Cranberry & Almond Muffins – Gluten Free option included

Originally a recipe from Olive Magazine, I’ve adapted it and also am offering a Gluten Free method if needed. Both worked out really well and this is probably one of the easiest recipes to make and bake. No equipment needed, just a whisk and a large spoon. No forward planning as you melt the butter and no extra calories with lots of buttercream.

All in all, it’s a winner!

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Fruity Apple & Almond Tea Loaf

This recipe is a twist on what we would know as a traditional  Tea Loaf. It’s got ground almonds, grated apple and I swapped whole wheat flour in place of white flour for a healthier result. As I was using dried fruit which is naturally sweet, I could also reduce the sugar quantity.

The slices of apple dipped in tea and decorated on top give it a lovely rustic look and something to bite into. When I made it, I felt it was going to be very dense and dry but it worked out really nicely and perfect with a cup of tea any morning or afternoon.

By using whole wheat flour, the recipe is changed to a healthier version with more fibre and less processed flour, plus reducing the sugar quantity is always a bonus. Sprinkling a little brown sugar on top gives it a lovely caramelised finish.

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Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits (Dairy Free included)

I regularly make my Chocolate Digestive recipe and they are always a big hit. They’re really good and recently made another batch and as they cooled, my husband walked into the kitchen and said the smell was great and could he have them? He’s a coeliac and I felt really bad having to say no, these are not for you 🙁

So the hunt began to find a workable recipe for gluten free digestive biscuits and big thanks to Nancy Birtwhistle of GBBO fame whose recipe was the best of the ones I tried. I also like that the ingredients were ones most coeliacs or gluten intolerant bakers would have at home.

There was one ingredient that did surprise me – Chinese Five Spice! Yep I know but I put my faith in Nancy and I’m so glad I did because it gives a slight bit of heat at the back of the throat. Perfect! You can smell the spice while the biscuits are baking but it’s not identifiable once baked. You can’t really taste it any longer which is quite cool but you get that “something different” that’s in a digestive without overly sweetness.

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Cherry & Almond Cookies – Dairy Free version included

I think practically everyone loves a Bakewell Tart and I’m as big a fan as the rest! These cookies have all those amazing flavours with only a little effort and you can make the dough ahead of time and keep in the fridge till it’s needed.

They contain ground almonds and almond extract to give that delicious Bakewell flavour and the recipe called for glace cherries  but as it’s the season for fresh and sweet cherries, I used half and half and it worked out really well.

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Raspberry Bakewell Sponge Cake

I am such a big fan of the traditional Bakewell Tart but sometimes I just don’t want to make the different components and it’s quite sweet so when I saw Jane’s Patisserie’s bakewell cake version, it was the perfect fit for me to have my bakewell fix without the effort.

I’ve made a few changes (as usual 😉 ) and it worked out really well. It’s full of the traditional Bakewell flavours we all love and using ground almonds really helps to keep it light.

Another bonus is that it needs so little to serve it up. The almonds and a dusting of icing sugar are the perfect finishing touches.

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Gluten Free Blueberry & Lemon Loaf Cake

Reading the Irish Times magazine during the summer, I saw this recipe and thought, I’ll definitely make that and just the other day I remembered I had put it away safely – you know that place?? After a little bit of searching, I found the torn out page and decided, that’s it, definitely making it now!

I can’t resist anything with blueberries and lemon; it’s like a perfect match and the fact this cake is gluten free is an added bonus for my house and it’s occupiers!

There’s no flour in this cake at all, it’s just ground almonds and then the usual suspects of ingredients and it’s amazing that it holds itself so beautifully when cut.

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Gluten Free Pistachio & Almond Cake with Limoncello Icing

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This is a lovely cake, baked in a loaf tin which uses ground almonds and pistachio nuts for it’s main flavour. Originally the topping used lemon juice but I replaced it with Limoncello for an extra kick and it worked beautifully but you can use lemon juice if you prefer. I’ve adapted it from a book called Ginger & White.

Making it again, I would reduce the ground almonds to 100g and increase the guten free flour to 70g and for my fan oven, I would set it 150C as the top can brown quite easily but you can guage yourself what works with your oven.

The only slightly testing part of this recipe was removing the shells off the pistachio nuts and realizing that you need twice the weight that you bought after removing said shells! So when you go to buy the pistachio nuts, you will need 200g to get 100g of peeled, ground nuts.

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Cherry Almond Cake

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Sometimes, you just want a proper cake. You know? Just a proper tasting cake of what cake used to taste like and this recipe is just that. It’s crying out for a dainty plate and a cup of tea for pure nostalgic perfection.

Looking pretty impressive doesn’t hurt either 🙂 and it’s got ground almonds in it which helps to keep it  moist and not become too dense or dry. The wonderful surprise is the layer of delicious cherry jam in the centre of the cake – perfect!

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Iced Lemon Curd & Almond Bars

This is a great, all in one bowl traybake which results in a very moist lemon cake with a surprise lemon curd middle. It’s topped with a layer of delicious lemon icing for a perfect finish. I topped mine with a cute purple/blue mix of sprinkles but they would look great topped with finely zested lemon peel or toasted almond flakes.

If you wanted them for a fancy afternoon tea, why not cut them into smaller squares and use a small edible flower on top for a perfect finish!

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