Friday, 27 March 2015

Bacon, mushroom and sun dried tomato egg muffins

This is a quick and easy recipe which is perfect for breakfast on the go, brunch or a picnic. It's easily adapatable to suit your tastes and does not require much preparation or fancy equipment. British Lion Eggs contacted me to create a recipe using eggs. In return I received an electronic egg boiler which I can't wait to try out. Did you know that 32 million eggs are eaten in the UK every day? (figure is an estimate for 2014 from British Lion Eggs website) 

According to British Lion Eggs,eggs are one of the most nutritious foods MONEY can buy - they are a natural source of many NUTRIENTS including high quality protein, vitamins and minerals. A medium egg contains less than 70 calories.  Eggs are naturally RICH in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and iodine. They also contain vitamin A and a number of other B vitamins including folate, biotin, pantothenic acid and choline, and essential minerals and trace elements, including phosphorus. *

Some helpful hints on egg storage and handling*
  • Look for the British Lion mark to guarantee that the eggs have come from hens vaccinated against salmonella
  • Make sure that there is a best before DATE on the egg - this is not a legal requirement, but all British Lion eggs are date-stamped
  • If you take eggs out of their box, make sure you store and use them in date order
  • Store eggs at a constant temperature below 20°C – in most domestic kitchens, the fridge is the best place to keep them
  • Take them out of the fridge half an hour before cooking for the best results
  • Store away from strong smelling food - egg shells are porous
  • Store away from raw meat
  • Wash your hands before and after handling eggs
  • Never use dirty, cracked, or broken eggs
  • Do not re-use left-over egg dishes

For this recipe, I added pancetta cubes, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. I was going to add spinach but I used it for another recipe! I also added in a handful of cheddar cheese as I had a small bit leftover. We had these for breakfast and it was tasty and filling. It was light and fluffy and just the right balance of ingredients. I can't wait to make different variations of this especially in the summer. 

I'm sending this to an egg-cellent new challenge all about eggs called Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen.

 whisk eggs in a bowl and add other ingredients 

 divide mixture evenly in a muffin tray 

Makes 10 muffins
6 eggs
splash of milk (optional)
approximately 30g grated cheddar cheese (optional)
3 white mushrooms, finely chopped
1 box of pancetta cubes
5 sun dried tomatoes, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Grease muffin pan well.
  • Lightly pan fry the pancetta cubes until just cooked.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and add a splash of milk.
  • Add in the chopped mushrooms, sun dried tomato and cooked pancetta.
  • Season with ground black pepper - I didn't use any salt as the pancetta and sun dried tomatoes were salty but if you choose different ingredients then you may want to add a bit of salt.
  • Divide the mixture evenly in the muffin tray.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  • Serve warm or cold.
Disclaimer: I was sent an electronic egg boiler in return for creating this recipe using eggs for British Lion Eggs. * Extracts of text are taken from British Lion Eggs website and have been marked with an *

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Banana, walnut and chocolate coated cranberry muffins

A quick and easy recipe today. I had a few yellowing bananas as per usual so I asked J what type of banana muffin he wanted. I told him to have a root round the pantry and he came back with a pack of walnuts and  a pack of dark chocolate coated cranberries which is how this recipe came about. These muffins are really quick and easy to put together. The walnuts go really well with the bananas and the dark chocolate coated cranberries are like a little surprise when you bite into them. 

I'm sending this to the No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary as this recipe uses up old bananas and ingredients from my cupboard. 

 ground cinnamon, bananas, walnuts, dark chocolate coated cranberries 

 adding the mashed bananas 

 adding yoghurt 

 adding flour 

 adding in the chopped walnuts and dark chocolate coated cranberries 

 ready to go in the oven 

 You can see the pockets of chocolate coated cranberries 

An original recipe by bakingaddict

2 eggs
125mls vegetable oil
3 tablespoons natural yoghurt
3 ripe bananas, roughly mashed with a fork
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
200g brown sugar
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
100g dark chocolate coated cranberries (you can use chocolate chips or dried cranberries or sultanas)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
220g plain flour 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar. 
  • In a separate bowl, roughly mash the bananas with a fork. 
  • Add in the vegetable oil and eggs followed by the yoghurt.
  • Pour the flour mixture into the banana mixture and stir briefly.
  • Add in the chopped walnuts and chocolate coated cranberries.
  • Stir until just mixed.
  • Divide the mixture into 12 muffin cases.
  • Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Lemongrass and Lime Sorbet

I had some friends round for a meal recently and I planned a Thai/Asian themed meal. I was debating waht to make for dessert when my mum suggested a lemongrass and lime sorbet. She tested the recipe and I tweaked it further to come up with this recipe. I've never made my own sorbet before and it's actually really simple. I'll definitely be making lots of sorbet especially in the summer months. I made some lime jelly to go with the sorbet and my guests were really impressed. The lemongrass flavour is subtle and you can definitely taste the lime. The sorbet was really refreshing and the jelly provided a different texture and addtional lime flavour to the dessert. 

I'm entering this to AlphaBakes which I am hosting with Caroline from Caroline Makes who hosts on alternate months. The letter this month is S for sorbet. 

I'm also sending this to Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream hosted by Kavey from Kavey Eats. This is my first time entering this challenge as I've never made ice creams or sorbets before. The theme this months is dairy free which is perfect for my sorbet recipe.

 sugar, lemongrass, limes, lime jelly and an egg white (optional) 

 boil lemongrass with sugar and water 

 making the lime jelly

 sorbet in syrup form ready to go in the freezer 

 looks like a margarita at this point

 whizz in a food processor and it looks like sorbet! 

 served with lime jelly and a slice of lime

An original recipe by bakingaddict
Makes approximately 500mls

150g caster sugar
750mls water
6 stalks lemongrass
juice and zest of 4 limes
1 egg white (optional)
1 pack of lime jelly to serve (optional)

  • Cut the lemongrass in half or thirds. Use the back of a knife to bash the firm end of the lemongrass. You should get a strong lemongrass fragrance.
  • Place the water, sugar and lemongrass in a pan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow the lemongrass flavour to infuse. 
  • Zest and juice 4 limes. Keep the zest aside for now.
  • After the sugar syrup has cooled, add the lime juice and stir.
  • Allow to cool completely before adding the lime zest.
  • Add in the egg white if using.
  • Place in a container and freeze for a few hours but preferably overnight.
  • Make up the lime jelly if using following the instructions on the packet. 
  • Scrape the frozen mixture with a fork to loosen and place into a food processor. 
  • Whizz until it's white and smooth. 
  • Place it back in the same container and freeze again until set.
  • Serve with lime jelly and a wedge of fresh lime. 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Degustabox review and Molten Nut Butter and Chocolate Fondant Cake

It's time for another What's in my Degustabox? and a very exciting recipe. I've been receiving a Degustabox on a monthly basis for a few months now. It's like having a surprise delivery of goodies every month. Degustabox is a no obligation monthly subscription which costs £12.99 including delivery. You get 9 to 14 surprise products and it's usually a good mixed selection of goodies. I have a special discount code for all my readers if you are interested in signing up a box for yourself or for a family memeber/friend. You get a £3.00 discount when registering by using this code F3TJ1 which makes it just under a tenner for a goodie box including delivery.

This is my favourite box so far as I loved pretty much everything in it. There's quite a lot of sweet stuff and 2 items with peanut butter! I decided to create a recipe using the Whole Earth Three Nut Butter which I have tried previously. I love Whole Earth nut butters as they are very tasty and not overly sweet. I made a Molten Nut Butter and Chocolate Fondant Cake which sinfully delicious. It took a bit of trial and error and I think I ended up making these about 6 times before I finally got the timings right. The cake is cooked on the outside but has a gooey melting centre of chocolate and three nut butter. It was best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It would be a very impressive dessert at dinner parties but nerve wrecking as you may not get it perfect.

 February Degustabox 

 American Muffin Company Chocolate Brownie Bites. These are gluten free and wheat free and tasted more like cake than a brownie. 

 Beet it Sport bars which contain 400mg of dietary nitrate and is used by over 150 universities world wide for research into the benefits of lowering blood pressure and improving sports performance. 

 Jack Link's Beef Snack which is great for a protein snack on the go. 

 Whole Earth Three Nut Butter contains cashews, hazelnuts and peanuts. It's made with fresh ingredients with no added sugar and you can really taste the different nuts in them. 

 Peanut Hottie which is a peanut butter flavoured hot drink.I've already tried this as I received it as a gift from a friend and makes a good peanut butter hot chocolate! Perfect for a quick peanut butter fix.

Laimon Fresh - a refreshing, sparkling, lime,lemon and mint drink. If you like citrus then you will definitely like this drink. The mint adds another layer of freshness 

 Melba thins which are one of my faouvrites. The crisp toasts are individually packed in packs of 5 which makes it handy for lunch boxes. 

 Schwartz Flavour Shots - Spanish Paella and Indian Mild Masala Curry. These flavour shots contain a unique blend of herbs, spices and seasoning which you can use to create really tasty meals. There are also recipes available on their website

 Lily O'Brien's Cocoa Cookie Crunch - delicious little bites of chocolate biscuit biscuits covered in chocolate. They were really tasty and I could have easily eaten the whole pack myself! 


  whisk the sugar, egg and egg yolk 

 add in the melted chocolate and flour 

 chocolate mixture 

 half fill the ramekin and add a generous teaspoonful of three nut butter in the middle

 cover with the remaining chocolate mixture 

 fresh from the oven 

 The cake is cooked and set on the outside

 soft, gooey, melting centre 

 I love the melting centre!

Recipe adapted from this recipe online which in turn is based on Donna Hay's recipe

Makes 3 ramekins

100g dark chocolate
50g butter + extra for greasing
1 egg
1 egg yolk
55g caster sugar
18g plain flour
3 heaped teaspoons three nut butter

  • Preheat the oven to 200C. 
  • Place the chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, egg and egg yolk. 
  • Add in the cooled, melted chocolate mixture and flour and whisk again. 
  • Butter your ramekins generously - this is really important as you don't want the cake to stick. I tried using the non stick spray but it turned out better with a generous rub of butter.
  • Spoon the mixture into the ramekins until about half full.
  • Place a generous teaspoonful or 2 teaspoons of the three nut butter in the middle of the batter. 
  • Cover with the remaining chocolate mixture. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 8-9 minutes. The timing will vary with your oven - 8.5 minutes was the perfect time for my oven. If it's undercooked then you get a very messy plate. If it's overcooked you don't get the molten centre. 
  • Run a hot knife around the edge of the ramekin and turn the cake out onto a plate. It should come out easily if you've properly buttered the ramekin dish before baking.
  • Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
Disclaimer: I was sent a Degustabox for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review or to create a recipe. All opinions expressed are my own. This is not a sponsored post.