Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

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When you’ve been sent some bottles of refreshing Grace Foods Aloe Drink to try and you want explore what you can do with it, apart from enjoy drinking it, then what else can you do, except make a deliciously moist and tasty cake?

Grace Foods Aloe Refresh Aloe Vera Drink

Well, this is exactly what happened recently and exactly what I did. So, read on, get your apron on, your ingredients out and enjoy some time in the kitchen before tucking into a slice (or two) of this deliciously moist cake.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

Cake:

Glaze:

Icing:

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

  1. Heat the oven to 160ºC (140º Fan).
  2. Butter and flour a 6 cup Bundt© tin.  I used the Nordicware Anniversary tin that you can find on Amazon.
  3. In a stand mixer, or using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined.
  5. Add the vanilla extract, coconut milk, rapeseed oil and 120ml of the mango purée and beat thoroughly for 4-5 minutes on a medium speed until it has increased in volume and is creamy.
  6. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, salt, bi-carbonate of soda and baking powder.
  7. Mix half of the flour into the wet mixture until just combined.
  8. Add the remaining 60ml of the mango purée and fold together.
  9. Fold in the final half of the flour gently.
  10. Pour the mixture into your Bundt© tin and smooth the surface level.
  11. Bake for 65-70 minutes until the cake has just started to shrink from the edges of the tin and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the thickest part of the cake.
  12. Allow to cook in the tin for 5 minutes, whilst you make the glaze.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the caster sugar and Aloe Vera Drink until boiling, then reduce the heat to a rolling boil and the syrup has reduced by half.
  2. Using your skewer, make a series of small holes in the flat surface of the cake and slowly spoon half of the glaze over the cake, allowing it to soak in fully.
  3. Invert the tin onto a wire cooking rack and prick the top with your skewer all over then, gently and slowly spoon the other half of your glaze over the top of the cake, again allowing it to soak in fully.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

  1. Leave the cake to cool completely.
  2. Mix together the Aloe Vera Drink and mango purée, then sieve the the icing sugar into it, mixing thoroughly until you get a thickish icing.
  3. Gently pour the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the outside edge and into the centre hollow.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

You can find mango purée and coconut milk in the international food aisle of your local supermarket.  I tend to use my Kenwood Major Titanium stand mixer to make cakes in if it involves beating the mixture for several minutes as it leaves me to get on with setting up the next stage of my preparation.  If it’s something that only needs a very quick mix, then I use my Kenwood K-Mix hand mixer instead.

Grace Foods sent me some bottles of their Aloe Refresh Aloe Vera Drinks to sample.  I was under no obligation to develop any recipes or provide a review of their products in return for these drinks. 

Coffee Viennese Whirls

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Whilst I’ve been off work recovering from last Friday’s knee surgery for the last couple of days, boredom is taking its’ toll. I can’t stand for long periods.  I can’t drive, and can only walk very short distances. What I can do, though, is browse the internet for ideas from inspirational people.  My friend Lynn over on Ink Sugar Spice, shared a delicious recipe recently for Pistachio and Mascarpone Cream Viennese Sandwiches. I have no pistachio paste, but I do have (and love) Nielsen Massey Coffee Extract, and as well all love coffee in this house, it was a done deal!

Digging out my old trusty Be-Ro recipe book that my mum bought me many, many years ago (it was my first ever cook book). I know that this recipe works as I’ve used it lots in the past.  Just a tweak and a little twist was all it needed to produce these deliciously crumbly and delicately tasting biscuits.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Biscuits:

Filling:

  1. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter and the icing sugar together for 3-4 minutes until light and airy.
  3. Grind the vanilla powder and coffee together until very fine.
  4. Add to the butter and icing sugar mix along with the flour.
  5. Stir until very well combined. This should produce a fairly stiff paste.
  6. Place a large star nozzle in a piping bag and place the biscuit mixture into the piping bag.
  7. Pipe an even number of circles of the biscuit mixture onto the parchment paper and place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 160℃ (fan), 180℃ conventional.
  9. Place the baking tray into the oven for 15 minutes until the biscuits are pale in colour.
  10. Remove from the oven, but leave the biscuits on the trays to cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and leave until cold. (These biscuits are very ‘short’ and therefore quite delicate, so handle them gently).
  12. Beat the Philadelphia cheese, butter, icing sugar and coffee extract together until smooth.
  13. Transfer the filing mixture to a piping bag and pipe a circle on to half of the biscuits.  Sandwich the other half of the biscuits together.
  14. These will keep for a couple of days in the fridge (store them there, due to the butter and Philadelphia), but allow them to come back to room temperature to improve the flavour and smooth texture of the filling.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Thanks to Lynn for giving me the inspiration to play with this old recipe and to give it a different little twist.

Elderflower Cordial

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Such a simple drink to make, using only 5 ingredients.  Elderflowers are synonymous with the start of the British summer and are in season for such a short spell of time, that it’s a shame to waste those fragrant blossoms when making cordial from them is such a simple thing to do.

Elderflower Cordial

You need to pick the elderflowers on a warm, dry day, allowing any dew to evaporate before picking. Make sure that you only pick heads that have just opened and are still the beautiful creamy colour, without any of the flowers starting to turn brown. Find a nice country lane or hedgerow, away from busy traffic routs that could taint and the delicate blossoms with chemicals.

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 2kg granulated sugar
  • 2 Lemons
  • 20 Elderflower heads
  • 85g Citric acid
  1. Pick the heads and very gently shake any bugs free from them.
  2. In a large saucepan, add the water and the sugar.  Gently heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Using a potato peeler, pare the lemon zest from the lemons and slice the lemons into ½cm thick rounds.

Elderflower Cordial

4. In a large bowl, add some cold, clean water and gently swish the elderflower heads to remove any remaining insects.  VERY GENTLY shake the excess water off them.

5. Snip the elderflowers from the stalks (to leave too much stalk on them can leave a bitter taste).

Elderflower Cordial

6. Bring the water and sugar syrup to a boil and turn off the heat.

7. To the sugar syrup, add the elderflower heads, lemon zest, lemon rounds and citric acid.  Stir well.

8. Place the lid onto the saucepan and leave, covered and undisturbed, for 24 hours.

9. Line a colander with two layers of muslin and drain the cordial through into a clean bowl.

10. Squeeze the muslin to extract all of that delicious cordial. Discard the lemons and elderflowers.

11. Pour the cordial into clean, sterilised Kilner bottles.

Elderflower Cordial

This will keep for up to about 6 weeks in the fridge.  You can also freeze the cordial in ice cube trays/bags for use later.

To sterilise the bottles, you can either wash them and dry them, upside down in a warm oven, or wash them through your dishwasher cycle.

Speculaas Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Cake

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Carrot cake is always a huge favourite in my household and, after being send a sample of vandotsch Speculaas Spice Mix to try, I thought I’d treat my husband today and make him his favourite cake but with this added flavour twist.

For those that don’t know what speculaas spice is; it’s a blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and other spices originally from Dutch bakers that are traditionally used to flavour biscuits. Based on his Dutch grandmothers’ sweet tasting spice mix the founder of The Speculaas Spice Company has now developed his own unique blend in a powdered form which you can add to a variety of ingredients and drinks, which you can buy from their website.

I baked my cake in a Nordicware rose shaped bundt tin today.

For my speculaas spiced sweet potato and carrot cake, you’ll need:

200ml Farringtons cold pressed rapeseed oil

250g Soft brown sugar

3 Eggs, separated

100g Sweet potato, grated

50g Carrot, grated

10ml Lime juice

250g Self raising flour

2.5ml Bi-carbonate of soda

5ml Baking powder

10ml Vandotsch speculaas spice mix

For the frosting:

175g Mascarpone cheese

150g Philadelphia cheese

100g Icing sugar

10ml Vandotsch speculaas spice mix.

2 crushed biscuits, crushed, to decorate

 

1. Heat your oven to 180℃/160℃ fan.

2. Grease the inside of you bundt tin (I use my Homemade Cake Release recipe to grease mine, then lightly flour the tin, tapping out any excess.

3. In a large bowl, place your oil, sugar and the egg yolks and beat until well mixed.

4. Add the grated sweet potato and carrot along with the lime juice and mix thoroughly.

5. Sift in the flour, bi-carbonate of soda, baking powder and Vandotsch speculaas spice mix and stir to combine.

6. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

7. Fold the egg whites through the cake mix gently until no white areas remain.

8. Tip the cake mix into your prepared bundt tin, making sure you fill all the detail with cake mixture.

9. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when tested in the deepest part of the cake.

10. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes to cool a little.

11. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and leave until cold.

12. For the frosting, beat together the mascarpone and Philadelphia cream cheeses with the icing sugar and Vandotsch speculaas spice mix.

13. Spread the frosting over the cake.

14. Sprinkle with crushed biscuits and serve.

As this cake has a frosting made from mascarpone and cream cheese, the cake must be stored in the fridge to keep it fresh.  Remember to remove the cake from the fridge about 10 minutes before serving to allow it to come back to room temperature.

The 25g refill of Vandotsch speculaas spice mix was sent to me free of charge.  I was under no obligation to produce or share a recipe using this product. No other payment has been received in respect of this recipe.