Butternut Squash and Almond Cake

I bought a butternut squash at the farmshop this week and fancied trying something a little bit different…

This recipe requires one half of the squash, I made soup with the remaining half.

The other good thing about this cake is it’s flour-less, so if you have a gluten intolerance its great, not so good if you have a nut allergy.

Butternut Squash and Almond Cake

  • 1/2 butternut squash (medium-sized)
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 100g fine sugar
  • 100g butter (or equivalent)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • Butter for greasing
  1. Peel the squash with a potato peeler. Chop off the stalk and flower end. Chop in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Chop into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Steam in a steamer (or in a large sieve above a pan of boiling water) until soft – about 10-15 minutes. Make sure it’s dry before you use it in the cake.
  3. Mash the squash until pureed. Let it cool until its warm, (if using freshly-cooked squash). If using leftovers, cold is fine.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  5. Cream the butter and the sugar together, until light and fluffy. 
  6. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar, with 2 tablespoons of the ground almonds and the baking powder. Beat well.
  7. Add the squash and beat well to combine.
  8. Mix in the rest of the almonds. The mixture should be thick, but if it’s too thick to stir, add some of the liquid from steaming the squash (cooled), a couple of tablespoons at a time. (Use milk if you don’t have any steaming water left).
  9. Grease a 7-8 inch cake tin. Put the mixture in the tin and spread it out evenly. Bake at 180 degrees C for about 45 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Note: if the cake starts to brown too soon, lightly cover it with foil. You might need a longer cooking time, depending on how much squash went in and how your cooker “does” cakes!
  11. Delicious as it is, or serve with cream or custard.
  12. Its delicious served on its own, but serving it with apple and blackberry syrup turned it into something really special.

Apologies for the lack of photographs .. my camera is still out of action (hoping santa will bring me a new one).

Chocolate and beetroot brownies recipe

I watched these being made the other week whislt watching the River Cottage tv programme and thought I would give them a try.. I have to admit that I am not a lover of beetroot, but then that’s probably because I associate it with the pickled stuff that comes in jars, tasted it once when I was a youngster and its kinda stuck in my head that I dont like it..

Time to give it another try, if Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall can convert non-beetroot lovers that it is a truely versatile veg then I think I should give this glorious purpley-red globe the benefit of my doubt !

The photograph unfortunately is not mine….thanks to my springer spaniel, my camera is well and truely knackered!! …. its from the website where the recipe is (link at bottom of the page)


  • 250g/10oz good, dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 250g/10oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing
  • 250g/10oz caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour (we used wholemeal self-raising)
  • 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, peeled and grated

Method: How to make chocolate and beetroot brownies

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tin of approximately 20 x 30 x 3cm and line the bottom with baking parchment.

2. Break up the chocolate into pieces, cut the butter into cubes then mix them up a bit in a heatproof bowl. As the oven begins to warm up, put the bowl onto one of the shelves for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter starts to melt. Stir, and put back into the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely.

3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until combined, then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Gently fold in the flour then the beetroot – be careful not to overmix or it will make the brownies tough.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the top with a spatula. Bake for about 20 minutes. A knife or skewer pushed into the middle should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don’t be tempted to overcook them! Remove the tin from the oven and leave on wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.

Hugh’s tip:

Be careful not to overmix or it will make the brownies tough.

Recipe Link to the Channel 4 Food Website

The Autumn Test

Whilst I was over visiting at Mudranch’s Real Dirt Blog, there is an autumn test, so I thought i’d give it a whirl..

Here is my Autumnal test results …


You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren’t afraid to pursue your passions.

When you are happiest, you are calm. You appreciate tradition and family. You enjoy feeling cozy.

You embrace change. You love change. You see change as a rebirth.

You find hard work to be the most comforting thing in the world. You like the feeling of accomplishing something.

Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.

You are very impatient. You spend more time waiting for something than actually enjoying it.


If you would like to give it a try, you can find it here