Out of all the cookies I’ve ever made, these cookies are probably my favourite. They are rich and gooey and melt in your mouth, whilst still being crispy on the outside. The decadent chocolate orange flavour is one of the best combinations, in my opinion, well done Joe! (Joseph Terry, who founded the chocolate orange in York in the 19th century – fun fact)
Prep time: 10 mins
Makes 20 small/medium sized cookies
- 125g unsalted butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 25g cocoa powder
- 175g self raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 whole Terry’s chocolate orange, chopped into chunks
- Line your baking tray with baking parchment. Preheat your oven to gas mark 5/190C/375F
- Using an electric mixer (if you have one, otherwise by hand will do!) mix your butter and sugars together until combined
- Beat in the egg and vanilla essence
- Add the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and orange essence and mix until you have a cookie dough.
- Fold in the chocolate orange pieces
- Roll into balls and place on a baking tray. For small/medium sized cookies I use a heaped teaspoon sized ball. You can make these any size you like, just make sure they are all the same size so they bake uniformly.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 6 medium sized pancakes
I was gifted a packet of Sambazon’s acai compote and asked to prepare some delicious pancakes with it. Sambazon have found that traditional syrup is full of a lot of sugar, so they’ve added some superfood punch to a fruity compote to use as a pancake topping. The acai bowl has recently become insta-famous worldwide, and their packets can be used to recreate them yourselves at home too. If you’re wondering where their interesting name comes from, Sambazon takes its name from its core goal: Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon. It aims for and represents a positive future of global food consumption that makes a positive impact on local communities and protects the biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest.
The pancakes are oat and apple pancakes, full of the same warming flavours of an apple pie. I found these went well with the fruity flavours of the compote.
- 1 Sambazon Original Superfruit Pack
- handful of fresh blueberries
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 45g oats
- 1 apple
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1 egg
- To make your pancakes, put the cinnamon, coconut oil, oats, sliced apple, honey and egg into a food processor and blitz for around 1 minute, until a sort of paste forms.
- Spoon on to a frying pan on a medium heat in round circles and cook for about 1-2 minutes and flip and repeat.
- To make your berry mixture, in a sauce pan, add blueberries/blackberries and Sambazon Original Superfruit and cook down on medium heat, stirring often until you have a thick syrup.
- Spoon on to the pancakes and enjoy!
The Groovy Food Company have developed a new coconut oil, infused with turmeric, which seems to currently be the nation’s favourite spice! This combination makes their coconut oil perfect for adding to curries, stir fries or even granola bars, as I tried myself. I was sent a jar of their coconut oil and asked to try out a recipe their team have developed for these tahini and turmeric granola bars. Tahini and turmeric are both ingredients that have traditionally been used in Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, but is gradually becoming more and more popular in the UK. I must admit, that when I initially read the recipe, I was slightly apprehensive, as these are not ingredients that I’ve commonly used to prepare granola bars! However, the end product was great, you are left with a granola bar full of warming spices, that is not overly sweet.
The Groovy Food Company also have a whole collection of other great recipes on their website using their products.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes approximately 30 granola bars
- 400g rolled oats
- 100ml agave nectar
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons The Groovy Food Company Organic Virgin Coconut Oil infused with turmeric
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 dates, pitted and chopped
- 100g pistachios, shelled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread oats evenly on a large baking sheet and place in the oven for 8 minutes, until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
- Combine agave nectar, tahini and turmeric infused coconut oil in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, coriander, salt and black pepper and mix well. Add dates and set aside to cool slightly.
- Combine toasted oats, pistachios and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add agave and tahini mixture and mix well to ensure the oats are well coated.
- Grease the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking dish and line well with parchment paper. Transfer oat mixture to the lined dish and flatten using your hands (compressing the mixture helps the bars hold together better).
- Bake for 25 mins and leave to cool for 15 before transferring out to a wire rack. Allow a further 10 minutes before cutting.
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.