Halloween Spooky Cupcake Recipe

October 31st, 2014, Posted in Recipes by Gavin | 2 Comments

This is a fantastic  idea for Halloween and to help keep the kids at bay during their week off, making and eating them of-course! Cooking time is 20-25mins. I over-cooked mine by about 2minutes so for me it should of been 20mins.

This recipe was incredibly easy to make, the only difficult bit is trying to whisk the butter into the mixture. I didn’t let mine reach room temp so had to use a bit of elbow grease.

Ingredients will cover roughly 9 cupcakes

Ingredients for Cupcakes

  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 8 tbsp milk

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Icing

 

  • 50g cream cheese (I used Philedelphia Full Fat)
  • 25g butter
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

 

Ingredients for Chocolate Icing

  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp water

What you’ll need to make the spooky cupcakes

  • several cocktail sticks for making the web pattern
  • glass mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • cupcake cases
  • cupcake baking tray
  • scales

The Halloween Spooky Web Cupcake Recipe

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Get your cupcake baking tin/tray ready and line with the cupcake cases
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and butter and beat the mixture until well combined. You should see the mixture will turn a powdery brown colour.
  3. Whisk the egg and add the 8 tbsp of milk as you go along, you’ll start to feel the mixture get sticky and thick. This is good.
    cupcake chocolate mix
  4. Now with the mixture in a silky thick state, split the mixture into the cupcake cases equally. Place in the over for 20-25minutes. bring out from the oven when they are springy/light to touch and you can insert a fork or skewer and pulls out clean. – Set aside to cool on a metal rack
  5. For the cream cheese icing, add all the ingredients together and whisk until nice and thick.
    cream cheese icing
  6. Carefully spoon the icing on top of the cupcakes leaving a small border around the edge.
    icing onto cupcakes
  7. Now for the chocolate icing (keep kids away!) sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Stir in the tablespoons ( just do 1 at a time and stop at desired thickness) of water to form a smooth, thick icing.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag or make do with a sandwich bag and snip the end off with scissors to make a small hole. (really small)
  9. Carefully pipe 3 circles on each cupcake leaving good sized gaps between each circle. I started from outside in. Then run a cocktail/toothpick stick through the icing circles to make a web effect. 6-7 lines should be enough.
    chocolate icing circles
  10. Leave cupcakes to stand for 20-30mins for icing to set a little. Enjoy!
    web cupcakes

Woilla! Enjoy your Spooky Halloween treat!

spooky halloween cupcakes

Chicken Korma Slimming World Style

October 28th, 2014, Posted in Life by Alexandra | No Comments

Gavin and I love our Indian takeaways (who doesn’t). Whenever we go to the takeaway or to an Indian restaurant I always like to have a classic Chicken Korma, I just love the creaminess and taste of the Korma and it is just an all time favourite of mine. I really fancied an Indian tonight, but I was kind of naughty on the weekend having too many syns, so I decided to try and make one of my own (Slimming World style of course) from scratch. Yet again this is a nice and simple recipe to follow.

Ingredients needed:

2 large chicken fillets, cut into small chunks

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

500g passata

3tbsp tomato puree

2tbsp Korma curry powder

300ml vegetable stock

250g fat free fromage frais

frylight or low calorie spray of your choice

rice to serve of your choice.

How to make:

1. Spray a frying pan with frylight, add the chicken pieces and fry until browned all over or for roughly 4-5 minutes.

2. Transfer the chicken to another bowl and set aside.

3. Re-spray the frying pan with frylight, start frying the onion and the garlic until the onion is tender.

4. Add the tomato puree, vegetable stock, korma curry powder and passata. Cook until boiling, then add the cooked chicken pieces, stir, cover and place over a medium-low heat for 45 minutes on simmer.

 5. Meanwhile cook the rice according to packet instructions.

6. Remove the curry from the heat, add the fromage frais, then serve with the rice.

This recipe serves 4 and is syn free. 

Let us know how you get on with this recipe and what you think of it.

Graze Boxes from Graze.com – my review

October 27th, 2014, Posted in Reviews by Gavin | No Comments
Graze Boxes from Graze.com – my review

We’ve been given the chance to review Graze boxes from Graze.com. I’ve had them delivered to me at work on a fortnightly basis and these little snackers are amazing. I was at first sceptical due to the price, size and the general quality inside. But after having 2-3 already it’s almost as good as having that Friday night takeaway.

The box comes with 4 little snack-sized finger food nibbles. And the best part is you get to choose what type of food you would like to receive from their ever-increasing range. I thought it was just nuts of all types, and me personally I’m not a huge fan of nuts, but after trying a few of there’s I’ve really come to love pistachios, cashews etc

Aside from nuts, they do dippers (which I love), dried fruit of all kinds, savoury bites, cake (which we all love) and some tea time items. I.e green teas etc.

My Graze box

My main gripe about Graze’s service was the price per box which is roughly £4.00 including delivery, for some reason I couldn’t justify the cost, but after receiving a few it came to my attention that if I was to order some clothes off the internet I would be ‘roped’ into paying for delivery which this is usually £3.99 or similar.

I guess the real conundrum is weighing up the cost of making it yourself and the time into small lunch boxes. I think my philosophy with this service would be to keep paying until I’ve tried everything I would like to try then narrow down my choices to ones that I would like again. Then after this I would most likely cancel my subscription. – By then I would hope they would have new snacks to choose from which keeps you coming back for more.

Great thing about this service is their website where after you’ve had your Graze box you can rate your items and choose whether you would like to have these sent to you again. When I first signed up, I was like no nuts, just give me cake, cake, fruit, more cake and savoury, since then this has changed.

Here’s what was in my graze box!

Scandinavian Forest

Scandinavian Forest

blueberries, lingonberries, cherry infused raisins and apple

Lovely all-rounder if your a fruit fan, quite sweet but went well with the savoury items.

Salted Fudge Peanut Cookie

Salted Fudge Peanut Cookie

baked salted peanuts, fudge pieces, mini chocolate cookies and redskin peanuts

Lovely selection of treats, made me not put the tray down.

Herby Bread Basket

Herby Bread Basket

mini basil breadsticks, garlic crostini and oregano rice crackers

Absolutely amazing, if you are a savoury fan, this is what heaven would be. Lovely flavours.

Wholegrain Banoffee Dippers

Wholegrain Banoffee Dippers

toffee sauce with wholemeal banana shortbread dippers

The icing on the cake for my box this week and it wasn’t too bad, quite salty but an healthier option with the wholegran dippers.

I think as an overall opinion, I would honestly recommend you to try out their service, after-all currently they offer their first box to you for free so why not!! I think this service is great for people in the office at work, I don’t think it’s practical for people out on the job as some of the items require kettles, microwaves etc.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!