Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Last year I found a cheap but wonderful way of giving home-made Christmas gifts. I had been given Willies Chocolate Factory Cookbook and saw a very simple truffle recipe made with his own brand of Cacao.

Everyone loved them, so this year I have decided to make them again but with a few interesting additions to the recipe.
I found another interesting recipe on the BBC Good Food website. To the standard truffle recipe they added Dulce de Leche Caramel Toffee and dark chocolate melted together, then frozen, to create a chewy caramel to put in the centre of the truffles. I couldn't find the specific caramel they recommended so I used a can of Carnation Caramel, available at most supermarkets, with dark chocolate.

I've also added different coatings to the original recipe. The truffles with the Caramel centre will just be dusted with cocoa powder, but I have also coated the remaining truffles in:

•Melted dark chocolate and dessicated Coconut.
•Melted dark Chocolate.
•Melted Milk Chocolate.
•Melted Milk Chocolate and crushed toasted Hazelnuts.

Other suggestions I've seen are rolling them in crushed Pistachios. or adding crystallised ginger or Chilli to the truffle mix.

I've finished most of them but just have to complete the one's with the caramel centres tonight, then I will post some pictures.

The truffles can be frozen for up to a month, so you can just take them out whenever you need them and package them up in a sweet bag with a lovely festive ribbon.

Friday, 26 November 2010

More Christmas Decorations

I realise my last few posts have been all about Christmas but I do get very excited about decorations. I was flicking through the recent issue of Elle decoration and saw these beautifully simple hanging decorations and wanted to share them with you. If you are still looking for non glittery simple and chic snowflake decs then look no further than the selection below.
These lovely White metal snowflakes are available in packs of 3 for £5 from habitat.
These handmade porcelain snowflakes are available from Selfridges for £1.50 each.
This earthenware snowflake decoration is also handmade by Timea Sido and is £10.50 available from SwankMaison.com. When I recently visited the Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery (now known as Smiths Row) they were also being sold in their gallery shop.
(Images from Elle Decoration)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Donna Wilson

Apologies for not posting anything over the last week or so. I've been a bit preoccupied with house hunting, currently getting over excited about the period features in a Victorian terrace we have been looking at.

In a recent edition of Elle Decoration I noticed that Donna Wilson had been voted Designer of the year by The British Design Awards 2010. The awards called her the 'Queen of Textiles, saying her fabulous products include colourful cushions, tea-time accessories, playful ceramics and her curious knitted creatures'.
(Image British Design Awards)

The reason this designer caught me eye was when I recently visited the Tent London exhibition, Donna had collaborated with one of my favourite furniture producers Ercol, covering some of their classic upholstered pieces in her quirky fabrics.
(Image HomeShoppingSpy)

Check out her website for cute and fun additions to your interior accessories, or even for a Christmas gift with a twist.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Paper Doily Wreath

I know I don't usually do two posts in one day but I have just seen this wonderful and very pretty home-made paper doily wreath on dujour mag's blog. This is a fantastic way of making a statement wreath. It would be great for Christmas but frankly it would look fantastic all year round. 

(Images from dujourmag)

Sunny South African Kitchen

I was searching through my favourite blogs and noticed these images of a wonderful vintage kitchen in South Africa on the apartment therapy blog. It would hard to not be happy every time you walked into this kitchen, I love the idea of having lots of vintage finds on show. I'm not entirely sure I could actually live with it, I'm a bit too much of a tidy freak, but I still love the overall look and ice-cream colour combinations.

(Images from apartment therapy)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Iittala Birds by Toikka

I have been coveting one of these birds by Toikka for Iittala for as long as I can remember. They are so simple and stylised in their shape that they would never date and become a wonderful heirloom for the future. I particularly love the Barn Owl, the colours and patterning are really striking.

(Images from Iittala)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Cable & Cotton

I had seen these wonderful bauble lights from Cable and Cotton but had forgotten about them until I was reading the December issue of Living Etc and they appeared in their 'Fabulous festive looks for less' feature.

They are £32 for a string of 35 baubles and you can buy them in preselected colour combinations or be creative and make your own. Personally I quite fancy using them as a Christmas garland so either completely white or red and white. You can probably tell their is a theme to my Christmas decorations, I'm definitely going for the Scandinavian Red and White look.

(Images from Cable & Cotton)
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