Foodies

Mon Dessert - Macaron Masterclass

Macaron Masterclass 02.jpg

Regular readers will know that at The Amazing Blog we love trying new foods from superfoods to protein-filled snacks. But what we especially love are desserts because life is about balance, right? Since it’s a Friday, we decided to treat ourselves to the highly anticipated Mon Dessert Macaron Masterclass. Being surrounded by the aroma of dessert and freshly made macarons is honestly the ideal way to spend two hours of a Friday night in the heart of London’s food network: Borough Market.

Macaron Masterclass 06.jpg

During the Masterclass, which has a different seasonal theme each month, you learn how to make macarons from scratch following a recipe straight out of Paris. You also gain first-hand knowledge of tips and tricks that you can bring to your own kitchen if you’re brave enough to try making them on your own. The class has a wide variety of flavours and colours for you to create a box of personalized macarons that will impress your family and friends when you leave. Overall and most importantly, the class has a fun, light, and uplifting atmosphere that radiates from the delicious desserts to everyone baking in the kitchen.

Macaron Masterclass 07.jpg

Mon Dessert is a luxury at-home dessert company that holds classes like the Macaron Masterclass and sells kits to make your own desserts at home. Macarons kits allow you to take your skills from the class into your own flat and provides the necessary ingredients, recipe, equipment, and fashionable storage tin for you to be successful every time. The company also offers a delicious-looking speciality dessert kits, which help you make a professional-looking and tasting éclair, cannoli, and crème brûlée with ease. Vegan-friendly recipes, kitchen appliances, and many flavours from caramel to rose are available.

Mcaron.jpg

If you’re an avid foodie or someone who doesn’t shy away from desserts, the Macaron Masterclass is a must for you. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Le Pain Quotidien every second Friday of the month and is £50 per person. You can sign up for a spot in the class here.

ChicP - Houmous

Chicp Final template.jpg

Houmous. It’s a food that dates back to as early as the 13thcentury in Egypt and something we at The Amazing Blog have devoured since it became a trend with the likes of Whole Foods. What we adore about this food is it makes a hearty and healthy snack that leaves you satisfied for hours unlike a bag of crisps. With our tastes for houmous in mind, we were interested to try two flavours from ChicP 

The company was founded by Hannah McCollum, who worked predominantly as a private chef, on the‘passionate commitment to reducing food waste’. All of ChicP’s five colourful houmous flavours are made with raw vegetables that were discarded due to their irregular shape or size. Supermarkets reject approximately 40 per cent of produce because of these qualities and nearly 1/3 of UK produce goes to waste because people don’t eat it. McCollum wanted to combat this with ‘houmous made from imperfect veggies’ to promote better choices for your health and the environment. 

We were drawn to not only the company’s ethos, but also the delicious taste of its houmous. This houmous is much lighter than any others we’ve tried and is creamy, satisfying, and flavourful. The first flavour we tried was the Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric  The spread immediately tastes like you’ve dipped a carrot into an ordinary blend of chickpeas, saving you the extra step of doing it yourself. While the carrot taste is evident, the ginger and turmeric follow after and linger yet don’t overpower. This flavour works splendidly as a dip, but we liked putting it over baked chicken and pasta. We felt the second one we tasted would be more suitable as a midday snack or sandwich spread. Herby is true to its name and has a strong veggie taste, as 16 per cent of the recipe is spinach and parsley. However, lemon juice concentrate, vinegar, and garlic purée increase the flavour’s depth and tastiness. 

The houmous here is vegan and contains no additives or added sugars. Carrot, Ginger & Tumeric and Herby also only have 113 calories (469 kJ) and 127 calories (526 kJ) per quarter pot, respectively, and are reasonably priced at £3 for 170g. Additionally, there are three other flavours available in ChicP’s collection: Beetroot, Horseradish & Sage, Chilli Pumpkin, and Banana Chocolate. You can purchase their houmous here, or at one of the retailers listed here.

Boost Protein Balls and Butters

Boost Balls and Butters Final Blog.jpg

During a busy day here, some of us have so much on our to-do lists that we don’t always have time to take a lunch break. Realistically speaking, most of the time we at The Amazing Blog are surviving off of quick snacks that we keep at our desks. However, during these hectic days we try not to compromise on our healthy eating. Step forward our new delicious pick-me-up, Boost Protein Balls let us introduce you to our new nutritious discovery…

Essex-based Boost Ball launched its range of protein balls with the idea of ‘less ingredients, more protein.’ Available in four different flavours, their Boostballs are made with seven natural ingredients and are entirely gluten, soya and refined sugar-free. They are instead high in protein and contain natural sugars for a healthy snack perfect for boosting your energy for either a day at the office or a gym workout. A new twist to a protein bar, each Boostball is enriched with Vitamin A, B, E, B12, Calcium, Iron and Zinc. The raw ingredients are not baked or refined; they are cold-pressed making these protein balls an indulgent snack - without the guilt. The first flavour we tried, Lemon Drizzle Cake, contains Dates, Rice Protein, Cashews, Cashew Butter, Coconut, Maple Syrup, Vanilla Extract and Lemon Oil  making it a great zesty snack. The Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Boostball contains a whopping 23.3 g of protein and a mixture of gooey and moreish. Next, we tried the tropical and creamy Coconut Fudge Cake flavour which was by far one of our favourites out of the four.  The last of the Boost Ball flavours, Maple & Cinnamon Roll, was a great spice-filled yet sweet snack for those extra-long days at the office.  The Boostballs are available to purchase on here for £17.99 for  x 12 packs of 36 Boostballs.

We mustn’t forget to mention that Boostball has JUST released a new line of Palm-oil free protein butters, Boostbutter. These are to put on any snacks or foods you desire (or to eat straight from the pouch!) The Protein Nut Butters currently are available in Caramel, Chocolate Brownie and Sweet Maple and are each packed with 11 grams of protein and offer a healthier, smoother and more flavourful alternative to something like peanut butter. Conveniently in a squeezable pouch, we’ve been spreading the protein butters on toast, porridge or adding them to our smoothies. Yum! As of now they are not available but will be coming soon on www.boostball.com.

Nouri Healthy Balls

Nouri health_edited-1.jpg

At The Amazing Blog we have to admit to some of us having a penchant for sweet treats. However, with summer coming unhealthy sugars have to go, particularly as we look at our waistlines and start thinking about getting bikini-ready. With this in mind, we’ve been testing out many sweet treat alternatives but still find that many contained high amounts of calories with added sugar. That’s when we came across newly launched food brand Nouri Health, one of our #amazingfinds towards our healthier nibbling. We’re very happy to report that our sweet tooth habit couldn’t be easier now with their range of indulgent, yet healthy, truffle balls.

Nouri Health was launched last year after the founder discovered a lack of confectionary alternatives which were completely vegan, sugar and gluten-free. Their use of simple and natural ingredients in their truffle selection gives delicious and indulgent flavours while simultaneouslyly nourishing the body. Since Nouri doesn’t use artificial ingredients and aromas, they aim to use only the freshest fruits and nuts to ensure each truffle is up to par with their taste standards.  The founder Kalina Halatcheva said: “We found that many healthy treats taste very similar (concentrated with dates and other dry fruits) and leave you searching for something more satisfying with a proper sense of indulgence. That's why we decided that our number one focus on Nouri was taste!” After winning the prestigious SIAL INNOVATION Selection 2018 award in Paris , Nouri commemorated their win by releasing a luxurious 16 count box of four flavours of healthy balls all, equally full of goodness, rich and chewy.

The Nouri Vegan Healthy Balls box contains four indulgent flavours, Chocolate & Hazel, Coconut & Chia, Matcha Green Tea and the special edition Sesame & Cardamom. While all the flavours are delicious, our favourite amongst the four is the Chocolate & Hazel truffles. Made with dates, hazelnuts, almonds and vanilla, this truffle is the perfect balance between chocolatey and nutty. For a more crunchy texture, the Coconut & Chia truffles are a sweet mix of coconut, dried apricots, sultanas and chia seeds offering a refreshing, tropical twist. The third flavour, Matcha Green Tea is a creamy, matcha flavour made with other superfoods such as pumpkin seeds, sultanas, dates, cashew paste, almonds and millet flakes. Wrapped in a gold foil, the special edition Sesame & Cardamom truffle, infused with turmeric, left us feeling satisfied without the guilt with its decadent and earthy taste. While fruits, nuts and dates are combined into the recipes; unlike other natural sugar-free confectionary alternatives, these truffles don’t have that typical identifiable fruity or date-y taste. They are just so moreish! Like us, you can now satisfy your inner-sweet tooth, as well as 'nourish your body, indulge your soul' and enjoy a 16-count-box of delicious truffles from the Nouri Health website here for only £14.95.

The Bakedin Baking Club - Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Bakedin Final Photo 3.jpg

Hands up if you like to indulge in a sweet treat…or two! We certainly do at The Amazing Blog. However, it has to be said, when it comes to baking, some of us are less Mary Berry, and more inclined to visit the local supermarket instead! We were therefore pleased to re-visit the goodies from Bakedin, having tried their Mug Mixes in December (see here). This time, they presented us with their Lemon Drizzle Loaf, part of their monthly Baking Club, and we were more than happy to oblige!

The premise of Bakedin’s Baking Club is a simple (but delicious) one, to provide new recipes and ingredients each month, allowing you to create both easy and tasty sweet treats. Those of us less inclined to bake from scratch are often found in the ready-mix baking section in the local shop, and are sadly more than not, disappointed by our results which are - ahem - less than satisfactory. This is where Bakedin is different, their ingredients are top notch with recipes that are reviewed and approved by Michel Roux, himself. A chef with no less than 3 Michelin stars and a wealth of experience – you can be safe in the knowledge that the result will be a scrumptious one.

Upon opening our box, we were pleased to see each ingredient is individually weighed and packaged in numbered sachets. To follow the recipe, you need only follow the step by step (numbered) guide, with visual images for reference, and tips and tricks from Roux himself. Nutritional information, skill level and timings are all covered in a handy card, alongside written measurements and methods for future baking. We tried the Lemon Drizzle Loaf and were thrilled to find a recipe mix that doesn’t merely help with the cake mixture, but also with the buttercream and icing recipes too. Although the box only contains dry ingredients, the instructions are written detailing everything, including a list of additional wet and refrigerated ingredients you will need. The best part? The finished product tastes like a professional cake.

Pricing wise, each box works out to being £7.50. This is for a 12 month subscription which is prepaid at £90 per annum with the bonus of free delivery, and a box easily posted through a letterbox. Your box will be delivered around the middle of the month you signed up in. To see for yourself, visit the Bakedin website here. You’ll be a baking pro in no time!