Monday, 29 May 2017

Wholemeal Banana Breakfast Muffins

As soon as one labels anything 'healthy' the sense of apprehension becomes almost palpable. But just because something is relatively virtuous, that doesn't mean it's not equally as delicious and satisfying, often even more so.

These muffins are a very nommy breakfast treat and packed with wholesome ingredients that will keep you firing on all cylinders until lunchtime. Don't worry though, there's still one or two cheeky nuggets of naughtiness to keep your tastebuds on their toes! ;-)

Prep time: 15 Mins
Baking time: 30 Mins
200g Wholemeal Flour
1.5tsp Baking Powder
1.5tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1.5tsp Ground Cinnamon
125g Granola (Crush any large lumps of this up with your hands)
100g White Chocolate Chips (Or Raisins, Sultanas or anything else you fancy!
2 Large Eggs (Beaten)
150ml Natural Yoghurt
50ml Rapeseed Oil
100g Runny Honey (Plus a little extra for drizzling)
2 Ripe Bananas (Mashed)
1tsp Vanilla Extract

Did I mention this one is a DODDLE to prepare? So no excuse not to get cracking! Begin by preheating the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and lining a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon, 75g of granola and chocolate chips (or whatever alternative you decided on). Mix together to combine, then make a large well in the centre.

Pour in the eggs, yoghurt, oil and honey, then add the bananas and vanilla extract. Don't worry, you can do this all in one go. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together to form a consistent batter, then spoon equally into your paper cases. Sprinkle the rest of the granola onto the top of each filled case, then bake in the centre of the oven for around 30 minutes, until the muffins have risen and are slightly springy to the touch.

When you are happy the muffins are baked remove from the oven, leave in the tray for ten minutes, then carefully transfer each to a wire rack. Drizzle each with a final lick of honey and leave to cool completely. Finished!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Honey, Lemon and Almond Cake

This recipe is the perfect accompaniment to the early summer sunshine that's becoming ever more frequent (and more welcome) as the weeks drift by. Honey and lemon is a tried and tested classic, but I've thrown in some almonds and coconut oil alongside to add another delicious dimension. What really makes this one special though is the sweet syrup, as you'll be DRENCHING the surface with it!

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 60 Mins
150g Golden Caster Sugar
50g Runny Honey
3 Large Eggs
The zest of 2 Lemons
200g Greek Style Yoghurt
100g Coconut Oil (Melted)
200g Ground Almonds
150g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder

For the Syrup
125g Runny Honey
The juice of 2 Lemons

Cake time! Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a deep 20cm baking tin with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the caster sugar, honey, eggs and lemon zest. I usually do this by hand for a solid 60 seconds. Add the yoghurt and coconut oil, then fold through. Follow this by adding the ground almonds and sifting in the plain flour along with the baking powder. Continue folding through until you a left with a lovely consistent cake batter. Spoon into your prepared tin, even to the edges and bake in the centre of the oven for around 60 mins, until a metal skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

When you are happy the cake is baked remove it from the oven and leave in the tin, on a wire rack. For the syrup add the honey to a saucepan and place on a medium heat. Once small bubbles start to appear on the surface of the honey add the lemon juice and turn up the heat. Let it bubble away whilst stirring for about 60 seconds until syrupy, then remove from the heat. 

Poke holes all over the top of your cake and spoon over about half of the syrup. Leave for about 5 minutes to soak in, then repeat for the rest of the syrup. Leave the cake to cool entirely, before carefully removing from the tin. It's now ready for slicing and nomming!  

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies

As much as I LOVE Nutella on my toast in the morning it's just too naughty to eat regularly as part of a balanced diet. Subsequently, I've been looking at ways to use up the large jar of the chocolatey hazelnut spread that until recently has been tormenting me with temptation. I've gone super nutty by combining it with peanut butter in a cookie dough, which when baked gives the cookies an incredible flavour and a soft, super moreish texture!

Prep time: 20 Mins (Plus 60 Mins Chilling time)
Baking time: 12-15 Mins
125g Nutella
100g Smooth Peanut Butter
75g Light Muscovado Sugar
1 Large Egg
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1tsp Baking Powder
100g Plain Flour

To the kitchen! Begin by combining two large, flat baking trays with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl cream together the Nutella, peanut butter and sugar, then beat in the egg along with the vanilla extract. Sift in the baking powder and flour, then mix to a sticky dough. Spoon the dough onto a sheet of clingfilm, wrap up and leave to chill in a fridge for 60 mins.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grab your dough from the fridge. Break off a small handful of the dough, roll into a ball and place on one of your prepared trays. Repeat for the rest of the dough, evenly spacing your balls apart, then press each to a fat disk with the palm of your hand. 

Bake in the centre of the oven for around 12-15 minutes, until just cracking on top and darkening at the edges. When you are happy the cookies are baked remove from the oven. They may have domed slightly on top, so with the back of a spoon press down on each. This will give the cooled cookies a lovely firm and chewy texture. 

Leave the cookies to cool on the trays for around 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Your work is done. ;-)