Friday, 16 November 2012

Home-made Baking Powder

Gluten-free Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes made with home made baking powder

My daughter's Nanna Barnes gave her a fascinating cook book of recipes by the pioneer women of Western Australia. The recipes were amazing. They showcased meals which were tasty and put together quickly and most importantly they used ingredients which came from the land. Naturally, there were recipes for cooking kangaroo but apart from what we consider exotic, there were recipes for making soap and baking powder. At a time and place where the farmers wife could not get herself over to the neighbourhood shop whenever she ran short on something, she had to make do or too it herself. So there was an easy recipe for baking powder which I'm passing onto you. I know that there are several recipes out there floating about on the internet, but I used this one myself and made some gluten-free baked goods with it. The brownies and cakes turned out beautifully, without any soda after taste.


They were delicious! The best part about this is, this baking powder is gluten-free and does not contain aluminum!! How great is that??? Plus if you are sensitive to corn, the cornstarch in the recipe can be substituted with potato starch or super-fine rice flour, like the ones from the Asian food shops. So go for it and try it the next time you bake something that needs baking powder. I can guarantee that the results will be stunning as the just mixed baking powder, which is fresh, will help your baked goods rise beautifully!  

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Egg-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake

Egg-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake
This cake started off as a regular egg-free chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Then the devil showed his hand! In a flash of sinful inspiration, I thought, why not sandwich the layers with dark chocolate mousse? And then, frost the luscious layers with rich peanut butter frosting. Turned out to be like a deluxe version of a chocolate peanut-butter cup! This one is really for those who love that chocolate-peanut butter combination.....mmmm, maybe next time, I'll coat the sides with crushed toasted peanuts!

Egg-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake

Dry ingredients:
2 1/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup fine sugar
1/3 cup soft brown sugar

Wet Ingredients:
12oz water
9 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method: Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius or 350 degrees fahrenheit. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix till well combined. Pour into 2 7" shallow cake pans and bake for 20 minutes to 30minutes, till done. Cool completely before turning out of tins. Sandwich with Egg-free Dark Chocolate Mousse and frost with Peanut Butter Frosting.

Egg-free Dark Chocolate Mousse

This makes more than you will need for the cake filling but then, hey! more mousse is good news, right? Pipe left-overs into small glasses, chill and tuck in!

7oz dark chocolate
1 cup thickened cream

Method: Heat cream till bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Don't let it boil or cream will curdle. Pour heated cream onto the chocolate and stir till chocolate melts completely. Cool and chill for several hours. When completely cold, beat with a mixer till soft peaks form. Mousse is now ready to eat or use in cake.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/4 cup butter
1/4 shortening
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Method: Beat everything together in a mixer on medium till light and fluffy. Use to frost cake.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Nut-free Egg-free White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Tiramisu

White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Tiramisu
Alright already! Don't get all excited!! I know this not a real tiramisu but surely, it looks like one! It is made up of layers of egg-free vanilla bean sponge cake, soaked in Baileys liqueur....mmmmmm!!!...and sandwiched with egg-free white chocolate mousse (insert more 'mmmmmm!'s here), and dusted over with pure cocoa powder.....mmmm..mmmm...MMMMM! Totally sinful and delicious! Time taken to make it is a little lengthy but believe me, it is worth it. Excellent dessert for a party due to the do-ahead factor, presentation and decadence value. Hope you enjoy this recipe.

A slice of heaven

Nut-free & Egg-free White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Tiramisu

For Sponge Cake:
Dry ingredients:
160 gm self-raising flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
70 gm fine sugar

Wet ingredients:
190 ml water
67.5ml /4 1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/4 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed

White Chocolate Mousse
White chocolate melts - 200gm
Cream - 200ml
Cold Whipping cream - 400ml

Baileys Chocolate Liqueur - 4 tablespoons
Cocoa powder - 1 tablespoon

Method: For Cake: Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line 2 6" cake pans with baking paper and spray lightly with canola cooking spray. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and add all the wet ingredients in and mix together with a whisk. Stop once batter is lump free.Divide between cake pans and bake for 15 - 20 minutes till done. Remove from oven and cool on rack. Once cooled, remove just one cake from tin, leaving the other cake in its tin.

For White Chocolate Mousse: Place white chocolate melts in a heat proof bowl. Warm cream in a separate pan till bubbles form around the edges, and pour over the chocolate melts. Stir with a wooden spoon till chocolate is completely melted. Cool and chill till completely cold. Whip whipping cream carefully till gentle peaks form. Fold in the cooled ganache into the whipped cream. Keep chilled till needed.

To assemble dessert: Sprinkle each layer with 2 tablespoons of liqueur. Then cover the cake layer still in tin, with half the chocolate mousse. Place the second layer of cake on top. Cover the whole with plastic wrap and return to the fridge for 2 hours. Remove after 2 hours, remove from tin and cover sides and top with remaining mousse. Sift cocoa powder over the top of cake and return to the fridge till ready to serve, at least 2 hours. This desert easily serves 6 insane or 8 sane portions!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Nut-free Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with fondant Cheetah topper

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Prince Pee-Wee is presenting his first ever videoblog on baking! Kiran felt that lately, he had suffered through enough baked goods in flavours that just did not sit well with him, namely, chocolate :)! So into the kitchen we went to present a very easy peasy ;) recipe for vegan vanilla cupcakes with a cheetah-face topper made of fondant. Kiran has an egg allergy and this recipe is his favourite, next to lemon cupcakes. We'll save that one for another time! Watch this video. It's really child's play!!!

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cup self-raising flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup fine sugar

Wet ingredients:
3/4 cup unflavoured soda water
4 1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method: Place all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk or sift together to blend thoroughly. Add all the wet ingredients into the dry and give it a quick whisk to mix everything together. Scoop into cupcake liners and bake at 180 degrees celcius or 350 degrees fahrenheit. Makes about 8 regular cupcakes.

Vegan Vanilla Frosting

1/2 cup vegan spread
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method: Beat all the ingredients together in a mixer at medium to high speed. Use to frost cupcakes.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Nut-free Vegan Chocolate bread pudding

Doing things a little differently here. We're playing with our "toys', i.e. the video function on my iPhone and so, pardon the bloopers.

I present you today with my Vegan Chocolate Bread Pudding. Check that the chocolate spread is vegan and we are good to go. This started with my brother waxing lyrical over a warm chocolate bread pudding he had eaten recently. It was served with warmed chocolate spread, drizzled over  just before you dig in. Sounds heavenly! So here's my take. It can be made just egg free, using milk and regular chocolate spread or veganised with dairy free milk and vegan chocolate spread. So just suit the recipe to your preference.

Ingredients for Chocolate Bread Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Bread Pudding

French Bread Slices - 18, 1" thick pieces
Chocolate spread - as needed
Rice Milk (regular milk) - 3 1/2 cups
Custard powder / Corn starch - 4 tablespoons
Vanilla - 1teaspoon
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Fine salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Butter - 2 tablespoons, softened

Method: Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius or 350 degrees fahrenheit. Whisk the custard powder/corn starch, vanilla, salt and sugar into the milk and set aside. Spread the chocolate onto the bread slices and make into sandwiches. Line a glass dish with the sandwiches laid side by side neatly. Pour the milk-custard mixture over the bread and leave to soak for 1 hour or till the liquids are fully absorbed. Dot with butter and bake for 30 minutes till top is browned. Cool slightly and serve with melted chocolate spread.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Nut-free, Egg-free Eggplant Patties


I'm soooo not a fan of eggplant. But when I made these for my husband, it was love at first bite!! The eggplant flavour is not overwhelming and the patties came together beautifully. A healthy option as these patties are not fried but baked. They're perfect made into croquettes or mini burgers for parties. They taste great and are really quick to put together! That spells perfect in my world!

Ingredients for Eggplant Patties

Egg-free Eggplant Patties

Eggplant - 2
Onions - 2, chopped
Garlic - 2 pieces, chopped
Grated Mexican-style cheese - 250gm
Soft bread crumbs - 2 cups or more
Taco seasoning - 2 tablespoons

Method: Split eggplants lengthwise in half. Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 30 - 40 minutes till the insides are soft. Leave to cool. Then scrape the soft flesh out into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. If the mixture is a little too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Form into patties or if preferred, into croquettes. Spray over lightly with canola spray or butter-flavoured spray. Bake in hot oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 10 - 15 minutes. Cool and serve in hamburger buns or on their own with salad.

Egg-free Eggplant Patties

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Nut-free & Egg-free Blackforest Gateau

Nut-free & Egg-free Blackforest Cake
I baked this moist, delicious egg-free Blackforest cake today. It's made up of layers of melt in your mouth chocolate cake with kirsch-soaked morello cherries baked right into the cake. Then, each layer is spread with cherry jam and topped with pitted black cherries and gently whipped cream. The whole cake is then slathered with more whipped cream, coated in grated semi-sweet chocolate and crowned with a circle of glace cherries.....don't you just wish you could have a bite? Well, here's the how-to....

Nut-free & Egg-free Blackforest Gateau

Dry ingredients:
135g self raising flour
25 g cocoa
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Wet ingredients:
200ml cold coffee
4 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 kirsch-soaked morello cherries, drained

Cherry jam - 2 tablespoons
Canned Dark cherries - 8, drained and each split in 2
Kirsch - 2 tablespoons * optional
Whipping cream - 2 cups, cold
Semi-sweet chocolate - 100gm, grated
Glace cherries for decor

Preheat oven at 180 degrees celcius. For the cake, sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add all the wet ingredients and whisk till combined. Stir in the morello cherries. Pour cake batter evenly into 2 lined 6" round cake pans. smooth tops and bake in the centre of the oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Test with a toothpick after 10 minutes. When done, take out of oven and cool on a rack till completely cold.

Whip cold cream till soft peaks are formed. Place some in a small piping bag to decorate the top of the cake later.

To assemble cake:

Place one layer of the cake on a cake plate or board. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon kirsch (optional). Spread with cherry jam. Cover over the jam with the split canned cherries. Gently spread 4-5 tablespoons of whipped cream over the cherries and top with the second layer of cake. Sprinkle with kirsch and cover the sides and top of cake with the remaining whipped cream. Smooth the sides with a palate knife as you go along. Chill for 20 minutes. Then cover the sides of cake with the grated chocolate. Pipe swirls along the outer edge of the cake and top each swirl with half a glace cherry. Chill for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!