I keep the nom nom chocolate bakes for the weekend/special events (everything in moderation!), and finding something that I can nibble on during the week seems to have fueled a continuing interest in macaroons. They are simple to make, let’s admit it baking a macaroon is very untaxing, and moreish to eat. And my book of the moment “Flourless”* has given me a new recipe, gluten-free coconut lemon macaroons.
- 2 egg whites
- Grated zest of 1 organic lemon
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons/130 grams honey
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2½ cups/180 grams shredded, unsweetened coconut
Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 150 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites for about 30 seconds to lighten them up a bit. Whisk in the lemon zest, honey, and vanilla. Add the shredded coconut and stir well to combine.
Scoop out 1 tablespoon portions of the coconut mixture. Using your hands, squeeze to compress the mixture and roll each into a small ball. Place them onto the prepared baking sheet about 2.5 cm apart.
Bake until the bottom and edges are just starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet. When fully cooled, peel the cookies from the paper before serving.
I melted some dark chocolate in a double boiler and dipped the bottom of each macaroon just to add a little something extra. The key to making these is the squeezing of the mixture. Don’t be shy, as this really helps the macaroons stay together. I have as of yet been unable to find shredded coconut, so I have just used the least fine desiccated coconut so that it still has some texture.
So of course I like these, and the addition of the lemon zest does give quite a fresh taste and little hit of the unexpected. But I must confess, Siba’s macaroons (see previous post) are winning the macaroon race at the moment!
*(“Flourless” by Nicole Spiridakis, a book of 75 recipes all naturally gluten-free).
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.
I was paging through an old issue of Woolworths Taste magazine (issue 94) when I came across a recipe for gluten-free honey cake. The description “to be made when you crave comfort and authentic sweetness” sent me to the kitchen almost immediately!
- 180 grams almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup runny honey
- Whipped honey and mascarpone for serving
Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Combine the almond flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl.
Mix the eggs, olive oil and honey in a mixer for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is creamy.
Add the almond flour mixture and mix well with a spatula.
Pour mixture into a greased 22 cm silicone cake mould.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out cleanish with a few sticky crumbs still attached.
Serve with whipped honey and mascarpone.
This cake was really scrummy and I admit I was eating it for breakfast (I thought eggs, nuts, honey… why not?) and mascarpone and honey are two of my favourite things together. The definition of whipped honey did cause me some confusion, and googling did not exactly bring clarity. Some sites use the term whipped and creamed honey interchangeably, some argue whipped is not the same as creamed and explain a process to make whipped honey using starter cultures or crystallised honey. So I just used creamed honey. Looks good, tastes good!
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!