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.

Protein Balls

Contrary to popular belief, not everything I make is unhealthy.  These protein balls are super quick to make, use up whatever you have in your pantry, and are a great snack to satisfy your sweet tooth – Scott even mistakes these for rum balls!

I came across the idea, whilst Aiden was in NICU and one of his nurses bought some in for me to try.  I normally don’t measure any of the ingredients I put in, however below is what went into my latest batch. I tried a friends version this week, she adds acai berries and cocoa powder which gave them a great flavour.

protein balls copy

300g pitted dates

1/4 cup LSA mix

2 tablespoons hazlenut meal

1/4 cup coconut + extra for rolling

2 tablespoons  black chia seeds

100g walnuts

50g blanched almonds – toasted

50g brazil nuts

What's rattling around in my pantry this week

What’s rattling around in my pantry this week

* Soak dates in boiling water for 20minutes until soft , then drain excess water

* In a bowl, combine dates, LSA mix, hazlenut meal and coconut. Using a stick blender, blitz until dates reach desired consistency (I like the dates to still have some shape to them, it’s up to you though!)

* Add chia seeds, walnuts, almonds and brazil nuts and blitz until nuts are in smaller pieces – don’t worry, even though it doesn’t look very appealing, they do taste great!

date balls 1 copy

* Roll tablespoon sized balls in coconut and then pop into the fridge to set.

Throwback Thursday – Coffee Milk Cookies

One of the main things I am enjoying as I work through the McAlpins Recipe book, is the memories a lot of the recipes are bringing back.  Whilst I didn’t know the names of a lot of the treats my Nan used to bake, when I bite into some of the biscuits and cakes I have been making from her book, they take me straight back 20+ years ago to when we would spend every weekend at her place.

Honestly, I only made this recipe because I had a half full tin of condensed milk that I wanted to use up!

These cookies bought back a lot of memories which I loved, but I thought they needed a stronger coffee flavour – this may have something to do with my slight coffee addiction though.

Do you have any family recipes that bring back memories of your childhood?

Click here for metric conversion table

4 oz (1 teacup) self raising flour

pinch of salt

2 oz butter

1 oz castor sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

1 oz walnuts

1 dessertspoon coffee essence

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees

* Sift flour and salt

* Grind or chop walnuts finely.

* Melt butter, sugar and condensed milk, add coffee and vanilla essence.

* Mix in sifted ingredients and walnuts.

* Roll mixture into small balls, place on greased tray, allowing space for spreading

* Mark the top of each cookie with a knife

* Bake for 15 – 20 minutes

Coffee Milk Cookies