Rich Chocolate Cake, Raspberry Chia Seed Jam with Chocolate Orange Ganache

IMG_5988As much as I love a good, healthy, raw, vegan dessert; sometimes I just want a NORMAL cake. Full of chocolate, sugar and all things bad for me.

So much of being vegan or plant-based means that you don’t necessarily enjoy what you used to, or you have to settle with an ok version made with a crazy amount of nuts. Yes, I do adore these foods when you find THE recipe, but so much of the time it’s too good to be true and you’re left with a flavourless meal (that you really thought might taste like real cheese this time.)

Some vegans really don’t mind these knock-off versions of dairy-laden dishes, as do I sometimes. But I still love and crave dairy. I love the taste of meat, but I love animals more. So here I am, blasting through the world of dairy and meat substitutes.

One thing I can sure make is a vegan chocolate cake. This thing is what I’ve been waiting for! A cake with ingredients I recognise. Ingredients that I have in my cupboard. A cake crumb that’s moist and fudgey. AND IT DOESNT TASTE LIKE COCONUT! (You all know the wonders of coconut, but practically all sweet animal friendly foods taste like coconut, and I’m so sick of it.)

I honestly think this cake is just as good as a ‘normal’ sponge cake using butter and eggs. Everyone needs this recipe in their back pocket, armed for cake emergencies.

As the saying goes; a balanced diet is a chocolate bar in both hands. A slice of chocolate cake in each hand counts too right?

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Continue reading “Rich Chocolate Cake, Raspberry Chia Seed Jam with Chocolate Orange Ganache”

Blood Orange and Ginger Almond Cake

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I havent seemed to be around here at all since the new year. I’ve been spending my days wrapped up in home yoga, enjoying a more savoury side of cooking and trying to cram in as much time with family and friends as I can. As much as I’ve missed my blogging internet self, It was some much-needed time to re-ground myself and remember whats important to me in preparation for a great year to follow.

I havent set any fancy new years resolutions this year, just one. To welcome the coming year with an open heart and open mind (and also looking after my self as a number one priority, but this should just be a given!)

Yes ok, cake isn’t exactly nourishing food but it is nourishment for the soul. Life would be pure hell without the little pleasures.

Blood oranges are a charming fruit to grab while they’re still around. I love how unsuspecting they look from the outside. As soon as you cut through that ordinary peel, you’re hit with a citrus sweet fragrance and an eyeful of juicy burnt orange flesh. Every time I cut into one I’m amazed at the colour.

I decided to make this cake using mostly ground almonds as it gives a great texture contrast to the squidgey orange pieces. Adding in a dash of ground ginger really brings the blood oranges and the sponge together. We’re finally coming out of the depths of winter and gearing up for all of the gleaming fruits and vegetables to come this spring. Cooking delicious food becomes an easy task when nature does all the work for you.

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Continue reading “Blood Orange and Ginger Almond Cake”

Blackberry, Orange and Chocolate Bread Pudding for one

IMG_3340One thing that really bothers me about living on my own, is buying food for one. I hate leftovers and, more than anything, I hate wasting food. I admit that some leftover meals are crazy delicious, like christmas leftover sandwiches or bubble and squeak, and they do have their place when it comes to time-saving. But eating a three-day old soggy lasagne just doesn’t do it for me.

One of my favourite things to buy is a crusty fresh loaf of bread from a local shop. I can’t think of many things more satisfying than the smell of a freshly baked loaf. Accompany some pungent ripe cheese with that and I’m yours. However, 9 times out of 10, I won’t eat all of it before it becomes stale beyond any saving. And this is with me eating it at every opportunity, trying to avoid this. Life seems to get in the way and this happens with a fair amount of food in my house.

I honestly think someone should create a supermarket for singles. Everything should come in single sized portions. I really don’t like eating the same meal over and over again, so buying a pack of six sausages means I have to eat sausages for three days in a row. All of the dishes I bake in on a day-to-day basis are single sized or two portion maximum, for this reason exactly.

So here I am, saving all you fellow single gals and guys out there from leftovers and throwing away old food; because you really can’t face the thought of another lacklustre pasta dish hanging around your fridge for days again.

Bread pudding uses up leftover milk, berries, croissants and anything else you feel like throwing in there. Make this what you want. It’s all about taking out what I’ve put in and changing it for what tickles your fancy. Nothing screams Autumn like a steaming dish of hot, creamy bread pudding just for you.

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Chocolate Orange Pots de Creme with Cinder Toffee (GF)

IMG_0633I woke up this morning with the sun charring my bare arm. My limb sticking out of the covers like a flower thirsty for light. I turned over, blinded by the sunlight, and let the blond rays tingle my cheeks.

This was the first time I had felt the sun on my skin in a long time; like a reunion with a long-lost friend. Continue reading “Chocolate Orange Pots de Creme with Cinder Toffee (GF)”

Blood Orange Posset

Blood Orange PossetA few weeks ago, I decided to put Blood Orange Posset on the Du Jour menu at work. Ever since, I’ve been obsessed with Blood Oranges and Possets.

I completely forgot how much I love Posset. I honestly think it’s one of the best dinner party desserts. It uses three ingredients and is so quick and easy. They’re so delicate, creamy and will definitely leave you wanting more. Plus, it’s made the night before. Continue reading “Blood Orange Posset”

Fig and Blood Orange Dutch Baby Pancake

Dutch Baby Pancake closeI’ve been trying to make a considerable effort recently to exercise more and eat healthily with the thought of spring/summer looming. I know I know, It’s only February and I’m super eager.

It’s not so much a weight loss strategy, but more of a desire to be stronger and fitter. However, working as a Pastry Chef means everyday is like sitting in front of a conveyor belt of delicious food. Continue reading “Fig and Blood Orange Dutch Baby Pancake”

Chocolate Orange Roulade Sponge with Blackberry Cream (GF)

Roulade I mentioned in my last post that I had had two failed baking attempts this week. A sauceless ‘self-saucing’ Chocolate Pudding and an Autumnal Eton Mess which really wasn’t appealing.

The disappointing part of these failed bakes wasn’t that they had failed. It was that I wanted to share the combination of blackberry and bitter chocolate with you; a flavour combination that I love. Continue reading “Chocolate Orange Roulade Sponge with Blackberry Cream (GF)”

Spiced Pecan and Orange Butter Cookies

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I love finding new cookie recipes. I love it because I love having stashes of them in the freezer. A whole array of them, glistening there like my own personal cookie shop.

It’s important to have this all year round but most important during the holiday season. Continue reading “Spiced Pecan and Orange Butter Cookies”