Maclairs and The Little Macaron Shop

25 June 2014

Ever since I first heard the word 'cronut' I've been desperate to try something from the hybrid foods craze. So when I heard about the 'Maclairs', a British original and available from somewhere we regularly visit - Liverpool, on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch a few months I was desperate to go.

This weekend we finally made the pilgrimage and it was well worth the wait.
Maclairs from the little macaron shop
I've always found eclairs a little bit of a disappointing dessert. It just always felt like something was missing. It turns out that something was a wonderfully chewy macaron topping. They are incredible.

When we visited, they were serving peanut butter and jelly maclairs which consisted of a pastry base topped with peanut butter, cream and a flavoured macaron. It was the stuff of dreams. I'm not even a big fan of peanut butter and I still thought they were delicious.

While we were in the shop (which is adorable and tiny and has lovely friendly staff) we also tried the macarons of the day which were lemon flavoured and equally as magical.

I've heard rumours of a maclair cookbook being on the horizon but in the meantime I'm definitely going to be trying to find a way to recreate these at home. Any tips, recipe suggestions or advice on making macarons (I've never tried before) would be greatly welcome as I'm absolutely obsessed with the idea! And if anyone knows where I can find some more UK hybrid foods please let me know that as well!

English Breakfast Muffins

18 June 2014

I am the worst at eating breakfast, I usually forget to eat it entirely and then scoff a mars bar at my desk when the 10am hunger pangs arrive. I'm also really bad at remembering to eat fruit or anything else even close to good for my body unless its disguised inside some sort of cake or other dessert but when I saw all the delicious fresh summery fruits on display on a recent shopping trip, I was determined to change. And so, my breakfast muffins were born. They aren't exactly the healthiest thing you could have for breakfast but if you were concerned with calorie counting you probably wouldn't be on this blog in the first place and I figure I've got to start somewhere...

Based on the Chai muffins I made a while back, I wanted to experiment cooking with some different flavours and fruits and I couldn't think of a better edition to some blueberry breakfast muffins than English Breakfast tea! I used this Twinnings English Breakfast loose leaf and it turned out really well but I'd love to know how they are with other blends so don't forget to comment if you make them. I think they'd also be really nice (and have more of a breakfast feel) with some oats scattered across the top but I haven't been able to have a go yet. If anyone has tried anything similar please let me know how it went!

Rhubarb Gin and Tonic

8 June 2014

I've been meaning to write some cocktail and drinks related posts for some time now and with World Gin Day coming up next weekend, I couldn't think of a better reason to start.

As anyone who has ever been stuck in a pub with me knows, I am incredibly fussy when it comes to alcoholic drinks. I usually end up the boring one with a lemonade because there's nothing I like behind the bar. Gin is usually my drink of choice, I think it has a certain sophistication to it, but more importantly, its very versatile. You can do so much more with this drink than just a simple gin and tonic and you don't need to be a mixologist.

Rhubard Gin Cocktail with IKEA syrup

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