By way of introduction for those who don’t know, Macabella spread is a heavenly fusion of chocolate and macadamia nuts which comes in two varities- velvet smooth and crunchy. It’s now available to buy from Ocado at £3 for a jar- and trust me, it’s well worth every penny.
Category Archives: baking
You should know by now that I love to bake, and more recently I’ve got back in to cooking. When I had my brief spell in my own flat the kitchen was by far the best equipped room in the house and whilst looking to move out again in the future it’s always the kitchen gadget section of any shop that draws me in first.
Today I’m bring you some interesting insights in to the UK’s kitchen culture thanks to five-star acrylic sheet supplier The Plastic People who create kitchen splashbacks to add a stylish touch to any cooking area.
From the most purchased kitchen items through to a look at the country’s cooking habits I thought this made for an interesting weekend read.
The same piece of research has also revealed that in 2015 42% of Brits purchased a kettle (guilty), 30% bought a toaster (also guilty), 15% of Brits bought a sandwich maker or grilling machine, 13% of Brits bought a smoothie maker or juicer (yep), 13% also bought a coffee capsule or pod drinks maker and 11% bought a filter coffee machine- that’s a lot of gadgets!
Dishwasher(s) – 82 per cent.
Fridge/freezer – 78 per cent.
Extractor fan – 77 per cent.
Hob(s) – 75 per cent.
Wall oven(s) – 56 per cent.
Microwave – 53 per cent.
This same study also revealed that stainless steel was the most popular colour when upgrading appliances (47 per cent opted for this), followed by black (22 per cent) and then white (10 per cent).
The 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study — UK delved into the following details about how and why Brits are going about upgrading their kitchens:
The frequency of increasing kitchen sizes sat at 63 per cent in the 12 months prior to the release of the research, for those currently renovating their kitchens and for those planning to renovate the space over the three months after the release of the research.
The most popular events that triggered Brits to update their kitchen were:
42% were recently purchased homes and owners wanted to make their kitchen their own.
32% had wanted to update their kitchen all along and finally had the means to do so.
30% could no longer stand their old kitchen.
26% acknowledged that their old kitchen had either deteriorated, broken down or became unsafe.
14% were adapting to family and lifestyle changes.
77% added a cutlery organiser
61% updated their kitchen with deep drawer organisers.
51% added pull-out waste or recycling cabinets.
41% cent updated their kitchen with a corner carousel.
39% updated their kitchen with a pot and pan organiser.
36% included pull-out trays and/or shelves.
I’m a bit of a kitchen storage freak and love the kitchen at my parents’ house as it has so many nifty storage solutions! #KitchenGoals
According to the Houzz study the reasons why homeowners looked into new storage solutions for their kitchen are as follows:
79% were motivated as they wanted to make better use of the space.
57% wanted to reduce clutter.
55% wanted to make it easier to find items in their kitchens.
36% were motivated as they wanted to utilise awkward spaces
21% wanted to make it easier to cook and bake in their kitchens.
Again referring to the Houzz study we can see that modifications to the kitchen can have a significant impact on how people are utilising the room. Interestingly…
69% spend more family time in their kitchen.
56% now find themselves working and/or studying for longer in their kitchen.
51% are hosting more dinner parties/other forms of entertaining guest in their home.
49% are baking more
43% now cook or prepare more meals at home.
42% now have more sit-down meals.
36% of people reported that tehy now order less takeaways.
23% now eat more fruits and/or vegetables.
I hope you find this post as interesting as I did, as I’ve mentioned I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to kitchens and I cannot wait for the day where I own my own home (I can dream right?) and have free reign over the design of my kitchen. My parents had theirs done just over a year ago and the difference it has made is incredible- even my Mum is cooking more which kind of says a lot really!
Tell me about your kitchens…
I’m not going to post the actual recipe for it is not mine to post, instead I’ll direct you to it’s creator- the frankly genius Jane of Jane’s Patisserie [recipe link]. This woman’s blog has some of the best recipes I’ve seen and it’s an endless source of baking inspiration for me. I’ve made a few of her recipes now including the chocolate orange cookies and each and every thing turns out perfectly each time.
Before I get in to the recipe I’ll explain a bit more about SugaVida. It’s essentially an alternative to traditional sugar and also goes by the name of Palmyra Jaggery which is a crystallised, unrefined nectar. Because it has a low GI it is suitable for diabetics and can be used in place of sugar in hot drinks, baking and cooking. It’s also packed with other nutritional benefits- one teaspoon of SugaVida contains 36% of the RDA of vitamin B12 (in fact, SugaVida is the only plant-based source of B12 which is great news for veggies and vegans), 210% of the RDA of vitamin B6 and a whopping 500% of vitamin B1. What’s more, SugaVida is organic, ethically sourced and sustainable for the communities who farm it!
100g Jim Jams chocolate hazelnut spread
100g unsalted butter, softened
250g Self raising flour
You will need also need a baking tray lined with baking parchment
Heat the oven to 180c, 160c fan. Gas 4.
Place the chocolate hazelnut spread, butter and SugaVida n a mixing bowl and beat well until smooth (an electric whisk helps).
Beat in the egg then beat in the flour to make a stiff dough.
Shape the dough into large walnut sized balls and place on a baking tray spaced a little apart. Flatten with a fork and bake for 15 mins until golden. allow to cool and store in a cake tin- they keep well, if you can resist them!
SugaVida is available at major retailers now with an RRP of £6.49 for 250g. Yep, it’s pricey but if you’re baking for an occasional treat for someone who would otherwise miss out, or are planning on using it just to sweeten hot drinks then it’s not too bad.
Let me know any diabetes friendly baking recipes you may have in the comments, I know they’ll be appreciated!