Banana Hazelnut Birthday Cake (DF)

Gluten Free Scallywag - Banana Hazelnut Cake

I'm honestly not quite sure where time has gone. Just a moment ago I was pregnant and living in Melbourne and now our little cookie is 10 months old (today infact and yes, that's where I've been ) I feel the past 10 months have disappeared down the rabbit hole, much like Alice once did. Instead of meeting a funny cat and going on an adventure through a colourful world, I'm making funny noises at my son, learning all about his little personality and what it is like to look after a little person 100% of the time. Which, in itself is a little bit of a new colourful world. Note to self, double check recipe ingredients are in cake when small child is vying for your attention or you'll end up putting the cake in the oven without the eggs in it! Thankfully I noticed after only a minute so the cake in question was saved.

It's an amazing little world that you enter when you become a parent. I'm learning each day. I have listened to all the Mum's (and Dad's) I've known and taken on little bits of their advice, becoming a Mum in my own way, as my gorgeous husband becomes a Dadand we (try to) figure it all out together.

Gluten Free Scallywag - Banana Hazelnut Cake
Gluten Free Scallywag - Banana Hazelnut Cake

This banana cake on the other hand is a little bit easier to figure out and a lot less colourful. Cue the coloured cakes for our little cookie's birthday party. Bring on the multi-coloured layer cakes I say! However, back to my rather subdued (in comparison) birthday cake... this fella (not sure when I decided it was a boy) is laced with a touch of cinnamon, but the real kicker is the toasty warmth the hazelnut meal adds to the lightness of the crumb and the flavour that fills your mouth when you take a big whopping bite. I topped this naturally dairy free cake with a slathering of sinful cream laden ganache, but apparently you can make it with coconut cream if you can't handle the dairy.

I made this cake again on my birthday, I'd run out of bananas so subbed the remaining 80g with apple puree and it was delicious. I didn't have any hazelnut meal left either so almond meal it was. Thanks to the subtle flavour of almond meal I thought I'd kick up the cinnamon by another teaspoon and voila. Another cake. Another birthday cake. Oh. I made chocolate mousse, carrot cake and cheesecake for my birthday morning tea too and watched one of my favourite movies; Grease. Such a classic. A bit like this cake.

Gluten Free Scallywag - Banana Hazelnut Cake

P.S. I've been getting back in the kitchen and working on Volume 4 of The Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine

. It's coming together and if you follow me on instagram or facebook you'll have seen a few sneak peeks at what is to come . Infact, I'll be taking pre-orders soon. But now, banana cake...

Banana Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Serves 8-12

The cake is dairy free, the ganache is not. I made quite a thick ganache, which I would change to a thinner version next time. Teresa Cutter suggests you can make the ganache with coconut cream for those that are dairy/lactose free. Check out her notes on making ganache here . You can easily substitute your favourite gluten free flour mix for the total 210g of flours stated below. If nut free try using desiccated coconut rather than hazelnut meal. Coconut is drier though, so do watch the cooking time, it may be slightly less.

Update: I made this recipe and baked them as cupcakes. It made 15 cupcakes, although if you filled them a little higher you might make 12 larger ones at a pinch (you don't want them to overflow!) and I baked them for abbot 16-18minutes. Warm from the oven and dusted with icing sugar, delicious! 

150g brown rice flour

30g quinoa flour

30g corn flour

55g roasted hazelnut meal *

2teaspoons gluten free baking powder

2teaspoons cinnamon

285g (approx 1 cup or about 3) mashed banana

150g brown sugar

125ml (1/2cup) oil - vegetable or a light olive oil is fine

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

3 eggs


Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease (with oil if dairy free) and line a 20cm round tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients; flours, hazelnut meal, baking powder and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl whisk together the wet ingredients; mashed banana, sugar, oil, vanilla essence and eggs until sugar has just dissolved.

Combine wet into dry and mix until just combined. Pour into baking tin and bake for approximately 42-45minutes. A skewer inserted should come out clean.


In saucepan bring 200ml cream to just below boiling point. Remove from heat and add in 200g finely chopped dark chocolate (I used 72% Whittakers which is dairy free). Allow to sit for a minute or two before stirring and making sure the chocolate has melted. Allow ganache to cool for an hour or three or it will run off your cake. This depends entirely on how warmth your kitchen environment is, so check it every now and then. Pour and smooth the ganache over the cake and decorate with some roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts.

*To make roasted hazelnut meal: roast whole hazelnuts for a few minutes in the warmed oven. Remove skins, cool and blitz in blender to form fine crumbs. You can also use normal hazelnut meal.


Decadent Chocolate Mousse (NF)

The Gluten Free Scallywag:: Decadent Chocolate Mousse

A little person. We created a

little person

. It's been just over two months and I still can't quite believe it.

He is amazing.

He has grown so quickly already; his little cheeks have filled out,  his arms and legs have those adorable chubby baby rolls on them.

His smile

is the cutest thing I've ever seen. I'm biased, but the lady at Bed Bath n Table also told me so the other day.

Life is settling down a little. My man, David and I learn more about each other and our little cookie each day. I'm attempting to slow down.

I won't get this time back

(nor any in the years to come, but this time full of cuddles is so special. I won't be here as often this year, but I plan on another edition of

The Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine

towards the end of the year. In the meantime I will continue

client recipe redevelopment and food photography

, hopefully, mid year after my self imposed maternity leave.

The Gluten Free Scallywag:: Decadent Chocolate Mousse

10months ago when

I fell pregnant

I had been planning on whipping up two things in my kitchen; chocolate mousse and tiramisu. Pregnancy put a stop to that thanks to the recipes' raw eggs. Now (yay now!) I can enjoy them! I've made this chocolate mousse a few times now. I alternate between using Whittakers 72% or 50% cocoa chocolate. Funnily enough the consensus is that that lower cocoa chocolate is somehow richer, perhaps the sweetness? I'm not sure, I'll have to make both again to confirm.

The Gluten Free Scallywag:: Decadent Chocolate Mousse
The Gluten Free Scallywag:: Decadent Chocolate Mousse

Topped with the creamy tang of mascarpone whipped cream and extra chocolate shavings, these mousse pots are a truly decadent dessert. Perfect as the end to a simple dinner or elegant dinner soirée. Especially in this Perth heat; melt, whisk, whisk more, chill. I'd share spoonfuls with my husband come Saturday, but, alas he's starting a detox and he doesn't like mousse! See, sometimes life is all about falling for a guy with different dessert tastessimply so you don't have to share.So go, make mousse. Share mousse. Don't share mousse. Either way you'll enjoy it. PS. The tiramisu will come. I promise. 

Decadent Chocolate Mousse with Mascarpone Cream

Serves 4-6 smallish portions so you don't get that overwhelming erg hit was so good I ate too much and feel sick feeling.... You'll thank me later

130g dark chocolate at least 50 -70%, plus extra grated to serve

20g butter

2 eggs, separated

2tsp raw castor sugar (or normal), 3 tsp if you prefer a sweeter mousse

2/3 cup cream, whipped to soft peaks


Melt chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl set over simmering water (ensure bowl doesn't touch water). Set aside to cool for 5minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggwhites to soft peaks. Whisk in sugar until dissolved and stiff peaks are formed.

Gently stir the egg yolks into the cooled chocolate. Do not overmix as the chocolate will harden.

Gently fold half of the egg whites into the chocolate with a metal spoon, followed by the remaining egg whites and whipped cream. You want to keep the mixture as airy as possible. Spoon or pour into 6 1/3cup jars.

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Can be made 24 hours ahead.

To make the mascarpone cream. Whisk together 1/4cup cream with 1/3cup mascarpone until soft peaks form.

To serve remove mousse from fridge 10minutes before serving (or not at all if it's a really hot day), dollop with the mascarpone cream and top with a sprinkle of grated chocolate.

Apricot Sultana Cookies & Our Little Cookie (NF)


It's been a while between posts. In fact, it's a whole other side of the country between posts! Yes, we have moved back to Perth and have settled into our new home south of the river (my first time this side, it's taking a little while to get used to it!). We have a few boxes left to unpack and my desk, although together, still needs a top coat of paint. I'll show you around some time but for now I am simply busting to tell you...



Just over 2 weeks ago we welcomed our first little bundle of joy into our lives, Ray, our little cookie. He is just precious. I am totally, 100%, completely biased of course, but I think that's the case with most parents. Labour went by quickly after we'd made a trip to IKEA to purchase a few last minute items in the afternoon. I didn't know the sensations I was feeling were contractions (I though I was just being a bit of a sissy and they were possibly Braxton Hicks - ha!) but clearly, it really was a last minute shopping trip as Ray was born not even 7hours later. As we were left in our room together a couple of hours after midnight I said to my man, David

"We're parents - we created this little human!"

I have repeated that exclamation a number of times over the past two weeks.

There has been a whirlwind of visitors as my parents became Grandparents for the 1st time and my man's parents for the 6th! My best friend missed out on making me my labour inducing (kidding) nutella cheesecake pots prior to his birth but she has dropped around with some delicious wholefood mudcake as nutrition for Mum. When I steal the recipe off her I'll share it here - so good!

Ray doesn't mind that there's no Christmas tree up, just a string of fairy lights glittering on our newly renovated dresser - which, I'm positively loving by the way, stacked up with my vintage finds and crockery collection, or that I'm introducing him with a rather non-festive cookie recipe. I must admit after having made gluten free gingerbread just before his birth and enough fruit mince pies for a small army (ie my then growing belly) I felt that I wanted something a little more... wholesome.

Something fruity and full of homemade goodness . Something that I won't feel too bad about eating as a midnight snack, one handed, with a cup of tea at the kitchen table, while I feed him and go nuts pinning on Pinterest at the same time.

So, go make these cookies. I did right after I'd put our little cookie down for a sleep, so you can too.


A note about The Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine : There will be a Vol 4 of The Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine, I've already started working on it . It will be released in 2015 after we've settled into our new role as parents. In the mean time we, as a family want to wish you a Merry Christmas & invite you to enter 'COOKIE' at checkout to receive $5 off the PDF version of the Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine Vol 3! Discount available til midnight Boxing Day 2014.

Also, gorgeous chopping board by my lovely husband, he's setting up shop with homemade lovelies such as these soon, so, I'll keep you posted on the details!

Apricot Sultana Melt & Mix Cookies (NF)

Makes approximately 24

The dry ingredients can also be layered in a 1Litre glass jar and gifted with an instruction tag as a gorgeous Christmas gift. The cookies should also work if you sub coconut oil for the butter. They'll be a little bit crunchier than their buttery cousins. Will keep for approximately one week in an air tight container. 

You could easily switch out the dried fruits for those of your choice and the tahini for peanut butter or a nut free butter. 

Dry ingredients

180g plain gluten free flour

20g quinoa flakes

1/4tsp bi-carb soda

1/4tsp gluten free baking powder

65g raw castor sugar (or plain castor sugar)

65g brown sugar

30g desiccated coconut

50g sultanas

50g dried apricots, chopped

Wet ingredients

1 egg

125 butter, melted and cooled

2tsp vanilla

2tblspn tahini


Preheat oven to 180degrees Celsius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl or jug whisk together the wet ingredients.

Stir to combine.

Roll into 1 1/2tablespoon balls and flatten slightly. You could also use a 60ml ice cream scoop here for this (I did and it made life a little less messy). Bake for 15-17minutes, turning halfway, until golden.

Allow to cool on trays. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Banana Nutella Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce & Goodbye Melbourne

The Gluten Free Scallywag | Banana Nutella pancakes

Last week

I said good bye to Melbourne

. My time there has been so very amazing. I set myself goals when we moved over; cook more, share more, photograph more (read: get better at it), see what you can do. I've cooked many different things in Melbourne but feel my greatest achievement has been working on my photography, I look back at my

last Perth post

to today and I am proud of myself. As someone who is so often very critical of themselves this is something I don't often indulge myself in, as I'm always striving to be better; be a better person, a better cook and I'm sure

in our new adventure as parents

I will most likely strive to be a better mother (Oh, that sounds so surreal - I can't wait!)

My favourite thing about Melbourne and our little apartment space though has been the creation of

The Gluten Free Magazine

, founded in Melbourne in 2011 (our first year there). I am constantly overwhelmed by you; you, who read the magazines, who have purchased the print copy, who have emailed or facebooked me. You who have baked your very own

gluten free Christmas Cake

in however many years, or who tell friends to make my

gluten & dairy free carrot cake

as it's 'so delicious'.

You are the ones that make this gluten free baking journey all worthwhile


The Gluten Free Scallywag | Banana Nutella pancakes

So, I thought that I'd share with you a little snap of my Melbourne kitchen that we packed into boxes just over a week ago (on my birthday actually), hence it's clean state. This lovely bright white kitchen, that I renovated when we moved in, in April 2011, has been so

wonderful to work

and live in. Many a time we have enjoyed breakfast on our kitchen stools, me, usually with a pile of cookbooks or magazines strewn across the bench-top for inspiration, coffee and notepad in hand.

My trusty little oven has tested each and every one of the recipes on this blog since March 2011 and in the magazine since we came here. I'm going to miss its wide internal space and hidden tray drawer. The ceasar stone bench-tops were my indulgence, and one that I will dearly miss in our new home, my man's home just south of the river in Perth.

The Gluten Free Scallywag - Melbourne Kitchen
The Gluten Free Scallywag - Melbourne Kitchen

The small pantry space (under the large breakfast bar - to the left of the drawer shown above) has taught us to use all the items in our cupboard and not to continue buying food. Instead making meals with food already in our cupboard and those random vegetables and items left in the bottom of the fridge T

hose warming, simple meals

are often the most satisfying, especially if they're simmering away on the stove top while I'm doing some baking in the oven.

Below is a picture of the bench space 'in-action' whilst baking for the

2013 Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine

with my beloved blue Kitchen-Aid. I can't wait to unpack it in late October in our new home, here in Perth and do some baking for you all!

The Gluten Free Scallywag - Melbourne Kitchen
The Gluten Free Scallywag | Banana Nutella 

As my baking items are now packed and I'm living out of my Dad's no fuss kitchen, I am sharing a recipe with you that I worked on for the team at


earlier this year - part of a chocolate feast for their

April Easter Edition

- Nutella & Banana swirled pancakes with a quick strawberry sauce.

The strawberries are out in force here in Perth, as I visited the Subiaco Farmers Markets on Saturday their

ruby red skins glistened in the sun

and so we stocked up on the juicy red berries, making these pancakes the perfect thing to whip up for this weekend's breakfast. 

Banana & Nutella Swirl Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

Makes approximately 6 pancakes (enough for one hungry soul or 2 slightly less ravenous people) Double or triple as necessary. Prep 5 min. Cooking time 15min.


150g plain gluten free flour

1teaspoon gluten free baking powder

1 egg

250ml (1cup) buttermilk

1 over ripe banana, mashed

1tablespoon Nutella (or ¼ cup milk chocolate chips)

Butter, for greasing

Strawberry Sauce

To make the strawberry sauce remove greens from 250g of washed fresh strawberries and quarter. Place in a small saucepan with 1teaspoon water and 2-3teaspoons raw sugar. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally to stop catching, for 3-5minutes to soften strawberries. Remove from heat to cool and allow the sauce to go slightly jammy.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk and banana. Stir into the flour to form a relatively smooth batter (the banana will make it a little lumpy). Gently fold through the nutella.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and melt a small knob of butter, place 1/3cup pancake batter in the pan (you can do more at a time if you’re using a large frypan) cook for about 2minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Using a metal fish slice flip the pancake over and cook a further 1-2minutes until golden.

Transfer to a plate and continue with the remaining batter.

When all the pancakes are cooked serve with some of the strawberry sauce and a dollop of natural yoghurt, or cream if you want a naughtier option for breakfast!