Carrot Muffins with Apricot and Almond

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No cupcake wrappers in the house so no cupcakes today, just muffins instead! Carrot cake is delicious… everyone who doesn’t like it probably just hasn’t tried a good one yet….. πŸ˜‰

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My dad grew this rose in his glorious garden haha so I had to take a picture!

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(There are a few more of his flowers on my insta)

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Carrot Muffins with Apricot and Almond
Ingredients:
Muffins:
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup grated carrots
Topping:
3 apricots (quite ripe)
Flaked almonds
Icing:
30g butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
A little hot water

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan.

Whisk the eggs, oil, sugar and sour cream. Fold in the flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Fold in the carrots until just combined. Divide between the muffin holes (I only got 10 from mine). Bake for 20 minutes until the top springs back when pressed lightly.

Cool for a few mins then remove from the tin and cool completely. While they are cooling (or cooking, you can do this earlier), chop up the apricots and microwave for one minute on high, stir and then repeat. Cool completely then chill.

Soften the butter for the icing then mix in half the icing sugar and beat very well by hand. Add a few drops of water and add the rest of the icing sugar. Beat until thick and fluffy. Spread on top of the muffins then dollop on some apricot compote. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Chill until 5 mins before serving.

Makes 10 and they are just as delicious even three days later if kept chilled!

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Honey Tea Cakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Flaked Almonds

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What happens when you have 10kg of honey that’s too grainy and bitter to use for smoothies?
You try to use it up…. in as many ways as possible. Hence, honey tea cake time πŸ™‚ I gave them cute little crowns of flaked almonds because, well… it’s cute. And delicious!

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This is a melt and mix style of recipe, which makes six pretty large individual cakes. They didn’t even last until the next day, so I’m not sure if they are just as delicious the next day, but keep them in an airtight container and they should be fine πŸ™‚

Honey Tea Cakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Flaked Almonds
Ingredients:
Cakes:
150g butter
370g honey
3 eggs
245g flour
2 tsp baking powder
Frosting:
30g butter, softened
60g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:
Melt the butter and honey over very low heat until the butter is melted. Leave to cool for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease a 6-hole Texas-muffin pan.

Beat the eggs lightly and mix into the butter and honey mixture, followed by the flour and baking powder. Mix until combined and pour into the tray. Bake for 35 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the tins for a bit and then unmold and cool completely.

To frost, beat the frosting ingredients together until light and fluffy. Spread on top of the cakes and arrange the the flaked almonds around the edges.

Makes 6.

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Cinnamon Sticky Date Bliss Balls

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Currently two weeks into my vegan month πŸ™‚ Here is a little snack that I whipped up for uni. So easy to make! I have a vegan ice cream sundae recipe coming too. Be sure to comment and link some of your own vegan recipes if you think I should try them!

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Cinnamon Sticky Date Bliss Balls
Ingredients:
1 part soaked dates (or medjool dates) (I would start with 1 cup)
1 part raw almonds (handful reserved)
1 tsp+ cinnamon

Instructions:
Whizz all the ingredients together until blended. Remember you can add the cinnamon to taste. Roll into balls. Chill. Chop up the almonds until fine and roll the bliss balls into it. Store in the fridge.

Using 1 cup= 1 part, makes about 12 πŸ™‚ Last well for a few days!

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Lemon and Wellington Blackberry Tart [for One]

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Sometimes, among the urban landscape of cities and suburbs, hunter-gathering can come in handy. Which is why I present a healthy tart showcasing some Wellington City Blackberries!

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I made a date-almond crust and filled it with yogurt; what could be healthier than that?Β IMG_2806

I am currently using Starbucks wifi as our flat is still to be set up, so I shall leave you with many pictures and a recipe. Have a good week everyone πŸ™‚

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Lemon and Wellington Blackberry Tart
Ingredients:
Crust:
1/2 cup almonds
3 medjool dates
Coulis:
1/3 cup blackberries
1 tsp honey
To fill:
1/3 cup yogurt
To decorate:
Leftover coulis
Edible flower petals

Instructions:
Blitz together the almonds and dates until a crumbly paste forms. Press into a 10cm diameter tart tin and freeze for half an hour. Meanwhile, heat the blackberries and honey until thick. Cool completely.

To assemble, spread a very thin layer of coulis onto the bottom of the tart shell. To half the yogurt, add some coulis until you have a nice purple colour. Spoon on top of the coulis over. Finally, and very carefully, spoon the plain yogurt on top of the berry yogurt layer. Take out of the tart tin. Decorate with leftover coulis and flower petals and serve.

Makes one, and is best served right after assembly.

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Tosca Cake (A Blast from the Past Recipe)

Sweden is so wonderful. I mean, this cake, seriously. Delicious. I was inspired by a Swedish cook book I read eons back, so all credit to that wonderful country!

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“This cake is a traditional Swedish cake, and combines light and fluffy cake with crunchy sliced almonds and rich caramel.Β  It looks a bit challenging, but is a breeze to prepare, and especially eat! Make sure you either line the walls of the cake tin, or clean it as soon as you take the cake out, or the caramel with stick like glue.”

(advice from 13 year old me in my cookbook I made for a school project a few years back. Hope you enjoy, and give it a shot!)

You could use whatever nuts you want on top, or maybe add some other flavours to the cake. Maybe even substitute some ground almonds for flour!

 

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Tosca Cake
Ingredients:
Cake:
2 eggs
1/3 cup raw sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g butter
1 Tbsp golden syrup
2 Tbsp milk
Topping:
45g butter
ΒΌ cup sugar
1/3 cup flaked almonds
2 tbsp milk

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180Β°C and line the bottom of a 22cm pan with baking paper.

Beat the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy. Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a saucepan, heat the milk, golden syrup and butter until the butter is melted. Slowly beat the flour into the egg mix, and then fold in the butter mix a bit at a time. Pour in the tin and bake for 15 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

As soon as the cake goes in the oven, heat the butter and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the almonds and milk and boil for 6 minutes. When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and pour the caramel mixture on top and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before unmolding from the tin and cooling completely on a wire wrack. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 12 slices

Lasts for 3 days

Have a lovely week everyone πŸ™‚ xxx

Berry Cheesecake Sunburst Tart

Summer is coming πŸ™‚
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Which means barbecues, late nights, tan lines and summer desserts; such as this one. I won’t ramble Β on too much, as the photos aren’t the greatest (it was Guy Fawkes, and most of the lights were off to maximise the effect of the fireworks outside) and I can only say so much about it!
It was an experiment and it was very successful at that.
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A crispy and buttery base, with whipped cream and a berry and cream cheese filling; delicious πŸ™‚ The chopped almonds were a last minute addition but they work very well indeed! I wouldn’t skip them when I make this again. Anyway, long story short, this is an easy and very pretty tart, that take less time and ingredients to make than a cheesecake, but certainly pays homage to it!

Berry Cheesecake Sunburst Tart
Ingredients:
Base:
25g desiccated coconut
150g flour
20g custard powder
55g sugar
65g butter
1 egg
A few drops of water if necessary
Topping:
200g frozen berries
50g honey
125g cream cheese
An extra 50g honey
125ml whipping cream
Handful of almonds

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray.
In a food processor, whizz up the coconut until about the consistency of ground almonds. Add the flour, custard powder and sugar and pulse until combined. Cube the butter and add the the processor, pusling until the texture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip into a bowl and add the egg, mixing until a dough forms (If it is still a little thick or crumbly, add a few drops of water). Shape into a circle on the tray, about 1 cm thick and 20cm in diameter. Prick on top with a fork and even out the edges. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until firm. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the berry coulis. Over low heat, cook the berries and the honey until thick. Cool and strain with a sieve. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and second lot of honey until smooth, then mix in the coulis. Freeze (or chill if you want) for about an hour.
When ready to assemble, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Spoon into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe a border around the edge of the cookie base (I had JUST enough cream so if you are a little worried about the quantity, use about 150mls). Spoon the filling into the middle, so that it just fills the border made by the cream. Chop the almonds and sprinkle around the edges. Serve.
This lasts about an hour before the base goes a bit soft, but all the elements could be made ahead if needed!

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Β look forward to making many more tarts to share with you this summer!