Apple cake with cinnamon cream cheese topping


  • 200g self raising flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cooking apples (200g when peeled and cored), chopped
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 shakes of cinnamon


  • Heat oven to 180 degrees c, grease a 23cm ring tin
  • Sieve flour and sugar into a bowl
  • Beat the eggs and beat in the sunflower oil
  • Add the egg mix to the flour and sugar, add a splash or two of milk to loosen the mixture into a nice cake mix
  • Stir in the chopped apple
  • Put in the ring tin and bake for 20 minutes
  • Leave to cool for ten minutes and then take out of the tin and leave (right way up) on a cooling rack until completely cold.
  • Make the icing by beating together the cheese, sugar and cinnamon. I like the flavour of brown sugar but you could also use icing sugar. Chill while waiting for the cake to cool.
  • Once the cake is cold, spread with the icing and  serve.

applecake1 applecake3 applecake2


Black Lentils and Orange Squash

Serves 2 people with leftover lentils. Because leftover lentils are ESSENTIAL for LIFE


  • Mug of black lentils (whole urad dal)
  • 1 onion
  • Splash of sunflower oil
  • Tbsp bouillon powder or veg stock cube
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 butternut squash
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 4 tbsp Creme fraiche
  • A generous handful of fresh sage and rosemary
  • Salt


  • Soak the lentils (urad dal) for 8 hours or overnight
    then rinse thoroughly
  • Finely chop the onion then fry in the sunflower oil for 5-10 minutes, until soft and browning
  • Add the lentils and the bouillon, or stock, disolved two mugs of  boiling water. Cook with the lid on until the lentils are soft, about an hour. If there is any water left, boil rapidly with lid off until it’s gone (or drain if you prefer). You may also need to add water during cooking, dal is not an exact science.
  • Peel and chop the squash into large slices or chunks (remove seeds) and toss in the olive oil, then bake at 220 degrees for 20 minutes (turn halfway through)
  • Using a mezzaluna (or sharp knife and shopping board) very finely chop the herbs together with a half teaspoon of salt so that you end up with some delicious green, herblicious salty dust. Add 2/rds of this to the cooked dal together with a knob (or 2) of butter and warm through.
  • Add the remaining salty herbs to the creme fraiche and stir well.
  • To serve, ladle the lentils onto plates, top with the squash and a dollop of creme fraiche.

Black lentils and squash

A note about the lentils: Urad dal aka black lentils aka black gram aka mungo beans can be found in Indian shops. If you can’t find them use puy lentils instead (much less soaking and cooking required though). Don’t use skinned urad dal or split urad dal – they taste totally different as the flavour comes from the skins.

You may have had them in Indian restaurants where they are cooked with masses of cream and butter. The skinned urad dal are ground to make dosas. What a versatile bean.