Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

It's the second most wonderful time of the year!  It's Pancake Day!!!  These are so quick and easy to prepare they're perfect for making when you get home from work or school and don't want to lose any precious pancake-eating time! Unlike some American-style pancakes, these aren't heavy or too filling, meaning, of course, that you can eat more of them.  Who doesn't want that?

Yield: 6-8 pancakes    Time: 20 minutes


135g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Himalayan salt as it's unrefined)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
130ml whole milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter, cooled)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g milk chocolate chips
maple syrup, for serving (optional)


  1. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, and stir in the caster sugar and salt until combined.
  2. In a jug, whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla and oil until combined.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk with a fork until all the lumps have disappeared.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and stir until well mixed.
  5. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, and add a knob of butter.  Once melted, spoon in a tablespoon of mixture, tilting the pan until it's spread evenly into a circle (or use a mould, if you have one - I used a greased stainless steel cookie cutter for mine!).  Leave it to cook until you see small bubbles appearing on the surface, then flip and cook the other side for another minute or two.  Repeat until you've used up all your batter!  Serve hot, drizzled with pure maple syrup.

Adapted from BBC Good Food.

3 Ingredient Nutella-Filled Cookies

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Tomorrow is World Nutella Day!!  What a great idea for a day.  If you're short on time like I am this week, you can whip these cookies up in under half an hour and still celebrate to your heart's content!  They also only contain three ingredients you (probably) already have in your cupboards - Nutella (obviously!), plain flour, and one egg.  So easy.  So yummy!

Yield: 12 cookies     Time: 25 minutes


280g (1 cup) Nutella

150g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1 large egg (70g)
a jar of chilled Nutella (you won't need all of it)


Heat the oven to 170C fan / 180C.

Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  1. Mix together the Nutella and egg, then add the flour until fully incorporated.  It will form quite a thick mixture.
  2. Smooth a teaspoonful of mixture into a flat disc in the palm of your hand.  Place flat on the baking sheet, and top with a teaspoon of chilled Nutella.  Smooth another teaspoonful of mixture into a disc and place over the top, sealing the edges down together with your fingers so the Nutella can't escape!  Repeat until you've used up all your mixture.
  3. Bake for 6-8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.  Best eaten warm!


Source: Butter Baking.


If you have more time on your hands, you could also try making my Nutella-Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies (which are still my favourite, if I'm being honest!).  Happy Nutella eating!
Just look at that gooey Nutella centre!!!  I wish I had a batch of these right now, I really do.

Chocolate Chip Orange Shortbread

Friday, 30 January 2015

It's still January so I'm allowed one more Christmas (ish) post, right??

December and the Christmas/New Year season were a bit of whirlwind for me this year, but I feel as if I'm finally back on my feet.  It's reassuring to know that January is somewhat of a transition month for most people.  It's a month to wean yourself off the copious amounts of sugar you ingested in December, remember how good healthy food makes you feel, and bundle up in warm clothes to hit the gym because you know you'll feel better afterwards.  This month is all about hot power yoga and boxercise classes for me, and I'm loving it!

Before we truly move on from Christmas, though, I just have to share this delicious recipe that I adapted from the lovely Jess over at What Jessica Baked Next.  You may wish to save these until December, because they taste so beautifully festive.  The combination of orange in the biscuit and the Terry's Chocolate Orange coating is so Christmassy!  But there is no reason to limit these to Christmas - even if you can't find a chocolate orange, any orange chocolate bar would make for a perfect chocolate dip, and these are so warming on cold winter days.  I wish I had plateful now!

Yield: 15-25 biscuits, depending on size   Time: 1 hour


200g unsalted butter, at room temperature

100g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
300g plain flour, sifted
zest of one orange
100g milk chocolate chips
1 Terry's Chocolate Orange, or 150g orange chocolate (optional)


  1. Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest until light and fluffy.
  2. Fold in the flour and mix until incorporated.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film.  Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat your oven to 160C fan / 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4.
  1. Lightly flour your work surface, and roll out your chilled dough to about 5mm thick.  You can use any size cookie cutter you like, or even a the top of a glass!  Place your cut-out biscuits on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake for 12-18 minutes until starting to golden around the edges.  Leave them to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
  3. If you're using orange chocolate, gently melt it until you have an easy runny consistency!  Then either drizzle over your biscuits with a fork, or dip them in and leave to set on a baking sheet.


Adapted from What Jessica Baked Next.

Coconut Cupcakes

Friday, 23 January 2015

I made these Coconut Cupcakes a couple of weekends ago for Raph's birthday.  He and Jo have just come back from a month-long trip round Australia, bronzed and smiley and happy.

These... are not that coconut-y.  If it weren't for the desiccated coconut sprinkled across the top of the icing, I'm not convinced you'd get the flavour coming through, at all.  They are super yummy, but not all that coconut-y.  Phil, a lovely Jamaican guy at my gym, has advised that next time I try putting desiccated coconut into the mixture itself as well, so I will do just that. What a perfect excuse to make these again!

Yield: 12 cupcakes        Time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time


for the cakes

120g plain flour
140g golden caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml coconut milk (I use the pouring kind as opposed to the tinned version)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium egg
desiccated coconut, to decorate

for the frosting
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25ml coconut milk (same as above)


Heat the oven to 170C.

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases.
  1. Beat together the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter until combined and you have a sandy consistency.
  2. In a jug, mix together the coconut milk and vanilla, and beat into the flour mixture on medium speed until combined.  Add the egg and repeat.  You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl!
  3. Spoon the cupcake mixture into the waiting cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.  The best ways to tell if a cake is baked are: skewer test (inserted into the centre of one of the cakes coming out clean), or the sponge springing back when you press a finger to it.
  4. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the frosting, beat together the icing sugar and butter until completely combined (on a medium speed of using an electric mixer).  Slowly add the coconut milk until completely combined, and then speed up the mixing for 5 minutes until you have a fluffy white mixture.
  6. Once the cakes have cooled, spoon the frosting mixture onto them and top with desiccated coconut.


Adapted from Hummingbird Bakery cookbook p33.

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