Tag Archives: cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

I’m crazy about blood oranges right now, absolutely in love with them!
I started preparing for their arrival by collecting recipes weeks before they appeared at my local grocery store.

I believe nature truly gives us citrus in winter to help colour and brighten our long dark days, and vibrant blood oranges are our greatest reward.

While they’re in season, I grab a couple every time I’m at the store; I can’t get enough of their deeply red tones, robust flavour and fragrance. There’s just something dramatic and special about them…

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake Blood Orange Polenta Cake

I’ve eaten a lot of blood oranges this year!

I snack on them, juice them, cook with them and throw them in salads; a few weeks ago, I put a few splashes into a vinaigrette for this this cauliflower and chickpea salad.

With its relatively short season, I’ve been trying to find more recipes that showcase their beauty and bounty, so on weekends, I bake and cook with them when I’m not busy doing other things… because I want to eat all the blood oranges I can before its season is over!

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Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I’ve neglected this space for far too long; in that time I’ve had Eclairs in Paris, coffee in Amsterdam and an amazing lunch in London.
It’s been an active couple of weeks; exhausting but in a good way, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m back now, and just like last year I’m battling a cold again.
I have plans for soup this weekend, black-eyed peas stewed in a brothy sauce with lots of harissa and cumin and topped with fried sage – I can almost taste it!

But I’ll like to share this lemon olive oil cake with you before I move on to that – I’ve had this post prepped and ready for weeks, waiting for words to go with it. It feels surreal to be staring at it again after all this time.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

This cake saved me this summer, not in that critical and dramatic way one usually gets saved, but I made it a few times over summer and it felt like a little victory every time it came out perfectly. It made life deliciously easy.

It’s one of those cakes that looks like a bit of work, but it really isn’t – it’s a breeze to make and it turns out spectacular every time!

I collected a few teas during my vacation, I stayed across the street from the oldest tea house in Paris.

I knew I’d need lots of tea to get me through the damp grey autumn and winter months ahead; I had these intoxicating images of cold rainy afternoons curled up with aromatic cups of tea with generous slices of this cake.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I try to use mild and fruity olive oils that taste smooth for this cake, and Meyer lemons if I can find them, although I’m beginning to love the bold flavours of regular lemons.

I love the sweet lemony flavours. It’s the perfect everyday cake for breakfast or afternoon tea, and light enough as a refreshing dessert (after a heavy meal) with whipped cream and fruit.

This is one of my favourite cakes just because it’s simple, rustic and delectable with wonderful crumb and texture.
We’ve been collecting a list of cakes for our would-be café for years and this definitely makes the cut.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Spiced Banana Cake

Spiced Banana Cake

And so begins a gleaming New Year, inspiring and hopeful; when you think about it, the start of the New Year is a little like mornings, both bearing the optimism of a new beginning, except mornings come around daily.
My little end-of-year break sadly ended today, and this morning I got ready for work thinking about resolutions, and how I try not to make them on New Year’s.

I used to think I wasn’t really a resolutions maker, but the fact is, I’ve been making resolutions all my life, just not necessarily at the start of each year.

Spiced Banana Cake by Elsa Brobbey

One resolution I’ve had a hard time keeping is breakfast, for some reason eating in the morning has been a bit of a challenge. So my resolutions for mornings this year is to eat breakfast.

It seemed so easy during our relaxing Christmas holiday, breakfast just seemed to happen naturally; we had our granola on some mornings, mum made her special Hausa koko, then there were those endless pots of coffee and tea to go with panettone, pandoro and this delectable spiced banana cake I made for Christmas morning.

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This cake is truly simple, more like banana bread but fluffier, finely spiced and topped with crushed nuts and dried cranberries.

It gets its yellowish hue from turmeric, a mildly fragrant warm spice with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
I love the colour it lends to the cake, also, it boosts the flavour of the cake with earthy hints and and a faint peppery flavour.

I try to add turmeric to my cooking as often as I can since it’s such a powerful healing spice.


What I do is mix all the spices; cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and turmeric together to make a rich warm mixture and then add it to my flour before the wet ingredients.

And when it’s baking, the smell of the bananas and the spices sweetly wafts through the kitchen and fills everywhere, that’s how you know something wonderful is baking.

It’s perfect with tea for wintry mornings, the spices aren’t overpowering, hints of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon comes thorough, balancing with the delicate aromas of bananas and vanilla.

This cake makes me hopeful, that maybe breakfasts wouldn’t be so hard after all.

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Slice of Spiced Banana Cake IMG_8391


Sunday Breakfast: Tea and Speculoos Cake

Bonne Maman Speculoos Cake

I love Sundays; it’s my favourite day of the week, my pace slows down considerably and life suddenly becomes unhurried.
It’s the only day that is truly mine, to do with as I wish…. no obligations, work or errands to run.

Sundays are about leisurely languid activities – like sleep-ins and breakfasts in bed, and taking the time to read a book so enthralling, you reread chapters just to relive the emotions.

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One of my favourite things about Sundays is breakfast, or brunch or whenever I eat my first meal.

It isn’t always fancy or elaborate, and sometimes, not much thought goes into what I’m eating but there’s always a certain salience to it.

Like these little Bonne Maman L’étoile spéculos pépites de sucre (speculoos cakes/stars), I got them months ago in Paris to have for snacks while running around the city but with all those amazing boulangeries and patisseries in Paris… I just packed them and brought them home with me.

They make idle Sundays at home complete; they’re like spiced muffins with sugar crystals, utterly delicious and not cloyingly sweet.

It goes well with a nice cup of almond milk tea, and some fruit, for a light but indulgent breakfast.

It’s a thing of Sundays!


Spiced Applesauce Cake with ‘Buttercream’ Frosting


“It’s a pretty season, fall in Vancouver” – I hadn’t given it much thought until someone mentioned it today. Reddish and golden hued foliage, bright autumnal sun and the bluest skies, cooling temperatures and the start of snow on the mountains…
I used to regard fall with a bit of anxiety, it’s the season when the cold and rain returns, a passage into gloomy winter.
We’ve had a few perfect fall days, despite the rain and cold, which had me looking at the season differently – there’s something special there, you just have to let yourself see it.

And to celebrate fall… a cake!


I’ve mentioned this spiced applesauce cake before; although it wasn’t quite fall the last time I made it.
Yet, it’s the perfect autumn cake, with warming spices like ginger, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.
It has all the comforting flavours of fall.
I love the smell of this cake when it’s baking, I’ll make it all season long just for how the wonderful scents of spice and baking fills everywhere.
The cake itself is moist, rich and not too sweet, and the frosting sweetens it up nicely.

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IMG_2349 Sprinkles

The recipe is easy and adaptable, add in your favourite spices and leave out what you don’t want.
I love cardamom, I try to sneak it into everything I bake, cardamom and ginger invigorates the cake.

I think this cake was supposed to make me change my outlook on fall, or perhaps help me add another to my list of ‘fall perfect’ things

IMG_2549 Spiced Applesauce Cake