Fig and Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Scones

After trying out multiple “healthier” hot cross bun recipes I have given up trying to make this yeast-leavened, sultana studded treat – at least for this year. My attempts have ranged from disastrous (small sad buns so hard they could be used as a weapon) to disappointing (lovely and risen but dry and lacking salt). As a result, I have hung up my baker’s hat and relegated my box of yeast to the back of the fridge for a while. Instead I have chosen to make the cheats version of this easter staple, the hot cross scone. My rendition is generously filled with juicy pieces of dried fig, 70% cocoa dark chocolate and delicately spiced with cinnamon. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional flavours of spice and dried sultanas but sometimes a more luxurious version is called for.

Having said that, these buns are not nearly as sinfully indulgent as they appear….

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Banana, Fig and Coconut granola

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This granola smells absolutely amazing, I made up a huge batch a few days ago. The fragrant (almost banana bread-like) smell wafted out of the oven and all through the house. It was enough to bring my housemates out of hibernation and come out of their rooms looking for the source of this deliciousness.

This is a similar recipe to my Caramel and Fig granola, it is not as sweet and uses mashed banana and a little bit of coconut oil to keep everything together rather than using a sweetener. It is also nut free so suitable for those with allergies or if you want to send it with kids to school. …

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Chilled Earl Grey Chocolate Custard pots

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When you think about great flavour matches, what comes to mind? Strawberries and cream, lime and coconut, chocolate and mint, rum and raisin, peanut butter and just about anything… I want to introduce a new flavour pairing, chocolate and earl grey tea. It sounds a bit weird right? I must admit I was a bit skeptical about if it would work or not. Amazingly the floral notes from the earl grey tea give a whole new depth of flavour to the silky, dark chocolate custard and turns it into quite a sophisticated dessert. Admittedly, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea (pardon the pun) especially if you aren’t a fan of earl grey when it comes to your morning cuppa but if you’re up for something new this one is definitely for you.

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Summer Vegetable Ratatouille

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASummer is my favourite season, it has a lot to do with the 3 months of warmth and sunshine but also because the veggie garden is so abundant during this season. Zucchini, patty pan squash, basil and tomatoes all thrive in our veggie patch and often we have so much we give it away. Even if you don’t have the room for a vegetable plot or a friendly neighbour you can still make the most of summer’s lovely seasonal produce with cheaper prices in the green grocers. This Summer veg hot pot is perfect for using the best produce summer has to offer and also is the perfect make ahead meal to take for lunch to uni/school or work. …

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The best vegetarian lasagne

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Vegetarian Lasagne is something that is either amazing or really awful. Unfortunately the awful ones are almost always the ones you order in restaurants (and its usually the only vego dish on the menu too). Don’t worry, this one is one of the amazing ones, even meat loving lasagne eaters will love it.

I have used lentils and heaps of veg in a rich tomato sauce to still give the lasagne its lovely saucy texture and have added a layer of roasted pumpkin and spinach too to break it up. The usual heavy white sauce has been replaced with a sauce made from cauliflower and ricotta, you still get the creamy flavour but not so rich.

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Breakfast banana smoothie

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Smoothies make great easy breakfasts for on the go,  but sometimes they just don’t measure up. Like when its 10am and you’re hungry again and dreaming of lunch already or when its so full of fruit it would have been quicker to neck a juice.

This smoothie is different, it has enough protein to keep you satisfied for a long time, complex carbs in the form of banana and oats for energy and enough fibre from the flax to keep the blood sugar levels steady.  You can mix up the fruit a little too, add in some blueberries or a little mango to keep it interesting. My favourite addition to make this the complete breakfast is to add a shot of coffee. Amazing.

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The Best raw chocolate recipe

I always wanted to be able to make chocolate myself at home, imagine that, never running out of  chocolate again! These raw chocolates are almost as good as the real thing (if not possibly better) and are perfect if you are a Pana chocolate lover like myself. Its expensive to buy the cacao butter but definitely worth it if you can afford to splurge (and ends up cheaper in the end than always buying raw  Pana chocolate from the shops).

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