Chocolate sourdough muffins.

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I made these muffins a week ago and really liked them except for one thing. I substituted coconut oil for olive. But it was much too strong. So now I’ve put back the olive oil, which makes a big improvement. I also didn’t use any orange flavour, but that was just because I didn’t have any oranges! I think it would taste nice (I love jaffa lollies). I iced them with my favourite icing and they were yum.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup rapadura
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 4 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Combine the sourdough starter, flour and milk in a large bowl and leave overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease 2 12 hole cupcake trays.
  3. In a clean bowl, mix rapadura, rice malt syrup, butter/oil, extract, salt, baking soda and cocoa together. (I did this by hand).
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Gently stir the chocolate mixture into the starter mixture until smooth.
  6. Pour into cupcake pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Cool on wire racks completely before icing with the best icing ever!

 

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My favourite icing.

I love baking cupcakes. I think the best kinds of cupcakes are frosted ones. I’m not a real fan of normal buttercream icing, but I found this recipe and thought I’d try it. I changed the method a bit, cause the first time I made it the mixture separated. The surprise ingredient is flour (although I swapped this for a gluten-free alternative).

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot (they used flour, but I wanted gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened and cut into cubes

Instructions: 

  1. In a saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of milk, arrowroot and vanilla and whisk to form a thick paste.
  2. Over medium heat, slowly add the remaining milk while whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken slightly.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and keep whisking. I had to swap the whisk for a spatula as it got so thick.
  5. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  6. In stand mixer with paddle, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, and there is no graininess left.
  7. Add the completely cooled milk mixture and beat until it is fully combined and looks like whipped cream.
  8. Spread onto cupcakes, and sprinkle (or dip into) sprinkles.

IMG_20130927_175634 2That’s it! I think it’s the best icing ever. You should try it.

My gluten-free flour blend.

I’ve recently gone gluten-free to try to improve my hay fever (I hate spring). It’s actually working! I’m still sneezing a bit, and get the odd itchy eye, but it’s not as bad as last year. Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with lots of gluten-free baking (as you might have noticed). I’ve found a few helpful blogs and sites, my favourite so far is gluten free goddess. She has a page with lots of tips for baking gluten-free, which I found very helpful. I slightly adapted her basic blend, and here’s what I came up with:

  • 1 cup millet flour 
  • 1 cup potato starch 
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat flour 
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum 

I really wanted to use sorghum flour (as she suggested) but I couldn’t find it anywhere in town. When I get hold of it I’ll try it.

I’ve used this blend a few times for baking cupcakes, and it is actually quite good (nothing compares to normal white gluten-ey flour though). If I can reduce my hay fever symptoms I’m happy to go without gluten. Anything’s worth a try!

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(A funny photo is better than no photo!)

Sourdough banana cake.

I’ve always loved banana cake. My mum makes a really good one. I wanted a sourdough/gluten-free version so I adapted this recipe to make the most delicious sourdough banana cake! It’s moist without being stodgy, and it’s actually pretty good for you too.

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Ingredients: 

  • 170g olive oil
  • 200g honey
  • 100g rapadura
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 180g coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 475g sourdough starter
  • 4 over-ripe mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

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Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Butter 2 average sized loaf pans.
  3. Beat oil, rapadura honey in stand mixer until smooth.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add vanilla and lemon zest and continue beating until mixture lightens in colour.
  6. Add the sourdough starter and mix on low speed until almost fully incorporated.
  7. Sift the coconut flour with the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger.
  8. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter in batches, alternating with the mashed banana.
  9. Fold through the chopped walnuts.
  10. Pour the mixture into prepared loaf pans.
  11. Bake at 180°C for about an hour, or until a skewer in the centre comes out clean.
  12. Allow to cool on wire rack before enjoying with a little butter!

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Pavlova.

My mum makes a good pav. So does my mum-in-law. My mum likes to add lots of cream and berries. My mother-in-law adds a layer of custard in the middle.

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It’s not the most healthy dessert (although you could say it’s high-protein cause of all the egg whites)! But an occasional splurge calls for a something special. Something like pavlova.

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Here’s my recipe: 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cups castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 250ml cream
  • 1 punet strawberries

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper, then dust paper with 1 teaspoon cornflour.
  3. Using electric mixer beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until thick and glossy. Add remaining cornflour with last tablespoon of sugar. Fold through vanilla and vinegar.
  4. Spoon meringue onto baking paper and shape into circle with a slightly higher edge and lower centre.
  5. Use a knife to draw the meringue upwards around the edge. This will keep it from collapsing.
  6. Slide tray into oven and reduce heat to 100°C and bake for 1 1/4 or until dry and crisp.
  7. Turn off oven and open door. Allow to cool completely.
  8. Slide onto serving plate and top with whipped cream and strawberries.

A day on the farm.

On the weekend we spent the afternoon at our friends’ farm. It was the most beautiful day…

IMG_1931We saw chickens,

IMG_1854And beautiful green paddocks.

IMG_1932We saw some great logs…

IMG_1987As we walked through paddocks.

IMG_1937There was the most beautiful little lamb

IMG_1883But the poor fellow is very sick 😦

IMG_1895Later we walked along by the creek.

IMG_2053It was such a beautiful day!

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