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While my cousins from New Zealand have been staying with us, they have brought some unusual recipes. Baked beans Toastie – yep baked beans in a toasted sandwich. Nice but a little messy to eat with all that sauce oozing out.

With time running out, before they fly back home, Sheetal promised to make Afghans Cookies – a Kiwi favourite. A chocolate and cornflake cookie topped with chocolate icing and a walnut. You’ll only be able to eat one at a time, because they are incredibly rich but absolutely divine.

The best thing was that they were so easy to make. I’ll quote Sheetal on one thing – “You have to use Kellogg’s , they have the perfect crispy-ness”

While the origin of the name is uncertain, there is one thing for sure, the biscuits are delicious and really easy to make. Just remember that it’s important to use unsweetened corn flakes otherwise the biscuits will be too sweet. I use the Kellogg’s brand.

Ingredients:
• 200 grams of butter, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup of castor sugar
• 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
• 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened corn flakes (Kellogg’s)
• ICING
• 1 cup of icing sugar
• 2 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
• 3 Tbsp water
• Walnut halves

Preparation:
1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180C). Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder and mix into butter mixture with a wooden spoon. Fold in cornflakes and don’t worry if they crumble.
4. Roll or press 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls and flatten them slightly. Place them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
5. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
6. Prepare the icing by combining the icing sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder and water in a bowl. Mix well until the mixture is free of lumps and of a creamy consistency.
7. Spoon a little icing on each cookie and then decorate with walnut halves

Enjoy!

Let me introduce you to La Creperie de Hampstead. Take a small hut, two master chefs and the finished masterpiece – a delicious crepe.

The tiny vendor tucked away in on Hampstead High Street seems to attract a long queue every weekend. If it’s cold, word of warning, wrap up, but it will definitely be worth the wait. In fact, the wait only builds anticipation for that first taste.

The best thing is that once you’ve placed your order. You have the pleasure of watching master chefs whoop up your treat. That is an art in itself. Then it’s a case of indulging into that banana and milk chocolate crepe. Melted chocolate oozes as you bite through the crispy shell, and taste warn chocolate and lots of bananas.

And if you looking for something a little less sweet, don’t worry. From sweet to savoury, thin crispy crepes are made to satisfy your taste buds. Asparagus and cheese, mushrooms and cheese, chocolate and banana (my personal favourite) and chocolate and crème are to name a few.

The average price is about £4 and the portions are pretty huge. A two-minute walk from Hampstead Station its open till 11pm. It’s the perfect stop, whether you’re ending your day, or just starting your night.

The past week my body has definitely got its sweet daily doses, so I thought I’d share my latest antics with you.

PATISSERIE VALERIE
Patisserie Valerie is a café is just off Tottenham Court Road, about a two minute walk from Goodge Street. Perfect for taking a break in the hustle and bustle of London it specialises in cakes. Wedding cakes, celebration cakes or just a small slice of cake to keep you coming back for more.

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I did a little research into Patisserie Valerie after visiting it on Friday and found the company has been running for over 80 years and has about 26 stores in the UK. That’s lots of experience to perfect the cake recipe. So did it live up to its history? Simple answer, Yes. I ordered the chocolate gateau and it was delicious. The cake was light and fluffy squeezed together by chocolate cream. And just to add that extra sweetness, a little profiterole sat on the top waiting for me.

Nikhil had a simple chocolate sponge fresh cream cake. But with one difference. Instead of jam in the middle it had grapes. Quite peculiar you might say, but it worked. It was rather refreshing, and without being too sweet it was satisfying.

FLIRTEASE
Flirtease is a cocktail lounge and desert bar in Northwest London, Preston Road to be precise. I’ve been there on several occasions and each time, it’s been the perfect venue to just hang out. Its relaxed atmosphere welcomes a range of people, so if you hate loud music drowning out your conversations or pubs which are just way too crowded, Flirtease is ideal.

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Lets talk desert. Where do I start? On every occasion, I’ve ordered something different, and I’ve never been let down. The Make Your Own Sundae takes mouth-watering to another level. Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream sandwiched with a warm, soft brownie and lots of banana. Not to forget whipped cream and chocolate sauce! This combo is warm, cold, sweet, creamy, everything you need in a dessert.

I also tried the Chip of the Old Choc last week and let me tell you, this cheesecake is the best I’ve had. The menu description does no justice. I’ll talk you through it. A warm chocolate biscuit base, layers of vanilla and chocolate, topped off with chocolate chips and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Taste even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

THE WAFFLE HOUSE
A little further in distance yet me, Kavita, Mum and Dad still travelled to taste everything waffle related. Sweet waffles, Savoury waffle, even breakfast waffles – though we weren’t in time for them!

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Located is St Albans, The Waffle House used to be stables, surrounded by a water mill. So you can imagine the location is beautiful. River Ver and Verulam Park just across the road it’s the perfect place to relax and take a walk. That’s if you don’t mind ducks, birds, swans and any other water creatures we encountered.

Now back to The Waffle House. I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t that impressed. Though the waffles were baked to get the light and crispy texture and overall dish was lacking the extra touch. Mum’s banoffe waffle had no toffee. Saying that, Kavita’s chocolate sauce waffle was a lot nicer. I think at the Waffle House you need to pick a classic. Keep your choice simple and you’ll like it.

So there you have it. Heena’s adventure in all things sweet. And I’ll warn you, it’s far from over. Me and Nikhil are forever hunting out new places, and at home me and the family are always creating our own sensational endings to dinner.

August 2017
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