Cute Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes are nice and easy to make and the kids can easily get involved too (licking the bowl as well of course!!). We decided to make our simple cupcake recipe and then decorate with red/pink coloured sugary treats. You can decorate them however you would like, the brighter the better!!

Cupcakes:
120g butter
120g sugar
2 eggs
120g flour
tsp baking powder
drop vanilla essence

Icing:
250g icing sugar
80g butter, softened
20ml milk

Heart cupcakes

1) Preheat the over to 180 degrees and put 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tray (we used red spotty cases from Tesco)
2) For the cake beat together the butter and sugar in a free standing mixer, beat until the mixture is fluffy.
3)Crack in the eggs, sift in the flour and add the baking powder and vanilla essence. Beat until the mixture is combined but do not over mix.
4) Spoon the mixture into the cases and then cook in the oven for 12 minutes. A skwewer should come out clean and they should look golden. Leave to cool
5) For the icing put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until fluffy. The longer you mix the fluffier and nicer the icing will be.
6) Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes when they are cool and have fun with your decorating!

 

Creme Egg Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a crowd pleaser and also very tasty too! We just love crème eggs so had to make crème egg cupcakes, these ones are inspired by crème eggs. You can hide a mini crème egg inside the cupcake if you want to as well! We did half with a crème egg in the middle and half without! We are also lucky enough to have duo icing bags (from Lakeland) so were able to do duo icing of white and orange. If you don’t have a piping bag then you could just swirl the orange food colouring into the buttercream.
Have fun making these and enjoy surprising your guests with the hidden middle!

Cakes:
120g sugar
120g butter
100g self raising flour
20g cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder

Icing:
250g icing sugar
80g butter
25ml whole milk
Orange food colouring

½ bar dark chocolate
Bag of mini crème eggs

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and put cupcake cases in a tray
2) In a free standing mixer beat together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy looking
3) Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and add the eggs and baking powder, mix until combined but do not over mix
4) Spoon the mixture into the cases, do not be tempted to over fill, ans cook for 15-20 minutes
5) To make the icing beat all the ingredients together with a free hand mixer or in your free standing mixer. The longer you beat the fluffier the icing.
6) Put half of the icing in one side of the piping bag
7) Add orange food colouring to the rest of the icing and mix well. Then put the icing in the other side of the bag
8) Pipe the icing generously onto the cupcakes
9) Melt the dark chocolate and then drizzle over the top of the cupcakes

Happy Easter!

Red Nose Day: Malteser Biscuits

Red Nose Day is on Friday 24th March, which is a day where money is raised for Comic Relief by doing lots of fun things. Many celebrities get involved by doing fun activities to different challenges, you can buy Red Nose Day merchandise at TK Maxx and Sainsburys and of course the gang will be back on your TV on Friday night on BBC One at 7pm, we will be tuning in for sure and cannot wait to watch the Love Actually Comic Relief Special.

A great way to raise money is to bake goodies for charity, so we have come up with a fun things can bake with a Red Nose Day theme, you can also order a fundraising baking kit to help get you started here

bake a massive difference 

Malteser are doing a campaign where they aim to raise £1 million for Comic Relief, and for every bake uploaded to social media with the hashtag #bakeamillion before 24th March they will donate £5 towards the £1 million. We decided to take part and bake our favourite naughty treat ever that uses maltesers. This will also be uploaded to social media with the hashtag #bakeamillion
There are lots of other recipe ideas for baking with Maltesers on the RND website

For our signature Malteser biscuits to make them extra special we added a red M&M to the centre of each slice to look like a red nose!

For the biscuits:
100g dark chocolate
200g milk chocolate
3 tbsp golden syrup
100g unsalted butter
200g digestive biscuits
50g Maltesers
For the topping:
100g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
Red m&ms

1) For the biscuits melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in bowl over simmering water
2) Put the biscuits in a freezer and crush until you have crumbs, we also like a few larger chunks of biscuits too. Add the Maltesers and crush these slightly too, again we like to have a couple of whole Maltesers in the mixture too
3) Pour the biscuits and Maltesers into the melted chocolate mixture and stir
4) Press into a baking tray that has been greased with butter and lined with baking parchment
5) Melt the topping in the same bowl over simmering water and pour over the biscuits and leave to cool

 

Refined sugar free banana bread

We really wanted to bake some banana bread one Sunday afternoon when we were browsing the fruit and vegetable isles in the supermarket. Most supermarkets bag up banana that are about to go out of date and sell them for about 20p bargain!

Banana bread is great because you can eat it at any time of the day! Well you can with this banana bread because it is sugar free and still tastes so delicious! The bananas are sweet enough and become even sweeter once cooked so you wont even notice the lack of sugar.

banana 1.png

Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
200G oat flour (we just blend oats that we already have in the cupboard)
30g chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml milk of your choice
1tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
5g Oats

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
Mush 2 of the bananas in a mixing bowl
Slice the remaning banana
In a separate bowl mix your oat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and walnuts
Once combined add the mashed banana and half of the slices banana and stir
Pour in the milk and stir
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin
Place the remaining sliced on top of the mixutre
Sprinkle the handful (5g) oats and coconut sugar on top
Bake the banana loaf for 30 minutes until cooked throughout
When cooked let cool and enjoy

banana-2

Lunch time Pizza Party

Last weekend we wanted to make something quick and easy for lunch. We thought about a few options but decided homemade pizza was the perfect decision. Instead of making the dough we purchased some Kingsmill thins from Tesco and all the toppings!

This is the perfect lunch and can be enjoyed both hot or cold so we will definitely be taking these to work in our lunch box. Let us know if you make these or if you have any other quick lunch recipes.

pizza

Ingredients
Kingsmill thins
Passata with basil
Grated mozzarella
Grated mature cheddar cheese
Selection of cold meats
Red pepper
Rocket

Method
Switch on the grill
Grill the Kingsmill thins on a baking tray on both sides for a couple of minutes until toasted
Spread the passata onto the thins and sprinkle the cheese on top
top with a selection of cold meats
Cook for a couple of minutes until cheese is fully melted
Top with rocket and serve

pizza-party

Chickpea Cookie Dough Balls

cookie dough 1.png

Who doesn’t love cookie dough? Sometimes when we make cookies we make extra just so we can eat the mixture but shh don’t tell anyone. We decided we wanted to make slightly healthier cookie dough balls and thought chick peas would be the perfect ingredient.

These delicious cookie dough balls taste delicious hot out the oven, they are all gooey with melted chocolate oozing out its hard to stop after eating just one. They also taste just as good once cooled. We would suggest serving them with some homemade ‘nice cream’ or even treat yourself to some proper ice cream after all these cookie dough balls are healthy!

Ingredients
2 Cans of chickpeas
200g Peanut butter
5tbsp Honey or maple syrup
1tsp Baking powder
2 tsp Vanilla essence
150g 85% Dark chocolate

Method
Pre heat the oven 180oc and line a baking tray with grease proof paper
Drain and rinse the chick peas
Dry the chickpeas well
Blend all ingredients minus the dark chocolate in a food processor (we would suggest taste testing before adding the chocolate to ensue the mixture is sweet enough if not add some more honey/maple syrup)
Break the chocolate into small chunks and stir into the mixture
Take small handfuls of mixture and roll into a ball
Place on the lined baking tray
Cook in the oven for 11 minutes

5 Healthy lunch ideas to take to work 

We have got into the habit of taking a pack lunch to work on a daily basis. This way we know the food we are putting in our bodies whilst also saving a LOT of money.

We tend to make our lunch the night before or even bulk make it at the weekend. We all know the saying after all; Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Below are five ideas that make the perfect lunch! Let us know if you have any other ideas as we would love to know!

Homemade soup- There is nothing better than tucking into some homemade soup in the winter at work. Soup is ridiculously easy to make and you will find tonnes of recipes online, BBC food always has simple recipes to follow. Some great soups to make our: Carrot and Coriander, Leek and Potato, Tomato, Butternut Squash, Pea and mint and so many more!

Homemade Hummus with veggies and wholemeal pitta- Why not try making your own hummus? The only ingredients you will need are chickpeas, tahini, lemon Juice, olive oil & a sprinkle of paprika. Once again have a look on the BBC food website for a recipe to follow. If you wanted to be extra adventurous you could even experiment by making beetroot, sundried tomato or roasted pepper hummus all of which taste delicious. If you don’t have time to make hummus then you can also purchase three mini hummus pots from Tesco. There is a selection of flavour: Sweet Chilli, Lemon and Coriander, Caramelised red onion, Roasted Red pepper, Sun blushed Tomato etc.

Salad- Salad is a great lunch as it is so versatile! We have lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery, radish and sugar snap peas as a base and then add on whatever we fancy for a topping. Some great toppings are: smoked salmon, tuna, falafel, parma ham, feta cheese, olives, chickpeas etc. Try not to flavour your salad with shop bought dressings as they can be full of sugar. Instead if we are at work we tend to use balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Roasted Veg- Roasted root vegetables are a perfect lunch now the weather is getting a little bit colder. We tend to just cook more vegetables the night before with dinner which will save you time when it comes to making your lunch. The roasted vegetables we are loving at the moment are: sweet potato, butternut squash, beetroot, peppers, courgette, carrot and red onion. Wack it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to make sure they are heated through.

Roasted Chicken breast/Salmon Fillet with Brown Rice- This lunch is perfect after a post run lunch (read our previous blog about lunch time running here). You can roast the Chicken or salmon the night before but we would advise purchasing the 2 minute microwave rice bags as rice carries lots of bacteria so shouldn’t be re heated. You can purchase the rice bags at all super markets.