Courgette and ricotta cake

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I tried out a new recipe yesterday – a courgette and ricotta cake made with gluten-free flour and polenta. The green flecks in the sponge are grated courgette and thyme leaves, while the cake is topped with lemon juice, grated lime zest and thyme leaves. The polenta gives the cake a crunchy texture. This cake will definitely be going onto my list of those to make again.

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Seeded savoury biscuits

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I have been experimenting with savoury biscuits this year hoping to find some that tasted good while not taking too long to prepare. There are two variations shown in the photo – the lighter biscuits on the left are made with spelt flour while the darker ones on the right are made with buckwheat flour. They both contain a mix of pumpkin, sunflower, linseed and sesame seeds. The texture is fairly crumbly as they are made with butter but the biscuits are strong enough to be topped with cheese and chutney.

The buckwheat version is wheat free and gluten-free while the spelt version is not but may be easier to digest than a wheat version.

I will continue to experiment with other flours, fats and seed combinations – watch this space!

No bake chocolate cake

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This is a rich fruit and nut chocolate cake containing hazelnuts, cherries, stem ginger, raisins, dried apricots and amaretti biscuits all coated in dark chocolate and butter. The dark coloured chocolate contrasts with the colour of the fruit giving this cake a jewelled appearance. It sets in the fridge and can be cut into small squares to use as petit fours with coffee or small slices for a rich dessert. The amaretti are wheat and gluten free making this a useful gluten free alternative.

Orange and olive oil cake

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I was asked to make a cake for a friend’s birthday breakfast and made this as it can be eaten with yoghurt and fruit but is not too sweet. It also has the benefit of being gluten free and having no refined sugar added. It uses unsulphured apricots (the dark ones) and ground almonds together with a boiled orange. The cake is topped with orange slices. This also makes a great pudding.

Parmesan and walnut wafers

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These delicate wafers are gluten free but full of flavour. I had been reading through various recipe books, looking for gluten free savoury snacks to make for a friend’s birthday but could only find ones using flour substitutes which were not in my larder; so these were an experiment using what I had to hand. They were very popular and I shall keep making them regularly as well as trying out new variations.