Young Hottie’s Hot Choccie

“In 2016 it is my mission to improve the condition of my skin, nails, hair and creative brain NATURALLY. I have spent a small fortune on all sorts of lotions and potions and never found that ‘magic tonic’. So I’m putting away my wallet and getting out my mixing bowl. Through exploring my love of healthy dessert making, I will be feeding myself beautiful (hopefully). Follow my diary of tailor made desserts, baked snacks and Breakfast recipes for clear skin, glossy hair and hard ass nails. Starting with…” 

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THE FACE – Anti Aging

Young Hottie’s Hot Choccie aka Anti Aging Hot chocolate

Turning hot chocolate into an anti-aging elixir.

There is nothing on earth I find more huggable than a mug of streaming hot chocolate. An elixir of the gods type stuff. On my mission to #feedmebeautiful I am interested in turning my old favourites into natural beauty must haves and looking to share my anti-aging recipes. When thinking of anti-aging recipes about 100 different skin brightening, plumping, skin protecting smoothies come to mind, but when returning home at the end of a long day, out of the dark and the cold I want comfort. I want chocolate!

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 With this anti-aging food mission in mind I have whipped you up a super thick, velvety, indulgent, anti-aging Hot chocolate to warm your cockles, super charge those feel good endorphins and de-stress you after a long hard day (all of which is clinically proven, hazzar)!

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This recipe was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s – Ultimate Hot Chocolate – a blend of dark chocolate, icing sugar, corn flour and Horlicks ( which sounds rather amazing actually, but not a an anti-ager I’m reckoning).  As you may well know Jamie Oliver is on a Superfoods, no refined sugar mission of his own and I like to think this is a recipe he would approve of!

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*Chocolate is a bit of a press floozy. In the news its seems we are constantly changing our minds about whether its good for us or not. The answer is simple – Cocoa is full of all good things we want in our lives, but the added sugar and fat is not, BOO! BOO!

In this recipe I have enlisted the help of dark chocolate (Cacao), Coconut cream, Cayenne pepper, Ginger and Cinnamon (to name but a few) all of which will help kick some serious wrinkle butt!

*In this recipe we will be using Cacao or if you don’t have it 100% Best Quality Dark Cocoa will do just fine. I like Green & Blacks.

* If you’re not a fan of coconut don’t worry you actually can’t taste it but you get all it’s anti-aging beauty benefits.

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It’s entirely possible I may have gone a little over the top with all the toppings!

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To justify my toppings = Sunday afternoon. Icy cold. After lunch in Borough Market we had these hot chocolates as dessert.

Feed me beautiful facts  – What’s it good for?

Cacao – Hydrates the skin to keep it youthful. Protects the skin from bad UV rays. BISH!

Coconut Cream – Helps smooth skin for a radiant appearance.  Helps improve skin sagging,wrinkles and age spots. BASH!

Cinnomon – Anti-inflammatory. Protects the body against skin damage. BOSH!

Cayenne pepper –  Rich in Vitamin E as well as Vitamins A and C which help fight preventing the breakdown of collagen apparently! DOUBLE BOSH!

Ginger – Stimulates circulation. MAKE THAT TRIPLE BOSH!

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Perfectly paired with my healthy Chocolate Cake fingers.

 Young Hottie’s Hot Choccie

This recipes for one

Ingredients

2-3 tsp Cacao or best quality dark Chocolate drinking powder.

 4 tsp Coconut cream (I get mine from Waitrose as they do little tins)

200ml Unsweetened Almond milk ( or whichever you prefer)

2 tsp Maple syrup

half tsp Ground Cinnamon

half tsp Ground Ginger

 Big pinch Cayenne Pepper

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Method –

-In a small saucepan simmer your Milk of choice.

-In a small bowl or cup add the cacao, ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon.

-When your milk has just reached warm add just a little of the warm milk  to your little dry ingredients bowl and mix with a teaspoon rapidly to dissolve the dry mixture so there are no lumps in your hot chocolate. It will make a pourable paste (we want it like a smooth chocolate sauce consistency)

Pour your chocolate sauce into your simmering milk as well as adding the Coconut cream and Maple syrup

– Next Pour the velvety Hot Chocolate into your favourite mug and pimp up as you wish. I went a little over the top and grated Dark chocolate, Marsh mallows, Coconut, Cinnamon  and Rose petals (it was a special day).

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I had a great time photographing this, drinking it, dipping healthy chocolate sponge fingers in it and making a total mess!!

 

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Messy Puppy!!!

 

Enjoy your Hot Chocolate with total abandon as I did and feel EUPHORIC about it’s anti-aging, disease fighting, stress reliving qualities.

I would love to see your Young Hottie’s Hot Chocolate creations – tag me or #feedmebeautiful on instagram.

Instagram – @thecakediariesofficial

Twitter – @thecakediaries1

Treat yourself well,

The Cake Diaries

xoxo

 

Stress busting Banana & Rasberry Bread

Healthy Banana Bread, shot through with Raspberries.

If I was to place a personal ad in a newspaper at the moment my name would be ‘Stressed in London’. Yep!

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For the last 3 weeks my days started a little like this –

Up early (I’ve even beaten the sun), I waddle to the tube with too many handbags, a large cake box in hand and my scarf trailing on the pavement behind me as I hop-foot-it through the streets,10 minutes late with a piece of toast hanging out my mouth. Then I’m on a packed tube usually nestled under a sweaty mans armpit in the middle of the scrum. With nowhere to hang on I am desperately trying to clutch the floor with my toes through my shoes to keep me from toppling over. Not a good start to the day and it goes on pretty much like that until I fall into bed at 1am!

IMG_4457I live and work in London and though I love it with all my heart sometimes it can get stressful! There’s a lot going on and oodles of opportunities banging on my door, queuing to get the best seat in my life right now. Now, I’m not taking any of this for granted, it’s  fantastic and I am so grateful. But the only problem is – I haven’t factored in eating or sleeping, eek! If only there was more than 24 hours in a day.

I am one of thousands of stressed out Londoners. The streets of central London are a feast for the senses. Working in the centre of town is a daily emotional Roller-coaster. There is so much to stimulate you in London even if you’re not actively taking part in its angst, joy, frustrations or delights.

Feeling stressed and not sleeping enough means bad decisions get made and we make ourselves feel 10 times more stressed out and anxious. If you are anything like me when stressed out –  you run around like a headless chicken. You forget to eat which eneviably alters your mood and you end up having that that ‘dip’ we know so well.To perk myself up I grab high sugar, high fat foods or caffeine loaded drinks to make myself feel more alive. For 30 glorious minutes I am soaring on a candy covered rainbow sugar high, feeling like I can take on the world. One hour later you will find me shrivelled in a corner rocking back and forth as my blood sugar drops and insulin level rockets. It is never more apparent to me that we ‘are what we eat’ at times like these.

If you are feeling stressed or anxious Caffeine and Refined Sugar feed your anxiety. They are not your friend, they are a double crossing, too faced bully and should be blocked from your Facebook, have their number deleted from your phone and ignored where possible. These are short lived stimulants and when they’ve done their job they will leave you feeling lethargic, depleted and can even make you feel a bit sad 😦

So, I got in the kitchen and decided to design a healthy treat to support you mentally and physically. I can think of nothing more comforting than thick, moist Banana bread.

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In this recipe I have looked at foods that sooth you, lift your mood and that are digested slowly, releasing a steady stream of energy. In my recipe I use Wholemeal Spelt flour (you can use regular whole wheat flour if you prefer), oats, almonds, banana and raspberries for the ultimate mood lifting, stress busting treat.

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Banana bread, shot  through with Raspberries –

Ingredients –

120g Wholemeal Spelt

120g Almond flour

1 egg

3 bananas

2 handfuls of Oat

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp cinnamon ( I love Cinnamon and usually go big)

1 tsp Ginger

60ml Maple syrup

60ml Almond milk

Half tsp Stevia

As many Raspberries as you feel.

Pumpkin Seeds for the top.

Method – Pre heat Oven 150.c/ 300f

This couldn’t be easier.

Grease a medium loaf tin (I use coconut oil)

1-  In a large bowl mash 3 ripe bananas. ( The riper your Banana the sweeter and more ‘bananaerie’ the flavour.

2 – In a jug – whisk one egg and add it to your Bananas

3 – Sift in your flours x2, your Cinnamon, Ginger and baking powder

4 – After you’ve mixed in your flour, fold in your oats.

5 – Add your Maple syrup and Stevia.  (I am using Stevia which is a planted based sugar and doesn’t effect your blood sugar levels which keeps you balanced. This is not an artificial sweetener. Stevia is from a plant, so not a scary ‘sugar pretender’ but a very sweet leaf which has been used in cooking for 1500 years!!  If you don’t have stevia you can use 60ml again of Maple syrup).

6 – Fold in the Raspberries. I love to see the bright, sharp colour of the Raspberries smeared through the mixture. (Now I may be getting a head of myself here, dreaming of the seasons to come. It’s not quite Raspberry season. I personally love that sharpness of the Rasberry in contrast to the banana but if it’s too sharp for you add dates instead which are sweet, gooey and just delish!!

7 – Add the mixture to your Medium loaf tin ( Make sure that whatever sized tin you own that you don’t over fill it. We are aiming for using 3/4 of a tin). Sprinkle on your Pumpkin seeds

8 – Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 Mins. As you must be aware by now that using a tooth pick or shape knife inserted into the loaf is the best way to check if the dessert is cooked through. But with this dessert I like to see just a couple of crumbs clinging to my knife as I want it as moist as possible. But this is up to you and how you like your Banana bread.

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Now comes the dreaded bit. Waiting. Before you dig into this bag boy give it 10 mins to chill out in it’s tin. Then with a knife feel your way round the edges to free it from the sides and turn out!

Now dig in!! Cut a big wedge and serve warm with a huge mug of something hot or eaten for breakfast the next morning.  This Banana bread is not a light, fluffy cloud like delight but a thick, moist, filling and healthy pick me up which will keep you going between meals and elevate your mood.

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Beat stress with clean eating recipes, keep happy and treat yourself well!

Yours truly,

The Cake Diaries xoxo

Edible Christmas gift ideas.

1 day to go! Still not got all the Christmas shopping done? Feeling stuck for gift ideas? Feel the panic rising as you wish you’d thought about all of this at the beginning of December instead of a day and a half before Xmas??!! I swear, that yesterday was December 1st but when I woke up this morning and started packing my suitcase for Christmas away I had to admit that it was definitely the 23rd of December and in a blink of an eye a whole month had whizzed by. If you have woken up to the 23rd Dec in a breathless panic fear not and read on!

I am calming myself down by writing, baking and getting back on track. Here we go!

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I like nothing better than giving gifts but I feel like I have exhausted all present ideas this year. I want to give the people I love in my life something that is original, thoughtful and most of all wanted! There is nothing worse that receiving a gift that there is either no room for in the house, that is whacked on ebay the minute the gift giver has walked out the front door or that hangs around the house for the next couple of years hidden in a corner only to see the light of day when said gift giver pops round. So I am baking gifts this Christmas knowing that each one is personal to the friend or family member I am giving it to. Plus it can be shared with others too. The love goes a long way!

Instead of slugging it down Oxford street, battling it out with the cold and all the other desperate shoppers stay at home, put the heating on, drink tea and listen to the radio while you tailor make a treat for someone you love. For an even more thoughtful and cost effective gift you can box and wrap them in things you make or design using bits and bobs from around the house. Some of these can even be hung on the tree and you can get the kids to help you too.

To wrap and box my presents I am using cellophane bags (these can be bought from any of the cake craft companies on line and egg boxes which I have painted in vintage white with tons of ribbon.
Baked blueberry Doughnuts dusted in cinnamon sugar.

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What an absolute delight these little fancies are. Baked not fried and if you ask me and any of my friends that have eaten these they are better than the traditional. They are doughy, fluffy goodness, with a lovely golden colour. The deep purple blue of the blueberry jam is such a nice surprise in the middle and covered delightfully by cascades of cinnamon sugar dusted all over.

I want to thank Alida Ryder on Simply Delicious for this gorgeous recipe,especially for blueberry conserve. That is why this recipe caught my eye in the first place. I just love Jam! I think these could be lovely with Damson jam too.

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Ingredients –

(makes about 16)

200g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

100ml plain yoghurt

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g butter, melted

150g caster Sugar

blueberry Jam

Cinnamon and caster sugar to dust.

Method –

Pre- heat the oven to 180°c

1-Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl. Melt the butter in a sauce pan.

2- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, yoghurt and vanilla together and butter to our dry ingredients and mix genially.

2 -In a greased muffin or fairy cake tin place 1 tbsp of the mixture into each hole then add a tsp of the jam and another tbsp. of mixture on top making sure you can not see any of the lovely jam.

3 – Place the tray in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden.#

4 – Put onto a cooling rack and cool for 4 – 5 mins.

5 – Get a big bowl and dust in caster sugar and cinnamon and mix then add each doughnut and coat each lovingly with your fingers I dusted it as I went too. As much sugar and cinnamon as you please.

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Fiery Ginger and chili chocolate love bites!

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I call these my love bites. They are basically cake pops that have been toppled off their stick towers. The great thing about these is that you can get really creative with the recipe and if you haven’t had that much experience in experimenting with baked food recipes before these are perfect to mess around with as the steps are the same every time and you can pick and choose which cake you like best and what wet ingredients you want to use too.

I am doing 3 different recipes this year for gifts where the method is the same each time.

STEPS –

Step 1 – Prepare and make your favourite ginger day recipe. I have 2 I love. Check out Marry Berries Ginger cake or Leith’s Treacle ginger cake (this has a really intense flavour and is sticky perfection).

Step 2 – Once baked and cooled it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. This is the best bit. Break the cake down and rub between your fingers we are aiming for a bread crumb consistency.

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Step 3 – In a separate bowl add 3 tablespoons of full fat cream cheese and 3 table spoons of icing sugar (confectioners) and mix together,

Step 4 – Add the wet mixture to the cake crumbs and mix in. The cake is turning into a dough. Now it’s time to shape into balls. With a table spoon scoop out a heaped table spoon of dough (we want able 1 tbsp and a half of mixtures for each ball. Roll between your palms to make them as round as possible.

Step 5 – Stick each ball with a tooth pick (this is going to help you to coat the balls in melted chocolate later). Put all balls into an air tight container and freeze for around 3 hours.

Step 6 – Melt 100g of Green & Blacks Chilli Chocolate and 100g of 75% dark chocolate. I do this by putting a bowl in the microwave and melting for 2 mins checking and stirring around 2 times. Add a pinch of chilli powder from the Cupboard to the chocolate for added zing!

Step 7 – Now we are going to dip each love bite in chocolate making sure they are covered all over. What to do next? Well I am lucky enough to have found myself some Styrofoam which can hold my love bite laden tooth picks but here are 2 other options if you don’t happen to have any foam (don’t ask me where I got it, no idea!).

Option 1 – Grab 2 tins of tomatoes , baked beans etc.. and balance a cooling rack on top. The tins should be either end of the wrack. Thread the tooth pick through the wrack with the love bite resting on top of the rack. Option 2 – put the love bite on some baking paper with the tooth pick sticking up.

Step 8 – Allow to cool for an hour. Pull the tooth picks out gently. If there are some rather obvious holes left add a little melted chocolate to tidy up.

Hay presto you are done!
Lemon, white chocolate and Pistachio Love bites in egg boxes.

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Ingredients –

Favourite Lemon sponge.

Good quality white chocolate for the dipping

Grated lemon rind

3 Table spoons Cream Cheese ( or unsalted butter)

1 Handful of Pistachio (crushed).

1 lemon

3 tablespoons Icing sugar
Method –

1 – Just as before go through the same method as with the ginger cake to get to cake crumb stage.

2 – Grate one Lemon rind into the cake crumbs

3 – Add the cream cheese and icing sugar and form the dough

4 – Melt the chocolate and get dipping

5 – Sprinkle on the crushed Pistachio and allow to set.

 

Peanut butter and milk Chocolate bombs

 

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Ingredients –

Favourite vanilla Sponge

3 table spoons Peanut butter

2 table spoons Cream cheese

3 tablespoons Icing sugar

Best quality Milk Chocolate.

1 – Just as before go through the same method as with the ginger cake and lemon cake to get to cake crumb stage.

2 – Add the peanut butter, cream cheese and icing sugar and form the dough

3 – Melt the chocolate and get dipping

4 –Allow to cool and you’re off.
Christmas Label Sugar cookies dipped in dark orange chocolate (Perfect to hang on the tree)

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These are great fun to make and a number of them accidentally got broken which meant I had to keep eating them as I went (it’s so hard doing my job!!) Light, crumbly and buttery dipped in Orange dark chocolate for the adults and milk chocolate and dusted with glitter for the kids. I will be having a glittery one this year as at Christmas I revert back to about 10 years old. It’s a funny thing. It usually starts when I am sent to sit with my cousins on an old picknic table that has been brought in from the shed and is masquerading as the other half of the dining table. We sit on stools or old boxes of books pretending to be chairs and pretending (not very well) at being comfortable! It’s the kids table but the problem is we are now all between 21 and 32.

There will be 18 of us this year on Christmas day and everyone has a label each. I will be hanging these on the tree the night before Christmas so that first thing in the morning we can pluck them off and eat them before breakfast! So you will need some ribbon for this!

These are from a lovely little recipe I saw in Jamie Oliver’s Magazine last Christmas. Make these on Christmas Eve with any young cousin’s, nephews or daughters that need amusing. Or in my case the boyfriend!!

Ingredients – (makes about 20 ish)

300g Plain four

150g caster sugar

250g butter (room temp)

1 egg yolk

1tbsp milk

(1tsp) vanilla extract

200g Dark Chocolate Orange and 100g Milk Chocolate.

Ribbon

Edible Glitter or anything else you would like to decorate with.
Method –

1 – Preheat the oven to gas 180°C

2 – In a large mixing bowl whip together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy .

3 – Beat the egg yolk, milk and vanilla in a jug/bowl and add to our butter/sugar mixture.

4- Add flour and mix until we bring a dough together.

5 – between 2 sheets of baking paper roll out the dough to just under 1cm thick Cut shapes out with your label cutter. Now to make the holes to thread your ribbon through. After looking through the cupboard with my friend for sometime considering many different baking tools she suggested then end of a birthday candle to make the holes. Which were perfect! Otherwise if you own a skewer that would do (but a bit trickier).

6 – With a pallet knife lift biscuits on to a lined baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes golden in colour( make sure to whip them out before the edges start to deepen in colour) we want a nice even colour. Place on a cooling rack.

7 – Melt the each chocolate in the microwave for 2 mins, checking twice and stirring.  Dip half of each biscuit in the chocolate. Let the excess drip off then place on a sheet of baking paper. Leave to set. With my glitter  and milk chocolate labels I dripped chocolate with a tsp back and forth over half of the biscuit.

8 – When all set grab your self some Christmassy ribbon thread through each biscuit label and hang on the tree!

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Spiced Carrot cake squares with white chocolate.

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You can make a gift out of most cakes. My friend loves carrot cake but instead of making her the whole cake I have made this as I tray bake, cut up into bite size squares and lovingly smothered in white chocolate. Adorable little gift. This can now be eaten and possible shared if she lets anyone get their grubby little mittson these on their car journey over to France. I have gone for an alpine, chalet, ‘we’re off skiing’ vibe with my decoration to get her in the mood. This can be done with any favourite cake. But the reason this works so well is that carrot cake is sturdy and moist.

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I am fully loaded with gorgeous edible gifts and I hope this has helped with a little Christmas gift inspiration.

Much happiness and rest over the Christmas holidays and all the luck and success for the New year.

Happy Christmas everyone,

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Yours truly,

The Cake Diaries xoxo