These almond Easter thumbprint cookies turned out to be a real hit. They’re made with wholemeal spelt flour and ground almonds with a good dollop of amaretto chocolate ganache in the middle. Oh, and a cheeky little Easter egg perched on top – it’s all about the nest at this time of year.
Vibrant green kefir kale pancakes packed full of nutrition that are naturally gluten free. They go wonderfully well with a spicy tomato sauce and fried or grilled halloumi slices.
Back along, nearly three years ago to be exact, I hosted a six course chocolate themed dinner party for friends. These rhubarb friands with white chocolate (that’s with an a not an e) accompanied the rhubarb, rose and white chocolate ice-cream that made up the last course but one. With rhubarb already in season, this seems like a good time to finally publish the recipe.
Healthy and gluten-free banana pancakes made with buckwheat flour, ricotta cheese and yoghurt. Delicious on their own or smothered in chocolate sauce and scattered with almonds.
Thick sugarless apple and raisin pancakes made with buckwheat flour. Flavour them with cinnamon, cover with a rich honeyed chocolate sauce and you’ll have a delicious dessert ready in no time. Ideal for those with a gluten intolerance.
A large and delicious rhubarb polenta cake made with buckwheat flour and cornmeal. There’s white chocolate for added richness and the rose flavouring is optional but recommended. It’s the perfect gluten-free bake for rhubarb season.
As soon as I heard that Victoria had chosen mint as this month’s We Should Cocoa ingredient, I knew immediately I wanted to use fresh mint. We have an abundance of both spearmint and peppermint growing down at the plot and it seemed criminal not to use some of it for this challenge. That’s as far as I got for a while, but then along came the Cornish strawberries. Warmed by the sun (we did get a few days of it), I couldn’t resist the scent of an enticing tray of them as I passed by our local greengrocers – the decision to incorporate strawberries marinaded in mint syrup was made. The next leap was simple, Kate had set layer cakes as this month’s Tea Time Treats challenge, so that is what I planned to do. The last piece of the jigsaw came from Janine who chose cocktails for her Baking with Spirit challenge. Woohoo, last year I came up with the cocktail Chocadoodledoo, using vodka, chocolate, mint and cream, so all I had to do was use some of my mint schnapps and add cream. So, maybe the strawberries didn’t quite fit in, but it is June for goodness sake and it’s meant to be summer. I used Pam Corbin’s recipe in Cakes for the Genoese but used duck eggs and buckwheat flour to make it gluten free.
This is how I made:
Chocolate Genoese with Minted Strawberry Cream
- Heated 100g golden caster sugar with 100 ml water in a pan and simmered for a few minutes. Added a handful of spearmint leaves, covered the pan and simmered for a further 5 minutes. Turned off the heat and left to infuse for an hour.
- Stirred in 1 tbsp homemade mint schnapps.
- Melted 75g unsalted butter in a pan over low heat.
- Using electric beaters, beat 125g of golden caster sugar and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt with 4 duck eggs for about 10 minutes on high speed, when the mixture was pale, thick and had quadrupled in volume.
- Sifted in 100g of buckwheat flour with 25g cocoa powder in two batches. Folded each batch into the eggs as gently as possible.
- Poured the cooled butter down the side of the bowl and folded in – again as gently as possible.
- Divided between two 8 inch cake moulds and baked at 180C for 22 minutes when the tops were firm and a cake tester came out clean.
- Roughly chopped a punnet of Cornish Strawberries and poured over two tbsp of the mint syrup. Stirred and left to infuse.
- As soon as the cakes came out of the oven poured the remaining syrup over the tops, then left for 15 minutes.
- Turned out onto a wire rack and left to cool completely.
- Whisked 150 ml whipping cream until peaks formed.
- Spooned the strawberries and juice over one cake, then covered with the cream.
- Placed the remaining cake on top and dusted with icing sugar.
The cake was as light as a feather and disappeared rather too quickly. The mint gave a subtle cooling quality which was refreshing and the slight alcoholic kick added a frisson of sophistication. The strawberries and cream did exactly what was required of them. The rain may have poured down, but it felt like summer in our house as we gorged on this delicious minted strawberry and cream chocolate cake.
I’m also entering this to Karen’s Cooking with Herbs as both the cake and strawberries are infused with fresh mint.
Whilst I’m at it, I may as well enter it into Ren’s Simple and in Season as it features both mint and strawberries.
And of course I mustn’t forget Made with Love Mondays on Javelin Warrior’s Cookin w/Luv.
And finally, I think, I’m linking this up to Recipe of the Week with Emily of A Mummy Too. It does what it says on the tin!
Caramelised pears grace the top of this melt-in-the-mouth pudding type cake. This pear and honey carob cake is not only delicious, but relatively healthy too. It’s made with carob and buckwheat flour, so it’s gluten-free and honey rather than refined sugar.
A not quite traditional Dorset apple cake. It swaps caramel chocolate for raisins, but oh what a lush result this gives.
My friends the friands are back. This time it’s with a bright pink fruity version. I give you my very own mini raspberry & white chocolate friands, made for after dinner nibbles with friends.
This is what I did:
- Melted 60g unsalted butter in a small pan and left to cool.
- Crushed 50g raspberries in a small bowl with the back of a fork.
- Whisked 2 duck egg whites until frothy in a larger bowl.
- Whisked in 80g sifted icing sugar.
- Gently stirred in the melted butter and crushed raspberries.
- Stirred 30g buckwheat flour and 40g ground almonds.
- Stirred in 50g white chocolate chips.
- Placed a teaspoon of the mixture in 12 mini silicone cupcake cases.
- Placed a whole raspberry on top then filled the cases up with more mixture.
- Divided the remaining mixture between 4 larger silicone cupcakes cases.
- Baked for about 15 minutes at 180C until firm and well risen.
- Left to cool for a little, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dusted with icing sugar.
Utterly scrumptious, these little friands had just the right balance of sweetness and fruity acidity. The juicy texture combined with the bright colour made these gorgeous to look at and just as good to eat. These were so moist they needed to be consumed on the day, but to be honest, this was not a difficulty.
These are the other scrummy friands I’ve made so far.