February 2015 archive

Gluten-free coconut flour brownies

As promised I have begun to bake my way through the pile of gluten-free cookbooks I seemed to have acquired over the past few months. I have a soft spot for chocolate (maybe you had noticed) and so I had to begin with brownies. Enter gluten-free coconut flour brownies.

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¾ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 76g unsalted butter melted, ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk or other milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius.
Grease a 20 x 20 x 5 cm baking pan, or line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides.
Whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, maple syrup, butter, milk and vanilla.
Add the cocoa mixture to the egg mixture and blend well using a mixer or food processor. Let the batter sit for a few minutes and mix once more.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over bake – brownies are always better a bit moister than dryer.

Now… I have baked my fair share of gluten-free chocolate goodies, but with this recipe I am not 100% convinced. Not sure if it is the coconut flour or the cocoa…. either way I would not kill for these brownies. Jamie Oliver chocolate pots I would kill for. Gluten-free chocolate torte I would kill for. These do not have quite the chocolate intensity or fudgy richness that makes the “moment on the lips lifetime on the hips” worth it.

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I took this recipe from the healthy coconut flour cookbook with “more than 100 grain-free, gluten-free, paleo friendly recipes for every occasion”. Often my flour of choice for baking is almond flour. Coconut flour is a much lower calorie option than almond flour (but then I think to myself I am not consuming almond flour every day). Almond flour also has a rather high omega 6 to omega 3 ratio and has become a little expensive, so I am open to switching to coconut flour if it tastes just as good. Emphasis on the “if”.

So… let’s give another recipe from this book a chance next week. I won’t write coconut flour off just yet…

 

Gluten-free zucchini spaghetti

A few restaurants around Johannesburg are starting to offer gluten-free pasta on their menu, but with that does not generally come the understanding that the pasta sauce also needs to be gluten-free, or the ability to actually list the ingredients of said gluten-free pasta. For these reasons I generally give it a skip unless I feel my myriad of questions has been satisfyingly and confidently answered.

However, this weekend whilst out for lunch at Full Stop Cafe, an old favourite haunt that I had not been to for a while, I discovered on the menu gluten-free zucchini spaghetti (gasp of amazement please).

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What an unexpected discovery.I  was thrilled, thrilled I tell you! I ordered the bolognaise which was gluten-free (and I can confirm there were no repercussions the next day).

So refreshing to be able to order a meal in a restaurant like a normal human being, and it tasted great as well. Although I did not specifically enquire about other sauces, safe options look like arrabiata, bosso nova (roasted vegetables with pesto), prawns in napolitana sauce and maybe the salsicce (but this includes chicken, Italian sausage and creamy napolitana sauce so may necessitate a lot of questions… maybe too many).

I am sure the zucchini spaghetti is being offered as Banting meal option or as homage to Tim Noakes’ Real Meal Revolution. Either way I am not fussed. If it makes my life easier and more delicious then I am in! Life would be very exciting if one could just buy the zucchini spaghetti… now there’s a thought.

Visit Full Stop Cafe at 50 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg, 2193.

Side note: do not go to 4th Avenue Parkhust, they have moved!!!