Coffee, cake and connection
The Swedish have the most wonderful concept of Fika, which roughly translated means taking a break from work, or the day to come together and share some coffee, or tea, and something tasty. It happens around 11am and maybe again at 3pm and Fika is more than just a snack break. It’s consciously making time to take a pause, and to connect with friends or co workers.
Whilst I’m all for celebrating food, having two slices of cake a day won’t be great for your health and too much caffeine will interrupt sleep so here’s a few baking recipes that will be kinder to the body.
Chocolate, oaty cookies
Crowd pleaser for all ages, this is a twist on the a classic recipe.
Ingredients (makes about 10)
- 150g plain flour, can be GF
- 100g jaggery, coconut sugar or another sweatener
- 50g oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tablespoons milk of choice
- 7 tblsp coconut oil, or butter, melted
- 40g chocolate chip (or can switch for raisins)
mix sugar, sugar, oats and baking powder together. Add the milk and oil and bring mixture together. Stir in the choclate or raisins.
Line a baking sheet and preheat the over to 170 deg. Roll the mixture into about 10 balls and then squish flat on the tray. Bake for 12- 15 minutes and golden. leave on the tray to cook slightly then transfer onto a wire rack.
This is a deliciously soft and gooey cake that is reasonably healthy (sugar aside!). Its vegan and gluten free however it does contain almonds so check your crowd for allergies.
- 180mls olive oil
- 200g sugar of choice (words well with a lighter sugar)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 180g ground almonds
- 220g self raising gluten free flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180 deg. Beat together the olive oil and sugar for a minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Add to lined cake tine or dish and cook for 30 mins, and then turn the heat down to 160 deg and bake for a further 15- 20 minutes until golden and firm in the center.
Friday treat chocolate brownies
Or any day there is a celebration or need for a treat.
- 250g plain flour, can be GF
- 200g coconut sugar or maple syrup
- 100g ground almonds (be mindful if any nut allergy in the group, can leave out and add an extra 25g flour)
- 4 tablespoons cocoa power
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 200 mls milk of choice
- 100g coconut oil or butter
- 150g dark chocolate chopped into pieces.
- Optional toppings, mix nuts, sultanas, goji berries
Place the chia seeds into a small bowl and mix through 4 tablespoons water, leaving for 10 minutes
Meanwhile mix together the flour, sugar, almonds, cocoa powder, bicab and baking powder.
Melt the coconut oil or butter and chocolate gently and slowly in the microwave on in metal bowl of a saucepan over a pan of water. Add the milk, oil or butter and chocolate mixture and chia and mix really well.
Pour into a lined and oiled baking dish and sprinkle any toppings if using.
Cook at 180 deg for 25 minutes and then check consistency with a skewer. If still wet, put back in the oven for 5- 10 minutes. you want it to be still a little fudgy.
Chocolate and peanut butter stuffed dates
Super easy, delicious and if you use quality chocolate, surprisingly delicious!
Melt 100g dark quality chocolate. Cut the dates in half and remove the stones. Scoop a teaspoon of peanut butter and stuff inside the dates. Either dip the date in chocolate with a skewer, or drip the melted chocolate over the top. Place on a plate with a layer of baking paper and leave to cool in the fridge.
It’s a classic for a reason! There are a million recipes out there. Here’s the one I’ve had the most success with.
1 tsp baking power
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup coconut milk or yogurt
1/2 cup unsalted butter or coconut oil
1/2- 1 cup of jaggery or sugar if choice (choose quality based on ripeness and the bananas
Optional handful of sultanas, cranberries, chopped nuts, chia or other seeds
Mix dry ingredients well in a large mixing bowl. Mix wet Ingredients in another bowl and then slowly mix together.
Pour the mixture into a lined loaf tin and bake for around 45- 50 minutes at 180 deg until golden and firm to the touch. Leave to cool on a wire rack, slice and share.
Warming apple crumble
If you are having a smaller gathering with bowls on a chilly day this warming dessert will be like a group hug in a dish.
Ingredients (for 6 servings)
- 400g apples peeled and cored.
- 100g melted coconut oil or butter
- Optional 50g berries or sultanas
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup flour of choice- works with GF or whole meal
- 1/2 cup jaggery, maple syrup or sugar if choice
- 1/2 cup ground almonds (optional)
- 50g chopped nuts (optional)
Add the apples into a heavy saucepan with 25g butter or coconut oil, spices and about 50mls water. If sour apples, add a tablespoon spoon full of sugar. Cook for about 10 minutes until starting to get tender. If using, mix in berries or sultanas. Check for sweetness and add more if needed.
Rub some butter or coconut oil into a casserole dish and then add the remaining butter or coconut oil into a mixing bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix gently with your hands or a spoon until combined.
Spread the apples in a layer in the dish. Sprinkle the crumble mix on top to cover. You could add a sprinkle of sweetener. Bake in an oven at 180 deg for about 30-40 mins until golden on top.
Serve as is or with some yoghurt, custard or ice-cream. Can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or frozen. Dive in and feel a warming hug!