Don’t these cupcakes look so cute? Like little yellow honey bee hives.
I haven’t baked little cakes like this in a while. Well since I stopped baking cakes for our cafe a few years back and I actually do miss it. It was just getting too much with the kids and at the time I fell pregnant with my third little one. I found I just couldn’t keep up with the demands and had to give something up.
The cafe is as busy as ever which is wonderful, we also have amazing staff who support us so gives me this time to spend with my kids while they are still young. So very thankful for that. I manage to cook for home and write/blog in my varied spare time which gives me joy and something I work on for myself. Some might say why does she do this blog thing for? What she getting out of it? Well simply it’s a passion, a hobby and something I like to do for myself. Helps me stay motivated in healthy eating and gives me a feeling of fulfillment. Just like people like to read books, paint, do yoga, or play Pokemon go. We all need an outlet that makes us happy. And If I can share it with others and they get something out of it than why not. Blogging is for the love of it and not what you can get out of it. It’s like writing poetry or sharing life stories it starts for yourself and if others enjoy what you do then that is a bonus.
Wouldn’t you agree blogger friends?
I decided to whip out my piping bag and make a little sweet treat for old times sake. I’m not much of a decorator I like to keep things simple when it comes to decorating sweets we already have a professional cake maker in the family so I usually leave all the fancy cake decorating to her. I had forgotten what it feels like to make pretty delicate things so it was nice to do it again but with a healthier spin on it of course. This recipe is refined sugar-free using natural sweetener of honey and gluten free substituting plain flour with buckwheat flour and almond meal.
Perfect for kid’s birthday parties (if they have no nut allergies) or just for something a little special for your kiddies. Not to say adults can’t enjoy them too for a ladies high tea or morning tea coffee date. Lemon and passionfruit are one of my favourite flavours.
This past week we have finally seen some true Autumn (fall) weather. The days are getting cooler with the early morning air crisp as we start to prepare ourselves for the winter months ahead. There is something so romantic about this time of year that I love. I think of cosy park walks, picnics, baked dinners at home and toasty belly warming desserts and cakes. Beurre Bosc Pears are also now in season which makes for amazing baking.
I did get a little over excited and bought a few too many when I saw them so I ended up having quite a few too many pears that were getting over ripe, I needed to use them up in some baking. I could have made a tart or pie but didn’t have a lot of time to be in the kitchen this particular day. Keeping it refined sugar-free the easiest recipe that came to mind was a gluten-free cake that I’ve made plenty of times before with citrus fruits such as oranges and mandarins. This time I decided to try it out with some poached spiced pears and well it turned out a treat. Lovely and moist with just enough spice and sweetness.
I love mix and bake recipes that aren’t too difficult and time-consuming, this recipe certainly ticks all those boxes. I poached the pears first in some water, honey and with a few aromatic spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. These spices work well together infusing the flavours into the pears and the smell tantalising the senses which flowed through the kitchen. After the pears are soft, drain the poaching liquid and it’s as easy as adding a few ingredients into a food processor with the poached pears, then bake for half an hour. So simple and makes for a perfect Autumn afternoon tea cake.
It is my sons 11th birthday today and he asked me to make him cinnamon donuts. I had the pans I bought a few months ago sitting in my cupboard and haven’t yet had the chance to try them out so this made perfect timing. There is nothing better than fresh cinnamon donuts, the fluffy centre when made fresh to order is nothing less than a blissful sugary mouthful of pleasure. The smell tantalize our senses like coffee on a Monday morning or the smell of sizzling sausages on a barbecue you just can’t get it out of your head. It is one thing I break on and have to avoid whenever I pass them at the shops. The lard that it is cooked in is no way a healthy option and can do awful things to our arteries and heart if eating in large amounts and not to mention the sugar hit with all the refined sugar so I thought I’d give making a healthier option a go and see if it was as pleasurable without the unwanted calories and nasties.
I have to say they were pretty darn good. Of course you are never going to get the exact same results as the lard induced version but I was pleasantly surprised for my first ever attempt. I give it a solid 9 always room for improvement and donut cravings ticked and back to a zero. With the first attempt successful I am eager to now try different flavours with maybe blueberries or choc chips or even experiment on sugar-free icing ones. You can buy the donut mould tins in kitchen stores, something fun to get the kids involved in also especially the coating or icing they love it!
Donut mould tins
piping dough makes it easier and less messy
Piping the donut dough into the moulds makes a eaasier process with less wastage and not to mention a lot less mess. If you don’t have a piping bag you can use a strong zip lock bag and cut a corner off one of the ends work the same way.
cinnamon coconut sugar coating
Firstly brushing them with melted butter makes the donut stick to the sugar mixture more evenly. I used a mix of cinnamon and coconut sugar with mine, you can use ordinary caster sugar only if you must. These are best served warm, so I suggest reheating them a little before eating. Go on give them a try your kids will love you for it and you don’t have to feel guilty indulging in one or three yourself.
Easter is days away and the chocolate overload is about to hit us! Gazillions of eggs seem to flood the house they seem to multiply themselves or so it seems for days, weeks and months after anyone with children knows the pain. Don’t know about you but I do like to sneak a mini egg or two around this indulging season but try to keep it to a small amount if that is even possible. I am pretty good when it comes to self-discipline but I know a lot of you aren’t so if you don’t want to break the sugar- free lifestyle you try so hard to maintain throughout the year try maybe making this refined sugar and gluten-free delight this Easter weekend. It does contain coconut sugar but its said to have a lower glycemic index which is what raises blood sugar levels so a less harmful effect that of refined sugars.
It’s rich, it’s fudgy and as decadent as they come! Making the chocolate cravings diminish within seconds with one small piece. The raspberries give it a fresh fruity surprise which also cut through the richness. You can substitute them with walnuts if you prefer but I rather love raspberries and they go so well with dark chocolate like a match made in chocolatey heaven.
1 cup raw cacao (if you prefer you can use ordinary cocoa)
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup rice malt syrup or raw honey
6 eggs separated
1 1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 cup almond meal
1 punnet fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 180’C
Place oil, cacao, rice malt syrup in a small saucepan on low heat stirring until melted and becomes glossy. Set aside to cool
Place egg yolks and half the coconut sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer whisk for 2-3 mins or until thick and pale
Add the cooled cacao mix to the bowl, add almond meal and mix to combine
In a separate bowl, place egg whites and whisk with an electric mixer on high-speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining coconut sugar and keep whisking until all sugar has dissolved and mixture is thick and glossy.
Add the egg white mixture to the cacao mixture and gently fold through, mixing through the raspberries
Pour into a lined square cake tin and bake for 25 mins
The cake with still be a little wobbly in the centre let it cool, then place in the fridge 2-3 hours before slicing and serving.