Tag Archives: recipe

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.




Raspberry & White Chocolate Brownies


Having just moved house and not entirely stocked the kitchen, what else was I to make for visitors other than brownies? They are just so quick and simple and don’t require any pesky baking powder/soda.

My standard recipe comes from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook (recipe online here) but for something a little more special I threw in a handful of frozen raspberries (if you can be bothered you can defrost them, I didn’t have time!) and white chocolate chunks.

Shake loves them and took some to work to “share” with colleagues, apparently ;)

So, my microwave oven monster successfully baked brownies. PHEW.

What should my next challenge be?




Salmon, coconut and dill muffins


I know, I know. These aren’t exactly beautiful muffins, but I can promise they are tasty!

We are still staying at Shake’s parents’ house and I am trying to keep food shopping to a minimum – ha!

Whilst clearing out the cupboard I found a tin of salmon (MSC, hooray) and decided to bake some baby-friendly muffins. There was some coconut milk lurking in the fridge from our morning smoothies and I thought these would make a nice combination.

I am regretting leaving my lovely Persian dill in France, but what we had here was just fine. Fresh would be better, no doubt.

Salmon, coconut and dill muffins

Makes approximately 12 small muffins


2 cups self-raising flour
2 teaspoons dill
Black pepper, optional
1 egg
1 cup coconut milk
80g melted butter
1 tablespoon plain yoghurt
1 tin salmon (213g)

Preheat oven to 170degC

Melt butter and leave to cool slightly

In a large bowl, combine the flour and dill, season with black pepper as desired

In another bowl or jug, beat the egg with the coconut milk and yoghurt. Add the melted butter and beat again until just combined

Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir thoroughly. Add more yoghurt or milk if mixture seems too dry

Add the tinned salmon and stir through until evenly distributed

Spoon into muffin trays and bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. An inserted skewer or knife should come out clean

Best eaten warm or at least on the day made

C recommends them topped with cream cheese :)




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).




Lemon shortbread

We always have lemons around the house, I make tea with lemon juice, honey and ginger when I’m feeling run down, but this week I had a few squishy ones that needed using up some other way.

Shortbread was the first thing that came to mind, so here we go!

This is such a quick and simple recipe. If you aren’t a lemon fan you could use the juice and zest of an orange or a couple of limes, or simply add a teaspoon of ground ginger or cinnamon. Let me know if you try anything else!

Lemon shortbread
Makes 12-16 squares


Oil (I used olive, but you don’t want any flavour from it)
150g butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour
juice and zest of 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 180degC

Oil a baking tin of your choice (as you can see, mine was a little large…I wanted chunky shortbread biscuits) and set aside

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl for a few minutes, until soft

Add the juice and zest of the lemon and stir to combine

Sift the flour into the bowl and work together until a dough forms

Press the dough into your baking dish. Use a knife to create your shortbread shapes and a fork to make indentations as desired

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until edges start to brown

Remove from the oven and use the knife to create your shortbread shapes again

Leave to cool completely in the tin


I made a lemon glaze with the juice of another lemon and icing sugar. I didn’t measure the sugar, just kept adding until I liked the consistency. 

Optional, but Shake recommends :)



Favourite posts this week

:: Delicious, seasonal recipes from Mr Ottolenghi. Have you been watching his TV show?

:: Really useful post on kitchen substitutions.

:: I like to take my time cooking too, but do appreciate the odd quick meal, still home-made of course. What do you think?

:: Shake loves Pecan Pie but I’m yet to make him one. This may change that, but maple syrup is expensive…

:: Love the look of this Winter pavlova.

:: What do you want to learn? Watch this video on how to learn anything

:: Gorgeous photos of mushrooms.

:: Perfect chocolate cake? I personally love Nigella’s, but might check out this version.

:: Another amazing recipe (Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette) from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook – I.Need.That.Book.

:: Excellent suggestions for how to have a thrifty Christmas.

:: Moving and thought-provoking post on poverty, written far better than I could hope to.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy weekend.



Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

’tis the season for squash, so here is a very quick and simple recipe for you!

Butternut Squash Soup
serves 3-4 

1 butternut squash
1 medium onion, diced
a few glugs of olive oil
small knob of unsalted butter
dash of cumin seeds
vegetable stock – up to 400ml
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180degC

Slice butternut squash in half, lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper (salt too if you aren’t sharing your food with your baby!)

Roast in oven for about 45 minutes, or until knife can easily be inserted into the squash

Once the squash is roasted and cooling, heat another glug of oil with butter in a saucepan and soften the diced onion

When you are able, scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash and add to the saucepan with the onion

Add cumin seeds (I guess I use about a teaspoon) and mix together in saucepan over a medium heat

Use as much stock as needed to cover the squash. I tend to add a stock cube and just top up with boiled water, topping up again once blended if the texture is too thick

Blend with handblender or processor to create a smooth soup

Season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper as desired

Optional: serve with yorkshire pudding for baby :)

Savoury Courgette Cheesecake

I know it’s November (November?!) and you’re all thinking about pumpkins and feeling snug and cosy with the heating on etc, but whilst I can still buy them, I am making the most of courgettes.

The truth is, I’m just not ready to move on.

When we have beautiful, warm weather like this…

…I don’t feel like wrapping up and eating something hot!

This recipe was inspired by a post I saw a few weeks ago. I think I shared it with you too?

I changed it up a little, as usual, and we are really enjoying the result – the lemon zest in particular just makes it taste extra special.

I made it during a baby nap, so you know it doesn’t take long to whip up!

It isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but it really tastes delicious.

Courgette cheesecake
- serves 4-6

Note: I used two tins, one of 18 cm and one of 13 cm (used in the photos). You could probably just use the large one and have a deeper cheesecake. Or use a bigger tin of course.

100g crackers/savoury biscuits, crushed – I use TUC, Ritz would probably also work well
50g melted butter
1 large courgette, grated
200g goats cheese
3 large tablespoons fromage frais/crème fraîche/natural yoghurt
2 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove – I used 2, but would use just 1 if serving to other people
small handful of basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons plain flour
Salt and pepper, as desired

Preheat oven to 170degC

Melt butter and add to crushed crackers. Stir to coat and press into cake tin.
You want a buttery biscuit base ;)

Bake the base in the oven for around 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

Beat goats cheese in large bowl until softened. Add garlic, fromage frais, eggs, plain flour, lemon zest and mix together until combined.

Add the basil, grated courgette and season. Stir so that courgette is evenly distributed.

Pour mixture onto buttery biscuit base and return to the oven for about 40 minutes. The cheesecake should start to colour but not be completely brown. You don’t want it to jiggle too much either.

Serve warm, or cold from the fridge.





Favourite posts this week

Réserve Africaine de Sigean

:: Love Ottolenghi. Love Heidi. I need to make this.

:: Wish I was brave enough to stop using shampoo – maybe one day.

:: Great response by Louisa to those children protesting against healthy food in schools.

:: I love and admire Ashley’s honesty. I need to date my husband.

:: I don’t know how she does it. Time to get my knit on.

We hope you have had a happy, relaxing weekend.

Tomorrow is a special day for us. I can’t wait.



Alternative Chocolate Cake

Sometimes I need chocolate, but I don’t need as much comfort as this cake provides.

Sometimes I don’t have any butter. This is rare, but sadly true.

Sometimes I feel like using different flours, just because they make me feel a little less naughty.

So when these powers are combined, I make this Olive oil, Chocolate and Rosemary cake.

The recipe is from one of my favourite books – Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce. It’s honestly worth buying the book for the chocolate chip cookie recipe alone – they are the best I have ever tasted. Hmm. I need to buy some chocolate chips this week…

I really hope you make this cake soon. You won’t regret it. The flavour is so interesting (in a good way!) with the nutty spelt flour, hint of herb and the comfort of the good, dark chocolate.

Chocolate, Olive Oil & Rosemary cake

olive oil for the pan
3/4 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 eggs
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped/shaved into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 180degreesC. Rub a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with olive oil.

Sift the flours and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the olive oil, milk and rosemary. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing just until combined. Stir in the chocolate.

Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is domed, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

The cake is extra delicious when served still warm.