Tea and Bakes – Sugar free

I do love a spot of baking, what can be better than sitting down with a hot mug and a piece of deliciousness. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I had to choose between cake and chocolate. They are possibly my two greatest loves (cheese being the third followed by cats). I suppose the obvious answer would be to combine them, but Chocolate brownies aside – which are amazing! I don’t actually really like chocolate flavoured things, such as cake, ice cream etc. I just like the actual real stuff. I’m ridiculously fond of twirls, and a Victoria sponge or lemon drizzle cake makes me very happy.

Sadly cake isn’t that good for you (sob) and although butter seems to be back ‘in’ – which is great news, I’m a big supporter in proper butter, and full fat milk and cream – ever since having fresh stuff delivered it just tastes so much better. Now sugar seems to be the enemy!!! I’m not sure, although eating cleaner and having less processed food is probably a good thing all round.

I’ve been reading though Davina’s new sugar free cookbook, with particular interest to some of the ‘sugar free cakes’ I wanted to know how easy they are to make and importantly did they still taste good! I had a go at a sugar free Victoria sponge, and biscuits.

The biscuits use oats and honey and are pretty simple to make and taste amazing! to star with I found it difficult to get the right consistency and they were a bit of a pain to roll out, but once cooked they were pretty good. The recipe makes a big batch that can be put in the freezer, either as the dough or as a biscuit. I’d definitely make these again.

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The Victoria sponge was nice, but I found the spelt flour a little grainy – I’ve tried almond flour and rice flour which again give a slightly different taste. I’m a big fan of wholemeal flour as I find this tastes almost like using traditional white flour. I was impressed that the Victoria sponge held its shape, rose well and tasted pretty good, the honey works really well. I’m not sure this would replace a sugar version for me but then I do love Victoria sponge, it will just be saved for a special treat!

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* I don’t actually like tea so its normally a hot chocolate!

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The good bits #1

wpid-eg_20150323125026927.jpgI cant believe Ive already been out here for over a month!!! still feels like yesterday I was at work, wondering around London and kayaking! The lifestyle here is very very different and I’m still adjusting to it. But some of the exciting things that Ive enjoyed are; exploring! every week I’ve been researching into places to visit, mostly cake themed, road trips and orientated around food, but I’m also looking forward to popping into some of the museums, the local music scene and Halloween events. Its been great to have some extra time to rebalance life and work. Having a little extra sunshine has also been pretty nice, along with paddle boarding and taking up Latin dance classes! I miss funny little British things, like driving on the left side of the road! Blackberry picking, sloe gin and playing hockey on astroturf! October should bring lots of pretty fall pictures, my first American football game – anyone know the rules? some cultural activities and more trips further afield.

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