Sourdough Puff Pastry. GF/RSF

I am one of those weirdos that get really excited about the change in season, for me it 99% revolves around food and all different style of cooking each season demands.

As i'm constantly looking for ways to use up my excess sourdough starter this pie crust seamed quite obvious. There is one thing to keep in mind, the recipe calls for 1 cup of sourdough starter that needs to be refrigerated. This is quite important because you want to keep the dough as cold as possible so you do not melt the butter. The butter it what makes the pastry puff, as it cooks the fat molecules from the butter heat and steam, rising the dough. 

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Sourdough Puff Pastry. GF/RSF

  • 300g spelt flour (I do a 80:20 white to wholemeal)
  • 230g butter (cold and cubed)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c ripe, cold spelt starter
  • Cold water if needed

Place the flour, sugar and salt into your food processor. Pulse until crumbly, it's ok to have larger chunks of butter and smaller grainy mixture too, this helps it rise.

Add the apple cider vinegar and sourdough starter. blend until the dough comes together, add 1 Tbsp of cold water if the mixture is crumbly but allow a minute between additions of water. 

Blend until the dough forms a ball in your mixer.

Wrap in greaseproof paper and allow to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours.

 Roll out half the dough to a large disc (dinner plate size)

Fill with what ever fruits and nuts you have on hand. I used apple, rhubarb and blackberry. Allow a 2" border around the fruit, fold the border over and bake at 180C for 40 minutes.

 

 

Vegan Soft Shell Tacos with a Cashew Chipotle Cheese. GF/V

Vegan Soft Shell Tacos with Cashew Chipotle Cheese

Black Bean Filling

  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 yellow capsicum
  • 1 large portabello mushroom
  • 1 zucchini
  •  2 tins of black bean (I use Chantal organics)
  • 1 tin organic tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree

In a large sauce pan saute the onion and garlic in ghee or oil over a medium to low heat. Stir often to stop the onion from browning, add the cumin and stir. Dice the mushroom, capsicum and zucchini and add it to the pan, stir to coat in the onion and spices, add the drained black beans, tomato and puree, place a lid on top and allow to cook for ten minutes.

Once the beans have cooked roughly mash half the mixture with a potato masher, stir and set aside while you prepare the cheese.

Cashew Chipotle Cheese

  • 1 1/2 cashew
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 chipotle chilli (more if you're brave)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water.

Place all the ingredients into your food processor or blender, blend until combined, don't over do it, a little texture is nice.

Place in a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Soft Shell Tacos

  • 2 cups Masa flour
  • 1 cup water

Mix together in a large bowl, knead to form a ball. Divide the ball into 14 smaller balls and cover with a damp cloth.

take a ball, place it between two pieces of baking paper, using a rolling pin roll into a circle, it should be quite thin.

Cook in a cast iron skillet, medium to high heat, 30-45 seconds each side.

 

Add Ins

  • Avocado
  • Grated Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Fresh Tomato
  • Spinach
  • Lime
  • Corriander

 

 

 

 

 

Flourless Chocolate and Cardamom cake. GF

This is all my weaknesses in a torte....Chocolate, cardamom, crunchy shell and a rich soft velvety  centre....I like to call it a chocolate crack cake cause well it's cracked appearance and it's as addictive as.... you get it....

Anyway, here's the recipe

  • 345 grams of dark chocolate (70%)
  • 170 grams of unsalted butter
  • 6 organic eggs at room temperature
  • 300 grams of raw sugar (billingtons is best as it retains molasses)
  • 1 gram (1 tsp) ground cardamom
  • .75 grams (1/4 tsp) salt
  • Cocoa powder to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 180C, line a 20cm springform pam with baking paper.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl, place the bowl over a simmering pot of water, stir gently until melted.
  3. Set the chocolate butter mixture aside for five minutes to cool.
  4. While you're waiting for the chocolate to cool, place the sugar in your food processor, pulse until the sugar is the texture of caster sugar.
  5. Place the eggs, sugar and cardamom in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat at medium speed with the paddle attachment for 6-8 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Fold in the chocolate until combined. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 1hr and 10 minutes..
  7. Let the cake cool completly on a wire rack before removing from the tin, dust with cacoa powder before serving. 

Cacao and Coconut Buckwheat Granola. GF. V

I'm a granola girl from way back, I seriously eat it for dinner at least twice a week.

This recipe is great, I can't remember where I first found it, It's scribbled down on a piece of paper that iv'e had in my recipe collection (an old shoe box filled with food stained pieces of paper) for ever. I usually have it with fruit and yogurt, its also really good with home made almond milk, which then turns into chocolate milk, bonus.

  • 3 cups of oats (I use organic gluten free)
  • 1 cup of buckwheat
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup almond
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder (I use Premium Dutch Cacao, it's the shit)

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

Place the remaining ingredients into a sauce pan, heat over a medium heat until smooth and the coconut sugar has melted.

Fold the chocolate mixture over the dry ingredients and pour in to a lined baking pan or tray.

Bake for 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, flip the mixture and bake for another 10 minutes. 

Allow to cool before pouring into airtight jars.

 

Savoury Biscotti. .WF/V options.

*Yes I know the lines aren't all straight, you try shooting free hand with vertical and horizontal lines....

*Yes I know the lines aren't all straight, you try shooting free hand with vertical and horizontal lines....

Every summer I get obsessed with  new cracker recipe, last year it was knackebrot (Swedish crackers), the year before it was lavash crackers. This year it's savoury biscotti. 

A mix of toasted seeds and grains is mixed with wholemeal spelt flour, yogurt and milk. Substitute the yogurt for coconut yogurt and the mix for a dairy free alternative to make them vegan. 

 

  • 1 Cup Organic Wholemeal Spelt Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 C Natural Unsweetened Natural Yogurt OR Coconut Yogurt
  • 1/4 C Milk OR Dairy Free Alternative
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 C Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 C Spelt Flakes (any other seed alternative would work, sesame or buckwheat)
  • 1/4 C Ground Flaxseed
  • 3 TBSP Grated Parmesan Cheese (Omit for Vegan)
  • 2 TBSP Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tsp Thyme (fresh) 

Combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix to combine. Stir in the milk and yogurt, mix until combined. 

Pour the batter into a lined tin (mine is 21cm x 10cm)

Bake at 180 C for 30-40 minutes or until a inserted skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool over night.

Using a very sharp serrated knife slice the loaf very thinly, arrange on a tray and bake at 180 C (flipping half way through) for about 15 minutes. 

 

Store in an air tight container.

Chocolate Butter Brioche. WF

Today has been a good day, great week actually!
Last week was our 10 year anniversary, it was spent it caring for our two year old who had a tummy bug, needless to say, the night lacked romance.

Yesterday we settled on our first home (something I never thought would happen as we are both creatives who love to travel, buy art and drink coffee instead of saving for a mortgage). But it did happen, the house is going to take a lot of hard work over the next two weeks but dedication and elbow grease is something we don't lack of. We also have an amazing friend (we actually met him when we first got together, so it's our 10 year friendaversarry with him too) that is coming to help us for a solid week, he's a house painter/builder so literally couldn't do it with out him.

And, it's my birthday. The big 31. I got a pile of hand made birthday cards from my two children, a new diary (actually the best present I could ask for) and keys to our house. Possibly the best birthday yet!

So I thought i'd share the love and share a recipe. I've had a love for brioche for years now, obviously I love cake but bread is probably my most favourite food, brioche sits between the two. The dough is yeasted, and as it has an overnight rise that yeasty flavour really has time to develop, the high butter and egg content gives the brioche a light tender crumb and it's rich as hell. 

My recipe differs from the traditional one in quite a few ways, I use Spelt flour over wheat, coconut sugar over refined white sugar and my process has been refined and made slightly easier. As you've probably guessed I'm no purest when it comes to food, recipes should be pushed. 

Also, it is really versatile, I make this five days a week for a local cafe, I do a range of sweet and savoury fillings and they have gained quite the following. 

The recipe might seem like a task but trust me it's really worth it. As the dough is prepared the day before it makes it the perfect weekend, or dare I say Christmas breakfast. 

Ideally you would prepare the dough 24hours before you plan to make it, I have prepared the dough as little as 12 ahead of time with very little difference. 

Then the morning it is needed you simply roll the dough out, fill it with a generous smear of Chocolate Butter, roll, rise and bake (I also did a Chocolate Butter , banana, pecan loaf and it was sensational).

Yes that's a finger tattoo,I have a branch, my partner has a bird on his knuckle, it's super fucking cute when we're together.

Yes that's a finger tattoo,I have a branch, my partner has a bird on his knuckle, it's super fucking cute when we're together.

Chocolate Swirl Brioche

4 organic eggs

½ cup coconut sugar

½ Tbsp salt

250g (1 block) of unsalted Lewis Road Creamery butter

500ml blue top Lewis Road Creamery milk

1 Tbsp (15ml) of active yeast

900g Organic white Spelt flour

1 pot of Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Butter

1 extra egg and a splash of milk for the egg wash.

 

Cut the butter into squares and place in a medium saucepan, over a low-medium heat and allow it to melt.

Once the butter is melted add the milk and place on a low heat until the mixture is lukewarm or tepid.

Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature take it off the stove and sprinkle over the yeast, put to one side to allow the yeast to activate.

If you over heat the milk just allow it to cool before adding the yeast otherwise you will kill the yeast.

 

Meanwhile place the eggs, sugar and salt into the mixing bowl of your mixer, beat with the paddle attachment for 3 minutes.

Once the egg mixture is golden in color and slightly aerated remove the bowl from your mixture.

Remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook.

Add the flour mixture to the egg, pour over the yeast mixture and using a spatula mix the dough, it will be lumpy and sloppy.

Return the bowl to your mixer and beat on a medium to high setting for 5 – 10 minutes. Once the dough is smooth, glossy and starts to come away from the bowl it is done. Resist the urge to add more flour.

 

Pour the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover for two hours or until the mixture has risen and almost doubled in size.

 

Using the spatula place pressure on the dough in the centre of the bowl and gently fold the dough onto itself, this is referred as ‘punching down’ the dough, it removes the gas bubbles created by the yeast and allows the yeast and sugars to be redistributed into the dough. You can do this by hand but I would recommend oiling your hands as this dough is quite sticky.

 

Place glad wrap or a tea towel over the bowl and place it in the refrigerator over night or for up to two days.

 

I often leave mine for two days as the yeast develops and gives a more interesting flavor profile.

 

When your dough is ready, remove the bowl from your refrigerator.

Turn your oven onto bake and heat to 180 degrees C.

Line your bread pan with baking paper. I have an adjustable pan and I highly recommend them.

Using clean kitchen scissors, cut the dough in half, it will be quite firm. Remove half the dough from the bowl and place it on your floured bench, return the remaining dough to the refrigerator.

Roll out the dough to form a rectangle 50cm x 25cm (you may need to change the dough proportions to fit your bread pan, just make sure the width of the dough is similar to the length of your pan).

 

Spread the pot of Chocolate Butter over the dough (you may need to soften this in a bowl of warm water).

Roll the dough from L-R. Using a dough scraper or a knife cut the dough roll in half long ways and twist the lengths over each other (see images).

Lift the dough into your pan (a dough scraper or a flipper comes in handy here).

 

If all of that is too fiddly, these can be baked in a large muffin pan, just oil the pan and cut the dough into 12 portions, follow the same rising time.

 

Place the loaf pan on top of your pre heating oven, cover it with a tea towel and allow it to rise, this will only take 20 minutes, the dough will look slightly puffy.

 

Whisk the extra egg and a splash of milk together, brush the egg wash over the dough and place it in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.

If baking in muffin pan bake for 15-20 minutes

 

The brioche is ready when it is a dark brown in colour and it sounds hollow when tapped.

 

Remove from the oven and cover with a tea towel, leave it in the pan and allow to cool for 5 -10 minutes

 

Remove from the pan and serve hot or allow to cool.

 

Repeat the next day with the remaining dough.

Macadamia and Matcha Ice Blocks

Matcha and Macadamia Ice Blocks

Matcha layer

(makes 6 ice blocks)

1 cup of coconut cream

1 Tbsp Matcha, culinary grade

1 Tbsp pumpkin seed butter

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp coconut oil

pinch of salt

 

Place all of the ingredients into a blender of jug if using a stick blender.

Blend for 2 minutes until smooth. Don’t go over blend, as you will incorporate too much air.

Divide the mixture between 6 ice block moulds, place the stick in and freeze for one hour.

 

Macadamia layer

1 cup coconut cream

2 Tbsp macadamia butter

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp coconut oil

The seeds from one vanilla pod

 

Place all of the ingredients into a blender of jug if using a stick blender.

Blend for 2 minutes until smooth. Don’t go over blend, as you will incorporate too much air.

Pour the mixture on top of the frozen matcha layer.

Freeze for one hour

 

 To finish

6 Tbsp almond milk

1/3 cup macadamia nuts finely chopped

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 Tbsp maple

 

Pour a Tbsp of almond milk on top on the frozen ice block, sprinkle over finely chopped macadamia, freeze until solid.

 

To make the chocolate.

Place the coconut oil in a large bowl, place the bowl on top of a boiling pot of water, gently melt the coconut oil.

Once melted remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder and maple, whisk until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes and allow to cool and thicken.

Once the chocolate is a thicker consistency, remove the ice blocks from the moulds and dip each ice block into the chocolate, dust with matcha to finish

Tahini maple granola.

I've been trying to post this recipe for a solid week now, but you know, life keeps happening. I'm eating the final portion of it as I type and I can honestly say, it is sublime. The tahini gives this granola so much body and any undertones of bitterness from the tahini are balanced by the sweet maple. 

Its full of whole grains, nuts and seeds. I serve mine with honey sweetened labneh, raspberry chia compote and flowers from the garden.

I do like a good nod to Middle Eastern food, labneh is traditionally a savoury accompaniment but I prefer it sweet, a splash of rose water wouldn't go amiss.  You can find my labneh recipe here.

 


Tahini and maple granola

 

 

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
3/4 cup coconut chips
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
1/2 cup raw pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Hefty pinch of salt
½  cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup tahini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 180°C.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, coconut, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt together. Place the coconut oil in a stainless steel bowl and place over a pot of simmering water (creating a Bain Marie), once the oil has melted take the bowl off the het and add the tahini and maple. Stir until smooth then pour over the granola, coat to mix.

Spread the granola mixture evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The granola is done when deeply golden and toasted. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week or in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Crepes

Until yesterday morning I'd never actually made crepes, crazy, I know!

I had assumed you required not only purpose made pans and other kitchen equipment, but also a genetically inherited flick of the wrist.

I guess the only place I had seen them being made was when I lived in Edinburgh, every Christmas the city held the most amazing Christmas markets, Ice skating rink, German hot chocolates, traditionally made stollen, hand crafted tree ornaments, and of course the crepe guy. He always had the longest que, much to the distaste of the German waffle maker three stalls down. 

I'm so glad I did tho, I now know that they are;

A: Easier to make than pancakes or waffles.

B: Matched equally well between sweet or savoury fillings, super important in our house as we are evenly divided.

 

CREPES

1 cup of spelt flour

1 Tablespoon of coconut sugar

1 pinch of salt

1 1/2 cup organic milk

4 free range eggs

3 Tablespoons of meted ghee

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Place all the ingredients into your blender, food processor. 

Puree until smooth about 30 seconds.

Let the batter rest for 15 minutes (while you prepare the berries).

Heat a large skillet over a medium heat, lightly coat with ghee, I use an ice cream scoop to measure out my batter but a 1/3 cup measure would work too. Swirl the pan around to cover the whole base. The thinner the better.

Cook the crepe for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, loosen the edge of the crepe and flip, cook for one more minute.

Repeat with remaining batter.

-------------

BERRIES

2 cups of organic blueberries

juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon chia seeds

1/3 cup water

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Place all the ingredients in a pot and place over a medium heat, gently simmer until thick and jam like. 

Other filling options

  • Creamy garlic mushrooms and parmesan
  • Lightly steamed spinach with feta and a fried egg
  • Lemon juice and sugar
  • Yogurt and fresh berries

 

 

Orange blossom and honey comb Labneh

This Middle Eastern delicacy makes a regular appearance at our house, typically I marinate it in oil, garlic and herbs and serve on cheese boards, in place of hummus or atop shakshuka, which by the way is my favourite meal.

But I have been playing around with sweet alternatives, Orange blossom seamed like an obvious match.

Labneh is a simple way of transforming Greek yogurt into a beautiful cheese, simply pour 1 kg of good quality (gelatin free) Greek yogurt into a cheesecloth bag, hang in your kitchen or refrigerator (depending on the temperature) over night to remove the whey and you are left with a creamy, soft cheese. 

Once strained, I added a cap full of Orange Blossom which can be found in most speciality food stores and a square of honey comb. Served with fruit or on sourdough with extra honey and bee pollen. it really is so versatile and all it takes is some yogurt and a bit of time or thyme....whatevs

Dark Chocolate and Merlot truffles

Wow, its been a long time between drinks....6 months to be precise. Sorry about that. 

Now that things are slowing down, the seasons have changed, Iv'e just finished up my wedding season I can get back into life, new recipes, and a bit of down time.

This recipe combines my two loves, red wine and chocolate. I don't actually have a huge sweet tooth, I guess daily exposure to cake kind of curbs the want to eat it all the time. I do tho still love chocolate small little morsels that are rich and satisfying. 

For this recipe I used Sileni Merlot, because its what I have in my cupboard and is delicious to drink while pottering in the kitchen. I have a thing about cooking with wine, if its not good enough to drink, its not good enough to cook with. I know plenty of chefs that buy the cheep stuff to cook with...not here. 
I also used Whittakers fair trade dark chocolate, it's 72% you can use a lower cocoa content if you prefer.

260g dark chocolate

120ml Sileni Merlot

60ml organic cream

1 Tablespoon butter

cacao for rolling

Roughly chop the chocolate and place it in a heat proof bowl, set aside. 

Pour the cream and merlot into a saucepan, heat until boiling, allow to simmer for a few minutes and then pour it over the chocolate. Leave this mixture for a few minutes, stir until smooth and then add the butter. Once all the chocolate and butter is melted you will be left with a thick ganache. Cover and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours or until set. 

Take a melon baller or a teaspoon and roll out balls of the mixture, coat in cacao and store in the refrigerator.

 

Black Bean Brownie

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I first came upon The Minimalist Baker blog about 4 years ago, Dana and John's food philosophy resonated deeply with me then, and it still does today. Their recipes are easy, simple (10 ingredients or less) and healthy. This black bean brownie was the first thing I made off their blog and to this day it often makes an appearance in our house. 

Of course I tweaked the recipe a bit, i use eggs instead of flax eggs as I'm not vegan, and I often add various 'throw ins' like walnuts and cacao nibs, or Chia berry sauce or like this one, raspberry and pistachio.

Black Bean Brownie

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can of Chatnal Organic Black beans, rinsed and dried
  • 3 Tablespoons of melted coconut oil OR ghee
  • 3/4 cup of good quality cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • heaping 1/2 cup of sugar, blended until fine
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F)
  2. Place all the ingredients into a food processor.
  3. Process until quite smooth, adding water if necessary.
  4. Pour batter into prepared tin or oiled skillet.
  5. sprinkle over add ins if using.
  6. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the brownie is pulling away from the sides and the centre is set.
  7. Serve with mascarpone.

 

Wholemeal Spelt Brioche Doughnuts with Maple Glaze and Pecan Praline

Basically every weekend starts with our four year old begging (literally begging) to make brioche, in fact as he gets older this rather endearing habit has extended into the week. Although come to think of it, his only appearance throughout the whole brioche making experience is to first plant the seed of thought, declare his desired fillings (typically cooked apple and berry), and then to devour. He is never seen measuring flour, cracking eggs let alone washing dishes etc...far to engrossed with the lego table.

As a baker I am methodical and organised.....that is when I'm baking for someone else's birthday, wedding etc....At home, I tend to experiment, play around with flour ratios and flavour and texture combinations. Due to over 20 years of baking experience (I started baking solo at age 8) I'm fairly confident and I really enjoy playing with new grains, pushing my recipes and adapting other peoples recipes.

These brioche doughnuts are made with organic wholemeal spelt flour, they have a delicious crumb and a soft texture. I topped them with a maple syrup glaze and pecan praline. i'm gonna say it...they were perfect....especially with coffee....

Wholemeal Spelt flour Brioche Doughnuts with Maple glaze and pecan praline

  • 225ml organic whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
  • 2 cups organic white spelt flour
  • 1 1/4 cups organic wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 small eggs
  • 70g butter
  1. Place the milk in a saucepan, heat until lukewarm, take off the heat and sprinkle the yeast on top and stir to dissolve.
  2. Place the flours, sugar and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer, using the dough hook attachment mix for a few minutes to combine. 
  3. Pour the yeast mixture and the eggs into the flour, and mix at a low speed to fully combine. 
  4. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and mix for a further 5 minutes on a medium speed. a shiny sticky dough should form. 
  5. Cut the butter into small pieces (I often soften mine further in the microwave) and add piece by piece to the dough, mixing until combined.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until it has nearly doubled in size. 
  7. To make the doughnuts heat oil in a saucepan, about 3 inches deep. Heat the oil to 180 degrees C.
  8. cut out your doughnuts, if you don't have a doughnut cutter just use two circle cutters.
  9. Depending on the size of your pan drop a few doughnuts in the hot oil, you don't want them touching otherwise they are hard to flip and they may stick together. 
  10. Cook each side for about 2-3 minutes, until the dough is dark and crisp.
  11. Allow to cool on a wire rack with paper towel under neath.

Maple Glaze

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • water to loosen if required
  1. Place the powdered sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add the maple and stir to combine, add water to achieve the required consistency.

 

Wholemeal Spelt pastry

My rolling pin broke a few weeks ago....it was the low point of my week. It was seriously the best pin, not to heavy, smooth, streamline....now I'm stick with this dud, stolen from my four year olds play dough set (it had not been used for play dough). The handles are wonky, I keep knocking my knuckles on the bench...its a nightmare. So Im on the hunt for a new one, a french one this time, I love their oddly tampered ends and the level of control you get from them.

Anyway...on to pastry! I made this batch last night, I often make double batches, freeze half and store the rest in the fridge to use throughout the week, It makes for low fuss meal prep!

This batch is made with 100% organic wholemeal spelt flour, it has a lovely light crumb and soft texture, perfect for sweet pastry really. I filled them with stewed granny smith apples, I didn't quite have enough so I topped the last shell up with some frozen blueberries (it turned out to be a really good move). The recipe is below.

Sweet wholemeal spelt pastry.

  • 1 cup of organic wholemeal spelt flour
  • 75g butter
  • 1/4 cup of soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1Tbsp cold water
  1. Place the flour and sugar in the bowl of your food processor (if you don't have one, just sift them together into a large bowl).
  2. Cut the butter into small cubes, pulse your mixer until you have a sand like consistency (alternatively you could rub the butter into the flour with your finger tips).
  3. Add the egg and water, mix until the dough forms a ball in your mixer.
  4. Wrap the dough in some glad wrap and place in your refrigerator foe 30 minutes or until needed.

Pastry will last up to 10 days in your refrigerator if stored correctly, to freeze wrap tightly in glad wrap and then tin foil and place in an air tight bag.

Spelt flour doughnuts

I could write an essay about these doughnuts, I really could.

I modified the recipe from the Little and Friday cookbook, not because it needed modifying, the recipe is perfect, I had to because of the type of flour I use.  I have an obsession with organic spelt flour (aka dinkel) after living a strict gluten free diet for 10 years (thats another essay in itself) I was elated to find I could tolerate spelt. 

For this recipe I used coarse spelt flour, it has a similar constancy to fine sand. Coarse Spelt flour is ideal for breads, dough and crackers, it has a higher protein content and is much stronger. It is also a bit thirstier than fine spelt flour so a bit of extra liquid may be required. I also used duck eggs rather than chicken, they make the doughnuts richer and I think, fluffier. 

I did a fair bit of recipe testing with this, I wanted to see how far I could push the recipe before it affecting the taste and texture. So I made the dough late on wednesday night (I often bake late at night, the kids are asleep, its just me and national radio or This American life pod casts, might sound lame but I loooooove it!) of course i cooked some at 11pm and we ate them covered in coconut sugar and cinnamon......they were amazing. Then I popped the dough in the fridge to sit overnight. The next morning I pulled half the dough out of the fridge, bought it to room temperature over two hours then fried some more off, they to were amazing! Then today (friday) I cooked the remaining dough, let them cool then dipped in a raspberry glaze and sprinkled over some pistachio nuts, they too were pretty good (a little drier, so not amazing, but still good) I mean I ate three today so.

So the general consensus was that spelt flour brioche dough behaves pretty much the same as wheat flour. Defiantly best the day you make it, but still pretty darn good two days later. Ok so thats my flour geek rant over. The recipe is below

Spelt flour brioche dough

  • 250ml full fat milk 
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 3 1/4 coarse spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, i used one duck, one chicken but 2 chicken eggs is fine to
  • 80g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature.
  1. Place the milk in a sauce pan, heat gently until lukewarm, take off the heat and sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside until yeast has dissolved.
  2. Place all the remaining dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, using the dough attachment, mix to combine.
  3. Add the eggs and the yeast to the flour, mix on a medium speed for 5 minutes, the dough will pull away from the bowl and almost slap the side of it as it mixes. 
  4. Gradually add the butter to the dough, mix until well combined, the dough should look smooth and glossy.
  5. Place a tea towel over the mixing bowl and allow the dough to double in size.
  6. Once doubled the dough is ready to use.
  7. To make the doughnuts, sprinkle some flour onto your bench top, tip the dough on to the flour, and roll out to 3cm thick, using a dough nut cutter (or anything circular really) cut out your doughnuts.
  8. Pour the oil into a heavy bottomed saucepan, about 3 cm deep, place on a medium heat. The oil should be at about 180 C, if you don't have a thermometer you can test it by putting small amounts of dough into the oil. If your oil starts smoking, its too hot.
  9. Once the oil is hot enough gently place a few (depending on the size of your saucepan) doughnuts in to the oil, they need to be well spaced so they don't stick together.
  10. once brown on one side (about 2 min, maybe a little less) they can be flipped to cook the other side.  
  11. Remove from the oil and either place on a paper towel to cool or dip in cinnamon and sugar straight away.

Other topping ideas:

  • Dip in dark chocolate ganache (of course id probably use gold dust too, fancy as ....)
  • Add a tablespoon of peanut butter to the dough and dip in a honey glaze
  • Make doughnut balls (no hole cut out) ad fill with lemon curd, dust with icing sugar

 

Dark chocolate, coconut and almond cookies. Wheat free

I feel like I'm constantly on the hunt for the perfect cookie recipe, it has to be made with butter and contain chocolate of some description, not to sweet and good for dunking. The criteria is actually quite strict. And to be honest, these cookies are as close to perfect as I can get. The recipe is modified from the Little and Friday cookbook recipe, I halved the sugar content, substituted half of the flour quantity for whole almond meal and added coconut. So really it's a completely different recipe! 

If you aren't baking with whole almond meal, you should be. It gives baked goods a lovely rich flavour and a great texture, I put it in everything (luckily our kindergarten isn't nut free, basically why I chose it!) depending on the recipe, I just substitute a couple of tablespoons or up to a cup of flour for almond meal, experiment! Almond are also full of all those good fats, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium, a true super food.

Recipe is below, enjoy! 

Cookies

  • 125g butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup organic spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup whole almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 125 g roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup threaded coconut
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C, and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy, scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are mixed.
  3. Add the vanilla and the egg, beat until smooth.
  4. Sift the spelt flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt over the butter mixture, stir until combined.
  5. Add the chocolate and coconut, stir until combined.
  6. Using a tablespoon, roll spoonfuls of cookie mixture into balls and place 3 cm apart on the tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Sunken Pear cake with an Almond spice crumble topping.

This cake was seriously hard to name, the cake its self is a brown sugar butter cake make with organic spelt flour, it has just the right amount of vanilla and warming winter spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The sunken pears are perfectly roasted inside the cake, they kind of stewed in their own juices and cooked to perfection. Then the crumble topping is gorgeously crunchy and sweet, a mixture of whole almond meal, nutmeg, cinnamon and butter. Then to top it of I served it with homemade salted caramel sauce and organic cream.....a bit decadent for a Tuesday afternoon tea but you know....So you can see my problem, so many elements, it was hard to grab a few and name this beauty, so Sunken Pear cake it is....

All photos are taken on my phone, sorry about the quality, a decent camera is only weeks away! Oh and the recipe is below...Xxx

Sunken pear cake with Almond, cinnamon and nutmeg crumble topping.

Cake

  • 150 g butter, melted and at room temperature
  • 100g brown sugar (next time id use less, maybe 80g)
  • 2 large eggs, or 3 small
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of good quality vanilla paste
  • 140g spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3-4 small organic pears

Crumble Topping

Mix together 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 cup of almond meal. Rub in 20g of butter in until crumbly, set aside.

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and prepare your cake pan (mine was 7") by either lining it with baking paper or coating with butter and dusting with flour.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients together into a large bowl
  3. In a separate bowl mix the butter and sugar together until creamy (I used my stand mixer but it could be done by hand).
  4. One by one add the eggs to the butter mixture, stirring well to combine.
  5. Add the vanilla.
  6. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, mix until combined.
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared tin, place the pears into the cake. 
  8. Place the cake into the oven and bake for 1 hr. About half way thru the cooking time sprinkle over the crumble topping.

Serve with greek yogurt or fresh cream.

 

Dark Chocolate Espresso layer cake with Raspberry Chia coulis and Chocolate Swiss Meriunge Buttercream

I had the pleasure of making this gorgeous cake last weekend, it was for a 70th birthday and retirement celebration. I figured it deserved a 4 tier cake with a 12 word title, agree? Oh also, the cake was gluten free, not that anybody could tell tho, it was too good apparently!  

All these photos were taken by my incredibly talented friend Michael Schultz, you can see more of his work here.