With all the baking thats going on in the UK at the moment it seems like a good time to get on board with healthier options. Carrot cake gets all the press when it comes to cake baking, here we use beetroot maximising the earthy flavour and awesome colour that it gives out. The individual muffins help me in the restraint department. When we make a big cake I just keep carving ‘carpachio’ slivers off until the cake has disappeared. Individual cakes helps me display a modicum of inner strength, convinicing myself that one is enough. If you don’t have muffin cases then use baking paper New York deli style. Suitable for gluten free.
Ingredients (makes 8 muffins)
200g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free baking powder if you want to keep the recipe gluten free)
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g beetroot (once peeled and grated)
Zest of one orange
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Lightly oil the muffin tin and put a paper case in. If you have a silicone muffin tin, there is no need to use cases.
Take a mixing bowl and mix all of the dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Fold the two together. Stir in the grated beetroot and the zested orange.
Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and pile nice and high, so that the muffins will rise above the line. Put into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a nice golden colour on top and an inserted wooden skewer into the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
This is a tasty tea time cake with lots of cinnamon, which has strong resonances of a Moroccan kitchen.
250g ground almonds
1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g walnuts roughly chopped
65g dried raisins
60ml organic sunflower oil
6oml good quality organic honey
2 large eggs
For the top;
2 tbsps ground cinnamon
2 tbsps oil
50g flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Mix together the ground almonds, salt, bicarbonate of soda, walnuts and currants together. In a seperate bowl whisk together the oil, agave and the eggs. Fold in the egg mix to the almond mix. Pour this into a lined and greased 20cm springform cake tin. To keep the recipe gluten free, I tend to use cornflour.
Now you want to prepare the topping for the cake. Mix together the cinnamon, oil, agave and almonds. Evenly distribute over the top of the cake and then put into the oven for 30 to 235 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin for at least 40 minutes before removing.
Today you can find many different options for gluten free baking. Brown rice flour, cornflour, corn starch, polenta all with varying degree of success. Some of the gluten free flour mixes for baking work well but can leave a chalky aftertaste in the mouth, I am guessing this comes from the cornstarch. This recipe uses almond powder resulting in a lovely rich texture which retains moisture over time.
250g ground almonds
2 tsps ground cinnamon
5 tsps ground ginger
1 1/2 tsps ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
125ml of olive oil
125ml maple or agave syrup (or mix of both)
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade. Grease a 26cm loaf tin with olive oil, and lightly dust the sides with cornflour (I am using cornflour here to keep the cake completely gluten free. If you don´t have this use any of the above flours, or just oil well. The cake may stick a little if you don´t use any flour, just loosen from the sides before removing from the tin.
Mix together the almond powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and raisins. In a seperate whisk together the oil, eggs and syrup. Blend the two mixes together and evenly pour into the tin.
Bake for approximately 55 minutes. The top may brown before the cake is completely cooked, this is not a problem, just cover the loaf tin with foil. When tested to see if the cake is cooked, insert a wooden skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean it is ready.
Fruit compote is another fridge essential. Its straightforward to make and has a long life. I use it all year round and eat it with morning oats, soaked oats or with yoghurt as a dessert.
1kg fruit e.g plums, pears, apricots or peaches
200ml apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Cut the fruit into quarters and remove the stone or the core. Put into a heavy bottom pan with the aromatics and cover with the apple juice.
Bring to the boil for 5 minutes then turn down low for a further 10 minutes with the lid on.
Let it cool down and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge.