Countryside Plum Cake

Light, moist and very refreshing this countryside plum cake is the perfect treat any time of the day.

Light, moist and very refreshing this countryside plum cake is the perfect treat any time of the day.Living in the countryside and finally having our own garden and an orchard means that we get to enjoy a lot of fresh produce straight from the source. We still can’t get used to this fact; it’s so surreal sometimes… In the past things had to be planned… I couldn’t just bake a plum cake on the whim, I couldn’t mainly because I had no plums in the house… I had to drive to the supermarket and purchase some, which 99% of the time were unripe and thus still too hard to use… now, I just walk out into the garden and pick some from my tree… how cool is that?!

Anyhow, after months of baking brownies and chocolate based cakes and muffins, it was time for a change… summer has finally brought us a lot of super juicy and extremely tasty fruit, so I thought it was about time we added them to our menu.

The recipe below makes one 8 inch square tin, just like you would use to bake brownies, which is as it happens the perfect size for just the two of us, but if you have a bigger family or you are expecting some guests then simply double the volume of the ingredients and turn it into a sheet cake. Also, I should add that this cake tastes the best on the 2nd day, so make sure you bake a portion big enough to allow for plenty of next days “leftovers”.

On the first day, you have a defined cake with plums – crumbly light cake with refreshing moist plums inside. However, on the second day, the cake is becoming much moister with fruity juices spreading throughout the cake part think of it as a self-drizzling cake. Try for yourself and tell me which day you like best.

Now, let’s get baking.

Light, moist and very refreshing this countryside plum cake is the perfect treat any time of the day.

Ingredients:

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 15 large Damsons plums
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar – for decoration (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare an 8-inch square tin by lining it with baking paper.

In a small saucepan over a very low heat melt the butter, once melted put aside to cool.

Wash, halve and pit the plums then put them on a large baking tray to air dry whilst you continue with the rest of the cake.

In a large mixing bowl mix together the sifted flour, both sugars, and salt.

In a separate small bowl beat the eggs, then add the vanilla essence and stir well.

Once the butter has cooled down to room temperature combine it with the eggs and mix well.

Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and with a silicon spatula mix well until combined.

Pour the mixture into the earlier prepared baking tray.

Decorate however you want with the plums, or simply place them next to each other in a grid. Whichever way you go ensure that the skin side is pointing up. When your work of art is completed just pop into the oven.

Bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Once totally cooled down, decorate with icing sugar (if using), then finally cut into portions and enjoy.

Light, moist and very refreshing this countryside plum cake is the perfect treat any time of the day. #plumcake #cake #fruitcake #baking

Triple Chocolate Banana Bread

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the standard banana bread recipe… Everyone loves it and its super yummy and delicious but I have discovered that the addition of some cocoa and chocolate really takes it to a whole new level, making it much more cake like, which is never a bad thing.

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 85g butter
  • 75g dark chocolate
  • 75g milk chocolate
  • 30g raw cocoa powder
  • 2-3 bananas / ~225g peeled weight
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pack white chocolate buttons / hearts (optional for decoration)

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan.

With a sheet of baking paper line one standard size loaf tin.

In a small saucepan melt the butter, set aside and allow to cool.

Chop both chocolates into desired chunk sizes. I like to leave them around the 0.5cm diameter, no larger.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda; mix well.

With a fork or potato masher, mash the bananas until all the big chunks have disappeared. Then stir in the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and finally the cooled down butter; mix until just combined, don’t over mix or you run the risk of having a dense cake.

Fold in the rest of the dry ingredients leaving only the chocolate chunks which are to be added last.

Add the chocolate with a quick stir to help distribute them and pour the entire mixture into your earlier prepared loaf tin.

If using, decorate with some white chocolate chips or hearts.

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.

Bake at 180C fan for 35-40 minutes or until the so called dry stick test is passed (be aware of chocolate chunks… if you hit one the toothpick will never come out clean).

Once baked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before digging in.

The bread will freeze for up to 3 months so a good excuse to make a whole batch of them 🙂

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.
Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.

 

Triple Chocolate Almond Brownies

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.

Purposefully made to not be a sweet as traditional brownies whilst retaining all the wonderful flavours you would expect they offer a more intense experience. The chewy middle encapsulated with a crunchy exterior is complimented with the nuts for that pleasing crunch the mouth adores and all backed up with a small tingle from the coffee buzz… could you ask for more.

Ingredients:

  • 150g dark chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 115g butter; cubed
  • 100g almonds; roughly chopped
  • 55g plain flour
  • 50g white chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 30g drinking chocolate
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 1tbsp instant coffee
  • 1tbsp filtered hot water
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare an 8-inch square tin by lining it with baking paper, unless you, like me, bake in a silicone tray in which case no lining is necessary.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, over a very low heat melt the butter and dark chocolate slowly. Once melted remove from the heat and add the sugar, stir constantly until it is all dissolved.

Put aside the mixture to cool down.

In a small cup mix together the hot water and instant coffee and again set aside to cool; once cold add the vanilla essence.

Beat the eggs with a fork or whisk in a small bowl or cup.

In yet another bowl sift the flour and drinking chocolate together.

Once your dark chocolate has cooled down to around room temperature pour into a mixing bowl and then add the whisked eggs, the coffee and vanilla mixture and stir the mix until combined.

Fold in your flour and drinking chocolate; finally gently fold in the chopped almonds and white chocolate chunks.

Spread the mixture out evenly in your pre-prepared baking tray and bake for 28-30 minutes or until just set in the middle… avoid over baking as over baked brownies will tend to be dry and hard, I like to check on them once my timer hits the 25-minute mark just to keep a close eye on them.

Remove from the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.

Cut into your desired serving portion size and enjoy!

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookie and a cake.

Sugar Free Blueberry Yogurt Cake

This light and fluffy sugar free blueberry yogurt cake makes for a perfect guilt free treat, at least on a sugar front. The recipe is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients so why not give it a try? You may just be surprised as it tastes delicious!

This light and fluffy sugar free blueberry yogurt cake makes for a perfect guilt free treat, at least on a sugar front. The recipe is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients so why not give it a try? You may just be surprised as it tastes delicious! Ingredients:

  • 180g flour
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 50g + 1tsp Natvia*
  • 100ml natural Greek yogurt
  • 125g blueberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp baking powder

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C if fan assisted otherwise 190C.

Lightly grease one 8” loaf tin.

Sift and mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Add one teaspoon of Natvia into your yogurt and stir until incorporated.

In a mixing bowl beat the butter and 50g of Natvia. Please note that it doesn’t beat in the same way as you would expect when using regular sugar, you will most likely end up having a crumb like texture but don’t worry about it, it will get fixed later on in so far as resembling a traditional cake batter.

Add the eggs, one at the time and continue mixing.

Add half of your flour mixture and mix until combined, then add the remaining flour and the yogurt and mix on a low speed until the mixture has an even texture.

Your batter will be quite thick, it should be like this so again do not worry.

Add the blueberries and using a spatula fold them gently into your batter.

Pour into your earlier prepared loaf tin.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45-55min or until golden brown and it passes the dry toothpick test.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for around 10-15 minutes, then remove from baking tin and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make yourself a nice cup of your favourite tea, or coffee if you prefer and then take your cake and cut, serve and enjoy!

This light and fluffy sugar free blueberry yogurt cake makes for a perfect guilt free treat, at least on a sugar front. The recipe is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients so why not give it a try? You may just be surprised as it tastes delicious!

And just in case this is a little too adventurous for you and you are wondering, yes, you can make it full blown standard refined sugar, just replace the Natvia with 150g of caster sugar. You will still have a light and fluffy cake just not as healthy and definitely not as low in calories.

Have you done any sugar free baking lately?

What’s your favourite sugar replacement?

*Natvia is a natural, zero calories sweetener. It only contains erythritol, a substance naturally found in fruit and steviol glycosides from Stevia plants. Natvia doesn’t contain aspartame, saccharin or anything artificial.

The Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake

In celebration of #EvenBetterBaking competition, Dr. Oetker has challenged me to bake my own version of their Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake. They provided me with a baking hamper so I could get to work almost straight away 🙂

The original recipe sounded great and it looked even better but as I am trying to get my eating habits under control I wanted to come up with a more diet friendly version of it…

I decided to replace the rich chocolate cake with a light fat free cocoa based angel cake and the indulgent fudge layer with… well… chocolate-less chocolate cream, which is actually made entirely from superfoods.

I called my creation the Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake.

The Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate CakeIngredients:

For the cake:

For the drizzle:

  • 75ml strong coffee; sweetened

For the cream:

  • 5 ripe avocados
  • 5tbsp natural honey
  • 3tbsp good quality cocoa powder

Method:

Prepare 3 standard sized, round baking tins by greasing the bottom part or lining it with baking paper. Do not the cover sides.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, make sure that all the ingredients are well mixed.

Separate the eggs and put all the whites into large bowl.

Use your mixer and start beating them. You want to achieve stiff whites but be careful not to overbeat them.

Once the whites are starting to form peaks slowly add the sugar, a spoonful at a time and keep your mixer running.

When all the sugar is incorporated you should have super stiff glossy whites, just as you would if preparing for meringues; now turn your mixer down a notch and add the yolks; one by one but still mixing.

Add the vanilla essence, mix for five seconds and then stop the mixer.

Now comes the hard part – gently fold your dry ingredients being flour, baking powder and cocoa into your mixture. Be very careful not to over mix it; fold it gently and try not to mess around with it for too long.

Split the mixture between the three baking trays and pop in to the oven for around 20 – 25 minutes.

Once you can smell your cake all over the house it most likely means that it is ready. Check with a toothpick and if it comes out clean and dry then it is definitely done, turn your oven off and remove the cakes.

Now, something you might not expect… take each tin and drop it on the floor (you need a hard solid floor not the lino or carpet) from a 30-40cm height. Don’t be scared nothing bad will happen.

Put the cakes aside and allow them to cool.

Prepare your drizzle – 75ml strong coffee and some sugar, sweetener, honey… whatever you fancy using to make it sweet – I used 1tsp of Stevia based sweetener. Put it aside and let it cool.

Time to make the magic chocolate-less chocolate cream: in a food processor place the avocados (with no stone and skin… just to be sure), cocoa powder and honey; then mix until you have totally smooth paste. Do not add water or any other liquids – use the pulse option and the ingredients will combine eventually.

Check on your cakes; once they have cooled down it is time to get building…

Remove each cake from the tin and trim theirs top if needed. I needed to trim two – the bottom and middle layers in order to achieve an even level cake and left the top one as it come from the oven.

Once the cakes are trimmed, use your drizzle mixture and drizzle it all over your cakes – remember to turn the top layer of the cake the other way over and drizzle it from the bottom.

Place the bottom cake on a cake stand and spread half of your chocolate-less cream on top of it; repeat with the middle layer; then cover with the top one and sprinkle with a little bit of icing sugar just to finish the look.

Well, that’s all! We are done.

My Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake #EvenBetterBakingThe Ultimate Chocolateless Chocolate Cake #EvenbetterbakingThe Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake #EvenbetterbakingThis is my bake for #EvenBetterBaking competition – I’ve turned a luxurious chocolate oozing cake into its healthy alternative. My cake contains no fat (well if we don’t count what’s in the avocados but those are the good fats), it is fairly low in sugar (depending on what sweetener you chose for the drizzle) and it looks just as good as a proper chocolate cake and tastes just as awesome!

Bake with Dr. Oetker to win!

Send your bakes that you have made using Dr. Oetker products and tell them what inspired you to make it with #Evenbetterbaking.

Each week Dr. Oetker will pick a Star Baker who will win a goodie bag, and entry into their prize draw to win an Ultimate Baking Hamper worth £500.

To keep up to date with all the latest Even Better Baking news, follow Dr. Oetker on Twitter @DrOetkerBakes, on YouTube DrOetkerBaking or like them on Facebook.

So, what do you think?

Do you like my creation?

Will you be entering #EvenBetterBaking competition in hope of becoming a Star Baker?