Tag Archives: Raw Chocolate and Salted Caramel Hearts

Wedding invite HQ

…or should that be wedding invite madness?!

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We have been extremely busy and getting crafty in order to get our wedding invitations posted out tomorrow.  Ribbon, adhesive stickers, printing envelopes, ticking people off our guest list pretty much sums up our weekend.

Despite all of the hard work that was involved we are very pleased with the end results.  We are totally in love with our invitations and they are definitely the epitome of vintage glamour. We ordered them from Strawberry Sorbet and not only do they make beautiful letterpress invitations but their customer service is impeccable too.

Of course there was lots of delicious food consumed whilst sealing lots of envelopes, and by the way why does the gum paste on envelopes taste so gross, yuck!

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Tomato, spinach, onion and cheese omelet with a toasted wholemeal bagel with vegan spread.

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Rice cakes topped with Justin’s peanut butter with honey.

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Super refreshing honey dew melon slices and green tea for a light breakfast.

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Salad beast of romaine lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, butternut squash, cucumber, celery and a green pesto dressing.

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Using my boyfriend’s words, today’s breakfast was an epic kind of beautiful!  A vanilla and cinnamon wholemeal pancake topped with super sweet strawberries, blueberries and a raw chocolate sauce.

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Steamed broccoli with ordered in aromatic tofu and tao woo tord tofu (I don’t know what it means but it tasted darn good!)

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Barabara’s Bakery vanilla snack animals.

Surprisingly I haven’t had a smoothies this weekend, shock horror!  I think it was down to being lazy and not wanting to clean out the blender.  After all of the work that the invitations have involved I did everything that I could to keep the washing up as minimal as possible.

I just had some of the leftover tofu for dinner with more steamed veggies, yum!  Now I think I can hear my Raw Chocolate and Salted Caramel Hearts calling me from  the freezer.

What have you been up to this weekend? Are you into arts and crafts? Do you like to do a lot of DIY craft projects?

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I *HEART* JULY

What happened to July?  The month just zoomed by,and what a great month it was!

It was so nice spending a bit of girly time with my mum.  We found her a really lovely dress to wear to the wedding which she looks fab in!  I also managed to pick up some treats for myself and Alfie, so it wasn’t a bad shopping trip all round!

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We also sorted out our wedding gift list at the beginning of the month, so exciting!

Spending lots of quality time with my hubby to be was definitely a highlight of last month. We enjoyed the sunshine in Stratford-upon-Avon and also had the most delicious meal at our wedding reception venue. Since we both lead such busy lives it was really nice to spend some special tome together.

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Last month also saw my first AXA PPP healthcare guest post series go live.  The series concentrates on finding the motivation to exercise, which on some days I can relate to oh too well.

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The strawberries that my Nan gave me a few months ago seemed to have a growth spurt as they are producing juicy and delicious fruits in abundance last month.  My tomato plants are also doing so much better. It really is satisfying being able to go into your garden and pick your own.

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I also shared some amazing recipes:

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Raw Chocolate and Salted Caramel Hearts, Cherry and Oat Breakfast Muffins, Herbed Seitan Roll, Cherry Almond and Chocolate Protein Pudding, Blueberry and Raspberry Wholemeal Pancakes.

I also posted a vlog on making work wear affordable and my review on some E.L.F Cosmetics that I received.

Over the past few months I have come to many realisations about my perspectives on my eating and fitness which I documented in a post.  I am definitely more relaxed where these things are concerned now and really content on just concentrating on being happy and healthy.

Since my body pump classes have been postponed over the summer vacation I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try a new class.  I’ve been trying to try a yoga class for ages so decided to pop along to a body balance class.  Holy moly, this class is amazing! I am so in love with it and it has motivated me to up my yoga practice big time over the past few weeks.

Wow, what a month! You can watch my favourite things from July here.

My aims for August include:

  • Post my wedding invitations
  • Become a crafting DIY wedding Queen
  • Submit my thesis…eek!
  • Book my hen doo
  • Continue being happy and healthy
  • Redesign my blog
  • Enjoy life!

Most of these aims are wedding related but with only 3 months to the day (wowzers!) it is pretty much wedding HQ at my house at the moment.  Obviously, another major thing is handing in my thesis…so much going on but it is all so exciting!

August looks like it is going to be one amazing month and it’s already getting off to a great start, one for a reason which I don’t want to announce right now as a might jinx it and because my wedding invites are being delivered today!  

This month I want to give a big shout out to my blog sponsors for being so amazing, so please go and check them out and take advantage of my discount codes. 

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Also, I would like to say a big welcome back to Munchy Seeds who are sponsoring the blog again.  There is a giveaway coming your way from Munchy Seeds later this month so watch out for that.

How was July for you?  Did you make any goals and did you achieve them?

What’s on the cards for August?

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Raw Chocolate and Salted Caramel Hearts

Since discovering raw chocolate I have wanted to have ago and make my own. After ordering so cacao butter and raw cacao powder in my Goodness Direct order the other week I final did.

Those pretty little things are the result of my raw chocolate experiment. I wasn’t actually going to post a recipe as they are so easy to make and I used a combination of recipes but many of you have asked for the recipe so I thought I would be kind and share how I made them.

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There are so many different raw chocolate making recipes on the internet that it can be a chore trying to work out which one is best to use. At one point I was thinking about buying a raw chocolate making kit from Choc Chick as I had seen it on Goodness Direct but decided against it when I saw their very simple recipe for raw chocolate on their website.

Another raw chocolate recipe which I thought was pretty straight forward and great was  on Elements for Life.   They are both pretty much the same, but the Choc Chick version suggests adding salt to the chocolate which I omitted due to the salted caramel layer.

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To make the hearts it couldn’t be simpler…

Make the raw chocolate from your chosen recipe and pour into silicon heart shape ice cup moulds just 1/3 of the way up. You don’t have to make them as hearts just use whatever you have at home. You can even use silicon cupcake cases or even a baking ray lined with cling film and just make one large slab of yumminess.

Place the chocolate in the freezer to set for about 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile to make the salted caramel layer:

Ingredients

Recipe adapted from this fab recipe

  • 2 tbsp melted organic coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp of lucuma powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Freedom Sweetener
  • 3 tsps of Rock Salt

Once all of the ingredients are prepared mix them all together in a bowl until well combined and smooth. Then pour into the moulds so that they should be 2/3 of the way full, which includes the initial layer of raw chocolate that has now set. Place the moulds back in the freezer until the caramel layer is set.

When the caramel layer is ready then fill the moulds up to the top with the remaining raw chocolate.  Put back in the freezer and allow the last of the chocolate to set.

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Mine came out with a speckled top which maybe due to the crystallisation of the sugars but I quite like the look of them this way and it certainly doesn’t take away from the taste.

When the chocolates are set turn out of the moulds and admire their deliciousness, ‘cos I know I did! Enjoy!

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The salted caramel layer is so smooth and creamy until you come across a grain of the salt.  You don’t want to these to be too salty it’s really just for a hit of flavour-  think of  Lindt Touch of Sea Salt or giant salted pretzels.  There is just a random hit of salt and not an overload, which I personally prefer.

I had a load of the salted caramel and raw chocolate left over so I decided to make some more chocolates with a thicker caramel layer a thinner raw chocolate layer and put an almond in the centre for some extra bite.

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For my first try at making raw chocolate I don’t think I did a bad job at all.  These are heavenly and probably one of the tastiest things that I have made in a while.  Luckily I now have plenty in the freezer to keep me going for a while.

Have you tried making your own raw chocolate before?

What would you put in your own homemade raw chocolate?

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WIAW: Major clear out

Hey guys!  I hope you are all having a great week!

How awesome has the weather been in the UK!  I’ve been absolutely loving it and have had a good few days lapping up the sunshine and topping up my vitamin D.

Like with most things in life with every positive there comes a negative, my negative being my hay fever.  The pollen count has been sky high and has left me with flu like symptoms i.e. constant runny nose and congestion.  Luckily I’ve had no itchy and watery eyes yet.  I’m not going to let it beat me though I’ve still been enjoying the weather regardless.

And since it is Wednesday you all know what that means…

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….another week of foodie inspiration in the form of WIAW!  Thank you Jenn for being the hostess with the mostess as always!

I wasn’t feeling my best on Monday morning as a result of my hay fever so I decided to skip my planned yoga session.  I figured that a bunged up nose and yoga really wasn’t a great combination.  Instead swapped sun salutations for a major wardrobe clear out. 

It had been on the cards for a while, especially since I hadn’t worn any of the clothes that I had saved from my last wardrobe over haul.  This time round I was quite brutal and got rid of anything that I hadn’t worn in the past  months to a year or just didn’t fit in with my current style.  It was also a great opportunity to stash away my heavy winter knits and coats.  I have kept some thinner jumpers in my closet though as you never know with the weather in the UK. 

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These space saver bags are simply genius for stashing things away as you use a hoover to suck out the air so they become vacuum packed.  I store duvets and all sorts in them. 

After all of that hard work breakfast was well deserved.  At the weekend I saw that some of the Dorset’s cereal was on offer in Tesco’s so I decided to treat myself to a box.  I had a bowl of Simply Nutty muesli with a chopped pink lady apple and some green tea.

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Mid morning I was feeling a little bit peckish so I decided to make myself a snack of raw baby carrots and cucumber and hummus.

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This combo never gets old!

For lunch it could have been nothing but a salad as I have been craving them so much in this heat.  This one was pretty epic…

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It was made using lettuce leaves, tomatoes, beetroot, half and avocado, vegan cheese, cucumber and red peppers with a balsamic dressing, amazing!

Later in the afternoon I had to pop out to the Post Office so I decided to change out of my lounge around the house clothes and decided to make some sort of an effort.

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OTTD: white vest top and coral baggy vest top, khaki 3/4 trousers: H&M, sandals: River Island, bow necklace and big earrings, Forever 21.

In the afternoon I fancied a smoothie but after chopping up the fruit and eyeing the Total Greek Yoghurt in my fridge I completely changed my mind.  My lovely neighbour had given me some herbs and lettuce that she has grown herself early today and the scent form the mint was wafting through the air every time that I opened the fridge.  So I decided to combine all three ingredients:

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Mango, raspberries and blackberries with full fat Greek yoghurt and fresh mint.  Holy yum!  This was heavenly, the mint gave it a super fresh kick and a whole new dimension.  I will definitely be adding fresh herbs to my fruit more often.

For dinner I wanted something quick so I just cooked some soya mince and mushrooms in a tomato sauce and used it to stuff a baked sweet potato. I had this with some steamed broccoli.

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This tasted surprisingly good for a super speedy meal.

In the evening I raided my freezer for a raw treat:

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My Raw Chocolate and Salted Caramel Hearts x 4 with some delicious cherries.  These hearts taste amazing and it would be selfish of me not to share the recipe, so its coming soon!

Well a pretty good day of eats again where I managed to listen to what my body wanted and just went with it.  It was so great clearing out my wardrobe and feeling all organised.  I can actually navigate myself around my wardrobe so much more easier now!  Strangely, I do love a good clear out now and then, it works wonders for my mind.  Getting rid of old crap somehow clears my head too, weird I know.

When was the last time that you had a good wardrobe shake up?

Are you good at getting rid of things or are you a bit of a hoarder?

Do you find having a clear out as some sort of therapy like me?

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Just call me Gok Wan!

Hey folks!  I hope you have all been enjoying the weekend and all of the beautiful sunshine that we have been having in the UK, maybe summer is here at last?

Thank you for all of your wonderful comments on my last post– I will get round to replying to them all soon, promise! You guys are so supportive and amazing and I adore you all!  Becoming more relaxed with my eating and exercise is something that has progressed over the last 6 months, but I just wanted to put my thoughts on this all in one post.  Like some of you said the current revolution in the blogging community seems to be slowing things down and generally being more kinder to ourselves and I think it is great that I’m not alone in this endeavor.

I really enjoyed my workouts this week, they went a little bit like this:

Monday: Yoga Class

Tuesday: a variation of strength workout A and 20 minutes of HIITS on the bike and cross trainer

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: Body Balance

Friday: 30 minutes of gentle cardio on the treadmill, cross trainer and step machine followed by 3 x 12 reps of chest press ups, lunges, squats, tricep dips and the plank.

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 3 mile run and yoga stretches

This week I decided to just do whatever I felt like where my workouts were concerned and found it so much fun.  This morning I was supposed to go to the gym, but it was so beautiful outside I just couldn’t waste the sunshine so I went on a short 3 mile run.  I had a great playlist on my iPhone which made the run really enjoyable.

On Saturday I had a bit of a girly shopping day in Birmingham with my mum with a mission of finding her Mother of the Bride outfit.  I made the most of the sun with my outfit and decided to put on my favourite maxi dress and gladiator sandals.

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OOTD: stripy maxi dress: Bank, grey basic t-shirt: H&M, gladiator sandals: Office, necklace: French Connection, orange cuff: Forever 21, bracelet: Topshop.

I just loved the navy stripes and the orange accessories together!

After trying on about a zillion dresses, jackets and fascinator combos my mum finally settled on a dress that she felt comfortable in.  We grabbed a whole heap of dresses of different shapes, colours and cuts and the one that my mum picked really compliments her figure and complexion.  She looks fabulous in it and after starting out not feeling confident she would find anything she would find anything, she really happy with the dress I helped her find.  Well, what can I say, just call me of Gok Wan!

I also picked up some treats for myself and something for Alfie too:

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Basic vest tops (£2.50 each!), skinny jeans (£8.75),  moccasins, scarf, pink jewelled bow necklace, selection of earrings, scarf: Forever 21, body cream from Jo Malone, Chanel lipstick, Tom Ford perfume for men.

Forever 21 is one of my favourite shops and it is always good for a bargain.  Obviously the more expensive items are for my wedding day.  Alfie and I really love our fragrances and wanted something different for our wedding day.  So, I went to Jo Malone and already have bought the perfume but wanted a body cream to wear underneath it to make the perfume smell even more unique.  Alfie fell in love with a pure perfume Tom Ford fragrance and it smells extremely spicy and sexy!

This weekend food has been particularly fantastic!

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A wholemeal bagel stuffed with plain hummus, Tesco’s vegan cheese and cucumber!  One of the best bagel combos ever!

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All of this sun has made my strawberries change colour so quickly.  I pick some one day and there are more red ones the next day- I can’t keep up!  They have been the focus of many meals:

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Stove cooked oats using almond milk, water, Tesco’s soya yoghurt, nectarines, raspberries, blackberries and my strawberries.

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Strawberries, blackberries, soya yoghurt, dark chocolate dreams and salted pretzels.

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Fresh pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, soya yoghurt and a Cherry and Oat Breakfast Muffin.

I’ve also been loving my green smoothies with a passion:

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Kale, a banana, vanilla stevia, ice and almond milk!

My favourite meal to whip up right now are Buddha bowls, I just cannot seem to get enough of them.  They are so tasty and so quick to make, what’s not to love?

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Steamed broccoli and edamame beans with left over Curried Quinoa with Cashews and Sultanas with some plantain.

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Steamed broccoli and kale, black eyed beans, baked sweet potato, yum!

Steamed broccoli and baked sweet potatoes seem to be an obsession of mine right now, I love them!  Sweet potatoes are great loaded with nut butters, with this in mind I made a mouthwatering evening snack on Friday night.

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A baked sweet potato stuffed with peanut butter and raw chocolate covered raisins, oh yes! 

I really have had a fantastic weekend of shopping, eats and spending time with Alfie- it was so nice to treat him to that perfume.  Today I went out for my run, did the food shop, enjoyed the sunshine in my garden, reading my book and making the most of my Goodnessdirect delivery that arrived on Friday:

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I made these oh so amazing Raw Chocolate and Salted Caramel Hearts earlier today and of course I had to test on for quality purposes.  No words can describe how good these babes are!

Such a fab weekend!  I hope you enjoy the rest of yours!

Have you ever had to play stylist Gok Wan style to anybody?  I found it quite fun once we had found the right dress.

What have you been up to this weekend?

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