Yoghurt Cake

I posted a recipe for my vegan yoghurt cake a while back and it went down a treat. That recipe was based on this one,which is the tried and tested original basic yoghurt cake. This recipe comes courtesy of my boyfriends Mum, his favourite cake and one of mine too. If you’re not a confident baker or are just starting out then this is definitely the recipe for you. It couldn’t be easier, dumping everything into a bowl, whisking it together and putting it into the oven, simples right?

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Once you’ve got the basic batter  mastered you can play around with adding in some jazzy additions. Orange flower water or lemon zest are my go to  flavourings but I also like to add in some fruit too, whatever is in season. If I use fruit I prefer to make it in a brownie tin and place the fruit on top as per the vegan version.

The recipe is based on a 125ml yoghurt pot. If you’re using yoghurt from a larger pot that a ½ cup measure will work as an equivalent .You can also make this in a brownie pan though this will affect the cooking time, by approximately half.

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Yoghurt Cake

Ingredients:

1 pot Plain Yoghurt

2 pots Sugar

3 Pots Flour

½ pot Oil

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon of Baking Powder

 

Optional Flavouring additions:

¼ teaspoon of Orange Flower Water

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

½ Tablespoon of Lemon Zest

Optional Fruit Additions:

½ cup of Berries

Plums, halved of chopped and stones removed

Tinned Pears, drained

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 ℃
  • Grease and line a small loaf tin with oil and baking parchment.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the yoghurt,sugar, oil and eggs.
  • Add in the flour and baking powder, whisk until everything is smooth and combined.
  • Here is where you can add in any additions, a flavouring plus or minus a fruit.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. 
  • Place into the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked through, a skewer should come out clean.
  • Once cooked remove from the oven, allow to cool a little in the tin before placing in a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When ready to serve dust with a little icing sugar, slice it up and serve.
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Boozy Truffles (Vegan)

I made a batch of these chocolate truffles at Christmas and they went down such a treat  I thought it was finally time to share. The most challenging part of this recipe is pateince. I suggest making them the night before so you don’t spend half your day running to the fridge to see if they’ve set (that’s how my afternoon would be spent anyway!)

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Bonus of this recipe is that there is no added sugar, apart from what is in the chocolate already, I don’t think they need anymore than that. You can make these with regular cream if that’s your jam but the coconut milk works really well here and means that you cover most dietary restrictions. I’ve used orange zest to flavour the milk but you can really use whatever you fancy, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom the list goes on. As for the booze, go wild with your favourite liqueur.

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Ingredients:

300g Dark Chocolate, Minimum 75% cocoa solids

300ml Coconut Milk (full fat please, I use this one)

Peel of one small  Orange

¼ teaspoon of Salt

3 generous tablespoons of Grand Marnier/Cointreau

Optional coatings: cacao, cacao nibs, ground pistachios

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Method:

  • Pour the coconut milk and orange peel into a heavy based saucepan and set over a medium heat. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, don’t let it boil, and then remove from the heat, setting aside for 10-15 minutes to allow the orange flavour to infuse.
  • Chop the chocolate into fine pieces, the smaller the better, and place into  a mixing bowl.
  • Once the coconut milk has had it’s 15 minutes remove the orange peel from it and discard.
  • Place the coconut milk back on the heat and  bring back to a simmer.
  • Pour the hot coconut milk over chopped chocolate and stir until all the the chocolate is melted and you have a silky mixture.
  • Now add in the salt and booze, stir to combine.
  • Allow the mixture to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge overnight of for at least 3 hours to set.
  • Once completely set and chilled remove the mixture from the fridge.
  • Take small amounts of the truffle mixture, around 10-15g,  and roll into balls using the palm of your hands.
  • Toss the truffle in your choice of coating and place on a tray. Continue to do this with the rest of the mixture.
  • Place the truffles back in the fridge to allow them to firm up before serving.
  • These can easily stay a week in the fridge or you can pop them in the freezer and remove a couple of hours before you want to serve.

Enjoy x

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

I couldn’t decide if I should call this bread, cake or brownie. All I know is it’s fudgey, delicious and you need it in your life.

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I’m always intrigued by new ingredients and working in the field that I do I always try to experiment a bit to cater for all. I found coconut flour in the supermarket and decided to give it another whirl in baking. I had tried it before and the results were awful. Although it may seem like only a small amount in this recipe it soaks up so much moisture that a little really does go a long way.

This is best served warm either on it’s own or with big dollop of yoghurt (chocolate coconut yoghurt if you want to keep the theme going!)

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Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Ingredients:

3 Medium Ripe Bananas, mashed

4 Large Eggs

50g (¼ Cup) Dairy Free Margarine or Coconut Oil, melted

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

50g (¼ cup) Soft Brown Sugar

25g  (3 tablespoons) Coconut Flour

60g (¾ Cup) 100% Cacao Powder

¼ teaspoon of Salt

75g (½ cup)Dark Chocolate, chopped into chunks

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 ℃
  • Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • Separate the eggs. Place the whites in one large mixing bowl and the yolks into another  mixing bowl. Set the bowl of  whites to the side for the time being.
  • To the egg yolks add the mashed banana, melted margarine, vanilla extract and soft brown sugar. Whisk everything together until combined.
  • Now sift the coconut flour, cacao and salt until you have a smooth chocolate batter.
  • Go back to the egg whites and whisk these in a separate bowl until they form stiff peaks.
  • Add ⅓ of the egg whites into the chocolate batter and whisk through.
  • Now add another third of the egg whites into the mixture folding through with a metal spoon so as not to knock out the air.
  • Fold through the final third of the egg whites into the mixture. Make sure you don’t over stir! Now finally fold through the chocolate chunks, gently does it.
  • Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and place in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. A knife or skewer should come out clean.
  • Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remove from the tin, slice into thick slice and serve with a cup of strong coffee 🙂

 

Soft Baked Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

It’s no secret that I am beyond obsessed with oats. They’re so versatile and go far beyond their use at the breakfast table, though there they will remain a staple.  To showcase their use in sweet treats I present to you these soft bake cookies spiked with dried cranberries, orange zest and cinnamon, a delicious afternoon pick me up. Best served warm from the oven with a big mug of coffee, though I’m sure my Dad would suggest sandwiching them around a scoop of vanilla ice cream. He might be onto something there you know.

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I’ve made these using dairy free margarine and flax egg but you can easily use softened butter and egg if that’s what you have to hand. The mixture is really sticky so the chilling process is essential to be able to roll them into cookies- patience is key.

Soft Bake Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies (Makes 10 cookies)

Ingredients

125g Dairy Free Margarine, at room temperature

100g Soft Brown Sugar

1 x Flax Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

100g Oats

100g Wholemeal Flour

½ teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon of Salt

1 teaspoon of Orange Zest (zest of approximately ½ and orange)

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

75g Dried Cranberries

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Method

  • Make the flax egg- place the ground flaxseed in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 15 minutes to form a gel.
  • Put the margarine into a mixing bowl and beat around with a wooden spoon until it is soft and fluffy.
  • Add in the soft brown sugar and again beat until it is fluffy.
  • Now add in the flax egg and vanilla, stir to combine.
  • In a separate bowl add the oats, wholemeal flour, baking soda, salt, orange zest and cinnamon. Lightly mix to combine everything.
  • Add the above dry ingredients into the butter mixture mixing thoroughly to combine.
  • Add in the dried cranberries, mix through so they are dispersed evenly through the mixture.
  • Place the cookie mixture in the fridge for a minimum of 60 minutes but overnight works best.

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When you are ready to cook the cookies.

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take approximately 1.5 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a ball. Then press the ball  between your palms to flatten into a cookie shape. The cookies will spread slightly during cooking.
  • Place the cookies on the baking tray, making sure to leave some space between them, and place into the oven for 8-10 minutes. Check after 8 minutes, they should be starting to turn golden and crisp.
  • Once cooked remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Yogurt Cake (Vegan)

This is my other half’s favourite cake which ,of all the cakes possible, I always thought was rather disappointing. That said it’s become a staple in our household as an “everyday cake”. We almost always have the ingredients to hand so in a cake emergency this is my go to.  I decided it was time to make a plant based version replacing regular yogurt with soya yogurt and eggs with even more soya yogurt! The result is a deliciously moist cake which we’ve decided almost tastes like doughnuts ,in a really good way. You can jazz it up in anyway you fancy once you keep the basic ratio of flour, yogurt, sugar and oil the same.

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You could easily make this cake with no fruit but I just think it takes it to next level deliciousness. Here I’ve used plums but I’ve also made it with raspberries, blueberries and cherries, all equally moreish. Use whatever you have going, frozen fruit works great too!

This is honestly one of the easiest cakes to make and I urge you to give it a go.

Yogurt Cake (Serves 6-8)

Ingredients

1 Cup of Soya Yogurt

½ cup of Sugar

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Zest of ½ Lemon

¼ cup of Sunflower Oil, you can use any oil here with a mild flavour

1 ½ cups of Flour

1 teaspoon of Baking Powder

Fruit of choice- approximately 1 cup of berries or 4 plums or other stone fruit, sliced in half.

 

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Method

  • Preheat oven to 180℃
  • Grease and line an 8 inch tin, square, round, whatever you fancy.
  • Add the yogurt, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and oil into a mixing bowl, stir together.
  • Now sift the flour into the yogurt mixture and stir until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • If you are using berries, mix them through the mixture at this stage.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out into one even layer. If you are using stone fruit place the halves on top of the cake mixture and press them gently in so they are snuggled in.
  • Place the cake in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes, testing after 30 minutes.
  • Once cooked remove from the oven and allow  to cool before removing from the tin.

For an extra bit of pizzazz sift over some icing sugar, cut into slices, serve with a big mug of coffee and enjoy! x x

Apple Crumble (Vegan)

There’s nothing that delivers the taste of  autumn quite like an apple crumble. Crumble is probably one of my favourite desserts. I neglect it really, thinking maybe it’s too simple, but there’s never any complaints when I serve one up. I just love when the fruit bubbles up around the edges making the crumble topping tacky and just oh so delicious.

DSC_0440There are so many ways you can make a crumble topping be it with oats, flour or ground almonds. This is my version which you probably won’t be shocked to see is made from my favourite grain-oats. I add plenty of spices in to give it some warmth and extra comfort. 

The final debate with a crumble- what do you serve it with? As kids we would usually have fresh pouring cream. If we were getting fancy we may have had custard. Both of these are utterly delicious however in recent years I have come to the discover the joys of cold ice cream on hot crumble and it is by far my favourite combination.

I serve mine with Alpro Vanilla ice-cream, which taste unbelievable and just like the real thing ,not a word of a lie.

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Apple Crumble (serves 6)

Ingredients

1kg of Apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1cm cubes

Zest of 1 x Lemon

Juice of ½ Lemon

200g of Oats

100g Vegan Spread, I used Flora

65g of Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

½ teaspoon of Ground Ginger

¼ teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon of Salt

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Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • Place the chopped apples into a large baking dish and add in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss everything together until all of the apple is coated, this will stop them turning brown whilst you get on with the topping.
  • Melt the spread and set aside to cool
  • Take ½ the oats and place in a food processor. Blitz the oats until they form a flour.
  • Add the oat flour, remaining oats, sugar, spices and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Now pour over the melted spread. Stir through until everything is combined and you have a flapjack like mixture.
  • Pour the crumble topping over the apples, spreading evenly.
  • Place the crumble in the oven for 40 minutes. You may need to cover with foil halfway through to prevent burning.
  • You’ll know it’s cooked when the apples are soft and the crumble is nice and golden.
  • Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with your favourite accompaniment- I choose ice-cream always!

Wholewheat Banana Bread

Banana bread was one of the first things I remember baking all by myself (That and chocolate  chip cookies, gosh they were good too).  I used to bake it a lot (A LOT) and It’s still one of my favourite treats to rustle up. It’s also one of the easiest things to bake so there is an excuse for a bad loaf .

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You might be wondering if the original recipe I used is so good then why change it? Well, I work with a lot of clients with food allergies. Genuine food allergies, often multiple. This can be incredibly difficult to manage particularly in children.  Though the  range of products available in the supermarkets is getting much better, they can come with a heavy price tag. So, I’ve set myself a mission to come up with some easy, delicious and low cost recipes that the whole family can enjoy, allergies or not.

This is also a great option if you are watching the waistline with it being free of added fat and  lower in free sugars then your standard recipe.  This does not mean eat it by the bucket load (though trust me you’ll want too). Like all sweet treats enjoy in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet.

This recipe is dairy free, egg free, nut free and vegan (provided you don’t use honey)

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Wholewheat Banana Bread

Ingredients:

⅓ Cup Apple Sauce (Homemade or Shop bought)

¼ Cup Brown Sugar/ Honey/ Maple Syrup (40g)

¼ Cup Unsweetened Oat Milk (You can use any plant based or dairy milk)

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 very ripe medium Bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons of Milled Flaxseeds

6 tablespoons of Water

1 ¾ Cups Wholewheat Flour

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 165℃
  • Grease a 2 litre loaf tin with vegetable oil and line with baking parchment.
  • Mix the milled flaxseeds and water together and set aside to form a gel- approximately 15 minutes.
  • Whist the flax gel is forming mix the apple sauce, brown sugar, oat milk, vanilla extract and mashed bananas together.
  • Once the flax eggs are ready mix them in with the above mixture.
  • Now add in the wholewheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • Stir the mixture until everything is combined and pour into the prepared loaf tin.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to one hour, test after 50 minutes- a knife should come out clean.

This is delicious just by itself but you could have it with some coconut yoghut, tahini or if you have no allergies some delicious nut butter! x x

 

Cashew,Brazil and Vanilla Butter

I’m a nut butter addict, it’s no secret. If I see a new nut butter on the shelves I have to have it, regardless of how many half eaten jars there are in my cupboard. I’d never really thought about making my own nut butter. I thought why bother when I can buy perfectly good peanut butter from the supermarket. Enter the influence of social media, I saw so many people making their own I just had to see what all the fuss was about. The great thing about making your own is you can really jazz up the flavours as much as you want, and I love jazzy flavours.

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Every time we go to the supermarket we buy bags of nuts and ultimately we end up with lots of half eaten bags. I wanted to use up what we had and thus Brazil and Cashew Butter was born. You could of course keep this raw and not roast the nuts at all, but roasting the nuts gives the nut butter a much more intense flavour which I personally prefer.

Cashew, Brazil and Vanilla Butter ( Makes 2 x 200ml Jars)

Ingredients:

2 cups of Cashew Nuts

1 cup of Brazil Nuts

1 Vanilla Pod, or equivalent of extract or paste, chopped into pieces

½ teaspoon of Sea Salt Flakes

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • Toss the nuts onto a baking tray and spread out evenly.
  • Place the nuts into the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until they turn slightly golden, keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn.
  • Once roasted remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • When the nuts are cool place them in a food processor along with the vanilla pod and sea salt. Blend until a nut butter forms. This can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on your blender. If it gets a bit stuck you can always add in some oil to help it along but I find cashews and brazil nuts blend quite easily.
  • Pour the nut butter into jars and hide in a deep dark cupboard to stop yourself eating the whole batch.

If you want to make this sweeter you can always add in some honey, maple syrup or other sweetener to taste. I like it just as it is 🙂

Tahini and Rose Fudge

I used to only ever have tahini with savoury foods- the usual suspects of hummus and baba ganoush. However,more recently I’ve been lobbing it onto just about anything, sweet food included. I don’t know what happened, if it was subliminal messaging or what but I just got a hankering for the stuff one day and decided to go with it. The bitterness of the tahini pairs so well with anything sweet, particularly fruit (fresh or dried), but it’s even better with honey.

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I decided to keep things plant based and pretty simple here. The addition of rose water gives a little something extra but be VERY careful you don’t add too much. Otherwise you’ll end up with soap flavoured fudge on your hands. Now I don’t like waste but even I wouldn’t eat that.

Yes it’s plant based but it’s still high in fat and high in sugar, full disclosure here. As with any sweet treat “free from” or not portion control will keep you right. Though I will admot it’s hard with these little fellows.

Tahini and Rose Fudge

Ingredients:

¼ cup of Tahini

¼ cup of Cashew Butter

¼ Cup of Coconut Oil

¼ Cup of Honey

¼ teaspoon of Sea Salt Flakes e.g Maldon Salt, plus additional to sprinkle on top.

A few drops of Rose Water

Optional: Rose petals to decorate.

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Method:

  • Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Place all the ingredients, except the rosewater, into a  heavy based saucepan. Put the pan over a low flame on the hob and let everything melt together.
  • Once everything is melted and combined, add in your rosewater. Start with a drop or two and then increase to your own taste.
  • Pour the fudge mixture into a loaf tin into the loaf tin, sprinkle on some additional sea salt and optional rose petals.
  • Put the fudge in the fridge and allow to chill for at least and hour until it’s set enough for you to slice.

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This fudge doesn’t like heat so try not to over handle it or leave it sitting at room temperature too long. II urge you to make this, such a tasty little treat to have waiting in the fridge, all made with minimal effort.

Rhubarb and Hazelnut Crumble

I said I would come at you with some more rhubarb recipes. I also said  I couldn’t resist making a crumble, so rhubarb crumble was an obvious choice. Fruit crumbles are one of my favourite ways to use up the gluts of summer fruit. I love love love a good crumble and rhubarb is one of my favourite fillings, giving the perfect tang to the sweet crumble topping. Here I’ve made a crumble topping using oats, not for any particular reason other than once again I didn’t have any flour in the house. Mixed with crunchy hazelnuts it’s the perfect topping in my eyes.

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You might be alarmed when you read the recipe and see both butter and sugar there. Surely these aren’t “healthy”.  Realistically though had I used honey and coconut oil the overall nutritional profile of this dish would be very similar. If you want to use either of those for taste great, go ahead but don’t fool yourself by thinking this makes it anyway superior in nutrients Sometimes you have to have a little of the good stuff to keep you sane. So take a breath, go buy some caster sugar and come to the dark side.

 

Rhubarb and Hazelnut Crumble

Ingredients

800g Rhubarb

¼ Cup (50g) Caster Sugar

1 Cup (100g) of Oats

¾ Cup (100g) Hazelnuts

¼ Cup (50g) Sugar

2 Tablespoons (50g) Unsalted Butter, straight from the fridge and cut into cubes

¼ Teaspoon of Cinnamon

 

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Preheat the oven to 180℃

  • Chop the Rhubarb in ½ inch long pieces and place into your dish of choice, I use a 23cm ceramic pie dish.
  • Sprinkle over the sugar (¼ cup).
  • Add the oats to a food processor and blitz until they form a flour. Now add in the hazelnuts,sugar and cinnamon  and pulse until the hazelnuts have broken down into small chunks.
  • Add in the cubes of butter to the food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a small to medium crumb. Be careful not to over mix it, a few pulses should do the trick.
  • Pour the crumble mixture over the rhubarb spreading evenly over the top.
  • Place the crumble in the oven for 35-40 minutes. The crumble will be done when the fruit is soft and the crumble is nice and goldenDSC_0952.JPG

Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream of some comforting custard. Delicious!