The Hypocrite at Number 10

“He has no democratic mandate. He has a reputation tainted by the failures after a decade in office. And he has no new ideas. An early election? Bring it on.”
These were words spoken by our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, in 2007 when Tony Blair stepped down and handed over to the former chancellor, Gordon Brown. 
Today, after the support of 199 Conservative MPs, Theresa May became the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. To put that into perspective, that is 0.0004% of the UK population. 
This is a person who has voted for devastating air strikes in Syria, voted for the destructive, damaging and misleading war against Iraq, and has, on a number of occasions, spoken out against basic human rights. She has openly declared her opposition of the European Convention of Human Rights which holds each participating country to account on the rights and freedoms of their people. This is a person who has failed to speak up for ordinary working people, who has not been democratically elected and will further worsen the apathy and disengagement of the UK people. And to top it all off, one of her first acts as the new PM was to appoint Boris Johnston as the foreign secretary. 
She has no democratic mandate. She has a reputation tainted after years of failure in office and she has detrimental and calamitous ideas. An early General Election? Bring it on! 

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Possibly the Best Brownies You’ll Ever Make

brownies

Let’s face it. Brownies are the best. Whether you like them gooey, gorgeous and melting in the middle, or with a beautiful bite, they are quite possibly the most indulgent, delicious, chocolate dessert ever. Brownies are a favourite amongst everyone, unless of course you find one of those odd people that no one quite understands, that doesn’t enjoy chocolate. This recipe is not for them.

This is one of those rare and perfect recipes that you can easily adapt to your preference of brownie style with just one extra ingreedient or a few extra minutes.

Ingredients

  • 120g of dark chocolate
  • 65g milk chocolate
  • 185g of unsalted butter
  • 40g of cocoa powder
  • 85g of plain flower
  • 3 eggs
  • 275g of golden caster sugar
  • generous handful of milk and white chocolate chips or pecans, or any dried fruit/nut of your choice.

Method: 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius  and line a brownie tin with grease-proof paper
  • Melt 120g of dark chocolate, 65g of milk chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs and golden caster sugar (with an electric whisk if you have one), until it resembles a pale, thick milkshake.
  • Add the melted chocolate and butter to the egg and sugar mixture and stir until fully combined.
  • Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder in to the mixture and fold in gently until all the flour is fully incorporated.
  • Add in your chocolate chips or fruit or nuts and stir.
  • Pour the mixture in to your prepared brownie tin and bake in the oven.
  • If you like your brownies softer and gooey in the middle, bake for 23-25 mins.
  • If you like your brownies with a more cakey texture bake for 30 mins.
  • Take out of the oven and allow to cool.
  • Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
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Home Grown Cherries and Cherry Curd Recipe

cherries on treeEight years ago, when we knew very little about trees or gardening, we planted two trees in our garden, about a meter apart. One was a dwarf plum tree and the other a cherry tree. The plum tree never gave fruit and the cherry tree gave very little, but what it did give was bitter and inedible. We couldn’t figure out why, until last year in the fierce winds, the plum tree broke and we had to uproot it. Since then the cherry tree blossomed and this year we’ve had more cherries than we could more cherriespick.

I had to do something with the cherries; eating them, making smoothies, mixing them in icecream just wasn’t enough. I wanted to make cherry curd. So I searched the internet for recipes, and there wasn’t any. Perhaps cherries are an unusual fruit to make in to curd, but I had this idea of a smooth texture, with a lovely tangy taste, and so I had to try it out, and just go by what my baking instincts told me. So this is what I did…

Ingredients:

  • 600g of cherries (pitted)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 90 grams of butter (cut in to chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 170g of sugar

Method:

washed cherriesPit your cherries until you have 600g. If you have a cherry pitter, use that. I did not, so  I pushed the stone through the cherry with a straw.

Put the cherries and the 2 tablespoonsof sugar in to a sauce pan and cook on a medium heat until the cherries start to disintegrate.

Put the egg yolks, the eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and about 5 table spoons of the disintegrated berries in to a heat proof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water, but is above it.

Whisk continuously to avoid the egg scrambling.

Cook and whisk until the mixture thickens to about the consistency of ketchup. This could take around 10 minutes.

Pour the egg mixture in to the saucepan with the rest of the berry mixture and butter and whisk on a low heat until fully incorporated.

Pour the mixture in to a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour in to a sterilised jar and chill (to firm up) before using/serving.

curd

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3 Layer Chocolate Mousse

IMG_3753There is nothing as deflating as being in the mood to bake and finding out that a piece of your equipment has given in. These past two weeks have been all about experimenting and making something I haven’t before. And then my whisk broke. So I scoured the internet for recipes that didn’t need an electric whisk and I came across the Sorted Recipe for chocolate mousse in the video for which they whisk entirely by hand. Unfortunately I realised too late that there was 3 of them and only 1 of me, so by the time I finished making this mousse my arm was ready to drop off, but with an electric whisk this would have been a doddle. Chocolate mousse is one of my favourite desserts ever, and I unfortunately, recently found out that Asda have stopped making their vegetarian version, which seemed to be the only veggie mousse on the market.  So I decided to make my own. The Sorted recipe is a dark chocolate and orange mousse. I have taken the basic method from them and adapted it to make my own 3 layer chocolate mousse.

Makes 8 large individual mousse.

You will need: 

  • 160 g of Dark Chocolate
  • 160 g of Milk Chocolate
  • 160 g of White Chocolate
  • 200 ml of Milk
  • 560 ml of Double Cream
  • 6 Large Egg Whites

Method: 

  • Chop up your dark, milk and white chocolate in to 3 separate bowls and divide the milk equally between them. IMG_3749
  • Melt each bowl of chocolate, either one by one over a pan of simmering water, or one by one in the microwave in 30 second bursts. (Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, microwave. This should take around 2 mins per bowl). Leave to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl whip up the double cream until it reaches soft peaks.
  • In another bowl whip the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks. IMG_3750
  • Divide the whipped cream equally between each bowl of chocolate and gently fold in until combined and you can no longer see streaks of cream.
  • Divide the egg whites between the each bowl of chocolate and gently fold in. Take your time on this part as it’s important not to deflate all that air that has been incorporated in to the egg whites.
  • Starting with the dark chocolate mixture spoon about 2 tablespoons of mousse in your little pots, ramekins, or cups.
  • Do the same with the milk chocolate and then the same with the white.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and then enjoy chilled.

Notes: 

  • Make sure both your bowl and whisk are completely clean from any dust or fat when whipping your egg whites or they will not reach a stiff peak consistency.
  • Because white chocolate does not contain any coco solids you might find that the white chocolate mixture is a little runnier than the others. Just stick it in the freezer for about 15 minutes before adding your final layer to ensure the white chocolate does not run in to the other layers.
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The Note-Worthy North: Roundhay Tropical World

The North of England is generally underrated. Tourism is attracted to the big cities down in the South, and the North is left, with its beautiful treasures, without any credit. Through out these Note-Worthy North posts I will be taking you through some of the most…well note=-worthy,  beautiful parts of this country, and they can all be found on the right side of the Pennines!

To kick start this new section is one of my favourite places ever, Tropical World. Roundhay Tropical World is situated in a garden, that is within a park. The garden is beau1tiful with its fragrant flowers and tall willowing trees, and mini fountains on a little pond stream. The park is yards upon yards of gorgeous green fields, with little playgrounds and play areas where children can enjoy themselves whole heartedly. But the very best part, without any doubt is the little animal sanctuary that holds some of the most beautiful animals and insects from the Tropic.

Upon entering Tropical World you are met with a gush of hot, humid air, mimicking temperatures of the native countries of the creatures that reside there, and also, butterflies. There are caterpillars, cocoons, and butterflies of many varieties and colour, flying around you.

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They can, and often do land upon you as you enter their little world. As you walk around 5you are greeted by tropical birds, tortoises, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, but perhaps the most popular animals by far, the Meerkats! Who, are every bit as full of character and cheek as the ones you find on Compare the Market.

This one even jumped onto a rock and posed for me.

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Tropical World is a place people of all ages can enjoy. The animals are lively, animated, and literally close enough to touch. It’s a beautiful place to sit and have a picnic, enjoy the animals, and then finish off the day by taking a lovely, afternoon stroll through the park.

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One Of Those ‘Sorry For My Lack Of Blogs’ Post

It has been a while since I wrote anything or updated my blog, unless you count my quick post election rant, which I felt was completely justified, given the shock of the results. I wish I had some amazing excuse for why I haven’t had the time to write, but honestly, after finishing University, I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything structured, or really anything at all. But writing is one of my greatest loves, and like all great loves, I find I keep coming back to it each time with a renewed passion. Even now as I write these words, meaningless as they may be, I feel a little bit more peaceful. Now, after my writing break, I feel like I have a few more things to offer, that will hopefully manifest themselves into blog posts over the coming months.

First of all, with my brothers wedding coming up soon, I’ve found myself feeling extremely creative, and offered to make many things, that could of course be bought, but I thought would add a lovely personal touch to the wedding if I made them myself, so there will certainly be some arts and crafts related posts. Secondly, I have no where to be for the next 2 months, which gives me plenty of time to experiment with baking and cooking and with my camera, so expect some new recipes, and photos of the great outdoors. And finally, I start my Secondary Teaching Course for teaching GCSE and A Level English in September, so I will be reading plenty, which I’m sure will make me want to write reviews, or even give me ideas for my own original writing.

Basically, what I’m saying is, stay tuned. There will be more to follow.

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