Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Gluten Free Granola, Blackberry and Apple Muffins

This blog post is a first for me….a product review. I was fortunate enough to be sent a couple of packets of ‘Nice and Nobbly’ Gluten Free Granola from Nature’s Path. As a newbie to this opinion-casting web entry I should probably start with the little official bit and say despite being sent this product for free the comments I make are all my own and not influenced by anyone else.

Anyway moving on from the Ts and Cs I was sent 2 varieties of the Granola. A Strawberry, Rasberry and Blueberry versions and a Pumpkin Seed, Raisin and Almond version. The berry granola had a real fruity punch and as the description may suggest there really are some generously sized nobbly chunks of granola within the mix. The pumpkin granola is a little less sweet than the berry version with subtle cinnamon flavours in addition to the hidden gem of large coconut flakes that I found lurking within the mix and which I loved. Both of these granolas are a great gluten free product that use organic ingredients and provide a good addition to the breakfast table.

But if you fancied doing something a little more exciting than just adding the granola to a bowl with an addition of milk or yoghurt ‘Nice and Nobbly’ can also be used in this recipe for gluten free blackberry and apple breakfast muffins.


2 bananas
Juice from 1 lemon
80g butter
80g sugar
1 egg
100ml milk
320g gluten free flour (I use Dove’s)
2tsp gluten free baking powder
115g blackberries
1 medium apple (80g), cored and chopped
50g gluten free granola (plus a little extra for sprinkling on top of muffins)

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C / 340°F.

Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.

Peel and mash the bananas in a small bowl with the lemon juice and set to once side.

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and then add the egg and milk and stir until combined.

Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold together.

Fold in the mashed banana along with the chopped apple, blackberries and granola into the mixture until distributed well throughout the mixture.

Spoon evenly between the 12 cake cases and sprinkle each muffin with a little extra granola before transferring to the oven.
Bake for 25 minutes until lightly golden in colour and springy to the touch.

Allow to cool before tucking in….these are great served with a big blob of homemade blackberry jam on top!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Dairy Free Russian Apple Cake

It was recently my housemate’s birthday and in my book any birthday has to be accompanied by a cake. The problem is my housemate isn’t the biggest cake fan. Last year for her birthday rather than a cake I made her a loaf of bread as a celebratory substitute. But this year I didn’t think I could repeat the bread trick so wanted to make a cake that my housemate would enjoy, which basically involved a cake that isn’t too cakey!! A bit of trawling of the internet and I came across a Russian Apple cake or ‘Sharlotka’ recipe over at Smitten Kitten. This is a recipe where layers of apples are covered in a batter and then baked to make a cake that is more apple than anything else…so a perfect non-cakey cake. And as a bonus there is no added fat so this is a great dairy free addition to the blog.

I adapted the original recipe I found over at Smitten Kitten to include some blackberries from our garden along with some ground almonds to add a more English autumnal twist to this Russian recipe.


500g tart eating apples e.g. Granny Smith (8 small)
½ cup blackberries
4 eggs
250g caster sugar
Seeds from ½ vanilla pod
150g flour
20g ground almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C or 360°F and line a 25cm diameter, loose bottomed tin with non-stick baking parchment.

Peel and core the apples and slice into 2cm thick chunks.

Fill the lined tin with layers of the apple interspersed with blackberries.

In a large mixing bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy.

Fold in the vanilla, flour and almonds until fully combined, being careful not to overwork the mixture.

Gradually pour the batter over the apples and blackberries ensuring the mixture fills all of the gaps between the fruit.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour until firm and golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.

This cake can be served warm with cream or custard or cold as an afternoon teatime treat.