My name is Sarah Berlingieri, thyroid cancer survivor and creator of Instagram account @thehopefulkitchenuk. I started The Hopeful Kitchen after an intense operation, and used my passion for cooking as a form of therapy to assist my recovery. I’m inspired by my Italian heritage and enthusiasm for health based meals, both of which have influenced my cooking style. My current goal is to encourage students to engage in a more balanced lifestyle through the benefits of nutritious and delicious home cooked meals on a budget. However, once in a while we do need to indulge, so please enjoy my top three favourite sweet treat recipes below!
Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 15 cookies
225g softened butter/ 150g caster sugar/ 275g self raising flour/ 1 large egg/ 100g white chocolate broken into cubes/ 50g raspberries/ Half tsp vanilla extract
1. Mix butter and sugar until soft.
2. Add the egg and mix in the flour.
3. Fold the raspberries and chocolate into the cookie dough.
4. Shape the cookies into medium sized balls with a bit of extra flour so that they don’t stick.
5. Place the batter on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
6. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until soft and golden at 180C.
7. Leave to cool and enjoy!
Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Makes 10 truffles
1 ripe avocado, mashed with no lumps/ 1 bar of dark chocolate, melted/ 1 tsp coconut oil/ Half tsp vanilla extract/ Cocoa powder
1. Melt the coconut oil and dark chocolate in the microwave or over the stove.
2. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl of mashed avocado and stir together. Add the vanilla extract.
3. When combined, mix to remove any lumps and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
4. When the chocolate has cooled and hardened, scoop into balls and roll until smooth.
5. Roll each ball in cocoa powder and serve.
Lemon Cheesecake Slices
Makes 12 slices
1 cup rolled oats/ Half cup ground almonds/ Two and a half tbsp brown sugar/ 1 tsp cinnamon/ Quarter cup coconut oil/ 1 cup blueberries, to garnish
For the filling
3 eggs/ 300g ricotta/ Half cup plain yoghurt/ 2 tbsp cream cheese/ Quarter tsp vanilla extract/ Zest of 1 lemon/ 2 tablespoons lemon juice/ 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line with baking paper.
2. In a food processor or by hand, chop the oats until fine. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the ground almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and coconut oil. Stir the mixture and press it into the tin, creating an even base.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light golden.
4. Meanwhile, place all filling ingredients into a bowl and mix with electric beaters or by hand until smooth.
5. Pour cheesecake filling over base and spread until even. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set (it should wobble).
6. Leave to cool, and refrigerate slice for an hour at least, until ready to serve. Cut into squares and serve with blueberries.
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