Archive | January 2014

Allergic Reactions

It’s a thoroughly miserable Friday afternoon here and it’s a case of is it time to bake or leave it for the weekend when I’m feeling better after such a severe allergic reaction that I had last night.

This wasn’t actually due to any allergies that I have, moreover when I used some washing liquid from Tescos I didn’t think that I would react. Having read the packaging this morning it does actually say that it may cause a reaction.

The reactions I have can be quite severe, especially if any products contain dairy or soya. It also now seems that certain chemicals in products such as washing liquid, hand wash or sun cream can also cause a reaction.

I never would have thought that a product that is used on a regular basis wouldn’t cause such discomfort and pain. In previous years I have never known such products to cause reactions or pain.


One Cake or Two


These delicious cakes were made yesterday.  The one on the left is a coffee and glace ginger cake. It gives the cake quite a crunch and the texture is superb.  The second is a brand new cake for 2014, it is an apple and cherry cake using fresh Jonagold apples which this time have been grated into the basic sponge mixture and glace cherries added for a bit of sweetness and also texture.

The second cake has yet to be tasted as I thought I would leave it a couple of days so that the flavours intensified and added to this new cake.

I would say that the second cake more so than the first could be used as a dessert cake and could be served with ice cream or cream depending on your preference.

The apple and cherry cake tastes quite sharp with the grated apple, but the sweetness is added with the diced cherries, another dimension has been added to the flavour, now there are endless possibilities for the rest of 2014.

Flavour first – ideas

Here’s one for you, when making cakes, biscuits, or traybakes do you make the basic mix and then decide what flavours your going to add, or follow a recipe and not be tempted to add your own unique flavour to it, so that it is your own.

Having followed recipes for many years, I decided that if I wanted to make a difference and be noticed I would have to come up with some unique flavour combinations of my own, these have included cranberry and papaya, a flavour combination that shouldn’t work but it does and it is one that I’m quite proud of.  The freshness of the papaya against the sharpness of the cranberry is one that I’ve used in cakes and biscuits.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match flavours as this will give you flavours that you may have never dreamed of or thought of.

It’s not just the sweet flavours either, as there are many savoury flavour combinations that haven’t yet been trialled or tested, this is making for a much more interesting idea and one that can be expanded on a weekly basis and with tasters who are able to advise me on what works and what doesn’t.

I’m thankful that with this dairy/soya allergy and intolerance I can experiment and bring new flavours to the world, perhaps being able to share these with those who have similar allergies and are able to adapt them as I have.


Apple Cake with a twist


This new cake of mine has the wow factor, it comprises  of apples, with a 2-1 ratio. In this case it is 2 Jonagold to 1 Cox, which are peeled and then grated and also squeezed so the juice comes out and is put into a bowl so it can be used in another cake or biscuit.
Here come’s the twist.  I added a peeled pear which also had the juice squeezed out of it and added some mixed spice for added flavour.

What a contrast in flavour and texture to my other cakes and what fun I’ll have throughout 2014 mixing and matching apples, perhaps with mangoes or cherries to enhance the flavour and perhaps add cinnamon to other cake mixes.

This is more of a dessert cake, as the contrast between the 2 different varieties of apples, makes it unusual but well worth trying, and served with cream or ice cream, depending on your preference

Cherry Coconut Ice


This is cherry coconut ice, it has an unusual flavour and it isn’t as sweet as I thought it would be. Yet it is delicious and yet different from the usual pink and white and very sickly sweet that you find at the seaside.  This however, is so easy and yet inexpensive to make, if you were using condensed milk.

I however have to make it with lactofree cream, which makes it less sweet,  more delicious, and it looks incredible.

I have several new flavours for coconut ice that I do want to try during 2014 and report back with the results, some may work, some may not.

If I don’t try I won’t know and then wish I had been daring and bold enough.

Having this allergy makes baking with dairy free milk and cream so much more interesting and enjoyable