Sunday, 19 June 2016

Stem Ginger Cake

Just look at those lovely syrupy sweet stem ginger gems. Who can resist not making something rich and decadently buttery with them?! I surely couldn’t so when a friend of mine fed me his ginger cake I had to go and recreate it. It has all my favourites, stem ginger, sticky golden syrup and deep dark black treacle. What you need for this gorgeous cake is:


100gm sugar
50gm butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon black treacle
200 ml milk
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger or 1 tsp powdered ginger
4 pieces stem ginger plus syrup that covered them
2 eggs
1tsp bicarb
1 tsp baking powder
220 gm self raising flour


  1. Preheat your oven to 160C.

  1. In a saucepan put the butter, sugar, treacle and golden syrup. Melt them together and them remove from the heat, gently stir in the milk.

  1. Peal and grate the fresh ginger and add to the molten mix. Then grate the stem ginger and add to the molten mix. Stir in the syrup as well.

  1. In a bowl put the dry ingredients together and crack in the two eggs and whisk them in a little.

  1. Pour in the wet mix into the dry and whisk together gently. Pour into an oiled and lined loaf tin. Bake for an hour or until a wooden skewer comes out clean

I think this is a recipe that will change, I am looking to come up with a nice glaze for this that further enriches the cake but I have not decided on the flavour of the glaze. The cake is actually moist enough on its own but I feel like for full decadence a glaze is necessary. Perhaps something boozie.

Bon Appetite!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Chocolate Brownie - The Healthy version

Who doesn’t like a nice gooey chocolate brownie? It is one of those safe go to pubs that you know will be good and that you can tailor to your tastes. Chocolate brownies come with many extras, you can add nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, alcohol, more chocolate, white chocolate, you can even have a mint chocolate version although I am not sure why you would even ruin a chocolate brownie like that. Shame on you if you thought that was a good idea!  You can have them on their own, with cream, ice cream, custard, extra chocolate sauce, fruit cooleys. The list really is as limited as imagination.

Picture as I was preping the plate
So does that mean that chocolate brownies can also come guilt free? The answer ladies and gents is yes, absolutely and after some serious trial and error I have come to a healthier version of the chocolate brownie, that is low fat and also pretty well behaved on the sugar front too. What did I do? I replaced the fat with avocados and the sugar with honey, you can replace it with agave but I don’t have the ratios for that because I don’t like it as much as I like honey.

I tailored these to be just birm enough in the centre and super sticky in the middle. When I cook them I cook them until they are JUST cooked in the middle. They are best warm but they last a good 4-5 days and can be re-warmed, but NOT in the microwave, that makes the chocolate burn and makes them hard as a rock. Please do not microwave pastry, for the love of all that is good in the world don’t!

To make the brownies, you will need an 18 inch baking tray, some cooking spray to grease the tray and the following ingredients: 


2 cups dark chocolate chips or 350gm cooking chocolate
2 medium ripe avocados, really well mashed up
2 ½ - 3 tablespoons honey*
4 eggs
Vanilla extract
¼ cup raw sugar free cocoa powder
½ cup flour**
½ teaspoon salt  

* depending on how sweet you want your brownies - for a less healthy version use ⅔ cup sugar

**  You can use ground almond for a gluten free version, I still haven’t figured out the best quantity for that but as soon as I figure it out I will update the blog


  1. Preheat oven to 180C’ fan, 190C’ no fan, gas mark 5. Grease your baking tray and leave it to one side
  2. Melt the chocolate over a bain marie (pan of hot water simmering, glass bowl on top chocolate in the glass bowl). Leave to one side to cool a little
  3. I made strawberry cooley 
    In a separate bowl using a hand mixer beat together the avocado and honey until smooth and well combined and then add the chocolate. This allows the chocolate to cool down enough that it doesn’t cook the eggs when you add them.
  4. Add the vanilla and then add the eggs one at a time mixing well before you add the next.
  5. Sift together the cocoa and flour to give it some air.
  6. Beat the flour into the chocolate mix, add the salt and make sure all is mixed well.
  7. At this stage you can add soft fruit such as raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. Fust them with flour or icing sugar before you pop them in or they will sink to the bottom.
  8. Pour batter into the baking tray and put in the oven for about 40 minutes. Some ovens make take less some ovens may take more. Brownies can be a little temperamental this way. It also depends on how gooey or solid you want them,

 These brownies are best served warm, with ice cream, you can sprinkle some icing sugar for effect.

Bon Appetite!