Hope you guys are enjoying summer? We have finally had some glorious weather here in Bristol, so I have cleared my schedule so that I can sink into my hammock, podcast in my ears, and top up my vitamin D with abandon. It was a lovely thing to be able to do and reminded me to be grateful for being my own boss and not having to trudge into an office every day. I am done with Serial, but my current addiction is its sister podcast This American Life.
If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a beautiful array of thought-provoking real life stories arranged around a different subject every episode. It may be just my personality type (ahem…the obsessive type 😉 ), but I find it really addictive. I’m selective when it comes to picking episodes though, carefully avoiding the ones that talk about American politics as that’s not exactly a relaxing subject, is it? Politics is so depressing here right now too that I oscillate between getting really enraged and despondent about it, to blocking it out altogether. The lack of tolerance and compassion that is currently sweeping across the globe is frankly terrifying. Have we learnt nothing from our history? My belief in humanity is waning…
Other than listening to podcasts obsessively, I’ve been doing some more yoga at home and I have already noticed how I feel a tiny bit stronger with each practice. I have also found a new Pilates class and a yoga class practically on my doorstep and I am excited about giving them a go next week. Fingers crossed it will work out.
I have also finally had a bit of a breakthrough in my running. I live in a hilly area of Bristol and no matter how I cut it I need to conquer a very long (close to 400 meters) hill at the very end of my run. I’ve been dishearted by this hill for some time as when my heart inevitably soars to 180 BPM, I stop half way through each time. It went on for months, although the point I had to stop at would shift slightly every few runs or so. This week, I finally managed to do it all in one go on two consecutive runs and although I was not a pretty sight after (I got some sexist comments from a drunk man who struggled to stay upright as I ran past him as a confirmation! A**h*le!!), I have a real sense of achievement and I am excited about working towards my next running goal.
While I’ve taken a bit of time off developing sweet recipes, I have not really succeeded at taking time off sugar, unfortunately. It’s my ongoing battle. But as it’s been a while since I published a cake recipe, I thought it’s about time.
This simple almond cake topped with nectarines has been a frequent occurrence in my household lately as I was developing this recipe (you might have seen my trials in our Instastories). Luckily, Duncan took most of it to work for an afternoon tea with his team, so I managed to consume a respectable amount this time 😉 . This cake is easy to make, uses no oil (vegan butter or margarine) and is sweetened with maple syrup. You can also make it gluten-free if you need. I like to have it with a dollop of creamy vegan yoghurt and some sliced fresh or roasted nectarines on the side. I hope you’ll give it a go! x
PS: If you make my vegan almond cake, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!
- makes: 20 cm / 8" square tin
- 60 ml / ¼ cup smooth almond butter or tahini
- 125 g / ½ cup thick vegan yoghurt (I used peach and passionfruit KOKO)
- 120 ml / ½ cup almond milk
- 150 ml / ½ cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup or other neutral-tasting liquid sweetener
- 2 tsp lemon or lime juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 nectarines, peaches or large plums, cut into 8 segments each
- Set the oven to 180° C / 355° C. Grease a 20 cm / 8″ square cake tin with a bit of oil or line it with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, mix almond butter and vegan yoghurt with a wire whisk until smooth.
- Gradually (to prevent lumps from forming) whisk in almond milk and then maple syrup.
- Finally mix in lemon / lime juice and vanilla extract.
- Grab a second bowl and sift flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda and spices (if using) into it. Mix really well.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones, in batches, using a spatula in a slow clockwise folding motion until no flour pockets remain. If you used wheat flour, be careful not to over mix.
- Transfer the batter into the baking tin, spread it evenly and decorate with nectarine segments.
- Bake for about 50 min (it depends on your oven). It’s done when a toothpick comes out fairly clean.
- Glaze the top with maple syrup (optionally) and let it cool down completely before removing from the tin.