Throwback Thursday – Wholemeal Mocha Cake

I’m still enjoying making the old recipes from my Nan’s McAlpins cookbook.  The recipes are pretty basic, and they stick to tried and true flavours and techniques.  When I saw this recipe, I thought it was a winner before I had even tasted it!  It goes without saying that a coffee and a piece of cake go together – so why not combine the two?  The addition of chocolate icing literally tops off the flavour of the cake, and I love the walnuts too.  Before I started making the recipes from this book, I’d never used coffee essence before in my baking.  Whilst it did give this cake a good flavour, next time I think I will substitute the essence for an espresso shot…  or maybe two!

chocolate + coffee = winning combination

chocolate + coffee = winning combination

 

6oz Wholemeal self raising flour

pinch of salt

3oz butter

4oz caster sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

1 dessert spoon coffee essence

walnuts to decorate

* Sift flour & salt

* Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs gradually

* Mix in sifted ingredients alternatively with milk and coffee essence

* Pour into a greased and lined 20cm tin and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees)  for 20 – 25 minutes.

* When cake has cooled, top with a simple chocolate icing and decorate with walnuts if you wish.

Fruit Crumble

I think I’m a pretty awesome wife – and humble I know!! Tonight I decided to surprise Scott with a midweek after dinner treat.  He is also looking after both the boys during the peak of witching hour whilst I go to the gym, so he deserves a big reward!  He has been on a bit of a health kick recently (to the point where he knocked back the pizza lunch at work for Melbourne Cup yesterday), so I knew he would want to keep things pretty healthy.  I decided to make a fruit dessert, there were a couple of apples & pears in the fruit bowl, and Liam had some leftover strawberries and peaches from his afternoon tea.  I like a crunchy top, so I added some chopped almonds to the oats.  For easy serving, I divided the mixture into four ramekins, if you prefer you could put it all into one dish.

Liam and I have shared one already, we added vanilla yoghurt to ours and we both really enjoyed it.  Scott isn’t home yet, so I haven’t gotten feedback from my toughest critic yet… if this doest cement my place as wife of the year, I don’t know what will!!

Fruity Goodness x

Fruity Goodness x

This is what I used – but you could just use any fruits you have

2 apples

2 pears

6 strawberries

1/2 tub diced peaches

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup rolled oats

2 dessertspoons malted rice syrup

2 tbsp shredded coconut

50g almonds chopped

* Preheat oven to 190 degrees

* Chop apple and pear into small pieces,add 2 tbsp water and cinnamon and cook in microwave on high for 2 minutes

* In a separate bowl, combine rolled oats, coconut, almonds & malted rice syrup and mix together.

* Drain excess water from apples & pears, add peaches and strawberries and mix together

* Divide fruit mixture amongst 4 ramekins (or one dish if preferred) and top with oat mixture

* Place in oven for approx 10 minutes, or until top begins to turn golden

* Allow to cool slightly and serve!!

To my sister

To my Sister,

It’s been so much harder to come home after my last visit than in the past. After spending five days together, our first time together both as Mothers, it has made me appreciate the special relationship that we have all the more.  We’ve been through a lot together over the years.  Yes, we haven’t always gotten along (there was a lot of arguing when we were kids!), but as we’ve gotten older I feel the dynamic of our relationship has changed from that of siblings to best friends.

sisters

You have been the one that I have always turned to first for comfort and advice during the roller coaster that has been the past five years.  Your support and compassion has always been unwavering, and you have been my greatest cheerleader as well as ‘keeping it real’ when needed.

Now that you are embarking on your journey into motherhood, I can only hope that I can provide you with some of the support that you have so selflessly given me.  Watching your face light up with love every time you look at your precious little man (even when he is having his crazy time) brings me so much happiness.

It’s a tough gig being a mum, especially in those early weeks and months.  It can all feel like a blur of crying/nappies/feeding/clothing changes (both yours and bubs)/ pumping… the list goes on.  On top of that you are also adjusting to having a new little person in your life amidst an influx of visitors, appointments, and the never ending advice everyone feels like they should give you…  all whilst you are physically and emotionally recovering from the birth!

I know you sometimes have your doubts about what you are doing/what you are meant to be doing – and believe me everyone does, but as we’ve talked and laughed about before, no matter what we do there is always going to be someone out there who thinks we are wrong (and maybe a little crazy too).

It’s not always going to be easy, and you may ask yourself what you have gotten into, the best advice I can give you when it feels like this is to sit down, cuddle and stare at your little man.  Just absorb every tiny detail of his face, his tiny little fingers and his smile.  It’s not always going to be this way, in just a few short months you will look back in amazement at how quickly the time has gone, and how big your little man has become.

I will always be there for you – even if it’s just for a rant during the middle of the night. And remember when you are up for the fourth time in one night, or you are sleeping in the lounge room on the recliner – you are an awesome Mum….. just like I knew you always would be.

xx

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Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

Spelt and honey banana bread with dates and walnuts

After returning from a few days away, we again had a few bananas which were heading towards their use by date.  I found this recipe amongst a pile of pages torn out from magazines, and am unable to tell which mag it is from.

I’ve made a few banana bread recipes in my time, they are so easy to put together and normally look and taste impressive.  I love the addition of walnuts and dates, and I was almost tempted to add shredded coconut but decided against it – will add it next time though.

This had a great consistency and Liam and I shared a piece toasted with fresh banana and honey drizzled on top – YUM!  The rest has already been wrapped up and put into the freezer, it will be perfect for when we need a treat quickly.

spelt banana bread

 

125 g whole spelt flour

125g white spelt flour

75g brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dried pitted dates coarsely chopped

1 cup mashed banana (I used the 3 small bananas we had)

90ml vegetable oil

2 eggs lightly whisked

40ml honey

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease and line the base and sides of a loaf tin (approx 8 x 20cm)

* Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda and cinnamon in a large bowl.

* Add the walnuts and dates and stir together

* Combine the banana, oil, eggs and honey in a bowl, then add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

* Pour into pan and smooth the surface, bake for 35 – 40minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

* Can be served either warm, at room temperature or toasted with butter.  Yum!

Linking up with the Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

 

Banana and Blueberry Muffins

In our household milk and bananas seem to disappear into thin air, and every couple of days we need to re-stock.  Somehow a couple of bananas slipped through the cracks and had began to die a slow and smelly death in the fruit bowl.  Looking for a new inspiration, I was flicking through Donna Hay’s Fast and Fresh and decided to adapt her basic muffin recipe.

In an attempt to make these healthier, I decided to cut out the sugar completely and I replaced it with 1/2 a cup of malted rice syrup and omitted the extra honey.  I then added blueberries for some extra sweetness.  To boost the protein content, I added rolled oats, wheat germ, LSA and chia.

Scott wasn’t very impressed with these – he complained they weren’t sweet enough,  I quite liked them though, yes they lacked some sweetness, but I still enjoyed the flavours – and Liam? Well as usual, he was more than happy to be a taste tester and loved them.

I think some further modifications are needed, next time I will use a sugar substitute like stevia in place of the brown sugar, and the malted rice syrup in place of the honey..

Yum!

Yum!

2 Cups plain wholemeal flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup raw sugar (substituted with 1/2 cup of Malted Rice Syrup)

2 tablespoons honey (omitted)

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/4 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 mashed bananas

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/8 cup LSA

1/4 cup rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees

* Place the flour, baking powder and sugar (if using) in a bowl and mix to combine

* In a separate bowl, mix together the honey, egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla (and malted rice syrup if using)

* Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined

* If using, stir through the fruit and other