The hazelnut meringue came with embarrassed apologies. It was late and Michael, the chef at The Poolway House Hotel in Coleford, was reluctant to let such a cracked and crumbled meringue leave the kitchen.

It was all that was left, yet even in its broken state the light brown dessert still looked glossy and inviting. Aromas and flavours of lightly toasted hazelnuts dominated the meringue, and were perfectly balanced by a rich double cream topping. But it was texture not flavour which made this dessert so impressive, its chewy crust hiding a melt-on-the-tongue centre.

This has also been published on the UK Food Bloggers Association website.

wine dressIt might sound daft, but you can make a dress out of wine. If you fancy having a go you’ll need twelve bottles of cheap Australian red wine and patience. Two weeks and a vat of red wine vinegar later, you’ll have enough Mother of Vinegar ‘material’ to make a mini-dress.

Rocket is a first-time and last-time gardener’s staple. A sprinkle from your watering can or a shower of rain will prompt this salad necessity to pop-up after only a few days.

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Fabia cake mixMy home-baking enthusiasm was squashed when, opening the kitchen cupboard after watching Škoda’s new cake-car advert, I discovered there wasn’t the 100kg of flour and sugar required to make my own full-sized cake Fabia. Not to be put off, I fired up the sainsburystoyou website and started shopping for ingredients.