Buckwheat Crepes with oven roasted Rhubarb

High fives to all the amazing cooks and chefs out there at the moment championing wholefoods and more healthful and mindful ways of eating. I feel an amazing shift happening towards a more natural and delicious way of conscious eating and farming, and it’s so great to see it becoming more mainstream. I have been adding to my cookbook collection because there are so many gorgeous books out there that I find them hard not to take them all home. There are so many exciting, vibrant recipes that I can’t wait to whip up and I’m sure I will be feasting on them coming into Spring and Summer.

Buckwheat Crepes with oven roasted Rhubarb

One gorgeous book that I bought a little while back is My Petite Kitchen. Eleanor Ozich is a gluten free rock star, making special food delicious for all the right reasons. She cooks from a place of love (you can just tell) and her pictures are just so pretty, they really do make it all feel like home.

I bought her book without even opening it (yes, I knew if would be that good) and it has proven to be a mega source of gluten free inspiration. I have it literally post-it noted all over.

She sounds really, really nice and has just opened a cafe, and I tell you, if I lived in New Zealand I would be down there for some lunch quick smart.

This recipe was inspired by her Buckwheat Pancakes; mine are crepes because that is what my kids want to gobble at the moment and I served them with some oven baked rhubarb. Gluten free, refined sugar free, just get them into you. Preferably whilst still in bed, or at least in your pyjamas.

Buckwheat Crepes with oven roasted Rhubarb

For the crepes:

130g buckwheat flour
310ml milk
2 beautiful organic free range eggs

Whisk together the flour, milk and eggs until nice and smooth. Simple huh.

Heat a little coconut oil or butter in a fry pan (I have a little flat cast-iron crepe pan and it is awesome, go and get yourself one if you really like crepes, you won’t regret it). Heat the pan until just before smoking point, you need the pan to be hot before you try and make your first crepe.

Pour a ladle full of crepe mixture into the pan, and swirl it around quickly to create a thin, even layer. Pour any excess mixture out of the pan and back into the bowl, ready to make the next crepe.

Cook the crepe until it is just opaque, and you can run a rubber spatula around the edges of the crepe. It won’t take long to cook if the crepe is thin enough. Truth be told, the first crepe probably won’t turn out right (sometimes I’m lucky and the first one works out, but honestly if you tear the first one then cook’s treat for you). With your rubber spatula flip your crepe over and cook on the other side for just 10 or 20 seconds more, until the little bubbles on the second side are just browned. Slip it out of the pan and onto a beautiful plate that is magically waiting there for you, begging to be filled with a little stack of crepes.

Keep cooking crepe by crepe, keeping the first ones warm in a low oven on their beautiful plate, but covered by some tin foil so they don’t dry out. Do a little dance, shuffle in your slippers and give yourself a high five. Yay, crepes!

Drizzle them with maple syrup if you want to, and maybe some creamy yoghurt.

And if you do prefer your breakfast whilst reclining, these keep well in the fridge, so you can make them the day before, then wrap them well and pop in the fridge waiting to be warmed up by your loved one in the oven the next morning, to serve you breakfast in bed.

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Oven Roasted Rhubarb

One bunch of beautiful pink rhubarb, ends and leaves discarded
2 or 3 tablespoons of stevia
Juice of half a lemon

Cut your rhubarb into little finger sized lengths. Place into a glass or ceramic bowl.

Sprinkle the rhubarb with the stevia and lemon juice and shake it all about. I am vague here about the stevia because personally I like rhubarb a little on the tart side, but some of us out there (well, pretty much everyone else that lives at my house anyway) like things a little sweeter, so you can add more. And if sugar doesn’t bother you, then go ahead and use brown sugar, oh my, it will be delicious.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Let the rhubarb, lemon and sweetness mingle for 20 minutes of so, until they are juicy friends.

Pop the rhubarb and juices into a deep roasting pan (like a brownie tin, something with some depth to hold the juices) and cover with a piece of tin foil. Roast in the oven for around 20 minutes or a little less, rhubarb loses it’s shape quickly, so if you’d like the pieces to retain their roundness, check it after 15 for tenderness.

Eat.

Amazing photography by Sarah of Love Katie and Sarah, thanks S xx

roasted rhubarb

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Lime and Pistachio Tea Cakes

Sometimes you just need a little something sweet and syrupy. These are for those times.

Inspired by the gluten free classic seen in almost every cafe sweets cabinet, this is my variation on the classic Orange and Almond cake; Lime and Pistachio cakes, in miniature. Sweet and sticky, yet fragrant and bright from whole limes and my favourite, pistachios.

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Lime and Pistachio Tea Cakes

Makes 6-12 individual sized tea cakes, the perfect size for sharing with a friend.

  • 5 or 6 limes, 450 – 500g
  • 6 eggs
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 250g ground pistachios
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder

Put the limes into a saucepan and cover with water. Pop on a lid and bring to the boil; boil the limes for around an hour or until they are completely tender. Remove the limes from the water and cut them open to remove any seeds. Place the limes in a food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Set aside for now.

Grease a 12-hole muffin or friand tin well with butter. If you have a tin that has removable bases, then now is the perfect time to use it. If not, then cut out some little circles of baking paper and pop them into the bases of the muffin tin.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

It is up to you how many little cakes you would like to make, you can easily divide this mixture into 12 little cakes, or even just divide it into 6 and make the little cakes nice and tall. Just slightly increase the baking time if you are making taller cakes. I divided my mixture into 8.

In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until combined; you don’t want to add too much air here, just make it all nice and smooth and dissolve the sugar a little bit.

Stir through the lime puree, and then fold in the ground almonds, ground pistachios and baking powder, until beautifully smooth.

Spoon into the muffin tin, dividing into as many as you wish. Bake for around 35 minutes (adding an extra 10 or 15 minutes if your cakes are taller), until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tin before removing them.

Serve with a dollop of thick cream, and a few curls of lime zest and crushed pistachios if you are feeling fancy.

These cakes keep really well for several days, but you probably won’t be able to resist them for that long.

Lovely photography by Sarah Collins from Love Katie and Sarah

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Persimmon and Maple Spice Cake

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There is a lot to be said for whimsy. Of whimsy, I am a rather large fan.

I have just looked up the definition of the word whimsy in the dictionary and, oh dear, I fear poor whimsy may be very misunderstood! Ye olde dictionary wants to paint it in a conceited light, like it is a good for nothing, flippant little urge which will, quite frankly, get you into trouble.

But hark! What about those serendipitous ideas that strike you, and you follow them just because? Are they not a precious moment of whim? Is this, in fact, not exactly what life should be about, living in the moment and all such things?

I believe whimsy and inspiration are very good friends, maybe even cousins, and they should be grabbed by the hand and danced around with whenever they turn up at your door.

Here I go, speaking in a grand and whimsical fashion, I hope you won’t all mind.

So what on earth does all of this have to do with persimmon cake? Well, it is because I like to get swept up in the idea of things that a cake like this was born. I had started to spy some persimmons around and having grown up with a large persimmon tree in the backyard, the whimsy of my memory took me by the hand and loaded up my basket to the brim. We grew the astringent variety, which must get very soft before you eat it, unless you like having your mouth turned inside out and dusted with chalk. But, in my new home town, you can buy both the soft and the firm varieties, even more fun.

Hoping to pass on some of my fond childhood memories to the littlies, I have planted a tree of each variety in our yard, but I’m getting in early and trying to introduce the love of persimmon by slipping some crunchy slices into a lunch box here, making a yummy persimmon, avocado and sesame salad there, and baking some into a cake. By the time our trees are producing their own, I hope to have two fellow persimmon (and whimsy) advocates standing at my hip.

My husband says this cake reminds him of Pfeffernusse – those delicious German spice biscuits with the crunchy white tops… I guess it has that same gentle spicing but with the aroma of persimmon. Total afternoon tea material, just add a nice cup of tea.

Persimmon and Maple Spice Cake

adapted from Desserts for Breakfast, who adapted from Tartine

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  • Pulp from 3 very soft persimmons (around 300g)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 150g sugar
  • 280g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 250ml grapeseed oil
  • 3 eggs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour a 6-cup bundt tin and set aside.

Puree the pulp from your persimmons (discarding any skin or seeds) in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, salt and spices and give a little whisk.

In another bowl, whisk the persimmon puree, oil, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla until they are homogenous. Add in your eggs one at a time, whisking each one in well before adding the next. Now gently mix through the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour the cake mixture into your prepared bundt tin and bake for 50 or so minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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I served my cake for afternoon tea with dollops of greek yoghurt and a drizzle of maple syrup, and just for a bit more persimmon love, some wedges of the firm variety.

Big thank you my super talented friend Sarah who took these lovely photos xx