Monthly Archives: April 2015

Coffee Shop Blueberry Muffins

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Coffee shop style blueberry muffins; extra-large and packed with blueberries. A not-so-naughty treat for any time in the day… including breakfast!

This weekend I really fancied a simple bake, and although this does require the use of two bowls (which for some of my friends precludes this from being called simple!) it really is very straightforward and hard to go wrong. These muffins, without fail, come out light, slightly chewy, and bursting with blueberries every time.

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Now is the beginning of the blueberry season in the UK; perhaps a little early to see a lot of British blueberries in the shops, but keep an eye out as they will be there very soon. Maybe it’s just me, but I find fruit and veg are always best bought and eaten when in season, and the blueberries here were packed with flavour – something you need in a good blueberry muffin!

Another great thing about these muffins is you probably already have all the ingredients, bar the blueberries, at home. So there are no excuses when you want to whip up a quick batch of these – which is a dangerous thing to realise!

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I would not advocate eating these for breakfast (although of course for “research purposes” I did!) but they did make a nice treat. My favourite time to eat them was as a not-so-naughty elevenses treat, with a strong black coffee on the side; Just like you would in your favourite coffee shop.

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Chocolate Chip & Hazelnut Cookies

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Soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies with crunch hazelnut pieces throughout. You’ll never go for a shop bought cookie again!

Oh cookies… Even just the word makes my mouth water, my attention drift towards thoughts of warm, chewy, soft, chocolatey bites of goodness. At least that’s certainly how I felt about cookies before giving up dairy! Now, the best I’ve managed to find are Sainsburys’ Free From Chocolate Chip Cookies; However, also being free from gluten and wheat, they’re missing some of the best characteristics of a good cookie in my opinion.

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And so the long quest started to find the recipe for the perfect dairy free cookie. I’m still not sure I’m there, but these are pretty darn close – and a considerable improvement to any ‘free from’ cookies I’ve eaten. These are best eaten warm from the oven, and the best way to do this is wrap any chilled cookie dough you won’t eat immediately in clingfilm, roll into a sausage shape, freeze, then when you want cookies simply slice off into rounds and bake. And voilà!

These cookies are the perfect mix of crisp, crunchy outside with a soft chewy centre. I’ve added hazelnut pieces and syrup into the dough to give some extra flavour to compliment the chocolate, but you could leave this out if you wish.

What could be better than a freshly baked cookie… go on, give it a try and treat yourself!

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Filed under Biscuits & Cookies, Chocolate

Cinnamon & Banana French Toast

IMG_0921Golden, soft yet crispy cinnamon french toast, topped with banana and served with a drizzle of maple syrup. This is a breakfast favourite I can promise you will keep coming back to.

French toast (or, honestly, eggy bread as it is called in my house) is one of my favourite breakfasts. I’ll tell you a naughty secret… I don’t just eat it on the weekends! If I feel like I need a pick-me-up breakfast on a weekday, this is my go to recipe as it can always put a smile on my face.

I eat french toast in several ways (try vanilla and blueberry with a sprinkle of icing sugar, or chocolate spread and strawberries) but this has to be my favourite. Despite drenching it in maple syrup, it tends to be a little less sweet than the other types, so you can try to convince yourself it’s better for you.

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Maple syrup is on the pricey side, but trust me when I say do not substitute it for honey or sugar. I used Waitrose Maple Syrup No.2 which has a stronger flavour – I prefer this to the lighter, less strong kinds as I find I tend to use a lot less which, for a breakfast recipe, is probably a good thing. Do make sure you buy pure maple syrup – not maple flavoured syrup, which is not real maple syrup, overly sweet and not maple-y at all.

This is a very simple recipe, requiring only a few ingredients. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes from when you start to getting it in your mouth, which for any breakfast recipe is a winning factor. I hope you enjoy!

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Simple 5 Ingredient Fruit Tart

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A quick and simple 5 ingredient fruit tart – Flakey puff pastry topped with jam and fresh fruit, served with ice cream. Perfect if you’re in a hurry!

Catering for anyone with an allergy is hard; I know a lot of my friends over the years have worried about how and what they will cook for me, and one meal still seems to flummox the best of them – dessert! So far the desserts on my blog have catered more towards someone who has had to give up dairy – to show them the impossible is possible – however not everyone has the time or inclination to make them. Sometimes you just want a quick and simple dessert whether it’s to make for yourself or for someone else.

And so it is this dilemma that has inspired this post; here I present a simple 5 ingredient dessert, which only features 1 dairy free ingredient! How have I done this, I hear you say? Well, with one of my shop-bought-dairy-free-life-savers – pre-made puff pastry. I remember the first time I realised that most pre-made puff pastry didn’t actually have any milk in it… it was like a world of possibilities opened up in front of me. Along with the pastry, the other ingredients are jam, fruit, sugar and dairy-free ice cream.

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The ingredient list might seem a bit vague but this is the beauty of it – so simple, and so versatile. The hardest thing you need to do is work out which fruit and jam combination you want to use! The flavour combinations really are endless; Pear & raspberry, apricot & rhubarb, apple & berries, peaches & orange marmalade, even banana and dairy-free chocolate spread would work!

So next time you need to bake a dairy free dessert for someone and get stuck, remember the puff pastry magic and get creative!

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Filed under dessert, Fruit, Pastry, vegan