Cashew Oatmeal Bites by Pip & Nut

Hello 2018.

I spent a good chunk of 2017 obsessing over Pip & Nut’s Nut Butter Cookbook and I think it’s safe to say I will be spending a similar amount of time drooling over the recipes and telling you all about it in 2018 too.

When I bought The Nut Butter Cookbook home last year I spent a hearty Sunday in the kitchen baking my way through 3-4 of the Snack recipes. I never got round to sharing them all with you and to be honest I didn’t want to bombard you with too many so I’ve decided now is as good a time as any to share some of the others, starting with the Cashew Oatmeal Bites.

The Cashew Oatmeal Bites are packed full of healthy fats, slow release carbs and unrefined sugar, making them the perfect healthy tea time treat or elevenses pick me up. The only issue I found with them is that they don’t stick around for long.

Buy the Pip & Nut Cookbook here


Preparation Time | 10 minutes

Baking Time | 20 minutes 

Makes | 20 


280g rolled oats

180g cashews, chopped

200g cashew nut butter

320g agave nectar or honey

240g raisins

2 eggs, beaten


Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line a couple of baking tray with baking paper.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl until you have a wet but firm batter.

Drop tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared baking trays, leaving an inch between each. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Festive Rocky Road

So apparently it’s been snowing outside across the UK today…well everywhere expect above my house. To say I’m devastated would a tremendous under statement, so I’m filling my Sunday creating my own indoor winter snug fest watching Christmas films, drinking tea and mulled wine, and roasting a yummy pork loin.

I’m also adding to the snug by sharing with you my Festive take on Rocky Road. This no bake recipe is a super fun treat to bake with children when you’ve managed to drag them in from the snow, and also doubles up as a perfect edible gift to share with friends and family; simply package it up in some cellophane wrap and tie it with a ribbon.


Makes| 12 squares

Preparation| 1 hour 30 minutes


250 grams dark chocolate

150 grams milk chocolate

175 grams soft unsalted butter

4 tablespoons golden syrup

200 grams ginger biscuits

150 grams brazil nuts

150 grams red glace cherries

125 grams Cake Angels mini marshmallows

Cake Angels 2D cake decorations

Cake Angels Winter Wonderland Sprinkles

4 peppermint Candy Canes

1 tablespoon icing sugar


Line a square tin (20cm x 20cm) tin with parchment paper and set aside.

Chop both the milk and dark chocolate and then put into a  pan to melt with the butter and syrup over a gentle heat.

Put the ginger biscuits into a freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin to get a mix of sandy crumbs and larger pieces of biscuits.

Put the Brazil nuts into another freezer bag and also bash them so you get different-sized nut.s

Take the pan off the heat, and add the crushed biscuits and nuts, whole glacé cherries and mini-marshmallows. Fold carefully to coat everything with mixture.

Tip the mixture into the lined tray, smoothing the top as best you can and top with the cake decorations, sprinkles and candy canes

Refrigerate until firm enough to cut, roughly 1½–2 hours. Then take the set block of rocky road out of the lined tray ready to cut.

Push the icing sugar through a small sieve to dust the top of the Rocky Road, then with the long side in front of you, cut into it 6 slices down and 4 across, so that you have 12 squares.


Behind the scenes at a Whole Foods Market & the best brownies I’ve ever made!


Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a Whole Foods Market. From freshly ground coffee, an array of savoury artisan breads and delicious sweet treats the bakeries have all the goods to make anyone’s day delightful and a few sunny weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting all the bakers in the High Street Kensington Branch to gain an insight into their world.

Whole Foods Market is well known for their organic approach in baking, only using eggs that are free-range and non GMO fed and only using flour that is unbleached and unbromated. You also won’t catch any artificial colours, flavours, sweetness or preservatives in any of the food they sell which means when you walk into theirs stores and smell the amazing aroma of freshly baked breads and cakes, you know that you’ll have a hard task finding anything better.

So what happened during my visit and where do the best brownies ever come into it? Take a read on and let’s find out.


08:30 – The introduction

I arrived at 8:30am sharp to the welcome of Madga, one of the Whole Foods Market bakers. As she stood equipped with chef whites and a net cap, it was clear the outfit I’d selected for the tour was not worth the anguish the night previous but needs must for food safety and as I adorned the chef whites and net cap i suddenly felt like part of the team. So with that off we went on the Whole Foods Market tour…first stop The Bakery.


08:45 – The Bakery

The bakery was possibly the most impressive part of my visit with their sour dough line up a particular highlight – I wish I could have bottled that smell and taken it with me, but instead I settled for tasting as many of the different flavours as I could.  That smell wouldnt have been possible without their starter who I was delighted to be introduced to. Aptly name “The Mother” she took pride of place in their tiny kitchen bubbling away waiting for her next feed. I’ve always been fascinated by bread and used to wonder why on earth people named their sour dough starters, but to see how alive “The Mother” was made it so clear that they deserve a title and she in particular deserves that name.

Their Kensington branch is of few stores who bake their bread daily, using the freshest ingredients including Shipton Mill Organic Flour. Whatever bread you’re after, you’ll find as they offer so much choice from sourdough, focaccia, bagels, ciabatta and crusty French sticks which I was able to see being both shaped and baked before being whisked away and taken up to the Patisserie kitchen.


09:15 – The Patisserie

Eventually Madga managed to get me out of the bakery and upstairs to the cool patisserie kitchen which was a warm welcome on that hot morning. I was visiting on a particularly quiet day but nevertheless the bakers were busy in their day getting all the delicious cakes and tarts ready for the shop floor. In one corner a baker was busy decorating the chocolate orange….while in the other corner another was bringing out freshly baked croissants and lining them onto trollies.

I was fascinated how much they had got prepared that early in the morning but Madga confirmed that they had lots of mix ready made in large batches which saves time. She took me into their cold store to show me and I was distracted by their mince pie filling.

“Have you already got mince pies in preparation” I asked

“Yes of course Christmas is in full swing,  we have to start preparing our flavours at least a year in advance” she replied ”

I was in awe of their organisation and loved watching all the bakers bustling in and out of the cold store, grabbing things here and there but smiling all the way. It was so clear they loved their jobs, and I’m not surprised.

As we left the cold store I was distracted again by their huge ovens to the left of me.

“Ohhh what’s in there?” I asked as I peeked into the window of their giant oven.

“Ahh those are our brownies” Magda replied, as one of the bakers opened the door to bring them out releasing what I can only describe as the smell of heaven.

“Oh wow okay so I’m going to need the recipe for these please” I begged

Madga laughed “Of course” as if that wasn’t the first time she’d been asked that question

 


09:45 – Shopping

After the tour and with my mind set on getting home and baking those brownies ASAP, it was time to buy some ingredients using some of Whole Foods finest.

First stop was of course Shipton Mill Organic Flour and I wanted to get as big a bag as I could carry on the train so opted for the 2.5k packet.

If I was making brownies I obviously needed chocolate so second stop was their chocolate aisle on the hunt for some unique and organic chocolate to use. I was determined to use something I’d never used or even seen before and found BlanxArt. This was the perfect choice as it was one of the creamiest dark chocolates I’ve ever tasted.

I also wanted to try some different sugar to the standard caster sugar which has been a staple in all my baking for all these years. I was keen to try something new and also as organic as I could find so opted for Equal Exchange Organic Raw Cane Sugar.

I could have easily spent longer browsing their aisles and filling my trolley with every wild and wonderful new ingredient I stumbled upon but my strength can only go so far so I had to stop there…next time I’ll be bring reinforcements.

For all ingredients visit your local Whole Foods Market of visit WholefoodsMarket.com.


WHOLEFOODS| THE BEST BROWNIES EVER


Makes|16 Brownies

Preparation time| 30 minutes

Baking time| 45 minutes


550g sugar

350g unsalted butter

6 eggs

400g good quality dark chocolate

350g flour

190g chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3 and grease a 20cm x 20cm brownie tin.

In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the 400g chocolate until smooth.

Melt the butter slowly in a pan then pour over the smooth chocolate and whisk the two together until silky.

Leave the chocolate/butter mixture to cool for 5 minutes.

In another large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined, but try not to overwhisk as you don’t want to add in too much air.

Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar mixture and combine well

Sift the flour into the mixture and add the chocolate chips then carefully fold it all together using a large metal spoon.

Pour the batter into your prepared brownie tin and bake in the centre of your oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour checking.

You want the centre to still be a little wobbly when you remove the brownie from the oven as this is what ensures you get the gooey brownies we all dream of.

Leave them to cool on a wire rack for a few hours or overnight (covered with a tea towel) then cut them into 16 equal squares and dust with some icing sugar.

Serve with strawberries and cream for the ultimate brownie dessert.

Alternative additions

300g chopped hazlenuts

300g chopped macadamia nuts

550g white chocolate chips

For more information on Whole Foods Market UK and any of the ingredients I’ve used for The Brownies please visit http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/kensington or pop into one of their many stores around the UK.