Chia Pudding is probably not for everyone, well on first glance at least. Despite it’s slightly tadpole appearance, it’s really tasty when mixed with interesting flavours and is a blank canvas to experiment with whichever way you like.
I decided to go with two of my favourite flavour combos, coconut and chocolate. The important thing with chia pudding is to jazz it up with fresh berries, nuts etc. This is one of the healthiest things you can eat in the morning as this super seed is jam packed with omega 3s, protein and is a high source of fibre. Having this pudding for breakfast is the ultimate morning health kick!
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
80g chia seeds
1/2 can light coconut milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Stir together your seeds, cinnamon, vanilla and your coconut milk. At first they’ll float around but within a few minutes they’ll start to swell, stir again 10 minutes later so they don’t clump together. It’s best to do this step the night before so it’s ready for the morning. Just make sure to stir a few times and as it thickens you’ll need probably need to add more water.
With a hand blender blitz up the banana and the cocoa powder until it’s a smooth chocolatey sauce.
Layer up a jar one third of the way with chocolate and then fill the rest of the jar almost to the top with the chia pudding just leave a little space for the berries. You could also top with crushed nuts, yoghurt or bee pollen like I did.
Every now and then you just need a little weekend indulgence. Porridge or poached eggs on toast sometimes just doesn’t cut the mustard and you need a little “yippee I made it to through the week” food.
In the spirit of all things OTT and way too decadent for breakfast, I decided to make this Chocolate and Coconut Stuffed French Toast. This is really simple to make and if you have someone over for brunch, they’ll think you’re a real whizz in the kitchen! You don’t even have to make the chocolate sauce, you can use Nutella… Simple!
Ingredients (Serves 1):
2 slices good quality white bread (I used cranberry white spelt)
Chocolate (I used dark but you could just use nutella instead of making the sauce if you have some handy)
Break 2 squares of chocolate and place in a heavy bottomed pan with 2 tbsp of coconut milk. Let it melt over a really low heat, taking it off the heat every now and then so it doesn’t curdle. Mix together until totally melted into a sauce.
Whisk together your egg, 2 tbsp coconut milk and some cinnamon in a bowl. When mixed through place on a big plate.
Slather both slices of bread with coconut yoghurt, then drizzle the chocolate sauce over the coconut yoghurt. Squish the two slices of bread together and place it on the eggy plate.
Let the stuffed sandwich sit on the plate for a minute absorbing all the egg and then turn on to the other side to do the same.
Place a little coconut oil onto a hot frying pan and when melted place the eggy bread on top. Cook for about two minutes on each side, make sure the pan isn’t too hot.
When cooked slice in half and serve while marvelling how beautifully the coconut and chocolate oozes out the sides.
This recipe is so great! I tried lamingtons for the first time a few weeks ago in Australia, they’re a traditional Australian dessert. I had them on a Morning Tea break while trekking the Daintree Rainforest (our tour guide was amazing to bring these for us!), and I have been obsessed ever since. While the traditional lamingtons are vanilla sponge on the inside, I have only tasted the double-chocolate type and they were so good, I decided to try recreate those! Having never made these before, I looked for the best recipe online and decided that a recipe by Dan Lepard on the Guardian website was the way to go.
Lamingtons are big squares of sponge. Emphasis on the word big. And they are perfectly square. They are rolled in a layer of chocolate icing and dipped in dessicated coconut. While the one I had in Australia was massive, it was so light and moist you wouldn’t feel sickly full afterwards. These ones however are extremely rich. So I would suggest making them smaller (like half the size at least) than I did by using a wider baking tray, you still need them to be square in shape. Even the men struggled to finish his, and it’s a waste to throw out. My Dad suggested making mini ones as petit fours which would be nice too.
While these aren’t a Christmas recipe, they look so snowy with the lovely coconut, that I think Christmas time is the perfect time to try these. You will have extra chocolate sauce left over, which would be perfect as sauce on top of ice-cream a few days later.
300g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
50g dark chocolate (O’Conaill’s & Aine’s are my favourite Irish chocolatiers)
50ml sunflower oil
4 medium eggs
100ml low-fat natural yoghurt (I used Glenisk)
3 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
For the coating (makes 750ml)
50ml cold milk
175ml boiling water
200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
450g icing sugar
1-2 250g bags coconut
Line the base of a deep, 20cm square cake tin (I suggest a wider tin for smaller pieces… these were way to big!) with nonstick paper and heat the oven to 170C. Put the sugar and cocoa in a bowl and beat in the milk. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan, and add to the sugar mix along with the oil. Beat in the eggs until smooth, stir in the yoghurt and vanilla, and mix in the flour and baking powder. Pour into the tin, cover with a slightly domed sheet of foil and bake for an hour; lift off the foil for the last 15 minutes. Remove, cool in the tin and, while warm, cover with clingfilm to keep it moist.
For the coating, mix the cocoa and milk until smooth, whisk in the boiling water, then stir in the chocolate until melted. Whisk in the icing sugar until dissolved and pour into a deep, wide jug. Cut the cake into nine, dunk each piece in the coating and fish out with two forks. Roll in coconut and leave to set.
Last night was the final of the Great British Bake Off (GBBO) and I was going to be damned if I didn’t have my cake and eat it! Every week I watch with tummy rumbles and I never have anything sweet to eat as I watch the contestants whip up tart after tart. My mind has been wandering back to a recent trip to West Cork when I indulged in a delicious brownie from The Stuffed Olive (an amazing place!). I decided it had been a while since I made brownies, but wanted to give them a twist! So last night I decided to make something chocolatey and gooey. It wasn’t quite the stuff that the French Patisserie tartes from the GBBO are made of, but whatever- my double chocolate caramel brownies were a welcome treat. Like a cross between millionaires shortbread and gooey brownies, double-chocolate caramel brownies, or “Millionaires Brownies” were born!
They are delicious but seriously heart attack inducing so if you’re making a batch, be ready to share! Also good quality chocolate goes a long way. I didn’t bother making my own caramel as I was just after coming home from work and the gym, so bought a can of caramel, but by all means, make your own! Also to note is that my trusty little brownie tin went missing so I had to use a mammoth tin which made the brownie base thinner (and so cut the baking time in half), however I strongly recommend using a smaller tins for higher brownies to enjoy the full goo quality.
Ingredients (makes 12 to 16 depending on size):
200g dark chocolate (I use 75% cocoa chocolate)
225g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
For the topping:
300g-400g Chocolate (I used a mix of milk and dark)
1 can of caramel
1. Melt 200g dark chocolate with butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over a very low heat, mixing continually.
2. When melted, stir in sugar, then eggs (which should be beaten first), then flour.
3. Place in a lined and greased brownie tin, pop into your preheated oven at 180C for 30-40 mins. (If using a large brownie tin like me they will only take 15-20mins… Just keep checking, when knife comes out clean they’re done).
4.When brownies have cooled, layer on caramel evenly.
5. Melt remaining chocolate in heavy bottomed pot on low heat, stirring constantly (I used 200g dark and 200g milk) and layer over the caramel. Don’t worry these will layer easily, the caramel and chocolate won’t mix.
6. Let cool for the chocolate to harden (takes about an hour to harden), or cut up when chocolate is still slightly melty for an extra gooey experience!