Thursday, June 09, 2011

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Chantilly Cream

I know I don't often post gluten recipes but I'm about to put up a lot over the next week. Sorry GF'ers! I'm catering a function and want to share the prettiness with you.
Also I know I usually use weights, however this recipe has so many variables that cup measurements will suffice.

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Chantilly Cream

50g butter
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 brown sugar not packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 egg
1 cup mashed pumpkin (cooled to room temp or pulled out of the fridge half an hour before making)
1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 - 2.5 cups SR flour plus extra just in case
3T plain flour for dusting/kneading

Oven 220 fan forced, less if your oven tends to cook quickly. Baking papered cookie sheets.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy, add sugars and beat until well combined and smooth.
Beat in egg, salt and spice, then slowly add in pumpkin.
Add flour gradually and gently, until you have a soft dough that you can pat out, rather than roll or roll gently just to smooth the top.
(It may only need 2 cups or it may need 2.5, depends on the pumpkin water content and the egg size.)
Use plain flour to dust your hands and the workbench.
Pat out dough to 1 inch thickness, gently roll if necessary. Cut out with small cutter dipped in plain flour.
Let sit on baking paper covered tray for ten minutes before baking. (Milk glaze is unnecessary since they're being served split and topped with cream.)
I have no idea how long they will take to bake in your oven and what size cutter you used, so I'd check at 4 minutes.

I'm assuming you know how to make a chantilly cream, so I won't blather. Split your cooled tiny Scones and dollop or pipe on chantilly cream. Lightly dust with mixed spice.

Lemon Curd

This is just like my grandmas recipe, with less error margin ie precise measurements!

Lemon Curd

4 egg yolks
2/3 cup castor sugar
60g unsalted butter
2 tsp grated lemon zest
100ml lemon juice (about 2 juicy lemons)

Whisk egg yolks and sugar until well combined but not frothy.
Tip into a heavy-based non-reactive saucepan and add butter, zest and juice.
Stirring constantly, bring to barely simmering point over a medium-high heat (about five minutes).
As soon as bubbles appear, remove from heat, still stirring. Allow to cool.

I used a strip zester and removed the zest as it was cooling. I'm making tiny Lemon Meringue pies with it and want it smooth. Pictures to come!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cappucino Yoghurt from scratch?

Kath V2: First Weigh In - Yee Haw!: "I discovered the most delicious yoghurt yesterday - if you love yoghurt and coffee, The Yoghurt Shop make an absolutely stunning cappucino yoghurt!  Sadly, it's over 200 calories per tub :(.  But, fear not...I'm going to have a crack at reproducing a low fat, lower calorie version with the EasiYo tonight - so far looks like it would work out around 165 cals.  Mmmmmmmmm, coffee yoghurt..."

My dear Friend Kath is currently participating in Michelle Bridge's 12 Week Body Transformation. In her first week, she's lost a whole kilo. Go girl. But want to know why I'm really excited? She's having a go at making low fat Cappuccino Yoghurt! If it works, I'll nick her recipe and blog it out. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Cake

I like making things up.
I like it even better when they work! This is super yummy. I might tweak the next one a bit to make it taller, maybe add another half ingredients on top so it's bigger. If you have a smaller springform, you could try that.
Picture is a bit dodgy as I'm not well and I couldn't figure out my beloved's camera to make the aperture bigger, but I'll take another a bit later when it's swimming in Custard. Oh yeah.

Lemon Blueberry Cake

200g frozen Blueberries (fresh is fine also)
125g unsalted butter
200g white sugar (castor if you have it)
2 eggs
300g Wholegrain GF flour
50g Glutenous rice flour
2 tsp baking powder.
150 milk at room temp
 zest of a big lemon
2T threaded coconut
Icing sugar for dusting.

Preheat over to 180 or 170 fan forced.
Grease and paper 22cm springform pan.
Microwave blueberries if frozen until just thawed, but not at all cooked.
Beat butter until light and airy, add sugar, continue to beat.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well, then add lemon zest and beat again.
Fluff  dry ingredients together well with a fork.
Fold in milk and dry ingredients alternately.
Spread into springform pan, and spread gently and evenly.
Scatter blueberries over the cake and press down into the batter gently.
Sprinkle over coconut threads and a light even dusting of icing sugar.
Bake approximately 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately lightly dust cake with icing sugar again.
Leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove outer ring gently.
Allow to cool fully then serve with hot custard for dessert or with cream for afternoon tea.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Muffin Mania returns

I was hungry. So I baked. While waiting for a batch of pizza dough to rise, I thought I'd try and convert my favourite 'old' muffin recipe to GF. Shauna James Ahern (Gluten free girl) states that you as long as you have your ratios right, you can convert any baked recipe fairly easily.
So, whipping out my tub of her Wholegrain All purpose flour mix, I set to work.
After mixing everything together, I realised I had 'nothing' batter. It would have been fine if I had a batch of fruit compote to eat it with or dollop on top. Fresh passionfuit to make icing, even better. I didn't have fresh passionfruit.
What I DID have was some leftover fruit from Christmas, still quietly marinating away in the back of the pantry in it's sealed tub. So I added some of that. Yumm! You can add whatever you have. Fruit compote, nuts, choc-chips. Whatever.

This is what I ended up with.
They taste like white flour muffins. The texture is right, and they're lighter than the last lot with the extra baking powder. Crispy round the edges with a super soft and not in the least grassy or grainy. Shauna is right again. It was easy to convert. I just changed the flour and added linseed. The linseed helps it maintain it's fluffyness and add omega3. To my dear friend who is allergic to linseed, use chia.

Basic Wholegrain Muffins
300g Wholegrain GF flour 
2 tsp Baking powder
150g white sugar 
1 egg
1tsp vanilla bean paste
200ml milk/ricemilk
50g melted butter
1T linseed or chia meal soaked in 40ml Boiling water

Additional flavour ingredients
200g drained, soaked mixed fruit 
1/2 tsp lemon essence


Preheat oven to 180 and prep muffin tray.
Fluff flour and baking powder together with a whisk or paddle attachment. 
Mix together wet ingredients including essences until combined.
Mix wet into dry, and beat until smooth.
Fold in fruit/nuts/other and scoop into pans.

Bake for 18 minutes, checking after 15.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Muesli Bites

A forum I belong to has had quite a bit of chatter about kids going back to school and lunchboxes. Then someone posted a thread about Muesli Bars. I LoveLoveLove Muesli bars. It bothered me though that my daughters favourite supermarket brand are 41% sugar. Yep. 41%. Ouch. They were forthwith banished from our house.
So when the muesli bar thread popped up, I thought Aha! A chance to make some that not only could I eat but had good nutrient content and whole grains. I read about 6 recipes, got a feel for the fat/sugar ratio and made these.

Lily spies the one in the centre with extra peanut butter on top.

Once again I have used Thick cut non-contaminated oats, but if you can't eat these, add more of whatever you can. :) Also, the ratios are what I like. I'm not a huge fan of rice bubbles so have added a lot less of these than you might like. As long as the weights are about the same, you'll be set.

Muesli Bites

100g butter
100g Super Crunch peanut butter.
100g dark brown sugar
100g honey (see cheat notes)
100g GF AP flour mix (mine is sorghum/brown rice/tapioca/potato mix to GFGirl's ratio)
1/2 tsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
100g Craisins (or sultanas)
100g GF cornflakes (or rice flakes)
100g GF thick cut oats
50g shredded coconut
30g GF rice bubbles
20g Linseed Meal

Lightly grease a mini muffin tin. It helps if you have a couple, or put little patty papers into a tin to switch them out fast.
Preheat oven to 180c fanforced.
Measure out your wet ingredients (sugar, butter, nutbutter, honey). Put aside in a small saucepan.
Measure out your flour and baking powder and fluff with a fork to mix well. Add with the other dry ingredients into a REALLY big bowl and mix well.
Melt your wet ingredients, stirring gently until well combined and just bubbling. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well and quickly.
Mash spoonfuls very very firmly down into each muffin cup.
Pop into the oven until browned, about 5-8 minutes. Let cool in the tin if they're unpapered or pop out in their papers onto a wire rack. Repeat filling and mashing down with remaining mix.

Notes and Cheats.
- I measure my honey by putting the honey jar onto a digital scale and zeroing it. I then add honey to the saucepan until the jar weighs -100g. Do it slowly until you're confident and you'll be fine. I do the same with the block of butter.
- To make these dairy free, use 10% extra of nuttelex.
- To make nut free, add extra sugar and butter in equal quantities.
- If you have a hubby who likes to munch then these can be made as normal muffin sizes, however I find them too filling unless it's my whole lunch.

I think my son's face says it all. These are GOOD.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Maze of Gluten Free Pasta

I often find myself standing in front of the gluten free section staring at all the pastas, wondering if, perhaps, one actually tastes good. Sometimes I luck in.
But usually when I go back they don't stock it anymore or I can't remember which shop I purchased it from.

Orgran ones aren't bad. They're not amazing though.
Corn based pasta tastes like it should be under mexe-beans and nothing more.
Rice pasta disintegrates.
I know that out there, somewhere is a good gluten free pasta that doesn't cost the earth and is available at more than one shop. And so my hunt continues.
If you know of a good brand, please leave me a note. Please.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Gluten Free Flours. It's really not that hard. Really.

I know that it can be confusing when you read recipes with a thousand different ingredients, some of which you've never heard or think of as cattle feed.
I don't use premixed GF flour anymore as it contains things I don't want to eat, like soyflour (which can inhibit nutrient absorption amongst other things) and Xanthan and Guar gum, which upset my stomach. They're also lower in nutrients. And when you're watching your weight, empty calories are not your friend.

Sorghum flour is (easily) found in Indian food shops and some healthfood shops. I use red as that's what I found first. I'll try white next. It's a wholegrain flour that is grown in huge amounts for cattle here in Australia.

Brown Rice flour is easily found in healthfood shops and some supermarkets

White rice flour is easy to find in supermarkets, try the baking aisle for small packets or the health food aisle in larger amounts.

Teff is not available easily in Australia or New Zealand. It is however easily found on the roadside as a weed in QLD if you're into grinding your own flour.

Amaranth flour is easily found in healthfood shops and some supermarkets.

Quinoa flour is easily found in healthfood shops and some supermarkets too.
Maize flour is usually yellow and again, is whole grain. It's different to what we know as cornflour, used in sponges. It can remind you of taco shells if you use it solely, so I always mix with other flours. Find it at the healthfood shop.

Cornflour is white and is what americans call cornstarch. It's also sometimes made from wheat, which is useless if you're baking for people with allergies, so please check your packet. It must say Maize in the ingredients list. It's starch.

Glutenous Rice flour doesn't contain Gluten. But it makes great muffins! It's cheap as chips from your asian grocery, about $2kg. Americans call it Sweet Rice Flour.

Tapioca flour or Arrowroot is a starch and is easily found in supermarkets in the baking aisle. Try a healthfood shop for larger amounts, or if your supermarket has an asian food aisle, try there too. It's super cheap.

Potato Flour is easily found in healthfood shops.

Also note that Almond Flour is not Ground Almonds/Almond Meal. It's a different product with a different texture.

Chickpea flour and lentil flour taste funny, so I don't use them. I haven't tried coconut flour so can't comment but I know a lot of people who don't like to cook with it.

Guess what. You don't need all these flours! I don't have all these flours! Buy a few at a time and experiment with them, make notes and then you'll learn what you like. You'll learn what's more economical too.
If you need to be told where to start *coughcoughstephaniecough* then start with Brown rice, Sorghum if you can find it, quinoa, potato and tapioca.

Muffin Mania

I have a new obsession... Muffins.

It came about last night that I had a massive chocolate craving and the subtle hints to the man before he left work produced no chocolate gifts. Drat.
So once the kids were in bed I had a quick google for my favourite GF Blogger to see if she had a muffin recipe. Ofcourse she did. See here  for the recipe and flour blending instructions. I won't post the recipe, as I really want you to read her blog post, plus that'd be rude.

Her muffins are wholegrain and therefore full of nutrition (protein and fibre), just right to start the morning. And they are FILLING! It was in fact, my breakfast muffin obsession that led me to the conclusion that it was gluten making me exhausted at 9am and burning with reflux by midday. Woohoo! My breakfast muffin routine can begin again. I digress. Last night, I wanted CHOCOLATE. Delicious, gooey, dark chocolate. And so I baked.

To fully understand what I'm about to write, you MUST read Shauna's post and explanation of flours before the recipe. She's done all the hard work and below is simply my take on her version of someone else's Gluten based muffins! She's such a joy to read though, I know you won't find it a hardship. Also, you really do need a kitchen scale. It makes GF baking a breeze.

I made up the flour mix using red sorghum and brown rice, and tapioca (arrowroot) and potato flour, simply because that's what I had. Next batch I'll do a mix of sorghum/rice/amaranth or maybe quinoa. We'll see. If you can't use eggs, add a teaspoon of linseed or chia meal to a cup, then pour 60 ml of boiling water on top. Stir and let cool. For this recipe, you'll need 2 teaspoons meal and 120 ml of water.

Make sure your ingredients are room temp!
I added 50g of cocoa to the flours and 180g of dark chips at the end.
The liquids I used were sunflower oil and 250g of Lactose free milk and 50g of cream because that's what  I had (and I wanted to see how I reacted) Rice milk will work fine, as will buttermilk, soy milk... whatever you want to try. I heated it slightly in the microwave to bring it to room temp. Next time I make these I'll use 200g of Lac free milk and 100g of cool Espresso... nom nom.
I also baked them until they were cooked, but just barely. Top was still slightly tacky and it set upon cooling.
The mix looked quite sloppy but it worked fine. They were richly dark, moist, not too sweet and hit the I-Need-Chocolate-Right-Now spot.

They're SO YUMMY.  (Don't tell the chocolate but I like these even more)

So, I used the same recipe and this time added 100g of coconut and two handfuls of Craisins to the flours. I also used 1/2 instead of 1/4 tsp of baking powder as I like my muffins well risen.

For the liquids I used 200g lactose free milk, 100g of clear apple juice (for a little extra sweetness) and Sunflower oil again. The zest of one lemon was added to the liquids. I scored the peel vertically every 2 cm and the zested it horizontally so I had short slim strips of peel. (IYKWIM) It will look too liquidy again, but hey, they worked!

The second batch had been sitting for 15 minutes while the first batch baked, and I think they were better. So feel free to let your batter sit for a while before you bake them.

If you're a breastfeeding mama, make them with grated apple, cinnamon, walnuts and add a couple of tablespoons of Brewers Yeast, then top with raw sugar and oats. Freeze these down in twin packs for quick feeding snacks. Heat them in the microwave or flat sandwich press when you need them. .

Please let me know what you think of them and what flavour combinations you tried. I think next on my list will be Hummingbird Muffins... pineapple, banana and date.

Happy baking!