Posted in I'm Enjoying

I’ve been enjoying…. in July 2013

I’ve Been Enjoying….

….Intense Coconut
lindt coconut intense_opt
a friend told me about Lindt’s Coconut Intense bar and I scoured the shelves of every shop I visited until I came up trumps.  It is a rather tasty little treat.

….Baking Macaroons
choc covered macaroons on rack_opt
keeping things coconutty I’ve been baking macaroons.  Not to be confused with the dainty macaron the macaroon is robust sweet offering, not at all fiddly to make and utterly satisfying for the sweet-toothed.

….Receiving unexpected gifts
willkies hot chocolate_opt
thanks to Shana Wilkie for sending me this gorgeously packaged Wilkie’s Hot Chocolate – I can’t wait to give it a try.  I reviewed Shana’s chocolate some time ago and she was delighted with the write-up.  You can read about it here.

….Quick summer cooking
blackened chicken_opt-1
there’s lots of bashing of chicken fillets going on in my kitchen this summer to produce blackened chicken which is a quick and tasty accompaniment for any salad.

…..Collecting beautiful things
meadows and byrnes jug_opt
I just couldn’t resist this Meadows & Byrne jug especially as it was on sale and came in the quaintest of colours.

….Discovering new products
the natural larder company_opt
I tried the ‘cheeky chilli’ on a puff pastry with melted cheese at a friend’s house and had to buy some myself.  In business since 2012 ,The Natural Larder Company are selling these and other sauces, relishes, chutneys and rubs at Ballincollig and Cornmarket Street markets in Cork.

….Spicing up my mash
Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash_opt
With a few simple store cupboard ingredients, sweet potato and carrot mash can really be livened up.

Goodalls garlic ginger chillies_opt
I highly recommend these little jars of garlic, chillies and ginger paste from Goodall’s – great to have in your fridge and saves you peeling, chopping, time and tears.

Talk to you in August! Enjoy, x Sheila

Posted in Baking Day


If you were to google the difference between Macaroon and Macaron you may come across a definition where the former is described as’ the ugly little cousin’ of the latter –  ‘the luscious confection’.   Now on the surface the macaron, bedecked of late in trendy pastels, may indeed appear the prettier of the two, she is to me though a  flimsy little thing so light in fact as to almost melt on the tongue and disappear in an instant.  Is that really what we want from a confection?  More suited I think to participate as an offering in a selection of desserts perhaps in an afternoon tea, where tastes of this and that are offered as on her own she will never satisfy.  The macaroon on the other hand will deliver on the satisfaction front.  Judge for yourself but this is no ‘ugly little cousin.’
macaroons and egg cup_opt
macaroons on baking trays b4 cook_opt
cooked macaroons on tray_opt
choc covered macaroons on rack_opt
close up macaroon on rack_opt
opened macaroon on rack_opt

Simple to make and gluten-free if you are a coconut lover you will enjoy this treat.

You will need:
3 egg whites
175g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g dessicated coconut
100g dark chocolate (I used Lindt Coconut Intense for extra coconuttiness!)
Pre-heat the fan oven to 180C / Gas Mark 6.
Place the egg whites, caster sugar and vanilla extract together in a saucepan and whisk together over a medium heat until a little thickened, warm and frothy (3-4 minutes).
Allow to cool off the heat for a minute or two – it should not be very hot anyway.  Then stir in the dessicated coconut.
Place heaped spoonfuls onto lined baking trays – I used an egg cup to shape my macaroons instead of using spoons.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch on the outside and still squishy inside.
Allow to cool before placing on a wire tray.  Sit the wire tray over a sheet of baking / parchment paper and top your macaroons with melted chocolate.  Leave to firm up.
‘Til next time, Sheila.