Friday, 30 March 2018

Gluten & Sugar Free Coconut and Raspberry Cake









It’s been a while since I’ve baked a weekend treat. The coconut and lime cake I made a few years ago has been playing on my mind recently which got me wondering if I could make a coconut cake that’s super easy and also free from both sugar and gluten. I looked at many recipes and have concocted my own recipe taking elements from a few different recipes to make it work for me and my dietary needs. The result turned out even better than I was expecting! 

This recipe is so easy, it’s a chuck it all in affair. Which is great if you have limited time or limited energy like me. I’m used to eating gluten and sugar free foods so the ultimate test for any free from recipe is getting approval from the lucky ones I know who eat both gluten and sugar daily. I’m happy to say this recipe passed the test! 



Cake ingredients:

150g organic softened lightly salted butter plus extra to grease
65g Whole Earth stevia as sugar free option or 125g sugar 
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
125 g gluten-free plain flour 
50g desiccated coconut
75g ground almonds
Finely grated zest of a lemon 
3 tbsp of Raspberry Liquorice Laces tea by Bluebird Tea Co* or extra milk 
125ml coconut milk
1 large free range egg

Method:

Line the base of a 6 inch cake tin and grease the sides with some butter. If you don’t have a 6 inch tin an 8 inch tin will work too. 
Brew the tea for 4 minutes. Add all the other ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined. Add the 3tbsp of tea or extra milk and give one last mix. 
Put the mixture into the cake tin and cook for 35-45 minutes until the cake is golden. Test to see if it’s ready by putting a skewer into the centre of the cake, if the cake is ready it should come out clean. 
Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the tin and cooling on a wire rack.

Icing ingredients:

300ml Double cream or coconut yoghurt 
150g Fresh raspberries 
20g Whole Earth Stevia or double the amount for sugar. 

Method:

Count out 11 raspberries to go on top of the cake and set aside. Add the rest of the raspberries to a frying pan with the tea (or water if you don’t have it) and 1tsp stevia. Cook until the liquid has evaporated and the raspberries are like a runny jam. 
Whisk the cream with 1tbsp stevia until almost stiff. 
Sift the raspberries using a spoon to take out the liquid whilst leaving the seeds in the sieve. Add the purée to the cream and mix well. If it's too stiff add 1-2 more tbsp of the tea.

Decorate the cake with the cream and the raspberries that were set aside earlier. I know it’s not free from but I added a chocolate bunny for decoration as it’s Easter! 

This cake keeps well in the fridge for three days. 

You can get 20% off at Bluebird Tea co with my rep code ESTEABIRD35. 

You may have spotted the floral handmade Bunny decoration in my photos. - It was purchased from the lovely and talented Hollie Berries

Alfie and I are having a quiet Easter weekend, he’s currently snoring next to me as I write this! I hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you do.

Happy Easter! 

Emma Xx 




* As a tea rep Bluebird Tea Co often gift tea to me to try out. This one I purchased myself after being sent some to try as a tea rep a few weeks ago.













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Thursday, 28 December 2017

Christmas Catch Up

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know how much I love Christmas. Every year I feel even more excited about it. For me Christmas is the best distraction from the dark days and freezing cold nights - which happen to be my least favourite things about winter. Christmas is a silver lining to those dark days; if we didn’t put up lights, bring trees inside and celebrate I don’t know how I would cope with winter. Christmas might be over, but it’s only just over and I’m not quite ready to let go. I’ve just had left over turkey and veg soup, plus my lights are and will still twinkle away on my tree well into the new year. 

I keep seeing silly memes on Instagram saying “it’s that awkward time between Christmas and new year when you don’t know what time or day it is or even who you are.” I can relate to this but, unfortunately and slightly ironically, since being sick this has applied to me all year round except December and this week between the celebrations.

I’ve been saying all month how I need an Advent-type calendar all year so I know what the date and day it is - something I do struggle with! It’s hard not to feel stuck in Groundhog Day at times when so many days feel the same. Without knowing this, my best friend gave me some of my gifts in an Advent calendar as a fun way to open them on Christmas Day without realising I would want to keep it for January! 






There’s only a few days left of this year. 2017 has gone really quickly. I’ve not posted half as much as I would have liked this year because I’ve been concentrating on my Lyme disease treatment and, honestly, I’ve not had the mental capacity to write as well as I would want. Sometimes I couldn’t write at all. It’s safe to say it’s been an up and down roller coaster of a year. I’ve seen improvements to my health but also felt extremely ill at times especially due to side effects, herx reactions (toxic overload from bacterial die off) and since September my liver has been failing, making me feel very poorly.  Luckily it’s now working well, giving me relief from those extra symptoms and I’ve started treatment again. 

I know I have another year of fighting these illnesses ahead. So I’ve given myself permission to take off all the pressure I used to put on myself to post regularly and decided that I will post only when I can. I love blogging but my health must come first.

The photos in this post are ones I’ve taken over the last two months when I’ve had the energy to be creative for a few minutes. I know they’re a little randomly put together but I hope it captures my love for the festive season. 

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and that 2018 will be a happy, healthy one for you all.

Emma Xx 



Tartan Blanket from The Tartan Blanket Co 
Fairy lights from Talking Tables
Tea c/o Bluebird Tea Co 
Both dresses are oldies; 
Rose gold sequins from French Connection
Nude with embroidery from Topshop

Friday, 30 June 2017

Strawberry & Raspberry Tea Ice Lollies








Strawberries and raspberries are my favourite summer fruits. They go so well together, especially in smoothies or, in this case, ice lollies! 

For this recipe I have experimented again with tea from my Bluebird Tea Co rep box, this time using a summery tea called Raspberry Russian. The result is a really vibrant delicious and still healthy ice lolly without any added sugar. However, for those who aren't on any special diet like me you can swap the pure stevia for honey or even sugar to taste. And you can use normal white chocolate rather than one made with stevia. 

To make 4 lollies you will need.

100g strawberries - I used frozen 
100g raspberries 
2 tsp Raspberry Russian tea by Bluebird Tea Co (out Sunday 2nd July)
1/4 litre of boiled water 
Pinch of pure Stevia or alternatively honey or sugar to taste.
50g white chocolate - I used Balance white chocolate made with stevia. You can get this at Holland & Barrett and other health food shops. 

Method

Begin by brewing the tea for 4 minutes. Add your sweetener of choice to the brewing tea. I added a pinch of stevia. 
While that brews put the fruit in a blender and blend until you have a smooth consistency. 
Strain the tea into a jug, add the fruit. Mix well and pour into ice lolly moulds. Freeze for 24 hours or until set. 
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and drizzle over your set lollies and enjoy! 

These lollies really do taste like summer. They are amazing for a hot summer's day or even for a gloomy grey afternoon pick me up. 

I hope you enjoy them. I would love to hear if you make this recipe and what you think of it!

Don't forget you can get 20% off Bluebird Tea Co with my code ESTEABIRD35.

Emma Xx