Wednesday, 14 May 2014

In the kitchen

Sometimes I like nothing better than a few hours pottering in kitchen on a sunny afternoon when I have the time, throwing a few bits into a mixing bowl and seeing what comes out of the oven an hour later (which doesn't always work!) This week I was desperate for something sweet mid-afternoon on Monday and fancied some quick and easy shortbread, which I decided to flavour with orange blossom and some rich dark chocolate.

Perfect for a late morning pick-me-up, and afternoon treat or just to get you through piles of paperwork with copious cups of tea, the quick and easy recipe below is ideal for making a small mountain of shortbread for yourself or to share (mood dependant)...

Dark Chocolate and Orange Blossom Shortbread
Approx. 10 squares

200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling over
125g unsalted butter
80g dark chocolate, chopped roughly into chunks
1 teaspoon orange blossom water

Preheat the oven to 170c/gas mark 3. Mix the flour and sugar together in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your thumb and forefinger. Add the orange blossom water and chocolate chunks and mix together, forming a ball of dough. Roll out or pat with your fingers until it is roughly 1cm thick and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. If you wish to make the shortbread easier to cut into squares once cooked, score some lines into the shortbread to go over later when cooled. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until it is a lovely light golden colour. Once cool, pop the kettle on and make yourself a cup of tea whilst you sample* the shortbread. Enjoy!

*eat all of

With wedding season gearing up for the summer, I have enjoyed many meetings with lovely brides and grooms discussing their ideas and drawing up flower plans for their upcoming weddings - and what a lucky florist I am! Summer colour palettes of sunshine yellow, cornflower blues and cheery coral with lots of fluffy garden roses and skyscraper delphiniums have been discussed, alongside pretty vintage palettes of chalky pink, soft champagne and parma violet for a more romantic edge.

Luckily my order of milk churns arrived this week, and so I am waiting for the weekend to fill them with flowers and share my love of this old fashioned vase. Perfect for adorning entrance ways and aisles, the laid back charm of the milk churn creates a simple yet striking arrangement and gives that 'country feel' to any venue! For more milk churn inspiration, take a look at my Pinterest board by clicking HERE.

I will be heading down to leafy Buckinghamshire for some birthday celebrations over the weekend, taking full advantage of the blossoming hedgerows and countryside, and my mum and nana's gardens and allotment - I aim to return with a car full of floral goodies!

Charlotte xx

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