Healthy Banana and Peanut Butter Ice-Cream (vegan friendly!)

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It’s a well known fact that, in Britain, as soon as the sun begins to poke out of the ever-present grey and miserable clouds, Summer has begun. In total, we’ve probably had about 3 decently hot days (all of which we’ve all complained that it was “too hot” ) but that will not phase us! No! It is summer.

And obviously, along with summer comes ice-cream.

I love ice-cream. It’s a beautiful creation, don’t you think? But (I’ve found) you can’t really have an ice-cream without feeling guilty afterwards… oh… you may think you’re at a stalemate…  well think again and hold that guilt for I present to you a healthy (yes, it’s actually good for you) ice-cream involving only two ingredients: (getting Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food Ice-Cream Cake flashbacks) bananas and PB.

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This is such a simple recipe and it’s so delicious. It’s perfect for breakfast, maybe with a little granola sprinkled on top, or just as an after dinner treat. If you want my advice, use incredibly ripe bananas when making this recipe. I mean it. Borderline death-bed material. This will ensure a creamier texture (more like ice-cream) and a faaaarrr better taste.

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Here’s the recipe:

  • 4 (very) ripe bananas
  • 2 (heaped) tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter (I used Whole Earth because of it’s natural ingredients)

Chop up all of your bananas and shove them in a plastic container to freeze over-night

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Throw all of the frozen banana chunks into a blender and blend to a smooth paste. It will take some time and regular prodding to move about the frozen banana

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Once smooth, transfer back to the container and stir in the PB. Put back in the freezer for 2 hours to firm up before serving

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Mmmmmmmm, creamy perfection…

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Chocolate Chunk Yogurt Mini-Scones

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Yogurt is one of my favourite foods, ever. I love buying a pack of Frubes in the summer, throwing them in the freezer and then eating them for breakfast – how cool am I for having fro-yo in the morning?? I find that yogurt in baked goods is a lot like using sour cream (and I love baking with sour cream). Much like the cream, the yogurt adds a sourness to the batter/dough which complements the sugar beautifully, giving you a rich and moist product. Omg YUM. 

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However, the yogurt in these scones is the healthy alternative to making them with any type of cream. With a fraction of the fat, the scones aren’t exactly going to be as rich, but they’re still light, fluffy and addictive. And what goes well with yogurt? Chocolate (chocolate goes with everything though). I found that the mixture of both white and dark chocolate was amazing; the sweetness of the white chocolate balanced the bitter dark which sat beautifully in the centre of this moist scone.

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Just imagine waking up to the smell of baking scones and melting chocolate. Well, this recipe is perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast. They’re bite-size, giving you the perfect opportunity to have them alongside other breakfast goodies, and also, to trick yourself into thinking that it’s okay that you ate 15 because “they were tiny anyway“. I totally did not do that myself…

If you’re not fond of chocolate chunk scones, then you can by all means substitute for sultanas, pecans, a simple vanilla pod, or even lemon zest. It’s completely down to you!

Here’s the recipe my lovelies (best served straight from ze oven):

  • 70g dark chocolate (cut into chunks) (a little less than 1/2 a cup)
  • 70g white chocolate (cut into chunks) (a little less than 1/2 a cup
  • 375g plain flour (2 cups)
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 salt
  • 75g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 85g chilled unsalted butter diced into cubes (1/3 cup)
  • 125ml low-fat plain yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • 1 free-range egg
  • Milk (to glaze)

Start by preheating your oven to gas mark 5/180/375. Grease and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper and set aside for later usage.

In a large bowl, sift all of your dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) and mix well to ensure they’re all combined. Add in the cold, diced butter and rub the ingredients together gently using the tips of your fingers until you achieve a bread-crumb consistency.Stir in your chocolate chunks making sure they are all coated in flour (ensuring even distribution).

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In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and your yogurt until combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry and – using a rounded edged knife – cut the wet through the dry to bring the dough together.

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When the dough is almost combined, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and fold together until your dough has just formed (but do not heavy-handedly squish it at all). Split the dough into two equal sections. One section at a time, pat down the dough and form a small circle. Cut each flattened ball of dough into 8 triangles and lay them all on the baking tray.

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Brush each scone with milk and pop them in the oven for 25 minutes (or until they gain a beautiful golden top).

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Take them out of the oven, and enjoy with a nice hot cup of tea!

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Chocolate Orange Zebra Cake

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Guys guys guys guys exam period is almost over (WOO!). I have one Business Studies exam left (which I am bricking) and then it is OVER for year 12. I can honestly say that this has been the hardest school year of my life. I look back at last May (in year 11) when I was complaining about how difficult GCSE’s were… yeah, well, A-Level exams are the devil-incarnate. I swear.

So, generally, I’m staying neutral about how I’ve done. I refuse to believe I’ve failed, but I also refuse to believe I’ve done inexplicably well. The moral of the story is, I refuse to get my hopes up either way.

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Not only have exams been stressing me out, but this blog is something else. Never before have I ever thought to myself “What in the world do I bake next?? Omg, if I bake this, will the internet people like it?? Is it pretty enough?!?” while baking. And I don’t think anyone fully appreciates how difficult writing is aswell. I just… I don’t know… why is life so hard?! 

Okay, let’s talk about cake.

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I’ve seen millions of recipes for zebra cake, and, let’s get real, this is one sexy cake. Considering how difficult everything is right now, I need something pretty in my life, and this did the trick.

Surprisingly, the cake is really easy to make. It’s literally just one batter, divided into two (to make the different flavours) and then spooning the two batters into a baking dish to get the “zebra” pattern. Also, effectively, the two batters are spooning. Ha.

Enough of that, here is the recipe:

  • 300g plain flour (about 2 cups)
  • 130g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 110g light brown muscovado (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 250ml vegatable oil (1 cup)
  • 250ml milk (1 cup)
  • 3 tbsps good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 large orange (zest only)

For the frosting:

  • 90g dark chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
  • 125g unsalted butter (1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp)
  • 140g icing (confectioners) sugar (1 cup plus 1 tbsp)

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/176°C/350°F. Grease a rectangular baking tin and line it with baking parchment. You might want to leave some overlapping greaseproof that act like handles to lift the cake out of your tin.

In a large bowl, combine your eggs and two sugars and beat until pale and fluffy.

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Add in your milk and your oil and beat together.

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In a separate bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat together (don’t over mix it, you’ll end up with zebra bread).

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Separate the batter between two bowls (as evenly as you possibly can). To one batter add the grated zest (and mix together) and to the other add your cocoa powder (mix together).

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Using a tablespoon, dollop two heaped tablespoons of the orange batter into the centre of the pan. Using a different tablespoon, dollop two tablespoons of the chocolate batter into the centre of the orange you just dolloped in. Repeat the “two tablespoons” method in the centre of each dollop, alternating the two batters to achieve the zebra pattern.

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Place the cake in the centre of the oven to bake for 40 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean). Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then lift it out, place it on a wire rack, and allow it to cool completely.

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To make the frosting, melt your chocolate (either on a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second intervals) and set aside to cool. Soften your butter in a large bowl then add the icing sugar. Beat the two together until combined. Add in the chocolate and fold it in.

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Spoon all of the icing out onto the top of the cake and smoooooooth it out.

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BOOM. A beautiful cake that will cause a stampede to the kitchen.

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