Month: August 2013

Rocky road squares

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I fancied making something simple and comforting today, so what better than some rocky road squares to satisfy my needs.

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For this easy recipe all you’ll need is:

Ingredients-

200g milk chocolate ( I used green and blacks)

125g unsalted butter

1 packet of biscuits, I used Sainsbury’s taste the difference quadruple chocolate cookies, because I love them!

100g mini marshmallows

Method-

Step1) In a glass bowl over simmering water melt together the chocolate and butter until smoothy and creamy and set aside. Next in a bowl pound the cookies until they are all broken into little pieces.

Step2) Then pour over the chocolate mixture and stir with a spatular to combined all the ingredients and fold in the marshmallows then pour into an individual square bake tin or regular square bake tin which you can then cut up later.

Step3) Place in the fridge for about 3 hours then they’ll be ready to serve and enjoy with your friends and family.

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Strawberries and cream cupcakes

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I thought as summer is soon coming to an end, why not bake a lovely summery batch of cupcakes and what better than strawberries and cream.Image

For this recipe you’ll need:

Ingredients-

175g golden caster sugar

175g unsalted butter

175g self-raising flour

100g fresh strawberries blended with a tbsp cream and 1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 medium eggs

To decorate-

Fresh strawberries and whipping cream

Method-

Step1) Preheat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/ Gas 4.  In a bowl cream together the sugar and butter until smooth and creamy, next blend the strawberries with cream and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor until no lumps remain.

Step2) Next beat in the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar mixture before sifting over the blended strawberries and folding together. Then sift in the flour and get a good final mix before equally dividing between your cupcake tin.

Step3) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until risen and springy then remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool. While they cool, whip up the whipping cream with a hand whisk and spoon into a piping bag before decorating the cupcakes and finishing with fresh strawberries.

Chocolate and ginger cupcakes

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These chocolate and ginger cupcakes are so simple, but so tasty

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Originally I was just going to bake some plain old chocolate cupcakes as i’m sat home bored on a cold saturday afternoon, but found a bar of green and blacks dark ginger chocolate in the fridge so thought why not add that in and make them more exciting.

All you’ll need:

115g self-raising flour

115g golden caster sugar

115g unsalted butter

2 medium eggs

2tbsp cocoa powder (I used green and blacks)

100g Green and blacks dark chocolate with ginger, cut up into small peices

1tbsp ground ginger

2tbsp milk

Method-

Step1) Preheat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/ Gas 4. In a bowl cream together the caster sugar and butter until smooth and creamy, then add in the eggs and flour and stir together well to combine the ingredients.

Step2) Next add in the cocoa powder, milk and ginger to the mixture,  before finally adding in the chopped up chocolate which will create gooey chocolate chunks throughout the cupcakes. Put into the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes, until risen and springy.

Step3) Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack to cool, then decorate how you wish. I used Vanilla buttercream (betty crocker, it’s becoming obvious it’s one of my favourites) then sprinkled some ground ginger on top to finish.

Individual carrot cakes

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These cute little cakes baked in my new individual bake pan available from Lakeland are a take on a classic carrot cake recipe, finished with vanilla buttercream and sugar carrot decorations.

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Ingredients:

215g self-raising flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

140g light brown muscovado sugar

140ml sunflower oil

3 medium eggs

120g grated carrots

100g chopped walnuts

1 mushed banana

2 tbsp mixed spices

Decoration:

Vanilla buttercream (I used betty crocker) and Sugar carrots from amazon

Method-

Step1) Preheat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/ Gas 4. I used a non stick bake pan, but if you aren’t then line with baking parchment to ensure there isn’t any problems removing the cakes later on. In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and eggs until well combined then add in the sunflower oil to produce a syrupy mixture.

Step2) Next add in the carrots, walnuts, banana and spices and give the mixture a good stir until it’s all combined, then divide the mixture evenly into the bake pan and place in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, or until risen and springy.

Step 3) When ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before icing and serving, I hope you enjoy!

My Homemade fudgey organic brownies

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This recipe is made from all organic products as I believe that the best food is made with organic and good quality ingredients. These brownies are indulgent and rich, but a real treat. ImageIngredients-

165g Unsalted butter

165g Dark chocolate (green & blacks)

255g Golden caster sugar

65g pain flour

30g Cocoa powder

1tbsp vanilla extract

3 medium eggs

Chopped milk and white chocolate or nuts

100g White chocolate (To decorate)

Step 1) Preheat the oven to 180c/fan160c/Gas 4, line a tin with baking parchment, if it’s silicon then you don’t need to worry, then set the tin aside. In a bowl over simmering water melt the dark chocolate and butter together to create a fudgey liquid, then set aside to cool.

Step 2) While that is cooling, whisk together the caster sugar and eggs along with the vanilla extract until thick and doubled in volume. When the fudgey chocolate mixture has cooled, fold it into the combined sugar and eggs.

Step 3) Next sift in the flour and cocoa powder and again, fold into the mixture until well combined, then stir in any other ingredients such as chopped chocolate or nuts then pour into the baking tin and put in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes.

Step 4) When ready, take the brownies out of the oven and set aside to cool before cutting and taking out of the tin. Melt some white or milk chocolate, perhaps both and drizzle over to finish. Then tuck in!

Blueberry cake

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Try out my recipe for blueberry cake, we all love blueberry muffins, so why not step it up and make a big cake for everyone to enjoy. Finished with vanilla butter cream and white chocolate daisies this is a real delight if I do say so myself and such a simple, quick recipe to follow.

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Ingredients:

165g unsalted butter

165g golden caster sugar

215g organic plain flour

100ml vanilla yogurt

100g blueberries

1tsp baking powder

3 medium eggs

Butter cream (I used betty crocker)

White chocolate (I used organic green and black) daisies to decorate, mould from Lakeland

Step 1) Preheat oven to 180c/160 fan/ Gas4,  Line two round cake tins with baking parchment. In a bowl cream together the sugar and butter until creamy, next stir in the eggs, sifted flour, baking powder and vanilla yogurt and combine the mixture together.

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Step 2) Then gently mix the blueberries into the mixture, careful you don’t puncture them, next pour the mixture evenly into the cake tins.

Step 3) Bake the cake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden and springy, let the cake cool on a wire rack. Once cool, smoother each cake base with vanilla butter cream, stick them together and decorate how you wish.

IMG_6685Then send me a picture of your cake and let me know how it went!

The traffic light system

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Since the recent food traffic light system has been put in place, i’ve really found how useful it’s been and how my opinion of food choices while shopping has changed.

The system-

The system is pretty simple in terms of how it works, when something is highlighted green it’s good for you, when amber it’s alright, but could be bette and red is bad.

Before this information might have been all the same colour and personally I would never take much notice, but now since this system has been in place, i’ve had a lot more concern as to whether a product has high salt, sugar or fat content and generally look for products with all amber and green nutritional labels. I believe this system will have a great impact on nutrition in the UK and help a lot of people choose a healthier diet.

Obviously some products that we, personally I love such as cakes and chocolates are going to have high sugar and fat content, but that doesn’t mean we can’t eat them, it means as long as we eat them in moderation knowing the traffic light system then we’ll be able to have a much healthier diet.

Hundreds of food manufactures have become a part of the system, so next time you go shopping look out for the nutritional traffic light information!

Follow this link to the NHS Live well page for more information, http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/food-labelling.aspx