Tag Archives: apple cake

Apple and blueberry buckwheat cake and a mouse in the house

appleandpearcake

The New Year brought an uninvited house guest: A mouse. At least I think he was uninvited. Maybe one of the dogs coaxed him in to annoy me. Not that I really have anything against him, in fact he’s quite sweet. But I admit I was rather taken aback this morning when I found him trying to chew his way through the top of my multivitamins. I tried to persuade him to leave, but he tilted his head to one side and looked at me quizzically as if to say ‘and your problem with me necking your vitamins is?’. I appealed to the dogs for some backup, but Hugo just sighed loudly and gave me a slightly contemptuous look that definitely said ‘wha’ever’. And Java, bless her, did her funny cross-eyed thing because the mouse is so small that I suspect she could hardly see it. In the meantime, the little rascal is making impressive headway through my vitamins and I’m afraid he’s going to end up the size of a small cat. Still, at least if he does Java will finally see him and perhaps spring into action…

There is quite a lot in the news at the moment about the ‘Sirt Food Diet’. I don’t usually pay much attention to the multitude of faddy diet books that appears on a regular basis, but this one makes some sense, even to me. I particularly like that its main objective is healthy eating and that weight loss is just a by-product of that. And I know that it is effective because I’ve been eating these foods for a number of years (before it even had a name!). The Sirt Food diet is so-called because it involves consuming foods containing compounds known as sirtuin activators, which cause body fat to be burned and muscle mass to develop (what’s not to like?). Eating these foods increases metabolism and strengthens the immune system. Sirtuin activators include buckwheat, apples, onions, almonds, walnuts, citrus fruits, chocolate, red wine, turmeric and blueberries, which frankly makes this cake a Sirt Food dieter’s dream!

Ingredients (serves 8)

For the topping:

3 apples, peeled and cut into slices

75g  blueberries

25g salted butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the cake:

75g butter, cut into cubes

75g organic virgin coconut oil, cut into cubes

100g cane sugar

2 large free-range eggs, beaten

75g buckwheat flour

75g ground almonds

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Caramelise the apples in a little water, adding the butter and maple syrup once softened. Add the blueberries last . Set aside. Place the sugar, butter and coconut oil into a mixing bowl and cream until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, adding a bit of flour if the mixture begins to curdle. Continue to beat the mixture until fluffy. Fold in the remaining flour, ground almonds, baking powder and cinnamon.

Transfer the apple and blueberry mixture into the bottom of a greased bundt cake mould (I use a silicon one), levelling well with the back of a spoon. Then pour the cake mixture over the top. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool. Delicious served with Greek yoghurt.

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Spicy carrot cake and a ladies’ horse

carrotcake2

HugojournoandJava

I don’t really understand girls. I thought I did, but I don’t. Océane (the only mare of the four horses), took an instant, irrational dislike to Bijou (the four-year-old with a ditch problem) when he first arrived. In fact, she was so aggressive and unpleasant that he ended up covered with tooth and hoof marks and they had to be separated. Yesterday, having spent the whole previous night loudly whinnying for her long-lost love, she barged her way through the electric fence (which made The Tall One very cross) and hasn’t left his side since. At one point, Bijou, in an attempt to free himself from her neediness,  jumped out of the field. This sent her positively hysterical and she bucked and called after him until he’d been rounded up and returned to her side. Still, at least with all her silliness I added a new word to my already fairly extensive vocabulary: Fickle.

Which brings me to Java. Having once been absolutely terrified of horses (or the ‘gigantic dogs’ as she calls them, bless her) she now chases Bijou around the field until she manages to grab his tail between her teeth. Then she doesn’t let go until he’s galloping faster than she can run, which, although it pains me to say it, is pretty fast. It exhausts me just watching them. So what is it with the girls and Bijou? He must have hidden powers of seduction, although I fail to see how he can be more charming than me…

javabibi

I assume that this carrot cake must be for the horses; they’re the only ones silly enough to eat a cake made with carrots and apples. I’m not a fan obviously, but according to everyone else it is very tasty.

javaandjojo copy

Ingredients (serves 16)

250ml olive oil

175g cane sugar

4 eggs

250g carrots, grated

100g apple, grated

100g ground almonds

150g spelt flour (or wheat flour)

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 level teaspoon garam masala (or allspice)

1 level teaspoon ground ginger

75g raisins pre-soaked in rum

100g walnuts, chopped

Grease and prepare a medium-size cake tin and preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat well. Add the eggs and continue to beat until the mixture becomes pale in colour. Add the grated apple and carrots to the mix and then fold in the almonds, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, seasoning and spices. Lastly stir in the raisins and walnuts and transfer to the cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Spelt apple cake and discomfiting headwear

applecake

I had assumed that I’d become immune to embarrassment, thanks to a long haul desensitisation programme courtesy of my husband. It just wasn’t humanly possible to blush every single time someone fell victim to his uninhibited candour (‘if I had feet like yours, I wouldn’t wear open-toed shoes’ springs to mind).

But for some reason, in his Basque terrorist guise when we went out to lunch today, he inadvertently excelled himself. Obviously I have nothing against Basque terrorists per se. After all, nobody can wear a beret quite like a Basque. And their food is beyond divine. Of course, they hit a low point when they started blowing things up, but nobody’s perfect. But the beret, a promotional gift from our local DIY store with their logo written across the front in BRIGHT RED LETTERS, proved to be a cringe too far. I appear to have become, amongst other things, a beret snob 😳

This apple cake is as simple as it gets, but no less delicious for it and certainly nothing to be ashamed of; I’ve had enough shame for one week 😉

Ingredients

2 large apples, peeled and sliced

handful of raisins

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

150g cane sugar

200g spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 eggs, beaten

1 pot of yoghurt (125g)

75ml melted virgin coconut oil

75ml melted butter

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Poach the apples and raisins in a small amount of water. Add the cinnamon. Once the apples are soft (about 15 minutes), drain the excess cooking juice and set aside. Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then add the yoghurt, eggs and melted coconut oil and butter. Mix well. Stir in the poached apples and cook in a medium-sized cake tin for 30 minutes.