Tag Archives: cake

Banana, chocolate and cardamom cakes


One of the (several) cookbooks I received for my birthday/Christmas was something I never would have chosen for myself – Fruit by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Despite my hesitations (not even sure why) we have made at least 3 recipes from the book already, with great results. Most are simple (we aren’t talking Ottolenghi here) but with out-of-the-ordinary flavour ideas.

We had more bananas turning very ripe in the fruit bowl, and we thought we’d try something new. As usual, I changed a few ingredients to suit what we had at home, and loved the results.

[Need some more recipes for ripe bananas? Try these naturally sweetened treats – loaf cake and baby friendly snack bars!]


The original recipe (can’t find online, but similar to this one) makes a large loaf, but we wanted some smaller cakes that could be taken to work or shared with C – as you can see, he was delighted :)


Banana, cardamom & chocolate muffins
makes approximately 18 small cakes


100ml coconut oil, melted to liquid (or sunflower oil)
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
150g light brown sugar
2 medium eggs
3 medium bananas, mashed
75g plain yoghurt
200g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 180degC

In a large bowl or mixer, beat the coconut oil and sugar, then add the eggs.

In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, yoghurt and cardamom. Add this to the coconut/sugar/egg bowl and thoroughly combine.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl and gently stir to combine.
Stir through the chopped chocolate.

Fill muffin/cupcake cases 2/3 of the way and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until cakes are springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean.




Fig crumble cake


I am ashamed at how long it has been since I last posted a recipe, but life is oh so busy and toddlers don’t have any much patience for photography or washing up ;)

As soon as I saw this post I knew I wanted to make this cake. A late afternoon walk through town and past the market resulted in a bargain bundle of figs – fate! The cake had to be made!


I tweaked the recipe, but mainly just because a sweet friend gifted me some plump vanilla beans that I can’t resist throwing into everything I make at the moment. I’ve made the cake without it and it is still delicious, but I think it’s extra special with.


If you are like me, you might have a bag of ready made crumble topping in your freezer.

No? Well, maybe consider making some. It takes no time at all and freezes well, plus you’ll be halfway to an impromptu dessert. What more could you ask for ;)


Fig crumble cake
serves 8

For the cake:
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g golden caster sugar
1 large free range egg
90ml milk (your choice, I used whole)
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
325g fresh figs (about 5) halved
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Seeds 1/2 vanilla bean

For the crumble topping:
30g wholemeal spelt flour
30g ground almonds
50g golden caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, chilled & diced
20g rolled oats


Preheat the oven to 200degC. Grease a 20cm cake tin and line with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer (or by hand) until light and fluffy.

Beat the egg into the milk and add the vanilla extract. Slowly pour into mixture whilst stirring.

Sift in the flour and baking powder then stir carefully to combine before spooning carefully into the prepared tin.

To make the crumble, use your fingertips to mix the flour, almonds, sugar and butter until crumbs forms. Stir through the oats and set aside.

Place the figs cut side up on top of the cake batter. Mix the maple syrup with the vanilla seeds and drizzle over the figs.

Scatter the crumble mix over the figs and bake for 30-40 minutes, when the crumble is nicely golden and the figs are jammy and soft.

Note: The second time I made this I added an extra fig and the cake was extra jammy and moist. It was easier to remove from the tin once cool.




Our everyday life: week 39

An extra guest at the dinner table this week ;)


This glass shelf, and those frames, fell on top of me for no reason the other night. I was in shock for a while! Well done Ikea and your shatterproof glass. Phew!


Enjoying the sunset on the train to London. Trying to avoid eye-contact with the drunkard who sat next to me (on an empty train…).


I was actually on the train to meet this awesomely sweet lady. I hate to add a photo of myself, but I don’t want to forget about meeting one of my idols :) One night in London for her cookbook tour – so lucky I was online at the right time to snap up a ticket.


Several lovely London bloggers made goodies from the book for the evening. Menu included: Brownie roll-out cookies (a huge fan of these), red wine velvet cake, peanut butter and chocolate cookies, coffee toffee (delicious!), blackberry polenta cake and plenty more. I only wish I had room to try them all.


The following day I had even MORE cake at our work Macmillan bake sale. I made a chocolate Guinness cake (because it’s the best) and double chocolate cookies, but also had to sample what everyone else made too…


I have a poorly laptop :( I am temporarily using Shake’s teeny weeny spare laptop. I don’t understand how to use it (touchscreen?) so I will be amazed if this post even works!


My dad sent me this as a surprise in the post! My childhood best friend – Humpty Dumpty. For a few minutes I felt like a baby again, but then C took it off my hands!


Much needed park trip to burn off some feisty energy ;)


Charity shop bargain – we love these mugs! My Uncle told me these are the type that he and my mum would have been embarrassed to have had at home (in the 70s). Hehe.


My sweet cousin moving into her Uni dorms. The girl did good! She deserves it, too. Note C sleeping in the corner!


We had such a delicious lunch here, simple but just what we were all craving! I also love that my Uncle came here when he was a student.


See, told you it was delicious (and healthy!).


First real train ride – loved it! Sorry fellow passengers…but at least he was friendly :)


Wow! This was a busy week.



Roasted rhubarb and ginger cakes


We are celebrating the first rhubarb in our fruit and veggie box this week!

Whilst I would happily eat it slightly stewed and definitely sharp, Shake needs it somewhat sweeter and hidden. C is yet to voice his rhubarb opinion ;)


These muffiny/cakey treats are a good compromise for us. Rhubarb is kept tart but complimented with fresh ginger and (I recommend!) ground cardamon.

After exploding butter in the microwave twice I never thought I’d get my act together. Instead, I went old school and melted the butter on the hob.

I like being old school.


If you don’t have/can’t find oat flour (like me), make your own! It takes two seconds with a blender and those oats are good for you :)


Roasted rhubarb and ginger cakes

Makes about 20 small cakes

Adapted (considerably) from a recipe in Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

90g Oat flour (I simply blended the oats, but left it a little chunky for texture)
75g plain flour
45g whole wheat flour
100g sugar (I used light brown)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2tsp ground cardamom (optional)

80g butter, melted and cooled slightly
170ml whole milk
120g (greek) yoghurt
1 egg

knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

125g roasted rhubarb (see below)

Roasted rhubarb:

Slice and dice rhubarb (about 3 stalks) into desired size.

Place in ovenproof dish and cover with a little freshly squeezed lemon juice and a couple of teaspoons of sugar.

Roast in oven at 180degC for about an hour. You want the rhubarb to keep its shape still but be soft.

Leave to cool before using in cakes.

To make cakes:

Preheat oven to 170degC

Blend oats, if necessary. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add back anything left in the sieve to the bowl.

In another bowl combine the wet ingredients, whisk briefly.

Add grated ginger to wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients and roasted rhubarb into dry ingredients bowl and gently stir to evenly combine.

Spoon mixture into cupcake cases (I use these) and fill about 3/4 of the way.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.




Citrus polenta cake



Where are you?

No, I’m not talking to C, I’m talking to you Sunshine.

Seriously, it’s weeks like these that I wonder why we moved away from the South of France. The weather here is pathetic!

In order to fix this, in the only way I know how, let’s bake some sunshine into our lives.

Citrus Polenta Cake
serves 10

50g polenta
200g ground almonds
50g plain flour (I used wholemeal)
1 teaspoon baking powder
125ml olive oil
100g butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
juice and grated zest of a lemon
juice and grated zest of an orange

Mix the polenta, ground almonds, flour and baking powder together in a large bowl.

Whisk the eggs and caster sugar until pale (with machine or by hand), then slowly whisk in the oil and then the butter.

Whisk in the almond and polenta mixture, then add the lemon and orange juices followed by the zests.

Transfer the mixture to a lined baking tin (I used 20cm/8″) and bake in a preheated oven 160 / gas mark 3 for approximately 45 mins.

The cake should be slightly underdone in the middle. Leave to cool in the tray for 10 mins before removing (and eating!). It’s difficult to wait, but worth it.




Our everyday life: week 10

After days of rain (most unusual here) the room we had stored our packing flooded…great start to the week ;)


C’s first taste of lavashak


C loves to hide toys under things and then ask you to fetch them. Of course Mama humours him!


Hazelnuts, pre-roasting.


Post-roast and lazily peeled. There were so many!


C in love with his reflection…


…and also in love with the dog!


It was Mother’s Day in the UK on Sunday, but it’s in May in France, so technically I miss both. However, I did get a sweet little card (with some help from Papa!).


Hazelnuts used in this birthday cake, as well as two jars of nutella (notella?)


I think he enjoyed his birthday cake :)




Banana, date and yoghurt loaf


My nutrition course  has inspired me to reduce the amount of sugar we consume. I also want to be able to offer baby (let’s call him C from now, he’s almost a toddler!) something that I bake without worrying about what’s in it.

As I type this, I’m eating Smitten Kitchen’s cocoa brownies, they are amazing but there’s certainly sugar in there!

We typically have a banana or two left over by the end of the week so I happily used them as the base for the cake. I also had date pate in the cupboard after buying several packs when they were on offer (€0.99 per kg!) which I wanted to use as the sweetener.

With little butter left but a few tubs of yoghurt in the fridge, the rest of the cake was more or less created.

I topped the cake with some granola just for some texture, but it would be perfectly fine without.

This is a super moist cake, but both of my boys loved it so that makes a happy Bake :)

Banana, date and yoghurt loaf


2 ripe bananas, mashed
300g yoghurt (I used greek)
60g dates (I used date pate mixed with a teaspoon of hot water)
2 eggs
1.5 cups wholemeal flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)


Preheat oven to 190degC

In a large bowl combine the flour with baking powder and cinnamon

Using a separate bowl mix the bananas with dates and blend well

Add the eggs one at a time to the bananas, beating in thoroughly

Stir the yoghurt through the banana mix until just combined

Slowly add the dry ingredients from the first bowl and stir in thoroughly.

Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour (until knife inserted comes out clean).




One year

Dome ring love :)

Today is a special day.

One year ago we were married and spent the best weekend with our closest family here. If you ever get the chance, GO THERE!

Wedding cake

I can’t believe how much has changed since then, but I do know I am the luckiest wife and mummy ever!

I wish we had been blogging this time last year. It was such an amazing and different wedding and I’m sure there are elements that I have forgotten already.

I do remember campfires, wellington boots, sunshine (even in October), cake galore, a lovely chef, chickens, children, simple pleasures…

We are off to have a special lunch (baby included) and spend the day together as a little family.

Chocolate, spiced apple and carrot layered wedding cake.

Sending you all much love



Chocolate Guinness cake

In a little under a month we will celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone, but then again it has been a busy one (wedding, baby, moving house, moving country!).

You may or may not be surprised to hear that I baked our wedding cake. I’m sure I’ll tell you about it another time, but since then this chocolate Guinness cake has been our go-to cake of choice.

Cat approved ! I promise she didn’t lick it…

Last weekend we went to a birthday party and took this cake with us. Not necessarily the most appropriate cake for a one year old girl, but it was certainly enjoyed by the adults.

There is a crazy (to me) amount of sugar in this cake, but it’s probably necessary to balance out the bitter Guinness, so I haven’t played around with the proportion of sugar from original recipe.

You should find this to be an extremely moist cake, in a good way, with a deep chocolate flavour. As cream cheese isn’t as readily available here as in the UK, I tend to leave it plain or simply add an icing sugar glaze. I’m sure the cream cheese frosting would make it feel even more decadent.


Chocolate Guinness cake
- serves 6-8 people
adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery’s Cake Days (their recipe makes a far larger cake)


125ml Guinness (1/2 a bottle. Drink the rest whilst you make the cake ;))
125g unsalter butter
40g cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
70ml crème fraîche (or sour cream, or buttermilk)
140g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

Frosting (optional)
25g unsalted butter
150g icing sugar
60g cream cheese

I have used both a square brownie tin and a 20cm spring-form cake tin.
It was difficult to take the cake out of the brownie tin…


Preheat oven to 175degC

Pour Guinness into saucepan and add the butter. Melt over a moderate heat, but don’t bring to the boil.

Once melted, remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder and the sugar. Stir until smooth.

Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and crème fraîche in a separate bowl/jug. Add to the chocolatey saucepan.

Sift the flour, bicarb and baking podwer into a large bowl.

Whisk (or stir) the liquid ingredients into the flour bowl. Try to remove lumps!


Once combined, pour into your greased/lined baking tin.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes – you don’t want to overcook it or it will be very crumbly.

If you are making the icing, combine the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add the cream cheese and mix until light and fluffy.

Ice the cake once it has cooled completely.



A bad cake day

oh what a mess!

This post is for my benefit more than yours, sorry.

Last week we bought a crate of nectarines on sale as they are coming to the end of their season. I planned several different ways to use them up, but more on that another day.

One of my plans was to make a few cakes to freeze for those rainy days when we want something comforting but summery.

I found a simple enough recipe online (I won’t bother sharing now…) and more or less followed the recipe.

This was my first mistake. I really should have followed it all.

The recipe told me to bake the cakes for 15 minutes and then add the sliced nectarines and continue baking. I was in a rush so didn’t bother. Suprise, suprise, they sank to the bottom and stuck there.

You can’t find baking powder or self-raising flour here, so I decided to mix my own. I sort of followed the guidelines but I wasn’t as specific as I really should have been. Mistake number two!

Lastly, whilst I could have made the cakes in two batches, as I had made double the amount of mix, I tried to squeeze it all into 4 small tins. Mistake number three!

So, as you can imagine, the fruit sank so the cakes weren’t pretty; the mix turned into some insane bubbly science experiment and almost all of the tins overflowed (all over the oven too).

I was so angry at myself. I was rushing as baby was asleep but was due to wake up, but that’s not his fault.

I was upset at the thought of wasting so much mix and those lovely nectarines. I was upset at having wasted my precious free time, I mean I could should have been cleaning or washing something.

Also, I was just plain embarrassed. Cakes are my thing! I should have been more precise.

Anyway. Shake ate what was stuck to the tins and anything else he could get his hands on. Of course he said it was delicious (and that I was being a drama queen :) ). The cakes were trimmed where necessary, fruit rescued and placed back on top and they are now safely in the freezer.

It doesn’t matter that they look dreadful, they will still taste fine and maybe by winter I will laugh about it too ;)