Thursday, 12 January 2017

Chestnut & Quinoa Biscuits

Thought I'd try something different today. Mainly because I just noticed my chestnut flour is about to go out of date, but also because I know not everyone can tolerate oats so I'm experimenting with different 'flakes'. I often find rice flakes too crispy in a biscuit recipe, I've run out of millet flakes, and I'm trying to find new ways to use quinoa flakes, that disguises the strong flavour.
These worked brilliantly, I think adding quinoa to a biscuit brought out more of a nutty taste, complimented by the sweet, earthiness of the chestnut flour. 
Crispy and 'nutty' as they are.
Filled with chestnut spread & drizzled with chocolate.
This made 15 biscuits (plus the bit I tested in the microwave before baking and the raw mix I ate...)

85g Dairy & Soya Free Margarine (I used hard Stork as I wanted a crisper biscuit)
50g Light Brown Sugar (any would work, will just alter the colour)
35g Date Syrup (would probably work with golden syrup, but I'd use a bit less)
50g Chestnut Flour
50g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
50g Quinoa Flakes

Melt margarine, sugar and syrup together in the microwave (or in a small pan).
Add flours & flakes and mix well.
Roll into walnut sized balls.
Flatten slightly (I might try them a little thinner next time - and with less sugar).
Bake at 180ºc for 10 minutes, remove from oven to cool if you want a soft cookie, or turn the temperature down to 160ºc and bake for another 10 minutes for a crispier biscuit. This is what I did, although, some did brown a little more on the edges than I wanted, but my oven is not baking evenly at the moment. I might just try 20 minutes at 160ºc next time.
Remove from the oven to cool.
Eat them plain, or fill with chestnut spread and drizzle with melted chocolate. 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Vegetable Pasta Bake

I always struggle to post savoury recipes because I've always cooked by eye & don't measure anything out. We'd just got back from 5 days away and I hadn't been food shopping yet so lunch was a concoction of store cupboard basics, some vegetables that I'd put in the shed over Christmas as no room in fridge, and some bits from the freezer. You could do your own version with whatever you have to hand or what you know your kids will eat.
Cauliflower, carrot & ham pasta bake
Several people asked for the recipe after I posted the above picture on twitter, so I've typed up my best estimate of how I made it. Maybe it could give you an idea of how to do your own version. It's certainly different every time in this house!

250g Dried Gluten Free Pasta (I used Hale & Hearty Rigatoni)
250mls Tomato and Basil Sauce (plus equal quantity of water used to rinse out pot)
2 Carrots (grated)
1/2 Cauliflower (chopped into small pieces)
Ham hock/chopped leftover meat/bacon/sausages (optional)
Frozen sweetcorn/spinach (I'd run out or it would have been in this one)

White Sauce 
500mls Milk Substitute
60g Dairy & Soya Free Spread (I used half and half, spread and garlic oil)
60g Gluten Free Plain Flour
50g Dairy & Soya Free Cheese* (I used Violife Original, grated)
100ml Dairy & Soya Free Cream (optional)

*If you don't want to use a cheese substitute, you can try 1tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes to add a savoury flavour.

Melt spread and oil in a pan. Add the flour and mix well, continuing to stir on a low heat for another minute (do not allow it to brown).

Slowly add the milk substitute a little at a time, stirring constantly, until you have a smooth paste.

After this you can add the milk a little quicker to make the sauce. Allow to come to the boil, stirring frequently.

Remove from the heat & stir in the grated cheese, or other flavouring.

Add the dairy free cream, if using, or a little more milk substitute until you have a sauce the consistency of custard. Set aside.

Cook pasta for a couple of minutes less than it says on the pack. Drain off the water. Add the veg, ham, tomato sauce & water.

Stir and bring back to the boil. Pour into a casserole dish, top with the white sauce.

Bake at 220ºc for 40mins (or 20mins, the grill to brown the top if you're short of time like I was!).
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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Blueberry & Lemon Muffins

Needed a quick second breakfast before swimming this morning, so knocked up a batch of these with some slightly wrinkly blueberries from the fridge!

350g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (I used Orgran today, so needed the higher volume of fluid)
100g Sugar
75mls Vegetable Oil (or melted dairy free spread)
350-400mls Milk Substitute (some flour blends are more 'thirsty' than others)
Vanilla Paste
Zest & Juice of 1 lemon
160g Blueberries

Weigh flour and sugar into a large bowl.
Add oil, milk substitute, lemon & vanilla and mix to a smooth dropping consistency. If it's too thick, add a little more milk substitute.

Stir in the blueberries.
Spoon into a greased muffin tin.
Bake at 190ºc for 25-30mins.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Christmas Pudding Fudge

Well, I didn't quite get this one posted here in time for Christmas, but at least it will be ready for next year…

This was just a batch of Vanilla Fudge, with crumbled Christmas Pudding mixed through. I really wanted to make several batches with different flavours (ginger, cinnamon & orange, amaretto, etc…), but didn't have any more coconut cream.

225g Caster Sugar
45g Dairy Free Spread
160ml Can Coconut Cream 
1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste
100g Crumble Christmas Pudding (I used Coles gluten free one, which is milk, egg, soya, and nut free too) 

Put sugar, spread and coconut cream into a heavy based pan. Heat gently, stirring frequently until the sugar has completely dissolved (do not allow to boil until sugar dissolved).
Bring to the boil without stirring. 
Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 116ºc on a sugar thermometer (or until it forms a soft ball when a small drop is added to a glass of cold water).
Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the vanilla extract and beat with a wooden spoon until thick.
Stir in the Christmas pudding (or other flavouring).
Pour into a greased foil lined tray.
Smooth out to an even thickness (mine didn't quite fill the tin, but just straighten the edge when its the thickness you want).
Use a sharp knife to cut into square and leave to cool completely.

Toad in the Hole

Another variation on a theme…

(Mine didn't brown today, only thing I did different was use almond milk… Still puffed up nicely, was beautifully crisp on the outside & gooey in the middle just as it should be though. Usual complaint from boys, not enough...)

8 Chipolata Sausages
1 Eating Apple (cut into wedges)
1 Parsnip (peeled & cut into wedges)
Chopped sage and rosemary (optional)

Put sausages and parsnip in oven at 220ºc for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make up the batter and add the herbs (if using).

Add apple to sausages and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Heat toad in hole tin, with a little oil, until smoking hot.

Pour in the batter.

Top with sausages and veg.

Bake at 220ºc for 25-30mins or until puffed up, browned, and coming away from the sides of the tin.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Reindeer Pancakes

It's the boys first day of school holiday's today, so before we head into town and dash around for the last Christmas bits, were starting with a breakfast to get us into the festive spirit.

I know I posted these on Twitter last year, but never got round to typing up a recipe, so here goes...
Yes, there was an argument over who got the plate with the
smaller one and who got the one with a broken antlers!
200g Gluten Free Plain Flour (I used Doves Farm Bread Flour, which I use for most things as it's buckwheat free, you may need a slightly different amount of fluid for different flour blends)
300mls Milk Substitute
2tsp Baking Powder
1tbsp Sugar (any will do, I used light muscovado for this)
1tsp Mixed Spice (or other christmas spice flavours)
1tsp Vanilla Paste (or extract)
Enough eyes and noses for 6-8 reindeer (depending on size). I used chocolate chips and frozen raspberries.

Put dry ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
Add milk substitute and whisk to form a smooth batter.
Put a couple of tablespoons of batter in a cone of greaseproof paper for piping the antlers. Snip the end off.
Place one tablespoon of batter on a hot oiled pan and spread a little to form an oval.

Place another, slightly smaller, spoonful above the first.

Pipe antler shapes.

When bubbles are beginning to form on the surface and underside lightly browned, flip over and cook on the other side for a few minutes.
Put on plate & place on eyes and nose.
Repeat until all batter is used up.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Bakels)

I've been posting variation of these on Twitter for the last year or so, but still not got round to posting recipe, so here goes…
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300g Bakels White Bread Mix
300mls Milk Substitute
2tsp Dried Yeast
30g Hard Dairy & Soya Free Margarine
1tsp Vanilla Paste (or extract)
2 Cardamom pods, split & seeds crushed

60g Hard Dairy & Soya Free Margarine
50g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
Zest of half an Orange
1 1/2tsp Ground Ginger
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4tsp Ground Cloves
2 Cardamom Pods, split & seeds crushed

Warm the milk substitute to hand hot. Sprinkle on the yeast, stir & leave to foam.

Tip the bread mix into a large bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix with a blunt knife until it begins to come together.

Add a little flour, knead for a few minutes and shape into a ball (or follow the instructions on the pack if you have a mixer).

Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.
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Meanwhile, mix all the filling ingredients together with a fork.

Add the rest of the dough ingredients to the dough and knead in. This well be a very soft, sticky dough, but keep mixing until well combined.
Add a little more flour and bring together to a ball.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 5mm thick. I do it between sheets of cling film to stop it sticking.

Spread the filling over the rolled out dough.
Fold into thirds.
Cut lengthways into 4, then half each to give 8 long strips.
Twist into a knot and tuck the ends underneath.
Put onto a greased baking tray, brush with oil or milk substitute and leave to rise for 15-20mins (may need longer in a cold room).

Sprinkle with pearl sugar, if using.
Bake at 200ºC for 15-20mins until golden brown.
Lovely and sticky and crusty underneath too.