Caramel Apple Tea Cake

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This is one of my favourite cakes to make for the kids. The caramel layer is entirely optional, and I would not do it every time I make this cake, because of the extra time/work involved, but it’s a really yummy cake, and stores really well in the fridge for treats throughout the week or in the lunchbox.

Find the original caramel recipe here posted on Civilized Caveman Cooking by guest author Lauren from Empowered Sustenance

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
5 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil & 1/4 cup butter or ghee (or 1/2 cup coconut oil)
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 apples diced

Caramel for Cake

5 Cups apple juice – fresh squeezed or store bought fresh cloudy (do not use apple juice from concentrate. It is too strong in flavour and will not work)
2-3 Tbs butter, ghee or coconut oil

Simmer apple juice until it thickens into a toffee like consistency (can take 30min- 1hr) watch it after 30min at intervals to make sure it doesn’t burn. Then add your oil/butter to emulsify and thicken into the caramel. There is a point where it starts to get thicker. Be careful not to add the emulsifying agent in before it gets to the thickness you want, you won’t be able to thicken back up later easily.

Method for cake

Mix the oil/butter and honey, add one egg at a time until blended. Add the vanilla and the chopped apple. Combine the coconut flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients until fluffy and well blended.

Pour the cake mix into a greased cake tin. Bake at 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool completely, then remove from the pan and cut in half lengthways, to smear the caramel layer in the middle. Another option is to do two thinner cakes, to create the halves, instead of having to cut the cake.

Note:

With my oven I cook at a lower temp for longer. (150 degrees for up to an hour, turning regularly for an even colour – due to my annoying oven.) A foolproof check for all gluten free baking is that it’s ready as soon as the top has an almost firm crust when touched and doesn’t give way when pressed with down onto the surface with your finger.

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Chocolate Protein Balls

protein-choc-treatsMy husband is a chef, but I still pack his lunch for him most days. The other chefs thought it was funny until they tried the food! Sometimes they even ask for the recipes. Anyway, he really loves having some sort of treat in with his lunch (although, as with most treats, it’s not an everyday thing!) and when I came across this recipe from Superfood Kitchen, it became a favourite! You can find her recipe here, and it’s a winner if you have protein powder on hand! I don’t roll mine into balls. I press them into small chocolate moulds or small ice-cube trays, and pop them in the freezer for 5min, then pop them out into a container in batches, as my friend Rachel does when she’s making treats. Mik only takes a couple with him to work and they are great for a little treat.

This is how I make them.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup protein powder
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw organic cacao power
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut or coconut flakes
  • 40 dates (if dried) or 20 if fresh
  • coconut flakes for rolling
Method

Combine the dates and melted coconut oil in food processor or blender until well combined, then add the protein powder, coconut and cacao powder. Mix all together – it should look like a thick paste. You can either roll these into balls with the coconut flakes, or as I do, sprinkle coconut into chocolate moulds or a small ice-cube tray, press in some mixture, then press more coconut flakes on the top. Put the mould into the freezer for 5min, then pop them out into your container to store. It makes as least 20 or 40 depending on how big you do them.

Coconut Chicken Strips

Everyone knows honey and mustard is awesome. Add coconut and chicken and you have super yummy chicken strips that are easy to make.

 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup mustard (I used a combo of dijon and a bit of french mustard)
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1-2 cups Coconut flakes
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • coconut oil (for frying)
Method

Preheat Oven to 180 degrees.
Cut chicken thighs into strips. Mix mustard, honey and salt and pepper together in a bowl easy to cover the chicken strips. A shallow longer dish is easier. You will need two bowls/containers – one for the mustard mix and one for the coconut to cover the chicken after it’s dipped in the mustard mix.

Cover chicken in mustard mixture (it just needs a thin coating) then roll into coconut.

Fry coconut covered strips in coconut oil in batches, (be careful – it’s delicate!) on medium heat for a few minutes on either side until just golden. Transfer to a baking tray with a rack, and lay all the chicken strips onto the rack and place into the oven. Bake for approx 15min or until cooked.

I served it with bacon brussel sprouts, roast potatoes & sweet potatoes. I must note here that the combo of roast sweet potatoes with these chicken strips are a winner, and the kids came back for more! That’s why you can’t see many sweet potatoes in the picture!

Note:

Perfect to make extra for nut-free lunch-box additions that the kids will love.

Kids Lunchbox Ideas

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It really is hard to think about what to put in the lunch-box at the best of times, let alone when you want your kids to eat healthy food. There are lots of ideas out there, however it is hard to think of new ideas all the time, especially when you want preparation to be quick and easy. Sometimes we get away with left overs like pieces of chicken, with veggies sticks and fruit. I am just going to add images and lunchbox ideas to randomly as I go, just to show some ideas of what we are doing.

The image above has:
  • meatballs and low sugar tomato dipping sauce
  • carrot and cucumber “crackers” with salami
  • strawberries
  • and my Jaffa Muffins (I normally bake something nut free to on Sunday to put in their lunches through the week)