Peanut Surprise Muffins

Yum.
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I had an epiphany the other day. You know how some people stress eat? I stress bake. It could be worse, but it does result in an excess of baked goods around the house…
Peanut Surprise Muffins. I do have to admit I cheated here. There’s sugar in the muffin *gasps of shock and horror surround my kitchen*
I know, I know. But we’re allowed occasional indulgences, right? If I’d made the muffin mix from scratch it would have been properly paleo. But we had a mix and sometimes it’s just easier, you know?
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Seriously though, if you want a good gluten, dairy free mix the one above is really nice. Makes a thick batter and I added almost an extra 1/2 cup of water, but still gorgeous.
Not wanting to be one to encourage box mixes, feel free to make your own plain/vanilla muffin mix. Chocolate would also be quite nice.

Rambling today, aren’t I? Sorry. To the recipe.
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Ingredients:
– Whatever you’re using to make the muffins.
– About 4 tablespoons peanut butter (preferably just peanuts, not oil and sugar and salt.. ugh)
– 3 tsp stevia (or other sweetener
– 1/2 tsp vanilla essense
– 2 tablespoons oil (peanut, coconut – whatever you have)
– 1 tablespoon Nuttelex (or similar)
– Approx. 1 square gluten, dairy and sugar free chocolate (I use …well, naturally’s sugar free dark chocolate)

Method:
– Make the muffin mix according to your recipe. Preheat oven as called for (standard for muffins is 180)
– Line the muffin tins with cases (How adorable are the ones I used? They’re from Mixe)
– Put 1 tablespoon of batter in each case
– Combine all other ingredients, excepting chocolate
– Put 1 tsp peanut mix on top of the batter
– Top peanut butter with another tablespoon of batter
– Grate some chocolate over the top and bake according to recipe

Easy, but kind of incredibly delicious.

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Maids of Honour

Leftover sweet shortcrust pastry from the pumpkin pie I’d made (I’ll add a link once we’ve tasted it to see if it worked…) and this was the outcome. Cute little pastry shells filled with jam and topped with a light sponge – with no gluten, dairy or sugar. Yum.

 

 

 

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(Excuse the shape, I was using a strange tin… we’ll call it ‘rustic’)

My sweet shortcrust pastry recipe is here. You could use a whole batch, but you’d make a whole lot, I just used the leftovers from making a pastry shell.

Ingredients:

Leftover sweet shortcrust pastry

Sugar free Jam (It depends how many you’re making. Just have a jar. I used St. Dalfour’s raspberry).

2 egg whites

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

30g gluten free self raising flour

20g sweetener

 

Method:

Grease your tin – any small tin such as fairy cake tins would do.

Roll a ball of pastry with your hand, flatten, push into tin – use the size appropriate for your tin. This is a very exact recipe…

Add jam so the the pastry’s about half full.

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy. 

Add half the sweetener. It should resemble meringue.

Fold in the remaining sweetener and flour gently.

Put spoonfuls of the egg white mix on top of the jam to fill the pastry.

Bake at 180°C for about 15 minutes.

No, this recipe is not very precise – my apologies. It is however, a good way to use up pastry and egg whites, which often go hand in hand.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

Basic pastry – subtract gluten, dairy and sugar- is a little different to normal pastry. I would say not to have a really delicately flavoured filling as the Nuttelex taste can be quite strong, but overall I consider this pastry a success. It should make enough for one pastry shell with a little left over (Maids of Honour are a nice way to use leftovers up, or you could freeze it).

Ingredients:

125g Nuttelex (or dairy free spread of your choice).

10g Stevia (Or artificial sweetener of your choice. If you’re using proper sugar use 100g of icing sugar).

250g gluten free plain flour (I used Orgran)

2 egg yolks

Approx 6 tablespoons water (room temperature)

 

Method:

Beat together Nuttelex and Stevia until well combined.

Add the flour and yolks, stir until the consistency is similar to breadcrumbs (a food processor works well, although by hand is fine)

Add the water, 2 tablespoons at a time until the pastry is smooth and malleable but firm. It shouldn’t be sticky.

Chill for 1/2 an hour to an hour in a sausage shape, wrapped in cling film.

The easiest way I’ve found to make the shell with this pastry is to slice about 0.5cm rounds off the sausage shape and press them into the tin.

If the filling’s uncooked bake for 15 minutes at 180°C. Otherwise it depends on how long the filling takes; use your judgement. You can par-bake the tart shell at 180°C for about 12 minutes for most cooked fillings.

 

Mexican Cocoa Cake (vegan)

Happy Mother’s Day, to all the mothers out there! The rest of the world might be cooking cheesecakes and sickly sweet things for their maternal parents, but that’s not my mother at all – hence this Mexican cocoa cake. The original recipe came from here but I adapted a couple of things. The original was vegan, egg free, sugar free – really everything, but I changed the icing slightly and cut back on sugar. The original also called for cacao, but my health food shop ran out and cocoa powder is cheaper and works just fine. Mind you, this is an expensive cake…

One thing: Do not expect a traditional mud cake from this. It’s a bitter sweet, moist, cocoa concoction with orange and cayenne pepper – gorgeous, but hardly traditional! Without any further ado, here is the Mexican cocoa cake.

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Ingredients (dry):

1 3/4 cups gluten free plain flour 

3/4 cup coconut flour

1 1/2 cups cocoa powder (I know, it’s a lot, but trust me on this)

1 tablespoon baking powder

Pinch salt (The original recipe said Himalayan pink salt, and that’s what I used, but normal salt would work)

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg (Original said cinnamon, but my grandmother hates it. Use either or both.)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Please use a spoon. I didn’t once… Don’t ever try and pour cayenne pepper.)

 

Ingredients (wet) 

1/2 coconut oil, melted

1/2 apple sauce/puree (make your own or buy unsweetened

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cup coconut nectar

1/2 cup dairy free milk

2 tablespoons orange zest

1 mashed banana

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease your tin’s (it said 22cm round tin, but I ended up needing two tins – it’s quite a big recipe. So use a big round tin or two medium tins).

Now, this is pretty complex – mix dry ingredients in a big bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl. Pour wet into dry, combine.

Pretty hard, right? Pop that in the tin, and bake for about 45 minutes depending on tin size.

Cool, then turn out.

 

Frosting:

1 cup cocoa powder (What, more cocoa? I know! That’s what I thought too).

3/4 cup orange juice (Original said 1/4. Not nearly enough. Maybe my oranges were small, but not that small!)

1/2 cup coconut nectar

1 tablespoon orange zest

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons corn syrup (Any syrupy thing, really. It was just two thick and a little too bitter).

 

Combine all of that in a bowl.  Spread the cake and top with orange zest.

I hope you enjoy it and have a lovely Mother’s Day!

 – Kate

 

 

Madeleines

Wow, it’s been a long time. Sorry! You know how life gets :\
Anyway, yesterday I experimented with madeleines with some delicious results – none of them made it through the day. Oops. Unfortunately I don’t have proper madeleine tins right now, so I used tins that are about the same size. If you have them, great, if you don’t just keep a close eye on them so you know when they’re done 🙂

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 C stevia or artificial sweetener
Zest of one large lemon
3/4 plain gluten free flour (I use Orgran)
1 tsp gluten replacer (Orgran again)
1/2 tsp baking powder
60g dairy free spread (I use Nuttelex)

Method:
Grease a madeleine tin.
Melt the dairy free spread and set aside to cool.
Place the eggs, artificial sweetener and lemon zest in a bowl. Use an electric beater at high speed until thick and pale.
Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the dairy free spread.
Put tablespoonfuls of mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake at 200°C for 10-15 minutes (keep an eye on them, please!)

Hope you enjoy them. Leave a comment telling me what you’d like me to work out and maybe I will 🙂

Chocolate Brownie Bites

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Today held a chocolatey indulgence for me! However, I wasn’t feeling like conventional brownies. These bite sized treats fitted the bill perfectly – you could cook them in a larger brownie pan, but they’d take longer (30-35 minutes, probably).

 

Ingredients:

100g dairy-free spread (Nuttelex)

50g cacao butter (could substitute Nuttelex or other spread)

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup artificial sweetener (Stevia)

80g chopped dairy free chocolate (mine had freeze dried raspberries in it, which was nice)

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 cup gluten free plain flour

 

Place the spread, cacao butter, coconut sugar and stevia in a pan, stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir through the chocolate.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and stir in. Add the flour and stir to combine.

Grease your tin (mine held about 1 1/2 teaspoons per brownie) and divide the mixture between the holes.

Bake at 160°C for 5-10m minutes. At this point they should be slightly squidgy (technical term) in the centre, but firm. Allow to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes, then tip out.

Vegetarian Thai Salad

This was inspired by a local café who serve a similar dish. We attempted it with quite different – but still delicious! – results.

Ingredients:

3 sliced spring onions

1/4 iceberg lettuce, shredded

1 grated carrot

1 cup bean sprouts

1/2 chopped avocado

15g of chopped coriander

1/2 shredded red cabbage

 

Dressing:

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce (Yes, I know! It has a little sugar. Very naughty of us. You could easily replace it with diced chilli and a little stevia)

2 tablespoons fish sauce

 

Fry the spring onions until lightly browned and crispy. Set aside.

Add all other salad ingredients to a bowl, combine.

Combine dressing ingredients, drizzle over salad..

Top with spring onions.

 

No photo… it disappeared quite quickly. 😉