How many times a day do you find yourself hearing (and repeating!) clichés? Life begins at forty! If you can’t beat them, join them. All’s fair in love and war. Better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all. A barrage of trite phrases that are overused, underwhelming and often just plain incorrect. But the one that I do find to be true and that I find myself repeating rather a lot is this: first impressions count. In today’s world of ever-increasing stimuli and ever-diminishing attention spans, this remains more true than ever. As a blogger, you have less than 5 seconds to convince the casual visitor who arrives via a Google search to stay and have a look around. And as a company that makes and sells a product, you need to understand that one negative customer experience can result in a customer lost forever – with so much choice, people are less willing to come back and give you a second chance. But if you do manage to create a stellar first impression, the chances are that you have a customer for life – and a perfect case study of a company that gets it right is Bluebasil brownies.
I first came across them when I received a box as a gift from my dear friend Andrew. Received as a gift back in 2012 (I wrote about them here) And since then I have been totally in love with the brand, their products and their people. How do I love Bluebasil browies? Let me count the ways! I love their eco-friendly & biodegradable packaging. I love that they wrap their brownies so beautifully in tissue paper, changing the colours according to the seasons. I love that everything is quite obviously packed by hand and that each box includes a pretty personalised note explaining which flavours you have. I love that owners Laura and Nikki are always friendly and enthusiastic and happy to engage with customers. I love that they sponsored a bunch of brownies for Plate to Page Somerset (and I loved watching people’s faces as they tasted the extraordinary brownies).
But most of all, I love the taste. The brownies are big (about 6cmx6cm) and promisingly heavy for their size, with a thin crust hiding a squidgy, dense and extremely chocolatey interior. This week at Cooksister HQ we sampled:
- the Classic Chunky Chocolate (also available in a gluten-free option) – a slightly more cakey texture than the others but still packed with flavour and heavy with giant chinks of Divind chocolate;
- the Rudolph’s Rumnut which is one of the squidgier ones filled with rum-soaked raisins and crunchy Brazil nut pieces in a distinctly boozy dark chocolate matrix;
- the Dark Orange and Ginger is very festive with its citrus and ginger flavours, packed with plentiful chunks of Divine’s dark orange & ginger chocolate; and
- my personal favourite Coffee & Irish Cream – a decidedly grown up coffee brownie laced with Irish cream liqueur – squidgy, boozy, chocolatey.
The brownies are not cheap (they start at £16.75 for 9 pieces incl. delivery), but you cannot find fault with their texture or flavour – and if you think I am just blinded by my admiration for them, ask any of the attendees from Plate to Page Somerset who were genuinely smitten. And the good news is that one lucky Cooksister reader will get to sample ad fall in love with them for free because I am giving away a beautifully packaged box of 9 large Bluebasil gourmet brownies, delivered direct to your door. Cick here to enter today:
This giveaway is now closed and the winner EMMA HOWARD has been notified.
(Tips on how to enter with Rafflecopter as well as the full terms and conditions can be found below the recipe at the bottom of this page. Please also read the full terms and conditions at the bottom of this post before entering!). Good luck!
And if you want to get a little more adventurous with your brownies than just eating them direct from the box, I have devised a recipe that is perfect for people like me who never saw the point of trifle – it’s a trifle that cuts out the annoying jelly and custard and cuts to the chase with cake, cream, fruit and booze. Behold: my festive chocolate orange take on the classic trifle, prettily served in individual glasses.
Other bloggers cooking with oranges include:
- A gorgeous Seville orange marmalade from Michelle
- Cream cheese pancakes with an orange sauce from Margot
- Magical orange vanilla semolina cake from Meeta
- Orange syllabub with a speculoos crumb base from Sarah
- 2-3 large chocolate brownies (I used Bluebasil dark chocolate ginger brownies)
- 250ml double cream
- 1 Tbsp icing sugar
- 40ml Cointreau, divided
- 1 x 300g tin mandarin segments
- chocolate shavings to garnish
- Crumble the brownies in to small chunks and divide evenly among four pretty glass tumblers or ramekins. Sprinkle each glass of brownie chunks with 5ml of Cointreau.
- Beat the double cream until beginning to thicken, then gradually add the icing sugar and remaining 20ml of Cointreau and beat till soft peaks form. Spoon a quarter of the cream into each glass over the brownie chunks.
- Divide the mandarin segments equally between the glasses and spoon over the cream. Garnish each glass with chocolate shavings before serving.
DISCLOSURE: Bluebasil brownies are sponsoring the free box of brownies for the giveaway and sent me a box to photograph and sample, but I have received no other remuneration for this post and all opinions are my own.
BROWNIE GIVEAWAY RULES:
1. This giveaway is only open to residents of the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland aged 18 years or older.
2. There will be a single prize in the form of a box of 9 Blue Basil Christmas brownies. The prize would include a selection of Classic Choc Chunk; Dark Orange & Ginger; Irish Coffee & cream; and Rudolph Rumnut.
3. The prize may not be exchanged for cash.
4. All the brownies contain dairy and eggs. However, if the winner has a specific allergy to something else (e.g. gluten, nuts or alcohol), please indicate this immediately upon winning and the selection can be altered to avoid these allergens.
5. Entry will take place via Rafflecopter. Once you have completed your first entry and left me a comment confirming this in the comments section of this post, you will also have the option of submitting further entries via Twitter and Facebook, increasing your chances of winning.
6. All entries will be verified – if you have not commented or followed as required, I will check and you WILL be disqualified.
7. The deadline for entries is midnight UK time on Tuesday 11 December 2012.
8. The winner will be drawn at random from all verified entries, using randomising software.
9. The winner will be announced on my blog and notified by e-mail within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway. If the winner has not replied after one week from receiving the organiser’s e-mail notifying them of their win, a new winner will be randomly drawn.
10. I am running this giveaway in good faith on behalf of Bluebasil Brownies but am not responsible in any way for the delivery of the prize, or from any loss or damages relating to the prize. Once I have announced the winner, any issue relating to the prize is a matter entirely between the winner and Bluebasil Brownies. I will not be responsible for any loss, damages or inconvenience related to the winner not receiving the prize, or to injuries or damages sustained in any way by either the winner or Bluebasil Brownies in connection with the prize.
Here are some more tips that you might find useful:
- Click here for a tutorial how to enter giveaways with Rafflecopter.
- If your Rafflecopter entry form is not showing, try refreshing the page.
- You MUST complete the form, otherwise your entries will not be counted.
- Make sure the mandatory entry (leaving a blog comment) is completed first, and then go back to add additional entries.
- If you’re viewing this post by email, you will need to click through to the post on my blog to enter.