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.

 

 

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.

Varoma Dumplings (gluten and dairy free, with grain-free option)

Who likes a good dumpling?  A nice fluffy gluten and dairy free one, at that?
Image
Well these are lovely with a chunky beef chilli or any kind of stew!  This mixture makes about 8 or 9, so double the ingredients for a larger batch!  There is also a grain-free version, which makes about 6 – see end of post.
Whizz up on speed 9 / 10 seconds
  • 20g blanched almonds

Add and whizz up on speed 9 / 30 seconds:

  • 100g water

Add and combine speed 4 / 10 seconds, scraping and repeating if necessary:

  • 1 egg
  • 120g GF flour – try this one, if you like
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or onion salt
  • 1 tsp herbs (eg parsley/oregano)

Add a little more water if the mixture is too stiff – depends on the flour mix that you use and if xanthan gum is incorporated into a flour blend (this will make it a little stiffer)

Pop the mixture into silicone moulds and set into varoma tray, then add to the TM bowl:

  • 500g water
Fix lid and varoma in place and cook varoma / speed 2 / 20-25 minutes
Out of your muffin case should pop out some lovely light and fluffy dumplings to accompany your stew!
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Grain-Free Version:
Whizz up on speed 9 / 20 seconds:
  • 20g buckwheat (or sub for extra almonds in next step)
Whizz up on speed 9 / 10 seconds:
  • 25g blanched almonds
  • 20g linseeds
  • 20g tapioca starch
  • 15g coconut flour
  • 10g chia seeds
Add and combine speed 4 / 10 seconds, scraping and repeating if necessary:
  • 1 egg
  • 100g water
  • 2 tsp baking powder (or 1 tsp bicarb and 1 tsp lemon juice)
  • scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp parsley
Pop the mixture into silicone moulds (muffin mix stiff) and set into varoma tray, then add to the TM bowl:
  • 500g boiled water from kettle
Fix lid and varoma in place and cook varoma temp / speed 2 / 20 minutes or so
Once done, remove varoma, be careful of drips
If a little too moist on top, whack under grill for a few minutes to dry out

Healthy Butter Chicken – Friday night “take-in”

df gf butter chicken-001

I get complaints from Mr Thermie if I don’t adhere to this dish on Friday nights!  It’s one I tweaked and converted a la thermie from the Australian’s Women’s Weekly Indian Cooking book.  It’s also the one recipe that I know off-by-heart, despite the long list of ingredients required!  I have a few different ways of cooking, depending on how much and what type of chicken I’m using (eg a whole one, or just fillets or thighs).  I’ve included all of the alternatives, including dairy free tweaks.

Serves 6

1. If dairy free, first make some cashew cream by grinding on speed 9-10 for 10 seconds:

  • 120g cashews
  • 10-20g dates (optional)
  • Pinch salt

Add and whizz up on speed 9 / 1 minute, scraping down the sides and lid after 30 seconds:

  • 120g water

Image

Pour/scrape into a small bowl and set aside for now.

* If not dairy free, you can skip this step and use crème fraiche at the end *

2. Add to Thermomix bowl and chop on speed 7 for 2-5 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  • 2cm piece of ginger washed and cut into ‘coins’
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 chilli (or ¾ tsp chilli powder)
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick or bark
  • 4 cloves (optional)

Add a little oil or butter (if you wish) and sauté / 100deg / speed 1 / 2 minutes.

Image3. Add and cook on 100deg / speed 1 / 2 minutes.

  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs white vinegar
  • 80g tomato paste/puree
  • 140g Greek (or natural) yogurt (dairy free could substitute with home-made coconut cream – see notes at end)

Image4. Add and cook on 100deg / speed 1 / 10 minutes:

  • 400g can of tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tbs of Kasoori Methi (see tip at the end) – Crush a tbsp of the leaves through your fingers
  • 180g stock (or water + ½ -1 tbs stock powder/paste)

Image

butter chicken cook

5. Meanwhile, dice up and trim off any skin/fat:

  • 750g chicken fillets/thighs

Once the sauce has cooked, add, then purée, increasing up to speed 9 / 1 minute until smooth:

  • cashew cream made earlier or 250g crème fraiche
  • 2 tsp garam masala

butter chicken curry

Add to the bowl and cook 100 deg / speed 1-reverse / 8 minutes:

diced chicken

Once cooked, transfer to a Thermoserver to keep warm or to a pan on the stove to simmer, whilst you cook your rice …

butter chicken in pan

NB:  For a larger family, catering or to freeze extra portions for another day, you could sauté cook 1-1.2kg chicken in a deep saucepan on the stove top. (I tend to use a little stock, rather than oil for this, but it’s up to you!). Often I add a quartered onion and some different coloured peppers to cook in the chicken juices as well, then add the cooked sauce from the TM bowl, pop a lid on and simmer. 

butter chicken in pan 1

Then you can go ahead and cook your rice … don’t bother washing the bowl – the rice steaming water will soak up the residual curry sauce flavour into the rice.

Add the internal steaming basket to the bowl and weigh in:

  • 280g basmati rice (allow approximately 50-70g per person or so – 280g makes enough for 4 dinners + 2 lunch-time portions for us)

Take out and rinse the rice under the tap.  Let it drain.

Place in the internal steaming basket with rice back into the TM bowl add and set to Varoma / speed 4 / 20 minutes (35 minutes for brown rice)

  • 1000-1200g water

If you wish, you could also steam some extra veggies in the varoma dish on top.

butter chicken rice

Cook extra rice, if you wish, freeze the surplus, defrost it later and steam in the varoma until piping hot to get rid of bacteria.  Lovely and fluffy!

To serve

Serve your tender chicken in a smooth, healthy “non-buttery” sauce with fluffy rice.  Enjoy with a couple of poppadums and maybe some naan bread – this can also be made in the Thermie, if you don’t mind a bit of prep a few hours earlier!

naan breads made with rice and tapioca flour-002

Gluten free naan bread

Tips

  1. This dish makes plentiful sauce (just over 1L).  We’re quite a ‘saucy’ family, so it’s not a problem for us, but if you find it’s too much, Lonni has a great tip:  she made the curry; froze the excess and will use for herself and the kiddies when hubby is away.  Just need to dice up the chicken, sauté and cook, add the thawed sauce and heat through.  Pop into a Thermoserver whilst steaming some rice and veggies in the Thermomix at the same time …
  2. A tip from Naina:  Buy a box or packet of Kasoori Methi – the dried leaves of the fenugreek plant from a place in North India called Kasoor.  You could usually obtain them from an Asian/Ethnic grocery store.  Naina advises to crush a tablespoon of the leaves through your fingers when adding the tomatoes to the sauce, and have the kasoori methi cook along with the tomatoes and all the spices, before you blitz it all up into creamy smoothness!
  3. For an extra quick dinner, I pre-prepare the sauce, cool and refrigerate, weigh out and have the rice soaking, and have a whole chicken cooking in the slow cooker all day.  All I then have to do at dinner time is:
  • Heat up the sauce for 10 minutes
  • Pour off any stock from the chicken into a separate bowl, de-bone the chicken (retaining the bones) and pop the chicken back into the slow cooker and add the heated sauce from the TM to keep hot
  • Cook the rice in the steaming basket and some veggies in the varoma (spinach is good, then stirred into the curry).
  • Make a stock/bone broth for a soup.  I use this method, http://www.ukthermomix.com/recshow.php?rec_id=183, though I prefer to put the bones into the steaming basket to cook

Dairy free tweaks:

Cashew Cream

See Quirky Cooking’s recipe

I use the date option and it is so yummy.  Too yummy.  Be careful you don’t eat it all before adding to your curry!

Coconut Milk – Quirky Cooking Method

– Grind up 300g dried coconut (shredded or dessicated) for 10 seconds on speed 9

– Add water to reach the 2 litre mark, cook for 20 mins 100C speed 4, then strain.

– Repeat with the pulp for a thin milk, but add less water – to 1.5 litre mark – otherwise it’s a bit too thin

Coconut Cream (Tebasile’s Kitchen)

Soak 60 g unsweetened  coconut flakes ( you can grind them before)  in 180 g water for 5 minutes.

Warm for 1-2 minutes / 37 °C / speed 2 and blend for 1 minute / speed 9-10

Butter Chicken and poppadums