Fresh cream raspberry & strawberry cake

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It was my baby son’s 1st birthday this week and I couldn’t wait to bake him his first birthday cake.  I didn’t want anything too sweet with icing or chocolate as I am reluctant in him having a lot of sugar at such a young age. So I decided on the next best thing…a fruit cake with fresh cream.  What has made this cake even more special is that only a few days ago as a family of four we went strawberry picking at a local farm and it is this picked fruit that I have used in this cake.  More to our surprise we have been very lucky with the raspberries as they are the sweetest we have ever tasted and have made this cake even more delicious! Here’s to my baby’s first birthday and lots and lots of cake yummmm!!!

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INGREDIENTS

For sponge
200g self raising flour
200g softened butter
200g granulated sugar
4 eggs beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk

Filling
3 tbsp seedless strawberry jam
3 tbsp whipped sweetened cream
7-10 strawberries sliced

Topping
1 large punnet of raspberries
1 batch of sweetened whipped cream(below)

Sweetened whipped cream recipe
1 cup of double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 190c gas/170c fan/gas mark 5. Line with non stick baking paper and grease 20cm sandwich cake tins. Cream together sugar and butter until mellowy yellow and fluffy. Mix in the flour, eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Combine well.

2. Separate mixture equally between the two tins. Smooth the surface with a spatula and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check that the cake sponge is golden brown and springs back when touched. Cool both sponges on a cooling rack

3. Meanwhile whip cream, when it gets thicker add the icing sugar and vanilla extract, whisk well.Make sure the cream has a soft peak consistency. Put in fridge

4. Remove non stick baking paper on both sponges. Place one sponge on a plate and spread jam and the cream evenly. Then arrange the strawberry slices

5. Put the second sponge on top of the filling. Use a palette knife to evenly distribute the sweetened cream (from the fridge) onto the top sponge and gently arrange the raspberries on the whole surface, being sure not to leave any gaps
Chill in the fridge until ready to eat

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Daal dhokli with coriander (Indian Pasta)

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A lovely wholesome lentil soup recipe to fill you up and satisfy your hunger pangs. Traditionally a gujarati dish made in all gujarati homes. One of my staple meals I have grown up on! Hope you enjoy the coriander running through the dhoklis (pasta) as much as we do!

INGREDIENTS

For the daal
250g red lentils
1700 ml Boiling water
200g tomato passata
1 tbsp oil
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp ginger finely grated
1 chilli finely chopped
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander and cumin powder
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 juice of small lemon

For the pasta
200g chapatti flour/medium white flour
10g fresh coriander chopped
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander and cumin powder
150ml boiling water

METHOD

1. Rinse lentils a few times and place to boil in the water for 10-15 minutes until lentils are soft and mushy. Blend the daal to a soup consistency and set aside

2. Meanwhile make pasta dough. Put all the pasta ingredients in a large mixing bowl apart from the water. Mix well with hands so that the flour resembles bread crumbs. Now slowly add the boiling water with a fork and bring the flour together to form a dough. To ensure even cooking of the pasta in the daal we will be pre cooking the pasta by dry heating it.

3. Flour a clean surface on which to roll the pasta rounds onto. Take a tablespoon amount of dough, form into a ball and roll out to approximately 15 cm diameter round. Heat a non stick frying pan and cook pasta sheet on both sides until a few bubbles appear and is half cooked (refer to picture) Repeat process until all the dough is finished. You should have about 15 pasta cooked sheets

4. Slowly slice all pasta rounds into diamond/square shapes as shown in the picture above and put aside

5. For the daal: Heat the oil, add the mustard and cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick and asafoetida. Once the seeds start to sizzle pour in the tomato passata, mix in the garlic, ginger and chilli. Throw in all dry spices and salt. Stir well and turn to a low flame for 5 minutes.

6. Carefully pour in the boiled lentil daal into the saucepan and combine well with the tomato paste. Add the pasta diamonds into the soup and bring to a boil then gently simmer on a low flame for 10 minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir gently occasionally to ensure that the pasta doesn’t stick together

7. Now the dish is ready to serve with some fluffy white basmati rice for a heavier meal or simply with some natural yoghurt

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