Posts Tagged ‘Food’

If you’re on a diet close this webpage immediately.

Everything in moderation is my mantra.

Sometimes moderation happens to include ridiculously indulgent desserts …

Booze, chocolate, cheese…

 I love everything about Nigella’s chocolate Guinness cake.
You’ll need: 250ml Guinness, 250g unsalted butter, 75g cocoa, 400g caster sugar, 1 x 142ml pot sour cream, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract, 275g plain flour, 2.5 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, 300g cream cheese, 150g icing sugar, 125ml double/whipping cream

Makes a big old cake – about 15 greedy portions

1. Oven to 180 degrees and line a 23cm springform tin with baking parchment.

2. Guinness into a saucepan, cHoP and add butter and see it melt into a beery buttery butterbeer
that Harry Potter would be proud of.
3. Once melted,whisk in cocoa and sugar 
4. Beat sour cream

5. Pour into butterbeer 

6. Whisk in the flour and bicarb.  Sieving = good, gets rid of lumps
7. Pour  batter into  tin, bake for 45-60 mins then leave to cool (in tin and on rack as cake is quite moist).
ICE ICE BABY ( soundtrack – optional)
1. When cake is cold put on plate.
2. WhIp the cream cheese, sieve (lumps are your enemies, Willow Smith is your friend) over the icing sugar and  beat together. Add cream, whip some more…
3.Spread the icing
over the cake,
swirling into a pattern
if you are feeling creative…

It should look like the famous pint itself,


the cake a rich black colour
and the frosting
frothy white on top.

© Photos Ianthe Butt 2011, recipe 100% Nigella’s

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Like moths to a flame thousands of holiday makers, myself included, are drawn to visit

Thailand’s stunning beaches.

 Known as the Land of Smiles, this South-East Asian gem is home to a host of 

paradise islands

 where everyone from the budget gap-year traveller to the luxury lover can find something to suit their taste.

Party animals…

should book the first boat to Koh Phangan to partake in a night of fluorescent face (and body!) painting and dancing on the beach till dawn at the Haad Rin’s famous Full Moon Party.

If you are looking for more of a spiritual experience then head away from Haad Rin to one of the island’s many eco-retreats offering an A-Z of holistic experiences;  ashtanga yoga through chakra and detox all the way to vegetarian cooking classes.

Would-be underwater adventurers who want to explore the ocean by day and party by night must visit Koh Tao.  Translated as ‘Turtle island’ Koh Tao is a diving mecca with plenty of sweeping coral gardens where you can swim through shoals of shimmering fish and hunt for tiny, brightly coloured nudibranchs clinging to the corals. If coming face-to-face with the largest fish in the sea, the elusive and majestic whale shark,

is your goal then I recommend visiting in March-April and heading to the dive sites at Chumphorn Pinnacle and Sail Rock (sadly, sightings are never guaranteed).

Koh Phi Phi, used for the film adaptation of Alex Garland’s The Beach is tourist central with a buzzing nightlife and even more travellers than locals.

Day trip by longtail boat and visit the famous Maya Bay Beach as trod by Di Caprio et al,

spy on leopard sharks

and turtles

while snorkelling or simply enjoy a delicious plate of tamarind-tossed pad thai noodles sprinkled with peanuts while you watch the sunset.  

Escape the crowds and retreat to the Northern tip of the island to hip Zeavola resort’s teakwood villas and indulge in a virgin coconut oil massage or delectable coffee and spice body scrub at their on-site spa. 

Koh Lanta is the couple’s choice, a little quieter and more remote than some of the other islands it’s the perfect place to get to know the locals and sample a range of delicious Thai cuisine at a different beachfront restaurant every night.

Romantics will delight…

as gently flickering sky lanterns glow, floating up into the night sky, while waves lap on the often deserted pristine beaches.  Learn to cook your own spring rolls, spicy curries and traditional papaya salads at Time for Lime cooking school on Klong Dao beach, that way you can always cook up a reminder of your fabulous Thai experience once back at home. 

Don’t rush

to visit too many islands –relax and settle into Thai time, extended hours and lazy days. I have no doubt these charming islands will

enchant you back for a second (third or fourth) time… as they have me.

Originally published in Stilorama magazine. 

© Ianthe Butt 2011

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