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Chocolate Dynamite

17 Dec

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The perfect Christmas gift for anyone with a sweet tooth, think Hotel Chocolat slab but on a student budget.

It isn’t the cheapest recipe in the world, but cut up into pieces and packaged nicely it would make lovely Christmas presents which would cost far less than anything equivalent from a shop! I haven’t done a cost or how many this serves because obviously the cost depends on which fillings you want to use, and in my family this would probably serve one! I would definitely recommend using Tesco Value chocolate for this though – it’s only 30p per 100g bar, and once you’ve melted it and covered it in fruit and nuts it tastes just as luxurious as a high-end chocolate bar.

For this recipe you can play around with the ingredients to your heart’s content and it will still taste amazing. Freeze dried raspberries, almonds, toasted pecans, and various other toppings can be used in this, either instead of, or as well as, the ingredients I’ve used. I used a mixture of dark and milk chocolate to stop it being too sweet but also good for people who don’t like dark chocolate, but obviously you can change that around with that as you wish. The white chocolate isn’t essential if you don’t like it, but it does give a lovely Christmassy touch.

Tip: if you don’t like, or are allergic to, nuts then obviously you’ll need to leave them out of this recipe, in which case I would recommend adding another fruit as well as the cranberries, such as freeze dried raspberries, and maybe adding an extra crunchie bar to give a little extra crunch.

Ingredients:

  • 600g milk/dark chocolate
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 4 crunchie bars
  • 25 pistachio nuts
  • 25g dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp popping candy

Method:

1) Break the milk/dark chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

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2) Whilst the chocolate is melting cover a baking tray with clingfilm.

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3) Chop the crunchies into small pieces and add to the melted chocolate.

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4) Pour the chocolate mixture onto the baking tray, making sure to spread it reasonably evenly.

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5) Chop the pistachios and add evenly to the chocolate.

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6) Add the dried cranberries and sprinkle popping candy over the top. If you wanted to, you could also make several small slabs instead of making one big one and breaking it into pieces.

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7) Melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the top. On my second attempt at this recipe I realised that it would probably work best to pipe the white chocolate on – I did this by putting it in a sandwich bag and cutting off the corner to make a small hole.

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8) Put in the fridge to set. It should take a couple of hours to harden completely.

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9) If you’ve made a big slab chop into pieces and wrap up for presents in cellophane with ribbon, or just eat it!

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Meatball Carbonara

17 Oct

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I love spaghetti carbonara but I eat it so much that it can get a bit same-y and dull, and I thought that using meatballs instead of pancetta or bacon would be an interesting and tasty variation.

A lot of spaghetti carbonara recipes don’t use onion but I personally think it provides a great depth of flavour, as well as making sure the dish isn’t overly rich.

Serves: three people.

Cost per person: £0.63 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 12 meatballs
  • 1 small onion
  • 300g spaghetti
  • 3 eggs
  • 75ml double cream
  • 50g parmasan

Method

1) Fry the meatballs for 5-10 minutes, until sealed and starting to brown. Put the spaghetti on to boil.

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2) Add the chopped onion to the meatballs and fry for another 5 minutes, until the onion is golden.

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3) Whilst the onion, meatballs and spaghetti are beat the eggs and mix with the double cream and parmesan.

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4) Drain the spaghetti and add to the meatballs and onion, tossing it all together so the meatballs and onion are evenly distributed through the spaghetti.

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5) Turn the pan down to a low heat and add the sauce to heat through. Be careful not to have the pan too hot or the egg will scramble.

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6) Serve with a little more parmesan if you wish, and enjoy!

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Eat Seasonably

7 Jul

I found this on Pinterest, and I thought it looked really useful. Fruit and vegetables are much tastier and also cheaper when they’re grown in season, as opposed to out of season fruit and veg which is grown in poly-tunnels or flown in from halfway across the world, and never tastes anywhere near as good as the in-season stuff!

eatseasonably

http://pinterest.com/pin/85286986666110449/

Crete

24 Jun

I recently went on holiday to the Greek island of Crete, which was totally amazing. Greece is surprisingly poor for an EU country, but still astonishingly beautiful.

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The food there was awesome; classically Mediterranean, with lots of vegetables. A lot of the food was quite light, as you don’t want stodgy food in the heat! I’m going to be trying out some Greek-inspired recipes soon, but in the meantime here are a few favourites of mine.P1060528

Gyros kebab meat with tzatziki and pitta bread. Gyro meat is popular throughout Greece, Turkey and much of the Middle East. It’s a great combination, as the tzatziki makes the meat taste far less heavy and much fresher. I imagine it’d be really nice with some roasted vegetables added in with the meat as well.

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Saganaki, a type of fried cheese, which has several regional variations. It’s a very simple flavour, with just the cheese and the lemon (if you add it), but so delicious and moreish. It’s quite similar in taste to halloumi, but it has a much gooier texture inside and a crunchy, flaky texture on the outside.

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A Greek salad, which usually includes tomatoes (under the other vegetables in this picture), onions, olives, cucumber and feta cheese, dressed with olive oil and seasoned with oregano and pepper. This particular salad also includes carrots. It’s a fresh and simple dish which is easy to make and great for when you fancy something both healthy and tasty, and also ridiculously easy – no cooking time required!

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Loukoumades are a deep-fried pastry soaked in honey and cinnamon, or sometimes sugar syrup. In Ancient Greece they were served to the winners of the Olympics. I’m not sure how easy they’d be to make as they’re deep fried, but they’re so ridiculously tasty. I don’t usually like cinnamon but these were amazing!

Aside

Hello world!

10 Jun

Hello world! I’m Katie, a nineteen year old history student at Aberystwyth University. I started this blog after spending most of my first year of university eating food that, whilst being mostly quite healthy, got boring and repetitive very quickly – far too much chilli con carne.

I realised that it’s actually quite difficult to cook food that’s healthy, tasty and varied on a tight budget, so I thought I’d start this blog to share my ideas and recipes with you!

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