Prep time: 10 minutes plus overnight refrigeration
Makes 6-8 medium sized pancakes
Pancake day is right around the corner! So I felt it was only right to share with you a new pancake recipe I discovered at a pancake making workshop last week, these really are the best American style pancakes I’ve ever tried, and the secret seems to be in the buttermilk, as well as the fact that the batter should be refrigerated overnight before cooking. Yes, it’s a bit of a faff, but totally worth it when you taste the finished product. So get prepping tonight, ahead of the big day!
- 360g buttermilk
- 180g whole milk
- 6g vanilla essence
- 380g self raising flour
- 75g caster sugar
- 12g baking powder
- 3G bicarbonate of soda
- 75g melted butter
- Weigh out all of the wet ingredients (besides the butter) in a large mixing bowl, followed by the dry ingredients.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a whisk until it’s not lumpy, then slowly add in the melted butter.
- Mix again until all combined and the batter is ready. Refrigerate overnight/at least for 2-3 hours.
- When you’re ready to cook, add a dash of oil to your pan (you don’t need a lot if you have a non-stick frying pan) and leave to heat up slowly.
- Once the pan is hot and the oil starts to sizzle, pour in your batter according to whatever size you’d like your pancakes to be. You can even buy one of these pancake rings if you’d like your pancakes to be perfectly round!!
- Once one side of your pancake has browned (you’ll be able to tell as it will lift off the pan with a spatula), flip it so the other side is cooked through.
- Stack and dress your pancakes with whatever toppings you like. My go to toppings are maple syrup and chocolate chips. But you could also try berries, whipped cream, Nutella, bananas, crushed nuts or even a savoury option like bacon.
Prep time: 10 minutes (requires 5 hours cooling time)
If you’re having a last minute panic about your Christmas menu this year, I have the ultimate dessert for you. This was recommended to me by a friend, because it’s literally the easiest dessert you’ll ever make, but still looks super festive and impressive. It’s also really refreshing and light, so goes down well after a large Christmas roast!
I’ve added little iced snowmen to my possets (which I actually just bought from Sainsburys!!) but you could sub this with any festive decoration.
- 600ml double cream
- 200g caster sugar
- zest and juice of 2 lemons and 1 lime
- Iced snowmen (for decorating). I bought mine from Sainsburys
- 2 crushed ginger biscuits
- Heat your cream and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until all the sugar has melted.
- Bring the mixture to boil, stir in the zest and lemon and lime juice and turn off the heat.
- Pour into ramekins or glasses, cover, and leave to set in the fridge for at least 5 hours.
- Just before serving, crumble your crushed ginger biscuits on top of each posset and and add your snowmen decorations.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Winter is all about snuggling up with a hot drink by the fire under a blanket. I love hot chocolate, but the sugary versions full of melted chocolate normally leave me feeling a little bit sick afterwards! So I’ve come up with a version that is free from refined sugar, is super delicious, and is full of superfoods so it’s actually nutritious. I personally think it tastes better than the sugary version and is very nourishing during the colder months because of the additional spices I’ve added. It can be made vegan friendly and dairy free by using a milk of your choice – I used almond milk for mine.
The main ingredient is raw cacao powder, which is the purest form of chocolate you can consume. It’s unsweetened, and hasn’t undergone all the processing that we find in normal chocolate, meaning it’s packed with antioxidants (the things that are believed to help prevent ageing, cancer and all other sorts of diseases), and is also high in magnesium and calcium. It can also act as a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant – so can hopefully help those suffering from the winter blues.
- 350ml milk of your choice (I use almond milk)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon honey (or natural sweetener of your choice – you could try date syrup, maple syrup or coconut sugar)
- pinch of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon almond butter
- Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan and heat over a low heat.
- Continually stir the mixture until all the ingredients are combined (this might take quite a lot of stirring!)
- Once the mixture starts to boil turn of the heat and pour into mugs. If you have a milk frother you can use this to create a foamy top.
Prep time required: 15 minutes
Makes 15 medium sized cookies
I broke my foot 7 weeks ago and was put on a strict ‘no-gym’ regime for a minimum of 3-4 months. This means no running, cycling, swimming and even no walking initially. As someone who usually hits the gym 4-5 times a week, I’m ashamed to say that the first thought that crossed my mind when I was diagnosed was ‘what will this do to my waistline!!!’. I initially tried to cut out chocolates and biscuits, but found it required a lot of willpower when you’re sat at home, resting your foot and doing mostly nothing all day. All I really wanted to do was reach for the nearest hob nobs packet!
Since then, I’ve been experimenting with ‘healthy’ baking, so I could have some treats and feel less guilty. My healthy carrot cake was my first stint at this, but if you prefer something more chocolatey I’d recommend these double chocolate chip cookies. I can’t say that they are 100% free from refined sugar, as they do contain a teeny bit of dark chocolate, but they are healthIER than their sugar filled alternatives. They’re great as an afternoon treat or snack for work.
- 150g plain flour
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 85g dark chocolate chips (50g melted and 35g keep aside for mixing in whole)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees/gas mark 4.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla essence and coconut oil and honey and beat until incorporated.
- Melt 50g of your chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a boiling saucepan of water. Stir into your mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix together until combined.
- Cover a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Scoop tablespoon sized portions of the batter into balls and place on the baking tray.
- Bake for 8 – 10 minutes.
Prep time required: 20 minutes
Wouldn’t life be so much better if you could eat cake completely guilt free? My healthy carrot cake is the answer!! It is free from refined sugar and is packed with vegetables, fruit and nuts…yet it really does taste as good as the sugary version (in my opinion). This means its not only good as a sweet treat, but also as an afternoon snack to take to work, or even a pre-gym pick-me-up.
- 320g carrots, grated
- 80g dates, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 large eggs
- 150g coconut oil
- Zest of 1 orange
- Seeds from 8 cardamom pods
- 160g plain flour
- 120g desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 120g chopped walnuts
- Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 3 and grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
- Mix the carrots, dates eggs, coconut oil and orange zest together in a mixing bowl.
- Stir in the rest of all the ingredients except the walnuts.
- Blitz the mixture in a food processor or blender and then stir in the walnuts.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 65 minutes. You’ll know when its cooked when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Store in an airtight container.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Makes approximately 30 squares
I love Easter (Probably because I was born on Good Friday!). But also because Easter chocolate is better than any other type of chocolate! This Easter Rocky Road recipe is full of Oreo Easter Eggs, Mini Eggs and M&Ms… And lots of other things that are super delicious and not very good for you!
These Rocky Road bites honestly taste amazing… I took a batch to the office and they were literally gone within seconds. The soft marshmallows and the crunchy biscuits provide the perfect combination of textures. The marbled finish also makes them so pretty and perfect for serving the family over Easter. It’s so easy to make, and doesn’t even require baking!
- 200g Dark Chocolate (this can be any type or brand of chocolate – I like to use Asda’s Smartprice brand, it’s so cheap, yet is one of the best tasting chocolate I’ve tried!)
- 200g White Chocolate (this should be a ‘best for baking’ type of chocolate, to avoid curdling)
- 100g mini marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 125g unsalted butter
- 90g mini eggs
- 90g mini Oreo eggs (these can also be substituted for mini creme eggs)
- 160g digestive biscuits
- A handful of pink cake decorations including hundreds of thousands and mini hearts.
- 50g M&Ms
- Pink food colouring
- Blue food colouring
- Line a square cake tin with baking parchment.
- Melt your dark chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a saucepan over a low heat.
- Place your digestive biscuits in a sandwich bag and smash with a rolling pin until the biscuits are around the size of 5p pieces. Add these to your saucepan and stir until all the biscuit pieces are covered in the chocolate mixture. Add half of the mini eggs and half of the marshmallows to the mixture and stir so they are mixed together.
- Pour your mixture into your baking tray and pat down firmly with a wooden spoon. Add a few more mini eggs and marshmallows on the top but make sure there are still some left over for the topping.
- Divide your white chocolate into 3 glass bowls and bring a saucepan full of water to boil. Melt the first batch of white chocolate in the bowl over the saucepan. Leave this batch uncoloured. Once melted, drizzle over your biscuit mixture in the cake tin. Add a few more mini eggs, marshmallows, Oreo eggs chopped in half, and a few m&ms on top.
- Melt your next batch of white chocolate and add the pink food colouring. Drizzle over your mixture in the cake tin to create a marbled effect. Add a few more mini eggs, marshmallows, Oreo eggs chopped in half, and a few M&Ms on top.
- Melt your final batch of white chocolate and add the blue food colouring. Drizzle over your mixture in the cake tin to create a marbled effect and add your remaining mini eggs, marshmallows, Oreo eggs, M&Ms and sprinkle your pink cake decorations over the top.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, until hard.
- Cut your Rocky Road into small squares and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long!!)
I originally saw this recipe being made on Blue Peter over a decade ago! They called it ‘Blue Peter Party Cake’, but then a few years later my best friend came over with the same exact cake calling it ‘Polish Cake’. Either way, it’s been a firm favourite in our household ever since, and we now call it ‘Chocolate Biscuit Bites’ because, well, that’s basically what it is!
They are super buttery and delicious and basically taste like biscuits dunked in hot chocolate. What’s not to like?
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 225g plain biscuits (I used plain digestive biscuits)
- 110g margarine
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 2 dessertspoons cocoa
- 2 dessertspoons drinking chocolate
- 1 dessertspoon caster sugar
- Break up your biscuits by placing them in a freezer bag and smashing them with a rolling pin. Break until they are around the size of 5p pieces.
- In a saucepan, mix the margarine, the golden syrup, cocoa, sugar and drinking chocolate over a low heat until combined.
- Once they’ve all melted together, pour the mixture over the biscuits and mix it all together with a wooden spoon.
- Spoon the mixture into a well greased cake tin, I used a square one so it can be cut into mini squares but you can also use a circular one if you prefer.
- Put some greaseproof paper on top and then, to keep it tightly packed together, stick a plate on top and then a couple of tinned soups or beans to weigh it down.
- Leave to set overnight in the fridge, then remove and cut into squares.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature, enjoy!