Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Beach bum

In yesterday's sweltering heat we packed together our stuff and went to the beach. As it turns out, we weren't the only ones. Half of Holland (and Germany) had packed their swimming trunks, beach toys, cooler boxes and parasols to lounge about on the beach all day.

I used to think beaches in other countries were superior to ours but, as with so many things, I have changed my mind. Dutch beaches are beautiful. Vast stretches of light camel-coloured sand, gentle rolling frothy-topped waves, and lots of lovely beach clubs to enjoy a cup or glass  of whatever. I love watching the kids paddle in the surf, scooping up water and searching for that one special little shell (you can leave this to N - she always succeeds in finding some little gem) whilst lying under my parasol. What could be better than that?

When we'd finished on the beach, we drank a cup of delicious coffee (decaf - what else), while watching the kids play house. We were a regular bunch of beach bums.

That evening I made a dessert sponge which we ate in the garden. We love eating in the garden. In fact, we would eat outside in winter with our woolly hats on if that weren't so ridiculous. 

Now that you have seen the mouth-watering picture of my dessert sponge, you will undoubtedly want the recipe. It is an adaptation of a recipe in a book called Love, Bake, Nourish by Amber Rose, a New Zealander living in London. I have made quite a few things from this book, all equally delicious, and there are a gazillion other recipes I still want to try. Here it is:

Fruit Sponge Pudding
adapted from Love, Bake, Nourish by Amber Rose
fruit: any kind you like, enough to cover the bottom of a pie dish comfortably. I made the one above with a mix of red fruit; pears, peaches and plums are also delicious
100g butter, softened
80g raw cane sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g wholegrain spelt flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1-2 tablespoons of milk
yields 4 generous servings

  • preheat the oven 180 degrees Celsius
  • place the fruit in the pie dish
  • cream butter and sugar
  • beat in the eggs, vanilla extract and 1-2 tablespoons of flour
  • beat until light and fluffy, then fold in the rest of the flour and baking powder
  • add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to give the mixture a soft dropping consistency
  • spoon mixture over fruit, being careful not to press down. Level with fork if necessary.
  • bake for 45-50 minutes (the book says 25-30 mins, but this is clearly a mistake - it isn't nearly cooked by then)
  • serve with (whipped) cream or a ball of vanilla ice cream 


  1. I think your Dutch beaches look wonderful, all that soft sand and gentle surf. Very different to our pebbly, rocky coastlines. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the weather. That fruit sponge pudding looks delicious. x

  2. What a delightful contrast. All summery sandy goodness and then rich and dark deliciousness.


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