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.
It has taken me a long time to like buckwheat. I have always used it in my cooking as it is a good, relatively easy to find, gluten free product. It wasn’t until I made these pancakes that I started to really appreciate the subtlety of this flour with its unique earthiness. It took me 20 minutes to make the stack in the photo. This is great weekend treat that the whole house would enjoy.
100g buckwheat flour
1 large egg
125ml soya milk
125ml apple juice
2 tablespoons (30ml) of Greek yoghurt
60g sultanas soaked in water for one hour
50g roasted hazelnuts
Zest of one lemon and one orange
Heat the oven to 200 degrees, and place the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and roast in the oven until nice and golden. Leave to one side to cool.
In a medium sized bowl whisk the egg, soya milk, apple juice, yoghurt and buckwheat flour together. Use the 5oml of the water to get a good dropping consistency with the batter. That means so the batter is thick enough so it retains its shape in the pan when you drop it into the pan. If you think that the mix does not look wet enough you can add another 25ml of water being careful not to make the mix too wet. Drain the water off the sultanas and add to the batter. Roughly chop the hazelnuts, zest the orange and lemon (optional) and add to the batter.
Take a non-stick pan and a plastic or silicone egg slice. Put the pan on a high flame. Get the pan really hot then turn down to medium. Add a little bit of olive oil and drop in about 50ml of the batter (small ladle), it should set straight away. Use your spatula stop the batter running by bringing it back into shape.
After a couple of minutes add a touch more olive oil and flip. It should be a nice even brown colour. It will take a few attempts before you get the hang of it.
140g spelt flour
110g ground almonds
2 tsps baking powder
100g soft brown sugar
175ml olive or sunflower oil
200g peeled and grated raw beetroot (this should be the weight once grated)
100g dried cranberries
2 large eggs
Zest and juice of a small orange
30-35 whole peeled almonds
Preheat the oven to 180°. Grease and line the bottom of an 8in (20cm) round spring-form cake tine. Grate the beetroots into a large bowl, roughly chop the cranberries and add to the beetroot. Sift in the flour and the baking powder. Mix in the almond powder and blend the mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs and whisk in the oil. Add this to the beetroot mix, stir well and add the zest and the juice. Pour the batter evenly into the cake tin and then carefully lay the almonds onto the batter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.