Tag Archives: gluten-free cake

Hazelnut mocha cake (gf) and hiring a PA

chochazelnut

HugojournoandJava

Noisy is a resourceful boy: Within a day of returning to school last week, he had found himself a very efficient personal assistant. A much-needed personal assistant I might add because, although he’s a clever boy, he doesn’t do well with practical matters and is rather absent-minded. Quite often he asks me what day it is and whether or not he’s had lunch yet. His new assistant ‘phones him in the morning to tell him which classroom he should go to and at what time, and in return Noisy advises on homework matters.

I have decided to take a leaf out of Noisy’s book and recruit a PA for myself. I believe that in some circles, you don’t even exist if you don’t have a PA. I’m having difficulty finding someone though. So far I’ve had applications from Java (ha ha, in your dreams Java), a couple of hens and a somewhat persistent hedgehog. Still, I’m quite determined because things can’t go on like this – I have too many slap-happy charges. Last week Bossy went flying over the handlebars of her mountain bike because Java chased a deer onto the track in front of her, and Java pinched a pair of Bossy’s shoes and vomited into them. I have taken to hiding in the shower for some respite. Please let me know if you can suggest any suitable applicants.

hugoPA

hugoshower

Hazelnuts are a good source of oleic and linoleic acids and are also rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytochemicals.

Ingredients (10 servings)

150g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)

115g coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 tablespoons black coffee

4 eggs, separated

100g cane sugar

100ml plain yoghurt

70g ground hazelnuts

40g buckwheat flour

75g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and prepare a medium-sized loaf tin. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil until smooth and add the vanilla extract and coffee. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and yogurt until light and smooth and then combine with the melted chocolate/coconut oil/coffee. Mix the ground hazelnuts, buckwheat flour, chopped hazelnuts, salt and bicarbonate of soda together and combine with the egg yolk and chocolate mixture. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and gently but thoroughly fold into the mocha mixture. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool. Delicious served alone or with Greek yoghurt or ice cream.

Apricot buckwheat cake (gf) and Hugo sorts things out

apricotbuckwheatcake

hugotypewriter1by

As is too often the case, I feel compelled to tell my side of the story following  Bossy’s latest piece of intelligence (I use the term with a generous helping of irony). I was so annoyed that I had intended to ‘forget’ to include her silly recipe in this post, but Bossy can be very insistent. Obviously my ‘forgetting’ would have been a pedagogical measure and not out of pettiness. Between ourselves though, I consider Bossy to be a lost cause so I didn’t press the issue.

As I mentioned before, in my spare time (sadly lacking because I’m so exploited), I am studying for a degree in psychology. This is quite a challenge as it’s very hard to find peace and quiet to study in this house. Also, I have to be careful not to leave my books lying around because Java chews them to pieces, Bossy drops them in the bath (she falls asleep while reading), the Noisy One makes aeroplanes from them and the Tall One uses them to light fires. The upshot is that there is hardly any room left for me to lie in my basket as, once I’ve finished studying I have to hide all my books under the blankets. I don’t think Bossy takes my degree very seriously, which would explain why she doesn’t understand my need for time on the couch to contemplate. The couch plays a very important part in a psychology degree.

sofa2

Bossy is in denial about just how annoying Java is. She thinks she’s ‘adorable and perhaps a tiny bit dizzy’, whereas in reality she’s an unrelenting and unspeakable pest. Actually, they both are. For the record, Java is also in denial about just how annoying she is. Or maybe she isn’t, which is even worse. Sigmund (I think we would have been on first name terms if he had ever been lucky enough to meet me) believed that when people explain their behaviour they rarely give a true account – not necessarily because they are deliberately lying, but because they are great deceivers of others and, to an even greater degree, themselves. Bossy meet Java, Java meet Bossy. I rest my case.

hugojavaonback

Ingredients (serves 8-10)

170g dried apricots (preferably organic), chopped

100ml olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs, separated

100g cane sugar

100ml plain yoghurt

70g ground almonds (you could substitute ground hazelnuts)

40g buckwheat flour

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and prepare a medium-sized loaf tin. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, olive oil and yogurt until light and smooth. Mix the ground almonds, buckwheat flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon together and then combine well with the wet mixture. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and gently but thoroughly fold into the mixture. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the tin and leave to cool. Delicious served alone or with Greek yoghurt or ice cream.

Caramelised peach and buckwheat pudding cake (gf) and tired chicken legs

peachapricotcake

Hugo and I were nearly a kilometre from the house yesterday evening when we realised that we were not alone — all three hens had followed us. (The only other time I have seen chicken legs move as fast was at a rugby club barbecue).  It goes without saying that Hugo was not best pleased. He tried to explain, rather tendentiously I felt, that they should return home, but to no avail; they were absolutely determined that they needed some exercise.  As a result, for the moment at least, we have three hens too knackered to lay eggs.

This pudding cake is another adaptation from my Book of the Moment: Love, Bake, Nourish by Amber Rose. Luckily for me, it is fairly egg-light, but no less delicious for it.

Ingredients

For the peach topping:

3 peaches, peeled and cut into slices

2 cardamon pods

25g salted butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the pudding base:

75g butter

75g organic virgin coconut oil

75g organic buckwheat flour

2 large free-range eggs (preferably from hens that don’t partake in cross-country events)

75g ground almonds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

50g maple syrup

50g agave syrup

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Caramelise the peaches and ground cardamon pods in the butter and maple syrup. Set aside. Cut the butter and coconut oil into small cubes and cream with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add a tiny bit of the flour, then the eggs one at a time. Continue to beat the mixture until fluffy. Fold in the remaining flour, ground almonds, cinnamon and syrups.

Transfer the mixture into a greased cake tin, levelling well with the back of a spoon. Place the caramelised peaches on top of the cake mixture, drizzling any remaining juice over the top. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool. Delicious served with vanilla ice-cream.

Guest post: Clementine and almond cake

clementinecake

Hi there, it’s Louisa here from Chez Foti and I’m guest blogging a recipe today for Fiona. We recently stumbled upon each other in the wonderful world of cyberspace and interestingly both happen to live down in deepest, darkest South West France. Well, Fiona lives in the bordering region of Aquitaine and I’m in Midi-Pyrenees, but that makes us practically neighbours in these distinctly rural and empty parts. And it’s not often you meet fellow English foodie bloggers down this way, so I’m delighted to meet her!

Over at Chez Foti I blog hearty, generally healthy, wholesome family friendly fodder that’s always seasonal and uses local as possible fresh ingredients. Since I have a two and a four year old to nourish most of my recipes are quick and simple to prepare and obviously very child-friendly. Though there’s the occasional dalliance into grown-ups-only fair and a little naughtiness here and there. Life really is too short to be good all the time!

My recipe for you, on our little cakey blog swop, is a fabulous (chocolateless!) Clementine & Almond Cake. A wheatless, dairy-free delight which, without deliberately intending to be, is actually pretty darned good for you and almost as good as cake can get. Though if you want to naughty things up a little it’s wonderful with a big dollop of crème fraiche or Mascarpone!

Ingredients:

375g of clementines, tangerines or satsumas (they all work!)

5 large free range eggs

175g of cane sugar

250g of ground almonds

a heaped teaspoon of baking powder, sieved

a tablespoon of Amaretto, optional

a little icing sugar for dusting

Special Equipment: a 21cm spring-sided baking tin lined with greaseproof paper

Place the clementines in a saucepan and cover the fruit with cold water. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer away for 2 hours. Top up the water level as it drops. After 2 hours remove from the water and allow to cool for a few minutes before whizzing to a pulp in a processor (or with a stick blender).

Pre-heat your oven to 190ºC.

Now on with this cinch of a cake. Whisk up the eggs in a large bowl, using a balloon whisk. Then whisk in the sugar followed by the ground almonds and baking powder. Finally stir in the clementine pulp.

Pour the cake mixture into your lined cake tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 40 minutes. It should be golden on top, firm to touch and an inserted skewer will come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a cooling rack.

Once cool carefully remove from the tin and lightly dust with sieved icing sugar. Serve as is or with a naughty spoon of creme fraiche or mascarpone. And if you can possible wait, this cake is even better the next day…

Thank you Louisa for this recipe — I can vouch for it because I made it and it was pure ambrosia. Visit Louisa’s blog, Chez Foti,  for other delicious recipes like this one and some excellent vegetable gardening advice.  Fiona, The Healthy Epicurean 🙂