Posts tagged buckwheat
Battenberg Cake…with a difference

So this month’s Daring Bakers challenge is….Battenberg cake.

Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

Battenburg- the classic chequered sponge cake, sandwiched together with jam and all wrapped up in a marzipan jacket!

Marzipan is a tricky one, the traditional version is full of powdered sugar and although it's generally vegan I still have difficulty in endorsing such a sugary treat here on my blog! I have been trying to suss out a sugar free marzipan for quite some time now, with some degree of success here in my Christmas Stollen and my the toppings for the super-cute Christmas puds.

But when it comes to a rollable marzipan I have not yet had a breakthrough!

However this challenge allowed us to push the boundaries beyond a traditional Battenberg as long as we held true to the chequered sponge concept with a sweet covering whether it be marzipan, fondant or chocolate. So, one idea came to my mind straight away….

….the ‘world’s healthiest chocolate fudge’!

I had tried rolling the fudge dough previously to make these hearts and it worked really well, so I figured it could also work really well as the Battenberg covering.  That then just left the sponge and the flavours to choose. I opted for a plain vanilla sponge alongside a raspberry sponge (although it has taken on more of a brown tinge in the photos), that allowed me to use sugar-free raspberry jam as the sole sweetener in the raspberry sponge.  I opted to try my ‘easiest ever gluten free sponge’ recipe as the basis for this cake as i really wanted to go gluten free for this recipe.

In hindsight I wish I’d gone for a different sponge recipe, as whilst that simple sponge works well as a small super-simple mug cake, it just didn’t really do it for me as larger oven baked sponge. There was nothing drastically wrong with it, I just felt it could have been a lot more delicate with a lighter crumb. I also wish now that I’d rolled the fudge wrap a little thinner before wrapping the sponge slices.

The overall concept was a great success and the chocolate fudge coating worked a treat (particularly if I’d rolled it more finely), however after eating a slice with the sponge, I got the feeling that the sponge was not doing the cake justice. So what did I decide to do?  Peel the fudge off and reform it into fudge balls of course. Mmmm…much better!

Try this frosting…go on give it a go! It is so easy to form and model that you can cut it into rounds, bars, roll it out as an icing layer or even turn it into a soft piped healthy frosting as I did here with thes cupcakes.

I will give the Battenberg another go with an alternative sponge recipe at some point soon. This fudge frosting is so versatile that I want to give it a proper chance to do my Battenberg proud!

This link takes you to the original Daring Bakers Challenge notes with  plenty of alternate recipes for battenberg to try.

Recipe: Healthy Battenberg Cake

Makes 1 approx. 7” long cake

Ingredients: chocolate fudge frosting

  • ½  can black beans- rinsed and drained
  • 1 mashed banana
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (or raw cacoa powder)
  • 1/3 cup dates
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½  tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp stevia
  • ½ cup ground oats
  • 2 tbs ground flax
  • 2 tbs chia seeds


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth pliable dough is formed. The dough should be fairly tacky but not sticky and should easy to handle.

Roll out the dough on a sheet of parchment or similar for easily handling. Roll to achieve desired thickness and then, using thr parchment to assist, carefully drape across the jam coated sponge to create the finish Battenberg.

Ingredients: simple vanilla sponge

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour (or other GF grain)
  • 3 tbs ground almonds
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup plain soy yoghurt (or regular)
  • 2 tbs agave (for vanilla version)
  • 2 tbs sugar free raspberry jam (for raspberry version)


Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl and then add wet ingredients (other than agave and jam) and mix together well.  

Divide the mixture between two bowls and then add the agave and jam to a bowl each.  Note: to achieve a deeper red/pink colour you may need to add a few drops of food colouring.

You will now have two different coloured/flavoured mixtures. Spoon each into a 7” square  baking tin divided down the centre with parchment paper and foil to prevent the batters mixing (foil helps make a more ridged central partition).

Bake in  pre-heated oven  at 180C for approx. 15 mins until very lightly golden.

Assembling the Battenberg: 

Cut the slices of sponge into neat squares and arrange in a larger square with each flavour on the diagonal. Paint each edge with slightly runny sugar-free raspberry jam and then firmly wrap the chocolate fudge frosting around the entire cake, ensuring an overlap to seal.

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Coconut oatmeal cookies

It’s crazy to think that with my love of oats I have not yet attempted a full on oatmeal cookie!

Well all that has now changed!

A few days ago, some of you may have seen this picture pop up on my newly created Instagram account (subtle hint: come follow me here!!)

These cookies are soft and chewy and rich and buttery…they taste like a regular soft and buttery sugary oat cookie yet without all the naughtiness. The inclusion of coconut, in the form of coconut sugar and coconut flakes (along with coconut oil although you can’t taste that!) gives these cookies a deep caramelly richness and a crazy cool chewy bite. The touch molasses further intensifies the depth of flavour but that is entirely optional.

I initially made a small batch of these cookies as a test. The recipe below makes about 8 medium cookies but you could easily double it up to make a more ‘normal’ sized batch. I also kept it plain and simple here so the oats could take centre stage, but you could add raisins or choc chunks if you wish. Next time I make these I may also sub half of the oats for quinoa flakes to see how that changes the texture. I also fancy a peanut butter version subbing the coconut oil…Mmmmm.

Recipe: Coconut oatmeal cookies

Makes approx. 8 cookies


  • 1 cup oats (gluten free if necessary)
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • 3 tbs tapioca flour
  • 3tbs coconut sugar (plus pinch stevia- optional)
  • 1 tbs agave
  • 1 tsp molasses (optional for richness)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice or nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbs coconut oil- melted
  • 1 tbs ground chia and 3 tbs water/soy milk
  • 3tbs desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup raisins/choc chinks- optional


In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix well with spoon. Add choc chunks/raisins last (if using).

On a parchment lines baking sheet roughly roll cookie dough into apricot sozed balls and press flat with fingers.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 10 mins until lightly golden. Cool on baking sheet, then store in air-tight container once fully cool.

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Celebrations all round……easiest ever fat-free vanilla sponge!

Today it is the official day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Street parties and bunting have dominated the country this (cold and rainy) weekend. All the packaging in the shops has also gone mad for the jubilee…take this for example:

image   source

image source

Well, it made me smile!

Myself, well I have another small reason to celebrate, well two in fact!

On Saturday I won a prize with a photo I’d submitted to a competition for nature photography , the image I submitted was this one. It meant a lot to me as I’m hoping to push my photography to the next level over the coming months and not just in the area of food photography, so this small element of recognition inspired my confidence!

Secondly, drum roll please…..

…..This post is my 200th post on this blog!

Wow, that seems crazy to me and to think less than nine months ago none of this existed.   

To celebrate all of these things I wanted to make a jubilee inspired cake. For this occasion I have created my easiest ever fat free GF vanilla sponge.  It takes the form of a mug cake in its simplicity but here I have dolloped the sponge in the same way I did with this birthday cake to create a pretty stack! 

You could use other GF or spelt flours in place of the buckwheat as I have used.  Then let your imagination run wild with layering combinations…. Berries and cashew cream (or yoghurt for a lighter version) make the perfect summer pudding centrepiece with minimal effort!

If you have no celebration coming up…simply celebrate being alive, that in itself it pretty amazing after all!

Recipe: fat free vanilla sponge

Serves one as 3 dollops or 1 mug cake


  • 3tbs buckwheat flour (or other mild flavoured GF flour)
  • 1 tbs ground almonds
  • 1 tsp agave
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Scant ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3tbs plain soy yoghurt (or regular yoghurt for non-vegan)


Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl and then add wet ingredients and mix together well.

Either spoon into a microwavable bowl/mug for a mug cake or spoon in little round dollops on a microwavable plate to serve as flat sponges that can be layered up with fruit and cream in between.

Cook in the microwave  on full powder for 1 minute for flat dollops or slightly longer for a mug cake. Alternatively cook in the oven for approx.. 10-15 mins depending on size until ever so lightly golden.

Add-ins: substitute 1tbs flour for cocoa powder. Add a tablespoon of nuts/dried fruits /fresh fruit/choc chunks…..

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Blueberry pie breakfast cookie

Remember my chocolate chunk breakfast cookie?

…How could you forget! It was very good.

Well, for those among us who simply cannot contemplate chocolate in any form for breakfast, I now have a little fruity offering. The perfect breakfast… or brunch.  I also have a little admission to make here, when I woke up this morning  I was so busy with bits and pieces on my laptop upon waking that I didn’t actually make it out of my bedroom until just before midday when my stomach started shouting at me for food…I had no idea how late it had got! So, I doubled the recipe and had one massive cookie. It was very filling indeed. Ok so that’s my little guilty admission!

So, the photos below is for one biiiiiig ‘double’ cookie however the ingredients below are for a regular sized cookie more like the original choc chunk version…. Double it if you dare!! (p.s if you do you’ll need to microwave it for longer- mine took approx. 2 ½ mins to cook through in the middle, no dramas if it is a little soft. Also it will be too big for your hands so you'll simple need to spoon and spread it onto the plate in a neat circle). I had another thought once I made this cookie, and I’ll give it a try on another occasion but I reckon you could substitute the yoghurt for a small mashed banana for a blueberry-banana combo, this will also help to sweeten and you can reduce the maple syrup. Let me know how it works out for you if you try this.

The photos look much less ‘oaty’ than the previous chocolate cookie, I think that’s simply because I whipped the ingredients together fairly ferociously, so it had more of a cakey texture. Either way tastes good to me.  I used blueberries but you could use any berry you fancy. I advise using frozen blueberries as they will hold their shape as you push them in and they will be perfectly cooked through after 1 minute in the microwave, no need to thaw first.

One last note- I suggest you taste the batter before cooking to test for sweetness. As its for breakfast I prefer a mildly sweet cookie but you may prefer to modify this, particularly if you make it for a dessert or snack.

Well, I think I’ve just about caught up with my life now that I’m back from my holiday. It’s been a day of bits and pieces, I was so glad for the Easter bank holiday!  I still have a few things to tick of the list for today, not least dinner that is currently in the oven.  If successful that will a post for later this week…Oh the excitement!

Recipe: blueberry pie breakfast cookie

Makes one fat cookie


  • ¼ cup oats
  • 2 tbs buckwheat flour (other flours  would probably be fine too)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs ground flax/chia
  • Ground cinnamon and vanilla extract to taste (approx. ½ tsp each)
  • 1 tbs flaked almonds (or other nuts of your choice)
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 3 tbs soy yoghurt (or regular yoghurt for non-vegan)
  • Handful of frozen blueberries


Mix and mash all ingredients (other than almonds and berries) together well to form a thick sticky ball of dough. Roughly flatten the ball with your palms and place on a small microwaveable plate. Push the frozen blueberries into the surface evenly across the cookie dough. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top and dust with a little extra cinnamon if desired.

Cook on full powder in the microwave for 1 minute. Press with your finger and if it springs back and there are no visibly sticky bits and the berries are fully cooked you’re done!

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