Gluten and Dairy Free Lamingtons, with reduced unrefined sugar

lamington

I wasn’t happy with a previous Lamington version I made, so I went back to basics and used my cup cake sponge recipe  and just coated in 85% dark chocolate.  Easy!

Mill on speed 9 / 1 minute:

  • 140g brown or white rice, or a combo (buckwheat would work for a grain-free alternative. I haven’t tried almonds)

Add and mix speed 6 / 5 seconds:

  • 20g tapioca flour (or arrowroot)
  • 40g potato (farina) starch (or cornflour or just use 60g tapioca for grain-free)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • good pinch of vanilla powder (or use extract with the wet ingredients)

Set aside for the moment in a separate bowl.

Add to the TM bowl and mill speed 9 / 3 seconds first:

  • 70g unrefined cane sugar / rapadura / coconut sugar (adjust according to sweetness required – I’m tempted to reduce further)

Remove lid from TM bowl, scrape down the sides and inside of the lid, then insert butterfly and add:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 70g olive oil
  • (1 tsp vanilla extract if not used powder in previous step)

Set for 2 minutes / speed 3-4 / MC off

Scrape down the sides of bowl, then re-set for 1.5 minutes / speed 4 / MC off and add in:

Ensure all the mixture is nicely combined.  Scrape sides and mix for a little longer, if necessary.  Gently lift off the butterly and tap on the inside of the bowl to shake off excess batter.

Pour into a lined baking tray (approx. 20 x 25 cm) and bake for 20-25 minutes / 190 degs or 180 degs f/forced, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes up almost clean.

Leave to cool on a wire rack, then cut into about 30 or so squares.

My quick and simple coating:

Melt about 200g dark chocolate with a good couple of heaped tablespoons of coconut oil.  I prefer to do this in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water, rather than using the Thermomix for this.  That way, you can keep the chocolate tempering while you dip in each sponge square.

Have your tub of desiccated coconut handy, with a little sprinkled on a plate to set your coated sponge down on.  I find it easier to have one chocolatey hand, with the other for dipping into the coconut to sprinkle over all sides of the chocolate sponge.  That way, the coconut doesn’t get all congealed and ‘chocolatified’.

Set onto a large tray lined with baking paper to allow the chocolate to harden.

 

 

Simple curried gravy

  
For those days when I’m feeling a bit uninspired for dinner, I simply cook up a chicken or barbecue some steak, make best ever roasties or steam rice along with some veggies.  Then I spice up the meal with a simple curry gravy.  Here’s what I do:

Add to bowl and mill 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • 30g cashews

Set aside

Chop 2 seconds/speed 6, then sauté 3 minutes/varoma/speed 1:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 tomato, quartered

 Add and cook 10 minutes/100 degs/speed 4:

  • 15g red lentils, pre-soaked in hot water for a little while, if possible, then rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tbs stock paste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp curry powder (Use the Madras version from F&E Indian Cooking OR Tamara’s spicy blend over at My Melbourne Thermomix
  • 250g water (or even better: home-made chicken stock)
  • Cashew flour from earlier 

Whizz up until smooth 30 seconds / speed 9

Reheat to 100 degs until you’re ready to serve up the rest of your meal.

Tips:

Instead of lentils, use cornflour or arrowroot and cut down the cooking to 5-6 minutes. 

This serves about 4-5 people, so for more people, just double the amount of water/liquid stock, stock paste and thickening agent and cook for 8-10 minute or until it reaches 100degs

😀

Ginger, date and banana tray bake with caramel icing – grain-free

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I spotted a Guinness & Ginger tray bake cake in a weekend mag some weeks ago and thought it sounded nice, though immediately ruled out the Guinness, sugar, self-raising flour …  I ended up completely changing the cake to make it gluten/grain, refined sugar and dairy free.  In fact, the only original ingredients remaining are the eggs and ginger!

I’ve made this recipe quite a few times now:  the first with just almond meal (a little dense); the second with more eggs (too wet); the third time, with a combo of buckwheat, almonds and tapioca.  Goldilocks was most happy on the third try, as were the three bears …

Mill 30 seconds / speed 9:

  • 120g buckwheat kernels

Add and mill 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • 100-150g chopped dates
  • 70g almonds (I use activated or flaked) – for nut free, try a seed mix instead.  25g of coconut flour would probably work, but you might need an extra egg added to the wet mix.  I haven’t tried this though

Add and sift 6 seconds / speed 6:

  • 10g tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp ginger powder

Set aside in a separate bowl

Add to dry, empty bowl and whizz up 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • 25g almonds, activated or flaked – or for nut free, use desiccated coconut

Add and whizz up 1 minute / speed 9:

  • 100g water

Strain through a nut milk bag. I use a Living synergy one, which I also sell in England.

Weigh/pour milk into TM bowl and make sure it measures 100g.  Top up with a bit extra water if need be.  Keep the pulp for crackers or bliss balls or simply save up in the freezer until you have enough to dehydrate into flour.

Next, add to the bowl and whizz up 10 seconds / speed 5:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g flesh of avocado. If preferred, use coconut oil or half/half.  Olive or almond oil also works. You can use butter if not dairy free.
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • few drops of stevia or 1 tbs maple syrup (optional and depending on your sweetness ‘bliss point’)

Scrape sides down and then add the butterfly, setting for 2 minutes / speed 3 / MC off

Once done, reset for 1 minute / speed 3 / MC off and add through lid hole:

  • Flour and date mixture

Scrape down the sides and flick any uncombined flour off the butterfly and mix again for 10-20 seconds / speed 4.

Pour into a 25 x 20 x 5 cm baking paper lined tray and bake at 160 degs fan for 35 minutes.  Test with skewer to make sure cooked.

You can use a loaf tin, but you’ll need to bake for an extra 15 minutes or so.

Once cooled, you can either top with a caramel icing or slice and eat as is!

Caramel icing:

Place in Thermomix bowl and cook at 100C for 2 minutes, speed 2:

  • 50g ground dates (or date paste, perhaps)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract/powder
  • 50g creamed coconut (the type you get from Asian stores, in blocks – otherwise use home-made/tinned cream and leave out the added coconut milk below, unless you think it needs it.  You could add it bit by bit to get the right texture – you need a pourable icing, but not too thin.
  • 100g coconut milk (or other milk preference)

Whizz up to a higher speed to achieve a smoother texture, if necessary, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between.

Spread over your cooled cake and slice into bite-sized squares!

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Bara Brith (“Speckled Bread”)

Bara Brith
I first made this cake for St David’s Day on 1 March.  While not a Public Holiday, people in Wales and those of Welsh origin, celebrate the life of their patron saint, St David, who died on this day in 589.  In bigger cities, this might include food festivals, concerts and street parties, with lots of traditional Welsh foods on offer.  Bara Brith is literally Welsh for ‘speckled bread’.
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Now, Mr MaMT will be attending a client’s board meeting in Swansea, South Wales, in a couple of months and has requested I make this ‘loaf’ to take along with him.  Eek, the pressure will be on to make sure it’s up to standard!
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This is a lovely moist loaf cake and the secret lies in soaking the dried fruit in strong tea the evening before;   Soaking the dried fruit in tea and a little bicarb added, makes it very juicy, giving way to the moistness of the loaf and ensuring it keeps well.
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Place in a bowl, cover and leave overnight:
  • 300g mixed dried fruit (raisins)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (this tenderises the fruit skin and makes it softer and more digestible by breaking down any tough fibres and producing a moist, rich taste).
  • 300g warm black tea (you could even try rooibos, or green tea even)

*********

Next day …

Grind 30 seconds (give it an extra 30 seconds if you wish) / speed 9:
  • 40g linseeds 
  • 110g buckwheat*
  • zest of an orange (use veggie peeler to avoid scraping in the white pith)
Add and ‘sift’, 6 seconds / speed 6:
  • 50g coconut flour* (or use 150g almond meal)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
 (*300g almonds can be subbed for the buckwheat and coconut flour and only require 10 seconds’ grinding)
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Add to the bowl and blend 10 seconds / speed 5:
  • 150g ripe bananas 
  • 1tbs maple or rice syrup, optional – adjust to suit your sweetness threshold, or leave out completely.  If bananas are very ripe, extra sweetness may not be required.
  • 2 large (or 3 smaller) eggs
Add and mix 10 seconds / speed 5:
  • Flour mix
Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add and set to closed lid and knead (or speed 5 / reverse) for 10 seconds.
  • Soaked fruit and soaking water
Give it a good manual mix with the TM spatula if need be.
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Pour into a grease proof-lined loaf tin, smooth out and bake 1hr at 170degs, fan-forced.  Test with a skewer and if not fully clean when inserted, cover the loaf with some foil and cook for a further 15 minutes.  Re-test with the skewer.  It should also be firm to touch on top.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then extract and leave to cool further on a wire rack, before slicing.
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Enjoy plain or with a slathering of butter, if allowed!
Yummy!

Potato and Almond (or Sunflower/Sesame) Crackers

Potato and almond crackers (2)-001
I love snacking on crackers packed with seeds and crunchy goodness, but alas the MaMT kids turn their noses up at any crackers that are remotely ‘seedy’ (although Miss 13yo absolutely loves Five-Seed Bread!?).  For me, the more seeds, the better.  The same goes for soups and stews, the chunkier the better.   I just love all that crunching and munching!
Anyway, this recipe is one I’ve tweaked around with.  These crackers are really plain, so they suit my fussy peeps and are exceedingly moreish!
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Mill 10 seconds / speed 9:
  • 200g slivered, flaked or blanched almonds – I have also used sunflower seeds, but they don’t taste quite as nice – add a little more seasoning perhaps.  Sesame seeds might be another alternative, but I haven’t tried yet.
  • 50g linseeds
  • 1/2 tsp white peppercorns ((optional, for extra zing, or use dried thyme or rosemary)
Add and sift 6 seconds/ speed 6:
  • 100g potato starch or arrowroot (or cornflour, if not grain-free)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
Add and blend 5 seconds / speed 6, until bound together nicely:
  • 30g olive oil 
  • 100g cold water (add more for binding, if necessary)
Knead for 20 seconds then tip out on a sheet of greaseproof.  Form into a ball and if time, place in fridge for 20 minutes or so.  I’m usually in a rush so don’t bother.
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Split the dough into two and roll out one lot on the greaseproof with a piece of cling wrap on top, until as thin as possible.  Peel off the cling wrap and set this aside for the moment. Pick up the greaseproof with the rolled dough and pop onto a suitably sized baking sheet.  Set aside while you grab another piece of greaseproof and repeat with the other half of dough.
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Score the dough into squares or rectangles and sprinkle with a few sesame seeds, if desired.
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Bake at 220degs / 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and carefully turn the crackers over (use tongs if you don’t have asbestos fingers like me).  They should be easy to pull apart where scored, so I tend to separate and spread the crackers out.  Bake for another 5 minutes.  Remove and break away the ones on the edge as these will have cooked more than the middle section.  Pop the middle section of crackers back into the oven while it cools, or for a few more minutes, if you’re going to continue using your oven for something else.
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Cool and enjoy on their own or with your favourite dip!

ABC Mousse with orange and wheatgrass

Les' tweaked avocado mousse

ABC (Avocado, Banana, Chocolate) Mousse with orange and wheatgrass

Well, I have to admit, my all-time favourite chocolate mousse is Quirky Cooking’s raw chocolate mousse/semi-freddo, but I only tend to make it as a special treat now.  Instead, and given the virtues of the very versatile, creamy, Vitamin E rich and good fat containing avocado, I like to make a mousse with this and use fresh fruit to sweeten, rather than dried fruit with its concentrated sugars.

Wheatgrass has also popped up on my radar a few times of late, but it’s usually in smoothie recipes.  I don’t really ‘do’ smoothies.  However, on spying a wheatgrass smoothie recipe in the March 2015 issue of the Thermieliving magazine, I looked at a couple of the ingredients (banana and orange), and started thinking, ‘hmm, add some cocoa/cacao powder), combined with an avocado, and you have yourself a nice mousse’!  Thus, the inspiration for this recipe.  I didn’t add any further sweetener for the first couple of tries.  I liked it, Mr MaMT ate it without complaint, Miss 13yo liked it,  but Mr 16yo didn’t.  However, on the latter occasion, I added about 6 drops of stevia liquid (which I picked up in Oz a few years ago and is rapidly nearing its use-by date now) and, et voila, it gave it the perfect lift!  Otherwise, you could just add some rice or maple syrup for that extra edge.  If you’re not nut-free, a tablespoon of nut butter also goes down quite well.

Breakfast or dessert?  Here it is:

Add to the TM bowl and whizz up for 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • A handful or about 100g small ice cubes
  • Zest of an orange (peeled off using a veggie peeler, avoiding the white pith)

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add and whizz up 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • The flesh of the orange used earlier – peel it, discarding the white pith – about 150g
  • 1 average sized banana (about 100g)
  • 1 large or 2 small avocados (about 250g)
  • 30g cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder (or extract, if that’s all you have)
  • 2 tbs wheatgrass powder (ensure the packaging is labelled gluten free)
  • 6 drops stevia liquid* OR rice/maple syrup to personal taste – start with 1 tbs and add to desired sweetness range
  • 1 tbs nut butter (optional)

Scrape down the sides and continue blending for another 30 seconds or more, using the TM spatula to assist, until smooth and creamy.

Serve in small ramekins (makes 6-8 portions) and decorate with desiccated coconut, or chopped nuts, if not nut free.

You won’t need more than one serving, as it’s very filling!

stevia

*2-3 drops of stevia liquid is approximately the sweetness of 1 tsp sugar

Stevia price

Not cheap, but you don’t need much of it. I’ve had this 30ml bottle on the go for 18 months!

 

 

Chunky Pork and Veggie Chilli

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A chunky pork chilli, inspired by this recipe recently.  I’ve added and taken away, tweaked to Thermie standard and absolutely loved every minute I was eating it!  Went down well with the rest of the family too …

Add and chop 3 seconds / speed 7:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 red pepper/capsicum, quartered
  • 1 fresh red chilli (or use 1/2 tsp chilli powder with the other dry spices)
  • 2 garlic cloves

Add and cook 5 minutes / 100 degs / reverse / speed 1:

  • 500g pork fillet, free range if poss, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Add and cook 15 minutes / 100 degs / reverse / speed 1:

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes*
  • 400g can chick peas, drained and rinsed*
  • 250g sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1-2cm cubes
  • 40g tomato paste
  • 1 tbs stock paste
  • 20g balsamic vinegar

Add and cook 5 minutes / 100 degs / reverse / speed 1:

  • 400g can of kidney beans, (or other beans of choice) drained and rinsed

Taste and add further seasoning, if required.

Serve with brown/white basmati or cauliflower rice and a side salad.  Very hearty!

Alternatively, you could serve up with corn chips or cornbread.

Tips:

* My family are pretty fussy when it comes to lots of chunky veggies in a dish and Mr MaMT won’t look a chick-pea in the eye, in its natural state, so I tend to whizz up a can of plum tomatoes and chick peas before I start and just set aside to add later with the sweet potato etc.