Saturday, 30 January 2016

Free From Cakes - South Lancashire Clandestine Cake Club at Duk Deli and Cantina, Chorley

For our most recent meeting of  South Lancashire Clandestine Cake Club we are back in Chorley, where our meeting was kindly hosted in the newly opened Duk Deli and Cantina on Cleveland Street, right in the heart of the town near the market.

The theme of "Free From" Cakes was chosen as our venue is award winning when it comes to catering for allergies of all types. We had cakes that were gluten free, dairy free, egg free, sugar free, fat free, gluten and dairy free and you just couldn't tell , the cakes were amazing, we had lemon drizzle, chocolate cake, date cake, strawberry cake,sugar free carrot cake, vegan raw cake and many more.

We had a great time and were very well looked after by the lovely friendly staff at this cute new town centre venue, members discussed the different gluten free flours now avaliable, free from baking in general and our favourite healthy cook books.

Pictures are courtesy of Lancashire Food Photography and Colin Shepherd one of our baking members. Apologies as a couple of cakes are missing from the images on the day, they were all delicious.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Philippa James - A Great Loss to Lancashire Food - A Special Edition of a Quick Bite of Lancashire Food

Published with the kind permission of Foody Phil - Bite Local / Bite Network, as a special edition of A Quick bite of Lancashire Food in tribute to Philippa James who passed away recently. I met Philippa on a couple of occasions and she will be sadly missed by the food community in Lancashire for her passion and enthusiasm about all things food in Lancashire.

A Great Loss to Lancashire Food

                                                            Picture Credit: BBC News

It was with great sadness that I recently learned about the passing of a dearly loved, extremely passionate local food personality, and friend, Philippa James.

Often affectionately referred to by her nickname, ‘Tigger’, so called, quite appropriately, after the larger than life and rather mad bouncy character from Winnie the Poo; Philippa first had a successful career in sales and marketing, later going on to enjoy a number of successful food related roles: She cooked on yachts in the Caribbean; owned a deli and tea room; operated her own cookery school; won a gold award for her Lancashire Tea Bread at the Great Taste awards; delivered lessons to school children about WW2 rationing; worked on Lottery funded ‘Healthy Living’ courses, as well as many more valuable contributions!

Also, a regular contributor on BBC Radio Lancashire, Philippa was particularly well known in local food circles around Lancashire. She was often invited to perform her always entertaining cookery demo’s at markets and food festivals, and was a major force when it came to promoting Lancashire produce, once appearing on BBC TV’s ‘Flog It’ programme and cooking her famous ‘Lancashire Tortilla’. Later, she found another outlet to demonstrate her unbounded enthusiasm for food and local produce, when she occupied the role of Food Editor at Lancashire Life magazine. Here she produced numerous articles extolling the virtues of local food and drink businesses, and became extremely well known and loved throughout the county.

A Lancashire ‘lass’ through and through, Philippa’s much too early death came as a great shock to the local food community she was so close to. She will be very fondly remembered and sadly missed by all!


                                               Picture Credit: Lancashire Life Magazine

Monday, 11 January 2016

Raw brownie bites - a healthy treat, gluten and dairy free

Got a chocolate craving ? but you are trying to eat healthy, what about these deliciously moreish raw brownie bites. Easy to make if you have a decent food processor and dairy and gluten free, they are also a great way of using up the last of the Christmas nuts too, as you can mix and match the nut content with whatever nuts you have to hand. Favourite in our household is almonds but pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts would all work well.

The keep well in the fridge in a container cut into small bite-sized pieces, but they won't last that long I promise you. I would recommend if possible just a couple a day to stave off the chocolate cravings, they also only contain just a little honey as a sweetener, as there is no baking involved I used some of our precious Honey from our hosted hive.

So what's not to like.......

What you need

  • 100g Whole shelled nuts with skins on - almonds / walnuts / hazelnuts
  • 250g pitted dates (ordinary or Medjool if you can get them)
  • 2 generous tablespoon of Local Honey (I used some from our hive)
  • 80g Cocoa powder (Raw or at the very least Organic)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g Chopped nuts - pecan, walnuts, almonds, I used flaked  almonds as that's all I had
What you do
  • Blitz the whole shelled nuts until you have a coarse powder in your food processor
  • Add the Dates, Cocoa, Honey and salt to the bowl, blitz until the mixture is well chopped and starting to come together.
  • Add the chopped nuts, and quickly incorporate into the mixture.
  • Tip into a greaseproof lined cake tin, a 20cm square seems to be about the right size.
  • Press down the mixture firmly, cover with clingfilm and press down again
  • Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours
  • Remove from fridge and then chop into small bite sized squares, pop them in an airtight box in the fridge to store.
We are joining in with "We should Cocoa" created by Choclette over at Tin and Thyme and hosted this month by Lovely Appetite. The theme this month being "Simple Recipes"

                                                          chocolate recipes
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