Archive of ‘Gluten free adaptable’ category

Low fat apple oatmeal muffins

These muffins remind me of warm apple and cinnamon porridge on a cold winter’s morning.

They also remind me of being backstage while in a play. My other love, besides baking (read: eating), is treading the boards in community theatres. It’s a very welcoming place where you instantly inherit an urban family. Something very handy when you tend to move home towns a bit.

I’m a theatre school drop-out. I switched to a business degree in my second year at university; I lacked the courage those in the arts have to embark on what is a rather uncertain career.

Luckily I really enjoy my day job in Communications. It was a good choice for me. Then I run off once or twice a year when a kindly director lets me pretend to be someone else for three weeks.

Globe theatre in London

These muffins, being full of oats and apples, tend to be my mid play snack of choice. They’re healthier than most and I kid myself that there as good as eating an apple. Then I follow them up with an entire pack of sour worm lollies. Mmmm.

I also learn lines while I bake. I used to bribe my little sister with said baked goods to sit in the kitchen while I cooked and test me. Now my dear patient boyfriend has inherited the task. Chocolate chip cookies work well on both of them.

So without further ado, let me present low fat apple oatmeal muffin!

Ingredients
4 large apples
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup quick oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup plain fat-free yoghurt
2 egg whites

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with patty cases and spray with cooking oil.
  2. Peel and grate the apples, should make around two cups worth. Blot shredded apple on paper towel to get rid of a little of the excess moisture. Set aside.
  3. Place flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix with a whisk.
  4. Combine milk, oil, vanilla, yoghurt and egg whites. Stirring until well blended. Add wet ingredients to flour bowl, add apple and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  5. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and muffins are golden. Makes 12.

Healthy? Awesomely so. One of the most delicious and moist low fat muffins I’ve ever found. 165 calories per muffin.

Gluten free? I have done this. Substitute the flour and oats with GF versions of each and it converts across really well.

Storage: They freeze well, otherwise best eaten within a couple of days.

Asian prawn salad

This type of salad is perfect for warm summer evenings. The crispness of the vegetables, saltiness in the prawns and sweet and sour flavours of the sauce makes this a party in a bowl.

I live in a lovely big old converted 1930’s mansion in London. We have the only one-bedroom place in the block and I love it.

The best part is the giant backyard which is kept in amazingly good condition. There’s even a little well up the back and family of foxes.

On warm nights all the various residents tend to come out from our separate little boxes armed with wine and sit around wooden tables together. 

More than anything, I will miss this yard when I leave London in a few weeks. This is not something many Londoners could say.

*sigh*

The night I made this salad the sun had already started setting and my camera wouldn’t do the dish justice. I gave up and went in to the garden to eat it. Hearing of my troubles, my neighbour, who is a smashingly good photographer, grabbed his much better camera and took the two shots at the top of this post. (Not the little ones of veggies below, they’re my handy work!).

A big thank you to Paddy. You’re a good egg. Even if you do like a sing-a-long at 4am. You can see his photography here.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients
A dash of peanut of sesame oil
20 grams of rice vermicelli noodles (it’s a token amount)
1 small carrot, peeled in to long strips
1/3 medium zucchini (courgette), julietted
100 grams green beans
1/3 red capsicum (pepper)
1/3 yellow capsicum (pepper)
4 large closed cap mushrooms
½ savoy cabbage
225 grams cooked prawns
A handful of coriander (cilantro)
1 cup bean shoots

Dressing
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small chilli, finely chopped (or a teaspoon of chilli flakes)
1 tablespoon chopped spring onion
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon of cornflour, to thicken.

Method

  1. Place your vermicelli noodles in a bowl of hot water and allow to sit while you prepare the rest.
  2. Cut up all your vegetables into thin sticks. Cut your cabbage in to quarters and chop very finely. For the carrot, hold it at the end and make long strips with a peeler. Place in large bowl ready to tip in your wok later.
  3. Pick a good handful of coriander leaves and chop roughly, set aside.
  4. Combine all ingredients for sauce in a mug, set aside.
  5. Drain your noodles. Make your wok good and hot with a dash of peanut or sesame oil. Fry the prawns quickly if raw, about 1 – 2 minutes. As soon as they’re orange, they’re cooked. If precooked heat through for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add vermicelli noodles. Fry for another 30 seconds. Throw in the rest of your vegetables with a tablespoon of water (to steam them a little while frying) toss for 3-4 minutes, stir sauce through then place straight in bowls.
  7. Top with bean shoots and coriander. 

Do: Add any veggies you fancy. Empty your veggie draw and make up your own customised salad. And if prawns are expensive, swap them out for chicken.

Healthy? 227 calories a serve. Lovely.

Gluten free? Check your sauce bottles (especially soy sauce), but otherwise you’re good.

Storage: Noooo…. Eat right there and then. You could take it for lunch the next day, bit it’d be a bit soggy.

Chocolate carrot muffins

Pop quiz time!

Would you like:

a) Some dark chocolate
b) A carrot
c) All of the above

If you answered c, then boy do I have a muffin for you!

Before…(well kind of, you use grated carrot, but it wasn’t as pretty to get my point across)

After! (like magic)

These are SUPER moist and dense. You can thank the all the carroty/oaty goodness for their texture. Plus they have vitamin D.

At 140 calories a muffin, these are also one of the healthiest muffins around. Especially as most sweet things this low in calories would contain some god-awful sweetening agent. And you can taste that stuff. Word.

Ingredients
1 cup raw oatmeal or quick oats
1 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup flour / rice flour or a gluten-free alternative
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 cup grated carrot
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup (about 100 grams) of dark chocolate chips

Note: I cut up some of a block of dark cooking chocolate for the chocolate chips, the recipe tends to lend itself to the rough kind of chocolate chips you get by doing it that way.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with patty cases and spray with cooking oil.
  2. Soak the oatmeal/oats in the milk while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder together, then add the rest of the ingredients, including oats/oatmeal (don’t over mix!).
  4. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and they bounce back to touch. Cool on wire rack. Makes 12.

Healthy? 140 calories a muffin.

Gluten free: I have made these with rice flour and they work really well. No one even noticed. This muffin is moist enough to handle GF flour well. Make sure your oats are GF too.

Storage: They freeze well, otherwise best eaten within a couple of days. Store in airtight container.

Cherry ripe slice

Like all good stories, we should start at the beginning:

1. Cherry ripe bars (not the slice below, I’m talking about an actual chocolate bar here) are Australia’s oldest chocolate bar. It’s not hard to be the oldest thing of anything in Australia, but when something is, we respect that.

Word.

2. Cadbury, the makers of the bar, describe it as “… ripe juicy cherries and moist coconut smothered in rich Old Gold dark chocolate …”

3. What the marketing team doesn’t mention is you can’t get them in London. This is a problem for me.

This recipe was printed in the The Guardian Weekend newspaper. so armed with three packets of glace cherries, I gave it a shot. It’s delicious. So good. I took it to a BBQ and another couple of Australians there said the taste was just the same as the chocolate bars.

Next time I make it though, I’m going to half the base. I’m more about the chocolate and the cherries. But other taste testers at the above BBQ liked the base as is. I’ll post an update once I try it.

Before I launch in to the recipe I would like to issue a challenge:

You can either chop up the cherries needed for this recipe by hand or use a food processor. If you have a child under 10 (who you trust with a knife) I think you should let them chop the cherries. Then email me at  a picture of the resulting cherries/child combo at clevermuffin@gmail.com. I promise to post it. *hehe*

Ingredients: Base
1 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
100 grams butter, softened
¼ cup cold milk

Ingredients: Cherry filling
600 grams glace cherries
125 grams sweetened condensed milk
1 ¾ cups desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Ingredients: Chocolate topping
250 grams dark chocolate
4 teaspoons olive oil

Method: Base
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160C fan-assisted, 350F, gas mark 4).
2. Take a 18cm square cake tin, preferably one with a removable base, and line bottom with baking paper. Spray with cooking oil for good measure.
3. Put the flour, cocoa, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and rub in the butter until it’s worked through and all the lumps have gone.
4. Add the milk and mix to a soft, even dough.
5. Press firmly and evenly into the base of your prepared tin.
6. Set to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set and dry on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Method: Cherry filling
1. Put 400 grams of glace cherries in a food processor to mince very finely. I did start this process by hand (see above) which is possible with a bit of patience. But very sticky. I then borrowed a food processor from my neighbour. Much quicker.
2. Mix in the sweetened condensed milk, coconut and vanilla until you have a smooth, pink paste.
3. Cut the remaining cherries in half, stir through, then spread evenly over your cooling base (doesn’t matter if it’s not completely cool).
Warning: even through the base has been cooling and the sides are cool, the bottom is still piping hot, don’t try and pick it up with your bare hands to put it back in the oven (guess how I learnt that lesson).
4. Bake at the same temperature for a further 25 minutes or until it starts to go golden on top.
5. Refrigerate until the slice is cold – about two to three hours.

Method: Chocolate topping
1. Place the chocolate and oil in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted.
2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Spread over the slice.
4. Refrigerate until firm.
5. Cut with a heated knife. This will take a bit of muscle. I had two tall cups full of boiling water to assist with the process.

But it’s worth it. Oh, it’s so worth it.

Cut in to 2cm squares, this makes 30.

Healthy? It’s no fruit salad love. 200 calories per slice.

Gluten free? The base is not. The GF recipes I have seen just substitute the flour with GF flour, but I haven’t tried it. With all the butter and sugar, I think it would be fine and bind well enough. Or, you could do something like:

Gluten free alternate for base
Ingredients
170 grams digestive type GF biscuits from the supermarket, crushed
60 grams butter, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa

Method
Combine the digestive biscuits, butter and cocoa together. Press firmly into the base of the tin. No need to cook it for this method. Then just add the cheery mixture on top and keep going as above.

Storage: In an airtight container.

Source: Modified from The Guardian Weekend “How to bake: cherry ripe bars” by Dan Lepard p. 63. 18 July 2011.

Raspberry almond cake with mascarpone cream icing

I hate missing out on a party. The idea that all the people I know, or, a whole lot of cool people I don’t know, are having fun somewhere without me drives me batty.

I especially like birthday parties because it combines presents, food and cake. Total win-win.

I like throwing parties too. Especially ones where I make my guests dress up. Then I get to feed them all heaps of colourful punch and food. My favourite trick is to put party food in the oven, then attach the timer to a merry guest, and tell them to come and find me when they start beeping. Simple things…

It’s my friend’s Derek’s 30th and I can’t go to his party.

Derek’s raspberry and almond birthday cake

You see his party is in Melbourne, which I call home. (Quiet in the cheap seats, Perth, it’s not me, it’s you.) But I am currently on an extended holiday – it’s a tough life – and am living and working in London.

So I can’t go.

So this lovely cake, full of raspberries, almond meal and topped with rich mascarpone cream icing, is to say happy birthday. As I am a good friend, I have made you this cake Derek, and eaten it on your behalf. Happy Birthday!

I halved the below recipe, as even sharing it out with the girls at work and an Irish house guest, it was a lot. But don’t worry, I finished if off! No cake goes to waste in my house. The original recipe comes from my friend Felicity, so this was a team effort.

The raspberries in London at the moment are unbelievably lovely, so I used fresh ones. But frozen works just as well with these things.

The cake is rather heavy so you only need to eat a little, but the good thing is it lasts in the fridge for days so you can savour some later.

Preparation time: 20 minutes to prepare
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: Serves 10 or more

Ingredients
250 grams butter, softened
2 cups (440g) caster sugar
6 eggs
1 cup (150g) plain flour
½ cup (75g) self raising flour
1 cup (110g) hazelnut meal
2/3 cup (160g) sour cream
300 grams fresh or frozen raspberries
fresh raspberries, extra, for serving

Note: If using frozen raspberries, don’t thaw them; frozen berries are less likely to ‘bleed’ into the cake mixture.

Mascarpone cream icing
1 cup (250g) mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar
2 tablespoons Frangelico (any nut flavoured liquor would work, or maybe just a tablespoon of vanilla essence if it is what you have)
½ cup (120g) sour cream
½ cup slivered almonds, put in the oven for 10 minutes to brown

Note: I upped the amount of icing sugar from the original recipe (1/4 of a cup to 1/2 a cup as above) as it just seemed too runny. Friends have also substituted this icing with lemon buttercream icing with great success too.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a deep 22cm-round cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in medium bowl with an electric mixer (or, as I did, go crazy with a wooden spoon because I refuse to buy an electric beater while living away from home) until light and fluffy; add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined between additions. (The mixture will curdle at this stage, but will come together later.)
  3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, stir in sifted flours, almond meal and sour cream. Fold in raspberries and spread mixture into pan.
  4. Bake for about 1 hour 30 minutes. Stand cake in pan for 10 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.

Mascarpone cream

  1. Combine mascarpone, icing sugar, liqueur and sour cream in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth; stir in nuts.
  2. Place cold cake on a serving plate.
  3. Spread cake all over with mascarpone cream. Top and serve with extra fresh raspberries, if desired.

Healthy? Raspberries are healthy? It’s a cake, just enjoy.

Gluten free? I’m pretty confident that switching out the self-raising flour for GF flour would work well. Especially considering how moist it is and all the eggs.

Storage: Icing the night before works well. Store covered, in refrigerator. Unfrosted cake can be frozen for up to 3 months.

This recipe is adapted from a Raspberry hazelnut cake from Australian Woman’s Weekly. I like almonds better.

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