Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

At 9.30pm I had the sudden urge to make chocolate cookies, so I dived into the Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook and decided the Chocolate Sandwich Cookies were just the thing! A lot of the other books use dairy-free chocolate in their chocolate cookies, but unfortunately getting it soy free is difficult, and the kids aren't so keen on the Lindt as it is quite strong flavoured, but this recipe uses cocoa. Of course, deciding on the spur of the moment, I didn't read in advance and then got to the part where the dough has to be refrigerated for 2 hrs prior to cutting and cooking; d'oh! Cookie doughs usually need refrigerating to help the gluten relax, so knowing there was no gluten I figured I could do without the refrigeration and the only downside would be that I wouldn't be able to roll it into a log and cut it, it'd have to be rolled into individual balls and flattened.

I didn't end up with as  many (and they were probably huge in comparison!) but oh my they were good! I imagine they're much like Whoopie Pies would be. Once sandwiched they were absolutely massive, but just awesomely good! The boys found them a bit too sweet because I piled the icing in between them but I have a major sweet tooth and thought they were absolutely perfect! (just for size comparison, the plate they're on in the photo is a dinner plate lol!)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

White Russians

Another one from the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur book is the White Russian. Made with Kahlua these are sooo good! I once again used the White Wings flour and they were deliciously decadent! I used more flour then was specified as they were very sticky, so they may have turned out slightly puffier than hers, as from the picture in the book, they seem a bit flatter and with possibly more texture, but these were wonderful anyway! I also didn't have any ground coffee beans (naughty me seeing as I work in a cafe, but I didn't read through the recipe far enough in advance!) so I used instant coffee and I have no complaints. Ground beans would probably have added a grittier texture which could be interesting though.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bakery-style Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (with a Hint of Maple)

I recently bought the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur cookbook and it's my new favourite! I like it so much I've bought the kindle edition for my ipad as well as the actual book (because I love the feel of books and nothing is quite like writing notes on an actual page!).

I've been substituting White Wings gluten-free plain flour for the normal wheat flour and so far, I've had no problems at all. I highly recommend tthe White Wings flour, it's the best IMO, but don't use their Self-raising flour as that has an awful aftertaste. If you need SR flour just add 2tsp baking powder per cup of plain flour for a much better result.

These biscuits turned out so delicious and chewy! I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate as it's the only easily available commercial chocolate without soy lecithin and it was a bit rich but I wanted something I could just buy at the supermarket. We get a nice one at the cafe which is a bit less dark with no soy but it's more expensive but much nicer and would be wonderful in these. They have a sort of dark, burnt sugar taste due to the maple syrup and so I'd say they're a more adult cookie, they're extremely rich!

I'm back!

It's been ages since I posted last, life kind of threw me a few curve balls but I'm back and baking!

Since I last posted both my sons have been diagnosed with allergies as well, and theirs make mine seem like a walk in the park! My youngest had been vomiting nearly every night and the oldest had been having severe stomach pain regularly and nothing the doctors did was helping so I took them off to be tested and yes indeed, that was the problem. Unfortunately, doctors just don't seem to think of food allergies, they were quite surprised when I went back and told them how much all our symptoms had gone since getting rid of the food we were diagnosed as being allergic to.

Our combined allergies now include; wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, yeast, nuts, rye, rice, beans, and citrus. Of course, we've all managed to have slightly different cobinations too! It certainly makes cooking interesting.

Since removing the offending foods though we're all so much better. My arthritis (which I've had since I was 14)  has virtually disappeared, Nik is no longer vomiting nightly and Sascha has lost over 8kgs and is waking up without being in agony. If we have something with an allergen the results are definate and not pleasant. Unfortunately so many things can be hidden. Going out for dinenr is a real minefield because so many places just don't know or understand allergies enough to care. It's certainly difficult but it's making cooking an adventure and quite fun as I experiment and find things we can eat and actually enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Banana Split Cupcakes

There is no other way to describe these than Oh My God! They are just like a banana split in a cupcake! The cupcake is banana with chocolate and pineapple jam spread through it and then the frosting is a vanilla buttercream with chocolate ganache, nuts, hundreds & thousands, and a cherry! It tastes sooooo good! They look so good too!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemony Frosting

One word; Yummm!!! Thick, fudgey and warmingly spicy, these cupcakes are perfect for a cold winter's day. I'm not much of a ginger cake person but these are truly good :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chocolate Gluten Freedom Cupcakes

At the cafe we get a lot of customers in with food allergies, and not surprisingly these days, gluten is a biggie. Generally, gluten free cupcakes can be a bit hit and miss. I have a chocolate cake I make with ground almonds that's pretty amazing, but that has egg in, so a no-no for my own allergies. This one (yes, my favourite cupcake book once again!) is gluten, egg and dairy free and is, as usual, amazing! It has tapioca, rice and quinoa flours as well as ground flax seed. It took me on quite a search through Geelong to locate all the ingredients (seems Quinoa flour is quite hard to come by at the moment!) but I eventually found them all and it was well worth it. The quinoa gives the cupcakes a deliciously nutty taste and the texture is dense and moist and just so chocolatey. I topped them with the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting which compliments them so well. The creaminess blends exceptionally well with the richness of the cupcake.

I also made the vanilla version of these but we weren't as sold on those as the nuttiness seemed a bit overwhelming. I think I'll try them again using a pre-mixed gf flour instead of the quinoa and see if that keeps the texture but loses the nuttiness.