Friday 20 March 2015

Weight Loss and Ferrero Rocher Brownies *RECIPE*

For those of you who follow me on social media, or regularly check in on my My Weight Loss Journey tab at the top of my homepage will know that I've been really struggling to shift this final stone of weight...for the past five weeks I have maintained at 10 stone 10 pounds, with no sign of anything shifting despite being moderate and sensible. It was beginning to get really disheartening - and then BAM - this week despite Mother's Day treats over the weekend I've managed to shift 3 whole pounds. WOOP WOOP!! 

I now weigh 10 stone 7 lbs and only have 7 pounds to lose to get to my final weight target of 10 stone. I genuinely can't believe I type I'm slowly taking it all in, only 7 lbs to lose is a pretty incredible position to be in when just 19 months ago I had 7 stone to lose! When I reach my 10 stone target I will have lost 7 stone 2 lbs in total. Wow. It feels good to be nearing the end point, and soon to be welcoming a new phase - maintenance! 

Finally making a loss this week has really spurred me on, and I'll be hoping for another loss, however small, next week on the scales. If I manage to lose even just 1lb a week, I'll be at my target by May! 

Despite achieving a 3 lb loss this week I've still had lots of lovely treats including ....

  • a full on roast beef dinner with pecan pie & clotted cream for dessert on Mother's Day
  • an Aldi version of a Cadbury's Creme Egg (delicious!)
  • pizza at my auntie's 50th birthday party 
  • a piece of cake with my mum last Saturday at a sweet little tea room in Richmond
  • Half of a homemade Ferrero Rocher brownie
  • a glass of red wine at Richmond theatre on Saturday night (we saw 'Dead Simple' by Peter James)
  • Three pancakes: one with Nutella & banana, one with golden syrup & one with strawberry jam (for dinner! ha!)
  • a homemade butterfly cake made by my Mother in Law. 
  • and 20g of Lindt milk chocolate Easter Egg

That is a week full of a lot of treats! But what I will say is that to counteract all that deliciousness I have walked around 20 miles this week, drunk loads of water, and had the bigger treats such as the pancakes in replacement of a meal, rather than on top of. When I've had cake I've been quite sensible with my portion sizes (half of a brownie etc) and I made sure that I weighed out/portioned out the chocolate easter egg, rather than just jumping in and devouring the lot! When I had wine I had just one glass and really enjoyed it, and when I had a treat meal out on Mother's Day I chose not to have a starter, and I didn't drink wine - I also didn't have an evening meal that day, just a butterfly cake made by my Mother in Law in the evening. So as horrendous as my week of food might sound there's been plenty of moderation and lots of healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners thrown in. 

It's been a brilliant week full of lovely things including a morning of filming a TV pilot for Channel 4 on Saturday (more to come on that at a later date...!), an afternoon of shopping and lunch with my mum, Liam and my brother in Richmond, followed by a night at the theatre, then on to my Auntie's 50th birthday party to catch up with my lovely family. 

Sunday was of course Mother's Day and I was spoilt rotten, I got a gorgeous card, a picture from Bert (Daddy "helped") and some beautiful gifts. We headed out for a slap up lunch with my side of the family and then headed back to Bedford to spend the evening with Liam's lovely mum. What a perfect weekend. 

The weekdays this week have been a busy mixture of housework, washing, playing with my gorgeous boy, food shopping, cooking and catching up with friends. I had a night out at the pub with friends last night and ploughed on with my crochet, and have a relatively quiet weekend planned, and week ahead. This is a good thing - the quiet after the storm and all that. It also means there's no reason to go over on my calories, and no big treats to be had, which will help me to see another loss next week. 

Okay, so on to the very important stuff....FERRERO ROCHER BROWNIES!

Brownie Heaven! 

I saw this recipe for Ferrero Rocher brownies on Jo's Blue Aga blog (Jo Wheatley from GBBO) ages ago, and as soon as I saw it I knew I'd have to give them a try. I love Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and I've never made brownies before - I'm not really a tray baker, and so I thought this recipe would be the perfect one to steal my brownie virginity! 

I was sooooo right! 

Each Brownie is made up of a mixture of good quality dark chocolate, butter, caster sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, plain flour, self raising flour, and of course Ferrero Rochhers! Each brownie has a whole Ferrero Rocher chocolate baked into the top of it. Brownie perfection I hear you cry!

I added this recipe to my 12 Month Baking Challenge post back in January, and decided I'd tick it off my list in time for Mother's Day. I truly love baking for other people, and so this seemed like the perfect excuse to whip up a treat for my mum, and also for my lovely auntie who was turning 50 last weekend as well. The recipe made 16 brownies - I boxed up 7 for my auntie & her family, 6 for my mum, 2 for my lovely cousin who always loves to try my home baking, and that left 1 brownie for Liam and I to cut in half and try! (Purely for a quality check!)

I found the recipe really easy to follow, and the brownies cooked perfectly in 35 minutes - they had a gorgeous crust but a perfectly fudge/gooey centre - hooray! Before you start baking it is a good idea to stash your Ferrero Rochers in the freezer for a few hours this means that when you pop them into your brownie mix and bake they will hold their shape better, plus it stops you eating them all before your begin baking!

Thanks Jo Wheatley for a brilliant recipe! This will become my go-to brownie recipe from now on, and I can report back that my mum, dad, auntie, uncle and cousins all absolutely loved them - Liam even managed to score an extra whole brownie from my mum's box at the weekend, personally, I thought it was very good of my mum to share! Ha! 

So, this bake sees me complete two of my twelve baking challenges for the year. I plan to make the Simnel cake and possibly a couple of other treats off my list for Easter, so watch this space! 

What have you been baking recently? And how do you manage to watch your weight and bake goodies in the kitchen? 

I'd love to hear from you. 

Mrs B