Can you smell that? Daffs and snowdrops and tulips and the like? It’s finally here! OK ignore the near zero temperatures a couple of days last week and just think about the glorious weekend we have had! My 5 year old went off to play footy in the park with his daddy complete with his little picnic of a tuna sandwich, a mini roll and a bottle of water! Why is it that even a soggy sarnie and a squashed up bit of chocolate cake can taste amazing when sat eating them in the sun on the grass? I am dusting off the sandals and the sunnies and thinking about packing away the woollies. Probably a bit premature but just seeing a spring wardrobe lightens my mood.
So Spring will bring picnic opportunities and this got me thinking about portable ‘clean food’. Sandwiches are always the easy option along with little sweet treats (like a mini roll or two!) There are obviously tons of clean treats such as berries, freshly cut pineapple and mango, homemade oat tray bakes and sandwiches can always be swapped for kebabs, salads and smoked salmon rolls. Hmnnn…I feel a full on MCL picnic blog coming on! This week however is addressing the issue of that sweet treat. Sometimes, only cake will do. You want that doughy texture and the satisfaction of a light and moist sweet treat.
Well you will be pleased to know that MCLers can have their cake and eat it! This week’s recipe is an amazing Cherry Bakewell… using a tin of butterbeans! This recipe is inspired by the Hemsley sisters’ Chocolate and Cashew cake made with cannellini beans and having made both that and my cherry bakewell version I have discovered how versatile beans are in the absence of grains in a diet. As a wheat intolerant IBS sufferer, I am always looking for ways to enjoy my favourite things like bread and cake in the most natural way possible. This recipe is an absolute diamond and I will be using it again and again with as many variations as I can think of. Next on the list is using the butterbean base to try savoury bread. I’ll keep you posted on how that progresses. Also, don’t limit yourself to butterbeans or cannellini beans. Try black beans with dates and walnuts or chickpeas with peanuts and raisins. I know it sounds bizarre, but they’re tried and tested and they work!
For now, please enjoy this Magic Bean Cherry Bakewell and let me know of any combinations you come up with!
Magic Bean Cherry Bakewell
- 100g flaked almonds
- 75g soft butter (or to keep clean and dairy free equivalent amount of coconut oil)
- 1 tin of butterbeans drained and washed
- 2 eggs
- 75g pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp of vanilla or almond extract
- 100g ground almonds
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g glace cherries chopped (you could use fresh cherries or swap cherries for another berry)
- Whilst oven is preheating to 180˚C/gas mark 5, lay almonds on baking tray and place in oven
- Whizz all ingredients apart from almonds and cherries in food processor
- Add almonds and cherries (holding back a small amount for the top)
- Pour mixture into a loose bottomed greased 20cm cake tin and scatter top with reserved almonds and cherries
- Bake from approx. 30-40 minutes (keep checking top doesn’t get too dark, my top oven which is small needed the temp turning down to 160c for the remaining 10 minutes)
- Leave to cool before turning out and slicing
- Enjoy cold on its own or warm up and add a dollop of Alpro almond yoghurt
Until next time