I think every week is National Chocolate week or at least we’d like it to be. I never need an excuse to sip a hot chocolate, eat a napolitano chocolate with a fresh coffee or tuck into some tantalising chicken mole. Instead of going back through the files to repost something I’ve made already; I thought, why not dish something up that is season and weather appropriate.

I hate to admit it, my car had frost on it this morning. It’s time to start either parking in the garage or toting around on of those ice scrapers for before work, after work and really anytime it snows. The mornings are dark and the nights too. So I’m ready to fill my days and nights with comforting recipes using decadent chocolate. Because “Hello, my name is Kat and I’m an addict…..a chocolate addict”.

Fitting chocolate into breakfast is easy. There are chocolate cereals, chocolate porridge and hot chocolate. I wanted something different. I went with a recipe that Bobby Flay featured on the Food Network.

Poached Eggs in Mole with Creamy Green Rice

Appliance City - Mole Recipes - Poached Eggs and Mole - National Chocolate week

Now this may be one of the best breakfasts that you have ever had. Not for those that are on the go in the morning. This recipe does take a considerable amount of time to prepare, so it’s perfect for a lazy Sunday.

The recipe combines some of the best flavours. Like the richness of molasses, the creaminess of semisweet chocolate and the heat of a chile de arbol. It not only fits some chocolate into your breakfast without it being a sugar overload, it will also cure your cravings for a Mexican. Pair it with a massive helping of homemade guacamole and you’ve set yourself up for one heck of a day.

Image Credit – JansSushi

It’s Monday – to make it through my day I needed a lunch that inspired me to carry on, a lunch of champions, a lunch like no other. I wanted something that would move me on from coffee after coffee to something that readied me for the rest of my day. Finding such a recipe ended up being quite an arduous task. There aren’t many savoury chocolate dishes that aren’t a mole, but I was determined to find one.

I found utter perfection in this Recipe from Vosges Chocolate.

Chocolate Parmesan Tapioca with Scallops

Appliance City - National Chocolate week - Chocolate Parmesan Tapioca with Scallops Recipe

Forget for a moment that chocolate is supposed to be something you only have at dessert. Close your eyes and bite into a piece of pure heaven. Chocolate and parmesan tapioca is gorgeous, bubbly and delicious. The caramelised scallop that is perched atop needs to be cooked to perfection, so that there is the crunch of the caramelisation on the exterior without losing the tender meat of the scallop. No one wants to eat tough scallops, you might as well feed them a shoe! Finally, finish the dish off with shavings of mushroom walnut dark chocolate and smoked paprika.

Don’t tell your guests how you made the meal. Let them taste it. People so often turn their noses up at reading something instead of allowing their other senses to judge whether or not they like something. Be brave, be bold. Take a bite!

After the amazing meals for breakfast and lunch, tea had to be something a little on the light side, but still a savoury chocolate masterpiece.

I found this chocolate pasta recipe on the Ruhlman Blog.

Savory Chocolate Pasta with Bucherondin, Hazelnuts, and Cherries

Appliance City - National Chocolate Week - Savoury Chocolate Pasta

Cheese, chocolate and cherries? When I read the recipe, I thought you gotta be kidding me. There is no way that chocolate and cheese can go together. Boy, was I wrong. Sweet cherries, nutty hazelnut oil, tart goats cheese combine to make pure palette perfection. The dish is finished with acidic red wine vinegar and sweet maple syrup. While there are a few sweet ingredients in this dish it definitely isn’t a dessert. It is perfect for a light dinner or for a side during a barbecue or get together. Why not try it out?

Dessert, dessert, dessert. Chocolate is always the answer. Who cares what the question is!

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

Appliance City - National Chocolate Week - Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake - Recipe

This image of perfection makes me want to skip all meals and go straight to dessert. Not only is this pleasing to the eye it is just as if not more so, pleasing to the palette.

It starts with a fudgy, gooey brownie base. Followed by the napoleon of mousses, three layers. Chocolate, Raspberry (with fresh raspberries) and vanilla. Then topped with a chocolate glaze. Add more fresh raspberries and chocolate curls and this is pure food porn. Yes, there I said it.

Mine may not come out looking this beautiful, but it’s guaranteed to taste fantastic. I can’t wait for Christmastime when I have to make something for a potluck. This baby is coming out!

Finally – I must share a recipe for homemade fudge. We all like fudge, well if you don’t than we aren’t friends, but you know what I mean.

Homemade Quick Fudge

Chocolate Week - Fudge Recipe - Appliance City

400g Chocolate – Either dark or light, chefs choice

1 can (appx. 400g) Condensed Milk

100g Caster Sugar

25g Butter

  • Combine the chocolate, butter and condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments to keep from burning the chocolate.
  • Once chocolate is fully melted, sift in your caster sugar and mix well.
  • Line a pan with greaseproof or wax paper and press the fudge mix into the pan.
  • Refrigerate over night

Voila! Perfect smooth fudge.

A few quick tips –

  • It’s easier to combine the butter, chocolate and condensed milk if the butter is kept at room temperature.
  • You can add any flavour you want to this I’ve done the following:
    • Orange essence – Like a Chocolate Orange
    • Almond – Like an Amaretto Sour
    • Milk – Who doesn’t like mint chocolate?

Really you can add in any flavour you want or even, marshmallows, crunchy bits, etc. The options for this easy fudge are endless. Plus, being able to personalise it makes it the perfect homemade Christmas gift!

Enjoy chocolate this week in honour of the week, but more importantly enjoy it every week because why not!?


Curry is a British favourite. We’ve gone so far as to name it a “national dish”. Curry came to the UK through the first curry house, Hindostanee in 1809. During this era customers were enjoying tucking into spicy Indian dishes whilst indulging themselves in a bit of hooka smoking. We’ve come a long way since then. Now there are over 9,000 curry houses in England and we’ve come to love the versatile curry dish.

Chicken tikka, chicken korma and balti tend to be the types of curry that are more often than not ordered at the local curry restaurant. For this years National Curry Week we decided to try some of the more obscure curry types and recipes for a bit of a change of pace. Feeling courageous? Why not whip one of these up for tea tonight.

Bhuna

Bhuna is the traditionally a thick sauced curry that is prepared medium hot to hot. First the spices are fried in a generous amount of oil, then the meat added and cooked in its own juices. Because of the way this curry is cooked it tends to have a strong flavour without a bountiful amount of sauce.

Chicken Bhuna

Appliance City - National Curry Week - Bhuna Recipe

Is your mouth watering yet? If only smell-o-vision had been created already! This Chicken Bhuna recipe from Vaniensamayalarai is a perfect example of this traditional curry style. Pair it with pilau rice if you so choose or in my case I love it over a fresh salad. You can make it either medium or hot depending on the amount of curry spices and chillies you use in the preparation of the sauce.

Saag Gosht

Saag dishes are traditionally made with spinach, fenugreek or other tender green leafy vegetables. You can make it with cheese, chicken, prawns or in this case, lamb. Like Bhuna dishes this dish is quite dry compared to other dishes that have a large amount of sauce. It’s full of bold flavours and easily one of my favourites.

Appliance City - National Curry Week - Saag Gosht Recipe

This Saag Gosht recipe from NomNomPaleo is a simplified version of the traditional Indian dish. This recipe may be easier to make than the original but it doesn’t leave out any of the bold, exciting flavours that you would come to expect from this type of food. The greens are fresh and flavourful, whilst the lamb brings in this hearty, comfort food that we’ve come to love. It’s a wonderful dish, perfect for any time of year.

Not all curry dishes that you can order from your local curry house originated from India. Some come from Persia or Portugal but have gained popularity and changed a bit from when they were introduced into the Indian Society. The two recipes to follow are from both ends of the spectrum. One is very mild whilst the other is extremely hot (think hotter than jalfrezi).

Biryani

Biryani is served in Curry houses around the country, but isn’t actually a curry dish. This dish originated in Persia and was known as a baked meat and rice dish. Over time the dish has evolved into the aromatic delicacy that it is. Served with a beautiful stir fried rice, and either vegetable curry or bhuna cooked style meat. You’ll also find it contains sultanas and almonds, making it just that little bit sweeter.

Appliance City - National Curry Week - Biryani Recipe

The dish I chose to make for tea on Thursday is this beautiful Chettinad Prawn Biryani from Mye’s Kitchen.  After marinating the prawns in red chilli, ginger, garlic and aniseed I knew that this dish was going to be a collision of exquisite flavours. The basmati rice needs to be cooked to absolute perfection to keep it from getting too mushy or sticky but other than that this will be perfect for making in big batches and freezing some for rainy days. Definitely one of my favourites.

All curry dishes can be modified to be more or less spicy, just alter the levels of heat inducing spices when cooking up these taste sensations. Enjoy them for lunch or dinner this week!


Oh no! In less than 12 hours we’ll see the finale of Great British Bake Off for yet another season. If you’re anything like me, GBBO gives me this feeling that I can conquer the baking world, whip up a confectionary concoction fit for a king and dazzle my friends with complex desserts. Alas, this never happens. I end up with runny in the middle cakes, parfaits that look more like sick than stupendous and pie crusts that look nothing like they should.

In honour of the end of one of my favourite programs I thought why not whip up something delicious, but then remembered I have a proverbial black thumb in baking. So on to the interwebs I go, in search of baking hints, tips and tricks and maybe a fantastic recipe or two!

1. The Dreaded Sunk in Cake

Appliance City - Hints and Tips

Ok so I’m horrible about this. I am constantly opening the oven to check the cake isn’t burning on the top or running over the edge onto the bottom of my oven. Despite having a lovely window to look through into my oven and a light, I still feel the need to open the door. Call me crazy. This is where I’ve been going wrong the whole time. To avoid the sunken cake catastrophe it is essential that you leave your oven door closed for as long as possible. Stick to the guide times for cooking in your recipe and only open at the end of that cooking period. Voila! No more dip.

Image Credit: Hairy Farmer Family

2. Uncooked Gooey Middles

Appliance City - Hints and Tips

This is my baking sin. I’m so excited that I’ve actually baked something that when it “looks” done I pull it out, let it rest and want to put the frosting as soon as possible. Then when we’re all gathered round the table and I’m ready to serve up this masterpiece, it comes out like this. My guests faces in different levels of shock and amazement. How could Kat undercook the cake…..again!? Not to mention the anger that they won’t be eating a delicious chocolate cake but maybe “here’s some cheese”.

To avoid the dreaded gooey middle there are a few ways to tell if your cake is cooked properly. First, the knife check. Insert a knife into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean it is fully cooked, if it isn’t put it back in the oven. Second, cakes that are fully cooked should be pulling away from the edges of the pan that they are in and springy to the touch. Now these rules only count if you are making a sponge cake. If you are making a cake with fruit in it, it will not pull away from the side of the tin like a sponge cake would. If you insert a toothpick or skewer into the centre of your fruit cake it should come out clean when completely cooked.

Multifunction Ovens give the ability to bake with perfection no matter what the dish.

3. Melted Icing Madness

Appliance City - Baking - Hints and Tips

Now here in Britain we tend not to use frosting or icing on the outside of a sponge cake unless it’s called for in the recipe. Coming from the US I love frosting my cakes and using special pastry tips to make fun designs. The key to your icing not melting off the top of your cake is to leave your cake to completely cool before starting the icing process.

Allow your cake to cool in its pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan onto a rack to cool. Leaving it any longer than 10 minutes will make the cake difficult to remove from the pan and may end up in a mess. Once on the rack allow the cake to cool completely to room temperature. I leave mine for 30 minutes just to be sure that it is fully cooled before covering in frosting. This will ensure that the frosting doesn’t melt off the cake and there are no cake crumbs in your frosting.

4. Preparation = Perfection

Appliance City - Hints and Tips - Baking

All of a sudden you’ve got a hankering for some cake. It’s essential before you begin the quest of creating a delectable treat that you are properly prepared. Your recipe is calling for cake flour, but all you have is bread flour. This is definitely a no-go. Your cake will come out stodgy and thick instead of light and springy. Using the correct type of sugar is also essential. Only have demerara sugar or granulated sugar but your recipe calls for caster? Using the wrong type of sugar will also effect the outcome of your cake consistency possibly making it grainy.

Preparation isn’t all about having the right ingredients but also making sure everything is ready before you get down to cooking. Eggs should be at room temperature before they are added to the wet ingredients. If you are like me and put your eggs in the fridge they will need to warm up before being added. Sifting the flour isn’t optional before adding it to other dry ingredients, it’s essential. Finally, preparing your pan will keep you from being utterly disappointed when your delicious cake is stuck firmly in the pan. For the record, icing it in the pan because it’s stuck won’t fix it either! So grease or use your parchment paper to ensure a beautifully presented cake.

5. Parfait Presentation Tips

Appliance City - Baking - Hints and Tips

My parfait presentation used to be abysmal. I couldn’t get all the layers in without them dripping down the sides and conglomerating into one huge mess. The trick to getting a perfect parfait presentation is to use a spoon smaller than the smallest width of the parfait container. Having patience will ensure that you get layers with precision edges that your guests will drool over.

Image Credit (and Recipe): Community Table

6. Foolproof Pie Crust

Appliance City - Hints and Tips - Baking

Pie season is nearly upon us. Cooler weather means ovens are on and savoury and sweet pies are fresh, hot and ready. My pie crusts happen to look like the one above, a little weird around the edges. My issue is I don’t roll out the dough properly or large enough for my pie plate so I’m left sticking bits here and there to bring it above the line. So before my family is begging for homemade steak pie or Christmas comes around and I’m asked to make a caramel apple pie I thought I would step up my pie crust game with some help from the internet.

The best advice I came upon comes from our friends at Fine Cooking. Their secret to the ultimate pie crust is simple, butter and lots of it. It’s not the usage of butter but how you use it. A little pearl of wisdom, use your hands to mix the dough, not any mixers. Yes, it may be a bit more time consuming but in the end you’ll have a beautiful, flaky pie crust.

Baking doesn’t have to be left for the experts. With a little prior planning, research and a great recipe you just might be on the next Great British Bakeoff!


They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. What will an apple for every meal give you? Superpowers? Let’s find out!

Breakfast – Apple Pie Oatmeal

Apple Pie Oatmeal - Appliance city - Apple Recipes

 

Who says you can’t have pie for breakfast? This simple to make apple pie oatmeal from Two Healthy Kitchens will warm you through on a cold autumn morning. This tasty pie for breakfast recipe only takes about 10 minutes to make and will quickly become a hit with the family.

Lunch – Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Caramelized Onion, Apple and Mushrooms

Appliance City - Recipes - Lifestyle

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking grilled cheese, apples, mushrooms and onions?! What is this lady trying to poison us!? Live a little, try something difference every once in a while and you might find something you’ll love forever. This recipe from Eatwell 101 is the perfect combination of savoury and sweet. Apples and cheese is a favourite American pastime, so why not give it a try? You’ll never know what you’re missing if you don’t!

Dinner – Wasabi Crusted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Apples, Honey and Curry

Appliance City - Apple Season - Recipes

You may need to grab a bib for all that drool! This stuffed chicken recipe from Acme Instant Food is a flavour explosion! Give yourself a kick in the taste buds with the crunch of wasabi followed by the smokiness of the curry and the sweet decadence of the apple. Is it dinner? Is it some sort of new savoury dessert? The world will never know.

Dessert – Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Apple Cheesecake Recipe - Appliance City

Is it apple pie? Is it cheesecake? No, it’s both! Someone pinch me, because this is like a dream come true! Sweet, tantalising caramel topping a rich, cheesecake loaded with fresh apples. This recipe by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody immediately caught our attention. Was it the drizzle of caramel? The smooth look of the creamy cheesecake? We’re still undecided. Better have another piece to figure it out!

Cocktail – Gordon’s Apple Tart

Apple Season Recipes - Appliance City

Now what kind of blog writer would I be if I didn’t include at least one mouthwatering apple cocktail? This cocktail recipe from Gordon’s Gin is perfect for cold winter nights – even though it’s over ice. It gives you that warm apple pie feeling that reminds us of Christmas time. Perfect for an evening get together or as an (iced) hot toddy. Enjoy.

Take advantage this apple season with a variety of dishes that aren’t just pork with apple stuffing. Not that, that’s a bad thing to eat, because it’s glorious! Take a walk on the wild side; pair apples with ingredients you wouldn’t normally and you never what could happen.


It’s National Fitness Day here in the UK. Dieting can be a chore and going to the gym day in and day out can be a bore. Why not jazz up your fitness routine by pairing it with these fantastic healthy recipes from drinks to snacks and even a dessert getting fit never tasted better.

Infused Water

Appliance City - Tips and Tricks

Kick your workout up a notch with these beautiful water infusions. Not only will they look the part, they also have several health benefits of drinking your water with a bit of herbs and some fruit. There are several recipes from Tasty Yummies that use a load of different ingredients. Our favourite is the Ginger, Pear, Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean. The warm flavours will be perfect for when it’s cold outside but you are sweating it out in the gym.

Breakfast of Champions – Poached Egg & Avocado on Toast

Appliance City - Recipes - Home and Food

You can’t go wrong with avocado, it’s the hottest thing since sliced bread and has incredible health benefits to boot. We had a bout of “fitspiration” after seeing this beautiful breakfast recipe from Pinch of Yum. British favourites, poached eggs atop creamy, rich avocado on lovely toasted whole wheat bread. It only takes about 7 minutes to make in the morning, so it’s perfect even when you’re short on time.

Luscious Lighter Lunch – Fajita Quesadillas

Appliance City - Recipes - Food and Home

 

Give your work mates a touch of lunch envy with these tantalising fajita quesadillas from iFoodReal. What makes these fajita quesadillas versatile is the ability to have them with or without meat and to pack in whatever veggies you like. Making them on a whole wheat tortilla is the healthiest option but using a corn or white tortilla will work in a pinch.

Divine Dinner – Skillet Prawns with Orzo Pasta, Asparagus and Feta

Appliance City - Fitness Inspiration Recipes - Food and Home

This delicious pasta recipe from Serious Eats will trick your brain into thinking you’re having a naughty nosh. Plus with the nights getting colder it will be a wonderful warm meal for your belly after a tough gym routine.

Delectable Dessert – Healthy Fudge Brownies

Appliance City - Recipes - Food and Home

We are a nation of chocolate lovers. Going healthy doesn’t mean giving up your favourite desserts. It just means playing with the recipe to make them more healthy. This recipe for Fudge Brownies from Back for Seconds uses greek yogurt in replace of butter and you’d never know the difference. So indulge yourself in a bit of a treat without upping the calories.

National Fitness Day UK is all about getting in shape, living a healthier life and providing healthy food and treats for your family. Have healthy recipes you’d like to share? Send them to marketing@appliancecity.co.uk and we’ll get them on the blog and out there into the social media world.


Family friendly cooking isn’t just about fairy cakes. We’ve compiled a list of sweet and savoury goodies that are perfect for baking with the kids on a grey, rainy day. What’s even better? When you know what’s gone into your kids treats you’ll know that they’re not only delicious, but nutritious as well!

Chocolate Applesauce Cake

Appliance City - Food & Home

Chocolate and children go together like peas and carrots. This chocolate applesauce cake recipe from Robin Hood is the perfect bite sized snack for a rainy day. Applesauce in a cake? Who’d have thought that would work! The applesauce replaces oil when making the cake. This removes unneeded extra calories, makes the cake super moist and the kids will have no idea they are eating something good for them! With a sprinkling of chocolate chips and walnuts you’re tots will be gobbling them up in no time, if the parents don’t get there first!

 

Frozen Banana Pops

Appliance City - Food & Home

Look epic don’t they? Like something that would be full of sugar, bad for teeth and waistlines. But wait! These are more than just good looking they are good for you as well. These frozen banana pops from Fettle Vegan are fun to make and even more enjoyable to taste. What’s even better? You can make them with whatever you want. Chocolate? Ok! Peanut Butter? Even better! Yogurt? Why not?!

 

No Bake Oreo Cake Pops

Appliance City - Food & Home

Ok, ok! So maybe this one isn’t so nutritious, but it is fun to make! These no bake Oreo cake pops from Jo Cooks are fantastic. All you’ll need is three simple ingredients plus whatever you want to roll them in. Perfect for rainy days, birthday parties or snack time they are super simple and oh so tasty!

 

French Bread Pizzas

Appliance City - Food & Home

 

Have picky eaters? This next one is for you. Pizza time in our homes revolves around pizzas that are half this and half that, to cater or at least try to for everyone’s different tastes. Then we found these homemade french bread pizzas from The Pioneer Woman. So incredibly easy to make; you don’t even need to use french bread! Long gone are the days of half and half pizzas. Hello, homemade pizzas where everyone chooses their own toppings!

 

Easiest 3 Ingredient Nutella Brownies

Appliance City - Food & Home

Who doesn’t love Nutella or brownies? Put them together and it’s baking heaven. With only three ingredients needed these nutella brownies from Kirbie Cravings getting the kids involved in making them will be effortless. Chewy, fudgy and chocolately…sounds like the perfect addition to a rainy bank holiday weekend!

 

Omelette in a Bag

Appliance City - Food & Home

I think we’ve just found our breakfast idea for the weekend! Omelettes in a bag from Texans United makes creating omelettes a breeze. Kids will love choosing their own ingredients and squishing it all together. Ready in just a few minutes that’s fun and breakfast….sorted.

 

A full day of cooking with kids from breakfast to snacks and even dessert. They’ll love helping out in the kitchen and they won’t even mind if it’s raining outside!

Title Image Credit: MJBLoves