Gluten-free and Egg-free Recipes (with some Dairy-free options)

choc ripple

Well, phew, the school year is done and dusted, so I can get back to blogging. These chocolate biscuits are based on a recipe I saw elsewhere, and I have changed them to make them gluten and egg free as well as dairy free. I used my Bellini thermocooker to make them, but a food processor or hand method would work as well. I have made them with butter, and have also tried them dairy free when making them for a dairy allergic child, and they taste yummy both ways. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

200 g plain gluten-free flour (I used the Aldi ‘Has No’ brand, but other brands will work fine eg. White Wings, Home Brand, Orgran)

50 g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

330 g caster sugar

150 g Nuttelex or another dairy free margarine (butter can be used if not dairy free)

40 ml water plus 1 teaspoon of Orgran ‘No Egg’ powder (or use EnerG powder) plus 10 ml (2 teaspoons) oil (I used sunflower oil).

Alternative egg substitute if you don’t have egg replacement powder: 1 tablespoon (4 teaspoons) flax meal plus 3 tablespoons hot water. Mix together and allow to cool before using.

Method

  1. Measure the dry ingredients into the Bellini jug or food processor and mix for 30 seconds on speed 4 to combine. If doing by hand, sift ingredients together.
  2. Add the Nuttelex or butter in cut up chunks.
  3. Press the ‘pulse’ button on the machine or processor until the Nuttelex is incorporated evenly. I usually find it takes about 3-4 quick pulses.
  4. Add the egg substitute and pulse again until the egg substitute is combined. If working by hand use a knife to incorporate the wet ingredients.
  5. Roll the mixture into teaspoon sized balls. Press down with your hands and place on trays. Press down lightly with a fork.
  6. Cook at 160 C (fan-forced) or 180 C conventional oven for 11 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool and harden before eating.

A New Cookbook!

It’s very rare to come across a cookbook that has suitable allergy-free recipes. Many will advertise as an allergy free cookbook, but when you peruse the recipes, they are only factoring in for substituting for one or two allergens, and they hardly ever have recipes for both gluten *and* egg free. A lot have gluten and dairy free, but require eggs to make them work. And by eggs, I don’t mean one or two, but three or more and it is very difficult to substitute for more than two eggs in a recipe and have the cake turn out well. A lot are vegan, and so will be dairy and egg free, but require wheat flour to work well.

You can imagine how happy I was to discover “The Good Cake Co.” with their allergy recipes free from gluten, eggs, dairy and nuts! They have just published their first cookbook “Let Them Eat Good Cake”. I think I must have been one of their first customers to purchase a hard copy, which I’m told is on it’s way. Last night I was delighted to find that I was runner up in their giveaway, and was emailed a digital copy of their book.

If you’d like to try out some of their recipes first, their Lemon, Raspberry and Rosemary Cake recipe is freely available on their site. I’ve made this cake and have really enjoyed it. If you sign up to their email list you also get their recipe for gluten-free flour, which I’ve used and it works really well.

I can’t wait to try their recipes!

Now that I have this whizbang new thermocooker I intend to use it to help me out in the kitchen. I’ve been making macaroni cheese for years. It’s my youngest son’s favourite meal but it can take a bit of time with stirring the sauce on the stove. I tried a few people’s recipes but they were either too thick or too thin for our liking. I’ve fiddled around and have finally got the texture and taste that we like so here it is. If it’s a bit thin for your liking, then add a little more cornflour. If it’s not cheesy enough then add more cheese. I’m sorry about the picture. I only thought to take it once my middle son had attacked it, so it looks half eaten and a bit blurry because he was complaining that he wanted to eat! I don’t cook the pasta in the Bellini, because some of us need gluten-free pasta and some eat wheat pasta, so they are cooked separately.

Ingredients

200 g bacon rashers (fat removed) – optional

1 large onion in quarters (or use shallots)

2 tomatoes, chopped separately

65 g butter

40 g cornflour (make sure it is gluten-free corn cornflour, not wheaten cornflour) – mix this with a little of the milk (about 100 g milk)

180 g cheese (in chunks – pick the cheese you prefer)

750 g milk

Method

1. Place the chopping (sharp) blade in the jug. Place the bacon and onion in the jug. Set to speed 7, 6 seconds and press start.

2. Scrape down the jug with the spatula and add 10 g of the butter.

3. Cook at speed 3, 100 C for 3 minutes.

4. Add the rest of the butter, the cornflour (in milk), cheese and milk.

5. Cook at speed 3, 90 C for 10 minutes. In the last couple of minutes of cooking, add the chopped tomatoes through the lid.

6. Top the cooked pasta and enjoy.

My half eaten, blurry picture:

IMG_0747

 

This is obviously not a dairy-free post! I’m on a group page on Facebook called ‘Bellini Addicts’. It’s a great place to get help with using the Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master (my new thermocooker). I’ve noticed that a lot of people complain about taking forever to make butter or even just whipped cream. I had some cream that needed to be used so I thought I’d have a go. Here are the pictures and method:

For whipped cream

Make sure that the jug is cool and that the sharp (chopping) blade is inserted. Do *not* insert the ‘butterly’ (also called mixing tool). Add the cream (it must be full fat) to the jug and set to speed 10 for 10 seconds and press start. This will give a very soft whipped cream. If you want it firmer, set to speed 6 for 3 seconds and press start. It’s done! Just to make it crystal clear – the ‘butterfly’ tool is not used.

For 4 minute butter

Again, make sure that the jug is cool and that the sharp (chopping) blade is inserted. Do *not* insert the butterfly at this stage. Set to speed 10 for 10 seconds and press start. Repeat this 4 times (50 seconds in all), scraping down the jug after the first 2 times. It should start looking like this:

butter pic 1

Scrape down the sides with a spatula and insert the ‘butterfly’. Set to speed 3 for 2 minutes and press start. At some point soon you will hear a sloshing sound as the buttermilk separates. This happened for me at 1 minute but I let it go to 1.5 minutes to be sure and then pressed stop. This is what it looks like:

butter pic 2

Drain the buttermilk and save for using in cakes or pancakes. After this you need to wash the butter. Add a cup of fridge cold water to the butter. Set to speed 3, 30 seconds and press start. Drain the water and repeat with another cup of water. The butter is done (picture below). If you want to add oil and salt to make spreadable butter this is when to do it.

butter pic 3

IMG_0713

I have a new toy! Some years back now a few friends were raving about the Thermomix. For those who don’t know what this is, it’s an appliance which performs a number of functions and also heats as well. A few years ago I heard about something called a Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master. This is basically a much cheaper thermocooker. On special it can be as low as $250 as compared with the $2000 Thermomix. After umming and ahhing for a long time I finally got one for Christmas. I love it, and will be posting some recipes from it soon! Risotto is the dish that everyone raves about with thermocookers.  I love risotto, but for some years I’ve been using an electric pressure cooker to cook it. I have a Tefal electric pressure cooker that I can set up and cook risotto in 20 minutes. It’s so quick that I often make it when I’ve had a busy day or need to go out at night. For my vegan friends who follow this blog, please omit the bacon/fish and put in whatever you like. There are no real rules, just the basic proportions of rice and stock. And just a side note – we only buy meat that is produced humanely. I can’t eat eggs but when I purchase them for my family I insist on free range eggs and I don’t buy cage eggs. I also buy free range/RSPCA approved chicken. So here’s my recipe for risotto using a pressure cooker:

Ingredients

a few rashers of bacon, chopped (omit if vegan and substitute whatever you like here)

1 teaspoon minced garlic (2-3 cloves)

a small chopped onion or shallots (some call these spring onions – I mean the long thin ones)

1 tablespoon (20 ml) olive oil

1 tablespoon butter (or just use more olive oil if dairy-free)

1 litre cold chicken stock (or use vegetable stock for vegan) Make sure it is gluten-free!

500 g arborio rice (it is important to get arborio rice as it is the best for creamy risotto)

parmesan cheese (omit if dairy-free)

smoked salmon for the top (I use a 200g packet for this much risotto)

Method

1. Place the bacon, onion, garlic and oil in the pressure cooker and saute for a few minutes.

2. Add the butter. Once it’s melted, add the rice and stir to coat the rice.

3. Add the cold stock. Place the lid on and set to low pressure for 6 minutes.

4. Release the pressure and remove the lid. If it seems a little too liquidy, allow to sit for a few minutes.

5. Serve onto a place and top with grated parmesan cheese and smoked salmon.

That’s as easy as it is. No standing at the stove stirring for ages or having to heat the stock separately. It comes out with just a tiny bit of ‘bite’ to the rice which we like, but if you want it softer then maybe add a minute to the cooking time. We just don’t like it gluggy.

blueberry cake

I’m a follower of the Eggless Cooking blog and recently noticed the eggless Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe. It looked fabulous. I decided to have a go with the recipe and convert it to gluten-free. The recipe needed a little bit of adjustment for gluten-free. I certainly didn’t end up with the fluffy  cake described at Eggless Cooking, but I suspect that was because of the lack of gluten. The cake held together quite well but was a little dense. I changed the recipe to add a little more buttermilk and a little more baking powder and this improved the texture. I also increased the mixture to suit the tin I used (a 20 cm round cake tin). I have visitors here every Tuesday night and I have made it three times now and each time second pieces have been requested so it must taste okay! For the method, check it out here. I’ve listed the amounts of ingredients I used here as the amounts differ with the changes and I also prefer to weigh everything rather than use cups. The almond extract is well worth it in my opinion. I love the taste of it in cakes and biscuits. Just another tip: if using frozen blueberries it’s best to thaw them first, otherwise any frost on them melts into the cake mixture on top and it won’t cook properly. I haven’t tried this with dairy-free. If you want to try then I’d suggest adding rice milk in place of the buttermilk and using Nuttelex (or another dairy-free margarine) in place of the butter. It may need a slight increase in the apple cider vinegar to compensate for using the rice milk instead of the buttermilk.

Ingredients

225 g gluten-free plain flour

175 g caster sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

0.5 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

115 g applesauce

250 ml buttermilk

60 g butter

11 g apple cider vinegar

1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

0.5 teaspoon almond extract

1.5 cups frozen blueberries

80 g sliced almonds

30 g brown sugar

0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

wedding cakes

Things have been very busy here in the ‘Make Your Cake’ household so I haven’t had a chance to post here for a while. Our 22 year old daughter married a lovely fellow two weeks ago and it was a fabulous day. The groom’s mother organised a special, nut-free wedding cake to be made as my daughter has life-threatening nut allergies. With that taken care of we still needed cake for those of us with gluten intolerance and egg allergy. The maid of honour also needed dairy-free so it was my task to make some gluten, dairy and egg-free cupcakes. I decided to go back to my good old chocolate cake recipe, then I iced it with some ready made icing. The icing is made by Orchard and is gluten-free as well as egg-free so it was perfect for the job. I decorated the cupcakes with pre-made icing flowers. The flowers do contain egg, but those of us with egg allergy just removed them before eating. Please note though, that the two of us with egg allergy have a typical adult egg allergy, so the slight chance of encountering egg allergen from the flowers on the top before we removed them was not an issue. If I was providing for a typical child with an egg allergy I would not even put the flowers on the top. One of these days I will have a fiddle with the Orchard icing to see if I can make some flowers myself. I was really pleased with how they looked.

The chocolate cake tastes fabulous when using coconut milk (or cream) as the ‘milk’ component. However, there are a few tricks with this cake. I often get asked for the recipe but a couple of people have had troubles reproducing the cake. When I ask if they have changed the recipe in any way I get two responses. Firstly, they have reduced the sugar. Yes, it is a lot of sugar in the cake, but it’s not one that we eat every day, and the amount of sugar really does make a difference to the final product. Secondly, they use a different gluten-free self-raising flour. What then happens is that the cake rises really well in the oven, only to collapse later and become really dense. There is a reason for this. Often, some manufacturers put too much raising agent in the flour. Initially this produces very big bubbles in the cake, but then they collapse.

For some reason, manufacturers seem to put extra raising agent in some gluten-free self-raising flours. I’ve also seen many gluten-free recipes which call for self-raising flour and then extra baking powder. In my experience this causes the mixture to overflow the cake tin, or the collapsing effect I’ve just mentioned. From experience, I can tell you that the best gluten-free self-raising flours that don’t have this problem are the Orgran and Aldi ‘Has No’ brand of flour. For other flours, they have their uses. The extra raising agent makes them fantastic for pancakes/pikelets and scones and damper. Melinda’s SR flour is my stand out choice for pancakes/pikelets for example. It gives the very best pikelets, although those with soy allergies need to avoid it. A friend who tried my chocolate cake recipe used White Wings SR flour and found it causes the dense cake and I’ve had a similar experience with the Woolworths brand.

Of course, you can always use plain flour and then add baking powder and experiment to find the right combination. The rule I always learned was that for every 1 metric cup of flour (150 g) to add 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

Next up…..a Blueberry Cake.