No grandes, no talls just big coffee…

I love relaxing in a nice coffee shop with a hot coffee and a piece of cake, but let’s be honest, my usual hangout Starbucks is overpriced and the coffee is nothing to write home about! It was after spending almost £10 on a frappuccino and ordered in cake that I decided to find a new coffee shop to spend my time!

Couch is a coffee shop on Ecclesall road with a branch on Campo Lane in Sheffield City Centre. When I walked past and saw it was open I thought I would give it a try. The interior is amazing, think patchwork antique chairs, big comfy leather sofas, wooden booths and mismatched dining tables and chairs. The cakes are all served under bell jars, and books and board games scatter the book shelves along the walls. It has a lovely homely feel to it, and it would be easy to lose yourself in a good book whilst watching the busy traffic on Ecclesall Road pass by.

The first time I went I ordered a snickers brownie and a cappuccino for well under £5. The brownie was a huge slice (I asked for the biggest bit) and it had peanut butter running through it and of course whole peanuts. It was beautiful and moist, and so chocolately and rich, but in no way too sweet or sickly. Let’s be honest, peanut butter and chocolate is the best combo ever. They have loads of different flavours of brownie to try, such as Double Decker and Mint Aero which are all on the ‘to do’ list! They also have a huge selection of cakes, but when it’s between a brownie or cake I’m always going to go for the brownie!

Coffee

Brownie and Coffee

We took our brownies to our table and waited for our coffees, promising to only take a little nibble and to wait for our hot drinks to arrive. Needless to say the brownie was all but gone by the time our drinks arrived. (This isn’t a bad reflection on the staff who made the coffee in a perfectly acceptable time, but more a reflection at my lack of self-control and greediness).

The coffee is smooth and drinkable, and doesn’t leave a bitter or unpleasant taste in your mouth like some other coffees from certain chains can. It’s served in cute tea sets in all different colours; say goodbye to coffees the size of your head, “no grandes, no talls just big coffee” as their website says. It also says “our mum says our coffee is the best, and mums don’t lie” and their momma definitely didn’t lie! It’s as good as any coffee I’ve tried in Italy or the south of France. So far it’s the best coffee I’ve found in Sheffield. The best bit? You can get one of these lovely hot drinks for £1 between 8-10 in the morning!

I went for a second time for a bank holiday brunch. The breakfast menu is extremely reasonable with a bacon sandwiches for around £3.50. I went for a smoked ham eggs benedict for under £5. The food comes served on chalk board like slates, which to be honest I think is a little bit unnecessary but it does go with the decor. The eggs benedict was amazing, it was the perfect hangover treat, they were very generous with the ham, and I had two thick slices on my English muffin, with two perfectly poached eggs and just the right amount of buttery hollandaise sauce. My friends who both got bacon sandwiches watched on in jealousy at my brunch, food envy etched onto their faces. My only complaint would be that all the food was on top of half a muffin and I think it should have been served over 2, but then again I’m greedy!

Smoked Ham Eggs Benedict

Smoked Ham Eggs Benedict

I paired this with a caramel cappuccino, and I was not disappointed.

If you’re a coffee lover but you’re fed up of spending almost £5 on your morning caffeine hit, then stop by at Couch. I mean, for £1 during happy hour it would be stupid not to!

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My super skinny 100 calorie muffins (2 ways!)

Did you know that a classic blueberry muffin from Starbucks has 448 calories? Even if you go for the skinny versions they still come in at around 306-338kcal!

For all the taste but none of the guilt here is my recipe for super skinny blueberry muffins and/or lemon and poppy seed muffins that come in at approximately 100kcal each! Yep you read it right, 100kcal for a muffin meaning you can have three, (you can thank me later)!

They’re soft, fluffy and moist and give any coffee shop cake a run for it’s money!

muffins

Base Recipe (Makes 12):

♥ 190g~1 1/2 cups spelt flour (or flour of choice)

♥ 2 tsp baking powder

♥ 100g~1/2 cup coconut sugar (or sugar of choice)

♥ 80ml~1/3 cup apple sauce

♥ 80ml~1/3 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)

♥ 1 egg

♥ 1tsp vanilla extract

♥ For blueberry muffins add 1tsp cinnamon and 100g blueberrys.

♥ For lemon and poppyseed muffins add lemon zest from 2 lemons and 10-20g poppyseeds to taste.

Optional-mix icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth to top muffins.

ingredients

Method:

1.  Preheat the oven to 200°c/400°f.

2. Spray 12 muffin cases with cooking spray.

3. Sift spelt flour into a bowl and add baking powder.

4. In another bowl mix the sugar, apple sauce, egg, milk and vanilla extract.

5. Mix the liquid into the flour until combined.

6. Seperate into two seperate bowls.

7. Add blueberrys and cinnamon to one mix and lemon zest and poppy seeds to the other.

8. Fill muffin cases to just over 1/3 full.

9. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 12 minutes, making sure to stay by the oven as they turn brown very quickly!

10. They’re ready when a knife or skewer comes out clean.

I’ve never used coconut sugar before but was interested in using it as a white sugar alternative, and after trying it in this recipe I would suggest you do too. It gave the muffin mix a beautiful treacle colour and the batter… oh the batter! It was so tasty, and as the mixture was split into two that meant TWO spoons to lick… and two bowls to clean…with a spoon into my mouth. (Note: I am not responsible for the extra calories consumed in the baking process).

Batter

I’m a dessert fiend, so ate two of these straight from the oven; they’re delicious warm but if you can wait then I’d recommend drizzling them with lemon icing once cooled.

My super skinny muffins will satisfy your sweet tooth, and they make a lovely and light accompaniment to your morning tea or coffee. You’re also bound to be quite popular if you decide to share these (I won’t judge you if you don’t), especially when you drop the ‘low cal bomb’. Whether or not they believe you is another matter!