I’m a bit late this week. I was hoping to do this post to coincide with the start of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. But better late than never! I want to show support for all the people in the world who are still being discriminated against on the basis of not only sexuality, but also identity, mental health, gender, ethnicity and so on. We are all human, and we all have one world to live in. Don’t let discrimination come between us. What’s important is that we are good people, and that we are comfortable being ourselves. Love is love – regardless of gender! So my love and support to you all, and I hope that the day comes soon when we can all be safe to be ourselves.
It had been a somewhat stressful week. And one thing that cheers me up when I can’t get together with the ones I love is to bake. I have been testing a recipe or two from a gorgeous book I got given for christmas – so watch this space. However, this recipe is from another book which is continuing to prove to be extremely reliable: The Gluten Free Dessert Bible.
This sponge cake is simple to make, even more so now that I know the trick for getting wonderful, stiff egg whites is to beat them until I can tip the bowl up and not have them fall out. I also learned another neat tip with folding egg whites, and that is to fold through a dollop of egg whites to loosen the mixture before you gently fold in the rest. This second tip works really well! And it makes the mix much lighter and easier to fold!
This sponge comes out lovely and golden and it holds its shape very well due to the arrowroot flour. It does become quite a thin sponge, but it’s still quite a sweet treat and when filled you don’t mind it’s lack of height. I filled mine with passionfruit whipped cream, although the original recipe used passionfruit curd. I recommend any of those sort of tangy/sweet fillings for this cake.
So a happy FF to all!
I couldn’t believe my good fortune when I first stumbled across Baked Doughnuts for Everyone. It’s a gorgeous cookbook, filled with donuts recipes of every kind. I absolutely love it. However, it did require some experimentation as previous posts will show. At first this was because I had no access to unsweetened applesauce, which seems to be a very common and easily found thing overseas. Applesauce in general is not such a popular thing here, so finding even the sweetened kind wasn’t as easy as you might think. I soon overcame this when my favourite allergy friendly store brought in huge jars of unsweetened applesauce for a pittance! I bought four right then and there because it continues to astound me how often this ingredient is called for. Secondly I then had to experiment with flours, as this book uses a standard mix of: sweet rice flour, oat flour and almond meal, sometimes with flaxseed meal added in.
Sweet rice flour is also known as glutinous rice flour, which is incredibly cheap and easy to find at my local asian supermarkets. Almond meal and flaxseed are also pretty common. However, oat flour is not. And a I have mentioned before oats are not exactly “gluten free” here, as most of them are processed in places where they then become contaminated. And even then oats contain a protein that is very alike to gluten, and which can still cause some pretty serious upset for coeliacs and intolerants alike. So then I began experimenting with what sort of replacement I could use for the oat flour, as plain flour (gluten-free of course), was do-able, but not perfect.
I went through a few different flours, settling at last on buckwheat flour. I got the idea after some research in which someone described oat flour as being a dense and “soggy flour”. It soaks up liquid well. And for some reason that immediately turned my mind to buckwheat flour, as to me it’s also a “soggy flour”. So I did a few tests, and the results were exactly what I was hoping for!
Subbing the applesauce for melted nuttelex or oil – although using actual applesauce is the best solution, swapping flours gram for gram throughout the testing, sticking to the three flour blend as much as possible, being mindful not to over mix the batter, baking the donuts for longer than recommended until the skewer test proved they were cooked to my satisfaction.
What Didn’t Work
Replacing the oat flour with all purpose/plain flour (gluten free) – it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I wanted, using the recommended amount of batter per each hole – you really only get six donuts out of each mix so don’t be shy about making sure all the holes are full! Happy FF!
There is something to be said for tried and true cookbooks. I am still quite in love with my copy of Vegan and Gluten Free Baking, as thus far not a single of it’s recipes have let me down. And this recipe for mango and coconut cupcakes was no exception. I had some tinned mango left over from a dinner party awhile ago, where I used one lot to make a delicious mango and coconut pudding – the recipe for which I will also be adding to this post. I had bought two lots of the mango tubs in-case the pudding was an iffy recipe, and I would need some backup mango to make these cupcakes. However, the puddings were an absolute success and as such the extra tub of mango was left in the cupboard until such time as I would need it again! Which turned out to be for this FF!
I decided that time was now! So I opened up my beloved cookbook, flipped to the right page, and got down to it. These cupcakes are very quick and simple, but have a lovely flavour due to the mix of coconut, mango, and cardamon. The original recipe asked you to grind the cardamon seeds, etc, to get the powder. However, I feel that’s a bit expensive compared to using regular cardamon powder, and so I switched for that. I also recommend being careful of over-mixing this recipe, as it can make the muffin’s a bit tougher on top.
I have been rather sneaky in that I bought another cookbook, for the sole purpose of cooking midweek mains for work, etc, and managed to get it into the house before anyone was the wiser. I was in Aldi with Pete, shopping for dinner ingredients, when I saw a stack of Donna Hay cookbooks all for about half the price I’m used to seeing them in bookstores! I couldn’t help but go over and look, especially when I saw one titled No Time To Cook. There was another book aimed at weeknight dinners, but it seemed a lot more time consuming than No Time To Cook. So I added this cookbook to the groceries and took it home.
The very first recipe I decided to do was one which I have often had trouble with in the past: Meatballs. I am not a fan of meatballs. Most of the ones I’ve encountered have been dry or strangely flavoured. Yuck. However, these meatballs appealed to me, especially after I cut out the mint, as I am not at all a big fan of meat and mint together. I also halved the recipe as I didn’t see it being that cost effective to get a whole kilo of lamb mince when I didn’t have enough room in the freezer for the leftovers, and no one else would be eating it but me. It turned out to be the right thing to do in terms of portion sizes as well because even halved this recipe made enough for three portions for work!
It’s been quite a while since I’ve put a main recipe for Fiesta Friday – if at all, as to be honest I haven’t had the time to test out new recipes for dinners or find one that I felt was worth sharing in some time. Getting used to a new workplace, and a new schedule, can be like that I think. However, I am now making an effort to find new recipes, and to take the time to cook a decent dinner for all of us at least at the beginning of the week, and to attempt to get said dinner onto this blog!
I chose this recipe for Chicken Kapitan Curry, as I am a bit of a curry fiend at the moment, and given the chance all I would cook is curry. Although I do have plans to attempt a slow cooker recipe a friend served me, and gave me the recipe for, some time ago. That will be a weekend project. But this dish is certainly fit for a weekday! I cheated and made it even simpler through using a barbecue chicken from the shops that I picked for the meat, but believe me this recipe is good! It’s very forgiving of little changes here and there, and so I will be posting up the original recipe with the edits I made in brackets.
Also I am making a bit more effort with exercise at the moment, and I am loving it. I love taking walks with Pete when I visit him, or vice versa, and am liking taking up the lounge-room with aerobic exercises as well. So it’s a good thing I always make enough food for there to be leftovers, because I seem to be working up much more of an appetite lately…
One thing I am slowly learning as I conquer the world of weeknight mains, is that you don’t need a lot of effort or a lot of fancy/expensive ingredients to make a lovely weeknight meal. This prosciutto wrapped chicken, with mash and salad, is a perfect example of that. All you need are a few ingredients, a little bit of time in the oven, and voila!
This recipe comes to me courtesy of Pete, who has since cooked this for me again. It’s a very simple recipe, perfect for two, and is also a perfect excuse to have one of my guilty pleasures in life. Mash potato, with extra mash potato! But I also thought it would be nice to start adding up a few main recipes when I have the time, as I have been attempting to make more decent lunches for work these days, and have even acquired – can you believe it, another cookbook for that purpose.
So happy eating!