recipes for healthy living

Tag: cake

Show your Love ♥ Coconut & Lemon Cake with Glazed blueberries

OO&L Coconut Blueberry Cake II

love letters

My daughter is getting very hyped about St Valentine’s day – she is currently focusing on making her teacher a card, a card for Niall from One Direction (God help me, she is only 5) and a cake for her daddy. I haven’t the heart to break it to her that Daddy is not that keen on eating too much cake. I have also been told that it is OK to buy her a little teddy or bunny – ‘just something small for me’.

Victoria sponge was the first cake I ever learnt to make. I still love it and you really cant fail with this cake as long as you use soft butter and don’t overmix. Its extra special with the glazed blueberries, which make a great addition to most desserts especially a cheesecake or apple tart. The healthy part of this cake is to bring it into work and show your workmakes how much you love them and only eat one slice yourself!

4 free-range eggs
8oz caster sugar
8oz self-raising flour or self-raising gluten free flour blend
2 tsp baking powder
8oz unsalted soft butter
2 oz dessicated coconut
jam or lemon curd to serve

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Grease and line 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins
Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar, flour, baking powder and soft butter.
Mix everything together until well combined- it is easiest with an electric hand mixer
The finished mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency – it should fall off a spoon easily.
Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Check them after 20 minutes.
The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins.
Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for a few minutes then run a palette knife around the inside edge of the tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
Set aside to cool completely.
To assemble the cake, place one cake half onto a plate and spread it with plenty of jam or lemon curd.Top with some more lemon curd and cover with dessicated coconut.
Serve with the blueberries and tell you’re other half you love them.

Glazed Blueberries
2 tubs blueberries – about 400g
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp cassis if you have it
zest of half a lemon

Heat a pan to medium and tip in the blueberries,
Sprinkle over the sugar and shake the pan
Add the water and cassis if you are using it and swirl the pan to make a glaze

OO&L Coconut Blueberry Cake

Sugar & Spice – Christmas Panettone

OO&L Pannetone II

It won’t be the first time I have mentioned ‘When I lived in Rome’ but … When I lived in Rome, my Italian teacher was someone I became really friendly with and her father was a baker from Pisa. I was lucky enough to spend some time with her and this included a visit to the Bakery seeing the huge numbers of beautiful Panettone’s coming out of the oven. She showed me a trick which the locals used to warm the Panettone and that was to stick them on the big radiators which most Roman apartments had instead of putting it in the oven – the oven causes the crust to become too hard apparently.

So I changed Paul Hollywood’s Panettone slightly by adding chocolate and stem ginger, yes, he of the Great British Bake Off fame. I was quite cross with him by the time I finished with this as his direction to prove this in the fridge did not work at all for me and I had an unrisen flat Panettone. In an attempt to salvage it I decided to stick it beside the radiator for the entire day while I was at work and hey presto- result. The addition of chocolate and chopped stem ginger worked perfectly for this cake and I have been enjoying it toasted for breakfast since I made it…..well it is Christmas.

500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour
7g salt
50g/2oz caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets instant yeast
140ml/5fl oz warm milk
5 free-range eggs, at room temperature, plus extra for egg wash
250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
240g/9oz dried mixed fruit
120g/4½oz chocolate drops or chopped chocolate – min 53% solids
100g/3½oz whole blanched almonds
2 tbsp chopped stem ginger

Preparation method
Place the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, milk and the eggs into the bowl of a free-standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. (Keep Yeast and Salt on opposite sides of the bowl).
Mix slowly for two minutes, then increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 6-8 minutes until you have a soft dough.
Add the softened butter and mix for another 5-8 minutes. Remember to scrape down the bowl to ensure that the dough gets mixed.
Add the chocolate, ginger, fruit and nuts. Mix until all is incorporated.
Tip the dough into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill overnight until the dough has firmed up enough for you to able to shape it.
Prepare a 18cm/7in panettone tin by brushing the inside generously with melted butter.
Remove the panettone dough from the fridge.
Knock back the dough, shape into a ball and place into the tin.
Leave to prove at room temperature for a further 2-3 hours or more if needed (I proved for 8 hours) until the dough just starts to dome over the top of the tin.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Brush the top of the panettone with egg wash and bake for about 25 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and bake for a further 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Check the panettone periodically in case of browning too quickly – move and cover with foil if needed.
Remove the panettone from the tin immediately and allow to cool.
Delicious, eat as is, toasted or made into bread and butter pudding in the unlikely event of it going stale.

OO&L Pannetone

Olive Oil & Lemon Cake with Raspberries

OO&L Lemons II

This is a recipe belonging to Jamie Oliver from one of his earliest books Jamie’s Italy which I had completely forgotten about how much I loved. He makes it with Fragola Grapes,but raspberries or blueberries are delicious in it. I didn’t have as much fruit as the recipe needed so had to content myself with just putting fruit into the middle rather than onto the top as well but it was still delicious. I couldn’t resist anything containing my 2 favourite ingredients so went ahead and made do. Still warm loaded with icecream or the next day with a great coffee – a lovely treat.

4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used gluten free )
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt
The zest of 3 lemons
1 lb. 6 0z. fresh fruit such as raspberries or blueberries

Oven at 170C
Butter and line a 9-inch cake pan
Beat the eggs and sugar for about 3 minutes, until thick and pale yellow
Add the butter, oil, milk and vanilla.
Mix well, then sift in the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the lemon zests and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended.
Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid.

Stir about 2/3’s of the batter into your cake pan and smooth out the top.
Scatter over the fruit,
Place the cake pan in the center of your oven and bake for 15 minutes
If you are using more fruit then remove the cake from the oven and working quickly, scatter the remaining fruit over the top. Gently push them down into the cake then return it to the oven for another 30-40 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown and the cake feels quite firm.
Put the pan on a rack to cool. After 10 minutes run a knife along the sides of the pan and turn out your cake.

Serve warm with ice-cream or cream

OO&L Raspberry Cake

Autumn Blackberry Cake

OO&L Blackberres

OO&L Blackberry Cake

There was a lane near my house growing up which lead to the primary and secondary school I went to. In my teens it was often the spot where we sneaked off to have a smoke – (I gave them up, Im happy to report) but in my younger years it was where our mum herded us to, to pick the autumn berries. We used to pick buckets of them (it seemed) and she would make jam as well as delicious apple and blackberry tarts. The freezer would be filled with the tarts to keep us going for desserts through the winter.
I had a beautiful late summer day in wexford recently and we finished the day off picking berries. Not quite enough to make loads of jam and tarts but enough to make this delicious cake as well as open freeze the rest for the next bake.

Autumn Blackberry Cake
4oz gluten free self raising flour
4oz ground almonds
4oz coconut palm sugar
3 eggs
5oz melted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 small punnet of blackberries
1 tbsp good blackberry jam

8″ springform tin lined with parchment on the base and sides greased
Oven at 160C

Mix flour, ground almonds and sugar in a bowl with a whisk to remove any lumps.
Beat the eggs together and then add together with the melted butter to the dry ingredients.
Add the jam and stir well.
Pour half into the cake tin.
Push a layer of blackberries into the mixture, cover with the rest of the mixture and make in the oven for about
45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Delicious and very simple!

Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Fudge Tart

Raspberry Fudge Tart II


No eggs, No sugar, No Flour, No butter….Can’t be a cake can it? Actually its a rather yummy one and very easy… Full of really healthy ingredients like walnuts, dates, avocado (YES Really!) and imagined up on a snowy day and all gone that night thanks to a very hungry husband. Quite similar to my raw chocolate cake from here but with a lovely raspberry flavour.

200gr walnuts
15 pitted dates
5 tbsp cocoa powder
5 drops chocolate bitters essence (optional)
5 tbsp coconut oil, softened at room temperature
100g raspberries

Chocolate Fudge topping
150gr good quality chocolate drops or a chopped chocolate bar
1/2 avocado
100gr raspberries

Oven at 160C

Blend the walnuts until like a rough flour
add the dates and pulse till combined
Add the cocoa powder, bitters and coconut oil and pulse a few more times
Tip into a bowl and add the raspberries and stir / lightly mash – you don’t want to completely mash the raspberries, just enough to combine
Tip into a spring form pan, flatten with an offset spatula and bake at 160C for about 20 minutes

Make the topping by melting the chocolate and leave to cool slightly before tipping into a blender with the avocado and raspberries and blend till lovely and fudgey
Spread over the cake, top with some more raspberries and leave to set
Lovely with some raspberry coulis from here or cream if you indulge.

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