Showing posts with label wheat-free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wheat-free. Show all posts

Thursday, 25 September 2014

apple and rosemary bread and butter meringue

apple and rosemary bread & butter meringue

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British food forthnight  2014 started over the last weekend. It's a celebration of British produce, food, drink and the harvest season through out the land.  During the next two weeks British fare is being promoted across all sectors of the industry from caterers, producers, retailers and local shops.  
'The word “harvest” is from the Old English word hærfest, meaning "autumn". It then came to refer to the season for reaping and gathering grain and other grown products.The full moon nearest the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest Moon. So in ancient traditions Harvest Festivals were traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October'
To celebrate British food, I put together two traditional recipes together bread and butter pudding and meringue with a herbal twist.

Apple and Rosemary bread & butter meringue recipe

makes : 4-5 ramekins


½ loaf of wheat and gluten free bread

2 apples of choice and in season

1 cup (200ml) of dairy free cream

2 egg yolks

1  vanilla pod

1 star anise

2 cassia bark

1 sprig of rosemary

4 tbsp (tablespoons) caster sugar

2 tablespoons of butter (dairy-free)

sugar and butter for greasing and dusting


2 egg whites

4 tbsp of caster sugar


1) in a small pan, gently heat the cream until comes to simmer(small bubbles to the surface), switch off the heat and add the star anise, cassia bark, and a sprig of rosemary let it steep for at least one hour. Let it cool completely, drain it. Add the vanilla seeds. Mix well. Reserve.

2) grease 4 -5 individual souffle ramekins with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Reserve.

3) pre-heat the oven at 150C, low temperature.

4) cut the bread to fit into the ramekins

5) With a sharp knife cut the apples in half. Remove the core and discard them. Slice the apples.

5) In the prepared ramekins, Intersperse slices of bread with sliced fruit to completely fill the ramekins.

5) in a bowl mix well the egg yolks, cream and sugar, pour over the ramekins filled with bread and apple.

6) place the ramekins in the oven in a water bath by place the ramekins in a large baking tray. Carefully pour some boiling water into the tray, close the oven and bake for 30 minutes.


Meringue topping:

1) beat the egg whites in a clean bowl mixer, for 5 minutes till they are nicely fluffy and stiff peaks.  slowly add the 3 spoons of sugar

2) pipe the egg whites onto the cooked apple ramekin

3)Take the ramekins back to the oven and bake for another 20 mins at 150C

For sometime I needed a new mixer and a new blender, the lovely people at Viking Direct send me a Tefal mixer and blender combo to review their service and products.  Viking is an online office supplier.  They also sell kitchen equipment for the home and office as well as household goods.  I am delighted by the Tefal mixer and blender combo:  great design, robust and sturdy.
Disclosure: I was given the Tefal mixer and blender combo by Viking.  I received no further remuneration. All views are my own.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Allergy awareness week UK and dairy-free vanilla ice cream recipe

Our lives revolves around food. Everyday life, events, special occasions, simple get together with friends almost certainly is going to involve food and drink.

Unfortunately,  it is not so simple if you are a food allergy sufferer. It can be a mission  reading  all labels, endless special requests at restaurants and warnings to family and friends before gatherings. The impact on social life can be quite daunting.

Once a medical curiosity, now a days food intolerance and allergies are taken more seriously. With the advance of science, diagnoses and testings have increased dramatically. Allergies and intolerance can vary from nuts, dairy, gluten, wheat, eggs, seeds, fish, fruits to any particular ingredient or produce and in different levels.

Supermarkets  chains and health shops have come a long way. Majority have a free-from section with lots of ready made meals to lovely non-diary chocolate treats. 
If you have a food allergy or intolerance…
Tell people as much as possible with right level of detail, but don’t expect them to turn into an expert overnight.  Bring your own food with you- strange but better safe than sorry and it actually shows consideration. You won’t be putting an extra burden on your host. Don’t make a scene, specially in a restaurant, be polite and precise, if they don’t know what’s in a dish, don’t eat it. 
If you know someone else has a food sensitivity…
Ask for information, take it seriously, find out the level of intolerance, don’t put yourself under unnecessary stress, make sure that they have at least one dish they can eat. Celebrate, negative attention is unhelpful.

I found out that everything has a replacement.
Some years ago I decided to go on a complete detox after a very festive Christmas and New Year celebrations. I cut out all dairy, wheat, gluten and alcohol from my diet during three months. I never felt better in my whole life. By replacing  products like milk, wheat flour,  for  other ingredients I found an effortless way to sidestep them. I didn’t loose weight, but my skin was clear and smooth like porcelain.  My  hair was  extra silky and shinny , my nails was very strong and my eyes sparkled !  I felt like a completely new person, I had a glow about me. Friends would come up to me and ask if I had any cosmetic work done.  My mind was clear. I didn’t stress and I knew the answers to everything.  I would wake up at 5am and get through the day  with lots of energy and  enthusiasm.  By  8pm was I so tired, my eyes so heavy it would close and I couldn’t fight to stay wake. No alcohol  taking allowed either. I remember  one evening I had a small glass of white wine, I felt sick. I carried  on  with the detox.  Eventually, I invited a friend for lunch at mine and the whole meal was free from diary, wheat and gluten, she didn’t noticed it.  On the third month I decided that it was time to end the detox and slowly, very slowly I introduced diary, wheat, gluten back into my everyday meals.  I ended it because I am not an allergy sufferer and  as far as I know I am not intolerant to any food.  I missed my social life.  That was my experience, every one reacts differently to certain diets.
Below:  couple of simple and  friendly baking experiences I wanted to share to help anyone who is either a sufferer or who knows someone who is. Another recipe: Pao de Queijo - Brazilian cheese breads are gluten-free

Vanilla ice cream – diary free
Makes: approx. 650ml
1 & ½  cup soya milk (300ml), if allergic to soya use almond milk
3 tspoons of vanilla extract or real vanilla pod
4 large organic egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar (90gr)
1 & ½ cups dairy free cream, I used Oatly(  (300ml)

1. Add the soya milk to a pan over low heat till almost simmering, add 3 tspoon vanilla extract, reserve a bowl beat the egg yolks and the sugar till the sugar has dissolved.
3.add the slightly warm soya milk on to the egg mixture, stirring all the time.
4.transfer to a clean pan and stir over very low heat, without letting it boil, the mixture will thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon.
5.strain through a sieve
6.stir in the diary free cream thoroughly. If you have an ice cream machine, follow the instructions, if not... in the covered container and freeze for one hour, beat the ice cream and place in the freezer, repeat this process twice more and freeze overnight. 

Adding flavouring:
rose water:
2 tablespoons of rose water to stage 6.
Tip: don’t add to much as it will taste soapy.

Adding flavouring:
rose water version

Monday, 14 April 2014

Quindim recipe, a Brazilian egg and coconut dessert for Easter

At the beginning of my blogging life I published a recipe for Quindim.
It's an egg, sugar and coconut mixture with added vanilla and baked in the oven. 
It can be baked in a big pie dish, small ramekins or mini pudding moulds.
They are bright yellow, have a shinny top and a very light golden bottom.  The origin is believed to come from African slaves in the 17th century Brazil, where coconut were found in large quantities and sugarcane was a important industry at the time.
Recently I found this fantastic recipe, that takes a bit of time, but it's well worth it.  Quindim is a dessert for all occasions and a crowd pleaser. Happy Easter!
Bendito Quindim 
60g of unsalted butter
500g of caster sugar
325g of fresh grated coconut *
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
18 egg yolks, sieved


1 . Mix 500g caster sugar and 325 grams of fresh grated coconut with your hands. Continue until the dough is smooth, the sugar has completely dissolved, that takes time! I do it watching TV
2. melt the 60g unsalted butter in a double boiler.
3 . Add the melted butter to the sugar and coconut mix
4 . Let the mixture sit for 12 hours in the refrigerator, covered with plastic . the cooling process will make the butter  harden again. You need to take the container out of the fridge and work it again for 5 minutes with your hands. the 18 yolks together in a  fine  sieve, perforate all of them, and let them sieve through naturally.  Don’t  touch or help it with a spoon . let them fall by themselves it will take about 2 hours. Discard the skin left in the sieve.   

6. Add the sieved 18 egg yolks to the sugar, butter and coconut mix . Mix (yes, you can now use a spoon or spatula ) to form a homogeneous mass. Add the vanilla extract.
7. Prepare the family mould or individual moulds with butter and sprinkling with sugar.
8 . Fill the moulds with batter and place all in a larger roasting pan and add water so that the sweet is baked in the oven in a 'water bath'. It takes about 40 -45 minutes at 180C fan assisted oven .
9. Unmold the quindims while warm.

Makes approx 25-30 small bite size quindims (molds of 4cm diameter)  or 1 big family (approx size
22cm diameter pie dish)
It keeps in the fridge for a couple of days, or you can freeze it. 
The original recipe asks for 36 egg yolks, I halved  the portions to make domestic friendly!  
Also, the bottom of the quindim should be light golden, my one (picture below) is a bit too golden, but still tasty! 

Tip: you can't find it or don't have time to grate fresh coconut, then hydrate 250g of sweetened shredded coconut, with approximately 50ml of coconut water, the coconut should feel moist and not wet. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, mix one in a while and then use in this recipe as directed. 
The ultimate question is what do I do with the egg whites? 
well, suggestions:
1) portioned, frozen and used at later date in other recipes, I tried and it worked!
2) make a giant pavlova, and/or small meringues
3) have egg white omelettes for the rest of the week!

This recipe was adapted from Cátia Farias of Bendito Quindim in Sao Paulo, Brazil

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