Persian love cake

When you make this cake the whole kitchen smells of roses, it’s Persian in its origins and have been making Yasmin Khans amazing Persian Love Cake for years as it’s fantastic as a birthday cake, but I wanted to do a dairy free version that also could be gluten free if you prefer. It’s got tons of nuts in it and the soft floral fragrance of cardamom and rose. It’s probably called Love Cake because it really is a romantic cake.

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italian courgette cake

This cake is Italian American in origin and it’s super moist thanks to the courgettes and the olive oil. Its packed with spices, is dairy free and has a tangy lemon icing. I tweaked it to be a bit healthier with whole meal spelt flour, and added poppy seeds to the icing. It’s perfect with a coffee for breakfast or at teatime… but would make a great birthday cake too.

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rhubarb cake with spelt

Rhubarb cake is really pretty and really delicious and I have made it really healthy.  It’s created so you can also do a vegan version with egg replacer from health stores or on-line. It has the great flavours of orange zest and honey in it so it tastes amazing and it’s made with healthier spelt flour. It’s also perfect if you follow an egg or dairy free diet. I love rhubarb and think it should have a renaissance if it’s not already.

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date paste

I have been wanting to use dates to sweeten cakes and other foods for a long time. Sugar is something I try and cut out as much as possible and I tend to use maple syrup instead, except in cake baking as it’s a bit more complicated as the ingredients are integral to the recipe working. So I have been reading up about the best way to use dates as a sweetener and it seems that making your own date paste is deffo the best way to incorporate them into a recipe. So far I have also read that if a recipe uses a cup of sugar, you can then add two cups of date paste but you have to bear in mind there’s more water content in the date paste and it’s not as sweet as sugar. It also keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks and let’s not forget that dates are one of the major ingredients in sticky toffee pudding. So what could go wrong flavour wise…? I will try it out in my recipes, and am really interested which flavour cakes and even biscuits it will work with…plus it will sweeten things like oatmeal for breakfast.

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vegan chocolate fudge cake

Really easy to make chocolate cake, it’s all done in a food processor. It’s super chocolatey for a real dairy-free egg-free chocolate fix. I promise you can’t taste the beetroot, but it’s the beetroot that makes it fudgey. I made this cake for a friend who hasn’t eaten cake for years because she can’t eat eggs and she really loved it and ate nearly all of it! In the picture I’ve made two cakes (double everything) and sandwiched them together with the icing, then iced it all and decorated it with frozen raspberries. It’s very rich and chocolatey so it’s lovely served with more berries and of course, vanilla ice cream. By the way…if I’m feeling lazy I use the Betty Crocker chocolate fudge frosting from a supermarket (which is vegan) instead of making the frosting. And sometimes I sandwich a bit of good quality cherry jam in the middle.

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pear cake

This pear cake has a lot of pear in it, so it’s healthier and moist. If you read this blog you will already know I love pears, I love both the taste and the texture and this cake is made with whole meal spelt flour and olive oil so it’s dairy free.
I think the thing about most cakes, is they can be lacking in the flavour department but this one is spicy and has the subtle fragrance that comes from the pears. It’s perfect as a birthday cake or as a tea time treat or simply just because you fancy some cake.

Recipe

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:
2 ripe pears
1/4 cup of golden caster sugar
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
3/4 cup of mild olive oil
1/3 cup of runny honey or maple syrup
1 egg and one egg yolk (or if you want to make it egg free, use egg replacer for 1 1/2 eggs (from health food store))
1 1/2 cups of whole meal spelt flour
A pinch of allspice
A pinch of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
Plus icing sugar for dusting
And a lemon if making icing
A deep 7 inch cake tin sprayed with cake release spray or lightly greased with cooking oil

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flourless chocolate cupcakes

It’s a challenge to make recipes without certain key ingredients, and I think I’ve cracked it with this one. They have no flour and no dairy. These cakes are for serious chocolate fans who like a dense, dark, brownie-type scenario.
Even though I think they are really delicious, I’m testing them out tonight on one of my toughest taste testers, they are a chocoholic and they love dairy and wheat…I’ll report back on their verdict…
Yes, they loved them. BTW I use the Betty Crocker frosting available in supermarkets which is fantastic, dairy free, super easy and vegan and tastes amazing. Just pipe or spoon it on.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:
80g dark chocolate or half a cup of dark chocolate chips
½ cup of mild olive oil (or butter if you prefer)
¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup of golden caster sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of strong black coffee
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
¼ cup of ground almonds

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