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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Salted Almond and Chocolate Treats

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These little treats are so delicious I have to stop myself not eating all of them at once. I have a two at the time limit! They are on the right side of sweet, not too sweet, with the sea salt taking them to an other level. The batch I made yesterday is nearly finished so I need to make an other batch (or two) before my mother arrives next week. She loves these!
They are easy to make, just a little fiddly to cover in chocolate. Do the toothpick trick I describe below as this will make the process easier. I used a milk free good quality chocolate so the treats are suitable for vegans.

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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