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Saturday, 5 November 2016


This is a piece I wrote for the wonderful writing class I attended at All Hallows Farmhouse last month. It's about making jam with my grandma, who now enjoys jam made by someone else (aka me).

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Making Mascarpone

This weekend I attended a food writing course at All Hallows Farmhouse in Dorset, taught by the wonderful Karen Barnes of delicious. magazine. I learnt how to improve all aspects of my writing and I hope that you will see changes going forward. There will now be a section on my blog devoted to pieces that I feel are more than just recipes, such as memories, stories and listicles (10 things you may not know about spices coming soon). Below is a 200 word exercise written after Lisa, from All Hallows, showed us how easy it is to make Mascarpone.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook: 'Light' Butter Chicken

Author's note: This was first published back at the beginning of 2015 and my photography and food styling skills have improved dramatically since then, so I thought it was time to update! These images are the result of a highly enjoyable lunch. Keep checking back to see more favourites updated with mouthwatering images. 

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Dipping Sauce

I've been back in Manchester for a fortnight now and having a blast. Classes start in a week, though I already have a ton of work to do for one module, Serialised Crime. So far though, I've mainly been hanging out around food. A friend and I went to a fair on Saturday, where the most amazing chocolate was being sold (dormouse chocolates). On Sunday I entered a baking competition in which I sadly didn't get though to the second round but I lost to some truly amazing looking cakes so I'm not too upset.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

New And Improved

I've been umming and ahhing about uploading this recipe for ages as it already exists in a different form on my blog. It's this Spanish omelette recipe from September 2014. I finally decided to post it in part because of the improved photography and in part because I think this recipe is better as I've been able to tweak it over the intervening 20 months.

There's more butter and salt involved and this omelette cooks slower and for longer, it will probably take 45 minutes to make properly and serves two.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Decadent Boost Brownies

I gave up drinking diet coke at the start of June and genuinely haven't missed the stuff but when I tried to stop eating chocolate at the same time then that was a whole different kettle of fish! In an attempt to get temptations out of the house, I made these brownies with all of my chocolate and sold them for charity (Cleft Palate). The results were extremely more-ish and went down well with all who tried them.

You don't have to use Boost bites, instead you could pick any of the sharing bags of mini chocolates. Maltesers . . . twirls . . . even chocolate buttons. I had a mix of twirls and boosts in my cupboard, which gave a lovely richness and texture to the finished brownies.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Comfort For All Seasons

We recently changed our internet provider and I’m afraid it’s been rather out of the frying pan and into the fire, so you’ll have to excuse the strange timings of posts - I might go to a cafe and schedule a few posts for the upcoming weeks, just until the internet settles down and behaves.

The weather has been weird. A few days ago it was so muggy I thought I was in a colder version of Singapore, and today it’s been drizzling for all it’s worth. I know Glastonbury weekend means rain but this is June, not October. Make your mind up, weather! I’m struggling to know what to cook - something hearty to guard against against the chill or a light meal to keep the heat at bay? Fortunately I stumbled upon a solution by way of Anna Jones’ cookbook A Modern Way To Eat. It’s a red lentil and spinach dal, topped with roasted sweet potatoes. Thee result is filling enough for the wettest, coldest day but still light and palatable in warmer climes (perfect for the Indian weather then, really). 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

À Bientôt, Poitiers

Poitiers' impressive town hall

I’m sitting in La Rochelle airport as I write this, waiting for my flight home to Southampton, still in shock that my ERASMUS year is now officially over. While it doesn’t quite feel like it was only yesterday that I pitched up in Poitiers and dealt with a flooded flat within the first week, it certainly doesn’t feel like it was nine months ago!

The river that meanders alongside Poitiers

In between packing and avoiding the May showers, I took some photos so that you could all see where I’ve been living. I’m going to miss the fantastic markets when it comes to finding good, and cheap, produce but I won’t miss the cobble stones around town when they're slick with rain. 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Impress Your Guests

I used to make this dish for my family when I was younger and recently revived it for my 22nd birthday (have I mentioned I'm 22 enough recently?!). It's a straightforward meal that is perfect for dinner parties as the prep can all be done in advance. Just make them up until the point you have to cook them in the oven and put them in the fridge instead. Shove them in the oven 30 minutes before you want to eat and enjoy a drink and nibbles with your guests.

I love the idea of effortless dinner parties and yet never succeed. One eye fully made up and frantically stirring a sauce with one hand while laying the table with the other. My friends find it hysterical, and my parents ask why I don't do dishes where everything is prepared well in advance. I suppose I like the challenge, but also I seem to have no concept of timing, and consequently run late for everything.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Travel The World In A Box With Kitchen Trotter*

Last October it was suggested that I review new foodie subscription box, Kitchen Trotter. Of course, I jumped at the chance and duly researched the box. The concept is simple, each month a selection of ingredients are pulled together around the theme of one country and sent, beautifully packaged, to subscribers alongside a handful of recipes to help you make the most of the ingredients. So far, so good.

There were issues with delivery but when New Year and the box finally arrived it looked great. The pattern is evocative of the Far East with its deep red and Palm trees, Russian dolls and colourful stamps. Excited, I unpacked the tons of styrofoam peanuts that appear to be the MO for anything involving food, and began to uncover the treasures inside.

Monday, 15 February 2016

How To Cure Hangovers

Last month I learnt how to make my own chicken nuggets. Why am I making a kids' food you might well ask? The answer lies in avoiding a repeat my latest birthday celebrations. I was so hungover that I went to a fast food place down the road from my flat the next day and my hungover brain instructed me to order twice as much as I needed. Even worse it was 6pm and I'd just thrown a coat on over my pyjamas - now that's a true walk of shame! When alive enough to regret my mistake I figured that I needed an alternative at home, so that I could just throw a tray into the oven and wait for the timer to (quietly) beep, that would also be healthier.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

All About Me

I figured my bio needed updating now that I've had this blog for a year and a half. But, I asked myself, what's the point in changing it if you don't notice I've updated it? My clever solution, if I say so myself? Post it here for all you lovely people to read! I hope you enjoy an insight into me.

My name is Lily and I enjoy cooking for family and friends, especially if it involves baking (even better if it's about midnight and not a sensible time to be cooking). This is sounding like an AA introduction. I'd better start again.

Hi, Lily here, I'm 20 21 22 years old and I read French at the University of Manchester (currently on my ERASMUS year in Poitiers, France). My gap year was spent in Singapore where I finally got over my fear of spice and embraced Asian cuisine, helped by cookery classes in exotic locales such as Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia. When I'm not talking about food, I'm not really sure what I talk about. Asia? Books? Food? Oh wait, that's the subject I'm not meant to get started on. I began this blog to connect with other foodophiles and have somewhere to direct friends and family to when they ask for a recipe. Thai green curry and gooey chocolate chip cookies seem to be the most popular with my friends.

I have lots of gadgets in my kitchen but the one I love most is a bright orange KitchenAid mixer that gets pointed out if people don't admire it soon enough. My kitchen is also stocked with all sorts of weird and wonderful ingredients that I'm still working out how to cook with. Dried barberries, anyone? My inspiration for recipes, sadly, isn't delivered to me by David Bowie flying in on a tiger made of lightening, but comes from food magazines, recipe books and my mum (who cooks sensible yet tasty food like this lentil bake. No barberries for her).

Tastebuds are funny things and everyone's are different so if you want to tweak a recipe to your tastes then I won't hold it against you, and I'd love it if you would comment your changes so that I can give them a go, so long as they don't involve mushrooms. I hate mushrooms. Email me ( with requests for recipes and stalk me on Instagram (@gorgeousgateaux), I won't bite.

Join me on my crazy journey to make the best food I can; laughing  when it goes wrong and celebrating when it goes right.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Birthday Dessert

I turned 22 on the 26th of December and was sick of cakes after a spate of birthdays recently. Initially I decided to have a birthday starter instead (of cheese soufflé) but one of my friends posting a photo of some caramel that she was making swayed me in favour of homemade vanilla ice cream drizzled with salted caramel (my current, and long-lasting, weakness - last year's cake was a set of salted caramel fondants). Previously I've always bought in my salted caramel sauce from the excellent Artisan du Chocolat in London as I don't want to see just how bad for me it is, but they sadly don't have an outpost in Poitiers nor Talmont (they should really look into that) so I had to bite the bullet and make it myself.

First off, I'm sorry but it is as bad for you as you think it is, however, it's even more scrumptious than you think it will be so just enjoy it! My pan of caramel is currently cooling and every time I pass it I take a spoonful, thankfully there's a lot of it!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Time To Cosy Up

It's the new year and the weather is definitely getting colder (finally) and so I thought I'd make the ultimate in comfort classics, tartiflette. Traditionally eaten after a long day on the ski slopes and appropriately filling, it's perfect for a winter night to be eaten by a roaring fire after a long walk in the countryside. Apparently, it's not such a rustic dish as one might think and was actually invented in the 1980s by the Reblochon (cheese) makers to boost sales!