Fruit & Honey Flapjacks

I went for dinner at my dearest Jenny’s house a couple of weeks ago and her mum had baked something delicious. They were flapjacks but they were fruity and delicious and I needed the recipe ASAP. Luckily she obliged but of course I changed it up a bit, I’m so pro real butter but I was using these for my ‘healthy’ mid morning snack so I subbed the sugar for honey. The recipe was half honey and half sugar but I made it all honey. I know that sugar is sugar is sugar but I just feel better when the bees made it. Oh, I also subbed half the dried apricots for dried cranberries because I really love dried cranberries.

Fruit & Honey Flapjacks

These are the perfect balance of nutrition and naughty, in my eyes, they are packed with fruit, seeds and nuts but also have that sweet, buttery deliciousness. These may be good for you but I’m not deluded that they are healthy in the sense that if you are torn between a banana or this, have the banana, but if you are torn between the triple layer chocolate fudge cake or the fruity flapjack then this is the choice to make because IT IS DELICIOUS. Unfortunately I was just sent a photo of the recipe so I am unable to credit it but I will do so as soon as I find it!

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Wild Rice Salad

I’ve been looking for new, healthy lunches to take to work. Something that isn’t too time/effort consuming to make but that is nutritious. I turned to Deliciously Ella‘s cookbook and spotted this salad made with black rice and pine nuts; I was sold. Black rice most definitely isn’t photogenic but when paired with some steamed veg it makes for a tasty lunch. I changed quantities and ratios in the recipe to my tastes but the basic ingredients are the same.

Wild Rice Salad

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Maple Gingerbread Cake

This cake had me at the title. Maple and ginger are two of my favourite flavours, I love what I consider to be Autumn flavours (and Christmas flavours… and Spring flavours…). The way I found this recipe though was exciting too (exciting for me…and probably exceptionally dull for anyone else); it is no secret that I LOVE bundt cake tins and Nordic Ware released a new one that I am in love with. I keep trying to track it down in the UK but it is impossible and they cost double here compared with the USA. During a session of bundt related internet trawling I found an article (which I wish I could find again) that recommended a book that contained no less than 20 bundt cake recipes, 20!! What I didn’t expect was that the book, Cake Keeper Cakes, came with 80 other amazing cakes recipes too. I vowed to work my way through the book and began with the tray bake section, I’ve never made many tray bakes and was attracted by the every-day-ness of them; I can’t explain it but I was and I rushed out to buy an 8 inch square cake tin and begin the journey.

Maplegb

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Easter Simnel Cake

Easter is almost here! Chocolate season is upon us and as a chocoholic, this excites me. However, as a lover of cinnamon, and all things mixed spice I get very excited about hot cross buns and simnel cake. Last year I made simnel cupcakes and hot cross cinnamon rolls (do yourself a favour and make those!!). This year I wanted to make a traditional simnel cake, complete with 11 balls of marzipan on top (to represent the 12 disciples, minus Judas). Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to egg wash and grill the top to make it turn that beautiful golden brown colour (I suggest you do it if you have the chance) but it was delicious none-the-less. Next year I’d like to attempt a vegetable based version (as I do with every fruit cake I make at the moment!). I confess to not making my own marzipan this year, but last year I did and it was delicious; if you have the time to then make sure you do, it is pretty easy.

Simnel

This recipe is a Paul Hollywood recipe, who else would you turn to for a traditional recipe?! Despite no response to my tweet, I still think of him as somewhat of a baking oracle. Maybe one day he’ll reply…

This takes 2.5 hours to bake, so time accordingly!

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Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Cake

Happy Mother’s day to all you lovely mum’s, especially mine! My mum taught me to cook from an early age and although she’s taught me many things, the ability to cook is one of the biggest gifts I could ask for, it brings me endless joy.

Today I was lucky enough to be able to cook a meal for my mum and family, having also spent the entire weekend in the kitchen for various other dishes, my heart is full. Tonight we ate rhubarb and ginger belly pork, spiced winter vegetable cous cous and also the traditional roast accompaniments but it is the dessert I want to talk about.

I wanted to make a cake that mum would reallllllly enjoy, that she wouldn’t ordinarily make or buy because she shouldn’t, or the kids wouldn’t like it or that she didn’t have the time. I’ve made a few cakes over the years but wanted to try something new. I had a moment of inspiration when I saw Gingerbread Jenn’s post and decided to mix it up slightly with some extra fruit and a glug of brandy, to make this version. I soaked the fruit in brandy for a few days before making the cake but you could boil them in a little brandy (and a splash of water) or soak them in hot tea for a few hours instead, whatever the time scale permits.
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