(Not so Red) Velvet CupcakesΒ 

  

I’m always looking for quick & yummy treats to whip up when having people over for morning tea or play dates & you really can’t go wrong with cupcakes (well you can & I do sometimes- I can stuff up packet mixes! I’m not much of a baker, but I’m trying) but kids & adults both love them, so they’re an obvious choice to please the crowd.  

So when I found a recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes in the Thermostruck cookbook I thought it looked super easy, even for me, (yes the girl who cannot bake) & because I could use my Bellini (that I lovingly refer to as “the poor mans thermomix”) it would make it even quicker & easier too. 

However upon searching my cupboards I realized I didn’t have any red food coloring. Which by the way I was surprised to find is what made just a humble chocolate cake or cupcake “red velvet” I thought when people went on about how good red velvet cakes were they must have something super special about them, but really it’s just chocolate cake with colouring… Who knew? 

Anyway, as I didn’t have the colouring I dubbed them “Velvet Cupcakes” & to substitute the red colouring I decided to add choc chips, because that’s a suitable replacement isn’t it? Besides, everyone knows most things taste better with choc chips or sprinkles, am I right?

So here’s my adaptation of the Thermostruck Red Velvet Cupcake recipe 

My (Not so red) Velvet Cupcakes suitable to make in any thermo cooker.

Makes 16

Ingredients

1/3 cup butter – cut in cubes (80g)

400g can condensed milk

1 cup self raising flour

1 egg

2 tablespoons cocoa powder (16g)

1/2 cup or a big handful of dark or milk choc chips (depending on taste)

Method

Preheat oven to 180β€’c Line cupcake tins with papers or silicon moulds. 

Place all ingredients except choc chips into the thermo bowl. 

Mix on speed 4 for 2 minutes or until well combined. 

  

Add choc chips & gently stir through with a spatula or spoon. 

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases & bake for 15 mins. Stand for 2 minutes & then transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

We ate ours as is & they were delicious, but you could ice them with cream cheese frosting or any chocolate icing if you wish. It might pretty them up a little & help hide the cracks, if you get any (see, still not quite nailing this baking thing yet πŸ˜‰ 

  
       

However you have them, Enjoy.

                               Lozzie x

What’s your “go to” recipe for quick & easy entertaining over a cuppa? What’s your favorite type of cupcake? Did you know food colouring was what made Red Velvet, red? Do you have any baking fail stories to share? 

Tell me, tell me… Leave a comment here on the blog, over on Instagram or Facebook


Chia Pudding- 2 Ways

I’ve only just recently jumped on the chia seed bandwagon (yes I’ve been living under a rock!) & I have to say my 1st attempt at making chia pudding was a huge success. It was so quick & easy to prepare, it gave me breakfast for 3 days & even Pumpkin, my little 1 yr old loved it. Peanut, Mr 4 on the other hand needs more convincing, but I think option two might just win him over. 

Almond, Maple & Berry Chia Pudding – serves 4 

 

Ingredients

3 cups Almond milk- sweetened or unsweetened 

1/2 cup chia seeds

Pure maple syrup- to taste (I used 3 decent splashes) 

Frozen berries & coconut to garnish – optional

Method 

Whisk all 3 ingredients together & leave it to sit for 10 mins & then whisk again. 

Cover & refrigerate for at least 4 hrs but overnight is best if you can. 

Give it a good stir before serving into bowls & top with a handful of blueberries & cherries (I used frozen berries, defrosted) & a sprinkle of coconut. Delish!

Cherry Ripe Chia Pudding– serves 4

 

Ingredients

3 cups coconut milk unsweetened

1/4 cup Raw Cacao or cocoa powder works too

1 cup Frozen pitted cherries

1/2 cup chia seeds

Pure maple syrup- sweeten to taste 

Coconut yoghurt, cherries & shredded coconut to serve- optional 

Method 

Blend coconut milk, cherries & cacao or cocoa in a blender until well combined. 

Pour milk mixture into a bowl & add chia seeds. Whisk, adding maple syrup to taste if required.

Leave to sit for about 10 mins & whisk again to help break up any lumps/clumps & refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, but overnight works best. 

Stir well before serving & spoon into bowls. Can eat as is or top with fresh berries, yoghurt & shredded coconut.

These recipes make a yummy, protein packed breakfast or a delicious healthy dessert.

Enjoy.

                     LOZZIE X

What’s your favourite way to eat chia seeds? Do you have a chia pudding flavor combo I should know about? 

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Super Simple Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup

What happened to the warm sunny days of spring? Mother Nature must be taking a nap or washing her hair because these past few days she’s let things slip & it feels like we’ve been taken right back into winter with this cool & rainy weather.

I don’t know about you but I love to eat warm comfort foods in the colder weather & I LOVE soups! There are so many different varieties so it’s hard to get bored & they can be decadent, rich & creamy, chock full of veggies or as light & healthy as you like. So while it’s still cool enough I’m taking advantage & knocking out this quick & delicious soup, because come Summer, I’m all about the salads. 

Hubby’s not a huge fan of soup (give the man meat) & he’ll often ask “so what’s for dinner?” after polishing off a bowl or two, because to him soup is an entree or starter but not a main meal. 

However, I find I can get away with the occasional soup for dinner IF it has some meat in it & IF I serve it with some lovely crusty bread or salad on the side. 

If you’re anything like me, (time poor, not the best cook, hate slaving over a meal & doing lots of dishes) then you’ll love this one pot, super quick and easy chicken & sweet corn soup. It’s really tasty & filling too & you can make it two different ways. 

Now just for the record I feel it’s important to point out here I’m no masterchef (far from it) nor am I a food stylist & I don’t have a big beautiful dream kitchen perfect for photographing (although I do wish) so my cooking/foodie posts may be a bit basic (or “rustic” if you will) and just a little bit “messy”, but they’re real & that’s how I cook. I like quick, easy & tasty meals that require minimum ingredients & processes (with two hungry kids underfoot and the constant cries of “where’s dinner” & “I’m hungry”  every few minutes  they need to be) so my recipe posts & photos that accompany them will reflect that more often than not.  

Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup.   Serves 4. 

Ingredients

1 ltr of chicken stock (salt reduced or even veggie stock is fine)

400-500gms chicken breast or thigh (I use breast meat) 

2 tins Creamed Corn

1/2 bunch of spring onions/shallots 

Optional extras- soy sauce, 1 egg whisked, chilli & coriander 

Method

Wash & slice shallots diagonally using whites & a little bit of the green, keeping a handful of the green to the side for garnish 

Bring the stock, shallots & creamed corn to a boil in a large pot, stirring occasionally 

When boiling, turn down heat a little & add raw chicken thinly sliced or cut into cubes (it will cook in the hot stock) continue to stir frequently & cook until chicken is cooked through (approximately 10mins, depending on size of chunks) you could put in the whole breast or thigh (to poach) remove & shred with a fork once cooked through, this will make it more authentic & like what you’d find down at your local Chinese but it will take longer & I ain’t got time for that. Besides the chunkier pieces make it more “meaty” & it gives hubby something to chew so he’s less likely to complain about “soup.”  

Alternatively you could use BBQ chicken shredded up & thrown in for an even quicker dinner & if you’re a Martha Stewart type you could totally make your own stock from scratch too. 

Season with a little cracked black pepper & serve in bowls with reserved spring onions to garnish on top. I find it especially tasty served with some garlic or herb bread to dip in & soak up the yummy broth. 

That’s how our family has it (due to hubby’s allergies, his low threshold for anything spicy & a dislike of corriander) but if you want to kick it up a notch & make it a bit more gourmet you can follow the steps above & then just add a whisked egg in the final minute of cooking, being sure to stir constantly to avoid it scrambling. You could also add a splash or two of soy sauce & then garnish with some chilli & corriander leaves. Yum!! Enjoy.

 
  
   

Do you have a favorite flavor soup? Do you think soup can be a main meal or is it not filling enough for you?  If you give this recipe a try let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

                             Lozzie x

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