Refined sugar free Apple loaf cake

We love apple cake and decided we wanted to create a refined sugar free apple load because as proven previously in our banana loaf recipe you don’t have to use refined sugar in a cake for it to taste delicious.

We had a few goes experimenting with the recipe but we are finally happy with it and easy to share it with you! Let us know if you decide to make it and we would love to see your creations as always 🙂

apple loaf.png

Ingredients
2 Braeburn apple
200g oat flour (we just blend oats that we already have in the cupboard)
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml milk of your choice we used almond milk
3tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
2tsp Cinnamon

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Line your loaf tin and grease with some melted coconut oil
Blend the oats until they are fine and resemble flour
Chop 1 1/2 apples into medium sized chunks- with the remainder of the apple you will need to cut it into slices that can be placed ontop of the cake (as seen in the photo above)
Mix your oat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, 2tbsp coconut sugar and diced apples together until combined.
Pour in the milk and stir until mixed well.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin
Place the sliced apple on top of the mixutre
sprinkle with 1tbsp coconut sugar
Bake the apple loaf for 30 minutes until cooked throughout
When cooked let cool and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

A Tourists Guide to Paris

Paris is an amazing city and we were lucky enough to spend the weekend there at the end of April. There so much to see and do so we have written down the top 10 things to do when visiting Paris:

1) Eiffel Tower
Of course you have to see the Eiffel Tower when visiting Paris, although you don’t necessarily have to go to the top of it, sometimes you want it in pictured as its so iconic and if you have climbed up it it wont feature in your pictures. The best place to go for pictures directly in front of the tower is the Place du Trocadero, you can walk through the gardens and up the stairs and have stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. As for all places in Paris to get good pictures it best to go early and beat the crowds.

2) Arc du Triomphe
You can climb up the Arc du Triomphe and get amazing views of the streets of Paris or head to the Champs Elysees where all the amazing shops are with the Arc du Triomphe at the end. On the first Sunday of every month it is free to climb to the top of the the Arc du Triomphe.

3) Notre-Dame de Paris
This famous cathedral is located on the Ile de la Cite and is very popular with tourists so is a great photo opportunity. You can visit inside and climb to the top too. When here make sure you also visit the Ile Saint-Louis which is the slightly smaller island but has some amazing shops and restaurants. Make sure you also visit the green market stalls on the streets surronding the Notre-Dame de Paris!

4) Sacre-Coeur – Montmartre
Another touristy place you must visit when in Paris and great photo opportunities. This stunning church is located at the top of a hill. Whilst here make sure you visit the artist market, which is iconic for Paris and can be seen on many postcards! The Sacre-Coeur is also very close to the Moulin Rouge if you are a fan of the film then pop here for a picture outside the famous red windmill.

5) Galeries Lafayette
The Galeries Lafayette are a huge department store, so if you fancy a spot of shopping then head here. However we recommend you visit here for the free amazing views of Paris. If you head right to the top of the building there is a roof terrace that looks out over Paris and its not to be missed.

6) Boat trip
We went on a boat trip with a company called Bateaux Mouches which took us up and down the river with commentary. The commentary pointed out all the landmarks and also gives a brief history too which is interesting. The commentary is in English, French and Chinese. However there are many other boat companies to choose from and all as equally good.

7) Grand Roue
This is like going on the London Eye only much more cheaper. To ride this costs 12 euros and you go around twice. This is a different way to see the sights of Paris and get some pictures from high up. From the wheel you can see all of Paris so its pretty spectacular.

8) Palais Royal
These gardens and courtyard are stunning and the black and white pillars and perfect photo opportunities. Its best to visit early to avoid all the tourists to get a good pictures without massive of crowds spoiling it

9) The Ritz
This is the hotel that Princess Diana stayed in when she visited Paris. The Ritz is on the Place Vendome and is surrounded by designer stores including Rolex and Chanel. Its good to go here for some stunning photographs of the square, and oogle at the expensive cars.

10) Museums
We have put 2 museums into on point in order to make this list only 10 (oooops!). The Louvre is where the Mona Lisa painting lives, however be prepared to queue to enter the museum and also be prepared to see how small the painting actually is! If you don’t fancy going inside you can take some cool pictures with the famous glass pyramid. When visiting the Musse D’Orsey make sure you go and see the iconic huge clocks and take that Pinterest worthy picture! This museum is in a former station so inside it is pretty impressive.

 

Northern Ireland National Trust

On my short visit to Northern Ireland we visited a number of different National Trust places so it seemed fitting that our next post about the National Trust was all about Northern Ireland.

In total there are over 30 National Trust places you can visit, the country is so beautiful that I can see why there are so many stunning National Trust places to visit.

Castleward
Castleward is where some of Game of Thrones was filmed, I personally haven’t watched any of the episodes but for the avid fans you can take a GoT tour to all the set locations. Coincidentally whilst we were there the BBC were actually filming a TV drama called The Woman in White, they were filming a scene with a horse and cart and doing take after take. Castleward is so close to the sea and you can do a coastal walk along the bay overlooking Portaferry. You can also visit the mansion and grounds too, that are beautiful.

The Giants Causeway
This is one of the most famous places in Northern Ireland where all the rocks are naturally hexagonal. This is a very popular tourist destination and they arrive by coachload! This is free to visit for National Trust members however I would recommend you do what we did and park in Portballintrae, where you can park at the end of Beach Road and walk to the causeway to save money and also see the stunning Norther Ireland coastline where you can also see Scotland!
The Giants Causeway itself is very very busy but most definitely worth a visit.
The walk back to the car you can do a loop and walk along the mainland next to a railway track.

Rowallane Gardens
These gardens were really close to our cottage so we visited one morning, would recommend going early in the morning as you will have the place to yourself. The grounds at Rowallane are simply beautiful and we were lucky to be visiting in spring so there were lots of flowers in bloom. We took advantage of the map and did a nice loop around the grounds. We then ended the walk at the tea rooms where I enjoyed a soya luxury hot chocolate and gluten free chocolate cake. There is something about National Trust tea rooms, they are so cute and cosy and the food is always amazing. This is the sort of NT place that you don’t need to spend the day at, but can visit on route to somewhere.
This NT place is very close to the small town of Saintfield where there are 2 fish and chips shops if you fancied a spot of lunch.

The Crown Bar
This is the oldest bar in Belfast and surprisingly is owned by the National Trust. However saying that by being a member doesn’t give you any perks, you can’t get a free pint! This bar is a must see on a visit to Belfast its so cute and there are loadsa booths to sit in, but you have to be wait a bit for a free one!

Carrick-a-Rede
Visit here if you a feeling very brave where you can walk along a rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede. You used to be able to turn up here and walk across the bridge, however to manage the crowds (Northern Ireland has become very popular recently, most probably because of GoT!) you now have to turn up and pick up a ticket for a slot that day.
This means you have to go and get your time slot and potentially go back for your allocated time slot.
However, it is totally worth it to get that Instagram snap of your daring to cross the rope bridge to show off to your friends!

Now summer is nearly here we shall be making the most of our life memberships and visiting some more National Trusts places, expect to see lots more posts!

 

Crème brûlée

Crème brûlée is a very delicious dessert and we were inspired to make this recipe after our trip to Paris. We wanted to make crème brûlée but fancies making it with a twist so after some delving into Pinterest decided to make crème brûlée tarts.

The pastry is our classic pastry recipe that we swear by and the filling is a custard recipe. We then topped the tarts with sugar and used a blow torch to make the classic crème brûlée texture. These are great as you can make the pastry in advance and also make the custard in advance. If you are hosting a dinner party as these are ideal as all you need to do before serving is sprinkle on sugar and use the blow torch.

Enjoy!!

Ingredients
Pastry:
175g plain flour
100g cold butter
1 tbsp icing sugar

Filling:
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2tbsp caster sugar

Granulated sugar

Method

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree and butter and line with grease proof mini tart tins
2) Put all the ingredients for the pastry in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients come together (you may need to finish with your hands)
3) Pour onto a flour surface and roll out the dough until 1mm thick. Lay over the tart tins and press into the ridges, then leave the pastry hanging over the edge as pastry shrinks when cooked
4) Line with foil and pour in baking beans and blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Take our the beans and finish off the pastry for 5 minutes
5) Reduce the oven temperature to 130 degrees
6) To make the custard filling, put the cream in a large pan with the vanilla and heat until bubbles form around the edge. Let to cool for 5 minutes.
7) Mix the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar with a hand mixer then add the cream
8) Pour the custard mixture into the pastry and cook for 18-20 minutes until almost set. They will be a little wobbly
9) Leave to cool
10) Sprinkle with granulated sugar and use a blow torch to caramelise/cook the sugar

How to juggle a blog with a full time job 

When we are not working at our day jobs we spend the rest of the time blogging. 95% of our weekends have something blog related going on and it’s very rare we ever stop working on our blog. We have a to do list that just seems to grow which is great but it can also become very overwhelming. We are lucky we have each other to talk to and discuss what our priorities are for that week.

If you are also juggling a full time job with a blog which lets be honest is basically a full time job as well, then you might be interested in our top tips below! These basically help us get our shit together instead of having a mini breakdown halfway through the week!

Blogging

Write a to do list- we don’t know where we would be without our to do lists. It’s impossible to remember everything you have to do unless you write it down. We each have a to do list we work off of in hope that if one of us has forgotten something the other has remembered.

Write an Instagram schedule- at the begging of the week we write an Instagram schedule on the sort of photo we want to post whether that is fitness, coffee, breakfast etc. We don’t write the exact photo as sometimes we haven’t even taken it yet but it just saves us time during the week as it is one less thing to worry about.

Put time aside at the weekends- schedule in some blogging evenings and weekends so you can work on your blog without feeling rushed. We love our blogging days and evenings they are always so much fun and we always end up having so much content by the end of the weekend.

Work through your lunch break- we regularly work through our lunch breaks, this can include going to the shops to buy props, ingredients or new active wear. We also plan what we are going to bake so we constantly scroll through Pinterest looking for inspiration for our weekend baking sessions.

Wake up earlier/ go to bed later- we are early birds and love getting up early in the mornings and recently we have been meeting up at the gym to film workout videos for our YouTube channel. We love getting into bed early at night but we definitely make the most of the evenings when we get in from work before bedtime.

Communication is so key especially if you work on a blog with someone else. We are constantly talking to each other about the blog, we always wonder what we did before the blog came along!

Getting the recognition you deserve- if you work with a brand or a brand have contacted you you should ask yourself whether or not the content you produce will be worth your time and efforts. We are after all working on our days off and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t work your day job free of charge or without getting some sort of recognition.

Utilise your commute by joining a Twitter chat, commenting on Instagram photos, replying to emails, writing blog posts on the notes section of your phone, buffer tweets and the list could go on and on!

Make the most of the good weather and get outside! If you know the weather is going to be lush at the weekend then try your hardest to get outside. We have met up early in the morning on a Saturday just to fit a photo shoot in as we had other plans for the rest of the weekend.

Don’t stress when your blog has to take a back seat, although this is probably the last thing you want sometimes it has too.

Use scheduling apps to keep on top of social media, we recommend Buffer or Hoot Suite but would love to know if you have other recommendations. We schedule our tweets on Buffer and it means we can continue to promote our blog throughout the day on twitter. We don’t pay for the app yet, so can only schedule 10 at a time but means we can have a tweet promoting a post at lunchtime when we are at work or in the afternoon.

Blog about what you love and it will never feel like work! 

Paris food: Le Marais

Le Marais is a district of Paris that spreads across parts of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements in Paris. It mixes together the old charm and modern day culture into an amazing area of Paris.

It is easy to walk to Le Marais from what people would call the centre of Paris and even better we would recommend staying in this area of Paris. The beauty of this area is that it is far out the centre so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by the madness of the city but close enough to walk to the main places but also amazing metro and bus lines.
Le Marais for us felt like the Shoreditch of Paris and we loved it. There are so many cool bars, restaurants and cafes to visit that we wish we had even longer in Paris to sample them all. However we have condensed together a list of places to visit in Le Marais.

Season
There are 4 Season’s in Paris and they are all very popular and busy so expect to wait for a table. The main one is called Season but there is also Season Takeaway, Season Market and By Season which are all in the Marais area. Their Instagram is so dreamy and their food looks amazing, and you can also view the menu online

Cafe Breizh
If you love pancakes (crepes) then you have to visit here. You can get either sweet or savoury crepes and both taste delicious. The crepes are so thin and there are so many different fillings/toppings to choose from. It is advised to book as its very popular

Love Juice Paris
Oh my gosh the most amazing smoothie/shake is served here. This place is off a side street close to the Pompidou Centre and you wouldn’t find it if you weren’t looking. The door to the place is tiny and glass and you wouldn’t visit it if you were just passing by, however you should! Love Juice Paris is so small and cute and the lady who made our drinks was really friendly and sweet, the menu is small so its not hard to choose what to have! The smoothie was super thick and creamy and the smoothie bowls looked delicious too.

Ober Mamma
This restaurant is seriously popular and its hard to get a table here as you cannot book in advance. It is recommended you arrive 30 minutes before opening and join the long queue of other guests. Ober Mamma is Italian so if you love Italian food then this is a must visit.

Passager
A gem that we stumbled across via Instagram serving amazing food and coffee. This tiny cafe again is one you wouldn’t find unless you knew about it, which is the beauty of this place.

Fragments
Another place we found to visit purely by looking in Instagram. Their coffee looks amazing, and not to mention the incredible coffee art. They also serve an all day breakfast which if the Instagram photos are anything to go by looks delicious!

Pozetto
This is a kinda dessert bar/cafe. You can get the most delicious ice cream and also amazing luxury hot chocolate. Pozetto is open late so is the perfect way to end your evening. During the day in the summer the queue for the ice cream is very long but trust us its worth it. The white chocolate is delicious, as is dark chocolate and hazelnut too.

La Droguerie du Marais
If you are a fan of pancakes this is another pancake cafe to visit when in Le Marais. There is often a queue outside the entrance but its worth the wait, especially when only 2 euros for a crepe.

Little Apple
We stumbled across this place on our early morning run and were attracted to it by the name/sign on the outside. This places mainly serves burgers, salads and cocktails. If you visit at lunchtime you can take advantage of the amazing lunch time deal of burger, side and soft drink for 15 euros.

Health Inside
This is a cute health cafe opposite Des Enfants Rouge. If you want some healthy food when visiting Paris this is a great place to try, especially as they have a set brunch menu.

Des Enfants Rouge
We stumbled across this by accident it was AMAZING. You can visit here and literally eat any cuisine that you fancy from the variety of street food stalls. The smell was amazing and so was the atmosphere. This is a must see if you are visiting the area, but make sure you check the opening times!

Hank
Hank Burger, Hank Pizza and Hank Cafe are vegan restaurants. If you are a vegan visiting Paris then you must visit here. The modern restaurants are cute sized with amazing menus. At Hank Burger you can get a great set menu which includes a drink and the same at Hank Pizza.

Lily of the Valley
We stumbled across this whilst walking to Season as its just around the corner. There are 3 different locations to choose from, so pick one that’s closest to you. This cute cafe sells 45 different teas along with coffee, cakes and a vegetarian lunch.

Alma the Chimney Cake Factory
This place is SO cool, well the seating is anyway. Check our the pictures on Instagram but the seating arrangements are amazing. Anyway, visit here to sample a chimney cake which is basically a long filled cake.

Merci
This is a shop that also has a cafe. The shop is bloggers paradise selling really random and cool bits and bobs. The highlight is the cute vintage Fiat 500 in the entrance, that you just HAVE to get a photo next to!

Page 35
This place is great for lunch and dinner and is an absolute bargain. You can get a set menu with 3 courses for 16 euros and the food is amazing. The quality of the food was superb and the flavours were dreamy. There is also so much choice on the menu that everyone will be happy! We highly recommend this place for food.

There are SO many cool places to visit in Le Marais that its hard to pick the ones to go to, however let us know where you visit.

Raspberry and Lemon Muffins

These muffins are so delicious and they are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free too and you cannot even tell, who said following a low FODMAP diet had to be boring!
We made them with raspberry and lemons because raspberries are in season now, and raspberry and lemon are the perfect summer flavour but you could try with other ingredients instead.

Ingredients
4tbsp sunflower oil
1 egg
75ml almond milk
150g gluten free self raising flour
1tsp xanthan gum
100g coconut sugar
drop lemon extract
1tsp lemon juice
punnet of raspberries (around 150–175g)

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and put muffin cases in a muffin tray
2) In a jug mix together the milk, egg and oil. Then add the lemon extract and juice
3) In a mixing bowl sieve in the flour then add the sugar
4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients with half of the raspberries and mix – do not over mix
5) Spoon the mixture into the cases and then top with the remaining raspberries
6) Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the skewer comes out clean
7) Best enjoyed warm!