March 2014

March 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Low calorie soft fruit and almond friands

Low calorie soft fruit and almond friands

So this is it, I am ‘on the wagon’ again this month……no, it’s not the alcohol I will try to exclude but it is all unnecessary sugar and all things fattening! Since starting my blog, and indulging my passion for baking, my weight has climbed. This, coupled with a severe back problem and little exercise has been a real downfall. Anyway, enough of the confessions, I now regularly attend an Aqua Zumba class which has helped my movement significantly and, with a couple of bowls games each week, I think I have stepped-up my physical needs. However, my love of all things ‘cake’ must also be assuaged and I think the following recipe satisfied my need perfectly – a small, delicate morsel, high in flavour and low in fat and sweetness

3 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
100g ground almonds
25g plain flour
4 tbsp Splenda
75g Flora (or other low fat spread) melted
100g soft fruit - I used my home-produced tayberries
25g flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Lightly grease a 12 hole mini muffin tin (I used cake release spray). Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. In a separate bowl sieve together the flour, almonds and Splenda. Mix in the melted spread and almond extract. Lastly, gently fold in the egg whites until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the tin, top with 2 or 3 berries and scatter over the almonds. Bake for about 12 minutes until springy and golden. When cooled, dust with a little extra Splenda.

Ready for the oven

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rock Cakes or Marazion Buns

Marazion buns
I wonder if, like me, you keep a scrap book of recipes? My own bright blue one has the words ‘Hip Chick’ on the cover. So, yes, that’s how old it is! It’s now really rather shabby and battered but has cuttings and scribblings from many years past and I love it. It’s rather like a diary in that I can leaf through it and can recall a time when I found a particular recipe in a magazine, perhaps the week before I needed a gorgeous-sounding pudding for a family occasion, cut it out, and stuck it in my blue book ready for action. If it was a success, I would put a tick or remark by it, so that I knew I could use it another day. 

Sadly, my scrap book of recipe memories doesn’t always reveal where I found the original recipe and, like today when I leafed through, to find a suitable sweet offering to take to my daughter Laura in hospital, it was a fairly easy task to decide to bake some Marazion Buns. Now, don’t ask me why they have this name – all I know is that they could originate from Cornwall.  They are rather like Rock Cakes but I have also added a little twist or two of my own to the ingredients. Here’s how I made them:

(The original notes are in ‘ounces’ but I’m sure you can easily convert the amounts into grams.)

6oz spelt flour (or wholemeal if you prefer)
6oz plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp Ndali organic vanilla powder
6oz butter (or margarine)
6oz golden caster sugar
4oz mixed dried fruit
3oz desiccated coconut
10 glace cherries (chopped)
1 large egg
1 tsp orange extract
Milk to mix
A small quantity of Demerara sugar for topping

Sift and mix flours, baking powder, spice, vanilla and sugar into a large bowl. Rub in butter until crumbly. Stir in mixed dried fruit, cherries and coconut. Whisk egg lightly with orange extract and about a tablespoon of the milk. Stir into dry mix to form a dough – may need a little more milk. Pile 12 or so rocky heaps on a baking parchment covered tray, top with a sprinkling of Demerara sugar, and bake for 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated oven. Gas mark 5 or 190C. Cool on a wire rack. These are best eaten on the day of baking, which is no problem in our house!

Desiccated fruits