29 March 2014

Berry Fudge Sludge Brownies

Since it's the weekend, and Mother's Day weekend at that, I've got something for you that looks just a bit naughty n' nice! 

Funnily enough, underneath all her filthy rich attire, she's rather an innocent little madam. Gotta watch out for those types boys.

Just look at them basking in all their molten fudge gooeyness...Such glory-hunters I tell you!

Rather than being the old-school soft cake-like texture of your usual lot of brownies, these babies are a bit like sinking your teeth into a pool of sticky, chocolate madness. The big surprise is the sudden burst of rich, juicy berries as you chomp your way through the moorish little morsel. 

Whilst these little love bugs look rather guilty of being a beach babe bod killer, they're packed full of the good stuff! 

100% nourishing, 100% fresh & 100% knock-your-knees-together satisfying. 

It's like health being served up in pan! Perfecto to kick start your Spring-time energy! 

So are you ready to remedy your own batch of these little darlings? Inspired by the ever-so-divine Miss Londoner, here's what you'll need...

Grab yourself:
(Original recipe found here)

43g Rolled oats (not your morning porridge instant oats!)
64g Cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of salt
64g Stevia/ Truvia (or another sugar alternative of your fancy)
1 egg
Splash of Vanilla extract
180g Natural yoghurt
60ml of Skimmed milk (or soy/almond..)
Half a punnet of blueberries, raspberries (any fruit of your choice)

The great thing about this recipe is that the hardest part of the whole process is simply using your arm to preheat your little love oven to 200°C & line a baking tin with some greaseproof paper! 

The rest can be done in a flash by bunging it all into your mixer whilst you sit back & peruse the morning paper! 

What could be better?!

For those of you who want to bustle & potter around in the kitchen creating a chocolate floury mess across the surfaces, here's a break down of how to get these delightful bambinos in you life...

Measure out your oats and sling them into a medium sized mixing bowl

Do the same with your cocoa powder, salt & baking powder but before pouring them on top of your oats, give them a sneaky little mix with a sieve to get rid of any chocolate flour lumps lurking about...

Next up, grab your truvia or any other sugar alternative of your liking, measure it out & plop it on top in the mixing bowl

Nab an egg, crack it in & drizzle with a dash of vanilla extract

Measure out your milk & proceed to pour it on top of your rapidly building goods...

Grab your yoghurt, measure it all out & yep you've guessed it, throw it on top of everything else!

Time to get that mixer working up a sweat whilst you chill off in a cool haze of nonchalance. 

It is the weekend after all, all the hard work of the week is done, now it's most definitely time to play...

Get your punnet of fruit & chuck in as many as you fancy. I had half a punnet of blueberries that were starting to soften so I decided to use those! 

However, I reckon raspberries would be a fab partner in crime for these gooey badboys.
Also, if you fancy being all fancy-pants, why not throw in a concoction of heavenly goodies to replenish your soul?

A handful of chopped up brazil nuts, crushed cashews, a sprinkle of pine nuts or an array of dried fruits would work marvellously well! 
An admirable mix of those beauties will see you sashaying your hips down the street next week in all your swishy hair, glowing skin glory!

 I'll just stick with me blueberries this time...

Stir them gently into the big 'ol mix & pour the chocolate goodness into your pre-lined pan, spreading it out into the corners with a spatula or spoon.

The mix will be slightly different to your usual smooth talkers due to the oats and lack of flour in the recipe. Don't fret! That's all part of their charm & magic & once you get your knashers into them, the inconspicuous looking mess just chillin' in the pan will all be forgotten!

Bake for 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven & ta-da, finito!

A full 20 minutes in the oven will give you some firmer little nuggets with a soft fudgey centre! 
If you want them even more molten, squishy & utterly filthy, then pop them out a little earlier. 

This'll guarantee to get your fingers mucky later!

Let your little baby chill for 5-10 minutes until its' bleating charm has had a time to cool off a bit & then find yourself a big 'ol knife to dive into the goods & chop them up into sizeable pieces of sunshine...

Try to not to devour the entire thing whilst you're cutting it all up - Tricky, I know. 

Though I do thoroughly advocate the nibbling of sizeable tasters that you'll find crumbling away as you slice through the slab...not to mention the chocolate sludge trail of naughtiness that'll cling to the knife.

If that finds it's way near your mouth, be sure to scrap it with your finger first instead of plunging the bloomin' thing straight into your hole. I don't want to be held responsible for any mouth injuries, ta!

Pop the kettle on ready for a nice hearty afternoon brew!

Whilst that's whistling away, are you ready for some close-ups?

Got yourself a cuppa yet? Time to get stuck in then! 

They're hands down the most dreamy whilst still warm, so devour these little monsters right away & you'll be sitting in heaven on a cutshy cloud of total guilt-free ease! 

Just a bit of quick, easy fun that's spine-tingling satisfying & addictive. Not too shabby then.

Why not whip up a batch of these cherubs & present your glorious mother hen with a mound of glowing chocolate glory for Mother's Day!
She'll be singing your praises for the rest of the weekend...ha! Mother's day? 
Puuh-leeease, it's more like favourite child day! A.k.a. Me.

Smug doesn't even begin to cover it.


24 March 2014

Update from the City

Why hello there boys & girls, how y'all doing?

As yet another Monday rolls its way around & makes its mischievous presence most clearly known, I suddenly realised that it was about time to get my blogging fingers tip tapping again! 
Ever since returning back after reading week, my poor head has been routinely alternating between these three states: 

(a). Being stuck in a book trying to decipher Sectarian movements of Early Indian Buddhism... Yep, I've done the essay but could I enlighten you all on this topic? Double negative....
(b). Swimming in a haze of thumping fog as my body most graciously decided to become the best of friends with a head cold. Hola Sinusitis you old friend. Such a wet drip.
(c). Nestling into a state of pee-yourself nerves & wanting to hide under the duvet as my Spanish Oral exam loomed last week. 

  • Rambling in espanol in the confines of my room in front of the mirror = una chica confiada.
  • One step into that classroom with a group of people = Yo estaba un desastre temblando.

Needless to say, I'm glad it's finito!

Anyway, here's a cheeky round-up of photos from the past several weeks when my head has been able to make human contact with others. It'd been so infrequent that for a while it was touch & go for my sanity! 

Getting ready with some of the girlies for Chloe's pre-birthday celebrations with a cheesy mix of classic tooooons...'cause there's no place I'd rather beeeee!

Safari night roared its arrival...

Izzy & I found ourselves nustlin' into some squishy vintage sofas for a scrumptious lil' cream tea date at TeaBarker. I ordered a green tea in the wishful attempt that all the antioxidants would miraculously cure me of all my headachy-ails. The wish fairies were clearly in a huff with me that day. 

Rude scallywags.

Fortunately, the vision sitting opposite me more than compensated for my sniffly nose.

Last weekend, Spring sprung her beauty across Cardiff & suddenly everything & everyone blossomed into happy bundles of sunshine.

With the sun beaming her glory across the land, it was necessary for us to go & munch on some ice-cream. 

A necessary requirement of course.

Monday night was Miss Matthews birthday so after some fabulous gossip & belly laughs round the table, licking our lips of pink butter icing & slurping some d-licious beverages, it was time to head for some tutti-fruity cocktails over at Buffalo. 

Life always tastes that little bit sweeter with a a tipple of the good stuff! 
Oh & a 2-4-1 deal doesn't harm either I guess..

In an attempt to spice up my life & try something different (& in no way related to the fact I was too lazy to wash my hair), I braided my way to a somewhat successful fishtail inspired hairstyle!

Not going to lie, I felt like a mermaid all day...I'm already part fish by nature anyway. All I needed was the tail & I would have been set! 

This past week, Facebook has literately blown up with all the galdem posting no make-up selfies in aid of raising awareness for breast cancer. 
Now initially I was hugely skeptical & didn't totally agree with the whole project but after reading just how much money & awareness was being raised & also being tagged by several friends, I decided to jump ship & join in.

Such a good cause & a great way to feel empowered as a laaady. Here's my nakey face bearing all..

Friday snuck it's way around & seeing as the Spanish Oral exam was done & dusted, I headed out with some of my Spanish girls to celebrate!

No explanation needed here really.
It's a mug of wisdom. Thus it speaks nothing but the truth.

Well that's all that's been happening around here folks! I hope you've all had a lovely couple of weeks full of sneaky shenanigans & adventures! 

The weather man unfortunately caught my full attention earlier by revealing that a cold week ahead awaits us. Drats. 

In that case, you'll find me curled up in my duvet, watching new girl & warming my crushed hope that summer was coming with some wine. 
... Someone come picnic & snuggle with me?

07 March 2014

Morning Glory

Good mornin' sunshines!

No? Not a morning person?

Would it make a difference if I let you in on a sneaky lil' somethin' somethin' that'll get you stirring from your sleepy slumber? It really is quite scrumptious, you know.

It's a right lil' bright & breezy crunchy, punchy breakfast number! You can whip it up in a flash, have it toasting away whilst you scrub away last nights work cocktails and be munching your way through it in no time at all! 

Easy-peasy, lemon-squeasy 'Homemade Maple Cinnamon Crunch Clusters.' A glorious way to start your day & get you up & at 'em!

So tuck your sleepy feet into some slippers & shuffle along to the kitchen.

You'll need...
150g steel-cut oats(not the instant quaker-oats kind)
A couple handfuls of Special K, rice crispies (any cereal you like)
3 heaped tbsps of golden maple syrup
A generous squidge of honey
Splash of vanilla extract
A good ol' dirty dusting of Cinnamon
A sprinkling of nutmeg

Optional extras: a pic n'mix variety of health goodies - dried cranberries, blueberries, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, crushed up brazil nuts, the list is endless!
You could even sneak in some cheeky chocolate chip drops if your heart so wishes...I won't tell if you don't!

Preheat your oven to 170°C, 340°F, gas mark 4.

Start off by measuring out your oats and popping them into a medium-sized bowl.

Next up, stick your hand into a box of cereal you have lurking in the back of your cupboard and pull out a couple of handfuls, crunching it up into your hand whilst it spills into the bowl.

A touch of relaxing morning therapy whilst you make your brekkie..a 2-for-1 bargain right there. You're welcome.

Grab your cinnamon & nutmeg and any other spices that might take your fancy (maybe not the smoked paprika... I don't think that'll mingle too well). 

Give them both a dirty ol' shake all over your oats. I like my granola clusters quite impregnated with a cinnamon flavour so I tend to go to town with this step!

Now it's time to get all sweet & sticky, so get your maple syrup & measure out roughly 3 large heaped tablespoons, dripping it into your oaty bowl. 

The busy workers we are have no time to be precise and articulate here, just shove it all in & hope for the best.

Do the same with your honey, giving the bottle a nice big squeeze into the bowl & splash in a touch of vanilla extract.

Grab a wooden spoon & get stuck in chicos. Mix, mix, mix. A bit of elbow grease should see you on your way to some big boy cluster clumps.

Pour your mix into a greaseproof dish & flatten it all down with the back of the spoon so that it mingles & sticks together. 

This is what creates the magic gives you those crisp chunk clusters!

Bung it into the oven for 20 minutes whilst you scamper upstairs & take a speedy shower to wash away the shame of yesterday's after work drinks.

After 20 minutes, you should end up with a golden slab that looks a bit like this...

I didn't use any nuts or dried fruit in my batch but if you wanted to add in some naughty extras, add them in 10 minutes before the end so that they don't get too heated & burn. 

Nothing worse than a blackened piece of brazilian nut in your granola, eh? Life sometimes.

Let your slab cool for 5-10 minutes whilst you run a few cleaning errands & it'll be ready to rip up into delectable pieces of sunshine. Ever so nifty. 

Using a spoon or being a scamp like me, use your hands to get stuck in & crumble it up into lumps of golden goodness. 

Pop it into an airtight container & it'll keep its crisp for up to a week. I warn you now, it'll disappear before you know it.

Pop the radio on for a touch of happy morning jammin', crack open the paper & snuggle down for a magnificent breakfast.

It's delightfully delicious sprinkled on top of some cereal, nestled amongst some juicy berries & lapped up with a steamin' mug of tea or coffee. 

¡Que tengas un buen día!

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