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    211 Reviews
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      05.10.2014 10:19
      Very helpful



      Top 10 ingredients to lose weight

      I was 100 Kg 7 months ago and I decided I have to do something about it. So I started training and I used my kitchen smartly. After 2 and a half months I was 90 kg. Of course, some of this weight lose is just water but I great percentage is fat.

      Here are the Top 10 ingredients to boost your metabolism and burn more fat. Remember that if you don't eat properly your body turns on the 'starvation' mode and doesn't burn calories fast.

      10. Lemon: Lemon water contains a large amount of vitamin C which it is a great antioxidant and helps to the creation of carnitine. Carnitine helps you metabolize fat.

      9. Spices : Spices such as chilly and other hot spices increase your metabolic rate a lot. Do not overuse them because some problems might show up with your gastrointestinal tract.

      8. Green Tea: POWERFUL antioxidant. Helps your body to decrease the amount of LDL and increase your metabolic rate. I recommend to drink it as a cold beverage.

      7. Coffee: Coffee doesn't make you fat. Instead, it increase your metabolic rate and it is great to have 2 or 3 cups per day. However the results will come much faster if milk and sugar are not added.

      6. Spinach: A great food and a great ingredient for everyone that wants to lose weight.

      5. Nuts: By eating a small amount of nuts your body takes a great percentage of proteins and fatty acids that are needed for a good health. I think you can eat as much as 15-20 nuts per day( only if you have a training schedule)

      4. Dark Chocolate: Although milk chocolate is a bomb filled with calories dark chocolate is extremely healthy and it can benefit your body in many different ways, from weight lose to a decreased heart risk.

      3. Carbohydrates: If you don't include them in your diet you will not lose weight fast. Losing weight isn't about diet but more about exercise. The diet is just to support your daily needs. Without Carbohydrates you will not have the energy to train, so you will not burn fat fast. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy inside everyone and you MOST NOT forget about that.

      2. Protein: By proteins I mean ingredients that contain a great amount of protein such as eggs and nuts. Proteins are necessary to our body in many different levels. They are everywhere inside us in many forms like, muscles, enzymes, hormones etc. In order to have high metabolic rate then you must include proteins on your everyday diet.

      1. Water: Without food a person can survive 40 days, without water a person can survive 5 days. If you don't drink water don't expect any results.


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        24.09.2014 17:39
        Very helpful
        1 Comment


        • Delicious
        • "Moist chocolate cake "


        • "Calories "

        Chocolate Fudge Cake!!

        I love to bake and bake anything from simple cakes right up to celebration cakes. One cake I love to make and find so versatile is a chocolate fudge cake which is lovely and moist and can be left quite simple covered in a lovely ganache or decorated with treats to make it into more of a celebration cake.

        Chocolate Fudge Cake
        Ingredients - Cake
        175 g Self raising flour
        50g Cocoa powder
        150g Sugar
        2 Eggs
        150ml Sunflower Oil
        15ml Semi-skimmed milk
        2 Tablespoons golden syrup
        1 Teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

        Ingredients Ganache
        300g milk chocolate
        600g double cream

        Method - Ganache
        Before you make the cake it is advisable to make the ganache to fill and cover it as it requires time to set.
        Break the milk chocolate into pieces and place in a heat proof bowl.
        Heat the cream in a saucepan until boiling.
        Pour cream over the chocolate and using a whisk mix the cream into the chocolate until it is all melted and forms a smooth thick mixture.
        Place into the fridge to set.

        Method - Cake
        Pre heat the oven to 180degreesC or Gas Mark 4 and line two 7 inch sandwich tins.
        Sieve into a mixing bowl the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and sugar.
        Add the eggs, oil, milk and syrup to the dry ingredients and beat well with an electric whisk until all the ingredients are combined and the mix is smooth.
        Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, the cakes should be firm to the touch when ready.
        Turn out cakes and place onto a cooling rack.
        When the cake is cooled and the ganache is set, whisk the ganache with an electric whisk until smooth.
        Use the ganache to sandwich together the two cakes then use the remaining ganache to cover the entire cake.
        Serve on its own or with cream or ice cream.

        You can also fill and cover this cake with chocolate butter cream but I like ganache as it is so luxurious and not as sweet as buttercream. You can also cover this cake with various sweets/chocolates to make it into a celebration cake. I normally cover the cake with ganache, place chocolate fingers all around the side of the cake and secure with a ribbon then top with various different chocolates which makes a simple cake look rather extravagant.


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          10.03.2014 11:23
          Very helpful



          cheap and easy recipes to make profit at bake sales!

          I'm a keen baker and always like to make an effort for bake sales but last week I got caught out and didn't have time to go to the shops to buy any ingredients, so I had to make do with what I already had in, the result is that I made peanut butter fudge and honeycomb - I can't believe I've never made these before! They are so cheap and easy to bake and they sell really well at bake sales! For both of these I packaged them up in little cellophane bags and labelled them with stickers which I think made them look even more expensive :-)

          Peanut butter fudge

          125g smooth peanut butter
          100 butter
          2 tsp vanilla extract
          250 icing sugar

          Melt peanut butter and butter in a bowl sitting on a pan with a little water in it - do not let the bowl touch the water. When these ingredients have combined add the vanilla extract and stir in the icing sugar. Be patient when stirring in the icing sugar, at first you'll think it'll never combine but I promise you it will! When they've combined pour the mixture into a tin lined with greaseproof paper - it'll already be semi-set and thick at this stage but to make it set properly put it in the fridge for a couple of hours then cut it into cubes to serve.

          Honey comb

          2 tablespoons honey
          100g sugar
          1 and a half teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda

          I can't believe I've never made this before, it's so easy! You just put the honey and sugar in a pan and boil until when you put a drop of the sugar mixture into cold water it sets (this is called the hard ball stage). When this stage is reached add the bicarbonate of soda and stir quickly as the mixture will begin to rise then pour this into a baking tin that has been lined with greaseproof paper - the greaseproof paper is important here as otherwise your honeycomb will stick to the bottom of the tin! When it has set, which usually takes less than an hour, break the honey comb up to serve.

          And there you have it! Two very simple recipes that for me sold really well at a recent bake sale, all made with ingredients your likely to have in the house! And if you don't have peanut butter in the house do you have nutella? I bet that would work with the fudge - let me know if it does!


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          22.06.2013 22:46
          Very helpful



          my coconut cake

          As a Slimming World member, I am always looking for low fat alternatives to cakes as well, I love cake! My favourite recipe is an adapted version of a coconut cake. It is great for those who are watching their weight and is really easy to make.

          ~You will need~

          *6 eggs
          *50g self raising flour
          *2 tsp baking powder
          *low sugar jam
          *25g dessicated coconut
          *8 tbsp. Sweetener (I use a granulated sweetener either with Stevia or a one without aspartame). If not slimming, substitute for sugar if you wish.
          *Fruit of your choice (optional)
          *Vanilla essence (optional)
          *Two tubs of quark or fromage frais


          Step 1 : separate egg whites and whisk until stiff with an electric mixer - takes a few minutes and the eggs with triple in volume

          Step 2 : Combine the egg whites, yolks and sweetener together and then sieve in the flour and baking powder. Mix well. Add a few drops of vanilla essence.

          Step 3 : Split mixture between two round cake tins and pop in the oven at 180c for around 14 minutes.

          Step 4 : Once your cake is cool, mix together the quark (this is a soft, tasteless cheese) or fromage frais (I prefer to use this and opt for 0% total) with sweetener. At this point, I sometimes mix a sachet of White Chocolate Options through too for extra flavour.

          Step 5 : Spread some low sugar jam (however much you want - I don't tend to use much) onto one cake and top with the above mixture. Sandwich the two cakes together and then use the rest of the mixture as a topping for the cake. Top with the coconut and pop in the fridge to set. You can add fruit as a topping alongside the coconut and I find sliced strawberries are perfect for the job. You can also use the strawberries as a filling instead of jam.


          Okay, so it won't win any awards but it is free from butter and it does take yummy. My fiancé actually prefers it to a full fat cake topped with buttercream icing and that is a positive recommendation from him. I find that the cake if prepared properly, does come out quite moist and is filling. My favourite version is the coconut cake with the strawberry jam filling and white chocolate topping.

          It rises fairly well in the oven and does taste like a nice, light sponge. Depending on which optional ingredients you choose to use, you are looking at under 15 Slimming World syns for the full cake which is excellent. This mixture provides enough cake for around 6, decent sized portions.

          Thanks for reading :)


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            14.06.2013 21:34
            Very helpful



            Doesn't taste like a low calorie recipe, a real treat

            I made this cake for the first time a few weeks ago and have made three more already. It is made with oil and low fat yoghurt so cuts out quite a few calories compared to normal cake mixture. It took about 30 minutes to get all the ingredients measured out and mixed together and approximately 18 minutes to cook. I have made it as a whole cake in a standard cake tin and also made into muffins using muffin cases, as I kept cutting large slices of the whole cake and thought that the muffins would last me a bit longer, however I was wrong and they went just as quickly as they taste so delicious!

            You will need 200g self raising flower, 1tsg baking powder, 75g sugar, 100g blueberies, 150ml low fat yoghurt, 2 tbsp semi skimmed milk, 50ml sunflower oil, 2 large eggs and zest of one lemon.

            Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, blueberries and lemon zest, then beat in the eggs, yoghurt, milk and oil. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200 fan, 180 gas (gas mark 6) for about 18 minutes, but check after about 15 minutes as all ovens are different. You can drizzle icing over the cakes or my preference of lemon juice heated up with a bit of sugar which makes it super moist and completely irresistible.

            As with all recipes I do, I don't always follow the exact order of the ingredients being put into the bowl as if you mix them up well enough the end result is always the same for me!

            Happy baking and enjoy......


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              08.10.2012 15:29
              Very helpful
              1 Comment



              A really simple basic sponge that literally anyone can make!

              I absolutely love making exciting cakes for my friends birthdays, and however hard I try with exciting enw flavours, they all seem to prefer it when I make a plain sponge and ice it in a really exciting way.

              For example, when a couple of my friends went travelling, I made a cake in the shape of a map of the world with their planned route iced onto it and it went down really well! And the cake only takes about 5-10 minutes to make (ignoring the cooking time).

              So I thought I'd share my absolutely foolproof basic sponge recipe which makes the base of all these cakes and generally gets very good reviews as it's light and tasty. It's been passed down to me from my Mum, so I've got no idea where it's originally from. I gave the recipe to a friend of mine who had never baked before and his cake came out perfectly, so I even have proof it's a foolproof recipe!

              6 oz caster sugar
              6 oz butter (or margarine)
              6 oz self raising flour
              3 eggs
              1.5 tsp baking powder
              1 tsp vanilla essence (for vanilla sponge)
              4 (ish) tbsp cocoa powder (for chocolate sponge)

              First of all, cream the butter and sugar together. Then add all of the other ingredients and beat until the mixture is smooth. Bake at 160 C in two 8 inch cake tins for about 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until it's a nice golden colour on top. Check it with a skewer and if it comes out clean, then the cake is ready.

              Then ice away to your hearts content and make something really impressive looking for very little actual baking effort! Or if you're not in a fancy icing mood, just fill the middle with jam and buttercream and dust some icing sugar on top for the vanilla sponge. Or fill with chocolate buttercream and cover in chocolate if you've made the chocolate version.


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                21.08.2012 22:15
                Very helpful



                You'd be a fool not to give these a go, you don't know what your missing until you have!

                I have been constantly on the hunt for healthier alternatives to my full fat and calorie baking favourites, but I often find that the reduced fat/calorie versions suffer in flavour too much to be bothered with. But this was until I found this recipe, I know swear by it! Gorgeous moist, soft, gooey chocolatey brownies for only.....wait for it.....77 calories a piece!!!(based on 12 brownies). They taste just as brownies should without all the added fat!

                The recipe is ever so simple and only takes minutes to whip up, don't be put off by the apple sauce, trust me..you can't taste it! It just provides the lovely brownie texture instead of the butter! It's also very cheap compared to the full fat variety as you only need seven basic ingredients!

                Makes: 12 brownies


                1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
                1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                4 egg whites
                1/2 cup sugar
                1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
                1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
                1/2 teaspoon baking powder
                25g mixed nuts (optional but very yummy)


                1.Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Spray an 8Ã--8 inch non-stick cake pan with spray or line it with baking paper.

                2. In a medium mixing bowl, using a sturdy whisk, spoon or electric hand whisk, mix the applesauce, vanilla, egg whites and sugar until they are well combined. (Should look frothy on the surface)

                3.Add the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir the mixture until it is just combined and no lumps remain.

                5. Add your nuts or whatever else you have chosen to add and fold lightly into the mixture.

                6. Pour it into the prepared pan, make sure the mixture is spread evenly. Bang your pan on your worktop to destroy any trapped air bubbles in the mixture, which can cause uneven baking.

                7. Bake the brownies for 12-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (a few crumbs and moisture is fine).

                (You may prefer to leave your brownies in for longer it depends how you like them, for a fudgier brownie give them less time, for a denser brownie give them more)

                8.Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before removing. Once cool cut into 12 equal portions (77 calories in one serving) or 16 equal portions (58 calories per serving).

                & finally enjoy your brownies! If you think you may have trouble stopping at one or two (at 77 calories two is ok :D) you might want to freeze half of the batch as trust me these are very moreish!

                Tips: You can leave out the nuts and try some dried fruit perhaps or marshmallows but the calorie content will need to be altered slightly. They are nice served warm or cold and go nicely with ice cream, custard, fruit, whipped cream and pouring cream. (obviously if your having them with something that alters the calorie count).

                Now, go turn the oven on and enjoy your brownies without any guilt! I dare you!

                If anybody is interested in making anymore low fat/calorie dessert recipes just send me a message and I'll be happy to share some more with you as I am baking low fat/calorie desserts all of the time and have found some gorgeous ones! I am also happy to work out any calorie contents of recipes for anybody, again just send me a message and I'll get onto it :)


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                  21.04.2012 13:55
                  Very helpful




                  It's Saturday afternoon so I thought I'd treat you all to a little baking surprise! I'm a huge lover of decorating my cupcakes to look like something stead of just dolloping some frosting on top and calling it a day, so today I'll teach you how to make panda cupcakes! I made them yesterday morning and everyone has fallen in love with them, so here goes!
                  This is not a short recipe, so please stick with me! It's totally worth it.
                  All cake and frosting recipes have been adapted from recipes found online to provide a better consistency for my liking. I'll source those throughout the recipe.
                  Note: these cakes do not contain egg.

                  Here are two I made yesterday - remove the spaces ( https:// fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd .net/hphotos-ak-ash3/578107_ 10150822358390937_ 642685936_ 11710340_330143245_n. jpg)

                  Yields : 5 pandas

                  For the cake... - adapted from brettbara.com
                  6 tablespoons self raising flour
                  4 tablespoons sugar
                  3 tablespoons cocoa powder
                  1/4 teaspoon baking soda (eyeball it, it doesn't need to be exact)
                  A pinch of salt
                  4 tablespoons cold water
                  1 tablespoon & 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
                  Few drops of vanilla extract
                  2 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)

                  For the chocolate frosting... - adapted from brettbara.com
                  2 tablespoons butter
                  3 tablespoons cocoa powder
                  2-3 tablespoons confectioners sugar (you can decide for yourself based on how you like the consistency of your frosting)
                  2 tablespoons double cream

                  For the white frosting... - adapted from myrecipes.com
                  1.5 tablespoons softened butter (I use stork instead of butter, it's best for baking and frostings)
                  Pinch of salt
                  1.5 cups of confectioners sugar
                  3 tablespoons double cream

                  Additional chocolate chips for the nose
                  Roughly 3 mini oreo snack packs
                  Black food colouring paste

                  You'll also need regular fairy cake liners and mini fairy cake liners. Do not use the large cupcake liners or this will dramatically decrease the yield of the recipe and probably make you sick because it'd be huge!

                  Now onto actually baking the pandas! (There's something I never thought I'd say)

                  Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Line a cupcake tin with 5 regular fairy cake liners and 5 tiny ones.
                  1) Combine all of the dry ingredients for the chocolate cake together.
                  2) In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients and then slowly add the dry ingredients to that. Mix it all together until fully combined.
                  3) Stir in the chocolate chips (optional)
                  4) Fill the regular liners to about 2/3 of the way up and the tiny ones juuuust over halfway.
                  5) Pop in the oven for 10 minutes, remove the tiny liners and set them to cool. Put the rest back in the oven for a further 8 minutes. (This can vary depending on your oven)
                  6) Set all cakes to cool.

                  As the cakes are cooling, you want to open a pack of your mini oreos, separate them scoop out the white filling and dispose of that. Then crush the little biscuits into teeny tiny crumbs - dump them in a bowl. These will be used later.

                  White frosting (make this one first as this will be used for the heads - little cakes - and they will cool first)
                  1) Soften the butter and add in the double cream and pinch of salt. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until you get the consistency and taste you like. I prefer to use a little less sugar than recommended as I always find the full amount is too sweet. Keep this in the fridge until use, or if your little cakes are cool, scoop a teaspoon onto them and smooth out ready to draw the faces on.

                  Chocolate frosting
                  1) Melt the butter in the microwave before adding in the dry ingredients and the cream. Mix together until smooth. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

                  As the larger cakes are cooling, I like to decorate the faces. I use Wilton Black Food Colouring paste to do this. It's best to use a toothpick for the detail but I had run out, so I used a stick of spaghetti!
                  1) Dip the spaghetti/toothpick into the paste and draw a panda smile onto the white frosting.
                  2) Pop a chocolate chip into the middle of the cake for the nose - this should join into the smile.
                  3) Take your spaghetti/toothpick again and get a blob of black paste on the end of it, do a kidney bean shaped splodge on both sides of the nose - facing each other. This will be the eyes.
                  We'll add the ears later.

                  Gently frost the larger cakes with the chocolate frosting and then roll the cake into the oreo crumbs. This will look a little more like fur.
                  Take one of the panda heads and pop it onto one of the bodies, the face facing you. The fairy cake paper should be side down into the larger cupcake.
                  Grab 3 more mini oreos and slice them in half (not like we did earlier, but so they are two half circles). Two half circles can then be pushed into the top of the head for ears.
                  Two of the half circles can be placed into the body, either side of the head for "paws" whilst the other two can rest just in front of the large cupcake base as the other "paws".

                  Do this for all of your pandas and watch everyone's face light up as you walk in the room with them!



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                    16.02.2012 23:38
                    Very helpful



                    Easy to make and great for gift baking - your friends and loved ones will love them!

                    You do not need to be a baking genius to make these biscuits and if you have some basic store cupboard ingredients you can whip these up in no time!

                    I might also add that these make great gifts - i made these for my boyfriend for valentines, but they would work just as well for other occasions and you can use different cookie cutters and pretty packaging!

                    Makes approximately 15 - but this depends on your cookie cutter!

                    INGREDIENTS LIST -

                    150g flour
                    100g Butter (cut into smallish cubes)
                    50g Caster Sugar
                    1 egg yolk
                    100g chocolate cut into chunks - or use a packet of choc chips)
                    2 tsps vanilla extract

                    =Place the butter and flour in a large bowl
                    =Rub the butter into the flour until it becomes crumbly (persevere - it will get there!)
                    =Add Sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and chocolate chunks
                    =bring all the ingredients together until it forms a dough
                    =Sprinkle flour on your work tops and put dough onto the surface.
                    =Roll out the dough so it is about 1 cm thick
                    =Cut out your chosen shapes with cookie cutter
                    =Place cookies on baking trays (line with parchment/non stick paper) and chill in fridge for 30 mins or more

                    HEAT YOUR OVEN FIRST 200 degrees/180 fan/gas 6.

                    =Cook cookies in oven for 10-12 minutes - they should be a nice light golden colour
                    =Take out of oven and leave to cool (they will firm up and harden)

                    I like to melt another 100g of chocolate and dip half the cookie into melted chocolate for a more luxurious feel.

                    These cookies are really yummy! If you want to package them up as gifts i'd suggest Hobbycraft and Lakeland for gift bags etc.


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                      25.11.2011 17:07
                      Very helpful



                      A ease to follow recipe that makes gorgeous cinnamon muffins :)

                      Christmas Cinnamon Muffins recipe

                      - Ingredients

                      6 tbsp sunflower oil
                      280g plain flour
                      1 tbsp baking powder
                      115g soft light brown sugar
                      2 eggs
                      175ml milk
                      4 tbsp golden syrup
                      2 tbspn cinnamon

                      - Instructions

                      1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C and either grease a muffin tin or after making the mixture you can spoon the muffin mix into cupcake cases, which is what I do.

                      2. Combine the flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and cinnamon into a large bowl - I use 2 small tbsp of cinnamon as I like the cinnamon flavour to be strong, so you could use less if you wanted. You could also add some ground ginger, nutmeg or mixed spices to make them more christmasy or for children you could add some mini milk chocolate pieces.

                      3. Stir in the brown sugar into all of the other dry ingredients and mix as so you don't get any lumps of sugar.

                      4. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and beat lightly. Then gently beat in the milk, oil and golden syrup - the golden syrup can be a little bit difficult to mix in but it does not matter if it is fully combined at this stage.

                      5. Add the wet mixture of the eggs milk, oil and golden syrup to the dry ingredients and stir until all of the ingredients are combined - but don't over mix as this will make the muffins denser.

                      6. I then spoon the mixture into cupcake cases. I like to use small cases as then the muffins will be bite size.

                      7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes. If you think they are ready, take a clean cocktail stick and press it into the muffin and if the stick comes out with bits of muffin on then they are not ready - leave then in the oven for another few minutes.

                      8. Once baked fully leave them to cool and then you can leave them as they are and eat them - or you can decorate them, I just sprinkle a small amount of icing sugar onto the muffins.

                      I would recommend eating these muffins when they are nice and warm, when you have baking them and they have cooled slightly. These muffins will last for about a week if you store them in a cool, dry place. I like to heat these muffins up in the microwave to make them warm (I heat them for about 10 -15 seconds). They make a fantastic breakfast, especially for me as I always start early in the morning for uni and I find that a couple of these muffins keeps me full for at least one 2 hour lecture!

                      I find that with this recipe you can double or half the ingredients easily to make more or less muffins - with the quantities of the ingredients stated above I find that it makes a lot of small muffins so I don't think you will need to double the ingredients - unless you are making them for lots of family/friends or for a christmas bake sale.

                      You could add some extras to these muffins such as chocolate, icing, edible decorations, edible paper or you could keep the rest of the ingredients the same and just add some ground ginger (or stem ginger) and make them into gingerbread muffins! Or even cinnamon and apple muffins, by adding one cooking apple to the rest of the ingredients. The possibilities with this recipe are almost endless, as you can add to the recipe easily and the muffins will still come out great. The flexibility and simplicity of this recipe makes it suitable for all and great for the people who do not have a lot of time to bake - and also those who like to add their own take on recipes.

                      That is my recipe for gorgeous cinnamon muffins, for me cinnamon is really nice anyway but it always reminds me of christmas and this simple recipe that usually take me about half an hour or so is perfect for the festive season! (and any season in my opinion). And one of the best things about this recipe for me (besides the gorgeous muffins I get and the simplicity of the recipe) is that there is no butter in it - so the only 'bad' thing in these muffins is the sugar!

                      This recipe is already posted on ciao with pictures under my username labellavita1992


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                        13.11.2011 16:09
                        Very helpful



                        see review

                        I for one am a hugeeeee cupcake lover! I love the look, taste and smell of them! You can be so creative with them! But for now I will tell you how to make a simple, vanilla cupcake!


                        For the Cake :

                        250g unsalted butter
                        250g caster sugar
                        4 eggs
                        1tsp vanilla extract
                        185g self raising flower
                        60g plain flower
                        185 ml Milk

                        For the icing :

                        125g unsalted butter
                        250g icing sugar
                        2 tsp of milk
                        1 tsp of vanilla extract

                        If you want , you can get creative and make it a different colour! To do so just add a couple of drops of food colouring !

                        TO MAKE

                        1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas 4. Grease a 12 hole non stick muffin tray

                        2. Put the sugar and the butter in a bowl and beat it together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, then the vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift the flour into the bowl and again mix together until the mixture is creamy. While doing so add the milk then stir until creamy.

                        3. Next, divide your mixture between the 12 muffin holes, then bake for 20 minutes. Then take them out , to check that they are completely cooked, take a tooth pick and poke it into the cupcake and if it comes out wet then they are not done - so then place them back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

                        4. Once done, take them out of the oven and leave them on a cooling rack for 30 minutes

                        5. While waiting for them to cool make the icing

                        TO MAKE THE ICING

                        1. put the unsalted butter and icing sugar into a bowl and beat until fluffy , then add the milk and vanilla extract - if you want to add food colouring just add a couple of drops to the mixture and beat until all the ingredients are mixed together.

                        2. Then spread the icing over the cupcakes evenly

                        3. Now , for the finishing touches, sprinkle some grated chocolate over the cupcakes and TADA!

                        Hope you enjoy your cupcakes! I know I will !!


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                        14.10.2011 11:03
                        Very helpful



                        Baking in 5 minutes - Nigella eat your heat out

                        This is the easiest recipe i have ever come across for flapjacks - so easy I tend to make a couple of batches a week to eat! I keep experimenting with adding different ingredients, but below is the basic flapjack recipe!

                        100g butter
                        25g (or 1 tbsp!) caster sugar
                        5 tbsp golden syrup
                        200g porridge oats

                        1. Cut the butter into chunks and melt in the microwave with the sugar. Best way to do this pop in on high for 1m30s and then stir before microwaving for another 1m30s
                        2. Add the golden syprup to the melted butter mixture, if you don't have a tablespoon guesstimate with 6 dessert spoons!
                        3. Mix in the porridge oats
                        4. Microwave on high for 3m30s - 4m
                        5. Whilst microwaving, line a flat dish with baking paper
                        6. Once microwave pings, give mixture a stir, and then transfer to rectangular dish (think lasagne dish!), pressing down
                        7. Cool and pop in the fridge.

                        Result - gooey sticky flapjacks!

                        These are so easy and CHEAP to make that I love to experiment and see what else I can make with it! I have made fat and thin flapjacks and added a variety of fillings - some work, some don't!

                        - Chocolate
                        The old standard is chocolate on the top! Once the flapjacks are cooled, melt 150-200g of milk chocolate (microwave again!) pour over flapjack and spread to even consistency. Pop in fridge until set

                        - Raisins and Chocolate
                        Once you take the flapjacks out of the microwave add 100g of raisins (or indeed any dried fruit) stir in and then transfer to the rectangular dish
                        As above for the chocolate!

                        Chocolate drops
                        - This didn't work so well, once I took the flapjacks out of the microwave I attempted to stir the chocolate drops in and transfer to the final dish - they melted! Still tasted nice though!

                        Other variations that I want to try include:
                        Spreading a thin layer of flapjack into a smaller dish, spreading with a layer of jam (strawberry or raspberry) and then adding a second layer of flapjack on top before cutting into bars

                        Cashew nuts - as with the raisins!

                        Any other suggestions are welcome!

                        Porridge Oats -£1.50 for 1kg bag - will make 5 batches!
                        Butter - £1 for 250g - will make 2 batches
                        Golden Syrup - £2 for 500ml, will make about 5 batches

                        Cheap and cheerful!

                        My other half was apprehensive at first surrounding these "microwaved" and therefore not "proper" flapjacks, however these have hit the correct seal of approval, being dense, oaty and chewy/gooey - melt in the mouth!


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                          18.08.2011 21:49
                          Very helpful



                          Great to make if you're short of time.

                          I like to bake a cake from time to time, but tend to go for the easy and quick recipes - especially ones that don't create much washing up as I get in trouble for making a mess.

                          Here's a nice easy quick recipe that has never failed to impress my victims. It's also pretty hard to get wrong so you don't need any special skills and you won't get your hands dirty.

                          You will need:

                          1 cup of self-raising flour
                          1 cup of desiccated coconut
                          I/2 cup of caster sugar
                          ¾ cup of milk

                          I actually use a mug rather than a cup because you get more cake - it doesn't matter because all the ingredients will remain in proportion.

                          Measure out all your ingredients and toss them into a mixing bowl. Mix them all together. It will be quite wet and have a consistency and look not unlike porridge when it is done. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin or similar. I use a square silicon sandwich tin because being shallower it cooks a bit quicker - less money on lecky - and you can serve it in nice dainty slices without it crumbling.

                          Pop it into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes. It only takes 20 minutes or so in a sandwich (shallow) tin so check it half way through and keep your eye on it so that it doesn't burn.

                          After you take it out of the oven, let it cool for 20 minutes or so and either eat some if you can't wait - or to make it even yummier, drizzle on some lemon topping and let it crystallise on the top. To make an easy lemon drizzle sauce, just mix icing or even castor sugar with lemon juice in a little milk jug and drizzle it slowly onto the still warm but not too warm surface of the cake.

                          This cake tastes and stays lovely and moist and will keep in a cake tin for as long as it takes you to eat it all. It has never lasted more than 2 days in our house! Scrumptious!

                          Nice with a jug of custard, too!


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                            13.06.2011 20:10
                            Very helpful



                            A fab recipe to make glorious Yorkshires!

                            So many people nowadays seem to be perfectly happy to buy the pre-made Yorkshire Puddings. I want to spread the word that homemade Yorkshires are a million times better! Why bother wasting your hard earned money on something that is SO quick and easy to make! You can't even use the excuse of not having the ingredients. Flour, eggs and milk with a dash of oil or lard? Come on, everybody surely has those ready and raring to be used.

                            Here is my full-proof recipe that will make four large Yorkshires (using one of those four mould trays) or approx. 10 smaller Yorkshires.

                            75g/2-3 oz plain flour
                            Pinch of salt
                            ¼ pint of milk
                            1 egg
                            Oil or lard for the moulds

                            Pre-heat your oven to 220°/ Gas Mark 7.
                            Sift flour with salt and add the egg. Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk to a smooth consistency and leave to rest.
                            Genorously grease baking tray with oil or lard (i prefer lard) and pop in the oven for 5/10 minutes.
                            Remove tray from oven and pour the batter into the moulds. Bake for about 25mins.

                            ~Handy Tips~

                            -Check for the right batter consistency by making sure it holds and coats the back of a spoon
                            -For the very best results refrigerate the batter mixture for at least half an hour
                            -Fat/oil should be almost smoking when taken out out the oven. Needs to be ridiculously hot to ensure biiiiig Yorkshires! In my experience, if you don't hear a sizzle when you fill each mould then the fat/oil isn't hot enough. Will still turn out good but not as big!
                            -If you decide not to eat all four of the beasts, then simply pop in a freezer bag and keep in freezer. When you next want to have one with a dinner, either defrost in the microwave or pop in the oven for 15mins or so.

                            Bon appetitt!


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                              22.01.2011 22:14
                              Very helpful



                              Must try these yummy little pods of heaven.

                              I've only recently started baking and I have fallen in love with it, I try to bake something every weekend. This is the first time I've made this, I decided to make it as it's quite healthy and my b.f. doesn't eat anything unhealthy, so wanted to make something he would eat.

                              This is so quick and easy to make, no preparation and it only takes 5-10 mins baking and 30 minutes to have it all ready.

                              Flio Pastry
                              Melted butter
                              Honey - 1 tablespoon
                              Yoghurt - 500 g
                              Seasonal fruit - grapes, berries, passion fruit
                              Vanilla pod

                              Start off by pealing a layer of the pastry, place it on a flat surface, and brush it with melted butter. This gives you some time to handle the pastry as otherwise it would dry and break.

                              Once you've brushed the whole sheet of the pastry, with a sharp knife, cut it in square vertically, and once in the middle horizontally. This leaves with square pastry sheets.

                              The next step is to layer the pastry. Start by place one square on a flat surface, and then layer with another square however you need to place it at an angle. Carry on doing this till you end up with a star looking shape, with pointy bits of the pastry in all directions. You'll probably use 6 pieces of square pastry to achieve this look.

                              Butter the muffin tin pan with the melted butter. Then pick up all the layered pastry and place it in the tin, make sure you push it down and cover all around the tin. (you need to butter the tin so the pastry pockets don't stick to the sides when you want to take them out.

                              Once the tin is full, place in the oven on 180 oC for 5-10 minutes. The pastry will be golden brown all over.
                              Whilst the pastry is in the oven, mix the yoghurt with honey and vanilla (Scrape out the vanilla pod) together.
                              Scope couple of tablespoons of the yoghurt mixture into the small pastry parcels, you can stuff it as much as you like. Then decorate the top with the fruit of your choice. Volla you've got yourself some skinny yummy tarts.

                              You can also make this filling with cream instead of yoghurt, make sure you whip double cream and add the extras. This is obviously the unhealthy version, but I think also very yummy.


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