Today we are conscious of healthy eating more than ever before. We understand the importance of cooking from scratch and that what we put into our bodies has a direct impact on how we look, feel and behave. More and more versatile ingredients are becoming available; and new methods of cooking are being explored involving an abundance of vegatables, pulses and wholefoods. We are celebrating a more plant-based approach to cooking, realizing how exciting it can be, with a direct positive influence not only on our health, but animal welfare, sustainability and the environment too. This is how I love to eat and I know my family do too. I want to spread this celebration for healthy wholefood eating to the sweeter things in life, to tea time, to the cake!
rosemary, orange, dark chocolate and hazelnut sables
Literally meaning ‘sandy’ in French, sablé biscuits are delectably buttery, crumbly and just melt in the mouth. While a basic recipe would constitute flour, butter and sugar, here I have added chopped hazelnuts to contrast with the crumbly buckwheat dough, and a marriage of beautiful flavours – rosemary, dark chocolate and orange.
MAKES ABOUT 14 SABLÉS • 95g nonhydrogenated dairy-free butter • 30g coconut sugar • Finely grated zest of ½ orange • 2 tsp finely chopped rosemary needles • ¼ tsp coarse sea salt, finely ground • 1 egg yolk • 85g hazelnuts • 65g buckwheat flour • 50g dark chocolate, 85% cocoa solids
1. Cream the butter and coconut sugar with the orange zest, chopped rosemary and salt until pale white. Add the egg yolk and carry on mixing. In a food processor, chop the hazelnuts up until quite small but not ground. We want to keep some texture. Combine the nuts with the flour, and add them both to the mix. Finally chop the chocolate into rough pea-sized pieces and add. 2.The mix will look wet and sticky but this is normal. Scrape the mix out from the mixing bowl onto a 30cm square piece of baking parchment. Roll out to a log about 4cm in diameter, by folding the excess baking parchment over the raw mix and then shaping the mix. Freeze for 2–3 hours (or overnight) until firm enough to cut into discs. You can always re-shape the raw biscuits with your hands if necessary. 3.Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
4.Cut the dough into 1 cm slices, place on the lined tray and bake for 10–15 minutes, rotating the tray halfway, until the edges are dark golden and the centre is coloured too. Baking them properly really brings out the flavour of the nuts and rosemary. Leave to cool completely on the tray and serve. Keeps in a sealed container for up to five days.
NOTE You could also use dark chocolate with 75 per cent cocoa solids in this recipe if you find 85 per cent too bitter.
blackberry and apple cinnamon crumble cake
I love slicing this cake in front of friends, each piece revealing the white apple slices dyed by the purple blackberry juices, listening to the satisfied ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as people delve into the three layers of crunchy crumble topping, sweet fruit and deliciously gooey cake. It is warming, comforting wholefood at its best.
SERVES 8–10 • 120g walnuts • 1 tbsp milled flax seeds • 3 tbsp filtered water • 100g ground almonds • 70g chestnut flour • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt • Zest of ½ lemon • 60g apple puree (see sidebar) • 80g maple syrup • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 50ml EVCP rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing • 2 dessert apples such as Cox or Granny Smith (250–300 g total weight) • 250g blackberries, fresh or frozen
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/ Gas Mark 3. Line the bottom of an 18–20 cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment and grease the sides with a little oil. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5–8 minutes until beginning to colour. Leave to cool. Finely chop 80g and set aside the remaining walnuts.
2. Combine the milled flax seeds with the water and leave for 15 minutes to form a gel, stirring occasionally. In a large bowl, mix together the finely chopped walnuts, ground almonds, chestnut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and add the flax gel, apple puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract and oil and mix to combine.
3.Divide the mix equally in two, place half the mix in the cake tin and spread it out with a palette knife. It should be about 1cm deep and weigh about 250g. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Spread them over the cake mix, overlapping them in a circle, followed by the blackberries and top with the rest of the cake mix. The mix will be sticky so use your fingers to dab small bits of the mix over the blackberries. It doesn’t matter if some berries are still showing, but try to cover most of them.
4. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts over the top of the cake, breaking them up roughly between your fingers as you do so. Press them into the cake mix slightly. Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through baking. It is ready when the top is firm to touch and a rich golden brown, the nuts will be well toasted and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out almost clean. If the top is looking a bit too dark, turn down the oven to 160°C/310°F/Gas Mark 2½ for the last 10–15 minutes.
5. Serve warm with an extra dusting of cinnamon if you like and natural yogurt. This is best eaten fresh but will keep for up to five days in a sealed container in the fridge.
NOTE Sliced pears make good replacements for the apple.
easy apple purée
Quick and extremely simple to make – no peeling or coring is required – the end product is a great addition to a Clean Cakes kitchen. Apple purée not only adds a natural low-GI fibre-full sweetener to your cakes, it also adds moisture and helps create a wonderfully soft texture. Any well-flavoured sweet apples will work, but cooking times vary with different apples, so keep an eye on them. Decrease or increase the amount as you wish.
MAKES ABOUT 1 KG •12 apples (each 120– 140g), I like Cox’s Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Wash and dry the apples then cut into quarters. Place on a baking tray and bake until soft, about 20–30 minutes. Leave to cool and do not discard the liquids. In a blender, blend the cooked apples and juices until a smooth, sweet, thick purée. Either use immediately, keep in the fridge for up to five days or freeze in batches in glass jars.
Henrietta lives in Suffolk, runs cookery classes and sells cakes at farmers’ markets
READ Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman is a gorgeous collection of delicious free-from treats (Jacqui Small)
LEARN Take a cookery class with Henrietta – full dates available at henscleancakes.com/events
EAT Henrietta’s cakes are available to order at henscleancakes.com/products