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!

Advertisements

Review of Peanut Hottie, the new peanut butter flavoured hot drink

Peanut butter lovers everywhere, take that spoon out of the jar; you no longer have to feel guilty when you’re scraping the last remnants of peanut butter off the side of the jar, 3000 calories later.

We all know peanut butter is a good fat, and great in moderation. However, if like me you keep a jar in your desk at work for the odd spoonful throughout the day (does anyone else actually do that?) then this new product on the hot drink market will make your day.

Being the peanut butter addict I am, when I read about a new, hot peanut butter flavoured drink called Peanut Hottie, I was ridiculously excited to try it.

I was lucky enough to get a sample sachet sent to me to review, and my colleagues can vouch that I was possibly slightly over excited when it came through the post. I may have even let out a small yelp.

Peanut Hottie

Being the good friend that I am, I reluctantly let my friend Lucy have a mug since she might even be more of a peanutbutter-holic than I am. (We once spent the evening sandwiching giant chocolate buttons together with peanut butter until we felt sick.)

Peanut Hottie

It smells just as it should, a lovely peanut buttery scent, and it isn’t like any hot drink I’ve tried before. It’s quite sweet, yet has a salty roasted peanut taste. It tastes indulgent like it should contain more than 83 calories.

My only criticism would be that it is slightly thin in consistency as it is only mixed with water. I think with the added creaminess of milk it would be perfect, more hot chocolate than tea.

Peanut Hottie

If you’re a peanut butter fiend and add it to everything from bagels to stir-fries you will love this new drink. It’s also caffeine free, suitable for vegetarians and contains no artificial ingredients. One sip of Peanut Hottie and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it before… or why you never thought of such an ingenious invention yourself.

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

 

Peanut butter vs. PB2

Peanut Butter VS. PB2

Unfortunately living in the UK means I can’t get my hands on some of the amazing health foods available in America. This meant I had to fork out £11.69 for two jars of PB2 on Amazon. If like me you have a slight obsession with peanut butter and often find yourself eating it by the spoonful for a morning (and afternoon, and evening) snack, then I would recommend trying it out!

The nutritional info:

Nutrional Info

For every 2 Tbsp. of PB2 compared to traditional peanut butter you save 145 calories! And it has absolutely no saturated fat.

The best bit about PB2 is that it’s all natural with a minimal list of ingredients: Roasted peanuts, sugar, salt.

The best BEST bit about PB2 is that it tastes AMAZING.

It comes in a powder and the ratio is 2 Tbsp. PB2 to 1 Tbsp. water. You mix it up until you get your desired consistency…

PB2

…and eat it straight off the spoon with none of the guilt! Or you could put it on toast, and oh…my…goodness it makes for a delicious breakfast. It is possibly the best thing invented since peanut butter itself was invented.

Chocolate PB2

(chocolate PB2 is pictured in this photo.)

It even has little bits of peanuts once it’s been mixed up so it has a nice texture, and tastes just like normal peanut butter but without any of the fat!

Verdict:

Now here comes PB2’s ONLY downfall… It doesn’t come with all the great health benefits of natural, peanut butter as all the nutrients are taken out along with the fat. The fat in traditional peanut butter is a ‘good fat’ so I’m still going to be eating it for my breakfast, and it’s amazing to eat before/after a workout.

I’ll switch to PB2 when I fancy something sweet and not so calorific, possibly on the days where I’m not hitting the gym. I’m definitely going to try adding it to my baking/cooking, as all the peanut butter taste is still there, so watch this space for some yummy baked PB2 goodies coming soon!