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

 

Radiance truffles.

 “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…”

Radiance Truffles aka Chocolate Sticky Fig Truffles

Today I’ve whipped you up a recipe to help with skin radiance using Almond and raw Cacao.

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I’m all for a life of balance. But just a week into January I’m missing those dreamy Christmas afternoons tucking into a box of special chocolates in front of the T.V (usually a praline or truffle situation). I love their velvety texture. Now I’m back to ‘real life’  and can no longer justify not seeing the light of day for days on end and living on a diet of strawberry creams and roast potatoes I am looking for a treat which makes me feel like I’m having a really special indulgent experience but doesn’t make my face look like a pin cushion and my body and mind feel like a lethargic slug. So here’s the balance bit –  Radiance Truffles aka Chocolate Sticky Figgy truffles. These feel so special with a lovely chewy texture and deep coco flavour. Plus as soon as that sweet tooth hankering begins you can whip these up in 5 minutes flat.

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Feed me Beautiful Facts Whats it good for?

Figs –  more fibre than other dried fruit helping us to feel fuller for longer. Figs have 15% less sugar than dates (so if you are watching your sugar in take you can swap out dates for figs in most recipes).

Cacoa –  Don’t get me started, (I’ll keep this short)! Big on Antioxidants which protects the skin against aging and Vitamin C which helps protect our skin. Fatty acids to help heals wounds and scars

Almonds – One of the best sources of Vitamin E – Skin radiance. Increases Energy.

Dates – Mood Regulating IMG_6830

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Makes 8  Truffles

Ingredients

80g Almonds

4 Dried Figs

4 Medjool Dates

4 tbsp. of Cacao  and a little extra for rolling (or best quality cocoa)

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Method

In a food processor blitz the nuts until ground down into a nutty flour.

Throw in the rest of the ingredients until all is well combined.

Scrape out the mixture and on a wooden board roll into 8 balls.

On a wooden board sprinkle 2 tsp of Cacoa over the surface and roll the Figgy Truffles in the cacoa.

Hay presto! You got some super food truffles in 5 mins.

Keep them in the fridge. These can be frozen for a week or so.

A treat that your face, body and mind will love, especially your taste buds!

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Currently, these go where I go!

I would love to see your radiance truffle creations tag me or #feedmebeautiful on instagram.

Instagram – @thecakediariesofficial

Twitter – @thecakediaries1

Treat yourself well,

The Cake Diaries

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Party Desserts

Processed with Moldiv

My go to party sweets

 

My party piece round up

No, I’m not talking about my ability to blow Malteasers into the air or to do the splits whilst balancing a plate on my face or my running man on the dance floor. I’m talking about the kind of treats perfect for a party.

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Mini Vanilla Doughnuts with dark and white chocolate

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It’s summer, you’ve invited friends round and it’s inevitably going to turn into a bit of a party. Forget the plates of cake balancing act. The awkward hand swapping dance, glass, plate, fork, napkin malarkey.

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Double Chocolate Cake pops

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For my events this summer I have been making treats which are pretty, fun, quick to eat and can easily be eaten while holding a glass of wine in your hand. TOP TIP! Make it small or put a stick in it and it becomes the perfect party dessert which equals less lip stick smudging! All of these desserts bar the Banana Popsicles (because they will melt) can be stored easily to take out and about or to a summer festival.

Here’s my party treats instagram round up!

Quick Banana Popsicles

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Frozen Banana, Chocolate Popsicles

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This is the perfect sweet treat for a BBQ.

Ingredients/What you need – Banana’s, 85% Dark chocolate, Walnuts and Vanilla pods, pop cake sticks or wooden skewers and baking paper.

Method – Cut ripe banana’s in half. Insert pop cake sticks or wooden skewers into the base of the banana’s about half way up so they feel secure. Store banana’s in a plastic sandwich bag sealed well and freeze over night.

Crush a handful of Walnuts. In a pan toast them over a medium. Keep an eye on the them and stir regularly to stop them from catching.

On a board with a small sharp knife slit a Vanilla pod down the middle of it’s length. Scrap out the vanilla paste out of it’s insides and add to the toasted nut. Sprinkle Cinnamon into your nutty vanilla mix and stir in.

Melt Chocolate in the microwave or in a glass bowl over a pan of boiled water. Keep stirring until all chocolate has melted. As soon as the chocolate has melted turn of the heat or it will burn and turn lumpy.

Dip the frozen banana’s in the chocolate and sprinkle the nutty mix over the top. Lay your decorated banana’s on a board covered with a sheet of baking parchment and stick these back in the freezer until set (about 5-10 minutes). When it’s party time  – enjoy!

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Healthy Caramel and Black bean Brownies

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If you have a little more time and friends with dietary requirements these are a great indulgent treat that look  impressive but very simple to do. Healthy, Vegan, wheat and gluten free. If you would like to make these you can find my recipe here –

http://thecakediaries.com/2015/05/14/caramel-and-chocolate-black-bean-stacks/

Enjoy your summer and pimp it up  a party with some of these festive summer treats. If you haven’t got the time and need your treats a-sap you can order from me at the Cake Diaries thecakediariesofficial@gmail.com

Treat yourself well,

Yours Truly,

THE CAKE DIARIES…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Doughnut recipe #razzforlife

IMG_5462 Last night I went to a very special event #razzforlife a Charity Fund raiser for Cancer UK  hosted by the very lovely Fiona Longmuir (theescapologistsdaughter) which I had the pleasure of supplying the sweet treats for!! If you attended the #razzforlife party last night you are now most possibly a firm friend, nursing a little hangover and after tucking into your goodie bag have now followed this link for a Chocolate Doughnut recipe made with you in mind! ( I have a feeling that we may have kicked some Cancer butt last night too with all our fund raising and positive vibes!!)

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With my swag!

IMG_5444IMG_5445#RazzForLife Chocolate Doughnuts with Maple butter Icing

These Chocolate doughnuts are light and fluffy goodness packed full of antioxidant rich and nutritious loveliness. Saying F**K CANCER with every bite!

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Banana bread and dark chocolate doughnuts made for my #razzforlife Kebabs.

Ingredients – Make 16 mini Doughnuts

120g Ground Almond flour

120g Cacao or Cocoa

2 eggs or egg replacer

2 tbsp Apple Sauce

2 tbsp Oilve oil or Coconut oil

Just under half tsp Baking Powder

Just under half tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

4 Tbsp of Maple Syrup (or quality honey)

1 tsp of stevia or natvia (or another tablespoon of Liquid sweetener i.e Maple syrup)

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

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Method – Preheat oven to 175.c

0 – Grease a mini Doughnut pan or turn on your mini doughnut oven

1 – In a mixing bowl chuck in all dry ingredients.

2 – Chuck in wet ingredients (a part from the eggs) to your bowl of dry and stir as you go, slowly.

3 – Whisk your eggs in a small bowl and then add to your batter.

BAKING TIP!! Don’t leave your batter after making it. Get it straight into your tin as the magic of the bicarb and baking powder is getting to work by adding air to your batter help it rise.

4 – Add your mixture until each doughnut cell is 3/4 (as we want these babies to grow!!)

5 –  Bake in the oven for 15 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. If you have an mini doughnut oven they take 6 mins on high. (P.S I hear these doughnut ovens are about £15!!)

6 – Take them out of the oven and give them 5 mins to chill out before turning out on to a cooling wrack.

Mable butter Icing  with toasted walnuts and Pecans.

– 1 tbsp Smooth Peanut butter. I use Meridian is it is sugar free, salt free and palm oil free.

– 1 tbsp of Mable Syrup. (you can decide how stiff or liquid like you want your icing by adding more Maple syrup)

– Mix it together in a small bowl. With a knife ice your cooled doughnuts

– Take one handful of nuts and break apart (if you are having a bad day put them in a clear

plastic bag and bash with the back of a wooden spoon.

– In a frying pan – toast your nuts for 3 or so mins over a medium heat.

– Decorate the iced doughnuts with the toasted nuts

– Leave in the fridge for 10 mins to set or just scoff the lot!

IMG_5448Treat yourselves well.

Yours truly,

The Cake Diaries

Caramel and Chocolate Black bean Stacks

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What’s better than ultra soft and chewy brownie? Or gooey sticky caramel? The sound and feel of dark chocolate cracking between your teeth as you bite and the crunch of candied nuts dusted with shredded Coconut? Well…? I’m waiting! Exactly as I thought. Nothing! Four of the best things in the world all stacked up on top of one another. Heaven!

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I love these little stacks and I like to take them everywhere with me. They are more robust than cake, so sticking them in a plastic tupperware and going out and about with them is fine. If you have kids they could probably run around with these without wondering what that gooey brown blob stuck to the top of their Lunch box lid use to be! You open up the box and they always look like “What? I woke up like this” kind of treats. These are a fabulous alternative to a Twix or Snickers bar. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t like a Snickers every now and again? But what the hell is in there? What are all of those mysterious names in the ingredients list? I don’t know about you but I refer to know what is about to travel though my body. What ends up in my tummy? What’s being absorbed into my blood stream and what do I get out of it in the end? (Queue toilet Humour!!) But seriously, is one of those many mystery names something that aggravates cells which will one day be bad for my health if eaten time and again? That’s why I’m a do it yourself kind of girl when it comes to the sweet stuff. Whether I’m making a cake full of butter, Sugar, and cream or a gluten free, sugar free treat. I know when I take a bite what’s about to go into this temple!!  Not to come across all sanctimonious but your body really is a Temple…Castle, Palace, cottage by the sea, whatever you want to call it.  You’re not renting it. It’s yours. You’ve got the keys. You are a property owner gorgeous, congratulations! I always feel that it’s the only thing in life I am truly in charge of and it is my decision how I want to treat it. Sure, there have been times when it felt and looked more like a run down, out dated semi detached. But I prefer it mostly Temple. In fact I’ve come to like it here. So with all that in mind I am sharing with you an old favourite. My Raw Caramel and Black bean Stacks!

FYI

In my ingredients list you will see a Refined Sugar alternative called Natvia. Natvia is not an artificial sweetener but a mixture of 2 different leaves from a plant which has a sweet taste. The reason I use a little of it here is that unlike most sugars it does not effect your blood sugar levels. It has no calories and comes up zero on the Glycaemic Index. You can use Maple Syrup in place of Natvia if you prefer in the recipe.

Also in this list is Almond butter. You can either make your own (recipe for Almond butter in last blog post below this one) or use I suggest Meridian. As it has nothing but nuts and a little salt in it.

Ingredients -Makes 6 Stacks

Black bean Brownie base

6 tbsp Black beans

2 tbsp Raw Cacoa Powder

3 Majool dates

6 tbsp Ground Almonds

6 tbsp Gluten Free Oats

Carmel

6 Majool dates

3 tbsp Almond Butter

1 tsp Almond milk (or whatever you prefer)

Chocolate Top

Either melt a bar of your favourite Dark chocolate, 75% and higher in a bowl over a pan of boiled water

Or

if you are keeping your desserts refined sugar free have a go at this –

3 tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp of Natvia

3 tbsp Cacoa Powder

Crunchy nut clusters

5 tbsp of Cashews and Almonds. I crushed half of the nuts and left the other half whole.

1 tsp Natvia

3 tsp Coconut oil

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Method –

All about that base

–  First you want to soften the dates a little. This will help you when it comes to mixing. Chop your Majool dates and put them in a small frying pan over a low heat. It takes very little time for them to soften so keep an eye on them.

– Drain your black beans thoroughly, especially if they are from a can. The likely hood is that they have been kept in salted water or some kind of brine.

– Add your softened dates, sieved the Cocoa powder, then throw in the Almond flour  and oats in to the bowl. Get a hand blender and a hand  whizz together until smooth. If you don’t have a hand blender or food processor get your elbow grease on and with a wooden spoon push the mixture up against the side and spread over and over until smooth.

–  If you are use to eating Snickers and twix bars etc..You may find that this brownie is not quite sweet enough for you. Add 1 tsp Natvia (Sugar Alternative) or 2 tsp Mable syrup.

– I put my mixture into fairy cake moulds. 1 tbsp and a half to each mould and pack down flat. Otherwise you can also line a small rectangular tin and cut into bars later. Put the raw black bean brownies into the fridge while you make your Caramel.

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Caramel

– In your small frying pan add your dates to soften (over a low heat) for a minute. Then add your Almond butter and combine with a wooden spoon.

If you find the mixture a little stiff add a tsp of milk.

– Now add  1 tbsp of the caramel mixture to the top of your brownies. Then put back into the fridge.

Chocolate top

– Time to get that Saucepan out again lovelies! Give it a good scrub down then over a low heat add your coconut oil. Then the Natvia, Stevia or chosen Syrup. Let it melt down to liquid.

– Now add your Cocoa  1 tsp at a time stirring with a wooden spoon.

-Take the Brownie/Caramel treats out of the fridge and with a teaspoon drizzle on a loaded teaspoon of the chocolate.

Crunchy nut top top

– Ok, Don’t hate me! But you’ve got to get that pan out again. Put a tiny bit of the coconut oil in the pan and toss in the nuts. Half crushed and half whole. Toast the nuts (we are looking for a golden colour) then throw in the shredded coconut and mix together.

– Sprinkle the nuts and coconut on the top of the melted chocolate mixture.

-Put in the fridge again to set for 30 mins.

Now enjoy, indulge and feel good!

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Thank you for reading and I hope you make some fabulous stacks! I would love to see your creations. You can find me on Instagram – @thecakediariesofficial or on twitter @thecakediaries1Treat yourselves well!

Yours truly,

The Cake Diaries

 

Butternut Squash and Roasted Pecan Brownies.

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Brick lane, London

Judging by all the Valentine hearts that were pasted on shop windows, men in the high street carrying huge paper Michael Kos shopping bags, the ‘make your own card’ commercials on repeat all over the T.V and all the lovely Instagrams and Facebook photo’s, we gave a lot of love away this Val’s day. But this next recipe I have developed and am going to share today is about taking the LOVE IN! It’s all about us.

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The Hoxton Hotel, London

So let’s put the good stuff in and let the good vibes out. Happy, healthy treats that make you feel naughty but then…’oh, it was completely nutritious! Nourishing mind, body and soul and perfectly balanced for a healthy life style. Better eat two then to take full advantage of the goodness’.

If you regularly read my blog then you know I’m a big fan of ‘afternoon tea’. My mission is to bring afternoon tea back to 4pm! To all my friends in Europe and those State side who are wondering what on earth I’m going on about – it’s an old British tradition of coming together and eating cakes and sandwiches at a certain time of day (the afternoon). For a more detailed description of its origins scroll back to my Sweet can be healthy blog with a recipe I have developed for Sugar free, fat free Scones. In fact everyone go and have a look back at this blog post right now (bossy pants alert!) as it’s such a lovely recipe. Spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with shredded apple and dates. It also contains my secret ingredient, avocado! Ok, miss bossy boots is leaving the building. She’s gone. In fact I see her sloping off through the door rather sheepishly. The fire exit, as she is a bit embarrised. Apologies about her. How rude!

Afternoon tea is and was a big part of my life and I try and have it every day, so that between lunch and dinner I am energised all afternoon and stay productive right until I put down my spatula or shut the lap top in the evening. You may feel a little dip at about 4pm, feel fatigued, watching the clock as it ticks slowly up to home time, totally unfocused and lack lustre.

Energise that brain with a healthy, happy, body loving treat. These Butternut squash brownies are soft, melt in the mouth, feel good food. The texture is so chewable and dreamy, it makes the brownie. Texture is half the pleasure of a good brownie and the squash makes it…well squashy. Sorry, I literally can’t describe it any better. You will fully understand when you sink your teeth into one of these bad boys. These may be wheat free, butter free, contain very little sugar and made using a vegetable, but I do not compromise on taste here. This recipe was developed after thinking of the dietary requirements of a friend and thoughts and needs from other friends and family members.

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Butternut squash and roasted Pecan Brownies. Are they healthy? Yes. Clean eating? Yes. Dairy free? Yes. Are they fat/oil free? Yes.  Wheatfree? Yes in deedie. So what’s in them?? This recipe uses butternut squash as an alternative to butter, oats and buck wheat as alternative to wheat and raw cocoa powder, cinnamon, dried fruit and a touch of Carob maple Syrup for sweetness (you can use any naturally occurring sugar you like. This is just my preference)

Why are these so good?

My dreams are made of butternut squash brownies! If I’m not eating them, Im sharing them or thinking of them. Seriously I think I may need professional help. “Doctor, doctor I think I’m turning into a butternut squash and roasted pecan brownie.  I’m turning orange and I gotta gooey centre”.

I’ve got it bad.

I’m in love!

This is a ‘no fear’ recipe that’s simple and quick to make with absolutely no bother. It all goes in the bowl at pretty much the same time. It’s the perfect fix to a 4pm slump or sweet tooth craving. You will need to cook your squash first. You can do this just before you make the recipe or the night before. Roasted Pecans and buckwheat gives this a real smoky taste and the cinnamon is added to compliment these two. Let’s not forget the chocolate. I use unsweetened cocoa powder and a table spoon of 85% dark chocolate for extra depth.

Let’s get started! As I am gonna have a craving in exactly 45mins time.

NOTE – Naturally occurring sugars? Carob syrup, Maple syrup or Date Syrup. You could also use pure honey.

Butternut Squash and Roasted Pecan Brownies – makes 6, bake 25 mins.

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Ingredients

40g Oats

50g Buckwheat (if you are not a fan use Wholemeal Spelt or wholemeal flour)

25g Raisins

30g dates

300g  butternut squash

3 tbsp Cocoa powder

2 tbsp Maple or Carob Syrup

1 heaped tbsp 85% Dark Chocolate (melted)

50g Baked or pan fried Pecans ( no need for oil to pan roast).

MethodPre heat on to 180.c/350.f

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1 – Boil or steam your Butternut squash until mash-ably soft.

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2 – In a large bowl add the mashed Squash and sift in the Buckwheat flour and cocoa powder,

3 – In a food processor add the oats, raisins, dates and Maple Syrup (or whatever naturally occurring sugar you prefer)

4 – Add the blitzed ingredients to the butternut squash ingredients and mix well.

5 – For the nuts you can grab yourself a small frying pan and after breaking up a big handful of pecans toast them over the heat and toss them every so often. As soon as they have started to brown, your done. Or you can grab a baking tray, add baking paper and add the pecans and toast in the oven, regularly tossing and checking or checking and tossing!

6 – After you have added the nuts to your mixture put your dark chocolate in a microwavable bowl and (depending on your microwave) melt for 30 secs or keep checking until the chocolate has just melted.

TOP TIP – regularly check your chocolate and stir. Only melt the chocolate until JUST melted any longer then the chocolate will turn lumpy and gritty. It’s burnt!

7 – Mix in the melted chocolate to your big bowl of deliciousness and do a taste test to make sure your batter has enough chocolate flavour for you.

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8- Add the mixture to a prepared baking tray or dish lined with baking paper and greased. I use coconut oil to grease mine.

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9 – Add the dish to the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

10 – After 25 mins test with a tooth pick and if it comes out clean we’ve won!!

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Allow to cool if you can bear it and then attack attack!!

IMG_4323I love the way the orange colour of the squash still comes through the deep chocolate. These have great brownie texture which feels like eating velvet. In perfect contrast you get the crunch of the pecan. In the words of Jamie Oliver and Dell Boy ‘Lovely jubbly!’

Lets have a look in close up of this Butternut Squash and roasted Pecan Brownie.

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Butternut squash – Vitamins – A, B, E and K. Minerals – magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. It’s also high in fibre.

Looking for more healthy treat inspiration ? – Check out my Wheat-free, Sugar free Scone recipe, on my Sweet can be healthy blog post that I spoke about earlier.

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My Apple, Date & Avocado Scones

If you are like me and fly out of the house first thing in the morning these might be a perfect breakfast on the go or just a great feel good treat for you. Have a quick look at my Good morning sunshine bars blog.

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Bursting with seeds, nuts and fruit.

It would be great to meet you all. You can find me on Instagram @thecakediariesofficial or Tweet me @thecakediaries1

Stay happy and healthy and know that spring is on his way! He told me.

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