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Chocolate and beetroot brownies

29 Mar
Swear I didn't eat them..

Swear I didn’t eat them..


Recently the nice people in Green & Black’s got onto me to let me know about their easter egg range. Even nicer, they sent me a few bars from their product range to sample. Rather than eat them all myself, I thought I would make some brownies and treat my friends. In my house, my sister makes the best brownies- so to rival them, I needed to do something a little different. I had heard chocolate and beetroot went well together so I thought I would give it a whirl. As we have someone who eats gluten-free in my house, I was also seeking a recipe with a low flour level so I can adapt it for them in the future, without too much hassle.



250g Green & Black’s dark chocolate

250g softened butter

3 eggs (room temperature)

250g Caster sugar

100g self-raising flour

Pinch of salt

50g ground almonds

250g grated cooked beetroot. (Not pickled. Fresh preferably!)



Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a suitable baking tray with grease-proof paper.

Over a pot of simmering water, place a glass bowl and melt the butter and chocolate.

While they are getting to know each other, beat the eggs and the sugar until they get creamy.

While this is all going on grate the beetroot.

When the chocolate and butter have melted whisk it into the sugar and eggs mixture. After they have combined, sift in the flour and add the ground almonds- fold them in gently. Lastly add the grated beetroot and gently combine it into the mixture.

Bake for about 40 minutes. After 30/35 check how they are getting on to avoid the brownies over-cooking. Stick a skewer into the brownies, it shouldn’t come out completely clean but equally it shouldn’t be liquidy.

Slow-cooker venison stew

15 Oct

Stew. In a bowl. On a table. In the kitchen.


Last winter, after I heard many a person raving about their slow-cookers (Crock Pots to any American readers), I took the not so financially painful plunge and bought one. These gadgets are surprisingly good value and  for the results they produce are well worth having in the kitchen. During the summer months, the slow cooker sat in the cupboard, slowly getting jealous of its enemy the barbecue, so I thought it was due a spin this weekend with some stew-friendly weather on the cards and also with game back in season. So off I went to my fishmongers to get my venison. Yes, I did say that.



Splash of olive oil

400g venison

1 onion (chopped according to how picky your eaters are)

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 tablespoons of flour

300 ml of red wine

300 ml of stock (I used beef)

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of tomato puree

salt and pepper

1 bay leaf

5 sticks of celery

4 carrots

baby potatoes (4/5 per person)



First heat some oil in a big pan/ wok.

Add the venison at a nice high heat and let it brown for a few minutes. I removed it at this point as I didn’t want to overcook it.

Add in the onion, which was left in big chunks (not everyone likes onion apparently.) Cook until it has softened a little.

Add the venison back in, with the garlic and the flour. Over a medium heat, stir and toss everything around until it is all covered nicely.

At this point add in the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to get the floury-goodness incorporated.

Once this is done, add in the stock, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Fling in a bay leaf if it takes your fancy. Bring to the boil.

Once it had been brought to the boil, transfer it to your slow-cooker.

I cooked it at high for about 2.5 hours before adding the vegetables in, which were all chopped into small/ bite size pieces. Cook on high for another 1.5/2 hours until the veg is tender.

Some good crusty bread would have been excellent with it to mop up the juices. I didn’t have any, so no gloating. The venison was deliciously tender after it’s slow-cook, so Bambi’s mother didn’t die in vain.


Carrot Cake Muffins

13 Oct

sneaky lurking teapot.

What? A new post?? Yep- the exams are over and I am back to blogging thank god.

And what better way to get over the stress of it all by concocting a muffin recipe. I was very worried when I put this mixture in the oven- it didn’t look like any muffin batter I had made before. And with “baking is a science” ringing in my ears I shut the door.

35 minutes later I was very relieved (and more than a little surprised) to see what looked like muffins staring back at me.



230g of plain flour

2/3 tablespoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

3 eggs

2 (medium) cooking apples, grated

100 g brown sugar

350g of grated carrot ( 3 medium sized ones- ish.)


150g cream cheese

1 tablespoon icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence


Beat the eggs with the sugar. Then sift in all the dry ingredients and mix until combined. This will look quite dry, but do not fear (like I did.)

I have a handy grater attachment for a food processor, which got the carrot and apple shredded into nice long pieces. If you don’t have such a dealy- use whatever side of the grater will get you nice long strips.

Add the grated apple and carrot to the mixture and fold until it is all combined.

This was moment of fear 2- as I looked upon a ball of grated stuff lightly coated in a batter.

Bake at 175 celcius for 30-35 minutes.

For the frosting beat all three ingredients together and slather on. Complicated like.

Apple and raspberry compote

23 Aug

Compote gazing out the window


Recently, the nice people in Glenisk sent me some vouchers to try out their new Original range. In keeping with the rest of their range, it is organic yogurt. There are three varieties in this particular range. Natural, mango and blueberry- all very delicious! Click for more information on the Glenisk Original Range.

I decided that I would use the yogurt to top off a fruit compote- and transform it into a simple dessert. It’s also pretty tasty as something to round off breakfast! For this recipe I decided to use the natural yogurt as I wanted to use its tartness to complement the sweetness of the fruit.

I could tell you the reason that I chose these particular apples was because of their qualities and smoothness when cooked, but it wasn’t. I used what I had in the fridge. Some were  fuji apples, and some were pink ladies. It worked, thankfully. Use whatever you fancy yourself!



1kg apples.

juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons of water

75g sugar (preferably vanilla sugar)

125g raspberries

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Glenisk Original natural yogurt

Digestives (crumbled)



Peel the apples and using a small paring knife, cut strips of the apple rotating as you go- this gives you long thin pieces of fruit that will disintegrate quickly when cooked. Try to avoid getting anything too stalky  into the mixture as this will give you a compote with an upsetting texture.

Prepped apples

Fling the chopped apple into a pot. Add the juice of 1 lemon and the water to stop it catching on the bottom. Also add the sugar and cinnamon at this point in time. Cook on a low heat, with the fruit mixture just gently bubbling for about twenty minutes or until the fruit starts to break up. Stir occasionally to ensure it’s not sticking.

I like a compote with a little bite in it. I don’t like to see it too smooth. So when it was done, I turned off the heat and just got a potato masher and gave it a thorough going over. This ensured there was a bit of variety to the compote. I added the raspberries at this point and gently squashed them and mixed- so again there was variety.

I spooned the mixture into glasses and put them in the fridge so the compote became firmer. I spooned over some of the Glenisk yogurt and for some crunch I bashed up some digestives and sprinkled on top.



(Note: I was sent vouchers to sample the yogurt. The recipe and photo are my own.  No yogurt was hurt in the making of this recipe.)

Guest post on

15 Aug

I’m delighted to be a guest-blogger this week on

There is a recipe followed by a short interview available here.

Most importantly-as per question 10- Is the Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake?? Leave a comment below!

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