Review of Sara’s Kitchen

On Saturday I took the opportunity to take the bus along to Drove Orchard for Harvest moon festival organised to raise money and awareness for A change of scene for children a local Norfolk charity. Stalls and music all day and into the evening.

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I arrived quite early on as I didn’t want to miss out on the cakes!

I have been hoping to meet Sara and taste some of her gluten free bakes for a while so I was thrilled to find out she would be at this event.

Sara’s stall looked very inviting most definitely the best looking gluten free display I have ever seen. A feast for the eye!

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A selection of sweet tray bakes and cakes, flap jacks and muffins as well as huge slices of a selection of cakes all gluten free. Sara caters for gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soya free and sugar free.

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Sara also had a selection of savoury bakes Quiches, pasties etc

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All nicely displayed and wrapped or covered. Sara’s kitchen is 100% gluten free, so no problems with cross contamination.

Good news for those of us with Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance.

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There was an enormous lemon cake on offer as well as a chocolate cake, coffee and walnut and I think a cake with fresh raspberries.

Many of Sara’s bakes use ground almonds and gluten free flour such as rice flour.

I plumped for the Coffee and Walnut cake, my favourite. I was not disappointed it was really very good. I had intended to freeze it. But that never happened. I just couldn’t control myself!

I also chose a selection of the tray bakes. Chocolate brownies,  almondy cherry slices and a tropical fruit and coconut square with dairy free chocolate on the bottom. All in photo below

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The brownies were perfect, as were the almondy cherry slices. I can’t remember what they were called. The tropical fruit and coconut squares were great too. All a very yummy  9/10

I also couldn’t resist a bakewell slice which I ate at the festival. It was truly incredible.

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I will definitely be making a point of visiting Sara’s stall at Docking market Norfolk on Wednesday mornings 9am – 1pm . Please support this talented lady.

You can follow on

Facebook Sara’s homemade kitchen

Twitter @sarashmkitchen

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Chocolate brownie

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Tropical slice was good as just had half a slice

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Coffee and walnut cake

 

Time for me to get back on the sugar free wagon, the things I do for my blog haha!

 

 

 

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Banana, date and walnut bread

This fab recipe from An Aussie with Crohns is dairy free, grain free and yeast free. A perfect recipe for me, being gluten and yeast intolerant . I’m rarely able to enjoy fresh homemade bread .

Tonight is Great British bake off and it is almost impossible to watch without some kind of homemade baked goodies. Or maybe its just me!

Its more fancy bread and doughnut making on Bake off today. Really tough to watch when you are gluten and yeast intolerant.

I’m glad I’ve got a large slice of  grain free banana, date and walnut cake to eat along with the show!

Banana, date and walnut bread

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recipe here 

Firstly I chopped dates and walnuts together in my food processor

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I put ground almonds and coconut flour in a bowl and added bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice.

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I melted the coconut oil and honey ( I used 1/4 cup of honey ) and added to the flour

The small banana’s and eggs were whisked together using a hand blender

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and finally I added the chopped walnuts and dates to the bread mix.

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I prepared a brownie tin rather than a bread tin and spooned in the bread mix.

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The bread baked at 160c for about 37 mins, keep checking incase it burns.

My breads smelt delicious

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I have to try and hold off eating the entire loaf before The Great British Bake Off tonight!

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The bread has a lovely flavour. I particularly like the addition of dates to the mix. It has a nice sweet taste and is definitely the best grain free  banana bread I’ve made.

Family has given it a big thumbs up and agreed its the best so far.

Do take a look at An Aussie with Crohns website, lots of delicious recipes.

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Norfolk’s gluten free one stop shop

PLEASE NOTE THIS SHOP HAS NOW MOVED TO 21 TIMER HILL NORWICH

Click here to read the new review of shop and cafe   February 2016

 

Recently  I was able to visit the newly opened The Gluten free shop in Norwich, Norfolk.  Situated at Hellesdon Barns NR6 5BB

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Louisa Kiddell opened her shop in July this year when a unit became available at Hellesdon Barns. The one stop shop is compact but crammed full of every imaginable gluten free product, both local, small brands and big name companies on the shelves. Its an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. You could be completely over whelmed. Far superior  to the one small section we usually find in a supermarket. Here you can eat everything, in moderation obviously!

As you walk in you are greeted by Louisa who’s warm friendly personality just makes the shopping experience even more enjoyable. We had to stop chatting after a while just so I could focus on the huge selection of both fresh, chilled , frozen and boxed products . It was a great opportunity to stock up on my gluten free products and bulk buy gluten free bread and bagels to put in the freezer for the family.

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There is a brightly coloured black board as you enter and the local village shop feel runs through the entire shop with wooden crates displaying products.

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You really are spoilt for choice.

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Fresh bakery bread, bagels and rolls comes from Wheat free bakery in Scotland and tastes as good as regular bread.

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Self service dispensers hold a selection of gluten free flour

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Freshly made cakes, doughnuts, tarts etc are on display and very tempting. The chiller is full of gluten free pies and sausage rolls.

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The gluten free shop is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5.30pm and Sunday 11am to 3pm . The gluten free shop is closed on Mondays. Its well worth doing a big shop and freezing some. The fresh bread, bagels etc freeze very well.

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So if you find yourself in Norfolk, take a drive to Norwich and Hellesdon Barns and stock up on all your gluten free products, lets support this new venture!

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Website norfolkglutenfree.co.uk 

follow on Twitter @thatsglutenfree 

Directions to store

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Gluten free Chocolate eclairs

Tonight is the Great british bake off on BBC1 and tonights show stopper is Chocolate eclairs, I thought I would make a batch to enjoy while watching the contestants battle it out.

Recipe

75g gluten free plain flour ( I used doves farm )

2 eggs

60g unsalted butter

150g water

gluten free chocolate ( I used green and blacks 70% )

 

 

Method

Put water and butter into a saucepan

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Melt butter and bring to the boil then reduce heat and

add flour and stir vigorously until it forms a soft ball

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Leave to cool

Either add beaten eggs by hand and beat in the eggs, this is tough!

or put in a food processor and add eggs gradually until you have a smooth paste

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fill a piping bag with the choux pastry

pipe onto a greased or parchment paper prepared tray

I was able to make 9

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bake in a hot oven 220c for 10 mins then reduce heat to 190c for a further 20 mins

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cool and cut in half

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for chocolate topping just melt some gluten free chocolate and dip eclairs into the melted chocolate

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once cool, fill with extra thick cream

 

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Delicious and gluten free!

These are no show stoppers but they taste delicious

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Happy Baking

My review of Hemsley + Hemsley The art of eating well

Recently I treated myself to a new recipe book, The art of eating well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. I am constantly looking for healthy recipes that are gluten free and low sugar. This recipe book has additional information on healthy eating with tips on what to stock in your kitchen. I am excited to try out as many of the 150 recipes as I can. The photographs are enticing and the recipes are clear and easy to follow.

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The first recipe I tried was the Baked Broccoli fritters with a spicy avocado dip, I halved the recipe.

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I decided to use a food processor but you can grate the broccoli

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adding parmesan cheese and ground almonds etc

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They looked really lovely, I was pleased with how they turned out.

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I was impressed with the baked result and was excited to try them with the fresh avocado dip

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They tested good and would make a great starter, they have a strong flavour but not unpleasant.

Next I tested out the Sticky toffee pudding recipe. I had extra guests for dinner and thought this would make a perfect pudding.

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The recipe was easy to follow and the entire pudding is made in a food processor. Completely grain free and containing no refined sugar this was a perfect recipe for me.

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It smelt amazing and tasted even better, especially covered in the sticky toffee style sauce.

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The pudding was light and not overly sweet. Very different from a classic sticky toffee pudding that is so very sweet it sets your teeth on edge.

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I can recommend this pudding which serves 10 and tastes just as good warmed the following day. My only comment would be that I found that there wasn’t enough sauce ,so I made a second batch.

When I made the recipe I blended the softened dates in with the pudding mixture rather than stirring them in at the end. This made for a smoother pudding with no pieces of date which I prefer.

Finally today I made the Chocolate brownie recipe. Made using black beans I was rather intrigued to see how these would taste. Again these were made in my food processor.

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an interesting collection of ingredients!

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Very pleased with the result. I could hardly wait for it to bake.

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I am thrilled to be able to eat a chocolate brownie and not feel too guilty. It was tough waiting for the chocolate brownies to cool completely.

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the brownies were a little tricky to get out in one piece. But oh my they tasted wonderful. Again not overly sweet but definitely sweet enough, very indulgent.

I can recommend this healthy recipe book. If you are looking for gluten free healthy options that taste delicious this book would be worth adding to your collection.

The Hardback recipe book cost me £12 on Amazon

Follow Hemsley and Hemsley on Twitter

Facebook

website HemsleyandHemsley.com

 

A gluten free summer wedding

In April this year my youngest son became engaged to his lovely girlfriend. Plans for a summer wedding started almost straight away. Very quickly the couple decided on a venue, they knew very clearly that they wanted the celebration to take place in their most favourite place, North Norfolk. They fell in love with Chaucer Barn, Gresham nr Holt North Norfolk. I cannot recommend the venue enough. They kindly squeezed our celebrations into the only space on the calendar in August. The couple were delighted. The Barn sleeps 18 in 9 gorgeous bedrooms, cosy lounges and huge hall for dining and cooking with a homely Aga. There is also a formal garden and meadows.

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Next we needed to find an amazing Norfolk Wedding photographer. Twitter was a good place to start, very soon I had a list of about 8 photographers. Many of these were incredibly talented. The couple singled out Andy Davison a Norwich based photographer . His pictures stood out to us all, very creative and well shot, a real talent. Andy had photographed Weddings at Chaucer barn before so we were able to see some of his work and the way he had captured the lovely barn and grounds beautifully . On the same day as our visit to the venue we drove to Norwich to visit Andy. The couple knew at once he was perfect, they were impressed with his work and felt very comfortable in his company. Although Andy was incredibly busy around the time of the wedding he kindly fitted us in.

Finding a caterer who could provide a completely gluten free menu we knew would be difficult. Chaucer barn recommended Alex Chef who often catered at the venue. Now planning a Norfolk wedding from Surrey was not the easiest but through emails and calls the couple decided to use Alex his exciting Southern American street food menu exited them it included spicy pork, chilli chicken wings , beef chilli and corn bread and with the brides family coming from America the couple thought it would work well with a very english wedding ceremony. Alex is a very talented chef , very laid back and is very competent cooking for a small or large party. Alex used Anglia Elite for crockery, table cloths etc.

Wedding Flowers I knew would be the easiest to organise. I follow Nicholas Godfrey-Cole from Scent with love Hunstanton on Twitter and have seen him work first hand at Sandringham flower show. The bride and I met up with Nick at the florists in Hunstanton and was able to talk through the brides requirements. Its always worth taking photographs or using pinterest to show your florist what you hope to achieve. We ordered three hand tied bouquets one for the bride and two for the bridesmaids along with some button holes and a large order of flowers to do our own arrangements on the day. With a number of talented family members and a tight budget this worked well for us.

The couple wanted a country feel to their wedding so I sourced Wild flowers from Daisleys wild gardens at Drove Orchard. Pauline was very helpful and we were excited at the prospect of jugs of wild flowers around the gardens of Chaucer barn.

I found a large quantity of white enamel jugs from vintage shops and visited Ikea with the bride to buy simple large and small vases.

We have a lovely bridal shop in our local town in Surrey and the bride was thrilled to find a dress she adored on our first visit. Natasha Jane bridal shop in Dorking. Again I can recommend Natasha, She was friendly and helpful. Natasha has a reliable talented seamstress who works with her to create the perfect gowns.

The couple decided on a marquee for their wedding reception party on marquee worked out best for our budget. They also supplied chairs ,tables and fairy lights for the marquee.

 

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Photo by our photographer Andy Davison

The couple wanted a Christian wedding ceremony outside in the meadow so they needed to also book a Registrar to conduct the legal wedding ceremony Kings Lynn office were very helpful. Our local Norfolk Minister Sam Abramian from our church Union church in Hunstanton kindly agreed to conduct the Wedding ceremony.

Music was the next to plan, I found Norfolk based Waveney string duo, Kate and Kayleigh play violin and cello. They came with lots of recommendations. All aranged via email with Kayleigh, very easy. The girls agreed to learn a hymn Be thou my vision for the ceremony and here comes the sun by the Beatles for the brides entrance. Evening music came recommended by Chaucer barn The Joe Ringer band. The couple really wanted a swing band and the band have a huge selection of swing music and modern music to get guests up on the dance floor.

Alcoholic Drinks were sourced from Majestic Kings Lynn, Norfolk apple juice from Drove Orchard Thornham, and Raspberry and  Elderflower and cucumber cordial from Norfolk Cordial.

The couple wanted gluten free cup cakes instead of tiered Wedding cakes. I found Sugar buttons cakes. Imogen is a  diagnosed Coeliac which means she is very aware of cross contamination. Our visit to Imogen’s home to try all the flavours of cup cakes will remain with me for a long time. A really lovely part of the wedding preparation process. The couple decided on Strawberry, Lemon cheese cake, Lime and coconut and lavender and vanilla. All beautifully decorated, Imogen is very artistic and all her cakes look amazing and taste delicious.

Gluten free bread rolls were one of the hardest things to find, they needed to taste as good as regular rolls. I found Wheat free bakery in Scotland and after doing a test order for the couple to try we put in an order for 70 rolls. The family were impressed with the quality of the rolls.

We booked local Bernies Taxis to run family to and from the venue. Norfolk’s Ronaldo’s provided gluten free ice cream for the wedding.

The bridal party ladies wanted to have a Spa day shortly before the Wedding in Norfolk. I struggled to find somewhere to accommodate 7 of us but Twitter was helpful again, and I was able to book Ficarra’s spa in Fakenham who looked after us very well. We booked a full day including a swim and massage.

All decorations were hand made for the Wedding we used online shops to source materials and the bride made all the place names and thank you luggage tags and homemade kraft paper cones to hold natural petals for confetti. The save the date cards and invitations were also hand made and designed by the couple on kraft paper and printed in Hunstanton.

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My parents made black boards to use at the Wedding, about six in total. using old paintings and framed mirrors from second hand shops.

I found good priced white simple fairy lights on Amazon which decorated the Barn.

The Wedding

The day before the Wedding, we collected the wild flowers from Daisleys wild flower garden at Drove orchard We were thrilled with the collection of flowers.

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and collected the bridal flowers from Scent with love Hunstanton , The bride asked for a few alterations which Nick and his team were happy to do. The flowers were beautiful and hand tied with brown string.

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We arrived at the venue ,and the afternoon was spent making flower arrangements, decorating and putting up tables and chairs in the marquee for the big day. It was a real family affair with many family members from both families using their talents to make the day perfect. After a run through of the ceremony with Sam the Minister. We gathered together in the large barn around the table and enjoyed a meal cooked by the brides family. I cannot think of a nicer way to prepare for such a special day.

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We were all woken in the early morning to a violent thunder storm, the rain continued until after breakfast. Thankfully the rain ceased and the sun appeared and lasted all day. Feeling much like the very start of Autumn we enjoyed the warmth of the sun and

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Family and friends arrived at Chaucer Barn . The Brides family came over from America for the weddding. Everyone gathered in the barn and on the beautiful lawn. Tea, Coffee and gluten free biscuits were offered to guests.

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The meadow wedding ceremony took place at 2.15pm with Waveney string duo providing the music. We had lots of comments about the lovely music.

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All went well, the maid of honour and bridesmaid walking down the aisle  accompanied by the best man and grooms man, more traditional in America. A lovely idea, the girls really looked stunning in their lavender dresses. They carried the pretty hand tied bouquets from Scent with Love.

The Bride came down the meadow aisle to The Beatles Here comes the sun. She looked absolutely lovely, her veil gently blowing in the breeze .

photo by our photographer Andy Davison

photo by our photographer Andy Davison

The gathered family and friends sang Be thou my vision the traditional irish tune sounding particulary nice played by the string duo.

photo by Andy Davison our amazing photographer

photo by Andy Davison our amazing photographer

After the Christian ceremony we moved to the barn entrance for the civil ceremony. I was honoured to be a witness along with the brides Mom.

Pimm’s on the lawn followed

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and gluten free ice cream from Norfolk’s Ronaldo’s served from a cart in the afternoon sunshine. I provided gluten free cones for those who were gluten intolerant. The advantage of being gluten free ( and there isn’t much! ) is that we went first to avoid cross contamination from the regular cones. We could have used tubs for everyone to have avoided this.

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While photo’s were taken by Andy Davison, family and friends chatted, played garden games and listened to the music from the string duo once more.

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stunning photo by Andy Davison our photographer

stunning photo by Andy Davison our photographer

The delicious gluten free Wedding meal prepared by Alex Chef was served in the marquee by Alex’s team of girls who were exceptional. I had lots of comments about how good the food had been. Many would have had no idea the entire meal was gluten free. My food was also yeast, onion and garlic free too.

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Gluten free Wedding Menu

roasted spiced pulled pork

southern fried wings with maple and chilli

crab cakes with pepper and mango salsa

Beef chilli with coriander and sour cream

red cabbage, celeriac and apple slaw

roast new potatoes

boston baked beans

chilli corn bread

smoked dapple mac and cheese

mixed green salad

Vanilla panna cotta with raspberries

homemade biscuit

and chocolate brownie

Cheese and onion rolls and sesame seed rolls ( wheat free bakery )

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The wedding cup cakes, were brought to the venue by Imogen from Sugar buttons cakes and displayed in the marquee. They looked very pretty on vintage glass cake stands and tasted incredible.  No one would have known they were gluten free. Many people were so full after dessert ( chocolate brownie, vanilla panna cotta with raspberries and a homemade biscuit ) that we had plenty to take home and have for breakfast the next day.

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After brilliant speeches we moved to the fairy light filled barn for dancing with The Joe Ringer band. Very talented guys who I can very much recommend. The first dance which was Days like this from Van Morrison after an hour of Swing we had another fun filled hour with everyone on the dance floor again.

The evening ended with sparklers on the lawn, especially wonderful with Norfolk’s big star filled sky.

Throughout the day Andy Davison the photographer managed to be just at the right place at the right time without being noticed. It never felt that Andy was in the way. I even saw him sliding along the ground and diving through the undergrowth to get the best shots. We are all blown away by the shots we have seen so far, click here andydavisonphotography to see his amazing work.

Family and friends had a wonderful relaxed day in the Norfolk countryside celebrating two of our very favourite people in the world becoming Mr and Mrs Smyth. I could not be happier about the way the day went.

Thanks to all those who played a part in their special day.

Chocolate and Orange grain free cake

Chocolate and Orange cake

Inspired by a delicious recipe from spoonfulofsugarfree.com  from grain free chocolate cake recipe here ( The Best cake ever ) I thought I would have a go at making a chocolate and orange version.

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150 g ground almonds

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

50 g raw organic cacao powder ( I used Bon Pom )

zest of 2 oranges

pinch of salt

3 large eggs

200 g of Medjool dates ( remove stones )

1 large orange

2 tbsp melted organic coconut oil

100 ml freshly squeezed orange juice ( 1 large orange ) add a little water to make up to 100 ml mark if neccessary

Method

pre heat oven 165 c

prepare 8inch cake tin with baking paper

combine the dry ingredients ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda and cacao powder

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zest the oranges and add zest to dry ingredients

peel orange and break into segments removing any pith or pips

Put orange segments and dates into a food processor with the orange juice. Process together to make a smooth paste

Add beaten eggs and coconut oil to dry ingredients

add orange and date paste

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mix well together

spoon into prepared round cake tin

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put in oven for 25 – 30 mins

when cool remove from cake tin

cool further on wire rack

serve with extra thick double cream or slice and enjoy with a cup of tea.

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