Limoncello Drizzle Cake {GF and sugar-free} Celebrating 2 years.

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I get fairly personal on this blog – after all for me, food is such a foundational part of my day, of my entire life, that there are memories associated with most dishes I make, especially cakes and desserts. (Like Mum’s cake, or Granny’s chocolate mousse, or these ice cream sandwiches.) And sometimes I mention my Cookie Monster. But I don’t really talk about him that much because a) he gets embarrassed like that, and b) I like to keep him to myself.
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Especially considering the past year. We were (or rather, I was) optimistic about long-distance. One year, we could do that, right? Let me fast-forward to the point: long-distance is brutal. Skype is great but human contact is essential in a relationship. There has been more shouting, crying and sulking than either of us would have liked. There were times I thought, ‘This is it, we won’t make it.’ There were more ups and downs than a roller-coaster can boast; at this point, I think we’re both ready to get off the ride.
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That’s not to say we never have good times together. We have loads. Last year we went to Naples and we brought back two bottles of limoncello. Sunshine in a bottle. If I could bottle his smile and save it for a stressful day, I would. But for now, limoncello will have to do; with each bite of this cake I remember that week of sunshine, gelato and blissful relaxation we spent together.

Two years together. Thanks for sticking with me, babe.
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Limoncello Drizzle Cake {GF}

  • Servings: makes one 20cm/8 inch cake, or 8 servings
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3 tbsp powdered stevia
120g (1/2 cup) vegan butter
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water)
1 tsp vanilla essence
The juice of a small lemon and the zest of three
120g (1 cup) ground almonds
180g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) polenta
1 tsp baking powder
125ml (1/2 cup) warm water
A few tablespoons of limoncello and soya or coconut cream to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Line or grease a round 20cm (8″) springform cake tin.

Cream the butter and stevia till light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl. Add the flax eggs, vanilla essence, lemon juice and zest. Incorporate the warm water and remaining dry ingredients a little at a time to combine them more easily; the batter should be even and somewhat thick, but not lumpy or tough to handle.

Pour into the lined/greased cake tin. Smooth out the top so it’s even. Lower the temperature to 180ºC (350ºF) and bake for 40 minutes; the edge of the cake should come away from the tin and be golden.

Cool on a wire rack. Release the cake from its tin and carefully place it on a tray/plate/stand. (I do this by flipping the cake upside down onto a plate, then flipping it again onto the desired platform of presentation.) Drizzle over as much limoncello as you like without drowning the cake and serve each slice with a generous glug of cream.

Thank you for letting me share my personal stories with you. Your continued support means the world to me. ❤

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Love and cookies,
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Cardamom Pancake Stack with Sweet Potato Chocolate Frosting

CardamomPancakeStack_title2Hello sweet friends! Yes, another pancake stack cake. I can’t promise I won’t make more. If you think about it, it’s perfectly logical: they are both a breakfast food and a dessert, and they are the embodiment of Pancake Day. (Who’s excited??? It can’t be just me!!!) Surely I need not explain any further.

IMG_1060cardamomchocpancakestackYes, you did read that right: you can eat these for breakfast. You can eat anything for breakfast, technically, be it salad or cupcake, but let me elaborate: what I mean is that (and for many reasons I loathe to say this, but it’s true) this is a healthy cake.

Don’t shoot, please – hear me out!

IMG_1066I hate it when people say: ‘This cake/cupcake/cookie is healthy, it’s good for you!’ Let’s be honest, if it’s dessert, it’s never really that healthy. You shouldn’t eat it every day, even if it is sugar-free, low-fat, animal-free, whatever. Dessert will always be dessert, unless you happen to think raw carrot is a sweet treat. I’ve been guilty of saying it before, but it always irks me; it makes me feel like some gimmicky fad diet marketer.

IMG_1069This cake, though it should not be consumed daily but only as a occasional meal for celebration, is made of mostly natural ingredients. The sweetness comes from the sweet potatoes (more on those later) or xylitol or stevia. It won’t spike your blood sugar levels, it won’t mess with your cholesterol. It’s a whole lot of carbohydrates, yes, but that’s why I chose spelt flour, not processed white flour. The ground flaxseed add omega 6 and9’s,which are essential to a healthy diet. If you wanted to make the frosting super duper healthy, you could use raw cacao powder instead of melted chocolate.

So you see, eating some of this cake won’t make you diabetic, it won’t give you cancer. It won’t make you skinny either, though, but no one ever said Pancake Day would do that.

IMG_1054My point really is: just eat what you want. Try to limit processed ingredients that deep down you know aren’t good for you, but you will never, ever hear me say you should not eat them at all. You get one life. You shouldn’t spend if feeling rotten about yourself.

Happy Pancake Day to all of you lovely cookie monsters!IMG_1071

Note: Most of you will be thinking: ‘Clem, you’ve lost it this time. Sweet potatoes in my frosting? Shut the front door.’ I got the idea from the lovely Elenore over at Earthsprout. She’s a goddess in the kitchen, so if you don’t trust my word, trust hers.

Cardamom Pancake Stack with Sweet Potato Chocolate Frosting

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Sweet potato chocolate frosting:

2 large sweet potatoes
100g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 200ºC (400ºF) and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Cut the sweet potatoes in quarters, lengthways. Spray with a little oil. Roast for 1 hour or until fork tender.

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Cool on a wire rack before scooping the flesh out of the skins. Mash with a fork.

Melt chocolate and coconut oil au bain-marie; i.e. place a bowl over a pot of boiling water on the stove. The heat will slowly melt the coconut oil and chocolate.

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Fold the melted chocolate into the mashed sweet potato. Add cocoa powder for a more intense chocolate flavour. Marvel at those colours.

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Set aside in the fridge until needed.

Cardamom pancakes:

190g spelt flour (I think that make 1 + 1/2 cups? I didn’t measure it myself, only used a conversion chart. At any rate it should weigh 6.7 oz)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
3 tbsp xylitol or 3-ish tsp stevia
1 tsp ground cardamom
375ml (1 + 1/2 cups) soya milk
¼ tsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp ground flaxseed

In a small bowl mix the ground flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water. Set aside to gel. This mixture will thicken and act as an egg replacer to bind the batter.

Sift the remaining dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Fold in the vanilla paste, flax eggs and soya milk until fully incorporated.

Grease a large, thin frying pan with a little coconut oil. Place on medium heat.

Drop one ladleful of batter into the pan, spreading it not too thinly into a 10cm (5”) diameter circle. Cook on one side for 3-5 minutes, until small bubbles appear on the top and the sides firm up. Bravely flip (aided by a spatula if need be). Cook on the other side till firm.

Place the pancake onto a clean plate. Repeat this process until the batter is exhausted. You should have 6 pancakes.

To assemble:

Spread a tablespoon of frosting onto each pancake, save one. Stack the pancakes, frosted side up. Place the remaining pancake on top. Generously cover the sides and top of the stack with the rest of the frosting.

Decorate with maple-roasted nuts and seeds if desired. Eat for dessert or breakfast—or whenever you damn please!

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What are you planning this Pancake Day/Mardis Gras/Shrove Tuesday?

Love and cookies,

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