Today is the summer solstice… it’s the longest day of the year. The solstice is supposed to represent a time for you to reflect on yourself, and also for you to realize what you need to do to meet your long-term goals and do the things that suit you and are aligned with your soul… perhaps this year, more than ever before we have a moment to ponder that possibility at least…

Apparently 2020 is a powerful year…It is a year of Spiritual Awakening and Transformation… that all sounds weirdly coincidental in the current pandemic…I wonder if the universe knew something we didn’t??Transformation is a big word… personally I like TRANSFORMATIVE… it’s a word I often use in the Design Studio as I am slightly obsessed with pieces that can transform your look. In a world where we have had our eyes opened to being mindful about our consumption…wanting our purchases to go further and be more versatile, I think Transformative Pieces have a renewed relevance.

  1. The Sequin T-shirt
    My favourite top – it has all the ease of a basic T-shirt with the ribbed neckline and easy oversize fit – but then we transformed it with contrast sporting stripes, an open back and simple neck-tie (I added a stitch to mine at bra level) …and then if you wish, you can swing it around and wear it as an easy shrug on jacket… even over a simple cami and jeans … we are all talking about dressing down more than ever but that doesn’t mean we don’t still want an element of sparkle
  2. The Chain Fringe Jacket
    I love a jacket that is at home over an evening dress as it is over a pair of jeans… and that was my mission when creating this piece… and the way the chains move will make you smile…
  3. The Bowie Cross Body Bag
    I particularly love this in the White slightly pearlescent grain leather… it goes with everything!
  4. The Gold Watch Chain Cuff
    All the impact of a heavy masculine watch chain (but you wont get mugged for this piece… she says with feeling)…I have two of these for when I want to feel particularly punchy

This weekend I will be baking this gorgeous chocolate recipe as a family birthday cake… for one of my step son’s birthdays who likes chocolate (nearly) as much as I do…  My lovely sister in law Rachel (who has similar chocoholic tendencies, although nowhere near as pronounced as mine) suggested Theo Randall’s soft chocolate cake which sounds simply divine… she substitutes the whisky for amaretto (but says rum or brandy work well too)…and it’s flourless… is anyone else finding it impossible to get flour at the moment? We have clearly become a nation of bakers…

RECIPE

THEO RANDALL’S SOFT CHOCOLATE CAKE

INGREDIENTS

400 grms 70% cooking chocolate

6 eggs 

150 grms caster sugar

300ml double cream

50 ml whisky

Crème Fraiche or Mascarpone Cream to serve

METHOD

Pre heat oven to 150 degrees/gas mark 2

Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line with parchment

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot water (don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water)

Remove from heat, set aside to cool a bit

Separate the yolks from the whites

Whisk the egg yolks with 100g of the sugar until pale in colour and increased in volume.

In another bowl whip 150ml of the cream with the whisky until it makes soft peaks

Whisk the egg whites until frothy then gradually whisk in the remaining unwhipped cream into the yold mixture

Fold in the whipped cream and whisky, then gently fold in the whisked egg whites

Pour into the prepared tin

Set the tin in a bain-marie (the water level should be right up to the rim of the cake tin)

Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the cake feels firm on the top, but still has a slight wobble in the middle (sounds horribly like my thighs)

Remove the tin from the bain-marie and leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack

Serve with lashings of cream, crème fraiche or mascarpone cream….mmm…

Happy mid-summer’s day…hoping you are having a wonderful weekend…

Sending love

Ax

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