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Copyright Beth Sachs 2018. Powered by Blogger.

Blog Archive

Hotel Chocolat Heart-To-Heart Goody Bag: A Review

Valentines Day is nudging closer and Hotel Chocolat kindly asked me to try out some of their Valentines Gifts for Him chocolates- all in the name of reviewing of course!

The Heart-To-Heart Goody Bag landed on my doorstep last Friday - a good day to arrive! So that evening Hubby and I sat down to the all important taste test - with a few cheeky glasses of wine (we were trying to re-create the ambience and romance of Valentines Day but unfortunately the 1 yr old kept waking up).

The Heart-To-Heart Goody Bag contained the following;
Contents: 100g Milk and White Chocolate Slab, 6 Praline Heart milk chocolates, 6 Caramel Heart chocolates and a bag of Milk Hearty Nibbles (Price: £16.00 on Hotel Chocolat website).

I'll start with my favourite - the Caramel Heart Chocolates. The caramel was silky smooth and tasted lovely and buttery. Definitely a winner and I could have done with double the number! The bag of Milk Hearty Nibbles was devoured by hubby before I even got a look in ( I was upstaris seeing to the baby at this point) - but, they were very good by all accounts.

Now, when it comes to white chocolate I am not a great fan but, the Milk and White chocolate slabs were a pleasant surprise, in fact almost a revelation (for someone who doesn't really like white chocolate) - mainly because of the streaks of dark chocolate that ran down the centre (I am a dark chocolate lover!).

Finally, the praline hearts, probably my least favourite chocolate in the pack, but hubby seemed to take no time at eating these either. This is definitely a Valentines present for a Milk Chocolate lover, which hubby is, so he was very happy indeed...
Beth Sachs
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Bite Size Flapjacks using Sweet Freedom Syrup

I was recently sent some Sweet Freedom Syrup to experiment with. Sweet Freedom is a completely natural product made 100% from fruit (apples, carob and grapes) and has fewer calories than sugar- so you could argue it is super healthy. Unfortunately as I teamed it with copious amounts of butter, I'm afraid all the good work is probably cancelled out. Nevertheless the flapjacks tasted amazing and not even hubby could detect any difference in flavour. A useful product for diabetics and those wanting to cut calories and refined sugars from their diets.

By Beth Sachs, 24th January 2011

  • 110g Light Muscavado Sugar
  • 175g Butter
  • 1 heaped DSP Sweet Freedom Natural Syrup
  • 180g Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 150c/Gas 2 and butter a 20cm cake tin.
  • Step 2: Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan then fold in the oats and vanilla extract.
  • Step 3: Pour into prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes. Leave to cool in tin then cut into16 bite size pieces.
Beth Sachs
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Win a Heal Farm Valentines Meal Box

Heal Farm owner Anne Petch is kindly giving Jam and Clotted Cream readers the chance to win a fantastic Heal Farm Valentines Meal Box in a Valentines inspired competition.

The box is delivered ready to cook and includes two tender Ruby Red Westcountry sirloin steaks, a handmade Mocha Heaven dessert  (chocolate, coffee, cream, Tia Maria in a light soft sponge) and a bottle of Ventoux Fleury Red Wine.

For you chance to win all you have to do is;
1. Tell me what sauce you would serve with the steak.
2. Answers can be left in the comments section of this post, on the Jam and Clotted Cream Facebook Page and Twitter (start tweet @jamandcream steak).
3. Share the competition on Facebook or RT on Twitter for an extra entry.
4. Open to UK residents only.
5. Competition closes Friday 4th February 5pm.

Beth Sachs
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Apple, Raisin and Cinnamon Muffins

Apple, Raisin and Cinnamon Muffins
Apparently today is Blue Monday - the most depressing day of the year. It also happens to be the day before my birthday and as this year I am nudging ever closer to the big 30, I do happen to be feeling a little 'blue'. I needed some baking therapy and these apple muffins were whipped up to alleviate my mood. They are not overly sweet, which was intentional as I wanted to be able to toast them to serve with some sharp cheddar (as well as eating as they are) for tomorrows 'birthday' lunch, if there are any left!


| Serves: makes 12 Muffins  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes |


  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 100g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 210ml Milk
  • 100g Butter, melted
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 2 TSP Baking Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
  • Handful of raisins
  • 3 Eating Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • Demerera Sugar for Sprinkling on top


  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 190c/170 fan/Gas 5 and line a 12 hole tin with muffin cases.
  • Step 2: Mix together the eggs, sugar, melted butter and milk in a large bowl then sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • Step 3: Finally, add the chopped apple and raisins and mix lightly. Spoon into prepared cases and sprinkle with demerera sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes.
These muffins can be eaten straight away, frozen and are also nice the next day toasted with a sharp cheddar.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 17th January 2011 |

Beth Sachs
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Homemade Chocolates (Choc Chick Kit)

Homemade Chocolates

One day last week I was taking my frustrations out on Twitter - just the usual things - the kids were misbehaving, it was raining, I was STILL feeling ill, when suddenly I received a tweet from @gochocchick who told me to check my emails.

I logged on and found a lovely email from Galia, the owner of Choc Chick, a website which sells raw chocolate making kits and ingredients, telling me she would like to brighten my day by sending me their Raw Chocolate Starter Kit to try. How nice of her!

It arrived 2 days later and on Saturday morning, Lowen and I set about making some handmade chocolates. The process couldn't be simpler (the kit comes with instructions) and took less than 10 minutes. I decided to quarter fill 12 silicone cupcake moulds to make some round after dinner chocolates. They take 2 hours to set but are well worth the wait (although I've since been told you can put them in the freezer for 15 minutes) - the finished chocolates are smooth, dark and rich - oh and healthy too (raw chocolate is considered a superfood).

The kits would make an ideal birthday present, or even a Valentines present for your chocolate loving partner.
Beth Sachs
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Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
This recipe really was created on a whim, inspired by a late visit to Waitrose on New Years Eve. On offer was 3 x 350g bags of pre-prepared Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato cubes priced down to 10p each. Not surprisingly I snapped them up. Unfortunately I missed out on the gammon priced down to £2 (it has been £9).

I remembered Nigella's Sweet Potato and Squash soup in Express and set out to make something similar, but in a much larger quantity and with some seasoning tweaks. What I ended up with was a fantastically flavoured soup and enough to keep me going for most of the week, which is just as well as I still feel rubbish!


  • Make it spicy by adding a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes.
  • The soup can be frozen so why not make double and freeze half.
  • Serve with a swirl of natural yogurt and fresh coriander.



Yield: 6Pin it

Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

prep time: 5 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 25 mins
A hearty squash and sweet potato soup recipe


  • 3 x 350g packets of Squash and Sweet Potato cubes
  • 2 Litres Vegetable Stock
  • 1/2 TSP Nutmeg
  • 1 TSP Cinnamon
  • Salt and Pepper to serve


  1. Put all of the ingredients in a large pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the veggies are tender.
  2. Blend to a smooth soup and serve with natural yogurt.

Beth Sachs
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Blue Cheese Carbonara

Blue Cheese Carbonara

This recipe for Blue Cheese Carbonara was created out of a need to use up the last few pieces of Stilton I had in the fridge from Christmas and a few sorry looking vegetables in the veg rack. It produced a lovely comforting supper for one (hubby and kids had frittata to use up more of the eggs!). If you had some bacon this could be thrown into the frying pan before the vegetables.


| Serves: 1  | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes  | Total Time: 20 Minutes |


  • 130g Pasta (I used Rigatoni)
  • 1 Garlic Clove, sliced
  • Half a small Courgette, chopped
  • Handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBSP Creme Fraiche
  • 50g Blue Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Handful of Toasted Pine Nuts


  • Step 1: Fry the garlic, courgette and mushrooms with a tbsp of oil.
  • Step 2: Meanwhile bring a a pan of salted water to the boil and throw in your pasta of choice.
  • Step 3: When the vegetables are cooked take of the heat and in a jug mix the egg, creme fraiche and blue cheese together.
  • Step 4: Drain the pasta and toss in the blue cheese mixture then tip in the garlicky vegetables, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 3rd January 2011 |

Beth Sachs
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