Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I blog in spurts.

I keep telling myself that I will never blog in spurts again. It's bad. As bad as gorging on chocolate cream filled chocolatey biscuits when you're trying to be healthy. Or trying to walk in a straight line.

Sorry for the an unplanned absence. I have been uninspired and distracted. For many reasons. The heat, mega sales, the heat, friends, the heat and family. And mainly mega sales. And the heat.

Nevertheless, these English chocolate cream filled chocolate biscuits are reminiscent of the chocolate bourbons from Marks and Spencer that I gorged on thirty years ago. So busy was I that I got yelled at by a man with a heavy load on his shoulders. I almost walked into him. I jumped out of his way in the nick of time. I'm sure he would have hit me on my head if he could.

Thank god Mary Berry had a recipe for it. Thank god I bought her Fast Cakes recipe book thirty years ago. And thank god they taste just like my memory of it. The biscuits I mean.

These are very, very chocolatey, and although they are sandwiched with chocolate icing the sweetness is cut down very much by the use of cocoa powder in the recipe. I urge you to try them if you are a chocoholic like me. Best chocolate biscuits ever. Ever, ever, ever. 

No these are not at all like our Asian KGB version of chocolate cream fingers. Never liked those...very very very bland and tasteless.

These are traditionally made in the finger shape with the required ten holes and a filling of simple chocolate butter icing. Like the Oreos they are good for dunking, for taking apart, for scraping the filling off with your two front teeth or just biting into it whole.

These are not short or buttery like shortbread of which you can tire of quickly because of its buttery richness. They are crunchy and doesn't give in as easily because there is no egg in the recipe to give it lightness nor too much butter to make it tender. It's very much like a sugar cookie. But a dark chocolate one. And definitely not as sweet. The most delicious.

The dough may seem a little dry when you mix it in and are trying to bring it together but persevere and don't be tempted to add more butter or an egg. It's meant to be. And once you roll it out it will come together rich, dark, chocolatey and neat.

The recipe ~ by Mary Berry

Makes about 12 chocolate cream fingers

4 oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 T cocoa powder
2 oz soft magarine or butter
2 oz castor sugar
1 T golden syrup


1 oz soft magarine or butter
2 oz icing sugar
2 tsp cocoa
a few drops of vanilla essence

Place all biscuit ingredients together in a bowl and using a wooden spoon first work them together until they are evenly distributed. The mixture will be crumbly and sort of dry. Don't despair. Turn the mixture onto a slightly sugared table and using your hands press and knead gently to warm the butter in the dough and until it just all comes together nicely and is a ball of dough. Press with hands to form into a firmer ball of dough. The dough will still be somewhat loosely held together but once you roll it out it will come together better from the pressure of the rolling pin. If the dough breaks up while rolling out just stop and patch it up and then roll again.

Roll out the dough until about 1/4 inch thickness between 2 sheets of baking paper. Remove the top baking paper and cut the rolled dough into fingers about 1 inch by 21/2 inches. Prick each finger with a fork two or three or four times. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Lift off ot cool on a wire rack.

For the filling, put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. until smooth and creamy. Use to sandwich the biscuits together in pairs.

Friday, June 10, 2011


N says she would be frantic if the factory that makes Nablus Soaps were ever to close down. As she reveled, caressed and soaked herself in the soothing dead sea mud suds she wondered how she would survive if it did. I know because she told me. She had waxed lyrical about it while she still had a towel wrapped around her head in a turban.

It's like stepping out from a spa, N said.... totally relaxing, calming especially after a long work day at the office and particularly after using the dead sea mud soap.... she tried convincing me (like I needed convincing). Now, she says, her skin squeaks when before the use of shower gels or other soaps would only leave a slippery film on her skin (like I didn't know).  She gushes about it, she feels rejuvenated, she feels like a totally new person after a shower. I look at her and she is. I like this new person. I like dead sea mud too.

This is not a sponsored advertisement or review. 

I just totally love these soaps and I have only wonderful things to say about it. I met L , who has a really lovely blog Ye Ye Orh, for the first time when she came around to deliver the soaps (we live in the same neighbourhood and I have been a fan of her blog for the past year or so when I discovered it). She who loves cats. She who practices Aikido. This is what blogging has brought to me. Friends. Sweet, young, super cute, smart and talented friends. And fabulous soap. So I bought four and gave some as gifts to friends and my mother. My daughter N  bought two bars as well. 

They are made from olive oil, are plant based, hypoallergenic, ideal for face and body, suitable for some hair types, safe for infants, not tested on animals, long lasting and convenient to use 

and are free from

sodium Lareth sulphate, parabens, mineral oils, petro-chemicals, animal fats, alchohol, artificial fragrances, artificial colouring, artificial hardeners and artificial preservatives


I used the sage flavour and after a few rubs and a rinse I was hooked. I had washed my face with it and when I saw myself in the mirror I looked like I had been presented with a diamond  the size of a chickpea. It looked so bright.... my face. Then I did something I thought I would never do. I washed my hair with soap. After some sudsy minutes, a good rinse and just a few towel drying rubs my hair was already half dry and fluffy. I swear to god. This is not an exaggeration. Yet the soap did not leave my skin or hair feeling dry. It just felt squeaky, refreshingly and unbelievably clean but not in a harshly scrubbed way. Just titillatingly and womanly clean. But these are good for your men too of course. They would, on the other hand, feel manly clean I guess.

There are some beautiful flavours available..... 

olive oil, saffron, pom, dates, lemon, mint (next on my list)  fig, avocado, grape, tea tree, cumin, lavender (next on my list), honey, cinnamon, milk, sage and of course the much talked about by me dead sea mud.  Such beautiful colours and flavours. 

They are almost scentless which is a characteristic that is regarded as a sign of its purity.

They are elegantly packaged. That was the first thing that won me over. And my first thought was that they would make beautiful hantaran wedding gifts. That's how my mind works, see. Ten bars arranged prettily on a bed of flower petals on a tray would be so gorgeous, no?

I should stop gushing. I should. But I can't. When N comes home and we bump into each other we think Nablus soap, gush gush gush and then laugh. We sigh, giggle then gush gush gush. Ask N. For the past week that has been our hot topic. Oy....we have to afford this.

I have told N to tell all her friends about the soaps because they are just too good not to share. She did. I did. My mother did. This is the first time the three of us have agreed on any one thing. 

Then I told myself I just have to blog about it. N told me I must blog about it. Because you, my friends, must know. 

Look ....aren't they gorgeous looking Nablus soaps! Who doesn't want gorgeous...gorgeous for RM 17.50, SGD 8/- or USD 5/- a bar. I think they make wonderful gifts too. You can order them through the mail and postage is free around Malaysia and Singapore and minimal anywhere else around the world.

Here's the number....016 267 6232 or email or look here

A little history lesson.....short and sweet....

Nablus soaps have been exported across the Arab world and Europe since the 10th century. Long reputed to be a fine product made from olive oil, water and a sodium compound they are almost scentless which is a characteristic that is regarded as a sign of its purity. The number of factories have declined from a peak of thirty in the 19th century to only 2 today. It was reportedly the soap of choice for Queen Elizabeth I and she only allowed Nablus soaps to be used in the palace. It has been used by royalties for centuries - wikipedia

Disclaimer : The views expressed on this blog are wholly mine AS IS. It is for informational purposes only. 

The first and last photographs are taken from here.


Related Posts with Thumbnails