One of my all time fave bloggers, Sophie Hansen, has released a new book Local is Lovely. Just like her blog, it celebrates fresh seasonal food, nice farmers and their produce. From delicious, ripe stonefruit through to wholesome freshly milled flour, Sophie shares everything you need to know about eating local, direct from the source.
Recently I caught up with Sophie to get the lowdown on Local is Lovely. She also shared with us one of the super yummy recipes from her book – Walnut, Honey and Carrot Cake – that I know you’re going to love!
Sophie Hansen: Local is Lovely
My philosophy to food in three words is…seasonal, simple, tasty.
I live….on a farm just west of Orange, NSW.
My blog, Local is Lovely, is about….fresh, seasonal food and nice farmers like us!
I hope that when people read my book, Local is Lovely, they…feel excited about heading out and sourcing some beautiful, seasonal produce then going home and cooking up a really nice meal to share with their lovely people!
At the moment, my favourite recipe is….Venison stroganof! The venison comes from our own farm and there are some beautiful pine mushrooms around at the moment too. This is such a delicately flavoured, easy and delicious dinner – it’s a real treat.
At the moment I’m working on… quite a lot of cooking/recipe development – both for my own files and for a few local producers and businesses, hosting events at our Farm Kitchen and trying to develop and implent a bit more structure for the blog that will see a few new regular elements popping up soon. Watch this space!
I wish more people knew…How incredibly hard farmers work to grow/raise/produce beautiful food and how much love they put into what they do – often for very little return!
Local is Lovely’s Walnut, Honey and Carrot Cake Recipe
This is a really beautiful, simple cake. Heavy on the walnuts it uses them both ground and roughly chopped and has a lovely, wholesome go about it. You could ice the top with a traditional cream cheese frosting but I find that a bit too rich. Plus, once iced, the cake is tricky to move about and impossible to pack successfully into school lunch boxes. We prefer to have it dusted with icing sugar and dollop some honeyed natural yogurt on the side.
- 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and ground
- 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 4 tbsp runny honey
- Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line the base of a 20cm springform tin.
- Combine the flour, ground walnuts, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and use a fork to stir it all together. Add the walnuts and carrots and use your fork to mix again.
- Whisk the egg, oil and honey together in a jug then add this to the bowl.
- Mix on medium speed for five minutes before pouring mixture into the prepared cake tin and baking for one hour or until the top is firm to touch and the cake is starting to pull away at the sides.