Saturday, 28 February 2015

Lemon Coconut Cakes with Freekah Flour

Lemon Coconut Cakes
With a bounty of lemons from 3pFruits and some coconut oil and a big bag of Freekah flour from MyProtein, it wasn't long before I thought some kind of coconutty lemon freekah cakes were in order.   Here are a couple of recipes I've already posted using my citrus and protein stash - Healthier Brownies with Cashew Nut Butter and Grapefruit and Honey Almond Cake.

Freekah Flour
I was really excited by the freekah flour, which I'd heard a lot about, but had never used. It smelt fragrant and nutty and had a lovely golden hue to it. I couldn't wait to try it. I happened to have a Waitrose recipe card lying about for coconut lemon cupcakes which I was keen to adapt. This had caught my attention because it used coconut cream in the mix, something which appealed to me. Sadly, I didn't have any coconut cream, but I did have a block of creamed coconut, so I thought I'd give that a try instead. I also decided to use coconut oil rather than margarine, which would make these cakes dairy free. Then I went and spoilt it with a creamy lemon curd topping ;-) If you want dairy free, use coconut cream instead.

I also added a little cardamom into the equation by using cardamom sugar and topping the cakes with Seed and Bean's lemon and cardamom dark chocolate. To be honest it was a bit of an odd recipe and I adapted it so completely in terms of both quantities and ingredients, it bares little resemblance to the original.

This is how I made:

Lemon Coconut Cakes with Freekah Flour

  • Placed a 125g of creamed coconut and 100g of coconut oil in a bowl on top of the heater to soften.
  • Creamed the coconut with 200g cardamom sugar (golden caster sugar) and the grated zest from 1 lemon.
  • Beat in 3 duck eggs, one at a time.
  • Sifted in 200g of freekah flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
  • Folded this in together with 25g of desiccated coconut and the juice from two lemons.
  • Spooned into 12 muffin cases and baked at 180℃ for 17 minutes.
  • Turned out onto a wire rack to cool.
  • Whipped 100 ml double cream to soft peaks, then folded in 2 tbsp of homemade lemon curd.
  • When the cakes were cool, made a slash down the centre and spooned in some of the lemon cream. Topped with a sprinkling of flaked lemon and cardamom chocolate (Seed and Bean) and a little desiccated coconut.

Lemon Coconut Cake
The cakes were amongst some of the best I've made, they were oh so flavoursome, with zesty citrus notes and a background hit of coconut. They also had a great texture, being both light and moist. The zingy lemon curd cream was delicious in itself and the lemon cardamom chocolate enhanced everything - literally the icing on the cake.

I am sending this off to Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen for her new challenge #RecipeClippings.

This also goes to Jac over at Tinned Tomatoes for Bookmarked Recipes.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Côte d'Azur Éclair

Eclairs
Photograph courtesy of Le Méridion Hotels
I have travelled over much of France, but I have never been to the Côte d'Azur. I have a friend who grew up there and now lives just across the border in Italy. He has waxed lyrical about the region ever since I first knew him as a teenager. As well as the azure seas and beautiful scenery, it's meant to be a foodie paradise with olives and lemons being very much to the fore.




Eclairs
Photograph courtesy of Le Méridion Hotels
Chef Johnny Iusinni, award winning pastry chef, author, motorcyclist and world traveller is one very lucky man. In collaboration with the Le Meridian Hotels, he is travelling to eight Le Meridian destinations and creating a unique and exquisite éclair inspired from the food, tastes and ambiance of the region. Here, in the second film of the series, The Éclair Diaries, Chef Johnny travels to the Côte d'Azur and gets to see some great scenery as well as citrus orchards, patisseries and markets as he searches out the ingredients he is going to use to create his éclair. If you'd like to find out more and download some of the éclair recipes, head over to Le Meridian Éclair.

Eclairs
Photograph courtesy of Le Méridion Hotels
I'd highly recommend sitting back for a few minutes and allowing yourself to revel in the sights and sounds of this short video and perhaps, like me, dream of actually going there and making that long overdue visit.

Now who can resist a luscious chocolate éclair? I know I can't. What sort of éclair would you most like to eat and in what part of the world?

This is a sponsored post. I was not asked to write a positive review and as always any opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Chocolate Cashew Pie for Fairtrade Fortnight

Chocolate Cashew Pie
Growing and harvesting cocoa beans to provide the chocolate we all love so much can be a very hard life and is often very badly paid to boot. For this reason I do my best to buy fairly traded chocolate whenever I can. Fairly traded chocolate gives a fair price for the cocoa bean to help farmers pull themselves out of poverty and live a decent life. One of the main proponents of this is the Fairtrade Foundation who have been actively campaigning to improve peoples lives in the developing world for twenty years now.

Cocoa is, of course, not the only product that is open to abuse: thankfully Fairtrade wine, cotton, coffee, bananas, flowers and gold are now available, with additional products coming on to the market each year. This week marked the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight and the focus this year is on tea, cocoa and sugar. Do have a look at the site where you can watch a short film, Fairtrade Matters, showing how Fairtrade has changed two lives in particular. There are also a number of offers and prizes available.

Choose products that save lives.

Fairtrade Chocolate

I was sent a bundle of Fairtrade chocolate goodies to use in a recipe. Milk chocolate hearts and white chocolate and strawberry hearts from Divine were a welcome novelty. I have written many times about this company which is part owned by the growers themselves. Head to my post Divine intervention for more details. I go through a lot of Green and Black's cocoa, which is not only Fairtrade and has been for many years, but is also organic, so I was pleased to see a tub of it in the parcel. A tub of cadbury's drinking chocolate reminded me of school. This too became Fairtrade in 2009 and tripled the sales of Fairtrade cocoa overnight. Lastly, there was a bar of Seriously, a new Fairtrade range from Waitrose. The cocoa for these bars comes from co-operative farmer groups in the Dominican Republic.

So, what to make? Well a chocolate pie of course. Following hot on the heels of my cashew brownies, I couldn't resist reaching for the cashew nut butter again. I managed to use all of the products sent, other than the white chocolate strawberry hearts and gave myself a congratulatory pat on the back as I savoured a slice of what is, a most divine pie.

I'm sending this delicious Fairtrade Pie off to Emily at A Mummy Too for #RecipeOfTheWeek

I'm also sending it to Lucy at SuperGolden Bakes for #CookBlogShare.











print recipe

Chocolate Cashew Pie
A rich decadent three layered chocolate pie for a special occasion. A biscuit crust, filled with dark chocolate ganache and topped off with a creamy confection of cashew nut butter, cream cheese and whipped cream.
Ingredients
  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 6 heaped teaspoons drinking chocolate powder
  • 300ml double cream)
  • 60g dark chocolate - chopped (I used Waitrose's Fairtrade Seriously Rich 65%)
  • 90g cream cheese
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 2 rounded tbsp cashew nut butter
  • a little cocoa powder (or drinking chocolate powder) for dusting
Instructions
1. Crush the biscuits to a fine crumb (I did this with the end of a rolling pin in the bowl) and stir in the drinking chocolate powder.2. Melt the butter and mix into the biscuits.3. Press the mixture into the base and sides of a 20cm flan or pie dish with the back of a spoon, then leave to set in the fridge for half an hour or so.4. Bring 120ml of cream up to a near boil in a pan. Add the chocolate and leave to melt for a couple of minutes.5. Stir until just combined, then pour onto the biscuit base. Level and leave to set in the fridge for an hour or so, or until the ganache has set.6. Whip the cream to soft peak stage.7. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and nut butter together until just combined, then fold in the cream a third at a time until just combined.8. Spoon onto the chocolate ganache and level. Dust with a little cocoa powder and serve.
Details
Prep time: 40Setting time: Total time: Yield: 8 slices

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