Tag Archives: cake

Christmas Stollen Bites

With Christmas fast approaching the sweet treats and cakes make their way to the table, it is hard to avoid them but I think there are times when we need to relax and enjoy the festive season and all it brings foodwise!  

I’ve been making a Stollen for the past few years now, I love it, reminds me of my grandmother who was very special and who Miss ND is named after. She would bake many Stollen before  Christmas each year and send one to all her family no matter where in the world they lived. I do miss her Stollen and more especially her.  I bake in remembrance of a wonderful lady.

Christmas Stollen Bites

 

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Coconut Almond Fruit Loaf

I am slightly obsessed with coconut oil, I’ve been using it in cooking and baking , in place of butter on my toast and the little girl loves it straight from the spoon!  

Coconuts contain trace amounts of some micronutrients, vitamins E & K plus a little iron.  Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, a saturated fat that enhances the immune system through its antiviral and antibacterial effects.  It is mostly made up of  MCFA’s (medium chain fatty acids) and is said to speed up metabolism and be good for your joints.  It is a stable oil when used at high temperatures and easily digested.  There are studies that show that lauric acid can increase your HDL (healthy) cholesterol and lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol.

I’ve been experimenting a little with adding coconut oil into my baking, it really is a great addition.  I made some muffins the other day using only coconut oil for the fat but although they were all scoffed down quickly by the family it made the muffins a little dense and heavy.  My Coconut Almond Fruit Loaf has butter and coconut oil and it is a great combination as the loaf turned out superbly and along with the buttermilk content, made a wonderfully moist cake.  I wanted to use coconut sugar instead of regular caster sugar but couldn’t find it, the 3 year old has probably relocated it to her kiddy kitchen!

coconut cake Collage

Coconut Almond Fruit Loaf

Makes: 8-10 slices (plus 2 end wedges!)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 1 hour

Pre-heat your oven to 160C, gas 4 & grease and line a large loaf tin

Ingredients

75g unsalted butter, softened
20g organic virgin coconut oil, softened
zest of 1 lemon
1tsp vanilla extract
85g golden caster sugar
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
70g shredded/dessicated coconut
50g ground almonds
200ml buttermilk
150g raisins, apricots, sultanas
(or whatever your favourite mix is)

Method

Beat the butter and coconut oil with the sugar until creamy.  Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract with the eggs and gradually beat in.

Sift in the flour and baking powder and lightly fold into the butter/coconut/egg mixture.

Add the coconut, ground almonds, buttermilk and dried fruit and fold in until well combined.

Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for around 1 hour or until baked through (check with a piece of dried spaghetti, it should come out clean when ready) and golden brown.

Enjoy with a hot, steaming cup of tea.

I’ll be tweaking this one a little more to perfect the bake but pretty pleased with it so far!

 

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Crafts on Sea

Mini Panettone for Christmas

I’ve not attempted to make a Panettone before but after my bread making course my confidence with all things bread and yeast has definitely increased.

Mini Panettone make lovely little gifts for Christmas, after wrapping in baking parchment paper pop them in cellophane wrap and tie with a bow.  These were for Miss ND’s pre-school gifts along with some homemade iced Christmas biscuits.  I shall be making my Stollen next and some Stollen bites for our usual Christmas Eve breakfast.

panettone

This recipe comes from the Baking Mad website, so many lovely baking recipes there. for once I stuck to the sugar allocation and the Panettone did not taste overly sweet even with the sultanas and mixed peel.  I would definitely add more dried fruit and mixed peel next time though and maybe some dark chocolate chips!

This is another recipe I will definitely be baking again and again as apart from the 3 provings (don’t let the 6 hour prep time put you off, you can start in the morning and have it all done by tea time) the Panettone were very easy to make and came out beautifully.  

 

Thanks to Tesco for providing the flour for the Panettone.

Linking up with Helen from The Crazy Kitchen and Helen from Mummy Mishaps for the #GreatBloggersBakeOff

  

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Wonderful Walnuts

We have Walnuts in our kitchen all year round, lovely to munch on as a quick snack but at this time of year they really are brought to the forefront in the supermarket aisles in readiness for Christmas, along with all manner of nuts, some of which I will be highlighting over the next few weeks.

Walnuts are considered to be superfoods these days,  as a child my mum would buy them loose in brown paper bags from the greengrocer and we would sit together cracking them open with a nutcracker and picking out the nutty, crunchy, nobbled seeds from the shells.

Walnuts are a high density source of nutrients, including calcium, high in magnesium, B6 and a rich source of  Omega 3 essential fatty acids and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, anti-oxidants plus a valuable source of iron. 

walnuts

Miss ND has teaspoon of ground almonds in her breakfast each morning and lately I have been crushing half a walnut (introducing slowly) too.  It is amazing to see the oil seep out of the walnut seed with even a light crush, so richly abundant it is!   Recommended intake each day is around 8-12 halves, I know I don’t manage that many some days but some is better than none.

Including walnuts in our diets couldn’t be easier, they make a lovely addition to salads, but I also bake a few different cakes with walnuts, this Apple, Cheddar and Walnut Loaf is one of Mary Berry’s recipes from the Great British Bake Off Every Day.  I love it because it is really easy to put together, the little ones can help mix as it is not a finicky batter needing gentle folding and it is completely sugar-free!   The apples do  give some sweetness but it is a lovely savoury, cheesy, nutty loaf that is equally good warm or cool.

 

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Apple and Sour Cream Flan Cake

appleflancake1Apple and Sour Cream flan cake

Last year our apple trees produced no fruit, a first for them since we have lived here, the beautiful, delicate pink blossoms were rained on so hard that they didn’t get pollinated so no apples.  We have 4 trees, 3 Bramley’s and 1, as yet, unidentified eating apple tree.  We cook, bake, freeze and finally give loads to the neighbours.   This year all is well again,  I have been on blossom, rain, wind, weather watch and although we had a lot of rain this year, we have a healthy crop.  

apple Collage

This Apple and Sour Cream Flan Cake was inspired by an old Woman & Home recipe that I have tucked away and is a firm family favourite.   I have lowered the sugar content again but feel free to use more if your tooth is sweeter than ours.

 Pre heat your oven to 180C, 160C Fan, gas mark 4

Bottom line and butter a 23cm (9″) round cake tin, I use a springform, so easy to use.

My Ingredients
3 medium sized cooking apples, peeled and cored
125g butter,softened plus a little extra to brush top of apples
90g golden caster sugar
2 organic free-range eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
100g sour cream
1 tblspn apricot jam for glazing

Method
Beat the butter and the golden caster sugar together until pale and creamy, add the eggs one at a time and beat in. Stir in the vanilla extract, then the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and the sour cream until smooth.

Chop one of the apples into small bite sized chunks and finely slice the others, you may not need all the slices.  Add the chopped apples to the cake batter, then spread the mixture into the prepared baking tin. Make smooth and even then arrange the apple slices to top. Melt a little butter and brush over the top of the cake and apples.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until the cake has risen and is golden. It should be firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack, then glaze the top with the warm apricot jam. Serve with creme fraiche or a dollop of double cream, this cake is so lovely and moist it doesn’t need anything but it’s summer and a blob of something creamy is so de rigeur!  Enjoy!

 appleflanslice

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Blueberry and Lemon Friands

 

Blueberry and Lemon Friands.  I made ice-cream the other day, the traditional way with double cream, milk and egg yolks.   And with 3 egg whites languishing in the fridge I thought I would make some Blueberry and Lemon Friands to use them up.  I have a growing list of recipes that use either only egg yolks or only egg whites  so that I can marry up recipes without wasting one or the other.  I do  have a very old recipe that uses 6 egg whites but as I only had 3  (& didn’t want to just halve the other recipe) I decided to make these from the BBC Good Food website where you can find the recipe.  I did reduce the icing sugar from 125g to 100g, I feel most recipes use too much sugar so always tweak it!

 friands top watermarked ND

Ingredients

friandingredients

So, what is a Friand exactly?  They originated in France and are popular in Australia (where my original recipe comes from).  They are small, light as a feather, bite-sized cakes that are made with egg whites and ground almonds which are high in protein.  You can use whatever fruit you please, but the smaller, softer fruits like Blueberry and Raspberry are the most suitable for these cakes.  The fruit is just pressed into the batter before baking.  You know I’m not keen on sugary cakes especially for tiny teeth but these are mini morsels of delight and ideal for a little one’s lunchbox or a tea-time treat.   The batter makes around 18 Friands so plenty to go around, they can also be frozen.

friandmethodCollage

Usually you would bake Friands in a Friand Tin to give them their signature oval shape, I am using a mini muffin tin which is the nearest I could get to it.  I have searched high and low for a Friand Tin without success.  If any of my readers know where to get one in the UK or even further afield, do let me know!

friandCollage

 

 

 friands waternarkedND

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