Archive for the Gifts Category

Ma’amite to toast the Queen’s Jubilee

Posted in English food, Gifts, Savoury with tags , , , , on 07/05/2012 by libbyplummer

Ma'amite Marmite for the Diamond JubileeMarmite is toasting the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a suitably patriotic version of its yeast-based toast topper and British breakfast staple.

Known as Ma’amite (the joke really only works in an English accent), the jar sports the red, white and blue of the Union Jack, rather than the familiar yellow and red.

I’ve bought myself a jar from Sainsbury’s already to sit alongside my, er, collection of special Marmite jars that includes a black and white Guinness-flavoured version that the company brought out for St Patrick’s Day a few years back….

Cadbury Screme Eggs for Halloween

Posted in English food, Gifts, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , on 01/10/2011 by libbyplummer

Cadbury Screme EggFans of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs will be pleased to hear that they’re no longer confined to Easter. The legendary chocolate manufacturer is selling a slightly more macabre version in celebration of Halloween. Renamed Screme Eggs, the sinister treats sport a suitably seasonal green, purple and black wrapper, while the traditional yellow yolk has been transformed into a toxic green.

After a Twitter-based tip-off from Miss Cakehead, I hotfooted it down to Selfridge’s on Oxford Street to pick up a few (half a dozen to be precise). In my defence – I’ve only eaten one so far.

Keep your eyes peeled in the shops or order direct from Cadbury – 15 notes for 24 eggs.

Rock star cook book coming soon

Posted in Books, Gifts with tags , , , , , on 25/08/2011 by libbyplummer

Love Music, Love Food Brian MayLove Music, Love Food is a brand new cook book packed with interviews with more than 60 rock stars talking about their favourite foods. Featuring images from renowned foodie photographer Patrice de Villiers, the book has been penned by music journo Andrew Harrison with recipes from rock ‘n’ roll caterer Sarah Muir.

The stellar lineup includes Noel Gallagher extolling the virtues of Yorkshire Tea, Queen’s Brian May, in praise of grapefruit and The Who’s Roger Daltrey talking trout.

Love Music, Love Food is available from 5 September and has been put together to raise awareness (and funds) for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Via: Shortlist
Image: Patrice DeVilliers

Han Solo in carbonite chocolates

Posted in Baking, Gifts, Kitchen gadgets, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , on 28/07/2011 by libbyplummer

Han Solo in carbonite chocolate

When I heard that Firebox was selling a Han Solo in carbonite ice tray I was on the case faster than the Millennium Falcon on the Kessel Run. Sorry – I know I bang on about Star Wars quite a lot on London Baking, but when there’s a chance to re-create one of cinema’s coolest characters in chocolate form, there’s not a second to be wasted.

Although it’s billed as an ice tray, it can also be used for other things like chocolate and jelly, so I set about trying to craft some chocolate that actually resembled the fictional carbonite compound that Han was frozen in (I clearly had too much times on my hands last weekend).

Han Solo frozen in carbonite

The nice people at Firebox very kindly sent me one of the trays to try out. Here’s the recipe for Han Solo chocolates:

What you’ll need:
150g chocolate
Black dusting powder (optional)

What to do:
It’s really not rocket science. All you need to do is melt the chocolate, pour it into the mould and leave it to set, but if you want a few pointers then please do read on.

Han Solo in carbonite ice tray

You can use any type of chocolate you like – milk, plain or white – the higher the quality the better. If you want to make your Han Solos grey like mine then you’ll need to go for white chocolate. To melt the choc, pour a small amount of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down so that it’s simmering gently. Then break 150g of chocolate into small pieces and plonk in a heat-proof bowl and sit the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure that there’s some distance between the water and the bottom of the bowl. Stir until the chocolate is melted and then remove from the heat.

If you don’t intend to colour your chocolate, then simply pour it into the mould – it should be just the right amount to fill each segment to the top. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or a spatula and clean off any access around the edges (this will make it easier to pop the chocs out of the mould once they’re set). The chocolate should set at room temperature (provided that it’s not a really hot day), or you can bung the mould in the fridge to speed up the process. The temperature of your kitchen or fridge will determine how long the chocolate takes to set, but it should be solid and ready for scoffing within a couple of hours. Once set, simply pop the chocolates out of the mould.

Han Solo chocolates

To make ‘carbonite grey’ chocolate, you’ll need to add some black dusting powder (a little at a time) to white chocolate and stir until you get the colour you want. Water-based food colours are a no-go as they won’t mix with the chocolate.

For more photos of the mould and the chocolates that I made, head over to my hands-on write up at

The Han Solo in carbonite ice tray is available from Firebox for £9.99.

Penguin launches Great Food book series

Posted in Baking, Books, Gifts with tags , , , , , , , , on 02/05/2011 by libbyplummer

Penguin Great Food booksLiterature and food are two of my favourite things so I was very pleased to hear that Penguin has launched a new series of books called Great Food. As well as being a masterclass in book cover design (if you’re interested, check out Penguin By Design), the Great Food range harks back to the days when food writing was less about Angry Birds cake-based blog posts and more about culinary creativity combined with literary prowess.

Penguin Great Food books spines
The series includes excerpts from well-known volumes such as Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management and Alexandre Dumas’ Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine along with collections of bite-sized essays.

Damn you, Penguin, I’m still trying to work my way through the millions of titles (approximately) in the Great Ideas series! *shakes fist*

Via: The Guardian

Will & Cake royal wedding cake shop

Posted in Baking, Biscuits, Cakes, English food, Gifts, Out and about with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26/04/2011 by libbyplummer

Mini Royal Wedding cakesIf you want to celebrate the upcoming royal nuptials though the medium of cake then get yourself down to the Will & Cake pop-up shop at Maiden, 188  Shoreditch High Street, London.

William and Cake

The brainchild of Miss Cakehead, the shop will be open for one day only on Thursday 28 April 2011, the day before Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot. You’ll be able to take your pick from a wide range of sugar-coated regal treats including Will and Kate cake pops from Molly Bakes, mini replicas of William’s McVities Chocolate biscuit groom’s cake from Black Cherry Bakery and Mini Wedding Cakes from Leshie Loves Cake.

See Will & Cake for the full menu and to get your orders in.

Via: Maiden
Via: Miss Cakehead

Photos: Nathan Pask

Chocolate Zombie Bunny

Posted in American food, Baking, Gifts with tags , , , , , on 14/04/2011 by libbyplummer

Chocolate Zombie Bunny in basketLike the Canned Unicorn Meat and the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag that came before it, the Chocolate Zombie Bunny is the latest April Fool gag to become a reality from the pranksters over at ThinkGeek.

A perfect Easter treat for zombie movie fans, unhinged relatives or those that are simply bored of the annual Cadbury’s Creme Egg-fest, the edible rabbit is crafted from 8oz of solid white chocolate and is dyed green for an appetizing undead look.

Chocolate Zombie Bunny
You can order your Chocolate Zombie Bunny now for $14.99. ThinkGeek will also ship outside of the US, but prepare to get stung for postage and packing.

(Update: It’s currently out of stock, but new supplies are due on 15/04/11).