Tag Archives: baking

Love Food Recipe Week – Cake of Dreams

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Our final guest recipe of the week is from Francesca, mother of two, maker and baker of the most amazing and appropriately named Cake of Dreams.  I am definitely going to be trying these at the weekend with the boys.

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What to make for someone you love….? For us it has to have a little bit of magic to it. Heart shaped pink pancakes for Valentine’s breakfast. Heart-shaped whatever we can get away with, year round, in this house. Despite making cakes for a living, we aren’t big on sugar or wheat at home, for general wellness reasons, so lately all the fun for me is developing sugar/wheat free variations of the things we desire. With all this in mind, we set about making a variation on the ultimate romantic pastry treat, the Courtesan au Chocolat from Grand Budapest Hotel. Indiana is ever my sous chef and loved this bake, it’s a really easy and fun one for kids to join in with. We kept ours pretty simple, but there’s loads of scope to make them as elaborate as your imagination will allow.

Gluten-free Strawberry & Chia Love Buns

For the choux buns…

225g water
60g butter
115g gluten free plain flour (we used Dove’s Farm)
3 eggs
pinch salt

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Preheat oven to 220C. Heat the water, salt and butter in a medium saucepan until the butter is melted and the mixture has just come to the boil. Remove from the heat, quickly mix in all the flour with a wooden spoon. Return to a low heat and stir vigorously until the dough becomes a smooth, sticky mass that comes away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a separate jug crack the eggs and whip them up until just frothy.

Place the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer (ideally, or you could use a hand held beater or just your own big muscles). Once the dough has cooled to just warm, add a little of the egg at a time, mixing thoroughly until smooth between additions. You’re aiming for a smooth, shiny dough that has the consistency of thick batter, so stop adding the egg once you get to this stage. For us this was *almost* all the egg.

Place the dough in a piping bag, and either snip the end to leave a round opening or use a large round piping nozzle. In the absence of a piping bag a zip lock bag works ok for this!. Pipe your dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment. You want three different sizes to build your tower. Indy loved the piping and it doesn’t really matter if it’s done a little messily, so great for kids to have a go at. Once you have piped all your blobs use a finger dipped in water to smooth over any peaks.

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Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the temp to 180C and bake another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven, remove the buns & use a skewer to carefully poke a hole in the bottom of each one. Then return to the baking tray upside-down (hole-slide-up!) and place back in the (now off) oven an additional 20 mins.

For the strawberry & chia custard…

400g fresh strawberries, chopped & mashed (we used a potato masher)
2 tbsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2/3 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 egg yolk (optional, just adds a little creaminess)

Cook the strawberries over a medium heat until they are liquid and slightly reduced. Remove from the heat, add the remaining ingredients and stir, then leave to stand. Cool completely in the fridge.

To assemble…

Pipe your custard into the buns one by one, via the little hole you made with the skewer. This will be much easier with a proper piping nozzle, but isn’t impossible with a makeshift piping bag. We also filled some of our buns with CoYo coconut yogurt. Once the buns are filled, mix up your icing. As the rest of our buns were so noble & healthy we allowed a little sugar at this stage, for the simple reason that it looks better. If you want to keep yours sugar free you can mix up melted coconut oil, maple syrup and freeze dried raspberries for a lovely pink glaze.

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To ice…

1 cup sifted icing sugar
1 tbsp almond or rice milk
natural food colouring – you can buy these or make your own. We used powdered beetroot and a few drops of blackcurrant jam mixed with acai powder for ours. Freeze dried berries are also fabulous.

Make up your basic icing then transfer to different bowls before adding your colours. Dip the buns into the icing and then stack them. If you would like them to be especially sturdy you can mix up a royal icing with egg white and icing sugar, beaten until it has the consistency of toothpaste, and use this as a glue to stick them together. This would also be perfect for piping decorative aspects. We used some berries, freeze dried berry chunks and non toxic glitter to decorate. I’ll be honest, we ate them incredibly quickly. They were delicious.  Definitely one to make again, and there are so many variations on fillings that would be yummy – chocolate custard, or coconut milk custard if you want to skip the dairy. Make them and pop them in a little box for the one you love, it’s too easy not to…

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Q&A below with Fran:

Where do you live and with who?
I live in Walthamstow with my husband & two kids Pablo (6) & Indiana (3) & an assortment of house spiders for pets.

How did you start making your cakes and turn it in to a business?
I always loved cooking/baking and was constantly offering to make friends’ birthday cakes, and the odd wedding cake. Over time guests at parties I had baked for started to get in touch to commission cakes themselves, and it began to feel like a real way to earn money that slotted in with motherhood & minimized my need to outsource childcare. It took off and grew very quickly, which has been fabulous. Plus it’s hugely more fun than a desk job…

Do your kids love cooking with you?  Do you bake healthier versions with them?
We cook together as much as possible. The kids enjoy mucking in (and arguing over who gets to break the eggs) and I love that it gives them more of an understanding and appreciation for food & ingredients. There’s not a lot they won’t eat, or at least try. Indy especially won’t really let me cook anything without her, and at least twice a week we put loud music on and have a bit of a pancake making party. Despite my reputation for big sweet cakes, at home we are largely wheat/dairy/sugar free, so most of the things we bake together are my recipe experiments & tests for healthy versions of exciting treats.

What is the favourite flavour in your house at the moment?
We are big Mexican food lovers, and I always have masses of fresh coriander in a bowl on the table, assuming it will just be for me…but recently they have declared their love for it too and sprinkle it on most things. Indy now has an imaginary dog called Coriander, so strong is their love. They also think they love marmalade, because of Paddington, but after pleading with me to buy some it turns out they don’t. Though they will never admit it. And they dare each other  to eat little dots of sriracha sauce the size of pinpricks then fall about in hysterics when their tongues burn.

You can order one of Fran’s cakes here and follow on instagram @cakeofdreams or Francesca herself here.

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Love Food Recipe Week – Lizzie Loves Healthy

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Our next recipe this week for Valentine’s, comes from the very talented mum of three Lizzie King.  Founder of Vitalove frozen baby food and the lady behind Lizze Loves Healthy.  You must visit her site. It’s full of great recipes, lots of gluten and sugar free goodness you and the kids will love.  Also follow @lizzieloveshealthy on instagram for daily tips and recipes.

Vanilla Berry Cream Cake

A delcious, totally healthy revamp of a classic Victoria sponge.

This is a fabulous celebration cake and looks the part for any occasion, as well as dinner parties and afternoon tea! It was invented for a girl who doesn’t like cake – but is wild about berries and cream – this was a breakthrough!

Honey is a delicate and delicious addition in sponge and with some vanilla cream, and tons of fresh fruit is way sweet enough.

INGREDIENTS

4 Eggs
250g (GF) Self-Raising Flour
250g Butter (Coconut Oil)
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
Sea Salt
1 tbsp Vanilla
4 tbsp Raw Honey
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

TOPPING INGREDIENTS

1 pot 285ml Double Cream (coconut Cream)
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla bean paste/powder
350g assorted seasonal berries
250g redcurrants

Oven at 180

Melt the butter with the honey, and leave off the heat to cool slightly. Whisk eggs with an electric whisk til smooth and pale, slowly add the butter mixture. Sift flour, baking powder and pinch of sea salt slowly into wet mixture, don’t over mix as it will become dense.

Pour into lined 8/9inch cake tin. Cook for 20-30 minute in the centre of the oven until golden brown on top and skewer comes out clean.

For the topping, whip the cream until fluffy, add vanilla and honey gradually, and keep whipping until firm enough to spread. Leave in fridge until cake has cooled.

Slice cake through the middle and spread with 1/3 of the cream and dot with chopped berries. Put the top half on and spread thickly with the remaining cream and decorate with berries. Enjoy!

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A little Q&A with Lizzie:

Where do you live and with whom?
I live off Ladbroke Grove, West London. With my husband and 3 children, Jethro, Calypso and Phoenix.

What did you do before you started your blog, courses and Vitalove range?  What plans do you have for your business this year?
I worked on films as a script editor before having children. I have lots of exciting plans starting with writing my first cook book to other things I can’t talk about yet!

Where are your favourite child friendly places to eat in London?
We don’t eat out in London a lot – mainly because I always have so much food at home that needs eating! But we love The Wolseley for birthday breakfasts. Pizza East right next door to us. And there’s a great Sushi place called Kulu Kulu Sushi that we meet my husband from work at sometimes.

What’s the favourite meal of the moment in your house?
My Buckwheat Pancakes have been a family obsession for a few years now, but the dish of the moment seems to be Crispy Duck Pancakes and avocado on toast for breakfast is having a moment after they kept stealing mine!

Love Food Recipe Week

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As it’s Valentine’s Day at the weekend (whether you’re a partaker or not), we have some delicious recipes through the week from some great bakers.

First, is a recipe from Alana.  This mama of 2 has gorgeous photos on instagram of her family life in LA.  If you don’t follow her, go and take a look @mamainlalaland.

These donuts look amazing, and great fun to make with your little ones.  Bet they love decorating them and popping a few in their mouths on the way!

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Here is Alana’s go to recipe for these mini baked donuts:
http://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/2014/10/20/quick-easy-baked-cake-mix-donuts-recipe.html

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A little Q&A with Alana:
Where do you live and with whom?
I live in Los Angeles with my husband Brandon and my two kids, Declan who is 6 and Everly who is 3.

Where do you and the kids like to hang out at the moment?
Los Angeles is full of kid friendly places we love to frequent. On any weekend you can find us at the Los Angeles County Museum, {LACMA}, The Farmer’s Market, Grand Central Market, the beach, or our favorite park!

Where is your favourite place to eat?
Some of our favorite restaurants are Umami Burger, Al Gelato, C&O Trattoria, Home State, and Pieology for a good ol’ pizza.

Recipe Week – Cookie & Biscuit

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Lots of people detox in January, make fresh starts, resolutions, or aim to shape up.  With all these good intentions that are hard to keep up when it’s cold, dark and sometimes hard to get motivated and inspired, I’m posting some recipes from lovely ladies, whose food is wholesome and always looks delicious.  It’s always good to have some new recipes that have been tried and tested, a bonus if kids love them too.

First up, with have a recipe from the clever lady behind Cookie and Biscuit Danae.  She was saving this recipe for her cookbook, but has kindly shared it ♡ Thank you lovely!

Nutty Nutty Goji Bars
raw, vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free

50g raw brazil nuts
70g raw pecans
30g raw sunflower seeds
150g medjool dates (room temperature)
1tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
60 ml of melted coconut oil (50g solid)
100g jumbo oats
30g goji berries (or can sub dried cranberries)
2 teaspoons of chia seed

nutty goji bars close up

Pulse nuts 2-3 times in food processor, but not too much or it will turn to nut butter!
Add the dates, vanilla, maple syrup and coconut oil, mix until all ingredients are incorporated and a soft “dough” forms.  Remove blade and dump mixture into a bowl.  Stir in oats, chia & goji berries.

Press the mixture into a parchment lined 8x8inch square pan, or roll into small balls. Place in fridge for about 2-3 hours, then slice and enjoy!
you can also freeze them, toss in them in a pack lunch and they will defrost by lunch time!

You can order some amazing vegan treats from the Cookie & Biscuit website and follow them on instagram to see what they’re up to @cookieandbiscuituk

I’m going to be trying these this week!!

These Chocolate Cupcakes ♡♡

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IMG_6193I made these chocolate cupcakes for the boy’s birthday’s at the weekend, and have to share with you.  They are super quick and easy (a mum essential), light and moist (hate that word), and if you like chocolate they are AMAZING.

350g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
370g caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
150g dark chocolate chips
1 cup measure of coffee (cooled)
425ml vegetable oil
1 cup of buttermilk
3 large eggs

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients, then mix the wet and dry ingredients together.  Transfer to a pouring jug as it’s easier to fill the cupcake cases, fill them 2/3’s to the top.  Bake in the oven at 160 ºC for 24minutes.  You should get 24 out of this recipe.

Remove, cool and EAT.

Cupcake Jemma recipe

Chocolate Coconut Balls

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chocolatecoconutballsI made these yesterday and they were so good I had to share.  They are an Honestly Healthy recipe  (recommend), I’ve made the mango coconut balls before from this book and the boys loved them (may post these another day).  But, so far I’ve kept these chocolate balls of delight hidden in the cupboard and shared with a selected few so far.

Super quick and easy recipe to whiz up, I also changed it slightly and instead of using the full amount of coconut flakes as stated, I split it with cashew nuts.

10 pitted dates
50g raw cacao powder
25g raw almonds
200g coconut flakes (I used roasted and split with cashew nuts)30g agave syrup
2tbsp coconut oil
1tsp xylitol (I didn’t have any, so left it out)
2tbsp water

Mix the date, cacao powder and almonds in a blender/processor until it’s a sticky chunky paste (about 1min).  Add rest of the ingredients and blend.

Roll the mixture in to balls, you should get about 12 and place them on a baking sheet with parchment.  I use a silicone baking sheet instead of parchment.

Bake in a preheated oven for 10mins at 180℃.

Easy peasy x

p.s – you must try one whilst they’re still warm!

source. Honestly Healthy

Shopbop + Born Free

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Shopbop collaborated with 22 designers and Vogue to produce this collection for Born Free.  All profits will go towards aiding the end of mother to child HIV transmission at birth.  The collection features limited edition pieces from designers some being Chloe, Victoria Beckham, Isabel Marant, and Prada.

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images. Shopbop

With most of the Easter chocolate gone now, I’ve made the odd slightly healthier treat this week.  One being these brownies, made with sweet potato.  Not the best picture, and I overcooked them a bit (distracted by bean 2 + 3) but they tasted pretty good and would definitely make them again.

browniesFind the recipe along with many more delicious things here at Deliciously Ella.

I’m thankful today is Friday this week…. happy weekend xx

 

 

macaroon heaven

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This delicious company was started by a lady called Claire that trained here in London.  La Dinette began in Queen’s Park Farmers Market but is now available to your door nationwide – lucky us!!

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La Dinette also caters for weddings/events, large or small.

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We think this home delivery macaroon service is a winner and can’t wait to try it out (also includes free p&p).

 

www.ladinette.co.uk

comfort and warmth

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I’ve tried this recipe once before, and am thinking of giving it another go this weekend, now we’re in pumpkin season.  Very calorific, but these things can be overlooked occasionally.

pumpkinpie

  • 500 g ready-made dessert pastry
  • 1 large butternut squash, quartered and seeds reserved
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 200 ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Roll the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Get a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin, line with the pastry and bake blind for 20 minutes. Set aside.

Lay the squash in a baking tray. Sprinkle with the nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon and drizzle with the maple syrup. Cover the tray tightly with a double layer of tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes until soft. Reduce the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

Allow the pieces of squash to cool, then scoop out the flesh. You should have about 600g of cooked squash flesh. Don’t forget to scrape out the bits in the tray and the maple syrup. Put in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the eggs. Mix well and stir in the cream.

Fill the cooled tart case with the mix and bake for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the stringy bits of squash off the seeds, dry them and lay them flat on a tray. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and place in the oven with the pie for the last 10 minutes until crispy.

Remove the tart from the oven. Sprinkle with the seeds when cool.

image and recipe. Jamie Oliver

tights

Here’s a selection of tights to keep your lil’ ones warm available from the shop, as it’s supposed to be a wet and cold weekend for us x

easy peasy recipe

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easypeazyrecipe

I tried these over the weekend that I found via Pinterest.  They are so easy, super quick and delicious.  These will be added as one of my regular quick bakes along with my cheese stars.

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas, 1 cup of oats, big spoon of good quality peanut butter, half a cup of choc chips/raisins.

Mix all the ingredients together, roll into balls and place on a baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for 15mins at 175°c.

I made some with chocolate chips for the bigger people and with raisins for the lil’ bean.  All were gobbled up.

 

 


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