Saturday, December 22, 2012

Copycat Christmas Starbucks Beverages :)

If like me, you love Starbucks but 
a) don't live close enough to one
b) can't afford/justify paying for Starbucks regularly 
c) want to get Christmassy in your own home

try some of the recipes below, and my own one for a yummy vanilla cafe au lait :) 

I'll be back tomorrow with Christmas ideas and recipes in a Super Special Sunday post!

Milis Vanilla Cafe au Lait
  1. Infuse a jar of sugar with a vanilla pod, an empty vanilla pod works well if you've already used the seeds for a recipe! :) Leave this for as long as you like, it will last ages!!
  2. Microwave a mug 3/4 full of milk for 1min 40secs at 1000mw (or your equivalent).
  3. Mix in a spoon and a half of your favourite instant coffee granules (mine has to be Carte Noir!)
  4. Top up the mug with boiling water and stir.
  5. Add 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla sugar and stir.
  6. Enjoy! FYI, this is a perfect all-nighter study drink as it's sweet and caffeinated!
Head on over here for more delicious drinks!

Stay sweet! x

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Songs, Tips and more!!

Here's the last sUCCulent podcast from 2012! Term flew and I honestly cannot wait to get behind the desk again!

I hope you enjoy the gift suggestions, cheery Christmas choons and more recipes for delectable homemade goodies!!

Holidays are coming.....! :)

Ho ho ho! x

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


The Best Bits of Brussels, December 2012

The Christmas Market really was magical, with everything from food to fuzzy winter woollies, candles to Ferris wheels, Jaegermeister-infused hot chocolate to ice-skating, there was something for everyone!!

The stands at the market were incredible!! Some had the most intricate fragile Christmas ornaments imaginable, whilst others sold a more hardy product- the UGG boot!! Australian sheep suffer the world over for a 21st century phenomenon!

Here a Reindeer keeps an eye over festive proceedings (his nodding head was a firm favourite among the market-goers!)

He overlooked the gaming area, which resembled 'the merries' we have at home. Of course, Brussels has the extra of a gigantic Ferris wheel...

Located behind this stand was a large ice rink, which included a miniature rink for toddlers. Here they had their own aids which looked like zimmer frames covered with animal facades. If I wasn't such a coward I would have braved the ice... But I knew I'd need one of those zimmer frames!!

The Christmas Market was especially magical at night!

Most importantly (from the Milis perspective!) was of course the food!
Strangely enough I didn't taste any Belgian chocolate, mostly because the most authentic stores and stand at the Christmas market were Leonidas which are available in Cork!! With that in mind I tried something a little more varied... 

Belgian Waffles with Fresh Strawberries and Chocolate Sauce 

Belgian Hot Chocolate 
(minus the cream, boring I know!!)

FYI, ordering Hot Chocolate with cream in Brussels is Viennese Hot Chocolate or Chocolat Chaud avec Crème! :)

I found it interesting that the beverage was almost always served with a side of sugar- I found it too sweet if anything!!

Here was a little taster of Leonidas, which is amazing. If you haven't tried it yet, shame on you!!

For something a little different this ginger tea certainly hit the spot!! 

I wonder why "Ginger Love" are not marketed in Ireland? Surely they would have a wide and loyal fanbase? ;)

Our resident ginger even got to take the mug home to Ireland! Such a sweet talker!!

The front of the European Parliament Building displays a poster for the Sakharov Prize, awarded by the European Parliament to frontline human rights defenders.
I had previously participated in a University debate on the selection of the Prize winner, so it was encouraging to see just how prestigious, widely known and important the Prize is. 

As we are now in full festive swing, I'll leave you with an image of the alternative Christmas tree at Grand Place, Brussels. The tree was constructed from scaffolding and mesh, with green lights which glowed after dark. The conceptual project changes annually.

I'll be back soon with Christmassy recipes, and of course the final sUCCulent show of 2012, which will give you many ideas for Christmas gifts!!

Until then, stay sweet! x

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas

Here's all you need to get prepared for Christmas! Recipes to come next week!
Until then, enjoy the show

Feel free to share your own creations here, in the comments section. 

I'm heading to brilliant Brussels next week, and hopefully will come back with lots of foodie news and insight!

Until then, have a great week getting into the Christmas spirit!!

Stay sweet! x

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Weekend Treats

Last night I visited the Arts and Crafts Fair in Cork City hall for the first time in years! My mom and I used to go every year when I was younger (the hight light being a Wizard of Oz ragdoll which featured Dorothy but when you turned her upside down the Lion, the Tinman and the Strawman appeared!) This year was a little different as I appreciated the food stands much more. I kept some self control however and only purchased these delicious lollipops from Eve Chocolates. At €1 each they were incredibly good value and oh so delicious!

If anybody is around Cork today, definitely pop in!

This morning was cold, wet and miserable. What better breakfast than pancakes? 

Find out how to make pancakes here.

This new addition to the kitchen, a le Creuset jug was perfect for beating the pancakes and really cut down on the clean up job after- it would make a great Christmas present for a pancake chef... and a good hint that you want more pancakes!!

Whatever you get up to, enjoy your weekend!

Stay sweet!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy thanksgiving y'all!!

I hope everyone has a great day! 

Special thanks to my home girl  Kate who was the most insightful guest ever today on sUCCulent! After our chat I'm so intrigued by yams! Marshmallows and sweet potato, two of my favourite foods ever! I'll definitely have to try these out!

Have an "awesome" day Kate!

Also,a big shout out to Cobbler who was pardoned yesterday by President Obama!

(Podcast to come!) Until then, prepare your pumpkin pie!

Stay sweet and be thankful!

Here's the podcast! 
Thanks again Kate! xxx

Monday, November 19, 2012

Too Cheesy?

The whole universe was in a hot dense state...

The opening line of my favourite television theme tune! Yes last week The Big Bang Theory returned to Irish shores and brought with it an radio show inspired by The Cheesecake Factory! 

Tune in to hear some delicious recipes, novel ideas and unique tips and tricks on how to make the perfect cheesecake!!

Stay sweet!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Fave: How to Transport a Cake

After baking the scrumptious chocolate cake for James' birthday I was left dumbfounded. How could I transport my masterpiece during a half hour drive without it getting damaged? 

I tore out the cupboards until I came across the perfect instrument... A pasta bowl!
This Tupperware bowl fits underneath a colander and the snap on lid keeps the pasta warm (a ridiculously good invention!) The beauty of it is it's so big, the dome is huge so it doesn't touch the cake below.

Be careful using Tupperware, snapping the lid onto the bowl- it's a spring action technique that is supposed to be done when the bowl is standing upright so it's a little fiddly when there's weight on the lid.

Have a root around your kitchen some day when you have time on your hands and figure out what container is the best for transporting a cake- so when all the hard work of baking and decorating is done you don't have to panic over how what to store it in!

Stay sweet!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Time to get Baking!!

Six weeks til D-day, or should I say C-day? 

My favourite time of year is upon us, and it's time to get baking! 

Christmas Cakes and Puddings both have to be made well in advance, so for my radio show last week I spoke of the dos and don'ts when festive baking! 

The recipes I used are Irish chef, Neven Maguire's and are fantastic!

As always, I'll be on air live tomorrow, 11am Irish time on 98.3fm if you're in Cork, or you can listen online at 

A taster of the end point of pudding-making! Pour some brandy over the pudding and strike a match! Turn off the lights for maximum impact!

Until then, stay sweet! x

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Calling all chocolate lovers!!

For my boyfriend's birthday two weeks ago, I wanted to make something a little different than the regular cocoa-sponge and cocoa-buttercream (he loves chocolate almost as much as I do!)

When I was in Harvard back in 2011, I purchased the 'flour' cookbook by Joanne Chang. Joanne was a Harvard business grad turned pastry chef who has three neighbourhood cafe-bakeries in Boston (which I am ashamed to say I have not visited...yet!) 

This book would be a great Christmas present as it is innovative, indulgent and takes the fear out of more complicated projects such as homemade pastries (watch this space!) It's a beautifully laid out book, with a practical gloss-hardback cover and really is a foodie's dream!

Due to lack of certain ingredients, and wanting to bake a cake and not cupcakes, I made numerous adjustments to the recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Crispy Magic Frosting.

*Note that the book requires Dutch-processed cocoa (or alkalized unsweetened cocoa poweder); this is treated with an alkali so that its natural acidity is neutralized and it has a stronger flavour. It does not react with baking soda- which is why it must always be used with baking soda and is not interchangeable.
Not a huge fan of red... :P

This recipe is also known as 'dump cake' because it's so easy, you just dump everything into the one bowl! :) However it does need to sit for at least an hour in order to thicken the batter. This is not a cake to be made in a hurry- you've been warned!

The air bubbles will also disperse once the batter sits.

56g good quality chocolate (I used Lidl's 76%), chopped
30g Bourneville cocoa
200g ganulated sugar
114g unsalted butter
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 egg yolk (keep the egg white as it can be used for another recipe within the next day)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
140g self-raising flour

  1. Grease two 6-inch cake pans.
  2. In a Pyrex bowl, combine the chocolate and cocoa powder.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, butter and water over medium high heat, whisking occasionally for 3-4 minutes, until butter is melted and sugar is totally dissolved.
  4. Pour hot mixture into the chocolate and cocoa bowl and whisk (using a handheld mixer) until chocolate is completely melted and the ingredients are fully mixed.
  5. Whisk milk, egg, egg yolk and vanilla into the mixture until thoroughly combined.
  6. Dump the flour into the bowl and mix until combined.
  7. Let batter sit for at least one hour to allow the batter to thicken. It can sit in an airtight container for up to three days in a fridge.
  8. 20 mins before baking, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  9. Bake for about thirty minutes or until the top of the cake is springy to touch.
  10.  I used ordinary buttercream icing, as you've seen on the blog before. As per usual, ice when cool.
  11. To decorate I used miniature chocolate chips, I think these reflected the intense chocolate flavour of the cake. Of course you could also pipe a sentiment if time allows.

This cake is guaranteed to make the birthday boy or girl smile!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Movie Night Munch

Sick of your regular movie night plans? On last week's broadcast of sUCCulent, we discussed some alternatives to the traditional popcorn and take-away!

Enjoy, and don't forget to tune in tomorrow to UCC 98.3fm in Cork, Ireland and for international listeners at 11am local time on :)

Until then,

Stay sweet! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!!!

Hey guys,

I hope your day has been spooktacular! :)
Here are some easy, achievable ideas for tonight's trick or treaters!

You might notice a different format to the usual picture tutorial... I have some Very exciting news! As of last week I am now hosting a foodie show on my campus radio (UCC CCR) which broadcasts live each Thursday 11am-12 noon Irish time on 98.3fm! You can listen live online at

Here's the podcast of my very first live show! Hope you enjoy!

Rawwwwr! Happy Halloween! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sophisticated Sunday Snack... Monochrome Krispie Cakes!

As you may have seen here, I love Rice Krispie cakes- especially when made with white chocolate!! What could be better?? Making them with BOTH white and milk chocolate! 

Introducing the stylish Monochrome Krispie Cake! 

I expected these to take a long time to make, but they are in fact relatively fast and easy!
The colour contrast packs a powerful punch here, and they were the perfect treat to whip up for a loyal follower's birthday! ;) Plus, monochrome is so in vogue right now, you just can't help but love these!


  1. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Melt bar milk chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water on the stove (don't boil water as it will burn the chocolate and spit out steam/water at you!) Stir continuously.
  3. When fully melted mix in Rice Krispies.
  4. Pour this mixture into the cases. 
  5. Allow to set for a few moments (you don't want to melt this layer with the next batch!)
  6. Wash bowl and dry thoroughly. 
  7. Repeat steps 2 & 3 using a bar of white chocolate (lesser quantity will suffice).
  8. Pour mixture into cases holding chocolate mixture, allowing the milk chocolate to peak through, or place white chocolate mixture to one side!

Enjoy- I know for a fact you will!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Milis in Mallorca

A trip to Mallorca for a much-needed dose of sunshine, sea, sand and relaxation proved surprisingly fruitful for sweet treats!! Thankfully the heat which reached up to 29degrees Celcius had us working off the excess calories from the treats featured below! :)

Indulgent Breakfasts....

Chocolate Pancakes from Restaurant Dutchie, Santa Ponsa.

Store-bought brioche, enhanced with scrumptious Nutella!

Why do we not have these in Ireland?! 
This was my second time tasting this ice-cream and it exceeded my expectations from memory!! 

 Creamy white chocolate, tangy strawberry ice-cream... The stuff of dreams!!!

Another two products which should be brought West! Haribo sweets are always top of my list when it comes to snacks, but these fruit-themed varieties were delicious! 
Soft and foamy so they didn't hurt your teeth, or give you a belly-ache; yet so intensely flavoursome that you couldn't help but eat almost the entire bag in one sitting! 
I really do hope they export them here, I feel life will never be the same again after tasting these fruity sensations!!

And finally....


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday Fave: Flapjacks

I love, love, love oats!! Not only are they delicious, but they are provide a slow-release of energy, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer, plus they are a heart healthy food! They are delicious in all forms- from porridge, to oat topping on a fruit crumble, and especially flapjacks!!! 

Homemade flapjacks are always nicer but can sometimes be dry, or else overly buttery. To combat this I added some special ingredients...

Without a doubt this is the best thing I have ever baked! These are beyond delicious!
I adapted the recipe found here. This literally took five minutes from stove top to oven, so they are a quick treat to whip up!

For perfect flapjacks you will need...

  • 8oz rolled oats
  • 4oz margarine
  • 4oz brown sugar
  • 3tbsp golden syrup
  • Half packet glace cherries, chopped
  • Handful miniature chocolate chips
  1. Line a 9x9 tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180degrees Celsius.
  2. Melt margarine, sugar and syrup over a medium heat.
  3. Empty pan into a mixing bowl. Quickly add oats, cherries and chocolate chips.
  4. Mix until binded. Work quickly or the chips will melt.
  5. Pour into baking tin and flatten using spatula or back of spoon. Ideally it should be between 1/2-3/4 inch thick. 
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown. Don't overbake or they will be too dry!

After all of this hard work comes....


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cheat's Apple Tart

At home, we always make apple tart from scratch. But this weekend my mum experimented with pre-made puff pastry sheets, and it went down a treat! Bonus- it takes far less time!

Although Mum used her tried-and-tested method of stewed the apples with sugar and then folding the pastry over to form a kind of pie crust (and prodded with a fork before baking, to allow the steam release), the recipe on the Greenvale Pastry  packet was much easier, and would give a kick of unexpected flavours.

Here is the recipe as indicated on the packaging, and I think would be well worth a try!

Serves 4-6 people.

  • 375g pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 5 large eating apples
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 25g butter cut into small pieces
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp caster sugar
  • 3tbsp apricot jam
Preheat oven to 200deg Celcius.

  1. Unroll the pastry and trim to about 35cm diameter.
  2. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples and toss in the lemon juice, Spread over the pastry to within 2cm of the edges. Curl up the edges slightly to stop the juices running off.
  3. Dot the top with butter and sprinkle vanilla and caster sugar.
  4. Bake for 15-20mins until the apples are tender and the pastry crisp. 
  5. Warm the jam then brush over the apples and pastry edge.
  6. Serve hot with ice-cream or cream.
Whether you follow this recipe, use your own family secret, or throw some apples and sugar into a sheet of pastry and see what happens, enjoy! This time of year, apple tart and ice cream is the perfect after-dinner treat!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Fave: Roald Dahl Day

Yesterday was international Roald Dahl day. As an avid reader of this genius' books, I felt he earned a mention here! Not only for his gift of creative writing, but also for his insatiable imagination, especially when it comes to food! 

Of all his books, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory seems to be the most well-known. The book, the movies, all have the same core idea: nothing is impossible. Obviously Willy Wonka applies this to his candy more than anything else, which begs the question- if you were to whip up your own concoction what would it be? 

So far, I have created a Half a Smore Sandwich- not for the faint of heart!
For this I spread Nutella on one slice of bread, topped this with marshmallow halves, covered with another slice of bread, and placed in the George Foreman grill for approx. 3-4mins. This gave me my recommended calorie intake for about a month!! I've only ever made this little piece of deliciousness twice, but the memories are sweet!

I wish I could combine marshmallows, chocolate, strawberries, condensed milk and jelly babies into a dessert Willy Wonka would be proud of! Some day maybe!

Until then, perhaps a Matilda chocolate cake
... Or if I'm too lazy, maybe I'll just watch the new version of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, featuring Johnny Depp! 

However you celebrate this literary giant, enjoy your weekend! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thank You!

Sometimes the best way to say 'Thank You!' is with a cake.

For this cake I followed the same basic recipe as found here. This time I used raspberry flavour jam. As the icing on the birthday cake was too milky, and never really set properly here I used a simple buttercream frosting, directions as follows.

  • One 350g of instant icing sugar
  • About 100g of butter
  • About 20-30ml hot water, depending on the consistency you wish
  • One teaspoon vanilla essence
Beat all together until satisfactory.

I used miniature chocolate chips to spell out the message, a much easier task than piping! Simple, yet effective!

I loved this cake, it almost hurt to give it away! But the recipients were delighted and that made the cake all the sweeter!

Bake a cake for somebody who you appreciate this weekend, it really will give you a dose of the warm and fuzzies!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Friday Fave: French Toast

With the school back, depressing every father, mother and child, what better time to indulge? Despite our recent sunshine-filled days, we cannot deny that Autumn is well and truly here! French toast is the perfect comfort food, pick me-up, big breakfast or indeed, "I want to love every bite of my breakfast" breakfast!
Obviously only for special occasions, it's also a great way to use up stale bread!

Here I use a tint of vanilla essence to add some depth and flavour to the dish as well as a pinch of cinnamon which gives this breakfast a pop!

Read on, and salivate at the photos!, to discover how to make the best French Toast! 

For 2-3 people...
You will need:

  • 2-3 slices of bread- white stale brioche is the best, but I prefer a healthier wholegrain!
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
-Lightly whisk all of ingredients together in a bowl with a fork, before steeping the slices of bread into the mixture. Allow to rest in the mixture for a few moments; generally the longer it rests, the better! Some recipes even call for you to soak the bread overnight in the fridge but that's not necessary here.
-Melt butter in a hot pan.
-When fully coated, on both sides, place bread into the pan. Cook until golden and stiff on each side.

* For the sake of full disclosure, a Dutch guy I met once insisted that they invented this toast and the French stole their mouth-watering delicacy! He also served this dish with powdered cinnamon on top, which I find super festive and would be great come December!

With this in mind, I should add that my topping of choice is... You guessed it, golden syrup!! Nom nom nom!! However other delicious toppings include berries, bananas or any fruit of your choice, powdered confectioners sugar, maple syrup with bacon, or as my boyfriend eats- RELISH!! As you can see, taste is a varied thing!! Flourish this basic recipe however you want, just make sure to enjoy!