Mon Dessert Macarons for Mother’s Day

This one is for all the sweet-toothed mums out there and for all the cool kids who want to bake something extra special for their mummas. On Wednesday night I successfully baked my first batch of macarons thanks to Mon Dessert. So get ready for some seriously awesome baking skills as I’m making Mon Dessert Macarons for Mother’s Day!
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Mon Dessert is a fabulous patisserie owned by Samina who is a London based baking queen. She has honed her skills through time and effort and has managed to create her own business which caters to big weddings and events as well as small gifts such as this beautiful Macaron Kit.

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This is available to buy from Fortnum and Mason as well as online here. It comes with everything you could possibly imagine, right down to the icing bag and the macaron mat. It is a wonderful little gift that you can use to make something for your mother this weekend. The Macaron Kit can also work as a gift itself if you want a little less work! I found the kit so beautifully designed and decorated, each item was carefully packaged and wrapped so neatly, and the instruction booklet was so easy to follow.

So, onto the baking! First I made the white chocolate and raspberry ganache:

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Then onto the macaron mixture! I had a little trouble getting my eggs to peak for some reason, though I am putting this down to either my whisk or my skills. At least my hair looked good from this angle!
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About ten minutes later it was ready to go and so I folded in the almond powder and the icing sugar as instructed.
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The mixture was so colourful after adding the beetroot powder! Next it was onto the piping!
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It was really easy to pipe out and after a bang to get the bubbles out and a few shakes to even the mixture out, here are the results!
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20 minutes later…
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Look how they’ve changed! I was so happy with how they rose, and the colour change to a lovely burnt orange was a nice surprise. I decorated them with rose petals which came in the kit for a professional effect. They popped off the mat with ease, and so I turned them over to cool as instructed.
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Once ready, I used my pre-made ganache for half, and the other half I used Jim Jams raspberry spread– it’s the best jam ever!
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Here are the final results, just perfect! I used the macaron tin to lay them gently onto a bed of ripped paper and they were ready to send off to my mum!
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She knows they are coming and is very excited to try them- I really enjoyed making these macarons for Mother’s Day and want to thank Mon Dessert for giving both me and my mother such a great gift.
Give making macarons for Mother’s Day a go this year, and make them with Mon Dessert!

 

Saharasplash X
If you want more gluten free goodness, head over to read my review of London’s best gluten free restaurant- Niche!
I received this product for free for my honest opinion and review

Walking in a Blogger’s Wonderland

I want to tell you all about what a fantastic time I had on the 5th December when I went to the Blogger’s Xmas event organised by Soeursdeluxe. The London air was very biting that day, so I layered up with a polo neck dress, faux fur cardigan and coat before heading to Moorgate station. I was early (for once) and found myself getting there well ahead of schedule to meet my friends, so I decided to go in alone and get started! The venue was so pretty! I was immediately greeted by Jasmine of Soeursdeluxe with a programme and my very own customised keyring from AlohaLolaCards. As I took the Finch’s pub in and all of the amazing stalls it really did feel as if I were walking in a blogger’s wonderland.

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Selfie sticks and props adorned tables, goodies and sweets too, but I headed straight to the bar where I could see the most wonderful thing brewing- mulled cider! I was shocked as I got my wallet out to pay that the cider was in fact already paid for, I had only been in the door 5 minutes and I felt so relaxed and happy. I cannot thank Jasmine and Kirsty enough for organising such a great blogging event!

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As I waited with my mulled cider in hand for my friends to arrive, I had a flick through the programme so I could see who was attending. I was shocked yet again to discover that I had a little shout out in the programme, as earlier on in the year I had put a favourite jewellery brand of mine in contact with Soeursdeluxe as they were looking to exhibit more in London. Miglio Jewellery were on the guestlist sure enough, and I am really glad I met them and have worked with them since. They are a fabulous company and their innovative styles had all the cameras snap snapping away at their stall.

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Another stall I was happy to see there was the Blogosphere magazine. As I am in the publishing industry at work, I have a great respect for printed magazines and this one directed at bloggers specifically is just brilliant. We each went home with a copy of the latest edition of the quarterly mag, and it is so well presented I am itching to get some ideas over to them in the new year to be in with a shot of getting featured! Well worth following these guys on Twitter!

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I think my favourite new brand would have to be Aroma Cake Boutique. Founded by Krupali Patel, the Aroma Cake Boutique is a lovely homemade cake company with an Indian twist. I found myself ogling at all the amazing bite size treats laid out for us to try, and all of them were gluten free!

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Krupali explained how she and her mother use traditional Indian spices to infuse the cupcakes and the icing. Their masala chai and rose flavour cupcake was like nothing I’d ever tasted before, it was heavenly. Aroma Cake Boutique were kind enough to let me take home a box- they were all gone in less than a day and I didn’t share much either! You can find out more about Aroma Cake Boutique via their website here.

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I must also mention another sweet treat which were exhibiting at the Bloggers Xmas event, this time we’re talking cheesecakes!

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Sweet Cheesus (great name!) offer 6 different flavours of cheesecake, 2 of which happen to be gluten free! I tried both the white chocolate & summer fruits as well as the salted caramel- both were sublime! I hope to work with them in the new year, so send through your ideas of what you want to see to my Twitter page @saharasplash !

Enough about food, and over to fashion and beauty!

I met a wonderful designer of vintage boxer shorts- House of Dreadful.

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These are traditionally men’s boxer shorts, but as I saw them I just knew I had to do a photoshoot with my girls at Petite Model Management. For those of you who don’t know, this year I started up a London-based agency for petite models, and House of Dreadful is definitely on the list of ones to work with for 2016! I’ve already started collecting inspiration over on my Pinterest so check it out- I would love any recommendations too so hit me up with your pins!

And last but certainly not least, my fav lash brand, Lash Perfect were there.

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I met their marketing exec Aisha at the beauty blogger awards back in October, and it was great to catch up with her and the luscious lashes. We were spoilt for choice and could take our pick from the lash box- what more does a blogger want?!

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I will let you in on a little secret though- this event was the first time I put lashes on myself. Usually I have makeup artists who put them on me, so I was shocked when I tried them out and they worked first time! I went over them with eye liner, here’s a close up of the result:

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I will definitely be using my Lash Perfect lashes this season!

So if you are still with me on this 11th paragraph, I want to thank you, the brands above and the fabulous duo that is soeursdeluxe for making this blog post so amazing. I will continue to support my local blogger events and meet new brands as this is what my blog is all about. It is events like this that give me great content so I can keep on blogging and keep on growing- so thank you.

Saharasplash x

If you haven’t had enough, head to my festive post on an evening with LaRoche-Posay, it’s a good one!

 

Why I love being gluten free | Featuring Snackly

I’m really excited about this post, as this is my first ever post about being a coeliac! For those of you who don’t know, Coeliac’s Disease is an auto-immune disease, much like diabetes. It isn’t an intolerance or an allergy where I can pick and choose what days I’m going to be good and what days I’m going to be naughty, it is for life. As soon as I tell someone that I’m a coeliac, their natural reaction is to say ‘oh, I’m sorry’. I really want to nip this in the bud and say to you all don’t apologise, I’m really happy with my coeliacs, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and this is why I love being gluten free, featuring Snackly!

I’m excited to send my message out into the world and have teamed up with snackly to do so. I hope that this helps not only those who know about their conditions and intolerances, but those who are having issues with food who may be putting off doing something about it because they are scared of what the doctor might say. Cutting out gluten isn’t nearly as tough as people think these days, though there is definitely a stigma labelled to those of us who can’t eat gluten/wheat/dairy. I remember a time, a dark time where there were hardly any products on the supermarket shelves, and if you did want anything decent you had to order it on prescription (this was back in 2008). I am glad to say that those days do not exist anymore, the world has realised the extent of the gluten free community and they wish to help us to feel like we can fit in again. This is exactly what snackly is all about, they aim to bring the gluten free a diverse range of carefully selected products so that we can always try something new, something good.

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Even though it seems that people are being more picky nowadays because of the phenomenal amount of options around, I believe that it is the increased awareness that is causing so many of us to get diagnosed or cut out certain foods from our diet because of issues which is a great thing. I am constantly being sought out by friends and even strangers for advice on their diets, and I hold my hands up and say I am no dietician, but I like to think that I have a good knowledge of how my coeliacs affects me so I can share what I have learnt with others along the way to help guide them to feeling better. I embrace food, I love it, and I want to share with you my positive message of why I love being gluten free by telling you all about what snackly sent me in the post last week.

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Snackly are a concept similar to the ever so popular graze boxes, but they are 100% gluten free. You can order an individual box each month or sign up for a monthly subscription too and they will send you lots of fabulous goodies to try. I’m so happy that the gluten free lifestyle is working its way into the industry more and more and Snackly are a great company to explore new products which you may not see in regular supermarkets. Here’s what happened when I opened my box:

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The packaging was so cute, I felt like I was opening an early Christmas present! The items were carefully wrapped in tissue paper and it came with a sweet thank you card- no, thank you snackly! I opened it up and found 6 gorgeous gluten free goodies inside:

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Multiseed gourmet cracker from The Foods of Athenry, Ireland

These crunchy crackers were made from a toasted seedy sourdough and very tasty! They would go perfectly with pate or crumbled up in a hot soup.

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Snact apple and mango jerky, London

I really liked the tasty strips of apple and mango puree. They only used fruit to make the jerky, nothing else at all so really clean and healthy. I would have liked to have had a few more strips in the bag- there were 8 strips but bite size.

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Honeyrose Triple Chocolate cookie, London

This cookie was really intense, a little bit too sugary for my liking but tasted great! Who doesn’t like chocolate cookies?!

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Melting Pot salted caramel fudge, Blackthorn Foods

I adored the salted caramel fudge. It melted in my mouth and I could eat this every day. It was the perfect size for an afternoon pick me up at work.

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Teapigs Peppermint

I’m a big advocate of tea, and teapigs are one of my favourites after trying them at hummingbirds cafe (where you must try the gluten free red velvet cupcakes). The peppermint tea went so well with my fudge!

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Peanut Butter Protein balls, The Protein Ball co.

These are a great item to have handy in your bag if you find yourself caught short in a cafe that only sells sarnies and cakes! I loved the little bite size balls and you have 6 of them in a pack!

 

I would like to add that having an intolerance or auto-immune disease can really open a lot of doors. It is like being a part of a community, and through this community I have met many people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I am also grateful to companies like snackly who want to work with gluten free bloggers like myself so that we can promote the amazing brands and help other gluten free foodies discover new and exciting things to eat.

So my parting message to the world is, don’t be sorry for us, be interested. Your interest will make us happy that we can talk openly about our diets without feeling like we are different just because of our DNA. And that is simply why I love being gluten free featuring snackly. Hands up and virtual high fives to all my gluten free readers and to the awesome snackly!

Saharasplash x

I received this product for free for my honest opinion and review

If you liked this post, check out what I got up to on Brick Lane recently!