All posts tagged: chocolate

Daim Bar Laundering Brownies… Post-modern and possibly gluten-free

These brownies represent the emotional wreck that I am this week… In a frenzy of duty-free chocolate buying which went something like this in my mind… “oooh Toblerone, oooh Daim bars, oooh nougat… snap out of it Lauren you don’t even like nougat… but daim bars…Mmmm”  and then I justified the buying of the Daim bars by thinking “it’s really only ever the airport of Ikea that I would buy them, so that amounts to about once or twice a year, so it’s a special treat, right?”…. I ate a handful on the plane until I felt sick… and then tried to fob them off on everyone else… and then, when I got home to the realisation that I had a year’s supply of daim bars and no self-control I went in to panic mode, no amount of yoga or meditation could fix this.  I had to wash the daim bars like dirty cash (I learned about this watching Ozark on Netflix by the way which is really good), transforming them in to something legitimate, …

Rich Chocolate, Cardamom Tarts

“Three, more sleeps”… said my children on the way to bed tonight.  They’re so excited, I’m so excited, we’re all so excited!  We’re officially on holiday!  Fairy lights are blinking everywhere we look, food and drink is stacking up in every conceivable corner along with paper napkins, socks and sneaky chocolate wrappers…  The dog has only pulled the tree down once and luckily hasn’t eaten enough chocolate to make herself really sick.  So far so good…  Any moments of real stress are countered by a quick visit to the fridge for another chocolate tart or perhaps a glass of 4pm wine.  Welcome to Christmas… Ingredients for the tart case (makes 12): 250g plain flour 125g diced butter (or coconut oil for a vegan alternative) 2 tbsp cocoa powder 2 tbsp icing sugar 6 tbsp cold (or iced cold) water Ingredients for the Chocolate Cardamom Filling: 170g dark 70% chocolate 160g coconut cream 10 cardamom pods (seeds crushed) Stardust, or edible glitter to serve… Method: 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. In a mixing bowl or …

It’s a Pop Shake “This Milkshake is Bananas B.A.N.A.N.A.S” or “My Milkshake Brings all the Kids to the Table”

My youngest daughter has discovered Gwen Stefani… so bananas can’t be bananas without a soundtrack!  That’s why this milkshake is bananas B.A.N.A.N.A.S it’s a sensible diversion from the original expletive for a 5 year old!  In fact, very many things have a soundtrack in our house.  I have a musical brain, a degree in music and a short career in music behind me… so many words seem to trigger a song… (see Big Pizza Pie That’s Amore)… OK, so soundtracks aside, I had this milkshake for lunch yesterday, but it’d make a great breakfast too… or pudding, and of course its nutritious so you can feel virtuous whilst enjoying it! Ingredients (serves 2): 1 B.A.N.A.N.A (make it a fair trade banana don’t force farmers out of business… support sustainable farming. Click the link to find out more) 1 large can organic* coconut milk (Check the label for the nasty preservatives on non-organic ranges) 1 handful frozen blueberries 4 tablespoons Chocolate Coconut Granola (3 to blend and 1 to top) Method: I didn’t have any frozen …

Chocolate Coconut Granola

Oh my, this is the kind of breakfast I absolutely shudder at when I see it in the supermarket.  My contempt for chocolate breakfast cereal, and my resounding ‘absolutely not’ when the children ask for it!  But here am I making it.  The truth is this is beautiful, and this version is really nutritious too!  Actually this wasn’t supposed to be a granola at all, it was going to be snack bars for after school.  But for some reason I didn’t make enough wet to coat the dry and the result was snack bars that didn’t stick together, obviously!  But thankfully there is always granola… and this is going to be beautiful with some plain greek yoghurt in the morning! Ingredients: 200g Oats 100g ground almonds 100g desiccated coconut 6 tbsp maple syrup 6 tbsp coconut oil* 3 tbsp cacao powder Pinch of sea-salt 50g chia seeds 50g raisins 4 medjool dates,chopped 75g dark cooking chocolate min 70% cocoa solids Method: 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. 2. Mix the dry ingredients; oats, ground almonds, …

Cacao & Cardamom Lazy Morning Granola

Sweet, Sticky, Morning Goodness… Oh good morning chocolate breakfast hit! Oh indulge me honey toasted oats… Wait, you’re slurping the sweet spicy chocolaty milk from the bowl?  Don’t worry, me too!  It’s half term holidays and we’re enjoying really slow mornings at home!  Making granola this morning in my pyjamas was pure joy for me.  And the smell of it baking was mouth-watering.  Sweet, spicy aromas filled the kitchen as I slurped my morning tea and the children were building Lego, bliss.  Until 10 minutes later and the children are throwing the Lego, my tea goes cold while I intervene and, wait, is that the smell of overcooked granola?  For a minute there though…  I’ve been a huge fan of the chocolate cardamom combination since ‘chocolate cardamom cookies’ in Signie Johansen’s ‘Scandilicious’ cookbook.  And the combination works brilliantly in this granola, so without further ado… I give you Cacao & Cardamom, Lazy Morning Granola… Ingredients to make 4-6 portions:  200g whole rolled oats 50g pumpkin seeds 50g whole almonds, roughly chopped 50g chia seeds 50g raw cacao …

Chocolate Ginger Biscuits

Not strictly speaking ‘whole food’… But homemade treats always feel virtuous next to shop bought ones, and labouring over them gives me a real sense that I’ve earned it. These biscuits are hard like ginger nuts, and slightly moreish!!! Ingredients to make approx 18 cookies: 100 grams salted butter 100 grams golden caster sugar 100 grams golden syrup 200 grams self raising flour 3 tsps ground ginger 150 grams 70% dark cooking chocolate (I like green and blacks) 150 grams chopped stem ginger Method: 1. Melt the butter, syrup and sugar in a pan 2. Roughly chop the chocolate and stem ginger 3. Mix the flour and ground ginger in a large bowl, and pour in the butter mixture. 4. Add the chocolate and stem ginger. The chocolate will melt because the butter mixture is still warm but if you have some larger chunks they should stay whole. 5. Once you’ve formed a soft dough, roll small balls (just smaller than a golf ball) in your hands and flatten down on to grease proof paper …