Delicious & Easy Weeknight Dessert

DessertBreakDownHowdy Y’all,

Today I wanted to share with you a LL little secret a dessert I have up my sleeve for those weeknights when guests are coming or your family demands or deserves a little treat. I love a dessert which tastes scrummy, can be adapted and is a little healthier than a slice of cake. I got inspiration from Mr. Jamie Oliver (thank you) and modified it to suit what I have in my pantry at the said time. The idea can also made healthier if necessary. I love cheesecake and find the biscuit base the best bit (never understood NY cheesecake.) I do however in the week want to eradicate the butter required to make that crumbly bottom, so I thought what would work as an alternative and granola sprang to mind. Granola is so versatile, perfect for breakie or as a snack but this provides a great base, plus depending on the granola you bake or buy you can use one with nuts, seeds, and dry fruit. Next, I add a dollop of heavenly curd, and this can be of your choosing, this time I chose lemon, but lime, raspberry, rhubarb or any other fruit curd would be delicious. Curd works well with the granola and is also scrumptious with yogurt. Then I add fruit, this again is personal preference, but I would recommend something which compliments the curd of choice. The piece de resistance is the topping which I use mascarpone, but you could use crème fraiche. I place in a bowl add a teaspoon of vanilla essence, and a teaspoon of icing sugar give it a good mix and voila a yummy topping. If you were looking to lighten things up reduce the amount of topping or use yogurt. If mascarpone is not your desire, you could use clotted cream, cream or ice cream. The versatility of this dessert is what makes this a winner. It always feels more sophisticated to present these in martini glasses, it also means you have greater portion control, and if you have dietary requirements, you can make to specific desires. I have also made this in sundae glasses or mason jars; they always look super cute! You can make these ahead, and they can last in the fridge for several days. All which make them a Lifestyle Lady Love.

 

Do you have a recipe I need to try?

Ta Ta For Now

Kx

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Best Dessert Brownies Ever -FACT!

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Howdy Y’all,

Happy Wednesday, I hope your week is treating you well. If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I am on a personal crusade to make sure that Little L feels culturally comfortable living in the US. For those of you who don’t know, she is a dual US and UK citizen, but born and raised here in America. With Mr L and myself both being fully fledged Brits, freckles and all, I wanted to ensure that I didn’t make Little L feel ostracized by cultural differences. Now I say this very tongue in cheek, we are different, as George Bernard Shaw said: “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” I can do little to change this, and as her teacher has already pointed out, Little L has informed her classmates that we “play in the garden, not outside” lol. One way I am trying to become a more American mom (please note spelling for emphasis of point) is trying to learn some popular local dishes. Mr L would say that I have the pulled pork and ribs down (please let me know if these are recipes you would like me to share on the blog.)  I can’t say that I will ever be one to cook macaroni and cheese or pb and jelly (no, neither of these are popular UK dishes much to the surprise of my US mom friends.) I do however wish to become a connoisseur of the brownie. You may know that a while back I wrote this post, The best brownie ever challenge.  I stand by these brownies – they are remarkably good – but not one to become complacent in my pursuit of perfection, I have discovered another recipe which I think is outstanding.

A blogger I follow TheAnnaEdit mentioned her favorite recipe by Anna Jones called Salted Caramel Brownies (no you don’t have to be called Anna to make these.)  I love salted caramel and, with friends coming for dinner, I had the perfect excuse to give them a try. Now like The Anna Edit, I cheated and bought caramel sauce: I used Trader Joe’s Caramel Sauce and it worked a treat.

Ingredients

150g 70% dark chocolate

150g unsalted butter

250g caster sugar (If you find caster sugar hard to find in US, use regular sugar but blitz in a food processor first to get the correct consistency. This I have found to work well – LL top tip.)

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

100g plain flour.

Method

Heat oven to 180C or 365F.

Grease and line a brownie tin approximately 20x20cm.

Place a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (make sure bowl bottom does not hit the water! That’s important!)

Add chocolate and butter to bowl and allow to melt stirring together so as not to burn.

Once they have melted and combined together, remove bowl from heat.

Stir in sugar (be careful the mix is hot.)

Then add the eggs one at a time, stirring throughout.

After well combined, add the vanilla essence and flour.

Stir until mixture is well combined.

This is where I did not follow the exact instructions and being pushed for time followed The Anna Edit method.

Place mixture in prepared tin.

Then take your bought caramel sauce and spoon several teaspoons into the prepared mixture, I used about 5 oz.

Then use a wooden skewer to feather the caramel through the mixture so it leaves a pretty pattern on the top.

If you like salted caramel, grind a little sea salt on top.

Place in oven on middle shelf for about 25mins.

It will be done when a crust appears on the top (mine took about 30 mins.)

Then take out of oven and let Brownies cool.

I made these in the morning, and reheated in the evening. Ladies and Gents these brownies were to die for. I would say they are more a dessert brownie, especially heated, because as you cut into them out oozes golden caramel. The amount I added was about right because they didn’t become too rich and the fact they are made with dark chocolate doesn’t make them too sweet. They are delicious served warm with homemade vanilla ice-cream (future post.) They are also a marvelous hangover cure but that is another story.

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on Anna Jones’ cookbook “A Modern Way to Eat” (highly recommended), you will note that she provides alternative/healthier ways to prepare the brownies which I want to try. Who is with me? She also gives you details on how to make the caramel yourself which I want to attempt next time. However, if you are stuck for time or baking is not your thing, this method was outstanding. Best dessert brownies I have ever had and my guests agreed. I am well on the way to doing Little L proud on the brownie stakes, it is muffins next! (A mummy’s work is never done!) So my previous post The best brownie ever challenge  produces the best brownies for everyday baked goods and these brownies are best for dessert!

Enjoy the rest of your week folks. Have you tried this recipe before? Have I inspired you to try? If so send me a pic! I would love to see them.

Ta Ta for now

TLL x

 

Happy Easter – Making Memories

Howdy Y’all,

Happy hump day! Hope you are all doing well. It is Easter week which I can not really get my head around as it is so early. I feel it has crept upon me, that might be because I have my brain full of other things. If you have been following the blog for a while you will know that I can be a  bit sanctimonious about making memories. I am not sure if it is  because I live far away from family or I am simply a traditionalist but I want to create traditions and memories that Little L can carry into adulthood. I am not sure if it is a British thing but every Easter particularly when I was small I remember making egg nests, this is a very easy tradition I wanted to pass onto Little L. We love to bake, Little L and I. Tbh many of the recipes we have tried to date have relied on me being a hawk eye, mainly because they contain eggs and Little L has a wonderful habit of trying the recipe at every stage. (Although I grew up licking the bowl of raw cake batter which contained eggs and have lived to tell the tale- just!) This recipe contains none of those challenges and is so easy I followed no recipe just created by eye.

Ingredients

Chocolate, I used two bars, one milk and one white, mainly because that is what I had and like.

Butter, about two tablespoons.

Syrup, if in UK you could use golden syrup if in US I used Blue Agave.

Cereal, I used frosted flakes, you could use rice crispies, whatever you and your littlie like.

Cupcake cases, roughly a dozen.

Mini Eggs, tis the season and they are yummy.

Method

Brake the chocolate into small pieces, I let Little L do this in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin. (She was in heaven.)

Place the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl over a saucepan and let it simmer and melt. (Make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the top of the water.)

While the chocolate is melting, place the cereal in a separate bowl, I measured by eye. You want enough cereal so that chocolate covers it when mixed. I don’t like the mix too rich so I added a little more cereal.

I then told Little L that the most important part of the recipe was to mix the cereal with a spoon continually, this is a great way to keep them busy and if a sneaky hand peeks in for a taste, what trouble can they get in to?

Once the chocolate mixture is melted, I added about one tablespoon of syrup, this helps the mixture stick. I then mixed.

While the syrup is warming in the mixture I asked Little L to place twelve cupcake cases into a muffin tin. (Great way to test number skills!)

Once the syrup/choc mix is well combined, remove bowl from heat and pour into cereal mix. Obviously this requires an adult but once the mix is added Little L loved mixing.

Once well mixed, you then spoon the mixture into the cases, pressing down hard, if possible press harder in the center so the sides are slightly raised (like a nest.) Then place three mini eggs in the center. Your littlie may insist on spoon licking.

Then place the tray into the fridge for about 20 mins. The trick is to get the tray into the fridge before your littlie gobbles all the mini eggs.

After twenty minutes, serve and enjoy. They look so cute and kids love them.

 

chopped choc
Preparing the chocolate, the self-discipline required not to nibble I don’t have – sorry!
Head Chef
The head chef – she is a hard task master
Melting
Choc and butter melting
Melting pot
Side profile
Preping the nests
Head Chef skillful mixing
Yummy mix
Personally I don’t like the mixture too chocolaty because it can be a little rich. This for us was perfect.
Tasting
Essential taste testing
Nests
Product pre eggs and fridge
Yummy
The final result – so cute

Final

Happy Easter
Got to love Target and their Easter décor
Love Her
Call me a proud sous chef, but how cute is my head chef? Plus who wouldn’t want to make memories with a happy smiling face like that?

This is such a simple but fun afternoon activity why not give it a try?

From the Lifestyle household to yours, Happy Easter!

Ta ta for now.

TLL x