MIA Chocolate Review

We had never heard of MIA chocolate but oh my are we glad we have been introduced to the brand because we have fallen in love with the majority of the flavours (the candid orange one is to die for and so is the hazelnut and cranberry)!

One of the things we particular like about the brand MIA is their name. The name MIA is quite cool for a chocolate brand but it actually stands for Made In Africa; everything the company produces is sourced and made in Africa. In addition the company believes in making delicious, unique and premium food fairly.

Did you know that 65% of the world cocoa is produced in Africa, but only 1% is actually made in Africa? That is so crazy!

Each and every product that is made by MIA is entirely crafted by communities in Africa. They want to create more jobs on a continent where a single income can support an entire family.

One of the many things we love about MIA is the packaging. It’s so beautiful and really makes the chocolate stand out from other bars.

100% COCOA
We had never tried chocolate with a percentage of 100% so we were particularly excited to try this. This was the first of the flavours we tried and it sure is bitter! We have really enjoyed mixing it into our porridge in the morning and also making hot chocolate with it. Personally for us 100% is a bit on the bitter side we can cope with 90% but that extra 10% really does make a difference.

75% DARK CHOCOLATE
75% was the perfect % of cocoa for us and we thoroughly enjoyed this bar, it was the perfect post dinner snack. It was sweet enough to satisfy our sweet cravings but didn’t result in us eating the entire bar which was good as we wanted to savour it and enjoy it on several occasions and not just in one go. We can also imagine this would taste delicious in home baked cookies or muffins.

65% ALMOND & COCONUT
In every mouthful you could taste the savoury almond and sweet coconut flavours coming through which were are great combination and really work well together as flavours. The coconut makes the chocolate taste creamy and delicious as well which we thoroughly enjoyed. We would definitely recommend this flavour it was the perfect snack.

65% CANDID ORANGE
This flavour tasted amazing, the smooth 65% dark chocolate with candid orange was the perfect mix. We love anything orange flavoured especially chocolate so we had a feeling we were going to love this bar before we had even tried it. If we weren’t careful we could’ve eaten the whole bar! This the perfect sweet treat to enjoy in the evening whilst chilling on the sofa! We would also be more than happy to give these as presents to people as the packaging looks pretty and not to mention how delicious it is.

65% CRANBERRY & HAZELNUT
Chocolate and Hazelnut has got to be one of our favourite combinations EVER! We are obsessed so we were really excited to try the cranberry and hazelnut MIA bar. We certainly were not disappointed with the bar we especially loved the sprinkling of roasted hazelnuts that covered the bar giving it that extra crunch. There was a good amount of dried cranberries as well giving the bar a sweet yet slightly sour taste.

65% COCONUT
we loveeeee coconut and always forgot how amazing it tastes when added to chocolate. MIA use caramalised coconut shavings in this bar which adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the 65% cocoa bar.

You can purchase MIA chocolate online on their website, the chocolate is £4.00 per 75g bar or you can purchase a 6 bar multipack for £20.40. MIA chocolate would make the perfect gift for any chocolate lover.

You can also purchase the chocolate over on http://www.cocoarunners.com/ and http://www.boroughbox.com/

B&M January Shopping

B&M is one of the UK’s fastest growing variety retailers and we blooming love it, so when we were asked if we wanted to join in with their January campaign we immediately jumped at the opportunity. They believe in selling ‘Big Brands for Sensational Prices’ and think they do this really well.

We always notice more B&M stores in the north of the country but this might have something to do with the fact B&M’s first store opened in Blackpool. They now have over 560 stores across the country so you are bound to find a store near to you.

If you haven’t been to B&M before and you are anything like us then make sure you give yourself some time to browse the isles, we love it and could spend so much time and money in there. We scheduled in a day to go to B&M for the campaign and we basically wanted to purchase everything we came across.

We love fitness (as you well know) so we were especially excited when we saw B&M had an activewear range. We went for the grey and coral full length leggings which were such a bargain only costing us £6.99! They also had twin pack sports bras for £7.99 and double packs of leggings for £11.99. We also spotted they had protein shakers and water bottles on sale which we didn’t opt for this time but we will be back.

We have so many girly sleepovers with hot chocolate and chick flicks (or usually in our case getting blog work ticked off the do list) that we thought what better to accompany it than with new mugs, some marshmallows, popcorn and of course our favourite chocolate.

We actually couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the price of the popcorn- 25p and the marshmallows- 39p what an absolute bargain!

We already have a date in the diary and we are so very excited already. It won’t be long until we are back in B&M we have a wish list that just keeps on growing.

How to cope with stress

We all go through stressful situations in life and some people can deal with the situations better than others. We have compiled a little list of how to deal with things when life throws you a curveball.

Exercise- The endorphin’s that are released relax you and also make you feel happier. We find that exercising helps us to relax and also to clear our heads and forget about the stresses in life. In particular we love going on a long run which helps clear your head and its just you, your thoughts and the big outdoors

Talking to people- Talking to people about how you feel will always make you feel better. Like the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Make sure you have supportive friends around you to make you feel better and to talk things out.

Cooking/baking- We find that being in the kitchen and doing something productive is another great way to deal with feel stressed or worried. We really find baking to be very therapeutic and often after a bad day/week at work you will find us in the kitchen making some chocolate brownies or banana bread.

Shopping- Sometimes by treating yourself it makes you feel better and sometimes you deserve to be spoilt. Go and buy yourself a new top or handbag.

Chocolate- Chocolate may not be the answer but we know how tasty chocolate is, and sometimes you just need to enjoy that bag of maltesers or chocolate buttons. You should never feel guilty for stopping by the shops to grab your favourite chocolate to cheer you up and make you feel better.

We would love to know how you de stress as well! Let us know in the comments 😊

Snowball Energy Balls

Well it isn’t going to snow know this December (when does it evaaaa)? So we had to take the matter into our own hands and make some snowball energy balls. This recipe is super quick, super simple and most importantly super delicious.

These snowball energy balls contain ingredients that you can find in your kitchen cupboards, apart from the chocolate because who has spare chocolate lying around the place? Not us it gets eaten within minutes of it entering the house, if it gets that far!

The recipe makes roughly 16 energy balls that you can keep in the fridge or freeze them to enjoy in the future. Don’t you just love it when you fancy something sweet and then you remember you have some delicious treats waiting for you in the freezer!

What you’re gonna need:
250g Oats
50g Flax seeds
150g Peanut butter
150g Maple syrup
100g White chocolate
50g Cranberries
100g Desiccated Coconut

Let’s get to it:
Line a baking tray with parchment paper
Add all the ingredients apart from the coconut into a large mixing bowl
Stir until all the ingredients are combined (you may need to use your hands)
Roll the mixture into balls (size of your choice)
Roll each of the balls
Place the desiccated coconut onto a plate
Roll the energy balls over the coconut until covered
Place in the fridge for an hour
Store in an airtight container and keep them refrigerated for up to a week- if they last that long of course

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

Pumpkin chocolate chip energy balls anyone? YES PLEASE!

These literally take about 10 minutes to make, they contain 5 ingredients that you are likely to have in your cupboard this time of year. If you are unsure on where to get pumpkin puree (UK Folk) we found it in the world food isle of tesco.

pumpkin 3.png

This makes about 16 energy balls that you can either keep in the fridge or freeze them to enjoy in the future. Don’t you just love it when you fancy something sweet and then remember you have something tucked away in the freezer.

pumpkin 2.png

Ingredients
250g Oats
100g Pumpkin Puree
100g Peanut Butter
150g Maple Syrup
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

Method
Line a baking tray with parchement paper
Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir until mixed through (you may find you need to use your hands)
Roll into balls
Place on the lined baking tray
Place in the frige for an hour
Store in an airtight container and keep them refregirated for up to a week (if they last that long).

White chocolate & Cranberry Muffins

Friday evening baking is back in full swing and this time we chose to bake these delicious white chocolate and cranberry muffins. We usually have white chocolate and cranberry cookies but we haven’t ever made white chocolate & Cranberry muffins before so we thought we would give them a go.

They were absolutely incredible and we will definitely be making them again soon, Annie took them to her boyfriend’s football match and they all loved them which is always a good sign.

Top tip on making cupcakes and you cannot be bothered to follow a recipe, weigh the eggs and whatever they weight you should use for the butter, sugar and flour!

muffins.png

Ingredients
2 Medium eggs
110g Butter (softened)
110g Caster sugar
1tsp Baking powder
200g White chocolate bar
100g Dried cranberries

Method
Pre heat the oven to 180oc
Line a cupcake tin with baking cases
In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar
Add the eggs and mix well
Pour in the flour and stir in the figure of eight until mixture is combined
chop the cranberries and chocolate into small pieces and add to the mixture
Spoon the mixture into the cases and then cook in the oven for 14 minutes. A skewer should come out clean.
Place to one side and leave to cool

Say Goodbye To The Summer Blues

summer-3.jpg

We have already started to wave goodbye to the care free warm summer nights where evenings were spent in the garden catching some rays and sipping on a cold beverage hoping and wishing the hot weather would last forever. Unfortunately it didn’t and as we say hello to September we can already feel autumn in the air. We are already mentally preparing ourselves for the cosy evenings spent by a fire watching The X Factor and eating our body weight in chocolate (yes supermarkets are already selling chocolate tins swear it gets earlier and earlier every year).

Now don’t get us wrong we love autumn, well in fact we love all the seasons in the UK we just wished that the cold months didn’t last as long and that we actually had a proper summer and not just a hot day here and there. Living in the UK though means we are going to have to get over this though unless we migrate to another country where summer is there to stay for the majority of the year… dreams.

Just because summer is coming to an end in the UK as much as we don’t want to admit or believe it it doesn’t mean our moods have to as well. We have collated a list of top tips to help you get over the summer blues, if you have any others then please do share them with us!

summer 2.png

1). Keep living your summer life- why is it that everyone goes into hibernation during the winter months and cannot be bothered to socialise? This year we are going to keep living our summer social lives well into the winter months, okay so a glass of Pimms may be swapped for a mulled wine and a pair of sunglasses for a bobble hat but that’s okay we can deal with that.

2). Book a getaway- why not book a getaway so you have something to look forward to. It doesn’t even have to be in a hot country it could be a ‘staycation’ after all aren’t these the new ‘vacation’? We are going to make sure we have lots of fun things crammed into our diaries at the weekends so we have lots of things to look forward to.

4). Start a new hobby- why not start a new hobby during the week after work so you have things to look forward to after work. We all remember that horrible feeling of going to work in the dark and leaving work in the dark, so make sure you have something to look forward to in your spare time. We are going to try some new fitness classes in London this winter to help keep us motivated.

5). Get outside- just because its winter doesn’t mean you have to stay inside, wrap up warm, show off your new winter coat and get outside. We love walking in the winter and always like to visit new national trust places, the UK is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer.

6). Get a good night’s sleep- make sure you get enough sleep, it will leave your body and mind feeling refreshed, revitalized and motivated to beat the summer blues!

 

 

Rocky Road Cupcakes

rocky road 3

It feels like we have not posted a cupcake recipe it FOREVER So we had to change that immediately which prompted us to bake these delicious rocky road cupcakes. We set ourselves the challenge of using up ingredients we have in our baking box (you should see our baking box it is jam packed) and this was the outcome.

They were a bit of an experiment as we had never made marshmallow icing before but we were so happy with how they turned out and they tasted so delicious! If you don’t have all the ingredients for the topping then it really does not matter just make it up like we did!

rocky road 1

Cupcake Ingredients
12 cupcake cases (we used gold ones)
110g butter (softened)
110g caster sugar
2 eggs
110g self-raising flour
2tbsp Raw Cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder

Icing ingredients
150g Butter
300g Icing sugar
200g White Marshmallows (you can also use pink ones)

Toppings
Oreo’s
White chocolate buttons
Mini Marshmallows
Milka or any chocolate bar of your choice

Cupcake Method
1. Pre-heat the over to 180 degrees and put 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tray
2. For the cake beat together the butter and sugar in a free standing mixer, beat until the mixture is fluffy.
3. Crack in the eggs, sift in the flour,raw cacao powder and baking powder and mix until the mixture is combined but do not over mix.
5. Spoon the mixture into the cases and then cook in the oven for 12 minutes. A skewer should come out clean.
6. Place to one side and leave to cool

Icing Method & Toppings 
1. place the butter into a saucepan and melt over a low heat
2. Once the butter had melted add the marshmallows to the mixture and stir continuously until melted (be careful not to burn them).
3. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the icing sugar until combined (it will be very sticky)
4. Spoon a generous amount of icing on top of each cupcake (it will seep down the sides
5. Place each of the toppings onto the cupcakes and make them look Instagram worthy

rocky road 2

Sweet Potato Brownies

Chocolate brownies are one of our go to bakes, we love them and so do our family and friends. We have created the most delicious chocolate brownie recipe but unfortunately like most indulgent treats they are incredibly unhealthy.
We wanted to create a recipe we could enjoy on the regular without getting a sugar carb hangover the next day. We did quite a bit of research on ingredients that would work best and eventually decided on sweet potato.
We got family members to try the baked goods to see if they could guess what they were made of and not one got it right. They were all shocked when we said it was sweet potato and you literally cannot taste it at all.
Sweet potato brownies.png
Makes 12 large brownies or more if you cute them smaller! 
Ingredients 
3 medium sweet potatoes (roughly 700g)
15 pitted dates
4 tbsp raw cacao
120g ground almonds (we just blended ours)
100g oat flour or you could use a flour of your choice
30ml milk of your choice we used oat milk
5 tbsp maple syrup
Method 
Preheat the oven to 180oc
Line a baking dish
Peal the sweet potato and cut them into chunks
Place sweet potato into a steamer and cook until they are soft this took about 15 minutes
Once the sweet potato is really soft add them to the food processed along with the dates and blend until combined
Combine the ground almonds, raw cacao and oat flour before adding the sweet potato mixture, maple syrup and milk
Place mixture into the lined baking dish and cook in the oven for 18-20 minutes
Remove from the oven and let the brownies cool before cutting them
Let us know if you have experimented with any other ingredients as we would love to know!

Mocha Protein Pancakes

If you follow our Instagram you will see how much we love coffee, so it seemed the perfect idea to experiment and make mocha protein pancakes. Pancakes are so easy to make and once you have the base recipe you can just add flavour to them. We also made ‘nicecream’ for the first time, and it turned out really well. You basically blend frozen bananas and we decided to add a shot of espresso.

We hope you enjoy these as much as us, let us know if you decide to recreate these delcicious pancakes and also share a photo with us on twitter or instagram as we love to see!

mocha-pancakes

Makes 8 Pancakes
Note- that you have to prepare the nicecream the night before you make the pancakes. 

Ingredients
100g Oats Blended or oat flour or oatmeal flour
1 Scoop Unflavoured Protein
3 egg whites
1.5tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1.5tsp Baking Powder
2tbsp raw cacao
1tbsp coconut sugar
1 espresso
50ml Milk of your choice we used oat milk  (add a bit at a time as you may need more or less)

Toppings
1 bar melted dark chocolate
2tbsp maple syrup

Nicecream
2 bananas frozen
1 espresso shot

Method
1.roughly chop the banana and place in an air tight container before putting them in the freezer for at least 5 hours (we did it the night before)
2. Take the bananas out of the freezer and blend them until they form an ice cream like consistency (it will be quite runny). Add the shot of espresso to the mixture and pour into a container.
3. Place the banana mix back into the freezer for a couple of hours until solid.
4.Place the dry ingredient in a bowl
5. Add the egg whites and mix. Add the espresso and  then slowly add the milk until a batter forms.
6. Heat your pan (medium/high heat) and melt some coconut oil.
7. Add a table spoon of mixture to your pan and flip once bubbles appear on the surface.
8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and then add the maple syrup
9. Stack the pancakes, place a scoop of espresso nicecream ontop and drizzle with the chocolate sauce