cake · pudding · quick and easy · recipes · snacks

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Muffins

Makes 12 muffins 

110g butter

100g full fat cream cheese

4 eggs

110g ground almonds

30g coconut flour

1 tbsp pysllium husk

1, 1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

4 tbsp Splenda

80ml sour cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

sugar free peanut butter (just under a teaspoon per muffin)

80g dark chocolate 70/80 %

Preheat the oven to gas 5/190c

grease a 12 hole muffin tray with butter

Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and splenda. Beat in the eggs and then gently mix in the sour cream.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ground almonds, coconut flour, baking powder, psyllium husk and pinch of salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter and combine gently. Then fold in the chocolate chunks, reserve some for decoration.

Allow approximately 1 dessert spoonful for each muffin, add the peanut butter to all 12 muffins and then cover with the remaining batter so that the peanut butter is encased in the centre. Top with the remaining chocolate.

Bake for 30 minutes on the top shelf of the oven.

Allow to cool fully in the tin. The muffins are best stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days, they can also be frozen.

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drinks · quick and easy · recipes

Lemon and Ginger syrup

4 lemons, roughly sliced

1 tsp ground ginger

10 tbsp splenda

350 ml cold water

Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil for around 8 to 10 minutes.

Strain through a metal sieve and allow to cool before decanting into a clean glass bottle.

Store in the fridge.

Dilute with chilled sparkling water for a refreshing summer drink (and a dash of Gin if you are so inclined!).

cake · pudding · quick and easy · recipes · snacks

Berry and Lemon loaf cake

50ml vegetable or sunflower oil

200g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

5 tbsp Splenda

2 medium eggs

200ml sour cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

150g blueberries or strawberries

Pre heat the oven to gas 4/180c (160c for a fan oven)

Grease and line a 900g loaf tin.

In a large bowl mix together with a fork the ground almonds, baking powder, Splenda and a pinch of salt.

Add all the remaining ingredients except for the blueberries / strawberries.

Whisk together with the fork until just combined, then gently fold in the berries except for a small handful.

Pour the batter into the tin and scatter the remaining berries on top.

Bake for 1 hour until golden brown and a knife comes out clean.

Serve with clotted cream.

Store in an airtight container, can also be frozen.

The original version of this recipe is in the July 2021 edition of Country Living magazine.

pudding · quick and easy · recipes · snacks

Apple Danish Fingers

Makes 10 fingers

You will need a batch of the Fathead Dough, I used the unsweetened version because the apple filling is sweet and I think the plain dough makes a nicer contrast. Click on the menu button above for the recipe.

20g unsalted butter, melted

100g ground almonds

100g cream cheese

1 egg

4 tbsp splenda

70g apple, grated

2/3 drops Foodie Flavours apple flavouring

Ground cinnamon to taste

Preheat the oven to gas 3/325f/170c and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Roll out the Fathead dough between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper into a large rectangle. For a neat Danish trim the edges.

Melt the butter in a microwaveable bowl and then add all the remaining ingredients and mix together until well combined with a electric hand mixer.

Place the filling in the centre of the dough. And then fold the edges over to make a sealed rectangle.
Transer it carefully onto the baking tray and bake on the top shelf of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Turn the tray around halfway through to ensure the pastry is evenly coloured and cooked.

Allow to cool before slicing into fingers.

Store in a airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, can also be frozen.

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breakfast · lunch · quick and easy · recipes · snacks

Waffles

This makes 5 small indivdual waffles, but it really depends on the size of your waffle maker.

Melted butter for greasing

2 medium eggs

110g shredded mozarella

2 tbsp ground almonds

pinch of sea salt

Optional extras for savoury or sweet waffles:

shredded ham, to taste

chopped chives, to taste

3/4 tsp dijon mustard

Or:

3 tbsp splenda

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Heat and grease your waffle maker according to the manufacturers instructions.

Mix together well all the ingredients and then carefully spoon onto the waffle maker. Take care not to overfill as it will ooze out the sides. Cook for the manufacturers reccomended length of time.

The waffles are lovely either hot or cold.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge, can also be frozen.

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cake · pudding · quick and easy · recipes

Vanilla Cream Cake

Serves 9

Cake:

3 medium eggs

110g ground almonds

1 tbsp coconut flour

2 tbsp double cream

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

4 tbsp Splenda

butter for greasing

Combine all the ingredients well with a hand mixer and then pour evenly into a greased, microwaveable dish, 8x8in and at least 2in deep.

Microwave on full power for 3 1/2 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from the centre of the cake. Set aside to cool.

Sauce:

150ml double cream

2 1/2 tbsp Splenda

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 pinch of salt

1/4 tsp arrow root powder

Stir all the ingredients well.

Use a fork to make holes all over the surface of the cooled cake, then pour over the sauce evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the cake to absorb the moisture from the sauce.

Cream Topping:

120ml double cream

2 tbsp Splenda

Ground cinnamon to serve

Using a hand mixer, whip the Splenda and cream until it forms stiff peaks.

Spread evenly over the cake and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days, can also be frozen.

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Bits and Bobs

September Again

So it’s September again and a year has passed since I started this blog.

What a strange and overwhelming year it has been!

But the rhythm of the year and the turning seasons continues, unfettered by the pandemic, brexit and the global economy.

And for that I am glad. Nature has been a balm and a sanctuary in these strange days to so very many of us. Lockdown was a breathing space for the natural world with all types of pollution reduced. For me the most noticeable was the huge drop in noise pollution. Even though I live in a small village surrounded by woods and farmland, a main road runs through too the nearest city and so mornings and evenings are always busy.

The quietude was beautiful, birdsong and the wind in the trees was the dominant sound, heaven!

I realised a long time ago that I’m an introvert, Susan Cain’s book ‘Quiet’ was a fascinating read, but I didn’t dig into the subject any deeper, until lockdown.

I got so much done during my time away from work, I definitely made good use of it, and spent a large amount of time reading, along with lots of jobs which had been neglected.

Some of what I read was about introversion which lead me to taking a Myers Briggs based personality test I found out I’m a INFJ.

This was a revelation. I finally, at the age of 46, have insight and understanding of myself that had been sorely lacking.

Another test I did was for sensitivity, on which I scored really highly putting me in the HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) group.

The sensitivity relates to things such as light, smell, pain, hunger, the emotions and moods of others, caffeine, alcohol, temperature and sounds among other things.

This is definitely why I massively enjoyed some aspects of lockdown!

Although the fear and concern with regards to the virus was definitely not enjoyable (and is still present), and the massive loss of life is too high a price for the peace.

But it did show that we can live another way and have a greater understanding and appreciation of our world.

Today schools in the UK reopened and the traffic on my way too and from work, sadly seemed to be back to pre-virus levels.

I know people need to get on with their lives and the economy needs for us to work and spend, but I really hope we don’t lose to much of the positive things we have gained from this unprecedented situation.

This rather chubby Hedgehog was not very good at hide-and-seek!

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Bits and Bobs

Dog Days

It’s hot, relentlessly hot. We are in the midst of the Dog Days, that time of heat and storms and madness which runs from July 22nd to August 22nd. Named by the Roman’s for the dog star Sirius.

As I write this I’m waiting for the thunderstorm which has been forecast for several days, but has yet to arrive. The heat is oppressive and has coincided with my return to work from furlough. Its wonderful to be back at it, but the heat in the glasshouses is phenomenal!

Spacing cyclamen

The garden is still looking good and I’ve made some Comfrey tea to use as a foliar feed. It’s just the leaves steeped in water for a couple of weeks and then drained, diluted and transferred to a spray bottle. Easy and free!

There are several recipes for making it online, it can also be made stronger for a liquid feed. The only downside is the smell, it reeks!

Comfrey

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pudding · quick and easy · recipes · snacks

Egg Custard Tart

You will need a sweetened batch of the Pastry, click on the menu button above for the recipe.

Because the Egg Custard is so rich you will only need 2 tbsp of Splenda to sweeten it, you can also add a pinch of nutmeg.

4 large eggs

6 to 8 tbsp Splenda according to taste

600ml double cream

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp arrowroot powder

nutmeg to decorate

Blind bake the pastry case on gas 4/350f/180c for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to gas 3/325f/170c

In a large saucepan, whisk together the eggs and splenda, then add the cream and vanilla extract.

Place over a moderate heat, keep whisking with a hand whisk and bring to a gentle boil.

Add the arrowroot power and whisk until it is dissolved and the mixture has thickened.

Pour the custard into the pie case and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with a little nutmeg and then leave to cool.

Once cool, cover and refrigerate. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days, can also be frozen.

Serve chilled, as a pudding or as a afternoon snack with coffee.

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