I've always been a huge fan of cooking (especially sweet things) and since Deliciously Ella has been on the scene it has completely changed the way I look at food. She uses the most amazing and nutritious ingredients and proves that you can have really flavoursome food with out all the bad stuff.
A particular favourite of mine are these almond and chia energy bites (from her first book) which are perfect for that afternoon snack... If you can wait that long.
It really is very simple and involves no cooking, just chilling. Firstly wizz up the almonds in the food processor for about 30 seconds until they form a slightly floury consistency. Then, add all the other ingredients on top... cacao, chia seeds, peanut/almond butter, water and coconut oil. For measuring out, any mug size will do, just make sure you use the same one the whole time.
Wizz the mixture for as long as it needs for the mixture to become sticky enough to be able to role it in to bite size balls.
Chill them in the fridge for as long as you can wait... then enjoy! You can find the full recipe on www.deliciouslyella.com and also in Book 1 .
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Kilner Jars - JOHN LEWIS
Bamboo Bowls - OLIVER BONAS (similar here)
E Mug - MARKS AND SPENCER
Heart Dishes - THE DANISH COLLECTION (similar here)
Book - DELICIOUSLY ELLA
I really love to get in the Christmas spirit by doing a little baking. Usually its biscuits shaped like reindeers and I'm really desperate to make gingerbread this year, but to start with I've gone for really REALLY easy mince pies.
I'm not sure I can even say I've made them because really all I have done is the construction work, but that counts! So for the easiest thing you'll ever make you need this whopping great list of:
- Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry
- Jar of mince meat
- Icing sugar for dusting
I know... embarrassingly measly! I started by rolling out my thawed pastry in to one big flat sheet. Next cut out 12 (more if you have enough trays) round circles to create the base of the mince pie. You can either use a cutter or a glass if you don't have one quite the right size, both work for me! For the top you will need a little star cutter. Do the same again (or re-roll if you've run out of space) and cut 12 star shapes (or any shapes really... you can experiment here) out of the pastry to make little lids for the pies.
Firstly, push the rounds in to the well butter tins and then fill with a generous portion of mince meat... the more the better and there is no need to be stingy at Christmas! Place your little star on top and push down gently so it just sticks.
These little beauties are now ready for the oven which I had at 180'C and baked them for 30 to 45 minutes. When the pastry is looking like a lovely shade of golden brown the pies are ready to come out! Now for a little patience, let them cool on a tray because eating them right now will be way to hot and not as enjoyable as they should be. After 30 minutes or so (less if you just can't wait) give the mine pies a light dusting of icing sugar and they are ready to serve!
No pain... just gain! Enjoy your mince pies all!
... Make a cake! I was given the task of baking a cake for the Christening of my gorgeous niece Darcey. With the Kitchen Aid finally unpacked and in our new home, I at last had the chance to use it for the first time. Too exciting! I used the whisk attachment which I think did absolute wonders for my cake as I have never had such a light, fluffy and risen cake before. It was huge!
For my cake I needed:
- 400g Butter (I use cake stork)
- 400g Caster Sugar
- Lemon Flavouring
- 6 eggs (I only had 4 and it worked just fine)
- 400g Self Raising Flour
- Splash of Milk
- Betty Crocker Lemon Icing (I know, so bad I cheated!!)
- 1 Lemon for decoration
So first of all, I whizzed up the butter to soften it and then gradually added the sugar until it turned to a light and creamy mix. Next up I added the eggs one by one so the mix doesn't curdle. Sometimes I use lemon juice straight from the lemon but this time I went for the easy option and used about 3 tea spoons of lemon flavouring. After whisking well, or letting the mixer do the hard work... slowly add the flour while the mixer is on a low speed. You don't want to over mix once the flour is in other wise your cake will loose the fluffiness and go a little heavy. No one wants that. Once the flour is all combined, I add a splash of milk, I don't know how much (sorry, not helpful) but I add enough to make the mix noticeably runnier than before. Then, divide the mix in to two buttered round cake tins and bake in the oven for 45 mins at 180'C Checking it every so often as I swear no cake is ever the same!
Once the cakes are out the oven and have completely cooled, then you can gently release them from the tins and decorate. As mentioned above I cheated and opted for Betty Crocker Lemon Icing. I haven't used it before but when I saw it on the shelf or £1.25 I thought it must be worth a try (and I highly recommend!) I added the icing to the middle of the cake and also on top, then topping with grated lemon around the edge for decoration... But I think a really nice addition would be some lemon curd in the middle too. Why didn't I think of that before!
The cake went down very well and I couldn't have been more pleased with my first kitchen aid bake! Many many more cakes to come!
This weekend my sister in law had baby No.3! A little late, his arrival was much anticipated and what a lovely surprise to wake up to on Saturday morning that he was on his way! By early afternoon the little bubba had arrived! With all the excitement, I couldn't wait to visit! In the mean time to keep me busy, I headed to the shops to pick up some ingredients to bake a cake for the occasion. I didn't know what I was going to make so I went looking for inspiration. I saw raspberries and thought perfect! Then I realised... raspberries are far to pink for a little boy. So blueberries it was! With my main ingredient chosen, I decided to make a lemon and blueberry cake. Something lovely and refreshing, most importantly for the new Mum but also for all the visitors!
I made some little baby boy flags for decoration, everything is packed up ready for the move so I had to get creative with what I had... cocktail sticks and a note pad! Seemed to work well and the cake went down a treat. I think little Oscar appreciated the smell at least!