Monday, 23 June 2014

Strawberry Sponge Cake

Every now and then I like to retry one of the recipes in the info we give out to patients, just to check it still works. This is the basic cake recipe from the milk, egg, wheat and soya free diet sheet, with added strawberry pieces. Well it is Wimbledon week after all… Oh, and I reduced the sugar, still can't just follow a recipe, even when it's one of mine!

Sorry not many pictures as I went along, it's gymnastics night so didn't get home 'til after we normally would have had dinner.

175g Wheat Free Self Raising Flour
1/4tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
45g Dairy and Soya Free Spread
80g Caster Sugar
30g Golden Syrup
160mls Milk Substitute
1tsp Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1/2tsp Vanilla Paste or Extract
100g Chopped Fresh Strawberries (good use for the ones a little past eating fresh)

Melt spread, sugar and syrup together in a bowl.

Stir in milk substitute, vanilla and vinegar and set aside.

Weight out flour into another bowl and stir in bicarb.

Stir in the liquid to give a smooth batter.

Add the fruit and stir again.

Pour into a lined tin (I used a tray bake tin about 18x25cm).

Bake at 180ºc for 25-30mins until firm to the touch.

Serve with dairy free cream, ice cream and fresh strawberries.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Fruity Flapjacks

Well, I've upped the fruit, and reduced the fat and sugar even further from the banana flapjack recipe. I think this could almost be a healthy recipe! 
Because of the high water content, these make a soft flapjack and require more cooking. Also, best not cooled in the tin, or the bottoms go soggy.

If I make these on Sunday, they are still fine right up to Friday's packed lunch (but these extra fruity ones didn't last that long!).

Makes 12

1 Large Banana (mashed)*
1 Apple (grated)
2 Apricots (chopped)
1 Cup Frozen Raspberries (crushed)
60g Dairy and Soya Free Spread
60g Golden Syrup, or Sugar
300g Oats

*Mini Monster wanted to make carrot and apricot ones last week. We used 1 very large grated carrot, 3 apricots, an apple and a bit of mixed spice.

Put the oats in a large bowl.
Weigh out the spread and syrup into another bowl and melt.
Prepare the fruit.
Add everything to the oats.
Mix well. 
Tip into a tin.
Spread out and flatten with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 30mins at 180ºC.

Remove from oven and cut into fingers with a sharp knife.
Return to the oven for another 10-20mins until coming away at the edges and beginning to brown.

At this stage, you can turn the oven off and leave in the tin in the oven to cool and dry out a little more (I often do this if making them late at night).

Otherwise, cool for 5 minute, then carefully remove from the tin, turn upside down on a cooling rack and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes (I think my bottom element is a bit dodgy at the moment, so yours may not need this step if they seem less soggy than the picture below).
Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

Raspberry and Oat Nobbly Biscuits

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but we are out of biscuits. Even the emergency shop bought biscuit box only contains a few lonely oat cakes. I asked the boys what they fancied and was met by a unanimous cry of "Hob Nobs!". 

Until earlier this week, when I dug out an old blog recipe, I hadn't made Hob Nobs for a while. They were good and looked and tasted like the real thing, but they were far too sweet for me.

The problem with the science of baking is you can't just adjust ingredients and expect the same result, hence the change of name…

The high fat and sugar content of the original recipe is what helps them spread out before 'setting'. By reducing the sugar in these, it means that your biscuits won't spread, so need pressing flat before baking.

Makes 12 large cookies

110g Dairy and Soya Free Spread (e.g. Pure/Vitalite)
75g Sugar (I used light muscovado, but any will do)
1tbsp Golden Syrup 
1/2tbsp Water
1/4tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
110g Oats
110g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (or Self Raising Flour if you don't need to be gluten free)
2tbsp Dried Raspberry Pieces (optional) - or any other dried fruit

Put spread, sugar, syrup and water in a bowl or pan and melt together.

Add bicarb and stir.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Put scoops onto a baking tray.

Flatten with your hand.

Bake at 180ºC for 15-18minutes.

Leave to cool for a minute before moving to a cooling rack.

If they are still too soft, put them back in the oven at 160ºC for 10 mins to dry out more.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Green Tea Crackers

These are for Margreet, who very generously donated the Matcha Powder to experiment with. Green tea is high in antioxidants, but also contains caffeine so these may not be the ideal snack for your little cherub to eat in vast quantities, the odd one or 2 shouldn't be a problem (1 tsp of powder is enough for the equivalent of a cup of tea, this quantity of mix makes about 40 crackers - depending on size…). 
Mini Monster loves them, but I'm not sure he's the best judge as he will pretty much eat any carbohydrate (unless someone has touched it with 'wheat fingers'!). If you're not keen to try the green tea, just leave it out and make plain crackers.

2oz Gluten Free White Bread Flour (would probably work with gf plain flour too)
4oz Ground Almonds
1tsp Arrowroot or Kuzu 
1/4tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1tsp Coconut Oil (room temperature so it's soft) or other oil
1tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder (or 2tsp if you want a stronger green tea taste)
50-60mls Lemon Juice or Water

Put dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Add lemon juice (or water) and coconut oil.

Bring together with a knife.

Knead lightly until smooth ball formed.

Cover with cling film and flatten slightly with your hand.

Roll out (under cling film) until 2-3mm thick.

Cut into squares with a sharp knife (or use a biscuit cutter for different shapes).

Place on baking tray.

Bake at 180ºC for 15mins.

If they are not crisp enough put them back in the oven at 160ºC for another 10-15 mins

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Mini Fruit Strudels

My 7 year old is going to cooking club after school this term. They are not allowed to eat the food at school, which means forward planning to make sure Mini Monster has something similar. So far, we've had salad, fruit salad and chocolate chip cookies, which are all pretty straight forward, bit I know they have filo parcels coming up soon. I can cobble together pastry for jam tarts or a pie, but wheat free filo pastry? Not sure even I can manage that one!

I thought about just making thin pancakes, but knew it wouldn't be quite right. I almost feel this is cheating it was so easy, but then I wouldn't have made filo pastry either!

For 2

4 Rice Pancakes (for spring rolls - not spring roll wrappers which contain wheat)
3-4tbsp Stewed Fruit (I softened 1 apple and 3 apricots in a frying pan with vanilla paste and a little water - you don't want it too wet) 
3-4tbsp Wheat Free Bread/Cake Crumbs
1-2tsp sugar
Olive Oil (or other suitable oil)
Hot Water for softening Rice Pancakes
Caster Sugar to caramelise outside (optional)

Cook some suitable fruit and set aside to cool.
Put bread or cake crumbs in a frying pan with a little oil and sugar. Probably about a tsp of each.
Cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently until caramelised and crispy.
Add crumbs to fruit mixture.
I don't have pictures of dipping the pancakes, but dip them in a bowl of hot water for a few seconds until soft.
Put 2 softened pancakes onto an oiled worktop (or greaseproof paper makes for easier clearing up).

Place 2tbsp of fruit mix onto the pancake.
Fold in sides and roll up the pancake like a spring roll.
Repeat for remaining pancakes.

Fry in a little oil, turning frequently to brown all the way round.
If you want them caramelised, put a tsp of caster sugar in the pan (it should melt almost immediately) and toss them around in the caramel until covered.
Serve with suitable custard, cream or ice-cream.