Monday, 22 December 2014

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes filled with Caramel Marshmallow - Gluten free

Chocolate, coffee and caramel.. what a perfect flavour combination.  These cupcakes are a rich and decadent treat for those chocolate and caramel lovers. These fluffy chocolate cakes are filled with a caramel sauce and marshmallow fluff, topped with a espresso buttercream with caramel corn to add an extra crunch to the cupcake. 
This basis of this cupcake just came to me one morning in the kitchen and next thing you know, here we are with 12 chocolate, espresso and caramel morsels of goodness. 

Chocolate cupcakes: Makes 12 cupcakes 
1 1/4 cups gluten free flour (Healtheries baking mix) 
1/3 cup ground almonds 
1/2 t baking soda 
1 t baking powder 
1/2 t salt 
1 1/2 T instant coffee 
1/2 cup hot water 
1/2 cup cocoa 
1/2 cup cold water 
100g softened butter
1 1/4 cup caster sugar 
2 eggs 
2 t vanilla

Method: Preheat the oven to 170'c and line one 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake papers. In the bowl of your electric mixer cream the butter for 2 minutes.
Add the castor sugar a third at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and sugar had almost dissolved. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each. Add vanilla extract.
Sift together the four, ground almond, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 
In a separate bowl whisk together the coffee, hot water and cocoa until you have a smooth paste. Add the cold water and mix until evenly combined. 
Add a quater of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat on a low speed until combined. Add a third of the cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Repeat this process twice more. Add the reaming quarter of flour and beat until thoroughly combined. Do not over beat or it will toughen the mixture.
Spoon mixture into cupcake papers, filling each about 3/4's full. Bake for 15-18mins. Removes cupcakes from tray and cool for at least 30mins before icing.
Once cupcakes are cooled, use a knife to gently core out the centre. 
Fill a piping bag with about 2 heaped spoons of caramel sauce on one side of the bag and 2 headed spoons of marshmallow fluff on the other side. (These can be homemade or you can use pre-made versions e.g. top and fill caramel). Fill middle of cupcakes with the caramel marshmallow combination.

Fluffy Espresso frosting: 
4 cups icing sugar 
100g softened butter 
2 T milk 
1 T vanilla 
2 t Espresso Powder
Method: Cream the butter for 3-4 minutes or until very pale. Add milk, vanilla, espresso powder and half of the icing sugar mixture, beat for at least 1 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy or at a spreadable consistency. (You may need to add more milk / icing sugar to reach your desired constancy).

Top cupcakes with the fluffy espresso buttercream. To add an extra texture/crunch to the cupcakes i topped them with caramel corn - optional but adds an extra something special to the cupcakes.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Oaty Caramel Anzac Slice - Gluten Free

Oaty caramel ANZAC slice.... where do i even begin with this? This is the BEST caramel slice I have come across. Made with an oaty, coconut, slightly spiced ginger base with a golden thick caramel sauce topped with more coconuty goodness. The slice combines the caramel and ginger aspects from an ANZAC biscuit with best parts of ginger crunch, all put together into one amazing little sweet bite. Anything caramel is incredible but this seriously beats them all, trumps all other caramel slice i have ever made.
Below as you will see there are 2 different recipes. One using wheat free oats which are fine for gluten intolerants to eat however can upset some celiacs. I have included a celiac-friendly recipe using rice flakes instead of oats at the bottom of the page. This second recipes is also incredible so don't be put off, is a definite must make recipe!!
Enjoy xx

Recipe: Wheat free (celiacs be aware of the wheat free oats - i have a celiac (oat free) recipe at the bottom of the page.)
½ cups flour
1/4 cup ground almonds 
½ cups Bobs Red Mill Wheat Free Oats
1 cup threaded coconut + 1/4 cup for the topping
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger 
3/4 cup Soft Brown Sugar
150g butter, melted
2 TBSP Golden Syrup 

395g can condensed milk
3 Tbsp Golden Syrup
100g butter
1/3 cup brown sugar 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees on bake and line your 20x30cm slice tin with baking paper.
Mix together the flour, ground almond, coconut, oats, baking powder and ginger in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter and golden syrup the dissolve in the sugar. Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir to combine

Press 2/3s of this mixture into the base of your slice tin making sure it is nice and evenly lined. Bake for 10 minutes until golden.
While the base cooks, make the caramel. Melt the butter, golden syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Add in the condensed milk and stir. Continue to warm over a medium heat until the caramel darkens and thickens, the sugar dissolves and the caramel starts pulling away from the sides of the pan as you scrape it down. Pour this caramel over the base (make sure you watch this closely as the bottom can easily catch).
Add remaining 1/4cup of coconut to the base mixture and sprinkle it over the caramel. Bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool before popping into the fridge for a few hours. Once cool you can cleanly slice it with a large, sharp knife. Store in the fridge or freezer. 

Recipe: Gluten free (celiac friendly, gluten free - not oats). 
Use the same method above with these ingredients:
½ cups flour
1/4 cup ground almonds 
cup rice flakes 
1 1/3 cup threaded coconut + 1/4 cup for the topping.
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger 
3/4 cup Soft Brown Sugar
150g butter, melted
2 TBSP Golden Syrup 

395g can condensed milk
3 Tbsp Golden Syrup
100g butter
1/3 cup brown sugar 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Passionfruit Marshmallows - Gluten and Dairy Free

I LOVE marshmallow! Marshies are always my go to sweets soooo instead of study this afternoon i decided to make passionfruit marshmallows! I came across a recipe for these a long time ago and have been meaning to make them for a while so here we go. Homemade marshmallows are actually a lot easier and faster to make than you would think. They are both gluten and dairy! Enjoy the recipe
P.s. If you are wanting to make plain/vanilla marshies without the passionfruit here is a link so some i made earlier in the year:

500g white sugar
1 tablespoon glucose syrup
20g Gelatine
150ml strained passionfruit juice (from about 10 passionfruit or tinned)
3 egg whites
100g each icing sugar and cornflour, sifted together

Stir 400g sugar, glucose and 150ml water in a small pan over low heat until sugar dissolves, then boil until 121°C on a sugar thermometer (hard-ball stage) or when a spoonful of the syrup dropped into a glass of iced water forms a hard ball.

Bring passionfruit juice to the boil in a small pan, then remove from the heat and stir in gelatine until dissolved.
Using an electric mixer, whisk whites to soft peaks, then gradually add remaining sugar and whisk to firm peaks. With the motor running, gradually pour hot syrup down the side of the bowl in a thin stream. Continue whisking until mixture thickens enough to hold its shape.

Dust an oiled 20cm x 30cm slice tin with 2 tablespoons cornflour mixture. Spoon in marshmallow mixture, level and cool for 2 hours until set.

To serve, run a knife around edge of pan and turn out onto a tray covered with remaining cornflour mixture. Cut into small squares using a hot, dry knife and toss to coat in cornflour mixture. Serve.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Banana and Salted Caramel Spiced Cupcakes - Gluten Free

I have a guilty confession to make... i am a cupcake addict. Baking, eating, creating, planning and learning, i love it all. So of course watching numerous episodes per week of Cupcakes Wars is only mandatory. This is my new recipe inspired from many many episodes of cupcakes wars. I never would have thought of making a spiced cream cheese frosting to accompany a banana cupcake. The base is a fluffy banana cupcake, filled with a salted caramel and topped with a spiced cream cheese frosting. The cinnamon in the frosting balances out the sweetness of the caramel in the middle. 
I roasted a few walnuts in pure maple syrup and used this as the garnish. 
I love this banana cupcake recipe (can also be used to make a cake) as it is perfectly moist and fluffy every time. ENJOY 
1 cup Caster Sugar
100g butter, softened
3 eggs
3 bananas, mashed with a fork
½ cup low fat milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
150ml plain yoghurt
1 1/2 cups plain flour
½ ground almonds
3 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 170°C conventional or 150ÂșC fan-forced.
Prepare 2x24 mini cupcake trays with liners.
Beat softened butter till light and creamy. Add the caster sugar and vanilla and beat till well combined. Add eggs on at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and creamy. 
Add the mashed bananas, the yoghurt, milk (dissolve baking soda into the milk), flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Mix until just combined and scoop into the cupcake liners. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cupcakes are cooked (lightly touch the top and f it springs back when you lift your finger off, they are done!!). Cool for 5 mins and remove from the tins.
Caramel sauce:
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces*
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream*
1 teaspoon salt

Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
Cover the caramel tightly and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Core out the middle of the cupcakes and fill with the cooled caramel. This is easiest done when in a piping bag. 

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cream cheese frosting:
250g Cream Cheese
100g Butter
3 1/2 cup Icing Sugar 
1 T Milk (may need more or less depending on desired consistency)
2 tsp Vanilla Essence or Vanilla paste
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Method: Beat cream cheese and butter on high until light and fluffy. Add all other frosting ingredients together until you have a smooth frosting consistency. Pipe or spread between cake layer and on top and EAT <3 
Top cupcakes with frosting. 
Optional: Roast walnuts in a good swirl of maple syrup at 200'c for approx 8mins. Cool and use to top the cupcakes

Monday, 22 September 2014

Paleo Date Squares with Coconut - Gluten free and Dairy Free

I have never been a fan of coconut flour.... it is usually extremely dry to cook with and sucks all the moisture out of baking, i don't understand how people love it. I tried it over and over again in large and small amount in my favourite recipes but it just never worked. However, i came across this recipe and decided to give it another go... this is my version on Paleo inspired date and coconut squares. On the other hand, coconut oil is my new found love. I use it in everything, i love it. I was delighted when this recipe contained coconut oil - another thing i can cook with it! 
It is a light coconut and almond based base layer topped with a generous layer of smooth date goodness and finishes off with a small crumble of topping. It really is a special slice, would never guess its sugar free!!
This slice is Gluten free and Dairy Free. Vegan and contains no refined sugar.

  • 500g pitted dates
  • The juice and zest of 1 orange (about ½ cup)
  • The juice of 1 lime (2 tbsp)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup all purpose gluten free flour 
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, cold
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the date mixture in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the liquid has fully evaporated and you’re left with a creamy, mushy and smooth, heavenly date mixture. Set aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, combine all the ingredients for the top and bottom layers.
  3. Process on pulse until the mixture is well combined, no more. Refrigerate this crisp mixture for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 degress (350F).
  5. Press a little more than half the mixture at the bottom of an 8" x 8" pan that’s been lined with parchment paper. Place that in the oven and blind bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust starts to turn slightly golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven, spread the date mixture as evenly as you can over the bottom layer then loosely crumble the rest of the crisp mixture right on top.
  7. Bake in a 350F oven for 22-25 minutes, until the top gets nice and golden.
  8. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Hokey Pokey Marshmallow Choc Chip Cookies - Gluten Free

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my favourite things to snack on. However when made with gluten free flour they usually have a bitter after taste or odd texture. I have tried recipe after recipe from the internet and several cook books but none of them ever seem to meet my expectations. I have bought and trialled many different flours, almond meal  and other ingredients but still the same old problem. This is  my original recipe from before I was diagnosed gluten free, over the past 2 years I have made many adaptations and finally come up with a winner! Even when they aren't warm from the oven they are still perfectly chewy with no bitter after taste! To change it up this time i used Crunchie bars which is a chocolate covered hokey pokey (honeycomb) and marshmallows to make them extra special! ENJOY
115g Butter
3/4 cup Soft Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Caster Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Egg
1 1/4 cup All purpose Gluten Free Flour (I use healtheries baking mix)
1/4 tsp salt
2 standard crunchie bars, cut into small chuncks (or any hockey pokey bars you like)

150g Dark chocolate, roughly chopped

75g Mini marshmallows (i topped each cookie with 4 or 5, can add more or less on what you are after)
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease or line two baking trays with baking paper. 
Beat butter until pale in colour, add both sugars and vanilla. Cream until light and fluffy, add egg and beat until well combined. 
Sift in flour and salt, mix until combined before stirring in the chocolate and crunchie/hokey pokey. 

Roll heaped teaspoon sized balls of mixture and place on tray, press down lightly, add mini marshmallows to the top, press into cookie to prevent falling off. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes. 

Pull out when slightly golden around the edges. Cool on the tray for 10 minutes and they are ready to be eaten!!