As the days get shorter, the leaves start tumbling, the wind starts howling, the air gets crisper, the mornings get darker and droplets catch on icy spider webs, then it’s time to stoke up the fire, huddle together and get creative in your kitchen.
I have always loved making and creating with my daughter, Maya and it can be a lot of fun to bring new ingredients to the table. I recently bought some star anise — not so much for the flavour (although they do smell divine!) but because they are so pretty and remind me of Christmas. So I thought I would share a lovely recipe with you all, one that I think will brighten the hearts and truly nourish the soul.
I often tend to associate this time of year with sugar. Yet refined sugar is neither nourishing or helpful to our everyday health. I know that once in a while it won’t hurt to eat some sticky toffee or a house made of gingerbread (well, not the whole house!) but the catch with the white stuff is that it is addictive. I don’t need to explain the reasons why — everyone knows it is and I am sure that almost every reader of Passion, at some point has had to make efforts to control sugar cravings or ditch it completely from their lives. I know I have and still do.
The main reason I love these cakes, these Little Stars of Wonder, is that they are so pretty! They are full of colours and without an E number or artificial additive in sight. I do feel that even these lovely cakes brimming with health and vitality should still be eaten in moderation but as I discovered whilst making them and testing them, once you have had a slice, you can’t just keep stuffing down more. You become full. Satiated. Full of love but not desperately wanting more. My tummy doesn’t expand and bloat out — it just stays lovely and soft!
Make these cupcakes for your family or to share at this lovely time of year when a little joy goes a long way. You can make them bigger or smaller, using the same measurements of ingredients and either create a large cake or many tiny ones.
Spreading passion and love in whatever I do is something I am starting to treasure more and more each day.
Little stars of wonder cupcakes
Set out five bowls.
Spoon one of each of the following into a bowl:
Mix the cashew flour, flax meal and sea salt well, then distribute evenly between the five bowls.
Mix in 4 tbsp cacao butter per bowl and add 2 tbsp honey (or agave) per bowl. Mix well.
Add the lemon juice to the turmeric bowl and mix in.
Now layer up the cupcakes, using silicone cupcake moulds for ease as these cakes will be set in the freezer.
You can arrange the colours anyway you like — for my cakes, I chose beetroot, turmeric and lemon, purple corn, chlorella, then chocolate.
Pop the cupcakes in the freezer for a couple of minutes between each layer, just to make them firmer and so you can press down the layers more effectively.
For the icing you will need:
400g creamed coconut (usually in bags, pop them into a large bowl of boiling water so the coconut oils will melt and the cream will soften).
100g cacao butter, gently melted
1 cup raw honey (or more/less to sweeten to your taste)
2 cups chocolate powder
4 tbsp beetroot powder
Mix the ingredients for the icing well. You might want to pop the mixture in the freezer for a couple of minutes to make it easier to work with.
Take the cupcakes out of their silicone moulds and place on parchment paper.
Ice each cupcake. You can either just ice the top, or all over, using a knife to even it all out.
For the decoration:
1 tsp baobab powder
1 tsp chocolate powder
Pop a star anise on the top of each cupcake and then dust chocolate powder over followed by the baobab, which will give the lovely effect of snow without using icing sugar.
Victoria Leith has set up a new venture called Caramelia Cakery, creating exquisite cakes for weddings, birthdays and special events. If you love this recipe, do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your cakery needs!