My friends allotment is awash with strawberries. Delicious plump, sweet, ruby-red berries – she could open a pick-your-own! She generously gave me so many (and some plants) that I had enough for this cake, the strawberry and mascarpone tart from a week or so ago […]
I’m quickly learning that it’s entirely possible to make delicious cakes without having to use eggs or any dairy products. This flavourful cake is light and fluffy with a lovely soft texture, like a traditional ginger cake but it’s completely vegan, using dates and vegetable oil to replace the eggs and butter. It’s a really lovely bake to serve as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea and it keeps really well too.
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
100g soft brown sugar
85ml vegetable oil
50g golden syrup
100ml hot water
Start by making your rhubarb compate. Roughly chop the rhubarb and put it in a small saucepan with the 25g of sugar. Pop a lid on the pan and cook it over a low heat until the rhubarb has become soft and pulpy. Stir well to break up the fruit and set aside.
The next job is to cook down the dates. Chop the dates into small pieces and, again using a small pan, combine them with 1/4 tsp of the bicarbonate of soda and 80ml of water. Heat the mixture until the dates have broken down and you are left with a fairly thick paste that resembles brown sauce. Set this aside too.
Preheat your oven to 180°c and either grease a bundt tin or grease and line an 8″ cake tin.
Sift the flour, ginger, baking powder and remaining 1/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and mix through the brown sugar and salt. In a separate jug whisk together the date puree, golden syrup and oil. Stir this into the dry ingredients. Add the hot water to thin out the batter and finally stir through the rhubarb compote. Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for around 35 minutes (this will vary depending on the tin you use), until the cake is well risen, bouncy and golden brown on top. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.
This is quite an unusual dessert, but very tasty. The base is fudgy and chewy and the topping is rich and meltingly creamy. It tastes far more indulgent than the ingredient list might suggest. Whilst I’m not actually vegan I’ve been getting really into exploring […]
Generally I’m a baked cheesecake kind of girl but after my white chocolate and berry cheesecake proved so popular I thought that it would be nice to make a variation on that recipe. This malty, chocolatey malteser version is really indulgent and decadent – a […]
This is a really delicious dessert. Like a combination of rhubarb and custard and bread pudding. I actually think it’s much nicer than the traditional version made with dried fruit, it’s not quite as sweet. The rhubarb gives it a nice tang whilst the strawberries prevent it from becoming too tart. The pudding has a deliciously crunchy golden crust on top of a lovely soft, creamy interior – perfect with a dollop of clotted cream.
serves 4 (generously)
200ml single cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp demerara sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and grease a baking dish with a little butter.
Slice the strawberries and chop the rhubarb into 1cm pieces. Toss the fruit in 1 tablespoon of the sugar and place it in another baking dish or a small roasting tin. Roast the fruit for 15-20 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender.
Meanwhile, thickly slice the brioche and spread each slice with a little butter. Whisk together the eggs, cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Arrange a layer of brioche in the greased baking tin, butter side up and top with some of the roasted fruit (keep any juices from cooking it – they’re great added to soda water or a G&T!) Repeat the layers of brioche and fruit until you have used it all and then carefully pour over the egg mixture. Leave the whole thing to soak and absorb some of the custard mixture for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top to give the pudding a nice crunchy crust and bake it for 30-35 minutes. If the top gets too brown just cover it with a piece of foil. Leave to cool for five minutes before serving.
The blossom is just starting to appear on my cherry tree and it reminded me that there was a little stash of last years fruit in my freezer. But what should I do with this treasure that I squirreled away? Make a delicious cake of course!
I am completely besotted with this recipe. I can’t get over how well the tonka bean goes with the cherries, I suppose it’s because it has flavours of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and almond, which all go really well with cherry.
The ermine (cooked) frosting is delicious, light, silky and fluffy – so much better than just beating together some butter and icing sugar. The light, golden sponges are just a classic Victoria sponge, which you can never really go wrong with can you!
If you can’t find tonka beans then 1 tsp of vanilla, a pinch of ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg does a fairly decent impression of the flavour.
the weight of the eggs (inc. shells) in softened butter, sugar and self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tonka bean, finely grated
3 tbsp milk
filling & frosting
250g pitted cherries (frozen is fine)
squeeze of lemon juice
150g + 3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
200g softened butter, cubed
fresh cherries and dark chocolate to decorate
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease and line 3 identical cake tins.
Beat together the butter, salt and sugar until they are pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, following each one with a spoonful of flour to reduce the risk of the mixture curdling. Sift the remaining flour with the baking power and grated tonka bean before sifting for a second time into the batter mixture. Briefly beat again until the mixture is smooth and then stir in the milk to leave you with a nice dropping consistency. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins, smooth off the tops and bake for 25 minutes, until the sponges are nicely risen, golden and feel springy to the touch. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Make the filling and frosting whilst the sponges are baking and cooling. Roughly chop the cherries and combine them in small pan with three tablespoons of the sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the juices thicken and the fruit becomes soft and pulpy. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the frosting base by mixing together the remaining 150g of sugar, the flour and cornflour with two tablespoons of juice from the cooked cherries. Stir it together before adding the milk (this will prevent the cherry juice from turning the milk sour). Make sure it is all well blended and there are no lumps before gently heating the mixture. Stir it continuously until you have a very thick, smooth custard. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool completely.
Use an electric mixer to whip the custard base before whipping in the butter, a few cubes at a time until you’re left with a thick, fluffy, silky-smooth buttercream. Place half of this in a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Beat the cooked cherries into the remaining frosting.
To assemble the cake place one of the sponges onto a serving plate and spread it with half of the cherry/frosting mixture. Pipe small blobs of the plainer frosting around the edge before carefully topping with another of the sponges. Repeat the filling and piping process and then pop on the final sponge. Pipe a generous swirl of the plain frosting on the top and then use a pallet knife to spread and smooth it out. Pipe 12 blobs of the buttercream around the top of the cake and top each one with a chocolate dipped cherry. Sprinkle a little grated chocolate onto the centre of the cake. Chill before serving to allow the buttercream to firm up.
I love the flavour of tahini in both sweet and savoury dishes (halva makes me very happy!). It goes really well in these little baked cheesecakes, especially when combined with fragrant honey and rich cocoa. They have a lovely buttery, crunchy base and a rich, […]