Sunday, 10 June 2012

Quick, easy 3 or 4 ingredients choc pudding (in the microwave)

Took me a minute and 30 seconds to make this
decadent chocolate cake
Did I mention it is Gluten and Dairy Free too... And healthy???!!! Do not adjust your screen (or glasses) this is not a typo.

I came across this beauty when one night I made my son's pudding and got the time wrong on the microwave (must've been one of those nights).
Despite baking a lot I am not really resourceful when it comes to puddings for my little one. I just generally make him a chocolate porridge with pieces of dried fruitsor mashed banana. The purpose is mainly to get him full so we can all have a full night sleep. Did I mention he is a lazy eater?! This dessert works used to work fine for me. Now that he has tasted the 1 minute pudding, there is no going back.

So to the recipe (today also seems to be the ideal day to have one for afternoon tea since iti s cloudy and cold here)
For 1 person.

Spray a breakfast bowl with oil.

-1/2 of oats (processed into flour)
- 2 tsps of baking cocoa (I have not tried with drinking cocoa powder but it should work, adjust the sugar they generally contain some as well as milk powder)
- 2 tsps of agave syrup (or honey)
- 3 Tblsps of soy milk approx

Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the milk and mix until it ressembles a thick cake batter. You may require some more milk.

Spray a breakfast bowl or ramekin (if you don't want yours to look flat and miserable like mine). Pour the mixture in the bowl and microwave for 1 minute. It generally only takes that long, however if you have put too much milk you might see that it is not completely cooked, so put it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds.

Enjoy it!!!! It tastes really decadent and give you an immediate chocolate fix.

I made this for my little one last night except I added half a mashed banana and reduced the milk a little. It was very nice and almost the whole bowl was devoured.
I also made mine (pictured) with coconut milk instead of soy milk. It was delicious! It tasted rich and the coconut milk definitely brought the chocolate flavour out. I ate 3/4 of it and just finished the rest as I was typing this recipe and it taste very nice, very nice indeed.

Make this is a big bowl with a chocolate ganache or some cream on the side next time you have guests and let them think you have been sweating over a hot oven all day, they won't taste the difference.

Looking around for similar recipes after my first and I have found a very similar recipe om Chocolate Covered Katie if you wanted to try this one as well: with a few more ingredients and a different variation on flavour.

Happy Baking everyone :)

New Gluten Free burger buns

I had a very bad run with making Gluten Free breads lately. Some were too crumbly and inedible by the time they had spent a night out, and others looked and sounded cooked but as soon as I took them out of the oven and the dish they would collapse and completely gooey inside. I had almost given up.
I went to get some more Gluten Free flours to try it a few more times. After all even despite the failures, it was still cheaper to make my own bread (even if I could only eat one to two pieces).
I told the owner about my misfortune and he gave me an excellent tip: use a mix of flour and less or no starch plus add 1 teaspoon (to start with) of psyllium husk. The psyllium husk, he told me, will make a more spongy bread so it won't dry and crumble.

Yesterday I decided to face my fear of failing again and made up my own flour mix and bread. Eureka! Success at last, although it is a little crumbly today it still tastes very nice and can be cut without leaving big chunks of dry bread behind. Next time (which is likely to be tonight), I will try with 2 tsps of psyllium husk (I will post the results asap).

So here it is:

Flour mix 1 (I am thinking of trying out some different ones later)
1 cup of sorghum flour
1 cup of oats flour
1/2 cup of millet flour
1/2 cup of rice flour
2 tsps of xanthan gum
1 tsp of psyllium husk
1/4 tsp of salt

Wet mix:
2 eggs
1 Tbsp of agave syrup (or white sugar)
3 Tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of vinegar

For the yeast starter:
1 1/3 cup of warm water
2 tsps of yeast
1 tsp of agave syrup (or white sugar)

Mix the agave syrup with the warm water. Add and mix the yeast. Set aside until frothy.

Whisk all the flours together with the xanthan gum, psyllium husk and salt.

In a stand up mix bowl, beat the wet ingredients. Once all mixed well, add the yeast starter. Stop the mixer and dump all the flour mixture in the wet. Mix again for about 5 minutes.

Note: if you want to make little burger buns like the ones I made you will need to use a grease muffin pan.

Pour the mixture into a grease pan and leave to rise in a warm, draught- free environment. I put my mixture in the oven preheat at 50 Degree C. Let is rise until it has doubled in size.

Bake at 200 Degrees C for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.  To make sure it is cooked knock on top of the bread, it should sound hallow.

Take it out of the oven and leave to cool a little. As soon as you can handle the bread, take them out of the pan, otherwise the crust will go soggy.

As usual in 24 hours I have eaten the whole loaf I had made and the burger buns, so it's back to the kitchen this afternoon to make some more.

Happy Baking everyone :)

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Coming up...

Spicy Gingerbread Coconut Milkshake and popcorn for
an aftermoon tea in front of the telly with my son

Hi Baking Frog followers,

Sorry I have not been posting much lately. I have been busy in and out of the kitchen with a few health issues (winter, you know) and also had a few technical issues with my computer. I have been baking, I have been cooking and trying out some new recipes.

So what to expect:

I will soon be posting a new burger bun recipe (yes another one but I was told so far it was the best one), a new Gluten and Dairy Free burger bun recipe as well (this recipe can also be used for Gluten/ Dairy Free Bread). I have developped my own flour mix on the advise of the owner of the shop where I buy the flours themselves.
I was craving coconut milk for the last few days so I made a spicy gingerbread coconut milkshake (pictures above) for this afternoon's popcorn session with my son watching Toy Story for the 100th time this week.
I have a nice and simple recipe for Spring Rolls (which can be eaten all year around)
I accidentally made up a super quick microwave chocolate pudding but it's no accident we've been eating some every night since the discovery. The recipe only requires 3 ingredients and offers a lot of room for variations.
I am finally working on a rainbow cake, and I hope to be able to post some pictures as long as the recipes early next week.

In the meantime, please feel free to share your experiences with the recipes you have found here, any advise or modifications you have made to make them work for you or share any of your favourite recipes.

Happy Baking everyone :)

Friday, 1 June 2012

Oatmeal brownies (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Well the story started last night with pudding for my son. He loves pudding so much that my Husband and him have a song for it, and when that song starts they both mean business.
My Husband made last night's pudding and mixed some oats, dried apricots, peanut butter and chocolate. My son LOVED it!!!
In fact he loved it so much that I made the same for Breakfast but I thought I could take this little bowl of yummy porridge to something more decadent (at least in taste but not in calories).  This is sure to satisfy any chocolate cravings without having to worry about the scale the next day.Without further a do, here is the recipe:

Ingredients: (makes about 12 brownies)
- 1 cup of porridge
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 3 Tbsp of cocoa powder
- 2 tsp of coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp of peanut butter
- 5 dried apricots (optional)
- 1 Tbsp of agave sugar (or honey or maple syrup)
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1 Tbsp of milk (I used Almond Milk)

For this recipe I processed the porridge into a flour but it should work without this step.

Pre- heat the oven to 200 Degree C.

In a bowl mix porridge and cocoa powder. Add the boiling water and let the mixture absorb it.
Mix the coconut oil with the peanut butter to losen it. Mix all the ingredients to the oats mixture.

If the mixture seems to "dry" or hard to work with, add more milk. It should be a smooth batter, kind of ike a cake batter.

Pour the mixture in either a cake pan (buttered or oiled) or muffin pan (butterer or oiled unless using a silicone one as I did).

Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean (mine took about 30 minutes but I realised 15 minutes in that my little kitchen hand changed the oven temp to 150 Degree C).

Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool a little before taking them out.

You can serve them just as is or you can add a topping. I made mine Rocky Road.

Rocky Road Topping:
- 1 tsp of coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder
- Some agave sugar to taste
- 1 Tbsp of milk (I used Almond milk)
- Mini Marshmallows
- Peanuts cut into pieces

Melt the coconut oil in the microwave (add the milk if you are just taking it out of the fridge).

Mix it the cocoa powder. Add teh agave sugar to taste (I think I only put about 2 tsp).

Mix the marshmallows and peanuts and "dump" the frosting over the brownies.

I added some white chocolate drops on the boys' simply because they love it. My little munchkin LOVED it almost as much as the pudding his Daddy made him the night before :)

Happy Baking everyone :)

When cleaning up the garden turns into a wonderful winter Barbeque

Our nice little fire
Today, the sun was finally back and I thought the outdoor area (we can't really call that a garden) needed a bit of TLC. A couple of months ago, my Husband took down a dead tree and left it where it fell. I found a saw in the shed and went at it with the help of my little gardener (with his toy saw, as determined as Mum to take the tree out). I cut down some of the tree and thought it would make nice fire wood for when we wanted to have a BBQ since we had ran out of charcoal. And then, I got bitten... Bitten by the BBQ bug. Suddenly I wanted Summer back and what better way to achieve that than with a BBQ.

We did break the cardinal rule of grocery shopping and bought some more meat just for tonight's dinner. On his way home, my Husband picked up what was available and it was a wonderful choice (vegetarians please look away):

An assortment of sirloins, pork chops, and prawn skewers

We had a surf and turf with baked fries. It was delicious. And all that because I decided to clean the garden...

The end result: doesn't look sexy but it tasted very nice

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Gluten Free Pizza (take 2)

Gluten Free pizza base, homemade tomato sauce, bacon
Italian sausages, spinach, goat's feta cheese
Last night we had pizza and I thought I wanted to try a new recipe. I looked on one very good Gluten Free website:

The recipe is pretty straight forward however there is a little trick to place the dough into the dish.

2 cups tapioca flour/starch
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup GF millet flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons organic light brown sugar  honey
1 1/4 cup warm water (between 110 - 115ºF)
1 teaspoon organic light brown sugar honey
1 packet (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup beaten organic free-range egg whites (or egg replacer for two eggs)
1/4 teaspoon light tasting rice vinegar

Grease two 12-inch pizza pans and dust lightly with gluten-free flour. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and dry ingredients.
Proof the yeast in 1 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar.
Add the proofed yeast to the dry ingredients. Add the oil, eggs and vinegar.
Beat the dough until smooth and sticky. The pizza dough should be creamy smooth and not too thick- it's not sturdy like typical bread dough. It almost borders on batter.
Using a silicone spatula divide the dough in half. Scoop each half onto the center of a prepared pizza pan.

Tip for spreading the dough: Using clean, wet hands press down lightly and flatten the dough to create a thin, even pizza shell, with slightly raised edges. You'll have to rinse your hands more than once to do this. Take your time to smooth out the dough with wet palms.
I would recommend to this operation next to the sink, you literally have to rinse your hands every second time you touch the dough but it is well worth it.
Set the pizza shells in a warm cozy spot to rest and rise a bit- about 15 minutes.

Blind bake at 200 Degree C for about 15 minutes.

Leave to cool and take it out of the pan. Spread the sauce and add the topping. Place back in the oven to back for another 20 minutes. Your dough will be very crispy just like the non gluten free pizza.
I didn't do the above the first night and my dough was crispy on the outside but kind of soggy on the inside where most of the topping was. Tonight I followedf my own instructions and it worked perfectly. It is a bit of work but well worth it. I would have posted a picture but... well I ate it all, it was THAT GOOD!

Happy Baking everyoone :)

Italian sausage pizza on the go!!!

Ok so not the prettiest food you've ever eaten but
very practical to take anywhere.

Last night we had pizzas and they were so good that my Husband mentioned that it was so good, he didn't mind having more tonight.
Here is the one I made for the boys:

For the pizza:
It was a simple pizza with bacon, Italian sausages, cheese, homemade tomatoe sauce and the Italian Sausages or as we cal them at home: the "Magic Sausages" because we always make them last for more than one meal.

To make this pizza, I used my usual recipe:

For the tomato sauce, in a saucepan mix 2 cans of tomatoes in juice, add a good Tablespoon or 2 of honey, a teaspoon of salt and some dried oregano and leave it to reduce on low to medium heat, stirring regularly so the sauce doesn't catch at the bottom of the pan. Once thick and reduced, leave it aside to cool.

Blind bake the dough at 200 Degree C for about 15 minutes or until the dough feels dry, don't let the dough turn bgolden because it will cook again later with the topping and might get overcooked.

Once ready, take it out of the oven and spread the tomato sauce, add your topping and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is nicely melted.

For the rolls:
Roll the dough into a rectangle about 15 cms long and the width of the sausage you are using, even a llittle wider.

Spread the prepared tomato sauce. Slice some cheese and place on top of the sauce. Place the sausage over the cheese and roll the dough as you would roll a spring roll. Roll the dough around the sausage, tuck the sides in and keep rolling until the end of the dough.

Bake at 200 Degree C for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

I have found this might be a good snack to take to work or on a picnic. It is easy to transport, will not spill and easy to eat anywhere even if you don't have any cuttlery.

Happy Baking everyone :)