30 September 2011

Gluten Free Banana Date and Hazelnut muffins

Finding a gluten free flour that works well is like finding the holy grail for coeliacs. Only five years ago, they were only available in specialist stores, and varied in quality and texture - producing pizza bases that tasted like soggy cardboard, muffins that were as dry and heavy as boulders, and gnocchi that disintegrated as soon as it hit water. Now it's easier. A combination of factors - the discovery of wheat intolerance is on the rise (as with many allergies), research and development, and the demand for unusual grains and organic produce from a population armed with better health knowledge.

I love Doves Farm gluten free flour. It is a blend of Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Maize & Buckwheat, and it comes in both plain and self raising. The self raising flour makes wonderful fluffy pikelets, and the muffins below. Usually I wouldn't add a baking powder to a self-raising flour to make cakes, but gluten free flours are a little denser, and the rising agents are not quite as strong. It just helps give them a little extra lift. This recipe could be easily made without nuts.

14 September 2011

Apple Pastries

 There used to be a show on Australian TV called "Surprise Chef". This excitable chef would accost people in supermarkets, force the camera in their face, and then go home with them and put the camera through their pantry and fridge. His aim was to make a gourmet three-course meal for their family with only what he could find there.

Today, I found some gorgeous pink lady apples - the kind that look like they have come straight off a tree and into your basket, ripe, smelling like a glass of apple juice, un-waxed, oddly shaped and un-spectacularly coloured. I had to make an apple pie with no pie pan, and the laziest way possible (children wanted to eat them RIGHT NOW!!!). So I delved into my shelves, and found some condensed milk. "Hmmm...", I thought "Now that will be my challenge ingredient".

So here are the easiest apple pastries ever.

Please Stumble Me!