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.

 

 

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

IMG_1716[1]

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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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!

 

 

Brussels Sprout Cake

Brussel Sprout Cake
This is a cake inspired by a Facebook reader asking me if I’d heard of a ‘Brussels Sprout cake’!   She’d been watching an episode from last year’s Dragon’s Den, where a lady secured £50k investment to produce her unusual cake en masse.  Here’s her story if you’d like to read more.
Anyway, always interested in the weird and wonderful, I couldn’t resist the challenge to find a suitable recipe to tweak and adapt to gluten and dairy free.  This one is inspired by the Guru Magazine  and Honestly Healthy Food’s GF carrot cake recipe.   There are more (disguised) veggies than (unrefined) sugar in this – what’s not to like?!
Pre-heat oven to 180 degs.
 
Add to the TM bowl and mill 1 minute / speed 9:
  •     a knob of fresh ginger, sliced into coins (or use 1 tsp ginger powder in next step)
  •     40g rice (brown/white or a combo)
  •     40g buckwheat (use extra rice, if you wish)
  •     20g sorghum/jowar/juwar (or millet, if you wish)
 
Add and sift 6 seconds / speed 6:
  •     20g tapioca flour
  •     20g potato flour
  •     1 tsp xanthan gum
  •     1 tsp mixed spice
  •     1/2 tsp vanilla powder – or use 1 tsp extract when you whisk the eggs
  •     1 tsp baking powder
  •     1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  •     ½ tsp salt
  •     25g desiccated coconut
 
Set aside.
 
Add and whizz up 10 seconds / speed 9:
  •     100g dates (or substitute with unrefined sugar from 100-150g – or use other preferred sweetener – this depends on your taste – see note at the end)

 

Add to the bowl and chop 5 seconds / speed 7:

  •     60g carrots
  •     70g parsnips
  •     120g Brussels sprouts
Set aside.
 
Insert butterfly and whisk 2 minutes / speed 4 / MC off:
  •     2 eggs
  •     100g almond or macadamia oil (for nut-free, use olive oil)
  •     50g milk of choice (I used coconut milk)
  •     (1 tsp vanilla extract, if you don’t have vanilla powder)
 
Remove butterfly and blend in until combined / speed 5-6:
  •     date and veg mixture
  •     flour mixture
Add and blend in until combined / reverse / speed 5:
  •     30g walnuts (for nut-free, use sunflower seeds)
  •     30g cranberries
 
Pour into a grease-proof lined round cake tin and bake in your preheated oven at 180°C for 50 minutes, covering with foil after 25 minutes, to prevent scorching. 
Leave to cool for a little while.
 
For the Chestnut Frosting
 
Whizz up on speed 5, scraping and repeating a few times until smooth.  I also popped in the butterfly and whisked for another 15 seconds / speed 4:
  •     200g whole cooked chestnuts or chestnut puree
  •     3 tbs (50g) maple syrup
  •     3 tbs (50g) coconut milk
  •     1/2-1 tsp cinnamon powder
  •     Pinch of sea salt
 
Once your cake has cooled, slice in half carefully and spread over a layer of chestnut frosting on the bottom half.  Sandwich the two layers together and spread the rest of the frosting over the top. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and serve!
 
Note: I’m quite stingy with sweetener and like to take it to just to the point of ‘enjoyment’.  I often substitute sugar with dates for the same quantity listed in any recipe, but if I’m using unrefined sugar (eg for a light-coloured sponge), I tend to halve the amount listed in a recipe and it’s generally enough for us.  Sweeten according to your family’s taste requirements.

Banana Bread/Loaf, grain-free

Banana Loaf (4) Banana Bread-Loaf

I like to use coconut flour where I can in recipes, as I always seem to have ample supply of it from my coconut milk making.  You don’t need much of it, but you do need to balance out the moisture levels, as the coconut flour soaks it up.  The bananas and eggs in this recipe have that covered though.  However, my lot aren’t particularly keen on full coconut flour versions of breads etc, as the baked goods always turn out somewhat denser and wetter.  Hence, I’ve started using buckwheat as a nutritious complement and it works really well with the coconut flour to stabilise the end result.  Buckwheat is a seed – so I believe – passes as grain-free.  See here for a list of grain-free flours, which are of course always gluten free.

This recipe, inspired by this non-Thermomix version, makes a good brekkie bread, which, at the moment, is my brekkie of choice, with a slathering of nut butter!

Tips:

  • For a full grain-free version, you could substitute the buckwheat and coconut flour for 220g almonds – just blitz for the last 10 seconds when milling the linseeds. May need extra cooking time (bake for an hour, covering with greaseproof or foil for the last half?)
  • Also, to help put some air into this bread: separate the eggs and whisk the whites, after sifting the flour mixture – see prompts below

Grind 30 seconds / speed 9:

  • 30g linseeds
  • 80g buckwheat

Add and ‘sift’, 6 seconds / speed 6:

  • 40g coconut flour (or 120g ground almonds)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon + some all spice and/or ginger spice, if you wish

Set aside

(Here you could separate 3 eggs and whisk up the egg whites – ensure bowl is completely clean, insert the butterfly then set for 3 minutes / 37 degs / speed 4 – set aside in another bowl to fold in at the end on speed 4)

Add and melt 1 minute / 50degs / speed 1:

  • 30g coconut oil

Add to the bowl and blend 10 seconds / speed 5, scraping and repeating for another 5 seconds:

  • 300g ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas or 4 small ones)
  • 1tbs maple or rice syrup, optional – adjust to suit or leave out completely. If bananas are very ripe, extra sweetness may not be required
  • 3 large eggs (or egg yolks, if using separated egg method)
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Add and blend 10 seconds / speed 5:

  • The flour mix

(If using the separated eggs method, fold in whisked egg whites at this point – few seconds / speed 4 until combined) 

 Pour into a greaseproof-lined loaf tin, smooth out and sprinkle with some slivered/flaked almonds, if you wish, and bake for  35 minutes / 170degs, until firm to touch on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack and slice when cool.

My current loaf is still  beautifully light and moist after a couple of days.  I’ll see how it goes for a few more and then freeze …

Banana Bread-Loaf (1)

Seedy Chocolate Fridge Slice/Bites

Fridge Bake (3)-001

This is a little gem inspired by a recipe in The Medicinal Chef book (fabulous fridge cakes).  It takes minutes to prepare, so it’s a good one to prepare at night or first thing and to have with your morning coffee or afternoon tea …

Add to TM bowl and give 4 quick turbo blasts, scrape down the sides of the bowl then turbo once for 1 second and set aside:

  • 30g linseeds
  • 30g pumpkin seeds
  • 20g sunflower seeds
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • 60g goji berries
  • 50g dates/figs
  • 20g cacao/cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs (10g) carob powder (optional)
  • 1-2 tbs (10g) desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  •  Pinch sea salt

Add to bowl and melt 3 mins / 37 degs / speed 2, or until liquefied:

  • 60g coconut oil

Add to bowl and blend 5 seconds / speed 7 / scrape and repeat, so that you have a firm paste:

  • chocolate seed mixture

Press into a lined tin 10 x 10 cms and smooth out.

Add to bowl and chop with one (or two) short turbo blast(s):

  • 20g walnuts (for nut-free, substitute for sunflower seeds)
  • 20g craisins/dried cranberries

Sprinkle the fruit/nut mix over the top of the chocolate mixture, score into bite sized squares and freeze for 1/2 hour or refrigerate for 3 hours and then keep in the fridge.  Nom, nom, nom.

Fridge Bake (8)-001

Chocolate Mousse Pudding, gluten and dairy free with grain-free option

Choc Pud Mousse

Now we love Quirky Cooking’s raw vegan chocolate mousse, which is my quick ‘go to’ dessert that always hits the spot.   This Chocolate Mousse Pudding, however, needs to be prepared a little ahead of time and refrigerated to form a rich and dense mousse.   It’s one that I adapted from a recipe I spotted on the back of a pack, then added my own variations and thermified.  You can add as little or more sweetener to suit your taste-buds.  See tips for nut and grain-free options at the end.

Grind for 1 minute / speed 9:

  • 50g brown rice
  • Peel of one orange, without the white pith (I use a vegetable peeler) – optional, but it adds a lovely jaffa flavour

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add and then set to cook for 7 minutes / speed 4 / 90 degs:

  • 50g coconut oil
  • 400g almond milk or other preferred milk
  • 50g dates and a big squirt of maple or rice syrup – add more to taste.  You could even add a banana for extra sweetness, if you wanted to
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • Pinch salt

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add and cook for another 1 minute / speed 4 / 90 degs:

  • 80g dark chocolate, broken up into chunks (I’ve tried both 70% and 85% – the latter will add more of a bitter taste),

Ensure all the mixture is combined , taste for sweetness and blend in more maple or rice syrup, if necessary, then pour into sundae glasses.

Cover and refrigerate until solidified and ‘moussey’.

Tips:

  • Instead of sundae glasses, you could also use jelly moulds, then tip out onto a plate, once solidified, and sprinkle with dessicated coconut and decorate with a strawberry or raspberry.  This is especially good if you’ve had a ‘skin’ develop on top of the mousse while cooling in the fridge.
  • Alternatively, add more milk in the second step and serve straightaway as a hot chocolate custard.
  • I make a lot of almond milk, so have a constant supply of left-over almond pulp.  Of late, I’ve been saving this up and then dehydrating.  So, for a grain-free option, use the dehydrated almond pulp and mill this into a flour with the orange peel in step one.
  • For a nut and grain-free option, use coconut milk instead of almond milk and use tapioca or arrowroot flour to thicken (I haven’t tried and tested this method yet though)

Rich Chocolate Orange Mousse (2)-001