Thursday, March 25, 2010

despite still being a bit of a dark chocolate purist, i love the crazily sweet and addictive skelligs creation of mini marshmallows & honey comb in creamy milk chocolate. they are hand made and hand wrapped in our kerry workshop. in fact ,emily and i like it so much that it ended up looking very much like a cocoa bean invention wrapped in bright pink and orange. it's ours now colm - hands off!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

shamrock cake

we are waiting for esme to get home from school so that we can start the party, decorate our tablecloth and eat the cake just before dinner - all worries about spoilt apetites thrown to the wind!

esme and elsie were very excited about going to school and nursery this morning in their flashing shamrock badges from their grandma and granddad. iris is sick and refused to be drawn into the girls' celebrations at first but has just woken up more in the mood for fun!

when elsie got home at lunchtime, we set about inventing a st.patrick's day cake. while i was working out whether to make a flag or a leprachaun, i spotted my four small heart tins that i got for christmas and realised we could make the perfect shamrock.

we creamed 50g butter and 100g caster sugar and then added an egg, a splash of vanilla extract and finally 100g self raising flour and a dash of cocoa powder. we spooned the mixture into the four tins and baked for 10 minutes at 180 degrees c.

the icing is 40g soft butter creamed together with 125g icing sugar and a dash of milk. colour it shamelessly green and eat it with a glass of red lemonade or a pint of guiness!

our girls looking unimpressed with aidan's cloak. . .

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

happy st.patrick's day! (the eve of...)

i made these paddy's parade crunchies tonight and remembered a day five years ago when emily and i made about a hundred bags of these for the saturday market in limerick just before st. patrick's day. we tied them up with orange and green ribbon and homemade labels. we sold loads - probably about sixty. all our regulars bought some, getting into the spirit - practically everyone who came to the market went home with a bag!

that still meant we had forty left.

we were young, eager entrepreneurs with a starry eyed confidence that our product was so fabulous, we could sell it anywhere. our husbands, realists, wondered who would buy st. patrick's day chocolates next saturday.

"we could sell them at the parade!" i shouted.
"i'll make a travelling sales stand!"emily declared.
and she did. our husbands groaned.

the sales stand was like the kind that icecream sellers wear at the interval in theatres. it was decorated with shamrocks and painted orange. it was beautiful. we left the fellas with pints of guiness, only barely hiding their embarassment and set off with great confidence down o'connell street. the crowds thronged. the atmosphere was giddy. it was party time and the parade marched on. we peddled our wares. we handed out samples.
or tried to.

we soon found that beyond the walls of our milk market stomping ground and away from our fans, people were wary of us - why would two girls with strange northern english accents (scunthorpe?) humiliate themselves trying to sell expensive nuggets of dark chocolate from an icecream tray hung around their necks? we began to wonder ourselves.

after an hour we hadn't sold one bag! not one! we were defeated. the chocolates were great quality and we were enthusistic but it was the wrong time and place - we snook into emily's flat in henry street and hid them all under the bed then headed back to our husbands, treacherously triumphant. "we've sold them all," we sang. they were impressed and humbled.

i hope they don't read the blog...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

rose and pistachio easter egg

our limited edition egg is based on the cocoa bean rose & pistachio bar. try this delicious milk chocolate egg all wrapped up in bright pink tissue paper with a raffia bow. they are available in delicattessen and food halls throughout ireland and on-line at look out for more easter ideas from skelligs and cocoa bean over the next few weeks.