Easy peasey clementine sqeezey… Super simple cake

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Once you have a simple, fail proof cake recipe under your belt, you can’t go far wrong. Here’s my favourite basic recipe which can adapted and tweaked by adding different flavours.

Crack three eggs and weigh them, then weigh out the same amount of caster sugar, soft butter and self raising flour.

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy then add the eggs one at time until they’re combined. If you’re adding flavours add them at this point. Vanilla, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, coconut, cinnamon, fruits, the list is really endless.

For this one I zested 6 clementines and added all but a teaspoon of it to the mix, before juicing the fruits and setting the juice aside. I added in the flour in four lots to ensure it was well combined before drizzling in some of the clementine juice to loosen the batter to dropping consistency: Three tablespoons did the trick.

I sprayed a bundt tin with cake release spray, and put the batter in before baking at 180oC fan.

While the cake was baking I added icing sugar to the remaining clementine juice plus a few drops of passionfruit extract. The floral notes of the extract really complement the citrus flavour.

After turning out, I let the cake cool before drizzling on the glaze and sprinkling with the remaining zest.

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Yum! Moist, sweet, tangy, satisfy and great with a cup of coffee with friends.

Rich Chocolate and Beetroot Bundt

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HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and are ready to face 2015 with renewed vigour.

With an abundance of post-Christmas chocolate lying around at home, I decided to remove the temptation and share the love at church today with a very rich and indulgent chocolate and beetroot cake. Beautifully moist and studded with chunks of dark chocolate, this is bound to prove popular with kids and adults alike.

A lot of recipes call for cooked beetroot, but thanks to the pulversing powers of the nutribullet I used raw.

Here’s how to do it. Scrub a whole beetroot and weigh out 180g of it.  Cube and put in the nutribullet along with three large eggs.

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Blend until pulverised.

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In a bowl or blender mix 200g plain flour, 250g light brown soft sugar, 100g  good quality cocoa powder, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste before adding the beetroot and egg mixture, and 200ml melted butter. You’ll end up with a lovely rich mixture like this.

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Chop 100g of good quality dark chocolate (no higher than 70%).

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Mix into the batter before spooning into a greased bundt tin which has been sprinkled with cocoa powder to stop the cake sticking.

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Bake for 35mins at 180oC or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for ten minutes before turning out.

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For the icing steep a few cubes of the leftover beetroot in some vanilla syrup (water or milk works fine if you don’t have syrup to hand), then add the liquid to icing sugar to make a thick pink drizzle. Pipe over the cooled bundt.

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It went down well at church this morning.

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Bundt tin meatloaf

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I had a crowd to feed today, and a crowd calls for a lot of food.  For lunch I’d done a chicken and pearl barley broth and a broccoli and cheese soup served with crispy smoked bacon, freshly grated parmesan, savoury scones and ciabatta. For dinner I did pork meatloaf, but baked it in a bundt tin as I didn’t have a loaf tin large enough, plus I didn’t want to free-form it on this occasion.

This meatloaf fed 11 of us with leftovers to boot, so by all means halve the recipe if your crowd is smaller than mine.

First I lined the bundt tin with two packages of smoked streaky bacon.

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Then, using the dough hook on the Kitchen Aid (a large bowl and your hands will of course do the job perfectly), I mixed together 1.5kg pork mince, breadcrumbs made from four slices of bread, two very large eggs, three cloves of minced garlic, a large finely diced onion, a large handful of chopped parsley, a teaspoon of mustard, salt and pepper.

Once it’s well mixed, press it into the bacon lined tin, and flip the excess bacon over the top.

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Cover with foil and place in a deep baking dish. Pour boiling in so it comes about two thirds up the side of the bundt tin. Bake for an hour at 200oC.

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Turn out the meatloaf into an oven proof plate and bake uncovered for a further half hour to crisp the bacon up.

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I served this with a homemade onion sauce, roasted baby potatoes, simple steamed veg and gravy. Enjoy!