Rhubarb and Coconut Cobbler

Vegan, Refined Sugar Free
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Oh my goodness why have I been so bad at posting lately! I’m so sorry, I actually have no excuses other than me being born a lazy bum. After this week though exams will be over, it will be summer holidays and I very much doubt I will be able to find a job by then (seeing as I’ve been looking for the last six months already with very little luck, mostly due to the fact that every time a place gets back to me I tell them I’m too busy.)

I’m sad. I didn’t even make a Halloween post for you guys. To be real though, there were so many awesome ideas already that I felt my contribution would probably be poorly received. This Halloween me and my sister had a li’l party (sorry Mum and Dad), and I dressed up as a swimmer being eaten by a giant octopus. Which I made out of pink stockings stuffed with all my socks!! I thought it was such a cool costume, until everyone thought I was getting strangled by a giant worm…

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I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with a bunch of rhubarb we got last week, which is strange because I’m obsessed with rhubarb. Probably the nicest cake I’ve ever made was this rhubarb slice, which people are still raving about. But I can’t make that again!!! And I didn’t want to do what I always do, which is just cook it with vanilla and sugar and eat it on yogurt, because I’ve stopped really eating any dairy now. And stewed rhubarb on its own is kind of weird to me…

Thank God for Donna Hay right. I’ve been steadily cooking and eating my way through her cookbook since someone gave it to us for Christmas. The photos of her rhubarb and pomegranate cobbler were so pretty I literally died looking at them! Seriously how are her photographers so talented! I’m almost embarrassed to even show these photos today because they’re so average, but the cobbler was so tasty I really wanted to share it.

It’s completely vegan too! I haven’t experimented with gluten free yet, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to adapt. I added apple too because I didn’t want to use so much sugar. So tasty! I promise to be more on top of posting this week friends 🙂 See you soon!

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Rhubarb and Apple Cobblers: Inspired by Donna Hay

2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
2oog melted coconut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raw sugar

750g rhubarb, chopped into 4cm (2inch) pieces
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
4 tbsp raw sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
juice of 1 orange

3 tbsp desiccated coconut
3 tbsp sliced almonds
icing sugar optional, to dust

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Preheat the oven to 180C. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, coconut butter, vanilla, salt and raw sugar and stir until just doughy. Add more flour if the mix is too wet, or a splash of almond milk if it’s too dry. It should be the consistency of biscuit or scone batter.

Mix the rhubarb, apple, orange juice, cinnamon and sugar together and spoon into an oven-proof baking dish or skillet. Using your hands, grab clumps of the cobbler and press over the fruit roughly to form a lid, with some holes for steam to escape. Top with the coconut and almonds, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden on top and the fruit is cooked through. Sprinkle with sugar and serve with coconut ice cream or cream.

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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 Happy Mothers Day everybody!! When I asked my mum what kind of cake she wanted today, she requested an upside down pineapple cake. I’d never even heard of an upside down pineapple cake! It sounded kind of…gross. Like something you would eat in the 70s with spray cream on top and a glace cherry. In fact I bet that’s what she used to do, back in the old days

Well, this and her birthday is the one time of the year I’m not going to question her cake choices, so a pineapple cake was made. I didn’t even try to make it healthy! I promise! No wholemeal flour here. 

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I couldn’t resist adding some fresh lime zest and juice. We have an entire box of limes, I’m talking hundreds of limes in our house right now. The lime just perks the pineapple up a little bit. Pineapple can be very sweet so a bit of sour worked really well. 

I kind of liked how the cake came out looking today. When I was making it I wasn’t even going to post about it, because I was picturing a lumpy yellow blob coming out of the oven. (That wasn’t an innuendo…) But it looks kind of ‘rustic’ and old school. I’m lazy so instead of making the caramel I just poured a little pineapple juice from the can and a few dots of butter on to the bottom of the pan, and it worked fine if you want to do it that way!

Happy Mothers Day Mum! You’re the best and I love you 🙂 

One Year Ago: Coconut Muffins with Dark Chocolate Glaze

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 Upside Down Pineapple Cake: Adapted from Ready for Dessert 

1 large can pineapple slices (keep the juice!)

30g butter 

30g sugar

juice and zest of 1 lime

210g (1 + 3/4 cups) plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

110g (3.8 ounces) butter, unsalted

150g white sugar 

2 large eggs, at room temperature

125ml (1/2 cup) milk, at room temperature

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Preheat the oven to 180C (355F) and line a 23cm (9 inch) cake tin with baking paper. In a small saucepan, melt the 30g butter, sugar, 3 tablespoons of the pineapple juice and lime juice, and stir to make a sauce. Pour in the bottom of the tin. Cut slices of pineapple and arrange over the caramel layer so that the whole surface is covered. 

Sift the flour and salt. Beat the 110g butter, lime zest and 150g sugar until creamy, and then slowly beat in each egg. Stir in half the milk and sifted flour, then the other half. Stir just to combine and spoon over the pineapple. Smooth with a spatula and bake for about 3-40 minutes, until the cake is golden and a skewer comes out clean. 

Only leave the cake to cool for about 5 minutes, then carefully flip out on to a plate. Serve warm 🙂 

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Fluffy Banana and Blueberry Pancakes

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This morning, there was pancake. Glorious, crispy, banana and berry filled pancakes smothered in maple syrup. But first there was failure. I woke up with a brilliant idea of making coconut and banana pancakes filled with desiccated coconut and drizzled with honey. As I was stirring in the coconut the doubt began to descend. ‘Why so lumpy’? I pondered to myself. ‘Hmmm’ I muttered. ‘There seems to be water in this batter’. I should have stopped there, but I persevered and got out the frying pan. ‘Strange… every pancake was sticking to the pan’? That’s how the episode began. It ended with me pointing to a ruined frying pan in the sink filled with burnt pancake and shouting ‘YOU F***ING BETRAYED ME’. Needless to say the first pancakes did not turn out well. 

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Instead of giving in, I thought no. This is not the day that the pancake wins. So I pulled out trusty Nigella Lawson’s pancake recipe from How to Eat and adjusted her recipe, knowing it would lead me safely down the pancake path. I lowered the amount of milk and added a mashed banana but otherwise the recipe is the same. These aren’t anything fancy pancy. There isn’t any coconut (don’t try it! I think that’s what made them stick!) or buttermilk or Turkish yogurt or whole wheat. But they are still delicious. They are fluffy, and very fast to make. If you please you can chill them for an hour before making them but I never do, and they work out fine.

What to watch is the heat of the stove, it should be medium. The melted butter, there should be minimum froth in the pan if you don’t want uneven edges. And the berries- don’t add them until you’ve already poured the batter in. I use the same ladle filled to the brim for every scoop so that all the pancakes are even, but you don’t have to be as particular as all that. 

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Making these pancakes today and having a kitchen failure made me realise how long it had been since I’d completely stuffed up a recipe. Haunting memories of the chocolate cake that had no oil, and could be folded in half like a rubber tire, floated to mind. Or chocolate roulade that ended up a pile of melted chocolate cream and broken shards of crispy pancake sponge. In the end though it was always good to make those failures because I’d still tried something new, and learnt from my failures.

These pancakes today were born out of pancake failure. And they’re great. So you should make them too. 

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Fluffy Banana and Blueberry Pancakes: Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Pancake Recipe

1 banana, mashed, plus more for topping

1 egg

200ml (1 cup) milk

30g (2 tbsp) butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

125g (1 cup) plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

100g (1/2 cup) fresh or frozen whole blueberries

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 Sift your flour and baking powder into a large bowl. In a separate bowl mash your banana well. Crack egg into the flour and mix until just combined. Stir in the mashed banana. Slowly mix in the milk until the pancakes are pourable but still thick. Pour in the melted butter and stir in. 

Heat your frying pan on medium and melt a small pat of butter. Take a level scoop of batter and pour into the pan. Place 6-7 blueberries on the top of the pancake whilst it cooks. Once tiny bubbles form across the top, use a spatula to flip the pancake over. After another 30 seconds or so flip it on to a plate and repeat with the next process. If you are a slow pancake maker, or are making a lot, preheat the oven to 100C and place a plate of the pancakes in the oven to keep them warm. Serve with maple syrup and more sliced banana immediately. 

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