recipe

Vegan brownies that don’t suck

Posted on June 6, 2021 at 12:41 pm

A daring title, but I have cracked it. I can also make them keto friendly. Oh, and by the way? It’s gluten free, too!

  • 4 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 cup / 120ml water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4oz / 112g cocoa butter
  • 1 cup / 200g allulose or similar keto friendly sugar
  • 1 cup / 220g brown sugar or keto friendly substitute
  • 1 and 1/3 cups / 125g almond flour
  • 2/3 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2/3 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
  • 85g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Blend the ground flax with the water and vanilla and set to one side.

    Cream the sugars with the cocoa butter. Add the flax and vanilla mix.

    Sift the remaining dry ingredients together. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the creamed ingredients until fully incorporated.

    Pour your batter into a well greased square baking pan, and only then start preheating your oven to 350F / 180C. By waiting till now to heat the oven you give the binder time to activate, which will contribute to the lift.

    Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, remove from oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out. Cut a slice and enjoy.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Pickled Eggs

    Posted on June 6, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Pickled eggs. Easy, right? Eggs, vinegar, how hard can it be?

    That’s a fair point. It’s pretty much that easy. But as always, there are some details that can help to know.

    Pickle brine ingredients for 12 large eggs.

  • 1 cup / 240ml water
  • 1 cup / 240ml vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Put all ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cut the heat, and let the brine steep overnight while your 12 hard boiled eggs are chilling out in the fridge.

    Next day, peel the eggs and place in a suitable container. Pour the brine over via sieve to remove the spices. Allow the eggs to steep in the brine for between 1 and 7 days. The longer they steep, the deeper into the egg the brine flavour will penetrate. Eat out of hand, chopped into a salad, or turn it into pickled egg salad.

    Simple, right? Hah! Hold on a minute. Which vinegar do you use?

    Unsurprisingly the vinegar you use directly affects the flavour. Here’s the ones I tested with:

    white vinegar: sharply tangy, the gold standard of vinegar, but no real flavour
    white wine vinegar: a touch more flavour than white vinegar, but not a lot more
    red wine vinegar: more flavour than either the above, also stains the eggs a fetching red
    malt vinegar: richer than red wine, stains the eggs a rather nice brown (NOTE: NOT GLUTEN FREE)
    balsamic vinegar: oh, so much going on here! Caramel flavours as well as staining the egg white an astonishing black! Also astonishing is what happens to the vinegar: it goes transparent as the eggs absorb almost all of the colour from the vinegar

    Over to you. What vinegar do you prefer?

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Keto friendly British sponge pudding

    Posted on March 25, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    What I’m writing here is an incomplete recipe. This is because the sheer diversity of British sponge puddings is ridiculous, so I’d rather give you the basic recipe that you can tweak with any of the eleventy zillion different options.

    Chocolate sponge, jam sponge, chocolate, and did I mention chocolate? Yum yum. All tweaks from this base recipe.

    And yes, it’s keto friendly and gluten free, not that you can tell once it’s cooked. It’s just delicious.

  • 1 stick of butter – 4oz, 112g
  • 4oz / 112g monkfruit, erithrytol, or other keto sweetener
  • 4oz / 112g almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Optional add-ins such as chocolate chips, cocoa powder, etc
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cream the butter and sweetener together. Add all the dry ingredients and blend until fully incorporated. Add the eggs at a time and blend until fully incorporated.

    Place the sponge into a suitable pudding basin – plastic or glass – that you have lightly buttered. If you’re adding extras such as jam, place it in the bottom of the pudding basin.

    Allow the batter to rest for 20 minutes before you move to the next step. This will allow the binders to activate.

    Microwave on full power (based on 700 Watt microwave) for 6 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes while you whip up a batch of fresh custard.

    Enjoy!

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Keto friendly chocolate sponge pudding

    Posted on March 8, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Look, America, you are responsible for lots of good stuff.

    But your understanding of “pudding” is desperately bad. It’s not just yellow flavour or brown flavour. It’s so much more.

    And here’s an example. It’s rich, decadent, chocolatey goodness. It’s keto friendly, so low carb. And it’s … well, it’s brown. Shut up!

  • 6oz / 170g unsalted butter
  • 6oz / 170g erithrytol or other keto friendly sweetener, or sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g / 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, or equivalent
  • 1.25oz / 35g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • heavy pinch salt (optional)
  • cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs. Stir the next 3 ingredients together and beat into the butter and eggs. Add a little milk, cream, or water if the mix doesn’t come together or if it seems dry.

    Allow the batter to sit for 15 minutes before cooking to allow the xanthan gum to activate.

    Place in a greased bowl, pudding bowl, or basin that can accommodate at least 1 litre / 1 quart, to allow room for any expansion. Steam for 1 hour, or microwave for 5 to 10 minutes or until the top is just set.

    Allow the pudding to sit in its cooking container for 10 minutes while you whip up some cream or custard to serve it with.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Cheese pie

    Posted on March 2, 2021 at 9:02 am

    What kind of filling should you put into your lovely keto friendly pie crust? A keto frendly filling, such as cheese pie.

    To pre-empt a possible question, “what is the difference between cheese pie and quiche?” Simply the ratio of ingredients and the intention. With quiche the intention is to showcase and enhance the custard. With cheese pie it’s all about the cheese, with the other ingredients being there to support the cheese.

    This is a non-recipe. Ingredients are very much played by ear. Allow yourself to go with what feels good, rather than sweating precision – just like quiche and frittata, cheese pie is fridge velcro.

    SHREDDED CHEESE
    You want a bunch of it, at least a half pound / quarter kilo. What cheese? Up to you. I usually have young Cheddar, aged Cheddar, and bulk parmesan. Want to make it with cream cheese and blue cheese? Go for it! Just make sure the cream cheese is softened and beaten so that it will integrate properly with the rest of the ingredients.

    EGGS
    You’ll want 3 or 4 large eggs. Beat them with a little milk, cream, or water. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

    OTHER INGREDIENTS
    You can bulk out the ingredients by addition of pantry staples such as dried potato flakes, cooked crumbled bacon, or any fresh or cooked veggies you have lying around the fridge. Only add herbs and spices where they will enhance the cheese. Spicy chili peppers will drown out most cheeses, so this is not the recipe for them.

    ASSEMBLY
    Assemble your cheese in your crust in reverse order of strength, from weakest flavour to strongest. I put the bulk orange Cheddar in first, followed by parmesan, then the strong mature Cheddar on top. You might want to keep a little of the strong cheese back to sprinkle artistically on top of the eggs.

    Pour the eggs over the cheese. The eggs are here to provide support for the cheese, not to be the feature ingredient.

    COOKING TIME
    You want to cook this hotter and longer than a quiche, because you have a lot of cheese to melt. I generally go with a 375f / 190c oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cheese topping has picked up some nice colour. The custard should be firm set.

    SERVING YOUR CHEESE PIE
    Serve it hot or cold. Feel free to put on whatever fancy toppings you like such as chopped parsley, crumbled bacon, or even more cheese. I won’t judge you!

    CONCLUSION
    Cheese pie is all about making a lot of food dirt cheap for those times when there is a bit too much month left before payday. Play around with the ratios and the cheese blends, but always bear in mind this is cheese pie. Allow the cheese to stand front and centre.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Keto friendly chocolate syrup

    Posted on February 18, 2021 at 1:54 pm
  • 1 cup / 240ml water
  • 1/2 cup / 120ml cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml no sugar granular sweetener of your choice
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Add the first 4 ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add vanilla and stir to incorporate.

    MOCHA COFFEE
    Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of this syrup to your coffee and top with foamed milk of your choice.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Liver pate

    Posted on February 17, 2021 at 4:54 pm
  • 8 rashers long streaky bacon
  • 1 pound of calves liver
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons cream or evaporated milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • garlic to taste
  • seasoning to taste
  • Butter a loaf tin and arrange about 5 of the rashers of bacon on the bottom.

    Put the liver and the remainder of the bacon through a mincer twice or until very fine and smooth. Blend with the cream and beaten egg. Season well and put into the tin over the bacon. Cover with foil or buttered paper and stand in a bain-marie (dish of boiling water).

    Cook in the centre of a moderate oven (gas mark 3 / 325F / 170C) for about 45 minutes (check with a skewer to see if cooked through). Allow it to cool to room temperature then turn out of the loaf pan.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Jam roly poly recipe

    Posted on February 7, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    A new word for a lot of Americans will be “stodge”. It’s a word with many negative connotations, but in the case of Jam Roly Poly that’s what it’s supposed to be – a stodgy comfort food designed to deliver calories straight to your waistline. Enjoy!

  • 300g / 10.5oz / 2 cups AP flour or GF flour blend
  • 130g / 4.5oz shredded suet OR butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 200ml / about 6.75oz water (or more if needed)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of jam, slightly warmed with a little water
  • custard
  • Preheat the oven to 160c / 315f.

    Blend the first 4 ingredients thoroughly. Add the lemon juice to the water and stir into the flour blend until the dough just comes together – it should be slightly sticky, but not wet. With GF flour blends you may need to add a little more water – if so, add it a tablespoon at a time.

    Roll the dough out to a half inch / one cm thickness. Try to get it as close to a rectangle as you can. If you’re me, a rough potato shape is the best I can do!

    Spread the jam thinly over the surface, leaving an edge about the thickness of the width of your thumb at a long edge. Slowly and gently roll the dough towards the exposed edge, without trying to get it super tight. You want a rough cylinder with a little internal room for expansion. Pinch the cylinder closed at the jamless edge and leave the join up for the moment.

    Butter up some baking paper and roll the dough log onto it, join side down. Wrap the dough log loosely with the baking paper, making sure the log is completely surrounded, and tie off the ends with string. Wrap the log up in a tea towel or foil to create a sealed cylinder.

    Place the wrapped roly poly in a loaf pan or other convenient heat resistant receptacle, then place the receptacle on a trivet or other support (such as old jam jar lids) into a baking pan. Place the baking pan in the oven and pour boiling water into the baking pan – you want plenty of water in there, but not so much it splashes out of the baking pan. You also don’t want any water entering the loaf pan with the pudding in it.

    Bake for 1 hour. Serve cut into slices so that you can see the internal swirl. Cover generously with custard and serve with a nice cuppa tea.

    One note, this is not a super sweet pudding. The dough is meant to be fairly plain to allow the jam and the custard to take central stage.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Gluten Free cake or pudding flour

    Posted on February 7, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    One of the interesting aspects of cooking gluten free is that you don’t have the convenience of only using a couple of flours. You need to use different blends depending on what you’re doing. This flour blend works great for cakes and for puddings, too. While I previously wrote up a pudding flour blend, this one is simpler and pretty reliable for baked or steamed puddings. Give it a go.

  • 250g / 2 cups white rice flour (NOT glutenous rice)
  • 128g / 2/3 cup potato starch
  • 41g / 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (or other similar binder)
  • Add all ingredients together in a sealed tub and shake thoroughly to incorporate.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Figgy Pudding Cheesecake

    Posted on December 23, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    So, you want a plum pudding cheesecake. I have you covered. Yes, the title says figgy pudding…. this has both figs and plums in it, so I still have you covered!

    This is a crustless cheesecake. You are welcome to add one if you wish.

  • 3 packs cream cheese (8oz / 225g each)
  • 1 cup white sugar or equivalent (7oz / 200g)
  • 1 cup sour cream (240g)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (230g)
  • 3 tbsp flour of choice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 oz (60g) each dried figs, plums, and 2 other dried fruits of choice, cut into roughly equal sized pieces, for a total weight of 8.5oz / 240g
  • Preheat oven to 350f / 180c. Boil kettle.

    Put sugar in bottom of mixer bowl. Put the 3 packets of cream cheese on top. Mix on medium speed until completely combined. Blend in the sour cream, heavy cream, and then the eggs one at a time, making sure each is completely incorporated before adding the next. Blend in the vanilla and flour.

    Remove bowl from mixer. Fold in the chopped dried fruit. Split between two 9 inch / 23cm pie pans. Place pie pans in deep baking dish and pour boiling water into the baking dish until it comes half way up the pie pan.

    Bake for 60 minutes, or until the centre of the cheesecake is mostly set – you’re looking for a slight wobble.

    Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. Serve cold with mulled wine, a Wassail cup, or a nice cuppa tea.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Share

    Top