Discover how to make ‘manly’ truffles this Valentine’s Day

Follow Japanese tradition and give your man (or yourself) these manly chocolates!

So on Valentine’s Day in Japan, it’s tradition for women to give the men chocolates, rather than the other way around. But it’s not only their partners who get gifts, chocolates are giving to male friends, colleagues and relatives too! Equality aside, I just wouldn’t be happy about going to so much effort and not even getting a card back! But anyway, maybe that’s just me. So I’ve been asked by the Japanese food company to copy this tradition and create some ‘manly’ truffles.

But it turns out males have a different palate to women, so these truffles have a bit of a twist:

  • Miso Caramel – think salted caramel with a twist
  • Cinnamon Curry – a spicy truffle with crunchy, toasted panko
  • Yuzu Soy – yuzu and soy give this a sweet and salty appeal
  • Shaoxing Wine – a boozy hit
  • Sushi Ginger – chocolate & ginger with the surprising tang of pickle



The Truffle Recipe

Truffle ingredients – makes approximately 30 – 36

  • 200g dark good quality chocolate
  • 60ml double cream
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • Truffle cases

Method for all truffles

In a double saucepan (or a Pyrex bowl in a saucepan), place chocolate, butter and cream. Heat through slowly until smooth whilst whisking. Remove from heat and divide into 5 equal portions, adding the various flavourings to each individual portion as below. Place in the fridge to set – overnight if possible.

Filling & coating ingredients

Miso caramel sauce filling

  • 75g sugar
  • 25ml water
  • 50ml double cream
  • 1 tbs Yutaka Miso
  • 100g milk chocolate – gently melted for coating
  • Pink salt crystals for sprinkling on the top

Miso caramel flavouring method

Put sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir and leave on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel in colour. Carefully add double cream (it will hiss a little) and whisk whilst off the heat, add miso paste and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Add 2 tbs of miso caramel sauce to the remaining truffle mixture.  The remainder of the sauce saved and used over ice cream for a delicious dessert.

Cinnamon Curry flavouring

  • 1 tsp of Yutaka Japanese Curry block mixed with hot water
  • 50g of Yutaka Panko Breadcrumbs mixed with 3 teaspoons of sugar & 2 teaspoon of cinnamon toasted in oven until golden brown

Yuzu Ponzu

  • 1.5 tsp Yuzu Ponzu
  • Flaked milk chocolate for coating

Yutaka Shaoxing rice wine flavouring

  • 2 tbs Yutaka Shaoxing rice wine warmed
  • Chocolate vermicelli for coating

Yutaka Pickled Sushi Ginger flavouring

  • 2 tbs chopped Yutaka sushi ginger
  • Cocoa for coating

To finish the truffles

Remove the various truffle mixes from the fridge and, with a teaspoon, scoop out a goodly amount. Roll into a ball and place on a plate (remembering to keep the various flavours separate) and continue until all the mixture has been used.

Roll the ginger truffles in cocoa and place in truffle cases.  Roll the Yuzu Ponzu in flaked milk chocolate, the katsu in the toasted panko and the rice wine truffles in vermicelli and return to fridge.

Using a double boiler (or Pyrex bowl in a saucepan) melt the milk chocolate over a low heat and, when removed from the heat & cooled slightly, spoon over miso truffles until coated.   You can use a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate.  This needs patience!  Leave them to set on a plate. Sprinkle a couple of pink salt crystals on the top.


Unfortunately, there weren’t any truffle cases in Sheffield Asda, so I had to improvise and cut the truffles into squares instead. But I can confirm the caramel and curry flavours are AMAZING. So even if you haven’t got a boy to eat all your chocolates, treat yourself or your friends and make these truffles with a difference!

What do you think of these flavours? Do you cook with traditional Japanese sauces and ingredients? Please let me know in the comments!



A ranking of all the Christmas coffees

This is probably going to sound really sad, but my favourite thing about Christmas is the Christmas coffees. Early November each year, I start getting busy practically buying shares in Costa and Starbucks. But now I’ve finally put my ‘hobby’ to good use and ranked each Christmas coffee for taste. Read on to see the full list below.


enlight568My definitive ranking of 2017’s Christmas coffees

10. Cafe Nero Roasted Hazelnut Latte

I’ve put this in the last place just because I don’t think it tastes much different to the standard hazelnut. And not to mention the normal hazelnut comes in sugar-free! Overall, I think this is a waste of Christmas calories.

9. Starbuck’s Gingerbread Latte

I’m a big fan of gingerbread syrup, BUT did you know that Costa do sugar-free gingerbread all year round? If you prefer Starbucks coffee over Costa, then I imagine you’d rank this latte a lot higher. But for myself, it’s just a bit meh compared to the other drinks in this list.

8. Costa’s Gingerbread and Cream

This is the Christmas version of my standard order from Costa. However, this version comes with cream and a super cute gingerbread biscuit. Therefore, beats the Starbuck’s version.

7. McDonald’s Toffee Latte

I love anything toffee flavoured. And this tastes super naughty! It might not come from ground beans like the other coffees on this list. But it’s still really good, so it definitely earns a place on my list!

6. Starbuck’s Toffee Nut Latte

This used to be my all-time favourite, but I personally don’t think it tastes as good as previous years. The syrup is a bit bland and adding hazelnuts was a really bad idea. And has anyone ever admitted to liking soggy nuts?

5. McDonald’s Spiced Cookie Latte

My favourite out of the McDonald’s range! It’s sweet, without tasting overly sugary. And a cookie flavoured coffee was a smashing idea Mcdonald’s, kudos!

4. Costa’s Billionaires Latte

Carmel syrup with layers of caramel sauce and crumbled biscuit…amazing! I really love the concept of creating a coffee like a biscuit (see above!). BUT this would rank soooo much higher if my drinks had been consistent! I’ve received a version that I couldn’t  even taste the caramel. And I also received a version that was cold with a ridiculous amount caramel sauce in. Honestly, Costa sort it out, because you’re onto a winner with this one!

3. Cafe Nero Salted Caramel Latte

This is a really nice drink, without being overly Christmassy. You can definitely taste the difference between the standard caramel and the salted caramel. And I do think Cafe Nero serve the best coffee compared to all their competitors. But you shouldn’t have to purchase cream as an extra!

2. Costa’s Honeycomb Latte

My favourite from Costa’s offering! This latte has a really nice flavouring and I think the crunchy honeycomb pieces make a great addition to the drink. The only problem is the fact the honeycomb pieces turn into a slight choking hazard if you don’t order cream. However, they do offer them in a little cup on the side. The only reason this isn’t top is that I don’t think Costa have topped their sticky toffee latte from 2015.

1. Starbuck’s Eggnog Latte

I only tried this for the first time at the weekend, and it is AMAZING. It’s so creamy and naughty. The combination of eggnog and coffee is perfection. But don’t be put off, or see this as a bland choice. Because if you haven’t tried it yet, you honestly don’t know what you’re missing! It’s now become my firm favourite Christmas coffee.


Do you agree with my list? What’s your favourite Christmas coffee? Let me know in the comments!

Lager in a cocktail?

So this week I got the amazing opportunity to pop into the Botanist in Sheffield, to sample hoptails. But what actually is a hoptail? Well as you can probably guess, a hoptail is any cocktail containing lager. But as the world’s biggest strawberry daiquiri fan, anything containing larger would normally have me running for the hills. However, thanks to the guys from Budwsier (Budva), my drink horizons have been broadened to more than pink, slushy concoctions.




The Budwies Mule

This is the perfect cocktail for anyone with a love of czech beer. ‘The Budweis Mule’ is a riff on the classic Moscow Mule, swapping out the sweet ginger beer for fresh ginger, herbs, gin, Cointreau and the sweet-bitter taste of Budweiser Budvar Original.

But what does it taste like? Well this was the first time I’ve ever tried lager, and I was pleasantly surprised! I like my alcohol to taste sweet…and well not like alcohol. But the fresh ginger, gin, and sugar syrup took away the bitter taste of the lager. And by the end of the night, I actually found myself sipping away on a pint of Budweiser Budvar Original.

Cocktail Making

I’ve worked in a few bars throughout my time at uni, and hated every single job with a passion! In order to make a cocktail, there’s so much to remember! And that metal thing if you’ve got tap? Yeah well I can’t do that either.

However Jonah, the inventor of the cocktail, was so lovely and made the experience really fun! However if you have me on snapchat, you might have noticed that in the midst of pouring, I ending up getting sugar syrup everywhere, oops! So even though you want to, apparently you can’t always multitask!

About Budwieser

Budwieser Budva have been Budweiser Budvar Original for the past 150 years, from the town of Budweise in the Czhec Republic. But don’t confuse them with the American brand  Budweiser, as the two brands have had the longest ongoing lawsuit battle in history!

Budweiser only use finest ingredients, from first-class cones from locally grown Saaz hops, natural soft water from ice age lakes and carefully selected grains of a unique strain of the Moravian barley. Our 700-year long tradition of brewing Budějovice beer, means they take 102 days to brew and condition Budweiser Budvar. Which is about 7 times longer than most other beers!


Want to make your own Budweise Mule?

Click here to get the Recipe.

This cocktail is now available in Botanists throughout the country. Would you ever try a hoptail? Let me know in the comments!



Cheese Postie: A Review

So I was super excited this week to receive a Cheese Postie through the door! If you’ve never heard of this brand, they basically send you a variety of cheese toasties straight to your door. Think Graze, but a little bit naughtier! The concept is pretty similar to Graze, with options for taste preference, how often you’d love to receive a Cheese Postie, and if you’d prefer a sweet or savoury Postie.  I decided I was tempted by the sweet options available. Note you don’t actually get to choose which Postie you’d like to try, it’s completely random in that category!




The Cheese Postie comes in a little cardboard box designed to fit through your letterbox… Cause no one really has time to pop down the Royal Mail sorting office do they? In the box you get the ingredients, a little instruction booklet, the toastie bag, a cartoon stamp, and a Cheese Postie collectors card. As you can see above, I received the salted caramel Cheese Postie.

The instruction book says there’s a few different ways you can toast the toastie. However, toasting in the toaster seemed by far the easiest! I spread the cream cheese and caramel on the bread, then sprinkled the salt over the top. If using the toaster, the instructions say to butter the outsides of the bread and then place in the toaster bag and squash. Luckily my toaster is quick big, so I didn’t need to squash my toastie too much!



This toastie is up there with one of the best desserts I’ve ever ate, at least in the top three! I love cream cheese on toast anyway, (spread with jam and it’s like a cheesecake!) but combined with the salted caramel and words can’t even describe how amazing it tastes. I ate the whole thing in less than a minute! Next time I feel a sweet treat coming my way, I’m definitely going to try more of the Cheese Postie sweet range!

If you want a quick treat and to try something different, I really recommend trying Cheese Postie! But not only does this brand send a range of sweet and savoury treats straight to your door, but Cheese Postie also sends full meal to a hungry child for each toastie you eat! Making each postie you devour completely guilt free…Despite what your diet says!

Have you tried Cheese Postie before? What do you think of the brand? Let me know in the comments!


My visit to a Beefeater with a vegetarian

I was lucky enough this week to be invited to Morton Park, a restaurant part of the Beefeater chain in Darlington, Country Durham. My friend is a vegetarian, and didn’t actually look at the menu online before we arrived. So we didn’t really know what to expect when we got there…



It’s been a while now since I’ve visited a Beefeater restaurant. However, upon arriving I noticed the range and quality of the menu was so much better than rival restaurant/pub chains. There was so much choice on the menu! However with it being a Beefeater, it was 90% meat. I was debating trying one of the steaks on offer (there was a lot!). But with not really eating steaks or knowing anything about them, I didn’t think it would be a fair review! However, we did notice there was limited choice for a veggies on the menu.

We decided on the garlic bread sharer for starters, paying the extra £1.99 for the range of dips. We really enjoyed the starter, but we did think the dips were a little bit random. Although I was a big fan of the spicy hummus! However maybe a garlic butter we have been a good addition to the range of dips?

For main, I got the chicken and ribs (which came with unlimited fries!!!) and my friend got the vegetable linguine. I’ve literally only ever had this meal before at a Weatherspoon’s, so obviously there was a bit of a difference in quality and taste. The highlight of the meal was definitely the ribs! There were so juicy, and barely any fat on them. I’m not a big meat eater myself, so fat on meat puts me straight off! The only thing that I could fault, was that no butter came with the corn on the cob.


For dessert, I got the Mississipi Mud Pie, and my friend got the Warm Chocolate Brownie. My dessert was so rich and chocolatey with brownie and biscuit mixed together, I just couldn’t finish it! The ice cream was so nice too! And it was needed to counteract how rich the Mud Pie was. My friend really enjoyed her brownie. However she did pick fault in the size of her dessert, compared to mine.

Our sever Hayleigh at Morton Park, was so lovely and friendly. As we ordered the bottomless soft drinks, she continued to bring them over without us even needing to ask. She also reminded me that my meal come with bottomless fries, and got extra fries to us pretty quick! I was also struggling to pick my choice of dessert, so she recommended her choice Mississippi Mud Pie which turned out to be AMAZING.

I really enjoyed my visit to Morton Park. And with the bill coming to £47 for a sharer starter, 2 mains, and 2 desserts, and 2 bottomless soft drinks… I didn’t think was bad at all! Have you visited a Beefeater restaurant? What did you think of your experience? Let me know in the comments!