Saturday, 23 April 2011

Coconut Goodness

Redressing the cookie - cake balance of the recipes I have posted so far! :)

Makes 12 cupcakes or 6 muffins

The Ingredients

180g Xylitol
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Glycerine
175g Gluten Free Flour
1 1/2 tsp of GF Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
130ml Sunflower Oil
130ml Unsweetened Soya Milk

Few handfuls of shredded coconut

The Equipment
The usual: forks & spoons

Measuring jug
Large mixing bowl
Cooling rake

The Method
Preheat oven 180oC/GM 4 & place cases in the muffin baking tray.

Place Xylitol, eggs, vanilla and glycerine into blender and whisk for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile combine sifted flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and mix well.

Next mix oil and milk in a measuring jug.

Stir all three mixtures together in the large bowl, mix until there are no lumps left.

Now throw in a few handfuls of shredded coconut and mix until evenly spread throughout the mixture.

Divide mixture equally into the cupcake or muffin cases.

If you're making 12 cupcakes, bake for 15 - 20 minutes (or until well risen).

If you're making 6 muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes.

Once they are baked remove from the baking tray and allow to cool on a cooling rake.

Some of the coconut inside the cakes will go gooey and its absolutely lovely!

You can keep these for about 5 days in an air tight contain in the fridge.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Chocolate Cornflake Easter Nests

The Ingredients
    •    50g butter
    •    3 tbsp syrup
    •    100 g dark chocolate
    •    75 g cornflakes

The Methods
In a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter, syrup and chocolate. Cook and stir
until butter and chocolate have melted and everything is well blended. Mix in the cornflakes
cereal. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto waxed paper or a buttered baking sheet. Place in the
refrigerator until set, about 15 minutes.

The recipe is very simple and no different to traditional Cornflake Nests, what is different is the ingredients that you choose to use.

The Cornflakes:
I have so far only found two brands of cereal that are gluten, dairy & sugar free.

Doves Farm Cornflakes: These cornflakes are thick, crunchy and delicious.

Lima Cornflakes: These cornflakes are light and crispy and also delicious. It just depends what texture you prefer :)

Most other cereals have at best contain raw sugar cane, others like Kellogg's Cornflakes contain Barley Malt Flavouring as well which means that they are not suitable for a gluten-free diet. 

The Chocolate:
I don't use chocolate that contains refined sugar or raw sugar cane.
I use Chocolate made with Xylitol which comes in 100g bars which is great for cooking.
I have also found chocolate made with Coconut sugar which is also very nice but I have only found it in small (snack-size!) bars not so good for cooking. If you don't need to avoid 'normal sugar' I would suggest going for organic fair trade dark chocolate, there are several brands that are gluten and dairy free. 

The Syrup
Nest recipes often use Golden Syrup which is a by-product of the process of obtaining refined crystallized sugar. In this recipe I used honey, but you can use any one of the health syrups as I have written about previously on Natural Sweeteners.  

The Butter
I avoid dairy but I have been told by a trusted nutritionist that if you aren't serious lactose intolerant organic butter (unsalted) is ok. If you can't have any real butter you can try coconut oil instead of soya or olive spreads.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Chocolate Orange & Almond Cookies

A slight twist on the traditional chocolate and 
nut combo, but a good one. But then, you can’t really go wrong with putting chocolate and nuts together!

The Equipment

Cling Film
Chopping board
Large Mixing Bowl
Greaseproof paper
Baking tray(s)
Weighing scales

The Ingredients
125g Butter (if you’re not lactose intolerant use organic butter, otherwise soya or olive spread can be used)
150g Xylitol
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/4 teaspoon Gluten Free Baking Powder
200g Gluten Free Flour
50g Blanched Almonds
50g Xylitol Orange Chocolate
(If you don't need to use sugar-free chocolate, use organic fair-trade dark chocolate).

The Method
First of all break the chocolate up into pieces and place in the blender with the almonds. Blend this for about 30 seconds or until the chocolate and the almond have been broken down into small chunks, but you don’t want them to be completely pulverized and like powder.

This is a noise process! But its also much quicker and less effort than chopping them up by hand. Once you have a small chunky mix of choc-nut goodness, transfer it to your large mixing bowl.

Then add butter and Xylitol to the blender and mix together.

Add the egg and vanilla extract to the mix and blend some more.

Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the mix, keep blending!... until well mixed.

Move the blended mixture into the large bowl with the chocolate-nut chunks and stir these together by hand until all ingredients are well incorporated and evenly spread throughout the mixture.

Cover your chopping board with a layer of cling film and then the mixture onto the cling film and shape into a roll as much as you can.

Wrap the dough in the cling film so you have yourself are large cookie dough sausage :) Make sure the dough is entirely covered in cling film.

Place the cookie sausage into the freezer.

After an 1-1.5 hours, take the cookie sausage out of the freezer and give it a bit of a roll on the chopping board, it will be firm now and easier to shape.

Put back in the freezer for another 30 minutes - 1 hour.

At this point pre-heat the oven to 170oC and put the greaseproof paper on the baking tray(s).

Remove the cookie sausage from the freezer and unwrap the cling film from the dough, place on the chopping board.

Cut the dough into discs and place on the baking trays, give them a bit of space as they will spread.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Once out of the oven, peel them off the greaseproof paper and on to a cooling rack.

Once they are cool they are soft and chewy, but they are actually better the day after you have baked them. They become crunchy and somehow this makes them taste better! If you want them chunky immediately, then leave them in the oven for a little longer.

Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Mothers Day Maple Cupcakes

Mothers Day Maple Cupcakes 
(with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting 
OR Vegan Buttercream Frosting)


Measuring jug
Large bowl
Blender/food processor
Cupcake tray & cases
Fork or whisk
Table & tea spoons

1 1/3 cup Gluten Free Flour
1/2 cup Soya Milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp Glycerine
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/3 cup vegetable oil OR melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons Xylitol
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup Vegan Cream Cheese
Consists of:

     Firm Silken Tofu
     1 tbsp Oil
     2 tsp Lemon Juice
     2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
     1 tsp Vanilla Extract

To make the frosting:
1/4 cup Vegan Margarine
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Xylitol OR 2 cups if you like it more sweet than cheesy :)

The Cupcakes

Preheat the oven 180oC
and place cupcake cases in the cupcake tray.

Whisk together soya milk and vinegar in a measuring jug. Leave for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile sift the flour into a large bowl with the baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and nutmeg in a bowl.

Whisk the maple syrup, oil, xylitol and vanilla extract into the soy/vinegar mix.

Make a well in the flour mix, pour in soya mix, stir together and then whisk until all the large lumps have gone.

Transfer the cake mix into the cases, evenly if possible, though this is still beyond me :)

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Place the cupcake on a cooling rake and let them cool completely before adding the frosting.

The Vegan Cream Cheese
Crumble the tofu and add this and all the other cream cheese ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. This will probably make more than you need for the frosting. You can keep it in an air tight container for 5 days in the fridge.

The Frosting
To finish the frosting mix the vegan cream cheese, margarine, vanilla and xylitol into the blender and blend until well mixed. Then spread on the completely cooled cupcakes! Yum!

The Alternative
If you don’t like cream cheese. You can always use Vegan Buttercream Frosting.

1/2 cup Coconut Oil (solid)
1/2 cup Vegan Margarine
1/2 cup of Xylitol
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup of Soya Milk

Additional Equipment
Pastry bag and nozzle

Add to blender (or use handheld blender) the coconut oil and margarine and mix together until well combined and fluffy.

Add the sugar and blend until completely mixed.

Add soya milk and vanilla, blend until fluffy.

Add to pastry bag and pipe onto the cakes when completely cool.