gluten free cinnamon biscuits









Oh my, I just had to share my latest little kitchen experiment with you, they are too delicious not to. It all started when my dad developed this yummy gluten free biscuit that my mum and I can both eat. (mum and I have many similar food intolerances/allergies). Anyway after eating Dad’s scrummy bikkies that taste just like a classic Nice biscuit I was reminded how having a cuppa and biscuit is just about the best thing ever, one of life’s sweet little simple pleasures. It got me thinking, if I can’t make the time to do some experimental biscuit baking whilst I’m on my lovely precious sabbatical, then when can I? So I got to it and these are the results… they are easy and only need basic ingredients that are most likely staples in a gluten free kitchen anyway.


Ingredients

1 Egg
120g Butter
1/2 cup Rice Flour
1/2 cup Potato Flour
1/2 cup Almond Meal
1/2 cup Hazelnut Meal
1/2 cup Caster Sugar
1tsp Baking Powder
2tsp Cinnamon
Slurp of Maple Syrup

Method
Cream the butter and sugar til fluffy, add the egg and maple syrup and mix well.
Sift potato flour and rice flour then mix all dry ingredients together.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture then stir and mix until combined.
Spoon dollops onto a lined tray and dust with extra sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for 18-20 minutes at 160c degrees (fan forced oven).
Allow to cool, if you can, then demolish at least half the batch just to make sure they are ok.

I think they taste a little like those yummy cinnamony bikkies Speculaas, but I’ve also tweaked the recipe with molasses instead of maple syrup, lots of ginger and a dash of nutmeg and cloves and this version reminds me of Gingernut biscuits. Yum yum, so many biscuits, so little time! I’m off to put the kettle on for another cuppa and biscuit session.

May life’s simple little pleasures fill your heart with joy and your bikkie tin with your favourites.

homemade dairy free cheese

I know, it sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? But it is true and I have proof. Granted it’s a soy based cheese so I know you dairy eaters may scoff at it, but for us non dairy eaters this is quite the treat. And if you have a bunch of allergies, it’s even more so a treat as there are only two ingredients in it. What? I know, it’s almost amazing! Soymilk and the good old lemon. That’s it. That’s all you need to make your own dairy free ricotta cheese.

I found the dairy version of this recipe and the inspiration to make it on the blog of the lovely Kate Berry, Lunch Lady. I asked Kate if it was possible to make the ricotta with soy milk, when she said yes I went out and bought myself a thermometer in preparation of a cheese eating weekend I was going to have. It was super easy to make, didn’t take too long and left me with a decent size tub of Ricotta cheese to pig out on and enjoy on my cardboard rice crackers. I ate a lot of it with rice crackers and ham topped with gherkins, and boy were they delicious.

So for all you allergy sufferers out there, missing cheese like you miss having the energy of a 6 year old, you might want to give this homemade dairy free cheese a go. You’ll be smothering your allergy friendly bread / crackers in it in no time.

May your belly be full of your favourite cheese / bread / chocolate * …
*insert craving of choice

allergy friendly toasty fruit bread

IMG_5490
This delicious toasty bread has no flour, no cornflour, no tapioca, and no nuts or grains of any kind! It’s gluten free, nut free and dairy free. I know, what IS in it hey? The secret to this allergy friendly toasty fruit bread is the humble spud! This recipe has been a long time coming. There were many trials and even more disasters. Then finally I made the most delicious fruit toast I’ve tasted for 10 years. That said I haven’t actually eaten toast for close to 10 years, so my comparison scale might be a tad off. Forgive me.

This recipe does come with warnings though;

  • Anything gluten free can be a bit hit and miss. Sorry if this misses for you.
  • It’s not really a bread eating kind of bread. It really comes into its own when you toast it. I slice my loaves and then freeze them, popping them straight into the toaster from the freezer.
  • If you don’t like fruit loaf, you may want to try some other flavourings. On its own without the spices and fruit it’s a bit elyuko. Too much like some weird potatoey dish gone wrong. A friend suggested a herb and garlic version which would do a great job masking the odd flavour. I’m yet to try that one but I will… thanks Jill!
  • There is a couple of processes to this bread, it’s not my favourite chuck it all in a bowl and mix method.
  • I have a dodgy airy oven so cooking time seems to change every time I cook it. The idea is to cook it long and slow or else the crust will burn. Tweak the timings to suit your dodgy or not so dodgy oven.
  • If you choose to slather it with butter and top it with homemade Peach & Vanilla Bean Jam, I can’t be held responsible for how much you devour!

IMG_5498
Alrighty, time for toast yes?

Allergy Friendly Toasty Fruit Bread.

Ingredients:

  • 600gm cooled mashed potato (dry mash, don’t add any butter/milk)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar for the whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar for the yolks
  • 1/2 tablespoon bi carb soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of sultanas and/or currants or whatever dried fruit you like
  • 1/4 cup dates (I use the medjool ones)
  • Lots of Spices: Add what you like really but I added heaped teaspoons of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Be generous with them.
  • Pinch of salt (for luck!)

Method:

  • Whisk the whites of the eggs with their 1/4 cup of sugar until they are stiff peaks.
  • In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Sift if you can be bothered or whisk if you like short cuts (thanks lunchlady!). Toss the dried fruit through the dry ingredients.
  • Next you want to whisk the yolks with their 1/4 cup of sugar until they are really light in colour and fluffy. Add the mashed potato to the yolk mix and mix well.
  • Now you can lightly fold and gently mix all three mixes together – the egg white mix, the yolk potato mix and the dry mix.
  • Pour into a lined loaf tin and pop in a preheated 160c degree oven for about 40 odd minutes – give or take 15 -20 minutes! Keep an eye on it, it may need more or less depending on your oven and loaf tin size. Probably more so check it often. I use a really large tin 30cm L x 5cm W x 7cm D. If you have mix left over pop it in some little dishes if you have them. I used some baby heart cake tins with the over on my last quadruple mix, and they turned out pretty cute!

IMG_5478
Peach & Vanilla Bean Jam

Ingredients:

  • 2.5kg of chopped clingstone peaches. And I left the skin on, seemed like a hell of lot of work to take it off kilos of peaches!
  • 1 kg sugar
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 3 vanilla beans
  • Oh and I added 2 apples as my peaches were just under the 2.5kg weight and I wanted to remember quantities! The apples were my homegrown freshly picked granny smiths and I think they added a good hit of pectin as my jam set like a boss.

Method:

  • Cook the peaches down a bit first until they soften. Then add the sugar, lime juice and vanilla beans/skins. Cook it bubbling away and stirring often, for an hour or two. Pour into sterilised jars.

 

Ok that’s enough recipes for one post. If you do make either the jam or bread, let me know? If you’re looking for me I’ll be in the window seat eating toast and jam!

Wishing you hot buttery toasty mornings and peachy sweet jam.

 

‘date with an apple cupcake’ gluten free!

IMG_9194
Well this is not crochet is it?! This is my Date with an Apple Cupcake, and it’s Gluten Free. In case you didn’t already know I have a bunch of allergies and they make eating out, or just eating really, a bit tricky sometimes.

I’ve shared a picture of my frangipani-ish tarts here before but I’ve now tweaked the recipe a bit more – after all that’s what recipes are for aren’t they? I totally expect you’ll do the same with this recipe I’m about to share… Yep, you read right – I’m going to share a recipe. I will warn you first though – I don’t really measure all that carefully so the quantities are a bit ‘loose’.

One of things that I find with most gluten free cakes you can buy is they use some of these products: gluten free flour, maize, tapioca, cornflour, or even polenta. Well unfortunately those items fall into my big fat list of allergy products so it makes it quite hard to get coffee and cake when I’m out.

I also discovered yesterday that Vanilla Extract has glucose from corn syrup in it! Geez, do they have to put corn in everything?! So I’m back to using vanilla beans but it did make me realise that apart from annoying the crap out of the waiter asking for the ingredients in their cakes (because ‘gluten free’ just doesn’t cut it for me), I can safely assume a lot of cakes are going to have vanilla extract in them… and apart from asking to see the label on the vanilla bottle and risking even more of an ‘OMG eye rolling’ look from the waiter, I really can’t rest assured that I’m not eating something that I shouldn’t.

Another thing I’ve found challenging in trying to find a nice cuppa and cake when out, is that they are nearly always flourless orange cakes. Well that’s lovely for the first few years but really? Can the cafes/restaurants not come up with anything else? It’s so boring when you’ve already had fifty million slices of flourless orange cake in your life!

I must admit, my recipe was inspired by a gluten free cake I had yesterday which was Apple Almond and Raisin Cake. So that was a thrill to see a new gluten free cake. It was delicious but I thought I could do better… and I think I did… not wanting to sound all up myself or anything but I think I’ve discovered a really yummy cake that – wait for it – is also a little bit healthy! And when I say healthy, I use the word loosely. I put that much apple in my recipe that the cake-to-apple ratio is pretty darn good. That’s my definition for healthy when it comes to cakes anyway, after all a cake is a cake not a vitamin pill… but a cake with lots of apple has got to be at least a little bit good for you… doesn’t it?

IMG_9197
Now I’ll get to the recipe in a moment, but first I wanted you to see how incredible moist and fluffy the cake is. There’s a reason for this and that’s stewed apple! Also notice the chunky little bits of apple? Some still have the peel on even though I used one of those contraptions that peels and slices it all by winding the handle. Well it doesn’t peel so good! I didn’t mind, it adds a little texture to the cake.

Now as fluffy as it looks, it is. However this comes at a cost… the cake itself is a little crumbly. It’s quite delicate and if you just rip them out of their patty pan cases in your haste to scoff, they may just crumble in your hands. I do think this can be managed by subbing more almond meal for rice flour. But my intention was to reduce the almond meal in the recipe. Again I don’t mind this, it’s a small price to pay for a cake that’s kind to my tummy.

Anyway – I digress! Get me started on the whole allergy, gluten free thing and I’m hard to stop. Back to the recipe. The base foundation of this recipe definitely came from this one, but I’ve tweaked it plenty and come up with my ‘Date with an Apple Cupcake’ recipe. The recipe is for a big batch as I really can’t be bothered creating all those dirty dishes for a small batch. Besides, they freeze really well and only take around 30 seconds in the microwave to turn into a steaming hot cupcake of delight!

Date with an Apple Cupcake
Makes around 30 Cupcakes

150gm butter
150gm Nuttelex (soy based, dairy free margarine)
300gm caster sugar
Seeds from 2 vanilla beans (or a generous slurp of vanilla extract – if you can have it!)
4 eggs
150gm almond meal
150gm rice flour
Generous sprinkles of cinnamon
Generous sprinkles of nutmeg (fresh grated is best if you have the whole nutmegs)
5 large apples, stewed then mushed up to baby food texture.
3 large apples chopped up very small. Peel them if you can be bothered.
About 12 big fat juicy dates, chopped up small. (the Medjool ones are best, leave out if you don’t like dates, add more if you do, or sub with another dried fruit if you want)

Cream the butter, nuttelex and sugar really well. Make sure it’s really light and fluffy as this helps with the lightness of the cupcakes. Add Vanilla beans/extract, cinnamon, nutmeg. Add your eggs. Now your supposed to add eggs to a creamed butter sugar mixture slowly so it doesn’t curdle. Well I find mine always curdles, no matter what, so I just chuck the whole lot in. Curdle smirdle… whatever, it mostly goes away when you add the dry ingredients. Then add the almond meal and rice flour. Add the stewed apple. My apple mix was quite thick and not runny, I used a good few splashes of water and some sugar when I stewed them. Mix it all up (either by hand or mixer up to this stage). Now you can add the dates and chopped apple, and mix this in with a wooden spoon or spatula or something.

You should end up with a thick chunky batter mix. If it looks too runny add a bit more rice flour or almond meal. Spoon into your cupcakes and bake at around 150 degrees (fan forced). They take about 30 minutes or so, depending on how much you filled your cupcakes but to be honest I didn’t really time it all that closely. I just took them out when they had a nice golden colour on top and the skewer comes out clean.

A note on the apple varieties – use whatever you have. I used the pink lady variety to stew, the chopped up were 2 golden delicious and 1 jazz…
IMG_9196
That’s it! Before you know it the house will smell divine and you’ll be eating the yummiest allergy friendly cake. They are super easy, super delicious, gluten free, and kinda sorta healthy.

Now remember, I use recipes like crochet patterns. I’m a bit loose with them, don’t follow them to a T and tweak as a I go. You may want to add more almond meal and make them a bit denser and less crumbly? Or maybe all butter for that lovely flavour. I need to watch my dairy intake which is why I do a mix of butter and nuttelex, but if that’s not a problem for you then I’d say all butter will give yours a flavour edge.

Will you let me know if you make some? And let me know if something in the recipe needs a tweak? And let me know if you too are gluten free? Or have allergies and find eating out tricky? I’d really love it if you did.

On another note I have all but finished a lovely white vintage ran ripple blanket. I just need to darn in the ends (oh joy!) and also pick up some ribbon as I’m thinking about a special little ribbon trim. It may or may not happen. Tune in soon to see if it does. If you want.

I’m off for a ‘Date with an Apple Cupcake’…. and I’m not telling you how many I’ve already had for breakfast today either!