Bring me sunshine

Someone has!

This weekend has been the warmest so far. I even *gasp* rode out without a coat OR a scarf yesterday and that’s award-winning bravery in my book 🙂

I made the most of the gorgeous weather by riding twice – once out on the roads on my friend’s horse, then on the school. She helped me give Dave a jump and he was brilliant! I hadn’t jumped for ages and he loved it, bless him.

But I also had to make this:

It was my old friend from school’s birthday and she was having a big barbecue/house party so I turned to my cake bible, aka Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache, and made a “Victoria sponge” which involved grated potato.

As for topping, I wasn’t sure what to go for because my cream cheese icing, great for filling cakes, isn’t as good on the top because it’s too liquid.

Then I remembered a bookmarked recipe of Alisa’s for whipped berry/coconut cream icing

This is THE best icing ever. I used 2tsp of coconut oil and it set firm enough to stay put but not too hard. It tastes amazing too and went perfectly with this cake. This has been copied down into my recipe book because it’s a keeper!

I left fairly early in the evening and, although there was going to be food there, I wanted something to eat first because I didn’t think there would be many gluten-free options. But I don’t normally have dinner till gone 8pm and I’d had lunch late so I wasn’t hungry…

In the end, I made a monster smoothie, with spinach, banana, Kara coconut milk, peanut flour and ground chia seeds (clearly I can’t go a day without them now!) which was delicious and (with the help of a chunk of cake and some champagne) kept me full all night 🙂

Today’s been much the same, except with less champagne and cake. Riding in gorgeous sunshine – and baking:

I’d offered to make my coconut oil chocolate chip cookies for Katie’s brilliant bake sale for Japan – and was so flattered that someone bid on them! That someone being lovely Emma, the Sweet Tooth Runner, who also made something for the sale herself.

I’m a born worrier and was worried about these because I’d never made a vegan, flax-containing version. Of course, I’ve made other flax cookies and there was no reason these would be any different, but still, I worried. I could never be a professional baker!

I also worried I would run out of coconut oil but luckily, the last drop from the jar filled the last tablespoon. Then I found out I didn’t have enough plain chocolate chips, so I chopped some Montezuma dark buttons and some Kinnerton chocolate. So although these weren’t quadruple chocolate in the same way the first ones were, they did have three different types of vegan chocolate and cocoa powder… 🙂

(If anyone wants to make the vegan version, it’s exactly the same as the linked recipe, just use 1tbsp ground flax in 3tbsp warm water instead of the egg)

I made giant cookies instead of more tiny ones:

… and needn’t have worried, as they held together perfectly!

I couldn’t try them but as they were cooling, every time I passed them I caught the most amazing chocolatey smell – so the only worries now are whether they’ll fall apart in the post (fingers crossed) and whether Emma likes them! (I’ve put in an extra treat, just in case…)

And talking of runners, whether they’re Sweet Tooth or not, did anyone see the London Marathon? I used to live really near the start when I was little and my dad would always take us to watch them set off – but this year, I just watched some on TV, including Mary Keitany winning the women’s race in just under 2hr20min – and in style! It was truly inspiring to watch… 🙂

I’ve half been toying with the idea of starting running and seeing that definitely encouraged that view! If you run, what was it that inspired you to start? Or what else has inspired you lately?

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28 Responses to Bring me sunshine

  1. Gosh, Emma is SO lucky!!!

  2. AAAH I LOVE YOU FRIEND!! They look AMAZING and I have no doubt I will LOVE them and eat them all in one go!! And I LOVE that you made them giant (aka Emma) sized!! 😀 I actually can’t WAIT!!

    • Woop! I’m so glad you like the look of the bigger ones; I thought they looked MUCH better than the tiddlers I made before!
      And I posted them first thing today so they’ll hopefully arrive tomorrow… I had to pack them up as soon as they were cool enough to take away the temptation!

  3. ahhh they look FAB!!! im sure emma willLOVE THEM!! yes i watched it on the tv!!

  4. Oh I’ll be checking out that icing recipe – I’m planning on making some cakes for the Easter / Royal Wedding holidays. Your cookies look fab! I bidded on some and I’m looking forward to them arriving 🙂

  5. AlisonM says:

    Ooh those cookies look amazing! And thanks for the icing recipe — I’d not come across that blog before, and am looking for icing ideas at the moment for Easter cupcakes.

    I watched the marathon and thoroughly enjoyed it! Then I went for a run — you’re right, the weather was beautiful today 🙂

    • Go for it – the icing was delicious and Alisa’s got so many great recipes on her blog!
      It’s been just as gorgeous here today and supposed to be even better at the weekend 🙂

  6. ~Jessica~ says:

    I think Emma is very lucky indeed: don’t fret over the cookies, I’m sure anyone would love them!

    In terms of running my inspiration/motivation was going with my Dad to see Paula Radcliffe every time she ran the Great North Run, along with a yearning to banish the memories of coming last in every track event I ever ‘ran’ at school. I wanted to run so badly, yet lacked the dedication or fitness for it.

    Please tell me to naff off if this is out of line, but make sure you’re wanting to run for the right reasons, yes? It’s just that obviously every other Blogger and his wife runs, and I was worried that you might feel inferior or out of place because you don’t? Because you don’t need running for your blog to be wonderful, witty and original: it’s all of those things already and the latter is even more significant perhaps due to the fact that you don’t run. Obviously if that’s not the case then go for it! I know that sometimes for me, though, I don’t take rest days when I should and feel guilty every time I read a blog when the author has run further than me on any given day. But those are my demons and not yours.

    *hugs*

    xxx

    • Thank you for such a lovely comment!
      And thank you too for the insightful-ness of the question – I’d never say naff off because you’re so right in that the reasons would have to be right. To be honest, I have partly been inspired by other bloggers but only because it looks great. (And from a conversation in the pub with a marathon runner last week!)
      And really, I think the fact of lots of people doing it might actually go against my trying… 🙂
      Also, I am only half-thinking about it because there’s no way I could fit running in with my job and horse, and riding will always be what I’d choose to do. I think it’s one of those things I would like to start… one day.
      Thank you so much again; I really appreciate the comment 🙂

  7. DROOL! Totally craving a chocolate cookie now!
    And I wish I could have watched the London marathon but I was stuck inside at work ALL DAY! I’m checking out the times etc. now though!

  8. The cookies look great! Emma will love them 🙂 Your birthday cake looks pretty in pink 🙂

  9. lindsay says:

    oh you are a cake goddess! Love it. You should try running. I love running because it clears my head and I can get outdoors. Nothing beats that!

    • I love that feeling – had that today when I convinced myself to cycle to the yard after a mad day – even when you’re knackered, it makes everything better… especially in gorgeous sun 🙂

  10. Ahhh, I just love being able to finally ride without ten layers on! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that yet…But soon! …I hope.
    The cookies look awesome!! I am sure Emma will be in love, too :]

  11. So glad you liked the icing recipe!!

    And that Emma is one lucky lady. Who can resist giant chocolate chip cookies!

  12. Those cookies look amazing!!

    I definitely encourage you to start running- it’s such a feeling of accomplishment! Can’t wait to hear about it if you do 🙂

    • From how I feel from cycling and riding, I think I can imagine the accomplishment feeling, or kind of! That’s something I can definitely see from bloggers talking about it 🙂

  13. OMG! Those cookies look amazing. I’m seriously jealous!

  14. They are so pretty! I’m sure Emma will love them!

    And the cake you made is pretty gorgeous as well!

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