Plum and Almond Cake – Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free


English plums are in season right now so it’s an ideal time to use them for something yummy! This cake definitely qualifies! I was really unsure how this would turn out but it’s actually amazing! If you are a fan of almond macaroons or frangipanes you will absolutely love this. I had the pleasure of getting some English plums from Riverford Organic so I thought I’d better put them to good use!

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This went down really well with my husband and even George the cat was curious about it 😉 so it must be a winner!

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This is gluten and dairy free but does contain eggs. I’ve got an egg-free plum cake coming up soon so never fear!

If you are using the small English plums you will probably only need 6 – 8, if using larger ones you will need no more than 4 at the most.

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You will need:

125g unrefined Raw sugar or Coconut palm sugar

200g Ground almonds

2 Eggs

100 ml Almond oil (you can use mild Olive oil if you prefer

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

1/8 tsp Almond extract (if you have it)

Plums 4 -8 depending on size

Ground cinnamon (for dusting)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and line and grease a 20cm cake tin – if you have a springform tin then use that as it makes it easier to get it out without it breaking. If not a loose bottom tin is the best option.

Add the oil and sugar to a bowl and use a hand mixer to beat together (you can do it by hand with a fork if not). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then add in the extracts and mix well. Fold in the ground almonds with a metal spoon. Once mixed pour in to the tin.

Half (or quarter if they’re big) the plums, remove the stone, and place in to the batter. Push them down a little bit so they’re well bedded in there. Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon.

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Pop in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. It is worth starting to check it at about 20 minutes. Once a skewer comes out clean then it’s done.

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Let it cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then carefully remove it and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy! 🙂

Blackberry and Apple Tray Bake!


Now obviously with all those yummy blackberries I had to make something cake-based too… so I had a go at a blackberry and apple tray bake. It’s topped with meringue so isn’t egg-free, though it is dairy-free. For the cake itself you can either use eggs or an egg replacement (see below). This is super sweet and super moist and siuper yummy! It’s a perfect Autumn afternoon snack.

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You will need:

140g dairy-free Margarine

140g Coconut sugar

1 egg and 2 egg yolks beaten together (or 3 tbsp Chia seeds soakes in 9 Tbsps water)

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

100g white Spelt flour and 1 tsp Baking powder (OR 100g self-raising gluten-free flour mix)

100g ground Almonds

1 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

pinch of Himalayan rock salt

1 large Bramley Apple, sliced (approx 140g once peeled and cored)

125g Blackberries

For the Meringue topping:

25g Blackberries

100g unrefined Golden caster sugar

2 Egg whites

1 tsp Lemon juice

pinch of Himalayan rock salt

2 tbsp toasted Almond flakes

Pre-heat oven to 160 C or 140 C (fan oven) and grease and line a square tin (approx 23cm).

Beat the margarine and coconut sugar together until pale and creamy. Then beat in the egg and yolks (or chia seeds), and the vanilla. If you are using a self-raising gluten-free flour mix then sieve that in together with the baking powder and spices and salt. If you are using spelt flour sieve the baking powder (both measures of baking powder) and spices in to the spelt flour and then sieve it in to the butter mix. Next add in the ground almonds and fold it all together to form a thick batter.

IMG_0081Chop the apple up in to small chunks or slices (whatever you prefer) and fold in to the mix. Pour the batter in to the tin and then scatter with the blackberries. Poke the blackberries down a bit so they are well bedded in to the batter.

IMG_0084Pop in the oven and bake for 40 – 45 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Once you remove the cake leave the oven on.

IMG_0085While it is baking you can prepare the blackberry sauce for the meringue. If you are not using meringue this sauce can be drizzled over the cake 🙂

Put the remaining blackberries and 1 tsp sugar in a bowl and cover with cling film. Pop in the microwave for 30 secs and then mash until saucy! 🙂 You can also do this in a saucepan over a low heat. Set aside to cool.

Take the 2 egg whites and whisk with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks – and if you’re brave do the whole “holding the bowl upside down above your head” test to see if they’re stiff enough! Add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time and whisk in well. Add the blackberry sauce and ripple through with spoon. Then spoon the mixture in to a piping bag or in to a plastic freezer bag and snip off the corner.

Pipe the meringue on to the cake – I aimed for one meringue per piece so it was about 16 little meringues but you can do whatever pattern you like! Scatter the almonds over the top and place the cake back in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes until the meringues are set.

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Then remove and allow to cool in the tin for 30 mins. Cut in to little squares and enjoy!

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Blackberry Chia Jam


I have spent a few lovely hours for the past couple of weekends foraging for wild blackberries in the local parks near me. I’ve had the pleasure of thinking up ways to use them (some of which will follow!), but the first and (in my humble opinion) most exciting thing I did was make up a lovely batch of chia jam! This recipe is also up on Colette’s Fitness Kitchen 🙂

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This stuff is lovely, it’s easy to make and totally raw so doesn’t require any cooking or setting or anything difficult. It will last for about a week in the fridge but could also be frozen too. The beauty of this is not only is it delicious but it is a great way to boost your omega-3 and fibre intake 🙂

You will need:

1 1/2 cups Blackberries (or any soft fruit)

3 Tbsp Chia seeds

1/4 – 1/2 cup Water

1 – 2 Tbsp Maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener) – if required (personally I like my blackberries tart so didn’t add any!)

Place the blackberries or other fruit in a bowl and mash with a fork until smooshed up but not completely liquid. If you need sweetener then add it to taste and then add the chia seeds and mix well. Depending how juicy your fruit is you may need to add more or less water but start with half a cup and add more if required. The chia seeds take time to soak up the water, so once you have added it allow it to stand for 30 mins to an hour before seeing if you need to add more. If the chia seeds are still crunchy add more (unless you like them crunchy, in which case don’t!). The longer you can leave the jam the better – ideally overnight, but at least for an hour or so. Enjoy it spread on toast, dolloped on top of yoghurt or just eaten straight off the spoon!

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Experiment with different fruits depending on what is in season. Raspberries also work well and I was lucky enough to pick up some discounted, very ripe nectarines in the market which made a delicious change.

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For we all like Figgy Jam……. Fig and Ginger Jam!


This is so easy and so delicious! I’ve been trying to add a bit more ginger in to my diet lately as it’s so good for your stomach and helps with the digestion of other nutrients. It’s also a fab anti-inflammatory so is brilliant for muscle and joint aches. Apparently it has aphrodisiac properties as well!!!

Figs are also brilliant for you – they’re full of fibre and are a great source of potassium and calcium and they taste yummy! 🙂 So this jam is perfect! It’s really easy to make and tastes divine.

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You will need (makes one small jar):

250g fresh, ripe Figs

2 tbsp Maple syrup (or your liquid sweetener of choice – agave, honey, rice syrup etc)

1.5 tbsp Lemon juice

zest of 1/2 Lemon

3/4 tsp ground Ginger

1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon

Cut the figs in to quarters (or smaller if they are very large) and pop in a saucepan. Add the other ingredients and then bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring all the time.

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Don’t let the mixture boil but keep it simmering for about 30 – 40 minutes or until the fig has started to break down and it takes on a jammy consistency! Taste (carefully – it will be hot!) and adjust the sweetner if required.

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Take a clean glass jar and rinse with warm soapy water (or pop through the dishwasher). Dry it well and then place it in to the oven at about 180 C for approx 20 minutes. Remove carefully and then add the jam to the jars while they are both still hot. Pop a lid on and once cool place in the fridge. This should keep for a few weeks at least.

Enjoy your jam spread on some yummy rye toast with a nice cup of tea 🙂