Chocolate-Dipped Magnolia Flowers

In our part of the world, Magnolia flowers are among the first signs of spring. Tightly wrapped in their ‘blankets’ – the sepal – they’re just waiting for the warmer weather to open up and show their cheery faces to the sun.

There are many different types of magnolia trees, and while all magnolias are considered edible, not all of them have been tested, so people can be a bit weary of trying newer species.  Some sources say you can’t eat them raw, others say you can… I’ll leave it up to you to make up your mind! Continue reading “Chocolate-Dipped Magnolia Flowers”

30+ Honey Based Sweet & Drinks Recipes

Over on my other blog, Diary of a First Child, we’re celebrating Winnie the Pooh at the moment, as it comes up for the 91st anniversary this year. We’ve made various honey-based recipes over the last few weeks, so I decided to do a round-up of honey, honey, honey for those who want to play along at home. Here are 30 food and drinks recipes based on or heavily featuring honey!

Sweets for a Bear Who Likes Honey

Sweets for a bear who likes honey

Healthier With Honey

Healthier with Honey

Cakes & Cookies

cakes and cookies

Ice Cream & Faux-Dairy



White Chocolate & Rosemary Biscotti

Rosemary and White Chocolate Biscotti

I love the unusual white chocolate and rosemary flavour combination. I actually don’t like white chocolate at all, so recommending this is high praise.Rosemary and White Chocolate Biscotti I have loads of rosemary from my summer on the allotment, so I’m glad for something extra to use it on too.

The sugar in this recipe is flexible. I normally make it with 45g brown sugar, but you can make it super sweet with as much as 90g. If you don’t want to use icing sugar for sprinkling on the tray, you can get away with using more cornmeal, but I prefer the end result with icing sugar.Rosemary and White Chocolate Biscotti

Keep an eye on the biscotti in the oven as different ovens run differently, but if you want the biscotti really crispy, return it to the oven for the second time. If you want it more chewy, don’t return it to the oven the second time.

White Chocolate & Rosemary Biscotti
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 20
  • 150g plain flour
  • 45g brown sugar
  • 65g yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan pink)
  • 40g coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g white chocolate
  • Extra: 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C
  2. Add everything (except the icing sugar) to the Thermomix® bowl and mix speed 4/30-45 seconds. The mixture should be firm and pliable.
  3. Sprinkle the icing sugar on a baking tray, then add the dough and roll out to about 1cm thick
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until golden and firm.
  5. Set aside until cool enough to handle, cut lengthwise and then crosswise to make individual cookies. Return to the oven at 100C for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool before serving




Sweets For Decorating A Gingerbread House

Strings n things

It’s that time of year again where we decorate a gingerbread house, a tradition for us, now. Every year we scour the shelves for the best sweets for decorating a gingerbread house, so here are the top retro sweets we love using.

Strings ‘n’ things

I like string sweets for the gingerbread house because they can as easily make up the roofing as determine the outline of the garden path. Any number of belts, laces, cables or pencil sweets would work well laid side by side for the roof, guttering or outlines of the house. They also make a nice pathway from the door to the edge of the board, making a path that can be lined with other sweets. Or use the super thin laces to frame doors and windows. Strings n things


Another good option for ‘roofing’ on a gingerbread house is anything that can be made into tiles. It’s a bit of work, but can look spectacular! If you have a steady hand you can slice fudge thinly and use the square tiles to cover the roof. Marshmallows could work well too, if you cut them roughly evenly. So can round chocolate coins or white or brown ‘gems’ (sometimes known as jazzies) for a very colourful roof.

Gingerbread roofing

Garden Decorations

No gingerbread house is complete without a garden, so make sure to save some sweets for the ‘outdoors’ area. You can have anything from a green coconut summery garden to a winter scape. Use cookie cutters to make biscuits – gingerbread people, stars, Christmas trees, reindeer and anything else you can imagine can adorn the garden space. Add trees or santas made from icing sugar (usually used to decorate cakes), little toadstool sweets or miniature sized Christmas table decorations. For the super sweet toothed, you could even do a candy-paving with swirly-lolly ‘trees’.

Gingerbread House Garden

Add candy canes, a few details to the windows and doors – silver balls, jelly babies, jelly tots and other small sweets all work well for adding little details, and before you know it – you have a beautiful gingerbread house.

Thermomix® Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

Lemon Drizzle Cake

I love Lemon Drizzle Cake. I have tried so many different recipes to find one that I love, and I think I finally have it.  This recipe makes a beautiful sugary crust on top, while the cake stays moist and yummy. It’s lemony flavour goes throughout the cake, and is, quite frankly, delicious.Lemon Drizzle Cake

The benefit of doing it with the Thermomix® is that it’s fast as can be – I made this and two other cakes and two breads in 90 minutes today!

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

I use a lemon zester for the skin as that’s easier for me than ‘peeling’ the lemon with a potato peeler to add the skins to the bowl. That said, I do use a peeler for a few bits for the top of the cake. I think that’s quite pretty.

If you don’t have a Thermomix®, the original recipe is here. Below you’ll find it adapted for Thermomix®, though you can do the same in any food processor, really – just use your beating fittings for the butter, and the mixing one to combine it all.

Lemon Drizzle Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This cake can keep for 3 - 4 days, (if you can show that much discipline!) and freezes quite well.
Recipe type: Cake, Thermomix®
Serves: 12
  • finely grated zest 1 lemon (or finely peeled skin)
  • 225g sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
For the drizzle
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 85g icing sugar & extra to sprinkle
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
  2. In the thermomix, add the sugar, and thin slices of peeled lemon skin and mix sp5/20 secs. (I have a fantastic zester so it's easier for me to just add the zest to the sugar than to try to peel the lemon first)
  3. Add the butterfly then add the butter and mix 1 min/speed 4 until pale and creamy - you may need to scrape down the sides half way through.
  4. Keep the blades running at speed 4, and add the eggs, then add the flour through the lid of the Thermomix® bowl while it's running - about 1 minute to add it all.
  5. Oil or line a baking tray and spoon the mixture in and level it out.
  6. Bake for 45-50 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Mix together the juice of the lemon and 85g icing sugar. Pierce holes around the cake using a fork or knife edge) then pour the drizzle over the warm cake. Make sure to cover all the cake.
  8. The juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping. Sieve over additional icing sugar if you wish for the white colouring. Top with more grated lemon.
  9. Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve.


Good For You Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

No bake chocolate macarroonsNo bake chocolate macarroons

I love chocolate way more than I should and a lot more than I wish I did. I’m always looking for ways to indulge the craving for cocoa without piling on the sugar, largely because when I do, my kids do and the whole harmony of the home kind of falls apart.

This recipe is originally from Oh She Glows|, but I’ve been playing with it to both adapt it to our tastes, and change the recipe for the Thermomix®, meaning it’s in grams rather than cups, which makes it easier for me and my Thermie friends to use.

No bake chocolate macarroonsNo bake chocolate macarroons

I’m pretty sure you could be really flexible on it too – we made something similar from a cook book I had as a child, which used boiled sugar and tasted amazing, but added oats. You could probably add raisins quite successfully too, or other dried fruit. the options are rather endless. I imagine candied orange peel would make a perfect Christmassy – slash -winterry treat too.

Just remember that it’s held together by coconut oil, which means if it gets warm it’ll start disintegrating. They recommend freezing it over on Oh She Glows, but popping it in the fridge or in a lunch box with an ice block seems to work just fine for us.

No bake chocolate macarroons

Since this is no cook, no bake it’s perfect for kids to help with too.

Good For You Chocolate Macaroons
Prep time
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Total time
This recipe is an adaptation from another, and I've made a few changes to it. The recipe below includes the ingredients from the original recipe as optional extras. It's delicious, but a little too much banana in my chocolate fix, though I do tend to make it that way for the children.
Recipe type: Snacks, Sweets
Cuisine: Thermomix®, Paleo
Serves: 15 - 24
  • 50g Coconut Oil (1/4 cup)
  • 70g honey or syrup (1/4 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30 - 50g cocoa powder (1/3 cup) (Cacao for Paleo)
  • pinch of fine sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • 150g shredded unsweetened coconut (1.5 cups)
  • (optional) banana
  • (optional) tablespoon chia seeds
Regular Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a pot - this requires 37C, i.e. body heat, and is still considered raw, or uncooked.
  2. Add the honey or syrup and stir till it's all mixed and liquid and remove from heat
  3. Add the vanilla extract
  4. (If using banana, mash it and add to the mix)
  5. Add 30g cocoa first then add the coconut
  6. (Add chia seeds if using)
  7. Stir till it's all combined
  8. Taste the mix too see if it's the right amount of chocolatey. If you want it 'darker' add more cocoa powder till it's right for you. Mix again.
  9. Scoop out onto a tray, or into moulds and refrigerate until it hardens.
  10. Keep cool as it will fall apart if the coconut oil gets too warm.
Thermomix® Instructions
  1. Put the coconut oil in the bowl, and melt 37C/Speed 1/ 20 Seconds
  2. Add the honey or syrup and mix 37C/Speed 1/ 30 Seconds.
  3. Add the vanilla extract
  4. (If using banana, add it now in three pieces, speed 5/10 seconds - make sure to put the MC in place!)
  5. Add 30g cocoa first then add the coconut
  6. (Add chia seeds if using)
  7. Mix speed 2/ 15 seconds
  8. Taste the mix too see if it's the right amount of chocolatey. If you want it 'darker' add more cocoa powder till it's right for you. Mix again speed 2/15 seconds.
  9. Scoop out onto a tray, or into moulds and refrigerate until it hardens.
  10. Keep cool as it will fall apart if the coconut oil gets too warm.


Stained Glass Window Jelly

Stained Glass Window

It was my daughter’s second birthday today, and following on from a month of absolutely no food-mojo, I didn’t prepare anything healthy for this party at all. There were fruit cups, but they were slathered in cream. Yum, but not healthy, really. Anyway, it’s a party, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Especially when what I did make was as playful and tasty and fun as Stained Glass Rainbow Jelly.

Stained Glass Jelly

I can’t take credit for this recipe – I originally found it at Food Librarian – and considering that I haven’t had any success at all with make from scratch gelatin recipes in the past, I was dubious, but it looked perfect for a Messy Play Party, so I had to try.

Here are a few tips you don’t have to learn for yourself:

  • With the coloured jelly, you can cut them into shapes if you’ve made them into thin enough layers. I made some flowers, and it worked well. I threw the ‘unused’ bits of the jelly into the mix anyway, since the shapes are all haphazard, it doesn’t matter.
  • When you layer them, however, don’t layer the shapes – i.e. the flowers – horizontally, as when you cut it, you cant see the shapes. You need to place the shapes in your dish vertically so you can see them when they are cut.
  • If you make these two days ahead, and store in a sealed container, they are still good. I was worried making them on Saturday that by Monday they would be rubbery, but they were delicious. It takes pressure off doing them the day before and being worried they won’t set in time.

Stained Glass Jelly

We use Farmlea condensed milk so as to avoid feeding the Nestle machine.

For this recipe I used Dr Oetker Gelatin – first time I’ve used it, and my first success. Coincidence? 😉

Want something a little healthier, highly nutritious, but tasty and no-bake? Click here for ‘Chocolate Bliss Balls’!

Stained Glass Window Jelly
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A fun party food, easy to make, but with great impact. Everyone loves them!
Recipe type: Sweet, Desert
Serves: 40
  • 4 packets jelly
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 2 packets gelatin
  1. In four separate shallow containers, make the four jellies. IGNORE THE PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS. Just mix each packet with one cup of boiling water. Once the jelly is dissolved, pop it in the fridge for at least four hours.
  2. Once the jelly is set, gently remove it from the shallow containers, and cut into squares or shapes.
  3. Next, pour ½ cup of cold water into a bowl.
  4. Add the two packets of gelatin and leave it to 'bloom' (absorb the water and swell up).
  5. Add 1.5 cups boiling water, mixing till the gelatin is dissolved.
  6. Add the can of condensed milk, mix it all together.
  7. Leave the condensed milk mix to cool a bit. If you pop the jelly in straight away, it my melt.
  8. Once it's cooled down (about 10 minutes) add the jelly squares and return it all to the freezer.
  9. Leave for 4 - 6 hours, or over night. Loosen the sides with a butter knife, and tip out.
  10. Cut into squares or shapes.

Soft Cherry And White Chocolate Thermomix® Fudge Recipe

White Chocolate and Glace Cherry Thermomix Fudge

Charlotte, who contributes here from time to time, shared a fudge recipe on her Facebook page recently that, as a lover of both fudge and Thermomix®es,I had to try. My first attempt following the recipe was only mildly successful, but for the second attempt I went with raw sugar, golden syrup and glace cherries and it is fantastic. So good, in fact that it has made it into the Christmas gift hampers for this year.White Chocolate and Glace Cherry Thermomix® Fudge

If you have a last minute gift or party to cater for, these are so simple and totally worth it.

I use a brownie pan to pour it into, then cut using the guides, and cut each of those in four too, to bring them down to a snackable size.

We use Farmlea condensed milk to avoid using Nestle.

Soft Cherry And White Chocolate Fudge
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious soft fudge, cut into bite sized squares to counteract the supreme sweetness. Thoroughly delicious though, and makes a big enough batch for gift baskets, or a party.
Recipe type: Sweets, Desert, Gift Basket
Cuisine: English
Serves: 54
  • 1 can Farm Lea condensed milk
  • 250g raw sugar
  • 25g golden syrup
  • 125g butter
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 100g glace cherries
  1. Add condensed milk, sugar, syrup and butter to the Thermomix® bowl.
  2. Cook without MC at 100C speed 3 for 8 mins.
  3. Scrape down sides if needed, then cook Veroma, 20 mins speed 3 still without MC
  4. Add chocolate and cherries and mix on speed 4, reverse blades for 20 seconds.
  5. Pour into brownie tray
  6. Refrigerate for 3 -4 hours, cut and store in airtight container.


Rosetta’s Cute Coconut Ice

Issue 2 of the Disney Cakes and Sweets magazine brought with it some childhood memories for me. I remember making coconut ice as a child. I remember it including boiled sugar, however, which this recipe doesn’t, but maybe I’m confusing it with fudge?

No cook coconut iceIf you take away the serious sugar overdose in this recipe, coconut ice is a brilliant treat to get kids involved in. I haven’t made it in years – not since I joined the Nestle Boycot – but my husband found some Farmlea condensed milk recently and it’s reopened a world of sweet pleasures that were off limits unless I wanted to make my own condensed milk!

Anyway, traditionally coconut ice is pink and white, but I can’t seem to find a reason why. We decided to make ours red (which failed and look more pink than it should) and green to be all Christmassy. In future I’d rather do red and white and green and white. I think it would look better. Anyway, whichever colours you choose, here’s the recipe for you.

No Bake Coconut Ice
Prep time
Total time
The original recipe says to stir all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon. If you're not using a Thermomix®, you're going to have to get in there with both hands. The kids love it. It's sticky and messy and tasty fun.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
  • 397g can condensed milk
  • 300g (11oz) icing sugar
  • 300g (11oz) desiccated coconut (we used organic)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • food colouring of choice
  1. Line or oil your baking tray. I use an awesome brownie pan for most things, and for this too.
  2. Pour condensed milk into a large mixing bowl and sift in the icing sugar.
  3. Add the coconut and vanilla essence or extract and mix together until well combined.
  4. If you're having a white layer, spoon half the mix into your baking tray and flatten out pressing down tightly. If you're having two coloured layers, split them into two bowls and add the required colours to each bowl.
  5. Mix well and add to pan, flattening till all the first layer is covered, and it's all flattened.
  6. Place pan in the fridge for six hours or overnight to set.
  7. Once set, turn out and cut the coconut ice into squares.
  8. If you use the brownie pan, cut it while still in the pan. This will make huge slices though, so use a knife to cut again.
For the Thermomix®:
  1. Make your icing sugar first, if you're making your own.
  2. Add all but the colouring and mix on speed 2 for 30 seconds.
  3. Split the mixture into two, put one layer in the pan, then add the food colouring to one.
  4. Layer the next into the pan and leave to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
  5. Cut the set coconut ice into squares and enjoy.

Issue 2 also has recipes for a Winnie the Pooh Cake, cream-tea scones, fudge, florentines, 101 Dalmatians cake pops and Winnie the Pooh and friends silicone molds

I’m all about the healthy. We experiment with raw food, drink water kefir, and cook from scratch. I even make my own butter. But to be great 80% of the time, we allow ourselves a break 20% of the time. For the next while, we’ll share recipes from the Disney Cakes and Sweets magazine series. They are not healthy. The name kind of gives it away. But that’s okay. Sometimes we adjust the recipes a little to fit in better with our style, and sometimes I use a Thermomix® instead of following the directions. As part of a balanced diet, we hope you ‘ll join us. We’ll have fun! (If you prefer completely raw, healthy, but still delicious snacks, have a look at Bliss Balls For Beginners)

A Very Thermie Christmas This recipe features in A Very Thermie Christmas, where you can find it and 50 other recipes perfect for a Thermomix® assisted Christmas. Read more about it here.

Easy Thermomix® Meringues

Silky Thermomix Meringues

I make our mayonnaise, and many other things from scratch, often requiring only the yolk of an egg. I hate seeing things go to waste, so I try to make something with the left over whites. While this isn’t by any means a healthy recipe, it is a lovely one. If you don’t have a Thermomix®, here’s my non-Thermomix® recipe.

Unless you eat them all in one go, the Thermomix® Meringues will last in the cupboard for weeks, if not months!

We put them in the lunch box as snacks sometimes, or have them as desert with cream and fruit – absolutely yum.

To make the colours like in the image above, you need to separate the meringue mix into different bowls and very gently stir through the food colouring. Then use a spoon to move the batter into an icing bag, putting different colours next to each other rather than on top of each other.  As you squeeze it, the colours will mix and make pretty meringues.

If you make meringues with brown sugar they’ll come out in this golden-ish hue rather than white.

Silky Thermomix® Meringues

Easy Thermomix® Meringues
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
You can adapt this recipe as far as you like, in terms of amounts used, so long as you use 110g sugar to each egg white. In a TM31, I wouldn't be inclined to go beyond 6 egg whites however. I have successfully made this with just one egg white too.
  • 3 Egg-Whites, room temperature
  • 330g White sugar (brown if you don't mind them not being white)
  • Pinch of Salt
  1. Put the sugar in the mixing bowl and pulse for 10 seconds on Turbo.
  2. Place the butterfly in the bowl and add the egg whites along with a pinch of salt.
  3. 'Cook' at 37C for 7 minutes on speed 2, no MC.
  4. Leave the mix to cool for 10 minutes with the lid off.
  5. Mix again for 7 min/speed 2.
  6. Either pipe the mixture with a piping bag into small circles, or a large 'pie' for pavlova-style deserts, or dollop the mix onto a baking tray in spoonfuls, leaving space for expansion.
  7. Cook for about 60-90 minutes on 100C° to 120 min at 80C° depending on your oven and meringue sizes - as well as how chewy you want it.
  8. When finished, leave in the oven to dry out while cooling down.


*original recipe found on the Thermomix® forums