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.

 

 

 

Stoves Winter Recipe Creation

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As a member of the BBC Good Food Show Blogger Community, and having worked on a previous Stoves UK recipe re-creation, I was again invited to take part and cook up a storm in my kitchen, with inspiration received from the live demonstrations that the chefs give at the shows.  I sat in the audience and watched the very talented Phil Vickery cook eels, but I’m not brave enough to try those slippery little suckers (I used to go fishing with my husband, so know their habitat and slippery/slimy persona). Instead I chose to do two recipes which can both be found on the Stoves Recipe website: (I have not re-published the recipes here; merely the method of preparation, as neither recipe is mine, but I have provided the links to them which you can find on the Stoves website).

Gusto’s pan-fried Chicken Breast with Creamed Leeks and Butter-fried Gnocchi

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Following the recipe (link above) and having sealed my chicken breasts until golden, before placing them in the oven to cook, I then sliced my shallots and crushed my garlic, sweating them off until softened but not coloured.  I added my sliced leeks to the pan and continued to sweat the vegetables before adding the cream, reducing the mixture and stirring through the oregano and mascarpone.
imageTo my pan of boiling water, I dropped in my gnocchi, removing them when they floated to the top to signify they were cooked.  They were then added to a pan of olive oil and butter and cooked until golden.

The chicken breasts are served on a bed of the creamed leeks, surrounded by a tumbling of the gnocchi and gives you a dinner worth of a fully tummy and an empty plate.

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Well, I say a full tummy, but you’re never too full for a delicous dessert, are you?  So, for my dessert I chose to make A Glug of Oil’s Limoncello Cheesecake using a bottle of Pallini Limoncello.

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I lined my springform tin with baking parchment (it makes it easier to remove it from the tin to serve).  I crushed my Oaties biscuits (Tesco’s own Hob Nobs) and melted my butter, then mixed them both together, pressing this into the base of my tin, before placing it in the fridge to cool.

The mascarpone, lemon curd and lemon zest, along with the lemon juice and Limoncello (I added 5tbs, not the 2tbs that are recommended in the recipe), all went into a bowl and were beaten together until thoroughly combined and smooth.  This was then poured over the chilled cheesecake base and placed back into the fridge to set overnight.

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The lemon slices are candied in syrup for the decoration.

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Remove your cheesecake from the tin to a serving plate and serve chilled.

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As part of the BBC Good Food Show Blogger Community, I was invited to take part in the Stoves UK cook along, for which I received a Tesco gift voucher to purchase ingredients.

Summer Lavender Meringue

Such a simple to make dessert that anyone can make, though so many shy away from.

I’ve made one today using some lavender sugar that I made, and am sharing my recipe with you here.

4 egg whites (8tbs Two Chicks pasteurised egg white)
225g (8oz) lavender caster sugar
5ml (1tsp) cornflour
5ml (1tsp) white vinegar
2.5ml (1/2tsp) vanilla extract
Gel paste food colouring (optional)

Preheat your oven to 130C

Draw a 9″ circle onto some baking parchment, then turn it over.

Line a baking tray with the parchment.

Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Sieve the caster sugar to remove the flowers, return these to the jar to flavour more sugar.

Gradually add the caster sugar, a spoon at a time, whilst continuing to whisk.

Mix the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla together then fold into the meringue mix (add any paste colouring at this point too, if desired).

Spoon half of the meringue mixture onto the baking parchment and spread out to fill the circle you previously drew on the reverse.

Spoon ‘dollops’ of the remaining mixture around the edges of your meringue base to become a ridge.

Place in your preheated oven for 90 minutes.

Turn off the oven, leaving the meringue in there with the door closed until cold. This can take about 3 hours.

Serve with whipped double cream and and fresh summer berries.