A little news & a teacake...

Raspberry & Cacao Nib Tea Cake | The Gluten Free Scallywag

It’s been quiet around here of late. I’m sure you’ve noticed my (and the recipes) absence since March. It’s not because life has been quiet .... oh no, quite the contrary, but I’ll fill you in on some of the in-betweens later as I want to jump on to the news that has me busting out of my pants - quite literally -

I’m pregnant!

Over halfway and all is going well. I've ditched the jeans and my winter wardrobe consists of a lot of current in season leggings (thank goodness) and I can say with some certainty that I’ve not had any cravings, well not weird ones at least. I’ve always eaten what I’ve craved so it’s a bit hard to tell if I’ve wanted anything more than normal. Having said that I can say that I ate a heck of a lot of toast for the first 15+ weeks - apricot jam and gluten free vegemite were my toppings of choice, separately, obviously...

Raspberry & Cacao Nib Tea Cake | The Gluten Free Scallywag
Raspberry & Cacao Nib Tea Cake | The Gluten Free Scallywag
Gluten Free Scallywag - 20weeks Pregnant

My man and I are super excited to have this little cookie become a part of our lives and are looking forward to everything that he or she (we’ve not found out, we both like a good surprise) will bring to us. As you can see from the above photo taken at my friend's farm a few weeks ago we're quite excited and I, as usual am cracking up in photos!

One of the biggest changes apart from little cookie’s impending arrival toward the end of the year is that we’re going home.

That’s right Perth, we’re coming back!

Friends, that means the testers will be yours to come and eat and lovely readers, that means that perhaps we’ll meet up for coffee one day, or hell, I might even ask a few of you over to eat some of those testers too!

We have absolutely loved our time here, in Melbourne these past few years, but we always knew that Perth would be home when we started our family. The beach, our families, the overabundance of sunshine and the proximity to our favourite place, Margaret River, would always be what we wanted our child to know as home, as we have.

Raspberry & Cacao Nib Tea Cake | The Gluten Free Scallywag

This teacake with its

buttery almond crumb that is studded with tart raspberries and the earthiness of cacao nibs

is the perfect not too sweet treat to enjoy with a cuppa. With my expanding belly I enjoyed a couple of small slices with vanilla yoghurt this past weekend as my man and I went over the inventory for our move in early September. Now, go, make and eat this little cake, I think I might indulge in another slice when I get home...

Oh, and let me know, if you live in Perth, would you be interested in popping round for coffee and eating some of my tester cakes from the blog and magazine? 


Raspberry & Cacao Nib Tea Cake

Serves 8

This teacake was adapted from the ever wonderful Donna Hay.  I've converted it to gluten free and have reduced the sugar content as I have been with all recipes these past 18+months. By all means you could up the sugar to the original 90g of brown sugar rather than raw. I buy natural almond meal in bulk, natural in the sense that they're not blanched almonds that have been ground. You can of course use the more widely available blanched almond meal that is a lot lighter and this will also lighten the cake.

ingredients

90g butter, softened

70g raw sugar, or castor sugar + 2tsp for top

2eggs, lightly whisked

110g almond meal

35g plain gluten free flour

1/4tsp gluten free baking powder

1tsp fine orange rind

2tblspn cacao nibs or finely chopped dark chocolate

1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (if frozen do not thaw)

method

Heat oven to 160degrees celcius. Grease and line a2 8inch round cake tin.

In a food processor blitz the butter and 70g sugar to combine. 

Add in the eggs, almond meal, gluten free flour, baking powder & orange rind. Pulse until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth out the top.

Top with raspberries and press them in gently. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and remaining 2teaspoons of sugar.

Bake for approximately 36-40minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or vanilla yoghurt.


Turning 4 & A Boozy Apple Almond Cake

Honey Almond Cake with Boozy Apples

Last month heralded The Gluten Free Scallywag's 4th birthday and I thought I'd celebrate with a little bit of cake , but first let's talk for a moment about being gluten free. Being diagnosed Coeliac was hard. I cried outside the hospital when I realised that I'd never drink beer again, enjoy hotdogs or eat liquorice. After the tears subsided my man took me home to the house I shared with my friend and her family. I shared the news and to be honest we were all a little bit sad. I remember sitting in my (tiny) bedroom by myself for a few moments ; I needed the silence . I had eaten gluten for 22years, that's 22 birthday cakes, about 44 hot cross buns (because funnily enough, I always felt sick after 2!), dozens of hot dogs and more than a few chocolate coated liquorice logs. Although, for a 22yo Australian, the beer consumption, was probably quite low. I never really drank alot as a teenager and even then it wasn't much beer, although, I did like a good wheaty beer (think Redback, for Aussie folk) with a good burger or fish n chips on the beach.

At some stage on that small bed, with little gold star stickers still on the wall from my friends little sisters teenage days I told myself that it was ok. Why? Well, diagnoses meant we knew what was wrong. We now knew why I was so pale and would fall asleep at my desk at work. Or why some weeks, I'd just stay in bed the whole time. I remember a friend of mine came and visited on one of those never-out-of-bed weeks. He said 'babe, you look like shit'. He and I were good friends and we generally tell each other like it is (and still do). This was 6months before getting the test. It was the last time I was in bed for a week. It's the last time he told me I looked like shit. Last month he said something else to me that I've only heard once, he told me I looked beautiful. It was my wedding day. I gave him the biggest hug after that. 10years of friendship and he'd seen me pretty low, but he'd also seen that just because I can no longer drink half his pint of beer, I still enjoy everything life has to offer. Just not the croissants. (Really, c'mon you've read this blog, I don't need the extra butter anyway!)

Honey Almond Cake with Boozy Apples
Honey Almond Cake with Boozy Apples

To me, being diagnosed was the best thing, because since that day (ok, well a month after, when I actually went gluten free - read about that reasoning here) I made the conscious effort to be healthy. To eat right, to treat my body right. I only have one body and I want it to last. So, I focus on what I can eat, not what I can't. That's what I decided on the bed that day and what I still believe in today.

So, to those Coeliacs, people with gluten free allergies and intolerances or others who look at me with pity, please don't. Life could be much worse and hell, what can be better for our bodies than NOT being able to eat convenient deep fried foods & takeaway! Ha!

Honey Almond Cake with Boozy Apples

I found the recipe for this cake a while ago and have been wanting to try it out for a special occasion. Unfortunately, I've no idea of it's original source, if you know it please let me know! It's a delightful cake. A soft, almond crumb that's not too sweet, with a slightly chewy crust. I like to eat my piece from the edge in so that I can finish on that delicious honey almond softness.

I topped the cake with tawny (or port as you may call it) apples and cinnamon. Piled the apples high on the cake and then drizzled another good dose of tawny on top of that. Heaven!

Honey Almond Cake with Boozy Apples

Serves 8-10

Slightly adapted from somewhere 

4eggs, separated

1/2cup (125ml) good quality honey

1tsp cinnamon

175g (about 1 3/4cup) almond meal

method

Preheat oven to 170degrees Celsius and grease the sides and line the bottom of a 20cm spring-form cake tin.

Whisk together the yolks, honey and cinnamon until slightly fluffy and well combined. Stir the almond meal in with a wooden spoon (don't use your whisk, as the mixture will get stuck to it!)

In a separate bowl or stand mixer whisk the egg whites til foamy and soft peaks have formed. Fold into the almond mixture and pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for approximately 25 to 28minutes. If the cake is browning too quickly, turn the temperature down and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Allow to cool in the pan.

For the apples:

3 pink ladies, peeled, cored & cut into 2cm cubes

1/4cup (60ml) tawny

1/4cup sultanas

1/4tsp cinnamon

1/4cup almonds

Place the apples, tawny, sultanas, cinnamon and a tablespoon of water in a medium saucepan with lid on and cook over low-medium heat for approximately 8-10minutes until softened. Stir often so that the apples don't stick.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a dry fry pan for a few minutes until fragrant. Chop roughly, or a little finer if you don't want them too chunky. Add to the apples.

Remove cake from tin and pile the apples on top and another dash of tawny or perhaps two tablespoons honey warmed til runny. Serve warm with cream (sorry lactose free peeps, I did really well up to this point didn't I? )

Best eaten on the day it's made. If not, warm slightly in the microwave and pour over a little more tawny or a little warm honey drizzled over the whole thing.

A Catch Up & A Recipe for Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free Scallywag - Hot Cross Buns

Hi. It's been a while since I've visited this space. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not really. Life got in the way and sometimes that just happens and I'm good with that. Plus it was a pretty good slice out of that delicious cake called life. The last two and a bit months since I shared my healthier take on the classic lemon slice have been crammed full of (mainly) wedding things. Yep, this girl who has never believed that a piece of paper was particularly important when she loves someone signed on the dotted line and married her prince (as my Mum puts it) just a few short weeks ago. It's true what they say that the day flies by and before you know it it's all over, but my goodness, you certainly collect some of the most awesome memories on that day of days . A day that was filled with friends, family, 186 polaroids, smiles, hugs, a few tears and jars of lavender, babies breath, seaholly and daisies dotted across tables while fairy light flickered our own starry sky inside the winery and a gluten free dessert table that would make a 6year old (coeliac) at a birthday party positively wet their pants with glee!

Hahahaha... yes, I just wrote that on a food blog - ha! It wouldn't have been our wedding without a bunch of surprises; such as me, The Bride, (my friend tells me capitals are required when saying that) jumping on the bus with the guests to the secret ceremony location, which I think was one of the highlights of the day, seeing their faces when I gathered my ivory gown in my hands and walked up to the top of the double decker bus in Margaret River's town centre - oh their faces! Oh the woops of joy, it was so much fun chatting and relaxing before those next big moments. Then that moment... I can't even explain, but boy was I happy to walk to himand finally hold his hands in mine... I may of may not have whispered 'I made it!'.

Although we couldn't serve Tokay or Muscat at the end of dinner due to the venue's liquor licensing, like we usually do when we entertain we did put on that gluten free, homemade from scratch dessert table thanks to the culinary genius of our Mums, my Nan, my gorgeous man and I and seeing every single guest pile their plate up high with those homemade desserts made the 5times that I made that banana cake worthwhile. If you follow me on instagram , you probably saw the testers. Although, I was disappointed that I got distracted halfway through my own piece of wedding cake and never got to finish it...

Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in 
Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, 
Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria

One day soon, I'll make that decadent, but not too rich brown sugar, almond banana cake layered with caramel and mascarpone icing (again) and share it with you, but for now all I can share with you are some rather belated images from our Easter weekend. Spent up in Daylesford , about an hour and a half drive North West of Melbourne, with friends, new and old. It was a delicious day filled with lobster risotto, lamb cooked on an ingenious McGyver'd spit in the back yard (seriously, the aromas of delicious roast lamb followed me around for two days afterwards), there was berry picking and then berry throwing after we deduced that they'd been sprayed and then there were the hounds who ran around us whilst we wandered down to the little tourist railway whilst the sun shone through the grey Sunday clouds. There was dessert, I brought along my favourite brownie cooked in my new favourite fashion; with blobs of dulce de leche and big chunks of milk chocolate dotted through and melting like chocolate lava and this plum cake that I need to share with you soon. 

I had attended one of my gorgeous friend, Ali's tasting nights at her gluten free providore Three Ducks in Richmond (If you live in Melbourne and you're Coeliac like me, then you should definitely visit) the week prior and whilst wolfing down too many samples of the gluten free hot cross buns I spotted the Springhill Farm recipe card for their own hot cross buns and knowing that I had a pack of their real bread mix at home I knew what my Easter Friday would be filled with... the sweet aromas of cinnamon wafting from my oven. These hot cross buns were exactly what my belly was after, or maybe it was the half centimeter of butter I slathered on top? Either way - oh myyyy!

Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Lamb on a McGyver'd spit, lobster risotto, berry picking (and throwing out as they were sprayed) spent with friends old and new in rural Victoria. Now, that's bliss.
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria

I'm looking forward to visiting Daylesford again sometime soon in my new emerald green gumboots (yep, that's me and yes, I wore those boots for half the wedding day!), so that I can traipse around the countryside and then wrap myself up in a big cozy cardigan in front of a fire and fall asleep reading a book with my husband. Yes, it's totally weird saying that, but when he confirmed dinner the night after our wedding and said 'My wife's Coeliac' I did do a massive happy dance and throw my arms around him. I also did a complete 'Pretty Woman', running and jumping (falling) onto the bed in my bathrobe whilst giggling my heart out, but then, I've always loved that movie!

Gluten Free Scallywag - Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Barely changed from the original Springhill Farm Recipe found here .

1 bag Springhill Farms Real Bread Mix (I used their fruit mix as it's all I had)

2tsp (7g) dried yeast

450ml warm water

1tsp mixed spice

1tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup castor sugar

1 1/3 cups sultanas

1 cup leftover christmas fruit mix with dried apricots too as you've run out of currants (or all currants if you have them!)

Glaze: 

Mix together 60ml boiling water with 1tblspn raw castor sugar & 1/2tsp cinnamon just as the buns come out of the oven.

Preheat oven to 200degrees celcius and grease and flour a 20cm round springform pan, or 20cm square pan with high edges.

Take 1/4 cup flour from your bread mix and set aside for later.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a sturdy stand mixer, Using the dough hook, beat on medium speed for about 10minutes. You could do this by hand for a fabulous arm work out, it'll just take a little more time (and effort)

Take half the flour mix you set aside earlier and dust your board and hands to stop the dough sticking.

Divide the dough into 10 or 12 equal portions and rolls or press into rough balls. Personally I like the rusticity of not quite perfect buns! As you roll the balls place them close together in your prepared tray. Cover with a teatowel or grease glad wrap and leave in a warm spot to rise for about 35-40minutes.

Mix the remaining flour mix with 1-2tbslp warm water to make a paste. Transfer to a small piping bag and pipe crosses over the buns.

Bake for 30minutes and they should be golden on top and firm to the touch. Oh, and your house will smell ah-mazing!

Remove from the oven and brush over the glaze. Leave the buns to cool for approximately 30minutes as they do retain their heat.

Serve warm with butter and jam if you wish.

Will keep for 3 days in an airtight container. Simply break off the buns you want, wrap tightly in alfoil and heat in a preheated 200degree celcius oven for approximately 10minutes.

Not a hot cross bun fan? Check out some of my gluten free chocolate recipes for your Easter instead.

Roast Lamb Rack for our Engagement (DF, EF & NF)

Engagement Roast Lamb

My life has changed a lot in the last 5+ years. I'm moved from Melbourne to my hometown of Perth where I began work with an amazing team of architect and interior designers and met a man there. A lovely man who I fell in love with. Hard. It's the first time I'd ever fallen in love and boy was I scared. Scared I'd lose him, scared he'd find someone better, scared that I'd do something wrong. However, I was wrong, as he's a steadfast man. A man of few words when it comes to love and life, yet, when he does say those words, boy do you know that he means it.

He picked me up the day that I was diagnosed Coeliac. The day that I stood by his emerald green ute and cried that I'd never eat liquorice or lamingtons again. That Redback beer would never again pass my lips on hot summer days and that charred sausages in soft buns would never be eaten again. Yet again I was proved wrong. I've had all of those things since being diagnosed 4years this past December, although Redback beer isn't one of them I have found reasonable gluten free beers around and I've fallen in love with a crisp dry apple cider on those hot summer days.

We moved in together the following June, as living with our friends was driving them nuts. In fact I'm quite sure my friend I was living with at the time was ready to well, throw up ever time we were there we were so sickeningly head over heels and enjoying the honeymoon stage of our relationship with alot of good food, friends and wine. We haven't looked back since moving in together and buying brand new toaster just for me. He helped me through my dizzy spells that would take over the first 12months after my diagnoses, and always made sure if we were eating out or at friends that there was something for me to eat. I need not have been so worried, as subconsiously I'd met and fallen for the most lovely guy. Someone who not only looked after me when I was ill, but even now ensure I've got something gluten free on the menu. He runs to the shops when I need ingredients, cooks delicious meals and does the dishes and laundry.

Earlier this year after his and my Dad's birthdays in late March we moved here, to Melbourne. It had taken a little convincing, my man had never lived anywhere else but Perth so moving interstate, away from family and lifelong friends was two years worth of convincing (read: nagging) on my part! However, we did make the decision together to finally move so exactly 9months ago today we moved to my little apartment that I bought over five years ago. We arrived with no kitchen and it took a few weeks to get out of the habit of doing the dishes in the bath and of cooking dinner on our camping stove after the kitchen was completed. It's done now and I will show you some pretty pictures of it someday soon, as I've only got these photos and it's no much nicer now!

We are thoroughly enjoying living in Melbourne and of course visiting some of the hidden bars in the city as well as new restaurants is one of the highlights for us as we both enjoy a tipple and some good food. Some favourites visited so far are Coda , Cumulus Inc (for my birthday - oh the lamb - I've no words!), Cookie and as I love a good late breakfast on the weekends, we've loved visiting Hardware Lane , Friends of Mine (pop up the road to Burnley and grad some of the delicious gluten free bread thay stock, Janes Bread from Three Ducks ), Spoonful & Coin Laundry for a delicious brunch. There are so many places to visit in Melbourne and I'm often found on the Broadsheet on my mobile finding somewhere to pop into for drinks or a bite to eat around town on the go.

Of course, when we're home we're enjoying some homecooked meals, my man does some delicious dishes - everything from a kick arse lemon lime bitters to slowed cooked ragu, pesto pasta , lamb shanks, with the creamiest of mashed potato (my beloved grandad would have been happy with his mash!) he also whips up his Mum's delicious banana bread in no time aong with stuffed, baked chicken breasts and as he cooked just over a month ago a yummy mustard crusted lamb rack.

He actually made these mustard crusted lamb racks at the end of November as a last minute savoury dish for the Gluten Free Scallywag Christmas Magazine , however due to the accompanying story I thought they deserved a post all to themselves...It was a balmy Wednesday night and I arrived home after work with the smell of lamb and potatoes in the oven. We opened a bottle of red, you know, 'for the photos' (hehehe) and we enjoyed the meal together. After we cleared up our plates I popped back onto the couch to relax and watch some crappy tv. My man was kneeling down andrustling around in front of the tv and I said:

what are you doing? Have you got a present for me?

He never does, but alas, this time I was wrong! His answer was something along the lines of:

Well, kinda.

At which point he shuffled over on both knees and asked me to marry him! I looked at him. At the gorgeous hand drawn engagement ring , complete with a space for my finger to go through that he'd presented me with the words

'will you marry me'

written on the bottom.

What?

Was all I managed to get out as I looked past him at the tv, back to him, the 'ring' down at my comfy pants I was wearing and back up at him. At this stage he got as far as saying:

So is that a.... Yes! Yes! Yes!

I said and flung my arms around him, tears flowing. Completely blown out of the water, shocked surprised and so overjoyed that the man I'd fallen for had chosen me. That loved up little 'us' were going to be spending the rest of our lives together. I couldn't stop crying, laughing and hugging him, or looking at the gorgeous hand drawn ring in awe.

Engagement Roast Lamb

So, as this year, comes to a close, I am so thankful for the little moments in life that can make our lives that little bit happier. Whether it be to go and get that dreaded test. To add an extra cup of chocolate chips to the banana cake (do it I say!). Say goodbye (for now) to friends and family and move interstate or overseas. Go that extra mile on your morning walk and see the butterflies flutter through the morning light. However, this year, most of all though, I'm thankful for the man that chose to spend the rest of his life with me.

I can't wait to enjoy all those firsts that come as a couple in love such as ourselves. We, whom moved in together and never really left the sickly kiss-at-any-moment, hold hands down the street, snuggle on the couch and write notes to each other when we go away, honeymoon stage of our relationship behind. I hope never to. I will tell you

I love you every day for the rest of our lives together. I love you .

Engagement Roast Lamb

Serves 2

1x 6-8 piece lamb rack

whole seeded mustard

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1/2 cup fresh or 2-3 tsp dried herbs - we used rosemary, sage and parsley to season

salt & pepper to season

steamed veg to serve

Preheat your oven to 180degrees celcius. Coat the fatty side of your lamb racked with the crushed garlic, mustard and herbs. Season with a little salt and a fair whack of pepper.

Place on a lightly oiled baking dish and roast with potatoes for approximately 50minutes or until lamb is cooked to your liking.

Cover with foil and rest for 5minutes whilst your steam the veggies. Carve (taste test a piece whilst doing so) and serve with the cooking juices.

Optional: Beard for Movember & proposing to your partner.