Thursday, 29 December 2016

My top 5 travel experiences of 2016

Twenty sixteen was our year for travel.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Salted caramel chocolate clusters

More edible gifts, folks!

These are especially easy as they use those festive ingredients and treats you may have in your cupboards at this time of year. I'm watching This Morning as I type this and I hear echos of TV chef in this post... apologies.

They involve minimal preparation; a bit of melting and prodding (technical term) but are fairly straightforward. Oh and they taste amazing. Your challenge: not to eat your entire yield of clusters before Christmas itself.

For the salted caramel
50g unsalted butter
100g dark brown sugar
30ml double cream
Maldon sea salt flakes

Dark chocolate
I've not given quantities, as it depends how many you want to make. The ingredients will make a bowl of salted caramel sauce; you will need three or four pecans per cluster.

In a small pan melt the butter, sugar and cream together. You will want to bring it to a gentle bubble for about five minutes. Take off the heat, and stir in a generous pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes. Leave to cool slightly whilst you toast the pecans.

Throw the pecans in to a frying pan and toast on a medium-low heat for a few minutes, until you can smell the nutty aroma. Be careful as they can burn quite easily! Take off the heat, and place on a sheet of greaseproof paper in small clusters. I used 3-4 pecans per cluster.

Using a teaspoon, pour over the salted caramel. Ensure each of the pecans is covered, to ensure they 'glue' together. Leave to cool and set at room temperature for at least a few hours, if not overnight.

Melt chocolate gently in a bain marie or a bowl over boiling water.

You should temper your chocolate for that professional, shiny look, but who has time for that in the lead up to Christmas? I mean if you fancy it, Google the how to!

Using a teaspoon, pour over the clusters. Sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on top and leave to set for an hour or so. Et voila!

They can be sticky, so if gifting be sure to pop in some greaseproof paper before wrapping.


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Chocolate Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are one of my favourite things to bake; they're simple yet tick all the boxes for flavour, comfort and sweet tooth satisfaction.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Festive peppermint creams two ways

I'm all for edible gifts.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Chiang Rai to Laos via a Mekong slow boat cruise

Many backpackers will make the journey from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai (see my post here on what to do there) with the intention of travelling on to Laos. There are a handful or so different routes and transport methods to choose from, but the most attractive for us was arriving in Luang Prabang by boat.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Pulled pork bánh mì

In Vietnam, I completely fell in love with the cuisine.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Taking a sabbatical - the adult gap year

I often see people saying that travelling once you're 'older' is impossible.
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