It’s always nice to offer something a bit different to those who don’t like to eat just regular chocolate eggs around this time of year, so today I’m bringing you three ways to make chocolate bark. Hopefully this will suit almost anyone, and I’m sure everyone would forgive you for wanting all three of these considering that Easter only happens once a year! It’s nice to have some on hand for guests, but also as super simple gifts if you wrap it up neatly, so make as much as you want. And this couldn’t be cheaper or easier to make, especially when you consider how over priced most Easter goodies are these days.
200g each white / milk / dark chocolate
Various toppings – I paired white chocolate with dried cranberries / mini salted pretzels with the milk / raisins and almonds with dark
Break up the chocolates and pop them in three separate heat-proof bowls.
Heat a saucepan of water until simmering, and put the bowls, one at a time, on top, to melt the chocolate. Ensure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water, as this can burn the chocolate.
Pour the chocolate onto baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle the toppings over the chocolate, before leaving to set. I put my mine in the fridge to speed up the process.
It can be tough to come up with healthy snacks to reach for when chocolate, or other sugary treats, seem like the easy option. Everyone gets that hunger pang in the middle of the afternoon and it can be difficult to resist all those things that you know are bad for you. Step in these delicious flapjacks, from Deliciously Ella. They require only a small amount of healthy ingredients and are a cinch to whip up when you get half an hour. I much prefer to know exactly what’s going into the food I eat, so there’s no excuse for me not to bake up a batch of these when I’m low on snacks and what something to keep me going until dinner. Give these a go, you won’t regret it.
200g / 2 bananas
6 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp cashew butter
4 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius (180 fan).
Place the oats in a large mixing bowl.
Mash the bananas with a fork and add them to a saucepan along with the maple syrup, cashew butter and coconut oil. Heat gently until the mixture forms a liquid.
Pour the liquid over the oats and stir well, so that the oats are fully covered.
Grease a baking tray with coconut oil or line with parchment paper. Transfer the mixture to the tray, pressing down firmly to compact it.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top starts to brown.
Leave to cool in the tray before slicing up into flapjacks of your preferred size.
You know that I just love coming into the Spring/Summer season, when the weather gets better, the days feel longer and everything just gets brighter. I tend to dress brightly even if the depths of Winter, but I enjoy embracing it even more in the coming months, when my favourite stores are starting to stock all the Summer colours and patterns that I just adore. A super easy way to get into Spring and inject a bit of colour is on your nails, and I love looking around beauty shops for the latest hues. Here are a few that have been catching my eye ready for the coming weeks.
It’s a little under a month until we have our engagement shoot in London and my head is full of questions as to where we should go, what should be in our pictures and the parts of the city that would best represent us. We’ve been advised to pick a starting point and finishing point and then we can find places in between to get some good shots, so I’ve been trying to narrow down some areas that I’d love us to visit and get some pictures taken. We’ve visited Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and well as some of the other tourist spots of London in our times visiting, but we’ve also spent a lot of time in the West End, as well as places like Portobello Road and St. James’s Park. I’ve been trying to get some inspiration from other shoots I’ve seen to get a feel for what we’d like and here are some of my favourites.
These were some little pastries I whipped up during a Mother’s Day brunch we had at our parents’ house a couple of weeks ago – and they were just lovely. The heat from the pepper was perfectly offset with the sweetness from the onions and the parmesan was just the right thing to top it off. They are so easy to make and are the perfect finger food, so give them a go next time you’re entertaining a crowd, they’re sure to be a hit. The only tip I have is to chill the caramelised onions, so they keep their consistency better and don’t end up dripping all over the place. This recipe is from Afternoon Tea.
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
115g plain flour
60g butter, chilled and diced
1 tablespoon water
A few teaspoons of caramelized onions
15g parmesan cheese, grated
4.5-5cm cookie cutter
Crush the peppercorns with a pestle and mortar, then put in a food processor with the flour and a large pinch of salt. Pulse to combine, then add the butter and process for about 20 seconds, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running, gradually add the water until the mixture comes together into a dough. If necessary, add a drizzle more water. Press the pastry into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 15 minutes.
Roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Cut out rounds with a biscuit cutter, using all of the excess. Arrange on the baking sheet, prick with a fork and bake at 190 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Spoon caramelized onion onto the pastry discs, then top with parmesan.