Nutella Truffles

Hands up if you love Nutella! I'm choosing to assume your hands are up in enthusiastic agreement, if not I'm afraid you're simply not welcome here and we just can't be friends.  Just kidding, we can still be friends, I suppose.

Nutella is a hot commodity in the Pet Lamb kitchen.  If it's not filling our ferrero cakes or drizzling our brownies it's piled high on a spoon and shoved in our gobs.  We simply can't get enough of the stuff, and neither can our loyal customers (our ferrero cakes are a firm favorite!).  If, like us, you're nuts about Nutella we demand that you give these amazingly delicious Nutella truffles a try.  They're just so gosh darned easy we're sure they'll become part of your kitchen repertoire in no time.  Use them to bribe new friends, bag that hottie in your local coffee shop you've had your eye on or just lock the door and scran the lot in guilty solitude.  We're not here to judge, no siree!

Nutella Truffles

300g good quality plain chocolate, chopped
30g unsalted butter
150ml double cream
150g Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A splash of Frangelico liqueur (optional but lovely)
Chopped hazelnuts (you can buy these pre roasted and chopped)
Cocoa powder

Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Melt together the butter, chocolate, cream and Nutella until smooth.

Remove from chocolate mixture from heat and cool slightly. Whisk in vanilla and Frangelico, if using. Pour mixture into a shallow dish  and cover with clingfilm before placing in the fridge for a few hours or until set. 

Using two teaspoons scoop out the chocolate mixture, roll into one inch balls, and place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Continue with remaining chocolate mixture. Roll balls in chopped hazelnuts or cocoa powder. Place your truffles in the fridge until ready to serve, that is if you don't eat them all first.

Chilli Vinegar

You should know by now that we at Pet Lamb have a major soft spot for all things spicy.  We're often found dousing our lunch time slice of pizza with Tabasco or sneaking a spoonful of chipolte chilli paste into our soups and stews.  On one of our frequent visits to Redhouse, home of real ale and bloody brilliant pies, we noticed something odd floating in our vinegar bottle.  Upon closer inspection we discovered that these funny little floaters were in fact tiny dried chillies.  Well this revelation swept over the table in a wave of excitement, the bottle was passed between us to try this spicy condiment using only our fingers.  No, we simply could not wait for our pies to arrive, don't be silly!

Since covering our pie and mash with chilli infused vinegar we've been unable to stop thinking about this delicious nectar.  Surely it can't be too hard to whip something similar up at home, right?  Right!  It's so easy for such high reward.  So easy in fact I can't stop dropping little chillies into everything I can get my hands on. Next up, vodka!!

Chilli Vinegar

Small handful of dried chillies
Bottle of golden malt vinegar
Empty bottle, sterilized

Place a handful of dried chillies, as many as you dare, into the bottom of your empty bottle.  Top up with vinegar and leave to infuse in a cool, dark place for at least a week.  Your vinegar will become more potent the longer you leave it.

Breakfast Club - Toffee Pecan Pancakes


 Sunday is breakfast day here at Pet Lamb.  Through the week we are more accustomed to glugging a quick cup of tea while wrestling ourselves into our coats and diving out the door than actually sitting down and enjoying the most important meal of the day.  We spend our working week fantasising about how we're going to spend our lazy Sunday mornings while munching on Snackajacks (I know, right!) Since we get so excited about our beloved Sunday brunches we decided to share some of our favourites with you lovely lot.

First up we have the indulgent and ridiculously delicious toffee pecan pancake stack.  Hooked yet? These pancakes are a bit strange as the batter doesn't contain any sugar, instead gaining that super sweet taste from the pulverized toffee pieces.  If you're not much of a morning person you could always make the batter the night before and rest it in the fridge, that way you can have delicious pancakes without the hassle of weighing, cracking and mixing.

Toffee Pecan Pancakes

150g plain flour
50g Ovaltine
1.5tsp baking powder
200ml milk
3tbsp sunflower oil
1 large, free range egg
75g English toffee
75g pecans, toasted
1tbsp butter, melted for frying

Place a large, none stick frying pan over a medium heat and melt 1tbsp of butter.

Put the toffee and pecans in the bowl of a food processor and grind them down till the resemble large breadcrumbs.  Don't worry if you have a few larger chunks of toffee, they'll melt into an ooey gooey treat while cooking the pancakes.

In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together.  Whisk the milk and the egg together in a jug and add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.  Add the oil and mix to combine.  If using right away rest the batter for 5 minutes, if making in advance cover the batter with clingfilm and place in the fridge till you are ready for pancakey goodness.

Using a ladle scoop a small portion of batter onto your heated frying pan and cook over a medium heat for around 3 minutes per side.  Look out for bubbles rising to the surface of the batter and  bursting, this is usually a good indication of when to flip your pancake. 

Serve with a scattering of pecans and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Happy Birthday Pet Lamb!

We can hardly believe how fast our first year has whizzed by. It feels like two minutes ago that we were handed the keys to an empty little box in the Grainger Market wondering how on earth we were gonna make it work!

What a whirlwind it has been! We've sold cupcakes by the bucket load, made many friends (yes that's you guys!) been featured in magazines and on TV, our Katie wrote a book and we're currently at number 3 of places to eat in Newcastle on trip advisor!
We feel so lucky to have had such great support from everyone along the way, thanks a bunch! You're all our little lambs.

We celebrated turning one with the launch of our amazing new website, a new blog and lots of lovely offers in the shop! We even allowed ourselves a day off and closed our little store for the big day (we think we earned that one!).

But then came the real celebration, you know we're quite partial to a few tipples and a boogie! Well our birthday was no exception! We had a great big soiree with our family, friends and customers and partied long into the night!

Here are a few snapshots from the evening...

Wondering what the next year will have in store....wouldn't you like to know!!

Watermelon Agua Fresca

We've been experiencing a major heatwave up in Newcastle recently. The sun has been shining and doing anything other than lie in the garden drinking ice cold beverages has been a huge challenge, lets not even talk about baking in the shop. Phew!! 

A few weeks ago we held a stall at the North East Chilli Festival where, you guessed it, the sun was blazing. We went to search out something cold and wet to cool our little selves down and came across a stall selling agua frescas. Agua frescas, which is Spanish for fresh waters, are delicious drinks made with fresh fruit blended with water and sugar. One sip and we were addicted, trying out each flavour on offer over the two days. Since then we've dreamed about that fresh, fruity taste that no other fruit juice can replicate. Only an agua fresca would do, so we made our own and man alive is it easy! 

There really is something so refreshing about these little drinks and we implore you to give it a go next. We're already planning our next flavour concoction. 

 Watermelon Agua Fresca 

1 watermelon, cubed 
4 limes, juiced 
500ml cold water 
5tbsp of honey or sugar 

Blend the watermelon with the water and lime juice. Stir the sugar or honey into the mixture till disolved. Strain juice through a sieve into a jug, top up with ice and enjoy!

If you're feeling saucy, you can always add a splash of white rum. We won't tell anyone.