Chocolate Orange Shortbread

Nov 22

It’s that time of year again and I have the perfect recipe for a quick and tasty treat to get you feeling festive. As an added bonus your kitchen will be filled with the delicious sweet buttery smell of baking along with freshly zested orange –  and nothing quite says Christmas like chocolate orange.  These little shortbread biscuits will keep for 3 or 4 days in an airtight container, if they last that long!

Find the recipe here.

Chocolate orange shortbread

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Brother Marcus Review

Oct 22

The London food scene is constantly shifting and expanding to fresh neighbourhoods. Recently, Balham has benefited from this boom with the revamp of Hildreth St Market, becoming a food & drink destination with the likes of Milk and Brickwood – and also with new outposts of the chains Bodeans and Franco Manca.

One of the latest to enter the area is Brother Marcus, opened six months ago by three talented school pals. They initially focused on serving up a cracking brunch with all the usual suspects putting on a great show – plus a few witty additions such as the “Sugar Daddy” – aka; cinnamon French toast, berries, maple syrup & mascarpone.

Since their brunch has been going down such a storm, the lads have decided to open in the evenings, so since I live in the area I thought I’d better go and check it out.

The restaurant itself is pretty cool and casual which is also reflected in the menu. I think it’s safe to say that this is based on the “manwhich” idea. Big stuffed sandwiches full to the brim with flavour. The boys have let their personality shine through, naming them imaginatively; Shroom of Doom”, “The Pollocks”, “Notorious P.I.G” and “The Salty Wench”. These definitely put a smile on my face, though I’m not quite sure about the last one… it doesn’t quite conjure the best of images!

Shroom of Doom

I went for the Shroom of Doom and the Notorious P.I.G. The former was a beautiful combination of mushroom, goat’s cheese and rocket with a honey mustard dressing. Having made countless vegetarian sandwiches in my time, for both my Eat Vegetarian cookbook and my veggie sisters, I can tell you that this was a cracker. Even a committed carnivore like me was really content with this. Moreover, the Notorious P.I.G. wasn’t just another pulled-pork sandwich. It was a well thought-out combination of tender pork, crunchy apple, lime yoghurt with a fresh zesty sauce. I obviously had to try some sides too so ordered some Mac & Cheese balls – delicious – and some Sweet Potato Fries with Aioli, which were some of the best I have ever eaten.

NOTORIOUS PIG

The dessert was Divine Chocolate Mousse Cake which was created in collaboration with Divine Chocolate for chocolate week…and let me tell you, it sure was (divine). Super-rich and packed with pure chocolatey goodness, it’s the kind of pudding I certainly go for.

The food was great and it’s somewhere I’d recommend if you want a very reasonable (£8-£9 per sandwich) hearty meal with your mates. For couples, it might be a good idea to wait until you are really comfortable each other before smearing your face with the contents of these tasty sandwiches. This is delicious food that doesn’t take itself too seriously and if you are a fan of a proper sandwich you should certainly check this one out.

 

7/10

 

www.brothermarcus.co.uk/

 

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Chocolate Fondant With a Passionfruit Core

Jul 1

These little puddings are an absolute delight. Pretty damn easy to make but still ultra impressive. Delve your spoon into the centre and enjoy the gooey chocolate and passionfruit core. Guaranteed to bring a smile to the face and satisfied murmuring around the table. Find the recipe here

 

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Blood Orange Layer Cake

Feb 21

Blood oranges are in season at the moment so make the most of them whilst they are around as they are so vibrant and will brighten up any dish. This cake using a light whisked sponge that is perfect layered up with cream and colourful blood orange. It is best to make the cake the day before you are going to serve it as it is too fragile to cut up straight after baking.

Find the recipe here

blood orange cake

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My Top Student Tips

Sep 21

Studying can be a bit challenging at times and can also be boring. But you have to stay motivated in order to be able to accomplish something. For students and people who just want to learn something new, music can be very helpful. This has recently been backed by science. So, instead of just pushing or forcing yourself to digest information, you can utilize music for your own advantage.

What Science Says

It has been proven by different studies that music does not only cause relaxation but can also be beneficial for people who are studying. It has been proven that classical music is great background music when you are performing a task. It enhances the brain activity and it improves your power to be more attentive. As notes fluctuate and as the pitch, pattern and speed change, the different parts of your brain are also enhances. But the good news is, you will not be distracted by this specific process. Aside from that, music lessons can also enhance the hand, eye and brain coordination. For people who are interested in playing and learning guitar, guitar lessons are available.

Benefits of Studying with Music:

There are different advantages that you will be able to get if you are going to study with music in the background. Here are some of the benefits that you will be able to enjoy:

  • It Helps You Concentrate

Though it is true that focus and concentration is better when you are uninterrupted and when there is complete silence. However, this is not possible especially because of traffic and other factors that may distract you from what you need to do. To be able to concentrate, you can choose to listen to music while you wear earphones. This is the most practical way for you to be able to focus on what you are studying. Check out the best true wireless earbuds reviews.

  • Improves Your Performance

It has been proven that music enhances the brain activity. This is also the reason why it can also be a great way to improve your performance in school. As you listen to a musical piece, you are also enhancing the way your brain absorbs information. Sometimes, the brain also gets tired and it needs something to keep it rested while the activity goes on. If you are one of those people who need music to be able to concentrate then you are surely improving your performance as you listen to some instrumental, classical or any type of music.

  • It Can Even Cure Pain!

Music is also being used as a form of therapy. For people who have undergone surgery and those who are experiencing chronic diseases, music therapy is one of the effective ways to lessen the pain. This is one of the significance of music that makes it a very important element in a person’s life. It is not merely used for relaxation but it is also a way for you to cure pain.

  • It Will Help You Focus More

People who are reviewing may feel like the silence around them does not really enhance their concentration. This is because of the pressure that the brain is experiencing at the moment. There are specific types of music that can enhance concentration. One of these is classical music. Even science has proven that children and even adults who listen to this type of music do not only experience relaxation but also enhances their focus. As you read or solve a problem for your math subject, listen to music.

  • It Improves Attention and Memory Power

The great thing about music is that you can listen to it while you are busy doing some tasks. Having a great sounding music on the background will improve your attention. While you are reviewing, you will notice how your mind would be easily distracted when you think of something else. With music on the background, you will be able to avoid some thoughts that can be distracting. Aside from that, music is also proven to improve the power of the brain. There are studies that are backing up the findings that musicians have better mental skills because of the musical trainings that they undergo. This is because of the process that connects the brain, the hand and the eyes as you play and read notes.

  • It Helps to Distract Your Mind Away from Disturbing Thoughts

The most challenging part of studying is to free oneself from disturbing thoughts. There will be some things that will keep you from truly understanding the things that you are reading. But there is a way for you to be able to block these unhelpful thoughts. Listening to music is the best way to do this. You can actually choose to listen to instrumental music. This way, you will be able to free your mind from any distraction and you will also be able to concentrate.

The most important gift that music has given to the humankind is its healing effect to the soul. It doesn’t matter if you are feeling down or you are happy, there is always a great music for you. Everyone can relate to the need to listen to music. No matter what age, race or preference, you will certainly have a favorite music. With this, integrating it to the different activities that you will be having daily is a positive thing.

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