Posts from the ‘Mind, body and soul’ Category

Chocolate chestnut fondant cake

Just made this again for Sunday lunch, so thought I”d re-post it. Why not try it for an Easter dessert, if you celebrate Easter that is. In any case, enjoy.


So what has this got to do with massage?

Absolutely nothing, but it’s spot on for a bit of self-indulgence and me-time.

Easy to make AND gluten-free (seems to be an in word at the mo’) if you’re intolerant to wheat, great warm from the oven with vanilla ice-cream or just plain cream.


140g very dark chocolate (I used 74% cocoa, up to you how dark you want it)

70g butter

500g chestnut purée (this comes in a handy 500g tin – crème de marrons de l’Ardèche Clément Faugier – in France where I live, for 2.35€; you may have to buy a few packs of Merchant Gourmet’s rather expensive version in the UK)

3 eggs


Melt chocolate and butter together, add the chestnut purée and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Pour into a 20 cm tin, preferably loose-bottomed, and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes. (Last time I made it, I needed to leave it for 40 mins, don’t know what happened there, perhaps I used a different tin, so make sure it’s cooked on the top before you remove it from the oven. Don’t try a skewer in the middle ‘cos it’s a fondant cake and squidgy in the centre!)

Serve warm or cold with ice cream or cream.





Thought for the day – LOVE

More from Captain Corelli:

“We should care for each other more than we care for ideas, or else we will end up killing each other.”

Thought for the day – LOVE

More from Louis de Bernières and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin…

“The garden where you sit
Has never a need of flowers,
For you are the blossoms
And only a fool or the blind
Would fail to know it”


Thought for the day… on LOVE

I read – and thoroughly enjoyed – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières last year.

Lots of memorable passages. Here’s one on love:

Happy St David’s Day!

More Chocolate kisses

Well, not literally, but if you make these chocolate gourmet goodies, you’ll certainly have chocolately lips for some chocolatey kisses!

Here goes for an easy and tasty make for Valentine’s Day (or any other day!):

Rich chocolate truffles

Makes 30

150 ml double cream

200 g dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, finely chopped

100 g milk chocolate, finely chopped

2 tbsp brandy, or your favourite liqueur

cocoa, sifted, to dust

1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper to put the truffles on. In a small pan, bring the cream to a simmer, remove from the heat and immediately pour over the chopped chocolate with the brandy and leave to melt, stirring once to combine.

2. Leave to cool completely at room temperature, then chill for 4 hrs until set.

3. When the mixture has set, use a teaspoon to spoon out bite-sized pieces. Dust your hands lightly with cocoa to prevent them from sticking and roll the pieces into balls in the palms of your hands. Roll in cocoa to cover.

Eat and…chocolate kisses guaranteed!

Recipe taken from Essentials magazine

Valentine’s Day chocolate cake

Eggless chocolate and beetroot cake

Eggless chocolate and beetroot cake

Of course, you don’t have to wait until Saint Valentine’s day to enjoy this cake.

I’ve made it twice already and my 12-year-old son LOVES it – I

Beetroot in a cake? Yummy!

Beetroot in a cake? Yummy!

haven’t yet told him the secret ingredient is … beetroot (actually he likes beetroot, but you know what kids are like, beetroot in a cake, mum? Gross!)

This cake also has no eggs in it, which is great if, like me, you sometimes have a suger-craving but no eggs to make a cake (OK, you have to have a packet of beetroot in the fridge, which is probably less likely than not having eggs, but still…).

You could probably make a Vegan version of this by replacing the natural yoghurt by a soya one, and the milk by water in the icing. Not sure how it would alter the taste though, let me know if you try that (can’t stand soya-based yogs myself so I won’t be trying it)

Anyway, this recipe comes from the December 2014 issue of Vegetarian Christmas from the BBC Good Food team (

It’s very moist and squidgy, and healthier than your average chocolate cake. Try it and see.

SERVES 10-12 PREP 20 mins + cooling COOK 1 hr

100 ml rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing

175g (drained weight) packed beetroot (not in vinegar)

175g dark soft brown sugar

200g self-raising flour

1 tbsp baking powder

50g cocoa powder

200g natural yoghurt

2 tsp vanilla extract


100g icing sugar

50g dark chocolate (at least 80% cocoa solids)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

3 tbsp milk

dark chocolate shavings to serve (optional)

1 Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a deep 20 cm springform cake tin with baking parchment. Tip the beetroot into a food processor and whizz to a purée. Add the remaining cake ingredients, along with 1/4 tsp salt and blend until well combined. Scrape the mixture into the cake tin, level the surface and bake for 50 mins-1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean.

2 Leave the cake to cool in the tin while you make the icing. Put the ingredients in a small saucepan, heat and whisk until smooth. Cool for 20 mins.

3 Flip the cake onto a wire rack, flat side up. Pour over the icing and leave to cool completely. Sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings if using, then serve.

PER SERVING (12): 276 kcals; protein 5g; carbs 39g; fat 11g; sat fat 2g; fibre 2g; sugar 26g; salt 0.5g

Chocolate and hearts - it must be Valentine's Day

Chocolate and hearts – it must be Valentine’s Day

And apart from chocolate, why not offer a MASSAGE to your loved one.

Just Massage offers home massage in and around the Mérignac and Pessac area (near Bordeaux, France).

Call or email now to book an appointment or order a Just Massage Gift Voucher

Book a Valentine's Day massage now

Book a Valentine’s Day massage now