Archive for January 8th, 2011

No use crying about it

Much of what modern science does, and why, baffles me, so I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising to learn about studies which show that women’s tears have been shown to reduce male sexual arousal. It’s the scent of the tears apparently, rather than any visual cues that might affect his testosterone level – and only real tears, rather than saline, will do.nomoretears

While the researchers plan on studying the effect of men’s tears on women and men, their reduction of sexual arousal to hormone levels and brain activity in the rather strange environment of sniffing tears while looking at a series of female faces seems a little dubious, as does the notion that a sympathetic response to someone crying may be now read as an involuntary physical response on the part of men.

Given the small sample (24 men took part in the study) it isn’t particularly scientifically relevant, but it seems to make good news – plenty of opportunity for one-liners about having found “one good man crier” or talking about how red noses are already enough of a turnoff for men.

I haven’t found an article yet which poses the question of whether a crying woman might actually want a man to find her sexually attractive or not. Funny that.

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This was one dessert offering from our recent dinner party. There were plenty of “mmmmmm”‘s and “ooooooh”‘s as people dived in and any slices that were not finished were requested to be wrapped up to be finished the next day. I am a very accommodating host so I obliged of course and they were either demolished following breakfast the next day or with a cup of tea when our guests were nestled on their sofa at home recovering from the previous nights over indulgence.

Before I move onto the recipe for this pie I wanted to just talk a little about the base. The base for this pie, as with most pies, called for crushed digestive biscuits. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of digestive biscuit bases. I find the butter soaks in too much and leaves a soggy base that really is not what I want to find at the bottom of a beautiful mousse or cheesecake topping. For this reason I am on a mission to create a base more suited to my tastes. In this recipe I decided to use Bourbon cream biscuits which I have used successfully in the past. While I was in the supermarket though my attention was drawn to a packet of Oreos with a chocolate cream filling and I knew instantly they would be perfect. When I set about making the pie originally I crushed 1 x 154g packet of Oreo Chocolate Creme’s and mixed them with the melted butter, but the quantity fell short of the pie dish I was filling. I tipped the mixture back into the pan and ran to my local shop but was unable to find Oreo’s in any shape or form. I grabbed a packet of Fox’s Chocolate Fudge Crunch Creams in a “they’ll just have to do” manner. Just have to do! They turned out to be the perfect addition to the dense Oreo crust. Not only did they pepper the dark muddy colour of the Oreo crust with flashes of a beautiful fudgey brown, they also gave the added bonus of little chewy fudge pieces dotted all around the crust. A very happy marriage indeed and one I will use for many other pies to come.

Also, this is a really easy pie to make. It is more of an assembly project than a baking one but the results are really impressive. Make it in the morning as you will need time to boil and cool the condensed milk (you could also boil this the night before and allow to cool overnight), and simply add the whipped cream and crushed mint crisp bars just before serving. Don’t take my word for it though, try it out for yourself. Enjoy! Mint Crisp Pie (Makes 1 x 8″ pie, serves 6-8)


1 x 154g Packet of Oreo Chocolate Creme Biscuits

5 x Fox’s Chocolate Fudge Crunch Cream Biscuits

3oz/90g Unsalted Butter (melted) 397g

1 tin Condensed Milk 12floz/350ml

Whipped Cream 3.5oz/100g

Mint Crisp Bar

1. Place the tin of condensed milk in a large pot. Cover completely with water and simmer with the lid on for 3 hours. Check occasionally to ensure the tin is still submerged in the water, top up if necessary. Allow the tin to cool in the water before removing and opening.

2. Place the biscuits into a resealable bag, expel all of the air before sealing and then crush the biscuits with a rolling pin.

3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the crushed biscuits and stir to ensure evenly coated with the butter.

4. Transfer the biscuits to an 8″ pie dish and press firmly onto the base and up the sides. Place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.


5. Once the base has set carefully spread the caramel on top of it (take care not to disturb and lift the biscuits). Cover with clingfilm and return to the fridge until read to serve.

6. Break up the mint crisp bars ( I used a Lindt bar originally but when I was making the pie again today it would seem the chocolate fairies had been in and munched it so I had to make do with Cadbury’s but both were equally good) and place in a resealable bag, expel all of the air before sealing and then crush the bars with a rolling bin. Set aside until ready to serve.

7. If you have bought single cream whip until it holds it’s shape and leave in the fridge until ready to serve. If you have bought cream already whipped make yourself a cup of tea and relax for a few minutes. Go on, I said so.

8. Before serving remove the pie from the fridge, spread the whipped cream over the caramel layer and then sprinkle the crushed mint crisp bars on top of the cream.

My name is Rosanne Hewitt-Cromwell.  I am at my happiest in the kitchen singing(badly) and baking.  My husband is my chief taste tester, whether he likes it or not.  I decided to start a blog, Like Mam Used To Bake, to chart my successes and failures and it has become an all consuming hobby, and given me the perfect excuse to allow cakes to dominate my every thought. Twitter: @likemamuse2bake

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