Archive for the ‘Gluten Free’ Category

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Nanaimo Bars

January 27, 2010


The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and http://www.nanaimo.ca.

Daring Kitchen instalment!

I have been wanting to make these since I originally heard of them, but knowing that they sounded exactly like something I would have very limited will power or control over whether or not I ate them, had given me pause. For a number of months actually, however when I saw this challenge I knew it was time!

On a little side note, it amused me that the reveal date for something that is “quintessentially” Canadian was the day after we Australian’s celebrate being Australian. Australia Day! Where I might add, I spent the day in the company of 11 South Africans, and the closest thing to “aussie” food I had was some beetroot (which yes I was looked at oddly when I added this too my salad – the only thing that would’ve made it better was if it was in a burger!)

Anyway, after that little side note – I made these in batches. I started with the Graham Cookies, which were interesting to make to say the least. The dough was incredibly sticky and like some others have said, I used two layers of floured parchment paper to roll them out. I however could not get them too slice into appropriate square/rectangular shapes (or perhaps I just did not persevere enough) and ended up popping them in my Avanti Cookie Press and making delightful round crackers. I could not have been happier with the taste! I was nibbling away happily on them once baked, and I immediately bagged some up to take to work for my GF colleague, provided her with the recipe, whilst emailing on the recipe to my grandmother and a dear friend who are also GF. I then quickly ground up the amount I needed for the bars and sealed away the rest of them before I could eat anymore!

I then started the rest of the process a few days later, I was looking for a cooler day. Alas, Brisbane was not forthcoming in this and I had to rely on a few hours of chilling between each step as well as air-conditioning at full blast (ok…24 degrees, but that’s full!) I was taking this with me to the aforementioned Australia Day gathering of the Clan. In light of this I could not use coconut in the base (though for me this would’ve just made the bar that little bit more divine) as coconut and my SIL do not mix and whilst I was making another dessert to take as well, I wanted the option to eat this to be there for her. So, like a few others I used Rice Bubbles as a substitute – having read some other entries, I think my SIL would’ve been in eating heaven if I’d made the middle layer PB! Though I did happily have some Birds Custard on hand which I used instead and since this is her favourite (and I think actually the only custard she’ll eat) I still did ok I think. Also, because I had gone all out with the base and middle catering to my SIL, I figured I had to go the whole hog, and the chocolate that I used was Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, it actually is one of my favourite chocolates to melts so that worked out well.

I had some leftovers that I shared with some friends, who enjoyed it and the Clan were quite receptive (starting out with just one little piece before having just another little piece) so all in all I think it was a great challenge. It did melt rather quickly when left out to its own devices but I think that just encouraged us all to get into it that bit quicker! I think next time I would make it all a bit thicker though, so smaller size, fatter bar perhaps? And I also need to thank the Husband who was my avid photographer for the day (excuse the cling wrap) my knee was pushed to its limits doing this and I had to sit down and rest after!

Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
Ingredients
1 cup (138 g) (4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup (100 g) (3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup (65 g) (2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour
1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 ½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup (80 mL) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Whole Milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Pure Vanilla Extract
Directions:
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.
Nanaimo Bars
Ingredients:
For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)
For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar
For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter
Directions:
1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

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Peaches & Blueberries

January 20, 2010


It was family dinner night last night, and due to a number of reasons I chose a very simple dessert for my offering.

As mentioned on numerous other occasions, my knee injury does limit me. I’m improving slowly and I’m getting to be able to spend more time in the kitchen again (thank goodness) so I’m on my way. But, also considering that I have less than 1 calendar month until I go on a 6 week holiday I was not and am not keen on creating baked goods that are likely to leave leftovers behind which I will end up needing to freeze and divvy out slowly over a period of time. Because, let’s face it, I don’t have the time! I could leave it in the freezer whilst I’m away but 6 weeks is a long time, and my grandmother will be house sitting and she has a lot of things that need freezing. So, I did not want to stock up my freezer with things she can’t eat and that my grandfather shouldn’t! And finally, because we’d had a family Christmas on the weekend due to my BIL, SIL and Little E being back from the UK, I’d forgotten that it was Tuesday, I felt actually like it was the end of the week! I was thrown!

So, in light of these things I went with Nigella’s Peaches and Blueberries! Which she actually calls a “suggestion” not a recipe, I guess it is really. Because one doesn’t do more than slice up some peaches, sprinkle them with simple blueberries and add a few drops of orange flower water. There is a suggestion to sprinkle these with Demerara sugar and cook for 20 or so minutes in the oven but that seemed unnecessary in light of the Brisbane weather.

I did add some sliced mango to the side of the dish (not photographed) to cater to my BIL who’s been missing out on mango’s whilst away, and because apparently we’re in a “glut” (despite the fact that this is not really reflected in mango pricing…at least not in any of my local fruit stores!) and he doesn’t really get them at home, as my SIL does not enjoy mangoes. Having said that, Little E tried a mango for the first time and said “yum” and asked for more, which she couldn’t eat because she got full but still, maybe that means mango will feature more at their house in the future?

Also, I halved the recipe.

Peaches & Blueberries


3 Peaches, sliced
2 punnets blueberries
1 t orangeflower water

Flavour of the Month Nigella Bites

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GF & DF Scones

December 16, 2009


I have this great scone recipe that can be used with multiple substitutions and additions depending on peoples dietary needs. And today at work, we are having a lunch for a person who’s turning 40 on the weekend. And, as I believe I’ve previously mentioned one of the lovely ladies at work is GF and often doesn’t get catered for at these sorts of events. So combine this with my grandmother being around and what else could I make but something Gluten Free?

I discovered this recipe in my first year of marriages whilst the Husband was still not allowed to eat a plethora of things. The draw card? The name of the recipe was “gluten free, dairy free, egg free scones”! I can’t remember where I got this recipe but I am forever grateful for it because I adapted it in many ways for the Husband and gave him sweet scones to have with honey or (for whatever reason) sugar and margarine and made him savoury scones he could have with cheese or even with a meal instead of some sort of rice noodle/plain rice dish. Obviously at that time I was using a rice flour base because he wasn’t allowed the corn or potato found in many GF friendly flours, but I would also add a little almond meal and/or buckwheat and that worked well as well.

Variations have included ¼ cup of nuts + ½ cup of raisins or dried cranberries, plain or ¼ cup of cheese; ½ cup mashed pumpkin and once with just a few spices to make it “Christmas-y”….I think its pretty endless really just start with the base and add things if you want
This time around because of my grandma being here I used Nuttelex Olive Oil instead of margarine/butter and I also used soy milk (though you can also use rice milk if you want – or of course buttermilk if you don’t need to go dairy free). They also don’t puff up as much as normal scones, but that’s not too surprising is it?

GF & DF Scones


2 ½ cups GF flour mixture
1t xanthin or guar gum
3T sugar (optional)
2t baking powder
½ cup cold nuttelex (or margarine)
1 cup soy milk + 2T of lemon juice

Sift flours together, stir in cum, sugar and baking powder. Cut in the margarine (I used my KitchenAid for this). Once mixed dump into a bowl and stir in any additions you’re going to add (nuts etc) and then stir in buttermilk, mixing well (they won’t get tough). Turn out onto a board (floured) and gently knead for about 2 or 3 minutes. The dough should be soft but hold a shape.
Drop large spoonfuls of the dough directly onto a baking sheet and pat into the shape you want.
Place in pre-heated oven at about 180C and bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
They don’t stay fresh for more than a day, so you can freeze them successfully when wrapped well and gently reheat them in a low microwave!