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Cranberry and almond bark

200g of dark chocolate, broken into little pieces about the size of a two cent coin

1 tsp of honey

60g of almonds chopped

60g of dried cranberries chopped


Line a baking tray with parchement and set aside.

Use a double walled saucepan with water on the bottom. Place the broken chocolate and the honey in the top saucepan. Leave it to melt, resisting the urge to stir.

Pour the melted chocolate out to what ever size you would like and sprinkle with the almonds and cranberries.

Leave it to harden and break it into large pieces.




Lemon and cardamom cake

There are more and more people coming to us in The Cake Cafe asking for wheat free cakes. This makes sense considering there is an ever increasing awareness of wheat and gluten allergies in this country. Desert and cake-time can be a minefield for someone avoiding wheat, but cutting this grain out of your diet certainly does not mean that you miss out on good things in life.

I have tried various wheat free lemon cake recipes and I find that the one below really does work the best. The cardamom is optional. You can just as happily enjoy the cake without the addition of the spice, it is one of my favourites though, and I think it perks up a wide variety of treats. I love cardamom grated into a nice strong coffee. I still recall with pleasure, an amazing cardamom, pistachio and honey rice pudding I was served in an Indian household. I was visiting Varanasi and ducked into a small family run restaurant for a little respite. The mother of the house cooked me the most wonderful lunch and the crowning glory was the desert. 

You will need: 9 inch cake tin

375g of butter, softened

375g caster sugar

375g ground almonds

5 eggs

juice of 1 lemon

zest of 5 lemons

190g polenta

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 ¼ tsp baking power

pinch of salt


To make the syrup:

½ a cup of sugar

½ cup of water

6 cardamom pods

zest of 2 lemons

a squeeze of lemon juice


If you do not want to add the cardamom you can put a handful of berries into the cake tin before you pour in your batter.

This cake works great if you really cream the butter and sugar well. I like to make sure they are completely white and have at least doubled in volume. When this has happened you can stir in your ground almonds.

Lightly mix your eggs in a jug on the side then add them to the mixture slowly. I usually put the mixer on its slowest setting and pour the eggs in. When this is mixed you can add the rest of your ingredients.

Pour your batter into a lined cake tin and bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes at 160. Turn your cake out onto a wire rack and when it is still warm pour your syrup over it. If you are not tempted to eat the cake straight away and you find after a day or so it is drying out you can make more syrup to pour over it. It will liven it back up.




"Just Ask Award"


I am delighted to say that we were awarded the Bord Bia " Just Ask" award this month.



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