Chocolate, orange and cranberry brownies

I am currently sitting on a train from Paris to Amsterdam, listening to the babble of Dutch and French being spoken around me. Tough life, I know, but I was fortunate enough to visit London last week to be a bridesmaid for one of my good friends, Alana, at her wedding to Mark last weekend. 


Alana enjoying some champagne


I was slightly obsessed with the mirrors in the room…

Here are a few happy snaps of the day. Mostly in the preparation phase, as I didn’t bring the camera to the main event (doesn’t go so well with the bouquet). We had a wonderful time at the wedding, and also catching up with my friends who live in London and Winchester (and a big thank you to Fiona, Steve and mini Sophie, Rebecca & Marcus and Sarah & Martijn for letting us stay!).


More mirrors


The beautiful bride

We are now headed to Amsterdam for a couple of weeks in our “second” home. I can’t wait!

Raw brownie


These “raw brownies” are adapted from one of the recipes I posted early on in this blog, from My New Roots. I was making the original brownies for a friend a couple of weeks ago, when I realised I only had half of the dates, so I decided to improvise.  The addition of the orange zest and chilli, with the cranberries, really freshens up these brownies.  They are great served with tea or coffee, or you can fancy them up in a glass with some fruit, cream and/or ice cream.

Raw brownie

More brownies



  • 1 and 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted and chopped in half
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of crimson raisins
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • a pinch of dry chilli flakes
  • Zest from one orange
  • 1/2 cup of almonds, chopped in half


  1. Cover the dates, cranberries and raisins in boiling water for 5 minutes, and then drain.  Push down on fruit to squeeze out any excess water.
  2. Put walnuts in a high speed blender (or food processor – this may take longer) and blend until them form a powder.  Add the cup of cacao and blend once or twice to mix through.
  3. Add vanilla, sea salt, chilli flakes and orange zest to the blender.  Turn on the blender and slowly feed through the dates, cranberries and raisins in batches.  Blend until the mixture is well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into a baking tray and stir in the almonds.  Flatten with the top of your spoon and then put the mixture into the freezer for at least an hour.  Once ready, chop into little squares.  You can either store in the fridge or freezer.
Chocolate, orange and cranberry brownies thumbnail image Fresh and zesty, rich chocolate brownies, made with nuts and dried fruit 30min

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