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

12 Refreshing Infused Water Ideas

Infused water is the perfect summer drink – super hydrating and with the addition of fruit and herbs can be extremely delightful, flavourful and refreshing.  

Infused water is the perfect summer drink – super hydrating and with the addition of fruit and herbs can be extremely delightful, flavourful and refreshing.

How to make it?

Well, it couldn’t be easier.

All you need is a jug of water and some fruit and/or herbs. Simply pop your herbs and fruit into the water (you might want to slice the big fruits like apples, lemons or grapefruits so the final flavour of the water is more intense) and then you just wait… Ideally you want to leave it to infuse overnight, up to 12 hours for best results but with a minimum infusing time of just 4 hours. When ready remove the fruit and herbs from the water, discard them and store the infused water in the fridge (for up to 3 days) ready to use.

For most people plain water can get a little boring especially if consumed regularly, but with the endless possibilities for infused water, everyone will find something they like and will enjoy.

I personally like the simple combo of lemon and mint – a few thick slices of lemon and a small handful of fresh mint left in the fridge overnight gives me an extremely refreshing drink in the morning.

With so many different fruits in season right now, I wanted to share with you some infused water ideas from other bloggers in the hope that they will inspire you to create your own infused water combos.

Blackberry Mint Infused Water

Cantaloupe Blueberry Infused Water

Dill, Melon, Lemon and Apple Detox Water

Fresh Mint Infused Water

Grapefruit Rosemary Water

Kiwi and Mint Infused Water

Lemon Ginger Water

Mojito Infused Detox Water

Orange Basil Infused Water

Pomegranate Lime Infused Water

Rose, Lemon & Strawberry Infused Water

Strawberry Lemon Infused Water

 

Which of those takes your fancy?

Which combo is your favourite?

 

Infused water is the perfect summer drink – super hydrating and with the addition of fruit and herbs can be extremely delightful, flavourful and refreshing. #infusedwater #water #summerdrink #fruitwater #recipe

Leftover Herb Salsa Verde

Herb Salsa Verde is a green sauce, which you can make as chunky or smooth as you wish. It’s a great way to use up any leftover herbs or greens in the fridge and can accompany any meat or fish dish.

The recipe can be adapted by using any herbs depending on your own taste or what you are serving it with. There is no exact recipe, you can add as little or as much of each ingredient as you like, but you need to add enough olive oil to make it a sauce. You can also use a number of wild herbs such as wild garlic or sorrel.

Ingredients:

  • Handful of herbs
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Lemon juice / red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Optional: chopped capers, mustard or gherkins

Method:

Chop the herbs finely and put in a medium bowl.

Add each ingredient and stir in, tasting as you go.

Add olive oil and stir thoroughly to create a sauce-like texture.

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The recipe above comes from “Leftover Pie: 101 ways to reduce your food waste” a book by Anna Pitt and it was contributed by Sara Green, Derby Food Assembly.

“Leftover Pie” teaches people about the importance of food waste reduction and gives practical ideas and solutions to this major world problem. Tracing the history of food waste over the last 100 years, the book looks at how we have arrived at a food waste crisis point. Then, without beating ourselves up about it, Leftover Pie shares tips and recipes to help us tackle the problem and make the most of what we have.

For this moment you can purchase this book in kindle version only but the paperback is on its way.

Currently, Anna is running a special offer where you can pre-order a signed copy of the book for £10 only (regular price for the paperback is set for £12.99) – the author will make sure, the book arrives on the launch date of September 8th. But hurry as this offer ends very soon.

Do you have any “secret” recipes to use leftover food in your kitchen?

12+ Delicious Cucumber Recipes

Cucumber, the fruit of wonder, full of water and fibre, it will help you stay hydrated during hot summer days, flush out toxins from your body and nourish you with vitamins. What’s not to love about them!

We are still drowning in cucumbers. We jarred over 50 pots of different flavoured cucumber pickles but we think we may have reached our limit… now it’s time to look for some different inspiration on how to incorporate them into our diet in different ways.

I hope that this recipe round-up will give you some new ideas for different cucumber uses.

Avocado & Cucumber Soup

Cucumber and Mint Flavoured Water

Cucumber Basil & Avocado Gazpacho

Cucumber Lemon Spa Popsicles

German Cucumber Salad Recipe

Honey Pickled Cucumber Slices

Jerusalem Salad

Lemon Ginger Asian Cucumber Noodles

Melon Cucumber Salad

Mexican Street Corn Cucumber Cups

Sweet Pickle Relish

Tarator – Chilled Cucumber Soup

Watermelon Blueberry Feta Salad

Do any of these take your fancy?

Any favourite recipes you would add to my list?

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.