Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Heinz Seriously Good Spoonfuls Event

A note from Joelle... 
Heinz Seriously Good Spoonfuls

Heinz, wonderful Heinz. We all know it and any of their varieties can be found in pretty much any British household. One of their latest ventures is Seriously Good mayonnaise, which is thicker and creamier than the others on offer.
Heinz hosted a competition where bloggers were tasked with creating a recipe (that could fit on a spoon) and I was invited down to taste the shortlisted recipes and see who won the competition.
There were black forest brownies, coconut crispy prawns, salmon parcels and even banana bread recipes, all made with Seriously Good mayo as an ingredient!
Heinz Seriously Good Spoonfuls
As you can see, my pictures came out incredibly blue due to the cool lighting in the studio space.
Heinz Seriously Good Spoonfuls

I can't even begin to explain how delicious and professional all the finished dishes were. My favourite had to be this one:

Extreme Salted Caramel and Petzel Brownie (bySmokey Joe BBQ)

For Salted Caramel + Pretzel Brownie
200g dark chocolate,70% cocoa solids, chopped into small pieces
100g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
11/2tsp vanilla extract
3tbs salted caramel extract
3tbsp full fat milk
100g mayonnaise (I used Heinz Seriously Good Mayonnaise)
Salted caramel (to drizzle over and decorate)
White chocolate (to drizzle over and decorate)
Pretzels (as many as you fancy to decorate)

Cookie Dough Base:
100g butter, softened
100g brown sugar, softened
1tbsp golden syrup
150g self raising flour
1/2tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Make the brownie:
Heat oven to 170C/fan150C/gas4. Pour enough water into a small pan to one third fill it. Bring the water to a boil. Put the chopped chocolate into a large bowl that will fit snugly over the pan without touching the water, make sure you check the size and no one wants to cry over spilt chocolate! Sit the pan over the water and leave the chocolate to melt slowly for a few mins, stirring occasionally until it has melted evenly, make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Remove the bowl from the pan, and then let the chocolate cool slightly.
Meanwhile, lightly grease and base – line (add greaseproof paper) a 19cm square cake tin that is 5cm deep. In a separate bowl combine the flour and cocoa. Using a wooden spoon, stir both the sugars into the cooled chocolate with the salted caramel extract, vanilla and milk. Stir in 1tbsp warm water. Break and beat in the eggs, one at a time making sure combined after each egg,  then stir in the mayonnaise just until smooth and glossy. Sift over the flour and cocoa mix, then gently fold in with a spatula without over mixing. Set aside to make your cookie dough base.

Cookie Dough Base:
Mix together the sugar and butter using a wooden spoon. Stir in the golden syrup.
Once creamy and smooth add the flour to the mixture. You want the consistency to be smooth but pliable, you need to be able to form the dough into ball without it being overly sticky. You may need to add a little more flour, but not too much.
When the dough is the right consistency you will need to add this to the prepared tin. Add dollops of the mixture to the tin, then smooth over so flat, ensure mixture reaches the corners. You want to fill the bottom of the tin without being top deep (any cookie dough leftover you can use to make cookies, just chuck in some chocolate chips and bake at 160 fan assisted for 10-12mins:)).
Pour the brownie mixture directly over your cookie dough base, then gently and evenly spread it into the corners. Bake for 30mins. When a skewer is inserted into the middle, it should come out with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it, you want it to have a little wobble to it. If cooked too long, the mix will dry out; not long enough and it can sink. Leave in the tin until completely cold, I normally leave it overnight in the fridge. Turn out onto a board, peel off the lining paper and decorate.
Melt the white chocolate in the same way you melt the dark chocolate. Once melted, drizzle over your brownie. Add some pretzels to deviate then drizzle over salted caramel and then add even more pretzels!!  
Cut into squares and serve with vanilla ice-cream! Perfection on a plate! By using Seriously Good Mayonnaise it gives the brownies a different dimension. It brings together the combo of salt  and sweet perfectly!

Amazing, right? I would never have guessed it had mayo in it, but it not had been as smooth and rich without it! What do you think? Would you consider adding mayo to more of your homecooked recipies?

Sunday, 9 October 2016

RECIPE: Spinach and Goat's Cheese Tartlets

A note from Joelle... 

Hello there! Today, I bring you another super delicious and easy baking recipe that looks really impressive at picnics and can be eaten hot or cold. This  post really should have gone up in the Summer, but I guess they are so good, they can be eaten all year round!

RECIPE: Spinach and Goat's Cheese Tarts

Goat's cheese is so rich and creamy, so it's a surprise that it's not more popular. I think many people are scared of moving away from cow-based dairy produce, because that is what they have aways had. However, goat's cheese is so delicious and really is worth a try in a salad or a mini pie, like this...


Flour, butter, salt and water to make the pastry or shop-bought shortcrust pastry, if you want to save time
Spinach (I used frozen, as it's more value for money, but fresh spinach is fine too)
Chives (chopped)
Single or soured cream
3 large eggs
1 tspn salt and white pepper

  1. Add the eggs, single cream, chives, salt pepper, spinach, cheese and chilli flakes into a  bowl and beat until all is combined and the cheese is broken down into small lumps
  2. Roll out the pastry and cut out circles that are larger than your muffin tray/pie dish (pastry shrinks when cooked).
  3. Grease the baking tin well with oil!
  4. Concertina the pastry over itself to make it fit neatly and also for that rustic mini-pie look
  5. Pour in the egg mixture almost to the top of the pastry cases
  6. Brush the pastry edges with a bit of milk for a nice golden shine
  7. *optional* sprinkle a bit of mature cheddar or parmesan on the top before baking
  8. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius
  9. Don't worry if the egg puffs up, it will return to a flat state during cooling
  10. Once golden brown and firm, take out and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes

These tartlets may be small, but they are packed with a tonne of flavour and trust me, people will think you bought them from a shop! 
What do you think? Let me know if you give these a go!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Save The Feminist Library!

A note from Joelle... 
The Feminist Library
Libraries are SO important, and hundreds have closed in the last five years under Government spending cuts. Many in the City, however, have been forced to close due to the local councils selling off land to luxury property developers. This is the case for The Feminist Library in Southwark, London.

Last week, I was invited down to the premiere screening of 'The Feminist Library' - a new short film by Anais Charles.
The film was shot as a series of interviews with women who have  had a connection with the library, both, past and present. 
The film comes after news last year that Southwark Council was to sell off the building that hosts the library and turn it into yet another block of luxury flats that never get bought and add fuel to the London houses crisis wildfire.
The Library has been around for over 40 years and is home to both famous and rare books, documents and journals, mainly from the Women's Liberation Movement era in the early 1970s.
When I heard last year the famous Feminist Library was facing closure last year, I couldn't quite believe it.I was naive to think that they had enough supporters and volunteers to keep it from harm, but that just isn't the case. So I knew I had to show my face at this screening to support and donate.
I can't lie to you, the building is in an awful condition. So much so, that as soon as the film commenced, a mouldy curtain in the corner of the room fell off its rail. This cannot be a healthy condition for the volunteers and the books, and it's shocking that they have had to put up with an unsuitable building and audacious rent costs.

As a book-loving Feminist, it is really sad to hear about the library potentially becoming homeless, with all those archives potentially being lost. Not to mention all the future friendships and relationships between the volunteers being no more if the library was forced to close. Because the truth is, the history of the British Women's Liberation Movement is not common knowledge. Yes, we may know about the Suffragettes in the early 1990s, but the history of British women after that seemed to have been pushed aside in favour of the American side of history.

There was a discussion after the film and it was time for questions. It was very refreshing to see that the majority of questions to the panel were in fact, men. The diversity of the room was great too, as Feminism, both here and across the pond has been under fire for ignoring the views of women of colour and certain religions/social classes. The bringing together of all of us young, older, black, white, Asian, female, male, etc. is what this library is all about - community. And it will be a great shame if it is lost due to greedy councils and investors.

The bottom line is that the really important books and documents in this special archive may be lost and inaccessible, which is pretty devastating. This is women's history - herstory, that deserves to be shared, discussed and respected.

Feel free to donate HERE to help the Feminist Library stay on their feet for as long as possible!

The Feminist Library
5 Westminster Bridge Rd
(until October 2016)

I will update this page once a new home for the library has been announced.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

RECIPE: Chocolate Banana Bread with Monty Bojangles

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪'Giving Up The Gun' - Vampire Weekend ♫♪

So it's officially autumn, which means I can start baking all those baked comfort foods that makes me feel nice and cosy, right? Cool.
Chocolate Banana Bread

Today, I bring you my recipe for chocolate banana bread, which is something I have never done before. I make banana bread all the time because I always seem to have overripe bananas lying about that I can't bring myself to throw away. But adding chocolate is a new step for me. 
I was going to down the dark route and add strong cocoa powder, dark chocolate and crushed walnuts, but chose to make the batter lighter so that the banana flavour and light, airy texture was not lost.
I this recipe, I added the incredibly delicious 'Milky Mischief' truffles from Monty Bojangles to the batter. If you follow me on snapchat (Joelle.Owusu), you'll know that I have been raving about these truffles a lot recently.
Chocolate Banana Bread
It turned out really well, so here's the recipe!

2 overripe bananas
3 large eggs
110g unsalted melted butter
2 tbsp soft brown sugar - you don't need much for to the sweetness from the bananas and chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
120g self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
Splash of milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar over a pan of boiling water. I switched it up and almost made a Genoise sponge until very pale in colour. This is done to make cakes (usually with no fat) extra spongy. 
  3. Pour in the butter and vanilla.
  4. Mash up the banana and add to the mixture.
  5. Add the other dry ingredients and fold in the flour a bit at a time.
  6. Chop up Monty Bojangles truffles into quarters and add to the batter. They will begin to melt and turn the mixture all lovely and chocolatey.
  7. Add the milk for extra aeration and to loosen the batter more.
  8. Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for 30 mins at 180 C.
  9. Once risen and hard on top, poke with a skewer to check it the cake is nice and firm on the inside.
  10. Once done, take out and leave to cool for 10 mins (if you can hold on for that long!)

This cake is delicious warm or cold and you can mix it up with nuts, fruit and other kinds of chocolate.
I will be visiting the Monty Bojangles truffle bar in Reigate soon to see what else I can experiment with.

What do you think? Are you excited for Autumn and all the baking goodness that comes with it?


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