Champagne and strawberry celebration sorbet

Moet & Chandon bottle

What do you do when the man you love; the man you’ve spent the last 7 (very happy) years with; the man you moved to the other side of the planet to be with; asks you to marry him?

You say yes.

Moet & Chandon cork

And you celebrate with many many sparkles, strawberries, sorbet and smiles.

That’s all.

Champagne and Strawberry celebration sorbet

Champagne and strawberry sorbet

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Bow ties ‘n’ bolly

Did someone say bolly?

Oh yes please! I’ll just have a wee little drop; oh how I love those bubbles! And what better to pair with bubbles than some beautiful spring strawberries. They’re a match made in heaven.

Fresh spring strawberries

Last weekend we went to a rather wonderful wedding; a very very special wedding – one where there were two dapper and dashing grooms, and not a bridezilla in sight.

One of the handsome grooms happens to be my Fella’s very good friend. So you can only imagine how proud I was to see The Fella stand up beside his mate on the big day, offering moral support, remembering the rings and delivering a suitably embarrassing speech.

Strawberries in white chocolate shirts

I made these strawberries for the Fella to bring over to the boys house that morning while everyone was getting ready. I thought them rather fitting, given the bow ties; and I knew the guys would enjoy them with a pre-ceremony glass of champers.

I got the idea from the fabulous The Vanilla Bean Diaries. Esté’s versions are much tidier (I think she’s going to make it as a master confectioner well before me); and she has the in-process shots down pat, something I’ve never managed.

Strawberries in milk chocolate jackets

However in this case, it probably had a lot to do with the fact I spent most of my time trying to scoff the melted chocolate and not concentrating on the whole photo-taking-bit, ops!

Try these today with a glass of bubbles, I’m sure if you think long enough you can come up with a reason. They really are a match made in heaven, much like our wonderful friends Scott and Mike.

You gotta love the love.

Strawberry bow ties

Chocolate dipped strawberries

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Strawberry and blueberry clafoutis

I’m pretty sure this is my new favourite recipe. It’s yum!

Over the past month or two I’ve eaten so much of this I’m liable to actually turn into a blueberry; not unlike Roald Dahl’s Violet Beauregarde. When I start turning blue, I’ll know it’s time to worry.

Clafoutis is a French desert, generally made with cherries or other stone fruit. It’s absolutely delicious, but the only way I can describe it is as a cross between a cake and custard. Actually, fruity-custardy-cake sums it up pretty well.

In addition to being delicious, it takes all of three minutes to prepare, then sits in the oven for forty effort-free minutes, making it perfect for a dinner party. The only trick is, you do need to eat this while still warm from the oven. We recently made the mistake of bringing it to a friend’s barbeque. Unfortunately, once cooled the egg becomes dense and loses all it’s lovely creaminess. Not a mistake I’ll make again; in future this will all be eaten up quicker than you can say ‘how do you pronounce clafoutis?’.

Strawberry and blueberry clafoutis

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Messy meringue

This week I got to thinking about how recipes are invented. Now, bear with me here, I’m not being totally stupid. Obviously some stuff just tastes good together, like macaroni and cheese. And clearly the Irish national dish of spuds, bacon and cabbage evolved simply because, way back in the day, there just weren’t many other dinner options. But do you ever think some recipes were ‘invented’ by accident and just kind of caught on?

The reason I ask is, this week I made the traditional English summer desert, Eton Mess. Now, I don’t want to mislead you, I hadn’t originally intended to make it. Instead, I envisioned making a beautiful, white, fluffy, towering pavlova. But unfortunately my meringue looked like it had fallen off the back of a truck and then dragged through a hedge backwards by a pack of wild and ravaging dogs.

But it tasted good, nice and crispy on the outside and slightly chewy in the inside and deliciously sweet. So really, the only option was to smush it up, cover it with cream and pretend that’s what I had really intended to do all the while. And I’d like to think that’s how the recipe was ‘invented’ in the first place!

Eton Mess

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