Hello again! Is it Friday already? Hooray!
You might have read on one of my recent Instagram posts, that I was frustrated with myself. I had previously made some delicious savoury muffins by following an American recipe online. It had taken ages, as I had to translate all of the measurements from American Cups to metric and foolishly, I hadn’t written it down. So when the time came for me to want to make them again, I took a deep breath, ready to embark on the translating for a second time. A gorgeous friend had given me this beautiful notebook a few months ago and I got it out (and a newly sharpened pencil) ready to diligently copy down the recipe. All was not going to be that simple however. As I searched the internet for this favourite recipe, I found that the recipe, and indeed, the entire baking website, was no longer in existence.
I spent the next hour, perhaps it was even two, searching for something comparable. Nothing piqued my interest… either the recipes had gluten in them, or sugar, or un-pronounceable ingredients.
Something wonderful did occur in that moment of desperation… I decided to develop my own recipe. I promise I had no idea how it was going to turn out, I didn’t even know where to begin until I glanced up to my cook books and saw Mary Berry’s encouraging face smiling down at me. After having a flick through one of her books, I decided to re-create her Lemon and Blueberry muffins but make them gluten and sugar free. I had to adapt some of the method as well, as without gluten, I wasn’t sure how well they would rise.
I was so pleased at how they turned out. It really was a stroke of luck! What’s so much more exciting is that we can eat them and still feel great!
Tip: I always have a packet of frozen blueberries in the freezer. They can be added to so many things and take a very short amount of time to defrost.
Makes approximately 12 muffins:
- 275g Buckwheat flour (I either get mine online or at Holland & Barrett)
- 1 tbsp Baking powder
- 70g coconut sugar (again, online or at Holland and Barrett – it is expensive but I tend to use it sparingly if I can)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Eggs
- 200ml Almond Milk (unsweetened – you can get this from most supermarkets)
- 100g Softened butter
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 150g Blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/400 degrees F/Gas mark 6 and line your muffin tray with paper cases (I used to drop the mixture straight into a greased muffin tin, but cases make putting the muffins in lunchboxes and carrying them about, so much easier!
- Combine all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, coconut sugar and lemon zest) – I used a stand mixer, but you can easily use a food processor (except for when adding the blueberries later) or a regular bowl and spoon.
- Mix in the eggs, softened butter, milk and vanilla extract until everything is evenly combined – the mixture will seem gloopy, but it’ll be fine in the end!
- Stir in the blueberries.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes – keep an eye on them. You want them just turning golden brown.
- Allow them to cool in the tray for a few minutes before putting them on a wire rack.
Enjoy! H x
This post contains affiliate links – this doesn’t affect you at all, but if people purchase from the linked shop after clicking, it might eventually cause a tiny payout to me. What would I do with it? Probably go out for a cup of tea and a slice of cake! You are welcome to join me. x
Hello! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far. Yesterday in our part of Dorset, the sun was shining, the wind was warm and it was a perfect day for messing about in the garden. We tied back the roses that have gone crazy after all of the humid weather and noticed that there are so many more buds this year compared to last. The aphids are still my nemeses but despite their recurring appearances, I’m hoping that before long we’ll have an explosion of beautifully-scented, pink blooms from my absolute favourite – The Generous Gardener (a David Austin rose).
The Hydrangea Annabelles are also looking particularly healthy (they need lots of water too) and should soon be opening up their striking white mop-head like flowers.
Finally, after many months of procrastinating, we managed to sort out the veg bed, bordering it properly and making a little fence so that *someone* doesn’t go digging in amongst the plants. With help from the aforementioned little terrier, I roped together the cane supports and planted the sweet-peas. We are a bit uncertain how well the veggies will do in this bed as it gets only partial sun during the day. We might have to adapt what we plant as we go along.
All-in-all, it is turning out to be my favourite sort of weekend; dressed in scruffs, running (or ambling) about in no shoes and lots of outside eating! (By the way, the gluten and refined sugar free biscuits in the first picture were really rather good. So easy to make and very easy to eat! You can find the recipe here).
Have a great day x
This week has been a hive of baking in the DF kitchen and because many of the bakes weren’t for us, I was able to indulge myself and make some traditional wonders! My go-to cake for pretty much any occasion is a Lemon Drizzle. It often gets asked for by my friends and it is one of the easiest cakes to make. All in a bowl, one quick mix and then straight into a lined loaf tin – minimal washing up, minimal fuss but maximum yumminess! My favourite recipe (and I’ve tried several!) is from The Primrose Bakery Book by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas; both authors are advocates for making cakes using a food processor, where everything goes in together. I love this book because it is full of special but achievable bakes; one quick browse is all it takes to have me getting out the tins and trying something new. I’ve also made their gingerbread camel recipe (for Christmas one year) – they looked so pretty and went down a treat. I think everyone we knew ended up being gifted some!
I also made good use of my trusty friend – the Mary Berry Foolproof Cakes recipe book – which I think has been updated now into a different book, but if you can get your hands on one, it would be so worth it, especially if you are not a regular or confident baker. I used her recipe for Coffee and Walnut Cake with a walnut praline centre but this is also the book I go to for scones and Mr D-F’s favourite biscuits of all time: Diggers!
With all of these delicious treats being made around us, I made a Chia seed pudding for us to eat and to see how it went down. I LOVED it! Mr D-F was not pleased at all however, and did some crazy ‘yuk’ noise when he tried it. It wasn’t the flavour, he reassured me, more the texture of the little seeds once they turn into jelly. He likened it to eating frogspawn. Luckily, they can be blended before soaking, which helps with the texture, so I haven’t been beaten. I shall try again (*cue sly look)!!
I hope you have a great weekend ahead. See you on Sunday x
This post contains affiliate links – this doesn’t affect you at all, but if people purchase from the linked shop after clicking, it might eventually cause a tiny payout to me. What would I do with it? Probably go out for a cup of tea and a slice of cake! You are welcome to join me. x! x
I was very excited to be invited to the opening of the new Gin House in Wimborne last week. I have fond memories of having lovely dinners in The Tickled Pig before tripping over to the opposite side of the road to visit The Gin House in its former location. I loved the ‘secret club’ feel and the timelessness and wondered, if housed in a bigger place, would it be able to retain the same atmosphere?
I needn’t have worried; the bar area has become significantly larger and they have gained an upstairs area (for functions and gin tasting evenings) – therefore addressing the main issues of the previous site. However, the whole prohibition, speakeasy vibe is still very much intact and when you walk through the heavy velvet curtains after choosing your drink of choice, it is very much a place where secret meetings and cosy discussions can be had!
I took my friend Lara, who is a bit of a gin connoisseur and has particular favourites. She was able to talk in depth with the staff behind the bar about local gins, botanicals and general gin trivia. I on the other hand (as I don’t really drink) was served a wonderful non-alcoholic tonic and herb mixture. Yum!
If you are also a gin fan like Lara, you’ll be pleased to discover that The Gin House is featuring more than 200 new gins as well as opportunities to book ‘behind the scenes’ packages that include bespoke menus designed by experienced mixologists.
If like me you prefer to enjoy something else, they have a range of interesting and tempting gin-free drinks to excite most tastebuds!
Although I was obviously invited to attend, I honestly thought it was a fantastic upgrade to the previous Gin House location (which I loved) and Lara and I are already planning our return visit. Come and say hi if you see us! x
Hello again! Just a little post to give you all the heads up that it is Turnworth in May this weekend (on Sunday 27th from 11am – 5pm). A village with which I have very strong ties and I can say with utter certainty that this event is a special one to drop in on (I say drop in, many people hang out all day)! There’s free parking and free entry, not to mention a massive array of homemade cakes and quiet spots to sit in while you take in the beautiful surroundings.
As you can see from the pictures above, there will be stunning handmade toys, bags and aprons for sale which are really one of a kind. Although, you’ll have to race me to the monkey! He’s mine! There will also be the very popular bric-a-brac stall, which is known for some quality finds for those with a good eye as well as the very well stocked plant stall. Just a word of warning, if you get asked to buy a picture of a cat – be prepared to haggle. (Sounds bizarre? Just you wait)!!
Many of the villagers will have their gardens open for you to wander round, hopefully in the warm sunshine and will be there to talk to you, if you wish, about what they’re planting and what’s been going on in the village. 10 points to the first person who spots a runaway tortoise!
I will definitely be there to lounge about in the gardens and drink plenty of tea. Please come and say hi if you see me about. Have a lovely weekend x
Hello! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend so far. Isn’t this warm weather uplifting?
As the afternoons have been so full of sunshine, I’ve taken to swapping my usual 4pm warm turmeric milk for a smoothie instead. By this point, the main jobs of the day have usually been done (or added to tomorrow’s to-do list), I’ve spend a good half an hour or more on my yoga mat and I’m in need of something delicious to refuel myself.
I love smoothies and I have been really getting into recipes that have a bit more texture, that you can eat with a spoon and yes, taste a bit like ice-cream! I’m quite conscious of not overloading my smoothies with too much sugary fruits and try and keep all of the ingredients to a good balance.
The recipe for this Nutty Mint Chocolate Smoothie came about by making a few tweaks to a favourite Vanilla and Banana Smoothie. Those of you who know my adoration for mint chocolate in any guise will not be surprised that this is the direction that my smoothie took!
So, for the recipe (I don’t have a fancy blender, I picked one up really cheaply in the Lidl aisle of delight last year and it’s still going strong – those Lidl go-ers, you totally know the aisle I mean right?!)
Tip – peel and freeze any old bananas and keep a stock in your freezer. They make great ice-creams and smoothie bases.
- One large frozen banana
- 200ml almond milk (preferably unsweetened)
- 1 tbsp of smooth almond butter
- 1 -2 fresh mint leaves (depends how minty you like things)
- 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder
Blend it all together until it is all nice and smooth. Tip into a glass and enjoy (hopefully you’ll need a spoon)! If you want to be really fancy, you could grate some dark chocolate (>70% cocoa solids) over the top.
Let me know how you get on. H x
Whenever I tell people that I had lunch at the Hive Beach Cafe in Burton Bradstock for the first time last weekend, I am usually met with a similar sort of response; one of shock, awe and exclamations of ‘Oh we love it there, it’s one of our favourite places – did you take the dog?’
Yes it was our first trip to experience a meal at Hive, it was a beautifully sunny day and no, we didn’t take the dog! However lovely it would have been to have taken him, he was much happier playing with his doggy friends. I had visions of him slyly taking someone’s lobster off of their plate while we were deeply involved in our lunch. I would have been mortified and you might be thinking right now, that this was extremely unlikely to have happened except that it ALMOST did happen!
Mr DF was out of his seat putting another hour on the car-parking ticket and our food arrived. I was people-watching and generally day-dreaming when the most enormous Great Dane strolled past (oh my goodness, I love Great Danes – in fact after this event occurred, Mr D-F and I spent the next half an hour talking about how lovely it would be to have one in the family… sorry I’ve totally gone off point here)! So, yes, the Great Dane ambled past and was, as you can imagine, taller than the table. His head slowly turned towards me and my lunch and I am pretty sure, if it hadn’t have been for his wised-up owner and a firm grip on the lead, that he would have wolfed down my fish before I had even had a chance to take a sniff.
So you see. A close call, non?
Cake while you wait for your table? Yes please!
Every seat in the house seemed to have a wonderful view of the sea and I could have happily stayed there all day. We had fish for our main course and even though I was so full I couldn’t resist a mouthful or two of this pudding. Mr D-F ordered it and I asked the waitress, much to Mr D-F’s horror, for two spoons please! Argh! I’m the worst wife ever!
Then we had leisurely coffees and mint teas before it really was time to tear ourselves away and head back home. The most perfect day!