Saturday, 7 September 2013


I have been asked to join the the BBC's Gardeners Question Time experts whilst they visit Ness Gardens and demonstrate a couple of seasonal bakes.  There's such a great deal of fruit and veg available at the moment , it was difficult to decide on just which recipes to use.  Hopefully I have come up with two that everyone likes, they're easy to make and tick the seasonal box.


This was a recipe given to me by my friend Katrina at WI.  I'd been searching for a good apple cake recipe for such a long time and one day she just served this up saying it was just something she'd thrown together.  It's packed with apples and is like a cross between a cake and a pudding.  Great cold on it's own or warm with custard, you can't go wrong.

170g Butter
170g Sugar
300g Self raising Flour
3 Eggs
100g Sultanas
2 Cooking Apples
100ml Milk
1tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Demerara Sugar

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar.  Now add the flour and eggs and mix well till everything is combined. Next stir in the sultanas and milk.

Peel the apples and cut into 1/4's.  Remove the core and slice each 1/4 across, not lengthways, into thick slices.  Gently fold the apples into the mixture till it is evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into a   rectangular cake tin lined with parchment.  Level it out and dust with the cinnamon and Demerara sugar.  Bake for 40-50 minutes till cooked through and golden.  Leave to cool then dust with a little icing sugar.


This is a recipe from a book by Harry Eastwood - Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache.  The book is packed with recipes for cakes using vegetables as an alternative to wheat flour.  When I make these cakes the initial reaction is always one of disbelief until I remind them of carrot cake and then it becomes perfectly acceptable.

2 Eggs
100g Sugar
200g Butternut Squash, finely grated
Zest of 1 Orange
2 tsp Orange Blossom Water
50g Rice Flour
100g Ground Almonds
2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

Juice of 1 Orange
50g Sugar
Buttercream to decorate

Use an electric whisk or free standing mixer to beat the eggs and sugar together till light, fluffy and doubled in size.

Add the grated butternut squash along with the orange zest and orange blossom water and whisk again.

Now add the Rice flour, ground almonds and baking powder and mix till all is combined.

Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases and divide the mixture between them.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180C.

Whilst they are baking juice the orange, you should get about 50g then in a pan, heat with and equal quantity of with sugar till the sugar has melted.  Once the cakes are cooked prick them with a tooth pick and drizzle a teaspoon of the syrup onto each. Now decorate with piped buttercream.  For even more orange kick you could add a teaspoon of the orange flower water to the buttercream.