Thursday, 26 September 2013

Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning

The never ending requests!

My Smallest Mini Bean is still in primary least for one more year anyway.  We get requests quite often for things to come into school..or money for this charity or that sponsored event.   This week is Macmillan's Biggest Coffee morning and so the school, for the first time that I know of, have decided to invite parents/grandparents in from 2.30pm for the opportunity to "buy" cake and coffee in aid of Macmillan.  A lovely idea...but where do the cakes come from? Well we parents have been asked to donate the cakes.   I wasn't going to do anything when the letter came home..."too busy" "I always do cakes" etc etc...but today after my usual Brownie bake I found myself looking through recipe books to see if there was something suitable to make with the rather large supply of apples I had given to me by my very very good friend Kate (of Kate's Creations).

I found my Eat Me book by Xanthe Milton (

Now I love this book, I love the way it is set out in seasons and the fairytale stories at each chapter. I turned to the Autumn section and lo and behold there were 2 recipes for Apple... Apple biscuits and Toffee Apple Cupcakes.  The Toffee won me over.

So here are my Toffee Apple Cupcakes...I left out the lolly sticks as they are going to first!!  I kept back 8 of these for us...only 3 remain!!

I may have to make more of these!


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

ok....erm....sorry...Can we start afresh and make friends again??

Please?  I will try very hard to be good? long has it been? I know, lets ignore how long it has been and turn that new leaf right over! And begin as if this was a new shiny Blog.

Hello! *waves* I am Ruth...Coco Bean.  I am a Chocolatier, Mother, Brownie Baker, talker, dog owner, slightly eccentric (in a good way) and ****Newsflash**** a girlfriend to a wonderful man and (yes I know that is two ands) I have Brown Hair!

So now we are friends I will tell you what I have been up to....

Today I made 3 kinds of chocolates for my lovely Boyfriend (from now we shall refer to him as LB) to give to his Mum for her birthday.  I only had a day to make them so I have made what I call "raw" truffles, these are fresh cream truffles that are just rolled in either sugar or cocoa powder and kept in the fridge, with a very short life.  I made a Muscavado Sugar truffle, from Paul A Young's book, a Blueberry truffle made with Blue sauce which I reduced further down to a very sticky syrup and used that to make the ganache.  And a version of Almond Rocher in little piles.  

Left is the Muscavado, Rocher in the middle and the Blueberry in on the right.
They are ok for a quick job!! I will let you know the feedback I get.

I will save any more news for tomorrow! (after a baking session). Be good until then!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

New Year update!

Well yes it's the middle of January but it is still the beginning of the year, as my hairdresser said yesterday! so....

Happy 2012, may it be a Good, Fruitful, Peaceful year for you all!!

Now, on to business!!

2012 looks to be a very exciting and busy one for Coco Bean!
My website is finally up and running and I am getting orders, which is wonderful and worth every penny spent!

I am taking Coco Bean to 2 events in London in the first half of this year (eeeek) and am working in cooperation with my good friend Clare over at she also has a lovely new blog have a look she truly is a domestic goddess. We are going to be working together so we can get to bigger festivals and even maybe more than one at a time!!

So hopefully you will be able to find me in one of my guises at some point over the coming year!

I am working on some new exciting chocolate products... rather than just Brownies... after all I am a Chocolatier!

Keep an eye on here, I will try to be a good blogger this year! (yeah right!)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Wales The True Taste 2011

I also need to let you all know that on 20th October 2011 I got a second Wales the True Taste award!

The lump of glass is my exciting trophy!

I had a very exciting trip up to Llandudno to get my award.... I flew from Cardiff to Anglesey in the smallest passenger plane I have been in (well I have been in a 4 seater but that was a fun flight this was a "proper" flight!)

No not the Jets in the background the one in the front!!!

I hired a car from there and went to visit a supplier of mine.... Halen Mon, the award winning sea salt company.... I use their Vanilla Salt in my Salty Toffee Brownies, I collected an order from them, well why not?!

Having got my salt I drove off towards Llandudno, to collect my Mum from the train station. She came with me to the award ceremony!

We went up in the cable car

Which was a lot of fun!
and then the ceremony..

this was also fun! and loooong!

The next day before my flight home we visited Conwy Castle..

Having never been to North Wales before I really enjoyed my trip. And the flight!!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Cake International

October saw the annual Cake International at the NEC in Birmingham.
I went along with my good friend Clare from Little Welsh Deli (without any persuasion!) to have a look at the amazing creations and the wonderful array of products to buy....

The detail in some of these cakes were amazing and I must say I was blown away by all of them!! and got very camera happy!!

I think my favourites were the Alice in Wonderland creations.....
The cake was actually balanced on a tea pot and a cup and saucer!!

It was an amazing day and I came home with 6 cake boards suitable for my Chocolate Christmas Trees and 1 pot of edible glitter!!! (don't ask about the 2 craft fayres that were also on that day...)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Blogger Award!

Well now! How exciting! the wonderful Becca from has passed the above award on to me! so I am all tickled pink etc!!
This means (apparently) that I have to write about me! (oh really!)

so humm I think I will use Bec's list of question cos that makes it easier!!

The song I can’t get out of my head is...
Katy Perry's Firework, as my girls are singing it all the time!

When I was a child I wanted to be...
A Farmer's Wife! or a Lorry Driver.

My proudest moment is...
Well, I am rather proud of my Wales the True taste award, also and more so I am very proud of my 2 beautiful, brave girls.

The shops I can’t walk past without buying something are...
Shoe Shops. (particularly Irregular Choice)

My favourite meal is...
The Rarest Fillet Steak, with blue cheese and mushrooms.

My favourite drink is...
Sparkling Shiraz (Banrock Station)

The book I’m reading at the moment is...
Gypsy, by Lesley Pearse (chick Lit!)

My biggest regret is...
Until recently I didn't have any regrets... now I do.

My perfect Sunday/Saturday is...
Waking up on a late spring/early summer morning with my beauties, and taking them with the small dog for a lovely walk through the woods at 3 Cliffs (Gower, South Wales) then down on to the beach and back to Pennard Castle for a picnic. Then home via a lovely tea shop for hot chocolate. Home for a film cuddled up on the sofa and then bed.

Last thing at night I always...
Put the dog to bed, check both the girls are sleeping soundly and then brush my teeth!

If I have time to myself I...
Read my book. Write some of my blog!

When I’m feeling down I...
Cry usually! then rant then pull back the Ruth face!!

The best thing my parents taught me was...
To stand on my own 2 feet. Make my own choices. Trust in those choices and that they are behind me every step of the way.

My biggest influence is...
My Wonderful Mum. My beautiful Daughters. and more recently some of the other strong business women I have been lucky to have made friends with!

My greatest weakness is...
Chocolate!!! (Surprise!)

If I could pass any law it would be...
An exam to pass before you are able to have children.

I’d love to...
see the Norwegian Fjords, see the Northern Lights,
Go to Matchu Pichu.

My favourite sport is...

If I could live anywhere it would be...
On a Farm. or In a Beach Hut.

Not a lot of people know this but I’m no good at...

If I could change anything it would be to...
Well now! where do I start.....

Well thank you for reading your way through that lot! I am meant to now nominate 3 blogger to pass this award on to, but most of them already have been awarded it except for...

Enjoy my lovelies! xx

Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Stage 1 of girlyfying the garden has started!!
This is basically a picture story so I will let the
pictures do the talking...

Doesn't it look really lovely? Like a beach hut? It isn't quite finished yet, but the wooden step at the front is a bit rotten and damp, so I think I may have to replace that!

We had fun painting it and I think the Big Shed now needs a birthday and could well end up the same colours seeing as we have plenty of paint left!!!

Time to move the planters back and scrub the children!!