Chocolate Beetroot Hi-Hat Mini Cupcakes

There are times when you will feel disappointed, okay?
  • That frappuccino with suspiciously little coffee flavour, and the misspelled name written on the cup.
  • The phone call to a friend, who ends up spending 5 minutes telling you French tongue twisters instead of talking (although, it was pretty amusing)
  • Searching on my computer for the photos I took of cupcakes, (which I was certain I uploaded, so deleted half of them from my camera) and then remember that I got distracted by Grey’s Anatomy and didn’t upload them.
  • When I went to the cupboard feeling sassy, thinking I had a bottle of red food colouring. It is not there. It is no where. Actually I’m pretty sure that food colouring hasn’t even been in the cupboard since my mum made play dough for me, ten years ago.

But sometimes, after the initial denial of that disappointment which slowly starts to sink in and become reality, comes triumph:

  • Meh, who needs the caffeine? It’s 4 pm anyway; and ‘Izabel?’ perfect! I needed a name for my new pencil!
  • Getting to show off my little well known skill of reciting a French tongue twister (it doesn’t matter that I don’t know what it means in English), which earned me a merit at school 3 years ago because I could say it the fastest!
  • Haha! At least I didn’t delete all the photos from my camera, now I don’t have to spend so much time picking which photos to use.
  • Open the fridge. WELL HELLO MR. BEETROOT! I’m glad to see that you’re already cooked and peeled, ready for me to use in my cupcakes. Oh yeah, and in the search for the red food colouring, edible gold food spray was found instead, score.

And that, is how (my initial plan of) red velvet hi-hat cupcakes, became these:

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Crispy, Crunchy, Clustery Maple-Pecan Granola

I have recently become seriously addicted to muesli. It started with me eating small spoonfuls straight from the jar – I found that by using a small spoon I could a higher dried fruit : oats ratio. This was much to my mum’s annoyance, because I ended up eating basically all the fruit (

Anyway, I eventually found myself eating it like a proper person, in a bowl, with yogurt (which I am also now re-addicted to). I’ve also found that muesli has rekindled my love of oats in a big way.
It made me remember the days when I used to eat that super sweet Quaker Oats granola and maple flavoured crunchy granola bars. Good times.
So it was inevitable that this would happen: my ideal granola was born – crunchy, crispy, clustery; maple-pecan granola. It is to die for.

The funny thing is, this healthier snacky alternative to things like oatmeal cookies, had left unhealthier snack options neglected:

When gathering ingredients to make my granola, I found a sad box of barely eaten ‘cookies and cream’ pop tarts, sitting in the corner of the cupboard alone. I only noticed them there when I was getting out the super awesome, ever popular oats, which were piled up high in the opposite corner of the cupboard. I reached for the bright blue pop tart box, tipped the contents into the bin, and set about making a cosy home for my granola with the now empty box.

And guess what? You can make this granola and a fabulous home for it by up-cycling an old pop tart box too!

You can even have the label for it here
Now we can be granola buddies!

(if you don’t care about making the box, scroll down for the recipe)

1. Carefully disassemble the pop tart box and lay it out on a piece of paper with the printed side facing down.

2. Paint the non-printed side in your desired colour – you don’t have to paint the ‘flavour card’ area. (If it’s quite wet, let it dry a bit, then flip it over and put a few books on top of it so that it will dry flat.)
3. Once dry, Cut out the ‘flavour card’ – this will be the front face of the box where the clear ‘window’ is.

4. Take some wrapping paper or printed paper and cut it out into separate panels which will fit on each face of the box. I like to leave a small margin around the edges for some leeway.

5. Stick the panels of paper onto the printed side of the box with a glue stick, so that it is completely covered. Trim of any excess paper. This is the inside of your box.

6. If you want a crackle effect like I have on two sides of my box, then follow the rest of the steps . If not, skip onto step 10.
7. Paint a generous amount of PVA (elmer’s) glue on the areas where you want a crackle effect, with all the brush strokes going in the same direction.
8. Let the glue dry for 5-10 minutes, when it should still be sticky. Now paint over it, with the same direction of brush strokes as before, using slightly watered down acrylic paint. As it dries, it will crackle.
9. Once completely dry, you can cover up any cracks that you don’t want with more paint.

10. Cut a piece of acetate ( thin, clear, but sturdy plastic) so that it is the size of the front face of your box. Put a thin line of double sided tape, or glue, along the edges of the acetate. Stick it down over the hole where you cut out the ‘flavour card’, on the papered side of the box.

11. Print out the label, cut it out and colour it in however you want (or edit it in photoshop and print it out in colour).

12. Put double sided sticky tape or glue onto the back of the label, and stick it to the front of the acetate window you just stuck in.

13. Fold the box back up, and glue it back together. Let it dry.

You can store the granola literally in the box, or pour it into a small cereal bag and put that into the box so it stays fresher.

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Quick Mini Monkey Breads ( i.e. Pull-Apart Scone Doughnuts)

There are good sides and bad sides to everyday things.
Bad things:
  • My hair gets tangled really easily, so I have to brush it which is super stressful and ends up with me getting really mad at my hairbrush
  • My hair goes super frizzy when I brush it
  • Trying to carry a cup of tea up two flights of stairs. In the dark.
  • Waiting for nail polish to dry
Good things
  • My hair has one magical property: It captures the scent of things I bake for about a day; it smells like maple syrup at the mo
  • My hair looks better when it’s slightly messy
  • The Olympian feeling of accomplishment I get after carrying the tea up those stairs in the dark
  • Pretty painted nails that smell like mango when they’re dry
They balance each other out pretty nicely.
When it comes to these though, the good things outweigh the bad so much more.


Bad things
  • Washing up – 1 bowl, 1 pot, 1 mini doughnut tray, utensils
Good things
  • The extra monkey bread you get to eat as a reward for washing up
  • caramel, nuts, chocolate and nutella
  • cinnamon
  • cute, small food
  • eating the cute small food
  • crunchy edges and fluffy insides
  • no rising or kneading required!
  • pulling apart the monkey bread (and then making .gifs!)

Wow- that sure was fun, wasn’t it! Click on it to see it again! You know you want to…

Anyways, .gifs aside,

I made these with both pecan-caramel and nutella fudge sauce toppings, so make whichever one you want! (or half of each like I did). Then after they were all baked, I drizzled some of the extra topping on them so they had extra amazingness.

However, if you really can’t be bothered with having to make the caramel / fudge sauce, then skip it out completely. They’re still awesome without it and are more like pull apart cinnamon scone doughnuts which you can serve with jam!

Oh, also, you can pre-prep the scone mixture the night before, so you can make them super fast in the morning. I’ve indicated in the method below how much pre-prep you can do.

Enjoy :)

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Nutella Fudge Sauce

Fudge Sauce.

It’s like eating brownie batter, but better. You can put on ice cream, use it as a simple glaze on a cake, make a sundae or turn into creamy hot chocolate.

and it just got better…

…with nutella.

Nutella, ah we meet again. The nutty goodness goes so well in this thick, gooey sauce. And guess what? This takes like 10 minutes to make, for reals.

Look! I even put the recipe on a pretty picture for you, with fonts and everything, so you can print it out… and frame it…or just put it in your recipe box / book, whatever.

The best thing:

You can make it no matter what the weather;

When it’s hot out, eat it cold on ice cream, or stir some into some cold milk for nutella chocolate milk.

When it’s cold out, eat it hot on cake…. actually, you should still have it on ice cream too, or stir some into hot milk, for the most perfect hot chocolate.

Ha ha! It’s a foolproof plan. High five!

(sorry, I just had to)

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Whole Wheat Baked Banana + Chocolate Doughnuts

The first time I had bananas and chocolate, I didn’t like it :
It was a banana with a slit cut down the middle of the peel, stuffed with milk chocolate, wrapped in foil and left to cook on the dying coals of a barbecue until the chocolate melted – something I’m sure I’d love to eat now.
I wasn’t brought up eating this banana-chocolate combo. I ate banana bread slathered with cream cheese (which I highly recommend by the way), not studded with chocolate chips. I’d also eat bananas sliced and layered, either on top of a peanut butter and honey covered rice cake, or with dulce de leche and whipped cream in a banoffee pie. But I never ate a single nutella-banana sandwich.
I was stubborn about it, my logic being: “It’s not like chocolate is some superhero which can muscle it’s way into every single baked good and make it better. Can it!? “
I was initially going to make a caramel glaze for these, but after the suggestion of a chocolate glaze from my mum and from sheer laziness, I went for a simple chocolate ganache, and I’m glad I did.
The light, sticky banana bread needed that creamy dark chocolate to balance it out; and I have to agree with the general consensus that indeed, chocolate and banana go together well.
So, I was wrong; in the end the superhero, Chocolate, wins.
Yes, chocolate always wins.

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