Shabby Blog

Friday, 29 June 2012

Plants I've managed not to kill

Gardening Beginner

I am somewhat of a newcomer to this gardening malarkey. I've been giving it a bit of a go for the last few years with mixed results. However, now I'm at home looking after Nye all day I notice the front garden that is persistently riddled with weeds and I've been slowly doing my best to add flowers and herbs when I can.

Money is obviously a deciding factor when it comes to making changes and limits being able to immediately make it look fit to burst with colour and foliage.  I have made some rookie errors mind you. Firstly, those of us who are not natural gardeners should steer clear of the clearance section where plants are past their best.  Whatever the discount, planting unhealthy plants that immediately die doesn't do much for ones confidence.

This post has been a long time coming as I fail to take photos which really capture how much it has already altered but there is still a long way to go! Here we are back in the day, June 2010 when we bought our first house.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Chocolate and Orange Blossom Mousse

I made my first ever chocolate mousse.  Previously I had incorrectly assumed it was difficult.  I found out that it is in fact easy (as long as you have LOTS of bowls and a electric beater!) Although I don't think you could argue there is much nutritional value other than pure happy indulgence!

I forgot to take a picture :( This is from here

I adapted Jamie Oliver's Recipe from here. (My version uses half and half dark and milk chocolate, alternate orange flavouring to make it a little lighter on the intense chocolate hit.)

Jenni's Chocolate and Orange Blossom Mousse.
Makes 4 small and delicious portions.  Double recipe for more.

* 150g chocolate (I use 100g dark 70% & 50g milk)
* Sea Salt
* 4 Large Eggs
* 50g Caster Sugar (2 1/4 heaped tbsp)
* 150ml double cream
* 1 tsp of orange blossom water (I got this from Waitrose)
* 1 tbsp cocoa powder

1. Melt chocolate adding a small pinch of salt.
2. Separate eggs into whites and yolks.
3. Add the sugar to the yolks and bear until silky smooth (sugar will dissolve)
4. Whisk whites adding a tiny pinch of salt until soft peaks form (can be held over head without falling)
5. In another bowl beat the cream until slightly thick. (just whipped)
6. Add orange blossom water and cocoa powder to yolks and mix.
7. Fold through melted chocolate until well combined.
8. Tip in egg whites and fold in figure of 8 until mix is smooth and evenly coloured.
9. Pour into cups/dishes and leave in fridge to set for 1-2 hours.



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