Update: Please note that as from the 28th October, 2019 Flora’s Cafe is permanently closing down. It will now only cater for private events and tea parties.
One thing I thought I would miss, since moving back to Malta last year was a good place for coffee and conversation, and perhaps for some reading. I’m sure there are a few places dotted around the island where you can do all that, but I haven’t come across anything till now. From this week though, I’m happy. In fact, this post could easily be part 2 in my love Malta series. From this week, my lovely readers, there’s a new kid on the block I like – a place so charming you will want to visit very soon. It’s called Flora’s, a small but beautiful coffee shop and tea room in Naxxar. So central, so on point. At least, for me. With an address like 1, Victory Square, you cannot miss it, and it’s right by the church. That’s exactly where I wanted to go on Friday. They opened on Wednesday, and I wanted to see how they would manage the usual teething problems a new place faces during its first few days.
Continue reading Flora’s Coffee Shop and Tea Room
You might call me obsessed, and you would be right. I mean, I don’t even know how many lemon cakes you can find in this blog. Lemons are and will always remain one of my favourite ingredients. I never tire of their taste and smell. If I were to close my eyes while plunging my face in a bag of those lovely yellow fruit, I would immediately be transported to somewhere in the Mediterranean.
Continue reading Lemon and Polenta Drizzle Cake
A couple of weeks ago I wanted something sweet but which was not going to take the best part of the afternoon to prepare it. When it comes to that I turn to one person. You know who…don’t you?
I bought Nigella Feast recently. (About time…it was published in 2004!) In it is a lovely muffin recipe which I adapted just because I didn’t have all the ingredients. It turned out really well. The only thing is that I’ll have to buy chocolate chips the next time I try it. Chocolate chunks seem to be too heavy for these muffins to handle. But they’re great anyway. This is quick and really easy so give it a go. You will not be disappointed.
Two notes before you start:
What I do for the chocolate chunks is to take a plastic freezer or sandwich bag, put a bar of chocolate inside, close it and bash it with a rolling pin. (See? I said this was quick. Brutal but quick.)
If you want these to be extra chocolatey Nigella suggests adding 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder with the dry ingredients. Makes 12.
- 250g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 175g caster sugar
- 100g chocolate chunks (or 1 bar)
- 250ml milk
- 90ml vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and fill a muffin tray with paper cases or line each one with baking paper cut in squares.
- Put all the dry ingredients, including the chocolate chunks in a large bowl.
- Pour the liquids in a smaller bowl, or better still in a medium measuring jug. Pour these into the dry ingredients till all is combined and just moistened. Don’t mix too much to so that the end result will be light and fluffy muffins.
- Spoon the mixture into their muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes until the muffins are risen and golden. Check if their completely cooked by inserting a skewer or knife.
I should have included these babies right before Valentine’s Day, but believe me when I say that these cookies will taste great any time during the year. I have been wanting to try them for ages, as with all of the recipes in this blog, but this is totally special. It is adapted from Nigella’s Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (click here for the Nigella’s recipe and here to watch her make them).
Now you really don’t need an electric mixer. They turn out great even if you mix everything by hand. I totally omitted the salt and in truth you can even leave out the bicarbonate of soda and use baking powder instead but I included it anyway. Also my adaptation calls for only (ehem..cough) 200g of chocolate, which is approximately 2 bars of chocolate broken up into chunks. (Do this by placing the chocolate into a sealed plastic bag and bashing them with a rolling pin.) That is more than you really need, so if you want to put in less you can. But hey a chocoholic like me won’t settle for less!
Makes around 12. For the cookies you need:
- 125g dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 150g plain flour
- 30g cocoa, sieved
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 125g butter, softened
- 75g light brown sugar
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- Two 100g bars of milk chocolate broken into chunks
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl.
- In a separate container cream the butter with the brown and caster sugars. Add the melted chocolate and mix. In this same bowl add the vanilla extract and beat in the egg.
- Take the dry ingredients and tip them in with the wet ingredients. Stir the chocolate chunks in with the final mixture.
- Using an ice-cream scoop (I find this easier) and a knife to level the mixture, spoon it onto a lined baking sheet. Make sure to leave a good gap in between scoops because they will grow (in fact, they will be huge). You can also freeze half the cookies for later if you want to. Cook for 18 minutes. Leave to cool for a while and then move them onto a cooling rack.
My favourite so far! Enjoy!