Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Yorkshire Fat Rascals – A Classic Bake from God’s Own Country

Yorkshire Fat Rascals. Are they a scone? Are they a cake?

5 Star, English, Scones | 23rd May 2017 | By

CT recently returned from a trip to York. Whilst there he popped into Bettys Tea Rooms for a cuppa and a curd tart. Fat rascals are a classic Yorkshire bake and one that I very much associate with Bettys. I’ve never actually tried one, so in order not to feel left out, I decided to have a go at making some.

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Chocolate Coconut Cannellini Cake for Mother’s Day

Cannellini Cake

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone. I’ll be heading off to visit my mother shortly. I was going to take her out to lunch, but turns out she hadn’t realised the significance of the day and has invited friends over. So I decided to make her an ultra healthy, dairy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free vegan cake instead. Why? Because I felt like it and thought it would make a nice change. So this chocolate coconut cannellini cake is what she’s getting.

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Coconut and Ginger Cake Pops – We Should Cocoa #43

This month’s We Should Cocoa is all about coconut. As soon as Laura let on what the ingredient was going to be, I was mulling over some sort of bake using coconut oil, flour and sugar to make a really coconutty treat. I had something in mind, when I remembered seeing a coconut and ginger recipe in the booklet accompanying the Lékué cake pop kit I was sent to try out. As I was rather sceptical about cake pops and couldn’t really see the point of them, I hadn’t yet got around to doing anything with it. The time, it seemed, had come.

The kit consisted of a round pink 18 hole cake pop tray made from platinum silicone and a decomax which is also made from platinum silicone. A recipe booklet is also included along with 20 plastic sticks. The cake pop tray has a base with a lid shaped to encourage the cakes to form perfect balls. The lid also doubles as a cake pop holder which can be used whilst the icing or chocolate coverings set. I didn’t actually use the decomax for this bake, but have used it to decorate my bundt cakes and mini chocolate cakes. As someone who hasn’t managed to get to grips with piping bags, I have been completely won over by it. Having said that, it comes with only 6 nozzles three round and three star shapes of different sizes. It would be good to have a bit more choice. It’s easy to fill, easy to use and is simple to wash. It can also be used to fill the cake pop holes, but in this case it seemed simpler to use a teaspoon for the task. Like the rest of the Lékué products I’ve tried out, the silicone is sturdy and of good quality. The only issue I had with this kit were the plastic sticks, which were really too feeble for the job and bent under the weight of the pops. The kit retails at around £30.

So I adapted Lékué’s recipe, which sounded rather a good one. I used coconut oil rather than olive oil, substituted caster sugar with coconut sugar and used a mix of coconut flour and gluten free flour rather than wheat flour. These were going to be the only adaptations I made, but unfortunately, I started following the measurements from an adjacent recipe instead, so my quantities also ended up being different. Hey ho, never mind.

This is how I made:

Coconut and Ginger Cake Pops

  • Creamed 80g of softened coconut oil with 110g coconut sugar until well beaten.
  • Beat in 1 duck egg (or use a large hen egg).
  • Sifted in 135g flour (I used ⅓ coconut flour and ⅔ gluten free flour), 1½ tsp baking powder and 1 tsp ground ginger.
  • Stirred in alternately with 4 tbsp Greek yogurt and 2 tbsp water.
  • Added 35g shredded coconut and mixed until just combined.
  • Spooned teaspoonfuls into the 18 hole Lékué silicone cake pop mould to fill up to the brim (it is suggested that the mixture is piped in, but as the mixture was quite stiff, it seemed easier to spoon it in).
  • Covered the mould with the lid and baked at 180℃ for 16 minutes.
  • Removed the lid, left to cool for a few minutes then turned them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Melted 250g 65% dark chocolate (Inaya pur noir) in a pan over very low heat with 60g unsalted butter and 2 tbsp double cream.
  • Stirred until just combined.
  • Inserted sticks into the cake pops and coated with the chocolate ganache. Placed the sticks in the handy holes on the lid and decorated with a little shredded coconut.
  • Left to set.

Despite the myriad disasters I had whilst making these: wrong ingredients, cakes sliding down the stick, ganache being rather thick to work with and chocolate spreading itself over me and the kitchen, I was immensely pleased with my first ever cake pops. They tasted delicious and I finally saw the point of them. Eating little bits of cake covered in chocolate is a very different experience from eating a slice of cake with chocolate on the top. The higher ratio of chocolate to cake turned it into an intense and indulgent occasion. This was aided by the wonderfully complex notes of the 65% Inaya pur noir chocolate I used from Cacao Barry. I will also concede that the cake pops looked rather good too. I might add that these had a number of tasters and they all concurred with my assessment as they dug into their second cake pop. CT even managed a third.

Click the link to find out what other chocolate and coconut recipes I’ve made.

This is my entry to We Should Cocoa which is guest hosted this month by Laura of I’d Much Rather Bake Than …. Coconut is her ingredient of choice and with three types of coconut used, these cake pops are nothing if not coconutty.

I didn’t manage to link up with The Spice Trail last month which was a shame as I was keen to try caraway in something other than my bread. However I have managed it this month as the chosen spice is ginger. Ginger is one of my favourite spices and we get through a lot of it in this household. This event is hosted by Vanesther of Bangers & Mash.

This month’s Love Cake theme is giving up. Well I’m not a great fan of giving up, but this was fairly specific. We have to bake a cake or cakes without at least one of the standard ingredients, i.e. wheat flour, butter, sugar or eggs. I have managed to bake these pops without three of the ingredients, so feel I can be a little bit proud. This is hosted by Ness over at JibberJabberUK.

The theme for this month’s Tea Time Treats is decorative cakes. Whilst my pictures may not show the more successful cake pops off to their best advantage, they really did look rather cute and definitely decorative. Hosted this month by Janie of The Hedge Combers, it is hosted alternately by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

Made from scratch as they are with lots of good for you ingredients, I’m sending these of to Javelin Warrior for his Made with Love Mondays.

With their jaunty tops bobbing away on sticks and the yellow centres, I reckon these could pass off as Spring like, so I am entering them into Calendar Cakes hosted by Dolly Bakes where the theme this month is Spring Into Action.

Thanks to Lékué for sending me the cake pop kit to try out and to Cacao Barry for the chocolate. I was not required to write positive reviews and as always all opinions are my own.

Mango and Chocolate Cake #BakeBrave – We Should Cocoa #33

This month’s We Should Cocoa is being hosted by Shaheen (see my post on Hunky Dorys) and seeing as she is also known as MangoCheeks, it came as no surprise that she chose mango as the special ingredient. I recently made a mango and chocolate combination so I know the two flavours go well together – Mexican chocolate pudding with chilli lime mango slices. The mango mendiants I once made were also very successful.

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Lime, Coconut and Cardamom Loaf Cake

Loaf Cakes | 20th February 2013 | By

Having received a basket of Brazilian limes back along, I needed to start using them. This really wasn’t an issue as I do have a particular penchant for limes. One of the first things I made was based on the recipe for Lime and Coconut Cake from one of my favourite baking books, Cakes by Pam Corbin. Coconut and lime are a natural pairing and I think the flavours work to remind us over here in dear old Blighty that there is a tropical paradise somewhere. Adding a note of cardamom just seemed like a good idea at the time, although I was debating using ginger instead. Of course I had to get a little white chocolate in and I did. Pam’s recipe is a gluten free one, but as I didn’t need to do that, I went for low gluten rather than no gluten.

This is how I made:

Lime, Coconut and Cardamom Loaf Cake

  • Creamed 175g unsalted butter (left on the heater for half an hour to soften) with 175g cardamom (caster) sugar until pale and airy.
  • Grated in the zest of three well scrubbed limes and creamed some more.
  • Beat in 3 duck eggs, one by one.
  • Sifted in 125g flour (75g wholemeal spelt, 25g coconut flour, 25g white) with 1 tsp baking powder.
  • Stirred this into the mixture as gently as possible.
  • Added 50g desiccated coconut and mixed gently again.
  • Added 50g chopped white chocolate.
  • Spooned into a 2 lb loaf mould (which I put inside a loaf tin to stop it bowing out) and baked at 180C for 45 minutes.
  • Whilst cake was cooking, juiced the 3 limes and added 60g cardamom sugar. Left to dissolve, stirring occasionally.
  • As soon as the cake was out of the oven, spooned the lime juice over the cake, then left in the mould to cool.

The cake was utterly scrumptious, zesty and moist with a lovely chewy texture from the coconut and little caramel bites from the white chocolate; it was definitely a notch up from a standard lemon drizzle. Because it was so moist, it tasted just as good several days down the line as it did when it was freshly baked.

I’m sending this cake over to Javelin Warrior’s Cookin w/ Luv for his Made with Love Mondays, a weekly challenge where anything can be made, but it needs to be made from scratch.

As limes are in season, I’m also submitting this to Simple and in Season, a monthly challenge founded by Ren of Fabulicious Foods. This month is being hosted by C of Cake, Crumbs and Cooking.

Coconut and Ground Cherry Blondies

Brownies & Blondies | 17th October 2010 | By

I’m harvesting ground cherries (Physalis pruinosa) every time I get the chance these days.  It’s not an easy job as they are ready only when they have fallen to the ground and they do this over a period of several weeks.  Now the days have drawn in, I can’t get to our plot very often, so many of them are rotting in situ.  Harvesting generally means gingerly picking up what look to be the recently fallen and hoping that you don’t get a slimy mess or a handful of slugs.  Because we have had a lot of dry weather recently, this task has been made easier and I have managed to accumulate a tidy number.  This is the second batch of blondies I’ve made using ground cherries: the first were in far too small a tin, so neither the dough nor the ground cherries got much in the way of baking and ended up being almost unappetising.  Thankfully, neither CT nor I are easily put off by raw cake dough.  Anyway, the idea was too good not to try again and this time I sensibly used a larger tin.  I took the blondie recipe I made last year and adapted it to use coconut flour and ground cherries.

This is how I did it this time:

  • Melted 3oz unsalted butter with 100g white chocolate (Green & Black’s) and left to cool slightly.
  • Whisked 6oz vanilla sugar (use 1/2 or 1 tsp vanilla extract instead depending on how vanillary your chocolate is) with 2 duck eggs until mixture was very thick and pale.
  • Stirred in chocolate mixture.
  • Stirred in 4oz flour (spelt wholemeal), 2oz coconut flour and 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt.
  • Added 3oz ground cherries
  • Poured into a buttered 20 cm x 25 cm tin and baked at 180C for 20 mins.
  • Left to cool then cut into 12 squares.
Thankfully, they turned out well; they had a satisfying state of squidginess about them, with a nice crisp top and just about cooked through.  Suelle at Mainly Baking would have approved as these turned out to be about an inch thick, which she considers to be the optimum thickness for a brownie.  The coconut complimented the ground cherries which have a hint of pineapple about them.  In turn they gave a delightful tartness to offset the sweetness that the white chocolate brought to the mixture.  This is a good news story for ground cherries as we now have another way to eat them.  Last year I used them to make muffins and an upside down cake.  Having just revisited these two recipes, I think I’d better make them again too.

Chocolate Lime and Buttermilk Cake

Large Cakes | 12th March 2010 | By


After a hard day spent trying to play catch-up on the allotment last weekend, we needed cake! Having been inspired some time ago by two virtually simultaneous posts using lime and buttermilk, I had been storing up this rather luscious sounding idea – check out Hilary’s Lime Buttermilk Cake and the Caked Crusader’s Lime Syrup Buttermilk Cake. Now as good as these cakes sounded, surely they could be improved by a little chocolate! This is how I adapted, combined and re-imagined these two recipes.

  • Creamed 180g light muscovado sugar with 200g unsalted butter until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in grated zest of 1 lime followed by 2 egg yolks.
  • Sifted 200g flour (I used 30g coconut flour, 70g white spelt and 100g wholemeal spelt), 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tsp baking powder
  • Added this to the butter and sugar mixture alternately with 200ml buttermilk.
  • Whisked 2 eggs whites until stiff then folded into the cake mixture.
  • Spooned this into a 23 cm round cake thingy.
  • Baked at 180C for 40 mins.
  • Gently heated 50g granulated sugar in juice of 1 lime in a pan until dissolved.
  • As soon as the cake was removed from the oven, made small holes all over the cake with a toothpick and poured the warm syrup over the top.
  • Left to cool, then decorated with shavings of white chocolate.
I have to say I was disappointed with this cake. It tasted lovely and the lime came out good and strong with a delicious tanginess that made a good contrast to the sweetness of the cake. But the consistency was not in the least sponge like, it was like a bread pudding – solid! I was really excited (sad I know) about using buttermilk in a cake and was convinced it would give a particularly light texture – how far off the mark I was. I don’t know what I did wrong, surely all that whisking of the egg white had to have done something – maybe it was the coconut flour, maybe I didn’t get a good balance of ingredients or maybe I forgot to use the baking powder (this has been known to happen). I was also excited about using coconut flour for the first time. Now I’m wondering whether I dare risk using it in cakes again. However, the flavours were great, so I shall not be defeated and will try to make a better stab at something similar another time. CT tells me I worry too much and that the cake is delicious as it is. I have my pride, however.