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Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

March 26th  •  Posted in Recipe

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

With Easter falling tomorrow, it was a little bit sad I haven’t really talked about chocolate at all on the blog yet, right? Well, fear not, me and Lindt have teamed up to bring you a chocolate-y version of the delicious classic that hot cross buns are. Slightly spicy and covered in an amazing honey glaze, with big chunks of melting Lindt milk chocolate in the middle – don’t they sound amazing already? And they are!

Now I don’t know about you, but I have no difficulties in finishing up my Easter chocolate eggs by any means, but if you’ll ever happen to wonder “what I can do to use up my chocolate this year?”, can I say Easter chocolate in baking tastes even better than regular chocolate? So yes, you might as well want to use the excuse that you have chocolate to finish up to try out this recipe, or maybe use the recipe as an excuse to crack open your chocolate eggs a little bit earlier just to make sure you’ll have hot cross buns at the ready for Sunday’s breakfast? No one will ever tell you ate that extra chunk while baking! 😉

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Based on your preferences you can use either dark or milk chocolate (or both!), yet I think milk chocolate make them that little extra creamy when warm that it’s never too bad for my liking, you know. Imagine to slice them in halves and spread a nice knob of butter on a warm bun with melted chocolate chunks all over it… have I convinced you yet?

Also, if you plan to bake a big batch (because let’s face it, they’re not the quickest thing to bake – but they’re worth it!), as they’re better eaten fresh, you can always think about freezing some of them after they’re ready, and then take them out of the freezer a couple of hours before, then place them in the oven to warm up slightly just for the chocolate to melt down a bit. They’ll taste as freshly baked!

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Recipe adapted slightly from this Jamie Oliver one.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients

  • 250ml whole milk
  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 80g raw brown sugar
  • 14g dry yeast
  • 75g milk chocolate from Lindt Easter Egg*


  • 50g white flour + 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 extra tablespoon brown sugar + 3 tablespoons honey

Instructions

01 :: Place milk and butter in a pan and place on a low heat until the butter has melted completely. Remove from heat and leave to cool down slightly before adding the orange juice and egg and whisking nicely until all the ingredients are combined.

02 :: In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together: flour, sugar, spices, chocolate chopped into big chunks, yeast and cocoa powder. Use a spoon to give them a nice stir, then make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and butter mixture.

03 :: Use a fork to stir and then your hands to knead the dough until smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place for one hour, or until it has doubled in size.

04 :: Remove from the plastic wrap and knead the dough for a couple more minutes before cutting it into halves and shaping both into sausages. Cut the two of them into 6 equal pieces each and shape each of them into balls before placing on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

05 :: Cover with plastic wrap again and prove for another 45 minutes until each bun has doubled in size.

06 :: In the meanwhile mix together the white flour with water to obtain a slightly wet mixture you can put in a piping bag to create the cross shape on top of each bun just before they go in the oven.

07 :: Bake in preheated oven at 190° for 20 minutes. In the meanwhile prepare the glaze by pouring both the honey and sugar into a small saucepan and placing it on a low heat until the sugar has melted completely and the honey is nicely runny.

08 :: When the buns are done, remove from the oven and brush the glaze on top of each of them. Let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes and serve still slightly warm with unsalted butter to spread on top!

http://www.miel-cafe.com/2016/03/chocolate-hot-cross-buns.html

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Hope you all have a lovely Easter filled with chocolate and hot cross buns and lots of food & joy!
Will you give this recipe a try? Let me know! x

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Two ways to use up your Easter chocolate

April 9th  •  Posted in Recipe

Best thing about Easter? All the chocolate you’re left with the days (and sometimes even months) after. Between chocolate eggs and the huge amount of chocolate bunnies Lindt spoilt me with this year I have a feeling that, for the first time in my entire life, finishing up my chocolate will be quite a hard work. Not sure anyone else is in my same position (as I’ve never thought using up my chocolate to be the problem) but when chocolate is around, I have two go-to recipes to finish it up, both very chocolate-y and indulgent and which are perfect ways to make use of your Easter eggs in a little different way than snacking on them when you’re hungry or craving sweetness (which is an incredibly decent way of making use of them btw).

On a different note, does using healthy-ish ingredients make a cookie full of chocolate-y gooeyness healthy? Surely it does, right?

Double Chocolate Cookies Recipe
Double Chocolate Cookies Recipe
Double Chocolate Cookies Recipe
Double Chocolate Cookies Recipe

Double Chocolate Gooey Cookies.

Makes 6 | Ingredients:
100ml seed oil
1 egg
90g coconut sugar
25g cocoa powder
100g white flour
40g whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
A lot of Easter chocolate (I used one of my Lindt Dark Gold Bunnies and some milk chocolate eggs)

1 :: Preheat the oven to 200°C.


2 :: In a stand mixer, blend the seed oil with the coconut sugar until well incorporated. Then add the egg and whisk well again.

3 :: Stir together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then start to gradually add them to the wet ingredients while the stand mixer is slowly whisking and blending them together. At the end you’ll be left with a very thick cookie dough (if it’s not thick enough to form a solid ball, then add some flour).

4 :: Chop the dark chocolate in little cubes and add them to the cookie dough and stir it with a wooden spoon to help the dark chocolate go everywhere in the dough.

5 :: Line a baking tin with parchment paper, then start shaping medium balls out of your cookie dough. You should get 6 cookies out of these doses. Place the cookies on the baking tin far apart from each others and flat the balls out a bit with the palm of your hand.

6 :: Chop the milk chocolate (I cutted my chocolate eggs in halves) and place some cubes in the middle of each cookie, pushing them down a bit to create a melted heart.

7 :: Bake in the oven for no longer than 10/12 minutes. Then remove from the oven and let them cool down almost completely (10/15 minutes) so that they can set but still be deliciously gooey. Serve warm-ish for a mealted heart!

White Chocolate Morning Pancakes Recipe
White Chocolate Morning Pancakes Recipe
White Chocolate Morning Pancakes Recipe
White Chocolate Morning Pancakes Recipe

White chocolate morning pancakes.
Original recipe from Minimalist Baker – adapted and edited by me.

Serves 2 | Ingredients:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white flour
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup almond or soy milk
1 tsp coconut oil
100g white chocolate (I used my Lindt white chocolate bunny!)

Coconut oil to pan-fry
Strawberries to serve

1 :: In a medium bowl stir together the flours, coconut sugar and baking powder, then add the milk and stir well.

2 :: Chop 50g of white chocolate in a little microwave-safe bowl, add a teaspoon of coconut oil and melt them into the microwave for a couple of minutes until creamy.

3 :: Add the melted white chocolate to the pancake mixture and stir well, then chop the rest of the chocolate into tiny cubes and add them to the mixture.

4 :: Melt 1/2 tsp of coconut oil in a small pan onto a low heat. Place two tablespoons of pancake mixture in the middle of the pan and pan-fry your pancake on both sides.

5 :: Serve with your favourite syrup on top or some chopped fresh strawberries to taste!

{ Enjoy! }
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Both of these recipes are super indulgent and delicious, but to balance out the fact I did put way too much chocolate in them, I tried to use as many healthy ingredients as possible for the rest of them, so hopefully they won’t hurt too much on your diets!
Did you spend a lovely Easter weekend? Any chocolate-y recipes I should totally try? As usual let me know if you give this recipe a try! x
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#Guiltfree Easter at Lush

April 7th  •  Posted in Beauty

Easter at Lush

I’ve always been a fan of Lush Christmas ranges and that’s actually the main occasion I think a Lush haul is totally necessary. Besides from their hair products that are staples in my haircare routine, I’ve never really been attracted by their other collections, maybe just because I’m not a huge bath lover and surely I am not when the weather is nice, and yet when it’s super freezing outside, then it’s actually lovely to take some time with a steamy bath and a lot of deliciously smelling bubbles! I love their shower gels but again I’m always been a fan of their sweet winter scents, so I rarely venture into a Lush store when wintertime is over.

When I was invited to discover their spring and Easter range, it was like a reminder that Lush does exist in other periods of the year either than only at Christmas, and that their innovative products and scents might be as interesting as in wintertime especially now that pastel colours and floral scents are on the agenda (and how can’t you love them both?!). So I headed there to discover what they had in store for Easter this year, and between a glass or two of delicious healthy orange, carrot and apple juice and lime and cucumber water, I’ve fallen in love with Lush again like my first time!

Easter at Lush
Easter at Lush
Easter at Lush
Easter at Lush
Easter at Lush

Think of springtime in the form of pastel coloured bath bombs, carrot shaped soaps, bath golden eggs, and glittery jellies, add a handful of bunnies and bees and you get the magic formula behind this year Lush Easter and Spring collection! I couldn’t help but fall in love with their Carrot Soap, whose original shape is a big carrot and that, once cutted into slices, reveals a white bunny rabbit right at its heart, with a delicious smell of carrots and lemon, filled with a white heart of fair trade organic cocoa butter. But not only that, their Immaculate Eggception Bath Bomb is super fun: coming with a little surprise chick or bunny shaped bath bomb inside, is big enough for being used in three different baths!

Easter at Lush
Easter at Lush
Easter at Lush
Easter at Lush

Lush is promoting a #GuiltFree campaign this spring where environmentally-friendly and reusable are two main key words. They aim to introduce more Knot-Wraps as an eco-friendly alternative to classic harmful for the environment Easter eggs packagings as they make for perfect reusable, cute and colourful packaging that easily transforms into gift-wraps, scarves, picnic bags, decorations. At Lush they showed us how a few simple sequences of knots and twists can create lovely bags, gift-wraps and chocolate eggs packagings! I especially love their new Easter themed Hoppity Poppity Knot-Wrap (isn’t it the cutest thing ever?!), and now I only have to decide which of the infinite ways to use it is my favourite!

Easter at Lush
Easter at Lush
Easter at Lush

On the same wavelength, they introduced us all to the bases that bring together everyday an old favourite of mine, their Cupcake Fresh Face Mask – can you see a recurrent theme here with all the chocolate, carrots and bunnies?! In fact they showed us how they create Cupcake from scratch, how they put together all the ingredients that compose one of their most famous fresh masks. Lush buys cocoa beans in Columbia from a group of non-violent and peaceful farmers, then transforms them in cocoa powder and cocoa butter that are 100% organic and coming from their fair trade. Discovering the story behind it and the ingredients that make it such a good fresh mask, totally make me love Cupcake even more and I’m now extremely excited to put it on my face! Making my own chocolate mask and having my own “Made by” label on a Lush product can now be ticked off my to-do list!

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Check Lush Easter range out to discover all their new products and fall in love with their pastel and bright colours and citrus floral scents! How did you spend your Easter weekend? x

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