Posts tagged maple
Maple pecan ice cream

Up until now I hadn’t tried my hand at ice creams…or any form of frozen desserts. But all that may be about to change…! I already have few ideas up my sleeve and a few tests underway. So first up ice cream!

This last week summer has been in full swing (I hope I haven’t just jinxed it) and I could no longer ignore the urges for some ice cream. There is something about ice cream that really is the epitome of summer, and it also makes you feel 10 years old again!

I debated long and hard about the flavour choice and the ingredients to form the base of this ice cream. I had thought about going for a traditional vanilla, but then had second thoughts that maybe such a ‘simple’ flavour may be deceivingly difficult to pull off. Bearing in mind I had never tasted vegan ice cream…neither shop bought or home-made, and also I don’t have an ice cream maker.

So, I settled on a banana and cashew combo for the base, to create a really creamy ice cream with a subtle hint of banana rather than a full on banana flavour. Through my extensive research into homemade vegan ice creams I came across a recommendation to add raisins to achieve a really buttery texture, hence why they’ve also been added here, also for the additional natural sweetness.

The maple syrup and pecans provide the dominant intensity of flavour. The key is to blend everything really well to achieve the full on creamy effect that these ingredients offer. I kept the pecans chunkier for extra texture. I froze the ice cream in ice cube trays, to pop out and blend again just prior to serving, this achieves the creamiest consistency without the need for an ice cream maker. The ice cube trays are also great for making mini servings to melt over pancakes or desserts, or insert a toothpick for a mini frozen lolly!

I served mine on bed of chocolate shavings over my newly created ‘speediest sponge ever’….recipe to come shortly!

Recipe: Maple pecan ice cream

Makes approx. 2 cups


  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup cashew butter
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ cup soy milk (or other alternative milk)
  • ½ cup pecans (or walnuts although they are more bitter)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


In a food processor add the banana, nut butter, tahini and raisins and blend to form a paste. Add all remaining ingredients and blend together to break up the pecans into smallish pieces. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze

For best results re-blend the frozen chunks briefly and re-freeze to desired consistency to serve.

Alternatively, freeze in one container and remove from freezer 10 minutes prior to serving to slightly soften- note resultant ice cream may not be as creamy as above method.

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Maple walnut cake with parsnip

I really struggled to know what to call this cake….. maple syrup and date cake, date and walnut cake, parsnip and maple cake..

….or maple syrup, date, walnut and parsnip cake. Sounds like a ridiculous mouthful! But really that is what it should be called as each if of those ingredients really make this cake what it is!

In the end I decided not to focus on the parsnip so much as I worried people might find it odd, but believe me it works so well in this cake, a subtle taste but it’s definitely there with its earthy sweetness shining through.

This is the second time I’ve made this cake, but the first time I’ve added the walnuts as a crunchy layer on the top instead of mixed through.  It works superbly and I much prefer it this way. With a little more maple syrup drizzled over the topping takes on a chewy crispness once baked.

I also made this cake in a shallow square tin, as opposed to a loaf tin. I find that this cake is very moist which is lovely, but in a deeper loaf tin the centre does have the tendency to be a little too gummy. I would advise a shallow round or square tin to achieve a more consistent but dense crumb.

The snow is still on the ground here in the UK and this makes the perfect comforting cake for a wintry morning. Oh how I wish I could settle down with a nice steaming mug of camomile tea and a nice wedge of cake.....

Mmmmm....crunchy maple walnut topping!

Recipe: maple walnut cake with parsnip


  • 1/3 cup apple puree
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup maple syrup and a pinch stevia
  • 1/3  cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (plus zest- optional)
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 ¾ cups spelt flour (approx. 200g)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated parsnip (approx. 150g)
  • ½ cup finely grated apple
  • ½ cup finely chopped dates
  • ½-1 cup chopped walnuts (for topping)
  • Extra maple syrup as desired (for drizzling over)


Preheat oven to 180C. Blend together wet ingredients in food processor then mix in melted coconut oil. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl (except dates/parsnip/apple) then add wet mixture and stir until thick. Fold in the remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into  an 8’ round of square cake tin. Bake for approx. 30 minutes until lightly toasted and a skewer comes away clean. You may need to keep a close eye on the nuts during the final few minutes to watch they don’t burn (use foil over the top if this looks like it could be a problem and the centre is not cooked).

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