Sweet and Healthy

Orange Almond cake

By far the most popular cake I ever make, the wonderful taste comes from the orange peels - minus the bitter volatile oils that are boiled away.
6 oranges
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 large eggs
1 cup sugar
Place whole unpeeled oranges in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer gently for 2 hours.  Drain and set oranges aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350℉   Butter and flour a 22 cm spring form pan, set aside.  Halve cooked oranges and remove any seeds.  place 7 halves in food processor and pulse until puréed but still chunky.  This should yield about 3 cups, set aside.
I a small bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs with 1/2 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.   Stir in orange purée until just combined.  Only then stir in flour mixture, pour into buttered and floured springform pan.
Bake(350℉) until cake is golden brown - about one hour.   Transfer pan to a wire rack.  After 15 min run a small spatula around the edge to loosen the cake, let cool completely for an hour or two.
To make the orange topping, chop the remaining 5 orange halves into 1/2 cm pieces, set aside.  In a medium sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup of sugar with orange pieces.  Bring mixture to a boil, and simmer gently until most of the liquid has evaporated and thickened into a syrup, about 15 min.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely - one hour.  
Remove the ring from the pan, transfer the cake to a serving platter.  Arrange chopped oranges and remaining syrup over the cake. Serves 8 to 10.  I often double the recipe and bake in a larger pan.

Ginger baked apples

12 large crunchy apples
1/2 cup of candied ginger
1 cup of chopped walnuts
Mince candied ginger finely, mix with chopped walnuts
 Remove the apple cores, place apples in a baking dish, and fill the cavities with the ginger walnut mixture.  
Place a small chunk of butter and a pinch of cardamom on top of each apple.  
Cook at 350℉ for 60 min.  Serves 12.


Chocolate self saucing pudding

Mix in a large bowl 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and 3/4 cup sugar.  Mix separately (use a blender) 3 oz melted butter, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and fold into dry ingredients.  Spoon mixture into a buttered dish - at least 4” deep.  Warm in a pan and mix in a blender 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup water and 6 oz chocolate, and pour over mixture in the dish.  This dish rises up quite a bit, by at least a couple of inches .  Bake at 350 F for 45 - 50 min.


Chocolate Marble Cashew Cream

This creamy dessert is perfect with fresh fruit desserts or cakes. 
2 cups cashews
½ cup non-dairy nut, seed or grain beverage
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp    vanilla
1 oz chocolate, melted
3 peppermint leaves for garnish
Soak cashews for 6 hours or overnight.
Drain and reserve liquid from cashews.
Place cashews, maple syrup and vanilla in blender or food processor and process until smooth. 
Pour cream into a bowl and swirl or drizzle chocolate over top.
Garnish with peppermint - optional.
Variation:  Try it with Coconut Orange Cream (Coconut milk and Orange juice concentrate).

Peach cobbler                        

12 ripe peaches
1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar                              
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/3 cup butter
4 tbsp baking powder
2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour              
2 tsp salt
Butter a large pyrex dish and place quartered peeled peaches.  
Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar, the juice of one lemon, and 1/2 cup of butter in small pieces.
Mix together 21/2 cups of flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, 2/3 cup butter.  
Slowly mix in heavy cream until the dough is manageable.
Roll the dough and place over peaches.
Bake at 400℉ for 20 min or until the top is brown.
Serves 10 to 12.

Carob Apple cake

2 cup powdered carob
2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
8 apples
2 cups raisins
Soak raisins in water for a few hours
Place sunflower seeds in a blender and blend to powder (meal)
Peel apples and grate coarsely in a food processor
Mix carob powder, 1 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, sunflower meal, and raisins.  
Mix in half the appple.  Add the rest slowly while stirring until a thick consistency is obtained.  
Place a thin layer of shredded coconut at the bottom of a large pyrex dish.  
Pour the mix on top and press to make a 1 inch thick layer.    Serves 10 to 12 . 


Vegan muffins

1 cup sugar
2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup blueberries or dates
Mix well.  Preheat the oven to 400 F

1/2 cup corn or canola oil
2 cups mashed banana
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cups water
Fold briefly the banana mixture into the fruit mix until lumpy.  Bake at400 F 20 min


Candied walnuts

1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp H2O
5 cups walnuts
Place honey and sugar in a small sauce pan with one tbsp of water, on a hot burner.  The sugar and honey combine and melt releasing a lot of water vapor and burn slowly to a caramel.   You want a light caramel so don’t let it burn too much.  

Let the caramel cool somewhat (5 min) and mix in the walnut halves.  Spread on cookie sheet and let cool completely or not depending on your patience.


Ginger bread (for 10 slices)

12 oz (340g) flour
10 oz molasses
6 oz butter
4 oz sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
4 oz candied ginger pieces
1/2 cup warm water

Combine flour, sugar ginger pieces, soda.  Melt butter and molasses – let cool.  Add beaten eggs.  Add dry ingredients.  Add water and mix well.  Bake at 300 F1 hr


Banana blueberry muffins

1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries or dates
Mix separately     1/2 cup oil
2 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 eggs

Fold dry ingredients into the banana mixture


Crème caramel

One dozen large eggs
Six cups whole milk or soy milk
2 1/2 cups cane sugar

This is similar to crème flambée but without the flaming.  Make the caramel first.  Heat 2 cups of sugar in a sauce pan, with two tablespoons of water, medium heat, do not stir.  The caramelization (burning) process takes 10 to 15 min depending on the heat.    First it turns brown, darker and darker, then it starts smoking and goes black rather quickly.  The trick is to remove the pan from the heat when it starts smoking (acrid smoke) to get a strong tasting caramel.  If you remove it too soon, the caramel will be light brown and without much taste.  

Pour caramel while hot in a large pyrex dish and spread (cover the bottom and sides) tilting the dish.  Set aside to cool thoroughly.  In a large pan, warm the milk or soymilk with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla.  Blend eggs in blender and stir into the warm (not too hot) milk.  Pour into pyrex dish.   Bake in a bain marie at 300 F for an hour or longer.  I place the pyrex dish in a bigger dish containing enough water to come to almost the top of the egg dish.  If you do not use a bain marie the eggs will be rubbery.   When the crème is cooked I sometime finish by turning on the broiler element to brown the surface of the dish.


Strawberry shortcake

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs well beaten
2 Tbsp cold butter
1/2 cup milk
4 cups fresh strawberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
whipped cream

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Sift.  Work in butter with pastry blender or fingertips; add egg and milk.  Mix just until dough is moist.  Turn dough into a buttered and floured 8 – 10 inch round cake pan (need two of them) and pat into shape.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes in a 400° oven, or until golden brown. Test with a toothpick inserted in the center. If it comes out with dough clinging to it, lower the heat to 350° and bake about 5 more minutes. Remove from the pan, let cool and split horizontally with a serrated knife. Butter the cut side of both layers.  Put layers together with strawberries and their juice between the layers and on top. Garnish with several whole berries and serve with whipped cream.

To Prepare Strawberries:
Prepare strawberries an hour or two before serving. Rinse, hull, and slice strawberries, leaving a few whole for garnishing. Place the sliced berries in a bowl; add brown sugar and let stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature.



Quinoa chocolate cake

Combine in a large bowl

3/4 C sugar
1 C cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 C chocolate chips
a pinch of salt
2 C quinoa cooked and cooled

Mix together in a separate bowl
3/4 C butter melted
4 eggs
1/3 C milk
Fold these wet ingredients into quinoa mix and pour into a well oiled springform pan.

Bake 350 F until done ( 30 to 40 min)


Lemon Verbena cake

 We sometime substitute rose thyme, orange spice thyme, lemon thyme

Beat together in food processor
 350 g sugar
350 g soft butter
6 eggs
2 Tbsp of chopped lemon verbena - easy to grow in your green house
225 g flour
1 tsp baking soda
110 g ground almond

Grease and line with parchment paper
Place both pans on a double wall cookie sheet and cook 350 F 50 min or so.

Lemon Mint Poppy seed cookies

Substitute hulled sesame seeds