Tanya Bakes

For my Dad’s Birthday this year I decided to make a selection of biscuits and cookies from Tanya Burr’s new recipe book Tanya Bakes. I decided to do the Chocolate Chip Shortbread, Vanilla and Pistachio Biscuits, and the Salted Nutella Cookies.

All were very simple to make, and with a friend, take no time at all. There are some great recipes for loads of different abilities and most recipes can be made up with the ingredients you’re likely to have at home!

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I will say, however, that I did have a couple of issues that you may need to take note if you have a go at making these recipes. With the chocolate chip shortbread, I feel like the oven was too hot at 180Β° as the chocolate chips were really crunchy inside (either that or the timings are wrong). With the vanilla and pistachio biscuits, we had real issues with the mixture when it came out of the fridge as it was very crumbly. Instead of following the recipe in which you cut the cylinder shape into slices; we decided to roll the mixture into Β bite size balls and then press them down with a fork. Both of these recipes do taste absolutely amazing though and were very easy to do. The Nutella Cookies are out of this world good! What I love so much about Tanya though, is that the troubles that you would have at home are what she also faces in her videos! She proves that not everything has to look perfect as long as the end result tastes delicious and you had fun making it!

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My dad was thrilled to receive them and made a lovely and special homemade gift.

Tanya’s book is full of great photographs and step by steps and I can’t wait to give other recipes a go from the Brunch section, as well as the Seasonal ones!

Tanya Bakes on Amazon.

Love,
Lou x

 

Say it with Biscuiteers!

Say it with Biscuiteers!

With exam season in full swing, revision is well under way for many students out there! Luckily I don’t have the pressure of exams this year as I am no longer a student, but completely understand the stress that everyone is under!

With that in mind, a friend and I decided that we wanted to do something special to help make revision that little bit easier, and called upon the Biscuiteers to help!

With lots of beautiful products to choose from, we decided to go with a box of colourful chocolate pencils that we could personalise with her name.
We managed to order the biscuits so that they would arrive on the first day of her exams using the 2-3 day delivery service and they arrived right on time!

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Delighted with the biscuits we received a lovely message back, as well as snapchatsΒ and social media posts galore to say how delighted she was with them!

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Other products in the collection include a great pencil case and a revision tin!

Β Biscuiteers have lots of lovely products on their site and are sure to put a smile on everyones face.. they even ship internationally!
Now… I’m just waiting for Alice to reply with a thank you biccie πŸ˜‰

http://www.biscuiteers.com

Love,
Lou x

Easter Chocolate Mini Loaves

Easter Chocolate Mini Loaves

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Easter is fast approaching and I feel like it is the perfect time to get with friends and family. I have created some yummy chocolate mini loaves with mini eggs for you to bake and enjoy together! They are super easy to make and require no effort whatsoever.. well apart from adding the ingredients together and mixing!
Here is how to make them…

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Ingredients:

Makes 12.

175g Butter
175g Golden Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
140g Self Raising Flour
85g Ground Almonds
4 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp of Baking Powder
100ml Milk
100g Chocolate Chunks
Mini Loaf Cases (mine are from Waitrose)

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For the Icing:
140g Softened Butter
280g Icing Sugar
2 tbsp Milk
2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
Piping Bag
Piping Nozzles (optional)
Mini Eggs for decoration

Method:

1. Set the oven to 160Β° fan/ Gas mark 4.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric whisk.

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2. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, and add in the eggs, milk, ground almonds, and baking powder. Mix all together until all the ingredients have combined.

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3. With a wooden spoon or spatula fold in the chocolate chunks. When completed start spooning the mixture into your loaf cases. About 3 to 4 teaspoons make the perfect amount.

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4. Pop into the oven for about 20/30 minutes or until completely cooked through.
Once cooked leave aside to cool and move onto the buttercream.

5. For the buttercream, whisk your butter until pale and fluffy. Then sieve in half of the icing sugar with half of the milk.

6. Add in the remaining icing sugar and milk with the vanilla extract. Beat together until your mixture resembles buttercream.

7. Pop a piping bag into a tall glass and spoon in the buttercream. If you want to use a nozzle add this before the buttercream. I decided not to use a nozzle in the end as it would give the same effect with or without. Snip off the bottom of the piping bag and push the buttercream down to get an even distribution.

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8. Ice three little nests onto the loaf. Make sure your cake is completely cool before doing this. Add a mini egg on top of your nest to complete.

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And that’s it! Perfect to share and bake over the Easter weekend with friends and family. They taste delicious and look so pretty!

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I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend.

Love,
Lou x

Chocco Fruit Bites

Chocco Fruit Bites

IMG_0822If you have a bit of a sweet tooth you will know that the struggle with chocolate is real. With these chocco fruit bites they are very easy to make, giving you one of your five a day, and of course, chocolate!! What’s more is that they have a bit of bite to them from putting them in the freezer. Wanna make them? Here’s how!

Ingredients:
Any fruit of your choice.
Dark/milk/white chocolate

I decided to use dark to try and make them a bit healthier.
I found that the best fruits to use were strawberries (of course), bananas, oranges, and melon.

How to make them:

  1. Prep your fruit and lay out onto a plate or chopping board. Basically anything you can fit into the freezer.
  2. Simply break up the chocolate into chunks and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time. By doing it in 30 second intervals, it allows you to stir the chocolate and stop it from burning.
  3. Then simply dunk your fruit into the chocolate and lay back out onto the board. With the banana, I covered it completely and with the other fruits I went for half and half.
  4. Pop the fruits into the freezer for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.

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When taking out of the freezer leave to thaw for a couple of minutes and then they are ready to eat! The chocolate and banana ones taste like ice cream and the other fruits are really refreshing with a hint of chocolate. They are great for after dinner and will come in really handy for the summer months. What makes them so great is that they are so simple to make!

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Let me know if you make them!

Love,
Lou x

Love: Beating the January Blues

Love: Beating the January Blues

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So you’ve made the new years resolutions, and now you have to stick to them. Healthy eating, exercising more, getting fit, travelling around the world, being more organised. These are just some of the common ones that most people think of first.

The first week is all great, and you have stuck with them, and you feel great about yourself! But then the second week of work rolls around and the cheeky chocolate biscuit with a cup of tea is ok because it’s just one.. then two.. then three. Then you skip the gym session you were going to hit because you’re too tired, and then you feel less organised and before you know it you’re back to square one.

BUT. There is hope! I have tried to come up with some ideas that have helped so far in our household!

First up food!!

Say Hello to Hello Fresh.

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The main reason you start to make bad choices with meals is because there isn’t any food in the house and the easiest option when you are tired, is either a ready meal or a takeaway. Hello Fresh aims to remove this aspect from your life and delivers fresh food straight to your door with easy recipe cards to create delicious meals four nights a week. With the exact measurements for you to pour, stir, and dish-upΒ it will keep you on track to eating healthily.

The handy website allows you to log in and track your boxes, as well as to show you what is in upcoming boxes that you can change if you don’t like the look of anything.
Jamie Oliver has also teamed up with the Hello Fresh gang so you can be sure that everything you cook tastes delicious! I have been enjoying using this service and this week we have salmon fish en croute with citrus broccoli, sausage spaghetti bolognese, turkey Milanese with mash and green beans, and teriyaki chicken with coconut rice with cabbage. Now tell me your not jealous!!
Check out the website to find out more:Β https://www.hellofresh.co.uk
You can also trial the box!Β https://www.hellofresh.co.uk/boxes/trial-classic-box/

 

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Amelia Freer- Eat. Nourish. Glow.

Whether you want to change up your diet completely, or you want to learn more about your body and the food that you are eating; this book is a great step in the right direction.
Full of easy steps and great tips Freer guides you and encourages you to ditch processed foods for more nutritious alternatives, as well as showing you easy recipes that you can create at home. It really does make you think twice about what you include in your diet that I have really enjoyed learning about it.

LEMONS.

Adding lemons to your water not only tastes really refreshing but can do your body the world of good! Full of vitamin C it has great benefits for clearer skin, aiding digestion, and can also better your mood so is great for beating those January blues! Tom Daley has added a great video on youtube all about them which you can check out here:

 

Exercise!

If you are already bored of the gym then you aren’t going to want to continue!
Find something you enjoy doing like dance, badminton, swimming, walks, or running. By finding something you enjoy and getting active then you are more likely to stick to those new years resolutions!

Being Organised

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Find a small diary that you can pop in your handbag so that you always have it on hand. By writing things down, you are more likely to remember everything that you have planned and is upcoming. Diaries are also a great place to keep track of weeks and food plans so that when you go to the shops you stay on track and don’t over buy. You can also have fun pencilling in holidays and planning ahead so that you have things to look forward to throughout the year!

So go and shake off those January blues and kick 2016 off to a great start!

Love,
Lou x

Caroline Gardner calendar and diary.
http://www.carolinegardner.com

 

 

 

 

 

Love: Homemade Hot Chocolate

Love: Homemade Hot Chocolate

As it is the festive season I thought there were no better time to come up with a hot chocolate recipe. Unfortunately for me I am allergic to many of the hot chocolate powders that are already made up, however this does give me the opportunity to discover other brands!

When I wanted to do this post I wanted to find something I could melt in with milk and so discovered Hasslacher’s Colombian Hot Drinking Chocolate. This had no added ingredients and is 100% cacao which is the main ingredient in chocolate. Buying it in this format enables you to completely design your own hot chocolate which is exactly what I did.

 

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You will need per person*:

1 cup of milk
2 disks of the cacao
2 teaspoons of golden granulated sugar
flavourings of your choice
whipped cream
marshmallows
(by cup I mean pour out each portion of milk in a mug/cup so you can get the exact measurements)
*This is all down to personal preference, but this is how I find that I like making my hot chocolate.

Whisk
saucepan

 

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  1. Start by pouring in the milk and adding the cacao disks to a medium heat and whisk together. It is important to use a whisk to incorporate the chocolate with the milk.
  2. Add the sugar and any flavourings such as vanilla or cinnamon. I love adding cinnamon to make it all christmassy but I also enjoy making it plain and adding toppings.IMG_0273
    Ensure that you taste the hot chocolate to get the flavourings and sweetness correct. You may find that you want to add more sugar.
    This is what it should look like when it is done.

Then just pour your hot chocolate back into your mug and add cream and marshmallows to decorate! You can also sprinkle cinnamon over the cream which is yummy, as well as adding a shot of coffee to turn it into a mocha.
Of course you can also leave it plain and it will still taste delicious! What I love so much about this kind of hot chocolate is that you know exactly what you are adding so you can make it as healthy or luxurious as you like! I hope you enjoy making it in the festive season and Merry Christmas!

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Love,
Lou x

Love: Here

Love: Here

Whilst being at University it has made me appreciate home that bit more.
Today I came home to visit friends and family and went to one of my favourite cafes called ‘Here’ in Berkhamsted. ‘Here’ is very unique and delivers good quality food that is sourced locally to support livelihoods as well as communities being at the heart of all that they do. Myself and Clarice decided to go for afternoon tea and cake and had a lovely afternoon chatting away and catching up.

I hope you are all well and are enjoying the crisp autumn weather as much as I am!
Love
Lou x

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http://here.co.uk