Let’s Flip Out: Pancake Cake recipes

Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day as we call it in our house, is quite possibly one of my favourite days in the calendar year.  Not because I’m religious, but because I see this day as a legitimate reason to eat pancakes at every meal and every opportunity.  So with that in mind, today’s post is for two pancake recipes.  And instead of the normal lemon and sugar or Nutella filling suggestions, I’ve created a pancake cake – one savoury and one sweet.  And believe it or not, whilst both were tasty, my favourite was the savoury one!  The pancakes in this recipe are what the French call crepes – very thin, as opposed to the pancakes Americans have for breakfast.

Pancakes (will make approx  24 to 30 7″ pancakes)

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1050ml milk
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of salt
  • Oil

Method

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl.  Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk and lightly beaten eggs.  Unless you’re Popeye, I’d recommend using an electric hand whisk or stand mixer and combine the flour and eggs and milk until you have a super smooth batter.  Lumps are not welcome!
  2. Using a 7″ non-stick frying pan, add a splash of oil and once it’s reached smoking point, pour the oil out.
  3. Add a ladleful of batter to the pan (about 2 tablespoons), tilting the pan to swirl the batter so it evenly covers the pan.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side.  Set aside and repeat the process, putting a sheet of greaseproof paper between each pancake whilst you continue making the others.
  4. Continue until you’ve used all the batter.

Ham & Cheese Pancake Cake

Ham, Cheese & Mushroom Pancake Cake

Ingredients

  • Approx 14 to 16 pancakes (depends how high you want your “cake” to be)
  • 250g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 250g Emmenthal cheese, grated
  • 30g cornflour
  • 300ml white wine
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 200g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 360g ham, sliced (I used M&S thin smoked ham slices)

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  2. Remove a handful of the cheeses and set aside.  Put the remaining grated Gruyere and Emmenthal cheeses into a bowl and mix in the cornflour.
  3. Pour the wine into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the chicken stock and the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses and whisk.  It should form a gooey, stringy mixture.
  5. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Whilst the cheese sauce is simmering away, put the unsalted butter into a frying pan and melt.  Once melted, add in the mushrooms and fry until softened and are starting to colour.
  7. Put a piece of kitchen towel onto a plate and place the mushrooms on top and dab to remove any excess butter.  Then mix the mushrooms into the cheese sauce.
  8. To build your cake, put a pancake onto a serving plate or board, then spread some of the cheese and mushroom sauce, pop some of your ham slices on top (2 slices seemed about the right amount for mine).  Keep doing this until you have a small amount of the sauce left (I used 15 pancakes).
  9. On the top pancake, spread the rest of the sauce and sprinkle the remaining grated Gruyere and Emmenthal on top and pop in the oven for around 15 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.
  10. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Orange Pancake Cake

Chocolate Orange Pancake Cake

Ingredients

  • Approx 10 pancakes
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 400g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 900ml double cream
  • 2tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 3 to 5 tsp orange extract (depends how orangey you want it)
  • 1 orange, zested

Method

  1. Put the chopped chocolate all in one bowl and set aside.
  2. Pour 400ml of the cream into a saucepan over a low heat and bring to the boil.
  3. Once the cream just about hits boiling point, pour over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Mix in the Grand Marnier or Cointreau and orange extract.  Put into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Just before you’re ready to assemble your cake, whip up the rest of the cream until it forms soft peaks.
  5. Place one of the pancakes onto your serving plate and spread some of the chocolate orange mixture on top.  Then spread a thin layer of cream.  Repeat the process until you have a tower of pancakes.
  6. Use the rest of the chocolate orange ganache to frost the cake.  Sprinkle the grated orange zest on top.
  7. Put in the fridge for at least an hour to set.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. If the thought of making all these crepes is just too much to think about, then cheat and buy some ready-made ones.
  2. Your batter should be quite runny, like the consistency of single cream.  If it’s not, add a drop more milk to it.
  3. I know some recipes say to use butter to grease the frying pan ahead of cooking the pancake, but may I suggest you to stick with oil?  Butter has a tendency to burn and will give your pancakes a burnt taste.
  4. Make sure that once you’ve heated the oil up in the pan, you make sure all of it is poured back out, otherwise you’ll be deep frying your pancakes.
  5. Don’t be surprised if you throw away the first one or two that you make.  There’s no science behind this, but every single time, without fail, my first two pancakes are a total disaster!
  6. Pancake batter can be made two to three days in advance and stored in the fridge.
  7. Cooked, cooled and snuggly wrapped, you can store pancakes in the fridge for around 5 days or up to two months in the freezer.

I know both of these cakes are quite unusual, but I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed.  Not in the slightest.

Happy flipping!

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

Top 5 Apps to keep your passwords safe

The Domestic Prince is all kinds of awesome in many, many ways.  Breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning?  Check.  Supportive?  Check.  Kind?  Check.  Loving?  Check.  Indulging me in my love of all things sparkly?  Check.  Good memory?  Hhhmmm not so much…..  I think I might lose the plot if he asks me one more time what his PayPal logon is!  So in an attempt to help him, and in turn help save me from sounding like a broken record, today’s post is slightly selfish.

Email, online banking, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, online shopping, the list goes on. Nearly everything that you do these days requires a password.  I’m sure you’d all agree that it’s quite annoying to create accounts, as well as coming up with and remembering new passwords for all of them.  Some require capitals, some have a minimum character length, some need numbers and then there’s those that require a character such as @ or *.  The good news, is that there are handy little apps out there to make your online life a tiny bit easier.  What are these apps, I hear you ask.  They’re called password managers.  A password manager will save you a headache or two by remembering your countless passwords, freeing you up to remember the more important things.  Some also have the capability to remember email addresses, ATM pin numbers, credit card information, usernames etc, all securely and safely. All information is stored in an encrypted file that protects the confidential data from anybody who might have physical access to your mobile device.  The encrypted file can only be accessed via a master password – which is a complete result, as you now only have to remember one password as opposed to many.  Some password managers also have the potential to generate unique and complicated passwords that make it extremely difficult for those trixie people to hack into.  Below are the five password manager apps on my shortlist to deploy in the Domestic household.  I’ll come back and let you know which one we choose.

1PasswordiOS & Android

This app keeps your many online passwords safely locked up. It can also keep track of other data like passport details, addresses and more.  The app is quite plain, which will make using it a cinch, even for the most technologically challenged.  1Password can also generate strong passwords.  Simply enter the master password to unlock the 1Password app and access websites with one single tap.  1Password also stores credit cards, passports, bank accounts, driver’s licenses and more; ensuring all your important data is always with you.  And obviously, all data is encrypted, so if you’re unlucky enough to lose your mobile device, or to have it stolen, all your personal data is completely secure.  1Password is also available via Mac and Windows desktops as well.

LastPassiOS & Android

LastPass stores web site passwords, credit card information and more.  All behind a master password. It’s also designed with simplicity in mind: there are no complex menus here.  LastPass also offers a comprehensive overview and analysis of the security of your existing passwords.  It looks at things like the length of the password, how many times it’s been reused across different websites and then gives you a global ranking and percentage score for your passwords.  All information stored on LastPass is encrypted locally, so your information is always safe.  Like 1Password, LastPass is available on Windows or Mac computers as well as an app.

oneSafe – iOS & Android

Like LastPass, oneSafe lets you save and encrypt photos and entire documents together with credit card numbers and passwords for your online life.  Everything is protected either by a PIN, a password or pattern-tracing access.  You can also set the app up to alert you to any attempted break-ins.  oneSafe also allows information to be synced between devices that use iCloud.  It’s available as a desktop version on the Mac, but not yet on Windows.

DashlaneiOS & Android

Dashlane automatically syncs across multiple platforms, allowing for seamless interaction.  All versions of Dashlane include alerts on security breaches, a built-in digital wallet for online purchases and automatic saves and screenshots of any purchases.  Being an avid online shopper(!) one of the features that really appeals to me is how this app facilitates online shopping through very easy to use colour-coded information.  Purchases are completed in a matter of a few clicks! (Not sure the Domestic Prince will be loving this feature!).  As well as keeping all your passwords safe, Dashlane also stores driving licences, bank cards and pretty much everything else you want kept away from nosey parkers!  If you choose to purchase the desktop version, it’ll tell you how many saved passwords you already have in your browser and give you the choice to review and encrypt them.

mSecureiOS & Android

Like some of the other password managers, mSecure is available via multi devices and various platforms.  It allows you to store passwords and other sensitive data according to different categories – ranging from passport data to credit card numbers and clothing size.  It also lets you create your own categories too.  Access is via a master password and for the super cautious among you, one can specify the data stored to be erased after either 5, 10 or 20 failed attempts at getting into the app.   If you’re after a pretty looking app, then mSecure isn’t for you.  If simplicity and a no-frills app is your priority, then mSecure would be a good choice.

All of the apps bar mSecure, which will set you back £6.99 are free, with in-app options to get further functionality.

So there you go, 5 password managers that can take care of keeping your passwords and other personal data away from prying eyes.

Do you already use a password manager to store your passwords?  If so, which one do you use?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Faux Egg Fried Rice

I’m The Domestic Princess and I’m a carboholic.  There.  I’ve said it.  It’s out in the open.  In fact, I’m not only addicted to carbohydrates in the obvious form (pasta, rice, bread, potatoes), but chocolate and sugar too.  I love carbohydrates.  No, make that adore.  I like nothing better than crusty white bread, slathered in salted Jersey butter topped with Marmite. Or what I wouldn’t give for a steaming bowl of spaghetti bolognaise.  Even a plate of creamy mash on its own can make me the happiest girl on earth.  And don’t even start me on what a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk does to me.  But the problem is my relationship with these food groups is not a fair one.  No, no, no.  You see, my love is just not reciprocated.  I eat these foods and all they do is make me fat, lethargic and generally, quite unwell.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock since January, you’ll be completely au fait with the war that is being wielded against sugar.  Some are even suggesting it’s more addictive than cocaine.  Having never tried the white stuff, I can’t confirm or deny this.  What I can confirm, is that once I start eating sugary things, I literally can’t stop.  Not only does sugar make you put on weight, it has also been attributed to increasing your risk of heart disease (The Domestic King is evidence of this), type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, ageing, exacerbating autoimmune diseases and causing wrinkles.  Not pretty at all.  Sugar pretty gets into most ready-packaged food.  Take a look at some of the packets and bottles in your cupboard, you’ll be surprised at how many have sugar added to the ingredients.  If it ends in an ose, then it’s a form of sugar.

Any form of carbohydrate eventually gets broken down by your body into glucose.  Glucose is the most simple form of sugar.  Whilst the body can use glucose for fuel, levels that exceed what one actually needs, is toxic.  Excess carbohydrates such as pasta, potato and rice do in fact have the same impact on your body as say a Coke, Mars Bar or handful of Haribos.  The fructose that’s present in fruit and the carbohydrates in vegetables are treated by your body in exactly the same way as well.  The body doesn’t have the ability to differentiate between the sugar in a chocolate bar vs fructose in pineapple.  The overriding problem is when there’s glucose floating around in the body’s bloodstream.  Any glucose that’s ingested that’s not immediately used, is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.  This would be absolutely fine, if our bodies didn’t have a limited number of glycogen receptors.  When these are at capacity, as they typically are in inactive people, the body only has one choice:  to store all the excess glucose as saturated fat and normally around one’s organs.  Not ideal is it?  I don’t want to turn this post completely into the affect of carbohydrates on our bodies, so will save all the other facts for a future one.  

So, what has my ramblings about carbs and sugar got to do with today’s recipe?  Well, when you follow a low-carb diet, you end up trying to be quite creative with your menu.  Just because carbs and I aren’t friends, doesn’t mean we weren’t at one point and I miss them terribly.  I’m an avid pinner on Pinterest and can while away many an hour.  One of the recipes I kept coming across was something called cauliflower “rice”, cooked in many ways, which of course peaked my interest.  I’m not a massive fan of plain, boiled rice, but put a bowl of egg fried rice in front of me and I’m one happy Princess.   Some of the cauliflower rice recipes I came across were for “fried rice”.  I was all over this like a rash and started experimenting toute suite!  The result?  A VERY  suitable alternative to proper fried rice.  Even The Domestic Prince, who’s not known for his love of vegetables loves this recipe.  He can’t actually get enough of it.  If you’re not a fan of cauliflower, let me assure you, this tastes NOTHING like cauliflower, you have my word.  I also need to apologise for the lack of photo, the gannet otherwise known as The Domestic Prince, wolfed it all down before I’d had a chance to take a picture.  I’m making another batch of this heavenly food this week, so will take a picture and update the blog with it.  Oh, and the feedback on various other versions has been it’s gone down a storm with children too, who had no idea it wasn’t actually rice.  

Serves 2 hungry adults

Ingredients

  • 4tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1tbsp ginger, minced
  • 4 carrots, diced into cubes
  • 150g broccoli, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 3tbsp soy sauce
  • Splash of fish sauce
  • Splash of Chinese rice wine vinegar
  • Generous handful of cooked shredded chicken or shrimps
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 spring onion, chopped

Method

  1. Tear the leaves off the cauliflower and chop into tree-like pieces.  If you’re lucky enough to own a food processor (I’d be lost without mine), pop them in and pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice.  If you don’t have a processor, then just use your regular cheese grater.
  2. Put 2tbsp of the sesame oil into a hot wok.  When the oil has heated-up, add in the crushed garlic and minced ginger and let it fry until it’s just turning a light brown colour (around 30 seconds).
  3. Put the broccoli and carrots in the wok and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they start to slightly char.  Remove from the wok and set aside.
  4. Pop the remaining sesame oil into the wok and add the “rice”.  Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the “rice” starts to colour slightly.
  5. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar and coat the rice.
  6. Put the chicken (or shrimp) and broccoli and carrots in the work and stir until combined with the “rice” and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Make a well in the middle of the wok and pour in the beaten eggs.  Stir until they scramble and then incorporate with the rest of the dish.
  8. Throw in the chopped spring onions and give a quick stir for about 30 seconds.
  9. Serve immediately.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. If your cauliflower rice feels a bit on the damp side, put it in a tea towel and give it a good squeeze to get rid of any excess water.  This will ensure a better texture of “rice”.
  2. If you like your dishes to be spicy, then add a finely chopped red chilli at stage 2 of the recipe.
  3. My vegetable and protein suggests above, are just that, suggestions.  This is the perfect recipe to use up any veggies or meat/fish you have leftover in the ‘fridge.
  4. I can’t stand coriander, but if you like it, a sprinkle just before serving would be great.
  5. I always serve mine with a small little bowl of soy sauce.
  6. This is a very low-calorie recipe, so is perfect for those of you following the 5:2 Fast Diet (100g of plain cauliflower rice is only 24 calories), a Paleo lifestyle, or are on a plan like Weight Watchers (cauliflower “rice” is zero points) or Slimming World etc.  And obviously, perfect for you low-carbers!!

Just a little word of warning….this dish isn’t that pretty to look at, but I guarantee what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste!  It’s like a hug in a bowl; perfect for those times you fancy something really comforting. 

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Eyes: Windows to your soul

To all my female readers, I have a confession to make….I’ve been keeping a secret from you….for quite some time.  In fact, I’ve been keeping a few.  But for today, I’m spilling the beans about just one of them.  I know, I know, I’m a tease.  I’ve been meaning to tell you about this for awhile, but well, life got in the way.  I know some of you probably know about what I’m about to tell you, so apologies to the already initiated.  To the others who aren’t on this band wagon – then welcome!  You know when you’re flicking through a magazine, or are watching the television and see an actress or model claiming they’re not wearing a scrap of makeup?  Well, nine times out of ten, they are.  And the secret and the one I’ve been keeping from you? They’ve tightlined their eyes.  To the uninitiated you’re probably wondering, “what the heck is tightlining when it’s at home?”  Tightlining, or invisible eyeliner, for those who aren’t familiar, is where you apply eyeliner directly to your lash line – more specifically the underside of your top lash line.  This technique works for everybody; young, old, round eyes, almond eyes, pale skin, dark skin.  If you’ve got a pair of peepers, I promise you this make-up technique will make your eyes look brighter, bigger and more awake – who wouldn’t want that?  Once you’ve mastered the technique (it is a bit fiddly in the beginning, but it’s worth persevering) in a couple of minutes or less, you’ll have beautifully defined eyes and lashes that look longer and fuller.

I first tried tightlining about 10 years ago and was immediately hooked.  It is a natural, enhancing effect that is very hard to reason against.  My product of choice, being a Laura Mercier addict, for achieving this look, is of course Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner. Tightlining can be achieved with various eyeliner products:  gels, liquids and pencils (although for me, pencils might be a bit too harsh for this area of the eye and not as long-lasting).  The Laura Mercier one is my favourite owing to its staying powder.  It comes in the form of a pressed powder, but is applied wet.  I use a flat eyeliner brush to apply this miracle product.  I dip the brush into clean water and then swirl it around the cake liner, creating a creamy type consistency.

The technique of applying eyeliner to your inner lash line, is actually quite simple.  Although saying that, for some inexplicable reason it took me FOREVER to master it.  Now thankfully I’m a dab hand at it, and can tightline my eyes in about 30 seconds (I timed myself for this post).

Here’s how to tightline:

  1. With one hand, gently lift your top eyelid so you can see where the lashes meet the eyelid.
  2. With your other hand, wiggle the brush (pen or pencil) back and forth between the lashes and the eyelid, really working the product into your lash line.  What you’re trying to do here is fill the spaces between your individual lashes.

Easy peasy, right?

Before & After tightline

As well as the LM one, there’s many others on the market at various price points.  Below is a list of a few others that I’ve come across.  I can’t confirm or deny how good they are though, as I haven’t tried them – sorry!  If you happen to use one of the below, or end up buying one, please pop a comment below letting me know what you think of it.

For the novice or if you’re struggling to get the hang of things, then give Clarins’s 3-Dot Liner Pen a whirl.  The three little prongs can be pushed into the roots of the lashes, so you don’t even need the ability to draw a continuous line – just a series of tiny dots.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. Probably goes without saying, but make sure your hands and brush are clean before starting.
  2. There is another method for tightlining that involves placing a mirror lying flat in front of you and looking down at it with your eyeballs while keeping your head up. In the beginning, this approach really helped me, however, I can now just pull my eyelids up and do it straight-on in front of the mirror.
  3. If you use a pencil try to use one that is waterproof to avoid smearing.

I consider tightlining to be somewhat of a miracle technique, as for a tiny amount of effort you end up with a tremendous difference in your look, one that can either be more on the au naturel side of things, or can be added to, to create a more dramatic look.

I’m curious, have you tried tightlining your eyes, or are you a novice?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Heart shaped sugar cookies

Is it just me, or is Valentine’s Day on steroids this year?  I may not be in the West, but nearly every email from a retailer for these past two weeks has been ALL about St Valentine’s.  Now, I’m not particularly a big fan of Valentine’s Day.  Many, many moons ago when the Domestic Prince and I were in the early stages of our relationship, it held more meaning, and we would make more of a big deal about February 14th than we do now.  Don’t get me wrong, we still acknowledge the day with a card or small token (we don’t have hearts of stone!), but it’s all quite understated.  I’m now of the same thinking as the Prince that it just feels too commercial and more than a little bit contrived, and having a slightly rebellious streak, I don’t want to be told when to show the one I love, how much I love them.  And since finally getting married, we now have our very own day to celebrate our relationship.

Judy Garland quote

Honestly, I’m not bah-humbug, I promise.  I pretty much embrace any and all holidays/festivals; Valentine’s is just not my thing.  So, when the gorgeous Alice and I were having a long overdue Skype catch-up, she asked what was going on the blog on Friday, and I told her….(obviously it wasn’t love themed), she was surprised and said that I should do something to mark the day.  Alice currently lives in the US, where V-day is suped-up and then some, so her lovely little minis are completely enthused about today – they’ve written secret cards for people in their class!  As a result, Al is having a Valentine’s dinner and making all things V-day themed and has kindly shared one of her recipes with us today.  Perfect for making with any of your little ones.

photo 3

Photo credit: Alice Ray Photography

Heart shaped sugar cookies (makes approximately 24 cookies)

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2tsp  almond extract
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60ml sour cream
  • 3tbsp cornflour
  • 340g plain flour

To decorate

  • 400g icing sugar
  • 3-4tbsp water
  • 2-3 drops of food colouring per colour
  • Sprinkles if you fancy

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 – 180C.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, baking powder and a pinch of salt and mix until it’s well combined.
  4. With either your stand or hand mixer on the lowest speed, add half the sour cream, then the cornstarch, followed by half the flour.  Add the remaining sour cream and flour, mixing until just incorporated.
  5. If pressing into cookie moulds, roll the mixture into small balls and then press into each mould, making sure the mixture gets into all the creases of the mould.  If rolling and using a cookie cutter, divide the mixture into 2 and then cover each ball in plastic and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  6. Put the cookies onto a baking tray and bake for 8-10mins, or until set, but not browned.  Cool for 5 mins and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. Once the cookies have cooled, it’s time to make the icing.  Sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir in enough water to create a smooth mixture.  Divide between separate bowls if you’re using a different colours and stir in the food colouring.
  8. Decorate and enjoy!

Alice’s tips

  1. In humid/rainy weather add 2tbsp extra flour.
  2. If you’re not keen on almond flavouring (DP, I can’t stand the stuff), then swap the almond extract for an additional 1/2tsp of vanilla extract.
  3. Don’t be tempted to make the cookies too thick – 1/4 to 1/2″ is perfect.
  4. If you have a food blender, give your icing sugar a quick whizz to get any lumps out.
  5. This cookie dough freezes really well, so you could make a double batch, and pop half in the freezer for a future day.

Are you like me and not really fussed when it comes to V-day, or do you embrace it with full gusto?

With big Valentine’s love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

February 2014 Workout Tunes

Music is an integral part of my life.  It’s a rare day that the Prince comes home to find me basking in peace and quiet.  More often than not, he’s greeted by a full on disco, bar the strobe lighting and disco balls.  Having not updated our workout playlist since I last posted some workout tunes here back in June, our workout playlist has definitely been in need of a fresh injection of choons.  I’ve popped a couple of retro ones in and also one of my fav Bollywood tracks at the moment.

 

Enjoy and please let me know some of the songs you’re working out to at the moment.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Nutella-stuffed Blondies with Nutella Frosting

This past Wednesday (5th February) was World Nutella Day….(can you see where I’m going with this?)  As soon as I learnt about this gift of a day, I knew it would be an absolute travesty and a disservice to you gorgeous people, not to have a Nutella recipe on the blog today.  I’m not sure I could ever forgive myself for not sharing this beaut of a recipe with you.  Not only am I giving you these scrumptious Nutella-stuffed blondies, but a Nutella tipple to go with them too!  Never let it be said I don’t spoil you.

I don’t think I could have fitted anymore Nutella into today’s recipe if I had tried….well, only if I’d added some Nutella to the blondie batter, but even a Nutella aficionado like me would have maybe found that to be a bit too much Nutella….although, is there such a thing?!

Anybody who knows me, or has been reading the blog for awhile, will know how much I like adore Nutella.  It’s not unusual for the Domestic Prince to find me hiding in our pantry having a sneaky spoonful of this heavenly stuff.  The recipe today is probably one of my all time fav Nutella ones.  I truly hope you enjoy it, as much as I do.

Nutella blondies

Nutella-stuffed Blondies (makes 12 blondies)

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 225g light brown sugar
  • 1/4tsp of salt
  • 1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 60g – 100g Nutella, straight from the fridge (how much depends upon how greedy you are!)

Method

I used the same recipe for these Nutella blondies, as I did for those tempting Mini Egg ones from last year.  But, for ease, I’m popping the recipe down below.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas mark 4.  Line a 12-cup muffin tray with cases.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the sugar and salt.  The more you whisk it, the lighter and fluffier your blondies will be.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and whisk again.  Take off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
  4. Once the sugar/butter mixture has cooled, add the eggs and give a good whisk.
  5. Into a large bowl sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.  Then into the flour, whisk small amounts of the the egg and butter mixture until it’s all been combined. Don’t pour all the egg and butter mixture in at once, as you’ll end up with a lumpy mixture.
  6. Put a heaped teaspoon of the blondie batter into each case, then put a teaspoon of Nutella straight from the fridge on top, and finally put another heaped teaspoon of the blondie mixture over the Nutella to seal it in.
  7. Pop the tray in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is slightly cracking, the outer edges are firm and the middle still slightly gooey.
  8. Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 to 15 minutes, before icing with frosting.

Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 50g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 125g cream cheese, cold
  • 175g Nutella

Method

  1. Beat the butter and the icing sugar together.  I use my freestanding mixer for this with the paddle attachment, but an electric hand whisk will do the job just as well.  Use a low speed until the ingredients have come together and the sugar and butter are well combined.
  2. Add all the cream cheese and mix until it’s all completely incorporated.
  3. On a medium to high speed beat the frosting for around 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Be careful not to overbeat, as it can become runny.
  4. Add in the Nutella and give a quick beat until it’s all mixed in.
  5. Decorate the blondes with the frosting.  As you’ll see from the picture above, icing is definitely not a forte of mine!  Thankfully how they look doesn’t impair their taste.

If that wasn’t enough Nutella….here’s another a gem of a recipe to satisfy even the most die-hard Nutella fan.

Nutella, Banana & Rum Milkshake (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 400ml milk (I used full fat)
  • 8 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 120ml of rum (dark or white)
  • 300g of Nutella
  • Handful of ice

Method

  1. Put everything in a blender and whizz until it’s as smooth as silk.  What could be simpler?!

I don’t have any other tips for these recipes apart from to enjoy every mouthful and gulp!  Isn’t it lovely to find other ways to eat Nutella apart from straight off the spoon?

And on that note, I’m off to deliver the above goodies to some lucky neighbours!  If you make these, please let me know how you get on, or upload your pictures of them to the Domestic Princess Facebook page.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you all next week!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Discovered: One Domestic Princess!

Yes, that’s right, you’re not imaging things, it’s not an apparition, this is truly me writing my first blog post in a very long time.

2013 was a tumultuous year.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such lows or highs in one year.  What was meant to be a year full of happiness with the Domestic Prince turning 40 and me off on a mini world tour amongst other things, turned into a roller coaster of a ride.  You see, the thing is with grief, it’s totally unpredictable – it’s the one emotion we’re not really trained for or counselled on growing-up.  (If you’re new to the blog, this post will explain my absence from these pretty pink pages.)  Up until late summer, I thought I was coping with the gaping hole in my life, and “moving on”.  The acute daily pain that I had been feeling everyday had turned into more of a dull ache.  Then something hit me after our trip to Singapore in September – I’m not sure what, but I felt the loss all overall again and with a tsunami force.  Day to day life became a struggle and tears were always close to the surface.  As the one year anniversary loomed closer, the worse I became.  Things that normally gave me an inordinate amount of pleasure, totally lost their appeal.  My enthusiasm for life was diminishing and in my typical coping fashion (rightly or wrongly), I closed myself off to everyone and everything around me.  For much of the past 4 months profound grief has engulfed my every waking moment.  I was so angry.  Angry that she’d been taken from this world so suddenly and that there were so many things I wanted to say to her, but mainly I was consumed with a terrible sadness and sense of loss.  Having not had any experience of losing a parent before, I had no idea how to deal with, or control these emotions and feelings, so I just bumbled along in my own little world.

Whilst I haven’t been wallowing in self-pity, I also haven’t really been living – which is so wrong given that there are probably  many people out there who would give anything to live a full and happy life that I have the chance to do.  The only thing I’ve managed to truly focus on is keeping to a size 10; quite possibly a miracle given my penchant for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Oreo.  So, today is the start of my new year.  I’ve made a promise to myself  that I’m going to try and do everything within my scope to help myself live life to the full.  You see, I’ve let nearly every aspect of my life fall by the wayside….from not remembering to take my medication regularly, to not being bothered to even put cream on my feet at night (they’re bordering on being super manky!) – everything has just felt too much of an effort and a chore.  However, by putting down on paper my focus for the next few months, I’m hoping it’ll help keep me on track and feel accountable.  Here’s what I’m going to be focusing on:

  1. My skin.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my skin has deteriorated.  I think the stress of the last year, coupled with not taking my meds has caused me to have worse skin than the spottiest teenager.  Therefore, I’m concentrating on getting back my bump-free glow.  I’ve invested in various tools and potions to help me get my glow-on, so I’ll be sharing with you what’s worked and what hasn’t.
  2. Although I comfortably fit into size 10 clothes, it’s quite often with a victoria sponge (not even a muffin) silhouette, rather than a pancake one.  Thus, I’m going to be working hard to achieve a lean and strong physique with not a cake in sight!  I used to focus on what the number on the scales said, but recently, thanks to Francesca on FFK, I’ve realised it’s just a pointless number.  If you have a Google, there’s plenty of examples of people weighing the same weight but looking totally different.  It’s certainly helped me think about things differently.
  3. Reading.  I used to be a voracious reader, but even something as enjoyable as a good book has somehow lost its appeal.  I’ve just downloaded a new book on my Kindle and have committed to reading at least a couple of pages every evening in bed.  I find reading quite soporific too, so am hoping it’ll help me sleep better as well.
  4. My squat challenge.  I’m sorry to say I didn’t complete this challenge I set myself.  But probably not as sorry as my bottom is.  My lack of apathy towards this challenge can’t be completely attributed to my state of mind, but to an injury I sustained whilst on my mini world tour – how it happened still remains a mystery!
  5. Be more active.  I might get put through the ringer by our fabulous personal trainer here in Bangalore, the infamous Raj, but that’s only an hour out of everyday.  Typically, the rest of my day is a pretty sedentary one.  There are so many studies out there proving that lack of movement accelerates the ageing process and is quite possibly a contributing factor in dementia that I’ve made the resolution to move a lot more during the day and to stop doing my best impression of a sloth!  I’m the proud owner of a Fitbit tracker, so I’ll be donning that every morning in an effort to make sure I’m doing my 10,000 steps a day.
  6. Be a better friend.  Now, I know I haven’t been a bad friend during this last year, I also know I haven’t been the best friend I could be to the wonderful people that I’m privileged to call friends.  I’ve been quite poor at keeping in contact and just being “available” to them, so I’m going to try and change that starting from today.

know that things will get easier in time.  Friends who’ve also lost a parent and are further along the grieving process have told me this.  And since passing the one year anniversary, even though it’s only been a week, things do feel a tinier bit easier.  I’m not a religious bod, but I feel incredibly blessed to have beyond doubt the most incredible friends and family.  If any of them are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting up with me these last 12 months, I know it can’t have been easy.

Anyway, enough about me, what have you lovely lot been up to?  I’d love to hear all your news.

Unlike before, there won’t be three posts a week, but two – sorry!  There’ll be one early on in the week and then my regular Friday recipe post.  If time permits, then occasionally I’ll pop up another one as a treat!  If there’s any topics you’d like me to write about then please just drop me a note in the comments section below.

It’s good to be back.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Posh Chilli

It’s been quite awhile since I put up a savoury recipe, so what better one to share with you than a classic:  chilli con carne.  This isn’t your regular chilli, oh no, it’s a posh one!  Well, that’s what we call it in the Domestic Abode.  And why is it posh?  Instead of using minced beef, I’ve switched it for braising /stewing steak, or if you’re in India, it’s truly posh, as you’ll need to use beef fillet.
This is one of the Domestic Prince’s favourite dishes in my repertoire, which he wolfs down in double quick time.

Posh Chilli

Serves 4 to 6 (depending how greedy you are)

Ingredients

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg braising / stewing steak, cut into chunks
  • 250g chorizo, cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne chilli pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper

To serve

  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan or a large casserole dish that has a lid. Fry the beef until it’s nicely coloured. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  3. Pop the chorizo into the pan, fry until it just starts to release its juices and starts to brown. Take out the chorizo and set aside with the beef.
  4. Fry the onion and garlic in the chorizo oil until the onions just start to colour.  Add the spices, chillies and tomato puree and cook for 2 to 3 mins.  Add the balsamic vinegar and chopped tomatoes.
  5. Put the beef and chorizo back in the pan along with the stock. Bring up to a simmer and cover with the lid. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 2 hours.
  6. Remove from the oven, add the kidney beans and pop back in for another 50 to 60 minutes.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. The chunks of steak can obviously be swapped for regular minced beef.
  2. If you want to lessen the heat of this dish, scrape out the seeds from the chillies before adding them in.
  3. If you can’t get hold of smoked paprika, use ground chilli powder instead.
  4. Check after about an hour, as you might need to add more liquid.  I either add plain boiled water, or a drop of stock.
  5. This recipe freezes really well.

What’s your favourite classic dish?

Have a lovely weekend!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

June’s Workout Songs

Hello readers!

Sorry I didn’t post this on Monday, but I haven’t had access to our study all week, as we were having work done in it.  Anyway, here I am with my picks for workout tunes for June. I’ve been listening to May’s tracks on loop, so I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some new toons!

Hope all your fitness plans are going well.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo