Chocolate Dream Muffins

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I designed this recipe some years ago when Jill and I with our ‘Two Creative Cooks’ hats on taught a group of school children to cook healthier. The children were totally amazed at how these muffins turned out, they simply couldn’t believe they had veg in them. My advice is to make these first without your children knowing what’s in them and then when you have them hooked, let them bake them themselves. I have written the recipe so it’s easy for children to follow. Please let me know how you get on, Happy Cooking!
You will need
250g courgettes (2-3)
2 eggs
125ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
60g milk or dark chocolate drops

How to make your muffins
1. Set the oven to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4.
2. Separate the paper cases and put one in each whole of the muffin tins.
3. Wash and dry the courgettes, using a knife cut both ends off the courgettes. Leave the skin on, chop them finely using one of those chopper units which are great fun and get the job done quickly. Or finely grate them.
Put them into a sieve and leave them to drain over the sink to remove excess water.
4. Put the eggs, oil and sugar into the bowl and beat them until creamy.
5. Sieve in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and continue to beat until well mixed.
6. Now stir in the courgettes and add the chocolate drops.
7. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
8. Bake for 20-30 mins until firm to the touch and smelling yummy.
9. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 mins before turning onto a wire tray.

To decorate
Drizzle with melted chocolate and top with strawberries that have been half dipped in white melted chocolate.

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Chewy, seedy delicious flapjacks

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I love flapjacks because you have the chance to customise them very easily to your taste buds. This recipe mixes up the sweet with the nutritious very well. I do think you could reduce the sugar in these without compromising the flavour if you would prefer a less sweeter version. I also use a whole foods peanut butter, if you don’t like peanut butter you could use almond butter instead.

What you will need

300g porridge oats
100g pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or a mixture of the 2
50g desiccated coconut
50g plain flour
200g butter
200g golden syrup
150g soft brown sugar
150g dried apricots, chopped
125g crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
I also like to add 1 tablespoon of chai seeds.

How to make your flapjack

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3. Line an 18cm x 28cm Swiss roll tin with non-stick baking paper, leaving a little hanging over the edges for easy removal later.
2. Place the oats, seeds, coconut and flour in a large bowl and mix together. Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a saucepan, then mix in the sugar, chopped apricots, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
3. Press into the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and slightly firm. Cool in the tin, then lift out on the paper and cut into 18 bars.

This recipe is from Rachel Allen’s cookbook.