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Chocolate Tart with Meringue Kisses

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 13th February 2017

Ah valentine’s day, an excuse for all things chocolate, pink and heart shaped. This month I’m making the most of the multifunction oven to make a chocolate tart. The base is wholemeal which gives it a great al-dente chew to it and ensure that it is not too sweet, which in turn sets off the rich chocolate centre and sugary meringues.

 

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Healthy Eating

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 9th January 2017

It's January and everyone is done with the excesses of Christmas. Happily, there seem to have been a lot less focus this year on diets and more on eating well. Here are just a couple of ways in which the Rangemaster Elan 90 gets used in our house for good-for-you and happy eating.

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Gingerbread Mocha Mousse Cake

Posted by Gill Bland Wednesday, 7th December 2016

Not everyone loves Christmas pudding and even if you do, it can be a bit much at the end ofa full Christmas Dinner. This dessert makes a lighter alternative and is quick and easy to assemble, especially if you make the biscuits ahead of time. It’s an ode to the Christmas drinks so popular in high street coffee shops at this time of year and who knows, maybe it’ll give you a nice caffeine boost at the end of the meal - just enough to make it through the washing up before you collapse in a heap.

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Sweet Potato Fruit Bread with homemade Nutella

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 21st November 2016

Fruit-bread toast and chocolate spread. That comes into the category of naughty but nice, right? Well, let me be your little ray of sunshine today (yeah, sunshine, remember that?) because this toasty goodness is actually at the healthy end of the spectrum.

The bread is made with sweet potato and chickpeas so it’s sweet but not too sweet, incredibly filling and full of slow release energy. The loaf is studded with prunes to give it little pockets of gooey goodness that also serve to up the fibre content and the crunchy roasted chickpeas on the top give it a lovely crunch to contrast the more solid texture of the inside.

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Pumpkin Toffee Apple Cake

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 31st October 2016

We’re finally there. Gone are the teasing summer months when hot, sweltering gorgeous sunny days mix equally and frequently with grey, rainy nothing-type days. Autumn has begun. Cold nights, blue skies, crunchy leaves. This recipe was meant to be for bonfire night but you may notice that I’ve basically thrown the autumn kitchen-sink at it. I has wholemeal for stodgy goodness, pumpkin as a nod to the increasingly pervading PSL flavour, crumble topping because we’re heading towards custard season and toffee apple to keep the 5th Novemberists happy. 

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Lunchbox Muffins

Posted by Gill Bland Thursday, 20th October 2016

When researching for a baking idea that could be used to fill a spot in the lunchbox and the stomach at the start of a new term I read lots of interesting ideas about home-made sushi, bread on sticks and pretty bento boxes. Let’s be honest though, the first week is over and we’re into the long slog of the academic year and our resolve to be healthy and home-made is probably waning. What we really want is not a fiddly, pretty piece of sandwich art but something we can throw together with minimal washing up in the time it takes for someone else to find that tv programme and get it loaded and ready to go on iPlayer before we collapse in a heap and fall asleep before we’ve got through the ‘last time on’ section. What we really want and probably what the kids want is chocolate. Again. But we’re not  quite ready to give in completely. Even for those without children though there’s something about this time of year that has that ‘start from the beginning’ feel to it. It’s almost like a second bash at new year. With that in mind I bring you a slightly healthier version of chocolate cake: the one fork, one bowl, 5 minute feelgood lunchbox muffins. These muffins enable you to create that ‘made with love’ moment for the lunchbox but without loading it with sugar and without loading yourself with washing up.

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Raspberry Chocolate Puddle Crumble Flapjack

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 22nd August 2016

The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens and this year’s crop of bakers are ready to do battle with flour and eggs. There’s a garden designer, a pastor, a PE teacher and an aerospace engineer. Who will rise (pun intended) to the top and who will sink like one of my Victoria sponges? 

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Earl Grey & Lemon Teabread

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 27th June 2016

Anyone for tea and tennis? Wimbledon is upon us once again and with it the excuse to lounge around in the sun eating strawberries and drinking G&Ts. In our dreams. Sadly, we know that the great British summertime can sometimes be less that sweltering and we can’t all write off an afternoon to a jug of Pimms. This recipe harnesses the joy of a traditional British pastime and a hint of summer but is also easy to take to work or nibble whilst watching the clouds roll over.

 

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Use up your veggies

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 16th May 2016

This week is National Vegetarian Week. Whether you’re veggie or not, the warmer weather of summer is both an ideal time to get more vegetables into your diet and also a bit of a nightmare for keeping vegetables fresh. Which vegetables end up in the tray-of-shame at the bottom of your fridge will vary from house to house. For us there’s often a slightly yellowing head of broccoli, passed over during the week for the more exotic red pepper or the easy to throw in frozen peas. The great thing about vegetables is that, unlike meat, if you use them when they are slightly ‘off peak’ you’re usually not at risk of killing anyone. 

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Valentine's recipe

Posted by Gill Bland Tuesday, 9th February 2016

Nothing says “I love you” more than a bread-based product the size of your face, right?

I wanted to steer clear of the normal  heart shaped cookies, pink cakes or ‘romantic dinner’ recipes you find around valentine’s day. Instead I have tried to come up with something that is equally useful for someone wanting to give a home-made gift as for someone with a family and wanting a bit of love-filled comfort food. 

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