April 07, 2014

Little Chocolate Strawberry Cakes: Gluten Free Recipe

Little Chocolate Strawberry Cakes

Many, many moons ago I used to babysit three adorable children that lived across the road from me in Perth. Many an afternoon was spent talking to their Mum and playing with the kids as she whipped up spaghetti jaffles (I'm still not a fan) or chocolate chip cookies (umm... BIG fan!), I remember the two eldest loved watching their Mum cook. You could see in their eyes that they knew yummy food was coming and, in the case of the chocolate chip cookies, bowl licking was coming. Now, my Mum taught me how to properly scrape a bowl of 98% of the batter, but I've still never seen a cleaner un-clean bowl from baking as I did at their place and the chocolate coated smiles were proof enough that the kids thought that this baking hoo-ha was the bomb.

Approximately 16 years later and I still think of those kids licking the bowl every time that I umm... lick the bowl! Ok, so I don't stick my finger into the batter like I used to, as baking for others doesn't really allow this, no, no, no, I've moved up the working through the teaspoons in the cutlery drawer. I try to only get two out for a sweet recipe like this as otherwise my final yield is not as much as it should be! These little cakes that are laden with melted chocolate and soft sweet strawberries are one of those recipes that tastes awesome raw and I'm not talking about the good for you uncooked, vegan, vegetable raw. Oh, no, I'm talking about unadulterated sweet cocoa buttery goodness...

Little Chocolat Strawberry Cakes
Little Chocolate Strawberry Cakes Little Chocolate Strawberry Cakes
Little Chocolate Strawberry Cakes

So, get your teaspoon at the ready and whip up these little cakes that are perfect warm from the oven with a dusting of icing sugar, or you could top with a luxurious chocolate ganache and a strawberry for something little more 'fancy'. I went for warm from the oven, there was no way they were going to last long
 enough to cool down... let alone make more dishes creating a topping, as delightful as it may be...

Little Chocolate Strawberry Cakes
Little Chocolate Strawberry Cakes

These chocolate & strawberry cakes are adapted from the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes found in Vol3 of The Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine.

Little Chocolate Strawberry Cakes
Makes 12.

125g butter, at room temperature
115g castor sugar
2 eggs
150g plain gluten free flour
25g cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 tablespoons hot espresso or milk
40g dark or milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered

Preheat oven to 180C and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take approximately 3-5minutes on high with a hand held or stand mixer. The butter should change to a pale shade of cream/yellow.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on low to combine. Add a spoonful of flour if the mixture looks like curdling.

Sift over the flour, cocoa and baking powder and fold in with the vanilla and espresso until smooth.

The batter will have a light dropping consistency. If it seems too thick add another tablespoon of coffee or milk and mix again to combine. Fold in the chopped chocolate and strawberries and mix through.

Spoon into cases, not filling more than 3/4 full and bake for approximately 14-16minutes until a skewer inserted comes out with a few little bits of cake (this way they'll be slightly underdone and that extra bit delicious!)

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Dust with gluten free icing sugar and serve warm. Best eaten within 2days.

February 24, 2014

Decadent Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt: Gluten Free recipe

Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt | The Gluten Free Scallywag

Earlier this year I had my wisdom teeth removed. All four of them. This allows for more brain space in my head. I have another four teeth that can possibly be removed later, so I can only imagine the extra information my brain will handle should that ever happen. Meanwhile, over the past month without those wisdom teeth, I feel no more wisdom than I did a month ago.

I still can't decide how to tell my mother-in-law that I had a violent food poisoning from roast beef some years ago and therefore am not really a fan of it and after eating it for the past 6year before we became family, well, I just don't know how to add it to my list of food jasmine won't eat, i mean, really, the gluten free thing is hefty enough me-thinks. I still can't remember what 8 x 7 is without mentally doing my times table in my head.

Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt | The Gluten Free Scallywag

I have, however, learnt that as much as I love a good frozen yoghurt. I love a chocolate frozen yoghurt that's made with cream even more! What can I say, after drinking Boost Juice ripoff smoothies for a week (thank you lovely husband for now being a pro at this) and high fibre soups as my jaw wouldn't open more than a couple of centimetres, I tore myself away from the re-runs of Dawson's Creek (I never saw the last season and my goodness I was not prepared for the ending but my golly I still think Pacey is cute and Dawson is, well, not. At all!) I got off my butt and hit the kitchen, making something very low profile. Something that is cool, because it's hot in Australia in January...

Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt | The Gluten Free Scallywag

Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt.  Melt, blitz, freeze. Hello my new creamy, chocolate heaven. I am so glad that you are all mine 9because my husband dislikes creamy thinks, what-a-pity) and now, all yours.

Decadent Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt
Makes about 1.5L. Start recipe one day ahead.

Note: I've been cutting the sugar down in my recipes over the past 12months. This recipe is no exception, with a decadent chocolate flavour and smooth, creamy mouth feel. If you prefer a sweeter treat I'd suggest using the full amount of sugar listed in the recipe below.

200g good quality chocolate (not less than 50%, I used Whittakers )
250ml (1cup) cream
40g cocoa
160-200g sugar
1tsp vanilla
pinch salt
500g Greek yoghurt

Melt chocolate and whisk into the cream. Set aside.
Whisk together the cocoa and sugar then add the cream mixture along with the remaining ingredients. Whisk together until smooth. (you could also do this in a blender)

Chill for 2hours or until cold. Whisk again and churn according to your ice cream makers instructions.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month.

February 10, 2014

Apple Loaf: Gluten & Dairy Free Recipe

Gluten & Dairy Free Apple Loaf / The Gluten Free Scallywag

Across the country kids are popping on their backpacks and heading to school. I don't recall my first day of any year at school, but I do remember the anticipation. Mainly this was shopping for stationery. What can I say, this Virgo is a stationery fiend. I blame my Dad, he too loves a good pen and notebook when he sees one. I remember my brother and I choosing the contact we wanted to cover our school books in and then Mum, ever the perfectionist, would carefully cover each book. There were never any bubbles. It's just how she is; a no bubbles in the contact kinda Mum.

Lunchboxes for me, as a primary school student were generally a tetra pack (frozen so it was still cold at lunch in this Aussie heat), carrot sticks, cheese cut into cubes, an apple or banana and a sandwich. I think the sandwiches were mostly ham sandwiches, but I honestly don't remember. Having a Mum who ran her own wholesale cake company in Perth did have it's perks though and once a week (after year 3) I'd get to choose a piece of leftover cake to take on Friday's. There was Lumberjack, Carrot, Mud, Coffee & Walnut... the list goes on.

Gluten & Dairy Free Apple Loaf / The Gluten Free Scallywag

I reckon if Mum had made this cake when I was a child I'd have picked it on Friday mornings. This gluten and dairy free Apple Loaf Cake is not too sweet, with a chewy crumb and is laced with spices, plus it's so very, very easy to make. Whisk dry. Whisk wet. Combine. Bake. Eat. Seriously, you don't can't get much better than that! Personally I like it, being the eater of dairy that I am, slathered with a bit of butter. Yum. I chose to use Brookfarm's delicious macadamia oil in this recipe, however a light olive or vegetable oil works just as well and is necessary for most nut free schools. But, don't keep this apple loaf confined yo your kids lunchboxes (why should they have all the fun?), take a piece to work or bake them as cupcakes and top with a little cinnamon icing...

Gluten & Dairy Free Apple Loaf / The Gluten Free Scallywag

What was your childhood lunchbox treat? Or what do you put in your children's lunchbox as a treat now?

Apple Loaf Cake, Dairy & Gluten Free
Makes 1 Loaf.
*Nut free if you choose a nut free oil

Dry Ingredients
230g gluten free plain flour
1tsp bi-carb soda
1tsp gluten free baking powder
1/2tsp mixed spice
3 1/2tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp nutmeg

Wet Ingredients
260g apple puree
100g raw castor sugar
1/2cup (125ml) golden syrup
1/3cup (80ml) macadamia oil (I used Brookfarm, but you can use a light olive oil or vegetable oil here too)
1 egg

1 apple, grated, juices squeezed out.

Preheat oven to 175degrees Celsius. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk wet ingredients in a bowl to combine. Pour into dry mix with the grated apple and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50minutes in the middle rack of your oven.

Cool for 5minutes in tin before turning out to cool completely. Cut into thick 2cm slices and serve (lashings of butter optional). Best eaten within 2-3days.