Friday, 31 October 2014

Halloween Brownies.

 Happy Halloween!

For Halloween this year for work I made After Eight brownies and Terry's Chocolate Orange brownies.

To make the After Eight brownies you will need:
250g Butter
100g Milk Chocolate
100g Dark Chocolate
360g Caster Sugar
80g Cocoa Powder
65g Plain Flour
4 Eggs
half a teaspoon Baking Powder

For the icing:
Green food colouring
100g Butter
200g Icing Sugar
2 packets After Eights

To make the Terry's Chocolate Orange brownies you will need:
250g Butter
100g Terry's Chocolate Orange
100g Lindt dark chocolate orange
360g Caster Sugar
80g Cocoa Powder
65g Plain Flour
4 Eggs
half a teaspoon Baking Powder

For the icing:
Orange food colouring
100g Butter
200g Icing Sugar
Terry's Chocolate Orange

To make the brownies first line the tin, (this I found out is crucial!) I used a 9x9 tin. And preheat the oven to 180.

In a bain marie melt the butter and the chocolate together. While this is melting weigh out your dry ingredients.

Once all the butter and chocolate has melted mix the dry ingredients in until combined allow to cool slightly and then add in the four eggs and mix well.

If you are making the After Eight brownies add half the mixture to the tin, then cover the batter with two layers of After Eights. Then pour over the rest of the mixture.

If you are making the Terry's Chocolate Orange brownies just add in all the mixture.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes.

Once cooked take out of the oven and leave to cool completely before attempting to remove them from the tin!

Then make the icing by creaming the butter, sugar and food coloring together. Spread a thin layer onto the brownies and place in the fridge for ten minutes and then spread the rest of the icing onto the brownies. Then add either a segment of Terry's or half an After Eight depending on the brownie flavour.

Then slice into pieces. Clean the knife in between each slice to keep the icing crumb free!

Enjoy these with a coffee or any drink as they are so rich!!!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

My Ultimate Bacon Sandwich.

Oh the weekend, why can't you be longer! Daytime TV and woodland walks, accompanied with as much comfort food as I can pack in. 

This weekend the turn of my verison of the ultimate bacon sandwich. 

For this I use: 
two slices of seedy brown bread, 
more salted butter than I should,
four rashers of smoked streaky bacon and, 
a dollop of Heinz ketchup.

First I grill the bacon until the edges are dark and none of the fat is still white... on the verge of snappable. 

Once the bacon is nearly done I pop the bread in the toaster, then slather it in salty butter and ketchup. Place the bacon on top, cut into triangles and enjoy with the weekend papers.

How do you like yours?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Favourite Face Masks.

I have dabbled with masks before. First with those ones everyone has used, those sachet ones you peel off and smell sickly... you know the ones. But things have moved on a long way and these are my current masks and thoughts. I purchased all of these after reading reviews or seeing a YouTube video mentioning them. I now use a mask at least twice a week and I feel like it has really helped my skin as well as helping me keep to a routine which I think is really the key point. 

Una Brennan
This is a reasonably priced mask and does the job, a little drying so I tend to use a more intense moisturizer, or double mask and use one of my moisturizing masks. I'm not sure if they still sell it any more though in Boots and think it has been replaced by Super Facialist salicylic acid anti blemish clay mask. I am yet to try it but at £8.99 and usually on offer I'm sure I will when I have finished this one.

Aesop Parsley Seed Mask 

This is the more advance version of the Una Brennan mask and with that comes a hike in price at £27 it's not cheap but does make your skin feel wonderful afterwards. I use this maybe once every two weeks due to price point! 

Origins Out Of Trouble 10 minute mask

This is my latest purchase. I am a big fan when it comes to Origins so it was only a matter of time before I bought this mask. The texture is very thick and feels like it would be quite drying but after following up with a good moisturizer I haven't had any trouble so far and only good things have happened. At £23 it is quite expensive but I think it is worth spending money on masks compared to other steps in my skincare routine.

These three masks I use on rotation twice a week as they are all the complexion clearing kind. While I also use two masks that are hydrating usually after a drying mask or on a flight I put it on throughout the journey.

Origins drink up intensive overnight 
This is the mother of hydrating masks I use it all over and also put it on dry patches as and when needed. Smells yum and is an essential for plane travel! You only need a thin layer so £23 doesn't seem so bad for how long it lasts.

No. 7 Hydration mask 

I bought this on a whim in boots. It's quite thin in texture and doesn't leave the skin quite as plump, but I have found a use for it by using it on feet, knees, elbows and hands before fake tanning :) at £12.50 I would recommend buying an Una Brennen hydrating mask instead.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup.

I have been trying to make one big pan of soup at the beginning of the week that sets me up for the week. I can just come in after work, heat up a few ladles in a pan and dinner is done. 
This week I made dairy free creamy tomato soup.

This makes probably 10 portions so great for a dinner party or if like me you want to make enough for a week: 
4 cups cashews
4 cups water
2 tbsp oil
2 sticks of celery
2 tbsp garlic
1 tsp italian herbs
half tsp cumin
4 tins tomatoes
2 red peppers
Leave the cashews in the four cups of water to soften overnight. Then blend until smooth (how smooth will depend on your blender) I used a NutriBullet. 

Heat the oil and add the chopped onion and celery and brown. When brown add the garlic, cumin and Italian herbs. After a couple of minutes add in the tomatoes and cook until they start to breakdown. Then add in your ‘cashew milk.’ Cook for a further 10 minutes to let the flavours merge and then blend until smooth.

I was really surprised about how creamy this tasted and I even preferred it to the classic Heinz cream of tomato soup. A definite winner as other tomato soups I have made have not turned out so well!