, moving, spreading, piling in, spreading again, moving, until it starts to solidify.( this is purely to make the chocolate shiny )
⦁ Place it back into the remaining third of still melted chocolate. Mix well until evenly smooth. Pour the whole lot into your mould and tap on a work surface to release any air bubbles.
⦁ Leave it for two to three minutes. Pour out the excess. Put the shells in the fridge for 20 minutes.
⦁ Put 100g sugar and 100ml water into a pan and dissolve to make sugar syrup
⦁ Take 500g of white fondant icing, cut it in half, kneed yellow food colouring into one half.
⦁ Grate the icing and mix it with sugar syrup until it is the consistency of buttercream icing
⦁ Fill each shell half with white fondant then a teaspoon size of yellow for the yolk and stick the two halves together with a little melted chocolate.

Have a lovely Easter holiday!


Succulent Steak for Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day

Looking for a treat to woo a special someone this Valentine’s Day?  Why not treat him or her to a night in with some exceptional home-cooking?

Here’s a little menu we’ve put together for you, which we’re certain will do the job.

Main Course

Rump steak and chunky chips, served with whole baked buttered-mushrooms, baked tomatoes, garden peas and crispy bacon roses.


Valentine's Day Steak and ChipsValentines2













  • 2 Rump Steaks
  • 1 Packet of streaky bacon
  • Good quality oven chips
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms
  • 2 Beef tomatoes
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 tube of cocktail sticks
  • A chilled bottle of Champagne/Prosecco (optional)



Pre heat oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas mark 6.

Remove your rump steaks from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature while you’re preparing the rest of your meal.  Season with pepper and oil if you wish.

Prepare the bacon roses.  Pre-soak the cocktail sticks in water to prevent them from burning.  Roll up each piece of bacon (see picture below), and secure with soaked cocktail sticks.

Bacon roses

Cut the tomatoes in half and place alongside the upturned mushrooms on a separate baking tray.  Brush the mushrooms with some melted butter if you wish.  Season your vegetables.

Place the desired amount of chips on a separate baking tray and place on the top shelf of the oven.

Place the trays with the bacon roses, tomatoes and mushrooms on the middle shelf.

Bake for 40 Minutes.

15 minutes before your vegetables and chips are due to finish baking, heat a frying-pan to a moderate-high heat.  Salt your steaks and place them into the pan.  Oil the steak and not the pan.  We like our steak rare, which will take almost moments on each side, but cook for as long as you and your date prefer.

Remove from the pan, allow a minute or two to rest on your plate while you serve the rest of the meal.

Serve over a candlelit table, with a large glass of Champagne and an IOU voucher for a treat of his or her choice.

Valentines Day

Full-Impact Chocolate Cake

chocolate Smarties cake

Here’s a colourful, chocolatey treat for you to try yourselves.  This chocolate cake is a feast for the eyes, yet super-simple to create.  It has maximum visual-impact, so would be perfect for a party!


For the cake

  • Butter (unsalted) 260g 
  • Dark muscovado sugar 260g
  • Eggs (free-range preferably)
  • White self-raising flour 260g
  • Baking powder 2½tsp
  • Water (boiling) 8tbsp
  • Cocoa powder 60g


For the buttercream icing

  • Icing sugar sifted 500g
  • Cocoa powder 75g
  • Butter (unsalted) 300g
  • Milk 2tbsp
  • Sweets of your choice
  • Kit-Kat chocolate bars for the outside


chocolate Smarties cake


1        Preheat oven to 180oc/fan-assisted 160oc/Gas mark 4

2        Grease and line three 8-inch cake tins.

3        Use a hand-mixer to cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

4        Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each one.

5        Sift in the baking powder and gently fold into the wet mixture.

6        In a separate bowl mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water to form a paste, before adding to the mixture.  Gently combine together.

7        Once fully-combined, carefully pour the mixture into the 3 prepared cake tins, making sure that all 3 are equal measures.

8        Bake the sponges in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when you insert it into the middle of the sponges.

9        Once baked, leave the cakes to cool on a wire rack.

chocolate Smarties cake

10      Once cooled, carefully cut out a circle from the centre of  2 of the sponges.  These will be the bottom layers of the cake.

11      Place one of the cakes with a hole on a cake board that you ‘re going to present your cake on.

12     Beat together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter to make your buttercream.

13    Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the bottom layer of your cake, not covering the hole. Once iced, place the second holed-cake on top.

14    Fill the hole with any sweets of your choice to the top.

15    Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top.  Place the final sponge layer without the hole on the top to seal the sweets in.

16    Spread the remainder of the buttercream generously around the outside of the cake.

17    Place chocolate wafer biscuits (we’ve used Kit-Kat) around the side of the cake, making sure that there is a one inch dip so that you  can fill the top with more sweets of your choice.

chocolate Smarties cake


Throwing a Spooky Spectacular Halloween Party!


As Halloween fast approaches, pumpkins and decorations begin to emerge and children begin to ooze of fake blood, scary teeth and general gore. It is probably a good time to start thinking about what to do in terms of throwing an awesome, devilishly scary party that your kids and all their friends will remember for a long time to come. Keep reading and find everything you need to know in order to make sure this Halloween is the scariest and most fun yet.

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How to “spookify” your bakes this Halloween


It’s Halloween and we can’t think of a better holiday to get creative with your baking. You can turn just about any recipe into a creepy, crawly and spooky treat for the entire family with just a few adjustments and a little creativity.

Here are a few ideas to inspire your Halloween cooking and baking… don’t be such a scaredy cat, get that apron on, and let’s go!

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