Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Breakfast, Glorious Breakfast.

One thing's for sure, I've become obsessed with breakfast. It is 100% my favourite meal of the day. I used to dash off to college or work with a banana and cereal bar in hand, but, that's never the case anymore. If I'm not going to have a lot of time in the morning I'll get some porridge ready the night before, but, every other day I make sure to have the time to prepare something healthy and delicious.

Even if I am rushing I'll never eat plain old porridge. My fave is apple, blueberries, flaked almonds and cinnamon. A spoon of Nutella stirred in is delicious too if you're looking for some real morning comfort food.


If I wake up and there's a fridge full of fresh fruit I'll make myself a nice plate of chopped fruit with natural Greek yogurt drizzled with honey for dipping. 

Along with whatever fresh fruit I have, dates and almonds make a regular appearance. They're delicious thrown on top of cereal or porridge or even just to eat as a snack.

Granola is another one of my faves. I love it with natural Greek yogurt, fresh berries and topped with dark chocolate drops. I eat this in the afternoon too as a healthy snack if I'm feeling peckish.

Forget Dave, my one true love Peanut Butter! It's absolutely delicious on toast with banana sliced on top and even more delicious for dipping slices of apple into.

Fresh berries, strawberries in particular are one of my favourite fruits. I love then chopped on top of cereal, granola or porridge and they're also delicious sliced on top of Nutella on brown toast.

Have a 'berry' healthy breakfast

I tried grilled grapefruit with brown sugar for the first time this morning and I have to say it was absolutely delicious. You simply cut the grapefruit in two, sprinkle a spoon of brown sugar on top and pop it under the grill until the sugar starts to bubble on top - scrumptious.

My friend MairĂ­n has me hooked on overnight oats. I'd never heard of them until she insisted I try them. You simply put a few spoons of porridge oats in a glass, pour over either regular milk, almond milk, or coconut milk (coconut's my fave), put some sliced fruit of your choice on top, followed by yogurt, more fruit and continue with the layers until the glass is full. Then stick it in the fridge overnight and enjoy it in the morning. So handy and delicious.

Pancakes, although themselves aren't so healthy can be improved with blueberries and banana on top. Also try adding less sugar to the mix. Every little helps! 

A good breakfast is a must. It kicks off your metabolism and gets your body ready for the day. Get up and spread he breckie love!!! 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Cupcake Minis

So I turned 21 this week which came as a bit of a shock to the system with officially being an adult and all that, but, I wasn't making the transition without one final almost tea party! Besides, what's a party without lots of cake? Along with my Chocolate Tower Cake, I decided to make a few batches of cupcake minis in a selection of different flavours for my party.  I went with a batch of vanilla, a batch of chocolate and a batch of lemon drizzle. The cake and buttercream recipes are both extremely easy to follow and I'd definitely recommend giving them a go. Just so you know, each recipe starts out the exact same and the flavours are added nearer to the end.


225g Butter
225g Caster Sugar
4 large Eggs
225g Self Raising Flour (sieved)
Rind of one lemon OR 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder OR 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract


1) Preheat your oven to 180C/ 360F/ Gas Mark 4
2) Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until nice and fluffy
3) While the butter and sugar are mixing, line your small cupcake tray with mini cupcake cases
4) Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, and continue to beat
5) When combined, add the sieved flour, one spoon at a time, and mix until light and fluffy
6) Add in the flavouring of your choice (the cocoa powder, lemon rind or vanilla extract) and mix again
7) Spoon roughly a tsp of the mixture into each muffin case and bake in the oven for 10 -15 mins (check the cupcakes after 10 mins and leave in if not yet golden brown in colour) 
8) Leave the cupcakes to cool fully on a wire wrack before icing - while you're waiting you can get cracking on the buttercream...


50g Butter (softened)
100g Icing Sugar
I tsp Lemon Juice OR 1 tsp Vanilla Extract OR 50g Melted Chocolate and 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 tbsp Boiling Water


1) Cream the butter and icing sugar together in your electric mixer until light and fluffy (the lighter the better)
2) Add in either the lemon juice OR the vanilla extract OR the cocoa powder (if you are making the chocolate cupcake minis, add the cocoa powder first and when combined add in the melted chocolate, one spoon at a time)
3) Continue to beat and add the boiling water, again, one tbsp at a time
4) Beat for a further few minutes and you're ready to decorate

 You can then decorate the cupcakes however you wish. I piped the icing using different techniques on each of the different styles and used "Princess sprinkles" which I bought in Lidl. 

Ferrero Cupcakes

So I was really in the humour to bake something delicious this week and when I searched by baking press I began to feel a little inventive. I saw the box of unopened Ferrero Rochers that I had been trying to avoid since Christmas and thought why not try something new. I based my recipe on a standard sponge that I tweak for almost every cupcake or cake I bake and decided to add Nutella and crushed Ferreros. I wasn't 100% sure how the cupcakes would turn out but despite my worries, they were a massive hit at home and in work, and Dave, my chocolate monster boyfriend, couldn't get enough of them!


225g Butter (softened)
225g Caster Sugar
4 large Eggs / 5 medium
225g Self Raising Flour (sieved)
3 tbsp Cocoa Powder (sieved)

200g Icing Sugar
100g Butter (softened)
1 tsp Cocoa Powder
25g Dark Chocolate 
1 tbsp Nutella 
2 tbsp Boiling Water

Approx. 6 Ferrero Rocher sweets
12 whole Hazelnuts


1) Preheat your oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4 and line your muffin tray with muffin cases
2) Cream your butter and sugar together  in the mixing bowl 
3) When the mixture is creamed, add the eggs, one at a time
4) When the mixture is fully combined, begin to add the flour, again, one spoon at a time
5) When all of the flour has been added, add the cocoa powder
6) When fully combined, stop the beater and spoon one large dollop of the mixture into each of the bun cases
7) Then bake in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the buns are firm to the touch
8) When baked, leave the buns to cool on a wire rack while you make the buttercream.


1) Cream the butter and icing sugar together in your mixer until white and fully combined (this may take a while -be patient)
2) Add the cocoa powder and continue to beat until combined again
3) Then leaving the mixture beating, melt the chocolate and the Nutella together in a bowl in the microwave- stop the microwave every 15 seconds and stir the chocolate
4) When melted, add the chocolate to the mixer while it is beating - one spoon at a time
5) Leave to mix and finally add in the boiling water while beating again
6) Beat for a further few minutes and leave to one side

To Assemble

1) Using a knife, cut a circular piece of the bun from each and leave to one side
2) Using a spoon, add a dollop of Nutella and a hazelnut to each cupcake and put the piece you cut from the cupcake back on top 


3) Using your piping bag, pipe the butter cream onto each of the cupcakes, covering any Nutella that may be on the surface

4) Cut each of the Ferrero Rocher sweets into two or three and stick a piece on top of each cupcake (You can also add the crumbs for a nice effect)

My little cousin Ella helped me make these delicious treats

Friday, 14 February 2014

Spread the Love with a Red Velvet Cake

Why not spread the love this Valentine's Day by baking something sweet for that special someone? This Red Velvet Cake is the perfect for the occasion. I've been fascinated by Red Velvet and have been meaning to try a Red Velvet Cake for a while, so when I was considering recipes for Valentine's Day this cake really did seem like the perfect cake to bake. The deep brownish-red colour of the cake comes from the chemical reaction of the anthocyanins in the cocoa powder with an acid which in this case is the buttermilk and to add to the effect red food colouring is also used. 


225g Butter (softened) 
4 tbsp Water 
55g Cocoa Powder
3 Eggs (lightly beaten) 
250ml Buttermilk 
2 tsp Vanilla Extract 
2 tbsp Red Food Colouring
280g Plain Flour
55g Cornflour
1.5 tsp Baking Powder 
280g Caster Sugar 


90g Butter
20g Cream Cheese
200g Icing Sugar 
1 tsp Vanilla Extract


1) Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4 and grease your two 8inch round or your two heart shaped cake tins with oil and line with greaseproof paper
2) Melt the butter along with the water and cocoa powder in a saucepan until fully melted and smooth, then take off the heat
3) In your mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract and red colouring until frothy
4) Then quickly and evenly stir in the flour, cornflour and baking powder, followed by the caster sugar 
5) Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake for approximately 25-30 mins, until the mixture has risen and is firm to te touch 


1) Cream the butter and cream cheese together, followed by it and the and icing sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy
2) Add in the vanilla extract and beat again until smooth 
3) Using your pallet knife spread the frosting between the two layers and completely over the rest of the cake 
4) Decorate the cake however you wish - I used pink confetti hearts seens as it's Valentine's Day.

If you'd rather individual red velvet cupcakes instead of one large cake, simply half the mixture for 12 cupcakes, and, spoon 1-2 spoonfuls of the mixture into each bun case. Bake the cupcakes for approx 15 minutes until they are risen and from to the touch.

If you happen to have a heart shaped muffin mold, go ahead and use it, but if not, have no fear, there's a solution. Simply place a marble into each slot in your cake tin along with the bun case as demonstrated in the picture above. 

And again, decorate the cupcakes as you wish with the frosting and any other little hearts and bits n bobs to make them all the more special.