Hi All,

How are you doing? Hope you’ve all been enjoying the delicious weather! I was awoken by thunderstorms galore a few nights ago and despite my beauty sleep being interrupted, I begrudgingly agreed it was a good thing. Why? Because it has been humid as hell in Derby (and no doubt the whole of the UK) rendering life almost unbearable.

What else have you been up apart from baking in this tropical weather? The heat hasn’t been enough to keep this foodie away from her beloved kitchen. There have been launch parties and new eateries aplenty (more on that later). Speaking of baking, I was experimenting with buttercream recipes to ultimately make a lighter frosting. My sweet tooth loves cake but I find icing way too heavy and sickly sweet. Which is why I found myself Googling buttercream recipes for the lowest fat content (dontcha just love Google?).

pudding custard base

I eventually found a good one for Ermine Buttercream (or Flour Buttercream) which uses a flour-custard base. You basically put flour, milk and sugar in a pan, simmer and cook for circa 10 minutes till it comes together in a nice a pudding-custard base. Cool by whisking and bringing down the temperature, then add half the amount of butter. It’s buttercream, so there’s no getting away from the butter (unfortunately), but I have to say, it tasted delicious! It’s one of my favourite buttercream recipes and one that I will use going forward (because it’s also a teeny bit healthier too than your full on butter/sugar recipe).

Ermine buttercream

I used the buttercream for The Dude’s birthday cake (Nigella Lawson’s recipe for a good old Victoria Sandwich). I also add a good glug of milk, because the sponge comes out softer and beautifully moist. I love baking and cooking and am always on the lookout for good cookbooks. Are there any that you can recommend? Let me know if there are any that you swear by and I promise to check it out. At the moment I have the usual suspects (Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, James Martin et al). I am in the middle of reading The Derbyshire Cookbook and I’m loving it. I’ll be cooking my way through the whole book this autumn, which I can’t wait to do, so keep your eyes peeled for delicious recipes galore.


Do you ever go to a restaurant and fall in love with a dish and want to recreate at home? We just dined out for a light fish supper at The Littleover Lodge (food review on that coming soon) and I absolutely loved the spinach and prawn sauce that the salmon was served with. That was beautiful, fresh food at its best.

Ciao for now and keep cool in this warm weather.