Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Courgette Muffins

I am sure most of you have heard of carrot cake, so I wanted to see what other vegetables could be incorporated into baking. In particular I wanted to focus on a vegetable that neither of the boys would agree to eat, if they saw it on their plate. I decided on courgette and knew it needed to be well hidden, to get past the point of them actually eating. Therefore a type of chocolate cake was the answer.

Chocolate Courgette Muffins

Chocolate Courgette Muffins

Ingredients (makes 12)

100g soft brown sugar
50ml vegetable oil
160g self raising flour
40g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large eggs
1 courgette (approx 200g)
few drops of vanilla essence

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 degree C.
Place muffin cases in muffin baking tray.
Grate the courgette.
Add sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla essence to mixing bowl and beat together.
Mix in the grated courgette.
Sieve in the flour.
Add cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Fold in all these dry ingredients.
Spoon mixture into muffin cases.
Bake on middle shelf of preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until well risen and springy to the touch.
Cool on cooling rack.
Serve and enjoy.

Chocolate Courgette Muffins

So then I offered the “chocolate” muffins to the boys, which were initially eagerly accepted. And waited for the verdict on the experiment. Son1 asked if he could have a second muffin straightaway but son2 only ate half his muffin. Perhaps it needed more sugar to be disguised for son2. He could only say he didn’t like it, but not why.

I then told son1 there was a mystery ingredient and asked if he could guess it. He failed to guess and didn’t believe me when I told him it was courgette. I had to show him the photos to convince him. But I’m glad to say he continued to enjoy the muffins. And I thought they were very tasty too.

I’d love to hear your ideas for hiding secret vegetables in other dishes? I’m thinking chocolate might be a good cover for either beetroot or avocado too.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

SaveSave

Advertisements

An energy boost

I have just started a new job and there is lots to learn during the training period, which I find can be quite exhausting. Especially as I have to juggle it with family commitments.  Plus it is a shift role, so a mixture of early starts, late finishes plus night shifts again, which I’ve recently had a few months break from. So I was very pleased to be offered a free energy boosting goody pack from Pharmaton.

Energy boosting goodies

I received the following products.
75ml thisworks deep sleep pillow spray
Neom Energy Burst On the Go Mist
50g Nutriseed raw Maca powder
Boots £10 gift card (to purchase Pharmaton Vitality Capsules)

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules

So on my next shopping trip, I popped into Boots to buy a bottle of the Pharmaton Vitality Capsules. This contained 30 capsules, currently at an RRP of £9.49, for which the recommended dose is one tablet daily. I decided to take the full packet before telling you what I thought of them. The packet indicates that they are clinically proven against tiredness and lack of energy. Would I find that so?

The first 2 days didn’t go too well with me getting a bad headache overnight. The packet does warn that headaches may be a common side effect. But after that, things improved and although it is difficult to say with any certainty, I feel that overall I was probably more energised. During week 4, I did my first night shifts in several months, and I felt that my body adjusted back better afterwards.

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules contain a special blend of vitamins and minerals, including the unique G115 ginseng extract. The idea is that they work with your body’s natural metabolism to relieve fatigue and restore vitality, and also help keep you stay mentally and physically alert. They can be taken every day for up to 12 weeks. (For the relief of temporary periods of fatigue. Always read the label).

And of course I tried out the other goodies too.

thisworks deep sleep pillow spray

The pillow spray is great. You just spray it on your pillow and the top end of your duvet. Then smell the delightful fragrance of lavender, vetivert and wild camomile as you drift off. Lavender is one of my favourite scents so this was perfect for me.

Neom Energy Burst On the Go Mist

The Neom mist has a lovely fragrance too and is 100% natural, but it comes in a very tiny bottle. I can’t see the size details on the packaging, but I’m guessing 5ml, so it won’t last me long. I’ve already used over half of it. Basically you spritz it above you or on your wrists, then supposedly breathe in through your nose for a count of 7 and out through your mouth for a count of 11. However I found that I couldn’t breathe for anything like this length, so I’m just doing it as slow as I can manage.

And finally the organic maca powder. I had never heard of maca, so I had to do some research. I found that the Incas have been cultivating it for 1000s of years in the high Peruvian Andes, boosting their energy at such a high altitude. More details on Wikipedia. The packet says to add 1-2 teaspoons to your smoothies, shakes, juices and healthy bakes. Well I decided to use it in my not quite so healthy chocolate cookie recipe.

Double choc chip cookies with maca

Double Choc Chip Cookies

Ingredients (makes about 13)

200g butter
200g plain flour
50g cocoa
1 heaped teasp maca powder
120g soft brown sugar
1 egg
few drops vanilla essence
1 tbsp milk
100g chocolate chips

Method

Preheat fan oven to 170 degree C.
Grease 2 baking trays.
Cream together the butter and sugar.
Beat in the egg.
Add the vanilla essence.
Sieve in the cocoa.
Add the maca powder.
Sieve in the flour.
Mix together.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Mix in milk if mixture is too stiff.
Spoon balls of mixture onto the baking trays.
Bake in pre-heated oven for about 12 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve and enjoy.

Double choc chip cookies with maca

Delicious. Everyone gave these the thumbs up.


And here are some more simple tips to help you make the most of your day and get your energy levels back.

  1. Stay Hydrated

It seems obvious but make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. According to the Natural Hydration Council, dehydration can reduce the ability to concentrate and impact cognitive and physical performance. NHS choices recommend that you drink at least 1.2 litres of fluid a day which is roughly 6-8 glasses of water. The best way to remind yourself is to keep a glass or bottle on your desk and set yourself a target amount to drink by the end of the day.

  1. Eat right

Make sure that you eat the right foods at the right time. It is tempting to reach for high fat, high sugar products when you are tired but these will leave your energy levels crashing, making you feel irritable and still hungry. Keep a pot of nuts such as almonds or cashews at your desk for when you need an energy boost.

  1. Get a good sleep

According to the national Sleep Council, your bedroom should not be an extension of the house. So don’t use the bedroom to eat, watch TV, work or talk in – the bedroom should be used for sleeping. Plan a consistent sleeping schedule by trying to get the same amount of sleep every night and at similar times. Move all screens out of the bedroom and try to avoid staring a bright screen an hour before bed, as the light keeps your brain awake leaving you struggling to drift off.

  1. Move it

If you feel your concentration failing, don’t reach for another coffee or sugary snack – get moving! Even low intensity exercise like a brisk walk around the block at lunch can help reduce the feeling of fatigue.

I’d be interested to hear your top energy boosting tips.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Family Fever

Disclosure. This post includes a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Marble Cake

When one of my regular readers recently let me know that she was trying out my chocolate cake recipe, it got me thinking that it was time to try out something new too. And since I sometimes end up buying a marble cake at Lidl, I decided that I would try to bake one, something I’ve never tried before.

Marble Cake

Marble Cake

Ingredients

175g self raising flour
175g butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa
vanilla essence
3 tbsp milk

Method

Preheat fan oven to 160 degree C.
Line a loaf tin.
Cream together the butter and sugar.
Beat in the eggs.
Add the vanilla essence.
Sieve and mix in the flour and baking powder.
Divide mixture between 2 bowls.
Mix cocoa into one bowl.
Mix milk into same bowl.
Spoon alternate mixtures into the tin.
Bake in pre-heated oven for about 50 – 60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.
Cut into slices.
Serve and enjoy.

Marble Cake

It looked and tasted delicious. I love the swirly way it looks. No wonder it is named marble cake. Just like the pattern of a glass marble.

Marble Cake

Marble Cake

I’d love to hear what cakes you enjoy baking?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Follow on Bloglovin

SaveSave

SaveSave

Oreo marshmallow fingers

Last month I took part in the Britmums Oreo Cookie Challenge and was delighted to be one of the winners. Taking part inspired me to try to come up with an Oreo recipe, especially aimed at son2 who is huge Oreo fan.

Oreo marshmallow fingers

Oreo marshmallow fingers

Ingredients (makes about 7)

25g butter
1 packet of Original Oreos
100g mini marshmallows

Method

Tip the Oreos into a large freezer bag.
Crush the Oreos with a rolling pin.
Gently melt the butter in a large pan.
Add the marshmallows and stir until melted.
Stir in the crushed Oreos.
Spoon the mixture into a loaf mould, pressing well into the corners.
Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Remove from mould and cut into fingers.
Serve and enjoy.

Oreo marshmallow fingers

Son2 was very pleased with these, but with hindsight, it would have been better to bake a double batch, as they were all gone too quickly.

I’d love to hear your ideas for Oreo recipes.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

The tasty alternative to a greetings card plus giveaway

I’ve reached the reminder in my list that says to buy Christmas cards. I have to say I buy much fewer of these now than I used to, mostly just for the boys to send to their school friends. Beyond that I tend to mainly send charity e-cards or I prefer to do something a little bit more memorable for close family and friends.

So I was interested to hear about Morse Toad Messaging which is a tasty alternative to a greetings card. They specialise in putting a smile on someone’s face with a surprise personalised chocolate delivery. And they gave me a free £10 voucher to spend on their website.

I showed the website to the boys and they wanted to surprise their dad with one. We decided to  stick with the seasonal theme, but as it is far too early to have a Christmassy house, we just dug out their Christmas hats for a photo, ready to personalise their gift.

Christmas hats

They chose the “Best Dad in the World” wording which currently retails at £12.50. We wrote a personalised message to be printed on the reverse of the card insert. And I uploaded their photo for the front of the card which cost an additional £1. Or there were a few free images of Morse Toad in his top hat that you can choose from instead of uploading your own image. All told, the ordering process was very quick and simple. And shipping is free for all UK orders over £5.

Alternatively you can personalise the wording for your chocolate. There are 11 character spaces per row and you may have up to 4 rows.

Morse Toad Messaging Chocolate

The service was very quick. I placed the order in the evening and had an email the next afternoon to say it had been dispatched. Two days later it arrived. It was well packed and is letterbox size.

Morse Toad Messaging Chocolate

Morse Toad Messaging Chocolate

Doesn’t that look fantastic, full of tasty Belgian chocolate? Wouldn’t you just love to give or receive one of these?

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a £15 voucher to spend at Morse Toad Messaging. So the lucky winner gets to choose how to spend their prize. Open worldwide.

And I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 10% off your order at Morse Toad Messaging with discount code: “YABMummy” (expires Christmas Day).
.comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear who you would like to give a Morse Toad chocolate message to and for what occasion?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Family Fever

Disclosure. I received a £10 voucher towards purchasing goods from Morse Toad. All opinions are my own.

Teatime Treats plus giveaway

I’ve been busy baking again. This time a selection of tasty teatime treats using Macabella Cocoa & Macadamia Spread. I received 4 jars free to review – 2 each of Macabella Crunch and Macabella Velvet.

Macabella cocoa & macadamia spread

As Macabella spreads contain a high content of both sugar and vegetable oil, I’ve experimented with simplifying traditional recipes to replace ingredients like chocolate, butter and sugar or syrup with Macabella. This also cuts out the saucepan stage of having to melt fat, etc, so my recipes are quick and super-easy to make.


Macabella cookies

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients (makes 12)

250g Macabella Crunch
150g flour
1 egg

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Mix Macabella, flour and egg together.
Grease baking trays.
Divide mixture into 12 balls.
Place on a baking tray, about 5cm apart and press down slightly.
Cook for 10 minutes in centre of pre-heated oven.
Allow to cool.
Serve and enjoy.

Macabella cookies



Macabella brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients (makes 12)

300g Macabella Crunch
75g flour
2 eggs

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Mix Macabella, flour and eggs together.
Grease and line a 20cm square tin.
Tip mixture into tin and smooth into corners.
Cook for about 30 minutes in centre of pre-heated oven.
Allow to cool and then cut into 12 pieces.
Serve and enjoy.

Macabella brownies



Macabella flapjack

Chocolate and Cranberry Flapjack

Ingredients (makes 12)

150g Macabella Velvet
300g oats
approx 50ml milk
25g dried cranberries

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Mix Macabella, oats, cranberries and sufficient milk to stir easily together.
Grease and line a 20cm square tin.
Tip mixture into tin and smooth into corners.
Cook for about 30 minutes in centre of pre-heated oven.
Allow to cool and then cut into 12 pieces.
Serve and enjoy.

Macabella flapjack

Everyone who tried one of these tasty treats said how delicious they were. My personal favourite are the cookies. The Crunch really added to both the cookies and the brownies whilst Velvet was just right for the flapjack as Crunch would have been lost amongst the flapjack texture.

And of course I tried both types spread on bread too. Heavenly. With the macadamia flavour, they tasted just that bit more luxurious than traditional nut-free or hazelnut based chocolate spreads. They are marketed as premium Belgian quality. The Velvet contains 15% macadamia nuts and the Crunch 19.5%.

Macabella Velvet and Crunch are both available at Sainsbury’s with a current RRP of £3 for a 375g jar. That is not much more than the price of a standard chocolate spread for a premium product. I’ll certainly be buying this in the future.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 2 jars of Macabella to 3 lucky winners. Each winner will receive 1 jar of each of the following flavours – Macabella Velvet and Macabella Crunch.
.comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your ideas for a recipe using Macabella. I’ve got one more jar left and I’m planning to make some chocolate pinwheels, by spreading it over puff pastry, rolling up, then cutting into slices before baking. Do you think it would be too naughty to eat these pastries for breakfast?

You can find Macabella on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Family Fever

Disclosure. This post is a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

A duo of Honeycomb desserts

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I sampled a Dark Chocolate Honeycomb Bar last month but there wasn’t enough to try out any recipes. Well Mighty Fine Honeycomb have now sent me a free bag of Salted Caramel Honeycomb Dips, so I was able to put my cooking hat on after all.

Mighty fine salted caramel honeycomb

My immediate thought was to make a chocolate honeycomb mousse, but of course I couldn’t do a traditional raw egg mousse recipe, as son1 isn’t even permitted to eat a runny boiled egg, let alone raw. So I decided to adapt and use mascapone cheese instead and then I increased my base recipe in order to make a cheesecake at the same time as well as the mousses.

Chocolate honeycomb mousse

Honeycomb Cheesecake

Honeycomb Cheesecake and Chocolate Honeycomb Mousses

Ingredients (both serve 4)

70g salted caramel honeycomb dips
250g mascapone cheese
300ml double cream
100g milk chocolate
6 digestive biscuits
40g margarine

Method

Line a 6 inch springform tin with greaseproof paper.
Put the digestives in a plastic food bag and crush into crumbs with a rolling pin.
Melt the margarine in a saucepan.
Mix in the crushed digestives.
Tip mixture into the tin and press down well.
Place in refrigerator for at least an hour before continuing with recipe.
Remove the base from the tin and place on serving plate.
Reposition just the side piece of the springform tin around the base.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a basin over a pan of boiling water.
Whip the cream in a large bowl.
Fold the mascapone cheese into the cream.
Use a blender to crush the honeycomb into shards.
Reserve some of the larger honeycomb shards and then mix the rest into the cream cheese mixture.
Remove the basin of melted chocolate from the heat.
Spread about 2/3 of the cream cheese mixture onto the base.
Mix the rest of the cream cheese mixture into the melted chocolate.
Spoon into 4 ramekin dishes.
Place cheesecake and mousses into refrigerator for at least several hours or overnight.
Just before serving, sprinkle reserved honeycomb shards over top of cheesecake and mousses.
Serve and enjoy.

honeycomb cheesecake and mousse

Both desserts were delicious, although we all agreed the mousses were best. However with hindsight I think the cheesecake could be improved with a few drops of vanilla essence.

And I did save a couple of salted caramel honeycomb dips for a larger neat taste. Just as excellent as the dark chocolate covered bar. Yummy.

Salted Caramel Mighty Fine Caramel

This product currently retails at £3.50 for a 90g pack and is also available in 50g bars and 220g gift packs. I highly recommend it. Do take a look at the range to see the other flavours.

As mentioned last time, I am also pleased to see that they donate 5% of profits to Friends of the Honey Bee, a campaign organised by the British Beekeepers Association to halt the decreasing number of Britain’s honey bees and other pollinators and build a better future for them.

The range is available to buy in-store at Harvey Nichols and at various local shops and delis, as well as online at www.mightyfine.co and www.notonthehighstreet.com.

I’d love to hear your favourite sweet treat.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Bahlsen chocolate biscuits plus giveaway

There were huge smiles on the boys’ faces when they watched me open this parcel. It contained nine packets of Bahlsen biscuits free to review.

Bahlsen biscuits

I received a packet of each of the following Bahlsen products.
Choco Leibniz Caramel
Choco Leibniz Chocolate Orange
Choco Leibniz Dark Chocolate
Choco Leibniz Milk Chocolate
Choco Leibniz White Chocolate
PiCK UP! Black ‘N White
PiCK UP! Choco & Caramel
PiCK UP! Dark Chocolate
PiCK UP! Milk Chocolate

I’ve previously purchased Choco Leibniz Milk Chocolate several times but all the other varieties are new to me and I see from the packaging that the PiCK UP! Black ‘N White and PiCK UP! Dark Chocolate are new to the range too.

The PiCK UP! range contain 5 individually wrapped bars, which comprise a real bar of chocolate sandwiched between 2 biscuits. Ideal for a snack to give the boys when I pick them up from school. Meanwhile the Choco Leibniz range contain 9 unwrapped biscuits, which comprise a biscuit set against a bigger bar of real chocolate, to store in the cookie jar at home. And both the Choco Caramel varieties have that extra yummy caramel filling too.

We’ve been trying them out over the last couple of weeks and we have differing opinions as to our favourites, but consensus that we love them all. My personal favourite is the PiCK UP! Milk Chocolate.

Bahlsen biscuits

However there were a couple of breakages and the chocolate on a few biscuits was a little melted plus the caramel ones were oozing, but I assume this may have happened in transit as I always find the sorting office very hot whenever I go to collect mail. So hopefully shouldn’t experience this issue when you purchase in store. Certainly I haven’t in the past when I’ve bought Choco Leibniz Milk Chocolate.

Here is a larger photo of the worst affected packet.

Bahlsen biscuits

Bahlsen biscuits are stocked in most major supermarkets. My local branch of Sainsburys is currently retailing the Choco Leibniz at £1, normally £1.50 and the PiCK UP! at £1.60. They will certainly be going on my shopping list.

Win Bahlsen Choco Leibniz biscuits

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 5 packets of biscuits courtesy of Bahlsen to one lucky winner. That is one each of the Choco Leibniz flavours. A yummy prize.

comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your favourite biscuit.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Honeycomb is the bees knees!

Gwyneth Paltrow recently revealed that she uses an ancient health treatment in which she is voluntarily stung by bees. Not something I would fancy, but I do appreciate bees for everything honey related. So I immediately said yes when I was offered the chance to sample some Mighty Fine Honeycomb for free.

Mighty Fine Honeycomb

I received a Dark Chocolate Honeycomb Bar, but the boys had their eyes on it too, so I ended up cutting into 4 pieces, so we could all have a taste.

It was delicious, a very tasty treat, but the others all said it was very similar to Crunchie apart from being coated in dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate. I can’t comment on the comparison myself as I haven’t had a Crunchie in years. But I have found out that Crunchie doesn’t actually contain honey, whilst this product does. In fact, this is all natural ingredients and handcrafted.

Mighty Fine Honeycomb

Pity there wasn’t some more, as I would have liked to experiment using it in a dessert recipe.

This product currently retails at £1.79 for a 50g bar and is also available in 90g and 220g gift packs. I highly recommend it. Do take a look at the range to see the other flavours.

I was also pleased to see that they donate 5% of profits to Friends of the Honey Bee, a campaign organised by the British Beekeepers Association to halt the decreasing number of Britain’s honey bees and other pollinators and build a better future for them.

The range is available to buy in-store at Harvey Nichols and at various local shops and delis, as well as online at www.mightyfine.co and www.notonthehighstreet.com.

I’d love to hear your favourite sweet treat.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Chocolate Cake

My other half’s favourite cake has always been chocolate cake ever since childhood. However I haven’t tended to make it very often, as his mum used to make one and bring it on every visit. But as an afternoon tea treat, I decided I would make him one. Unfortunately I seem to have lost my grandma’s Devil’s Food Cake recipe which was the delicious version I always used to bake as a teenager and none of the recipes I see online are quite how I remember it. So instead I have opted to bake a plainer chocolate sponge cake, which my other half will probably prefer as he doesn’t like very much icing, which the Devil’s Food Cake would have had lots of.

Devil's Food CakeDevil's Food Cake

Chocolate Cake
Ingredients

150g margarine
150g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
150g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
milk to mix

250g icing sugar
100g butter
50g cocoa powder

Method

Preheat fan oven to 160 deg C.
Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
Cream together margarine and brown sugar.
Beat in the eggs.
Sieve and fold in the 2 tbsp cocoa.
Sieve and fold in the flour.
Add sufficient milk to give a dropping consistency.
Spoon mixture into prepared cake tin.
Cook on middle shelf of preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool.
Turn out of tin.

Allow butter to soften at room temperature.
Cream butter in a bowl.
Sieve in the icing sugar gradually, mixing as you go along.
Sieve in the 50g cocoa.
Mix together until smooth.
Spread over the top of the cake.
Serve and enjoy.

As mentioned my other half doesn’t like too much icing but if you prefer you can make a larger quantity and slice the cake in half and fill with the additional icing. That would be my personal preference for my sweet tooth.

His verdict. A very tasty cake. Thumbs up.
devils food cake

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Disclosure. This post is my entry to the Great Denby Cake Off Competition.