Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Needin' some Puddin'

I could re-tell the story for the...tenth time, about the horrible start of the day but it's allright. I think the previous nine times sufficed. 'Nuff with the whining, on with the pudding.

I'm a religious reader of Delicious. I read it every month without fail and will proudly announce that it is the best food magazine I've come across. *YAY!*. This month just made their status skyrocket when they rocked up to the newsagent's shelves with a gluten-free special (and the awesome Shaun wrote me a note just in case I missed it). So I flip through it every other morning over breakfast, dog-earring the pages holding recipes I just have to try. I usually don't end up trying them because when I have a craving I forget...forget to look through my stash of mags. Luckily this time I remembered! CHOCOLATE SELF-SAUCING PUDDING. Exactly what a girl needs when shes down with somesort of sickness, feeling slightly ghostly and neck high in assignments. oh and plus, she doesn't know what to dress up as for Halloween.

Pirate, anyone?

Chocolate Self-saucing Pudding by Sue Shepard from October 2007 Delicious Magazine
(This is the half the recipe) serves, 3-4

45g fine rice flour (from Asian Grocers)
1.5 tbsp soy flour
1.5 tbsp g.f.cornflour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp g.f. baking powder
1/2 tsp xantham gum (optional)
70g caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder

1) Triple sift the ingredients in a bowl

95ml soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp olive oil

1) Mix all together in a bowl and pour into the flour mixture
2) Pour mixture into a 3 cup capacity baking dish
3) If it is too shallow it might overflow

215 ml hot water
70g brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder

1) Mix altogether
2)Pour over the chocolate cake mixture, do not mix!
3)Bake at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a crisp spongy top develops (I baked mine until the fudge sauce started bubbling over the edge of the pan...think I overfilled)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Waiter There's Something In My...Lemon Curd Cake (Glutenfree & DairyFree)

I like lemons. My first lemon meringue pie experience was at Darling Harbor in Sydney. I was there on a trip with the mother, the father and the sisters. I don't remember quite how old I was, but I think I had fully developed my set of sweet teeth and greedy eyes. The greedy eyes saw the many beautiful cakes all lined up neatly in the glass window. Never seen cakes quite that tall before, I stood there, absolutely still, hoping the parents would get the message. Me Want Cake. I don't think I had even seen meringue before, I probably e made didn't even know how to pronounce it really. FUNNY.

So I asked for that one, I pointed and insisted. And I got it. You'd think I'd sink into glorious heaven and announce that I had found a replacement for chocolate. Nah. The crust was really thick and the meringue was just, too much of a good thing. Couldn't they have made the crust a little thinner, a little more delicate and the meringue just enough to allow the lemon curd to shine through just a little bit more? Overload-in a bad way. But hey, for what it's worth, it was a pretty cool first lemon meringue pie to have, it was THAT tall!

So back to me loving lemons, I went completely nuts at the market the other day and bought 10 lemons for 2bucks. So you know, I had to use them up, soon. So when 'Waiter, there's something in my ... layered cake' was announced, I thought I might do something lemony. I've been feeling all sorts of fruity lately. I was adament on using my new gluten-free cookbook 'Gluten-Free Baking' by Rebecca Reilly so I decided on a simple sponge cake and a lemon curd recipe I scrounged from Cooking Light. I'm fussy, I don't like recipes with fat or too many eggs or this or that. So this combination was light AND tasted rich and beautiful, like a lighter lemon cheesecake. But oh so good. I'm not being biased-REALLY!!! It's not a fancy schmancy cake, guess you could always dress it up with strawberries and kiwi. Maybe you could add some matcha powder into the sifted flour for a green tea sponge and layer it with a dark chocolate + ginger ganache. That was my second plan if I didn't have enough eggs. Luckily I had 5, so I halved the lemon curd recipe. It was just right.

Sponge Cake from Gluten-free Baking by Rebecca Reilly (pg 106)

4 eggs, seperated
1 cup sugar (I think 3/4 cup will suffice)
1.5 tsp g.f. vanilla
2 tbsp plus 1/4 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 cup rice flour

Preheat the oven to 325degrees (160 C). Lightly grease 2 8-inch cake pans or jelly roll pan

Ribbon the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow (it will look kinda grainy-ish, just ribbon until a thick uniform thread forms on the surface of the mixture, when whisk is lifted). Add the vanilla and 2 tbsp of lemon juice.

Whip the egg whites with the salt and 1/4 tsp lemon juice until soft peaks form. Gently fold in 1/4 of egg whites into the ribboned base. Slide the remaining egg whites on top and sift the flour over. Fold in until homogenous.

Gently spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the bottom of the pans once to remove any air pockets. Bake the cake layers for 20-25 minutes, 12-15 for the jelly roll.

If making the cake layers, invert onto a cooling rack. If making jelly roll, invert onto a tea towel dusted with icing sugar, trim edges and roll up lengthwise. When completely cooled, unroll, fill and decorate.

Lemon Curd recipe from here.
I made half the recipe, yummers! I could've just eaten it with a spoon. =)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sometimes you just need butter

Sorry for the previous terribly sad post. I promise I'm all sparkly again. Dedicating one day a week at least to baking sometimes I want to eat, I've decided that this week's should be the cashew recipe that I saw on CookieMadness a while back. It's been on my mind for awhile-I mean anything that combines sweet and salty is a winner by me. It's sad how there isn't sweet popcorn here in Melbourne. The people here are definitely missing out, there's nothing better than ordering a bucket of popcorn and having it half sweet and half salty. The best part is rummaging through the layer of sweet to get to a salty popcorn cluster which gets you started on that sweet sugar trip all over again. CAN YOU SAY YUMMY? Too bad, they know not of such pleasures in life. =)

It was from the Betty Crocker round up and while I don't have photos to show because mine are so unfortunately UGLY, you can head over here to take a look. I halved the recipe and made it gluten free and omitted a whole lot of things because I'm such a freak when it comes to 'fat'. I suck the fun out of cookie eating don't I? I wish Anna would send some over so I could try it in all it's glorious yumminess. I like my version, don't really miss the chocolate or the pretzels I left out to make it G.F. I'm not sure but I think I shouldn't have added the baking soda, or maybe halved the already-halved amount because it became too light for me. It is definitely also due to the gluten free flour used. Sometimes I miss normal baking. And I didn't use butter either in an attempt to cut out diary. OHWELLS. here's my version.

1.5 cups raw/dry roasted cashews
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp egg white
2 tsp salt
>The method is all on Anna's blog.

1 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 potato starch
2 tbsp almond meal
1 tsp baking soda (I might try 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

>Sift all together, set aside

4 tbsp expeller pressed virgin coconut oil, softened
4 tbsp natural peanut butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 eggs

75g dark chocolate, chopped

>Cream the coconut oil, peanut butter and sugar together, until veryvery well combined
>Add in the eggs and vanilla
>Mix in the dry ingredients with a very sturdy spoon, drop by rounded tbsp on a cookie sheet. This part is VERY tricky, because the batter is VERY STICKY. But it puffs up well, and doesn't spread much.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

it matters, only when
you think too much
too little about what you have
too much about what you don't
otherwise, it doesn't.

because it doesn't bother them
and you're all alone if
you do. So it doesn't
and then i'll never be alone.

besides. I have everyone else.

I might bake later on, because right now I suddenly lost all inspiration. Silly me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sugar High Friday: Drunken Apples

I hardly drink alcohol and what I've got lying around does not directly belong to me. Let's see...I've got Kahlua but it's my sisters (yet I use it) and I've got Vodka, the remnants from a girls night in some 4 months ago? And it's still sitting there, in all it's half-drunk glory, untouched since then. So when this SHF rolled around, I was practically spoilt for choice. Vodka or Kahlua? =P And I wasn't about o go out and buy more alcohol only to use 1/2 cup at most and leave the rest of it sitting on top of the fridge. There's a war going on there-and right now the cereal boxes are winning. 4:1.

So I typed in 'vodka + apples' and did a little google search for possible inspirations. All I got was apple flavoured vodka, not much luck there. Sat around and thought about buying some other form of alcohol, cointreau maybe, or maybe a little wine but decided against it when I chanced upon Smitten Kitchen's Boozy Baked French Toast. I could work with that!

I went to the market after uni and got me some apples and craisins. Got home, took my gluten free bread out of the freezer and warmed it up on the jaffle maker. Ever notice how bread never turns crispy in there, only the edges, while keeping the middles moist and squidgy? Might be because of the steam created by the icy bits on the frozen bread, which is a good thing for this sorta 'lazy-i-just-cant-be-bothered-leaving-my-bread-to-thaw-slowly' things. So I decided to halve the recipe, used 2 eggs instead of said 1.5 and hid apple slices & craisins between the bread layers. Left it in the fridge overnight and this morning I had a no-effort-sweet-as brekkie. YUMS! I don't know if I'm drunk yet, but I think you could definitely add more Kahlua (3 tbsps maybe?)

The french toast bordered on the line of bread-and-butter pudding but a lot alot ALOT less fat and alot less sweet, which is why I suggest maple syrup or maybe a kahlua syrup? I tried but failed, luckily I didn't need it too sweet. I reckon gluten free bread soaks up alot more liquid so if you were using normal bread I suggest you stick to Smitten Kitchen's quantity of ingredients. Otherwise, It's really yummy. =)

Baked Drunken Apple French Toast (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

6 slices gluten free bread
2 eggs
2 small apples, sliced thinly (I used Sundowner, just because.)
handful of Craisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 cups fat-free soy milk (that's all I had on hand)
2 tbsp raw sugar + 3 tbsp extra
3 tbsp Kahlua

Pyrex Loaf pan

1) Whisk the eggs, sugar, milk, kahlua and cinnamon together
2) Line 2 slices of bread in the pan, and slice another up to fill in the gaps
3) Place the sliced apples onto the bread and sprinkle with craisins, top with one tbsp of sugar
4) Top with remaining bread and pour egg/milk mixture over
5) Let sit for 3 hours or overnight in the fridge. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the top before baking
6) Bake at 190 degrees for 25 minutes and drizzle with maple syrup if desired. YUMMERS!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fresh Strawberry Tart

I did it, after whining all week about how I missed baking non-fat-reduced treats and delicious traybakes and whatnots, I decided-I love baking too much to care. Seriously, all this no fat this and less fat that and I will get fat things are sucking the fun out of EVERYTHING! And nothing makes me happier really, except a good shopping spree oh and going home.

On another happyhappy note, I got my birthday present (albeit 2 months late) from the girls! 'Breakfast, Lunch, Tea- Rose Bakery' by Rose Carrarini. The book is a striking green with the title in bold right down the middle. No extra fancy schmancy photo or 'melted chocolate dripping down the side of the jar' shot. Just green and black. =) I love the book so much I hugged it to sleep in lecture (SHHH...the video was boring). I was ever so inclined towards this book because it was all about my three favourite meals-breakfast, lunch and tea! No dinner for me, dinner is my least favourite meal-I have issues with it, don't get me started. =) It just goes along the lines of the fact that I really dislike going to bed with a full stomach, makes me feel...heavy.

Back to the tart, I was inspired by the many blogs I have been drooling over and decided that I should bake one myself. I used to have problems with pastry and what's more, this was gluten-free, which made it alot more daunting. Ariana Bundy's book made it simple though and I felt composed and confident which probably helped. Most things go wrong when you're running around the kitchen for ingredients like a headless chicken.

I adapted the recipe a little and instead of using 1/3 cup of margarine, I used 2 tablespoons of Melrose spread, left in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden a little, and 3 tablespoons of expeller pressed coconut oil (from the fridge so it was hard) and blended all the ingredients in a food processor. The flour mix I used was 1 cup white rice flour, 1/8 cup tapioca starch and 1/8 cup potato starch.

The strawberries I got were from Driscolis and being the end of the strawberry season, the strawberries weren't very strawberry-y or sweet but they were big and so I just added a little more glaze to sweeten it up. The crust was pretty good, obviously lacking that rich buttery taste but I'm sure it can be fixed with a butter flavouring (?). It was flaky which could possibly be due to how I rolled it. I rolled it out then folded it in and re-rolled. It was pretty sturdy and didn't crumble too much. OVERALL I say, I'm glad I changed my mind about baking. Else I would be a sad little person. =) Also, I'll be submitting this to Sweetnick's ARF/ 5-a-day roundup so head there to check it out on Tuesday!