31 October 2008

Daring Bakers October Challenge and cake

Last Friday we celebrated a friends birthday by having a gluten free pizza night followed by a trip to the Spiegeltent. The pizza recipe used was this months Daring Bakers Challenge. The recipe can be found here. Seeing as it was a birthday party there had to be cake. The birthday girl's favourite cake is apparently a lemon cake with a lemon curd filling and whilst I have a recipe for a similar cake, coconut cake with lemon curd filling, she can't have coconut. So I did some googling and adapted the following from one found on insert random website here.

2 cups Gluten Free flour – make sure it isn't too heavy, otherwise it won't rise as well
1 ½ cups sugar
1 Tb baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ vegetable oil
7 eggs, separated
¾ cups lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon rind
½ tsp cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 170ºC.

In a mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add the oil, unbeaten egg yolks, lemon juice and zest. Beat on low speed until blended then turn the mixer to high and beat for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar until stiff.

Gently fold the batter into the egg whites until just blended

Pour into a large ungreased ring tin. If yours doesn't have feet then make sure you have a bottle around when it comes out of the oven. Ideally the tin would also have a removable base.

Bake for at least 65 minutes. Do NOT open the oven door until 55 minutes has past otherwise it will deflate. Mine too an hour and a half, turned after an hour and 10 minutes. My oven is old and fanless :-(

Remove from oven and immediately invert onto the feet. If using the bottle method, put the bottle through the hole. This is so the cake doesn't deflate whilst cooling. Let it cool until completely cold then run a knife around the edges to loosen it.

Dust with copious amounts of icing sugar and serve!!

Apparently, this gluten free cake tastes like real cake.

The pizza tasted fantastic!!! There were concerns about ending up with hockey pucks so some bases were obtained for a pizza shop as well as the phone number of the local gf pizza place. I left the dough in the fridge for two and a half days and was concerned that it wasn't rising like everyone elses was. This is possible due to there being no gluten in the bases.
Tossing was not an option. Instead they got pushed and prodded into a rough circle before being topped with everything from the traditional to the dessert. The dessert pizza was served before cake and was a base of nutella with sliced bananas and slivered almonds. After a trip to the oven they were topped with freshly sliced strawberries. Om nom nom nom.


I have this habit. Some consider it a good habit, my waistline considers it a bad habit. Whenever I do a show, I bake. This time I managed to contain myself to only one lot of baked goods. Brownies. This has become my fall back, use over anything else, recipe. It transforms easily into gluten free, dairy free and nut free. If you're not a fan of banana, replace the banana with an equal amount of butter, and melt it in with the chocolate.

250g mashed banana
180g dark chocolate, melted
1 ¾ cups (385g) castor sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup (150g) flour
100g roasted walnuts
100g dark chocolate buttons or chunks

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter a 23 cm square cake tin and line it tightly with foil, making sure to push it right down into the corners. Butter the foil lightly, then line the base with baking paper. Set aside.

Add the sugar, vanilla and banana to the chocolate and use a balloon whisk to mix them well for 20 seconds or so. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one so it is completely incorporated before you add the next. Tip in the flour and stir until its well combined. Don't overdo the mixing once the flour is in otherwise the brownies will toughen up as it cooks. Gently fold in the walnuts and chocolate buttons. Scrape batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top by shaking gently.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out very moist. Not wet, but with moist crumbs clinging to it. When I last tried this recipe I was still getting used to my oven so mine too just over an hour and had to be rotated part way through.

Cool the brownies completely in the tin on a wire rack. If the middle sinks then press down lightly on the sides as it cools to even the top up.

Apparently this is easier to slice if you stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes before slicing and use a hot dry knife.

Apron of Goodness part 2

This is what I decided on as my apron print and I am very happy with it. the colour doesn't come out that well but its a cream background with cupcakes all over it. Very appropriate

Sticky Date Cupcakes - finally!!

Last I checked this one hadn't been posted yet so here it is.

These were made for my bands agm. The leftovers ended up being fed to mums coworkers and my friends. Very dense and have I mentioned yummy??

Sticky Date Cupcakes

450g dates, pitted and diced
2 ¼ cups water
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 tsp bicarb soda
2 ½ cups gluten free flour
¼ tsp ground cloves
¾ tsp mixed spice
120g softened butter
1 1/3 cups castor sugar
4 eggs

Put the dates and water into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium to high heat, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and add ginger and bicarb of soda. Sir until well combined. Cover saucepan with plastic film and let mixture cool to room temperature. This is best left over night to allow the dates to absorb more of the water.

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line three 12-hole muffin trays with 26 cupcake cases.

Sift together self-raising flour, ground cloves and mixed spice.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add half the castor sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining sugar and beat for another 2 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy and the sugar had almost dissolved.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition or until mixture is light and fluffy. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the four mixture until well combined. Fold in the cooled date mixture until thoroughly combined.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake papers, filling each about ¾ s full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from trays immediately and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before frosting.

Caramel Sauce Icing

100g butter
2/3 cup soft brown sugar
¼ cup golden syrup
½ cream
8 cups icing sugar

Makes 4 cups icing – enough for 24 cupcakes

Combine the butter, sugar, golden syrup and cream in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up to high and boil for at least 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Add half the sifted icing sugar and beat on medium speed for 3 min until light and fluffy. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 min until light, fluffy and a spreadable consistency. If too dry then add a little extra cream or extra icing sugar is too wet.

22 October 2008

Apron of goodness

Apron was acquired!!
I am now the proud owner of a cloth apron, neutral beige background with cupcakes all over it!!!

Photos will be posted tomorrow hopefully as well as the recipe for my new favourite brownie. It is dairy free, gluten free and can even be nut free!!!

Not giving away anything except everyone loved them!!!

14 October 2008

What I lack as a baker

A decent apron.

I own one at the moment. It's a plasticy one that I'm not the biggest fan of. My favourite ones are cotton and have cute prints on them. There is always the option of buying the fabric and making one myself or finding one in the shop and buying it.

Decisions, decisions.

10 October 2008

I'm baack!!

This is late going up due to actually having stuff to do at work this week. Blogging wasn't really an option. So here is life a few weeks (over a month in the first case) late.

This first one wasn't actually one of my creations. My only contribution was adding the blue icing after a few drinks. A good friend of mine was going to the UK for a few months. This called for a going away bash. The hostess of the evening decided that a plane cake was in order. The very quickly became a map of the world with a plane pointing to his destination. A very simple butter cake with a standard buttercream icing. The only problem in cake creation was icing it after a few drinks...... We went with the standard green for and and blue for water. The land tasted quite minty and the ocean had a hint of strawberry to it. That caused a bit of taste bud eye confusion but it worked.

Below are photos of the finished product.......

As some are probably already aware, I'm a shift worker who regularly works the graveyard shift. The main problem I have is that if I don't prepare fo

r these shifts, it more often then not it means take out. My wallet does not enjoy this whilst tryi

ng to save for a Europe/USA trip at the same time. So I spent the last week Tuesday preparing for my 7 days or 12 hour shifts by cooking up a storm of buttermilk banana pancakes, chicken balls and potato frittata ala Eleanor. The banana buttermilk pancakes were taken straight from my favourite (read only) gluten free cookbook 'More gluten free and easy' by Robyn Russell. I purposely made them smaller then normal, this makes them easier to fit into the toaster for reheating. I ate these with the strawberry compote fro

m the same book. It was essentially strawberries and rosewater. The compote tastes best warm. Unfortunately, I left the leftovers at work. Luckily, my coworkers won't realise that they're there. I also baked the banana and coconut cake from this book. I can make savoury gluten free food, but struggle with sweet things that don't involve just substituting gf flour for wheat. The cake rose nicely in the oven, but sunk when I removed it. It had been in the for about 10-15 minutes more then the recipe said, my oven is annoyingly slow, and probably could have done with another 5-10min. This did have the advantage that it the cake stayed moist for a few days longer then normal. A few coworkers were lucky enough to taste this one and they all loved it!! Not as much crumble as I expected but still enough to identify it as gf.

These recipes won't be posted as they are directly from the book with the only alteration being leaving out the xanthum gum. This was done as there was already gum in the gf flour from the shop.

Next we have the chicken balls and potato frittata. Both recipes are new inventions, quite basic and still need some tweaking but tasty and gf all the same.

Chicken balls

500g chicken breast mince

minced garlic 1 Tbsp heaped

minced ginger 1 tsp heaped

4-6 mushrooms

4 shallots

1 ½ cups of frozen mixed vegies.

Fish sauce * make sure to buy a gf one if you need it, not sure if they are all gf by default

The mushrooms, onions and frozen vegies went through the food processor until finally chopped. Then just put everything into a bowl and mix. I found it a little too much ginger for my tastebuds but nothing too unbearable.

Put heaped teaspoons of the mix onto an oven tray and bake in preheated 200C oven for 15-20 minutes. These reheat nicely in the microwave too in only a minute or two!!

The amount of vegies in this can be adjusted, I didn't really measure anything, just started pouring.

The potato frittata didn't turn out how I'd like and it started from the beginning. (and I forgot to take photos....)

Potatos, sliced

spring onions





red capsicum


white wine



red onion

The potatoes were sliced thinly and poached in a stock of garlic, spring onion, milk, white wine and peppercorns. The milk curdled when it started to heat but I kept going. Cook until tender. Strain the potatoes and place them into a baking dish. If you get a bit of the garlic, peppercorns and spring onions as well they provide bursts of flavour. Over the top arrange the other vegies, making sure you have finely sliced/diced them so they cook evenly and quickly. Over this, pour lightly beaten eggs. Bake in a preheated 200C oven for about 30-40 min, or until the egg is set and the vegies cooked to your liking.

I think the next time, the vegies will be sliced rather then diced and layered between the potato. Also thinking of using the potato as a crust, giving the filling more of a quiche feel. Not sure how it would work and if the potato would need to be mashed or just sliced..... Time will tell.

This also reheated nicely in the microwave.

The next updates will be some baking for and agm. The leftovers are being handed over to mum for afternoon tea on Friday. She got rather excited when I mentioned it. Currently thinking Sticky Date Cupcakes........ which requires starting the night before....

Oh well, time to start the dates soaking!