Love, Bake, Nourish, it’s the perfect title for a cookbook, no? And Amber Rose’s brand new tome (out today! Buy now!) is arguably the perfect cookbook if you like cakes and believe in the power of good, nourishing food cooked with love. Amber may have had a glittering life (she was once Sadie Frost’s nanny and has cooked for the likes of Gwyneth, Kate Moss et al) but she also has a grounded outlook and as a trained masseuse and doula, a love of looking after people. Born and raised in New Zealand, Amber believes that food, “is something that brings people together. It is a reason to be joyful, a way of showing our love for others and ourselves.” Her mother used food as a way to nourish her family and now, as mother to 7-year old Oli (pictured above), Amber is doing the same. Using mainly seasonal ingredients, her recipes range from the super-healthy (sugar and wheat-free) to the wonderfully indulgent; all delicious, all nourishing and yes, all cooked with love.
Whilst every single recipe in this book looks amazing, we’ve picked two of our favourites which we will be trying this weekend. Amber tells us how to cook them…
Peach and Pine Nut Cake
When I was young, we grew many varieties of peach at home and I would climb up the trees and steal them just before they were ripe, which got me into such trouble (quite right too) – much to my dismay. A great peach has the ability to stop me in my tracks as I get lost in the juicy, sweet, heavenly flesh. It is definitely one of my favourite fruits, especially when it has been freshly picked, warm and sweet from the sun.
175g unsalted butter, softened
160g white spelt flour, sifted
3 large free-range eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
175g maple syrup
80g Greek-style natural yogurt
2 tablespoons finely grated unwaxed lemon zest
80g pine nuts
3 peaches, halved, stoned and sliced
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 25cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until pale and fluffy with an electric hand mixer. Add 2–3 tablespoons of the flour and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Continue to beat until you have a light, fluffy mixture (if it looks as if it’s curdling, add another tablespoon of flour). Add the remaining flour, the baking powder, maple syrup, yogurt, lemon zest and 50g of the pine nuts. Gently fold in until thoroughly combined.
Scrape into the prepared tin, level the top with the back of a spoon or a palette knife and place the peach slices over the mixture. Scatter with the remaining pine nuts and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
A slice is lovely on its own or with crème fraîche.
Lime Cake with Orange Blossom and Pistachios
This wonderful cake was inspired by a trip to Morocco, after wandering through the markets and heading back to our riad with a bag of limes, a small basket of orange blossoms and a desire for something sweet. A slice of this cake is perfect for a sunny afternoon, alongside a cup of orange blossom tea.
225g white spelt flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
80g ground almonds
100g pistachios, toasted and chopped
2 large free-range eggs
250ml Greek-style natural yogurt
150ml cold-pressed olive oil
Finely grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lime
FOR THE SYRUP
Juice of 1 unwaxed lime
About 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
TO SERVE (optional)
Unrefined icing sugar, rose petals or orange blossoms
250g Greek-style natural yogurt
2 teaspoons orange blossom water
2 tablespoons honey
Handful of pistachios, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a 22cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
Place the flour, baking powder, salt, ground almonds and pistachios into a large bowl, then mix to combine. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the eggs, honey, yogurt, olive oil and lemon and lime zest. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and gently pour in the wet ingredients, carefully beating until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, level the top with the back of a spoon or a palette knife and bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the fragrant syrup. Boil 150ml water and the honey in a small saucepan for about 5–6 minutes, or until reduced by half. Add the lime juice and boil for a further minute, then add the orange blossom water to your taste. Use a skewer or cake tester to make holes all over the top of the warm cake (still in its tin) and gently pour over the scented honey syrup. Once all the liquid has been absorbed and the cake is completely cool, remove from the tin and decorate with a little sifted icing sugar, rose petals or orange blossoms, if you have any. Serve on its own or with Greek-style natural yogurt with the orange blossom water and honey stirred through it and decorated with chopped pistachios.
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