Posts Tagged ‘spelt flour’

Who doesn’t love sponge cake?  And yet it is so seldom seen as an option in cafes or restaurants.  I guess it is just perceived as too ‘old-fashioned’ but hey, sometimes old-fashioned is good folks!

Classic Sponge Cake

Classic Sponge Cake

When we were growing up …. sponge cake was a regular treat, especially for birthdays.  My Mum bless her never quite mastered sponge cakes – but then she did make the best pastry ever – so you can’t be great at everything.

Since we’ve had our own hens and ducks I have learned that sponge cake is made even more delicious when made with duck eggs…. the sponge is so much airier and lighter.

So here’s my recipe for a deliciously light sponge cake…


  • 220 g/8 oz. spelt flour (or you could use self-raising flour)
  • 4 tsp. baking powder (if you are using self-raising flour just use half the quantity, i.e. 2 teasp.)
  • 220 g/8 oz. soft butter.
  • 220 g/8 oz. caster sugar
  • 4 duck eggs
  • a few drops of vanilla essence (optional)

Sandwich Filling:

  • Whatever your heart desires…. only limited by your imagination!  I generally use whipped cream and fruit, or jam.


Grease and line 2 x 9 inch sponge tins with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 170 deg C/325 deg F/Gas Mark 3.

Sift your flour and baking powder into large bowl…. allowing plenty of air to get into the mixture.  Add the butter, sugar, vanilla essence and eggs whisking all the time until light and fluffy.

Divide the mixture between the two lined tins.  Level off the mixture and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack and gently peeling off the parchment paper.

When cool enough place one half on plate and dollop on your sandwich filling. Place other half on top, decorate or sprinkle with icing sugar.

Now time to go put the kettle on.

Sponge cake with whipped cream and raspberries

Sponge cake with whipped cream and raspberries

Enjoy 🙂

(And should you need to…. you can freeze this cake even with the filling in it…. I’ve been known to do that too.  It is not quite as nice as just baked but it isn’t bad at all)

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Yes, you read it right….. Birdseed Bread!  The original recipe is Cynthia’s over on The Solitary Cook.  Don’t you just love the colour of her bread…. it really is a golden colour.  Mine I’m afraid didn’t come out that beautiful colour – I can only blame the Spelt flour or perhaps the oil?

Birdseed Bread

Birdseed Bread

When Cynthia posted the recipe I thought that looks really beautiful and then one of her followers asked if they could have the metric/imperial measurements rather than the US cup system.  I volunteered to do the conversion, as years and years ago on a trip to the US I had bought a plastic jug with cup measurements on it.

I’ve made the bread a few times.  Served it to a number of people all of whom loved it, and they have asked for the recipe so here it is, in “European” format.

Birdseed Bread 2


  • 1 kg. Spelt Flour
  • 95 grams Millet
  • 95 grams Ground Flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons whole flax seed
  • 1 sachet active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 10 oz hot tap water
  • 10 oz milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 oz oil – I used sunflower oil


As always I have used spelt flour to make it.  I found the timings were a little different to Cynthia’s, so my advice is, if you are using regular strong flour follow Cynthia’s instructions.

Measure the dry ingredients into your mixer bowl, and use the dough hook to gently mix the yeast through the mix.

Put 10 oz of hot tap water into your jug, and add the 10 oz of milk.  According to Cynthia’s advice the temperatures will meet in the middle and be just right to activate the yeast.  Add to your bowl of dry ingredients, together with your egg, honey and oil.

Mix the dough on the lowest setting until it starts to come together.  It took about 10 minutes for the spelt flour and ingredients to come together and leave the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Turn off your mixer – put a lid on your bowl – or cover with a piece of cling film and leave to sit for 20 minutes.  (Cynthia gives an excellent explanation of the ‘autolyse‘ process, so do have a read of it.)

At the end of the 20 minutes, remove your plastic/lid (hold onto it you will need it again), turn the mixer back on.  You will now find that the dough will stick completely to the dough hook…. it is a completely different mixture.  Let it knead for about 7 or 8 minutes.  After that time, turn off your mixer, pull off a piece of your dough and stretch it.  If it breaks it needs more mixing.  If it stretches into a ‘windowpane’ your dough is ready for the next stage.

Briefly turn the dough out of the bowl.  Using a piece of kitchen paper rub the inside of the bowl with some oil.  Put your dough back in and cover with the cling film, or lid.

Now you have to wait for your dough to double in size.  I love Cynthia’s tip…. stick a piece of tape on the outside of the bowl so you can be sure it has doubled in size!  (I make this bread in the evening time when the kitchen is nice and warm, so this stage takes about an hour.)

When your dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide it in two.  I made it into two round cakes.  Place each cake on parchment on your baking tray and let sit to once again double in size (about 45 minutes).

Preheat your oven to 375 deg. F/190 deg C.

When your final rise has completed slash the loaves with a good sharp serrated knife to a depth of about 1/2 inch.  Pop the loaves into the oven for about 45 minutes.

Your next challenge is not to devour it all when it comes out of the oven.  It smells wonderful and tastes delicious and is so so light.

Let me know if you try it!

Enjoy 🙂






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Ooops!  I make this cake a lot at this time of year, I’ve made two already this past week, and I cannot believe I’ve not shared the recipe with you!

I’ve been asked so many times for the recipe, and I nonchalantly said ‘oh it’s on the blog’.  Just now I decided to check and it isn’t!!!  Sorry!

So here it is….

Oldfarm Apple Cake

Oldfarm Apple Cake

The original recipe came from The Big Apple – a little apple recipe book I picked up in a delightful little tea shop in Ledbury, but I’ve adjusted it a bit as usual.


  • 200 g (8 oz) cooked Apple
  • 200 g (8 oz) Butter
  • 200 g (8 oz) Castor Sugar
  • 4 duck eggs
  • 200 g (8 oz) Spelt Flour (or you could use 8 oz of Self-Raising Flour)
  • 1.5 teasp. Baking Powder (omit this if you are using self-raising flour)
  • 100 g (4 oz) Sultanas


Preheat your oven to 150/160 deg. C

Peel and chop 4 – 6 apples depending on their size.  Put the chopped apple into saucepan and add a splash of water.  (I would often do way more apple, stew the lot and then freeze some, or have some for breakfast with some yoghurt the next day.)  Simmer the apple for about 15 – 20 minutes until softened and stewed.

Cream your butter and castor sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add your eggs one at a time, beating them well into the butter/sugar mixture.  When adding the final egg add a tablespoon of the flour with it.  Mix your baking powder with your flour and fold the rest into your butter/sugar/egg mixture.

Add your cooked apples and your sultanas to the mix.

Line a 9 in/21 cm cake tin.  Pour your mixture into it.

Bake in the oven for about 55 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown.

We keep saying that this would be lovely with custard poured over, but it never lasts long enough for that to happen!

Enjoy 🙂


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So who else has a stack of courgettes (zucchini)?

I’ve been practising my ‘mean’ gardener mode this year – planting less plants than I did last year – so I only planted 2 courgette plants.  Just as well really as Alfie is not a huge fan of courgette, and the 2 plants have yielded quite a few courgettes.  So we’ve had courgette salad, we’ve had bbq courgette, we’ve had courgette risotto… and now we’ve had Chocolate Courgette Cake!!!

That’s better!

Dee over at Greenside Up has a Courgette Cake recipe too – but sorry Dee I can’t do oil in cakes!  I make a Pineapple Upside Down cake myself that uses oil – but I never eat it – although everyone tells me it is delicious.  It is just a weird feeling in my mouth!!!  (I know, no need to say it, I am weird!)

I told you earlier in the year how I received a free copy of Farm Fresh Recipes from The Missing Goat Farm.  I’ve tried so many recipes from this book – I’m still loving it.  I have adapted and adjusted this recipe from that book, and it doesn’t use oil.

In her recipe, Heather, uses stewed apples – unfortunately we’re close but not quite into apple season here yet – however

I’ve had a bumper crop of raspberries, and what’s not to love about the combination of chocolate and raspberries???

I will try the recipe using the stewed apples when we harvest ours.

There’s quite a bit of ‘making’ to this but it is worth the effort.

I have served this  to a number of guests and visitors and all have given it a major thumbs up…. while I left them guessing what the ‘secret’ ingredient was.  None guessed courgette 🙂

Chocolate Courgette Cake with Home-made Ice-Cream

Chocolate Courgette Cake with Home-made Ice-Cream


  • 325 g spelt flour (or plain flour)
  • 50 g Green & Blacks Cocoa Powder
  • 3 teasps. baking powder
  • 1.5 teasps. bread soda
  • 2 teasps. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teasps. vanilla extract
  • 120 ml milk (plus extra)
  • 200 g raspberries
  • 300 g grated courgette
  • 175 g Lily O’Brien’s chocolate drops – melted


Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C, Gas 4.  Grease a swiss roll tin (23 x 33 cm).

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Beat the sugar and butter together in a separate bowl until light and creamy.  Add the eggs and the vanilla essence and beat until smooth.

Add the milk (more about this later) and raspberries and continue mixing.

Pour the wet mixture into the flour bowl and blend.  Add the grated courgette and melted chocolate and mix through.

Now if you’ve used spelt flour you may need to add more milk to the mixture – I always find spelt flour takes more liquid.  If you think the mixture is too thick add a few more tablespoons of milk – you need to achieve a ‘pouring’ consistency.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Let the cake cool a little before turning out.  Cool further on a wire rack, so that it is completely cool before you cut into squares.

Absolutely delicious served with home-made ice-cream.


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I have finally mastered the art of cookie making!  It has taken a lot of experiments…. usually where I made a complete and utter hames of it!  (That expression just popped into my head there! It was a saying of my Mum’s…. basically making a mess of something!  But doesn’t ‘hames’ sound much better?)

I know those accomplished cookie makers are probably sneering right now… but hey I make the best pastry and I can’t be good at EVERYTHING! 🙂

Anyway back to me and making cookies, or as I would call them, biscuits.  I’ve never had success.

They would sort of splurge all over the place and take forever to cook or be so hard you couldn’t eat them!  But I persevered and won!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe was adjusted from one in a Woman’s Weekly magazine from a couple of years ago.


  • 275 g/9 oz spelt flour
  • 175 g/6 oz butter
  • 125 g/4 oz caster sugar
  • 100 g/3 oz chocolate chips – I used Lily O’Brien’s chocolate buttons chopped up


Put the flour into a bowl and chop your butter in. Mix in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Next add in your caster sugar and squish/rub the whole lot together until it starts to combine.  Yes, folks, I was making this by hand.

If you are using chocolate buttons, chop them up into the size you like.  Add them to the mixture.

Cut a piece of parchment paper.

Now take your mixture and form it into a sausage shape on the parchment.  Roll it up in the parchment – about 6 cm/2 1/2 inches in diameter, again squish up the ends so it looks like a Christmas cracker.  Place in the fridge.

I left in the fridge for a few hours.

When you are ready heat your oven to 180 deg. C.

Take your sausage roll out of the fridge and cut it into 1 cm/1/2 inch slices and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for c 15 – 20 minutes.  Leave to cool on the tray for a bit, before transferring onto a wire rack.

These last at least a week in an airtight tin.  I haven’t tried freezing them – not sure if it would work.

Oh, and by the way, they are best served with home-made ice-cream!

Enjoy 🙂

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I know, a weird name!  The name was invented when I stumbled and stuttered my way through trying to explain to someone that it was a Rhubarb and Blackberry Bake!  Et voila, we have Rhusberry!

And how the Rhusberry Bake came about was an almost accident too!

We have our lovely Rhubarb at the moment and last year I had made a version of these Coconut & Strawberry Slices using Rhubarb.  I could not remember what fruit I had paired with the Rhubarb. (Note to self – write things down as you go!)  This time around I thought I had taken some blackcurrents from the freezer but then discovered that they were in fact blackberries (my favourite!).  We’re at that time of year when all the fruit that was diligently frozen last year needs to be used up!

Rhubarb and Blackberry Bake


For the base

  • 60 g desiccated coconut
  • 125 g spelt flour
  • 90 g soft light-brown sugar
  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 2 duck eggs
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder

For the topping:

  •  sticks of rhubarb – roasted in the oven with about 3 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
  • 2 good handfuls of frozen blackberries (or in fact, any fruit you like!)
  • 2 level tablespoons soft light-brown sugar
  • 1 level tablespoon desiccated coconut

11 x 7 in baking tray.

Heat oven to 180 deg.

Wash and cut the rhubarb into approx. 1 inch slices.  Place on baking dish and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in oven for about 25/30 minutes.

Put all the ingredients for the base into a large bowl, mix until smooth.  Spread mixture out on tray.

Top with your pretty slices of lovely pink rhubarb and blackberries.  Sprinkle on sugar and coconut.

Bake for about 45 mins.  (I would suggest covering it for last ten minutes – but this depends on your oven).   Allow cake to cool in tin for a bit before removing.  Cut into slices and serve.

I served this to our course participants on Sunday and it got a huge thumbs up!  So much so I just had to share the recipe!

Enjoy! 🙂


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This is not my recipe!  Let me get that out of the way immediately.  Although I suspect I may have inspired it!!!!!!!!

I am not a big beer drinker.  A bottle once in a while is more than enough for me.  On a recent sunny evening, Alfie opened two bottles of beer, and poured me some….. but I forgot to finish it!

Next day, Alfie who is generally the breadmaker in this house was preparing to make some, I suggested incorporating the half bottle of beer into the bread making scene!  It was taken on board!

We loved the result of the experiment but it got further ‘thumbs up’ when we had family here and the 13 year old nephew particularly liked it, and ate lots!

Beer Bread sliced


  • 1 lb Spelt Wholegrain flour
  • 1 lb Spelt White flour
  • 2 level tsp bread soda
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 lb pinhead oatmeal or porridge flakes
  • 150 ml 8 Degrees Sunburnt Irish Red
  • Buttermilk

Mix all dry ingredients together.

Add in the beer.  And then here is the mystery part…. add in enough Buttermilk til you have the ‘right’ consistency.  What’s the right ‘consistency’?  “Not too wet, not too dry” is what I’m told.

Bake in a preheated oven for 45 – 50 mins.

Give it a shot…. it is delicious toasted, spread with some Lime Marmalade.



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I will need some help here… but does anyone remember the ‘Bread War’ years?  As far as I can remember it must have been in the 1970’s.  My memory of that time is when the big supermarkets started to sell bread really cheaply (sometimes below cost) in order to get the customer in and shopping!

Well the Bread Wars are alive and well here in Redwood!

White Yeast and Nutty Brown

Farmer Alfie is the bread-maker in this house, and makes bread every week using spelt flour because I cannot take wheat (wheat really has such a detrimental effect on my lungs… I just cough and cough … and sound like a 60 a day smoker …. me, who has never had a cigarette in my life!).   Anyway in the past of couple of weeks Anne-Marie, our neighbour, has happened to visit as Farmer Alfie was baking so has gone home with a loaf or two.

Farmer Alfie tends to stick with the old-fashioned brown or white soda…. on the odd occasion that I am allowed to make bread I do the yeast variety; or I also make a rather yummy Chocolate & Apricot Bread!

Anyway, back to the Bread War….not to be outdone, last week Anne-Marie arrived here with 6 loaves!  What a selection she brought – multi-seed, Guinness, brown soda!  She must have been baking all day!

Soda Bread fresh from Oven

It took a while to work through such a variety.

The next level…. Soup War…. I believe it is who makes the best Leek & Potato Soup!

Let me know if you would like any of the recipes?

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