Gluten Free Fig & Honey Cake

Fresh figs, Oh how I have missed them, admittedly store-bought are no comparison to my Nonno's homegrown variety but seriously nothing ever is.

I sourced some from my local fruit shop as flying to Sydney might not seem feasible to collect some from his garden though with the price of them in store it was very tempting let me tell you. Not sure if it is just an Italian obsession but these fruits just tantalize the taste buds like no other.

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Perfectly enjoyable on their own, though I did decide why not experiment and make a tea cake with these beauties whilst they are at their best.  We have all used the dried kind before but fresh figs in baking is a whole new ball game, on another level on enjoyment. The sweetness they contribute is perfect when making desserts without added sugar, it gives the sweetness in a natural form. Pairing with another favourable natural sweetener thank god for the bees the purest kind, raw honey of course. They are truly made to go together like mac and cheese, gin and tonic, like bacon and eggs well you get where I am going here.

The cake turned out a treat. I substituted the flours to make it gluten-free and can I just say when I turned it out I was so pleased. This moist teacake  (I hate to use that word but that's the best way to describe it) sweet and delicate, Oh and the  smell of the figs and honey filled the whole kitchen.

I was in fig heaven.

If you are a fig lover this is one cake worth making. Served warm with melted honey drizzled over the top. You can add a dollop of fresh whipped cream or natural yoghurt to top things off.

Enjoy!

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Buttery Crumbly Chocolate Chip Cookies

The most buttery, crumbly cookies you ever did eat. Lunch Box treats never looked so good need I say more!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

250g butter

1tsp vanilla

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

2 cups wholemeal spelt flour (brown rice flour for GF)

1 tsp bicarb soda

200g 70% dark choc chips or chocolate broken into chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. Beat butter, vanilla, coconut sugar and egg in an electric mixer until light and fluffy
  3. Mix through flour, bicarb soda, and chocolate
  4. Roll mixture into heaped teaspoon size balls
  5. Place balls 2 inches apart and bake for 15 mins
  6. Cool completely on tray store in an air tight container in the pantry

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Creamy Braised Lentils with Mushrooms and Kalettes

After a huge weekend, actually I should say this week of party celebrations. It was nice to get back to healthy eating and to kick off the week with a meatless Monday dish of braised lentils was just the thing I needed.

As I become more in tuned with my body and health over the past few years, I honestly do enjoy meat free meals more and more. I cannot say I am a totally converted vegetarian, though I have cautiously reduced my intake on red meat. My digestive system has notably changed for the better.

There are so many different "diets" "labels" of lifestyle these days. Apart from ethical reasons I believe you don't need a label to live your life the way you want, you know your own body and what makes you feel good and works for you. If you are eating a high quantity of protein and iron enriched foods from other sources such as lentils, brussels sprouts, other legumes and leafy greens then reducing or cutting out your red meat intake won't hurt you contrary to what we have been lead to believe over the years. Increasing your intake of plant-based foods you are providing your body with not just protein and iron but an array of vitamins and minerals that support a healthy, functioning body.

Whatever your dietary requirements this meal will make your taste buds sing and dance, leave you feeling full yet less sluggish and provide you with the protein your body requires. Enjoy on it's own as a meal or as a side with your meat or fish of choice if you prefer.

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Risotto The One Pot Wonder

One thing I love is one pot dinners I make them quite often, whether it is pasta, casserole, stir-fry, curry, or tray bakes I’m all for cutting corners.  It makes feeding a family a whole lot easier and less time-consuming, not to mention less washing up which is always a bonus cause the last thing you want to do is a huge pile of washing up after a hectic day.

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Birthdays and Chocolate Cake…

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Birthdays are a big deal in my house. Like most children they look forward to the one day it’s all about them and no one else. The hype steadily escalates weeks in advance, their fluttering butterflies of excitement provide a spring in their step which is hard to hide. Crossing off the days on the family calendar and counting down how many sleeps till the big day is all part of the anticipation.

My middle sons 6th birthday was no different I think amplified because six is a big deal! “I am now on two hands Mum”. The next faze in their little lives. Starting school, learning to read and write, beginning to be self organised, tying their shoe laces and making real friendships seem to be all part of this year of turning six! What seems like over night he has grown up to be a big boy,  really not so big as small things seem like the world to them,  like cupcakes for classmates, birthday stickers and chocolate cake with strawberries can make the whole day.

I am certainly not alone when I say that they grow up too quickly, so let them have their special day, love them, hug them and if they want to wear a ninja turtle costume to bed including face mask let them, they are only six once! Recipe below… Continue reading “Birthdays and Chocolate Cake…”