Sunday, 22 March 2009

happy mother's day!

Remember me?? Apologies for my extended absence... life's been hectic. It started with my parents moving house after two years of trying to downsize. From agreeing a sale to moving house, it all happened in under six weeks and i was tasked with selling furniture on ebay and helping on move day. I've only just recovered...

Then i had to go to France for work and in between i've been catching up with friends and family...

Long story short, i've been neglecting my blog and my lovely readers so i now need to make amends!

To kick off with, i thought i'd share some sweet treats from our Mother's Day afternoon tea.

My sister Claire made this delicious cake from a Domestic Goddess recipe:

Cherry Almond Loaf Cake - makes 8-10 slices

200g natural-coloured glace cherries
250g self-raising flour
225g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
2-3 drops almond essence
100g ground almonds
6 tbsp milk
23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin, buttered and lined

Preheat oven to 170 C/gas mark 3.
Halve the cherries, wash them in a colander under cold water, then pat dry, toss in some flour and shake well to get rid of excess.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs and almond essence, then gently fold in the flour and ground almonds.
Fold in the cherries and then the milk and spoon the thick mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Leave in the tin on a wire rack until completely cooled.
Serve with a proper cup of tea.

And i made these yummy gluten-free brownies, also courtesy of Nigella, which has got to be the easiest brownie recipe ever:

Flourless Chocolate Brownies - makes 16 squares

225g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids (i used Green & Blacks)
225 g butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150g ground almonds
100g chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 170 C/gas mark 3. Butter and line a 24cm square baking tin (or use a foil one).
Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan.
Take off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and allow to cool a little.
Beat the eggs into the pan along with the ground almonds and chopped walnuts.
Turn into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins, until the top has set but the mixture below is still gooey.
Allow to cool for as long as you can resist, and cut into squares.
Nigella suggests serving these "squidgy-bellied" squares with hot chocolate sauce and ice-cream, but they are just as good served on their own, minus the additional calories!


The Cottage Cheese said...

Yay, Lisa is back! I went through a similar move helping my parents 850 miles away last year, so I completely understand how time consuming that can be. My little nephew is allergic to gluten, so I'm excited to try the new brownie recipe next time I visit him.

houseenvy said...

Welcome back, lovely Lisa! I just popped on her to make your lovely winter broth with haricot beans and chorizo (for about the 100th time!), and I'm thinking those choc brownies look good for Anya's birthday - need to come up with an official birthday cake, a party cake and cakes for classmates!

Lisa said...

Thank you lovely ladies - it's great to be back and I've missed you!

HE, have a look at this thread on Nigella's website - sounds like a nice easy cake to make (as long as Anya likes ladybirds!!!).

Sister Claire said...

Hey, just seen this on the Waitrose website and think these cupcakes look great! One for the recipe file to make for another more kiddy-focused afternoon tea perhaps?