It all started with Cocoa Butter Body Butter and it all ended with Brownies. Butter and Cocoa, cocoa and butter, cocoa butter became my theme for the week.
I shopped. I picked up some Cocoa Butter Body Butter and the Cocoa Butter Body Scrub (with a pretty aqua exfoliator) from The Body Shop, some Cocoa Butter Vaseline for lips at Boots and raided the cupboard and supermarkets for anything Cocoa and Butter related – dark chocolate, Banoffee hot cocoa and ingredients for Jamie Oliver’s Chocolate Brownies.
I think I must have spent the whole week smelling like Chocolate – being surrounded by it and covered in it – so it’s lucky for me that the smell and taste of chocolate makes you feel happy. All those endorphins boosting your mood, helping you feel less sad and a lot more relaxed.
I think that totally justifies having a left over brownie for breakfast. Just to end off a tough challenge and a hard, hard week.
This week’s challenge: Call a friend & ask them if they want to have a slumber party.
Pillow fights, pyjamas and boy gossip is what slumber parties brings to my mind. The last time I had a slumber party with the girls must have been back at school when we stayed up late, ate too many m&ms and giggled the night away talking about boys and everyone’s latest crush.
What will a slumber party be like now that we all grown up? I’m not quite sure about the boy gossip and can’t see a pillow fight breaking out but the one thing I am really looking forward to is wearing my pyjamas while my friends are over. One of my favourite parts of the day is getting home and putting on my Peter Alexander pyjamas and my very long, very fluffy, woollen socks with poms poms. Heaven.
I’ve called the girls and the night has been organised. I haven’t quite decided on what snacks we’ll have or what movie we’ll be watching but I do know that there will be pyjamas.
Next week’s challenge: Throw yourself head-first into a creative project. Something that you’re excited about but which feels a little too big for you. You’ll be so consumed by it that it will fuel you for ages.
I thought that this week’s challenge would be easy but then how easy is it finding the best chocolate you can lay your hands on. This one took a lot of time. I was on holidays with my family so it was the perfect time to try out lots of different types of chocolate – luckily, they offered to help me sample some of them too. So nice.
Lately, I’ve been really loving dark chocolate (Lindt Chilli Dark Chocolate – hmm) because it satisfies my cravings and is good for you. I love the thought of eating something so yummy and thinking about all the good antioxidants that my body is getting. But this week it was time to branch out from my safe Chilli Dark Chocolate – isn’t that what challenges are all about?
First I started with the Cadbury’s Old Jamaica Rum n Raisin. Not being really a Rum n Raisin fan I wasn’t expecting much but it really was so tasty – I definitely sampled that one a lot. I then moved onto Black Forest chocolate – really can’t get better than that – chocolate with biscuit pieces and cherry flavoured jellies. I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it. But at the end of the day there was a clear winner – the new Dark Cherry Ripe.
I still don’t think I’m finished experimenting with the best chocolate though so I think I might have to continue working on this one for a few more weeks.
I love making Whoopie Pies. I like it so much that we currently have a Whoopie Pie Baking Ban enforced in my house. Yes, there was a stage when I was making them a little too often and we all got a little too full on Whoopie Pie.
But for those of you out there that want to try them – yes, they are absolutely the new cupcake – try this recipe for the best Chocolate Whoopie Pies.
If you need a taste tester you know where to find me.
150g/5½oz chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids, plus extra for melting (optional)
3 free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
30g/1¼oz cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180C/350G/Gas 3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.)
Whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl then fold in the chocolate mixture.
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together, then fold into the chocolate and egg mixture.
Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray (the mixture should make 36 biscuits) and bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and set aside half of the biscuits on a cooling rack. Turn the remaining biscuits over and place a marshmallow on top of each. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the marshmallows have softened.
Remove from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack to cool slightly. Press the cooled biscuits on top.
Optional: Melt 100g/3½oz extra chocolate and pour this over the cookies, then set aside to cool.