Saturday, 27 January 2018

A Vegan Recipe for Chocolate Cake Day with Num Noms

January 27th is Chocolate Cake Day and who doesn't love chocolate cake! Especially when it's a delicious vegan chocolate cake, perfect to celebrate the end of Veganuary.

Num Noms are celebrating Chocolate Cake Day by challenging us to create Num Noms inspired chocolate cakes with some Num Noms Series 4 flair! We were sent a Series 4 Sweets Sampler, which includes the cute little Hottie Chocolate. Scented with delicious chocolate fragrance, Hottie joins other Nums such as Confetti Crunch, Tia Tea-Time and Madelyn Macaron. Perfect inspiration for baking delicious treats at home.

Num Noms Series 4

Each colourful, scented Num is cute and quirky and bursting with personality. The Series 4 Sweets Sampler contains ten Nums including a surprise Mystery Num along with two Noms. The Glitter Lip Gloss Noms come in a variety of flavours such as Mint Swirl Gloss-Up and Lemon Drop Gloss-Up. They also come in individual blind pots, making collecting fun! Inside, there is a Nom lipgloss or nail polish and a sweet foodie flavoured Num. You can find limited special edition characters and there are 120 characters to collect.

Our chocolate cake recipe is made with 100% plant based ingredients and is rich, chocolatey and delicious. It has a rich chocolatey frosting and filling and is decorated with chopped nuts. The method is very simple, so that means it is great to get the kids involved with the baking. And because it is vegan, there is no danger when it comes to licking the bowl!

Vegan Baking with Kids

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe


Chocolate Cake

10oz SR wholemeal flour
2oz cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
9oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
135ml rice bran oil
1 1/2 cups water


2oz vegan marg
3 tblspns water
9oz icing sugar
2 tblspns cocoa powder

Vegan Chocolate Cake


Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
Stir in sugar and vanilla extract.
Beat in oil and water.
Pour the batter into two prepared 7" cake tins and cook for 30 mins at 180 degrees centigrade until springy to the touch.
Allow to cool completely before turning the cakes out.

Meanwhile put the marg and sugar in a pan and heat until the marg is fully melted.
Remove from heat and beat in sifted icing sugar and cocoa.
Use to fill and top the cake.
Decorate with chopped walnuts.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Enjoy a big slice of Vegan Chocolate Cake to celebrate Chocolate Cake Day on January 27th! Delicious!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Find Series 4 Num Noms at Amazon, Smyth's Toys and Claire's. The Sweets Sampler is £16.99 and the mystery packs are £3.99. Find out more at

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Wholefoods, Healthy Eating and Veganuary Inspiration from Aldi

It's easy to believe that adopting a healthier diet is going to cost a lot of money, which for some people is enough to put them off making a healthy change. Many of the wholefood products can be very pricey when bought from specialist retailers. However, Aldi have introduced some excellent products into their stores, which enables us to eat healthier for less and makes niche products far more accessible to all. This means that there are now a few less excuses against adopting a wholefood, vegan diet in 2018!

vegan, wholefood, Aldi

Aldi have a range of Organic Bean Spaghetti (£1.99, 200g), available in Organic Edamame Spaghetti, Black Bean Spaghetti or Organic Soybean Spaghetti. Rich in plant based nutrition, naturally gluten free and vegan, this pasta is made solely from beans and provides the perfect base for a nourishing meal that’s quick, easy, naturally colourful and delicious.

Sriracha Mayonnaise (£1.65, 200ml) is a spicy, vegan mayonnaise made with water, chilli, soybean, sugar and distilled vinegar. It's a great topping for a delicious vegan falafel and houmous wrap. Aldi's The Deli chilled falafel is £1.29 for 200g and the houmous is just 69p for a pot. Both great Veganuary lunchtime staples.

Bounce Energy Balls are a sweet treat packed with nutrient dense ingredients, which are a perfect energy boosting snack (£1.29, 40g). There are two delicious flavours: Almond Spirulina and
Cashew Peanut. They are high in veggie protein with their combination of nuts and seeds.

Aldi’s Funktional Foods Powders are perfect for adding to juices and smoothie bowls, sprinkling on porridge and salads, or even mixing into soups. They are a fraction of the price of other food powders on the market and add a wonderful boost of extra vitamins and minerals.

  • Green Superblend (£2.49) – a perfect combination of Wheatgrass, Pea Protein, Barley Grass, Spinach, Ginger and Spirulina, which is high in protein to support muscle growth.
  • Spirulina Powder (£2.49) – packed with protein and vitamin B12 to help support the immune system.
  • Wheatgrass Powder (£2.49) – high in iron to help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
  • Maca Powder (£2.49) – a rich source of vitamin B2.
  • Cacao Powder (£1.99) – full of Iron, Potassium, Copper and Magnesium to help boost the immune system.

Aldi has its own range of non-dairy milks including their fortified Actif Leaf Almond Milk priced at just 99p. This is really good value, making the transition to a dairy free diet much cheaper.


Aldi also have a great selection of excellent value dried fruits, nuts and seeds including the superfood black Chia Seeds for just £1.15. Chia seeds are great for sprinkling on cereals or adding to smoothies and can also be used to make a super healthy pudding. Nuts and seeds are so versatile and play a huge part in a vegan diet as both a snack, a nutritional boost or an ingredient in both sweet and savoury recipes.

The paleo wholefood bars and raw snack bars are incredibly good value at £1.99 for five. They are gluten free, high in fibre and ideal for guilt free snacking. I love the Cashew Crush and Pecan Pie bars, made from nothing more than nuts and dates.  They are just so good! Equivalent products can cost many times more.

snacks, vegan

Other exciting finds include the Tricolour and White Quinoa at £1.29 a pack, rice noodles at 59p, brown rice at 99p and the red and green Thai Curry Kits at £1.39. The Coconut Flour and Coconut Sugar at just £1.69 each are also excellent buys for healthier baking.

You can fill your cupboards with these great wholefood products to kickstart 2018 while developing some beneficial healthy eating habits for the years to come. Wholefoods don't need to cost the earth!

The in store fruit and veg range is extensive and offers exceptional value for money. Aldi also has its Super Six fruit and vegetables on special offer in store every fortnight. I picked up spring onions, celery, tomatoes, Iceberg lettuce and beetroot for just 39p each! Who said healthy living was expensive?!

Aldi, fruit, veg, vegan

Aldi has made healthy eating more accessible and much cheaper for the masses, giving everyone the chance to adopt a healthier, wholefood or vegan diet. Find out more at

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Workout your Brain in 2018 with Breakout Manchester

You could give your brain a new year workout by playing an escape room with Breakout Manchester. With puzzles and clues to solve, objects to find and games to play, an escape room really gets your brain working. Team work and leadership skills are also put to the test as you attempt to escape from your chosen room in under sixty minutes. Each room is fully themed,  from the Wild West's Most Wanted to the horror themed Captured, which adds to the immersive feel of the games.

Breakout Manchester

This Christmas we played the 5* rated room Madchester at Breakout Manchester and we managed to retain our 100% breakout record by escaping the room with four minutes to spare. Go Team McD!

Madchester takes place in the bedroom of a Manchester super fan, who has an extensive range of memorabilia from sporting venues, bands, teams and locations from the Manchester area. It's a great room to play with plenty of puzzles to solve and things to discover. When you get stuck, the game operator sends you some cryptic clues, shown on a screen in the room, keeping the gameplay moving. Madchester is a tough game, so we were really proud of ourselves for cracking the codes and escaping.

What I love most about Breakout escape rooms is that they are great for all the family. Freddy is 8 years old and has successfully participated in breaking out of the four rooms that we have played as a family. He often spots things that we miss. Every member of the team has a part to play and can bring their own unique skills to the table. Whether you are good with words or numbers, can solve riddles, have keen observation skills and an eye for detail or are good at physical games, there will be something in the escape rooms that you do best.

We Broke Out - Madchester Breakout Manchester

Breakout escape rooms really are a fun activity for all the family, whatever the weather. You can find out more and book at


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