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Preheat oven to 180C.

Using a small sharp knife or an apple corer, remove cores from apples, leaving the apples whole and the bases intact.

With a knife, score a line right around the ‘waist’ of each apple.

Drizzle lemon juice into the holes in the apples.

Place the apples upright into a ceramic or pyrex baking dish.

Combine sultanas, vanilla essence, sugar, almonds and spice.

Spoon this mixture into the centre of each apple, packing it in.

Cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes or until apples are tender.

Serve warm with custard.

If the apples seem at all dried out you can drizzle with a little honey, maple syrup or golden syrup too.

Baked Apples

An oldey but a goody - you forget how good the simple things are sometimes!

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Prepare a 22cm diameter round baking tin by oiling the sides and lining the base with baking paper.

Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt - I use an electric mixer- until light and fluffy.

Add the other ingredients one at a time, mixing well between additions.

Scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes. Cool in the tin.

Icing: Mash the avocado really well and  whip in the other ingredients. For smoothest results use a food processor or stick blender. Spread over the cooled cake and leave to set before eating.


Chocolate Beetroot Cake

How to eat your vegetables for dessert!

In a small pan, combine sugar with 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

Put all ingredients except for chocolate shavings and flowers in a blender and purée until completely smooth, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides a couple of times. Divide contents amongst 4 to 6 glass jars or wine glasses and chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with chocolate shavings and flower petals before serving.

Chocolate Chilli Mousse

You would never guess that this mousse is made from Tofu. Tofu is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals especially calcium. Tofu can also help lower cholesterol and is great for pre/menopausal women suffering from hot flushes due to its phytoestrogen content. Thanks to Carolyn English of Preventative Nutrition for this recipe.

​Preheat oven to 170 C

Line  a 24cm round cake tine with baking paper and oil/butter the sides to avoid sticking. (Spray oil is handy here).

Melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water over a low heat. Or, melt in the microwave on a reduced heat setting.

Beat the egg yolks, sugar, orange juice and zest together in a  bowl or food mixer until thick and creamy.

Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture.

Whisk the egg whites until fairly stiff but not dry.

Fold half the whites through the chocolate mixture, then the other half.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for about 40-45 minutes until firm on top and slightly pulling away from the sides.

Cool in the tin before turning out.


This is lovely served with a creamy natural yoghurt and some fresh orange segments.

Chocolate Orange Almond Cake

I found this recipe on the back of a packet of almond meal years ago!

To core the pears, go in from the base with a pointy sharp knife or a melon baller and scoop out the core and seeds, leaving the pear whole.

Preheat oven to 160 C.

Place the pears in a deep baking tray or casserole dish.

Combine the wine, sugar and spices in a pan. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar.

Pour over the pears. Mine were lying on their sides and weren't submerged, so I turned them every 20 minutes whilst poaching.

Place in the oven for about 1.5 hours, turning occasionally if not submerged in liquid. They will take less time if they are riper.

Remove pears from liquid and stand up on a serving platter.

Pour the liquid into a small pan and simmer fast until liquid has reduced and is stickier.

Pour over pears or serve separately in a jug.

I served mine with a bought honey and cinnamon flavoured yoghurt.

Red Wine Spiced Poached Pears

Pears are one of my favourite fruits and in Winter they are cheap! They are one of the most fibrous fruits too - 5.5g fibre per medium pear! Poach a half dozen for an elegant dessert. (Here I was feeding a crowd but you could halve the quantities.)

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