Thursday, January 31, 2013

Grilling a Chef!

Today, Mill Wheel chef Matty O'Connor came onto the show to talk about the pros and cons of being a chef, what to expect and how to get into the industry. 

Hopefully you'll be enlightened on the life of a chef, as I was! 

Here's an apple tart I made following the inspiring interview! 

Thanks so much for coming on Matty, I can't wait to visit the Mill Wheel in Midleton!

As always, you can catch sUCCulent on Thursdays 11-12, on UCC 98.3fm or online here if you reside outside of Cork.

Stay sweet! x

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Fave: 3 Ingredient Nutella Cookies- Plus White Chocolate Buttons!

Here are five reasons to bake these cookies.

  1. You only need an egg, flour and Nutella- the white buttons are a decadent extra.
  2. The take less than 20 minutes to bake.
  3. They kick your chocolate craving without having to go out and buy 70% cocoa chocolate.
  4. They taste amazing.
  5. It's Friday!

 These were fantastic Christmas gifts, and tasted amazing with a glass of milk!

The cookie recipe which consistently cropped up throughout an internet search was brilliant and easy. The white chocolate buttons are not really even necessary but they look so cute, I couldn't resist! Even with this addition there are still hardly any ingredients!


  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 packet white chocolate buttons
  1. Preheat oven to 180degrees Celcius.
  2. Beat together egg, Nutella and flour.
  3. When just about combined, add the buttons and mix at a gentle speed.
  4. Spoon onto baking parchment-lined baking tray.
  5. Bake for 7-8minutes.

For a more uniform cookie, flatten with the bottom of a glass before putting into the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes. However, I like the mountainous look of these, especially if munched during a Lord of The Rings movie night! :)

Stay Sweet! x

Food Security

sUCCulent gets serious... With the widely documented "horse burgers" debacle there was no better time to discuss food security than yesterday's show. 

I was joined by the uber wise Maxwell Osonokwu, and we chatted about what both the EU, and Ireland can do in order to increase trade with African nations and develop partnerships in the agri-food industry. 

It was a change from the usual sugary show but fear not, if you stay tuned until the end you may hear something sweet about a new television show!

Thanks so much to Max for coming in, he's a true gent and absolute legend!! :)

Hope you enjoy the podcast!

Stay sweet! x

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Banana and Cherry Muffins

I wanted something a little more fruity last weekend so I whipped up these little beauties! They were scrumptious! Succulent even! ;)

I used the recipe from the original banana muffins (albeit with a few shortcuts), but concocted my own crumb topping. I'll definitely be using this topping from now on, it was delicious!

Some Notes:
  • I was lazy and ommitted any other raising agent bar the flour. The original recipe called for both baking powder, and baking soda. But this was after a long day of baking, I had bananas to use up, and I was ravenously hungry so I forewent this step. On the brightside, my version is bite-sized, and this leads to no leftovers. :) I didn't think it affected the taste at all, and the not-so-massive muffins were still quite light.
  • If you don't have overly ripe bananas (read Brown/Black!), the muffins won't taste as nice. Instead of letting them go another few days and run the risk of not having the time to bake these treats then, pop the bananas on a waxed baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 15-20 mins at about 180degrees Celcius.
  • Make the topping first, this way you won't be so panicked trying to get the muffins into the oven. Preparing your work bench before starting to bake-no matter how excited you are, will most definitely lead to a much happier baking experience, trust me I've made the mistake too many times!

Muffin Ingredients:
1 and a half Cups self-raising flour
3ripe bananas
3/4 cup white sugar
1 lightly beaten egg
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup glacĂ© cherries, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 190degrees Celcius
  2. Sieve flour into large bowl
  3. In another bowl beat together rest of ingredients
  4. Add this mixture gradually to flour while beating.
  5. When just about combined, add chopped cherries and beat gently.
  6. Spoon into cupcake cases.
  7. Top with premade topping.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted knife/toothpick comes out clean.

2parts light brown sugar
2parts packed dark brown sugar
2parts flour
1part cinnamon 
1part butter
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together with your fingers in a small bowl. 
  2. Add the softened butter and pinch between your fingers to make very dainty crumbs, finer than breadcrumbs.

Et, voila!

These muffins packed a fruity punch and would be a lovely mid-week healthy treat.

Talk to you tomorrow on sUCCulent 98.3 at 11-12!

Stay sweet! x

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Strawberry Sunday ;)

EXTRA, EXTRA! Read all about it!

This is an issue of extreme importance, well to me anyways!

You may have read here about the  most amazing sweets I have ever tasted, while in Mallorca. Well, when I was in Brussels in December I stocked up on these sugary delights sent from heaven. *note, stock does not indicate that the five bags I bought lasted more than a fortnight* 

But, I didn't want to moan here on Milis about how they are still unavailable in Ireland...That was until yesterday! 

Drumroll, please!!...........

Oh yes, Haribo Strawberry Softies are now available in a store near you!! With no artificial colours! ;)

Each bite was surreal, and I'd like to publicly thank Tesco for stocking these beauties! Now you too can enjoy the most delectable sweets ever made! - I really should earn commission for this! Haribo, you owe me one!

Stay sweet! x

Come Dine With Me...

Over Christmas Come Dine With Me seemed to be on every channel, and I loved watching every minute of it!! The polar opposite personalities pitted against each other, the snooping in peoples' drawers, the array of entertainment acts and most of all, the food!!

It got me thinking about how to host the best dinner party, what to do- and what not to do. So here's the podcast of last week's sUCCulent show! I hope you enjoy and if you have any tips or questions feel free to leave them in the comments section! :)

Stay sweet! x

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year's Baking Resolutions

I've been drooling over blogs, the food network, magazines and cookbooks all over the festive period so I decided to share with you my New Year Resolutions for baking!

  • Have Fun with Fondant
  • Core some Cupcakes
  • Make (and Master!) Macaroons
  • Explore the Wonderful World of Whoopie Pies!
  • Make Great Ganache
  • Add some Pizzazz with Pistachios

I hope my macaroons turn out somewhat similar to Laudurèe's!... A girl can dream!

What are your New Year's Resolutions in the world of all that's sweet and scrumptious?x

New Year, New Way of Living!

Today's radio show departed from my usual love of all things sweet and sUCCulent! Considering it's a new year, and while being inundated with diet tips and regimes on tv (which I am not a fan of!!) I am aware that I need a boost. I can feel my energy slacking, have serious sugar cravings and didn't really know what to do about it! So, to beat the lethargy that I bet some of you may be feeling too, I set about researching fun means of getting healthier without sacrificing anything!

I ran a little over time on the show so didn't get to mention a few things!...
  • Don't forget about veg! Nothing beats carrot sticks for a healthy snack, but be inventive!
  • Instead of having chips or fries with your dinner try thinly slicing sweet potato, rubbing with olive oil and baking for 20 mins! So delicious!!
  • When baking, make room for some lighter varieties of ingredients! Philadelphia light is a great alternative for desserts, especially cheesecakes. 
  • Greek yoghurt with some oat cookies and fruit would be a fab pick-me-up dessert at the end of a long day too!
  • Banana sliced on toast is one of the most delicious snacks and is a great alternative to cookies!
  • Don't disregard Nutella, or hazlenut spread on toast as it's a great way to kick cocoa cravings to the kerb!

I'd love to hear some of your suggestions for healthier alternatives to your favourite foods! 
I think the main thing is not to overly focus on the dreaded d word, and make fun changes to everyday! Don't berate yourself for not going to the gym, but go for a brisk walk after dinner instead. Choose a healthier snack over something more indulgent and you'll feel the better for it. :)

Below you will find the recipe for perfect...

Banana Crumb Muffins 
Granola Bars

Stay sweet! x

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sweet Christmas Treats

I was spoilt this Christmas (that's not to say I'm deprived every other year!)

Some gifts came in delicious paper... Others looked yummy... Others tasted yummy!! :) While some inspired me to make something yummy...

The cutest cupcake giftwrap with from left-right:
100 piece cake decorating set; cupcake mug with vanilla and strawberry candies; Cake Boss book by Buddy Valastro; set of 4 Christmas cupcake stencils; Recipies from my Kitchen by Gwyneth Paltrow ; cupcake plunger; santa/elf shaped cookie cutter.

I've already gone through the two books- eager, I know!! I loved Cake Boss book, as you know I'm a huge fan of the show! This book is half biography/half recipes which is great for a super fan like me!! :) I loved the way Buddy has adapted the "oldschool" Italian recipes for cannolis and other pastries so that you can get the same results in a domestic kitchen! I cannot wait to try these out!!

I think my sister may have been nudging me toward a healthier lifestyle with Gwyneth Paltrow's book! After reading, I'll definitely become a GOOP! follower. It's healthy but delicious contents have me dashing to the kitchen, although most of the food is savoury (clearly not sweet enough!) I love the look of the brunch recipes.

The cupcake mug is so adorable, if you ever see it, BUY IT!! :)

The decorating set comes in a handy tool-box like container, complete with piping bags! I love how comprehensive the set is, and also the neat presentation. If there were more instructions it would be better but trial and error (and hours on the web!) are much more fun! :)

I was crazy to make Christmas cookies, but didn't get these gifts until Christmas day- look out Christmas 2013! ;) The cookie cutter is fab, with a durable silicon handle so I know it'll last! Meanwhile the stencils (candy cane, snowman, holly, and snowflake!) have an easy-to-use handle so you can hold the stencil a little higher, the thick lip also allows this. I can't wait to use it with shimmer sugar, icing sugar and cocoa for decoration!!

I'm so excited about the cupcake plunger! An avid Cupcake Wars fan, I've been fascinated as to how they perfect filling their cupcakes! Ponder no more with this great little gadget. I'm thinking jam, chocolate filling, lemon meringue cupcakes maybe...? The possibilities are endless!

I hope Santa brought you some sweet treats!
Stay sweet! x

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas Creations

Christmas is crazy for everyone, not just the big guy in red! Hence the tardiness of posts here. But brace yourselves for an onslaught of new recipes for you to drool over, experiment with and most of all enjoy!!

I hope you had a very merry Christmas and wishing you a great 2013! :)

I can't wait for more baking, eating!! :D , blog posts and radio shows! I know everyone thinks of January as diet time, but surely it's just a time to use up all of the Christmas chocolate that's left over?! ;)

Here's a sneak peak of what kept me so busy in the days leading up to Christmas!!

As you can tell I love gift-wrapping... I missed my calling as an elf!! At 5'1'' I would have been perfect! Baking cookies and wrapping presents all day long while chewing on candy canes... sounds like my kinda life!!

Homemade cards made from coloured paper and tissue giftwrap were an entertaining project! The tissue paper was a fiddly material but gave a beautiful stained glass window effect, accented with strips of ribbon on some cards. 

I used patterned tissue paper as a background on the Rudolph card, then some regular brown paper for Rudie's face, some red wrapping paper for his infamous nose, white paper for his eyes (with some felt tip pen for pupils!) and gold ribbon strips for his antlers. The ho ho ho message at the bottom was another strip of tissue paper. I loved this card as it turned out much better than I had anticipated! :)

Thank you for your support in 2012 and wishing you a Happy New Year!