Simple Orange Cake (with or without flour)

Very simple orange cake

Always use organic ingredients whenever possible

  • 3 small eggs
  • 1 orange - peeled, seeded and cut into small pieces
  • 200g of melted unsalted butter and more for greasing the tin
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour (or ground almonds, or half of each)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 60ml of Cointreau
  • a good pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a banking tin with butter.

Sift together the dry ingredients; sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. 

Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light in colour and fluffy.

Fold in the flour, butter and add the orange and Cointreau.

Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and cook in the oven for 40-50 minutes, it's ready when its golden brown and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out. 

You can sprinkle it with icing sugar and some orange zest before serving. 

 

Brown Bread Ice Cream

Delicious homemade ice cream! 

Delicious homemade ice cream! 

Serves 6-8.

100g (3½ oz) brown soda bread or brown yeast bread, in chunks

50g (2 oz) soft brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

150ml (5½ oz) cream

1 tablespoon rum (optional)

2 eggs, separated

125g (4½ oz) sugar

100ml (3½ oz)water

Pinch of cream of tartar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas 6. Place the chunks of brown bread in a food processor and whiz for 30 seconds to a minute to form coarse breadcrumbs, then add the soft brown sugar and the ground cinnamon and pulse a few times to mix. Spread out the bread, cinnamon and sugar mixture on a baking tray and place in the oven. Toast for about 10 minutes until it is well browned. Then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Next, whisk the cream until soft peaks appear, then mix in the rum if you're using it, and the egg yolks, and set aside.

Place the sugar and the water in a saucepan and heat slowly, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Boil fiercely for about 5 minutes until the mixture reaches the 'thread' stage. If you own a sugar thermometer, this is when it reads 106°C-113°C (223°F-236F). If you don't have a sugar thermometer, dip a metal spoon into the mixture; as you remove it, the last drops of sugar syrup will form thin threads if the correct temperature has been reached.

Meanwhile, using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they are stiff. Still whisking, gradually pour in the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream, and continue to whisk until the mixture is cool, glossy and stiff (about 4-5 minutes).

Then add in the whipped-cream and egg-yolk mixture, along with the caramelised breadcrumbs, and fold until mixed through. Tip in to a container with a lid, cover and place in the freezer for a few hours until frozen through. The ice-cream can be scooped straight from the freezer.

I absolutely LOVE this recipe and it brings me right back to my childhood. I love brown bread ice cream so much I could eat a whole batch! But I NEVER feel guilty about it and, like I say, make sure I eat guilt-free! Remember, life is all about balance so a lot over here means that you can compensate with a little over there....

Courgette Cake

This is a super simple cake that you can whip up really quickly. It freezes well and is a very popular afternoon tea treat in my house. It is the EASIEST cake you'll ever make as the courgette melts into the batter making it a lovely moist cake that will keep for a couple of days. I especially love this cake as it doesn't require any accoutrements, no need for cream, icing, or butter- it tastes delicious all on its own!

110g or 1 cup grated courgette (roughly 1 courgette/zucchini)

175g  or 1 cup caster sugar

112ml or half a cup sunflower oil

2 small eggs

1/2 vanilla pod, scraped of seeds, or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

165g, or 1 & 1/4 cup self-raising flour

¼ tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 160C/320F/gas mark 5. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the grated courgette, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into the wet mixture.

Pour mixture into the loaf tin. Bake for one hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

Leave to cool and turn out.

If you want to make things a little more interesting (and indulgent!) you can add a delicious topping and centre. Simply split the cake in two and spread half the following into the middle, with the rest going on top. Add a few berries to finish:

For the centre and topping

250g (9 oz) tub mascarpone cheese

2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted

250g of whipped cream

Berries for garnishing

Flour free and refined sugar free banana bread

This gorgeous Banana Bread recipe is refined sugar free and flour free!  Now you probably know I'm not big on the 'free from' stuff, I just think if it taste good and is full of wholesome ingredients then that's good enough for me! But being eight months pregnant I am trying to incorporate as much goodness into my diet as possible.

Also I had a bunch of banana's which were truly ready for dumping...

So this is my version of banana bread that is jam packed with goodness and isn't just a treat. It's a nutritious breakfast staple and perfect if you're on the go and want something substantial that won't leave you with a sugar crash. Children love it and I always add a bit of butter and maybe some honey when having a slice. Try it and let me know what you think.

I've replaced flour with some ground almonds which you can easily buy in any supermarket and ground flaxseeds which I ground up in my nutraninja, but you could easily do this with a coffee grinder or a powerful blender. Or indeed you can buy ground flaxseed from most health food stores. I add ground flaxseed to everything, my yogurt in the morning, my brown bread, scones, brownies, anything really as flaxseeds are so good for you.

This bread is made mainly with flaxseed which is considered to be a high-fiber super food, which is filled with Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. It also contains lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities and of course fiber which is so important to incorporate daily into your diet.

It was my father who originally introduced me to Flaxseed after he had been very ill with serious stomach issues which resulted in him having over half of his stomach removed. It was then that I first became aware of what food can do for us in both a good and bad way and it was then that he introduced me to this fabulous book which my whole family swear by ( as you can see it's more than a bit battered!).

 

So this recipe isn't just delicious, its also nutritious so do try making it. 

You want to make sure that you are using really ripe bananas for this one as they taste sweeter. You'll know they're ripe when the skin turns a deep shade of yellow and the banana's covered with brown speckles.

Ingredients:

Makes 1 bread in a 9in x 5in pan

300g of ripe bananas ( this is roughly 3 bananas)

30g of butter or coconut oil

1 tbsp of maple syrup

1 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp lemon juice1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

4 small eggs or 3 large ones

1/2 tsp of bicarbonate soda

125g ground almonds

125g ground flaxseed ( also known as linseed)

sea salt

optional extras to add to the mix...

chopped pecans

goji berries

Method:

In a mixing bowl mash the bananas to a pulp. Add the maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice.

Mix well with a whisk.

Add the ground almonds, ground flaxseed and the chopped pecans or goji berries if you're using them.

Line the tin with unbleached, metal-free parchment paper  and this paper then doubles as a wrap to store our banana bread.

Pour batter into the tin and bake for 60 -75 minutes at 170C.

You'll know its ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out dry. If your bread starts to look quite brown after the first 30 minutes, then cover the top with foil or more parchment paper until your bread has finished baking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. Serve warm or at room temperature with some lightly salted butter

Store your bread covered in the fridge (remember there is no sugar or preservatives!) for up to a week, or as I like to do, slice and freeze it,  that way you can have a slice at a time heated under the grill- delicious.

Do let me know how you get on with this, I love hearing from you and I read and respond to every email I receive.

The Artful Eating seven week online program is available now, so if it's something you think you might be interested in, then check out all the details here.

Eton Mess

Sweet Treats

This is my go-to EASY dinner party dessert. It takes minutes to make, it looks amazing and it's simply delicious!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500 grams strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 500 ml whipping cream (A really good quality Greek or natural yogurt tastes just as good - I promise!)
  • 4 small meringue nests (from a packet)

Method

  • Hull and chop the strawberries and put into a bowl. Add the sugar and leave to macerate while you whip the cream.

  • Whip the cream in a large bowl until thick but still soft.

  • Roughly crumble in 4 meringues nests - leave some chunks for texture

  • Take out a ladleful, or about 100g / ½ cup, of the chopped strawberries, and fold the meringued cream and rest of the fruit mixture together.

  • Arrange in four glasses ( small white wine glasses are an ideal portion size), or in a mound, and top each one with some of the remaining strawberries.

Serving Suggestion

Why not try a variety of summer fruits and berries, or even top with a sprig of mint.