The killer combo – Chocolate, banana & almond tart

Chocolate banana almond tart

Recently I’ve had a ton of birthdays. I don’t know why, but March seems to be a popular month amongst people near me to turn older and remind me that in a few more months I will also be adding a year to my belt. This of course, after you’ve passed the 25 mark, is always catastrophic. And while I know that I’m not ancient and that not only the blogging world but the world in general is full of articles praising your late 20’s and telling you how it’s the best time of your life, it still panics me a bit to be reminded I’m also getting older. But. Birthdays also remind me that I have an excuse to eat tons of dessert, have too many drinks and in general be merry. Because as we get older our celebrations evolve with us, and, to my great enjoyment, increasingly involve better food and more importantly, more dessert. (And thankfully, more wine and less tequila shots). But the truly great thing about birthday desserts, is that you get to enjoy them like a little kid, because when you get a killer combo of sweet ingredients that take you back to that very first birthday when you put bananas and chocolate in your mouth, and realised the world was in fact a great place worth making a life in, we all become little kids. And in that moment the crow’s feet round your eyes are purely from smiling. (Except for those unfortunate souls who don’t like chocolate.). This tart, with it’s chocolate ganache, fresh bananas, toasted almonds and whipped cream topping, will actually make you wish you had even more reasons to feel old, just so you could whip one up once a week.
Note: while this tart is very easy to make, if you’re not comfortable making tart shells or are in a hurry, feel free to swap the one in the recipe for a store bought one. Just make sure it’s chocolate! Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

Pack a punch – Almond cocoa energy squares

Almond cocoa energy squares
My ankle (which has been out of order on and off this whole year) is finally healing a little bit. Which means I can start running again. And even though I haven’t done more than 20 minutes on the treadmill and I’m not allowed to jump yet (I know. It’s catastrophic) I can make energy bars. These delicious little squares will satisfy your morning sweet tooth while giving you a full energy boost; they’re made of oats, which are a great source of slow-release energy and fiber.  Almonds, your classic super food (is there any body system they’re not good for?). Raisins, full of the good kinds of sugar to give you an up and which also help absorb vitamins and proteins, along with promoting a healthy digestive system. Flaxseed, also for great digestion but adding omega-3 and tons of other good side-effects such as fighting liver disease and lowering cholesterol. Cocoa powder, which is suspected of boosting endorphins and serotonin (aka, make you happy!) apart from being highly antioxidant. Wrap all of these up with some honey (which has, apart from all it’s other properties, been proven to increase athletic performance and reduce recovery time) and you get ultra healthy, sugar free bites of delicious fitness. I cut up mine small because I like bite-sized things, but feel free to turn these into bars to take on the go, or to add some protein powder! Read more for the recipe.

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For a spotty friend – Almond and chocolate scones

Almond chocolate scones

I’m a huge Dr. House fan. I’m also a huge scone fan. And how might these two relate? (apart from Hugh Laurie being british) Well, I was watching an episode about two weeks ago in which a family went scuba diving to an old shipwreck and got infected with what appeared to be smallpox. Which was eradicated quite a bit ago. and as I was watching the show, I was also getting a few spotty-faced snapchats from a friend who’d been infected with…wait for it…..chicken pox! Which is almost eradicated even in little kids…so how she got it was also a mystery worthy of House. And so while watching the family slowly die in isolation, I thought up these scones to bring to my friend who was also in isolation (though thankfully not dying, just quite itchy) and who, like me, also finds solace in crumbly pastries which you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. (because scones are just awesome like that). So if you have a friend in need, or just want a snack to munch on while you watch House re-runs, go read more for the recipe. Continue reading