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The Most Wonderful Time of The Year [for Winter Flavours!]

Winter 20% off

It’s the most wonderful time of year – because the icy weather and dark evenings give us the perfect excuse to gorge on extra goodies, in order to survive the gloomy winter months. Of course, we think nothing of scoffing brownies all year round, but Christmas calls for some extra special recipes, so (drumroll please) we’d like to introduce the fabulous all-singing, all-dancing* Christmas 2015 line-up…

As every little elf knows, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a cheeky tipple or two. We’ve got two boozy brownies for you to choose from – Dorset Ale, a gorgeously rich triple chocolate made with Indian pale ale from Dorset (if you’ve never tried the combination of ale and chocolate, all we can say is that you’re missing out) and the Wee Dram, which brings together whisky and marmalade to make a brownie with a deliciously warming kick to it.

Another key ingredient of Christmas is sugar and spice (and all things nice), so if that takes your fancy, might we suggest our Chai Latte? It’s a chocolate vanilla brownie with a swirl of fragrant chai spice. The Mexican, a sweet and spicy brownie with cinnamon and chipotle chilli. And of course, there’s Brownie Smalls himself, the Notorious F.I.G. – this superstar of a brownie is made with mulled spice, figs, dates and cherries for serious fudginess.

Finally, for proper chocoholics, we’ve got a couple of Christmas creations to satisfy even your sweet tooth. Bad Santa combines double chocolate with Christmas pudding (a match made in heaven) to make for a treat worth breaking tradition for. Of course, we also had to take inspiration from across the pond, since the USA is the spiritual home of the brownie, so as well as our old favourite the peanut butter New Yorker, we know have the Brooklyn which counteracts the sweetness of triple chocolate with pretzel and sea salt – call us crazy, but it just works.

So what are you waiting for? Tis the season to stuff your face – and if you don’t believe us, just ask Mother Nature.

Click here to get your brownie order in now, and with 20% off when you use the code ‘shopsmall‘ it really would be rude not to…

*Our brownies don’t actually dance or sing. Sorry. But who needs extra talents when you’re this gorgeous?

Words by the wonderful Sal’s Kitchen, visit her awesome blog here!

 

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Oranges are the new Black. [Vegan Orange Poppyseed Muffins]

I don’t know about you but I am getting royally ticked off with feeling under the weather. I have always been a sufferer of the Winter Blues, however usually the promise of fairy lights and mulled wine (or mulled cider or mulled ANYTHING) gets me through Pre-Christmas, and after that I try to enjoy the short days and use them as an excuse to eat dinner at 5pm and be snuggled under a blanket with a Stephen King book by 9. Despite the usual dread on January 2nd of the few months ahead before Spring shows its face, it usually comes along quicker than I think, and I never actually see out my plan of setting fire to *that* winter coat that never seems to be off my body, indoors or out.

This year, I admit, I haven’t made life easy on myself. You see, on January 5th myself and The Bearded Wonder (Dark Matters Market-selling Maestro and my partner in life, not just in crime) decided we would ‘do one’, as they say, and disappear off to Mexico for a month. “Hooray!” we said that day, and for every day after that for three and a half weeks while we ate and drank our way around the Yucatan Peninsula (more on THAT soon), but it had to end at some point, and by January 29th we were definitely ready to come home to the beautiful crisp Winter days and big cosy jumpers.

Yep, I’m an idealist. And I forgot about cold season. Since returning from Mexico I have been in a daily battle with my immune system, pumping it full of Echinacea, herbal (‘Cold Buster!’ ‘Flu Fighter!’ etc ect) teas and as much Vitamin C as I can get my antibacterial-gelled hands on. Lidl sell an  enormous grocer’s case of oranges, and we’ve been getting through one of these a WEEK. It seems to be doing the trick and any sniffles I’ve had tend not to amount to much, but by GOD, its hard work being this healthy! So today I’ve treated myself and baked one of my absolute all time favourite treats (that aren’t Brownie based- obv!) to use up a couple of sad looking oranges in my fridge. I try not to eat too much dairy myself as it triggers some skin problems, so went on the hunt for an easy-breezy vegan recipe I could knock up  just in time for a 4pm cuppa. Success! Delicious vegan Orange and Poppy Seed Muffins – they’ve certainly made me feel much better, despite the low Vitamin C…

Vegan Orange and Poppy Seed Muffin Collage

Taken and adapted from MyDarlingVegan

Vegan Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
3 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp rapeseed/sunflower oil
zest & juice of 2 oranges
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Lemon Glaze

3/4 cups icing sugar
1+ tbsp fresh orange juice

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a muffin tin with baking cups and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine soy milk and apple cider vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes to curdle. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together sugar, canola oil, and the juice and zest. Slowly add curdled soy milk, whisking while adding, until completely incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, folding in gently until just combined.
  4. Fill the muffin liners 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle come out clean. Set the muffins on a cooling rack to cool.
  5. Meanwhile whisk together the powered sugar and juice. You may need to add a little extra orange juice to get a thick and smooth consistency.
  6. Spoon about 1 tbsp of glaze over each warm muffins then let the muffins continue cooling until completely cool.