Scandi Pear & Cardamom Cakes

Confession: I don’t really like pears. Often hard and grainy; quickly soft and mushy, they do little for me. This recipe is a direct result of receiving yet more pears in our weekly organic delivery and desperately trying to find new ways to ‘use them up’. Necessity is the mother of invention – Fika will never be the same again.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pears
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • Lemon juice
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
  2. Grease some small baking tins with butter or line a muffin tray with paper cases.
  3. Pop the butter into a pan and melt it over a low heat. Leave to cool slightly.
  4. Peel and core the pears, then dice them into 5mm cubes. Squeeze the lemon over the pears to stop them oxidising and turning brown.
  5. Beat the eggs and then mix all of the ingredients together to form batter
  6. Fill the tins or cases and bake for around 20 minutes until golden. If you’re making a larger cake it will need a little longer to bake through. 
  7. Cool on a wire rack. 

Scandi styled cakes

These little pear cakes pair perfectly with a perky coffee – they have quite the cardamom kick if you’re using good quality fresh spice.  

Pears. I look forward to the next delivery… 

Kindness & Co.

How very refreshing. I ventured into Cheltenham’s newest café today and had the pleasure of sampling some of their healthy delights. That’s right, we Cheltonians now have our very own health food café in town, and it puts a smile on my face just knowing that it’s there. I have to say that there aren’t many establishments that have such an impressive ethos, nor that leave you feeling that your body and soul has been refreshed and revived.

flat white at Kindness & co

I haven’t followed the ‘clean eating’ trend over the last couple of years but I have to use the word here; everything is so fresh, zingy and simply ‘clean’ on the palate. It’s a revelation.. we’re seeing a food revolution. 

I usually get a little overexcited when eating out as it doesn’t happy very often; I opt for the most colossal daddy offering on the menu, which has me waddling out of the door with regret, irrespective of how well it’s executed.

This however, is something else. I feel virtuous on a number of levels. Even the cutlery is compostable ‘vegware’. Kindness & Co know that diet and nutrition are key to optimum well-being and they’re committed to helping you live a longer, healthier and ultimately happier life.

This is no Holland & Barrett with a coffee machine. Their focus is on creating stunning dishes from natural, unprocessed, unrefined, fresh ingredients (and they also make a mean Flat White too. Turmeric Latte? No problem).

salads and fishcake

One of my favourite features at Kindness & Co is that they don’t have a separate ‘kids menu’. It’s a particular bugbear of mine; lovely gastropubs, cafés and restaurants letting themselves down with the ubiquitous and pathetic sausage chips and beans/fish fingers chips and beans blah blah vomit. Kindness & Co are taking a stand and playing their part in the fight to change the status quo. Little people are like sponges, constantly influenced by everything around them, so it’s important to expose them to what adults eat, just in smaller portions.

choosing salads at Kindness & Co Cheltenham

Yeah, the space may be small, but this is a little gemstone in the heart of Cheltenham that I see as a game-changer. It’s well worth discovering for yourself.

Mrs FoodFitForFelix 

http://www.kindness-and-co.com/

38 Clarence Street, Cheltenham, 01242 697 211

Cold Brew Coffee

With long, hot days like we’re lucky enough to be experiencing in the UK at the moment, cold-brewed coffee is a revelation.

Icing hot coffee, pah, old hat. Why? Acidity.

lavazza rossa coffee beans

Although cold-brewed (aka cold-pressed) coffee takes much longer to make, the results are staggeringly different due to the lack of acidity and bitterness. The flavour of the coffee is king; clean, aromatic and fresh.

This gloriously refreshing and smooth caffeine hit is terribly simple to make at home, and can be kept in the fridge for up to a month. Now, there are fancy contraptions on the market and special ‘infusing jugs’ similar to a tea-tiers, but I just used a 2 litre plastic bottle.

cold pressed coffee

Method:

Add 4tbsp of roughly ground coffee beans to 2 litres of cold water, leave it for 3 days and then filter. Enjoy with an ice cube or two!

Cold pressed coffee

The beans need to be coarsely ground so that you don’t end up with muddy coffee, and I’d recommend using a paper coffee filter to get it as clear as possible. You could always sieve out the grounds first to avoid clogging the filter. My experimentation to date has me concluding that although you can strain and drink it after 24 hours, the taste really improves after about 90 hours of steeping. I imagine it would be relatively hard to ever produce two batches exactly the same anyway.

Apparently cold-brew works well with milk and sugar should you be that way inclined, but I certainly haven’t tried it yet.

Coffee & Cake Makes Us Stronger

People are awesome.  We had such a great Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support today and raised a stack of cash for the charity in the process.  We want to say a huge thank you to everyone that came along for cake and a natter.  I’ll admit that I had to go with the 7am backup Portuguese Tarts as I wrecked the tiered Ombre Cake that my wife requested… Probably for the best as our guests brought beautiful homemade cakes which were all delicious (and I’ll definitely be going for a run in the morning).  Experimenting with Superfood Brownies and Amazeballs was truly worthwhile and made it accessible to everyone.

The highlight for me?  Whilst Emma was counting up, Felix asked if he could put some money in the box from his piggy bank.


2014 Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support

http://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/

The yearly Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event.  They ask people across the UK to hold a coffee morning and raise money for people living with cancer. In 2013, 154,000 people signed up, raising a record £20 million.

What a shame it’s only once a year!

Anna's Banana Cake no-cook superfood browniesMacmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning