Authors Posts by Samantha



London Bakes Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies

This was a record setting read. Time from reading the post, to realising I had the ingredients, to being in the kitchen? Under a minute.
I’ve been looking for the perfect hedonistic chocolate cake recipe for a while, and have become obsessed with sweet recipes that use lots and lots of chocolate, rather than flour.
salted chocolate cookie, recipe, london bakes blog

Cinnamon and Apple French Toast

Brunch is a meal that is made better by two things. The first is sunshine, the second is champagne.
apple and cinnamon, french toast, recipe, brunch
Although, not much could make this brunch better. French toast just isn’t done properly in most restaurants, the bread isn’t thick enough, the flavour is insipid and it’s usually revoltingly overpriced.

Simple suppers: tomato and garlic bread

I like ‘supper’ as a word. It’s just so terribly proper.
This is a very simple supper. Because when your life is in boxes and you’re not buying any food for three weeks, simple makes for better head space.
You will need:
1 garlic bulb
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 180 (fan).
Wrap the garlic bulb in foil and place in a roasting tray with the tomatoes. Bake for 45 minutes.
Squeeze the garlic out of its skin, and mash with a fork.
Spread on warmed bread and top with tomatoes!
It’s a super fresh, nourishing meal – real food for the soul. Garlic, when roasted, is a warming subtle flavour – combined with the sweet and sharp tomatoes and the comfort of fresh warm bread.
Perfect thing to restore balance to the soul!

Hazlenut butter cookies

I just always figured that someone would have a tonne of recipes making shortbread out of nut butters. But if they’re out there, I can’t darn well find them.
hazlenut butter, eat clean, nut butter cookie, recipe, chocolate cookie,
This could have been a real fail of a recipe, but it’s actually surprisingly tasty. I may try and do something else using up some spelt flour I have – maybe I’ll even go the whole hog and substitute the sugar for honey and we can start a #cleancookie fad? (Some how I don’t see this being the next cronut…)

Two ingredient crispy duck

Ya know my theory about home made always being better than shop bought? Well, it just doesn’t apply to takeaways. I can make a mean home made pizza, whizz up pretty snazzy naan and make a mean chilli chicken. But there are days when a lady just needs dinner delivered in a foil tray. And that’s okay.

crispy duck recipe, peking duck, chinese, healthy, asian

But have you SEEN the price of crispy duck? I just can’t pay it. It’s wrong and I can make it *almost* as fast as they can bring it to me. Two ingredients, and a very tasty dinner. Serve it up with some hoisin and it’s a very luxurious evening supper.

Orange polenta muffins with lemon and violet curd (GF)

re with me. I realise this sounds like I’ve been beamed up by the foodie knob brigade.
It works. Sweet, citrus, floral. If you want spring time in a muffin, then this is all I’ve got.
orange polenta cake, baking, recipes, curd, lemon curd, lemon and violet curdorange polenta cake, baking, recipes, curd, lemon curd, lemon and violet curd

Five spice chilli chicken with caramelised cashews

This wasn’t an intended blog post. But I was stumbling around in the kitchen on Monday evening, and a plate of utter glorious-ness was born. I thought you might like it…
recipe, crisy chicken, sweet chili, five spice, cashews, spinach
Crispy chilli chicken, with a five spice crumb, wilted greens and utterly sexy cashews. This is worth putting down your Easter egg for.
AND you can make it all in under ten minutes.

Tea for two and two for tea

This weekend O and I joined his family in Wales to celebrate his mama’s birthday. We’d intended to head down early on the Saturday and have some time in Conwy by the sea.
Afternoon tea, seiont manor, hotel, hand picked hotels, review

Clean Eating: fake fried chicken and mint quinoa

Oh look. I lied. Oops. This isn’t ‘fried chicken’ (I’m working on a clean fried chicken, but it’s not *quite* there yet).
It’s lime and ginger chicken wings, deliciously charred on the outside, served up with a fresh, citrusy quinoa.
I’m not one to ever, ever feel guilty about food (nonsensical) but if you are that way inclined, or overdosed on nasty Cadburys Easter chocolate, lend your hand to this.
clean eating, picnic food, lime chicken, quinoa

Mini Egg Fudge (and a sorry tale)

You may remember I made Easter eggs this year. Turns out Easter eggs don’t do train travel so good.
(There may have been an incident where I discovered this late on Friday night and sobbed my heart out for  a good half an hour. Yup.
So I dragged my sorry, snot-nosed, mascara ridden self down to Tesco only to be informed of a ‘national mini egg shortage’.
I mean…. seriously?!
It’s okay though, because I found some. If you’ve given up chocolate for lent – this is the way you want to reintroduce it back into your diet.
Although you may also want a cardiologist on stand by.
You will need:
700g dark chocolate
2 tins condensed milk
60g butter
400g mini eggs
(based on Nigella’s fudge recipe).

Melt chocolate, condensed milk and butter over a low heat.
Scatter through 300g mini eggs – you can bash them about into pieces, but they may melt if you do…
Pour into a clingfilm lined mould and top with the remaining mini-eggs.
Leave to set before slicing.
Eat for breakfast?

Tea and homemade crumpets

I have a theory when it comes to food. If shop bought is good, home made is orgasmic. Crumpets are most certainly not an exception to this rule.
crumpet recipe, delia, afternoon tea

Creme Egg Croissants

I made six of these beauties when home alone on Sunday. Now I’ve stashed five of them in my freezer and I’m desperately filling my fridge with all things green. If there was every a dish that could solidify your arteries with a glance, it is this one.
creme egg croissants recipe
And oh lord, it isn’t half glorious.

Springtime Morsels: Blueberry Muffins

As we’re hurtling towards Easter, I’m forced to admit that spring is finally here, and I have to give up my obsession with all things decadent and chocolate, and turn to lighter, fresher flavours.blueberry muffin recipe

blueberry muffin recipe


This weekend is the start of the ‘Bess makes everyone’s Easter eggs’ challenge. I imagine this is going to go something like the ‘Bess makes everyone’s Christmas presents’ fiasco and ends up taking over all my free time and costing about seven billion times more than going shop bought.
Easter eggs
Still. I’ve bought the moulds, I’ve scoured around for the inspiration and it’s just too jolly late to turn back now.


Harry Potter is a subject very close to my heart. It’s probably one of the cultural references that defined my childhood, and started my love of epic journeys, magic and the art of the possible.
Harry Potter Studio Tour Review
Even now, when I’m sad, tired, stressed, those books are the place I go to be with friends. They bring me so much comfort, and so much peace. I have very, very few extrovert tendencies – without time alone to recharge, I’m one crabby lady. Books gave me the perfect excuse for this before I knew how to articulate my love of solitude. People relate to a love of reading more easily than they do a frustration with human relationships.
Harry Potter Studio Tour ReviewHarry Potter Studio Tour Review
So, when the Harry craze began, I became the girl who could devour books in hours – with only the first book taking me longer than a day to read (blame my mother for taking it off me…).  I’d love to write at length about how Hermione gave me a powerful female role model, but I actually found her intensely irritating.
Harry Potter Studio Tour Review
Which, all in all, was probably very good for me – I wasn’t above being a bit of a ‘know-it-all’ and I find my perspective easier to digest when it comes from fiction, rather than life.
Harry Potter Studio Tour Review
The films were much less important to me. I truly resent some of the things that were changed. (For instance the gift of the firebolt at the end of Azkaban? I’m really not over that).  However, I loved books because they let me hide in plain sight.
Harry Potter Studio Tour ReviewHarry Potter Studio Tour Review
I enjoyed The Harry Potter Studio Tour for much the same reason. I’ve been twice, the first time with a wonderful group of bloggers, and the second with my family. For me, the best thing is how easy it is to lose yourself in the crowd. I think I could go ten times, and notice different things each time. And you can fly a broomstick.
Harry Potter Studio Tour Review
I wish there were more full size sets, but Diagon Alley does set my heart a-flutter.
Harry Potter Studio Tour ReviewHarry Potter Studio Tour ReviewHarry Potter Studio Tour ReviewHarry Potter Studio Tour ReviewHarry Potter Studio Tour Review
If you’re taking little ones, be prepared for them to be overwhelmed in the gift shop. You have to see it to believe it… My big brother took home a limited edition print, and I contemplated wall papering my bathroom in marauders maps. It’s the dream.
Harry Potter Studio Tour ReviewHarry Potter Studio Tour Review
Even Mama TE enjoyed herself – particularly looking at the behind the scenes use of perspective and the scale models. Models are definitely not really for me, and I skipped through there both times. Choosing instead to linger around the Hogwarts exterior and terrify my niece with the Monster Book of Monsters.
Harry Potter Studio Tour ReviewHarry Potter Studio Tour ReviewHarry Potter Studio Tour Review
The sheer scale of the operation never fails to fill me with wonder. All started by one woman, on a train from Manchester, who dreamed of a boy who didn’t know he was a wizard.
Harry Potter Studio Tour Review
Harry Potter Studio Tour Review
Harry Potter Studio Tour Review
Hermione may not have been my role model, but Jo is forever reminding me of what I think is the best possible way to be remembered, as someone
“who did the best she could, with the talent she had”

Go to the studio tour, and marvel at the talents of the people who brought JK Rowling’s world to life, and pay homage to the lady who defined the childhood of a generation.

Clean Eating: Spelt Baconcakes

Pancakes are good. Bacon pancakes are better. Speltbaconcakes (one word) are a whole new grown up world of yummy goodness. It does, in fact, give you the ‘tummy snuggles’. (Other such foods include yorkshires, roast parsnips and lime cover chicken that slips right off the bone… ooo-er).
bacon, spelt, pancakes, recipeA quick word on spelt flour – it’s not wheat, but it’s also not gluten free. Despite what current food trends would have you believe. However, the gluten structure is different to wheat – so people with a small wheat intolerance might be ok – if you’re a full blown celiac and bread is your nemesis, you’re still going to need to swap this for a GF flour. It will still be good, but it’s going to loose that very decadent, slightly nutty edge that spelt brings.