It’s that time of year when we decide what to do and where to go on holiday. Do we go away, do we stay local?

One place that sprang to mind was a camping holiday in France. Having visited there a twice in the past few years to see family, we have fallen in love with the Brittany countryside and especially the food from the region.

One of my favourite memories of our first trip to the Brittany region of France was when Martin’s uncle, Philippe, took us to the Chanson in Nantes. That evening, we went to a small restaurant that specialised in galettes and crepes. I’d never had galettes before, but they have quickly become one of my favourite things to have when we go to France. Martin and I loved them so much that we purchased Farine de blé noir, the flour that makes them so special, and brought it back to England so we could try making them ourselves. (Turns out, it’s just buckwheat flour, so we can still make them anytime we like even though our special French flour has long gone.)

Since we’d been talking of France so much, we decided to make a special meal of galette complète to remind us of our visits to the galette place in Nantes (I can’t recall the name of the amazing restaurant) and also to the Le Chat Botté in Clisson.

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To make a special meal for two, you will need:
For the galette/crepe -

  • 145g Buckwheat flour
  • pinch sea salt (sel de Guérande, if you’ve got some!)
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml semi-skimmed milk

Filling for the complète:

  • ham
  • strong cheese like cheddar, comte or Gruyere, grated
  • 1 egg for each person
    • In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour, salt
    • Make a well and add the egg and a bit of milk to form a smooth paste.
    • Then add the rest of the milk, mixing thoroughly.
    • The batter should be smooth and have a ribbon-like consistency.
    • Leave to sit at least 30 minutes.
    • In the meantime, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Ladle a spoonful of batter into the centre of the pan and tilt it so that the mixture spreads easily over the hot surface. Make sure that you have a very thin layer of batter.
    • Cook the galette for about 2 minutes or until the edges curl up and the bottom begins to brown.
    • Flip and cook the other side. Continue this process until you’ve used up all your batter. Makes approx 4 galette/crepes.
    • To fill, melt a pat of butter in the skillet and heat the galette on one side for about 15 seconds.
    • Flip the galette over and scatter almost all of the cheese around the crepe. Let the cheese melt then add the ham, sprinkling on the rest of the cheese.

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    • Crack the egg over the ham. Gently fold each side of the galette so that the filling is sealed. If the yolk doesn’t seem cooked enough, break so that it runs slightly, and cover with a lid until the egg is cooked.

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  • Alternatively, to cheat… scatter the cheese over the galette, add the ham and then add a sunny-side up fried egg on top, fold the sides of the galette in… et voila! You don’t have to worry if your egg cooked or not.

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Serve with ice cold brut cidre, from Brittany of course.

We’re going to keep researching our holiday, in fact a few places have caught our eye like Thomson AlFresco La Grande Metarie campsite in Carnac, but until we make it back to Brittany, we’ll have to keep the memories alive with the taste of our home made galettes.

*This is a sponsored post, although the recipe (and opinion) is my own*

Finding cards for Valentine’s Day is always a tough one, especially with my busy schedule it’s hard to get out to actually purchase cards. I don’t usually go for the lovey-dovey sappy sentiment so I like having the option to personalise cards and choose what I want it to say.

ChuckleMonster is a great option for those who want to personalise cards with their loved one’s name or by uploading an image to create an extra special Valentine’s photo card.

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I was able to choose cards for each my husband and my son to suit both of their personalities and order them in less than 5 minutes, allowing me to get on with my busy day. What’s even better, all Valentine’s cards get free shipping!  If you are in need of cards for any occasion, Chuckle Monster is a way to go.

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For more Silent Sunday treats – head to Mocha Beanie Mummy

Silent Sunday

A walk among the giants

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Silent Sunday

Birthday cake

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Silent Sunday

photobomb

For more Silent Sunday treats – head to Mocha Beanie Mummy

Silent Sunday

It’s been a while since I’ve rocked the cupcakes on the blog, and since it’s what my blog is named after it seems only fitting they get a feature.

My colleague’s beautiful wife celebrated her 30th bday this weekend, and to help with the festivities I was commissioned to make cupcakes.

For this occasion I created lemon cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream and chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow frosting.

The cupcake and buttercream frosting recipes were courtesy of my trusted Primrose Baker Cupcake book, but nothing beats the marshmallow frosting recipe from Nigella’s How to Be A Domestic Goddess (Autumnal Birthday Cake Frosting).

I dolled up these tasty treats with lemon slices and sparkles and thought they turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

Cupcakes

I hope the birthday girl thought so too… Happy Birthday, Helen!

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For more Silent Sunday treats – head to Mocha Beanie Mummy

Silent Sunday

I can’t believe we are in the home stretch to 2013. 2012 has passed way too fast for my liking. Looking back through the photos which have documented this year, I haven’t been baking or blogging about baking nearly enough.

And though this has been a recurring sentiment, I’m getting back in the proverbial (blogging) saddle. Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat. There’s going to be a whole lot of baking, eating, sharing and best of all a big trip to the motherland.

Stay with me, dear readers… but in the meantime, here’s a taste of what went on in the downtime:

Victoria Sponge

Victoria Sponge in honor of the Diamond Jubilee. Recipe from Primrose Bakery Baking Book, although I used fresh strawberries in place of jam and Earl Grey/Lemon whipping cream. This was my first go at the traditional British cake. I was happy with the way it turned out and will most likely bake it again when tradition calls.

Hepburns

My baking book of the year is definitely ‘Baked In America‘ – maybe it’s because I’m American, but mostly because this is one AMAZING baking book. Recipes from this book are featured many times throughout the blog in 2012 and will continue to be featured in the future. One day I’ll finally make it to Chiswick to Outsider Tart and hopefully meet my baking heroes – the two Davids.

The brownies above are called Hepburns (Kate, rather than Audrey) and probably the best brownie recipe around. They make ideal treats for any occasion – school fetes, birthdays or general parties.

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake brownies

Brownie tower

These Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Brownies were made especially for my mother in law’s un-birthday party. As her party food was served buffet-style, I wanted to make a special desserty treat that attendees could eat as little or as much as they like. So these brownies were cut into 1.5 in squares and served on cake stands mixed with the Hepburns featured above.

Orange polenta cake

Another series of books which have inspired breakfasts, dinners and baking alike are the Leon books. The Orange Polenta Cake is from Leon – Baking & Puddings, book three, as featured in the ‘Teatime’ section. This cake is an ideal accompaniment to Earl Grey tea and also gluten-free!

Trish's Two Cents

Martin has been working on building a set of speakers over at his dad’s house. I like to take a baked treat when we go over. One weekend in September, Trish’s Two-Cents from Baked In America caught my eye and I had to give it a go. This is the best ‘pound-cake’ type cake I have ever had. It is definitely going to be in regular rotation for when cakes are called for.

Pumpkin pie

And last, but not least, in the baking recap is Pumpkin Pie. This is a recipe traditionally served at Thanksgiving, in fact was featured in my Thanksgiving blog post from 2011, but I am not celebrating Thanksgiving this year so it was moved to Bonfire Night. While this recipe is from the back of a Libbys can, it is home-made with love and reminds me of autumnal days past.

Watch this space for Christmas treats to come soon…

Skillet

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