Triple Chocolate Almond Brownies

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.

Purposefully made to not be a sweet as traditional brownies whilst retaining all the wonderful flavours you would expect they offer a more intense experience. The chewy middle encapsulated with a crunchy exterior is complimented with the nuts for that pleasing crunch the mouth adores and all backed up with a small tingle from the coffee buzz… could you ask for more.

Ingredients:

  • 150g dark chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 115g butter; cubed
  • 100g almonds; roughly chopped
  • 55g plain flour
  • 50g white chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 30g drinking chocolate
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 1tbsp instant coffee
  • 1tbsp filtered hot water
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare an 8-inch square tin by lining it with baking paper, unless you, like me, bake in a silicone tray in which case no lining is necessary.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, over a very low heat melt the butter and dark chocolate slowly. Once melted remove from the heat and add the sugar, stir constantly until it is all dissolved.

Put aside the mixture to cool down.

In a small cup mix together the hot water and instant coffee and again set aside to cool; once cold add the vanilla essence.

Beat the eggs with a fork or whisk in a small bowl or cup.

In yet another bowl sift the flour and drinking chocolate together.

Once your dark chocolate has cooled down to around room temperature pour into a mixing bowl and then add the whisked eggs, the coffee and vanilla mixture and stir the mix until combined.

Fold in your flour and drinking chocolate; finally gently fold in the chopped almonds and white chocolate chunks.

Spread the mixture out evenly in your pre-prepared baking tray and bake for 28-30 minutes or until just set in the middle… avoid over baking as over baked brownies will tend to be dry and hard, I like to check on them once my timer hits the 25-minute mark just to keep a close eye on them.

Remove from the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.

Cut into your desired serving portion size and enjoy!

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookie and a cake.

Coconut and Almond Truffles

These Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.

These Vegan Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.The recipe was created by Amanda Hamilton, a TV Nutritionist working in connection with digestive health brand Udo’s Choice.

Ingredients:

  • 80g dates
  • 60g almonds ground or 60g of almond pulp from a Soyabella machine
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 2tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence

Method:

In a food processor blend together the dates, almonds (or leftover almond pulp) until they form a crumbly paste. If it’s too thick, add a little water, but only enough for it to just come together. Depending on personal taste, the truffle mixture doesn’t need to be totally smooth; some nutty pieces and chunks can be a good thing.

Add the cocoa powder and blend until mostly incorporated.

Remove the nut mixture from your food processor and place it in a large bowl. Stir in half of the shredded coconut, maple syrup, vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

If the truffle mixture is too sticky at this point, place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes so it firms up slightly. Measure the truffle mixture out as about 1 heaped tablespoon each.

Roll it into balls by rolling the mixture between your palms then roll the truffles in the remaining shredded coconut.

Truffles are at their best when cold so for the best results place the truffles in the freezer and allow to them harden for at least 1 hour. Store the remaining truffles in the freezer removing only what you are planning to eat now and allow them to soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

If this recipe takes your fancy you should definitely pop over to Udo’s Choice website and check they extended selection of nutritional healthy recipes.

These Vegan Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.

Fresh Strawberry Shake

Fresh Strawberry ShakeI love berries, especially strawberries. When I was a child my parents used to have a small field of them. I remember each year around mid-June spending hours out there helping them pick them up… hard back breaking work but it didn’t stop me loving them.

Anyhow, I find that now-a-days shop bought strawberries, or any other fruit for that matter, hardly ever tastes like the real deal, but better them than nothing, right?

One day, last month I was very lucky to return home from a bloggers meet-up with a brand new Philips blender in my bag thanks to Currys and Joe Blogs. Now, there is no stopping me. Most days I blend something in the hope of creating something special.

This strawberry drink is my latest invention and I really hope you will like it.

Ingredients:

  • 250ml vanilla yogurt
  • 250g fresh strawberries
  • 2tbsp ground almonds
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1tsp honey (optional)

Fresh Strawberry ShakeMethod:

Wash the strawberries and remove the green stalk.

Pop them into the blender and blend until smooth.

Add the yogurt, ground almonds and cinnamon and blend some more.

The final shake isn’t sweet, so if you prefer a sweet/er option, add a spoonful of honey and blend until smooth.

That’s it, you are all done.

Now drink and enjoy!

My Fresh Strawberry ShakeTop Tip: Ground almonds will add a bit more substance and tons of vitamin E into a drink but not a lot of flavour. If you prefer a stronger almond flavour and don’t want to use any artificial flavouring, you can use whole almonds and process them yourself. Take a good handful of whole, good quality almonds (the ones from Wonderful Almonds are perfect for this job), spread them on baking tray and roast them in an earlier preheated oven at 175C or 155C if fan assisted for about 5 minutes. Then remove them from the oven and stir well making sure that they are all turned over and pop back into the oven for 2-3 minutes… remove them and check if they are ready (there should be a wonderful powerful aroma filling your kitchen and they should be hot to the touch). If needed pop them back into the oven for another 2-3 minutes, after another invigorating stir. They shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes to roast, normally it takes only 10. Ideally when finished you want your nuts to be shade or two darker than when you put them in the oven and the smell! The smell should be very nutty but be careful as you can’t let them get scorched and definitely not burnt. If you think that your nuts are ready remove them from the baking tray and cool in a different cool dish. You might think that this is a lot of messing around to roast some nuts and it is, but trust me it is worth it. Freshly roasted nuts have an amazing aroma and much more definite taste. Once cold pop them into food processor and pulse them until grounded. Don’t wiz to much or they will get hot and the oils will clog them together and you will end up with almond butter, so pulse and take your time, then finally add into your shake.

What’s your favourite fruit shake or smoothie?

Yum

fresh-strawberry-shake

Chocolate, Nuts & Banana Bites

Chocolate, Nuts & Banana BitesDo you remember the “Go On It’s Healthy” cookbook review that I wrote just a few days ago? I had picked a few recipes which I really wanted to try but as it ended up I had none of the ingredients with which to make any of them. I almost made some superfood chocolate bark but upon looking for the final ingredient it started to look like someone had “hoovered” all the cranberries.

I was determine to make something new, so next I settled on some Wholemeal Banana Flatbread Bites; the only problem being once again I had no necessary ingredients; out of the main ingredients all I had were some bananas… a total fail… It was time for plan B and a round of the replacement game as trip to the store was not an option at the time.

The original recipe called for wholemeal tortilla wraps, tahini, date syrup and bananas… all I had were bananas… and a whole pantry of other ingredients to play with… so if you want to try my version of banana bites you will need:

Ingredients per person:

Method:

Chop the nuts very finely or if you prefer (like me) just pop them into a food processor. You want to achieve a coarse nut dust. I used both almonds and pistachios as I had just received a lovely parcel full of nuts from Wonderful but you can use one or another or even replace them with a different nuts like pecans or walnuts.

Preheat a heavy bottom frying pan (I used cast iron) and warm your chapattis for 30 seconds on each side.

Place the warm chappati on a cutting board. Add a thin layer of Nutella (one table spoon per chapatti seems just right) and sprinkle with you nut dusting.

Peel a banana and place just a little off centre, then roll up tightly.

Cut into thick slices, add wooden toothpick in case they aren’t staying rolled up and enjoy!

Chocolate, Nuts and Banana BitesMy Chocolate, Nuts & Banana BitesI wasn’t sure if my creation would be nice but as it ended up it was extremely pleasant.
I know it is not as healthy an option as the original recipe but it is coming pretty close.
Chapatti flour which chapattis are made from is good source of fibre and it is low in sugar, which we will get more than enough of from the Nutella; bananas are great source of potassium and don’t even get me started on nuts… we all know that nuts are great for us and to make things even better almonds have the lowest calorie count within all the nuts… except for chestnuts 🙂

Do you play the ingredients replacement game at times or do you prefer to follow each recipe to the letter?

Yum