How to make Peppermint Bark.

For Christmas this year, I decided that I'd make something for my family rather than buying presents. With visas to pay for and an imminent cross-continent move (and not to mention a wedding), both Ty and I are saving like crazy so we decided to skip buying Christmas presents for each other this year. With that in mind, I thought I'd get creative with the gifts for everyone else, too.

I absolutely love mint chocolate and therefore Peppermint Bark is always a winner for me. As tt's not really a 'thing' in the UK I figured it'd be something unusual to make for my family. Unfortunately, that also meant I couldn't find any recipes with UK measurements and ingredients. Luckily, it's incredibly easy to make this treat and for all my British peeps that would like to give it a try, here's our version of the measurements and ingredients.

For one batch you'll need:

  • 400g dark or milk chocolate (I used Bourneville)
  • 400g white chocolate (I used Waitrose Belgian white)
  • Peppermint oil
  • 10 Candy canes (I bought mine from Amazon but you can use those round peppermint sweets too)
  • A medium sized baking tray
  • Greaseproof paper
  • A fridge

You start off by melting the dark or milk chocolate. We have an induction stove, which means the low heat is regulated enough to be able to melt the chocolate straight in the pan. If you have a gas stove I'd recommend the old fashioned steaming method with water in the pan and a glass bowl holding the chocolate resting on top. 

Line your baking tray with greaseproof paper then once the chocolate is fully melted, pour it evenly into the tray. This then needs to go into the fridge until it's set.

That can take a bit of time, so while you wait you can prepare the crushed candy canes. I broke up about 10 small candy canes into a food processor and blasted them until they were roughly cut up. You'll want some very fine bits and some larger chunks for variety. You should have about a bowl full once you're done.

So, you're milk/dark chocolate is set. You're ready for the next part - white chocolate! Again, melt your chocolate in the pan but this time, stir 3-4 drops of peppermint oil into the mix once it's fully melted. Side note: Be careful of how much peppermint you add and do it slowly because I made the mistake of adding too much and my first batch of chocolate congealed into a curdled mass. I had no idea that peppermint could do that, so I'm giving you guys fair warning! 


Next, pour your melted white chocolate over the now set milk/dark chocolate layer so that it looks a little something like this:

Then, sprinkle your crushed candy canes evenly on top, making sure they've sunk well into the soft chocolate layer. Once that's done the tray goes back into the fridge to set again.

When your slab of peppermint bark has fully set, it's time for the fun part - smashing it up into barky pieces. I'd recommend using the greaseproof paper to help you snap the pieces up because the candy cane shards are pretty sharp. Once you're done, you should end up with a lovely rough batch of peppermint bark pieces.

I made 4 batches of this, hence why there's so much of it in the pictures. I divided the pieces up and put them into bags so that they look more like gifts, but if you're just serving this at home on Christmas day you can pile the pieces onto a serving plate and just leave them out for everyone to grab. I would've loved to have left them in that massive bowl if I was having a party or something. 

And that's it! Told you it was easy. Obviously it tastes amazing too - all creamy and minty. If you like the combination of chocolate and mint you should definitely give this a go.

Vegan chocolate cake in a mug.

The other day I was in the mood for something sweet and chocolatey. I had a little search on Pinterest and found a recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie for a very simple vegan chocolate cake in a mug. Being a rather lazy chef, this was right up my street plus I had all of the ingredients to hand so I thought I'd give it a go (for my tummy and for you lot, too). 

Here's what I used:

  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp wholemeal flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar plus a pinch of Splenda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

I put all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, then added the almond milk and whisked it all up. I then spooned the mix into a little teacup, put the cup in the microwave for 1 minute and voila! That was literally it.

I didn't make the chocolate frosting that the original recipe owner did, but the cake was very soft and tasty without it so thumbs up for less sugar and calories. 

This took me less than 15 minutes to make (and consume) so if you're after a healthier cake option, give this one a go.