Food

Cookie Dough Bites! In Chocolate… Vegan Recipe

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A month ago I came across this amazing Instagram; ginabnutrition and it seriously changed my vegan baking LIFE. Ginabnutrition has the most innovative recipes I have come across in a long time – it has totally inspired my baking life and I have never felt more motivated to create amazing treats without dairy and egg! I highly recommend checking out her Instagram and her blog for more delicious-ness and inspiration. I made the No Bake Brownie Bites (which a gluten free AND vegan) from her website and they were ah-mazing! We literally couldn’t stop eating them #foodforlife. And as I was eating them I thought ‘What if I left out the cocoa and dipped them in chocolate?’ more like cookie dough than a brownie and with a chocolate snap! I advise you to put them in the freezer for a really cold dessert & for a better snap but you can keep them in the fridge! These are completely vegan, very easy to make and utterly delicious.
Continue reading “Cookie Dough Bites! In Chocolate… Vegan Recipe”

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Food

Vanilla Easter Egg Biscuits – VEGAN RECIPE

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Happy Easter y’all!! I’m back this week with another biscuit recipe and it’s VEGAN!! This is my first Easter without dairy and it doesn’t feel quite the same so I thought I’d come up with a pretty cute but dairy free alternative for such a dairy fueled occasion. I love sugar cookies but it appears that pretty much all sugar cookies have egg in them (either the biscuit itself or the icing)! I found a few recipes that I liked and altered them until I came up with one I liked – this is a very simple sugar cookie /shortbread hybrid which can totally be jazzed up! Possibly add some cardamon or cinnamon?
I like this recipe because you don’t need much to pull it off – I didn’t need to go to the store for any of these ingredients; I already had them! I truly believe that’s half of the battle sometimes.
Continue reading “Vanilla Easter Egg Biscuits – VEGAN RECIPE”

Food

VEGAN – Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies! RECIPE

Is there anything better than freshly baked cookies? I don’t think so! I came up with this vegan cookie recipe a couple weeks ago when I had a massive sugar craving and I’m so glad I did! These are now my favourite cookies to bake; the saltiness of the pistachios, the sweetness of the dark chocolate chips and the chewy but firm texture of these cookies are to die for! Trust me, once you bake them you’ll fall in love.

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Food

Whitby’s High Tea – James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor – REVIEW

Recently I had the pleasure of booking a high tea at the Whitby’s restaurant & bar with two of my lovely friends Rachel & Anna. There is absolutely nothing better than sitting inside on a cold, windy (it’s Wellington after all) and miserable day eating cake, pastries and delicious mango creme brûlée.
The Whitby’s Restaurant & Bar is located on the 17th floor of the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor which sits on the terrace, the restaurant itself has a wall of windows which overlooks Wellington in all it’s glory (harbour views!)  The ambiance of the Whitby’s Restaurant leaves a little to be desired but it is mainly used as a restaurant for the guests of the James Cook Hotel, it has a  kind of conference vibe about it but overall it’s spacious and does the trick!

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A few days before I booked online through their website – it was incredibly easy and I highly recommend doing so if you’re not super keen on calling. The James Cook Chancellor Hotel is an easy find on the Lambton Quay stretch – there an alleyway/street called the James Cook Arcade and there is a lift located in there which will take you straight up into the reception floor. All you need to do is go up another elevator to reach the restaurant – again, fairly simple.

Offers & Prices:

  • Classic High Tea – $28.50 per person
  • High Tea with Bubbles – $36.50 per person
  • Kids High Tea – $17.00 per child

Whitby’s High Tea Menu – Classic High Tea

Bottom Tier:
Sandwiches (Egg & Cucumber – Smoked Salmon) , Tempura Prawns, Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

Middle Tier:
Black Forest Gateau Cheesecake, Mango Creme Brûlée, Jasmine infused Panna Cotta, Vanilla Tea Cake, Hibiscus Strawberry Macaroon

Top Tier:
Blueberry Scones w/ cream and strawberry jam, Earl Grey Cookies, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

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Bottom Tier Thoughts:
The bottom tier was fairly decent; I am vegetarian so I couldn’t eat two of the pieces (Salmon sandwiches & Tempura Prawn) but my two friends loved both especially the tempura prawns and I must say they did look pretty delicious! My favourite HAD to be the vegetarian sausage roll; on first inspection I did have to ask a staff member if they were vegetarian as they looked like real meat! I have never seen a vegetarian sausage roll with the colouring of meat – it was a lovely treat. The puff pastry was flaky, buttery and moreish, the meat inside was evenly spiced and was truly delicious.

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Middle Tier Thoughts:
The middle tier was my favourite – It was filled with all kinds of cakes and sweet treats. I thoroughly enjoyed the mango creme brûlée, it was like eating a creamy mango ice cream although it did lack that crunchy sugar layer that all creme brûlée should have. The black forest gateau cheesecake in theory sounded like an amazing idea but I found it to be a little lack luster; the cheesecake mixture itself was delicious and tangy but the cherries scattered in the mix tasted very odd, were they maraschino or glace – who knows? And there definitely wasn’t enough chocolate for my liking.

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Top Tier Thoughts:
By the top tier I was getting SERIOUSLY full; too much cake and not enough movement! I didn’t eat as much on of the top tier but thankfully I had company and they seriously loved the blueberry & white chocolate scones; I love the fact that they came with cream and strawberry jam if I wasn’t too full I would of had one! I only managed to eat one thing but I am so glad I did and that was the Earl Grey shortbread. It was perfection and probably my favourite piece of the High Tea; it was short, buttery and just melted in the mouth! Chocolate strawberries are just chocolate strawberries to me – they are lovely but nothing crazy exciting.

I don’t drink hot drinks (yes I am one of THOSE people) but my lovely friends did enjoy the unlimited supply of hot drinks – teas, coffee and hot chocolate. And I must say the staff were very attentive and talked us through all of our options which was the perfect amount of service for a high tea.

Here is the full menu for the High Tea

Overall thoughts:
Overall I think the Whitby’s High Tea was definitely good value for money – a classic high tea for one person values at $28.50 and for the service, food & unlimited supply of hot drinks; it was definitely a deal. This is my second high tea there and both times I enjoyed the overall experience and I also enjoyed the fact they have changed the menu since then first visit – it’s super important to improve menus especially over time.
I would give the Whitby’s High Tea seven scones with clotted cream and jam out of ten and I’ll definitely be back!

I hope y’all enjoyed this little review. After seeing Miss Charlotte Cake’s fantastic High Tea reviews I thought I would give it a go –  Check out Miss Charlotte Cake’s High Tea reviews here!
Let me know if you would like to see more reviews below.

Food

Afghan (biscuit) Tray Bake

The Afghan biscuit is a traditional New Zealand bake and has been around for yonks! I remember my Mum baking these throughout my childhood and I still adore them to this day, you can’t beat a homemade Afghan bikkie! This week there was a bake-a-long event in the group Miss Charlotte’s Caker’s created by NZ Pinup Miss Charlotte Cake and the bake was Afghan biscuits; you could go the traditional root or mix it up and I decided to do something a little different as did others. Bare in mind I made this recipe up – I used the Edmond’s Cookbook recipe as my guide but added a few different ingredients so it would hold up – it’s very light and buttery but it’s more cake-y than slice-y.  I think you could use my brownie recipe for a firmer bake – just add cornflakes and it should be fine!

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Afghan Tray Bake

Makes 12 

Ingredients:
200g margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 + 2 tsp cocoa
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups cornflakes

Icing:
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 tsp milk
60g softened marg

Topping:
70g Whittaker’s dark chocolate – chopped
3/4 cup toasted walnuts – chopped

Method:
Begin by preheating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper – set aside.
In a medium/large bowl cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy – next add the egg and mix until combined.
Sift the cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl and fold into the mixture.
Once the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated fold in the cornflakes.
Spoon into the baking tray; be sure to spread the mixture evenly that will improve your bake.
Bake for 20 minutes and allow to cool before icing.

Icing:
Sift together the dry ingredients and then add butter and milk – stir until smooth.
Spread the icing over the tray bake and sprinkle the dark chocolate and walnuts.
Cut into twelve slices.

Enjoy!

What is one of your favourite bakes from your childhood?

Food

Peppermint & Chocolate Cupcakes – Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe EVER!

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I have finally come up with my favourite chocolate cupcake base and I am super excited to share it with you! I reworked my favourite chocolate cake recipe so now my chocolate cupcakes taste just as good as my cakes – what a relief! And seeing as it’s Blogmas I thought I would put a festive spin on it by making it minty; I personally cannot stand mint but my boyfriend absolutely loved them. I love the base of this recipe with all of my heart; it’s dense but light with a strong chocolate taste and it also rises evenly – it.is.the.BEST. What are you baking at the moment? Have you made Christmas mince pies yet? I haven’t even eaten one of the supermarket ones yet – blasphemy!

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Fashion · Food

Pinup Christmas #2

I am so sorry for the lack #pinupchristmas outfits! This is only my second one and it’s already the ninth of December; how horrid! This cute outfit embodies the festive spirit from my vibrant red Lindy Bop dress to my Elf hat – it’s the whole shabang. I know A LOT of you enjoyed my cupcake decorating photos from earlier in the year so I thought I would recreate it but make it more CHRISTMASSY (honestly, I have never said that word as much as I have been in the month of Blogmas). The cupcakes I’m baking here are using my favourite chocolate cupcake base with mint icing and minty chocolate from Whittakers – there will be a recipe post up later this week so stay tuned. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as my boyfriend and I enjoyed taking them!

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Continue reading “Pinup Christmas #2”