Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sultana & Oat Cookies

Chewy, spongy, tasty wholesome cookies, great for this time of hibernation. A quick and easy recipe... its doesn't take much time or effort and it only needs one mixing bowl and one baking tray.

The Ingredients
1/3 cup of non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2/3 cup xylitol
1/3 cup sunflower oil 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 ups pure oats
1/2 sultanas

The Method
Preheat the oven to 180c. Line your baking tray with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, with a fork vigorously mix the milk and flaxseed together. Add in the xylitol and oil, continuing to mix until well combined (for about 2 minutes). Then mix in the vanilla. 

Sift in the flour, add the salt and mix in. Then the spices and again mix until evenly spread. Fold in the oats and sultanas.

Spread the mixture out onto the baking tray and with the back of a clean spoon make sure the mix is evenly spread and about a 1.5-2cm thick. 

Then bake for 15-16 minutes or until golden all over (not just at the edges). 

Transfer on the baking parchment to the cooling rack. Once it is cooled it can be sliced up in pieces, as big or small as you want! :)

Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Pineapple Parcels

Gluten Free Pastry (I used Orgran's All purpose pastry mix:
Pineapple pieces (I used fresh pineapple chunks from M&S)

Follow the instruction of the packet to make the pastry - about half this mixture will make about at least 12 parcels.

Tip: if you are trying to make pastry, invest in a rolling pin, it really helps! Might sound obvious, but I don't have one yet and using a glass just isn't the same :)

Note: I needed more water than the instructions suggest but this doesn't mean that the instructions are wrong, just that I'm not very experienced with pastry (not yet).

Once the pastry is rolled and ready, wrap pieces of pineapple in the pastry and cook for 20mins.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bake & All Is Well Cupcakes

My own cupcake version of the beloved Bakewell Tart.

The Ingredients
175g Xylitol
2 medium room temperature eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp glycerine
175g gluten free flour
1.5 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
130ml non-dairy milk
130ml sunflower oil
St. Dalfour Raspberry Jam

12 cupcakes

The Method

Cupcakes first...
Preheat the oven to 180oC (GM4) and 12 cupcake cases in the muffin tray.

Combine the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum; sieve and mix together in the large mixing bowl.

In the measuring jug mix together the milk and oil.

Next place the Xylitol, eggs, vanilla and glycerine into the blender and whizz until well mixed.

Then add all mixtures into the large mixing bowl and whisk by hand until well mixed and the large lumps have disappeared.

Fill muffin cases with about 2/3 of the mixture needed for each cupcake. Then add a tablespoon of jam to each, then even distribute the rest of the cupcake mixture over the 12 cases.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Once baked and well risen remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

125g Organic unsalted butter or a olive / soya alternative
250g Billington's Golden Icing Sugar icing sugar (unrefined icing sugar)
Almond extract
Food colouring
Flaked almonds

Place the butter in a large bowl and mix in the icing sugar gradually with an electric whisk on a slow speed, until well incorporated. Then turn the whisk to a high speed and beat for 2-5 minutes until icing is pale and fluffy.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and any colour you may want your icing to be.

Place in a piping bag, ideally using a wide nozzle and off you go (but only if the cupcake are now cooled)! Once all the cupcakes for beautiful swirls of buttercream, add the flaked almonds for decoration and extra crunch.  

Buttercream alternatives

Its always nice to have buttercream gracing your cupcakes, but it is usually made with butter and icing sugar (in a ratio of 2:1 icing sugar : butter). If you are avoiding dairy products and sugar, this isn't so great. 

I have been experimenting to find out if there is an alternative particularly to icing sugar that will those who are sugar free to enjoy buttercream. Butter is a lot easier to replace.

Normal icing sugar use refined sugar cane. The alternatively I have tried...
1) Powdered Erythritol has the same consistency as icing sugar and a similar sweetness, but leaves a strange after taste in the mouth and a weird coolness and leaves a taste long after you have eaten it - not the alternative to use for me.
2) Corn Flour with appropriate amounts of flavouring - the taste is ok - it requires 2-3 tablespoons of flavouring (e.g. vanilla, almond) it needs a couple of tablespoons of agave or honey to sweeten it (125g cornflour, 75g butter, 8 tablespoons of non-diary milk). It looks and works like buttercream but it has a floury after texture that stays in the mouth and isn't very pleasant, unfortunately.
3) Billington's Golden Icing Sugar - made from sugar cane but the sugar is not refined works exactly like normal icing sugar and is the best option if you really want frosting on your cupcakes.
4) Stevia powder - I have tried this yet, but when I have I will update the post. 

1) Organic unsalted butter
2) Soya spread
3) Olive spread
4) Sunflower spread

These all work well, but organic butter is the best, if you can have some diary. 

Hope this is helpful, happy baking!

Chocolate and beetroot brownies

Sounds like a strange combination doesn’t it? But beetroot gives the brownies an extra depth of flavour, that is hard to describe, part from saying that it just works! For those who are less adventurous with their food and aren’t sure about having veg in their sweets, just don’t tell them :) let them enjoy the brownies first, hopefully that will convince them.

This recipe has been adapted from the River Cottage Everyday cookbook.

The Ingredients

250g of either unsalted organic butter / olive spread / soya spread - whatever your preference is (mine in organic butter)
250g Xylitol chocolate
3 medium eggs
250g Xylitol
150g gluten free flour (e.g. dove’s farm gf plain flour)
250g beetroot

The Method
First the beetroot needs to be peeled, cleaned and boiled until tender (but not mushy!). Once ready, drain and leave to cool. Once the beetroot is cool to the touch grate it.

Preheat the oven to 180c (GM4).

Grease a shallow baking tin (approx 20 x 25cm) and line with baking parchment.

Cut the butter in cubes, and break up the chocolate into pieces, place both in a oven-proof dish and place in the warming oven for a few minutes. Then give it a stir before putting it back in the oven for a few more minutes, until the butter and chocolate is completely melted.

Keep an eye on the choc/butter melting but meanwhile you can whisk and eggs and Xylitol together until combined in a large bowl. Then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth.

sift the flour and salt over the mixture and gently fold in with a metal spoon. Next fold in the grated beetroot until everything is evenly distributed, but be careful not to over mix.

Pour the mixture into the baking tin and smooth the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes but no more to keep them moist.

Once baked place on a wire rake to cool before cutting it into pieces. Yum!