Tag Archives: gluten free

Giving it a go.ย 

Whilst I sit on my proverbial laurels watching the world go by, I’ve been keeping up to date with all the blogs I follow in my reader. One special blog I follow is called tassybakes.com and this lovely recipe was posted about six days ago. It’s a gluten free chocolate and almond cake and is one I’ve wanted to make and eat for a long, long time! Can I just say that it is so moist and delicious and fudgy that I’ll never go past it again for a show stopper chocolate cake. I followed her recipe to the letter but changed out the olive oil for rice bran oil and my cooking time varied quite a bit but that’s what giving things a go is all about isn’t it?


Ingredients.

175 ml boiling water

2 tspn instant coffee granules

80 gm cocoa powder ( I used Plaistowes premium Dutch processed by Nestle)

225 gm ground almonds

1 tspn bicarbonate of soda

1 tspn salt

300gm golden caster sugar

5 eggs

225 ml olive oil

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line the base of a 20 cm cake tin. Grease the base paper again.

Sift the almonds, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl.


Mix together the cocoa, coffee and boiling water in a jug and set aside to cool slightly.


In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and sugar until pale and thick.



Add the cocoa mix and continue whisking until you have a fairly liquid cake batter with no streaks.



Add the almond mixture down the side of the bowl and fold in gently.

( Confession here, I accidentally dumped it in the middle and gave it a brisk whisk before I realised what I’d done and stopped. Didn’t make an ounce of a difference to the end result thankfully! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚)


Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes OR until a skewer comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.


Now my cake took roughly 85 minutes in the fan forced oven at 170 degrees and I covered it with a loose sheet of aluminium foil halfway through as I tested it at 50 minutes and no way was it anywhere near cooked. Always go by the skewer method or if the cake springs back when pressed gently in centre.

When the cake is cooked, leave in the tin for 5 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack.

This cake is the easiest fudge like chocolate cake I’ve ever made and I have tassybakes.com to thank. It was originally served with a chocolate ganache topping which would be divine for a special occasion but I didn’t go down that path this time. Go visit her blog. It’s a beauty!

Here’s a couple of pictures of how I served it but it was also just dandy sans any additions with my cuppa ๐Ÿ˜‹


With a light dusting of icing sugar.


With a healthy serve of coffee gelato ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

Bon appetit!

Gluten free Parkin.

Tis the season for all those lovely Christmas flavours to be swirling around the house. So far I’ve made 9 Christmas puddings and two Christmas cakes. My refrigerator is groaning with cake and pudding. Two of the puddings and one of the cakes are gluten free for my dearly beloved and I and the rest are all gifts for family and the odd friend. I made a non gluten free version of Parkin for my end of year work party which went down well so I made another one for my husband that he could eat without gluten or the rolled oats. I was more than a tad concerned about what to substitute for the oats and settled on quinoa flakes as they looked very similar in structure.

First assemble all that you’ll need to bake with.

  
Ingredients.

200g butter

1 large egg

4 tablespoons milk

200g golden syrup

85g treacle

85g light brown sugar

100g quinoa flakes

250g gluten free self raising flour

1 tablespoon ground ginger

Heat your oven to 160C or a bit less if fan forced. Grease a deep 22cm/9in square cake tin and line with baking paper.

  
Gently melt the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter together until the sugar has dissolved. 

 
Remove from the heat. 

 
Mix together the quinoa flakes , the GF flour and ginger.   

 
Stir in the syrup mixture, followed by the combined egg and milk (lightly beaten together).

  
  
  
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 50 mins to an hour until the cake feels firm and a little crusty on top.

  
Cool in the tin then wrap in more baking paper and foil and keep for 3-5 days before eating if you can as it apparently becomes softer and stickier the longer you leave it, up to two weeks. 

  
I had to eat this as it smelt so lovely. It worked really well using the substitute quinoa flakes. The flavour is the same as is the texture.  Well worth making but I don’t know how your meant to leave it for a few days. That just won’t be happening ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚.

Bon appetit!

 

Friday night Seafood Laksa.

After a stressful and hectic work week, I was craving something tasty, but with a little bit of a difference, to make for our tea. Jason had gone home early from the high school he teaches at with the flu and had a sore throat. What a coincidence it was to discover the latest edition of Dish magazine in my email box with the perfect recipe for Laksa in it! Like Jewish Chicken soup but Thai and made with seafood! I’ve never made a laksa from scratch but the recipe was easy to follow and quick to make. 

First assemble your ingredients for the laksa paste.

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Laksa paste ingredients.

1 small red chilli, de seeded

1 stalk of lemongrass, centre only

6 coriander stalks 

4 cloves garlic , chopped

2.5cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons shrimp paste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric 

2 tablespoons rice bran or peanut oil

To make the paste, put all ingredients bar the oil in a small food processor, blend whilst adding oil. You could also pound the ingredients in a mortar and pestle if you feel like working out that stress ๐Ÿ˜‰. I just put everything, including the oil in my little processor and whizzed away. It turned out just fine. 

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Now you can assemble all your other ingredients for the soup.

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4-6 button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon peanut or rice bran oil

1 1/2 cups of  fish stock

2 kaffir lime leaves , thinly sliced

400ml coconut milk

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Pepper and salt

115gm rice noodles

12 large raw prawns, peeled

100gm firm fleshed fish, cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 cup bean sprouts

Fresh coriander sprigs to garnish

In a medium saucepan over a low heat, gently cook the sliced mushrooms in the oil for one minute. Add the fresh laksa paste and cook for another minute or until it smells fragrant.

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Add stock, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and ginger. Gently simmer for 7-10 minutes , then taste and season if needed with sea salt and black pepper.

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While the soup is cooking, soak the rice noodles in hot water as per packet instructions. I soaked the vermicelli rice noodles I used for no more than five minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Add prawns and fish pieces to soup and cook till the fish is opaque. Drop in the sprouts and remove from heat.

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Divide the noodles between serving bowls. Ladle the soup over noodles and garnish with coriander.

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This was such a satisfying dish to make and eat. I’m sure you will all enjoy it as much as we did. 

Bon appetit! 

Cornish Fairings.

One thing my coeliac sufferer of a husband misses in a biscuit is ginger nuts. Those rock hard but ever so dunkable ginger biscuits. I’m not sure how I got onto this recipe but it is seriously divine even after I made it into a gluten free recipe. It is from the delightful River Cottage website originally. According to Hugh’s site, Cornish Fairings were traditionally sold at Cornish fairs.

First assemble your ingredients.

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You will notice if you look carefully that I seem to have two containers of cinnamon in there. I discovered it before I put extra cinnamon in instead of ginger!

Ingredients.

4oz GF plain flour. I used Bobs Mill 1 for 1 .

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarb soda (Recipe originally said 1 teaspoon but it was too much the first time I made these)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

2 oz brown sugar

2 oz butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Mix the flour, baking powder,bicarbonate of soda and spices in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the sugar.

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Next add the golden syrup and mix together, using your hands as its easier, until its a smooth paste.

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Roll into balls about walnut size and place on a baking sheet.

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Cook for 15 minutes at 180c until biscuits have cracked on top. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Hugh’s recipe said to first cook them for 15 minutes at 180c then lower temp to 150c and bake a further 5 minutes. I did this the first time I made these and they burnt! I’ve changed  the recipe to suit my oven but I believe its best for everyone to learn where food cooks best and at what temperature their ovens work best at.

Jason loves these. They are very similar to a gingernut, but I think they taste a lot like those glorious dutch biscuits Speculaas. Bobs Mill 1 for 1 flour is brilliant as it already has the xantham gum added so you can just measure it out like your normal flour for any recipe. You can’t imagine how happy I was when I found this in Solomons Merchants grocery store this morning.

However you make these glorious little biscuits, enjoy them with something you can dunk them in ๐Ÿ˜€

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Gluten free Madras Curry Pie.

I made this lovely spicy pie for my hubby Jason’s birthday last week as he loves a nice curry and pie combined into one. Since discovering the gluten free pastry of my dreams, I have become all enthused again about pies and their fillings.
Make the pastry first as it loves a long spell in the refrigerator to rest. This recipe can be found, plus many more mouth watering GF recipes on the blog gfandme.com and is called Mary’s Magnificent Pastry. I don’t have any photos of me making it as I thought of this blog just as I parcelled it up for the fridge resting time๐Ÿ˜Š.

Pastry ingredients
2 cups GF gluten free flour, I used Bobs Redmill all purpose GF flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 cup of butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup sour cream
Beaten egg and dash of milk to brush over pie before baking.

Pulse the flour and xanthan gum powder in a food processor, add the butter and pulse till the dough forms pea sized lumps. Add sour cream and pulse till dough comes together. If you don’t have a food processor just rub the cold butter into the combined flour and xanthan gum with your fingertips and mix in sour cream then get in there with your hands and gently work it all together into a ball ๐Ÿ˜„.
When combined into a nice ball split into 2 smaller balls, pat down into a thick discus shape and wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 4 hours, overnight is even better.
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Now for the Madras curry which has to be about the easiest one I’ve ever made from scratch.

Ingredients for curry
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chilli powder (recipe says this is optional)
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 kilogram chuck steak (I used a whole bolar blade roast I cut up) cut into 2.5 cm cubes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup of beef stock

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Combine the coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper, chilli, garlic, ginger and lemon juice in a bowl to form a paste. Set aside.

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Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat, add half the beef and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl and repeat process with the rest of the beef.
Reduce heat to medium. Add spice paste and cook for 1 minute. Return beef and accumulated juices and stir till well coated with spice paste. Add tomato paste and stock.

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Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef is tender.
Remove lid and cook uncovered for a further 15 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
Put aside to cool completely.

To make the pie.
Take your pastry out of the refrigerator and roll one disc out to about five millimetres in thickness to the size of your pie dish. It rolls out really well from cold without much difficulty.

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Add your cold curry to your pastry base and distribute evenly. Roll out your second disc of pastry to the same 5 millimetre thickness and place on top. Glaze with the beaten egg and milk mix, or just beaten egg white if you like.

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Bake pie in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius till nicely browned.

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Yes, this looks rather too browned but I can assure you it wasn’t burnt and it tasted so good ๐Ÿ˜„. We like our curry pie with a nice fruity sauce on top and I reckon a fruity chutney would go down a treat with this.
The curry would be lovely on its own as well with some rice and roti or butter naan. Hmmm I think I need curry for tea!
Bon apetit!

Goats Cheese and Onion Tart

I have been watching a television show called The Incredible Spice Men and love their style of cooking with spice. I’ve had a go at their caramelised onion and goats cheese tart with a few exceptions. I was unable to source caraway seeds at my local supermarket so unfortunately had to leave them out. I also didn’t have any balsamic vinegar but used Apple cider vinegar instead and it was more than fine ๐Ÿ˜„
Get all your ingredients together first. I had some lovely gluten free pastry left over from a madras curry pie from the other night and didn’t want to waste that. The extra lactose free cheese you see here wasn’t used in the end as it had mould in it ๐Ÿ˜ I hadn’t noticed before assembling the tart. I was just going to sprinkle it on top for an extra cheesy taste. It certainly wasn’t needed.

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Make your caramelised onion jam first so it can cool down.
I used,
1-2 tablespoons rice bran oil
85 gm unsalted butter
500gm red onions, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 heaped tablespoons soft brown sugar
80ml Apple Cider vinegar
I added the oil and butter to the pan till it was foaming then added the onion and a good pinch of salt flakes and ground black pepper and stirred for 5 minutes. Then I added the sugar and the vinegar and mixed in well. I covered the pan and cooked on a medium heat for another 15 minutes. I then uncovered the pan and let the juices evaporate for a further 15-20 minutes till it had reached that lovely jammy consistency.

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Bake your pastry case. This was a lovely gluten free pastry from the wonderful blog GF and Me. Best gluten free pastry I’ve tried yet. Recipe is as follows. It is called Mary’s Magnificent Pastry.
Pastry
2 cups of gluten free flour (I used Bobs Redmill all purpose flour)
2 teaspoons xantham gum
1 cup/250gm butter , cubed and cold
1/2 cup sour cream
Pulse in a food processor or rub in with fingers the butter and combined flour and xantham gum until dough comes together in pea sized balls. Add sour cream and pulse until dough holds together.
Knead slightly and make into two balls, wrap in cling wrap and chill for an hour or so.
This amount was what I used to make my madras curry pie and I had some left over that I used a couple of days later for this tart. It kept really well in the fridge.
Line your pie tin, preferably one with a removable base for ease of removal. Prick the base with a fork.
Add baking paper and top with pie beads or beans and blind bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius . Remove the beads and bake for another 10 minutes. Now a word of warning here. This pastry is very short and will brown faster than your normal non gluten free pastry. Mine looks well browned but in the final bake with filling I popped foil around the rim of the tart to stop it browning to black! It still tasted lovely but next time I’ll take it out sooner.

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Now we assemble the tart!
For the filling you’ll need,
200 gm of goats cheese, crumbled or sliced
2 large eggs
200ml of pouring cream
The onion jam you’ve made earlier.
Layer your onion mix in the base first. Crumble or layer the goats cheese over the top. Then mix together the eggs and cream and pour over the top.

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I baked the tart for roughly 30 minutes on 160-180 degrees Celsius but I checked it at 20 minutes as well. I thought it turned out rather well, if a little too brown ๐Ÿ˜„

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The taste was spot on with the sweetness of the onions and the saltiness of the goats cheese melding together nicely. This would be lovely with a nice watercress or mustard greens salad to go with it. Just nice for a spring lunch.
Bon appetit!
PS apologies for the layout of the pictures. For some reason my iPad puts them out of order to what I choose when I choose multiple photos! I’ll have to work out how to fix that.

Coconut Lemon Slice – Gluten Free and extra Coconutty .

Today the wonderful father daughter painting duo of Bob and Bonnie came and oiled and sanded and patched more of our renovations. Tomorrow they refresh all the paintwork in the kitchen and laundry . I was in the mood to bake so I adulterated a favorite slice recipe to make it gluten free for Jason and tried it out on Bob and Bonnie as well. They’re still alive and kicking so it must be alright ๐Ÿ˜„
First do your prep work and organise all your ingredients.

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Ingredients.
125gm butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar (I used raw)
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup Gluten Free self raising flour
3/4 cup of coconut flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup coconut milk

Preheat the oven to moderate 180 degrees C. Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm shallow tin with non stick baking paper , overhanging two opposite sides.

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Beat the butter, sugar and lemon rind with electric beaters until light and creamy.

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As you can see in the second picture, I softened the butter a bit too much in the microwave as it was still to hard to cream with the sugar. It cooled down as I beat it though and resumed a more normal creaminess which you can see in the following picture.

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Add the egg, a little at a time, beating in well.

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Mix in the shredded coconut.

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Sift the flours and baking powder and fold into the mixture alternately with the lemon juice and coconut milk.

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Spread the mixture evenly into the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until firm.

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Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

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When cold, ice with lemon icing. This was made with about 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, a small nob of butter and lemon juice and a dash of boiling water till a spreadable consistency.

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The texture is really lovely and the use of coconut flour just added to the flavour big time.
This is how far away from my kitchen side door our lemon tree is. We had to give it a rather severe crown lift during the renovations but I wasn’t about to lose it.

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Bon apetit!

Basil Pesto

I was thinking about what to cook for tea tonight that won’t be too heavy in the tummy as we will eat late. Jason has karate practise until 8.30 and will need to have something easily digested. We decided on pasta and basil pesto ๐Ÿ™‚

First assemble the ingredients. As there are only five of them, it didn’t take too long at all.

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Ingredients
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, halved or chopped
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
5 tablespoons olive oil

Get a small fry pan and heat it on a moderate heat. Add the pine nuts and gently toast till nicely browned.

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Tip out onto a plate and allow to cool.

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Add the basil leaves, shredded cheese, garlic and pine nuts to the food processor ( or mortar and pestle if preferred) and process till finely chopped.

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Whilst your food processor is running pour in the olive oil in a thin stream till the pesto has reached a lovely wet and blobby consistency ๐Ÿ™‚

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I shall add this to his gluten free penne pasta when he gets home tonight. It tastes so good on its own and I bet it tastes even better on some crackers or even a rack of lamb! Yum!
Bon apetit!

Sundays breakfast.

My husband Jason is a sever sufferer of gluten intolerance and finding and making him healthy and tasty meals can be problematic at times. I purchased some buckwheat flour a while back and today I also discovered a fantastic recipe for buckwheat pancakes. It was on a blog called Cookie and Kate. She has some really lovely recipes to share with us and it’s really worth having a look. The only thing I changed was that I chopped up a banana and mixed it in with the batter where she served hers with oven roasted strawberries.
First assemble all your ingredients.

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Ingredients:

1 cup of buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups of buttermilk – shaken
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. In a separate jug mix all wet ingredients. I added the chopped banana here as well to the wet mix. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and stir until just combined. Lumps in the mix are a good thing. Don’t beat them out!

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Heat a griddle pan and add 1/4 cup sized amounts of batter.

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Cook until bubbles rise to the surface and then turn when you can see the sides are starting to cook.

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These were really light and fluffy and the added banana worked really well. I added maple syrup to mine but Jason likes his as they come.

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Upside Down Caremalised Pear and Almond Cake (Gluten Free)

Yay! Its coming into winter over here in Albany Western Australia and pears are appearing in the supermarkets and various farmers markets around the place.ย  I love pears. They lend themselves to so many different recipes both sweet and savoury.ย  I bought some gorgeous russet and gold coloured Beurre Bosc pears yesterday and then I went searching for a recipe for them. Something pudding like but that my husband Jason , who has severe gluten intolerance, could also enjoy.

I found this lovely recipe written by a lady by the name of Shaina Olmanson from her blog Food For My Family. Here is how I interpreted it and I stayed faithful to her recipe. It looked a lot taller in her blog photos but it really is more like a flan in depth. Very yummy!

First assemble your ingredients and grease and line the base of a ย 20cm(8 inch) cake tin with baking paper

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Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1-2 Beurre Bosc pears

2 eggs, separated

1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used raw caster sugar)

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup of almond meal/flour

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (I used cornflour)

1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F).

Inย  a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and pinch of salt and stir, cooking till the edges bubble and the sugar is dissolved.

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Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. I forgot to do this (adding the vanilla) and the end result worked just fine ๐Ÿ˜€ย  Immediately pour the caramel over the baking paper and spreading it outย until it coats the base entirely.

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Slice the pear in half, de-core it and slice into 1/8-1/4 inch pieces. Arrange the slices over the caramel, fanning them out from the centre.

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Beat/whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. You should be able to hold them upside down like I have in my picture and not have them fall out ๐Ÿ˜€

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In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks till thick and pale yellow then add sugar, almond extract, almond meal, arrowroot or cornflour, and the cardamom. The mixture will be quite thick and lumpy.

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Gently mix in half the egg whites until they’re incorporated, then fold in the remainder of the egg whites. Don’t worry if the batter is streaked with white, its all good :). Do not over mix.

Pour the cake mix over the pears, spreading into an even layer fully covering the pears.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and center of cake is set.

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Remove from oven and invert onto a plate while still warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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I have to say it tasted divine! I ate it standing at the kitchen bench whilst it was still hot ๐Ÿ˜€

It would also lend itself to the addition of some unsweetened clotted cream as it really is sweet.

Bon appetit!