Pear pound cake

July 7, 2018

This is an impressive way to present pears in a cake, thanks to Carine Claudepierre from her book Clean Bakery (Bateman, 2016). Carine was inspired by a cake she saw in a French bakery, hence the amount of butter and eggs that give the cake a buttery richness but it is free of gluten and sugar. It's no. 16 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

Poached pears:
1 1/2 litres water
a whole nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla pod
1 star anise
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 pears

Cake:
2 cups ground almonds (I used 1/2 c almond flour, 1 1/2 c wholemeal spelt flour)
1/2 c buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
t tbsp poaching liquid
1/3 c cup honey or brown rice syrup
100g butter or coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Boil the water in a kettle then pour into a saucepan with the spices. Let them infuse while you peel the pears and then put them in the saucepan. Poach for 15-20 min until softened and you can insert a skewer into them easily. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pears and cool on a plate. Spoon 4 tbsp of the poaching liquid into a small bowl.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Place the almond flour, buckwheat flour and baking soda in a food processor and blitz to combine. Add eggs, poaching liquid, honey, butter or oil and vanilla and mix until combined.
Pour the batter into the tin and put the cooled pears into it. Don't press them in too much, you don't want them touching the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 30-40 min until cooked through. After 20 min you may want to cover the cake with some foil to prevent burning on the top.
Leave to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack. The cake will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. The cake has a lovely crust and the spicy pears keep it moist.
 

Orange cake

July 1, 2018

A tangy, moist cake for no. 15 of 26 alphabetical bakes!


2 oranges or tangelos
1 1/2 c pitted dates, soaked in water while the oranges cook
6 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 15 tbsp water
1 c ground almonds
1/2 c fine polenta
1 tsp baking powder

Icing:
3/4 c cashews, soaked overnight or for 30 min in boiling water
3 tbsp brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1 tbsp orange zest
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp melted coconut oil

Put oranges in a small saucepan, cove...


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Nut brittle

June 27, 2018

Buckwheat groats and puffed rice add more goodness to this healthy nut brittle. If nuts aren't your thing you can replace them with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. This is no. 14 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

1/2 c buckwheat groats
1/2 c puffed rice
1/2 c almonds, slivered or roughly chopped (you can use any nuts you like)
1/4 c cashews
pinch sea salt
4 tsp coconut oil
1/2 c maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Warm ...


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Mocha cake

June 21, 2018

I do like a mochaccino every now and then, likewise a coffee-flavoured cake, with coffee of course! The coffee flavour didn't come out too strongly in this recipe from Gee Charman's Guilt-Free Baking (Nourish Books, 2015) so it's suitable for kids too. For an adult version I'd add more coffee and maybe some ground coffee too. It's a bonus bake in my A to Z of bakes!

You can use a 20cm round cake tin or 30cm x 20cm brownie tin and cut the cake into squares.


100g butter
1/2 c coconut su...


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Minty bites

June 19, 2018

These are rather like after dinner mints, but you won't feel guilty having one, two, or more... It's no. 13 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

Makes 36

3 x 12 mini muffin tins
1 c desiccated coconut
1 c cashews
2 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut oil, warmed

chocolate coating:
1 c cacao butter
3-4 tbsp maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1 c cacao powder
pinch salt

Blitz the coconut and cashews in a food processor until crumbly. Add the peppermint, honey and coconut oil and mix until fu...


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Graham crackers

June 19, 2018

Fran Costigan makes a mean oat cinnamon graham cracker, as they call them in the US - very similar to these digestives, which is what we call them in NZ, Australia and the UK. For me, the key is the thinner the better, and coconut sugar adds a lovely caramely crunchiness.

To make ginger snaps, just swap out the cinnamon for ground ginger.

Makes around 30 biscuits

1 1/2 c oat flour, toasted in a 175C oven for 10 min
1/4 c ground coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp se...


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Lunchbox slice

June 16, 2018

This is another great recipe from Wholefood Simply to which I zhujed up with a chocolate marble topping to increase the appeal to a 6 year old. You can swap out seeds for nuts or tahini for another nut butter. I have not met anyone yet who did not like this slice! This is no.12 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

1 c desiccated coconut
1/3 c sunflower seeds
1/3 c pumpkin seeds
1/3 c sesame seeds
pinch of salt
1/2 c brown rice syrup or honey
1/2 c tahini
1/3 c dark chocolate drops if desired or add som...


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Key lime pie

June 15, 2018

This super healthy cheesecake uses an oat crust and tofu-based filling. I found the oat graham cracker recipe from Fran Costigan and it makes a delicious cinnamony crunchy pie crust and the vegan pie filling is from The Gentle Chef. It's no. 11 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

Base:
1 1/2 c oat flour, toasted (I ground organic jumbo oats in a coffee grinder)
6 tbsp coconut sugar, finely ground
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 c neutral oil
2 tbsp maple syrup or brown rice s...


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Jaffa cakes

June 11, 2018

I do love the combination of chocolate and orange. These healthy jaffa cakes from Nadia's Healthy Kitchen
don't last long but they're worth the effort. The chocolate coating can get a bit messy but that's all part of the fun.

Makes 12

Base:
1/2 c flour (I use spelt)
1/3 c ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
up to 4 tbsp milk

Orange jelly:
1/2 c orange juice
zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp rice syrup
1 tsp agar powder
20cm round cake/sp...
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Italian ricotta torta

June 10, 2018

I have never attempted a ricotta cheesecake before - what a winner to start with. It's from Julie Le Clerc's Favourite Cakes (Penguin Books, 2011). She created the recipe from memory after tasting a ricotta cake in Rome. It's indulgent and rich, no doubt about that, but the addition of citrus peel and almonds cuts through the cheese and chocolate.

Base and topping:
1 1/2 c flour (I used spelt)
1/2 c ground almonds
1/3 c coconut sugar (hence the dark colour; use caster sugar if you want a...


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WELCOME 2 BAKE CLUB -
MAY THE CAKE B WITH U

Frances Chan is a freelance editor/proofreader who has written a couple of children's books and writes for Weekend Notes. She also loves to bake. She shares some of her adventures, culinary or otherwise, on Instagram.


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