Tag: baking

(Healthy) Chocolate Oranges

I struck upon a healthier way to enjoy chocolate orange this Christmas.  No, it’s not quite as good the real thing, but they were pretty yummy.  They were also incredibly easy.  I think they could have done with more chocolate personally.  And you probably want a napkin when you’re eating… Continue reading “(Healthy) Chocolate Oranges”

How To Make Green Chai Shortbread

Soooo I’m very into my green tea these days!  So when I found this recipe for Chai Shortbread I got quite excited.  I don’t ‘do’ black tea though so I substituted in T2 Creamy Choc Chai, which is green tea.

Ingredients

  • 150g Margarine
  • 160g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp Creamy Choc Chai- finely ground
  • 30-50g Chocolate chips (I just eyeballed it, and also ate some so I don’t have a firm grasp of the amount)
  • Optional- extra chocolate to melt on top

I found the trickier part of making the Chai Shortbread was getting the Chai tea fine enough.  The Creamy Choc Chai has some bigger chunks in it, as would any Chai I assume.  I sieved it, pressed it with a spoon, chopped it with a knife, and hit it (gently) with a hammer.  As you might expect using the knife was the most effective!

Chai Shortbread

Recipe

  1. Cream the margarine and sugar, then mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, and beautifully ground Chai.
  3. Mix the two together.  At this point I added my chocolate chips.  Then smushed (technical term!) the mixture together with my hands to make a ‘log’ about 20cm long.  It’s pretty crumbly at this point and fell apart a bit.  And some of the bits that fell of somehow ended up in my mouth…
  4. Anyway, wrap the log in cling film and put in fridge for 1hr.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F, and put some baking paper on a tray.
  6. Cut the log into discs about 1.5 cm thick.  Then put in the oven for abut 12mins.

It was quite tricky to cut the log into discs…as you can see my chai shortbread pieces are slightly misshapen.   And mine got a little too brown but they still tasted yummy.

Chai Shorbread

 

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How To Make a Marble Cake

I posted a while ago about making a cute heart cake for Valentine’s Day, and it worked really well so I decided to use the cake tin again for a marble cake.  Actually, I was tempted to make a proper rainbow cake, with all the stripes but generally you make lots of cakes and pile them up.  That sounded tricky when I only have one cake tin and it’s shaped like a heart, so I thought I’ll got for more of a splodgy marble cake look.

Ingredients

Using a little heart tin I had to reduce the quantities down from a normal recipes.

For the cake-
45g margarine
45g caster sugar
44g plain four and 1/4tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 egg (might be messy to split that up!)
red, blue, and green food colouring

For the buttercream-
25g margarine
75g strawberry flavoured icing sugar
red food colouring

Recipe

Making the cake is pretty simple. I mean, I managed it.

Preheat your oven to 190 Celsius (which google informs me is 374 Fahrenheit, which seems a suspiciously specific imo). And grease your cake tin. Top Tip- after greasing, sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking.

In one bowl blend the caster sugar and margarine, in another mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly sieve the flour mixture into the marge mixture, and keep mixing.  At the same time slowly add the egg.  That sort of takes about 5 arms so don’t worry too much if you can’t mix and stir at the same time.

marble cake

Once it’s a nice smooth mixture separate out into thirds in three separate containers.  Then add a different food colouring to each third.  Then pour one into your tin at a time, I tried to do it in smoothish layers. Then put in oven for about 20mins, until a skewer comes away clean.

marble cake

My cake went a little bonkers and peaked quite a lot in the middle, so I actually used a bread knife to cut the top of before I iced it.  For the icing, just mix the margarine and icing sugar together and spread it all over.  I added red food colouring to the icing, which gave it a pink hue. I also covered mine in orange sprinkles because why not?

Top Tip- It always take much more icing sugar than you think so start with a little marge and add the icing sugar to it.

marble cake

It wasn’t until we cut into it that I could see if my marble cake was indeed marbly…and it was!  At some point I need to get a grown up cake tin and make a real cake.  But actually for two people this is the perfect size.

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Valentine’s Day Heart Cake

Valentine's Heart CakeMum bought me a small heart shaped cake tin ages ago I never had a reason to make anything in it, until Valentine’s Day 2017.  Living in my new house!!! I actually have access to a nice clean(ish) kitchen and don’t have dodge around gormless housemates just to get some butter out of the fridge.

Anyway, I decided to make a little cake for boyfriend for Valentine’s Day (I decided this before boyfriend bought me 15lbs of chocolate for us to work through).  I found the recipe for chocolate sponge that was for two 20cm cakes, so I quartered the ingredients which actually worked pretty well.

Recipe

For the cake-
45g margarine
45g caster sugar
29g plain four and 1/4tsp baking powder
15g cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2/3 egg (might be messy to split that up!)

For the buttercream-
25g margarine
25g chocolate flavoured icing sugar
45g icing sugar

Valentine's Heart Cake

It’s a pretty simple recipe.  You weigh out the caster sugar and margaine, several times because you get a little confused by the weighing scales. Then mix in the egg, flour, and salt a little at a time whilst constantly stirring, except not really because there is no earthly way to do both.  Next pour into greased tin and put in the oven (pre-heated to 190 celcius/ gas mark 5).  I put it in the oven and then kinda forgot about it, so I would guess it was in there for 20mins and that was perfect.
I left it to cool before using a bread knife to cut into two, then put the chocolate butter cream inbetween the two slices, and covered the top with the plain butter cream.  Then I went a little crazy with sprinkles and put the cake in the fridge until boyfriend came home.

Valentine's Heart Cake

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Cinnamon Banana

I found this recipe on pinterest for pan-fried cinnamon bananas, which was from Dizzy, Busy, and Hungry. So I decided to give it a go, as it seemed quick and easy with no expensive ingredients.banana

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp Cinnamon

Mix the sugar and spices in a bowl. Then slice the banana, and fry on a skillet with a little oil, over a medium heat.

After about 2mins on one side sprinkle half the spices onto the banana and flip over, then sprinkle the remaining spices and fry for another 2 mins.  I prodded the banana pieces regularly to avoid burning them.

collages6It is pretty simple, although mine turned out a little squishier than Dizzys.  And the skillet got a bit yucky!  But it tasted pretty good, if you like bananas and sweet things!  It just did not taste healthy though.  I guess it’s two portions really but boyfriend doesn’t like nanas so it all went in my tummy.  I reckon what I ate was about 300 calories, and about 46g of sugar (15g per banana, and about 16g of sugar, in total that’s more sugar than a can of coke!).

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Healthy Cereal Bars 2

I posted a week ago about my healthy (and tasty) cereal bars, and since then I have augmented the recipe and made it a bit healthier. They still only have 6 ingredients and don’t require any cooking.

I added some Rice Puffs with the intention of bulking up the bars without adding any extra fat or sugar.  I was just going to buy some Rice Crispies but found them to have loads of added sugar, so I went to Holland and Barrett and bought some, slightly pricier, gluten free, Rice Puffs.

Last time I used Hemp Seeds last time which were a bit too crunchy so I omitted them this time around. The result is the bars have fewer calories, and less fat and sugar.

These quantities make 32 bars.

  • 240g Oats
  • 60g Oat Bran
  • 80g Rice Puffs
  • 170g Agave Nectar
  • 60g Coconut Oil
  • 350g Almond Butter

Cereal Bars Rice Puffs

All you do is mix the ingredients together.  You need to make sure they are all mixed evenly, so I found it easiest to mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another before combining them all.  Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but melts at 24 celsuis so I put mine in the microwave for 30secs first to melt it.

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Nutritional value per bar:

  • Calories- 147
  • Carbohydrate- 12.3g
  • Sugar- 4.1g
  • Fat 8.7g
  • Saturated Fat- 2.4g
  • Fibre- 2.4g
  • Protein- 4g

Homemade Gifts and Decorations for Valentine's Day

I asked boyfriend if he knew any romantic quotes and he came up with:

Phwoar you look well fit.

Which was very helpful… To be fair most romantic quotes are nauseating in their sentimentality, which I think he managed to avoid.  Still I went for something a little sweeter:

If you live to be 100 I want to be 100 minus 1 day so I never have to live a day without you.

That’s Winnie-the-Pooh for you.

Anyway just a few crafty ideas for Valentine’s Day Decorations for you, some I did myself and some I found on Pinterest:

  1. Felt Heart Decoration
  2. Paper Heart Garland
  3. Paper Heart Origami (in French)

And a few Valentine’s Day Gift ideas:

  1. Homemade Bath Bomb
  2. Homemade Jammy Dodgers
  3. Homemade Coasters

Apple Crumble

Boyfriend had a sack of cooking apples, as you do, so we decided to make an Apple Crumble.

  • 5 Large Cooking Apples, peeled, cored, sliced
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 200g Unsalted Butter
  • 225g Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Mix the apple with 50g brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon, then lay the slices flat in a ovenproof dish.apple crumble1In another bowl mix the flour and the rest of the sugar.  Cut the butter into chunks and add to the flour and sugar, then rub between fingers to make breadcrumbs. apple crumble

Pour the crumble mixture onto apples and put into the oven at 180 celsuis for about 40 mins (should be browned on top).

Then eat!  Usually, you would serve with cream but we didn’t get any.  After seeing how much butter went into though I’m kinda glad. Apple Crumble

How To Make Your Own Peanut Butter Cups

P1100431mEveryone loves peanut butter cups- I’m not totally sold tbh as I think of peanut butter as a savoury but here is a way of making your own.

  • 125g Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 30g Butter
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 55g Icing Sugar
  • 250g Plain Chocolate
  • 250g Milk Chocolate

Peanutbutter cups

  1. Put the peanut butter, butter, and salt in a bowl and melt in the microwave in bursts of 20 Peanut Butter Cupssecs.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar and mix with the peanut butter.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over some boiling water and teaspoon into mini paper cases.
  4. Add a small dollop of the peanut butter mixture on top and then cover with more chocolate.
  5. Put in the fridge for 20mins to set.

Peanut Butter Cups