Peanut and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The sun is still shining in the West Country. Parks are rammed with passed out sun worshippers. Beer gardens are brimming with smiley cider faces. I’m going to leave it on that note and join those smiley, cider drinking, sun worshippers. Enjoy this weeks recipe friends!

Cookies are always a good idea. A must have lunch box addition. The best rucksack snack. Mid morning bite. Cookies are my favourite.

I’m really into nut flours at the moment. Yes, they are slightly more expensive than regular flour. But they provide much more flavour and protein to a recipe. Plus it means these little gems are gluten free!

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Peanut and Chocolate Chunk Cookies (gf) (df)

Makes 6-8 Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

100g peanut flour (I used Sukrin)
Handful GF rolled oats
40g unrefined Muscavado sugar (can be light or dark)
100g dairy free 80% dark chocolate (crushed into small chunks)
2 eggs
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon date syrup (sub with maple syrup if you don’t have date)
2 tablespoons almond milk – if needed

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C

In a bowl, mix flour, oats, baking powder, sugar and chocolate chunks.

Whisk together the eggs and the date syrup, for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Mix wet with dry, add a touch of milk if needed.

Chill cookie mix in fridge for 1 hour

Remove dough from fridge. Mould into balls and place on a lined baking tray, press down on the cookies to form circles about ½ inch thick.

Bake for 10-12 mins. Leave to cool fully before enjoying.

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Peanutcookie6

 

 

 

Sukrin kindly donated the flour for this recipe. Opinions are all mine.

Matcha and Lime Cheesecake

Growing up, meal times were quite the event in our house. We always sat around the table to eat, (unless Mum was away and then Dad would let us have fish and chips in front of the TV) the 6 of us, congregating and discussing our days. Someone would be chief table-setter, something my oldest brother managed to get out of, on the excuse that he didn’t like the noise of the cutlery clanging together! Someone else would get the drinks, another would help hold the plates while Mum served up the food. Sometimes there would be tantrums, storming off upstairs, but mostly it was good old-fashioned chit-chat. Proper family dinner times. I am grateful to of had those times, and ‘proper’ mealtimes are still important to me now. To know you have that half an hour where you can focus on each other, check in and catch up. To be fully focussed on listening to voices, and tasting the food on your plate. It is something that seems to be a luxury that many of us don’t take the time to do anymore.

Back to those mealtimes, after the feast, there would always be pudding. Oh, the puddings. Crumbles, chocolate sponges, ginger orange cream pies, and cheesecakes, lots of cheesecakes. The zestiest lemon cheesecake my mouth ever did taste. Not baked, just chilled and rich, creamy and fruity. My sister has carried on the cheesecake repertoire and is doing my Mum proud. Where there is a Davy meal, there will most likely be cheesecake.

Lime Matcha Cheesecake

This creation is an ode to those mealtimes. The Matcha in this gives it an awesome green colour, the lime a refreshing citrus kick, and the coconut adds a smooth creamy texture.

This recipe does require a bit of planning the day before, read over it and get everything soaking / chilling the night before. Then the next day will be easy! Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients either, it’s worth it.

Matcha and Lime Cheesecake (v) (gf)

Ingredients:

For the base:
100g cashews
100g walnuts
1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
150g pitted dates (soaked for 10 mins in boiling water)
1 tsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp date syrup

For the filling:
150g cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours – best to soak the night before)
100g brazil nuts (soaked with cashews)
Zest and juice from 2 limes
1 tin coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
1 tsp Matcha powder (I used Teapigs)
1 tsp arrowroot powder (I tried this recipe with, and without arrowroot. It works without, but doesn’t set so well. Don’t panic if you don’t have it, just leave it longer to chill before eating)
Pinch salt

METHOD

For the base, blitz your cashews and walnuts in a food processor with the cacao powder, until crumbly.

Add the rest of the base ingredients, and pulse until mix starts to stick together. It should stick together easily when pressed.

Line a round springform tin with greaseproof paper, push the base mix evenly into the bottom. Use a spatula / knife to make sure its quite compact.

Rinse your soaked nuts well under cold water.

Add all your filling ingredients to a high-speed blender, blend for a few minutes. You want the mix to be very smooth with no bits of nuts.

Pour mix into your tin, covering the base.

Chill for a minimum of 4 hours, the longer the better. I put mine in the freezer for 3 hours and it was just about set.

Lime Matcha Cheesecake

Lime Matcha Cheesecake

Lime Matcha Cheesecake

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Teapigs kindly sent me some Matcha to try. I was not paid for this post and my opinions are my own. I genuinely like Matcha and think it’s a great ingredient. 

Tahini Brownies

Today’s post is sponsored by awe. Awe at my surroundings. Awe at my loved ones. Awe at nature. But mainly awe at the human body. It is such a great and powerful thing, and I think it deserves a round of applause.

I was out running today (something I have unexpectedly become quite attached to) and this wave of emotion came over me. There I was, jogging along, without stopping, for some time. These limbs were rotating and bending a long, without complaint. The human body is an amazing thing, and what it can accomplish is even more inspiring. For possibly the first time ever, I felt proud of my body, and it’s capability. It’s willingness to keep going, keeping my legs moving, arms swinging, heart beating.

I want to do a marathon this year. Something which is pretty ambitious (super ambitious for me!) but I really want to do one. I’m starting to get into running a lot more, and would like to set myself a goal, an aim of achievement! I applied to the NY Marathon, but unfortunately didn’t get a place. My Mum on the other hand, got one. WOOHOOOO, go mumma! I encouraged her to sign up with me, so feel a little bad I won’t be running along side her. I will, however, be cheering my heart out from the sidelines. Plus, I’m not going to complain about a holiday to New York now, am I?

Tahini Brownies

These brownies are a great post-run treat. They’re gluten free, are low in sugar, and have no dairy, just some eggs for protein.  Perfect to get some fuel in you after that soul boosting run.

Tahini Brownies

INGREDIENTS:

250g organic dark chocolate (dairy free)
150g ground almonds
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 + 2 tablespoons tahini
2 large eggs
2 heaped tablespoons organic cocoa powder
1 tablespoon date syrup (use maple if you don’t have date)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Pinch of sea salt

Optional: Cacao nibs / dried cranberries / flaked almonds

METHOD

In a pan, melt the chocolate, tahini and coconut, stirring well to combine. Set aside

In a bowl, beat the eggs for 5 mins, until they start to become fluffy. Add in the vanilla, date syrup, cocoa powder and salt. Beat well.

Fold in melted choc mixture.

Fold in ground almonds, and if using, nibs/almonds/cranberries

Pour into a lined baking tray. Dollop the tahini around the mix, and using a knife, swirl it throughout the tray.

Bake for 20- 25 mins. Bake at 350F or 170C!

Once cooked, leave to cool and, for best results, refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Tahini Brownies

tahini brownies

Tahini Brownie

Sugar Free Blood Orange Cake

I seem to have been a little presumptuous with the weather in my last post. Winter seems to be back with a bang. There was a thick frost again this morning. All those poor little snowdrops getting all confused, they’d been so excited to see the sunlight, only for it to smack them in the face with an icy frost. My tulips that were starting to bulb seemed to have hit the pause button, teasing me with an inch of their green stalks. Hovering above the soil in their pot, waiting for definite confirmation that spring is in fact, definitely on its way, and not just being a big old tease that is the British weather sometimes.

This is the first year in 4 years that I have been in the UK for the whole winter. I was not happy at the thought of that back in September. Wishing I was on a beach or in the mountains. However it has succeeded all my expectations, and I’m pretty happy we stayed put. British winters are glorious, and remind me of all the reasons why I love my country.

Plus, having a base here meant I found time to start Rough Measures. I’m so glad I did. It’s given me some focus, a bit of purpose too. I’ve met lots of new people since starting this blog, and I love hearing feedback from people about my recipes. It’s also opened up some new doors; writing reviews for websites, and working with local businesses.

I’m a big fan of buying local. We need to support our local businesses and farmers. I’ve recently teamed up with Luke Rich from Larkhall Farm Shop, to create some seasonal recipes. You can find these on display in the shop. They are having an open day this Saturday (7th March) if you are in Bath, do come down and say hello. There will be tasty treats on offer, and plenty of exciting fruit and veg to buy!

Blood-Orange-Cake

Blood oranges (or Sicilian oranges) are only in season for a short time. So get them quickly and get creative. They are slightly more tarte than their sister fruits, adding a different depth to a recipe.

I made this cake sugar-free, as I’m trying to cut right down on refined sugar for a while. However I have added maple syrup to the recipe below, to add a hint of sweetness if you desire it.

SUGAR FREE BLOOD ORANGE CAKE (V) (SF)

INGREDIENTS:

200g wholemeal self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
80ml extra virgin olive oil
7 blood oranges (+1 for slicing)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup – leave out if wanting completely sugar free
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C

First, zest one orange, leave the zest to one side and then boil the orange in hot water for an hour. Once cooked, leave to cool.

Grease and line a round baking tin. Thinly slice 1 orange and arrange the slices on the bottom of the tin, covering as much of the tin as possible.

Add the dry ingredients to a bowl, add in the zest of the boiled orange, plus more zest if desired. I added the zest of 3 oranges in total.

In a jug, squeeze the juice out of the oranges.

Scrape the pulp out of the cooked orange and add to the jug. Add oil and whisk wet ingredients together.

Combine the wet with the dry to form a batter. Pour into tin, over the slices.

Bake for 35 mins, or until a knife comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 10 mins, then turn cake onto a wire cooling rack.

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Lemon and Rosemary Donuts

Roald Dahl once said “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of you like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” 

I woke up the other morning feeling rather negative (something that I struggle with rather a lot) but I had a little word with myself, got up and got myself to work. I was going to try to have a positive day. Be happier, not dwell on things. I got to work and had all these good intentions, then I dropped my phone on the floor. The screen smashed into lots of tiny pieces, held together only by my ‘screen protector’. I was fuming at myself, this was going to cost a lot of money to fix, money which I don’t have. Why was I so silly to drop it. Why were my hands so slippery? Why was my phone case not more grippy? All the negativity came back like a tidal wave.

I spent the rest of the day in a huff, beating myself up about something which I could not undo. It had happened and there was nothing I could do about it. But I couldn’t get out of my negative wave.

When I left work, it was a bitterly cold evening, all I could think about was getting home to the boat, lighting the wood burner and scoffing some chocolate. I passed a homeless man on the street, and stopped to give him some change. He looked at me so gratefully and said ‘Thank you, you’re the first person that’s stopped and spoke to me in hours, people don’t like to stop when it’s cold’.

There I was grumpy because I’d broken my phone which I’m so lucky to be able to have and use, and this guy was just happy I’d given him some loose change. Kinda puts things back into perspective.

Positivity and gratefulness sometimes doesn’t come naturally to me. But I like sunbeams, and I’m gonna try a lot harder to make them shine out of me.

LemonDonut1

These donuts. Oh, these donuts. They make the sun shine out of your taste buds, of your tummy. The lemon might as well be a big round ball of sunshine. There’s no overload of sugar here. No, no. These little things are my new go to thing when I’m craving a little treat. A spreading of creamy coconut icing sets these off.

Lemon and Rosemary Donuts with Coconut Cream Icing (v)

INGREDIENTS:

150g spelt flour (any flour would work)
4 tablespoons coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
80ml almond milk
1 heaped teaspoon fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons agave (or maple syrup)
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

For the Coconut Cream Icing
1 tin coconut milk (chilled overnight)
Zest ½ lemon

 

METHOD

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3 / 170 o C

Grease 6 non-stick donut trays very lightly with olive oil

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients and mix into a batter.

Using a spoon or a piping bag, divide the mixture evenly between the donut trays.

Bake in the oven for 20 mins, or until a pick comes out clean. Keep a close eye on your donuts as they’re cooking, so as not to burn them.

Leave to cool for 10 mins, then tip onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely (it’s important to let them cool before you try to add the icing)

Once cool, spread coconut icing over donuts, and sprinkle over extra lemon zest.

Coconut Cream Icing

Open your tin of cooled coconut milk. scoop the thick cream off the top and into a bowl. Whisk until it forms peaks.

(Unfortunately for me, as I was whisking my cream, I ran out of power on the boat, the whisk had drained our batteries!) So mine was a bit runny, but still tasty.

 

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Chocolate Almond Swirl Buns

December always seems to make people reminisce. Look back on the year they’ve had, the highs and lows, proud moments and memories. Nostalgia and the festive season seem to go hand in hand.

I was thinking about a family holiday we had back in April. 10 of us down in Cornwall for a week, in a beautiful house overlooking the sea. Days spent walking the coast, and exploring little seaside villages. This reminded me of some gorgeous organic flour I bought from a local bakery there. They had the most amazing array of breads and buns. All shapes and sizes.

Chocolate Almond Swirl Buns

After a quick rummage through our (sadly very disorganised) cupboards, I found this beautiful whole-wheat flour sat at the back. This was not a flour to waste sitting in a dark cupboard.

Oh no, this was a flour to share, to create something everyone would want a piece of.

We knead to talk about these buns.

These buns call for the Chocolate Almond Butter I wrote about a few days ago. They are a great item for the festive season, fun to make and even better to share with loved ones, while swapping memories of the year, over a nice mulled wine.

Chocolate Almond Swirl Buns

Chocolate Almond Swirl Buns with Cashew Cream Icing

Makes 8-10 buns

INGREDIENTS:

For the buns
500g organic whole-wheat flour (substitute for any gluten-free flour if needed)
1 pack fast action yeast
70g unrefined light brown sugar
1 egg
200ml almond milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ nutmeg
270g Chocolate Almond Butter
For the icing
200g cashews (soaked for 3-4 hours or overnight)
2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
2 tablespoons water (add more if necessary)

METHOD

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5

Slowly heat the milk and coconut oil together in a pan. Remove from heat as soon as you see bubbles forming at the side of the pan.

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, spices, yeast and salt. Add the egg, and milk/oil mixture and mix well. Start to knead the mixture with your hands until everything has combined.

Tip onto floured work surface and knead for 5-10 mins, until the dough is slightly shiny and smooth. Alternatively mix with a dough hook in a stand alone mixer.

Cover the dough with a warm, damp cloth and leave to rise somewhere warm for 25 mins.

Once the dough has risen, tip out onto a floured work surface.

With a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle, about ¾ centimetre thick.

Spread your nut butter all over the dough, right to the edges.

Tightly roll up the dough and pinch the ends to seal. Cut your roll into 9 even pieces.

Place, cut side up, in a lightly greased baking dish.

Cover again and leave to rise for a further 30 mins.

Once risen, bake in the oven for 20 mins.

 

Cashew Cream Icing

Rinse soaked cashews well.

Add to blender or food processor with the agave and water.

Blitz until smooth, add more water if needed.

Refrigerate for 1 hour. The longer you leave it in the fridge, the thicker it will become.

 

Drizzle on warm buns and enjoy.

Chocolate Almond Swirl Buns

Chocolate Almond Swirl Buns

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bars

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” 

OK, I love these little things. Like LOVE them. So much so that I contemplated not sharing the recipe, I wanted these little bad boys all to myself. But where’s the fun in that? Plus, sharing is caring, right?

These beauties are so easy to make (especially if you cook the quinoa the day before), and super charge an otherwise dull lunchbox! They are ready after an hour or so, and because you are using a high percentage dark chocolate, you don’t even need to feel guilty about going back for another one, and another, and another…

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bar

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bars

Makes 6-8 Crunch Bars – For a larger tub / tray, double up all ingredients. (I used a tuppawear 8″ X 6″)

INGREDIENTS:

250g Organic Dark Chocolate (I used G&B’s 90% cocoa)
125g Quinoa
100g Dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
100g Mixed chopped nuts (I used almonds, pecans and walnuts)
2 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

 

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bar

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark ½ (120 C)

Line a tuppawear or tray with cling film.

Bring a pan of water to the boil, cook the quinoa for 12 minutes (cooking times may vary so double check the instructions on the pack). Once cooked, drain the quinoa and spread in a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 45 mins (or until quinoa has dried out, make sure you stir regularly)

Once quinoa has dried out, heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan. Add the quinoa, and fry until crispy (be careful not to burn). You want the quinoa to turn a nice golden brown colour and be crispy to touch.

Once done, remove from pan and transfer onto kitchen roll. Set aside to cool.

Melt 200g chocolate and 2 tablespoons coconut oil slowly in a saucepan over a low heat. As soon as the chocolate and oil have melted and combined, remove from heat.

Add cooked quinoa, chopped nuts and cranberries to the melted chocolate. Mix well.

Spread the chocolate mixture evenly across the tray, pushing it into all corners, making sure the nuts are evenly distributed.

Cool in fridge for 1 hour.

After an hour, melt the remaining chocolate and coconut oil with the maple syrup, pour over the top of the bars. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Refrigerate for 2 more hours, or overnight if possible. Enjoy, guilt free!

 

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bar

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardamom

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and CardamomOK, So I know halloween has been and gone, but Autumn is still alive and kickin’, and that means pumpkin in all it’s glorious forms!

So technically this ‘Pumpkin Pie’ is actually a butternut squash pie, but that just doesn’t sound quite as good. But the squash gives a slightly better flavour and texture than the pumpkins that are around at the moment.

This pie was inspired by a good friend of mine over at Happy Hearted Kitchen and also from one of Tom Hunt’s recipes. It’s not too sweet, so if you’re not a huge sweet fan, fear not, for I think this suits most peoples taste.

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardamom (GF)

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:
200g pitted dates (I used Medjool)
150g Oats (use certified gluten free if possible)
Handful crushed walnut pieces (or other crushed nuts)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 tablespoon Maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the filling:
1 large Organic butternut squash
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
50g unrefined light brown sugar
6 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
100ml Almond milk
1 egg

 

Method

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C

Peel and cut the squash into small chunks. Place on a baking tray, and sprinkle with the cinnamon, ginger, sugar and cardamon pods. Drizzle with maple syrup. Cover with foil and roast for 30-45 minutes (or until soft) Be careful not to colour the squash.

In a food processor, mix the oats, walnuts and dates until starting to combine and stick to the sides. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and melted coconut oil, blend until fully mixed into a sticky consistency.

Grease and line a pie tin with baking paper. Take your dough mixture from the processor and push it around the tin with your hands, filling all the gaps, spreading it around evenly.

*Now, if you prefer your crust a little crunchy, you can pop your crust in the oven for 10 mins before adding the mixture. I prefer mine softer, so missed this step out*

Remove the squash from the oven and place in a food processor. Blend until smooth and allow to cool. You can mash the squash if you prefer.

In a bowl, mix the blended squash, egg and milk until fully combined. Add mixture to the pie tin on top of the crust.

Cook for 25-30 mins. If you have pre-cooked your crust, the cooking time may be less. Check back after 15 mins, to avoid burning the crust.

Serve with a dollop of ice-cream and drizzle with maple syrup.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardmom

 

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Avocadosmoothie

OK, So I know I just did a breakfast post, but I felt this little marvel needed sharing straight away, and it’s not technically just for breakfast!

I love avocados, they are packed full with vitamins, fibre and healthy fatty acids! They also contain 35% more potassium than a banana.
I try and combine them into most meals, but with the weather turning colder, it’s becoming harder to find those perfectly ready-to-eat ripe ones that are plentiful in the warmer months. I’ve had a few sat in the veg basket for while now, which just don’t seem to want to ripen, but in this smoothie they blend perfectly.

Avocadosmoothie3

It is super quick to make, and will keep you going until lunchtime.
This smoothie is pretty thick, and could even be served as a pudding.

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 Avocado
1 Banana
1 heaped tablespoon organic cocoa powder
200ml Almond milk (use more for a thinner smoothie)
1tsp Agave or other sweetener (optional)
Handful hazelnuts (optional)

METHOD

Scoop the flesh out of half the avocado. Peel the banana. Add to blender with the cocoa, almond milk, hazelnuts and Agave if using. Blend for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Serve immediately, over ice if desired.

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