Fresh Earth is one of the best places to spend some time milling around on a Saturday. They have a range of local and imported gluten-free products, plus they produce their own gluten-free bread, cakes and biscuits in their gluten-free bakery. They also have a restaurant with a gluten-free and vegetarian menu. And Fresh Earth is one of the few places I trust to produce 100% gluten-free. This gluten-free hazelnut cake is one of their recipes – find the original here.
- 35 grams cacao powder
- 80ml hot water
- 150 grams dark eating chocolate, melted
- 150 grams butter, melted
- 295 grams brown sugar, firmly packed
- 100 grams hazelnuts, finely ground
- 4 organic eggs, separated
- 25 grams cacao powder, extra
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Grease a deep 20cm round cake tine and line with baking paper.
Blend cacao powder with water in a large bowl until smooth.
Stir in melted chocolate, butter, sugar, egg yolks.
Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until at soft peak stage.
Fold into chocolate mixture in two batches.
Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for one hour.
Dust with extra cacao powder. Serve with cream or ice cream and fresh gooseberries, or use what fruit takes your fancy!
Visit Fresh Earth at 103 Komatie Road, Emmarentia, JHB.
Zucchini, courgette, baby marrow… whichever name you choose I love this little green vegetable. Zucchini comes from the Italian word zucchino, while courgette is the French term. Growing up in the UK the term I recall was baby marrow but they all refer to the same green summer squash. But to the recipe. Now I love hummus, but sometimes I am not able to tolerate legumes, and so I was rather thrilled to find this recipe for Roasted Courgette Hummus. Naturally gluten-free of course.
- 500 grams courgettes, cut into chunks
- Oil for roasting
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon ground cumin
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Toss the courgette in a light coating of oil. Season. Roast until golden brown and soft.
Placed courgette in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients.
Puree until smooth.
Leave to infuse for an hour.
I served this with gluten-free Life Bake Seed Crackers and yes I confess, a small sprinkling of parmesan because it just takes it to another level. I have made this without the tahini and less olive oil and it still tastes great.
This recipe is taken from the Real Meal Revolution, the book made famous Prof by Tim Noakes. I do not follow his diet, nor do I believe there is one diet that fits all. That said I do love a couple of the book’s recipes (noticeably those minus the liberal use of cream and butter). I can tolerate cream and butter in a dessert as a treat, but not in a weeknight’s dinner! As a coeliac also born with lactose intolerance dairy consumption is something I have to manage very carefully, and if I unfortunately do eat some hidden gluten then lactose intolerance kicks in. So no I am not making courgette and garlic gratin with 250ml of cream and 100 grams of butter, but the courgette hummus yes I’ll take that! The origins of hummus seems to be a little murky, the chickpea originating somewhere between the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It is an Arabic word and so it does seem fitting that the best hummus I have ever ever eaten was in Dubai (it was life changing it was that good). But for now until I can return to the Middle East, I will go with this courgette hummus.
There are a quite a lot of recipes bouncing around at the moment for chocolate avocado mousse. All the taste but a vegetarian healthier option. And it’s gluten-free. Chocolate and avocado does sound like a slight odd mix, but after having an avocado shake in a Vietnamese restaurant in Shanghai (as one does), I was up for the challenge of using avocado in its non-traditional form. I found this recipe here. And the shake? Well it was pretty good.
- Flesh of 2 firm ripe avocado, chopped
- 125 gram dark chocolate broken into pieces (good quality high % cocoa) *for dairy free, ensure you use dairy-free chocolate
- 3 tablespoons runny honey
- 1/3 cup coconut cream
Melt chocolate in a double boiler: place chocolate in a glass bowl to melt over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl or else it will risk the chocolate burning or becoming grainy) and stir with a wooden spoon occasionally, until chocolate has melted.
Puree avocado, coconut cream, honey and melted chocolate together until smooth. Spoon into serving glasses and chill in fridge for 1 hour, or until ready to serve.
Serve garnished with chocolate shavings and berries as desired.
This is not the sexiest dessert to make. Melting chocolate and butter together is sexy. Avocado and coconut cream in a processor not so sexy! But this recipe is simple and easy to put together with a quick chill time. The ingredients only made enough for the 2 small glasses in the picture so you would need quite a quantity of avocado to make enough when having people round for dinner. So the verdict? It tastes like a chocolate pudding, is quite rich and it does work. If you (like me) choose your “once in a blue moon treat” dessert to be deliciously sinful then save yourself for the good stuff. But if you are looking for something to satisfy that sweet tooth that does not come with a run round the block, then this is the way to go, plus the health benefits that come with the avocado and no dairy make this a very virtuous dessert. So you can have your pudding and eat it!
I have done a previous post on gluten-free almond flour muffins. This recipe is that teeny bit simpler and is based on 4 muffins (although I ended up with 6) – an easier number for self-restraint when opposed to 12 muffins! This recipe comes from elanaspantry.com.
- 1 cup almond flour (4 ounces)
- 2 large eggs (4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
In a medium bowl combine almond flour and baking soda.
In a large bowl combine eggs, honey and vinegar.
Stir dry ingredients into wet until combined.
Scoop into a paper lined muffin pan (I used silicon moulds).
Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes until slightly browned around edges.
Cool in the pan for ½ hour.
Serve and enjoy.
Voila! Simple and quick, just what one needs mid-week. I make these when I know I have a busy day out of the office and am not sure when I am going to be able to grab a snack.
Now I love zucchini, I love the word zucchini, I make zucchini pasta, I roast it, I make zucchini “pizza” and I even make zucchini hummus (must share this recipe – it is amazing!)… And found in Danielle Walker’s “Against all Grain” is a recipe for gluten-free zucchini bread. Time to bake!
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1½ cups blanched almond flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 ripe banana
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf tin and place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom –or make your life easier and use a silicon loaf tin.
Press the zucchini between 2 paper towels, squeezing lightly to release excess moisture.
Place the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Place the eggs, honey and banana in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium for 1 minute, until frothy and fully combined. Add zucchini and beat again to incorporate, about 15 seconds.
With the mixer running, slowly add the dry ingredients until they are all incorporated.
Spoon batter into the prepared pan or a 12-cup muffin pan lined with paper cups and fill each cup ¾ full.
Bake the loaf for 40 minutes until the middle is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Bake the muffins for 30 to 35 minutes.
I ate this with a beautiful berry jam and it was very very tasty. However, not a bread that you would eat with eggs and bacon as is more sweet than savoury, and does not quite fit the romantic toast with melting butter vision that I have for my life. However, always good to start your day with some added greens!
Recently I was watching an episode of Billl’s Kitchen: Notting Hill (Bill Granger) when I became mesmerized as he made Rocky Road. I have never made Rocky Road or really eaten it, but watching chocolate and butter slowly melt with some maple syrup thrown in for good measure was motivation enough for me to start! I have not been able to find Bill’s exact recipe so I have taken bits from recipes online (there are many) and modified to suit my tastes to make gluten-free rocky road.
- 176 grams chocolate – I only use dark chocolate
- 100 grams unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 50 gram marshmallows (I use gluten-free marshmallows*)
- 100 g biscuits – I use Schar Maria Biscuits*
- 50 grams nuts and dried cranberries
Melt chocolate, butter and maple syrup in a double boiler. Try not to eat it all at this point as is rather good.
Break up biscuits into small pieces. Cut up marshmallows into bite size pieces.Mix biscuits, marshmallows, nuts and cranberries in a bowl. Pour over the chocolate and mix well. A hint I picked up from Bill Granger was to keep some of the chocolate back at this point.
Line a square baking tray with grease proof paper and pour in your mixture gently pushing it down and to the sides. Then pour over the chocolate you have kept in reserve.
Refrigerate. Once set cut into squares and enjoy. How easy is this?
I do eyeball the amount of cranberries and nuts I use and see what looks right, you can of course leave out the cranberries but I think they bring a great splash of colour. Originally I used 125 grams of biscuits but I felt that was a little too much for this ratio of chocolate and dropped it down to 100 grams.
I have made this now three times for work and I even take requests now for this as a birthday gift, so this seems to be something that everyone is keen to enjoy. Great rewards for not much effort – and it contains nuts and fruit so cannot be all bad!
* Purchased at Dischem
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.
- 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
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.
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…
Unexpectedly I found a gluten-free dairy-free chocolate cake recipe by Nigella Lawson, and if it is by Nigella then one can only expect great things! This cake contains olive oil as an ingredient which was slightly intriguing and worth a bake. So… before I share the rather large amount of fabulous gluten free books that I have just returned with from Australia that are my inspiration for 2015, I thought I would highlight a few things that I baked over the holidays. Let’s start with this gluten-free chocolate olive oil cake. Find the original recipe here.
• 150 ml regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)
• 50 grams good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
• 125 ml boiling water
• 2 teaspoons best vanilla extract
• 150 grams ground almonds
• ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• 1 pinch of salt
• 200 grams caster sugar
• 3 large eggs
Preheat your oven to 170°C. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch spring form tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.
Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or other bowl and whisk arrangement of your choice) and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond (or flour) mixture.
Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.
Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.
I dusted with icing sugar and served the cake with raspberries and blackberries – they look so pretty and inviting against the dark chocolate hue of the cake (and fruit is good for you!).
So for those who cannot have dairy at the moment I have been hunting for some gluten-free recipes that are dairy free but still are worthwhile and worthy of baking… and here I may have found just the thing – gluten-free coconut flour banana bread. Yes I did add some icing on, mainly to use my new palette knife (!), but that is not part of the original recipe and is not a requirement. This is the first time I have baked with coconut oil and the creamed coconut oil and honey was really really good (I confess I may have licked the spoon). In fact, this is one of the nicest non-chocolate cakes/breads I have ever made! Original recipe found here at Ditch the Wheat.
• 6 eggs, separated
• 2 tsp cream of tartar
• ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil
• ¼ cup raw honey
• ½ cup mashed ripe banana (for me that was 1 banana)
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• ½ cup coconut flour, sifted (it weighed 47 grams)
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350f/175c.
In a bowl combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
In a separate bowl cream together coconut oil and raw honey. Do that for a few minutes until it looks like icing. (Lick the spoon).
Add the egg yolks one at a time to the creamed coconut oil and raw honey. Mix until smooth. Add mashed banana, vanilla and cinnamon until mixed.
Add the sifted coconut flour, baking soda and salt to the egg yolk mixture. Mix until smooth. Slowly add the egg yolk mixture to the whipped egg whites. Mixing it until it is combined.
Line a 7 1/2 inch x 3 1/2 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until the top is firm to the touch and a toothpick can be inserted and comes out dry.
For the icing I creamed 250 grams cream cheese with 1/3 of a cup of icing sugar and a table spoon of lemon juice.
I froze some slices of this as well and they defrosted perfectly – an all round gluten-free and dairy-free winner!
Looking for something simple and light with minimal preparation? then look no further than Mr Jamie Oliver’s strawberries and vanilla cream – (original recipe here).
4 handfuls wild strawberries
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds scraped out
1 splash sherry vinegar
1 pot crème fraîche
a few small fresh mint leaves
zest of 1 orange
Pick out the nicest strawberries and set aside. Put the rest in a bowl and add the sugar, half the vanilla seeds and the vinegar. Squash together with the back of a fork and leave to macerate for 10–15 minutes.
Stir the rest of the vanilla seeds into the crème fraîche. To serve, spoon a little vanilla cream in the centre of each bowl, make a well in the middle and spoon in some mushed strawberries. Halve some of the reserved strawberries and sprinkle the lot over the vanilla cream. Scatter over the mint leaves (and orange zest if using) then serve.
I love not only the subtle taste the vanilla gives the crème fraîche but also the beautiful speckling of black that runs through the cream. So simple yet so elegant.