It’s September now, Autumn, it’s getting colder but the apples are ready for baking and juicing and cooking for all sorts of things. Lots of apple pies are going to be made in bulk and frozen as soon as I get a bit of time, ’cause let’s face it! Apple pies are a lot of work. You’ve to make the pastry for a start and then all that peeling and blind baking, almost makes it seem like they’re not the effort. And let’s not mention the butter and sugar content…not to turn you off them, but if you are looking for a healthier and much quicker (25min MAX) desert to use up the abundance of apples this season then this is the recipe for you.
This is an all-in-one sponge based cake, with a very interesting new flavour; Olive oil. I’ve been wanting to try it in a cake for ages but have only just mustered the courage, yet I’m delighted with the results. Not only is it a great dairy free alternative but it makes a quicker, lighter batter and the slight bitterness of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil really contrasts the apple, and adding a touch of lemon zest will tone down the bitterness of the oil. I’ve gone and used honey instead of sugar too as this cake was to be processed sugar-free, yet it pairs well with the apples and oil, makes the batter that bit extra smooth and glossy.
I really do hope that you try, and enjoy this cake,and if you don’t have a ring tin like I do then you can bake it in a loaf or circular cake tin instead, but add an extra 5-10 min, keeping an eye on it.
100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
110g Honey (plus 2tbsp extra for drizzle)
110g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
Half a Lemon Zest
2 Medium Apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C, grease your tin lightly with the olive oil.
2. Add the eggs,oil, honey, flour, baking powder, and zest into a bowl and beat to a very light and smooth batter.
3. Arrange you apples in your tin, drizzle over the extra honey and then gently pour over your cake mix. It will be runny and you won’t want to disrupt your apples much.
4. Bake in the oven for 15-25 min, untill deeply golden and springy to the touch. Eat warm or cold x
Felt very inspired after seeing a cupcake decorating demo at Decobake, on Bachelors Walk, the other day. Adorable little creations, although far beyond my skill, it got me tingling to be a little bit creative and wanting to make something a little bit girly. I don’t have fondant, or glitter, or very many dyes, but I used what I had in my cupboards to make these whimsical little meadow cupcakes. Simple vanilla cupcakes dressed up with White Chocolate & Rose buttercream, dipped in coconut ‘grass’. I think they scrubbed up quit well!Very fragrant, it’s like….
“Edible air freshener”- Little Sister’s Friend
2 Eggs, beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
110g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
White Chocolate& Rose Butter Cream
170g Icing Sugar
120g White Chocolate, melted
1/2tsp Rose Water
1/2 tsp Pink/Red Food Colouring
6 Tbsp Grated Coconut
1/2 tsp Green Food Colouring
2tbsp Pink Sugar Crystals…Optional
1. Preheat your oven to 180C and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with some pretty cases. Beat together your sugar and butter till light and fluffy.
2. Gradually add the eggs and Vanilla, beating all the way. Now add the flour and mix till it’s light, creamy and smooth.
Spoon into cases and pop into oven for 15min. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
3. Meanwhile, beat the butter and icing sugar for the frosting until very smooth and creamy. Gradually add the white chocolate to the mix. If the chocolate solidified as you are beating it in just pop the whole lot in the microwave for a few sec, or suspend over a pan of simmering water.
4. Once the chocolate is incorporated it’s a time to add the Rose water and colouring. Just stir it in and set aside.
5. To make the grass put the coconut in a ziplock bag with a few drops of the green food colouring. Shake it up, add more dye if you like. Pour the ‘grass’ into a small bowl and stir in the sugar crystals, if using.
6. DECORATION! When the cupcakes have cooled spread them with a dollop of the pink frosting, then just dip them in the ‘grass’. Repeat until all your cupcakes are finished. Feel free to adorn them more if you please ^_^
We’re into autumn now! Schools are starting again, the evenings are getting shorter, Halloween and Christmas feel like they are just around the corner, and the Irish sun has finally decided to show its face *shakes fist*
…I actually like autumn with its more dependable weather, the sense of order and schedule, the comfort food, all the fruit that’s in season, reasons to wear oversized jumpers, the comfort food and um, the food! Seriously, Autumn is all about the packed lunches, warm soups and the cakes! Summer’s desserts are sickly sweet or you can’t eat them because of some bikini or dress you MUST wear. Autumn does not care about what size you are, only wants you comfy and happy, but still a bit healthy. This is the perfect cake for that! Tea brack is very satisfying, contains fruit and just that hint of warmth from the allspice (you can use mixed spice if you’d prepare, if you do then use twice as much) it’s reasonably low in fat/dairy free. When made gluten-free it’s also surprisingly good, still moist with a delicate crumb. If you need any excuse to make it, it’s an Irish staple around Halloween and is a perfect way to perfect your fruitcake making skills for christmas…and it contains TEA!
375g Dried fruits (sultanas, raisins, apricots etc…)
300ml Strong cold Tea
225g Self Raising Flour
125g Caster Sugar
1 Egg (beaten)
1. In a bowl soak the fruit in the tea for a few hours, preferably overnight, to swell.
2. Preheat your oven to 170C and grease and line a large 900g loaf tine, or two smaller ones, with grease proof paper.
3. In a new bowl mix all the other ingredients till just combined and then add the soaked fruits. Pour this into the prepared tins and bake for 45-60min till they are risen, firm and deeply golden.
4. Leave to cool on a wire rack. This is best eaten a few days after baking with a nice cup of tea.