Petshop Pooch!

Liz and Pippin

petshop.co.uk

If you’re a pet owner you may already be using PetShop.co.uk – a nationwide home delivery subscription service to pet food. If you’ve not heard of them yet, let me introduce you to the brand. PetShop.co.uk are young online company with a team of friendly, helpful staff dedicated to saving you time and money. Plus all of their staff are pet owners so understand the needs of other pet parents. Essentially they are an online pet shop for all your pet’s needs.

petshop.co.uk

Knowing I had a little furbaby of my own they asked me (or rather my 7 year old Lhasa Apso Pippin!) to review some of their natural and organic pet food brands. I jumped at the chance because I wanted to bring something different to the blog and show you a peek into the life behind these pages, plus I know many of you are also pet parents and may like a review of this new idea. Food subscription services are huge right now but I’d never heard of a pet version (and it’s not just for dogs) so I decided to give their service a try.

petshop.co.uk

We were sent products from three brands including Almo Nature Dog Food, Nature’s Menu Dog Food and the new Pedigree Dentaflex. The products arrived well packaged and addressed to both myself and Pippin which I thought was really cute. He tore into the parcel, grabbed the Almo dog food sachet and trotted off with it, happily ready to hide it in his basket for later (he does this with anything he likes – toys, treats, food – so I took this as a good sign!

petshop.co.uk

Before the trial with Petshop, we were using a food recommended by our vet which is pretty pricey and we have to go to our vets to pick it up when it’s running low. The Almo Nature Dog food is very alike with similar ingredients, size of biscuits and nutritional benefits and Pip literally scarfed it down in a matter of seconds so I would consider swapping over to the brand, especially because of the ease of having it delivered. Also the price is about £1.50 lower per kg and this is an all natural alternative.

petshop.co.uk

So what do you think to a food subscription service for your pet? Would you buy your pet’s food and treats online because of the convenience? Tell me all about your furbabies and their favourite foods!

Thanks for Reading,

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Bonne Maman Sticky Rhubarb and Syrup Puddings Recipe

Sticky Rhubarb and Syrup Puddings Recipe

Sticky Rhubarb and Syrup Puddings Recipe

These sticky little puddings use Bonne Maman Rhubarb Compote as a deliciously sweet sauce atop light little sponges. These are worth the effort for an impressive Sunday lunch or any special occasion.

Bonne Maman Sticky Rhubarb and Syrup Puddings

Ingredients:
175 g (6 oz) softened butter, plus extra for greasing
175 g (6 oz) golden caster sugar
175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, beaten
2-3 tbsp soured cream or milk
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
Chilled custard or cream, to finish

For the syrup…
100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) Bonne Maman Rhubarb Compote
100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) golden syrup
100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) fresh orange juice
1 small orange, very thinly sliced

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180°c (fan oven 160°c), gas mark 4. Generously butter 8 x 175-200ml (6-7 fl oz) metal pudding basins.

2. Put the sugar and butter together in a large bowl and, with an electric whisk (mixer or hand held), beat together until very light and fluffy.

3. Add all the remaining sponge ingredients and continue to whisk for a further 2-3 minutes until the mixture is very smooth and creamy.

4. Spoon this into the prepared basins and level the top. Cover each one with buttered foil, butter side down with the edges sealed tightly around the tops of the basins.

5. Put the basins in a large roasting tin and fill with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the basins. Steam in the preheated oven for about 1- 1¼ hours.

6. Meanwhile make the syrup. Put the compote, golden syrup and orange juice in a wide, shallow pan and stir over a gentle heat until the syrup has melted.

7. Add the orange slices to the pan in a single layer and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the slice very gently for about 15-20 minutes until the peel is tender and translucent, and the liquid has thickened to a syrupy consistency. Carefully remove the orange slices to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside.

8. Loosen the edges of the hot puddings with a round bladed knife and turn out onto individual edged dishes. Spoon over the warm rhubarb syrup and add an orange slice on top. Finish with chilled custard or single cream.

Cooks Tip

If you would rather make 1 large sponge, spoon the mixture into greased 1.1 litre (2 pint) pudding basin. Take a large sheet of foil and make a pleat down the centre. Butter well and use to cover the basin, butter side down. Fold the edges under to seal well. Put the pudding in a large, deep saucepan and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides. Cover with a lid or foil and simmer gently for about 2-2 ¼ hours. Keep an eye on the level of water and add more as necessary.

Recipe available from Bonne Maman The Seasonal Cookbook. For more information or recipe inspiration, visit www.bonnemaman.co.uk.

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Valentine’s Day: Fraisier Strawberry Cake Recipe

Seasonal Berries Strawberry Fraisier cake Recipe Valentine's Day

Wow the special person in your life with this impressive looking cake, this classic French Fraisier Strawberry Cake Recipe has a few short cuts, so you don’t need to be a master baker to make this version!

Seasonal Berries Strawberry Fraisier cake Recipe Valentine's Day

Cuts into 10 slices
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:
225g (8oz) soft margarine
225g (8oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Grated rind of 2 lemons
4 medium eggs
6 tablespoons limoncello liqueur

Filling
400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled
3 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
500g (1lb 2oz) carton luxury vanilla custard

Topping
2 tablespoons apricot glaze or apricot jam minus the pieces of fruit
250g (9oz) ready made marzipan
Little icing sugar
Few small strawberries
Few chocolate hearts

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan) Gas 3. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) heart shaped
springform tin with a little oil then line the base with a piece of non-stick baking paper.
2. Add the margarine, sugar and flour to a large bowl, electric mixer or food processor. Add the
baking powder, lemon rind and eggs and beat together until smooth.
3. Spoon into the lined tin, level the surface and bake for about 35-40 minutes until well risen,golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake.
4. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then loosen the edge, remove the tin and lining paper and cool
on a wire rack.
5. When the cake is cold, cut into two thinner rounds, trimming the top level if it is a little
domed, then spoon the limoncello over the cut sides. Wash the cake tin and line the base
and sides with two strips of clingfilm. Put one of the cake halves in the tin and pull up the
clingfilm if needed so that it slightly overhangs the top of the tin.
6. Sort through the strawberries, reserve the medium sized ones for the side of the cake and
the larger ones for slicing. Cut the medium sized ones in half and arrange in a ring around
the outside of the cake in the tin so that the cut edge is pressed against the clingfilm. Slice
the rest and arrange as an even layer to cover the base cake.
7. Add the water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine powder and leave to
soak for 5 minutes then stand the bowl in a saucepan of just simmering water and heat until
the gelatine has dissolved and become a clear liquid.
8. Whisk the cream until it forms soft swirls in a bowl then fold in the custard. Gradually fold in the dissolved gelatine in a thin steady stream then pour the custard mix over the
strawberries in the tin and chill for 10 minutes until just setting.
9. Add the second cake half to the tin and press lightly into the custard. Gently spread the
apricot glaze or jam over the top of the cake. Knead and roll out the marzipan on a piece of
non-stick baking paper then cut into a heart, using the cake tin as a guide. Lift over the top of the cake and press into place with fingertips dusted with icing sugar. Chill for at least 4
hours.
10. When ready to serve, unclip the sides of the tin, peel away the clingfilm, then carefully lift the cake off and transfer to a plate. Decorate the top with the small strawberries and piped chocolate hearts, if desired.

Top Tip
If you’re not a fan of marzipan then simply leave it out and spread the top of the cake with melted chocolate or simply dust with sifted icing sugar instead.

To make chocolate hearts, melt 50g (2oz) dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water. Spoon into a piping bag made of non-stick baking paper, snip off the tip then pipe heart shapes over a sheet of non-stick baking paper set on a baking tray. Chill until set then peel off the paper and add to the top of the cake when ready to serve.

Recipe and images courtesy of Seasonal Berries.

Thanks for Reading,

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If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store