Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I can be a stubborn person.
Personally I like to call it persistence or extreme focus, but I can a pigheaded donkey when I’m on a task.
This stubbornness has had it’s advantages. It’s got me through many a long run and marathon when a normal person would have questioned their sanity, their need to suffer and really asked themselves ‘why?’.
I went through a gruelling 30 hour labour of a giant baby with man sized shoulders and many many stitches just to prove my stubbornness (because surely proving a point is more important than an intact pelvic floor??!!!).
maybe, probably, definitely lead me down some less positive paths. Whilst it is a trait that can breed determination it can also stop you from seeing when you need to bow out. Instead of stopping to look around and assess the situation you simply put your head down, butt up and ram forward towards the objective.
Parenting a stubborn child, especially when you are stubborn mother, is hard work. The normal reward systems don’t apply, the typical negotiation and bribery tactics are useless and the battle of wills is epic. It’s like a modern day wild west shoot out, with both parties unwilling to give in and usually both of you end up wounded (only metaphorically I hope!).
What might make for a great quality as a CEO, does not make for an ‘easy child’, but instead of fighting it I’ve been trying to harness it. A child who will spend 8 hours sitting on their bedroom floor in protest instead of spending the 20 minutes needed to clean it obviously has great skills in mental stamina and amazing staying power. The child who refuses to eat broccoli and will happily go to bed hungry rather than be forced to do something they don’t want to has greater commitment and follow through than most adults.
So, let’s take these stubborn child frustrations and put them to good use (either wise I’ll go crazy…er!). Channel their commitment to a greater cause; building and maintaining a veggie garden or learning a new skill like skate boarding or basketball. Focus their determination on a positive end goal; being able to ride to town and back, reading a new book every week or getting up the warped wall (that last one may need to be modified!!!). Stubbornness and extreme pig headed tendencies can wreak havoc but if cultivated can create a strong, resilient and resourceful child.
My stubbornness has not waivered in my old age but I now use it for good, rather than evil. My latest stubborn streak has been directed at the latest #tastebaketheissue Taste Magazine competition. It’s my favourite magazine of the year; when you can cook and share all the recipes from the mag in the hope of winning a prize. Each year (and each magazine for the #tastemagcover) I attempt to healthify and make the recipes Lisa friendly whilst still looking as fabulous as they do in the magazines. I call this conquering food envy and it’s long been my mission to make sure people don’t feel left out and to give them the tools and ideas to create their own healthified treats.
This months #tastebaketheissue has seen me go a little bit nutso. I’m 4 recipes in and still going strong with ideas. Today I am sharing with you my take on the Lemon and Almond Cake. This recipe for the Lemon and Almond Cake takes it’s queues from my recent Gluten Free Cake so it’s super easy to make. There’s no mixer, no blending; just a whisk and fresh lemons.
This Lemon and Almond Cake can be baked as a 2 layer cake in a 6 inch/15cm tin or as a 1 layer cake in an 8 inch/20cm cake tin. The 2 layer cake will require 2 Cups of cream, where as the 1 layer only needs 1 Cup. I have topped this Lemon and Almond Cake with blueberries, lemon zest and a few pieces of mint. I’ll be honest; the mint only makes an appearance as I was trying to emulate the photo and I don’t think it adds to the flavour of the cake. The blueberries are a nice addition though and the lemon zest is a must!
This Lemon and Almond Cake is based on my super popular 1 bowl Gluten Free Cake but it does have a few noticeable differences. For this Lemon and Almond Cake I have used coconut cream instead of milk in the cake mixture. This creates a denser, moister cake without any heaviness. I have swapped the original arrowroot flour for almond meal, but if you have a nut allergy swap back to arrowroot.
- 6 Eggs
- 1 Cup Coconut Cream (use the thickened cream from a can of chilled Coconut Ceam/Milk. Do not use the watery remains)
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup
- 1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
- 1-2 teaspoons of Lemon Zest
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Flour
- 2/3 Cup Almond Meal
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- Extra Lemon Zest, Blueberries and mint leaves for decorating
- 2 Cups Coconut Cream (the thickened cream taken from opened cans of coconut cream/milk that have been in the fridge overnight. Do not use the watery remains)
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 3 teaspooons Maple Syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180C/360F.
- Line and grease a 15cm/6 inch (for a 2 layer cake) or a 20cm/8 inch (for a single layer cake) round cake tin.
- In a large bowl place the wet ingredients and lightly whisk by hand. DO NOT over whisk/mix.
- Add the dry ingredients into the bowl and lightly whisk until just combined. DO NOT over whisk/mix. I like to sift my dry indredients straight into the bowl.
- Pour the misture into the tin and smooth the top.
- Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes for the smaller tin and 32-35 minutes for the larger tin, or until cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Do not remove until cooled completely.
- If making a 2 layer cake; cut the cake in half and frost the bottom layer with half the cream. Add the top layer and spread the remaining cream on top. Decorate with blueberries and mint leaves and grate lemon zest on top.
- If making a 1 layer cake; you will only need 1 cup of cream spread over the top. Decorate as above.
- Place the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined. Place the cream back in the fridge to thicken before using.
- The cake itself does not need to be refridgerated but the frosting may.