Banana Protein Muffins

 

A healthy recipe for delicious muffins that taste exactly like banana bread. Made using unsweetened applesauce and greek yoghurt instead of butter, oats instead of flour and the additional of cinnamon spice these muffins are naturally sweet, perfectly moist & full of warm spice and you can enjoy them completely guilt free!

Plus the recipe couldn’t be easier… simply mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, combine together before transferring to your muffin tin and bake for 12 minutes. You can make, bake and eat these babies in less than 30 minutes – perfect if you have a sudden sweet craving!

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Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)

60g protein powder (I used MyProtein Cookies and Cream flavour)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
140g rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
2 medium ripe bananas (approx. 200g)
4 medium egg whites
120g unsweetened apple sauce
140g 0% Fat Total Greek Yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and spray a 12-hole muffin tin with non-stick spray or lightly grease with coconut oil.

In a bowl mix together the protein powder, cinnamon, oats and baking powder.

In a separate bowl use a fork to mash the bananas. Now add the egg whites, apple sauce, Greek yoghurt and vanilla extract and mix together. Now add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a spatular to fold the mixture together until fully combined.

Divide the mixture evenly between the baking tin holes and bake in the centre of the oven for 12 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.

Best served warm, with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of all-natural nut butter (try Meridians new Coconut & Peanut Butter … it’s delicious!)

Nutritional Information per 1 muffin

Calories: 110
Fat: 1.1g
of which Saturated: 0.3g
Carbs:17.6g
of which Sugar: 7.2g
Protein: 6.8g

 

 

Chocolate Fudge Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

Have a look at this….

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…these are the hundreds of left over chocolate eggs after our Easter Egg hunt last weekend! And, this was after we had overloaded as many as possible to family/friends/friends of friends/friends of friends of friends! So I was sat staring at the bowl thinking ‘I can’t possibly eat any more chocolate’ and began daydreaming of chocolate recipes.

With a family joint birthday party just a few weeks away, I thought what better excuse to make a huge chocolate fudge cake with chocolate frosting – particularly as I could freeze it until the day of the party (more about this in the recipe below).

And so I present to you two layers of rich, moist chocolate fudge cake sandwiched together with creamy milk chocolate frosting (tastes like Milkyway!) and decorated with chocolate shards. For me the chocolate sponge is the star of the show, it’s super indulgent, rich and moist. If you’re a faint of heart chocolate cake person, then apologies as this is not the cake for you. BUT if you’re a chocoholic, like myself, then stop everything your doing and bake this cake! Pictures of the inside will be uploaded after the party 🙂

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Ingredients (makes 1 large cake)

For the cake:
250g self-raising flour
400g caster sugar
88g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250ml semi-skimmed milk
250ml boiling water
2 large eggs
110ml sunflower oil

For the milk chocolate buttercream:
170g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks
85g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
312g icing sugar
2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk, to loosen

For the decoration:
Milk/dark/white chocolate (I used left-over Easter eggs!)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans by first spraying with baking spray or brushing with butter and then lining with greaseproof paper (see below for instructions).

  1. Start by making the cake:
    Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and espresso powder to a large bowl. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients until they are well combined.
  2. Now add the milk, sunflower oil, eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and use an electric whisk set to a medium speed to mix all ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Now reduce the speed and carefully add the boiling water bit by bit. **Do not worry if the mixture looks very runny, once baked the cake will be super fudgy and moist** Finally, beat on a high speed for 1 minute to add air to the mixture (little bubbles should start to form on top!).
  4. Distribute the cake mixture evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to completely cool.
  5. Once the cakes are cool remove them from the tins and begin making your buttercream. Melt the dark and milk chocolate together in the microwave, 20 seconds at at time stirring in between blasts, until smooth.
  6. In a separate bowl beat together the butter and icing sugar with a wooden spoon/electric whisk until fluffy and smooth. Now fold in the melted chocolate until fully incorporated. If the buttercream is starting to feel a little stiff, add a tablespoon of milk at a time and mix into the buttercream to loosen it.
  7. Take one layer of your cake and place it on a serving plate. Spread a thick even layer of buttercream on top and then place the second cake layer on top upside down. Now spread a thin layer of buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake and place in the fridge for 30min-1hour to set*.
  8. Once set, spread the remaining buttercream across the top and sides of the cake and use an icing palette or blunt knife edge to give a smooth finish. Finally, break up the decoration chocolate into shards and decorate the top of the cake by pushing them into the icing**.

*This is called a crumb coat and is meant to be messy, so don’t worry about being too perfect as it will just act as a smooth base for the next layer of buttercream. 

**I decided to freeze this cake in preparation for a birthday party, so I wanted to quickly share my instructions on how to freeze a cake properly so that it will still taste delicious once defrosted.  Firstly, place the iced & decorated cake on a plate and put it in the freezer uncovered until it has completely hardened (at least 4 hours). Now securely wrap the cake in 2 layers of clingfilm, ensuring there are no gaps, and repeat with 2 layers of aluminium foil. The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Be sure to defrost the cake for at least 24 hours before consuming. 

How to line a round cake tin with greaseproof paper

  1. Place your baking tin on a piece of greaseproof paper and draw round the tin with a pencil. Use a pair of scissors to cut it out.

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2. Cut out a long thick strip of greaseproof paper about 60cm long and fold one long edge of the strip. Make little cuts along the folded edge roughly 1 inches apart.

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3. Grease the tin with a little butter or baking spray and fit the long strip around the inner edge of the tin with the cut edges flat down on the bottom of the tin. Place the circle of paper on top of the cut edges in the base of the tin and flatten down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cadbury’s Mini Egg & White Chocolate Cookies

You literally cannot beat the smell of Mini Eggs. As soon as I open a bag of these babies the smell hits me and I immediately think of Easter. Does anyone know of a Mini Egg scented air freshener? Did you know there is even a Facebook page called ‘I love the smell of Mini Eggs’, but I haven’t provided the link as that would be taking it a step too far! Anyway enough rambling and onto the recipe…

For the past few years i’ve always baked a batch of cookies for the whole family to enjoy on Easter Sunday, it’s become somewhat of a tradition! 2014’s bake was my Creme Egg Cookie Cups, 2015’s bake was my Mini Egg Easter Nest Cookie Cups and this year is certainly no exception. However for Easter 2016 I’ve decided to strip it back to basics and rework my go-to cookie recipe and so far this one is the winner. I’ve used less butter than my previous recipe as generally in cookies more fat equals flat, crispy cookies and I prefer mine chewy, thick and soft. I’ve also added an extra egg yolk as it helps bind the dough, increase the softness of the cookie and add richness to the flavour. Crushed Mini Eggs have been added to the dough to make them taste Eastery (<—-is that a word!?) and I also added white chocolate chunks because… well why not, it is Easter after all!

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Ingredients (makes 12 large cookies)

100g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
50g granulated sugar
75g light brown sugar
1 medium egg + 1 egg yolk, cold from the fridge
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g self-raising flour
2 bags of Cadbury Mini-Eggs (180g), crushed into pieces (I used a wooden spoon to bash them)
100g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

In a medium bowl cream the butter and two sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, crack in the eggs and mix together (don’t worry if the mixture has split, this is normal!).

Add the flour, chopped white chocolate & 100g of the crushed Mini Eggs and fold everything together until all ingredients are combined and a sticky dough has formed. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least an hour/up to 3 days (the longer the better as your cookies will become super soft and chewy).

Once chilled, take approx. 1 tablespoon of cookie dough, roll it into a ball and place it onto the baking tray (do not flatten it out as the cookies will expand in the oven). Repeat this for all 12 cookies, leaving roughly 2 inches between each one. Press the remaining Mini Egg pieces into the tops of each cookie balls.

Bake in the oven for 11 minutes until the edges are a light golden brown but the middle still looks pale and underdone. Remove from the oven and leave to completely cool (the cookies will continue to cook as they cool so it’s important not to overbake them in the oven).

Easter Dippy Eggs & Soldiers

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The arrival of bright yellow Daffodils, warmer air and adorable newborn lambs means Spring has definitely sprung. I just love this time of the year, even more so because of Easter weekend!

Easter for me is about bringing together the whole family to celebrate the beginning of a new season and it’s exciting future. Oh and did I forget to mention the food? It’s also about eating lots & lots (& lots) of good food and chocolate!

For this blog post I wanted to create a dessert that the whole family could enjoy after Sunday lunch. These little vanilla cheesecake-filled milk chocolate eggs have a punchy lemon curd yolk and a side of lemon shortbread soldiers. Now if these fail to impress the family then I don’t know what will.

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The recipe is very easy so please try not to be put off by the length of it. You start by making your shortbread soldiers by combining flour, butter and sugar, cutting it into fingers and baking it in the oven. Then you move onto the fun part… the eggs!
Remove the tops of the eggs with a knife, fill each one with cheesecake (dead easy recipe), add a blob of lemon curd, chill in the fridge and voilà you have your show stopping Easter dessert. Click here to find the recipe of HomeStyle’s food blog – Enjoy 🙂

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Cupid Love Pies

Ah Valentines Day…Single or Taken?

Who cares! Everyone knows that February 14th is just an excuse to eat loads, so Ive created these adorable mini love pies for you to indulge in. Heart shaped homemade flaky pastry (fear not – its easy peasy!) filled with sweet sticky Cherry jam and sprinkled with sparkling sugar. Now doesnt that sound delicious?

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For my top five tips to achieving flaky, buttery pastry perfection head over to my post on Home Style Online by clicking here or to skip straight to the recipe by clicking here.

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Lemon & Almond Pura Panela Cake

Who’s on a health-kick after Christmas?

Me!

I’d be lying if I said I was all chocolate’d out (that could never happen) but what is true is that the festivities of Christmas have definitely caught up with me. You know that feeling when you put your jeans on and think…’Oh dear :/’.
It was fun whilst it lasted but now it’s back to the same old New Year New Me saga. So to make this change bearable I have developed a healthy refreshing lightened-up lemon cake, the perfect sweet treat alternative to a box of mince pies!

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This cake uses what I call ‘Miracle Sugar’, otherwise known as Pura Panela. Pura Panela is a 100% natural alternative to refined-sugar. It’s made in Columbia from natural dehydrated juice from the sugar cane and has no added chemicals or additives, therefore preserving all of the vitamins and minerals present. Not only does it taste deliciously sweet it also has many health benefits, such as:

  • Protecting teeth & preventing against teeth decay (who would of thought!).
  • Natural Antioxidant
  • Helping to prevent diabetes
  • Strengthening bones

If you want to know more about Pura Panela or where to buy it, click here.

As well as miracle sugar, this recipe  uses wholemeal spelt flour and ground almonds for a soft texture and nutty flavour, natural yoghurt and vegetable oil for moisture and of course lemon zest and juice for an uplifting zing. So let’s get baking 🙂

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Ingredients (makes a 1lb loaf cake)

For the cake:
122g natural yogurt
Juice of 4 medium lemons
Zest of two lemons
7 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

172g spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
50g almond flour
200g Pura Panela sugar (buy yours here)

For the glaze:
4 tsp Panela sugar
1 tsp boiling hot water
1 tsp lemon juice

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C/350 F. Grease an 1lb loaf tin with a little oil or use a silicone tin.

Start by making the cake. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and whisk together until fully incorportated.

In a separate bowl, stir together all of the remaining cake ingredients.

Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and use a spatular to fold the mixture together until everything is evenly mixed.

Pour into the loaf tin and smooth into an even layer, this cake will not rise very much so don’t panic if the mixture has nearly reached the top of the tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes* or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. *Cover with foil after 30 minutes to stop the top of the cake from burning, but be careful not to open the oven door too much as heat will be lost and can cause the cake to sink in the middle.

Once baked, mix together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top of the cake and spoon over the glaze. This will sink into the cake and make it super sticky and moist.

Leave on the side to cool completely before turning out onto a wire rack. Cut into 12 and serve, I have mine with a little greek-yoghurt. Keep in an air-tight container for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

With just over a week to go, its safe to say Christmas is just round the corner! Twinkly lights line the streets, Christmas trees are popping up all over and the shops are full of wrapping paper, mince pies and tinsel.

Christmas for me is all about festive baking. I have to admit I am a sucker for anything sweet with cinnamon and so I decided on this delicious Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake for my first recipe this month. This cake is a no nonsense bake, its quick and easy, tastes bloomin delicious and your house will smell insane! The recipe uses the addition of natural yoghurt to make the cake super moist and is decorated with a simple glaze for a sticky sweet top.

So if you too share my love for cinnamon and want to bake something the whole family will love, then this is the bake for you and you can find the recipe here on the Home Style Online Magazine… enjoy!

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