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
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.