Chocolate and Rum Chata Caramel Bundt Cake

img_4183Having spent the last few months admiring successes of other bakers attempts at making Bundt cakes, of all shapes,sizes and flavours, I decided to buy a tin of my own. My choice was a Nordic Ware,Heritage Bundt Pan. I loved the design and I especially like the way any icings,sauces etc, follow the shape of the finished cake.

Having received the pan in the post,I couldn’t wait to get started. I decided to make a basic chocolate Bundt and add a caramel sauce to decorate.

Well here is my first attempt,I think it’s turned out ok. The superior baking performance of this bakeware certainly makes for a successful end product.It looks moreish and rich but will do just fine for our dessert after dinner tonight.


* 2 tbsp unsalted butter, for greasing
* 100g dark chocolate
* 50g cocoa powder
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 200ml sour cream
* 300g plain flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* ½  tsp bicarbonate of soda
* ½ tsp salt
* 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 400g caster sugar
* 3 eggs

For the Rum Chata and cream sauce
* 200g unsalted butter, chopped
* 250ml double cream
* 350g soft light brown sugar
* 2 tbsp Rum Chata ( Rum liqueur, you can use a liqueur of your choice,Baileys perhaps)
* Heat oven to 170ºC/fan150ºC/gas 3. Using the 2 tbsp of butter, grease a 2.4 litre bundt tin so it’s completely coated.
* Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl set over a simmering pot of water, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Alternatively you microwave it for 30 secs at a time until melted. Remove from the heat and add in the cocoa, vanilla, sour cream and 75ml hot water and whisk until smooth.
* In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
* In a standing electric mixer beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one a time, then beat for 3 mins until thick and full.  Stir in the chocolate sour cream mixture, then add the flour mixture. Mix again and then scrape into the bundt tin. Bake for 45-50 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 15 mins.  Place a wire cooling rack over the top and flip over. Leave to cool completely.
* To make the Rum Chata caramel sauce, put all the ingredients into a large frying pan and heat until bubbling, about 5 mins.
* Serve the cake with the caramel sauce poured over the top.


Sugar (Processed) free Banana and Blueberry Cup Cakes

img_4159Today I had over ripe bananas to use up. My usual standby recipe for that is a Banana and Cherry Loaf. However, after being bombarded by the media in the last few weeks, I decided to try and find a recipe for a sugar free cake. After trawling through hundreds of recipes I decided on this one. Now obviously, because I am using fruit to sweeten the mixture, the cakes will contain sugar from the fruit in the form of fructose, so they are not totally sugar free. On the bright side they do not contain any processed sugar and to my surprise,even though the appearance isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as a normal cake mix, they really do taste nice.

The recipe I used was from the Good Food website. However I did adapt it to fit in with my own tastes and the type of flour I had in the cupboard and the fruit I had available.

This recipe is definitely worth a try for those of you cutting down on sugar and the cakes are definitely something children would enjoy.

Ingredients (makes 11 )

125g self-raising flour ( original recipe used wholemeal)
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
75g fresh blueberries ( original recipe used 75g sultanas, you could also add 75g walnuts )
50g butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
3 ripe banana, mashed


Preheat oven to 180C /Fan 160C/ Gas 4

Line muffin tin with cases ( You could also bake the mixture in a 1lb loaf tin, if you are doing this make sure you line and grease the tin).

Mix flour,baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl

In another bowl mash the bananas, add the egg, vanilla essence, milk, melted butter and beat together.

Add the batter to the flour mix,fold gently to incorporate all ingredients. Fold in the blueberries.

Put a tbsp of the mix into each cup case and bake in the oven for 20-25 mins. ( if making in a loaf tin the baking time will be extended to about 40 mins).

Cool and enjoy


Roasted Cumin and Sweet Potato Soup

img_4154Never say you don’t have time to make soup. Even the roast vegetable type,that sounds so fidley, but can actually be so simple and quick to prepare and cook. So…husband decided he wanted soup for dinner before going off to the football match. I grabbed what veg I had in the basket and within 35min he was eating his soup….and enjoying it I hasten to add.

Anyway here is the quick, delicious recipe for Roasted Cumin and Sweet Potato Soup. I will guarantee this will become your standby home comfort recipe.


4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 medium sized onion, peeled and cut into eight wedges

olive oil for roasting approx 2 tbsp

1 tsp cumin

750mls of hot chicken or vegetable stock

milk or yogurt ( optional)


Preheat oven to 200C/ Gas 6

Place sweet potato,onions in a proasting tin, drizzle with oil and Cumin. Season a little, toss together and roast for approx 25 min until vegetables are tender and have browned slightly.

When the vegetables are cooked blend then in a processor with the hot stock until completely smooth.

Return to saucepan, the soup is quite thick so you can add more stock if you wish or add milk or yogurt for a creamier texture, reheat gently.

Serve and enjoy

Apple Ice-cream with Gingerbread or Hot Brandy and Orange Mincemeat Sauce

img_4135This has to be one of the best and easiest recipes for a Non-churn ice cream. I first tasted this delicately flavoured dessert at ‘The Collingwood Arms’, Cornhill, Northumberland. I loved it so much I asked Chef Shutt for the recipe. It is now one of my favourite ice- creams to make for any celebration dinner. The recipe also makes a good one and a half litres so there is always plenty to go round.

I love the heavenly combination of warm and cold in a desert so my ideal way to eat the Apple ice- cream is to serve it with warmed gingerbread and warm fudge sauce. Terribly decadent but so moreish, I defy anyone not to enjoy it.

I also served the ice-cream quite recently with a simple but tasty, Hot Brandy and Orange Mincemeat Sauce,this was made using my left over mincemeat from Christmas.

Anyway having made this ice-cream yet again I felt the recipe was just too good to keep to myself so…after checking with Chef Shutt. I decided to share the secret on my blog. I really do hope some of you give the recipe a try,it’s well worth the effort.

Non-Churn Apple Ice-Cream


Apple Purée 

750g Granny Smith apples

zest and juice of half lemon ( more if necessary)

150 mls water ( you may need a little more if apples are dry)

375g caster sugar

3tbsp Calvados (optional)


half of a 397g can condensed milk

600ml double cream

vanilla pod or extract


Core apples, skin on.

Chop roughly and add all purée ingredients to a pan and cook until the apples are soft. Blend then pass through a fine sieve. If the mixture is too runny put back in pan and reduce slightly.

Put all ice cream ingredients into a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until it reaches the consistency of clotted cream.

Add the purée mixture to the basic ice cream mix, stir until incorporated

Pour into a container and freeze.


This is a very old gingerbread recipe, can’t actually remember its origin, but I have made it for years with great success. It has a rather unusual ingredient as it is made with Trex making this a very light texture; you can substitute with butter but you will get a slightly heavier cake. TREX is lower in saturated fat than butter, is dairy free & has no hydrogenated vegetable oil, e-numbers, colours or preservatives. So give it a try, it really does result in a nice tasting cake to eat on it’s own or with the ice-cream.


10oz SR Flour

6oz Trex

1tsp salt

6oz black treacle

1.5 tsp ginger

2tsp cinnamon

half tsp ground nutmeg

2 eggs

5 fl oz milk

3 oz raisins

8oz Demerara sugar


Preheat oven to 160C (140C fan ) Gas 3

grease and line 10×8 inch baking tin

Put Trex, sugar and treacle in a large pan and heat gently to melt the Trex and partly dissolve the sugar. Tip into the bowl of an electric mixer

Beat eggs and milk together, add to the mixer bowl and beat well

Slowly beat in the flor and spices, then stir in the raisins.

Pour the mix into prepared tin and bake for approx 1 hour.

This will keep for several days wrapped in foil or in an air tight container.

Fudge Sauce

175g soft light brown sugar

125g butter

225mls double cream


Put all ingredients into a saucepan heat gently stirring,until butter is melted and the sugar completely dissolved. Then boil gently over a steady heat for a good five minutes. Cool the sauce and serve warm with the ice cream and gingerbread.

img_4132Hot Brandy and Orange Mincemeat Sauce

( This recipe was taken from Seasonal Cookery, Claire McDonald of MacDonald)


225 g mincemeat

grated rind of 1 orange

3 tbsp Brandy

Put all ingredients into a pan, stir over a gentle heat. Don’t boil. Serve hot over the ice-cream.