Foodies

Nouri Healthy Balls

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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

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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!

Christmas Food

We love the festive period at The Amazing Blog - the time for twinkling lights, mulled wine and time spent with loved ones. As if that’s not enough, Christmas is also the time for gourmet food choices, from the classic roast, to the after dinner cheese board. Tis’ the season for overindulging and treating ourselves, and with the New Year diet looming, it seems only right to make the most of the festive treats on offer. There are also few things we love more than to receive a selection of foodie treats on Christmas morning, so we thought, why not compile some of our favourites, so you too can give the gift of food!

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Firstly, we came across Cottage Delight, a brand based in the Staffordshire moorlands, bringing hand-crafted and innovative flavours to the condiments market. Established in 1974, the vast amount of experience helps the brand to lead the way in providing delicious additions to our meal (which more often that not, are even more delicious than the foods they are paired with). We were therefore excited to try their Gin & Fizz Set, compromising of two jams, a curd and marmalade - perfect to spice up any scone, crumpet or piece of toast.

Firstly, we tried the Raspberry & Prosecco Jam - a delectable treat to jazz up any morning. Made with 43g of fruit per 100g, this jam is characteristically tangy, but with a depth of flavour thanks to the addition of prosecco. Similarly the Lemon Curd with Gin has a zesty kick, yet an almost buttery texture that is not only indulgent, but also delicious. The addition of gin cuts through the tartness - ideal for any gin lovers in your life. For those who gear towards orange, the Marmalade with Gin has a fruity and juicy flavour - we love it spread across freshly made bread. Finally, for those who like a traditional strawberry jam, the Strawberry Jam with Marc de Champagne is a great option. Made with whole strawberries, this reminded us of our Grandma’s homemade jam. The champagne adds a luxurious aftertaste, solidifying this set as the ideal Christmas present. If that’s not enough, then the box itself is ready made for present giving, so there’s less hassle with wrapping, and more time to indulge in a glass of mulled wine (or two). Purchase a Gin & Fizz Gift Set here for £9.95.

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Secondly, for any chocolate lovers, we recommend Elements for Life. We tried their Yummy Scrummy Brownies not so long ago (see here), and more recently, their Raw Chocolate Making Starter Kit. Founded by Dan and Paula Knowlson, experts in raw chocolate, this brand continues to ensure products are suitable for vegans, diabetics and coeliacs, as well as those with lactose intolerances. This is something particularly difficult to find at Christmas, so we’re sure this set would be popular with anyone who suffers from a dietary requirement. That said, we all equally enjoyed this set, whether intolerant to common allergens or not.

The Raw Chocolate Starter Kit contains 100g raw cacao powder, 100g raw cacao butter, 100ml Sweet Freedom syrup and a reusable silicone chocolate mould. You can also choose your mould design, picking from the spiral swirls (which we went for), or the Valentine’s hearts. Using Peruvian Criollo raw cacao powder and butter, the ingredients are the best of the best, providing a rich and smooth chocolate that has a low GI. This makes it suitable for diabetics, furthermore displaying the inclusive nature of this brand. In terms of making the chocolate itself, we found the process incredibly easily. Simply melt the cacao butter, add the cacao powder and Sweet Freedom syrup and you’re done - pour into the moulds, pop them in the fridge and return to professional looking chocolates. To purchase a Raw Chocolate Making Starter Kit for £17.99, click here.

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Although we’re big sweet lovers at The Amazing Blog, we’re equally enticed by flavoursome and spicy dishes. For the spice lovers in your life, we present SteenbergsMediterranean Mini 8 Spice Box, a set packed with numerous spice blends, heavily influenced by the Arabic side of the Mediterranean. Having tried their Botanicals for Cocktails in October (see here), we were keen to try this set for ourselves - and can confirm that it will indeed be well received by any foodies in your family.

Founded by Axel and Sophie Steenberg in 2003, Steenbergs is passionate about providing top quality and organic spices, with over fifteen years of experience to draw from. You can therefore be safe in the knowledge that by gifting their Mediterranean spices set, you’ll be helping your foodie recipient to create delicious meals, with ingredients they can trust. This set compromises of organic tagine, ras al hanut, za’atar, organic harissa with rose, organic Italian herbs, organic Lebanese 7 spice blend, organic paella spice blend and organic chermoula spice blend - a vast array of flavours to create a multitude of dishes. Our personal favourites are the organic paella spice blend, which helps us to create an authentic taste of Spain, and the chermoula spice blend, which we were admittedly less familiar with - but now cannot be without. To purchase your own Mediterranean Mini 8 Spice Box for £15.99, click here.

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Finally, for something a little more luxury, we came across Haupt Lakrits, a Swedish liquorice brand aiming to bring gourmet products to the market. Having tried a variety of their products, we can confirm that these are far from the packet of slightly squashed liquorice wheels in your cupboard, but instead, provide a new take on a traditional classic. Even those less enthusiastic about liquorice were found sneaking these on our lunchbreak - testament to their scrumptious flavours.

Firstly, for those of us with a penchant for liquorice, SÖT (€9.00) proved to be popular. Thanks to being cooked for 8 hours and stored for 10 weeks, this liquorice is soft and sweet, and has a pleasantly chewy texture. Secondly we tried the Hallon (€9.00) flavour, liquorice dipped in 60% Belgian milk and dark chocolate and coated with raspberry and vanilla. These proved very popular amongst those will less of a liking for traditional liquorice, and we found they work well with rose wine. Thirdly, we tried the limited edition God Juhl: Merry Christmas (€11.00) jar. Coated in Belgian white chocolate and flavoured with a Swedish Christmas spice mix, this liquorice is undoubtedly festive, even covered in a glittery outer layer. Finally, we tried the slightly lighter God Helg: Happy Holidays (€11.00) liquorice. Dipped in Belgian white chocolate, the additions of lingonberry and saffron add sweetness, yet the fruity nature helps to cut the sickliness often associated with white chocolate. Like God Juhl, this Christmas edition liquorice is best paired with a glass of mulled wine. Visit the Haupt Lakrits website here to purchase your own liquorice delights - some flavours are also available as gift sets, smaller jars and refill packs.

So there we have it - four foodie treats guaranteed to put a smile on your receiver’s face. And if you’re thinking ‘I’ve already finished my Christmas shopping’, then why not treat yourself instead? After all, we think the festive period is the perfect excuse to indulge!

HECK - Sausages

Here at The Amazing Blog, we love all things British. From a Sunday Roast to a cone of delicious Fish & Chips, we’re quite proud of our tasty English dishes, and so when we’re making them at home, we make sure to only use the best ingredients. You can imagine our delight when the lovely people at Heck sent over a selection of their mouth-watering sausages, absolutely perfect for some good old Bangers and Mash.

Made in small batches, Heck ensure that their sausages are packed with the best flavours possible, using only the best ingredients. A proudly independent brand, you can be sure that you're only getting the best out of these tasty treats.  We loved the 97% Sausages. Wonderfully succulent, and perfectly filling, they taste amazing served with mash and red wine gravy – the best comfort meal for an evening spent at home. As well as the traditional pork sausages, Heck also champion a range of delicious chicken chipolatas. Our favourites were the Smoky Paprika Chicken Chipolatas, which tasted so moreish when chopped up over a simple tomato pasta. All of the sausages are both gluten and dairy free, so everyone can tuck in. If you’re looking to step away from tradition, and try out something new, then why not check out the Heck recipe page. We’ve got our eye on that Pork & Apple Casserole.

With the quality of a Farmer’s Market purchase in the convenience of your local supermarket, we think we’ve found our new go-to bangers brand. Check out the delicious range here, and pick up your favourite flavour from £3.

Friday Favourites - Cookbooks

With a weekend of dinner parties ahead of us, what better way to spend an early evening than flicking through a plethora of new cookbooks for some heavenly inspiration. Here at The Amazing Blog, we want to share with you some of the most mouth watering  new cookbooks that have just launched.

Honey & Co  is a tiny restaurant hidden in the backstreets of Central London. It lures you in with their talent of baked goodies. Bringing food from the Middle East, husband and wife team Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich founded Honey & Co. which specialises in the most yummy selection cakes and desserts.

However, now you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home to get these delicious desserts, as Sarit and Itamar have launched Honey & Co cookbook. With recipes such a spiced carrot and walnut cake, raspberry and rose kadaif nests and apricot and elderflower jam just to name a few. Our favourite has to be cranberry, orange and almond caramel cookies. A simple and easy recipe and which had everyones taste buds going as soon as we opened the oven. Honey & Co: The Baking Book by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich is published by Saltyard Books in £25 hardback. Alternatively you can buy online here from The Book People. Also available as an eBook. 

As fruit goes with seasons so does cheese and reading through the pages of A Year in Cheese cookbook by Alex and Leo Guarneri we discovered so many things we didn’t know about this amazing source of calcium, we were left amazed! Alex and Leo take us on a journey through the seasons, explaining little gems like why you can’t have a proper goat’s curd in the Winter.

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Their eye catching pictures will help you to spring from this damp February into a lustrous Summer with the freshness of their mozzarella and ricotta recipes.  And when it gets colder and all you want is to stay at home having dinner with your closest friends, the gruyere and reblochon menu suggestions will be the perfect choice. The recipes are so easy to follow that once you finished you just can't wait to start cooking again! If you want to explore the world of cheese then look no further. The book is available on White Stuff here for £20.

The finalist contestant Luis Troyano from The Great British Bake Off in 2014, decided to share his culinary knowledge publishing his very own book; Bake it Great. It is not a random collection of recipes but a proper baking course that guided us from the fundamentals. Starting from fillings like jam and custard, Luis teaches us how to cook the perfect bases for our little gastronomic accomplishments.

Here there is a recipe for every palate, we only had to open the book and whatever creation came up, we were only too happy to wear our aprons and start baking. We particularly liked the Butterscotch meringue tart and the traditional Empanadas. What we really liked was that at the very end of the book Luis listed few of the best shops where to find some of the harder to find ingredients. Buy your copy here a £13.60 for the hardcover and £10.79 for the Kindle edition.

Hosting a party and need a little inspiration for canapes? Look no further as the Clink Canape Cookbook has got it covered. Behind this cookbook is a heart-warming story, as it is created by Alberto Crisci founder of Clink Charity. This charity aims to reduce re-offending of prisoners through training and rehabilitation giving them new found culinary skills. These are then put into use at the Clink Restaurants in LondonWalesCheshire and Surrey.

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Alberto has compiled a collection of over 100 different canapé recipes from the friends, ambassadors and also from the prisoners at the Clink. With delicious recipes like mushroom and stilton tartlets, peach with cured ham bruschetta and smoked eel and beef terrine with horseradish; this cookbook is sure to get your taste buds tingling with delight. Grab the Clink Canapé Cookbook here for £14.99


Sally Clarke founded her legendary Notting Hill restaurant in 1984, pioneering seasonal fine dining and British cuisine. Now she celebrates it's thirty year anniversary by writing her own cookbook, 30 Ingredients. This book captures Sally’s love and passion for simple cooking.

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The recipes are surrounded by Sally’s favourite thirty ingredients that she loves to cook with. There are so many delicious recipes with salad of duck breast with balsamic-roasted peaches and shallots to baked tomatoes with garlic and herb crumbs, you honestly wont know where to start! For more cooking inspiration, click here to get your copy at only £19.99.