Easy Blackberry Jam

The weather is starting to turn, but we’re still having lots of sunny afternoons with cool breezes. And, there are still blackberries to be harvested. So, I thought I’d make some easy Blackberry jam with my last haul. It makes a small batch, which is approximately one jar. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon

After washing your blackberries very well, place in a small sauce pan with the sugar.

Next, grab a masher and spend several minutes smashing the heck out of those berries. You really want to get the juice flowing so that the berries become a liquid purée like mash up.

There will still be bits of berry, but as you can see above, it should have lots of juice. Place on the stove and set on high. I used mark 5.

Bring the berry mash to a boil, stirring it the entire time. By constantly stirring, you’ll ensure it does not burn. Once it boils for about 5 minutes, put on medium low and simmer until it thickens. You’ll know it’s ready when it coats the spoon.

Juice the lemon, and stir in the liquid while the berry mixture is still hot.

Make sure your jar is already prepared. It needs to be thoroughly cleaned and boiled to sterilise. While the liquid is still hot, spoon jam into the jar. It will firm up as it cools.

And there you have it, one batch of Easy Blackberry Jam! This is the perfect way to preserve the last of the summer fruit to enjoy into the cold winter months. Stir it in porridge, put it in yogurt, or enjoy on some toast! However you slice it, this jam is just too easy to pass up. Give it a try before the berries disappear. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

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Banana Blondies

What a beautiful Saturday morning we had with perfect conditions for the Balloon Fiesta! Unfortunately that was the last glimpse of summer, which pretty much ended around 10 am. But to be honest, the rain and lower temperatures are very welcomed. It also means that it is now comfortable to heat up my oven! And since the heat has been causing my bananas to ripen very fast, it only makes sense to make up some Banana Blondies. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • What I like the most about this recipe, is that you can make it using one bowl. And in that bowl, the first thing you’ll do is mash up the banana.
  • Next, add the brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Combine very well.
  • Next add the egg and beat as much as possible. Ideally, you should beat the egg in a separate bowl. However, I didn’t feel like washing more than I have to, so I stuck to the one bowl baking ideology on this one.
  • Next, mix in the flour.
  • Last, melt the butter and slowly add it in to the batter.
  • As soon as you can, pour it into a square pan. Mine isn’t square, but it’s all I had, so use your imagination.
  • Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for ~25 minutes.
  • And there you have it! Banana Blondies!
  • If you’ve got ripe bananas that need to be consumed, forget about banana bread and try these treats. They were soft, had a slight caramel flavour, and melted in my mouth. My only suggestion is that they weren’t very thick, so I’d probably double up the recipe next time. You can also use coconut oil instead of butter to make these dairy free if you’d like. I truly hope you get the chance to make a batch of these as the weather cools a bit. Remember your umbrella this week, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!
  • Mango Chia Icebox Cake

    Ok guys, it’s still hot up in here! I haven’t baked anything proper in ages because the mugginess is just ugh! So, in honor of Bristol’s Harbour Fest, I decided to make this icebox cake since summer is truly upon us. Back in the states, icebox cakes are popular because they’re easy and perfect to bring to BBQ’s when have a consistent summer year after year. In England, it’s more like a trifle but in a rectangular dish. Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 1 large, ripe mango
    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    • 2 cups almond milk
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla
    • Lots of coconut biscuits
    • Shredded coconut to top
  • First, you’ll want to prepare the mango chia pudding. Cut up a sweet, ripe mango and combine in a blender with the almond milk and vanilla. You can use any milk, but I prefer almond.
  • Pour the mango mixture into the chia seeds in a medium sized bowl.
  • Mix it up really well. Scrape down any seeds that may be stuck on the sides. Put the mango chia pudding in the fridge for at least 3 hours. You will notice the chia seeds will get sticky as soon as they come into contact with moisture. You may need to give it a stir after an hour, and you’ll know it’s ready when it has a custard like consistency.
  • Now it’s time to prepare the dessert. Start with an even layer of biscuits, as seen above. Then spread on a layer of chia pudding, followed by another layer of biscuits. Then chia pudding, then a final biscuit layer. You can add as many layers as you like, but this amount of chia pudding makes two layers in the dish as seen above.
  • When the layers are complete, top it off with several chunks of fresh mango.
  • Place the dessert in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. As it sits in the cold, the biscuits will absorb the moisture, becoming soft and cake like.
  • Once it’s set, add lots of shredded coconut on top. Now it’s ready!
  • And there you have it, Mango Chia Icebox Cake! What a delicious summer treat to make without heating up your oven.
  • I love making this dessert because it’s sweet, creamy, and tastes far more decadent than it is. You get some fruit and fibre without the dairy (although you can use milk if you’d like). And, you can easily make it vegan or gluten free as long as you use the appropriate biscuits. This recipe works with other fruits as well, so mix it up and add your own twist to it.
  • I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as I’ve enjoyed eating it! And enjoy yourself at the Harbour Fest if you’re out Bristol way. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!
  • No Bake Cookies

    Anyone else hot up in here? Ok, ok, so I know that the weather we’ve been experiencing is called summer – I did grow up in California after all! But after living in Bristol, this sudden heat is all so sudden! I’ve not really baked anything lately because I don’t want to heat up my home any more than I need to. Most homes here don’t have that precious central air conditioning, so we kinda have to rely on harbour side breezes. However, I wanted something sweet to enjoy while watching football and I have to clear out my cupboards. Hence, no bake cookies… aka I’ve got coconut flour and golden syrup that needs to be used up. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 2 1/4 cups coarse coconut flour
    • 3/4 cup almond flour
    • 1/2 cup cranberries
    • 2/3 cup golden syrup
    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract

    Step one, pour all ingredients into a bowl! Great recipe right? I did make my own almond flour with raw almonds I got from the Zero Green shop in Bristol, and added some organic cranberries I got there as well. And if you’re looking for a coarse coconut flour, I got this one at Southville Deli ages ago, but I’ve also seen the same brand at Sainsbury’s.

    Next, mix it up! If you find the dough is still a bit dry, you can add a bit more syrup or almond milk to bind it together.

    Once the dough is a bit sticky, roll into cookie like shapes and place on a plate.

    Pop into the freezer for about 30-45 minutes to set.

    And there you go, No Bake Cookies, made unique by whatever you’ve got in your kitchen. There are a lot of ways to personalise these as you see fit. You can add nuts and/or chocolate chips. And you can substitute honey or maple syrup for the golden syrup. Or drizzle caramel or chocolate on top. Oh go ahead, just dip them in the chocolate! And the best part is that you don’t have to power up the oven! Make these ahead of time for a cool summer treat, or to bring to a World Cup get together. Stay cool Bristol, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Oat and Banana Energy Bites

    Today is bank holiday Monday and it is absolutely gorgeous! I had a fantastic run this morning and decided to make this recipe as a post workout treat. And although I do enjoy running as a hobby, this time it’s in training for the Bristol 10k. I also decided to raise funds for the Bristol city centre hospital charity, Above and Beyond, which does some really great things for so many patients. If you would like to make a donation towards my fundraising goal, you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/candice-cole

    And if you’d like to make these delicious energy bites, here is what you’ll need:

    • 3 cups oats (270 g)
    • 4 tablespoons milled linseed or flaxseed
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 small bananas
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (170g)
    • 1 cup peanut butter or nut blend (225g)

    Go ahead and mix up the oats, linseed, and cinnamon. Put aside.

    Next, mash the bananas. Make sure your bananas are ripe. This ensures they are soft which makes it a lot easier to mash into a smooth purée.

    Add the vanilla, honey, and nut butter to the bananas, stirring very well.

    Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture, and mix very well. Once thoroughly incorporated, let sit for about 10 minutes for the oats to absorb some of the banana mixture.

    At this point, roll into balls and place on a piece of parchment or baking paper. If the dough is still a bit wet, you can add a bit more linseed, or roll with something like coarse coconut flour, chopped nuts, or mini chocolate chips.

    Place in the freezer for an hour to set.

    And there you have it, Oat & Banana Energy Bites! They are the perfect pre-workout, post-workout, or sitting on the couch snack! You can even have these for breakfast or an afternoon pick me up. It’s also tasty to try different nut butters like a coconut peanut butter, as I did in mine. Next time I’ll experiment with different bits to roll in it, although the coconut is delicious! However you make them, I hope you savour these healthy treats! Enjoy the good weather and if you’re around on Sunday May 13th, cheer on all of us running the Bristol 10k in the city centre. Remember your sunscreen, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

    So, I still have Easter chocolate left! Although I love baking I don’t tend to be eating as much sweets as I’ve been getting older. Therefore, I turned my last (dark) chocolate egg into brownies. They don’t contain any dairy or refined flour. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 3 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • ~2 cups (260 g) dark chocolate
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 2 tablespoons to drizzle
    • 1 1/3 (120 g) cup almond flour
    • 2/3 (50 g) cup coconut flour

    If you have a double boiler, use that to melt the chocolate. Otherwise, like me, use a saucepan that is wider than a small pot of simmering water beneath.

    While the chocolate is beginning to melt, beat the eggs and vanilla very well.

    You can also use this time to measure out the almond and coconut flour.

    Once the chocolate is melted, take it off the heat source and stir in 1/4 cup of peanut butter.

    Now, you’ll add the warm chocolate to the eggs, mixing well. Make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot so the eggs don’t cook up.

    Next, you’ll add both flours, making sure it is all incorporated and absorbed by the chocolate mixture.

    The mixture will be very thick by now. Go ahead and press it into a square baking tin, or anything you have. Mine was rectangular, so the brownies will be a bit thinner.

    At this point, go ahead and drizzle some extra peanut butter on top.

    Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for 20 minutes. It will rise a bit, but it should be done when you notice a bit of cracking on top.

    And there you have it! Peanut Butter Brownies that are dairy free and free from refined flour! These are very rich and decadent, making it the perfect companion for a cup of coffee. They are also a great post run treat! And as I’ve been training for the Bristol 10 k in two weeks time, these went down nicely. Give these a try and savour them as summer approaches. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Chocolate Orange Cake

    So, I still have Easter chocolate and I simply can’t eat anymore… on its own, that is. In times like this, baking a cake that incorporates it somehow is the solution to my problem. Since I received a chocolate orange egg, complete with 2 sharing bars, a chocolate orange cake just makes sense. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 2 oranges
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 6 eggs, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (125 g) powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon almond essence
    • 2 cups (250 g) almond flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder

    Before you get started, this cake will take some time. So if you have the time, let’s get started! First, rinse and clean two oranges and place in a saucepan of water. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then simmer on low for 2 hours. Take off the heat and let the oranges cool.

    While the oranges are cooling down, beat the eggs, then add the sugar and almond essence.

    Once the oranges are cooked, blend completely until a smooth orange paste is produced. You may want to cut off the ends which can sometimes be bitter.

    To the smooth orange mixture, add the coconut oil, which should melt if the mixture is slightly warm.

    Add the orange mixture to the bowl and whisk very well.

    Add the almond flour and baking powder. Mix this very well until a smooth batter is produced.

    Line or grease a baking tray and pour the batter in. Let it sit for a few minutes so it can settle and even out.

    Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for approximately one hour.

    I broke up the chocolate from the sharing bar and melted it. The idea was to drizzle it over the top. But as in life, things don’t always work out as you planned.

    What I didn’t realize, was that there are crunchy bits in the sharing bar which affected melting the chocolate into a smooth drizzle. In the end, I just spread it over the top.

    And there you have it, Chocolate Orange Cake! As it didn’t look as nice with chunky chocolate spread over the top, I topped it with sliced almonds and a dusting of powdered sugar. Either way, it tastes fabulous and is a great treat to welcome in the warmer weather! It’s moist, sweet, and bursting with citrus flavour! The only downside is that it took just over 4 hours: 2 to cook the oranges, 1 hour to let them cool, 1 hour to bake and at least 30 minutes of prep before and after it’s time in the oven. But seriously, it’s well worth it! Sometimes good things just take time, and this cake is a great thing! So, as you’re enjoying the warmer weather, give this cake a try! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Apple Cider Caramel Cake

    I know I’ve been a bit lax on the posts lately… I blame that on the cold and snow. So I decided to make a cake for Easter this past weekend using some cider I bought at The Cider Shop here in Bristol. It’s a bit time intensive, but well worth it in the end. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 3/4 cup coconut flour
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 mashed banana
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 cup any kind of milk (I used almond)
    • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon almond essence

    In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients- almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

    In a separate bowl, mash a ripe banana very well, until it becomes paste like.

    In the wet ingredients bowl, add 4 beaten eggs, the almond milk, melted coconut oil and almond essence.

    Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing very well. Go ahead and pour the batter into a lined round baking tin and bake for 35 minutes at 350 F /180 C.

    Once baked, take the cake out of the tin and while it is cooling, you can make the caramel topping. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 1 cup of sweet apple cider
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup salted butter
    • Sliced almonds to top cake at the end

    I picked up a bottle of Woodredding medium sweet cider at The Cider Shop while I was exploring the Wapping Wharf cargo shops the other week. This was lightly sparkling and not too dry, so very enjoyable to drink on its own. It’s also a sweet variety which is great to reduce when baking.

    On a medium high heat, combine the butter, cider, and sugar. Melt everything down and stir, stir, stir. You really want to make sure to keep an eye on it, constantly stirring at this heat, and having the patience not to raise the temperature too much.

    As the liquid and alcohol evaporate away, the mixture will thicken. I cooked it a little too long, but next time, I will stick to 20 minutes then reduce the heat for another 5 – 10.

    Let the caramel cool only slightly, then pour over the cake, smoothing it evenly over the surface.

    I was aiming for a caramel that wasn’t as thick so it would drip down the sides, but, you can’t have it all, eh? Top with sliced almonds and eat vigorously.

    And there you have it, Apple Cider Caramel Cake! It may take some time to make, but is sooo worth it in the end! And although my kitchen smells like a pub from the evaporated cider alcohol, my tummy is very satisfied.

    This is a great treat to make for garden parties or just to enjoy on your own as the weather gets warmer. It’s also a great way to showcase some of the wonderful cider the West Country has to offer. Pick your favourite sweet cider and have a go! Hope you all had a relaxing long weekend, and fear not, Spring is (probably) on the way! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Easy Treats: Jam Foldovers

    I hope everyone had a great bank holiday weekend! I went to Reading and am still exhausted, so decided to do an “easy treat”. This will begin a side series of treats I’ll be creating every now and again. These treats are meant to be easy and semi-quick. A friend recently gave us a jar of homemade fig jam, so this recipe is the perfect idea for an easy midweek treat. I’ll attempt to make my own puff pastry when it gets colder, but for now, nah! Here is what you’ll need:

    Pre-made puff pastry

    • Jam
    • 1 egg, for egg wash
    • Sliced almonds
    • Brown sugar


    I’m only making 4 pastries, so I cut the dough in half.


    I then cut four equal rectangle pieces of dough.


    I then gave the rectangular pieces of dough a slight stretch to elongate them a bit (as you can see on the right). I also rounded the edges, but that is optional.


    Move the dough onto a lined baking sheet. Next, fold it slightly, and place about a tablespoon of jam onto the middle half of the dough.


    Fold over the dough and give it a light pinch on the folded end.


    For the egg wash, beat an egg, and brush it over the top of each pastry and along the edges.



    Next, sprinkle the sliced almonds and brown sugar on top.


    Place the pastries in the oven at 180C / 350F for 15 minutes, or until the top has puffed up into a nice golden brown.


    And there you go, an easy treat for mid week! These jam fold overs were super easy to make, but look like waaay more effort was put into them. They were quick to prepare in time for the first episode of The Great British Bakeoff! Super excited for this season, if only to get a dose of Noel Fielding every week.


    If you have some jam from this summer’s garden, try these Jam Foldovers. They’re also an easy treat to make for the office or a charity bake sale. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Peach Tarts


    Summer is slowly coming to an end, but I’m not ready to slow down just yet! We’ve got a bank holiday weekend coming up, and since I’ll be at Reading, I figured I better pump myself full of nutrients to even out the gluttony a three day weekend usually brings. And since peaches are still abundant, I decided to make dairy free, grain free, peach tarts! Here is what you’ll need:

    1 1/2 cup course coconut flour or desiccated coconut

    • 1 cup almond flour / ground almonds
    • 2 tablespoons fine coconut flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 4 tablespoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 4-5 peaches
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil (for the topping)*

    **UPDATE: I would not recommend adding extra coconut oil on the topping. I think sprinkling brown sugar over the top would be just fine. The finished product tasted good, but the oil seeped into the crust too much. If you like coconut oil, have at it as it still tasted really nice, but I’m not sure the extra oil would suit everyone. Perhaps instead of 1/4 cup, maybe 1 tablespoon would be better.


    First combine the dry ingredients which consists of both coconut flours, almond flour, and cinnamon. Set aside.


    You will then combine the wet ingredients consisting of the coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, and honey. I used Woody’s honey which is a great product made in Bristol. I purchased it at Southville Deli in Bedminster, and I’ve also found it at the Tabacco Factory Sunday market on occasion. This honey comes to us from Sea Mills which is nestled west of the city center, on the banks on the Avon. There is a great pub there called Lamplighters; check it out if you’re in the area.


    Add the wet ingredients to the dry bowl, and mix well, using your hands if necessary.


    After the pastry has come together, put it in the fridge to chill. Now it’s time for the peaches!


    You will then peel and slice 4-5 peaches. I used 4 peaches in today’s recipe, but I do think 5 would have been better.


    Next, comes the topping. Thoroughly combine 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. If you would like to make this a “paleo” desert, you can omit this topping and glaze the finished product with honey.


    Take the dough out of the fridge and split in half. Grease your tins and press the pastry until it takes the shape of the pan. You can try rolling it, but this type of flour can be a bit crumbly.


    I decided to pre bake the pastry as the peaches are very juicy and no one likes a soggy bottom. I placed them in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 C / 350 F.


    Take the pans out of the oven a let them cool for about 5 minutes. Then, arrange the peaches as you like in each tin, followed by a sprinkling of the brown sugar topping. You can also chop up the peaches instead of slicing, and heap them in.


    At the same temperature, place the tarts in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the peaches are cooked. I suggest placing them on the bottom rack (which I didn’t do in the pic) to avoid the crust from browning too much.


    And there you have it folks, summertime Peach Tarts! These will be a hit at a bank holiday gathering or to eat amongst your household while enjoying the fading light of summer. These tarts are a great option for anyone who can’t have dairy or refined flour. And as mentioned earlier, it can easily be made paleo. I really hope you get a chance to taste these while peaches are still plentiful on the grocery shelves. I got my peaches at Aldi (UK) this week as they are on offer for 45p for a 4-pack. I believe the offer is good until next week.

    Anyhow, enjoy your bank holiday weekend, and if you don’t have any plans, make some Peach Tarts! The one suggestion I would make is to use baking paper to line the tins which will make them easier to get out. Until next time, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!