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Chocolate Puddle

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This is a delicious chocolate dessert which is perfect for a Summer gathering. How can you resist diving in!! The spritz of lime juice freshens the chocolate mousse and brings the whole thing to life.  Serves 6.

 

Pastry Base

150g soft or Medjool dates

70g brazil nuts

30g almonds

zest of a lime

 

Mousse

200g chocolate

6 egg whites

3 egg yolks

a pinch of salt

juice of a half a lime

some raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants or whatever you fancy

 

For the base of the tart, line the bottom of a 20cm spring form tin with non stick parchment. Blitz together all the ingredients in a food processor to make a fine breadcrumb-like mixture. Pack the mixture into the base of the prepared tin with your hand – pressing down to make sure it’s solid, and it sticks together. Freeze the base for at least 2 hours.

 

For the mousse, melt the chocolate gently without stirring – either in a bain marie or in a warm place. Leave to cool a little before stirring in the 3 egg yolks and the lime juice.

Whisk the 6 egg whites with the pinch of salt until they are stiff and you can hold the bowl upside down without them falling on your head! Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture (not the other way around) and leave to set in the fridge for around 5 hours.

 

When you’re ready to serve the dessert, remove the base from the tin and take off the parchment paper before spooning and spreading the mousse over the top and covering with the fresh fruit. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for a bit longer!

YUM!

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A vegan, sugar and wheat free ginger chocolate cake for friends

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This is an adaptation of a small vegan cake that my mum made when my wee sister and I were younger and she wasn’t able to have dairy. I’ve added the ginger to give it a spicy twist (optional) and I think it’s best served straight from the oven with a cup of Indian chai!

 

170g gluten free self raising flour

110g fructose or agave syrup

1.5 tbsps cocoa

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

50ml vegetable oil

1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

120 ml water

1 tsp ground ginger (optional)

a small handful of crystallised ginger (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 180c and line a small tin with baking parchment and oil the sides.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl to combine before adding the wet ingredients. Stir until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean.

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Lemon Ciscuit – a new invention!

My inventions usually work in a way I expect, this time however, I was aiming for a fairly crisp lemon shortbread biscuit and ended up with something in between a cake and a biscuit – the ciscuit was born! I think its lemon flavour lends makes it a lovely tea time treat – particularly good with a cup of lady grey tea – I hope you like it.

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150g butter

100g fructose sugar

100g self raising gluten free flour

50g chestnut flour

50g tapioca flour

juice and zest of one lemon

 

Preheat the oven to 180c. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Then work in the flours and the juice and zest of the lemon. Smooth the mixture into an oiled tin – it’s very pliable so stretch it out as much as you can – the thinner the mixture is spread, the crisper it will be once baked. Slice the mix into rectangles, prick all over with a fork and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes. Once it comes out of the oven, recut the rectangles with a sharp knife and leave to cool in the tin.

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wild garlic pesto and aubergine rolls

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Wild garlic is abundant in Scotland at this time of year. I walk out of my house and the smell is overpowering. So with this constant reminder that fresh, green produce is available for free in huge quantities it seems to make sense to use it to make some flavourful food. The aubergine and strong flavour of the sundried tomatoes in this recipe balance with the wild garlic really well, but you could also pair the pesto with pasta or have it on toast or stirred through a salad.

 

Pesto ingredients:

a large bunch of wild garlic

a large handful of sunflower seeds

a good glug of olive oil

salt to taste

1/2 juice of a lemon

 

aubergine rolls (to serve 2):

1 large aubergine, sliced lengthwise

4 sundried tomatoes halved

a ball of mozarella or some other cheese – try feta or goats cheese

parmesan to grate on top

olive oil

 

To make the pesto, put all the ingredients into a food processor or use a hand blender to blitz until smooth. Add the salt to taste. You can store the pesto for up to a week in the fridge, simply put in a plastic container and cover with a layer of olive oil to keep it fresh and prevent it from darkening. Do cover with a lid as well – really to make sure everything else in the fridge doesn’t start to smell of garlic!

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For the aubergine rolls, drizzle the aubergine slices with a little olive oil on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt, then grill until you can eat it! Spread the slices with the wild garlic pesto, then add some cheese, a sundried tomato and a sprinkle of pepper. Roll the aubergine up and place back on the baking tray, covering with a little grated parmesan. Bake in the oven at 200c for around 15 minutes. Serve with salad or other mezze for a delicious feast!

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Date Slice ( Sugar free, Gluten free and Vegan!)

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Here’s a lovely, health giving teatime snack to give you a boost. The date and lemon combination give these a nice zingy taste, and they’re great and filling you up until your next meal.

Ingredients:

250g stoned dates

110ml fruit juice (I used prune juice, but you do it with apple/orange/grape)

zest of an unwaxed lemon and 1/2 the juice

125g oats

125g gluten free self-raising flour blend

125g butter or vegan margarine

sesame seeds

45ml date syrup

Heat the oven to 180 and line a 6″ x 8″ tin with baking parchment.

ImageStart by putting the dates, fruit juice, lemon zest and juice in a pan. Put the pan on a medium heat, and once the mixture has been simmering for a couple of minutes, mash it to a paste, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat.

Put the oats and flour in a large bowl and rub in the butter or marg until well combined. Then mix in the date syrup.

Take half the crumble mixture and flatten it into the prepared tin, to cover the base. Then spread the date mixture on top and use the remaining crumble to cover the dates. Complete by sprinkling with a decent of sesame seeds.

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Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the mixture is a deep golden colour. Allow to cool before removing from the tin and cutting into slices.

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Pumpkin Croustade

IMG_6731     This is my mum’s Autumnal invention! There’s a few processes involved but it’s pretty easy and extremely yummy, so worth the effort. It makes a great centre piece for a special meal or party, or just for a family dinner when you’ve got a bit more time. Turn the oven on right now and invite some people round – it serves 6!

A 1.5kg pumpkin – cook it whole first at 200c / 375 f / gas 4 for 40 mins to an hour, then leave to cool and chop open, remove the seeds and fibre. Then mash the pumpkin flesh to a pulp! It should weigh around 400g. If you’ve got too much, make something else…like some muffins or soup…recipes to follow soon!

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for the croustade base

1 clove of garlic

55g butter

55ml olive oil

55g medium oatmeal

55g toasted hazelnuts, blitzed in a food processor

110g gluten free oats

55g gluten free brown bread flour

white sauce

45g butter

45g rice flour

165ml milk

2 eggs, separated

handful of grated cheddar cheese

pinch or 2 of chilli flakes (optional)

After cooking the pumpkin, lower the oven to 180c. To make the croustade, melt the butter in a small pan with the crushed garlic clove. Pour in the olive oil and stir together before adding the oatmeal, nuts, oats and flour. Stir to combine and then press into a 10 inch tart tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden and it looks cooked, being careful not to let it burn.

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Once the croustade base is in the oven, you can start making the sauce. Melt the butter in a pan, and then add in the rice flour whisking immediately with some energy. Then gradually add the milk, stirring whilst you do so, keep the pan on a gentle heat and whisk to thicken. You should see a couple of bubbles coming the top of the mixture, and when it’s reached a fairly thick consistency, remove it from the heat and stir in the egg yolks, add the cheese and season to taste, you can put chilli flakes in too! Then add the pumpkin and stir together.

Now whisk the egg yolks to a stiff peak stage, where you can raise the bowl upside down above your head! Fold the egg whites into the white pumpkin sauce, and pour over the croustade.

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Add some more grated cheddar and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes.

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You could serve it warm with boiled herby potatoes and a bountiful fresh salad.

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Apple Cake

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Although this cake is a bit labour intensive (you have to peel and chop lots of apples) and takes a while to cook, it’s great if you’ve got lots of windfall apples to use up, and perfect for a bit of baking on a lazy Sunday. It’s also dairy free. This is adapted from a recipe from my auntie Liz who says you can put in as much fruit as you want! Put the radio on and dance around a bit, and enjoy the smells coming from your oven!

 

Around 650g of apples (about 8)- any variety, eating or cooking – peeled and chopped

150g gluten free self raising flour

50g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

100g fructose sugar

juice and zest of 1 ripe lemon

large handful of dates

large handful of raisins/sultanas

3 eggs

100 ml sunflower oil

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Preheat the oven to the usual 180 degrees celsius. Prepare a 9 inch spring form cake tin by cutting a circle of parchment paper for the bottom and lightly greasing the sides.

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Use the biggest bowl in the kitchen – you’ll need it for all the apple! All you need to do is chuck all the ingredients in the bowl and beat well together with a wooden spoon. Then add the apples and stir together, pour into the tin and bake for around 50 minutes to an hour. Check the cake is cooked with skewer through the middle – if it comes out clean, it’s ready!

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Serve with a cup of tea and a good book…