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Cafe culture seems to have taken the world by storm. It is said that the sign of an “upcoming” area is when a new coffee shop opens. Guaranteed when a well known brand moves into town then the prices will start to rise. 

Source: shopcotswolds.co.uk via Jo on Pinterest

I think that it is quite sad that the measure of the community is gauged by what coffee shops and bars are in the area rather than what community groups are operating. Still each to their own. 

Don’t misunderstand me, I like nothing more than lazing away an hour or two over a lovely cup of coffee or a speciality tea whilst watching the world go by, although I don’t really think that coffee shops in England could ever rival those I have been to in Austria

Recently I have been trying to be more mindful about what I spend my money on but I don’t want to compromise on some of the simple pleasures in life. 

In a previous life (before I moved to Wales) I had gadgets galore and I used them all of the time.  which I haven’t unpacked yet. I know three years is a ridiculous amount of time to have things in boxes but that’s another story. I remembered the posh coffee machine that I had invested in but never actually used (you can see it there in the back of the picture) so several boxes later I emerged from the junk room (yet another story for another day) laden with a coffee machine, lovely big coffee cups and charming tea plates. 

Inspired by a gift of the Hairy Bikers Bakeation Book  and their recipe for Amaretti biscuits I decided that it was time for a posh coffee break at home. 

Of course, a nice syrup for the coffee helps too. Trawling the internet gave me lots of ideas on how to make my own coffee syrup and I eventually settled on the idea of a vanilla syrup. 

The result ……………..

Vanilla Syrup and Amaretti Biscuits

Cafe Chez Moi 

Unfortunately I enjoyed drinking the coffee so much that I forgot to take a photo of my nice posh mugs. I can confirm however that the froth on the coffee worked a treat. 


Amaretti biscuits 

2 large egg whites 

200g caster sugar 

1/2 tsp almond extract (I didn’t have any so I substituted vanilla) 

300g Almonds 

Whist egg whites in a large bowl until foaming 

slowly whisk in the caster sugar a spoon at a time 

whisk in almond extract 

fold in ground almonds using a large metal spoon 

Mixture will be very stiff. 

Put mixture into piping bag with large nozzle 

pipe blobs onto a baking tray (covered with baking parchment) space evenly 

smooth top of biscuits with wet finger – do not flatten 

bake for 16 -18 minutes 

cool on  a wire rack 

Vanilla Syrup 

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar 

teaspoon vanilla extract 

dissolve the water and sugar together over a low heat stirring constantly. 

when bubbling lower the heat right down and simmer for about 10 mins stirring occasionally but keep an eye on it. 

add vanilla extract when you take off the heat, stir in well 

pour hot syrup into a sterilised jar or bottle and leave to cool