Tag Archives: nice cup of tea

Sweet potato brownies with chestnut flour


Between visitors, a quick trip to Norway and fighting a cold, my vegetable drawer has been neglected. Time to stock up on pumpkin and chestnuts, leeks and potatoes, and to use up my last two sweet potatoes. Fiesta Friday was passing me by, but how could I miss the big birthday shebang? Happy birthday Angie at The Novice Gardener! So I made these brownies today, dark and sticky, in honour of her birthday fiesta.

Sweet potato brownies with chestnut flour

250 grammes mashed and cooled sweet potato (1-2 medium sweet potatoes)
3 eggs
1 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs sunflower oil

80 grammes chestnut flour
3 tbs cocoa powder (for baking)
1 tsp baking powder

65 grammes dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
25 grammes butterscotch bits, optional
1/2 tsp vanilla salt (or plain salt)

For serving: icing sugar for dusting, optional

Whisk the eggs, then add honey, oil and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients, then add chopped chocolate, salt and butterscotch bits, if using them. Do not overmix. Line a small baking tray (20×30 cm) with baking parchment. Bake at 180C for 25 minutes, until dry on top but still squidgy inside. Cool, and dust with a little icing sugar before serving.


Notes: If you do not have leftover sweet potato, cook your sweet potato (oven, microwave or steamed on stovetop). I peeled and steamed these, then mashed them. I was aiming for a very dark kladdkaka texture, the gooey Swedish chocolate cake. It is not very sweet. You might want this sweeter, just add more honey or sugar for that. I had some chestnut flour, so used that, but plain flour would work too. I might try this again with a little chili pepper, or black pepper. Very nice with a cup of tea and last week’s Downton Abbey. Happy FF39 to all!

Fiesta Friday


Light ricotta cake with pears

image Already Friday, my goodness! After various rounds of houseguests, and with holidays coming soon, we emptied out the fridge of all the perishables, and this cake was one of the results. I am still testing baking with less sugar and butter, which sometimes works well. Sometimes it is less successful, which is usually signalled by my husband politely saying “It tastes…… healthy.” I made a really disastrous wholewheat zucchini lemon cake last weekend, that recipe needs more work. But when fruit or berries are included, the result is usually quite nice.

In Italy you might have a cake like this for breakfast, but we had it with a nice cup of tea. So I am bringing it to Fiesta Friday 30, with thanks to the hosts. Now, off to explore the other delicious contributions…. A very good weekend to all!

Light ricotta cake with pears
4 eggs, separated
100 grammes white sugar
85 grammes cane sugar
200 grammes ricotta
One lemon: zest and juice
300 grammes of plain flour (here, 00)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
150 grammes of sliced pears
For serving: 1 tbs sifted icing sugar

Heat oven to 190C. Separate the eggs. In one bowl, beat the eggwhites stiff. In a second bowl, beat the four egg yolks with the sugar, then beat in the ricotta. Add zest and juice of one lemon. Stir in flour and baking powder, then fold in beaten eggwhites. Prepare a 24 cm springform tin: line it with baking parchment. Spoon in half the batter. Add a layer of thinly sliced pears, then top with rest of batter. Even it out, and pop into oven. Bake at 190C for 45 minutes or so, until lightly golden. Cool, dust with icing sugar and serve.
Ricotta cake with pears

Notes: this was baked for 30 min at 180C and still looked quite pale, so I upped the temperature to 190C and baked it another 15 min.
Fiesta Friday

Summer cake with figs, peaches and cardamom

imageIn Rome in June, seasonal means figs and peaches. I had optimistically bought both, as they looked so good, but as it was a little early for those fruits just yet, cake it is. This is a variation on a cake my mother makes, usually with rhubarb or apples or blueberries. Whatever is in season, it is easy to make and very adaptable. And who does not enjoy freshly made cake?

I am bringing this to The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday #20! Joining the party late, but delighted to be here. Please, have a piece of cake while I sample other dishes: they all look amazing! image

Summer cake with figs, peaches and cardamom

2 eggs
100 g sugar
85 g butter, melted and slightly cooled
1.5 decilitres semi-skimmed milk (150 millilitres)
30 g wholewheat flour
150 g plain wheat flour
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 tsp baking powder
One or two peaches and five fresh figs

Whisk eggs and sugar. Melt butter gently and cool slightly. Add everything: butter, milk, flours, baking powder, and cardamom if you like that. Cinnamon might be nice too. Whisk well. image Wash and slice the fruit: it can be diced as well, up to you. Pour batter into the tin (24 cm baking tin with removable sides, with baking parchment on the base). Add the pieces of fruit evenly, so it bakes evenly, and bake 40 minutes at 200C, until it looks nicely golden.

Notes: the original recipe uses twice as much sugar and more butter, but I added more milk and some wholewheat flour, and this cake was very tasty as well. I do like a cake where the taste of the fruit gets to shine. I noticed that baking time is often a little bit longer when I reduce the butter and sugar levels, I may try tweaking temperature next time as well. This is good the next day as well, we just enjoyed some with a nice cup of tea. I made some fig-peach jam with cardamom too, as it is blissfully rainy here and we have a little window of cooler weather. Tomorrow, the last of the figs are destined for a pasta with blue cheese, fresh figs and walnuts. Mmmmmm…… image