There’s something beautiful about baking, that takes me back to being a little girl with my mother. All those times – years ago but still as vivid as ever – with sleeves rolled up in the kitchen amid clouds of flour, determined to crack each egg perfectly every time. The delicious promise of the ultimate treat: licking the wooden spoon at the end. It wasn’t just about the baking though, it never is. It was the time spent together, her patiently teaching and me delighting in the learning, the two of us side by side. As the years have gone by, baking is as big a part of my life – and life with my own children – as ever it was. It’s that very same joy we hope to spread to this day, with Love Brownies.
And if you’ve read anything of our website, you’ll know what drives the team here is the guiding principle of mothers everywhere…’you only get out what you put in.’ It’s why we use not only the best, most ethically-sourced ingredients we possibly can but why we freshly-bake every single brownie in its own tiny tin to order, so that they’re all perfect every time.
A quick chat in the Love Brownies kitchen provided other pearls of wisdom passed down from those special women in our lives who have guided and shaped us, the mums, step-mums, aunties, grandmas and the family friends who’ve stepped up, filled-in and been there for us time and again over the years.
With warmth and wit they told us that nothing good ever happens after 2am (if only we’d listened!), that beds were not made for jumping on, that we’d catch a cold if we went out with wet hair, that good manners cost nothing, to be grateful for what we’ve got and that if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And there was something about not having room for dessert if we couldn’t finish dinner, but we’ve never got to grips with that one!
But how to say thank you on Mother’s Day?
How can a Mother’s Day gift say everything you want it to say?! Among a sea of Mother’s Day gift ideas, it can be difficult to decide what to buy for Mother’s Day.
For all the mums by blood, the mums-to-be, the matriarchs who’ve paved the way, we’ve created something special this year to give with love. Our delicious Caramel Fudge brownies – the ones which combine the finest Belgian dark chocolate with milk chocolate chunks and delicious fudgy pieces of caramel – will be available in stores in a beautiful specially-designed box, ‘with love on Mother’s Day.’
Inside each brownie, there’s the surprise, hidden centre of sweet golden Harrogate caramel (because who doesn’t remember being told that ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’?!).
Whatever Mother’s Day present you choose, whether it’s a heart-felt card, chocolates, Mother’s Day flowers, a beautiful box of our freshly-baked letter-box-friendly brownies or time spent together over a coffee and a little bit of something sweet at Love Brownies, there’s no time like Mother’s Day to say thank you and pass on the love.
Our 2019 Mother’s Day brownies are now available to order and pre-order online. Click here.
As we get ready for the Valentine’s Day rush in the Love Brownies kitchen, we have been thinking about the meaning of Love. It’s a big part of our name, it’s what we do, and it’s stirred into every brownie.
That reminded us that there’s more to love than romance, even on St Valentine’s Day. With the cultural focus on attraction and coupling up, it’s easy to overlook the real love in our lives.
In Finland the interpersonal culture is famously reserved. The fondest of friends might never touch one another, or tell each other how much that friendship means. Except on Ystävänpäivä, which translates into ‘Friend’s day’ and is celebrated on February the 14th. Finns use Valentine’s Day to break cover and make wild gestures of friendship rather than romantic affections.
If we take a minute to close our eyes and really think about who this describes for us, we might be in for a surprise:
When you catch sight of this person in a crowd, you feel your heart lift with joy.
When something funny happens, this is the person you can’t wait to tell.
When you spend time with this person, you often laugh so much you need to take a minute to recover your dignity.
When your internal voice tells you “Don’t do that, what would everyone think?” but really ‘everyone’ in that sentence means this
We feel like making Valentine’s Day wholesome again – and celebrating the kind of love that keeps us on our feet with a smile on our face, and hope in our hearts. Here’s a chance to show our Valentine Saints that we are thankful for their fun and faithful friendship – and how important they are to us.
For some people those questions do describe a partner or lover. For lots of us it might be a close friend or sibling. If your partner does all that, you have a great friend for a lover. If a different person springs to mind, why should we let that affectionate bond be brushed aside? Let’s be radical and express our platonic love this Valentine’s Day!
If you’d like to join us and make a public declaration of affection Finland-style, why not begin with a Valentines Brownie? Send a sensational sweet message in a playful parcel choc-a-bloc with goodness. Give a heart-warming gift of fruity ruby & raspberry deliciousness to treat a treasured friend.
Love your life. Love your friends. Love brownies.
Eli is our newest member to the Love Brownies Team. She works in the shop and helps out in the office with posting out gifts. Here’s a little bit about Eli both in and outside of work.
“I’m the newest recruit at Love Brownies, I’ve only been here since the beginning of October 2018! I’m a shop assistant so you’ll see me when you come in to buy all your brownie goodies or stop for a hot chocolate to warm yourself up! I also help in the office gift wrapping and preparing orders to be posted.
Love Brownies is a small (but rapidly expanding) family run business and I was made to feel like a valued member of the team straight away. Everyone in the team knows each other really well and we have a laugh. Although I’ve only just started, I’m already so excited with all the changes that are going on in the business. I want to grow with Love Brownies and become an integral part of the team. I’m also looking forward to being more involved and helping with the franchises.
I love working in the shop as the customers are all so lovely. I’m a people person so it’s nice to have a chat with the regulars! Our brownies are all handmade individually with love so they’re crispy on the outside and all gooey in the middle. There’s a wide variety of flavours and they’re all very yummy – I’ve never had a bad brownie! My favourite flavour is caramel fudge and I first tried it when it was my mums wedding cake and I ate it constantly for 2 weeks. I prefer brownie bites to the big brownies just because you can have a couple of bites when you want (or the whole packet) and you can share them. Northern bloc Ice-cream also goes perfectly with a warm brownie!
When I was younger I worked as a manager and waitress in a gastropub. I then went travelling for a few years. I started off in Thailand and Bali for 3 months, where I trekked through the jungle, saw the elephants and travelled round the Phi Phi Islands which was where the beach was filmed. This was definitely a highlight! I also climbed a live volcano in Bali to watch the sunrise. Then I spent 19 months in Australia, which meant I had to do 3 months farm work. I graded potatoes for 12 hours a day on a brushed potato farm, 9 hours west of Sydney. It wasn’t the most fun I’d had all trip..! When I’m not at work I spend time with my sister and family, we’re always going shopping or out for food. I’m such a foodie, I love trying new restaurants! I used to be a keen basketball player and I was captain for the Yorkshire U18’s and U16’s.
Although I’ve only been here a couple of months, I love working at Love Brownies and I’m excited to see what the future holds! See you next time you come into the shop!”
Christmas is our favourite time of year and we love working at Christmas fairs as we get to see everyone getting all excited and ready for the big day! Nothing makes you feel more Christmassy than being surrounded by baubles, tinsel, Christmas trees and chocolate! This year, we’ll have stalls at both The Christmas Fair at Ripley Castle and The Christmas Fair at Ascot.
The Christmas Fair at Ripley Castle
The Christmas Fair at Ripley Castle takes place in the spectacular and picturesque grounds of Ripley Castle, in the heart of the North Yorkshire Countryside. The show is open from Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th November. We’ll be selling all our usual chocolatey treats, from our full range of brownies and bites to jars of Morello Cherries and “Earning Brownie Points” aprons. And of course, back by popular demand, our famous mince pie brownie! Crammed full with rich spiced mince-meat it’s the perfect brownie for all you mince pie lovers! Even if you don’t like mince pies, we’re sure we’ll be able to change your mind after you try this brownie. We’ll also be selling mugs of our luxury hot chocolate to keep your hands warm whilst you browse. Never tried our hot chocolate before? Oh you are in for a treat! Think Italian style hot chocolate, made with cream and the finest quality chocolate – we call it our liquid brownie!
The Christmas Fair at Ascot
The Christmas Fair at Ascot is open from Thursday 29th November – Sunday 2nd December in The Pavilion at Ascot Racecourse. Here we’ll be selling our full range of brownies, bites, as well as the mince pie brownie and lots of different flavours of vegan brownie slices. We’ll also have lots of different gifts perfect for your loved ones this Christmas! If you’re a keen baker or just enjoy spending a bit of time in the kitchen then you’ll love our new “Earning Brownie Points” apron. Our cute branded tote bags are perfect to help carry all your shopping on your way round as well! Having a festive dinner party this year? Our Morello Cherries transform your glass of bubbly. Just pop a couple in with a little bit of the Kirsch and your guests will love it!
As always, we love seeing and catching up with our friends at these shows. If pies are what you’re looking for, check out Pastree. Pastree are practically our neighbours, as they’re only based a short drive away in York. They make pork pies like you’ve never seen them before. Beautifully crisp pastry and the finest rare breed pork filling. But they don’t stop there. Why not take your pork pie one step further? Try one topped with onion marmalade and Lancashire cheese, or Cropwell British stilton and fresh leeks. We highly recommend! Candles are always the perfect gift for someone, because who doesn’t like candles?! Have a look at The Harrogate Candle Company. They’re also only a short drive from our bakery in Ilkley. Each fragrance has been carefully selected and are “designed to stimulate different emotions and enhance your mood.” The fragrances are available in a range of candles, reed diffusers and mist room sprays. Their candles are almost too pretty to light, but we can’t help but light them as the smells are amazing. We’ll definitely be stocking up this year for presents (for ourselves…).
We look forward to seeing you again at Ripley Castle and Ascot Christmas Fair to come stock up on all your chocolatey treats!
We can’t help but shout about these two new products that we now have available in our shop which we LOVE! Introducing the Love Brownies apron and “Four-Legged Therapy”, the latest book by the wonderful Department Store for the Mind.
“Earning Brownie Points” Apron
After many requests over the years, we’ve finally produced a Love Brownies apron! Finished with the classic “Earning Brownie Points” welcome message and our logo, and lovingly made with steel grey cotton, it’s the perfect gift for all you budding bakers and chefs out there. With an adjustable neck loop, 1 size fits all so it’s suitable for both children and adults. Come and grab yours in store today or order online.
We just love the Department Store for the Mind collection. It’s all about promoting self-wellbeing and positivity. To quote, it “is a place to explore the world inside your head: a vast and unique terrain of thoughts, ideas, emotions and memories”. What’s not to love about that? It’s also co-owned by our incredibly creative brand designer, Katie Steel at Supafrank. We know how much you love “Walking in the Rain” and “Washing up is good for you” so why not add “Four-Legged Therapy” to your collection? “Four-Legged Therapy: How Fur, Scales and Feathers can make life worth living” discusses how pets and animals can be beneficial to our lives. This book shows not only ways in which animals can save lives but also how they can make you happier. They can make you feel like life really is worth living! A lovely present for your animal-loving friends.
We’re so excited about these two new products arriving into the shop and we hope you are too! To celebrate, when you buy them both together we’ll give you 20% off the price of the two. So that’s the “Earning Brownie Points” apron and “Four-Legged Therapy” for just £26.39 (usually £32.99). Hurry though, this offer ends 10thNovember 2018 when you buy in store or call for a coupon code! So come buy your Christmas presents now and make use of this great offer!
We’ve just come back from Christmas Gift and Fashion Fair, Cheltenham. We can’t quite believe how quickly it’s come around and gone again! And that Christmas is just a couple of months away! The show was based at Cheltenham racecourse, from Thursday 18th October to Sunday 21st October. If you missed it this time, don’t worry we’ll be there again next year!
We had wide range of Love Brownies products on our stand, including all of our flavours of individual brownies and brownie bites. We’ve also had some great gift ideas, from hot chocolate spoons and Kilner jars full of juicy morello cherries soaked in Kirsch to our brand-new ‘Earning Brownie Points’ apron! Our new vegan brownie went down a treat and all 3 flavours sold out by Saturday. Don’t worry – we’ll make sure we bake more for next years Christmas Gift and Fashion Fair as lots more Vegan Brownie flavours being tested at the moment!
Our Show Friends
We always make lots of friends at these shows. We really do treasure the returning loyalty of our customers too . It’s great to see all the familiar faces that have been buying our brownies over the past few years. We also get to see our lovely friends from other companies doing so well. This year our stand was next to Cotswold Gold. Charlie Beldam, the founder, has been producing the highest quality rapeseed oil since 2010. The rapeseed is grown on his family’s farm in Worcestershire. Cotswold gold do a range of high quality extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil, infused oils, dressings and mayonnaise. If chutneys, preserves and other luxurious food gifts are your thing then have a look at The Carved Angel, based in Plymouth. They are most famous for their Christmas pudding, but they also have a vast selection of preserves, curds, pickles and chutneys. And finally, one for the cheese-lovers out there! The Truckle Cheese Co. in Cambridge do the finest cheeses, from Shropshire Blue to Wensleydale with lemon and honey, all cased in a brightly coloured wax coating. Their cheese and chutney hampers look amazing – we’ve put them on our Christmas list!
Don’t worry if you missed the Christmas Gift and Fashion Fair this time, we’ll be back next year. Or why not come see us at another show? We’ve got stalls at The Christmas Fair at Ripley (22nd– 25th November) and Ascot (29th November – 2nd December) to supply you with chocolatey treats all day long!
So we’ve covered our shop, office and brownie chefs. Let’s find out about our Love Brownies kitchen assistant, Toni, shall we?
“Love Brownies was the first company I worked for since I moved to England. I am originally from near Valencia in Spain, but I moved to Yorkshire in March 2016. That was over 2 and half years ago now and I’ve been working at the Bakery since the May of that year. Chantal originally thought I was female because of how I spelled my name, but they got a bit of a shock when I arrived at Hilltop Farm. My name ends in an ‘I’ as that’s how it is spelt in Spain, but I now know Toni is more commonly a girls name in England! My full name is Antonio Salvador Franch Egea, but everyone here calls me Toni – or Chef Salvador!
I started off just washing up but then I started helping with preparing food for outside catering. I used to make a lot of pizzas and arancini balls! Now I make all the sandwiches for the café and decorate the celebration cakes. I am currently training to be a brownie chef as in the future I would like to help bake the brownies, as well as making the cakes that I decorate.
Love Brownies is like a little family. I have good relationships with everyone who works here, and we always have a laugh. They’ve also helped me a lot with my English over the past couple of years. My job role varies each day and I’m always kept busy which is good. Caramel fudge is my favourite brownie as the caramel sauce and fudge pieces melt in your mouth, and it’s a lovely surprise inside! I keep trying to suggest a mojito brownie to the other brownie chefs and Chantal as it’s my favourite drink but they keep saying no! Back when I was in Spain, I was a photographer, working in branding and publicity. But now I’m loving being involved in the baking side of Love Brownies.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my twin girls. Myself and Maria – my wife who also works here – love to take them to the park. We go play football, go for walks and ride our bikes. When I’m not with my girls, I like to read. I mostly read in Spanish but I’m trying to improve my English so I’ve just started reading Alice In Wonderland. It’s really interesting but a bit confusing at times!
I’m excited to see what happens in the future at Love Brownies and I hope you liked finding out about me!”
Our new vegan brownie is so good we just had to blog about it twice. Plus, we are pleased to announce that is now completely gluten free! Like all of our other brownies, the vegan brownie is now made with gluten free flour. This means it’s perfect for those who are avoiding both gluten and animal products.
Our new vegan brownie is available in 4 delicious flavours:
- Sorento Orange – Flavoured with natural orange extract and oils to create this zesty, chocolatey treat.
- Fresh Raspberry – A rich chocolate brownie topped with fresh raspberries – it counts as one of your 5 a day, right?!
- Morello Cherry – Juicy morello cherries soaked in Kirsch liquor to make the most divine dessert.
- Coconut – Sweet desiccated coconut, natural coconut extract and coconut oil – one for the Bounty lovers!
You wouldn’t believe our new vegan brownie is actually vegan. Its fudgy, its chocolatey, its rich… it’s everything you want a brownie to be! And just in case there wasn’t quite enough chocolate in the brownie, we’ve topped it with a dark chocolatey glaze. We’ve substituted the dairy and eggs with coconut oil and flax-eggs and you won’t even notice the difference! Coconut oil is rich in good fats which are less likely to be stored in the body and more readily avail be to use as an energy source. Read more about the health benefits of coconut oil on the BBC Good Food website.
We’ve been working on this for a long time now to get it perfect for you, but we’ve still got a long way to go on our vegan journey! We want to expand the range even more. Why not tweet us @love_brownies and tell us what vegan flavours you’d like to see?
Available online to pre-order from Friday!
You will be able to pre-order our new vegan brownie on Friday 12thOctober here for a gift or just because you want to treat yourself! We will be delivering after Friday 19thOctober onwards. The new vegan brownie will be baked fresh every day so will always be available in our shop, but due to how popular it is, then always reserve some in advance, pop in or give us a call just to avoid any disappointment.
We have a team of brownie bakers here at Love Brownies. We’ve introduced you to Emma, but let’s find out a little bit about our other brownie baker, Sally.
“When I first started working at Love Brownies in April 2016, I was based in the kitchen at Hilltop farm as a brownie baker and product developer. This was before we had the shop in Ilkley! I’ve been here nearly 2 and half years now, but I’ve actually known Chantal for over 15 years. We met at the livery yard where we used to keep our horses and we used to go out riding together. I live locally so it’s great to be so close to the Love Brownies bakery in Ilkley.
My main roles are still baking brownies and product development, but I sometimes help with other jobs in the office and shop. I’ve recently developed our vegan brownie. It’s something that is very close to my heart as my dad has been vegan for 10 years – he loves it! We now do it in 3 different flavours; raspberry, coconut and orange. I’ve got some ideas for new brownie flavours. I’m thinking coffee and banana – not together though! I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I’m constantly striving to make the best brownies I can.
There are so many things I love about working here. We are such a nice, happy, hardworking team. I work really well under pressure, so when it’s busy the day just flies by and I feel really productive. My personal record for the number of brownies I made in 1 day is 875, which is a lot to say each one is made individually!
Love Brownies brownies are nothing like I’ve ever tasted before. I love everything about them. They’re soft, fudgy, sweet and they hit all the right spots! Our brownies are everything a brownie should be and more – if I do say so myself! Trust me when I say the finest quality ingredients are used. They are award-winning brownies after all! Salted caramel is my favourite brownie to bake as it’s a little bit more challenging as the ingredients are slightly different and it’s got a little flourish of sea salt on top. Salted caramel was my favourite flavour, but I think morello cherry has now pipped it to the post!
My favourite of the year at the bakery has to be either Christmas or Easter. The mince pie brownie is amazing, but at Easter we have a crème-egg brownie, which has got a whole crème-egg in the middle to give a sweet, chocolatey, gooey centre!
I was taught to bake by my Nanna who was a pastry chef and a very traditional cook. She made the most amazing desserts and the best jam roly-poly I’ve ever had! I used to bake with her every weekend and we made everything from scones and curd tarts to butterfly buns! I’ve still got her original 1940’s Bero recipe book! It still fascinates me that she used to cut up every piece of dried fruit for a her christmas cake and bake it at gas mark ½ over-night. When I was younger, I would compete in the Body Building Federation competitions. I came second in the ladies category which I’m very proud of! Now I go watch my daughter compete in the tone figure category – she has just come first in the most recent competition. Nowadays, when I’m not at the gym I’m either out riding my Horse, Jake, or doing a spot of gardening.
I love my job here at Love Brownies and I hope you found it interesting reading about what I get up to day-to-day.”
Tithe Barn on Lord Devonshire’s Bolton Abbey estate has recently been renovated to create the most magical wedding venue. Are you planning your dream wedding and can’t decide on what venue to host your special day? Well look no further. This stunning venue in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales will take your breath away. The barn is surrounded by the views of the Priory ruins and the river Wharf. However, it is the interior design that is even more special. You will be reciting your vows in a vast room fit for royalty, amongst a traditional timber frame glowing with fairy lights and candles. Have a look on the Tithe Barn website for how you can make all your wedding dreams come true.
Tithe Barn can host up to 200 guests, plus an extra 100 in the evening. It is one of the biggest timbered aisled barns in the North. The venue itself is licenced to conduct civil ceremonies but there is also the option to have a church ceremony in a vast variety of local churches in the surrounding areas. The team are hoping to get an outdoor civil service license. How amazing would it be to say “I do” surrounded by the rolling hills and scenic countryside? It’s probably best to only book outside for a summer wedding though – we are in Yorkshire after all!
Love Brownie Wedding Cakes
If you haven’t sorted your cake yet, why not pop in and have a chat to us about our range of wedding cakes? Our brownie cakes are available in any of our signature flavours and with a variety of coverings. We are more than happy to discuss decorations to suit your designs and colour schemes for your big day. We can even deliver your custom-made brownie cakes to the Tithe Barn to make your big day just that little bit easier and give you one less thing to worry about! Have a look at our full range, prices and number of portions here.
If this venue sounds like it might be for you then contact the friendly team at the Tithe Barn today for any enquiries and do let us know if Love Brownies can be a part of your special day.