Ginger, carrot and apple cake

 

I have been experimenting with kamut (or khorasan) flour in baking. It has a higher protein content than standard white self raising flour ( 15% against 9%) and is also rich in selenium and manganese. I have used wholemeal kamut from Doves which is very fine.

I am aiming for a healthier cake which is a pleasure to eat, a treat with a cup of tea, not a sawdusty ‘health’ cake. It needs to be a cake that all the family will enjoy. This one has been well received by husband and one teenage son (the other one hates everything!) I hope you enjoy it!

Mix

50g butter softened
50g sunflower oil
100g sugar (soft brown would work well, but I used caster this time)
1teaspoon ginger powder

Stir in

2 beaten eggs

Stir in

75g Self Raising flour
75g kamut flour

Stir in

1 medium carrot grated (about 100g)
1 medium apple grated (about 100g)
50g sultanas
Dessert spoon of grated fresh ginger root (or two finely chopped stem ginger)
Spoon into lined loaf tin
Bake at 170C for 45 mins and test with a skewer

The rise of herbal tea

Herbal tea has had an image makeover during the last 10 years. It used to be the preserve of revolutionaries and earth mothers, which is why I have been very late to this particular party. I am here now and really enjoying the range of high quality teas available. This one was a gift from my boss. Should I read into the fact that she selected detox tea? I am choosing not to and am sure it was chosen with love and appreciation. It is delicious with aniseed, fennel and cardamom. Don’t worry, the aniseed is very subtle. Each bag is in its own little pouch, which is luxurious and practical for the handbag. I love the packaging design for Pukka teas- it reminds me of fairies at the end of the garden. Magical.

 

Small Pleasures

I am quite convinced that it is the small things in life that bring us most pleasure. When I think about what makes me happy, it is the familiar things like sitting with the family, in our sunny room in the afternoon with a nice cup of tea. The fact that I use just the right size china cup for my tea and proper tea leaves, is an important part of the occasion. It struck me when my friend said she always buys President butter, even if she is having to watch the spending, on the basis that she really enjoys it and it only costs 20p more than the own brand butter. It makes total sense. Why deprive yourself for such a small saving? Over a lifetime I am sure these small things give us more pleasure than the big ticket items. I work in a private school where many of the children enjoy numerous exotic holidays, but they often take them for granted because they have had so many. Recently one of the boys told me he was going on a safari trip and I said how exciting that must be. He said yes, he was looking forward to it, but what he longed for was time to sit down with his mother and watch a movie, as he only sees her in the school holidays. Sadly, she never has time to sit through a whole movie. So I am going to make the most of the special people and small pleasures in my life. My little luxuries are:
Good tea in a china cup, good coffee (ideally from Caracoli or Edgecumbes), a bunch of flowers on the table, a nice pen to write with(Pilot V pink fountain pen), good quality paper to write on, time for a countryside walk, Amelia Rope chocolate, good music and a glass of quality wine. That should do it.x

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Curiously sweet

I love Teapigs tea because they use high quality tea leaves that you can see. Expensive, but worth it. These liquorice and peppermint ones are curiously sweet and are a welcome treat if you are trying to cut down on the sugary snacks. Ingredients are just liquorice root and peppermint leaves, but you’ll be convinced that there is some kind of sweetener in there. There isn’t.