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

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Post monday – Greek yogurt chocolate banana muffins

Greek yogurt chocolate banana muffins

Some things are just universally loved. Like finding money in your pockets or banana muffins for breakfast. Other things are universally hated, like smashing your little toe against a table, or mondays. Most people find mondays truly horrible; it’s the day they have to get up early again, go to work, and accept the fact that there are five more days of the same before the weekend comes again. I, on the other hand,  happen to be a complete lunatic and absolutely love mondays. And don’t get me wrong, I love weekends as well… but they just take a huge toll on my doing-things-I-love-on-my-own schedule. For example, I can never have the discipline to work out on weekends. Or to walk my dogs, or read, or try out new recipes, or start a new work project, or finish another one I had at the back of my mind. I also get tons of ideas during weekends for cooking, or drawing or designing or just in general things I’d like to do, and I invariably forget them after a night out with friends. Which are absolutely worth it… but they make me crave monday morning the same as I crave banana muffins any other morning. There’s an incredibly good feeling when you don’t hit the snooze button and get to walk outside with the sunrise that carries on throughout the day, making those five days till friday actually really great. Almost as great as waking up to the smell of freshly baked muffins – which is what happens at my house when I don’t get to work out because of a bad ankle. I just bake instead. In this case, greek yogurt, chocolate chip, oat and ultra banana-ish banana muffins. They’re the perfect consistency, so smooshy from bananas you might even think there’s no flour instead. And not overly sweet, which means you won’t feel like you’re having cake for breakfast. (on monday! Asolute no-no. That’s ok on saturdays only) Not too much butter in them either, so have one after lunch as well. And since even sharing you can’t possibly eat all 12 in one day, have some post-monday. Read more for the recipe!

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Did you say summer? – Almond milk oatmeal and other detox recipes

Almond milk oatmeal

I know, I’m shameless to show my face around here after over a month of sudden unexplained disappearance, but it was summer! Which means I did nothing productive or worth mentioning for the last month except lounging around, gossiping with friends and eating and drinking. And boy did we eat. And did we drink. And did we not do any physical activity! And now it has all taken it’s toll on me, since on Monday I woke up feeling as if small balls of play doh were running through my veins. But fear not, detox week came to the rescue! And since I can’t cook and share with you anything fancy for my return, I’ll gladly share a couple of my recipes here! (And when I say detox, I don’t mean starve yourself while you drink nothing but cayenne water and pepper, lose 15 pounds in two days and then gain 30 back in one week. Oh no. I don’t do that. What I mean by detox is more in the line of eat insanely healthy and give your body a rest of processing greasy/hard to digest/non-natural foods)

A couple of days of fruit smoothies and juices, (with soy/almond milk) then add oats and nuts and eventually vegetables (about the 4th day) and then gradually move back to your normal diet by eating small portions of fish, rice and goat cheese (since it’s easier to digest). Totally worth doing this, plus, if you’ve got good fruits it’s also delicious! (Like the almond milk oatmeal which is so good it has officially replaced my standard oatmeal) Read more for the recipes.

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Baking Frenzy Part II – Nutella Banana Muffins

Nutella Banana Muffins

So for baking frenzy part II, which I know, I’ve taken waaaaay too long to post, I’ll share with you one of my must recipes. I make these pretty often, not because they’re easy, not because I love nutella, not because I love banana muffins, but because they are the perfect combination of all that I’ve just said. I even know the recipe by heart now! The original recipe comes from Delicious Days, one of my favorite food blogs, with a few modifications of my own.

The Recipe:

Nutella-Banana Muffins
(adapted from Delicious Days)
Yield: 30 small muffins

2 eggs
125 g soft butter
100 g brown sugar
2 large ripe bananas
150 g Nutella
100 ml milk
250 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Cream together in a large bowl the eggs, butter and sugar, then fold in squashed banana and whisk.

In a separate bowl, combine milk and baking soda and blend well. Also separately, mix the flour with the baking powder. Now alternately blend in a part of the milk mixture, then a part of the flour mix, part of the milk, … until everything is combined. Add the nutella and with a rubber spatula swirl it into the batter, taking care not to mix it too much, leaving whole streaks of it unblended.

Now pour batter into prepared muffin tins (I used silicon) and bake  in the preheated oven until golden brown, or a when tested with a wooden skewer it comes out clean.

Serve warm, the nutella truly kicks in then.

Batter with nutella