September, 2013

Sep 13

Pumpkin, cardamom and orange cake


This is a completely delicious, dairy free cake that’s perfect for this time of year. I can’t get enough of it at the moment!

Pumpkin, cardamom and orange cake

Makes one 21cm cake

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 200g finely grated pumpkin
  • 150g cardamom caster sugar
  • 3 large organic eggs
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • zest one large orange, microplaned
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Ingredients for the drizzle:

  • 60g cardamom sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau


1.Grease and line a 21cm round tin

2.Preheat the oven to 180C

3.Peel and grate the pumpkin finely. I use the Magimix every time

4.Place the eggs, sugar and oil into a stand mixer and whisk vigorously for around 5 minutes

5.Tip in the flour, orange zest and grated pumpkin and mix lightly until combined

6.Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes

7.Make the drizzle by mixing together the sugar and Cointreau

8.When the cake comes out of the oven, prick all over using a cocktail stick, and tip the drizzle over the top

9. Allow to cool and eat immediately!

Sep 13

Autumn warmer


Now that the weather has taken a turn cooler, I’m finding I want more comforting meals. Gone are salads – I want something hot to eat in the evening.

I’m always in search of something hot and filling to enjoy in the evening, but I want it to be healthy, too.

I love this dish – it’s a cross between a ratatouille and caponata. It’s super simple to make – to get it on the table sooner rather than later, simply slice the vegetables thinner than you might do normally – around 3mm slices should do the trick.

Serve with rice or some good bread.

Serves 4 generously


1 tbsp olive oil

1 large aubergine

2 medium courgettes

6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

300g mushrooms, thinly sliced

2  x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

Salt and pepper

A generous handful finely chopped fresh basil leaves


Place the olive oil into a large, non-stick pan over a moderate heat. Add the aubergines and cook gently for 10 minutes.

Add the courgettes, garlic, mushrooms and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Allow to bubble away gently for 15 minutes.

The vegetables will now be ready to serve. Serve generously topped with fresh basil, and with your chosen accompaniment on the side.


Sep 13

Poached rhubarb with orange and cardamom and rosemary ice cream


I wanted to share a fantastic dessert I made recently.

This ice cream is amazing with all manner of tarts, particularly apple and rhubarb, but, looking for something lighter on this occasion, I decided to poach some fresh, local rhubarb with orange and cardamom to accompany the ice cream. This took just a matter of minutes in this gorgeous Italian copper pan from Cream Supplies. The two were such a good match, but either would be delicious on its own. They make a delicious, easy to make dessert, which can also be prepared in advance. 

Poached rhubarb with orange and cardamom and rosemary ice cream 

Serves 4

Well, the rhubarb part isn’t really a recipe. I placed  around 500g of rhubarb into the pan. Added the zest of a large orange, four heaped tablespoons of cardamom sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. I poached the rhubarb for around 10 minutes over a moderate heat until tender, but not too long as I didn’t want it to fall apart. I decanted it into a bowl and chilled in the fridge before serving.

To make the ice cream. I followed this recipe (or use any simple vanilla custard ice cream recipe) and infuse it with one large, bruised sprig of rosemary. Pass through a metal sieve to ensure there are no needles left in the custard before freezing.

Serve the two together for a seriously delicious dessert.

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