Divine Chocolate and Raspberry Truffle Cake recipe

By Linda Collister

Very pretty and special – For Valentine’s Day

Makes one large cake


For the sponge:
200g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
4 tbsps Amaretto Disaronno (amaretti liqueur)
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar plus 3 tbsps extra
6 large free-range eggs, at room temperature, separated
A good pinch cream of tartar
A good pinch of salt
100g ground almonds
125g plain flour
25g flaked almonds
125g fresh raspberries
For the icing:
150g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
1 tablespoon Amaretto Disaronno
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 heaped tbsp golden syrup

To decorate: fresh raspberries, icing sugar, chocolate shards or curls

21cm springform tin, greased and base-lined


Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4.

Put the chocolate and Amaretto into a heatproof bowl.
Set over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water and leave to melt gently.
Remove the bowl from the pan, stir the chocolate gently until smooth then leave to cool until needed.

Beat the butter until creamy, using a wooden spoon or an electric whisk. Then beat in the 200g sugar (save the rest for later). When the mixture looks very light and fluffy beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a clean whisk until just frothy, then add the cream of tartar and the salt and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and stands in soft peaks when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the reserved 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Using a large metal spoon gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture, followed by the ground almonds. Add a quarter of the egg whites and fold in. Sift half the flour on to the mixture and fold in, then half the remaining egg whites. Repeat with the remaining flour and whites. Gently fold in the flaked almonds and raspberries, using just a couple of movements so the mixture is not over-worked, then spoon the mixture into the tin and spread evenly.

Bake in the heated oven for 55-60 minutes until just firm to touch and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre (avoiding the fruit) comes out clean. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin then leave to cool and firm up on a wire rack for 15 minutes before unclipping the tin.

When completely cold set the cake on a serving platter.

To make the icing melt the chocolate with the Amaretto as before, remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the butter and syrup to make a smooth and glossy icing. Leave to cool, stirring form time to time, until thick enough to spread over the top and sides of the cake.

Leave to set and just before serving decorate with raspberries. Dust with icing sugar and chocolate shards or curls.

Cuddle Fairy

I love bargain-hunting and Netmums is a fabulous source of low-cost and amazingly diverse items too.

Him Indoors know that he is to keep well away from other women unless they are selling something at which point he is dispatched whether the vendor is a blonde babe or a brunette goddess. I send him hither and thither on my endless quest to fill my house with lovely things known as clutter to the uninitiated.

I did ask the measurements of these pictures but both of us were surprised at just how large they are. I have never being good at inches and all that which is sometimes an advantage and sometimes not so.

Whatever, I love my new pictures and the price of a tenner.

There are some great bundles of children’s clothing available regularly on Netmums, usually for babies and toddlers but also sometimes for school-age children. A grey bin liner or rather its contents can make a girl very happy. £30 for six pairs of shoes, numerous skirts, dresses, coats, t-shirts, cardigans, sweaters, scarves and leg-warmers.

And finally as they say, even the cat is happy with one of my latest Netmums acquisitions.

I am linking this post up to Magpie Monday on the Me and My Shadow blog where the rather wonderful Liz celebrates second-hand finds with bargain-hunters old and new.

wedsbloghopChicken stir fry recipe

Soy Seasoned Chicken Stir Fry.

An aromatic dish, flavoured with Kikkoman Soy Sauce and Chinese five spice powder.

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

225g (8oz) basmati or long grain rice
3tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1tsp runny honey
1tbsp Chinese five spice powder or paste
1tsp chopped fresh parsley
450g (1lb) skinless boneless chicken breasts, diagonally sliced strips
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
150g (5oz) baby sweetcorn, halved lengthways
150g (5oz) oriental mushrooms such as Enoki
Coriander leaves to garnish


  1. Rinse the rice and place in a saucepan. Cover with enough water to cover the rice by 2.5cm (1inch). Bring to the boil, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer over a very low heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, Mix together the soy sauce, honey and Chinese five spice powder and parsley. Pour over the chicken and toss well to coat evenly.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wok and fry the onions and peppers for 5 minutes. Add the sweetcorn and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and marinade and stir fry for 5 minutes. Now add the mushrooms and stir fry for 3-5 minutes.

Serve with cooked rice and garnish with coriander leaves

Pork wraps recipe

A classic Chinese dish, made using lean pork with a wonderful Kikkoman soy sauce glaze.


Serves 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cals per serving: 420

Fat: 12

Carbs: 29

Sugars: 13.9

Salt.: 3g


700g loin of pork joint, fat and skin removed.

5 tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce

2 tbsp demerara sugar

2 tbsp orange juice

3 tbsptomato puree

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder

12 –16 Chinese pancake wrappers

6 tbsp hoi sin sauce

1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

1 small cucumber, finely sliced


  1. Pre heat the oven to 190 C, 375 F, gas 5. Make 6 x 2.5cm deep cuts into the pork joint.
  2. Line a roasting tin with a double layer of tin foil and place the pork in the centre.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the Kikkoman Soy Sauce, sugar, orange juice,tomato puree and Chinese five spice powder. Spoon over the pork, then scrunch up the foil around the sides of the pork to form an open parcel and roast for 1 hour, basting occasionally, until cooked through.
  4. Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Finely slice the meat, shredding it if possible and toss back into the roasting tin with the cooking juices. Baste with the flavoured juices and grill for 5 minutes, to crisp up the meat.
  5. To serve: warm the wrappers and spread with a little hoi sin sauce, a scattering of spring onions and cucumber. Top with the crispy pork and roll up.



Link up your recipe of the week

Do you know that feeling when you have an exciting announcement to make but can’t just yet?

I have had some news to share for about 2 weeks I suppose.  However, I had to keep mum until everything was confirmed.

I am delighted to say that I am joining the Britmums team.  For those who do not know (and I know most of you will) Britmums is the original UK network for parents who blog.  It has thousands of members all of whom are parents and who blog about a very diverse range of topics.  Parenting for sure but also books, food, businesss, mental health and a whole lot more besides.

I joined Britmums a long time after starting to blog in 2009.  I did not know blogging networks existed.  When I asked which ones did exist, most people pointed me towards Britmums.  At that point, Netmums, Mumsnet and Love All Blogs blogger networks were still to be invented.

I hope I will be able to contribute to the wonderful Britmums team in many ways but, for now, I will focus on looking at how charities and bloggers can link up to make a difference and a better world.

If you are a member of Britmums, I urge you to join the brand new “Charity Connections – Blogging It Forward” group.  If you are not yet a member and you are a parent who blogs, you are missing out so why not sign up for FREE right now.  You will find a supportive community full of information, tips and friendship.  They have a fun event coming up in June too.

Lots of bloggers are involved in charities already as service users, volunteers, trustees or donors.  Some blog about it.  Some don’t.  Britmums believe as I do that there is so much potential for good things to happen if there are more links between good causes and the blogging community.

It is my first day in post and already there are some really interesting discussions starting over on the new group.  Thanks to all those who joined today and here’s to seeing many more participating.  Whether you are already involved in good causes or would just like to find out more, every parent blogger is welcome. You won’t be asked to do anything that you don’t want to so you have nothing to lose by joining the group.

The new group will also feature charities of the day on specific issues.  For example, today we featured the Joe Bingley Memorial Foundation and asked members to name other organisations that help when mums are experiencing or emerging from post-natal depression.

I will also be doing a regular round -up highlighting blog posts about bloggers’ involvement in good causes.  So if you are volunteering, fundraising, donating or want to tell us about a fantastic service, do get in touch.  My email is kateonthinice@gmail.com or you can contact me via the group on Britmums.

I hope to help bloggers who want to contribute on a particular issue or to help a specific community to find an appropriate charity to hook up with.  One that meets their aspirations and circumstances so it is a win-win situation.

OK, if you are a parent who blogs, please visit http://www.britmums.com and get involved in the Charity Connections – Blogging It Forward group.

If you are a charity or good cause looking to promote what you do, get in touch and tell us how you would like to work with the blogging community.

Will you join me in Blogging It Forward?

Here’s to an exciting journey ahead.

Before I go, I would like to thank Britmums and Susanna in particular for asking me to take on this role.  I feel like it  has given me a real boost and I hope to do it justice.  How can I put it?  Britmums are open to working with new people and considering new ideas.  That makes them very human, approachable and rather wonderful.  I also want to mention the #groovymums, the supportive team of mums who take part in my weekly blog hop and have really made me feel I might just be up to more than I think I am.

Ready, steady – get blogging it forward!