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Happy marriage cake

Happy marriage cake recipeHappy marriage cake it is not a made up name for a cake, it's a traditional Icelandic name for rhubarb jam tart. I first tried this cake on an airplane (a location not generally associated with fine patisserie, but I was craving something sweet) and I was't impressed. But I saw potential in this cake and I knew that I could make it taste moist and wholesome. After all this cake needed to live up to it's wonderful name!Happy marriage cake recipeFor the filling I have made a strawberry and rhubarb jam because I wanted it in pink colour and I was never able to get that colour just from rhubarb (I don't know how other bakers do it?!). I added oatmeal to the crust as that seemed traditional for this cake.Happy marriage cake recipeHAPPY MARRIAGE CAKE

(for the filling)

  • 220g rhubarb, chopped
  • 120g strawberries
  • 150g sugar

(for the crust)

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 130g sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 85g oats
  • 170g flour
  • 1tsp cinnamon

1. Make the jam filling first. Place the chopped rhubarb, strawberries and sugar into a small pan and bring to the boil (splash some water to begin with so it does burn). Cook for about 10-15 minutes until the mixture is thick and jammy. You then can puree the mixture with the hand processor if you prefer smooth texture.

2. Make a crust dough by creaming butter with sugar till it is light and fluffy. Gradually add egg yolks, oats, flour and cinnamon and mix everything to combine.

3. Spread the crust dough at the bottom and sides of lined baking tin reserving small amount for later. Happy marriage cake recipe4. Pour the jam filling into the dough. Dot the remaining crust over the top. Bake the cake in the preheated 180C for 25-35 minutes.Happy marriage cake recipe Happy marriage cake recipeHappy weekend everyone!

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Joni’s birthday trifle cake

Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!I know this might be a bit delayed, but I thought I will share what cake I baked for Joni's birthday. This year Joni wanted a trifle (he mentioned that long time ago), but as you may all know it's a difficult one to transport (We celebrated the birthday in Mudeford). I instantly thought I of making a cake version of trifle dessert! I decided to use a basic sponge as a base and lady fingers holding the cake's shape (hence me experiments of baking lady fingers last week). Basically the aim was to make an edible dish if you know what I mean ;-). The result was great, however if I made this again, I would have filled it with more filling (the recipe edited accordingly). Unfortunately I wasn't prepared for such a large trifle "dish" :-D. Here it's how I got on... Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!RASPBERRY TRIFLE CAKE

(for the sponge)

  • 225g butter
  • 225g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder

(for the filling)

  • 500g mascarpone and 500g fresh custard mixed together
  • 100ml sweet fruity liquor (such as cherry or  blackberry liquor)
  • 500g or more raspberries, drizzled with 2 tbsp elderflower cordial and lightly mashed

(extras)

  • lady fingers, enough to cover the cake sides (try baking your own or just buy them ready baked)

1. Bake the sponge. Cream butter with sugar then gradually add eggs, flour and baking powder. Mix everything to combine well. Spoon the cake mixture into lined round baking tin and bake it in the preheated 180C oven for 45min or so.

2. Once the sponge has cooled I have cut the top away with the knife. The reason for this was so there would be no "hill" caused by the rising cake and because I did not want the crust stopping the sponge from absorbing the liquor.Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!3. Next I have arranged the lady fingers around the sponge base sides. I used a bit of filling cream to make them stick. I tied the ribbon to fix everything in place.Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!4. Layer the filling! Started with the cream layer then the raspberries (then the cream and raspberries again and so on), just because I thought cream would seal the sides better and stop the raspberry juice running through the lady finger gaps. Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake! Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!Chill the trifle cake in the fridge before serving. Enjoy!

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Poppyseed lady fingers

Poppyseed lady finger recipeI decided to try and bake these crispy and light biscuits because I had few ideas on cake decorating with it (although they may not look suitable for decorating yet). Lady fingers (so they called) taste quite plain, but because of it's consistency they are perfect for making fresh summer desserts such as very famous tiramisu. This is my first time making these macaroon like biscuits and I am quite pleased with the outcome even if they did not come in the perfect uniform shape (more practicing needed I guess!). Overall I prefer these to compare to shop bought as they taste better and it can be custom made such as these - with poppyseed!

POPPYSEED LADY FINGERS makes about 24 lady fingers

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 55g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp poppyseed
  • a pinch baking powder (for cheating)

1. First whisk the egg white. Make sure eggs are in room temperature before whisking. Add 2 tbsp sugar into egg whites gradually while whisking. Well whisked egg whites should be stiff and shiny. Poppyseed lady finger recipe2. In separate bowl whisk egg yolks with the reminder sugar untill pale and creamy. Gradually fold in egg white as well as flour mix (with poppyseed and baking powder) till everything is well incorporated.

3. Next, transfer the mixture into the piping bag. On lined baking tray pipe 1 cm thick and 5cm long lady fingers. My first batch was unsuccessful as I piped 2 cm thick and too close together (these biscuits do expand when baking!). Bake in preheated C200 oven for 10-15min. Very important not to under-bake as they need to come out crispy and not spongy! Let it cool for further 10 min or so while on baking sheets.My second batch looked better, but practicing is still needed as some are still wonky :-D. Poppyseed lady finger recipeHope my experience with these helps you ;-)

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Orange and white chocolate cake with raspberries

Orange and white chocolate cake with raspberriesAs I am writing this post I am munching on this cake for breakfast. It's actually not such a big disaster after all as it taste quite nice. However there are few things  I would do differently now.

One year ago, on my hen do I tasted a very similar cake and I promised to myself to recreate it. So this is how I got on...Orange and white chocolate cake with raspberriesFor the sponge I chose a gluten free option (I am on trial now to find out if I am actually gluten intolerant), very similar to this chocolate orange cake. I boiled three pealed oranges and pureed them. Whisked 375g sugar with 9 eggs (I know I am CRAZY!!!). Then I added pureed orange, 375g ground almonds, 2tsp baking powder and mixed everything until mixture became well incorporated. I divided the cake mixture into lined baking tins and baked them in 180C oven for 1hour. The cakes came out great, but If I did it again I would have added orange zest into the mixture as well to make it more orangey (you know what I mean!). Orange and white chocolate cake with raspberriesI made pastry cream for the filling (my first time ever making it!!). I followed this recipe from BBC food, so it must be trustworthy. However I think I poured hot milk into egg mixture too quick, because I could still taste the egg in it (only slightly). I spooned the pastry cream on the bottom cake and decorated it with raspberries. Yum!Orange and white chocolate cake with raspberriesFinally I have covered pastry cream and raspberries with the second cake. I covered the top of the cake with white chocolate glaze (or ganache some may call it) that was obviously too thin and runny. This is where I messed up most! I followed my original dark chocolate glaze recipe here which worked on so many occasions. I guess with white chocolate I need to add more of it to compare to dark chocolate glaze cream:chocolate ratio. Maybe 200g of white chocolate into 90ml double cream?Orange and white chocolate cake with raspberries Orange and white chocolate cake with raspberriesHope my mistakes helped :-)

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Easy rhubarb and almond cake squares

Rhubarb and almond cake squares recipeApparently rhubarb is in season (how would I know, I no longer have my garden to refer to) and my mum started using it in her bakes. This very simple rhubarb and almond cake is very popular. My mum says that a lot of people are already asking for the recipe. So today I thought I will try. Rhubarb and almond cake squares recipeAfter baking this cake I can confirm that it is very easy and uncomplicated to make. Although I did find it little tart (maybe a little bit too tart). So do try it out and be generous with sugar since it's very low in fat (no butter or oil found).

RHUBARB AND ALMOND CAKE SQUARES

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup icing sugar/125g icing sugar (I used 225g golden caster sugar) + some for dusting
  • 1 cup plain flour/125g plain flour
  • 450-500g rhubarb stalks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used one vanilla pod seeds instead)
  • 3-5 tbsp almond flakes

1. Whisk eggs with sugar till pale.

2. Add flour, finely chopped rhubarb and vanilla extract. Mix everything to combine well. Rhubarb and almond cake squares recipe 3. Empty the cake mixture into lined baking tin. Scatter almond flakes all over the top.

4. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 40-50min. Check if the cake is baked with the skewer (it should come out clean).

5. Let the cake cool before slicing it into squares. Remember to dust it generously with icing sugar!Rhubarb and almond cake squares recipe Rhubarb and almond cake squares recipeEnjoy!

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One ingredient ice cream (well… almost)

One ingredient ice cream (well... almost) Although I eat ice cream any time of the year, I think today is a special ice cream day. For a long time I wanted to make one of those one ingredient ice creams, so I had a look here and there and realised it is quite quick and simple to make! So here is ho I made it...One ingredient ice cream (well... almost) So if you have not checked the links above maybe you have already guessed what this one magical ingredient is? Yes, it's just a banana! I have been freezing my unused bananas for quite some time now so I had a good amount to play with.

ONE INGREDIENT ICE CREAM

  • Frozen bananas, chopped

1. All you need to do is put the frozen bananas into the food processor and blend it!One ingredient ice cream (well... almost) It takes some time for the bananas to blend but eventually it turns into this creamy mass that can be enjoyed straight away. One ingredient ice cream (well... almost) Unless you want to play with some other flavours!

You can add any of the following

  • peanut butter
  • Nutella
  • chopped nuts
  • biscuits
  • honey
  • caramel
  • cocoa powder
  • cinnamon, cardamom or ginger
  • frozen berries

I tried out few flavour combinations myself

  • Peanut and chocolate chip (our favourite!)
  • Nutella with chopped hazelnuts (I loved it even when I dislike chocolate ice cream)
  • Digestive and caramel (almost like banoffee pie)
  • Pecan and honey (we found this tasting a bit plain)
  • Cherry and almond (we liked the least as we could taste the banana which did not suite the overall taste)

One ingredient ice cream (well... almost)

Enjoy hot weather!

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Pinterest challenge: Chickpea flour cookies (not gluten free)

Chickpea flour cookies recipeHey everyone and welcome to my Pinterest challenge! Have not had one for a while so I though I will do it today. I picked this recipe for few reasons. One was that I had some chickpea flour left in my cupboard. I was experimenting with different flours to make a gluten free brownie while ago and chickpea did not work quite well there as the flavour of it is quite strong. But I definitely think that chickpea go well in these cookies, although you might find it a bit overpowering. Do you like chickpeas? Now imagine them sweet. Nice thoughts? Then definitely make them! Another reason for going for this challenge is because these cookies seemed so Easter-friendly. I am saying that because Easter do relate with truffles to me. And making these cookies felt a bit like making truffles!

I made a small batch of them as I did not know how successful will they be. Also because I did not have THAT much of chickpea flour! Anyways if you want to make more of them feel free double or triple the recipe.

CHICKPEA FLOUR COOKIES adopted from Give Recipe

(for the dough)

  • 25g chickpea flour
  • 45g whole wheat flour
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk + some egg white if needed
  • 35 butter
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder

(for coating)

  • 1 egg white, whisked
  • 3 tsp chickpea flour
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp poppy seeds

Chickpea flour cookies recipe1. Mix all ingredients of dough and combine them very well with your hand. Add extra egg white if needed to form smooth and soft dough like in the picture bellow. Chickpea flour cookies recipe2. Make mini balls from the dough. Dip them into whisked egg white first and then coat them with cocoa powder, poppy seeds and chickpea flour. Place them into lined baking pan.

3. Keep the cookies in the fridge for an hour before baking.Chickpea flour cookies recipe4. Bake them in preheated 180C oven for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool before eating ;-).Chickpea flour cookies recipe Chickpea flour cookies recipeEnjoy!

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Valentine’s day strawberry tart

As Valentine's day is soon approaching I thought I will make a tart full of hearts. Strawberries and cream popped into my mind first (I know I know, that's not very imaginative of me!). But then I thought how can I twist this classic dessert into something more creative and thats when I thought to add basil to it. Basil? Oh, it totally works! Remember how I made marmalade tart with rosemary crust? Well this one has a very similar concept except more hearts!Care to try?Valentine's day strawberry tart recipeBAKED STRAWBERRY TART WITH BASIL CRUST

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 6-8 tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15-20 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • at least 200g strawberries, sliced (+ 2 tbsp sugar if you like them sweet)
  • icing for dusting
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar

1. Make the pastry dough by creaming butter with sugar. Gradually add egg yolks, flour and basil. Wrap the dough into cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 15 min or so (it will be easer to handle it later). 

2. Roll out the dough and line prepared baking tin with it (lined with baking paper prior that).

3. Fill the tart with sliced strawberries as evenly as you can. Sprinkle some sugar on top if using. I did not use any sugar and I wish I did! However Joni said that he liked  the tart's sweetness as it is. So your choice ;-).Valentine's day strawberry tart recipe4. I tried decorating the top of the tart with the heart shapes, although I was suspecting that it won't survive the baking. There is always a risk if you bake sweet butter pastry on uneven surface such as sliced strawberries!Valentine's day strawberry tart recipeTherefore I baked some hearts using the same dough separately on baking sheet.Valentine's day strawberry tart recipe5. I baked the tart in preheated 170C oven for 40min (other ovens varies so don't wait if you see the crust is already golden after 30 min).  You see! The hearts came out all wobbly! Exactly what I predicted :-S.Valentine's day strawberry tart recipeSo after some dusting...Valentine's day strawberry tart recipe...and whipped cream with baked dough heart biscuits. Voila! I think it turned out quite alright :-). Valentine's day strawberry tart recipe6. To whip the cream all you need to do is mix some sugar with cream and whip away!(be careful and don't over-beat it though)Valentine's day strawberry tart recipe Valentine's day strawberry tart recipeAnd have fun celebrating Valentines day ;-)

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Evangeline’s birthday cake

Chocolate sponge and Vanilla Cranberry cheesecake in oneThis cake that I baked for Evangeline's birthday almost two weeks ago was received with the "awww..." wow!" and "that's amazing" praises. Little did the know that this cake did not come out exactly how I imagined! I was experimenting with baking cheesecake on the top of the sponge (something like this). I took two of my favourite recipes and combined, the cheesecake unfortunately went under the sponge. I guess I will have to do more experimenting in the future! Chocolate sponge and Vanilla Cranberry cheesecake in oneCHOCOLATE SPONGE & VANILLA CHEESECAKE WITH THE CRANBERRY TOPPING

(for the sponge)

  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 55g butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 2tbsp yogurt
  • 70g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder

(for the cheesecake filling)

  • 400g soft cheese
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 3 eggs
  • vanilla seeds scraped from one pod
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar

(for the topping)

  • 200g cranberry sauce
  • 300g fresh cranberries
  • 50g sugar

1. First make a chocolate sponge cake mix. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat and set aside.

2. In Another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients gradually (including melted chocolate) and mix to combine. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking pan.

3. Next, make a cheesecake filling. Place all the ingredients into the bowl or large measuring jug and mix everything well with the hand processor (I find this method the quickest!).  Chocolate sponge and Vanilla Cranberry cheesecake in one4. Pour in the cheesecake mixture on top of the sponge cake mixture. Pop the baking tin into the preheated 170C oven and leave there to bake for about an hour or hour and half. The cheesecake has to be not too wobbly!Chocolate sponge and Vanilla Cranberry cheesecake in one5. While cheesecake is baking, prepare the cranberry topping. Put cranberries, sugar and cranberry sauce into the small saucepan. Heat everything and mix until the sugar dissolves and cranberries bruise slightly.

Chocolate sponge and Vanilla Cranberry cheesecake in one6. Once cheesecake is cooked and cooled top it with the cranberry topping and let it set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

7. Decorate this cheesecake with biscuits. I used some melted chocolate as a glue!Chocolate sponge and Vanilla Cranberry cheesecake in oneA nice ribbon holds everything in place and it makes the cake look so cute!Chocolate sponge and Vanilla Cranberry cheesecake in oneYou can dust the cake with some icing sugar, but be warned! This lovely frosting effect does not last very long time :-(OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEnjoy cake decorating :-)

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Mugs of joy!

Peanut butter and white chocolate cookie in the mugOh dear! And this is where I slip when it comes to dieting. No matter how unavailable I make all the sweet treats, I always find enough of ingredients to make something quick and satisfying. For instance, these peanut butter and white chocolate cookies in the mug are quite dangerous! They are quick to make and they do remind me of Ben's peanut cookie. If you ever had Ben's cookies than you would know that the texture is dreamy! Hmm... how shall I put this... Well, It taste like cookie, but it is so soft and moist so it feels like you eating a fudge cake. Tempted? See the recipe bellow ;-). Peanut butter and white chocolate cookie in the mugPEANUT BUTTER & WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIE IN THE MUG

  • 25g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp sugar (dark brown preferably)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp penut butter
  • 1 brick of white chocolate

Peanut butter and white chocolate cookie in the mug1. Melt the butter in the mug by microwaving it for 25 sec. Make sure don't overheat it!Peanut butter and white chocolate cookie in the mug2. Add sugar, egg yolk and flour and mix to combine.

3. Spoon the peanut butter in and press it down with the white chocolate brick all the way down.Peanut butter and white chocolate cookie in the mug4. Microwave the mug cookie for 1-2min (again, check while 'baking'). eat it as it is or serve it with some ice-cream. Yum!Peanut butter and white chocolate cookie in the mugHave a lovely weekend!

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Mini passion fruit cheesecakes

Mini Passion Fruit Cheesecakes recipeI made up this recipe when I was given a sample of passion fruit cheesecake by a restaurant in London. They wanted me to replicate it and deliver it together with other cakes that I baked for them. Although they loved the cheesecake I baked, the whole set up did not work out long term. I realised that doing wholesale  baking is not for me.  I felt more like a factory rather being a bakery. Doing that for almost a year made me feel like Friendly Nettle lost it's face. I realised i preferred to create a variety of different bakes instead of the same thing day in day out.  I'm currently working on my bakery site to make it more accessible for you guys! But for now, I am pleased to share my passion fruit cheesecake recipe that I have now turned into a mini cheesecake recipe. I think they are super cute and perfect for individual portions at a dinner party. Mini Passion Fruit Cheesecakes recipeMINI PASSION FRUIT CHEESECAKES makes 12-20 mini cheesecakes (depending on size)

(for the base)

  • 200g digestives, finely crumbled
  • 75g butter, melted

(for the filling)

  • 600g soft cheese
  • 125ml passion fruit syrup (50g sugar+passion fruit juice)
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn flour

(for the topping)

  • 170g passion fruit pulp (either from a can or from around 6 passion fruits)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 gelatine leaf (about 1-2g), soaked in cold water

1. Combine biscuit crumbs with melted butter. Divide the mixture into the mini cake tins and press it down with the spoon. I used a silicon muffin baking pan because I don't have any other baking tins suitable. What I really would like to have is this type of pan!

2. In the food processor mix the filling and pour it on top of the cheesecake bases. Bake the cheesecakes in preheated 180C oven for 45min. I usually bake cheesecakes in the a bath, all you need to do is fill the baking tray below the cheesecakes with some boiling water. Mini Passion Fruit Cheesecakes recipe3. Meanwhile, heat the passion fruit pulp with sugar. Melt the gelatine leaf into the mixture and remove then from the heat. Pour the topping over the baked and cooled cheesecakes. Place the cheesecake tray in the fridge to set. Mini Passion Fruit Cheesecakes recipeOnce set, these mini cheesecakes should easily come out of their moulds/tins.... what ever you were baking them in!Mini Passion Fruit Cheesecakes recipeEnjoy!

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Few ideas on how to survive Halloween at home

vanilla and peppercorn candyI don't want to be a fun spoiler, but I really don't like Halloween. I think I mentioned my reasons last year, one of them being the difficulty of making Halloween deco pretty. Anyway it's fun for kids and you don't want to stop that! Have you ever had one of those awkward moments when group of kids knocks on your door and say "trick or treat" when you have no single sweet treat in the house? To avoid this, here are few tips/ideas on how to avoid these unpleasant moments ;-).

1. Treats! Yes, stock up on treats! The best treats are candies and if you feel like making some here is the recipe that I made last year (it's vanilla and black pepper BTW!). Or if you prefer, bake this ghost meringue cakeAutumn butternut squash cupcakes is another alternative if you want something sweet yourself while you wait ;-).Halloween treats2. Decorations, at least at the front of the house. Because you don't want to bother and decorate the whole house! Garlands are grate for this. Here is one for you to try. Just make sure it's all ready before 6pm this Friday!leaf garland3. Failed to do no. 1 and 2.? Just pretend you are not home and switch the lights off or something. Close the curtains and light the candle, that should be fun!

Happy Halloween!

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Lazy caramel and cranberry bites

Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipeIn Lithuanian these lazy bites are called "Tinginys" which essentially means "The Lazy One' (fancy some history about this? There we go!). Traditionally this easy to make treat is made with crumbled biscuits, coco powder, condensed milk and butter. But when I was little I experimented a lot (because there is no oven needed here) and I came up with this version (read on). I forgot about this for a while until I treated myself with my first cooking book "Cheap as Chips, Better Than Toast" just before my student years began (in year 2004, long time ago!). Oh, I learned so much from it, thanks you soooo much, Miranda Shearer. I probably would not be writing this blog if you have never written this wonderful book! But where art thou? I searched for you in twitter, no luck :(.

Anyway, I came across "Fridge Cake" recipe, which reminded me of my "The Lazy One" recipe. I used Miranda's recipe to recover my childhood's recipe and there we go! In all it's glory!!!! You would be silly not to try it! Even better if you make it with kids (because that's how simple it is!). Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipeLAZY CARAMEL AND CRANBERRY BITES

  • 175g malted milk biscuits
  • 90g butter
  • 30g sugar
  • 60g caramel (I use the one that comes in the tin and can be found in condensed milk department)
  • 60g dried cranberries

1. Crumble the biscuits either by hand or by using food processor. It does not have to be crumbled so finely, roughly will work as fine!Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipe2. In the pan melt the butter with sugar and caramel.Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipeLazy caramel and cranberry bites recipe3. Add the biscuit crumbs and the cranberries into the melted butter. Combine everything well and let it cool slightly. Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipe4. Wrap the mixture into the cling film and baking paper like the sausage. If you want even easer method, then put the mixture into cake tin and press down well. Leave it to harden in the fridge.Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipe Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipe Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipe5. The cake is ready after few hours! Just unwrap it (or remove it from cake tin) and slice it to serve.Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipe Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipe Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipe Lazy caramel and cranberry bites recipeEnjoy!!!! This is really yummy!

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Pinterest challenge: mini berry clafoutis

Mini berry clafoutis I wanted to try this berry clafoutis recipe for a while now. After counting how many calories it would have (for my diet, you know) I realised it's not so bad. Only 148.60 calories for one portion (one 10th of the whole bake)! I have decided to go ahead and bake half of the recipe in little tartlet baking tins. The only problem was that only one mini clafoutis survived. The other ones literally leaked out while baking. You see, my tartlet tins have loose bottoms for easy removal. However the clafoutis mix is so thin that it managed to leak out through the small gaps. I am glad I placed the tartlet tins in a baking dish, so my oven did not get messed up by this!!!Mini berry clafoutis MINI BERRY CLAFOUTIS adopted from Julia's Album

(makes 5 mini clafoutis)

  • 2 small eggs
  • 150ml single cream
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 25g flour
  • 0.25 tsp baking powder
  • 65g icing sugar
  • butter for greasing
  • caster sugar for dusting
  • 170g mixed berries (I used frozen ones)

1. whisk eggs with cream and vanilla extract until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Julia says: "Make sure this step is done properly so that in the end your dessert does not come out smelling too much like eggs". Very true! This desert have a tendency to become 'eggy' 

2. Sift flour, baking powder and icing sugar into the egg mixture and mix to combine well.Mini berry clafoutis The batter will be very liquid, 'thin' as I mentioned earlier. Mini berry clafoutis 3. Grease mini tartlets (or mini ramekins) with butter (or spray oil) and dust them with caster sugar. Don't make my mistake here, loose bottom tins are not suitable to make this desert!Mini berry clafoutis 4. Divide the berries between 5 tins.Mini berry clafoutis 5. pour the batter into the tins. Bake the clafoutis in 180C oven for 30min.Mini berry clafoutis Oooops! My mistake... The batter leaked out!! :(Mini berry clafoutis At least one survived! :)Mini berry clafoutis I enjoyed every bit of it... hmmmMini berry clafoutis Hopefully you have learned from my mistakes ;-)

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Guilt free (almost) chocolate orange cake

Guilt Free Chocolate Orange Cake recipeSince now I am on my diet (second week already!!!) I have decided to treat myself to a healthier cake. I am quite new to calorie counting (ok, ok, not so new... its been a year), so to my understanding if I remove as much as fat as possible and make it gluten free then it would become much much lighter! Oh boy I was wrong! A slice of cake (1/8 of the cake) has 430 calories in it!!!! Turns out that sugar is another major enemy, even in it's most natural forms. And how can you make a cake with no sugar anyways? Anyhow I made this cake with no added fats.  I added whole oranges to make up for the moisture you would otherwise get from the fat and used ground almonds to replace the flour (as you can for a gluten free cake). Joni rated 7 out 10 for this cake, so I guess it does not taste too bad if you are actually avoiding gluten or dairy specifically.Guilt Free Chocolate Orange Cake recipeGUILT FREE CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE makes 8 slices

  • 2 oranges, pealed
  • 6 eggs
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder

Guilt Free Chocolate Orange Cake recipe1. boil whole oranges for about 1 hour or so until soft. Drain, then puree them with the hand processor.Guilt Free Chocolate Orange Cake recipe2. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and creamy.

3. Add all of the rest of the ingredients into the egg mixture, including the orange puree. Combine well.

4. Pour the contents into a 20cm round spring baking tin.

5. Bake in 150C for 1hour and half.Guilt Free Chocolate Orange Cake recipeIf you like you can serve it with a dollop of creme fraiche, this is if you don't mind dairy of course... or added fat ;-). Guilt Free Chocolate Orange Cake recipeEnjoy!

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