Dorset Apple Cake – Gluten Free, Nut Free

As Autumn is slowly creeping into winter and the days are getting shorter, you may change your menu choices. Out with the lighter salads and Eaton Messes and in with stews, hot pots and warm puddings ( or comfort food as my nan used to say).

Enter this Dorset apple cake. Inspired by my grand parents who hailed from west bay, and the fact I’ve got loads of apples from our tree. It’s the time of year to make it. When I was younger my nan would always have a bonfire party, and always make this as a pudding. Our party is belated and was last week, I couldn’t possibly not make it now could I?

Dorset Apple Cake- Gluten Free

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 225g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 450g cooking apples ( peeled and sliced thinly)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 225g gluten free self raising flour
  • 25g teff flour

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a square tin
  • Peel and slice the apples. Cover in the lemon juice to prevent browning of the apples.
  • In a bowl combine the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
  • whisk in the eggs
  • Add the cinnamon and mixed spice.
  • Mix in the flours until you have a smooth cake batter
  • Pour in half the mixture then cover with a layer of apples
  • Cover the apples with more mixture and a further layer of apples
  • Use the remaining mixture to cover the last layer of apples
  • Cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. You may need to adjust time for a fan-assisted oven.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

NB you can grate the apples and add to the mixture if you prefer apple all the way through.

So there you have it, easy and satisfying. Right I could do with a slice myself, I’m planning blogmas posts, and really trying to improve my organisational skills- so far it’s not going great. Wish me luck.

Until next time x

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Waffles- Gluten and Nut Free

I know what your thinking, it’s not the potato kind, but the lovely, douse me in ice cream or maple syrup kind.  

The long story short is that we purchased a ( sort of tacky) waffle iron in the sale and munchkin then kept on and on until I made some. They are delicious, the downside is that mini me now demands them a lot. This is ok and they are so easy to make, and easily adapted to suit a lot of diets. 

  
Ingredients 

  • 240ml milk of choice
  • 150g GF self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Optional 1tsp of vanilla extract 

Method

  • Combine everything in a bowl to form a smooth batter
  • Pour into your preheated iron and let cook
  • Cover with whatever you fancy and enjoy. 

It really is that simple. 

What is your favourite waffle topping? Let me know in the comments below. 
Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the ear ache you will receive from your kids wanting these again and again x 

Appy Kids Company Juice Review and Competition. 


See all this in the picture above? It could be yours but we will get to that later.

You may ( or may not) know that I have a munchkin, and I may have commented on the fact she loves Peppa pig and Paw Patrol once or twice.  I know I’m not on my own, most children go through a Peppa stage I think.

Anyway the lovely people over at Appy Kids Co contacted us asking if we would like to try these juices, not only that we have collaborated to offer you all the chance to try them to. If you hadn’t guessed already Appy Kids sell licensed character juice drinks, which are made with natural ingredients and in ranges such as Peppa, The Gruffalo, Minions and Paw Patrol.


We had the Orange Paw Patrol pouches and mixed berry Peppa cartons to try. They are all much lower in sugar, (see Here for typical ingredients list) suitable for most diets and contain added vitamins as well.  I was happy for LR to try these, I’m always conscious of sugar content, in terms of teeth health and diet but 3.75g per 100 MLS is around about what these drinks are, which is so much better than some on the market- it’s a win for mums, and kids alike.

So how to they taste? Im Pleased to say LR liked both, her favourite is Paw Patrol ( I suspect Chase on the front has something to do with it). Mind you she drank both and has gone back for more on different days. I take this as a positive- wild horses would not make her eat or drink something she doesn’t like. Her only criticism was that Rubble was missing from the front of the carton, but taste wise it’s all good. 

For research obviously I had a few sips to. Both are very tasty and refreshing. I like the fact they don’t leave that horrid artificial after taste in your mouth.  They don’t cause a sugar rush after either, so that alone is a thumb up from me. Perfect for the back to school lunch boxes.  ( yeah I know 5 wks- you’ve got this).

So how can you get your hands on this great prize of:

  • 3 x 5-pack of Paw Patrol Juice Drink Pouches
  • 3 x 3-pack of Peppa Pig Fruit Drink Cartons
  • 1 x Peppa Pig 9in1 Bumper Puzzle Pack by JUMBO GAMES

That is easy just follow the instructions in the box below ( just click the link) 

Winner will be drawn at random next week. Good luck to you all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy Lemon and Elderflower Curd. 

It’s that time of the year, the weather is supposedly getting better, and every thing is starting to burst into life.  This means elderflowers are everywhere in the countryside and gardens alike.  Now I’m all for foraging and free food so what better than gather some of these highly scented little flowers and incorporate them into a recipe. 
Elderflower works well with lemon as a flavour combination, think national trust tea rooms, there’s always a lemon and elderflower sponge (  or there was 17 yrs ago when I worked in one). So this got me thinking why not put them together in a curd. 

  
I love lemon curd, the tartness and zing being my favourite, and my broody bum chickens have now snapped out of their recent nest box hogging so we are back up to full egg supplies – boom, curd here we come. ( it’s very easy to make as well). 

Ingredients 

  • 200g caster sugar
  • Juice and zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 55g butter
  • 2 elderflower heads 
  • 2 eggs beaten ( free range are best due to better coloured yolks). 

Method 

  • In a pan over a gentle heat put the butter, sugar, lemon juice, zest and snip off the elderflowers into the pan as well. Try not to use the stalks as they can be bitter. 
  • Melt the butter and let the sugar dissolve
  • Remove from the heat and let seep for about 5 minutes
  • Strain the mixture into a bowl and discard the flowers
  • Have a pan of simmering water and place your bowl on top
  • Stir in the eggs, then keep gently stirring until the mixture thickens ( it should coat the back of a spoon) 
  • Take off the heat and pour into sterilised jars

  
So there you have it, super easy and delicious, all I can add is that the delicate flavour of the elderflowers adds a summery twist to an old classic,  so relax and enjoy some on some toast or crumpets ( or anything else that takes your fancy). 

Review – Nush Dairy Free Yogurt 

You may, or may not have noticed a new brand of the free from market? Nush Foods are the company behind dairy free, gluten free and vegan yogurts that are made from either almond or cashew milks. I believe they are the first in the UK to offer such a product. 

Anyway I’m rambling, I saw these in Tesco (£2) and thought I’d try one. I should add that they are nut based so all testing was done well out the way of mini me.

 

  I was really impressed, I’m not sure what I was expecting really- possibly a more gloopy texture that you can get with other plant based yogurts, but this has a consistency of, well yoghurt.  Considering this was almond based, you are not over powered with the taste, there was a subtle, but pleasing blueberry flavour, not overladen with sugar or sweetness- all positives for me. I should also add that this is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. 

  
So will I buy it again? Well yes, although not every day as it is a bit pricey.  That said I’m also interested in trying the cashew milk yoghurt when I track it down. Well done Nush keep up the good work. 
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All views are my own, and honest. 

Chocolate (Green) Smoothie

Hello, hello, hello I’m back ( or BT has finally fixed our phone line). anyway now normal service can be resumed and I’ve got loads of posts to share with you all, so I best get started. 

  
This here Is a green smoothie in disguise. It’s perfect for a chocolate fix but has less sugar than some of the other smoothie combinations out there. I’m not going to say  it’s clean, or sugar free etc, sugar is sugar whichever way you look at it, and this has some fruit in. 

Ingredients 

  • Handful of spinach 
  • Small piece of cucumber
  • 1/2 frozen banana 
  • A few chunks of mango
  • 1tsp of cacao powder 
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • Milk of choice 

Place all ingredients into your blender/ nutribullet etc and voila there you have your smoothie

  
Right back to it I’m experimenting with photo backdrops and have some pictures to take. ( it’s one of my aims this year to improve my photography skills). 

Bircher ( Overnight Oats) Bowl 

Hmmm so how’s 2017 going for everyone? Not bad for us this end, although losing a dear friend has been a blow.  However this is not a post intended on depressing you all, on the contrary the year is still young, opportunities are a plenty and my popcorn machine is on standby for me to pull up my chair and watch the comedy/ horror/ disaster movie that is Trump ( I’m childish and still snigger at his name) going into the Oval Office. 

I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m supposed to be keeping you all uplifted, well you will need energy to do this…..and this breakfast is perfect for that. I love ( gluten free) oats, they are filling, good for you, and versatile. What’s not to like? 

  

  The best thing about over night oats is that there is no right or wrong way to eat them, any flavour or combination work, they can be as clean ( or dirty??) as you want them to be, and can be made the night before. This is the real winner for me, as it saves precious time on that early morning rush….

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats ( or gluten free oats) 
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup of yoghurt or choice 
  • 1-2 tsp chia seeds ( optional) 
  • I dessert spoon raisins 
  • Sweeten with honey or maple syrup or Apple juice ( to suit your palate ) 
  • Topping of choice 

Mix the oats, milk, yoghurt, chia and sweetner together and leave for 6-8 hours in the fridge. 

In the morning add to a jar ( or bowl) and have fun with your toppings. 

  

Have you tried over night oats? What’s your favourite flavour combinations? Let me know in the comments below. 

Cranberry Sauce 

Boring title I know, but personally I don’t think you can have a Christmas dinner without cranberry sauce. I know as well that it is easy to open a jar, but I find something deeply satisfying in making it myself. Oh and did I mention it is almost effortless to boot. 

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 pack of fresh cranberries ( roughly 250g) 
  • 100ml Orange juice and zest if 1 orange
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Optional- a good slug of port. 

Method

  • Pour the juice,  zest, port and sugar into a pan, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Pour in the cranberries 
  •  Stir in the cranberries and start to simmer. 
  • The cranberries will start to burst when ready. You can either give them a vigorous stir to break them down, or leave them in their glorious half burst textures. 
  • As the sauce cools it will thicken. 

Serve as part of your Christmas dinner or with Brie in a toasted sandwhich. 

Review- Tesco Free From Truffles

Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 3/4 , its a bit late but here none the less , all best intentions were lost as I’ve been struck with the dreaded lurgy. 

I hope you are getting into the Christmas spirit? A grotto visit has got mini me super excited and we still have 3 weeks left- wish me luck. 

  
Anyway today I thought I’d share my thoughts on this new find from Tesco.  Free From Fondant Truffles, they are a mouthful to say, and a mouthful to eat.  Anyway the bonus is they are wheat, gluten, egg and milk free. ( I’m waiting for confirmation of nuts). 

  

So how do they taste? The thick chocolate outer is a pleasant milk chocolate, that doesn’t have that cheap  Artificial sweetness to it, however the soft fondant centre is very very sweet. If I’m honest they are not for me but then I do prefer dark chocolate. For me they sit well with a coffee after dinner ( which I assume is their intent). What is brilliant though is that there is a grown up, affordable (£2.00) dairy free truffle on the market now. 

Have you tried these? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Eggnog Smoothie

Welcome to day 2 of my Blogmas posts. I thought a recipe would go down well for today.  I say a recipe, but that makes this super easy smoothie sound harder yo make than it is.  Fear not it’s incredibly easy and tastes fantastic. 

 Edit   
To me there is nothing more satisfying that the festive taste of an eggnog, it’s rich and oh so moreish and contains all the right spices that just scream christmas. However I can appreciate as much as the next that A) not everyone likes the idea of eggs in a drink and B) it’s fairly  calorific as a drink, but hey it is christmas so a treat is ok.  With all this in mind this version has all the taste but without the egg or refined sugar. I can’t (and won’t) be jumping on the clean wagon with this. There is still sugar in it- so you know every thing in moderation, but this can be vegan friendly, it’s all down to your choice of milk used. 

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 dates or a dash of maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • Top up with milk of your choice ( almond works brilliantly) 

Put all ingredients into your blender and blitz until well combined.

 Edit   
Enjoy in between wrapping, putting up decorations or, in my case, as a reward from stopping the cat from wrecking the Christmas tree. Cheers