Well, I have certainly been on somewhat of a hiatus from my little blog of late, and with good reason!
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve posted blog entries on here where I say I’m on a health kick and trying to lose weight and, to be honest, each time the diet and exercise plans have ended up fizzling out despite my best intentions…
However, I’m pleased to say that this year I’m actually sticking to it and seeing results! I’ve been losing the weight fairly gradually as I can’t deal with depriving myself, but so far I’ve lost just 1.5 lbs shy of a stone since my 30th birthday in late January 🙂 I’m tracking my calorie intake using the incredibly useful MyFitnessPal app and have upped my exercise in the form of long power walks around the many beauty spots near where I live, yoga and small group training sessions at the gym, which I’m enjoying a lot more than I thought possible!
This method has really motivated me to keep up the good work as the extra exercise allows me to indulge in naughty things in moderation while keeping under my daily calorie goal, so I never really feel deprived. The extra energy and strength I’m building up is awesome too!
Anyway, the one downside of this lifestyle change is that my baking efforts have been minimal since the new year. If I’m being honest, I don’t really miss eating cake that much (I’ve learned that chocolate is the one thing I really can’t do without!), but this week I’m off work and was getting cake making pangs, so I thought it was about time I dusted off my whisk.
Inspiration for this recipe came a couple of years ago when I went on a wonderful holiday to the Netherlands, home of the delicious stroopwafel. For anyone who doesn’t know, a stroopwafel is a chewy caramel-filled circular waffle that’s just big enough to sit happily on the top of your cup of tea, where the warm rising steam renders its centre even more delightfully gooey (although they’re also just as scrumptious minus the mug sauna). These goodies are a Dutch creation but you can buy them quite easily in the UK (they sell them in Sainsbury’s, Tiger and B&M among other places…)
One of the many edible souvenirs that I brought back with me was a packet stroopwafel cake mix, and it tasted so good it made me want to have a go at making my own version. It’s taken me a while to get round to it but the results were worth the wait – the melting pools of caramel and chewy, crunchy top are to die for.
INGREDIENTS – makes 1 standard size loaf cake
- 170g/6 oz self-raising flour
- 140g/5 oz caster sugar
- 30g/1 oz dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 170g/6 oz butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 stroopwafels, chopped into pieces no smaller than a pound coin (would recommend using scissors for this)
- Edible gold stars, to decorate (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C (or 150 fan) and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
- Add the butter and sugars to a large mixing bowl and beat until pale, then whisk in the eggs.
- Fold in the flour, vanilla extract and half of the stroopwafel pieces, then transfer the mixture into the loaf tin.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and scatter the remaining stroopwafel pieces over the top of the cake, then return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes, or until a cocktail stick inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool before removing the cake from the tin. Finish with a scattering of edible gold stars if you like.
Why not try a slice served warm with some cream or ice cream?
Chewy, gooey, caramelly…what better reason to go Dutch?!