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Lemon Poppyseed Drizzle Squares

4 Nov
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This cake is just wow and it literally is the easiest cake I have ever made, like ever! As anyone with taste buds knows, lemon and poppyseed is a taste sensation between the zesty sweet lemon and the crunchy texture of the poppyseeds. Usually the glaze for a lemon cake is made out of icing sugar but here I made it out of caster sugar, heated to make a basic syrup with the lemon juice. This makes it thick and glossy giving the cake a delicious moist top layer.
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Lemon cake is a great dessert or tea time treat if your looking for something light and refreshing. I do love chocolate but sometimes a zesty treat is more appropriate and equally delicious. I haven’t attempted it but you could also probably bake this in two small round tins and sandwich them together with some lemon curd and softly whipped cream. You get a decadent, homemade dessert for minimal effort! Always a bonus 🙂
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Lemon Poppyseed Drizzle Squares 

255g self raising flour

1tsp baking powder

A pinch of salt

225g caster sugar

2tsp vanilla extract

225g butter, softened

4 eggs, lightly beaten

4tbsp milk

Zest of 2 lemons

20g poppyseeds

For the lemon syrup glaze:

175g caster sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

  • Preheat the oven to 180c/350f and grease and line a 9 x 13inch baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
  • Add in the vanilla, butter, eggs, milk, lemon zest and poppyseeds. (Yes you really are just supposed to put everything in one bowl!)
  • With an electric mixer beat everything together until smooth and fully combined, about 2mins.
  • Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 30-40mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cook for 5-10mins. Meanwhile make the lemon syrup.
  • Place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat and whisk continuously until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Prick holes all over the cake with a skewer and slowly pour over half the syrup. Leave for 2-3mins to allow that to soak in then pour the rest of the syrup over. Making more holes with the skewer if the syrup is pooling.
  • Allow to fully soak in them remove from the tray and cut into squares. Enjoy!

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All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip Bar

28 May

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These bars are so amazing, they are all natural yet they taste just like a mint choc chip ice cream. They are sweetened solely with dates and the protein powder and nuts give it a great protein boost. This little bar can be eaten for all sorts of meals, as breakfast with a smoothie, for lunch as a sweet treat after a light lunch or just as a mid day snack to silence a growling tummy.

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To make them it is just a matter of loading a bunch of nutritious and tasty ingredients in the processor and freezing it until set, I mean there is not even any baking so its pretty hard to go wrong. Because they are stored in the freezer, the cold enhances the cooling mint flavor and makes these incredibly moreish.

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1 cup pitted dates

1 cup rolled oats

2tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 cup unflavored/vanilla/chocolate protein powder

a pinch of salt

3-4tbsp milk

1/2-1tsp peppermint extract

1/2 cup walnut

1/4 cup almonds

1tbsp flaxseed

50g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks

desiccate/shredded coconut, to garnish

fresh mint, roughly chopped, to garnish

  • Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment or a small square tin.
  • Whizz the dates in the food processor until finely chopped and they are starting to stick together. Then add in the oats, cocoa powder, protein powder, salt, milk and peppermint extract and whizz again until all combined and smooth.
  • Finally add the walnuts, almonds, flaxseed and dark chocolate chunks and whizz one last time until the nuts are pretty finely chopped.
  • The mixture should be quite sticky and form a ball in your hand easily. If it’s too dry add a bit more milk.
  • Crumble the mixture all over the prepared tin and press down lightly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the top with coconut and chopped mint.
  • Place another sheet of baking parchment over the top and use a short glass to roll out the mixture evenly.
  • Place in the freezer for a couple hours or until the bars have hardened.
  • Remove and cut into fingers. Store in the freezer.

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Shortcrust Slices

31 Mar

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This is quite a simple little dessert that is great on a warm summer evening. It is great for a beginner or someone who is doing a dinner party because it doesn’t involve any complicated techniques and it can be made well in advance and be chilling in the fridge ready to serve. It isn’t too rich as the raspberries lend it a subtle tartness that balances the whole dish out. It makes enough for about 10 people so it’s also great to  feed a crowd.

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Shortcrust Slices (Makes about 10 slices)

320g pack ready made shortcrust pastry

500g mascarpone

100g golden caster sugar

100g ground almonds

2 eggs, lightly beaten

300g fresh raspberries/frozen, thawed and drained raspberries

100g white chocolate, roughly chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 150°c/300°f and grease and line a tin with baking parchment.
  • Roll out the pastry a bit more until it fits with a border into your tin.
  • Place another sheet of baking parchment on top of the pastry and fill the tin with baking beans. Bake in the oven for 10mins then take out the baking parchment and beans and bake for a further 5mins. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, sugar, almonds and eggs until smooth.
  • Fold in the raspberries and white chocolate and spoon the mixture into your pastry case.
  • Bake again in the oven for 20-25mins until set and starting to turn slightly golden.
  • Open the oven door and leave it in the oven to cool gradually for about 30mins.
  • Remove and chill for roughly 1hr before serving.

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High Protein Energy Bars

21 Mar

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Today, I took part in the Mayo Mud Run which is basically an 8.5km run through the most crazy terrain ever with a constant factor of MUD! Sometimes it was even so deep that it came up to about my waist  and I’m not that small.  On Saturday, I’m cycling the 42km/26mile route called the Greenway from Achill to Westport to raise money for cystic fibrosis. I knew that both of these would be quite a big challenge especially since they take place within a few days of each other. So I decided to make something that would would be a good pick me up, easily portable and handy to eat on the go.

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I came up with these, they are super high in protein and give loads of good slow release energy. They are really tasty and the drizzled chocolate gives a bit of sugar, makes them extremely yummy and they look real pretty too. I know the beans are a bit of an odd ingredient but you can’t even taste them, they provide loads of protein and they are low in fat too. Don’t let them put you off this amazing recipe. These are perfect for any athlete or if you just need good energy food on the go.

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High Protein Energy Bars (Makes 12 Bars)

400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup mashed banana, (about 1/2 banana)

1/4 cup honey

1tsp vanilla extract

1tsp ground cinnamon

1/4tsp salt

1 1/2 cups oats

1 1/4 cups wholewheat flour

1/4 cup flaxseed

1 cup add ins, such as raisins, cranberries, coconut, nuts, chocolate chunks, seeds, etc.

120g chocolate, half milk chocolate and half white chocolate

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and grease and line a 9 x 13 inch baking tray.
  • Put the beans, peanut butter, mashed banana, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and whizz until smooth and combined.
  • Add in 1 cup of the oats, whizz again, then add in the flour and flaxseed and process until smooth. You may have to scrap down the sides.
  • Tip into a large bowl and toss in the add ins and the leftover 1/2 cup oats. Use you hands to squish the add ins and the oats into the paste mixture. It will be sort of a dough consistency.
  • Transfer to the oiled tin and use a spatula to smooth it all out into an even, smooth layer.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-18mins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool then take out of the tin and put into 12 squares.
  • Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave in 30sec bursts stirring between each interval. Pour into a small zip-loc bag and snip a tiny bit of the corner off, drizzle the chocolate all over the squares.
  • Let the milk chocolate set a little bit then repeat with the white chocolate.
  • Let set and wrap each one individually in cling film.

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Apple and Fudge Crumble Squares

5 Mar

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This little beauty is actually one of the recipes that I made for my Junior Cert Home Economics practical exam. The only difference is I did it in a muffin form which is also absolutely fantastic. As a result of it being for an exam, I have made this recipe more times then I could possibly remember and the amazing thing is that it never, ever let me down and nobody ever got sick of them because they were just that darn good. I have to thank my brother, sister and my mom for complimenting me every time I made them which sky rocketed my confidence and which I’m sure is the main reason as to why I did them so well in my exam that got me my A. I decided to make them in a traybake form this time as I was bringing them to a showjumping league and I figured it would be easier to feed a crowd if they were in this form. I’m glad to say that everyone liked them as much as my family and my examiner did and there wasn’t a crumb left to be seen. Personally, I think the most delicious aspect of this dish is the fudge because after it is cook, the fudge pieces melted and become all gooey and down right magnificent. Need I say any more? 🙂

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Apple and Fudge Crumble Squares (9 x 13 inch traybake)

Cake Mix:

100g butter, softened

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

4tbsp milk

3-4tbsp natural yogurt

225g plain flour

1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

2tsp ground cinnamon

Flavorings:

2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

30g dark brown sugar

1tsp cinnamon

100g fudge chunks

Crumble Topping:

50g flour

1tsp cinnamon

40g butter, softened

2g coarse light brown sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and grease and line a 9 x 13 inch baking tray.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the apple, dark brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  • For the crumble, put the flour in a medium bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, milk and yogurt. It may look curdled but don’t worry.
  • Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon and fold in with a large metal spoon until fully incorporated.
  • Add in the diced apple and fudge chunks and fold in again until fully combined.
  • Spoon the cake mix into the prepared baking tray and smooth out evenly. Sprinkle the crumble in an even layer over the traybake and pop in the oven for about 25-30mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely in the tray then remove and cut into squares.
  • Serve on its own or for a nice dessert , reheat it and pair it with some salted caramel sauce and good quality vanilla ice cream.

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Oreo and Chocolate Marble Squares

19 Feb

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This is a very easy traybake that looks gorgeous and is also super yummy. Because it is just melted chocolate on top, it is easy to transport which makes it more then ideal for a picnic or get together. But I would advise you to take one for yourself before you do because they will disappear, take my word for it. The recipe is quite simple and straight forward which makes this one great when you need some last minute baked goods in a hurry. This is also great because it is basic but delicious flavors that nearly everyone is guaranteed to devour. I always think, when in doubt make something chocolatey!

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Oreo and Chocolate Marble Squares (9 x 13 inch traybake)

120g butter, softened

1 cup milk

2tsp vanilla extract

2 cups plain flour

1 1/3 cup caster sugar

1tsp baking powder

1 egg white

4-5 oreos

2tbsp cocoa powder

100g chocolate chips, optional

200g milk chocolate

sprinkles

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and grease and line a 9 x 13 inch baking tin with baking parchment.
  • Beat the butter for about 30secs until creamy then add the milk and vanilla extract and gently try and mix it in a little but not with an electric mixer because it will splash all over you. Don’t panic at this point because it won’t mix together and it will look like your doing it wrong but don’t worry.
  • Sieve in the flour then add the caster sugar and baking powder. Use a wooden spoon to mix that all together.
  • Add the egg white and using an electric mixer, beat the mixture for about 2mins, making sure all the batter is smooth and lump free.
  • Divide the batter between two bowls, about 2/3 for the chocolate and 1/3 for the oreo. Crush the oreos into one bowl and mix through and sieve the cocoa powder into the other bowl and toss in the chocolate chips if using, again mix through.
  • Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Put dollops of the oreo batter all over the chocolate layer and then use a skewer to swirl the two batters together to make a marbled effect.
  • Bake in the oven for about 25mins or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin then remove and let cool completely.
  • To finish, melt the milk chocolate in the microwave in thirty second bursts, mixing between each interval. Pour the melted chocolate all over the traybake and spread out into an even layer. Decorate with sprinkles and leave to let the chocolate set. Or just dig in, who doesn’t like some melted chocolate!

Chocolate Oatmeal Cake Squares

22 Dec

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This is the perfect compromise between a delicious treat and something healthy. It is delicious and it is packed with oats which we all know have so many health benefits such as they are a great source of fibre, they are good for your heart and they helps fight cancer to name only a few. With this knowledge we can all forget about the bad but yum ingredients, cough cough, chocolate, and focus on the wonderful oats. These squares are wonderfully moist and are easy to transport if you wanted to give them as a gift.

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Chocolate Oatmeal Cake Squares

100g quick cook oats

1 3/4cup boiling water

112g butter

200g granulated sugar

170g dark brown sugar

2 eggs

275g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

1tsp cinnamon

a pinch of salt

200g chocolate chips, it can be milk, dark or white or a mixture

50-100g chopped pecans/walnuts

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and and grease and line a 9x13inch tin with baking parchment.
  • Put the oats in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Slice the butter over and let stand for 10mins.
  • Stir in the 2 types of sugar then beat in the eggs. Mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and half the chocolate chips.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and scatter with the remaining chocolate chips and the chopped nuts.
  • Bake in the oven for 35-40mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely in the tin the remove and cut into squares.
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