The Chocolatiest Nutella Brownies EVER!

If you love chocolate AND nutella then this one is for you! I have to admit I was never a chocolate lover until I came across a recipe for Nutella Brownies and now I am obsessed. Make sure to save some nutella to pop into your mixture before baking – it may be the best tip I ever give you!

Ingredients

5 tbsp soft butter

100g brown sugar

2 eggs

2tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp salt

400g nutella (remember to keep some to the side!)

Method

1. Beat your butter until soft. Then add your sugar and continue to beat.

2. Crack in two eggs followed by the vanilla essence & salt.

3. While continuing to beat the mixture add in your nutella (leaving some to the side for later).

4. Spoon the mixture into two cake tins. Take the remainder of your nutella and pop blobs of it into the mixture. This will give you yummy bites of nutella in your brownies 😍 Bake your brownies at 180 for around 30-35mins.

Let me know what you think 😍😍

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Baking Up a Storm with Forestside Cookery School

Every once in a while you just need to do something different. Do you ever feel that? You are a bit stuck in a rut and want to try something knew? This is definitely the case with my baking. I love to bake but I am fed up baking the same things over and over again. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, so I think we can safely assume my baking wasn’t going to taste any different unless I changed it up!

Thankfully mum felt the same, so for part of her birthday present I booked us in to the Forestside Cookery School. Situated upstairs in Forestside shopping centre, it is a culinary heaven, created and developed by Chef Stephen Jeffers. The luxurious custom built space has everything you could think of to create your culinary masterpiece and for a moment I felt like I was transported to the Masterchef kitchen.

From Asian cuisine to pasta making made simple, an Irish bread masterclass to takeaway classics, Stephen has developed a calendar of events to suit all tastes and skills.

Stephen’s passion for educating the public as well as transforming ingredients into delicious delights beams through his kitchen. His years of experience in the N.I. cooking scene is evident through his abundance of knowledge, tips and tricks and in the team of experts that he brings in to assist him. During our Saturday Bakery Class, we were treated to help from Stephen in conjunction with Irish Bake Off Winner Stephen Chisholm!

We started our baking class off in the cookery schools own dining room, sipping on homemade lemonade – a sure fire way to forget the horrific blizzard outside. Right on time, the man himself Chef Stephen Jeffers & his beaming personality, introduced us to the team and invited us to join him at our stations in his bespoke kitchen. You can’t help but get excited when you meet Stephen and see his kitchen, the equipment and the produce Stephen has for you. His enthusiasm is contagious!

I cannot stress enough how stress free this class is! Everyone knows how chaotic baking can be so baking three new creations in four hours is enough to create a pressure cooker catastrophe but Stephen and his team have their teaching down to a fine art. You won’t have to measure an ingredient, wash a dish or worry about messing up your timings – the team are on hand to help everything run smoothly.

The class runs in a clear and easy to grasp format. Firstly, the chefs demonstrated how to make the dough for our doughnuts. Not only do they show you and talk you through the process but they allow you to quiz them during the demo, making it the perfect opportunity to ask any of those burning questions you have. After the first demonstration, you head back to your station with your partner to recreate what you just watched, but you aren’t alone. The chefs are on hand the entire time watching and helping you if (and when, in my case!) something goes wrong.

During our Saturday Bakery Class we were also treated to a light lunch which consisted of Fennel soup that Chef Jeffers rustled up beside us! Our lunch was incredible and everyone was quizzing him for the recipe afterwards which he happily obliged!

The brilliant bit about these classes is the laid back nature. There is no pretentiousness. People are there to learn but most importantly to have fun and the chefs encourage that.

Days like yesterday make me happy for so many reasons. Not only did we get to work alongside two professional chefs but we got to have a bit of craic doing it! We can often become so consumed by the monotonous nature of our lives and fear stepping outside of the box but I challenge you to jump out of it. Book one of Chef Stephen Jeffers class and enjoy something new.

You can check out the range of classes available here.

Creamy Chicken & Bacon Pasta

Sometimes we just need to indulge a little, right? Last week, Annie had her third set of injections and lets just say the following few days weren’t great. Little to no sleep, a grumpy baby and a tired mum created a few days of chaos so the healthy eating was set to the side for a couple of days. I made this tasty creamy chicken and bacon pasta dish one night for Carl coming home & it really hit the spot. Sometimes you just need carbs and fat.

(image from pinterest)

Ingredients:

2 tsp butter

6-8 bacon rashers

1x250g chicken breat

2 garlic cloves (crushed)

280ml single cream

3/4 cup pasta cooking water

1/4 cup parmesan (grated)

pasta of your choice (I used penne)

Method

  1. Put your pasta on to boil following the instructions on the packet.
  2. Fry the bacon in 1tsp of butter until crispy, then add the chicken and fry until lightly golden.
  3. Add in the crushed garlic, followed by the cream and let it simmer.
  4. Add in the pasta cooking water and continue to let it simmer.
  5. Drain the pasta. Add the parmesan to the mixture followed by the pasta and stir well.

Enjoy! If you put on half a stone eating this don’t blame me!

 

 

White Chocolate & Raspberry Loaf Cake

I don’t know whether it’s because The Great British Bake Off is back or whether because I’m a mum now but I feel like I need to learn to bake new things! So, I have set myself the challenge of baking something new every week.

This week I tackled a White Chocolate and Raspberry Loaf cake and it went down brilliantly in my house & mums! This was the first time I had baked a cake with fruit inside rather than for decoration and surprisingly it went well. If you love white chocolate and raspberries then this one is for you.

Ingredients

125g butter

175g caster sugar

2 large eggs

175g self raising flour

4tbsp milk

150g raspberries

125g white chocolate
Method

1. Grease and line your tin loaf and pre heat the oven at 180oc.

2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time with a tbsp of flour at the end to prevent it curdling.

3. Fold in the rest of the flour along with the milk.

4.  Fold in the raspberries.

5. Bake for around 35-40 mins

6. I made two different toppings for one I melted white chocolate and drizzled it along the top. For the other I mixed icing sugar with butter and coated the cooled cake, the latter being much sweeter!

Enjoy!

Pavlova or Pavalova…

Pavlova is definitely the favourite dessert in our house and it never lasts long. Especially when it is plastered with strawberries! I have felt really bad as I hadn’t made one in ages… Carl definitely thinks I’m slacking in the wife department at the minute but 7 weeks in he has finally got another one. 

What is the favourite dessert in your house?

I definitely recommend a mixer for this one!

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 2 level tsp corn flour
  • 1tsp vinegar
  • 0.5tsp vanilla essence
  • 0.25tsp almond essence

Method

1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks.

2. Add the sugar and continue whisking.

3. Add the remaining ingredients & whisk some more.

4. On baking paper, tip out the mixture and shape as desired.

5. Place in the oven at 130 degrees.

Voila!

White Chocolate Cheesecake ðŸ¤—🤗

Who doesn’t love cheesecake?

For the Baby Shower last night I had made a White Chocolate cheesecake. It went down so well with everyone that I thought I would share the recipe with you all!


Ingredients

15 digestive biscuits
80g butter

250g cream cheese
300ml double cream
200g white chocolate


Directions

Grease the base of your springform tin. Mine was 20cm in diameter.

Crush the biscuits inside a sandwich bag using a rolling pin.

Melt the butter and add to the biscuits. Mix well. Add to your sprintform cake tin. Using a woodspoon ensure the biscuits are well pressed into the tin and leave in the fridge to chill.

To make the filling, put the cream cheese and double cream into a bowl and whisk until smooth with soft peaks.

Melt the white chocolate and fold into the filling mixture. Pour on top of your biscuit base and leave in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours – preferably overnight.

In the morning decorate and voila!

Time to get my Wedding body back! Quiche recipe ðŸ³

After starting back with Allan Davison last week and getting my measurements, wright & body fat measured we discovered I had two stone on from my wedding! TWO STONE! When they say you get “comfortable” after the wedding, they obviously weren’t wrong. I know, from having PT sessions with Allan before, not to listen to the scales and to pay attention to my body fat & measurements. I followed his guidance before and it paid off so I’m doing the same again this time!

My diet is woeful! So as well as the PT sessions I know I need to work very hard on what I’m eating and Allan is helping me re-learn everything. At each meal I am to have three things; protein, carbs & fats. Around a fist size portion of protein, scooped hand portion of carbs & only a thumb sized amount of fats. Easy? 😳

So with that in mind I’m getting food prepared today as I know over the holidays it will be way too tempting to nip out and grab a take out or head out for dinner. Normally though, I’ll probably just put on extra ingredients at dinner so that I can keep the extra for lunches the following day (another one of Allan’s tips!).

First up today was my Quiche. I absolutely love quiche & it is the easiest way for me to eat veg as I’m definitely not a veg person! Yes, I know the pastry is bad but it’s a low fat version and I don’t think I can drastically cut my carbs right down at the minute after being so unhealthy for so long!

Let me know what you think of this if you try it!

Ingredients

🍳 6 eggs

🍳 Low fat shortcrust pastry

🍳 8 bacon medallions

🍳 4 cherry tomatoes

🍳 handful of spinach 

🍳 handful of mozzarella 

🍳  dash of milk

1. Spritz your oven proof dish with low cal olive oil. 

 2. Line your dish with the shortcrust pastry leaving a little extra around the sides. Stab it a few times with a fork and cover this in grease proof paper. Put something heavy on top and pop it in the oven for around 20 mins (I used the oven proof peas).  

 3. While the pastry is in the oven dry off your bacon and cut into your desired size.

4. Whisk the eggs and add in salt, pepper and milk. Cut your tomatoes and spinach.

5. When the pastry is ready line the dish with the bacon, tomatoes, spinach and mozzarella. 

    
   
6. Pop it in the oven for around 20-25 mins or until a knife comes out clean.

Voila! 

 

Carbonara Baby

Pasta Carbonara is one of my favourite foods – as long as it isn’t from a jar! I cannot stand jar or packet carbonara sauces they are nothing like the real deal! Making carbonara is so, so simple. Honestly you could do it in 15/20mins. So here it is…

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of pasta
  • 40g Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 8-10 rashers of bacon

Method

1. Put your pasta on to boil

2. While the pasta is boiling, throw some oil into your frying with your garlic clove (do not crush) and fry your bacon. 

3. When your bacon is fried, throw away the garlic clove and cut your bacon into the desired sizes.

4. To a bowl add 3 egg yolks, the Parmesan cheese, oregano, milk and a dash of pepper. Mix well.

5. When the pasta is ready drain it, leaving some of the cooking water aside. Add your pasta to the pan with bacon along with your cheese and egg mixture. Make sure to stir well otherwise you will get scrambled eggs. If you find your pasta isn’t too creamy, add a little of the cooking water and stir.

Sorry I don’t have a picture, I ate it too quickly 🙈.

Voila! Homemade Carbonara. Delicious!

Aunty Rosemary’s Cheesy Potato Bake

This is my ultimate comfort food. It is so, so yummy but so, so bad! Shortly after I got married my great aunt gave me a similar recipe to this to try for my husband. I’d told her how he just eats meat, meat and more meat but she was adamant he would love this – and he did!

I try to use the bacon lardons when I can as they make it even yummier but they are so hard to get now so bacon will do if you can’t get the lardons. This recipe has enough for four people however we often just gorb it between us both (hence its really, really bad!!). Definitely play around with the amount of garlic you put in. We love it reaalllyyy garlicky so the more the better! 

Enjoy! And remember to tag TBB in any pics if you try it! 

 

What you’ll need to make enough for four people.

1.3kg Potatoes (9-11 medium potatoes)

150ml Double Cream

275g Bacon Lardons or 10-12 rashers

Olive oil

2 garlic gloves (or 1teaspoon of garlic granules and 1tbsp of garlic purée)

400g cheese

How to pull the grub together

1. Boil your peeled potatoes for around 30mins or until the knife just goes through

2. Whilst boiling the potatoes free your bacon.

3. Add the garlic mixture to the bacon when cooked.

4. Add the double cream to the bacon mixture and simmer.

5. When the potatoes are boiled allow them to cool. Then slice them into 1cm slices.

6. Later the mixture in an oven proof dish. Potatoes followed by the cream and bacon mixture.

7. Add the grated cheese to the top of the bake and add to the oven at 180 degrees until the cheese melts.

Serve and enjoy! 

    
    
    
 

The Belfast Bride’s Quickie Chicken Pie 

At the minute it constantly feels like I am on the go. With working full time plus blogging, I very rarely get to sit down and just catch up with my husband. Don’t get me wrong I AM NOT complaining at all! I love my job and love that the blog keeps me busy but sometimes you realise you need to sit down and have a home cooked meal.

I have always loved to cook and promised myself that I would make the utmost effort to make my husband two home cooked dinners this weekend. What better way to catch up than over some grub.

However, on Saturday I was still so, so busy. So I quickly pulled together this easy peasy pie. Posting recipes has never been something I thought of doing, I am not a chef/cook and my food does not/will not EVER taste like something Jamie Oliver whisked up, but after so many of you loved it on Snap Chat I said I would stick it up on the blog! 

This pie is so quick to make and perfect for me to pull together in the morning before work and then stick in the oven when I get home. So here it is.. Enjoy! Don’t forget to tag me in pictures if you give it a go!

The Belfast Bride’s Quickie Chicken Pie

What you’ll need to make enough for two people

2x Large Chicken Breasts

1x Roll of Puff Pastry (I have made my own before but this is a quickie pie after all)

1x Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Soup

1 teaspoon of Worchester Sauce

1 teaspoon mustard  

1 stock cube

How to pull the grub together

1. Cut up your chicken breasts into the size of chunks you like.

2. Fry these with a spray or two of Fry Lite

3. Whisk up a stock cube and 100ml of water and throw it in the pan until the evaporates

4. At this point if you wanted to add it any cooked bacon/ham you could

5. Stir in your condensed soup

6. Scoop the mixture out of the frying pan and into your pie dish

7. Layer your pastry over the top of your pie mixture

8. Cook in the oven at 180 degrees 

   
 And voila! The quickest chicken pie rustled up in under 30minutes. I am absolutely raging I don’t have a finished photo but Carl had already dug in before I got a pic (men!). If, like me, your always cooking in a rush. You can make up your pie mixture in the morning/night before work and then just add the pastry and pop it in the oven around 30mins before serving.
I hope you enjoy!