• Mince pies and all things Christmas

    Okay, I have to let you into a bit of a secret.  Last year when I was working at Lynwood & Co I was responsible for making the mince pies at Christmas.  As you will know from my posts at the time these went down very well, especially with the gentleman (and photographer) who lives in the flat above the Coln Community Stores.  What I didn’t mention at the time was that while the mince pies were indeed delicious, they were made with ready-made puff pastry and mincemeat.   I was just responsible for cutting the pastry to shape (the bases and stars); filling the pastry shells; baking them (of course to perfection – tongue firmly in cheek) and dusting them with a light dusting of icing sugar.  As we had to make a lot of them at Lynwood & Co, it would not have been commercially viable to make the mincemeat or the pastry from scratch on a regular basis.

    However, chatting to one of the regular customers at the Coln Community Stores recently, she mentioned that she enjoyed almond pastry mince pies.  Intrigued by her suggestion and also feeling that I should at least make mincemeat from scratch once in my life, I set about finding a recipe for almond mince pies.  It didn’t take long to find a recipe on the Delicious magazine website.

    The first step was to make the mincemeat.  I didn’t realise that making mincemeat was such a prolonged process (okay, I exaggerate, but it did take longer than I thought it would).  The first thing I needed to do was leave all of the mixed, mincemeat ingredients overnight to macerate.  The following day the mincemeat was cooked out at a low temperature for a couple of hours before placing it in steralised jars.  I left my mincemeat to ‘mature’ for a couple of days (not much time to mature, I know, but I was keen to try out the mince pies).  I then set about making the almond shortcrust pastry, which was relatively straight forward, albeit a bit more fragile than normal shortcrust pastry.  I chose to make mince pies topped with almond pastry stars rather than ‘lids’.  After 20 minutes in the oven, the pastry stars were still looking a bit anaemic so I left my pies in the oven for another 5 minutes.  In retrospect I should have only cooked them for a couple more minutes instead of 5 minutes as although not a mitigated disaster the pastry was still a bit over-baked.  That being said, overall, I think the pies tasted relatively good.  I took a couple to my Mum’s house and as my greatest critic, she was quick to point out that although she liked the pies, she felt that the mincemeat could have matured more before using.  She was correct of course (although don’t tell her), as the alcohol was still quite strong.

    With my Mum’s voice ringing in my ears, I left my mincemeat to mature for about 10 days before I incorporated it into another bake.  This time a Christmas cake, which just happened to be another recipe from Delicious magazine; a recipe for spiced rum butter mincemeat cake.  As I already had my own mincemeat, I used this instead of the rum butter mincemeat suggested in the recipe.

    I have to say that despite being on this planet for over half a century, this was the first Christmas cake that I have ever made. I have made many a fruit loaf or malted fruit loaf but never a Christmas cake.  What I found interesting about the bake, was that I had to line the tin with two layers of baking paper on the inside and newspaper on the the outside, as well as a wadge of newspaper underneath.  On top of all this protection from the heat and drying out during a two hour bake, I then had to cover the cake with a double layer of baking paper with a small hole cut out in the centre.  After two hours, the cake was looking well baked, albeit slightly under-coloured on top.  I took the decision to cook the cake for a little longer without the baking paper on top to get it a little more coloured.  While I don’t think this was entirely the wrong decision, I think I should have possibly left it as the recipe said – a two hour bake.

    No sooner had I baked and cooled the cake, and before I had time to wrap it and feed it alcohol for Christmas, my husband suggested that the cake would not last until Christmas.  He was right.  When I came home from work the next day, half the cake had disappeared.  My husband had taken it with him on a business trip to Holland, where he proceeded to eat most of it for breakfast on the few days that he was away.  As the cake was half eaten, I felt that there was no point trying to save the other half until Christmas so I have had a few pieces since then.  It is a lovely flavoursome cake with a boozy kick.  The only thing I would change if I made the cake again (as I suggested earlier) is reduce the baking time slightly as the cake is slightly crumbly – possibly the result of being slightly over-baked or otherwise being so jam-packed with fruit.

    As I was finishing my blog post, one of my neighbours knocked on the door and asked whether I would make 48 mince pies for the Coln Community Stores volunteers’ Christmas party.  Although I enjoyed the almond mince pies, I am not sure whether the almond pastry is my favourite, so I think I may need to experiment a bit before the 10 December.  I will keep you posted.  In the meantime, I will leave you with the mincemeat recipe that I used in my almond pastry mince pies and Christmas cake, as this is definitely a winner.

    Mince meat

    Ingredients

    • 340g sultanas
    • 250g raisins
    • 140g currants
    • 50g dried cranberries, finely chopped
    • 250g Pink Lady apples, peeled and cubed
    • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • Zest of 2 oranges, juice of 3
    • 50g candied orange peel
    • 300g dark muscovado sugar
    • 1 ball stem ginger, finely chopped
    • 3 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 ½ tsp cloves
    • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 tsp all spice
    • Pinch of sea salt
    • 90g shredded vegetarian suet
    • 90g unsalted butter, melted
    • 150g flaked almonds, toasted
    • 160ml Grand Marnier, or ordinary cognac

    Method

    • Stir the dried fruit together in a large bowl.  Dice the apples and add them to the bowl, grate over the lemon zest; squeeze in the juice and stir to coat the fruit.  Next add the orange zest and juice, sugar, spices, peel, salt and fat then stir until everything is evenly coated. If using ordinary cognac, add the zest of the 3rd orange.  Carefully fold through the almonds. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in a warm spot overnight, stirring occasionally to agitate the flavours.
    • Preheat oven to 90°C fan.   Place the mincemeat to a baking tray, cover the top with foil and bake for 2 hours.  Set aside to cool slightly, and then stir in the alcohol.   Transfer to sealable sterilised jars.
  • At Nigella’s table

    For quite some time now we have not had access to terrestrial TV.   In the absence of terrestrial TV, I got a little hooked on Netflix.  Initially, it was ‘research’ where I watched almost every cookery programme on Netflix:

    • Chef’s Table
    • Chuck and Danny’s Road Trip
    • Cook your Ass Off
    • Martha Bakes
    • Rebel Without a Kitchen
    • Sugar Rush
    • Ugly Delicious
    • Zumbo’s Just Desserts

    After almost exhausting what Netflix had to offer cookery-wise, I have to admit that I got a little hooked on ‘box sets’, watching back to back episodes over a short period of time.  Not a good use of my time when I should have been concentrating my efforts on setting up a business.

    Anyway after being devoid of terrestrial television for a while, I was delighted to be able to watch a range of cookery programmes when our aerial was finally fixed; programmes like The Great British Menu; Great British Bake Off and At Nigella’s Table.

    Not long after I started watching At Nigella’s Table, Nigella made a ginger and walnut carrot cake.  As a huge fan of ginger, I loved the fact that the cake contained three types: ground ginger, crystalised ginger and fresh ginger.   I first made the cake a month back and it was met with great enthusiasm when I took it into the Coln Community Stores for my colleagues to try.   The second incarnation of Nigella’s ginger and walnut carrot cake was a celebration cake for my mother’s 78th Birthday today (5th November).   My plan was to use the ginger and walnut carrot cake as a base for a bonfire style cake.  The colours of the cake lent themselves to being a bonfire cake, as did the crystallised ginger and walnut pieces  which decorated the cream cheese icing.  Despite having an excellent base, I wanted to elevate the cake by topping it with honeycomb and caramel shards; so yesterday morning my mission began.  I started by making the cake and the icing.  While the cake was baking and the icing was cooling in the fridge I turned my attention to making the honeycomb and caramel shards.  Working with sugar is always a potentially difficult task, as not heating it enough will give you an insipid and poorly set end result.  Heating it too much will make the end result too dark with a burnt taste.  It was my lucky day and both the honeycomb and caramel came out as I had hoped.  The only thing I would have changed was to use a non-textured baking paper and tray as my honeycomb had a bit of an unwanted texture to it.

    With all my component parts made, I assembled my cake.  I iced my ginger and walnut carrot cake with a generous layer of cream cheese icing, flavoured with fresh ginger and topped it with a scattering of crystallised ginger and walnut pieces.  I then added my shards of honeycomb and caramel.  I left adding my shards to the last moment as I knew that the moisture in the icing would start to dissolve the sugar in the honeycomb and caramel.  I then crossed my fingers hoping that all would be well at the big reveal at my Mum’s Birthday lunch.  The aim was to add sparklers at the last moment for a grand bonfire cake.  Unfortunately it was not to be.  The pub was so warm that the heat contributed to the melting of the shards (not completely, but the shards became a little wilted in the heat).  To add insult to injury, I was not allowed to bring out the cake at dessert time (the pub required us to eat their desserts), so I didn’t add the ‘crowning’ glory, the sparklers , to my bonfire extravaganza.  With my family dissipating in different directions after lunch, the best I could do is send them off with pieces of carrot cake without its crowning glory.  Thank goodness I took a photo of the cake with its honeycomb and caramel shards before we headed off for lunch.  However, despite this my vision for my bonfire cake was never fully realised.

    Irrespective of my slight disappointment, nothing can take away from the fact that Nigella’s cake, without any added decoration, is a triumph in itself.  So much so that I am sharing it with you below.

    Ginger and walnut carrot cake

     Ingredients

     Cake

    •  200g plain flour
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 2 tsp ground ginger
    • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
    • 175g soft light brown sugar
    • 2 large free-range eggs at room temperature
    • 200ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
    • 200g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
    • 100g walnut pieces, roughly chopped, plus extra for decorating
    • 75g crystallised ginger, finely chopped, plus extra for decorating

    Icing

    • 100g butter, softened
    • 100g icing sugar, sieved if lumpy
    • 1 tsp cornflour
    • 100g cream cheese
    • 1 tbsp coarsely grated fresh ginger

    Method

    • Preheat the oven to 150C Fan and grease the sides and line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
    • Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and salt together in a bowl.
    • Beat the sugar, eggs and oil in another large bowl until they are completely mixed together, then gradually add the flour mixture. At this stage the mixture may seem alarmingly stiff, but the carrots will loosen it up. Beat in the carrots and then fold in the walnuts and crystallised ginger, until everything is evenly combined.
    • Spoon into the prepared tin. Don’t worry if it looks as if you haven’t got enough batter, as the cake will rise well as it bakes. Smooth the top and bake for 55 minutes (as much as an hour). When it’s ready, the cake will be set and golden-brown on top, beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tin and a cake tester will come out with just a few crumbs stuck to it. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool in its tin.
    • Meanwhile, to make the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together and when combined, beat in the cornflour, followed by half the cream cheese. Once that’s incorporated, beat in the remaining half. Be careful not to over-beat or the icing will get too runny. Squeeze the juice from the grated ginger into the bowl and mix in, discard the ginger flesh. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge.
    • When the cake is completely cold, take the icing out of the fridge for about 20 minutes. Beat briefly to make sure it’s smooth. Remove the cake from its tin and place on a plate or cake stand. Spread the icing on top, swirling it a little, then sprinkle some chopped walnuts and crystallised ginger on top.

    Source: www.bbc.com (Nigella Lawson)

  • The best ever lemon curd

    I have been meaning to share this recipe for a wee while but have not got around to it as yet.  Whether you like to eat your lemon curd by the spoon or on your toast or in a dessert like lemon meringue pie, this is the best ever lemon curd recipe thanks to the Head Chef at Lynwood & Co.

    Ingredients

    • 6 lemons (zest and juice)
    • 200g butter
    • 410g caster sugar
    • 6 eggs

    Method

    • Heat lemons, sugar and butter over Bain Marie.
    • Whisk eggs then add to mixture and cook until thickened.
    • Cool for 2-3 hours.
  • Peach and raspberry vegan loaf cake

    Variation on vegan loaf cake as promised.  Happy baking!

    Ingredients:               

    Dry mix for loaf cake:

    • 500g plain flour
    • 60g ground almonds
    • 5 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 160g soft brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ground ginger

    Wet mix for loaf cake:

    •  280ml orange juice
    • 90ml oat milk or other non-dairy milk
    • 20ml vanilla extract
    • 120ml vegetable oil
    • 1-2 peaches (or nectarines) depending on size
    • 1/2 small punnet of fresh raspberries plus extra for decoration
    • 125g sultanas
    • Ground cinnamon and soft brown sugar for dusting

    Method:

    • Preheat oven to 180C. Grease (with non-dairy butter or oil) and line two loaf tin tins.
    • Peel the nectarine/s. Cut nectarine/s into small pieces.  Set aside.
    • In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon and ginger together. Then add the ground almonds.  Mix well.
    • In a measuring jug, add the orange juice, oat milk, vanilla extract and oil.  Mix well.
    • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, then pour in the wet ingredients.  Add in the chopped nectarine pieces, raspberries and the sultanas.  Fold and mix gently until a thick batter is obtained.  The batter may look quite dry (although less likely with the addition of raspberries fruits).  Do not be tempted to add more liquid as the fruit will release some moisture when the batter is baked.
    • Pour the batter into the two lined loaf tins. Spread the batter evenly in the tins.  Then place extra raspberries in a ‘herringbone’ pattern on top of the batter in a row.
    • Sprinkle with a mix of sugar and cinnamon.
    • Cook for 20 minutes at 180C and a further 20 to 25 minutes at 160C. When time is up test cake with cake tester and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
    • Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before removing and cutting it.

    Please note that the cake can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. To keep it longer it should be kept in the refrigerator as the fresh fruit can go mouldy if not refrigerated.

    Source: variation on Veganlovie recipe.

  • Best pizza dough and tomato sauce recipes

    Okay, so I am a bit hooked on my new Uuni Pro pizza oven.  I have now had two pizza evenings with my family.  My younger sister, Gillian, was so taken by the pizzas that she asked me to give her my pizza dough and tomato sauce recipes.  As I was writing them up for her, I thought I would share them with you too.  Happy pizza making!

    Pizza Dough (makes 3-4 decent sized, thin based pizzas)

    Ingredients:

    • 7 g sachet fast-action yeast
    • 300 ml tepid water
    • 500 g strong white flour (Italian 00 is best)
    • 2 tsp fine salt
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    Method:

    • In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and dried yeast with the olive oil and water and form the mixture into a ball.
    • Knead the dough on a floured work surface for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes of kneading the dough should be springy.  Form the kneaded dough into a ball; flour the top; place in a bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm.  Leave to rise in a warm place.
    • After at least 30 minutes, but ideally when doubled in size, your dough is ready.
    • Divide the dough into 3-4 pieces and then roll them into round discs (pizza bases).
    • Top with toppings of your choice and cook in domestic oven/pizza oven as required.  It is best to place pizzas directly onto a hot baking sheet or pizza stone within a preheated oven.

    Source: Polpo

    Tomato sauce

    Ingredients:

    • 2 x 400 g tinned tomatoes (blended)
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • Large pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
    • 1 crushed garlic clove
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 sprigs of basil
    • 1 onion – quartered.

    Method:

    • Over a medium heat, cook the garlic in the olive oil.
    • Add the blended tomatoes when the garlic starts to sizzle.  Don’t allow the garlic to brown.
    • Add the quartered onion and basil.  Season (to taste)  with the sugar, salt and pepper.
    • Simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened.
    • Remove the onion and the basil and allow to cool to room temperature before using.

    Source: Uuni Pro

  • Chocolate chip brownie cookies

    So here is the recipe for chocolate chip brownie cookies from Two Peas and their Pod.  You don’t need a happy mistake brownie to make these.  Use your favourite brownie recipe or if you don’t have time to cook brownies from scratch use shop bought ones.  Happy baking.

    Ingredients:

    • 360g plain flour
    • 1½ tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 240g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 100g granulated sugar
    • 270g brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1½ cups brownie chunks (use white measuring cup)
    • 1½ cups chocolate chips (use white measuring cup)

    Method:

    •  Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line 4 large baking with baking paper and set aside
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    • Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together for about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients.  Stir in the brownie chunks and chocolate chips.
    • Put cookie dough mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to ‘set’ slightly.
    • Weigh out 40-45g of cookie dough mixture and form into balls. Place eight to nine cookies on each of the prepared baking sheets, about 5cm apart.  They can spread quite a lot.
    • Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown.
    • When baked, remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes.
    • Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
    • The cookies will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

    Source: Two Peas and their Pod

  • Ginger crunch lemon slices

    The other day, I was sent a photo of a ginger, almond and lemon slice which my owner’s wife had seen at a cafe in the departure lounge of an Australian airport.  I asked her if she had the recipe or the name of the cafe so that I could try to make the slice.  She answered no to both. So, over the last couple of days, I have been trying to looked at various recipes to see whether I can come up with a similar slice.  No recipe that I could find was the perfect combination of ginger, almond and lemon, so I decided to combine a couple of recipes (Scrummy Lane’s recipe for lemon Bakewell slices adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe and Lynwood & Co’s lemon curd recipe).  My first attempt required some tweaking, but here is a recipe, which I feel provides a wonderful combination of ginger, almond lemon flavours.

    Ingredients: 

    Ginger crunch base:

    • 250g packet of McVities Ginger Nut biscuits
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • 85g unsalted butter

    Lemon curd:

    • 3 eggs
    • Zest and juice of 3 lemons
    • 205g caster sugar
    • 100g butter

    Almond filling:

    • 100g unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 115g caster sugar
    • Zest 2 lemons (keep juice to make lemon syrup)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 45g ground almonds
    • 225g plain flour

    Toppings:

    • Enough lemon curd to generously cover the ginger nut base,
    • 5 tbsp flaked almonds
    • Juice 2 lemons and 100g icing sugar for lemon syrup

    Method:

    Ginger crunch base:

    • Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
    • Blend Ginger Nut biscuits in food processor.  When finely blended, add the tsp ground ginger and unsalted butter and blend together.
    • Press into the base of a line d 20 x 20cm baking tin to create an even layer.
    • Bake the biscuit base for 10 minutes and then allow to cool.

    Lemon curd:

    • Heat lemon, sugar and butter over a bain-marie.
    • Whisk the eggs and then add to the mixture.
    • Cook until it thickens (coats the back of a wooden spoon).  Allow to cool.

    Almond filling:

    • Beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy.
    • Gradually add the eggs and the ground almonds.
    • Stir in any remaining ground almonds and flour.

    Lemon syrup: 

    • Squeeze juice from two lemons into a small pan.
    • Add icing sugar and heat over a medium heat until the icing sugar is melted and the mixture becomes syrupy.

    Finishing:

    • Spread the lemon curd over the ginger nut base.  Try not to go too close to the edges to stop the lemon curd sticking to the baking paper.
    • Top with the almond filling and smooth over with a spatula.  Scatter the almond filling with flaked almonds .
    • Bake for 20 minute at 180C until the top is lightly golden.
    • When baked, prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester or wooden toothpick and spoon syrup over the top of the cake, ensuring an even distribution of syrup.  Allow the cake to cool.  When cool, cut into 8-10 slices.
  • Buttermilk pancakes

    This is the recipe I mentioned from Genius Kitchen.  Serves 2.  Happy baking!

    Ingredients

    • 1 egg
    • 128g plain flour
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 245g buttermilk
    • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 -2 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • Bananas, kiwi fruit, plain yoghurt and maple syrup for serving

    Method

    • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg on medium speed until frothy.  If too difficult, froth up using a whisk.
    • Add the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla and mix well.
    • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and beat on medium speed just until blended.
    • Heat a lightly greased frying pan or pancake pan.
    • Pour about half a soup ladle of batter onto the pan for each pancake.
    • Cook until the tops of the pancakes are covered with tiny bubbles and the batter is set, about 4 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until the undersides are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes more.  Adjust cook time, according to hob.
    • Repeat with remaining batter.
    • Top with toppings of your choice, as suggested.
  • Vegan ginger cake

    As promised, here is my recipe for the vegan ginger cake.  This recipe makes 2, 900g loaves.  Happy baking!

    Ingredients:

    • 450g self-raising flour
    • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 2tbsp ground ginger
    • 2tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2tsp ground mixed spice
    • 210g Trex or 230g dairy free butter
    • 230g black treacle
    • 230g golden syrup
    • 230g dark brown muscovado sugar
    • 550ml oat milk
    • 4 tbsp water, 4 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp vegetable oil mixed together as the egg substitute.
    • 2 x 900g loaf tins greased with butter and lined with greaseproof paper.

    Method:

    •  Heat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice together in a bowl.
    • Add the Trex or dairy free butter and rub into the flour mix.
    • Place the treacle and golden syrup into a small pan and warm gently until melted and runny but not hot. Set aside until lukewarm.
    • Put the sugar and oat milk into another pan and heat gently, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Leave to cool until lukewarm.
    • Whisk the oat milk into the flour mixture, quickly followed by the treacle mixture and the egg substitute, to make a smooth thick batter, the consistency of double cream.
    • Put the mixture into the prepared tins.
    • Bake the gingerbread in the heated oven for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
    • Set the tin on a wire rack and leave the gingerbread to cool completely before turning out.
    • Store in an air tight container.
  • Apple and rhubarb vegan loaf cake with a hint of orange and ginger

    So pleased have I been with how this vegan loaf cake has turned out that I thought I would share it with you in case you are looking for a vegan cake for yourself, friends or family.  Happy baking!

    Ingredients:               

    Rhubarb:

    • Stem of rhubarb
    • 1 tsp ginger
    • 50g caster sugar
    • Juice from one orange
    • Water as required

    Dry mix for loaf cake:

    • 500g plain flour
    • 60g desiccated coconut
    • 5 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 160g soft brown sugar
    • Zest from two oranges

    Wet mix for loaf cake:

    •  280ml orange juice (use juice from zested oranges and then top up with orange juice)
    • 90ml oat milk or other non-dairy milk
    • 20ml vanilla extract
    • 120ml vegetable oil
    • 2 large Braeburn/Cox apples
    • 125g sultanas
    • Ground cinnamon and soft brown sugar for dusting

    Method:

    •  Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line two loaf tin tins.
    • Cut a stem of rhubarb into 0.5cm pieces and place in a pan over a low heat with the juice of one orange, ginger, sugar and a splash of water and cook until just tender. Set aside
    • Peel the apple. Cut one apple into small pieces and the other into thin slices.  Set aside.
    • In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Then add the desiccated coconut and the orange zest.  Mix well.
    • In a measuring jug, add the orange juice, oat milk, vanilla extract and oil. Mix well.
    • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, then pour in the wet ingredients. Add in the chopped apple pieces, drained rhubarb pieces and the sultanas.  Fold and mix gently until a thick batter is obtained.  The batter may look quite dry (although less likely with the addition of rhubarb).  Do not be tempted to add more liquid as the fruit will release some moisture when the batter is baked.
    • Pour the batter into the two lined loaf tins. Spread the batter evenly in the tins.  Then place the apple slices on top of the batter in a row.
    • Sprinkle with a mix of sugar and cinnamon.
    • Cook for 20 minutes at 180C and a further 15 to 20 minutes at 160C. When time is up test cake with cake tester and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
    • Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before removing and cutting it.

    Please note that the cake can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. To keep it longer it should be kept in the refrigerator as the fresh fruit can go mouldy if not refrigerated.

    Source: Veganlovie