Chocolate Cake with Christmas Spiced Orange Syrup, dairy and gluten free

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My Ecuadorian friend Susanna visited Europe a few weeks ago to participate in a chocolate fair here in London and one in Paris. She develops some of the best chocolate that I have ever tasted. She kindly left me with a bag of chocolate couverture to do something tasty with.
Montecristi Chocolate is an organic chocolate couverture named after one of the most iconic towns in the region of Manabi, Ecuador. Susanna buys the cacao bean directly from the farmer at a fair price and produces the finished product in the country of origin. This benefits the local economy and the small scale farmers.
The cake recipe I came up with is both dairy and gluten free. I have tried to keep the amount of refined sugar to a minimum, using agave syrup as a substitute. The coconut oil is a perfect match with the chocolate that has hints of tropical fruit. To make the cake more festive I made a spiced orange syrup and served with freshly cut orange segments.

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Vegan Apple and Cinnamon Cake

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My friend and her son was coming over for a “play date” after school so I decided to make a cake. I altered the recipe from the Vegan Redcurrant and Coconut cake recipe, that I posted during the summer, to fit the season. As it is the best time for the Great British apple, I ended up making a apple and cinnamon cake. The cake was good, but the play date was a bit of a disaster…..Casper was rude to the boy and said he didn’t want to play…..I was left embarrassed and threatened no TV for a week. He later explained he wanted to go to their house so we decided we will give it an other try next week at theirs!
This is not your normal sponge cake. It has a nice sticky and gooey texture. Perfect for a cold autumn afternoon with a hot cup of tea.

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Seed Crackers with Fennel

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When I was pregnant with Harry I always made sure I had a box of these crackers in my draw at work. They give you instant energy and satisfaction when you have cravings or feel hungry between meals. Goes really well together with soup, salad or on their own.
I mentioned these crackers in my previous post of Butternut Squash Soup and I finally had a chance to make them. Having a seven month old baby makes you a master in trying to use your time efficiently however, all doesn’t always go to plan as you might be waking up to a new tooth poking through or him trying to learn a new skill. We have been suffering from teething pain for the last few weeks but I think we are out on the other side!…….until the next one…………… …..continue reading

Cinnamon, Seed and Nut Granola

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Granola is my go to breakfast. I make a jar every other week. Depending on what I have at home, the granola turns out differently each time. I have made this batch with a generous helping of cinnamon, as this adds a great flavour, and chopped almond. I pack my granola full of seeds and nuts but you could also add some dried fruit. Remember that if you are adding dried fruit, mix this in and bake in the oven for the last 5 or 10 minutes or you end up with burned crunchy bits in your breakfast bowl.
I normally eat the granola with some natural yoghurt and add some fresh berries or fruit depending on what’s in season. Raspberries, blueberries, grated apple…… the chose it yours.
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Walnut and Nutmeg energy balls

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When we where younger our father used to make a cake called Žito. He called it “Stone cake”. This cake is traditionally eaten during Slava, a Serbian Orthodox tradition celebration the family’s patron saint. The cake is made by boiling whole wheat grains and then adding cream, sugar, ground walnuts and nutmeg. It was not the most appetizing looking cake, like it’s name it looked like a grey stone, but the flavour was great!
The cake came to mind after taking to my father the other day. He is going to Belgrade for the Autumn to do some writing and hold a talk at the institution of Time. There is a bakery in central Belgrade that sell the most amazing Žito, served with whipped cream.
These energy balled are nothing like the cake but the flavour of walnut and nutmeg inspired them. They only take minutes to make,
Enjoy!
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Vegan Redcurrant and Coconut cake

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The little birds in my mothers garden loves the redcurrant bush and sits at the top branches and munch away on the berries most days.
My mother made a lovely redcurrant cake the other day and after tasting it I wanted to recreate a healthier version.
I was very pleased with the result. The cake was nice and moist and had a dense consistency. The balance between sweet and sour worked really well.

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