Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Dutch Boterkoek (Butter Cake)

Its now been several months since we updated our Amsterdam Live Blog from our last visit. (Which you can still read here) To bring back some of those fantastic memories we decided to make Dutch Boterkoek. So tasty and super simple to make.

Boterkoek is a simple, traditional  yet delicious Dutch cake. The cake itself, as the the name suggests contains a high proportion of butter. The Dutch love showcasing their amazing dairy products in their cooking and this is no exception. The cake is dense and flavoursome with richness coming from the butter and the amazing flavours from the almond extract. Because of the wonderful flavours already incorporated into the cake we prefer this cake served as is, no almond paste or frosting. A wonderful Dutch classic.

The Ingredients:
160g Butter
210g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
200g NEILL'S® Plain Flour
2tsp Almond Extract
0.5tsp Baking Powder

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 170c
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
Beat in the egg.

Beat in the almond extract.
In a separate bowl sieve the flour and baking powder together.
Fold the flour into the wet mix stirring just enough to combine all ingredients.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 mins.
Leave to cool for 10 mins before turning out to cool completely.
Cut into slices and serve.

You're Done!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Skinny Banana Oat Muffins

Following on our healthy eating theme for January we have a great alternative muffin recipe that will have you doubting how it can be healthy it tastes so good. This recipe combines the wonderful flavours and textures of bananas, oats and chocolate chips (a naughty but necessary addition).

These are great to grab as an occasional breakfast treat or a mid morning snack. They have no sugar or bad fats.

The Ingredients:
2tbsp Natural Honey
2 Ripe Bananas
250g Greek Yoghurt
2 Eggs
180g Rolled Oats (Preferably Quick Cook)
1.5tsp Baking Powder
0.5tsp Bicarbonate Soda
90g Dark Chocolate Chips

Recommended Equiptment:
Food Mixer (Recommended Bosch MUM46A1)
Pyrex Mixing Bowl
Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 180c.
Beat the natural honey, mashed bananas and Greek yoghurt on high speed until smooth.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Sieve the baking powder and bicarbonate soda into the rolled oats and toss together to evenly distribute.
Mix in the rolled oats mixture into the muffin batter mixture.

Mix through the chocolate chips ensuring they are evenly distributed. 
Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper cases and 3/4 fill each muffin case with the batter.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. 
Store in an air tight container once completely cool.

You're Done!


Sunday, 11 January 2015

No-Bake Skinny Chocolate Fudge Cake

Its now January, the month where nearly everyone tries to turn over a new leaf and become fit and healthy. By coincidence we are falling in line with this tradition this year and joining a transformation class with John Neill Dedicated Fitness. We love cake and baked treats so in order to help both ourselves, and our readers if you're also trying to eat a bit healthier this year we are going to write some healthier alternatives to some treats. We are being sensible with our recipes, we're not going to suggest you eat anything which tastes similar to hamster food and we're not writing recipes for anything we wouldn't happily eat ourselves. If you're not on any kind of diet this year fear not, we're not going to stop writing our normal recipes too.

The best bit of this recipe is that its low sugar, low in bad fats AND no-bake! What could be simpler! Not to be eaten every day if you're on a specific fitness programme or diet but great for those chocolate cravings. Its main ingredient is coconut butter which has countless benefits. We recommend using virgin coconut butter as it retains its wonderful coconut flavour and scent. We have also added an optional ingredient of protein powder. Its a great recipe to combine your protein powder in if you are working out.

The Ingredients:
240g Virgin Coconut Butter (eg available from Higher Nature)
2 Bananas
40g Cocoa Powder
Tablespoon of Natural Honey or Agave
Tiny pinch of salt
1 scoop of Whey Protein Powder (optional)

Recommended Equipment:
Blender/Food Processor (We used our Bosch MUM46A1 blender attachment)
Loose Bottomed Cake Tin

The How-To:
In a bowl roughly mash up the bananas.
Add to the blender or food processor.
If your coconut butter is quite hard just mash this up a little with your spatula before adding to the blender or food processor.
Sieve in the cocoa powder.
Add the salt and tablespoon of honey/agave.
Add the protein powder (optional).

Blend together for 2 mins before checking and scraping down the sides. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Some blenders / food processors will do this really quickly.
Line the bottom of a loose bottomed (springform) cake tin (standard size is fine) with parchment/baking paper.
Spread the chocolate fudge mixture into the cake tin evening it is evenly distributed.

Place in the fridge for 4 hours - overnight to set.
If you have any difficulty removing the cake from the tin a cloth soaked in warm water wrapped around the edge of the tin for a few mins will melt the coconut butter enough to remove it (or use a kitchen blowtorch if you have one handy).

This cake will keep for several days in the fridge or can be frozen.

You're Done!