Strawberries and Cream Dream Cake

Strawberries and Cream Dream Cake

I’m so happy to share this recipe with you all. Sometimes recipe testing goes on and on and on and… you get my drift! The biscuit is too crumbly, the cake didn’t rise, the raw cake didn’t set or worst of all, it’s just tasteless and quite horrible and no matter how many times you test it, something you imagined to be so delicious in your head, just will not work! It was a slightly different story when it came to creating this beauty!

The first time I tested this cake, I leaped for joy! That’s what I do when the first test is already bang-on! I hope you leap with happiness when you taste this perfect summer cake too. Full of wonderful British strawberries, bursting with flavor, in a feather-light layer of vanilla-infused mousse, topping a smooth pistachio layer with a hint of orange, ending with a crunch from the ‘white chocolate’ strawberries and cream Qnola base. It really is one dreamy Clean Cake!

Strawberry vanilla mousse

1 x 400ml can coconut milk, 230g set thick cream
140g cashew nuts, soaked in 300ml filtered water with ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt/ sea salt for 3-4 hours
250g strawberries tops removed
Finely grated zest ½ lemon
25g/ml lemon juice
100g raw runny honey
¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 ½ tsp baobab powder, see note below
½ vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
90g coconut oil, melted

Pistachio orange cream

70g pistachio nuts, soaked in 150ml filtered water with ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt/ sea salt for 8 hours
30g cashew nuts, soaked in 100ml filtered water with ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt/ sea salt for 3-4 hours
80g/ml almond/ cashew/ oat/ rice milk
30g raw runny honey
50g coconut oil, melted
Finely grated zest ½ orange

White chocolate’ strawberries and cream Qnola base

100g cacao butter
70g cashew butter
40g raw runny honey
¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
½ vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
Finely grated zest ½ lemon
100g strawberries and cream Qnola/ beetroot Qnola/ quinoa puffs

The night before, place the can of coconut milk in the fridge for the strawberry vanilla mousse layer and soak the pistachio nuts for the pistachio orange cream layer. The next day, drain and rinse the pistachio nuts and soak the cashew nuts for the strawberry layer and pistachio layer.

Line the base and sides of …

polenta

Raspberry, blueberry, plum polenta

A lot of chefs say, ‘what grows together, goes together’ and I really do believe in this. Just think about it, summer salads of courgette ribbons, shaved runner beans and summer herbs, savoury winter tarts of beetroot, parsnip and carrot or the combination of end of summer-autumn fruits in this delicious and warming pudding made with plums, raspberries and blueberries, all of which have been growing abundantly in my garden (except the blueberries that I pick from my friend’s down the road). The fruits cooked all together make the most wonderful mix of flavours and lovely juices, whilst the polenta and almond crisp-crumble layer on top adds great texture, with the almond extract adding a marzipan like flavour, yum! Feel free to use other seasonal fruits, blackberry, pear and apple is a lovely combination, or even just apple studded with raisins or sultanas… I love quince too!

Fruit filling

250g plums, stoned weight, about 7-8 plums
120g raspberries, fresh or frozen
120g blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tsp coconut sugar
Juice of ½ orange (40g/ ml juice)
2 strips orange zest, using a potato peeler
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped out but do not discard the pod, add it to the fruit too!

polenta

Polenta almond crisp topping

50g polenta (fine or quick-cook)
70g ground almonds
70g brown rice flour
35g coconut sugar
¼ vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pink salt
Finely grated zest of half a lemon
70g coconut oil, melted
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 200oC.

To make the filling, remove the stones from the plums and cut them into eight (quarter them then half each slice again!). Mix them in the dish you are using with the rest of the ingredients and leave the mix to macerate whilst you make the topping. I use a small-medium oval pie dish that is 21 x 15 x 5cm deep, but a similar size is fine.

To make the topping, mix together all of the ingredients from the polenta to the lemon zest. Add the melted coconut oil and almond extract and stir to combine and form a breadcrumb-like mix. Remove the empty vanilla pod from the fruit mix, give the mix a good stir with a wooden spoon and then scatter the crisp mix over the top of the fruit. Bake for 15 minutes until the top is golden-brown reduce the heat to …

goji berries

Goji Berry: It’s a Super Food, But Does it Taste Super Good?

I have been trying to eat and cook a lot healthier lately and I came across an awesome superfood called goji berries. As they’ve gained popularity rather recently, I am sure you are wondering: 

What do goji berries taste like?

Goji Berry

I was definitely hesitant to try them out at first because they sound quite exotic, and I had heard not so good reviews about the taste, but you have to try everything at least once, right?

Here’s the lowdown on goji berries, how to prepare them, and why you should start eating this superfood – right now!

Where to Goji?

Goji berries are commonly grown in Asia, mainly in China and in the Himalayas of Tibet. You may also hear them being referred to by different names – Chinese wolfberries of Tibetan goji (source).

Goji Berry

Nowadays, goji berries can be found in some well-stocked groceries – check out your local grocer’s health food section – or in most health food stores. These superfoods are all the rage now, so you should not have a hard time finding them in dried or powdered form. You may have to search a little bit harder for the fresh berries, though.

Berry Good

While goji berries are seeing a resurgence in popularity today, they have actually been around for centuries, used in ancient Chinese medicine.

Goji Berry
  • In Chinese medicine, goji berries are included in immune tonics and blood tonics (source) as they pack a powerful punch of vitamin C, boosting the immune system significantly (source).
  • High in antioxidants, the berries are also anti-inflammatory.
  • They are chockful of micronutrients like vitamin A and iron, and contain a complete set of the eight essential amino acids (source).
Goji Berry
  • A one-ounce serving of the berries has 4 grams of protein and three grams of fiber. They are also fat-free and low in calories. A combination of this is great for a regular bowel movement and promotes weight loss.
  • Loaded with beta-carotene, the berries also promote good eyesight and healthy skin.

The legendary healing properties might be just that, however – a legend. There is no solid scientific evidence on the goji berry’s ability to cure cancer and reverse the effects of aging, so take those bigger claims with a grain of salt.

A Little Bit of Everything

Talking of salt, I bet you’re dying to know by now how these berries taste.…

Baobab, mango, mulberry and ginger bites

It’s Thursday and it’s looking a bit grey and wet outside, so here are some energy-boosting sunshine squares to boost you through today and the rest of the week.

These delicious bites are not only energy-boosting, but super-skin boosting too. This is thanks to not only the skin-plumping good fats from cashew nuts, hemp, and sunflowers seeds, but thanks to the amazing feel-good fruit, Baobab! Baobab, I love to use Aduna, is rich in vitamin C, almost 50% fiber and higher in antioxidants than goji berries and acai berries. Vitamin C helps protect cells from oxidative stress, contributes to the normal formation of collagen in the skin and helps promote good skin health, not forgetting the antioxidant-rich white mulberries, alkalizing mango and immune-boosting ginger which is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. These gorgeous squares are the perfect pick-me-up for when you need them plus they’re delicious, as everything we eat MUST taste great, and just happen to be very nourishing at the same time. With its great citrus flavor, baobab also really lifts up and compliments the sweet mango, whilst the mulberries add a little extra happiness!

Makes about 30 small square bites

100g dried mango soaked for 1 hour in cold water, preferably filtered
3 tsp lemon juice
Pinch Himalayan pink salt
50g cashew butter
50g hulled hemp seeds
60g sunflower seeds
60g cashew nuts, roughly chopped
20g fresh ginger, peeled if not organic and roughly chopped
50g desiccated coconut
6-8 tsp baobab powder
30g dried white mulberries

Drain the soaked mango and leave in a sieve for about 15 minutes to let the excess water drain off. Add the soaked mango, lemon juice, salt and cashew butter to the food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms. Add the hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, chopped ginger and desiccated coconut and blend once more to combine. Add the baobab powder to your preferred taste and blend once more. Lastly add the whole dried white mulberries and pulse just a few times.

Remove everything from the blender and turn out into a tin lined with baking parchment. Press the mix into a rough square shape no more than 1cm thick. Place in the freezer for 1 hour to firm up and then cut into small squares. Finish the squares off by dipping them in a little extra desiccated coconut if you like.

Keep the squares in the fridge for …

Berry Banana Muffins

AM Berry Banana Muffins with Buckwheatie Seed Streusel

These amaranth, buckwheat, mixed berry and banana muffins are full of great things! With a spoonful of coconut yoghurt, they make a delicious breakfast (hence the AM!) with protein, fibre and a steady release of energy from these powerful pseudo-grains and seeds, as well as the banana and berries. If not for breakfast, make a batch on Sundays to pack in your lunches throughout the week, bake some for weekend brunch or tea. The oh-so-soft muffin is finished off with a crunchy buckwheat groat and seed topping, lightly spiced with cinnamon and mesquite. They’re full of flavour, texture and nourishing wholesome ingredients, what could go wrong?!

This recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free. For an egg-free vegan variation, try replacing the 2 eggs with 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds mixed with 6 tbsp. water, stirred and left for 15 minutes), and adding 10g arrowroot to the dry ingredients. I have not tried it yet but do have a go and let me know how you get on, whichever recipe you try.

The night before, you will need three separate small bowls to soak the following

bowl 1
soak 75g whole amaranth grain
bowl 2
25 pumpkin seeds
25 sunflower seeds
10g flaxseeds/ linseeds
bowl 3
70g buckwheat groats
15g pumpkin seeds
15g sunflower seeds
15g flaxseeds/linseeds

Soak the seeds and grains in a generous amount of tepid water (enough to cover plus a bit more) and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt.

The next day, using a fine sieve, drain all the grains and seeds, rinsing them under cold water and keeping the contents of each bowl separate.

Place the amaranth seeds in a saucepan and add 150g cold water. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a low heat until they have absorbed the water. When cooked, they should be soft with a slight bite (al dente). It will take about 10-15 minutes and in the meantime, the rest of the ingredients can be prepared. Stir the seeds occasionally, making sure that they don’t catch. Leave to cool.

Set the oven to 170oC and line a muffin tin with 12 cases.

75g whole grain buckwheat flour
1 tsp gluten-free bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt or fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mesquite (if you do not have mesquite powder, you …