These date cakes are delicious served warm with custard! They are quite rich but most of their sweetness comes from the dates and prunes.
160g dates (pitted and chopped)
90g prunes (pitted and chopped)
1 tsp bicarb of soda
100g demerara sugar
150g self raising wholemeal flour (or plain)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 160c and grease a 12 cake muffin tin.
Heat the dates, prunes, water and bicarbonate of soda in a pan over a medium heat for 5 mins until they are softened then blend to a fine puree.
Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Then add the eggs, the fruit puree and finally the flour and vanilla extract.
Spoon into the muffin tray and bake in the over for around 20 – 25mins. The cakes won’t have risen too much, check a knife comes out clean from the centre, then leave for 5mins and serve.
They also keep really well in the fridge for a couple of days and they can be frozen too.
These bags are made from hand woven plaid and floral cotton. The lining is durable thick cotton and the bottom of the bag and the handles are made from a tan coloured soft suedette. The bag measures approximately 40x 35cm and each handle is just under 50cm long (to fit comfortably over your shoulder)
Perfect for shopping, work or school. I use my bag all the time and it is hard-wearing as well as feeling soft and looking pretty!
You can see more details here
Valentine's Day shortbread
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a few drops of vanilla extract
approx 200g strawberry jam
Preheat the oven to 180c then line and grease a baking tin (I used a 30 x 20cm one)
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the flour and baking powder and bring together then add the egg and vanilla extract. Knead the mixture together until you get a smooth dough, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for around 30mins.
Divide the dough in half and roll out one half to the size of the baking sheet (it will be quite thin, probably around 3mm) Place it in the tray and spread the jam over the surface. Then roll out the other half and place over the top.
Bake in the oven for around 15-20mins until it starts to go golden around the edges. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 5mins. You can use pastry cutters to cut out shapes or use a knife to cut it into squares. They make sweet Valentine’s Day presents too!
These keep well in a biscuit tin for 3-4 days.
Clockwise from top left:
24h Tuokio by Arabia tabelware range by Finnish designer duo Helorinne & Kallio from Skandium, Sandalwood D Tana Lawn, Liberty Art Fabrics from Liberty Vintage Grainsack Pillow Double Blue Stripe from Jill Bent Cut Paper Wallpaper from the Tea House Collection from Thibaut Calico Teapot by Burleigh Nejlika Jardiniere from Nordic Style
These are really easy to make, they are healthy and they look pretty too. All the sweetness comes from the dried apricots but if you want you can add a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar to the mixture to make them that little bit sweeter. I also made a batch using organic apricots too – they are not quite so pretty but taste just as yummy.
200g dried apricots
50g desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
rind of 1 lemon
Blitz the apricots in a blender or food processor until you have a smooth paste. Transfer this to a small bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Once combined roll into small balls (about the size of walnuts) and cover in more desiccated coconut. Then keep in fridge and served chilled.
Apricot sweets using organic dried apricots
This cake is sticky, moist, dark and flavoured with honey, ginger and spices (it is a little bit like Yorkshire Parkin) It definitely tastes at it’s best a couple of days after you make it – the flavours come out more and the cake becomes more sticky and gooey – so if you can leave it a couple of days.
175g plain flour
75g caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
225g clear honey
60ml / 4tbs coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
juice and rind of one orange
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger root
Preheat the oven to 180c and grease and line a 10 x 8in baking tin.
In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Make a well in the centre and then add the honey, eggs, oil, orange zest, juice and chopped ginger. Beat until smooth.
Transfer the mixture in the baking tin and cook for around 40 – 45mins. Make sure you keep an eye on it to avoid the honey and the edges of the cake from burning. The cake should be springy but firm to the touch.
Remove when cooked and leave to cool, then slice into squares. You could use a loaf tin instead if you prefer (you may just need to allow a little more baking time)