Quinoa breakfast cups and gluten thoughts

aboveI’ve been trying to cut back on gluten in my life. Laughable, right? I bake nearly every day and I LOVE gluten. The more I look into gluten free options, the more I realise how hard it is to cut it out of your diet.

I’m not doing too badly – I don’t miss bread as much as I thought I would; I actually have to have a think about the things I put into my body; I’m enjoying the challenge of looking for alternatives.

But I like soy sauce, I like chocolate and lollies, I like oats! But most of all, I like the versatility of flour – it’s in cakes, pastries, cereals, gravies, my mother’s delicious omelette and most of the foods I like to eat. Continue reading “Quinoa breakfast cups and gluten thoughts”

Raspberry meringues and simple joys

bowlNot too long ago I posted a recipe for chocolate swirl meringues as an accompaniment to your Valentine’s Day – there is something about meringues that I equate with romance. Maybe it’s the intense amounts of sweetness, or their crisp lightness? Whatever the reason, you should definitely treat your loved ones to some meringue bites, because they’ll love you dearly for it!

People of all ages go a little weak at the knees for meringues, because they’re such a simple pleasure – egg white, sugar and joy. Continue reading “Raspberry meringues and simple joys”

Honey pots de creme and Valentines

meringuesOn the weekend I posted some sweet little chocolate meringue morsels and promised an even sweeter dessert to accompany them. This is what you’ve been waiting for with baited breath (ha!) – honey pots de crème.

I’m slightly in love with pots de crème. They tend to combine a whole lot of cream with other, equally bad for you delicious ingredients; kind of like a custard that you can alter to be any flavour your little heart desires.

The first pots that I posted were Nutella, and they will always hold a special place in my heart, but these honey pots are a close second. They’re a super sweet idea for your Valentine’s day dessert (if you celebrate V-Day) OR they would be great to serve if you were having Winnie the Pooh over to dinner. Continue reading “Honey pots de creme and Valentines”

Chocolate swirl meringues and sweetness

sceneI cannot get enough of meringues. Before I was given my gorgeous mixer, Penelope, I found meringues really challenging. Now that I have her, however, they’re a cinch. They’re so simple to whip together (although it does take some patience) and everybody loves them.

Top them with sprinkles for a touch of nostalgia – this addition will make them irresistible for adults and children alike.

I made these meringues as an accompaniment to a super sweet treat for you all to make this Valentine’s day. I’ll post the recipe that goes with these meringues tomorrow, but here’s a sneak peak of the romantic dessert…

Chocolate meringues:tea

  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 100g milk chocolate


lemonBefore you start making your meringues, wipe your whisk attachment and bowl down with half of a lemon. Just swirl the lemon around and then wipe off the excess. This will remove any residual fats that may be lurking, and could flatten your meringues!

whiskWhip your sugar and egg whites together – I’d recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer because it’s far more efficient! Start on a lower speed (I went for 3 on my stand mixer) and speed it up a notch at a time (up to about 8) over the course of a minute; I find that this method gets the most air into the meringues.

While the egg whites whip up, preheat your oven to 120°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.

swirlKeep whipping until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture turns white, thick and glossy. This should take about ten minutes. Your mixture should hold soft peaks and should stay in place if you turn the bowl upside down.

candlesMelt your chocolate and spoon it into the meringue. Give it a quick swirl (literally, like one swirl, if you want veins of chocolate through the meringues) and spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle.

Pipe onto your lined baking trays bake for 50-60 minutes – you’ll know they’re done when they’re dry to touch. Transfer to a cooling rack and devour once they’re cooled!

 

Berry lemonade ice blocks and Australian Summer

In keeping with my Australia-loving session (inspired by my recent trip to Cairns), I wanted to showcase a food that reminds me of my childhood.

skyIce blocks. Iced lollies. Ice pops. Call them what you will, they’re a Summer favourite.

My mother used the same, primary-coloured ice block moulds for years. When it came to throwing them out (a move which was much protested by myself and my brothers), the stems of the moulds were so chewed and beaten up loved that they were no longer straight. Continue reading “Berry lemonade ice blocks and Australian Summer”

GF almond choc chip biscuits and the new year

The new year is definitely here. Resolutions are being made and broken, my gym is heaving with well-intentioned women, and Facebook is full of inspirational quotes. I never really make resolutions because I have a memory like a sieve. I do, however, fully support those who make plans to eat healthier/be fitter/strive harder in the new year.

aboveAlso involved in this post are two small businesses that you should resolve to get behind this year. Continue reading “GF almond choc chip biscuits and the new year”

Winners and trees in coconut snow

threeThis week I picked the winners of my teapot giveaway. I asked entrants to pick one of the four teapots available (red, yellow, blue or pink) and tell me four things they associated with that colour.

Caitlin won the yellow teapot, she said “Yellow is my favourite colour, it reminds me of flowers (yellow roses are mum’s favourite), sunshine, primary school sports carnivals (I was in gold, obviously, cause I’m the best), and the yellow bike that I really really really want but can’t afford.”

Charlotte says the colour of the blue teapot reminds her of reminds her of “discarded bird eggs, stormy skies, baby blankets and… blu-tack!”

Amanda said that the pink teapot was the same colour as “kitten’s paws, rosy cheeks, pink marshmallows and fairy floss! Four things that make my life just that little bit more sweet.”

The winner of the red teapot is yet to check her emails to accept. Once she’s accepted, I’ll announce the final winner. Otherwise I’ll have to pick a new winner.

Thank you to everyone that entered, I loved reading all the funny, sweet and quirky things that everyone had to say. I can’t wait to run another competition like this, it’s so lovely to see everyone’s creativity!

Unrelated to tea pots, here is my final Christmas post. These little treats only require four ingredients, and three of these are different kinds of chocolate! They can be thrown together in 20 minutes and they’re perfect for kids and adults alike.
paper caseThe only thing I should warn you about is that if you’re serving these babies in a hot climate (ie Australia), don’t take them out of the fridge until you intend to serve them, as the Christmas trees wilt a little if they get too warm.

Trees in snow:

Chocolate trees:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • M&Ms to decorate

Chocolate coconut snow:

  • 280g white chocolate*
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut

coconutLine a large baking tray with baking paper and pour a small amount of M&Ms into a bowl. Set them both to one side. Melt your dark chocolate in the microwave and stir to achieve a smooth, even consistency.

Scoop chocolate into a snap lock bag and snip off a small section of one bottom corner. Working quickly, pipe zigzags of chocolate onto the baking paper – each zigzag will need to be slightly larger than the last to make it look like a Christmas tree. Repeat.trees

Don’t worry if your trees are different sizes or styles, this just adds to their cuteness!

Once you’ve piped each of your Christmas trees, place a few M&Ms onto each tree to look like Christmas decorations. Try to work quickly so that the chocolate doesn’t set too much before you’ve placed them. Once they’re all decorated, pop them in the freezer.

Line 16 cupcake tin cups with paper cases while the trees are in the freezer.

Melt your chocolate in the microwave, checking at regular intervals that it doesn’t burn. Combine both types of coconut in a bowl and pour the melted chocolate over the top. Using a spatula, mix the chocolate and coconut together until all coconut is coated in chocolate.

unwrappedScoop a heaped tablespoon of mixture into each paper case and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon. Using a butter knife, cut a shallow line across the length of each serving of chocolate coconut snow. When your trees have set, whip them out of the freezer and gently nestle one tree in each of the cuts that you made, ensuring that they are nice and stable.

Refrigerate for 15 minutes and serve. You can serve them with or without the paper cases.

*the white chocolate can easily be replaced with dark or milk chocolate, if you so desire.

Gluten free chocolate lasagne and layers

NormanThis weather is all about layers. The torrential rain means that you need about 12 waterproof layers to stay dry. The cold snap means you need several layers underneath your waterproof layers to stay warm. It is a well-documented fact that Norman (and most sausage dogs), regardless of the weather, love being in the middle of a few comfy layers.

So it was only natural that my food would begin to mimic these layers. It is with great delight that I present to you: chocolate lasagne. Continue reading “Gluten free chocolate lasagne and layers”

Gluten free garlic parmesan pull apart bread and Wintery weather

herbsThe weather in Sydney is consistently wet. It has been six days since I last posted a recipe, and the only excuse I have is the weather! Weather like this makes me want to cook and eat.

And repeat.

Blogging took a back seat while I busied myself baking (and eating) delicious Wintery foods that I thought I’d have to wait until next year to post.

flourI also got the chance to use some gluten free flour I was kindly given by Well & Good. I’d never baked with gluten free flour before (to be honest, I was pretty apprehensive!), but the result was perfect. The bread rose perfectly and crisped nicely. The gluten free flour seems to result in a slightly different tasting bread – not a bad taste, just slightly different to regular flour. Continue reading “Gluten free garlic parmesan pull apart bread and Wintery weather”