Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter



Easter is a lovely celebration, for many, a family time that, like so many festivals centres around food: Hot cross buns, fish on Good Friday, roast lamb on Easter Sunday. For our family the centrepiece is always the Simnel cake - fruit soaked in a generous splosh of Amaretto, a low temperature and relatively brief bake making for a light, and beautifully almondy bake. I'm sure others would challenge this but I really don't miss the butter, and as the egg is baked it's perfect for us. As always we use Vitalite, Pure or Flora Freedom for baking.

I've not changed my recipe up at all from last year, I'm not reblogging the recipe, but here are some pictures of this year's effort.

Happy Easter everyone



Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Oaty banana cake: dairy free, egg free recipe





Oaty banana cake - not the world's snappiest title for a bake I'll admit. But sometimes you just have to work with what you're given. And this is one of those times. Much like my Blueberry and Banana Oaty bites these could be described as a cross between a cake and a flapjack. The prompt for making these was as unpoetic as the name - we got to the end of the week, unusually with a hand of overripe bananas languishing in the fruit bowl. I'm not sure what we'd done, but clearly it didn't involve eating bananas.

Initially I'd planned to make a banana flapjack, but between one thing and another this is what happened. And we really liked it - sturdy enough to withstand the rigours of a lunchbox, yet not too heavy that it felt like old fashioned health food. Spiked with sweet mixed spice, the combination of apricots and sultanas makes for a chewy treat. what I particularly like about these is that you could absolutely tailor them to your likes or what you've got in the cupboard.  The second time I made these I was a bit short on apricots so I made up the weight with a handful of dairy free chocolate chips I had in the cupboard.



Oaty banana cake
Dairy free, Egg free, vegan
Serves 16

50g Dairy free spread - I used Pure Sunflower, but Vitalite, or Flora Freedom would work just as well.
2 Tbsp Almond butter
3tbsp Date syrup (Maple syrup would work well too)
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1 apple grated (I used a cooking apple as I had some that we'd picked, but an eating apple would work as well)
250g porridge oats
100g sultanas
85g dried apricots, quartered
35g chia seeds
50g linseeds
1 tsp sweet mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C
Grease and line an 8 inch square brownie tin
In a pan or the microwave melt together the dairy free spread, almond butter and date syrup
Mix this with the mashed bananas, grated apple, and porridge oats. Beat well until blended
Add in the sultanas, apricots, chia, linseeds and sweet mixed spice
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes
Leave to cook and cut into 16 squares

Serve with tea for a grown up and milk for a toddler.

For the ingredients in italics you can swap and change any of these for things you have in, or like more. This isn't the sort of recipe you should go out and buy things for - use what you have in the cupboards on a Sunday and pop the pieces in your lunchbox as you go through the week.

Why not save this recipe on Pinterest to make later


Saturday, 10 September 2016

Apricot and Cherry banana bread: dairy free recipe





Making this Apricot and Cherry banana bread was a bit of a spur of the moment decision. M had commented yesterday that we had no cake, knowing that I'd baked a massive lemon drizzle traybake the day before (I hadn't eaten it all, it was for the birthday of one of ladies in my Bible study group). I felt that this should be remedied.  This had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I've had two overripe bananas looking hopefully at cake tins all week. However, trying to pair said bananas with the contents of our cupboards and fridge I had one of those dawning realisations that I had some of the ingredients for most of our favourite cakes, but all of the ingredients for none. Typical.



Necessity being the mother of invention and all that I cobbled together a somewhat experimental cake which turned out to be rather yummy. So I thought I'd blog it. Of course I had to take pictures which I was helped with by my 2 year old assistant.



Apricot and Cherry banana bread
Dairy free, soya free
Serves 16

400g overripe bananas - weighed in their skins (this was 3 largish bananas)
125g Flora Freedom spread (any Dairy free spread would do but this is what I had)
300g self raising flour
125g caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
125g dried apricots, quartered (I do this with scissors as they tend to be a bit sticky)
125g glacé cherries, rinsed, drained and quartered

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C
Grease and line an 8inch square cake tin
Mash the bananas, beat in the butter (you can melt this first, but I don't)
Add the flour, sugar and baking powder and beat in until you get a thick batter
Beat in the eggs one by one
Stir in the apricots, then the glacé cherries

Pour the cake batter into the tin and level off the top
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes

Allow to cool then serve, sliced thickly (buttered if you want) with mugs of tea.

Why not use this picture to save this recipe for later on Pinterest.



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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Dairy free Cherry and sultana cake


This dairy free Cherry and sultana cake is a favourite in our house - it's the type of cake that's sturdy enough to travel well be it for M's packed lunch or a family picnic. Despite that it's not a dense fruit cake, the type you'd have for Christmas, but a lightly fruited sponge, that stays beautifully moist without being crumbly. It pairs beautifully with a cup of tea and a good gossip with dear friends, and is quick and easy enough to make and give as a gift the same day.

The most important part of the recipe is soaking the sultanas - I save a couple of teabags from my morning cuppas so there's no need to use extra teabags unnecessarily.



Dairy free Cherry and sultana cake
Dairy free, soya free
Serves 10

4oz dairy free spread (I used Pure)
4oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
6oz plain flour
12oz sultanas
4oz glace cherries, rinsed and halved
2 teabags

Put 2 teabags in a medium sized bowl and top with the sultanas. Cover in boiling water and leave to stand - you could do overnight, but I tend to pop them in after breakfast and make the cake while the toddler is asleep - so 2-3 hours
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C
Grease and flour a 2lb loaf tin
In a separate bowl cream the dairy free spread and the sugar until light and fluffy
Add the eggs, one at a time with a large spoonful of flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling
Remove 4 tablespoons of flour and set aside
Sift in the rest of the flour and mix gently to combine
Stir the reserved flour in with the cherries until they're all covered (this helps them not to sink to the bottom of your cake)
Stir the cherries into your cake batter
Pour/ spoon the batter into your greased and floured tin
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour - after 45 minutes, check to make sure that the top hasn't caught - if it's getting too dark, cover it with a double layer of greaseproof paper
Allow to cool for 20 minutes or so in the tin, then transfer it to a cooling rack
Slice and enjoy - it keeps nicely for a few days, but longer than that I don't know as it never lasts that long in this house!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The best Simnel cake ever: dairy free recipe




Back in 2011 I blogged our old favourite Simnel cake recipe. The same one my Mum had always used it was a real tried and tested Easter bake. Then, last year I needed to make it dairy free so replaced the butter with dairy free spread - and ended up with an epically dry, wildly overcooked cake. I now know that dairy free spreads seem to cut down baking time considerably, so this year had noted to halve the cooking time. 

And then I got to thinking. I love Simnel cake, it's my absolute favourite so I thought I'd put some of the moistness back in with a soak in some Amaretto and change up the fruit a bit. That, coupled with a lower heat in the oven and a far shorter bake has been a revelation. So here we have it - the best Simnel cake ever. No word of a lie. Or exaggeration. Honest. 



The best Simnel cake ever
Serves 12
Dairy free, soya free

6oz dairy free spread








6oz caster sugar
3 eggs lightly beaten
8oz self raising flour, sieved
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
7oz glace cherries, halved
9oz sultanas & currants/ raisins
2oz ground almonds
1 500g pack marzipan (apologies for change to metric) 
150ml Amaretto
2 tablespoons apricot jam

Weigh out the dried fruit and put it in a bowl. Pour over the amaretto. Cover and leave to stand for 12 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C
Grease and line a 7 inch round cake tin
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add the eggs a little at a time with a spoonful of flour in with each addition
Fold in the flour, spices, and ground almonds
Add in the soaked fruit - including any leftover amaretto from the bottle of the bowl
Put half the mixture into your lined tin
Cut the block of marzipan in half and roll out one half so that it's big enough to cover the mixture in the tin. I cut around the base of the cake tin so it slots in nicely - keep any offcuts
Add the rest of the cake mixture
Bake for 1 and a half hours - test that the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer in the middle. It should come out cleanish
When the cake is cool remove from the tin, and unpeel the paper
Roll out the other half of the marzipan as you did before - again keep the offcuts
Warm the jam with a splash of boiling water and spread over the top of the cake using a pastry brush
Top with the next disc of marzipan
Split the marzipan offcuts into 11 equalish sized balls and using a little dab of apricot jam stick them to the top of the cake too. 


And you're done. The best Simnel cake ever. 




Saturday, 1 August 2015

Double chocolate muffins (free from nothing)


Penelope's Pantry: Double chocolate muffins

I mentioned in the last post, just how easy muffins are to make - I whipped up 4 batches on Sunday, 2 batches of mini ones for Harry, Blueberry ones for me. So of course I had to make the one person not on a restricted diet a batch of his own. M was presented with a batch of Double chocolate muffins. Now known as the Free from nothing muffins, they have sugar, butter, eggs, chocolate, and hot chocolate powder. He was a happy bunny. As were his colleagues I hear.

The basic recipe is very similar to the one I posted yesterday, but as I mentioned - free from nothing!

Double Chocolate muffins
Makes 12 small muffins or 6 big ones

Penelope's Pantry: Double chocolate muffins


¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup butter
1 egg
¼ cup stewed, unsweetened apples - if you have
1 cup plain flour - remove 3 tablespoons of flour and replace with
3 tablespoons hot chocolate powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup stewed, unsweetened apples - if you have
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 170 C
Put cake cakes in a 12 hole fairy cake tin
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add in the egg and stewed apples with a spoonful of the flour so it doesn't curdle
Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and beat together
Stir in the chocolate chips
Bake in the oven for 17-19 minutes - the top needs to bounce back when you press it

These make a great addition to packed lunches or picnics - and M's colleagues demolished the lot!

As it's rare I do anything chocolatey any more, I'm taking the opportunity and entering these into this month's We Should Cocoa over at Tin and Thyme



Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Blueberry muffins: dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free




Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry muffins, dairy free, refined sugar free


Muffins are such an easy bake - you assemble your wet and dry ingredients and mix the two together. Pop in the oven and you're done. The muffin recipes I historically used contain butter, buttermilk, and eggs - three things that are obviously off our list.  Today I still managed to make Apple and cinammon, Banana and sultana and blueberry muffins that are all allergy friendly. I also made M and his colleagues entirely un-allergy friendly double chocolate.

A couple of months back I scoffed at the need for recipes to be free of refined sugar. The further I progress in our weaning journey, the less I want Harry to have and become accustomed to sugar in any form. However, especially now he's up and about maintaining his weight is crucial and also giving him access to new tastes and textures. Also, I don't want him to be the child at parties found face down in a bowl of Haribo because he never has anything sweet (only slightly exaggerated story of a Brownie I once knew).

Maple syrup is one of my favourite sweeteners, I love the flavour it has - this recipe was borne out of a remembrance of a Nigella blueberry and maple syrup sauce for pancakes. We've got all the books packed away at the moment as M is building me shelves (happy squeal - I'm such a booklover, this is the equivalent of shoe cupboards for other women) so I didn't bother to look that up, just went with those flavours. I'd been sent some Maple syrup from We love maple so made good use of that.

The weather today was disgusting, Harry has a streaming cold, Mark is putting up my much wanted shelves and I declared today a pyjama day and decided to hit the kitchen and do some baking.

Blueberry muffin recipe
Makes 12 small muffins or 6 big ones

Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry muffins, dairy free, refined sugar free



¼ cup maple syrup - or honey if you're not vegan/ don't have any maple syrup
¼ cup Pure or other dairy free spread
1 egg -  or ¼ cup of stewed apples/ or 1 mashed banana
1 cup plain flour – ideally I’d have used half and half wholemeal and white flour, but had run out of wholemeal
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup stewed, unsweetened apples this replaces the buttermilk that you would traditionally use
1/3 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 170 C
Put cake cakes in a 12 hole fairy cake tin
Beat together the maple syrup and dairy free spread – this won’t go light and fluffy, but will end up looking curdled. That’s fine.
Add the stewed apples, and the egg/ stewed apples/ banana and beat again
Beat in the flour, baking powder and bicarb – at this stage you want a dropping consistency – if it seems a bit runny just add a couple more  tablespoons of flour

Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry muffins, dairy free, refined sugar free

Thanks to We love Maple for the Maple syrup - I wasn't compensated in any other way for this post, nor was I required to write it.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Blueberry and Banana Oaty Bites: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan

Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry & banana oaty bites, Dairy free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan




In the eternal quest for bakes the whole family will enjoy, that meet the needs of my CMPA, egg allergic baby, I came across a recipe for a Banana, oat and chocolate munchy bar on Jenny Eatwell's Rhubarb and ginger. Whilst that recipe looked very tasty it’s near impossible to get dairy and soya free chocolate, and what you can get is too expensive to use in cake (Booja Booja, I’m looking at you). I thought I’d adapt the original recipe to suit our needs allergy wise and make it a bit more suitable for a weaning treat.

Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry & banana oaty bites, Dairy free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan

This is a fabulously easy recipe that you could easily change up to suit your family’s tastes. It's much like an oaty version of a banana bread or a cakey version of a flapjack - not unlike my Porridge fingers for big people.

Blueberry and Banana Oaty Bites: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan
Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry & banana oaty bites, Dairy free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan

Serves 12 (or 24 if all being used for babies)

2¼ cups Porridge Oats
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
½ tsp Baking powder
¼ tsp Salt (just a pinch if using Kosher or sea salt)
1 tsp sweet mixed spice
3 overripe Bananas
1 pot Apple puree (the type for Babies) or ¼ cup of cooked down Bramleys
2 tsp Vanilla extract
¼ cup Maple syrup
½ cup Blueberries

Grease a 9”x9” Brownie pan, and line with a long strip, the width of the tin, and 3 times the length
Preheat the oven to 160ºC
Blitz the oats in a food processor until they are rough flour
Pour into a mixing bowl, add the Bicarb, Baking powder, Salt and sweet mixed spice. Give a quick mix to combine the dry ingredients.
Break the bananas into chunks and pop into the food processor, add the Maple Syrup, fruit pot and Vanilla. Blitz until smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add the Blueberries, and stir to combine.
Pour this into the prepared tin, smooth out the top, and bake for 20 minutes at 160ºC (Check at 15 mins)
When the top is golden and the bake feels firm to the touch, remove and leave to cool in the tin.
When cool, use the strip of baking paper to easily remove from the tin.
Slice into bars, this makes 12.
Enjoy with a cup of Tea, or if you are little, half a bar with a sippy cup of Oat milk.

These freeze beautifully - I halve the bars, and much like I do for pancakes separate them with little square of greaseproof paper before popping in a freezer bag. Then it's just a case of defrosting at room temperature. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Dairy free, egg free, vegan cake round up - CMPA friendly baking

One of the things I miss most since Harry has developed his egg allergy is cake. Previously it was so easy to whip a cake up while he napped - M could have it for his packed lunches, I could have it as a sweet treat after breastfeeding - it was all good. At first I tried using apple puree as a substitute, flax eggs and really wasn't happy with the results, although I know others are.

Over the last week I've tried some of the most popular recipes I could find for dairy and egg free cakes (which are happily vegan too I think - if I've got that wrong, feel free to correct me in the comments). Some were great from the off (chocolate fudge, I'm looking at you), others required a little tweaking. Generally I've reduced sugar and upped flavouring a little - that's just to our tastes.

I thought I'd do a round up post so all the cakes are in one place - and I've also added some links to other dairy, and egg free cakes from some of my favourite bloggers. If you've got a favourite dairy and egg free cake - pass the link on, either via email, or in the comments below and I'll be sure to add it in.

First off - here's my list:

Pina Colada cake
Chocolate fudge cake with marshmallow icing
Dorset apple inspired 'wacky' cake
Vegan meringues
Big person porridge fingers (a cakey flapjack)
Maple, apple and banana bites

Here's the round up from some of my favourite bloggers - just see my notes in italics for other allergen information:

From Munchies and munchkins (Love that name!) Peanut butter banana bread - which is gluten free too
From Family, friends, food Egg and dairy free spiced apple and raisin cupcakes Helen, also told me that in Kosher produce, food labelled parve will be dairy free - you'll have to check for soya, but it's definitely worth knowing if you have a Kosher section in your supermarket
From Fab food for all Vegan banana cake (clearly bananas work well in dairy and egg free recipes!)

From Emily recipes and reviews Vegan vanilla cupcakes - not soya free for those of you baking with CMPA in mind
From one of my favourite blogs Fuss Free Flavours - Vegan date and orange cake
From Goodie Godmother Vegan lemon cream cake not soya free - Mary doesn't mention if the vegan cream cheese contains soya - but Violife have just released a dairy and soya free cream cheese. If you can find that, that would work.
From Jen's food - Egg free, dairy free carrot and cinammon cake These aren't vegan as they contain honey, but you could substitue that for maple syrup 
From Natural kitchen adventures Banana chocolate chip cake - another one that's gluten free too. Although you'll need to check the chocolate chips for soya

From Rough measures - a Date, apple and walnut loaf (sub the egg for a banana to make it egg free)

From Tin and Thyme a Coconut, chickpea and chocolate cake also gluten free
That list should keep all of us dairy and egg free bakers busy for a while - it'll certainly keep M's lunchbox and colleagues going for a bit. Just don't tell my Slimming World leader!


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