Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Blueberry and White Chocolate Flapjacks – We Should Cocoa #59

Blueberry Flapjacks

Having set blueberries as the ingredient for this month’s We Should Cocoa, I’ve not managed to get my act together to bake what I had planned and I don’t think I’m going to before the deadline. However, a couple of years ago, I made these rather scrumptious blueberry and white chocolate flapjacks with some local blueberries, but for some reason never got around to posting about them. Here goes.

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Flapjacks – Fast to Make and Easy to Eat

Raspberry and White Chocolate Flapjacks

As I was buying some bananas in the Co-op the other day, I noticed a pack of reduced price raspberries. I couldn’t resist. They were fine, but not quite enticing enough to eat as they were; they looked as though they needed to be used quickly. The fastest thing I know how to bake are flapjacks. In next to no time, I had a plate of warm raspberry and white chocolate flapjacks.

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Jumbles with a White Chocolate Lemony Drizzle

Bosworth Jumbles
These jumbles with a white chocolate lemon drizzle came about serendipitously. I often borrow cookbooks from my local library; it’s a great way to properly peruse new (or old) titles without having to buy them. I have limited space in the house and really need to justify buying new books. Sometimes, of course, I just can’t help myself. Paul Hollywood’s British Baking was a recent book that made its way onto my bedside table, courtesy of Liskeard library.

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Matcha Hot Chocolate and a Matcha Challenge

Drinks, Tea | 4th January 2015 | By

January is the traditional time to follow through with good intentions and try for a healthier lifestyle. I am always full of New Year’s resolutions and sometimes I actually manage to pull them off. This year I have set myself a tough one, but as it doesn’t involve food or drink, I was happy to take on the teapigs #matchachallenge as well.

I’ve had a love affair with matcha ever since CT brought some back from his Japan trip in 2007. I’d never heard of it before then, so it was a real novelty. Green tea was my tea of choice, so once I got used to the idea, it wasn’t such a big step to drinking matcha: it’s a very finely ground Japanese green tea with a distinctive flavour. Because you are ingesting the whole leaf this way, it provides a concentration of all those healthy nutrients that green tea is renowned for. It’s very high in antioxidants, has plenty of betacarotene and contains vitamins A, B and C. It’s said to boost energy levels for four to six hours after drinking it as well as raising metabolism and relieving stress. Teapigs matcha is organic and comes in 30g packs, normally costing £25. There is currently a 20% discount.

As well as a great drink, matcha lends itself very nicely to baking, not only giving a distinctive flavour, but also an interesting green colour. I have made a number of cakes and biscuits using matcha, but was particularly pleased with matcha shortbreadmatcha and white chocolate cupcakes and chocolate matcha battenberg.

Much as I like matcha, it’s not something I’ve had every day, so I was interested to see if drinking it regularly made any difference to my flagging post flu energy levels. The teapigs #matchachallenge is to drink ½ tsp of matcha a day for a fortnight. It’s early days yet as I’m only on Day 5, but I have been enjoying finding different ways to drink it. I have so far made two different kefir matcha smoothies, drunk it as normal in a mug of hot water and tried it as a matcha shot in a glass provided by teapigs. Today I made a frothy matcha white hot chocolate. I used white chocolate so I could retain the beautiful green colour.

This is how I made:

Matcha Hot Chocolate

  • Warmed 150ml of milk to just below boiling.
  • Poured it into a mug containing 2 heaped tsps of white chocolate powder (I used Mortimer’s) and ¼ tsp matcha powder.
  • Used an electric milk frother (kindly provided by teapigs) to mix and froth the drink.
  • Sprinkled a little matcha powder over the top.

It was delicious. The frothing gave it a really light texture and the white chocolate was creamy, but the matcha cut through the sweetness with strong refreshing notes.

If you fancy entering the Matcha Challenge there is a chance to win a year’s supply of matcha from teapigs and a pack of matcha is being given away daily via instagram. The challenge runs throughout January and it’s a nice easy way to get your New Year off to a healthy start.

Thanks to teapigs for providing a pack of matcha green tea, a shot glass and aerolatte frother in exchange for blogging about the challenge.

I am sending the matcha hot chocolate off to Nayna for her event, Let’s Cook/Create Hot Drinks over at Simply Food.

Coffee Pop-In with Roasted Hazelnut Brownies

Hazelnut Brownies
 Everyone is so busy dashing about at this time of year that it can be hard to organise a festive gathering of friends. When I was recently sent a rather snazzy coffee machine to put through its paces, my thoughts immediately turned to hosting a coffee morning. Afternoon tea is more my style and as my blog bears witness, I have often thrown an impromptu tea party. But a coffee morning when friends could drop by on their way into or out of town and grab a drink and piece of cake along with a quick chat seemed more appropriate this time. Pop-ups are all the rage, but I thought I’d stage my own pop-in.

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Blackberry and White Chocolate Melts

Blackberry & White Chocolate Melt

Pudding, Wild Food | 17th September 2014 | By

When I was leafing through Chantal Coady’s book Rococo: mastering the art of chocolate a few weeks ago, I was struck by her recipe for White Chocolate Heartbreakers – a white chocolate cake served warm with a melting raspberry and white chocolate middle – rather like a chocolate fondant. I bookmarked it straight away as I thought it would be an excellent dessert for the upcoming blackberry season, producing a surprise purple melting middle rather than a pink one.

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Apple and White Chocolate Tarts

Tart, Tarts & Pastries | 13th September 2014 | By

We had a wonderful time last week, jaunting off for an evening picnic with friends at Helligan Gardens followed by a production of Dead Dog in a Suitcase by the multi talented and much loved Kneehigh Theatre.

As I wanted something a little elegant for such an occasion and had a load of apples that needed using up, I decided to make some apple tarts. Since discovering the fabulous yogurt pastry I used for my rhubarb and almond cream pasty pie earlier this year, there’s been no looking back. It’s easy to make, easy to use, has a great taste and texture and doesn’t crack when rolling. Being in a bit of a hurry, I forgot to add the white chocolate, so I ended up adding the chocolate to the apple puree part of the tart instead. This worked brilliantly, so I’m glad I made the initial mistake. The tarts looked good and tasted even better. The apple puree had a lovely creamy texture and vanilla flavour due to the white chocolate, which contrasted well with the crisp unsweetened pastry and the apple slices on top.

This is how I made:

Yogurt Pastry

  • Rubbed 150g salted butter into 260g flour (half wholemeal spelt, half plain white) until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
  • Stirred in 3 tbsp yogurt until the mixture clumped together.
  • Brought it into a ball with my hands and left to rest for an hour before rolling.
I used about a third of the pastry for the tarts and used the rest in a roasted squash, runner bean, blue cheese and walnut tart which I also made for the picnic.

September’s Four Seasons is all about getting fruity, so I am sending these double apple tarts off to Louisa at Extra Veg and Anneli at Delicieux.

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Apple & White Chocolate Tarts

by September-4-2014
Individual apple tarts with a base of vanillary apple puree and white chocolate topped with apple slices and glazed with apple jelly.
Ingredients
  • shortcrust pastry (mine was homemade) – enough for 6 x 10 cm tart tins
  • 4 windfall apples
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla sugar (golden caster)
  • 30g vanillary white chocolate (I used Green & Blacks)
  • 1 drop nutmeg extract
  • 3 dessert apples
  • 1 tbsp apple jelly
Instructions
1. Roll the shortcrust as thin as possible and line the tart cases. Blind bake at 180C for 10 mins.2. Peel, core and dice the windfall apples being sure to cut out any bad bits.3. Cook over low heat with a splash of water and the vanilla sugar until soft.4. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and nutmeg. Stir until the chocolate has dissolved and the apples are roughly pureed. 5. Divide this between the six tart cases, ensuring they are all covered.6. Quarter and core the dessert apples, then slice thinly. Top the tarts with the apple slices, then sprinkle with a little vanilla sugar.7. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes or until the apples are soft and slightly caramelised.8. Warm the apple jelly in a pan and brush over the hot apples. Leave the tarts to cool.
Details

Total time: Yield: 6

Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondies

Brownies & Blondies | 14th August 2014 | By

Tart juicy raspberries work exceedingly well when combined with sweet vanillary white chocolate I’ve found and this combination has become a particular favourite. When I was tasked recently with finding a recipe to make from Baking Mad, I was looking for a picnic recipe for a little jaunt to the beach. As soon as I saw the recipe for white chocolate and raspberry brownies, I had to look no further.

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Plum and Walnut Pizza

Pudding | 11th August 2014 | By

Ages ago, I saw a fabulous post for a fruit dessert pizza over at Peaches Please and was immediately struck by the idea. I had been sent some plums from South Africa so the time was right to try a plum pizza. Some of you may recall the plum and amaretto ice-cream I made with these very same plums way back when, so I had high hopes. I was also keen to try making pizza dough with white chocolate which I thought would suit this fruity delight very well.

This is how I made:

Plum and Walnut Pizza

  • Mixed 250g flour (half wholemeal, half white) in a bowl with 1 tsp instant yeast, ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp maca powder (not necessary, but makes me think I’m being healthy).
  • Stirred in 150ml warm water and 1 tbsp olive oil until the mixture came together in a ball.
  • Kneaded for about 10 minutes on an oiled surface, adding 30g of finely chopped vanillary white chocolate towards the end (I used G&B).
  • Placed into an oiled bowl and left to rise for an hour or so.
  • Divided the mixture into 4 balls and rolled as thinly as possible into rounds.
  • Placed on lined baking sheets.
  • Warmed 3 tbsp of plum jam (homemade) and 1 tbsp marsala in a small pan.
  • Sliced 4 large purple plums into thin slices.
  • Roughly chopped a handful of walnut halves.
  • Spread a tbsp of the jam mixture over the base of each pizza.
  • Laid the plum slices over the jam then scattered some walnuts over the top.
  • Dusted a little vanilla sugar over the top.
  • Baked in the middle of the oven at 200°C for 12 minutes.
  • Served immediately (apart from the odd photo or two).

Gosh these were good. The dough was soft and sweet and combined beautifully with the tart juicy plums and the fragrant vanilla. The walnuts gave a delightful crunch and added bitter notes which contrasted nicely with the caramel undertones from the bits of white chocolate that had caramelised in the dough. These were also a visual feast with the strikingly coloured purple plums. This is a dessert I can see us having again and again – maybe with peaches or nectarines by way of a change.

Alpha Bakes is P this month and I have three of them. P is for Purple Plum and Walnut Pizza. It is hosted this time around over at Caroline Makes and is alternately hosted by Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker.

As plums are in season, I am sending this off to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary where Simple and in Season is being hosted this month on behalf of Ren Behan.

And this is my second entry to Bookmarked Recipes this month with Jac over at Tinned Tomatoes.

Being rather pleased with this fabulous bake, I am submitting it to Emily’s #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too.

Plum is the chosen ingredient for the monthly Rix Aga Inspired Recipes, so I am sending this over to them as well in the vague hope I might win £100 Waitrose voucher.

Chocolate Chip Avocado Cookies

Biscuits, Dairy Free | 6th August 2014 | By

 
 After all the cream, custard and cake in last week’s trifle, I thought I ought to go for something a little more subdued and a tad healthier. Whilst I am a firm believer in the benefits of butter, I also think it’s good to vary your diet and fat intake from time to time. So when I spotted these Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies using avocado rather than butter, I bookmarked the recipe.

I had to adapt the recipe from American measures to make it gram friendly and did my usual bit of tinkering, so these will not be replicas of the originals by any means. However, the flour is wholemeal and the sugar content is not high, so these cookies are relatively healthy. That is, if you ignore my addition of white chocolate – just to give them a soupçon of naughtiness.

This is how I made:

Chocolate Chip Avocado Cookies

  • Peeled and stoned a small avocado then mashed it in a large bowl.
  • Beat in 80g golden caster sugar and 40g dark brown sugar.
  • Beat in 1 duck egg (large hen’s egg will be fine), ½ tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
  • Sifted in180g wholemeal flour and ½ tsp baking powder.
  • Stirred until just mixed, then stirred in 50g dark chocolate chips and 25g of white ones (for dairy free use all dark chocolate).
  • Transferred the mixture to a small bowl, covered it and left in the fridge overnight to firm up.
  • The next morning, placed heaped teaspoonfuls well apart on a lined baking tray – I made 20. 
  • Flattened them roughly with a fork and baked at 180℃ for 13 minutes.
 

Warm cookies for breakfast – mmmm. All this sweet stuff in the morning is becoming a bit of a habit and has got to stop, especially as these biscuits were surprisingly moreish. Of the “crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside” variety, they weren’t too sweet but had lots of chocolate hits per mouthful. They were a little greenish and they did taste of avocado, but we are hardy folk and didn’t mind that. In fact, we both really liked them. Normally I dislike cooked avocado, which in my experience has a gloomy texture and tastes bitter. Not in this instance however – could it be the alchemical properties of good old Theobroma cacao?

 

I’m sending this off to Jac at Tinned Tomatoes for her monthly event, Bookmarked Recipes.

Although Avocado isn’t strictly a vegetable, we tend to think of it that way, so I am entering this into Eat Your Greens and hoping Shaheen of Allotment 2 Kitchen will be lenient with me.

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