Saturday, 27 July 2013

Summer Baking for Special Occasions

Its hot and I'm not complaining. The hottest summer in the UK in 7 years after the longest winter ever. I'm very happy to see the sun and feel the warmth, but the amount of baking has greatly reduced.

But it does matter what the weather is like, there is a birthday then a cake it required. So I turned to a book that I have been looking forward to using for ages, but haven't got round to it; Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood. A book full of delicious looking recipes, most of them gluten free and containing interesting ingredients to help improve the texture and increase the nutrition of the cakes. Yes, many of the cake contain vegetables! I was not disappointed by my first outing with this book, and I'm already looking forward to the next and the recipe only need slight adaption.

If you are feeding this to vegetable-haters, if you don't tell them they will never know, this may be a bit unethical but it means they will get to enjoy a wonderful cake, that can't be bad, can it?

'Secret Ingredient' Coconut Cake

Serves 10

The ingredients

The Cake
200g desiccated coconut
3 medium free range eggs
180g xylitol
250g topped, tailed, peeled, and finely grated courgette (the secret ingredient, which I grated in the blender)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
120g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 bicarbonate soda
1/4 salt

The filling
St Dalfour sugar free strawberry jam

The icing
100g Billingtons golden (unrefined) icing sugar
2 tbsp non-dairy or lactose free milk (ideally coconut milk)

Two 18cm diameter - 5cm deep loose bottomed cake tins

The method
Preheat the over to 160C (GM3)
Food processor / blender
Electric hand whisk

Lightly brush the tins with a bit of veg oil. Line the base and sides with baking parchment, then oil them again.

Whizz up the coconut in the blender for 2 minutes. This will make it finer, to help the texture. Set aside.

Whisk the eggs and xylitol for about 4 minutes full blast with a hand-held whisk until its pale and fluffy.

Then beat in the grated courgette and vanilla.

Combine coconut, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt. Mix well.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, again mix well.

Pour the mixture evenly between the two tins.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and the tins. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

When the cakes are cool, spread the jam over one cake and sandwich the two together.

Make the icing, once the cakes are cool and sandwiched together with jam. By sifting the icing sugar and then mixing in the milk.

Pour the icing, covering the top.

Enjoy as soon as possible!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Finally... A summer recipe

After a wee blogging break, summer has arrived in London and we are all happier for it, mostly (unless you are commuting). 

To celebrate the sunshine,  here is a lovely recipe from my newly acquired book: by Gwyneth Paltrow - 
It's All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes that Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great. I wondered at first if it would be a uninteresting celebrity fad book, but its not, its a proper recipe book for those who want to eat more healthily!

Instant Berry and Coconut Ice Lollies 

The Ingredients
2 cups frozen berries, I used strawberries as that's what I had available, but blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or a mix would also be good
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoon good quality maple syrup

The Method
Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until completely smooth. Easy.

Freeze in lolly molds and get them out for about 10 minutes to soften before serving or you can skip the freezing and molds and eat immediately, just as good.

Quick, simple and delicious - it certainly is all good. 
These are not mine but Gwyneth's, mine didn't look this nice.