Saturday 30 August 2014

Apple, Plum and Almond Crumble Cake

My colleague brought in a huge basket of plums to work from her garden. We ate some of it but there was so many left I decided I'd take some home and bake something with it. I started thinking about flavour combinations and in the end decided on this apple, plum and almond crumble cake. The cake was declared one of the best bakes of the year. 

The cake is lightly spiced with chunks of apple which added a lovely freshness to the cake. The crumble topping added a lovely layer of texture and flavour with the ground almonds and oats. The plums were tart but still retained their shape and moisture after baking and paired well with the toasted almond flakes. The cake is delicious on its own but would go well with some custard or cream. 

I'm entering this to several blogging challenges this month. Firstly to the Rix Aga Inspired Recipe Competition where the theme is plums. 

Simple and in Season hosted this month by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary for Ren from It's definitely plum season as these came fresh from my colleague's garden.

Shop Local hosted by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. This challenge was created to highlight produce from local sources. The plums in this recipe came from a colleague's garden. 

The No Waste Food Challenge which is run by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. This month, it's guest hosted by Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than... The plums were bountiful and would have gone to waste otherwise.

Update 19th January 2015

This recipe has been published in House of Fraser's 'The Blogger's Recipe Book'  I was pleased to have been invited by the team at House of Fraser Home Department to participate in this project. They've compiled an assortment of recipes from bloggers and it features both sweet and savoury recipes. There are lots of familiar bloggers in there and a few new ones that I've not come across on my blog travels. I'm not sure if the book itself will be for general sale but once I know I will update this post again. 

 The recipe book 

 My bio 

 My recipe

 adding chunks of apple to the batter 

 place the cake batter in the tin 

 top with the crumble 

 arrange the sliced plums on top 

 after baking for about 40 minutes - the middle will still be wobbly 

 add a sprinkle of almond flakes and continue baking until brown 

 fresh from the oven 

 you can see the chunks of apple at the bottom of the cake on the right side 


An original recipe by bakingaddict

For the cake
4 eggs = 259g (use the same amount of butter, flour and sugar) 
259g butter
259g caster sugar
259g self raising flour
2 red apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the crumble topping
90g butter
90g plain flour
90g light brown sugar
50g ground almonds
60g oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the topping
Handful of plums - cored and sliced
approximately 35g almond flakes

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  • Sift in the flour and mix well.
  • Stir in the apple chunks by hand and pour into a 23cm round cake tin which has been lined. 
  • Make the crumble topping by rubbing the butter and flour together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. 
  • Stir in the sugar, ground almonds, oats and ground cinnamon.
  • Pour the crumble topping on top of the cake batter and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Arrange the plum slices on top of the cake.
  • Bake for approximately 40 minutes then remove from the oven - the middle will still be wobbly at this point but the outside of the cake should be cooked.
  • Sprinkle the flaked almonds on top of the cake and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes or until the almonds are toasted and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. 
  • If the almonds brown quickly, cover with foil and continue cooking until the cake is cooked. 

Thursday 28 August 2014

Chocolate and Mint Loaf

Remember I mentioned in previous posts about getting goodies from a friend who visited America? I asked for Andes creme de menthe baking chips as I've baked with them previously and they were really tasty so I was really pleased she got me a bag of these. Unfortunately it was one of the hottest days of the year when I received these and we were out for the whole day so these sat baking in the car boot. Unsurprisingly when I got to them they had melted completely so I popped them in the fridge when I got home and it solidifed again but in a giant lump. I didn't want to waste them so I decided to incorporate them into a chocolate and mint loaf cake. I put about 1/2 of the bag into the cake and sprinkled some on top of the cake before baking. I used the remainder to make a minty chocolate ganache to go with the cake. The result was a really moist chocolatey and minty cake with a delicious mint chocolate ganache. You could still taste chunks of the mint chocolate in the cake which was my favourite part. I suspect these would be good in brownies too which was my other option. 

 This is what it looked like after it had melted and then been refrigerated 


For the cake
100 grams plain flour
100 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
20 g cocoa powder
90 g unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75 ml sour cream
~150g Andes Creme de menthe baking chips + ~25g for the topping

For the ganache
50 mls double cream
~100g Andes Creme de menthe baking chips

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Place all the ingredients for the cake in a stand mixer and mix until smooth. Alternatively mix everything by hand in a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour the cake batter into a loaf tin.
  • Sprinkle the top with Andes creme de menthe baking chips.
  • Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it's almost boiling.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the mint baking chips.
  • Continue stirring until smooth.
  • Pour the ganache over the cake before serving. 

Monday 25 August 2014

SRC: Healthy Raspberry Bars

It's the 4th Monday of the month which can only mean one thing.... It's Secret Recipe Club Group D Reveal day! I love the Secret Recipe Club and look forward to reveal day every month. The concept is simple - each blog is assigned another blog in secret and the idea is that you choose a recipe to make from your secret blog and reveal it on the same day. It's a great way to discover new blogs and exciting recipes. 

This month my assignment is Without Adornment written by Bean. Her favourite hobbies are baking/cooking and photography, both of which she showcases on her blog. She is gluten intolerant and loves to experiment with vegan baking so her blog is a treasure trove of gluten free/dairy free/vegan recipes. I know more and more people with gluten intolerance and food allergies so this was a good opportunity to experiment with recipes and to bake outside my comfort zone. 

I had a real nosey round her blog and I do encourage you to pop over and say hi. She writes a beautiful blog with lovely accompanying pictures. I shortlisted a few recipes to try and in the end went with this raspberry bar as it sounded good and I had some fresh raspberries to hand. Her recipe is a gluten and refined sugar free vegan bar. I've made some adjustments as I did not have all the ingredients to hand so mine is not quite gluten free but it's dairy free with minimal refined sugar. I was really pleased that mine turned out almost exactly the same as Bean's. It tastes like a crumble and the sweetened, spiced tart raspberries are the perfect filling. These would be great for lunch boxes or picnics.

 flour and oat mix 

 adding coconut oil 

 looks like a crumble mixture 

 mix the raspberries with honey and spices 

 press more than half of the flour mixture onto a traybake tin 

 add a layer of raspberries 

 top with the remaining flour mixture 


Recipe adapted from Without Adornment

55g ground almonds
80 g brown rice flour
100g oats
55g wholemeal flour
100g spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 
50g dark brown sugar
100g coconut oil
450g fresh raspberries
4 - 5 tablespoons honey (adjust to taste) 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. 
  • In a large bowl, mix the ground almonds, brown rice flour, oats, wholemeal flour, spelt flour, sugar and baking powder.
  • Add the coconut oil and rub into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the honey, spices and raspberries together. 
  • Spray a traybake tin with non stick spray. Press more than half the flour mixture into the tin and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • Spoon the raspberry layer on top and finish with the remaining crumble mix.
  • Bake for approximately 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into squares.

Friday 22 August 2014

Marmalade Chocolate Croissant Pudding

There was an opened pack of stale croissants at work sometime ago that was about to be binned. It was only a few days old and I thought it would be a shame to waste it, perhaps I can make something with it. I love bread and butter pudding and have not had one for a long time. So I decided to turn these stale croissants into marmalade chocolate croissant pudding. It's really simple and a great way to use up stale croissants/brioche or bread.

I sliced the croissants in half and spread a thick layer of dark marmalade on each side. I placed them marmalade side up in a dish and sprinkled some dark chocolate chunks on top.Then I soaked it in the custard mixture for about 30 minutes before baking. The result was amazing. The buttery croissant combined with tangy marmalade and hints of dark chocolate was absolutely divine. The eggy custard held it all together and even though we were completely full after dinner, we managed a hefty portion as it was just so good. I'm tempted to buy fresh croissants and leave them for a few days just to make this again!

I'm entering this to the No Waste Food Challenge as I used up leftover croissants for this recipe. This month it's hosted by Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than... on behalf of Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

 spread marmalade on croissants which have been sliced in half 

 sprinkle over some dark chocolate chunks 

 soak in custard 

 fresh from the oven 


3 stale croissants, sliced in half 
150mls double cream
75mls milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons caster sugar 
Dark marmalade 
50g dark chocolate chunks

  • Place the cream and milk in a pan and bring to a boil. 
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. 
  • Pour the cooled cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking as you go.
  • Prepare the croissants as shown.
  • Pour the custard mixture over the croissants and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes or until soft. 
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Chocolate Marshmallow Muffins

These were originally meant to be chocolate marshmallow cupcakes with a milk chocolate frosting and mini marshmallow topping. However, when I was baking this quite late at night, I discovered I only had about 30g of icing sugar left and it was too late to go out to get more.  As this does not have icing, I feel it's wrong to call it a cupcake hence chocolate marshmallow muffins. 

I used a chocolate sour cream cake recipe that I've used previously. I debated about how to incorporate the marshmallows and in the end decided to put 2 large marshmallows at the bottom of the muffin case before filling it with cake batter. What I didn't know but should have guessed was that the marshmallow would rise during baking and give a toasted marshmallow topping. Result! To be honest, these were so good on their own they didn't require any frosting. The cake was moist and chocolatey and the toasted marshmallow on top gave extra sweetness and gooeyness to the cake. 

I created this recipe for this month's We Should Cocoa challenge which is guest hosted by Rebecca from Bake N Quilt. She chose the theme marshmallow and chocolate. The challenge is run by Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog

 I bought micro marshmallows for the cupcakes but I'm sure I'll find another use for it. 

 cook butter, cocoa powder and water 

 whisk in the eggs

 followed by the sour cream 

 place 2 large marshmallows on the bottom of each cupcake case 

 cover with cake batter until almost full 

 toasted marshmallow! 

 I also made a medium loaf cake with the remaining batter which is covered in melted milk chocolate (I prepared it for the icing) and sprinklses 

Makes 12 mini cakes and 1 medium loaf as shown.

250g plain four
45g cocoa powder
60g dark chocolate pieces
225g butter
1 cup water
300g sugar
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 large marshmallows

  • Place the butter, cocoa powder, chocolate and water to cook over a medium heat.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar together.
  • Carefully add half the melted chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time and continue whisking. 
  • Then add the sour cream and vanilla extract.
  • Place 2 marshmallows in each cupcake case. 
  • The cake batter is quite liquid so I'd recommend pouring it into the jug and pouring the cake batter into each cupcake case until it's almost full.
  • The marshmallows may float but not to worry. 
  • Bake for about 18 minutes or until the marshmallows are toasted and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.