Here is an easy and naughty treat to enjoy over the Easter holidays! Perfect to use up any left over mini eggs – but if I’m honest, it’s more of an excuse to go and buy more mini eggs!
I was really pleased with how the photos turned out for these. I baked them yesterday evening, by which time all the natural light had gone (I think I was being ambitious, thinking I could make, bake and photograph them in the natural light after I got home from work at 6.30pm!)
I decided to experiment with flash, I set up the background, put the finished bake in place, though a little warm (I was eager to get to bed) and got the work. I haven’t really shot any food with flash before, apart from my studio arrangements at university. I will definitely continue to practice with this technique as it means I can photograph and cook more for my blog in the evenings.
Line a square tin (approx. 21cm square) and preheat the oven to 180*c / 160 fan.
Chop the butter and chocolate into cubes and melt together in a bowl placed over lightly simmering water. The mixture may split once melted but don’t worry, this will all be combined together into one delicious mixture. Once melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
In a seperate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy, you’ll want it to leave a trail on the surface when you lift the whisk. This should take a few minutes. You will probably want to use an electric whisk or mixer for this other wise you’ll be there all night.
Pour your chocolate and butter into the egg mixture and gently combine together using a spatula.
Add your flour and fold in until well combined.
Add your mini eggs and stir.
Pour into your lined tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your tin. It’s cooked when you can insert a skewer and sticky cake crumbs are left but no raw cake mixture.
Leave to cool, then drizzle with some extra melted white chocolate and top with crushed mini eggs.
If you can resist, leave in the fridge or somewhere cool overnight to achieve a delicious fudgy texture. In the mean time you can polish off the remaining mini eggs. (Yes, I purposely bought a family sized bag just for the decoration, don’t judge)
Don’t forget to follow my instagram to keep up to date with my foodie adventures.
I’ve decided that this year I am going to start trying to be kinder to myself.
Yes, I want to loose weight and look great (I am off to Sri Lanka in 4 weeks and still don’t have my bikini body) but as young women there is so much pressure to be a certain way, and I simply get miserable when I realise I don’t fit the bill.
I read an article by Angelica Malin on About Time Magazine. Check it out here – she mentions that we all need a re-tox. A fabulous idea, which got me thinking. Instead of being so hard on myself I will change my outlook on life. I will do more exercise because I enjoy it, and not beat myself up when I’m too tired to go because of my fatigue. I will not eat all the biscuits at work because they are there and I’m bored. However, I will have a few cubes of chocolate in the evening because I really need something to satisfy me. Life is about balance, and if I eat healthy food that I really enjoy, go swimming and to the gym, because this lifts my mood and makes me feel fabulous, I can still eat a slice of cake or a dessert at the weekend because I really want it.
We all need to be kinder to ourselves. We all have busy lives, life is too short to spend hours in the gym, and deprive yourself of that bit of cake that you REALLY want but shouldn’t eat because your Instagram feed is full of pictures of girls that have better bodies than you.
Saying no to something simply makes us feel guilty when we do have it, and we only want it all the more because someone tells us we shouldn’t. So have that bit of cake, chocolate bar, or that biscuit that you want to dip into your mid-morning cup of tea. Just don’t go crazy. Life is all about balance!
I wanted to take a picture of something today, and thought about making a banana traybake with some black bananas that have been floating around the fridge for a bit too long. This is made with out sugar or butter/fat so a little bit better for us but still delicious. It has a texture between a traybake and blondie. I had a piece tonight with some warm custard. Really quick and easy to whip up, and great to pack into your lunchbox for an afternoon sweet-treat.
2 ripe bananas – mashed (the blacker the better)
60g sweetener – I used Sukrin Gold, as this is similar to brown sugar. You could substitute this for light brown sugar, or an alternative sweetner.
120g full fat Total Greek yoghurt
1 large egg
5 tablespoons milk
115g cashew butter – you could also use peanut butter
220g self raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
100g dark chocolate – chopped into chunks
25g chopped, toasted hazelnuts
To decorate – 3-4 cubes dark chocolate, melted
Preheat your oven to 180*c/160*c fan and line a tin with non-stick parchment paper.
In a bowl mix together the banana, sweetener, yoghurt, egg, and milk until well combined.
Add the cashew butter and vanilla extract and mix again.
Fold in the flour, salt and cinnamon.
Mix in the dark chocolate chunks.
Pour the batter into your lined tin, smooth out and push all the way to the corners.
Sprinkle the top with the toasted, chopped hazelnuts
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until it’s springy to touch and a skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cool, use a fork to drizzle the top with the melted dark chocolate.
Here’s a super quick recipe for you to try over the festive period. Perfect to use up chocolate from the selection boxes and biscuits left over from the biscuit tins. It’s ridiculously indulgent, but it is Christmas after all, and Christmas is all about excess!
200g milk or dark chocolate (or a mixture), chopped
150g butter, cubed
100g shortbread fingers
100g gingernut biscuits
100g dried cranberries
25 g pistachios
1tbsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp orange extract
For the topping
100g milk chocolate, melted
1 pack of mini gingerbread men (aprox. 25)
In a bowl, over a pan of simmering water, melt together the butter, chocolate, golden syrup & orange extract.
Crush your biscuits roughly with a rolling pin or food processor. I like the biscuit to be quite chunky. Roughly chop the cranberries & pistachios.
Mix the biscuits, cranberries and pistachios into the melted chocolate mixture.
Pour into a square tin lined with greaseproof paper, and press down so the mixture is even and pushed into the corners.
Leave to set in the fridge, then pour the melted milk chocolate overn the top. Top with your mini gingerbread men.
Leave to set in the fridge again, then slice into squares.
Easter may have come and gone but this recipe is perfect to use up those mini eggs and indulge just once more before we get back to working on our summer bodies! Easter is usually all about chocolate, and don’t get me wrong I LOVE chocolate, but the Creme Egg brownies have been done so I wanted to go down a different route. Easter is also about spring, yellow is the colour that comes to mind for me – daffodils, tulips and Easter chicks!
These cupcakes are inspired by the humble dippy egg, seeing as Easter is all about eggs! They have a surprise centre. A delicious, tangy lemon and passion fruit curd, that ooze like a dippy egg when cut, or bitten in to. There are a few parts to the recipe, but these can be made the day before, and assembled the next day. After all holidays are about being relaxed and fun, so why not get in your kitchen and have a go.
6oz caster sugar
6oz self raising flour
Tsp lemon extract
I only used half for this recipe, but why not serve the rest with some meringues and cream, or spread on toast?
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
4 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
4 passion fruits
100g White Chocolate
140ml double cream (I used half an elmlea carton)
1. Add the zest, juice, butter, sugar and salt in a small saucepan, and heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, once the mixture in the pan has melted I added this to the egg yolks and whisked. How about making some Easter chick meringues with the left over egg whites?
3. Add this back to the saucepan and whisk continuously on a low heat until thickened, and bubbles start to appear. Ensure you whisk all the time, otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled egg!
4. Pour this into a heatproof bowl, and cover with cling film, making sure the film touches the curd directly, to stop a skin forming. Once cool enough refrigerate.
5. Once cool, scoop the flesh of four passion fruits and stir into the curd, set this aside in the fridge until ready to use.
1. Melt the white chocolate, you can either do this in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in a microwave. If using a microwave, ensure you don’t burn the chocolate as it has a high sugar content.
2. Add the cream to the chocolate and using an electric whisk (or a hand whisk and some muscle) whisk the mixture till light and fluffy. It should be thick enough to resemble a light buttercream. Be careful not to over whisk, otherwise the cream will split.
3. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 or 160 fan and line a 12 hole cupcake pan with 12 cases.
2. I used a kitchen aid, but you can use an electric whisk or do it by hand. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in between to ensure each egg is encorporated to avoid curdling. If it curdles, add some flour and continue. Mix in the lemon extract at this point. I used a Sainsburys taste the difference one.
4. Add the flour, and mix enough to encorporate all the flour, but don’t over mix other wise your cakes will be tough.
5. Spoon the mixture into the cases, and bake for around 20-25 minutes or until light and springy, and a skewer comes out clean.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
1. Using an apple corer, or a knife cut out a hole in the centre of each cake. The deeper the more lemon curd you can fit in! Yummy!
2. Fill the holes with the curd, you can use a piping bag or a teaspoon. I found the curd was fairly runny, so using a teaspoon was easier than a piping bag.
3. Top the cakes with a spoonful of the frosting, and smooth over with a pallette knife. I aimed for a dome, to look a bit like an egg shape.
4. Top with freeze dried raspberries, and mini eggs. However, you can top with whatever you like. This for me is what baking is about! I like the tang of the dried raspberries, but you could top with a little fresh passion fruit, some flakes of white chocolate or whatever you fancy!
Check my other post for instructions on how to make the Easter chick meringues, 🐥🐣.
I hope you get in the kitchen and have a go at these, it seems complicated, but if you take it in steps its achievable and you can impress all your friends. Feel free to send me pictures of your bakes!
Nothing quite beats the smell of freshly baked bread filling the house. My dad is the bread baker in our house (sees himself as a bit of a Paul Hollywood, which is funny as he’s actually called Paul. He has taken over from mum and this loaf he made this weekend was pretty spectacular.
I decided to change things up on here, post pictures and maybe even some short films of food & things (especially now I’ve got my new camera). So there won’t always be a recipe but I’m hoping this small change will allow me to post more, be more creative and give you recipes that I’m really proud of, rather than rushing to put something crummy up (excuse the pun). If I don’t like this new way of doing things I’ll change it back!
I’ve really fell out of routine with my blogging, during the summer I had so much free time and a lot more daylight (good for photography) so creating blog posts was fairly easy and a fun thing to do, then I got sucked into the world of work as a recent graduate and found it hard to find the time. However things are looking up and not only that but they are looking exciting. I have now been offered a job from my internship, and am enjoying having my weekends off after working a part time job at the weekends.
I have also FINALLY bought a new camera, lens and tripod. Something I’ve been saying I want to do since my second year of university. I never had the funds, as it is jolly expensive. With spending a lot of money (especially when you don’t have much) comes a lot of consideration and thinking. I finally jumped in though and got myself a beautiful Nikon D810 and a 50 mm lens. I used it last weekend and photographed these delicious brownies and my, is it a beauty of a camera. I’m excited to continue using it to create lots of beautiful images that I’m proud of.
This post is less of a recipe and more of an update of stuff, because sometimes I need to remind myself of what I’m doing and achieving. I’m currently doing some freelance design/photography work which is going well and it’s lovely to know that others think my work is good enough for them to use for their own endeavors.
I also have just entered the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I know that my chances are slim (or pretty much impossible) with the tough competition out there but as my mum says, to be in it to win it you have to play the game (or something like that, if any of you know my mum she has a saying for EVERYTHING).
I’ll leave you to feast your eyes on these delicious brownies, which were a Meringue Girls recipe from their book, ‘Everything Sweet’. They are made with coconut flour, which is a great gluten free alternative (but still taste extremely guilty). I swirled in some peanut butter and added in some frozen raspberries for some added peanut butter and jelly time. (I used to love that cartoon). They are extremely decadent and are in good competition to my go to Thornton’s brownie recipe.
I will promise to try and be better with this blogging thing!
Christmas isn’t complete with out an abundance of homemade sausage rolls. I always have the intention of making them to last over the holiday, but in reality I’ve eaten about 6 before they’ve even gone cold! I pack the rest of them away in an airtight container, and pick at them throughout the festive period. Knowing that I don’t need a sausage roll, nor do I really want one, but at Christmas you just eat and eat, because you can. Christmas time is all about over indulgence, because you know January is approaching and its going to be all about resolutions, healthy eating and working off these tasty sausage rolls in the gym!
I like to flavour my sausage rolls, this year I went for pork, apple and thyme. I love pork and apple, a classic combination, the sweet apple complements the rich pork. Thyme is a herb that also works well with the apple. If you made my apple and thyme sauce, and had any left over – you could put this in, instead of the apple.
1 apple – (I used a Nutribullet to make a pulp, you could use a few teaspoons of my apple sauce recipe, a food processor, or chop finely with a knife)
2 tsp dried thyme
Zest of 1 lemon and a few drops of lemon extract ( I use sainsbury’s taste the difference – the extract is optional, but adds a more intense lemon flavour, without adding liquid from the juice)
450g good quality sausage meat (I used my local butcher)
1 block of ready made all butter puff pastry (You can use filo pastry for a lighter version, but it is christmas after all!)
1 beaten egg for glazing
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, or 180 fan.
2. In a bowl, mix together the sausage meat, apple, thyme, lemon and seasoning with salt and pepper. Mix well to ensure the mixture is evenly incorporated. I tend to fry off a little of the mixture in a pan to test seasoning and flavour, you can then adjust accordingly.
3. With a rolling pin, and a little flour, roll out the puff pastry, to about 3-4mm thick, and keep it fairly rectangular. You want to then cut this in half so you have two long rectangles. If you wish to have smaller sausage rolls, you can cut this into three.
4. Divide your mixture and place in a long thick line down the middle of the pastry.
5. Roll the pastry up to encase the sausage mixture. Ensuring the pastry is sealed well.
6. Chill the long rolls in the fridge, for about half an hour.
7. Slice the long rolls into pieces – dependant on how big you like your sausage rolls. Place on a baking tray, I lined mine with silicone mats, you could use greaseproof paper. I snipped the top of each roll with scissors, purely to make them look nice.
8. Egg wash the rolls, and place in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the sausage meat is cooked. The bigger your sausage roll, the longer they may take.
9. Take out of the oven, and let them cool on a wire rack. (If you can wait that long) Serve to friends and family, or devour too many of them by yourself!
Enjoy! Have a lovely Christmas
A girl with an appetite for all things creative,
This is the second of my halloween inspired recipes and this one is super easy and so so delicious. Thankfully, salted caramel is still popular and wasn’t just a phase like we all thought, so this recipe is a cheats version of a caramel shortbread – using a tin of caramel resulting in a softer caramel centre making this a little messier than the standard caramel shortbread but I never heard anyone complaining of having fingers covered in sticky, delicious caramel.
Caramel shortbread is a really nostalgic treat for me. My grandma lives in the Isle of Wight. I have been going there ever since I was small. There is a cafe on the pier at Yarmouth called Gossips. I always had, and always will have a caramel slice with a hot drink or milkshake or regret my choice when I decide to be adventurous and try something else. That’s what I love about food – it evokes memory’s and fun times from our childhood, or time spent with family, friends and loved ones. So this is my version, although I’d like to add it doesn’t quite match Gossip’s but it is delicious in its own way.
I used white chocolate to create the cobweb design on top, but this can be eaten any time of year. You could simply marble the milk and white chocolate into a swirly design, or just use milk chocolate for a plain, simple finish.
225g plain flour
175g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
75g caster sugar
1 x 397g tin of Carnation caramel
200g milk belgian chocolate
A few cubes of white belgian chocolate
Start by making the shortbread base. Rub together the butter and flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, and then press firmly into the base of your tin lined with a piece of greaseproof paper. I used an oblong tin, but a 9 inch square tin would work well.
Put the caramel into a bowl and mix in 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt then – I ground mine with a pestle and mortar. Pour this caramel mixture onto the cooled shortbread base, spread evenly and place in the fridge to firm up slightly. It won’t go solid as using a tin of caramel results in a softer finsih.
Remove the shortbread from the fridge and melt your chocolate. You can use a microwave on a low power or melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Once melted, pour the chocolate onto the caramel and smooth over to create an even surface.
Melt a few cubes of white chocolate and whilst still warm, using a piping bag pipe semi circles on the melted milk chocolate. Then use a cocktail stick to drag lines across the semi circles to feather the chocolate and create cobweb design. Alternatively, you could simply just pipe lines to create the cobwebs.
Place in the fridge to set, and once the chocolate has hardened, you can cut into small squares, or bars to serve.
This is a very indulgent treat, that is truly delicous to devour with loved ones over the Halloween weekend, or any time of the year when you want a sweet, naughty treat.
After a bit of makeup practice, and some online shopping I think I have sorted my self some kind of outfit for a Halloween party I’m going to. I just hope no one asks what I am, as I’m not too sure myself. I will post a picture next week! I’m aiming for something ‘Day of the Dead’ inspired. We will see…
Enjoy your weekend, whether your raving or behaving.