Honey Ginger Bundt Cake

This weekend saw a celebration. A rather big one in fact. My big brother married the girl of his dreams in a wonderful ceremony in Surrey. I feel like we had been waiting an age for their special day to finally roll in, and all of a sudden it was over too soon. We cried, we laughed, we danced, we possibly had one too many glasses (or pints in my case) of Prosecco, and our hearts were full with happiness for this amazing couple. I had the honour of being a bridesmaid, and getting to walk down the aisle watching my brother’s face light up as he saw his bride-to-be walk in was a moment I will be sure to treasure forever.

I always feel that bundt cakes are cakes for a celebration. Something about their shape and curves is a thing of beauty. I finally got myself a bundt tin last week and knew I needed to bake something special. This honey ginger bundt cake is sweetened with natural ingredients, costcutter.co.uk‘s Independent Honey. The soft flavours of the spelt match the honey and ginger so beautifully, I knew I was onto a winner. I was all out of any sort of natural icing ingredients, so dusted it with some coconut flour, but I bet a cashew icing would set a slice of this cake of beautifully. Happy celebrating friends.

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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.

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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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Date, Apple and Walnut Loaf

The sky was so clear last night, I’ve never seen so many stars scattered across the night-time curtain of dark blue. Then, when the sun rose, there was a crisp, silver blanket spread over the city. Blades of grass turned into silver swords, puddles into mirror like circles. The mist sitting so heavily along the canal. The first frost of winter.

The condensation on the inside of our boat’s windows had frozen, and we could see our breath, it was so cold. Thankfully we have a brilliant wood burner, and it soon melted away any trace of winter.

Date, Apple and Walnut Loaf

This loaf is just what you need this time of year, run home, heat yourself up a nice mug of Chai, and cut yourself a hunky bit of this tasty loaf.

If you can resist, leave this to sit overnight, as it tastes even better the day after.

Date, Apple and Walnut Loaf

Date, Apple and Walnut Loaf

INGREDIENTS:

200g pitted dates
70g dried cranberries
90g unrefined light brown sugar
200g wholemeal flour
50g coconut flour
100g chopped walnuts
1 apple (peeled and cut into small cubes)
1 egg  (use 1 mashed banana if you want to make this vegan friendly)
25g mixed seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin)
3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon all spice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon sea salt
Sprinkling of sesame seeds

METHOD

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (180 C)

Grease and line a loaf tin.

Chop the dates and cranberries and add to a saucepan with the apple pieces. Add 4 tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 15 mins. It should form a paste. If you need to you can mash it a bit with a fork.

While the dates are cooking, melt the coconut oil in a pan. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix the flours, walnuts, seeds, baking powder, spices and salt.

Add the melted coconut oil to the date-apple paste, along with the sugar, and egg (or banana), mix well.

Mix the wet with the dry, until just combined (don’t over mix)

Spread into your loaf tin, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for approx. 50 mins (or until a knife comes out clear of mixture)

Let the loaf sit for 15 minutes then turn out onto rack and leave to cool.

Date, Apple and Walnut Loaf