Fife Baking Club & First Ever Scottish Bloggers Conference

I am playing catch up, so this is a double whammy of a post.

First up I would like to introduce you to the Fife Baking Club. Yes, a lovely bunch of ladies. No men yet, but I plan on changing that by taking Stuart aka Cakeyboi with me to the next meeting.

The Fife Baking Club is the brainchild of my beautiful cousin Claire (stripey red top) who writes A Kiss of Cookies (occasionally). Claire had been thinking of setting up a cake club for a while and after a visit to the Edinburgh Cake Ladies (don't mention Colin Firth, he was in the room and she missed him, sheesh!), she bit the bullet and set up her first meeting.


NCR - Coconut in Soups & Salads

I decided to go for something completely different for this month's No Croutons Required. I asked for soups and salads containing coconut.

I quite often add coconut milk to my spicy soups, but I wanted to see how you would add it.

For the winner there will be a batch of
CO YO yoghurt, a yogurt made from the milk of the coconut and not from dairy milk. Well, if the winner is from the UK that is. If they are from outside the UK, I will send them a wee prize myself and pick another UK winner. No voting poll this month, just my favourite. I will announce the winner at the end of the post.


5:2 Diet - Coconut Fruit Salad = 174 Calories

I am a little late with my No Croutons Required entry this month and the roundup. We have just come back from a mini-break on the West coast of Scotland, so I am sure you can forgive me. We had a fabulous time and the weather was glorious apart from a couple of quick showers. More about our holiday at the end of the post.

For this month's challenge I called for a soup or salad featuring coconut. I often add coconut milk to my spicy soups, but I decided to go for a fruit salad. Some lovely summer fruits nestled on a bed of CO YO yoghurt and finished with a sprinkle of desiccated coconut.


Eton Mess Cake

Look away if you are on the 5:2 Diet and you are fasting!

It seems a bit strange to posting a cake recipe after a few posts about fasting, but I did promise you the recipe. This was the cake I made for my last meeting of the Clandestine Cake Club in Dundee. It was rather fabulicious!

Light victoria sponge filled with freshly made raspberry jam and cream and topped off with a glorious mound of eton mess. The final touch was a strawberry crown and a meringue quiff.

I highly recommend these meringues, they were lovely and crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle. Just how a meringue should be and so easy to make.


5:2 Diet - 230 Calorie Fridge Salad

Looks pretty appetising doesn't it?

Dr Michael Mosley. Photo courtesy of BBC2 Horizon
This was my dinner last night. Yesterday was a fast day. Just in case you don't already know, I am doing the 5:2 Diet after watching the Horizon documentary Eat, Fast & Live Longer, presented by Dr Michael Mosley. The idea is to eat normally 5 days, but to eat under 600 calories, if you are a man and under 500 calories if you are a woman, 2 days a week. I didn't realise and started at under 600 calories, but once I am in the swing of things, I hope to eat under 500 calories.


5:2 Diet - Menu Options

I am thinking ahead to my next fast days on the 5:2 Diet*. I really need a stock of recipes that I can use, so I am not eating the same thing every week. I decided to have a look through my recipe archive first and use my calorie counter to help me decide which dishes are viable.

I have to say I am quite shocked at how calorific some of my salads are. Although saying that, they really are no worse than supermarket salads and much nicer. However, if I am doing a fast and eating under 500/600 calories, then a lot of them are out of the equation. I really think it is important to eat more than one meal a day on the fast.

So here are a few dishes that you and I might like to include in our fast days, along with the calories per portion:


5:2 Diet


Eton Mess Cake for Clandestine Cake Club

The theme for our latest Clandestine Cake Club was 'Feels Like Summer'. I thought about this for a while, but in the end I decided that strawberries say Summer to me, far more than anything else I could think of and what better to make with strawberries than make an eton mess. Eton mess in a cake, eton mess in a cake, hmmmmmm?

"What the heck" I thought, "I'll pile the eton mess on top of a cake!".

So there you have it, a Victoria Sponge filled with freshly made raspberry jam and cream; then topped with eton mess and finished of with a crown of strawberries and a homemade meringue hairdo.


Rhubarb & Berry Crumble

I love fruit crumbles and sometimes like to treat my family to one on a Sunday night before the working week begins. You can use so many different fruits in a crumble and it is a great way of using up leftover fruit. So forget plain old rhubarb or apple crumble and get creative. Pears, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, apricots, blackcurrants, raspberries, plums, gooseberries, mango............

You can also get creative with the crumble topping too. Use my basic crumble topping then add oats, raisins, chocolate chips, dried apricots, cranberries, muesli or even spices like cinnamon or ginger (just not all at once).

Before we get to the recipe, do you know that I am now writing family recipes for Baby Centre UK? I am posting new recipes every Friday. I have my own profile page, with a list of the recipes I have posted so far. Please do come by and leave a comment or two. The readers are still a bit nervous of leaving comments, so come over and show them how it is done.

And now back to the recipe.
print recipe

Rhubarb & Berry Crumble
A sumptuous fruit crumble that is so easy to make. A great way to use leftover fruit. You can easily make this vegan by using vegan margarine instead of butter.
  • 2-3 stalks rhubarb, cut into chunks
  • 100g strawberries
  • 200g raspberries
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g demerara sugar
  • 200g butter, cubed
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.2. Gently cook the rhubarb for a few minutes in a little boiling water until starting to soften.3. Mix the flour and demerara sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub between your fingers until it is the texture of breadcrumbs4. Drain the rhubarb and mix with the other berries. Pour into a large ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the caster sugar.5. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the fruit and bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Total time: Yield: Makes 1 fruit crumble  

No Croutons Required - August Challenge

August is here and it's time for another challenge. It gets harder and harder to come up with new challenges for you, but after a bit of thought I have one for you. A real humdinger!

No Croutons Required
August 2012


What I would like you to do is come up with a soup or salad containing coconut.

Coconut milk, coconut oil or even dessicated coconut. How will you add it? Will you use some coconut milk to calm the spices in your soup, finish your soup with a sprinkling of dessicated coconut or perhaps use some coconut oil in a salad dressing. It is entirely up to you. I cannot wait to see what you come up with.

Once more I am opening a linky at the end of this post.

Post your recipe, linking back here. You may add the logo. Then add your soup or salad to the linky. Remember all soups and salads must be suitable for vegetarians. You have until the 20th of August to add your dish to the linky.

Good luck everyone!

Before I go, I would like to send a big congratulations out to Michelle of The Tiffin Box, who won last month's challenge with this beautiful green Home Grown Parsley and Potato Soup. As well as our awe, Michelle wins a cute little winner's badge for her blog.
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