Tag Archives: cake

A Guest Post by The Healthy Epicurean – Almond Chocolate Cake

Almond Chocolate Cake

Hello! I’m Fiona, The Healthy Epicurean. I’m afraid you’re stuck with me today writing as a Guest Blogger, because Louisa and I are doing a ‘cake swap’. I hope that my cake lives up to the deliciously high standards you’ve come to expect from Chez Foti. I blog from our traditional Landaise farmhouse in the middle of the forest in Southwestern France, surrounded by numerous mad animals. I aspire to a wonderful vegetable garden like Louisa, but for the moment haven’t got further than tomatoes. I talk about it quite a lot though ūüėČ The recipes on my blog are healthy, in that they use ‘real’ and nutritious ingredients such as butter, unrefined flours and cane sugar. I try too to use seasonal fruit and vegetables as much as possible. I tend to rant on a fairly regular basis about endocrine-wrecking ‘plastic’ ingredients like margarine, highly-refined or ready-made food and sweetners, etc.

I can’t eat wheat so this cake is wheat and gluten-free, as are all of my recipes. The fact that it uses powdered almonds instead of flour means that, for a chocolate cake, its glycemic index is low and it contains valuable nutrients – almonds are packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. It also has a fairly low sugar content. What’s not to like?

Ingredients

5 eggs

130g cane sugar

140g powdered almonds

60g butter

60g coconut oil

125g dark chocolate (preferably 90% coco)

pinch of bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 150¬įC. Melt the chocolate with the butter and coconut oil. Once melted, add to the sugar, egg yolks, almonds, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and pour into a 20cm cake tin. Bake for 45 minutes.

Louisa – Thanking you very kindly Fiona, so can’t wait to try this fabulously healthy choccie cake, ’tis now on my baking to do list!. Please bob over to Fiona’s gorgeous site – The Healthy Epicurean to see my cakey offering of a similarly gluten and wheat-free Clementine & Almond Cake, and to browse through her deliciously tempting and inspired healthy recipes. Not to mention the awesome photos and drawings!

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Parsnip, Pecan and Maple Syrup Cake

Parsnip and Maple Syrup Cake

The recipe for this cake caught my eye recently on the BBC Good Food site and begged to be baked! Funnily enough I’d been searching for a little birthday cake inspiration and this happened to be the first one that popped up. Not the obvious choice for a birthday cake, but I made it nevertheless for Mr F’s recent Big Day. And being the winner of the Good Food’s 20th Birthday Cake Competition and coming complete with an enormity of rave reviews how could I not?.

I’ve been meaning to try my hand at baking with parsnips all parsnip season, and was particularly delighted to find such a gorgeous recipe. So far my foray into veggie baking has taken me to Beetroot (wonderful in a choccie cake, sadly baked pre-blog but must be made again!), Squash, Pumpkin (Chocolate Pumpkin Cake), Courgettes (Courgette Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd) and of course Carrots. Do please enlighten me if there’re any other veggies worthy of caking up?

Parsnip, Pecan & Maple Syrup Cake

Since I barely changed a bean of this recipe (other than slightly lowering the sugar content and upping the amount of apple), I’m not going to re-write the recipe but it can be found on the BBC site by clicking here: Caroline Berwick’s Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake. ¬†Please do try it too, it’s a wonderfully moist and wonderfully flavoured cake that’ll wow the most ardent of parsnip haters. ¬†And the mascarpone and maple syrup centre is truly heavenly!.

Being a ‘bookmarked recipe’, I shall be entering it to Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes¬†February¬†Bookmarked Recipes Round-Up.

bookmarked recipes new logo

As parsnips are well and truly in season (though I fear I only have two or three biggies left in the ground) I’m entering the recipe to Ren’s Fabulicious Food Simple and in Season event, this month hosted ¬†by Cake, Crumbs and Cooking.

Simple and In Season

Parsnip Cake

One Year Ago:     Beef in Guinness

You might also like:

Chocolate  Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Clementine & Almond Cake

Clementine & Almond Cake


Clementine and Almond Cake

Clementine & Almond Cake

I know, I know, I know it’s not really the time for cakes in health-conscious diet-ridden January. But it’s REALLY cold here, as it is in the UK. And now that the christmas cake’s finally been gnawed away (it was huge!) I’ve been in need of a little cakey sustenance to ward off the cold. And on the whole this is about as healthy as a cake can be. No butter, no icing, no drizzle, not even any flour. Just cooked (whole!) clementines¬†(or tangerines or satsumas), ground almonds, eggs and sugar. Oh and a little Amaretto to perk things up a little. And it’s a truly wonderful all-rounder of the cakey world, equally delicious as a tea time treat (yes I’m entering it!) with a cuppa, an elevensie with a coffee or even a dinner party pud dolled up with a spoon of mascarpone or creme fraiche.

Originally a Nigella recipe that I’ve slightly adapted over time, but interesting the exact same recipe’s been sighted in a Bill Granger book too. And I mean EXACT. So who’s copying who Nige¬†and Bill?!

As this month’s Tea Time Treat’s theme is the citrus fruit I’m entering Bill’s/Nigella’s recipe to the challenge. TTT’s is jointly hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked.¬†

Tea Time Treatrs logo

I’m also putting it forward to the One Ingredient Challenge, hosted by Laura at How to Cook Good Food (this month’s host to the Orange Challenge) and Nazima at Franglais Kitchen.

One-Ingredient-Oranges-300x199

Clementine & Almond Cake

Clementine & Almond Cake

375g of clementines, tangerines or satsumas (they all work!)

5 large free range eggs

225g of golden caster sugar

250g of ground almonds

a heaped teaspoon of baking powder, sieved

a tablespoon of Amaretto

a little icing sugar for dusting

Special Equipment: a 21cm spring-sided baking tin lined with greaseproof paper

Place the clementines in a saucepan and cover the fruit with cold water. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer away for 2 hours. Top up the water level as it drops. After 2 hours remove from the water and allow to cool for a few minutes. Whiz to a pulp in a processor.

Pre-heat your oven to 190¬ļC.

Now on with this cinch of  a cake. Whisk up the eggs in a large bowl, using a balloon whisk. Then whisk in the sugar followed by the ground almonds and baking powder. Finally stir in the clementine pulp.

Pour the cake mixture into your lined cake tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 40 minutes. It should be golden on top, firm to touch and an inserted skewer will come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a cooling rack.

Once cool carefully remove from the tin and lightly dust with sieved icing sugar. Serve as is or with a naughty spoon of creme fraiche or mascarpone.

Here’s some other Chez Foti cakey treats you might like to try: Chocolate Pumpkin Cake, Courgette Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd, Super-Fruity Banana Mini Muffins

Clementine & Almond Cake


Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Yesterday it was Wednesday and there’s no school in most parts of France on Wednesdays so the littlies were at home. A bit odd at first but quite nice for the kids to have a day off half way through the week, especially as the school hours of 9 to 5 are so long (for Frannie anyway). Over the last few weeks it’s become a bit of baking day at Chez Foti, trying out a new cake or muffin recipe or two and getting the littlies to help with the weighing, pouring, whisking, stirring and of course most importantly the tasting. Yesterday it was the turn of a¬†Chocolate Pumpkin Cake, not only one of the ‘healthiest’ cakes I’ve ever made but one of the moistest and most temptingly delicious. And the kids LOVE it. I think this’ll be a regular Wednesday bake!.

The stirring and tasting team

I love experimenting with veggies in cakes, much to the horror of the French who still haven’t really got to grips with the humble carrot cake. I made many a¬†Courgette Cake with homemade Lemon Curd¬†over the summer, and lots of Chocolate Courgette or Marrow Cakes of late using up the last of the glut. I’ve also baked quite a bit with Butternut Squash in Muffins and Cakes and once even made a gloriously coloured Beetroot Chocolate Cake. But using Pumpkin was a newbie to me, and after a couple of attempts I’ve perfected my recipe and it really is a winner. Low in sugar, and only using healthier unrefined Light Muscavado anyway, and richly flavoured by Roasted Pumpkin, Cocoa and a little warming Cinnamon.

We’ve more than a few pumpkins at Chez Foti, to be honest I’ve not counted them but there’s a lot. They should definitely see us through the winter and I have a feeling the blog will be moving from it’s recent tomato red to pumpkin orange. I’ve picked a few already but most are still out on the patch and will stay there slowly ripening until there’s a risk of frosts.

The Leaning Tower of Pumpkins!

I’m entering this blog for my first ever time to the We Should Cocoa challenge, held by Choclette of the¬†Chocolate Log Blog¬†and the Chocolate Teapot Blog and this month guest hosted by Hungry Hinny. This month’s challenge is to pair Pumpkin with Chocolate or Cocoa.

I’m going for a double whammy and also putting it forward to the One Ingredient Challenge, as this month the ingredient so happens to be Squash or Pumpkin!. The challenge is held jointly by Laura at How to Cook Good Food and this month by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen.

I baked my cake in a medium sized baking tin and made a wee extra in one of my Oogaa bowls for the kids. Being silicone they’re perfect for baking cakes in. Incase you haven’t already dropped by, the Oogaa Recipe site is now up and running and features several Chez Foti baby and kids recipes. You can even add your own recipes!

The kids love their cakes baked in an Oogaa silicone bowl

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Makes one very large traybake (20 x 35cm tin) or a smaller tin and a few individual cakes. Can be frozen.

700g of pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into very large chunks

120g of unsalted butter, room temperature

120ml of sunflower oil

260g of light muscovado sugar

3 medium free range eggs, lightly beaten

130ml of milk

350g of plain flour

50g of cocoa powder

2 heaped teaspoons of baking powder

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Special Equipment: 20 x 35cm baking tin lined with baking parchment, or 6 silicone Oogaa bowls 

Begin with roasting your pumpkin. Place the very large chunks on a baking sheet in an oven pre-heated to 190¬ļC/Gas Mark 5. Bake for about 40 minutes until they’re pretty soft, turning once or twice during the cooking time. Once cooked remove from the pan, place in a bowl and¬†thoroughly mash with a potato masher. Leave to cool a little. This part could always be done before, when you happen to be using the oven.

Meanwhile start the cake batter. Place the very soft butter, sunflower oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir or whisk until well combined.

Whisk in the eggs, followed by the milk.

Now gradually sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and cinnamon to the cake mixture, stirring until well combined with each sifting.

Finally stir in the slightly cooled mashed pumpkin and spoon out into your lined baking tin or bowls. Bake big cakes in the preheated oven (190¬ļC/Gas Mark 5) for 30 to 40 minutes and smaller ones for around 25 minutes. They’re ready when they’re firm to touch on the top (but still feeling a little squidgy), and an inserted skewer comes out clean of crumbs.

Cut into squares and serve as soon as cool enough to eat. You won’t be able to resist long!

Here’s some other Chez Foti sweet treats: Easy Chocolate Birthday Cake, Courgette Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd, Chocolate Brownies, My Girly Fairy Cake Heaven, Super-Fruity Banana Mini Muffins.

Little Miss F having an approving taste!

My Girly Fairy Cake Heaven!

After all those tomatoes here’s a bit of cakey relief! It was my daughter’s fourth birthday a couple of weeks ago and I copped out of making a big show stopper iced cake and opted for these quickie, but nevertheless impressive (to a four year old anyway), pink iced glittery and oh so girly fairy cakes.

Unfortunately what she really wanted was a ‘horsey’ cake, but I’d made her a ‘horsey’ cake last year to the very best of my cakey baking and icing abilities. After initially recoiling in horror at the prospect of shaping and icing a horses head and/or body I had a major brain wave last year to construct a substantially simpler rectangular field of (plastic shop bought) horses complete with choccie finger fencing. It was a success. A huge success. But not a success I could beat this year…unless obviously I made her the exact same cake!

Last year’s third birthday ‘Horsey’ Cake!

So huge apologies Little Miss F, but I am not, nor ever will be a prospective candidate for the GBBO and thus it’s highly unlikely I’ll be carving that horses head too soon my lovely. Shame. She’s completely and utterly ridiculously infatuated with horses, and has been from a year old. Interestingly it’s come from no-where as we’re not horsey people at all. It’s the only thing she’s ever been interested in, every conversation or question she’ll without fail relate back to horses in some way. She only eats in the belief that one day she’ll grow enough to reach the stirrups (she’s no foodie, but does have a particular partiality for carrots, you guessed it, because horses do), the only film she’s EVER watched the whole of is Black Beauty (and I have no idea HOW many times she’s now watched it), she dreams of horses and riding EVERY night and loves nothing more than to watch the horse racing on TV, or worse in the local bar with all the drunken men folk whilst supping on an apple juice. Her life really is horses. And she’s going to be expensive.

So anyway back to the cakes, horsey cake request aside my pink and glittery job lot of fairy cakes seemed to be a good second best and she was, luckily, suitably impressed. Albeit most of her birthday party guests, being boys, weren’t so impressed. She doesn’t seem to have many girlie friends does funny Little Miss F!

Incidentally don’t be put off by the number (48), they’re really a doddle and don’t take long at all to bake, ice and decorate. Albeit I did bake them in a couple of batches as I don’t have that many cake tins or a big enough oven for that matter. The good thing about lots of little cakes is if you balls up on the decoration no one will notice….unlike on a big show-stopper cake. And they’re easy for your party guests to pick up and scoff and take home.

Pink & Glittery Fairy Birthday Cakes!

To make 48 small buttercream-iced fairy cakes:

For the Cakes:

330g of caster sugar

330g of butter, room temperature

6 medium eggs, free range, lightly beaten

3 teaspoons of vanilla extract

330g of self-raising flour

For the Buttercream Icing:

200g of butter, room temperature

400g of icing sugar

a few drops of red food colouring

For the Decoration:

Anything small, edible and pink/glittery

Mini smarties or other mini sweet or chocolates

Hundreds & Thousands

Edible glitter or sprinkles

Silver balls

Candles

Special Equipment:

4 small x 12 fairy cake tins and a large oven! Or 2 tins and 2 batches of half quantity cake mix and a smaller oven! 48 fairy cake cases

Pre-heat your oven to 180¬ļC/350¬ļF/Gas Mark 4. Line the fairy cake tins with the cake cases.

In a large mixing bowl beat together the room temperature butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time. Then stir in the vanilla extract.

Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon until well combined.

Spoon a teaspoon of the cake batter into each of the cake cases. Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until firm to touch and golden brown on the top (you could also insert a cake skewer and if it comes out clean they’re ready).

When baked place on a cooling rack to cool.

Meanwhile make your icing by beating the butter until very soft. Add half the sieved icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth again.

Now add a few drops of the red food colouring and beat until you have an even colour. You can’t really tell from the pictures but I iced half my cakes in a pale pink and the other half in a slightly deeper pink. If you want to do this just divide the icing in half and add a little more colouring to one of the halves.

Now for the fun bit!.¬†Spoon about a half a teaspoon of the icing onto each fairy cake and smear evenly over. Gather your decorations and get creative! Kids love doing this so get them involved if you can (although not so good if it’s their birthday cake as it may just spoil the surprise!). I love this part, and it’s surprisingly quick to decorate 48 cakes!.

Arrange on a plate or cake stand. Add the appropriate number of candles and there you have it, Girlie Fairy Cake Heaven!

For Jacques’ birthday I made him this easy peasy Chocolate Birthday Cake. Here’s some other party food ideas: Cheesy Biscuits, Cheese, Ham & Sweetcorn Mini Muffins, Fig, Goats Cheese & Red Onion Tartlets (good for the mums and dads!), Chocolate Brownies (always a winner), A Trio of Dips for Babies, Toddler & Big People.


Super-Fruity Banana Mini Muffins

We’re just over the middle of the loooooonnnnng 10 week, yes TEN week summer school holidays here. France reportedly has more school holidays than anywhere else in the world, a great place to be if you’re a teacher. Actually I moan a lot about them but in truth I’m quite enjoying it really, well this holiday anyway. The first half we had lots of visitors which is always fun, and now we haven’t but I’m just enjoying being lazy and not having to get dressed and washed and breakfasted (well eventually we do!) and do the school run (not that it’s terribly stressful round here, 5 kms in about 6 mins, and it’s rare you ever see another car until you get to the actual school and there’s never any hassle parking). This holiday it’s lots of walks around the garden, fruit picking, marathon trampoline and paddling pool sessions, visits to local parks and the odd lake or swimming pool dip. Plus plenty of baking. I’m not going to mention the squabbling, squealing, screaming or sulking. Really I’m not. Ahhhrrrrr.

My daughter’s now nearly four and loves to bake (she’s been at school since she was just over two by the way, they start them young here!). Strangely though she’s not really a big cake fan (we really should have a DNA test done) but does love to eat anything she’s helped make. And Jacques at just over two has now decided he wants a piece of the baking action and is very much my master stirrer. He likes his cake but also has a partiality for savory. So during these long summer jollidays we’ve had many a baking session. Many way too messy to blog and show, but some just about okish!. Today it was the turn of some really-fruity fairly-healthy mini-muffins made with bananas, apricots and sultanas. I like to make my muffins small for the kids (and for me so I can eat twice as many) and tend to make them in the normal fairy cake sized cases and tins, but feel free to make them a normal muffin size too.

Use really ripe, preferably over-ripe with blackened skins, bananas.

Miss F the Urchin Child & Champion Spoon Licker

Makes 24 mini-muffins or 12 regular:

250g of plain flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

a large pinch of cinnamon

180g of golden caster sugar

2 large eggs

75ml of sunflower oil

75ml of creme fraiche (half fat works fine) or yogurt

2 very large over-ripe bananas or 3 medium sized

80g of apricots, chopped (the slightly squishy ‘ready to eat’ ones are best, but dried work too)

80g of sultanas

Preheat your oven to 200¬ļC/Gas Mark 6.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a largish mixing bowl then stir in the sugar.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and creme fraiche or yogurt. And in another bowl roughly mash up the bananas with the back of a fork.

Now for some serious stirring action. Throw the wet mixture into the dry along with the mashed bananas, chopped apricots and sultanas. Stir until well combined.

Place in cake or muffin cases in cake or muffin trays. It’s about a dessertspoon of the raw mixture for a fairy cake sized mini-muffin.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until a little golden on the top, firm to touch and an inserted cake skewer or fork comes out crumb free.

Remove from the trays and cool on a cooling rack for as long as your little ones will allow. Go gobble.

Here’s some other easy peasy baking with kids ideas: Cheesy Biscuits, Cheese, Ham & Sweetcorn Mini-Muffins, Chocolate Brownies

The new Naked Chef, admittedly it was 38¬įC and we were baking!


Courgette Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd

Back on with the courgette season and yep, you did read Courgette Cake, and of the sweet variety too!. Just think of an extraordinarily moist carrot cake with green flecks (and no carrots). Filled with super zingily zesty lemon curd and topped with lemon cream cheese frosting. Yuuuuuummmm. It is.

I first made a courgette cake last summer at a time when my husband was threatening to leave me if I cooked another courgette. Seven plants we realised were way too many for a family of four, especially when two of them are tiddlers and one of the grown ups isn’t a big fan. Which is precisely why I’ve come to have nine, yes NINE plants this year. It was an accident, there were supposed to be four but it seems there was a little mix up on the seed front. And now I fear the summer may end in divorce. Which is precisely why we’re back on the courgette cakes; ’tis Mr F’s preferred usage of a courgette. It’s also one of the few cakes that don’t burn their bum in my awful oven. And only my second blogged cake. Whilst recently adding a Recipe Index to the blog it came to my attention I only had one entry under Cake (Jacques’ Chocolate Birthday Cake), which is obviously wrong on many levels.. Considering I actually do make cakes pretty often at Chez Foti I’ll now be making a concerted effort to blog, and eat,¬†a few more!.

I’d love to take credit for the recipe but sadly I can’t, but Nigella can. It’s from her How to be a Domestic Goddess book. Albeit I switched the lime curd for lemon as we’d recently been given some gorgeous lemons picked from a tree in Spain and they needed using up. My recipe for lemon curd is at the bottom of the blog.

Courgette Cake

The Cake:

60g of raisins or sultanas

250g of courgettes

2 large eggs

125ml of vegetable oil

150g of golden caster sugar

225g of self-raising flour

¬Ĺ a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

¬Ĺ a teaspoon of baking powder

2 x 21cm cake tins, greased and lined

Lemon Curd Filling:

2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon curd, homemade (my recipe’s below)¬†or shop bought

Lemon Cream Cheese Topping:

200g of cream cheese

100g of icing sugar, sieved

juice of ¬Ĺ a lemon

2 Р3 tablespoons of chopped pistachio nuts

Method:

Preheat¬†the oven to 180¬ļC/Gas Mark 4.

Plump up the sultanas or raisins in a small bowl of warm water for a few minutes.

Grate the courgettes coarsely and place in a sieve over the sink or another bowl to drain out the excess moisture.

Place the eggs, oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat together until creamy. Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Continue to beat until well incorporated. Stir in the courgette and drained sultanas/raisins.

Divide the cake mixture between the two tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until firm to the touch and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for a few tins before turning out onto cooling racks to cool fully.

Meanwhile make the topping. Beat the cream cheese for a few minutes before adding the icing sugar. Continue to beat for a few minutes more before beating in the lemon juice.

Now to assemble the cake. Place one cake on your cake stand or plate. Spread over the lemon curd. Sandwich over the other cake. Now spread the frostring over the top of the cake and scatter on the chopped pistachios.

Super Zingy Zesty Lemon Curd

Makes 2 jars of curd, which keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

The juice and zest of 4 unwaxed lemons

200g of golden caster sugar

100g of unsalted butter

3 medium eggs plus one yolk, lightly whisked together

Set a large pan of water to boil. When boiling turn down to the gentlest heat possibly and place a heat proof bowl over the top (though the bowl should not be touching the water).

Place the lemon juice and zest, sugar and butter in the bowl and stir every now and again.

Once the butter’s melted whisk in the eggs, continuing to gently whisk almost continuously for about 10 minutes. The curd is ready when it’s considerably thickened and feels heavy on the whisk.

Pour into super clean jars and leave out to cool. Once fully cool, screw on the lids and store in the fridge.


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