Snowed In: French Press Cozy

What a wild winter we’ve been having in the North East.  Lots of snow and cold temperatures, more so than any winter in recent memory. All this snow inspired me to create a little collection of knitting patterns based upon my favorite kind of winter day.  Snowed In.

I hope these sweet patterns will bring some cheer to your wintry snow days. Its not so terrible to be snowed in after all.  To celebrate the release of Snowed In, I’ll be giving away one pattern a day. Today’s pattern Is French Press Cozy, leave a comment on this post telling me why you love a snow day to win! You have until noon tomorrow, and then we’re on to the next pattern!

 My perfect snow day has me snowed in, with a day off from work and nowhere to be except in my cozy house.  The day ahead is filled with great movies, lots of knitting and scrumptious comfort food. First on my list would be a decadent brunch. Soft boiled eggs, buttered toast and fruit, and a piping hot carafe of coffee brewed in my french press.  


It’s a sad fact that the glass carafe on these kind of presses lets your drink go cold rather quickly, but a little woolly sweater for your french press if just the ticket. This French Press Cozy is the first pattern of this collection. It will keep your coffee warm until the last drop is poured, and the cheerful color and pretty texture add to the charm of your brunch table.  Four pretty buttons close up the cozy. Mine came from Melissa Jean  but I don’t see them on her site currently.






A noontime walk in the falling snow is everything its supposed to be. Filled with the quiet hiss of falling flakes, beautiful, eerie light, and drifts of freshly fallen snow. Coming back into the warmth of the indoors leaves you with cheeks flushed with cold, numb fingers and a rumbling tummy. The afternoon is followed up by more of the same. Knit. Eat. Repeat.   -Marie

Link to the Ravelry project page for Snowed In French Press, or  

This french press cozy has been designed to fit a Bodum Chambord 4 cup french press. If you have a larger or smaller sized press this pattern can be easily adapted to fit.
You may add or subtract the stitch repeat number from the cast on and still easily read the written directions. If you are using the chart, you can print two copies, fold one so that it repeats the correct number of stitches to see the chart for the new size. If your press is bigger around you also add extra garter stitch rows at the end, or use a second photocopy of the chart to increase the number of patterned rows until the fabric is long enough. You may also need to adjust the placement of the buttonhole yarn overs, depending on where your handle rests on your press.

Directions include fully written directions as well as helpful charted instructions.


Coffee Sugar

…..And why not? You’ve got vanilla and cinnamon.

Coffee sugar

We tried this two ways; The first was blending sugar with freshly ground beans. The results weren’t so great, The beans were overwhelmingly bitter and got stuck in your teeth. So on to plan B.

Coffee sugar

Blitz ½ oz of instant espresso in a food processor. We chose instant because it melts on your tongue, but still gives a good bitter kick that compliments the sugar before they blend together

Coffee sugar

Add it to 3 oz of sugar, be it white, golden, or brown

Coffee sugar

Mix together

Coffee Sugar Spoon into airtight jars.

Click here to get to our white chocolate espresso cookie

Cookies and coffee milk

To emphasise  the fantabulousness of Nigella Lawson, for our podcast “Celebrity chefs; love them or loathe them”, I made the most delicious  ‘Totally chocolate chocolate chip cookie” from her ‘Nigella Express’ book. As a  concomitant to these other worldly treats, I thought the worlds easiest iced coffee would work perfectly.

Coffee milkHalf a cup of milk, I use  whole

Coffee milk

Coffee milk

Into a glass it goes, I love the delicate milk bubbles left in the bottom

Coffee milk

As an optional indulgence a dash of cream

Coffee milk

This stuff is great, for impatient coffee drinkers who want their caffeine fix quick, like me

Coffee milkJust a teaspoon of this tar like liquid will do

DSCF2623Like treacle it falls slowly to meet the milk

Coffee milkBut mixes in in seconds

Coffee milkA little ice

Coffee milkFrozen island in a milky coffee sea

Coffee milk Yuuummmmm perfect

The Love of the bean

Welcome to our third podcast,  We’re talking about coffee. Let us know how you feel about the bean.

Cake 'A'

Cake 'A'

Cake 'B'

Cake 'B'

Which one will Marie crown victorious? Cake 'A' or Cake 'B'?

Which one will Marie crown victorious?

Cake 'A'

Cake 'A'

Cake 'B'

Cake 'B'

Click here for the Espresso cake recipe Espresso cake

Need more ways to get your caffeine fix? Click on this for our Latte Jelly recipe

Latte Jelly

Espresso Cake

When I first told Marie that she would be the judge at my coffee cake cake off she had no idea that I meant an espresso cake. That is because my idea of coffee cake and hers were different. Mine being the English idea; a cake flavoured and tasting of coffee and Marie’s, the American idea; cake you eat with coffee (I told her mine could also be eaten as an accompaniment to coffee) that has strusely bits on top.  Anyway, we’ve both been educated and now to the important part. If you like coffee and you like cake, then give this recipe a try.

For the cake part;Espresso cake

12 oz sugar

8 oz plus 4oz unsalted butter

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

4 Tbsp instant espresso powder

1/4 cup boiling water

1/2 cup butter milk

3 Tbsp  plus 3 Tbsp camp coffee

3 large eggs

12 oz all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

Espresso cake

These are my best friends when it comes to needing a caffeine fix in a pinch, if you can’t find camp coffee or its equivalent mix 1 tablespoon of instant espresso and 1 teaspoon of sugar with about 1½ tablespoons of boiling water, you want it the consistency of syrup.

Preheat the oven to 350°

Espresso cake

Beat together the sugar and 8 oz of butter until it is a glorious creamy emulsion

Time to put the kettle on

Espresso cake

Melt the other 4oz of butter in saucepan over a moderate heat

Espresso cakeEspresso cake

Sprinkle in the cocoa powder …                                                                                        …and whisk, whisk, whisk

Espresso cake

Dissolve your instant espresso and whisk into the melted butter mixture. Turn off the heat and put to one side.

Espresso cake

Into a jug, measure out the buttermilk, add in the camp coffee. Thick treacle like coffee concentrate

Espresso cake

Pretty swirls, to this add your eggs

Espresso cake

Yolky delight, with my reflection trapped inside

Mix this together well

Espresso cakeEspresso cake

Remember the melted butter mixture? Well grab that and pour it into the buttermilk mix, and then beat into the creamed butter and sugar

Espresso cake

The mix may separate, but fear not, once you add the dry ingredients it’ll work itself out. Speaking of which..

Espresso cake

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl

Espresso cake

Slowly incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients, don’t over mix them

Espresso cakeEspresso cakePrepare your pans; I grease and flour mine, but also line the bottom with parchment paper

Distribute the batter evenly, OK, so you don’t have to be as anal as me and measure it on a scale. I just like even halves that’s all

Bake in the oven, on the middle shelf for about 3o minutes, remember though that this is the baking time for my oven and yours will vary so keep an eye on the cake

When the cake is done, place on a baking rack, allow to cool for a few minutes and the remove from the pan and take the parchment off the bottom.

Espresso cake

While the cake is still warm drizzle the remaining camp coffee evenly over the two sponges.

Espresso cake

While they’re cooling completely, make the icing and ganache.


4 oz  Salted butter      Espresso cake

6 oz Icing (confectioners) sugar

3 tsp instant coffee

1 tbsp milk

Beat together the butter and icing sugar until smooth. If you beat to fast too soon you’ll end up with a sugar cloud like I did. Loosen with  a little milk until you have a spreadable consistency.

Sprinkle in the instant coffee and mix in, you don’t want the grounds to dissolve.

Espresso cake

Crunchy bitter coffee granules waiting to slowly dissolve into the sweet creamy icing

Espresso cake

Spread it generously

Espresso cake

Top with the other half and push down gently, If the butter cream oozes out scoop up with your fingers and lick off. You could do that, or you can smooth it back in the gap between the layers. It’s good enough to eat right here, but why not guild the lily? Here’s how…


4 Tbsp instant espresso

1 pint of heavy cream

1½ pounds of dark chocolate

Break the chocolate up  and put in a bowl, I use the one for my stand mixer. Set a pan with a little water in the bottom and the store to boil.

Take ¼ cup from the pint of cream and warm in the microwave for about a minute, dissolve the coffee in this.

Espresso cake

Mix back in  with the rest of the cream and pour onto the chocolate

Espresso cake

Put the bowl over the pan of simmering water and whisk the    chocolate and cream together until all the lumps are gone and you are left with a beautiful glossy velvet blanket of warm ganache.

Let this stand for 5 minutes and then whisk to remove any hidden lumps.Cool to room temperature, you shouldn’t try to rush the cooling by putting the ganache in the fridge as the outside will cool more quickly and set, then you’ll have lumps in the ganache.

Once cool, beat with a paddle on a medium speed until it has lightened. A word of caution, if you leave the ganache too long, it will seize up. If this should happen add some cream little by little beating slowly until it’s  spreadable.

Now cover the cake with it and cut yourself a slice, you deserve it. If like me you are a bowl and beater licker, you might have to wait.

Espresso cake

Hear what Marie had to say about it and more on the subject of coffee, listen to our third podcast ‘The love of the bean’.

Latte Jelly

Jelly or Jello, it’s the jiggle that’s important!!


Latte Jelly

This is a glorious amalgamation of sweet crunch, smooth cream and jiggle with a kick.

50ml KaluhaLatte Jelly

200ml Freshly brewed coffee

2 Gelatin leaves or 4 grams of powdered gelatin

1 Tablespoon sugar

4 1/2 oz  mascarpone

75ml Baileys

3 small meringues*

Cocoa powder for dusting

Brew the coffee and enjoy the aromas. Soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of water while you wait for the coffee. Put the sugar into the jug and pour in the coffee while it’s still warm, stir so that the sugar dissolves. Remove the gelatin from the water and squeeze. Add to the jug and whisk vigorously to dissolve the leaves. Strain into a clean jug and add the Kaluha mix to dispense evenly. Share equally between three Irish coffee glasses. Pop them into the fridge for a few hours until the jelly gives a gentle jiggle.

Latte Jelly

Combine the mascarpone and baileys, until they are a silky smooth union. Dollop into the three  waiting glasses on top of the set coffee jelly. Top each ‘latte’ with a meringue crown and dust liberally with cocoa powder.

Latte Jelly

*If you have the time make your own as I did or if time is of the essence store bought will suffice.