Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Chocolate Genoise Sponge

This recipe is: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Low Fodmap, Suitable for Interstitial Cystitis, Paleo and Refined Sugar Free
Makes 17 fairy cakes
Approx 113 kcals each


  • 75 grams rice flour
  • 50 grams ground almonds
  • 25 grams raw cacao powder
  • 40 grams coconut oil
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 150 grams coconut palm sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius fan
  2. Prepare cupcake cases either paper or silicone
  3. Melt the coconut oil (can be done on the hob or microwave)
  4. Whisk together the eggs and sugar on high for about 10 minutes using an electric whisk
  5. Sift the almonds, flour and cacao together in a bowl
  6. Spoon a third of the flour mix and half of the melted oil into the egg mixture and fold together
  7. Repeat step six
  8. Finally fold in the remaining flour mix to the rest of the ingredients making sure not to loose to much air
  9. Divide the mixture into the paper cases
  10. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes until a knife comes out clean
  11. Leave to cool and store in an airtight container/tin
  12. The cakes are at their best for about 3 days but still fine to eat after this for a few days
As we were adapting a genoise sponge recipe to suit my dietary requirements we weren't sure how these would turn out but the cakes worked out excellently. They have light, airy texture with a bite to them. Also, they have lovely rich chocolate flavour. They are quite sweet, and I might try cutting down the coconut sugar in the future, as after cutting out refined sugars from my diet, I find I prefer things less 'sweet'. They are not crumbly and hold together well which is not always the case for GF baking! They could easily pass as traditional gluten containing cake and people without allergies would never realise the difference. The technique behind a genoise sponge definitely works to the gluten free flours advantage, as it allows air into the mixture, and we didn't have to include any xantham gum or raising agent to the batter.

What to do with your sponge?

Now that we had our cupcakes for the week the combinations of how to eat them were plentiful and really you can add all sorts to make them even more delicious but I decided to create a more patisserie style dessert!


  • 15 grams Salted caramel coyo yoghurt
  • 5 grams dark chocolate (I used ombar 72%)

  1. Carefully cut the cupcake into three thin pieces
  2. Put the largest section on the bottom and spread about a third of the coyo on top
  3. Place the middle sized piece on top and spread another third of the coyo
  4. Finally place the smallest later on top and coat with the rest of the coyo
  5. Decorate with some finely chopped (or grated) chocolate and voila you have a quick but lovely cake to serve as afternoon tea or even as part of a dessert! (Adds about 60 kcal to each cake)

Really the options are endless once you have your sponge. I have also eaten them with nut butters, vanilla coo coconut butter and blueberry chia jam (very easy to make and lots of recipes online) or you could try whipped coconut cream sweetened with a maple syrup swirled on top!

Essentially it is a basic delicious chocolate sponge that you can eat as plainly or as decadently as you desire!


(N.B. I love to bake but due to being bed bound most of the time it's not that easy so all the recipes are on here are a collaboration between my mum and I. Most of the time that means me wrapped up in a blanket and instructing her as she goes along, but it seems to work and is a lot of fun doing it together)

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Nuxe-ing it Up

Nuxe-ing it Up

I was recently given a travel/mini set of some lovely Nuxe products. Nuxe is a french brand recently made more widely available in the UK. I try to use only natural cosmetics and make-up brands where I can and although Nuxe are not 100% natural, each product is around the 80% natural mark and they are paragon free. The paraben free label is the most important thing I look for on my cosmetics, along side making sure it is not tested on animals. Nuxe say they are a ‘natural origin brand’ and qualify this by saying they use a selection of natural active ingredients, and their products do not contain mineral oils or animal-origin ingredients (except bee-hive ingridients) and they are non-comedogenic products that are preserved without the use of parabens. This gets a big tick from me when deciding on beauty products. Now down to the nitty gritty of whether I actually liked the products or not…

1. Rose Petal Cleansing Water 8/10

  This is certainly very useful, in its mini size, to pop into my overnight bag and is a lovely product to use. It has a delicate scent and did remove light make up. It definelty felt soothing on my skin, however, I didn't like it any more to my usual cleanser from REN, which is 100% natural (and Paraben free of course). So in the long term I will stick to my REN cleanser over Nuxe’s version.

2. Reve de Miel Ultra Comforting Body Cream (with honey and botanical oils) 10/10

As far as I am concerned this was the stand out product in the set. I took it away with me and used it on my hands when they were feeling rather dry and, wow, it's the nicest moisturiser I've used in a while. I use it solely as a hand cream. You do not need much of it and it has a lovely light fresh scent. The best thing is it sinks into the skin almost immediately and even when I accidentally squirted too much out it was not greasy or sticky on the skin. I’m currently squeezing every last drop out of the 30ml tube but have just ordered another one as I use it several times a day. I keep it by my bed and pop it in my handbag when I go out. It is creamy, soft and definitely lives up to its description of being comforting. Perfect for this cold winter weather.

3. Crème Fraîche de Beauté 3/10

This 24hour soothing and moisturising cream is supposed to be hydrating and softening. Unfortunately I never used it for long enough to judge these qualities as I really didn't like this. I thought it would be light and refreshing, as the name might suggest, but unfortunately I was overwhelmed by its strong perfumed smell. It is quite musky and not something I would associate with its description. I also found it greasy compared the Reve de Miel and it felt heavy on my skin. It can gain a few points as it the texture on the face did feel cooling and refreshing but and even when I tried it on my legs the smell was to overpowering. I am pretty sure I won't be using anymore of this and I wont be buying it in the future.

4. Huile Prodigieuse Oil 5/10

This is a difficult one to review as, although I have used it, my skin and hair are not really dry enough to warrant using this regularly. This product is what I would associate Nuxe with, they are well known for their beauty oil, especially in France. It is made using Macadamia, Hazelnut, Borage, Almond, Camellia and St. John's Wort. It is not greasy, if you only use a small amount, more is definitely less with this dry oil. It feels nourishing to the skin. I tried on my dead ends and could see how if I had dry hair a lot it would be replenishing and softening.It has a very light fragrance which is a bonus. I have in the past used the gold/glittery version of this which is fun, especially in the summer. If you suffer from dry skin or hair I think this a winning product but for me who only needs to use oils very occasionally will probably stick with my organic rosehip oil or coconut oil. If I needed to use this product regularly due to a different skin type I would have given it a 10/10.

5. Prodigieux Shower Oil 7/10

Now out of all the products in the set, this was the most fun. It is supposed to cleanse the skin leaving a satin-like glittery finish. It is essentially their dry oil (see above) in a shower oil. I tend to have baths rather than showers so I haven't got much use out of this product. In order for you to get the full benefit of the glittery finish the instructions say to shower then get the excess water off until just damp and then apply the gel all over and then wash off. It’s not exactly appropriate for the bath as you can't just turn it off and grab the towel and jump in and out as that would be very un-relaxing. I used it properly one time and it did leave a bit of a golden shimmer and the smell was delicate and light. If I could use it the bath and still have the golden shimmer then I would probably buy it again but in its current form, or until I have more showers, I won't be buying a full size version.

6. Prodigieux® le parfum

I haven't rated this product as I don’t have much to say about it and I think perfume is highly personal choice. It was useful for a few evenings out over the christmas period to pop in my handbag but although the smell was pleasant I wouldnt go out of my way to switch perfumes to this one by Nuxe. Nuxe describe it as ‘feminine blend of sunshine and warm sand with notes of Orange Blossom, Magnolia and Vanilla’. It did not remind my of a warm afternoon on the beach which is what I inferred from this description. 

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