Home Made Hazelnut Syrup


I adore hazelnut syrup in my coffee. It’s almost a weakness. It’s definitely a craving. I sometimes crave it. I’ll drive out of my way to pick up a hazelnut coffee at Starbucks. But the problem is, I don’t think they’re very good for you! In fact, whenever I haven’t had one in a while, and then I drink one, I can ‘feel’ the chemicals sticking at the back of my throat.

I’ve recently learned to make my own hazelnut syrup and since then, I’ve not looked back.

Ironically, since I have been drinking my homemade syrup, I’ve twice had occasion to try my old favourite and you know what? I don’t like it anymore! I find it overly sweet, and I find that chemical taste really prominent in the back of my throat now.

This recipe uses Rapadura in place of sugar, so while it’s still quite calorific, it doesn’t have the highs and lows of adding sugar to your coffee.

I made these in my Thermomix®, but the recipe below is very easy to adapt to even basic kitchen equipment, you may just take a little longer.

Also, with the leftover nuts you can make gorgeous crystallised hazelnuts.

Fun Fact: This recipe, based on RRP, for organic ingredients, cost me £5.49 for just under 1 litre. My Starbucks favourite used to cost me £3.75 for 375ml.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Home Made Hazelnut Syrup
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Recipe type: Drinks, Sauces, Deserts
Serves: 1 litre
  • 500g Rapadura
  • 500g water
  • 250g Hazelnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F
  2. Roast the hazelnuts until they are just starting to colour, and you can smell their warm aroma.
  3. Remove from oven and turn off.
  4. Place hazelnuts in the Thermomix® bowl on reverse speed 1 for about a minute. The skins should come off pretty easily. (If you don't have a Thermomix®, or you need to remove more skin, agitate the nuts between two dishclothes.
  5. Separate the skins
  6. Place the hazelnuts back in the bowl and whiz for 5 seconds on speed 4. You want them broken up, but NOT powdered or turned to flour. Without a Thermomix®, you can do this with a rolling pin.
  7. Place the Rapadura and water in the bowl/a large pot and bring to the boil. Add the hazelnuts and leave to boil until the mixture has reduced by about 25%
  8. You will need to stir it regularly to make sure it doesn't burn. If you're using a Thermomix®, just keep it on speed 1.
  9. Once it's reduced, strain to remove the nuts, and put them aside for crystallised hazelnuts. Strain again to remove smaller nuts, and pour into the container you'll be keeping it in. Leave to cool before refrigerating.
  10. If you taste it straight away you'll be disappointed by how mild it tastes. Leave for about 24 hours before having your first sip of real hazelnut syrup. You won't be disappointed.


Dandelion Fritters

20130504-184301.jpgI do so love Dandelions. Not only do they bring with them the promise of spring, of sunshine and of warmer weather, but they also provide a wonderful opportunity for getting outdoor with little people. My daughters love picking dandelions and ask if we can as soon as the sun peeks out in spring. We pop some water in the freezer, head out for an hour or so to pick dandelions, then come home and make fritters for dinner.

You can have them savoury with salt and pepper, and sweet, with lemon and sugar. Hold your dandelion by the green bit and eat the yellow, as you would with a strawberry. There’s nothing wrong with the green bit, it’s just a bit bitter.


Dandelions don’t keep very long, so you need to cook them as soon as you get home. Once fried, eat them immediately.

Dandelions are high in loads of vitamins. Just for interest sake, a cup of dandelions contains:

Vitamin A 112%,

Vitamin C 32%,

Vitamin E

Vitamin K 535% of your daily requirements. So they’re pretty healthy, and a great way of getting good vitamins into yourself and children.



Dandelion Fritters
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My children and I love foraging for Dandelions! It's such a fun afternoon's activity, involving them in and leading to dinner. Pop some water in the freezer before you go out, pick just what you'll eat, pick at the flower as you don't need the whole stem, and don't eat much of the green bit (it's bitter). Always soak dandelions in salted water for a while to get the bugs out and use the coldest water you can to make the batter.
Recipe type: Foraged Food, Fried
  • 10 -15 Dandelion flowers per person trimmed so that there’s no bitter stalk, and washed
  • 1 medium egg
  • 225ml ice-cold water
  • 100g plain flour
  • Optional extras:
  • Lemon juice
  • Icing sugar
  • Mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Beat the egg in a bowl and add the iced water. The water must be as cold as possible, as this prevents the batter from absorbing too much oil, keeping it light and crispy.
  2. Lightly mix in the flour with a fork and beat gently. Don’t worry too much about lumps.
  3. Dip the dandelions in the batter, and drop in hot oil. The oil should ideally be at 180C/350F for cooking dandelions; if the dandelions sink to the bottom of the oil, the temperature is too high.
  4. Fry till golden brown, then remove and place on paper towel
  5. For a sweet treat, drizzle lemon juice over, then dip in icing sugar. For a salty treat, dip in mustard, or our favourite, sprinkle over salt and pepper and enjoy!

Reposted from Diary of a First Child


Ramson And Cheese Scones

Scones are so quick to make, and they are a great lazy morning breakfast, or tummy filler for toddlers and kids. Getting them to forage for the greens and help in the mixing makes the food a lot more appealing to eat too, so this is a great recipe for getting some greens into little people.

Ramson Scones

Ramsons are also full of vitamin C and iron, so great fortifiers for change of season protection against colds.



Recipe type: Snack, Foraged
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 25 g butter
  • 75 g mature cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 - 4 Ramson (wild garlic) leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Place the flour, salt, cayenne, butter and three quarters of the cheese in a food processor and whiz until well blended.
  3. Beat together the egg and 2 tablespoons of the milk then add to the food processor.
  4. Pulse to form a smooth, soft dough. Chop up the Ramson leaves and mix them in.
  5. Form into six balls, and place on a tray in the oven for 20 mins.
  6. Out the oven, slice, butter, and enjoy!

Reposted from Diary of a First Child

Ramson (Wild Garlic) Omelette Recipe

Here’s a simple little recipe to try with your Ramsons and a few bits and pieces from the fridge. It’s a great starting place if you’re not used to cooking with foraged food. Ramsons are a great source of Vitamin C and iron, and their pungent garlic smell makes them really easy to identify in the wild. They’re ideal for teaching children about foraging, and are very versatile in savoury food. You can also use them in sandwiches and salads – anything you would use salad, basil or other greens for.



Ramson (Wild Garlic) Omelette
For this Omelette you’ll need as much of each ingredient as you think each person would eat:
Recipe type: Simple, Foraged
Cuisine: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Ramsons
  • Eggs, 2 per person
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • Cheese to taste
  • Tomato and any other vegetables (optional)
  • Chop the mushrooms and onion roughly and fry until tender.
  1. Add the chopped Ramsons and cook for another minute or two, till they are wilted.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs till they are frothy. Lower the heat a little and pour directly into the pan. This will make the omelette light and fluffy.
  3. Add a little grated cheese and salt and pepper, and cover with a lid until the egg is cooked on top.
  4. Cut into as many pieces as you need and transfer carefully on to plates.
  5. Add a couple of Ramson flowers for decoration and enjoy with toast.

Reposted from Diary of a First Child

Cinnamon Scrolls

20130502-215342.jpg These are probably ridiculously bad for you. I try not to think about it. They are so incredibly yummy. I make them ‘better’ by not pouring a sugar syrup over them, and I follow the theory that the cinnamon is good for you, so that cancels out the sugar ;). I have successfully made these with Rapadura too, which takes some of the ‘bad’ out of it.

The best part of this recipe is the fact that it takes around 20 minutes from putting the flour in the bowl to eating a cinnamon scroll.

Cinnamon Scrolls
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This is a Thermomix® recipe, but you can adjust it to any food processor. You can also make a runny icing sugar to pour over each scroll, but we find that too sweet, and choose not to.
Recipe type: Desert, Sweet
Cuisine: Breakfast
  • Dough
  • 300 g Self Raising Flour
  • 90 g Butter , cut into chunks
  • 150 g milk
  • Filling
  • 60 g Butter
  • 40 g Soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 210C (190C gas)
  2. Prepare a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper.
  3. Place flour and butter into mixing bowl and mix 5 sec/speed 5.
  4. With lid set to locked position, knead 40 - 60 sec/ Interval setting.
  5. Add milk gradually until a soft dough is formed.
  6. Turn out dough onto lightly floured baking paper and roll out dough into a rectangle
  7. Filling
  8. Place all ingredients for filling into mixing bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 4 or until creamy mixture has formed.
  9. Spread mixture evenly over dough rectangle.
  10. Roll up dough from the long side and using a sharp knife cut rolled up dough into 3cm pieces. (sometimes we make it smaller for bite sized/toddler sized rolls)
  11. Place dough pieces, cut side up, on prepared baking tray and cook in the oven for 12 min or until golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool and enjoy.


Cinnamon Buns Recipe

20130502-223925.jpgCinnamon Buns. They’re one of my favourite baked goods ever. They’re amazing, and this recipe is just awesome. I made these one afternoon, and popped them on the table outside on my parents patio. It more than doubled in size, and we ate beautiful, puffy, gorgeous buns. If you do a search you’ll find loads of different recipes, and many of them have a sugar syrup, but we decided we prefer it without. You know, the ‘healthier’ version.

This recipe is for the Thermomix®, but there’s no reason you cant mix it in any food processor, or the old fashioned way: by hand. You’ll just have to adapt the mixing.

You can find the original recipe inspiration here, but of course I changed it a little as I normally do.

There’s another Cinnamon Bun recipe coming soon. It’s the quick version, whereas this one has a longer wait, but makes a lighter bun.

Cinnamon Buns Recipe
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These are so awesome. The best thing is that you can make them early in the evening, and let them go through their first rise, shape them before bed, and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes first thing in the morning for delicious scrolls. You can also freeze these, and just take out what you need and warm for five minutes. They're probably not your healthiest breakfast choice, so maybe a once a week treat!
Cuisine: Breakfast,
  • 100g sugar/caster sugar
  • 350g warm milk (2 cups)
  • 2tsp fast action yeast (7 grams)
  • 80g butter
  • 650g white bread flour (bakers flour)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar (can use more if desired)
  • 2 tsps of cinnamon (can use more if desired)
  • ¼ cup butter
  1. Pulverise the sugar (3 seconds, speed 9)
  2. Add milk, warm at 50C for 2 minutes on speed 1
  3. Add yeast, butter, flour, salt and the egg into the bowl, and mix well (10 seconds on speed 7)
  4. Knead for until a rough dough has formed (3 minutes on interval speed)
  5. Cover a bowl with clingfilm, and leave to rise for about an hour.
  6. After dough has doubled in size, remove from bowl roll out thinly. You may need to do this in two batches.
  7. Leave to rest for a minute, while you blend together the butter, sugar and cinnamon. (10 seconds, speed 7)
  8. Spread over the rolled out dough.
  9. Starting at the longest end, roll the dough, and press the dough together at the end.
  10. Now you have two choices:
  11. Cut the dough across into 2 or 3 centimeter rounds and place on a baking tray, or
  12. Place the dough in a round pan, and cut halfway through the dough to make a 'tear and share' kind of pull apart bread.
  13. Leave it again for 30 minutes to one hour till it's doubled in size again.
  14. Heat your oven to 200C /390F/Gas Mark 6, and bake for approximately 20 minutes - a little longer if you're making the share bread, until they are golden brown.
No Thermomix®? Use caster sugar, warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

The best ever chocolate cake, that happens to be Vegan too. Remember if you’re making this for Vegans, most regular sprinkles aren’t actually Vegan due to the food colouring used in them. You can also make it without the glaze and decorate with a regular butter cream icing. Made with coconut oil, however, the glaze is so tasty, we have trouble stopping at one slice!
Vegan Chocolate Cake
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The best ever chocolate cake, that happens to be Vegan too. Remember if you’re making this for Vegans, most regular sprinkles aren’t actually Vegan due to the food colouring used in them. You can also make it without the glaze and decorate with a regular butter cream icing. Made with coconut oil, however, the glaze is so tasty, we have trouble stopping at one slice!
Recipe type: Cake, Sweet, Vegan
Serves: 12
  • 1¼ cups plain flour (170g)
  • 1 cup sugar (200g)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (50g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water (250g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil (70g)
  • 1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar
Chocolate Glaze
  • ½ cup sugar (101g)
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil (or margarine)
  • 2 tbsp soy milk/almond milk/rice milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Regular Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180C)
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the cake and blend well.
  3. Pour it into your baking dish or shaped silicone mould.
  4. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick popped in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Take out and allow to cool totally.
  6. For the glaze, in a small saucepan, bring sugar, coconut oil (or margarine), milk, and cocoa to a boil. Stir frequently; then reduce heat to a simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. It’ll look gloppy, but it’s just the bubbles!
  7. Remove from heat and stir vigorously.
  8. Add vanilla, stir, and immediately pour onto cake.
  9. The glaze dries really quickly, so spread it immediately and add any sprinkles now.
  10. Leave aside to cool thoroughly, about an hour.
  11. Enjoy!
Thermomix® Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180C)
  2. Add all the ingredients for the cake to the Thermomix® bowl (NOT the glaze)
  3. Mix speed 5/ 30 seconds
  4. Pour into an oven proof dish.
  5. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick popped in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Take out and allow to cool totally.
  7. When the cake is cooled, bring sugar, coconut oil (or margarine), milk, and cocoa to a boil, Speed 4/ 3 mins/100C
  8. Reduce the heat speed 4/ 2 mins/ 80C
  9. Remove from heat quickly - if you take too long it'll crystalise.
  10. Add vanilla, stir, and immediately pour onto cake.
  11. The glaze dries really quickly, so spread it immediately and add any sprinkles now.
  12. Leave aside to cool thoroughly, about an hour.
  13. Enjoy!

How To Send A PDF To Your Kindle

If you have a PDF you’d like to be able to access on your Amazon Kindle in the same way as your Kindle books, it’s pretty simple to do. Different devices may have slightly different steps, but the process should be more or less the same.

The Amazon Kindle ebook reader supports PDF files through Amazon’s Kindle Personal Documents Service.

In order to use this service, you must first tell Amazon to accept email from your email address.  Use the following steps to enable email to your Kindle:

  1. Go to Manage Your Content And Devices
  2. Scroll down to Approved Personal Document E-mail List
  3. Click on “Add a new approved e-mail address”
  4. Add the address and click on ‘Add Address’
  5. On the same page, under ‘Personal Document Settings’ there’s a ‘Send-to-Kindle Email Settings’ section. That is your kindle email address.Screenshot_2015-11-09-22-11-16

Yes, I have too many Kindle devices or Kindle Readers!

Once the Amazon Personal Document Settings have been changed, you can head to your email, and send the PDF to your Kindle email address as an attachment. It should only take a few seconds to show up on your device.

If you don’t have a Kindle but want to use the Kindle Reader on most other devices, you can download the free Kindle Reader here.