Love, Bake, Nourish – healthy recipes

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Now you can have your cake and eat it too!  Amber Rose’s book Love Bake Nourish showcases cakes, tarts, pies, meringues, small bakes and compotes, all made with natural sugars (honey, maple syrup and fruit) in place of refined sugars, and ancient grains such as buckwheat, spelt and chestnut flour rather than processed flours. And they’re delicious too (we know, because we were lucky enough to be invited to a high tea hosted by Amber).

Love Bake Nourish by Amber RoseAll recipes are seasonal: Baked Spiced Fairy Cakes decorated with edible violets in spring, Raspberry and Almond Tart in summer, Caramelised Pear & Buckwheat Pudding Cake in autumn, and Chocolate & Chestnut cake in winter.

Amber’s feel-good recipes are as nourishing as they are delicious, and we’re thrilled to feature a couple of her recipes below.

Extracted with permission from Love Bake Nourish by Amber Rose, with photography by Ali Allen, published by Kyle Books and distributed in New Zealand by New Holland, RRP $45.00.

Spice-scented carrot cake with a crumble topping

Think of carrot cake laced with a delicate blend of spices. This one is perfect for a mid-morning pick-me-up and has a wonderful crumbly topping, which adds to the rustic charm. I have included hemp seeds and flax seeds in the topping, partly for flavour and texture, but also because they both contain essential amino acids, protein, fibre, vitamin E and trace minerals. This cake also goes beautifully with a little yogurt for breakfast.

Serves 8–10

225g white or wholemeal spelt flour, sifted
30g oat bran
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Large pinch of salt
180g carrots, coarsely grated
225g runny honey
60g unsalted butter, melted and cooled a little
225g Greek-style natural yogurt
1 large free-range egg
40g walnuts
40g sultanas

For the topping

45g white spelt flour, sifted
1 tablespoon unrefined golden caster sugar
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
1 tablespoon finely ground flax seeds

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a 22cm springform cake tin.

Start by mixing all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the grated carrots. In a separate bowl, mix the honey, butter, yogurt and egg. Beat well with an electric hand mixer until thoroughly combined and then gently fold this wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Scrape into the prepared cake tin and level the top with the back of a spoon or a palette knife.

To make the crumble topping, put the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Rub in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, add the salt, hemp seeds and flax seeds, mix, then sprinkle the topping onto the cake mix, pressing in a little. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35–40 minutes, until the top is golden and you start to smell a nutty aroma.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

A lemony hazelnut with a honey cream & blueberry cake

A modern twist on an old classic, the Victoria sandwich. I love cream, I love berries and I love nuts. Here I have incorporated them all in one delicious cake. A slice of this, ten minutes to myself, a steaming cup of fragrant jasmine tea and the world would simply fall away. On a recent visit to my friend Sadie Frost’s house, I took her some cakes to share for an afternoon tea, and one of her gorgeous sons, upon seeing this cake, said: ‘Baking cakes like this is like being a superhero’. Possibly the best compliment I have ever had.

Serves 8–10

115g hazelnuts
260g unsalted butter, really soft
225g white spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large free-range eggs
130g honey (or golden caster sugar)
130g maple syrup
Finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon

For the filling

350ml double cream
2–3 tablespoons honey
2–3 tablespoons sugar-free blueberry jam
200g fresh blueberries
Violas to decorate (optional)

Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Grease and flour 2 × 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins.

Start by toasting your hazelnuts in the oven for 5–7 minutes; check after 5, they burn easily. Once they are changing colour and releasing their lovely nutty aroma, remove them from the oven and leave to cool for a minute or two before rubbing off most of the skins. Whizz the nuts in a food processor into a fine meal.

To make this all-in-one cake, simply sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and beat in all the other ingredients using an electric handmixer or Kitchenaid. Be careful not to over-mix – you want a light cake. Scrape the cake mixture into your prepared tins and level the top with the back of a spoon or a palette knife. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the cakes are golden and risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before carefully taking them out of their tins and placing on a cooling rack.

When the cakes have cooled you can get on with making the honey cream. Lightly whip the cream until very soft peaks form, drizzle in the honey and whisk again until incorporated. Take one spoonful of jam at a time and carefully marble it through the cream.

If your cakes are very peaked you may wish to trim the tops so you have a nice flat surface to decorate. Then carefully place one cake on your cake plate, spoon over two thirds of the marbled honey cream, and place the second cake on top. Spread the remaining third of the honey cream on the top of the second cake, then sprinkle the fresh blueberries over the cream and scatter with beautiful violas if you wish.

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