Friday, 24 October 2014

Banana and Date Smoothie

Similarly to a few of the recipes that I’ve included, this banana and date smoothie recipe has come from agirlnamedally.  Although I won’t eat as many bananas in a day as Ally does, my love of dates could possibly almost match hers, and a mixture of the two is fantastic.


3-7 bananas
7 dates


  1. Cut bananas into slices and remove seeds from dates.
  2. Adding slices of banana and dates to blender gradually, pulse until mixture reaches a smooth liquid consistency.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Double Chocolate Cookies

This is rather late (it's now Sunday, not Friday), but I've had a more busy and interesting week than usual, and I'm now trying to catch up with everything before my next placement talk (where CVs and interviews will be discussed) on Tuesday morning.

This week, I've been attending some of the films shown at the National Media Museum's Media and Conflict Interchange as part of my Media Ethics, Compliance and Sustainability module.  The three films I saw, The Wind Rises (a Studio Ghibli film), Leave to Remain (a drama about young asylum seekers applying to stay in England), and Still The Enemy Within (a documentary about the miners' strike of 1984-85), were all excellent, and I'm looking forward to probably watching them again as I write my essay on them for my coursework.  I would definitely recommend these films even if you don't have to study them.

Also, at the end of last week, I took part in a 24 hour show performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  This means that auditions, all rehearsals, costumes and set-building were completed within 24 hours.  I only had 4 hours sleep (between 2am and 6am), and most of the rest of the time, we were rehearsing different songs (including the Time Warp) and running through lines (I was one of the four narrators), and most mealtimes were much later than I'd normally aim to have them.  In any case, it was so much fun with all my friends.  I'd have expected to have felt a lot more tired (I did just before bedtime though), but I think I'd had much more energy than usual because I'd taken a LOT of fruit, chocolate and other goodies with me.  One of those goodies was a packet of double chocolate cookies grabbed from Morrisons at the last minute.  I'd had to take a couple of beauties with me to one of the rehearsals due to the rest of my food being in a different part of the theatre.  The following recipe is a double chocolate cookie recipe from Susie Theodorou's Coffee & Bites.

Ingredients (to make 15 cookies)

225g (8oz/1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
225g (8oz/1 1/4 cups) soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
275g (10oz/2 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (i.e. Bournville)
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
175g (6oz/1 1/4 cups) plain (bittersweet) chocolate (i.e. Bournville), roughly chopped
butter for greasing


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, 160-170 degrees Celsius fan-assisted, 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or gas mark 4.
  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until smooth and fluffy in texture and light in colour - it will be faster using either a food processor or an electric mixer.  Then, gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) into a large bowl, then fold into the cookie mixture.
  4. Fold in the chocolate pieces, using a plastic spatula to scrape well along the sides of the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients are mixed together.  Chill the mixture for 20 minutes.
  5. Grease 2-3 large baking sheets with butter.  You will have to bake in batches as the cookies expand a lot - 3 cookies per baking sheet.  Roll the cookie mixture into 15 golf-ball-size balls and place well apart on the baking sheets.  Press them down gently with the back of a greased spoon.
  6. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes until the edges are firm, but the centres are still just soft when gently pressed.
  7. Cool for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack.  Serve warm or cold.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Raw Chocolate Cake

I previously mentioned this treat a few weeks ago in an edition of What Katie Wants to Eat (WWKE, which should return once I have seen more things to show you).  This chocolate cake is completely raw and does not need to be cooked in an oven.  It’s a cake full of fruity, nutty and chocolately goodness, from the recipe of Laura-Jane the Rawtarian, that is perfect for small birthday parties!  I thought I might make this for my brother's birthday this weekend, but when I'd have made it this afternoon, I'll be preparing to go to and then participating in a 24 hour show between this evening and tomorrow, so I intend to make it when I can after that - by the way, nobody in my family is a vegan, I just think it'll be fun and easy to make!


Ingredients (makes 10 servings)

1 ½ cups walnuts
1 ½ cups pecans
1 ½ cups dates
1 ½ cups raisins
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder  
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. In a food processor, process nuts until they are very well blended, so that they look like chunky flour.  Basically, you should just see little chunky bits of nuts.
  2. Then, add everything else to the food processor and continue blending.  You’ll probably want to add the ingredients one at a tie otherwise your food processor might get a bit stuck.
  3. Keep on processing until your mixture looks like a big ball of dough.  There shouldn’t be big chunks of anything.  You will probably see small flecks of nuts though.  Once you’ve got a giant raw chocolate cake dough ball, you do not need to dehydrate the cake or anything, but just need to decide on the presentation of the cake (i.e. the shape of the cake and icing).
  4. Press the dough into the desired shape for whatever you want to make.  For example, take a nice cake plate and press the dough into a cake shape.  Ice the cake, if desired.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the cake to firm up.
  6. The cake can be stored in a fridge for up to 5 days.


Friday, 3 October 2014

Watermelon Sorbetto

Rumour has it that after a record dry September, it's supposed to start to get a lot colder (and wetter) as October settles in.  In fact, when going for a walk on Wednesday (1st October), the first thing I noticed was a light shower of rain on my skin.  Talk about being prompt and getting down to business!  I, however, wish to feel like it's still summer for as long as possible.  I spent my weekend in short overalls, and have been carrying my inter-seasonal coat over my arm while I've been outside.  I'm also still managing to find my favourite summertime fruits, strawberries and blueberries.  This week's recipe contains a new fruity favourite of mine, which I've used in a recipe or two already this summer - WATERMELONS!  This time, the watermelon is being brought to you in the form of a light pink, ice-cool sorbetto, once again from Matt O'Connor's The IceCreamists.  Who said that you have to let go of summer?


125ml (4 fl oz) water
125g (4 oz) caster sugar
750g (1 ½ lb) seedless watermelon flesh, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest plus extra to decorate


  1. Pour the water into a saucepan and add the sugar.  Place over a low heat and bring to the boil, whisking often, until the sugar dissolves.  Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to whisk until the liquid turns into a syrup.
  2. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooled to room temperature.  For more rapid chilling, half-fill a sink with cold water and ice and place the bowl of mixture in it for 20 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate, ideally overnight, until thoroughly chilled (at least 4 degrees Celsius).
  3. Add the watermelon, lime juice and zest into the syrup and mix with a stick blender.  Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or churn by hand.
  4. When the churning is completed, use a spoon or spatula to scrape the sorbetto into a freezer-proof container with a lid.  Freeze until it reaches the correct scooping texture (at least 2-3 hours).
  5. Decorate each portion with lime zest before serving.