A chocoholics dream: review of Chocolate House in Luxembourg

Whilst visiting the beautiful (but tiny) country of Luxembourg I came across a stunning little cafe that I had to share with you!

Image

I’m the definition of a chocoholic, therefore as I strolled past a bustling little cafe called the Chocolate House I dragged my boyfriend inside to see what they had to offer. My jaw dropped as I walked inside and saw the hundreds of chocospoons on display; solid blocks of high quality chocolate set on a wooden spoon that you melt in milk to create a beautiful hot chocolate.

Image

The flavours were endless: milk chocolate, cookies and cream, chili and orange, stracciatella, (I could go on and on). The cake display was full of giant, decadent cakes making me feel like I was attending the mad hatter’s tea party. Unfortunately after eating a ridiculous amount of food at the hotel breakfast buffet, the humongous slices of cake were a bit daunting, but we did try three of the chocospoons.

Image

The flavours we picked were Baileys, Hot Chili and Black and White. You pick your spoon, take a seat and then the waitress brings you a big mug of steaming hot milk, the rest is pretty self explanatory. As the chocolate melts it’s difficult not to eat it straight off the spoon, but the wait is definitely worth it! My boyfriend chose the Black and White spoon which was a bit too sweet for my liking. The Hot Chili spoon was beautiful; it was smooth, creamy and intensely chocolatey followed by a subtle heat from the chili. The baileys spoon was my favourite, the milk chocolate made for a sweet drink with the baileys making it a more grown up beverage.

Image

If you ever happen to be in Europe and pass through the charming little country of Luxembourg I would highly recommend visiting this chocolate gem.

Image

Advertisements

My egg free, gluten free and vegan chocolate brownies

You will be mind blown when you bite into this moist, gooey and rich chocolate brownie, you will be even more surprised to learn that they contain no eggs, flour or butter. No one will know these are a healthy alternative! After experimenting with butter beans in my secret ingredient cookies I decided to try using chickpeas in my next recipe.

Image

The best bit about this recipe is that it is SO easy to whip up, it takes minutes. After browsing other chickpea recipes I found an amazing recipe for seasalt blondies here, which is where my inspiration for this recipe came from.

Not only are these brownies egg free and gluten free, if you substitute the chocolate chips for dairy free chips they are also vegan!

Recipe (makes 14-16):

♥ 1 1/2 cup of tinned, cooked chickpeas, drained.

♥ 1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter

♥ 1 tbsp coconut oil

♥ 3 tbsp cocoa powder

♥ 1/3 cup maple syrup

♥ 1 tspn vanilla extract

♥ 1/2 tspn baking powder

♥ 1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice

Here comes the easy bit…

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.

2. Whiz everything except the chocolate chips up in a food processor.

3. Mix in chocolate chips.

4. Put mixture in a greased and lined baking tray and bake for 18 minutes.

I first discovered chickpeas made an epic brownie during the obligatory taste of the batter mix. As this is a vegan recipe there are no uncooked eggs to worry about so you can eat this ‘raw’ (not that it ever stops me anyway)!

Again, these taste incredible straight from the oven but you should probably leave them to cool before you try and cut them.

Untitled

These come in at around 90-120 calories a piece depending on the thickness and type of chocolate chips used, but they taste so indulgent and naughty, when they’re secretly good for you!

After taste testing these on two of my friends neither could tell they weren’t a traditional brownie, and both wanted another piece (to which I had to swat their hands away and hide my wonderful creation out of reach from prying hands).

One bite of these bad boys and you will be transported to chocolate, dessert heaven! The chickpeas give the finished brownie a beautiful nutty texture, and they’re packed full of goodness and nutrients. Enjoy!

Image

 

My first attempt at chia seed pudding

After browsing various health food blogs and reading about the health benefits of chia seed I decided it would be worth a try.

You’ll soon come to learn that I have a ridiculous sweet tooth, I literally never get sick of sweet food; so when one blogger wrote that eating chia seed pudding for breakfast was like eating chocolate dessert, I was sold.

My first attempt was a bit of a flop. I added almond milk, stevia and cinnamon to the chia seed and left it in the fridge overnight. Although my clever placement of fruit made it look incredibly pretty, the taste was a huge let down. (Hence the massive dollop of peanut butter to cover the taste!)

Chia SeedIt has taken me 4 attempts but I now have the perfect recipe for the health conscious chocoholic like me. It is seriously good, it tastes creamy and chocolately and indulgent. You would never know this is a health food.

For one portion of pudding the ratio is 1 cup of nut/soya milk to 4 tbsp of chia seed.

Chocoholic’s Chia Seed Pudding:

– 4 tbsp chia seed

– 3/4 cup chocolate almond milk

– 1/4 cup coconut milk (NOT coconut cream.)

– 1 tsp cocoa or cacao powder

– Sweetener of choice to taste (I would recommend maple syrup to taste, but that’s just because I don’t like stevia.)

Mix it all up in tupperware box (or a pretty mason jar; a 0.5-0.8 jar will be around a single portion.) Give it a little shake and leave it overnight. You will have to give it a stir in the morning as the cocoa powder will have settled on the top. Add a drop more coconut milk to make the pudding your desired thickness and it’s ready!

chocochoaIt is the simplest recipe to prepare and only takes around 3-5 minutes to rustle up! Prepare it before bed and wake up to a seemingly sinful yet nutritious and filling breakfast.

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!