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Food Bite: Peanut Butter & Nutella Brownies

Just a quick recipe especially for Selina at The Kitten in Heels who requested I post it!

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So what does everything think of Peanut Butter and Nutella Brownies? It’s a very simple recipe and I’m sure there are already a hundred variations, but it’s something I’ve played around with for years when I’m at my Parents’, as my brother loves them (and so do I, but they’re so decadent I can’t have them ALL the time!!)

Now, they don’t taste of Peanut Butter or Nutella – there is a hint of the nutella and definitely a flavour of the Peanut Butter, but I’ll say it right now that if you want a PEANUT BUTTER brownie that’s like a slab of PB, then this isn’t for you!

What the PB and Nutella does is add a richness and great moisture to the brownies so they’re thick and gooey and indulgent and the Peanut Butter adds a nutty aftertone and crunchy little chunks!

Without further ado:

Ingredients
225g Butter
500g Granulated Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste / 2tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Large Eggs
150g Self Raising Flour (for extra fluffiness! But All-Purpose will do as well)
85g Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
200g (or a small Jar!) Nutella
250g Crunchy Peanut Butter (Or a regular Jar!)

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  • Preheat oven to 175c (1350f)
  • Melt butter, sugar and vanilla over a gentle heat, keeping an eye that it doesn’t burn but slowly melts
  • Seive and combine flour, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl and set aside
  • Once melted, remove butter and sugar from heat and leave to cool a little
  • Put nutella and peanut butter in a pan over a gentle heat to melt and become runny
  • Once sugar and butter is cooler (not too cool – runny, but not hot enough to scramble the eggs) add the eggs one at a time, beating vigourously to combine but DON’T LET THEM SCRAMBLE!
  • Beat in the dry mixture until combined
  • Add Peanut butter and nutella to the mixture and combine thoroughly
  • Pour into a deep baking tray (a traditional tray-bake dish will do, just make sure its deep enough!)
  • Bake in oven for 30 minutes – they’re ready when the top springs back when you press it, but if you stick a cocktail stick into the centre it should come back a little chocolatey – nothing worse than dry brownies!
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes in pan, then carefully remove from dish and leave to cool on wire rack so they stay nice and gooey!
  • Cut up and enjoy.

Now, I’ve iced them before as well, in several different ways:
I love white chocolate, so I’ve melted some good quality White Chocolate (Green & Blacks?) and drizzled it over the cooled brownies with a sprinkling of crushed hazelnuts before.
You could also make a simple milk and icing-sugar icing and spread that over, adding little chocolate chips, sprinles or crushed nuts as you go.
Or you could even be really decadent and make a plain buttercream and just streak through with nutella and Peanut Butter (don’t combine, just fold in so it ripples through the butter cream) and then apply roughly and thickly to the brownies.
All ideas, but I think they’re plenty good plain – rich and soft and chewy and decadent but not too sickly, but if you have a major sweet tooth, try some icing!

IMG_0475Anyway, that’s enough – I know I normally do a rough estimate of calories but really what’s the point? We know they’re naughty, but they’re delicious and everyone deserves to live a little! Pop them in the oven at a low heat for 5 minutes before you eat to have a really gooey and dreamy experience!

Go on, they’re simple, they’re quick, easy and very, very decadent – chewy, rich, gooey chocolate brownies with chunky nuts and a wonderful nutella and Peanut Butter flavour throughout. Try them…they’ll be ready in 50 minutes if you start right now!!!

Food Bite: Quinoa, Tuna and Tomato Stuffed Peppers

I cooked dinner for my flatmate and one of my girlfriends tonight. I adore cooking, but I never bother to cook anything extravagent or even that interesting when I’m just cooking for one. When I visit my parents, I always get to cook lavish dishes and I occasionally ‘cater’ dinner parties or lunch parties for my Grandma, but for the most part, I don’t get to cook that much. And it saddens me!

But we decided to have Emma round for dinner and I had a recipe already in mind that I wanted to play with; Roasted red peppers stuffed with a tomato, quinoa, tuna and mozarella filling. Never tried it before, but I thought I’d give it a shot!

IngredientsMy recipe to serve 4:

4 large red peppers
375g Chestnut mushrooms
2 tins tuna flakes (or 250g approx)
375g broccoli cut into small florets
120g Quinoa
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400-600g according to preference!)
125g Mozzarella
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large Jalapeno Peppers, sliced (If you like spicy!)
Salt and pepper

  • Cut each of the peppers in half and cut out seeds and white flesh. Place each pepper (in two halves) on a large sheet of tinfoil, allowing enough foil to be able to fold over and completely cover the peppers.
  • Add the garlic and tomatoes to a pan and cook gently for 2 mintes. Add the quinoa and 350ml wate to the pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.Ready to go!
  • Add the mushrooms, broccoli, jalapenos and tuna to the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed.
  • Stir in salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
  • Use a spoon to fill the pepper halves with the stuffing mixture, compact into the peppers tightly and pile as high as you wish!
  • Place any remaining filling around the peppers in the tin foil ‘cases’ and add a little extra water to stop it sticking to the foil.
  • Cover the peppers with foil and place in a preheated (200c) oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Slice the mozzarella. remove peppers from over, remove foil covering and lay slices of mozzarella on top of the peppers.
  • Return to oven for 15-25 minutes.
  • Serve with a fresh rocket and tomato salad!

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Really enjoyed the finished result; it was an experiment and it really worked! So that’s a turn out for the books…

The other great thing about this recipe is that its super healthy! A portion of two halves (like the pic)  works out at under 400 calories!

Quinoa is also a great superfood: packed with protein so it’s great for vegetarians and you can really mix and match with the ingredients: chicken instead of tuna, or just add different varieties of muchrooms or veg to the stuffing!

Great versatile meal and so quick and easy to make; the most time spent was when it was in the oven, leaving me free to be a sociable host!!!

I think that the culture of cooking fresh, homemade food and sitting down with friends to really enjoy a meal has been lost somewhat. There’s no better way to spend an evening, in my opinion, than preparing a delicious meal, having a few close friends around and enjoying good food, a bottle of wine and some great conversation. And of course, no meal is complete without pudding…!

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