Monday, August 6, 2007

A cookie that tastes like a cookie

I know I haven't been updating much, much less talk about the liver detox which, by the way, I'm still trying to follow (whenever possible). Well I threw the detox to the wind last week seeing that it was my LAST *teen which calls for much mourning and therefore, the overload of sweets and salties and ahem, more sweets. The previous post has already addressed the first of my birthday collection of sweets: brownies! And with regards to the birthday cake, it's been made and devoured, and I couldn't find the time to take a photo. Too busy scarfing the lovely moist orange almond cake.

Orange almond cake seems to be th favourite choice for flourless or gluten-free cakes. Everytime I see a gluten-free cake at a cafe or restaurant chances are it's an orange almond cake. Don't get me wrong, i LOVE orange and almond, put them together and you've got me hooked and so when I baked this orange almond cake from Sweet Alternative by Ariana Bundy, I half expected it to be the same dense, dense cake, similiar to the one I had at Cafe Trevi on Lygon street. Somehow it was a whole heap lighter and I'm guessing the Cafe Trevi one, as with the other flourless orange almond cakes around town, are made by creaming butter and sugar, while mine had no butter or oil but tasted more like heaven than anything else really. Reminds me of the orange cake made at The Raffles Hotel which was sensational (coz i got to pick at some while working there) and the method was the same. Immerse an orange in boiling water and simmer for 2 hours, puree and use. =) MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. But let's move onto cookies now.

Baked my birthday cookies yesterday, added a whole ton of chocolate chunks and chips and walnuts and I'm all smiles. Recipe was adapted from here because I needed a cookie that didn't use butter (because I have none and butter makes me feel guilty). I thought to myself that if I didn't use butter, I could add more chocolate and feel less bad. =) The cookies were good, but somehow they puffed up too much, despite me flattening them before baking so I had to flatten them once more while they were in the oven and it created a cool marbled effect from the melted chocolate chunks I added in, but somehow they were still a little too light for my liking. I think I'll add in 1/4 cup almond meal next time and remove the baking powder from the mixture. The recipe isn't vegan anymore because I had to add an egg to bind the ingredients as gluten-free mixtures are usually stickier than wheat flour ones. But I loved the taste and they're a whole heap better than many gluten free cookies I've had so here's the recipe that I used, with my adaptations.

chocolate chunka heaven cookies

1 very generous cup rice flour
3 tbsp tapioca starch flour
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg
3 tbsp water (or so)
1 tsp vanilla extract
75 g walnuts, chopped
150g dairy-free dark chocolate (or any you prefer), chopped

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
2) Sift flours, xantham gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together
3) Whisk egg, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract together in a seperate bowl
4) Add liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine, adding 1-2 tbsp of water
if mixture is too sticky
5) Stir in nuts and chocolate until well mixed, again, adding 1 tbsp water is needed
6) Drop by huge tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and flatten
7) Bake for 8 minutes or until puffy, then using the back of a spoon, flatten the cookies a little
8) Bake until brown (5 more minutes)
9) Cool completely or eat it while it's warm
10) Makes 20 kinda giant chocolate chunka heaven cookies