Mon Dessert - Macaron Masterclass

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Regular readers will know that at The Amazing Blog we love trying new foods from superfoods to protein-filled snacks. But what we especially love are desserts because life is about balance, right? Since it’s a Friday, we decided to treat ourselves to the highly anticipated Mon Dessert Macaron Masterclass. Being surrounded by the aroma of dessert and freshly made macarons is honestly the ideal way to spend two hours of a Friday night in the heart of London’s food network: Borough Market.

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During the Masterclass, which has a different seasonal theme each month, you learn how to make macarons from scratch following a recipe straight out of Paris. You also gain first-hand knowledge of tips and tricks that you can bring to your own kitchen if you’re brave enough to try making them on your own. The class has a wide variety of flavours and colours for you to create a box of personalized macarons that will impress your family and friends when you leave. Overall and most importantly, the class has a fun, light, and uplifting atmosphere that radiates from the delicious desserts to everyone baking in the kitchen.

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Mon Dessert is a luxury at-home dessert company that holds classes like the Macaron Masterclass and sells kits to make your own desserts at home. Macarons kits allow you to take your skills from the class into your own flat and provides the necessary ingredients, recipe, equipment, and fashionable storage tin for you to be successful every time. The company also offers a delicious-looking speciality dessert kits, which help you make a professional-looking and tasting éclair, cannoli, and crème brûlée with ease. Vegan-friendly recipes, kitchen appliances, and many flavours from caramel to rose are available.

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If you’re an avid foodie or someone who doesn’t shy away from desserts, the Macaron Masterclass is a must for you. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Le Pain Quotidien every second Friday of the month and is £50 per person. You can sign up for a spot in the class here.

Virginia Stone – ‘Eyes’ for Kavesi


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When you’re searching out skincare items, often the three categories you’ll see are ‘dry’, ‘normal’, and ‘oily’. They’re appear all encapsulating, or so it seems. Some of us with ‘combination’ skin at The Amazing Blog and frequently struggle to find the right cleanser or moisturiser that won’t make our skin greasy or dry. The latest product we tried is from Virginia Stone it brings about the idea that finding the right products for your skin may be based on your skin tone rather than these three general categories.

Virginia Stone built her brand on the foundation of ‘passion, purpose, and an unyielding desire to innovate and inspire’. She set out to revolutionise the skincare industry by creating a sustainable luxury brand and adhering to three core values of people, planet, and passion. Virginia Stone, as a company, dedicates itself to global social and environmental sustainability and all of its products are fair-trade, eco-friendly, and vegan. What drew us to this brand was its ethos. It felt simple categories like ‘dry’, ‘normal’, and ‘oily’ do not account for certain skin-tone-specific characteristics such as skin density and sensitivity, SPF requirements, and potency tolerance levels. So, Virginia Stone created three collections: Kavesi for fair skin tones, Jasari for medium skin tones, and Odaja for dark skin tones. We felt these groupings were less arbitrary and more encapsulating, especially if you have ‘normal’ or ‘combination’ skin. 

We tried their ‘Eyes’ for Kavesi in Sand , a 3-in-1 superfood cream with five layers (Butter, Nectar, Tea Syrup, Corrective Complex, Elixir) of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. The formula is also pH balanced and oxygenated to protect your skin from UV rays and pollution, improving your skin’s elasticity and lightening dark shadows. It is designed to stimulate cell renewal, increase blood flow, and improve circulation specifically for fair skin, which is highly sensitive and allergy prone. When we used it, we saw diminished fine lines as well as less puffy and brighter skin like we had used a jade roller. But what stood out to us was the cream’s texture. It’s solid, and you can’t dip your finger into it, but the warmth of your finger picks up the right amount of the product that feels smoother than butter and leaves your skin feeling the same way. The cream is oilier than typical moisturisers, yet it doesn’t feel sticky and spreads well. It leaves your skin feeling smooth and matte, which makes the cream perfect to use as a primer during the day, and nourishes for night time use. 

Finally, we cannot go through this post without mentioning the intricate packaging. The cream comes in a cube that Virginia Stone calls ‘The Luxador’. It’s 100 per cent recyclable concrete stone and has thermal insulating properties to protect the cream’s active ingredients and maintain its longevity. The Luxador is engraved with the company’s simple logo and pattern and has a magnetic stone lid. It’s quite solid and heavy, so be careful if you travel with it or keep it on your bathroom counter for décor and safekeeping.

You can buy ‘Eyes’ for Kavesi (15ml) here for $185. The price is quite high, but you don’t need very much and could spot treat certain areas rather than put it all over your face. 

Alexandra Soveral - Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo

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We’re always wistfully wishing for thick and more luscious looks here at The Amazing Blog but the goal of achieving this is easier said than done! While many haircare products claim to nourish and strengthen hair, the reality is that many contain harsh chemical cleansers that actually strip the hair and scalp from all its natural oils, making it brittle and dry. That’s why we were thrilled to discover Alexandra Soveral’s Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo’s with its nourishing natural and organic formula, which is why it is one of this week’s #amazingfinds.

Cult facialist Alexandra Soveral’s beauty and fragrance brand launched over than 10 years ago, all with the ethos of delivering natural artisanal products produced with cutting edge science. All Soveral‘s products contain natural raw ingredients that are hand-blended in small batches here in London. They strive to ensure sustainability, and have been awarded the Positive Luxury Butterfly mark for its clean formulas.

Their balancing Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo have no parabens, animal products, harmful chemicals or fragrances and most importantly no sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). This shampoo is enriched with organic essential oils like sweet orange to vitalise the hair and rosemary to leave hair shiny and bouncy. An added bonus is that these oils give the shampoo a zesty, rosemary scent for a reviving smell every use. It doesn’t dry the scalp and is enriched with anti-inflammatory properties making it perfect for those who have an itchy or sensitive scalp. Since it doesn’t contain this drying foaming agent, the shampoo doesn’t lather as much (no SLS’s) as others might. With all these organic ingredients ensure hair is left shiny and luscious.

As the products are hand-blended and comprised of organic ingredients, the consistency and fragrance of the shampoo can vary depending on the season it’s produced. However, the ‘organic, antioxidant and multi-vitamin formula’ still remains the same.  We used the Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo, as a frequent wash shampoo. We’re very happy to report that it not only helped to balance the pH of our hair and scalp, but is also suitable for coloured hair too – a big bonus in our eyes! To purchase a 250 ml bottle of the Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo for £30 see here.

ChicP - Houmous

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Houmous. It’s a food that dates back to as early as the 13thcentury in Egypt and something we at The Amazing Blog have devoured since it became a trend with the likes of Whole Foods. What we adore about this food is it makes a hearty and healthy snack that leaves you satisfied for hours unlike a bag of crisps. With our tastes for houmous in mind, we were interested to try two flavours from ChicP 

The company was founded by Hannah McCollum, who worked predominantly as a private chef, on the‘passionate commitment to reducing food waste’. All of ChicP’s five colourful houmous flavours are made with raw vegetables that were discarded due to their irregular shape or size. Supermarkets reject approximately 40 per cent of produce because of these qualities and nearly 1/3 of UK produce goes to waste because people don’t eat it. McCollum wanted to combat this with ‘houmous made from imperfect veggies’ to promote better choices for your health and the environment. 

We were drawn to not only the company’s ethos, but also the delicious taste of its houmous. This houmous is much lighter than any others we’ve tried and is creamy, satisfying, and flavourful. The first flavour we tried was the Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric  The spread immediately tastes like you’ve dipped a carrot into an ordinary blend of chickpeas, saving you the extra step of doing it yourself. While the carrot taste is evident, the ginger and turmeric follow after and linger yet don’t overpower. This flavour works splendidly as a dip, but we liked putting it over baked chicken and pasta. We felt the second one we tasted would be more suitable as a midday snack or sandwich spread. Herby is true to its name and has a strong veggie taste, as 16 per cent of the recipe is spinach and parsley. However, lemon juice concentrate, vinegar, and garlic purée increase the flavour’s depth and tastiness. 

The houmous here is vegan and contains no additives or added sugars. Carrot, Ginger & Tumeric and Herby also only have 113 calories (469 kJ) and 127 calories (526 kJ) per quarter pot, respectively, and are reasonably priced at £3 for 170g. Additionally, there are three other flavours available in ChicP’s collection: Beetroot, Horseradish & Sage, Chilli Pumpkin, and Banana Chocolate. You can purchase their houmous here, or at one of the retailers listed here.

Irish Black Butter

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Let’s make a short hop, skip and a jump over to Ireland for this post, to highlight a small jar of pure versatility in the form of Irish Black Butter - a new concept using ancient techniques, for us all to enjoy whether we want to go down the sweet or the savoury route. The main ingredients here are the rich bramley apples from Armagh which are then blended with cider, brandy and spices, producing a mouth-watering conserve of dark velvet indulgence.

Now the obvious choice here for us at The Amazing Blog would be to try this on a slice of toast - very yum we can confirm - or perhaps a more decadent scone with some cream perhaps - completely yum - but the versatility of this ‘other black stuff’ comes when we start using in a more experimental manner for the ultimate ‘yum’. How about on our porridge? Or mixed with some thick greek yoghurt? The options for this little pot of black gold are endless, but one recipe, we would urge you to try is to slather it over a ham before cooking it - the delicious flavours from the oven will swirl around the kitchen like a warm Irish hug and tease those taste buds for what is to come. Not forgetting to mention that it is vegan, vegetarian friendly, dairy free, wheat free and comes in cute little jar. 

The Irish Black Butter Company was formed in 2017 by Alastair Bell who has a background in farming and events management. Clearly a well-founded belief in his Irish Black Butter, which has gone on to sweep boards of awards with two stars in the Great Taste Awards 2018 and Chefs Choice Award in the Irish Food Awards 2018; and of course, now securing many stockists throughout Ireland. Of course, in this day and age we don’t have to be local to the Emerald Isle to get our hands on a jar, as we can simply go to here and click on their shop to order - 125g will cost you £3.95, and the 225g jar costs £5.95. If ever there was a condiment which no self-respecting larder should be without, then surely this is it.