Apple Tarte Tartin Cake

This is somewhere between a cake and a pudding, but it’s made like a tarte tartin.

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Let me explain- the cake is cake (simple). Apples are laid in the bottom of a cake tin, and smothered with golden caramel, before the cake mixture is poured on top. When it’s baked, it is flipped over, and the gooey caramel apple seeps down into the cake, making it rich and moist and dense, like a sponge pudding.

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It’s the perfect antidote to a cold autumn nearly winter day.

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This has been a busy week for me cooking-wise. Firstly, it was Thanksgiving on thursday. I absolutely love Thanksgiving- it’s like all the best things about Christmas without the stress of presents. I always make an effort to celebrate, even though living in England does sort of restrict! And then, today I had my mum and my grandparents over to my flat for lunch. I’m finally getting the hang of my new oven, so really any opportunity to cook is perfect!

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This cake was the dessert, smothered in custard.

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Apple Tarte Tartin Cake

For the cake:

120g self raising flour

120g caster sugar

20g brown sugar

40g butter

120ml milk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together the flour, sugars and butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually pour in half the milk and mix until combined.

Beat the egg into the rest of the milk, then add the vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.

For the caramel:

100g caster sugar

about 1 tablespoon of water

Melt the sugar into the water in a saucepan, then cook until a light golden brown colour. Be careful to watch it as it can burn really quickly- and make sure you do not stir it!

Cut an apple into slices, and arrange in the bottom of a well-greased and lined cake tin. Pour the caramel over the apples. Then, add the cake mixture on top and bake at 180 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.

When it is cool, flip the cake over so the apples are on top, and sprinkle with brown and caster sugar.

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xxR

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Breakup Chocolate Cake

This cake was created out of both joy and sadness.

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Joy first- my kitchen is finally here! I can cook, I can bake, I can wash up. I’ve never been so exciting to wash my dishes- after weeks of washing up in my tiny bathroom sink. I wanted to start with something simple, to get used to my new oven, so this cake was the perfect choice. This is my absolute go-to recipe- it’s so simple to make and deliciously easy to remember. It can be whipped up at a moment’s notice.

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Now the sadness- I was dumped quite dramatically by my boyfriend a few days ago. I really don’t want to be one of those girls whose like ‘oh I’ve broken up with my boyfriend, let’s all get together and watch romcoms and eat ice cream and cry.’ No.

Although I did do a lot of crying.

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Sometimes, in these situations, all you need is cake. Simple, easy to make, chocolate cake. Requires little thought and even less effort and the finished product is entirely comforting.

Perfect for a heartbreak.

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Chocolate Cake (my mother makes this cake for every birthday- we call it 6, 6, 6 and 3- because that’s all it is (6 ounces of butter, sugar and flour and 3 eggs- give or take a few things!)

6 ounces butter

6 ounces caster sugar

3 eggs

5 ounces self raising flour (okay, okay, I know I said 6 of flour, but you need to deduct 1 for the cocoa powder. if you want a plain cake, do 6 of flour and no cocoa powder)

1 ounce cocoa powder

1 teaspoon bicarb of soda (for extra lift)

Beat together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb, and mix until combined.

Spoon into a greased and lined cake tin, and bake for around 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees celcius.

For the chocolate icing:

140g butter

280 icing sugar

1 teapoon cocoa powder

splash of milk- if you need it

Beat together the butter and icing sugar, then add the coca powder. Mix until it is a nice, smooth consistency, adding a splash of milk if it is too hard.

I sandwiched my with the chocolate buttercream, and decorated with pretzel praline, which is one of my favourite things. (I’ve made it here before!– totally forgot it was for Valentine’s Day- how ironic!)

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Isn’t that pretzel praline one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen? My pretzels happened to be in the shape of Christmas trees- but that is totally optional!

Serve this cake with a big mug of tea, whether you’re suffering a heartbreak, or just a cold, wet, Saturday afternoon.

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xxR

No Kitchen Needed Sweet Potato and Goat’s Cheese Salad

So, I’ve recently moved into a new flat, I know I keep talking about it- sorry (here). It’s really lovely, and it’s definitely coming along, but I still don’t have a fully functioning kitchen! As you can imagine, I’m not dealing with this that well! IMG_6802

However, I have learned to adapt. I can actually make a pretty tasty meal using just a kettle and a microwave, although it is mostly salad, I must admit! But I’ve not been able to bake for what seems like forever, and I’ve missed using ovens and writing about my creations.

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I have been lent a little single hob, so I can actually now cook some things! This salad is very easy to make- if I can do it in my tiny, ill-equipped kitchen, then you definitely can too!

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Grilled Sweet Potato and Goat’s Cheese Salad

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olive oil

2 sweet potatoes

1 round of goats cheese with a rind

1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar salad leaves

bread, to serve

Begin my poking your sweet potatoes with a fork and then microwaving (this is such an innovation for me- I’ve never before owned a microwave so I’m still learning all the tricks!) for about 5 minutes, or until they are very soft.

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In the mean time, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a griddle pan. When the sweet potatoes are soft, cut them into slices. Sprinkle with brown sugar, then fry for a few minutes on each side, or until crispy. Cut the baguette into slices and lay these in the pan until they are crunchy and brown.

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Pile your salad leaves on a plate. Cut the goat’s cheese into slices, and put in the pan for about 30 seconds, just to soften them up. Then pour your sweet potatoes and goats cheese over the lettuce, drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and tuck in! Easy!

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Look forward to seeing you again soon when I can actually bake again!

xxR