Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake #almostketo

I have been discovering almond flour and coconut flour to make low carb/no carb cakes through lockdown here in Sydney. We’re pretty much out now, but I like them so much I’m going to stick with them .

Coconut flour chocolate cake

Not only do they taste great and are much lighter, they are easy to make. This coconut flour chocolate cake is moist and delicious. It’s almost totally carb free and is lactose free.

Here’s a link to BBC Good Food on Health benefits of Coconut Flour.

If you want to be super-conscientious you can use sugar substitutes and no sugar chocolate, I made it using normal caster sugar and real chocolate chips for the ganache. Use the best quality natural cacao powder for the best taste.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 400ml can coconut cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • For ganache: 1/3 can coconut cream, 4 tablespoons or thereabouts of small chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons icing sugar. Additional desiccated coconut for decoration.

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 9 inch baking tin of your choice. I used a small ring cake tin with butter or oil.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together coconut flour, cacao powder, desiccated coconut and baking powder until well mixed.

3. In a seperate bowl whisk together just the eggs and sugar for 1 minute until well combined and sugar has dissolved.

4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour egg mixture in, then add coconut cream and vanilla. Whisk together all the ingredients to form a smooth, lump free, silky batter. It will seem a bit runnier than normal cake batter but don’t worry about that.

5. Bake in oven for 50 minutes, check to see skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes.

6. Allow to cool completely before icing with ganache.

7. Make ganache by heating coconut cream in small pan over low heat, add chocolate chips stirring to make sure they don’t stick or burn, add icing sugar half a tablespoon at a time, stirring until glossy until adding next heap.

8. Scoop ganache over the cake or use a squeeze bottle if you want to be more precise. Spread evenly, allowing to drip over sides, sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

Store cake in fridge. Just buzz quilled in microwave if you want it moister. Not too long though.

Green beans, #broad beans and #artichoke with #anchovies and tomatoes

A delicious accompaniment to our grilled veal cutlets! Added some sage and parsley…based on BBC Good Food recipe below.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/broad-beans-tomatoes-anchovies

#Lamb Curry #Filo Pie with #Kersik #Coconut crumbs

We are trying to cut down on carbs again so trying to come up with ways to have curry flavours without eating rice or breads.

This recipe is inspired by Morrocan B’stilla, replacing the filling with Indian flavours and replacing the almond cinnamon icing sugar sprinkle traditionally used in the Morrocan version with Kersik, a Keralan coconut crumb mixed with cinnamon and cardamom powder.

Basically, you first make a dry curry with desiccated coconut and then bake it in a light filo pastry crust. The result was a delicious crispy package with spicy slow cooked lamb filling.

Defrost Pastry: 2 hours Prep time: 20 minutes cooking time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 7 sheets filo pastry
  • 4 lamb chump chops, bone in, cut into bite size pieces (reserve bones to use in curry)
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, equal ginger and 2 red chillies pounded into paste (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick or piece of cinnamon bark
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 dried chillies
  • 1 star anise
  • Handful curry leaves (oprtional)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cummin powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinammon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder(optional)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter slightly cooled

Method:

1. Remove filo pastry from fridge to bring to room temperature allowing 2 hours.

2. Prepare onions, ginger garlic chilli paste and cut up lamb.

3. Heat oil in heavy based casserole dish, add cummin seeds, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves and cook over medium heat until crackling stops. Take care not to burn spices.

4. Add onions and cook slowly until golden and just starting to caramelise.

5. Add ginger,garlic, chilli paste and mix through onions cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.

6. Add turmeric, chilli and cummin powders and mix through to distribute evenly and just heat through.

7. Add lamb, 1/2 teaspoon salt, dried chillies and 2 tablespoons water to stop sticking and coat lamb in onion spice mixture. Slow lamb to seal, stirring from time to time for 2-3 minutes.

8. Add 1.5 cups of hot water or chicken stock to just cover lamb. Simmer with lid on over low heat for 30 minutes, checking regularly to ensure it isn’t sticking.

9. While lamb is simmering, toast the coconut until golden brown in a dry pan, taking great care as it will burn quickly if not constantly shifted and stirred. Allow coconut to cool slightly.

10. Add 1/2 the toasted coconut to the lamb and mix through, add more water or stock and cook for another 15-20 minutes until lamb is very tender and liquid is reduced.

11. Taste to see if additional salt required, this is unlikely especially if you are using chicken stock with salt in it.

12. Clean, chop coriander and mint. Melt butter and allow to cool slightly.

14. Remove lid and reduce mixture until liquid almost totally reduced, leaving only a moist coating on the lamb. Then mix through coriander and mint.

14. Transfer lamb to a plate to cool, remove dried chillies, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods(if you want and can find them). I just leave them in! PRE-HEAT oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

15. Whilst lamb is cooling, mix cinnamon powder and cardamom powder with remaining toasted coconut, pound together in a mortar and pestle, making a fragrant mixture to layer between the pastry sheets.

16. Take one sheet of filo pastry, lay horizontally, brush with butter and lay another sheet on top and repeat with another sheet. After 3 sheets, brush the next one with utter and add a sprinkling of the Kersik coconut mixture. (4 filo sheets in total horizontally)

17. Layer a sheet of filo vertically across the middle of the horizontal stack, brush with butter, sprinkle with coconut mixture and repeat with 2 more sheets. (3 filo sheets vertically in total)

18. Add the lamb mixture in a neat even pile in the middle section where the base is made up of 7 sheets of filo.

19. Fold the horizontal section over from right to left, taking some of the vertical section over to create a straight edge, brush with butter, sprinkle with more coconut if you have any left, fold the left side in and repeat with remaining sections of pastry to create a neat rectangular parcel.

10. Place the parcel face down on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Brush with remaining melted butter.

11. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

12. Remove, sprinkle with remaining Kersik, allow to cool for 5 minutes and cut into wedges to serve with salad, and raita.

Vietnamese Beef Stir Fry with watercress

Inspired by Karen Martini’s recent recipe in the Sydney Morning Herald, I used ingredients I had at home to do a version of this simple but delicious stir fry.

Bit of chopping, marinating and grinding involved but worth it for the very tasty outcome.

  • Prep time: 1 hour Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Ingredients:
  • 500g rump steak, fat removed and cut into 1cm strips
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 red or green chillies sliced lengthwise into thin “batons”
  • 1 small red or green capsicum sliced into 3cm long batons
  • 1/4 bunch dill, thick stalks removed, chopped into 3cm lengths
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions white and some green parts sliced into 3cm long batons
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons palm sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons roughly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method

1. Slice beef, place in bowl.

2. Finely dice 4 cloves of garlic, crush 2 cloves into paste, add garlic to beef.

3. Add pepper and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce to beef and set aside to marinate for at least half an hour.

4. Heat a small pan and add rice to pan to toast. Keep shaking pan to brown rice but make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

5. Prepare fresh ingredients. Trim and clean watercress, dice onions, cut capsicum, spring onions, dill, and chillies. Scatter watercress on a large serving platter and set aside.

6. grind rice to a rough powder in a mortar and pestle.

7. Mix palm sugar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and mix to combine and dissolve palm sugar in a amsl bowl and set aside.

8.Heat the oil in a wok on high for 4 minutes until smoking.

9. Carefully add beef to wok and spread so as much of beef surface on one side is in contact with wok. Reduce heat slightly but leave beef undisturbed for 2 minutes.

10. Stir beef to expose other side to wok, add capsicum, diced onion and chilli and cook for 3 minutes or so until onion softens.

11.Add spring onion, dill and the sauces mixture. Mix through and cook for a minute or so until sauce has heated up.

12. Tip beef over watercress. Pour lime juice over the beef, then sprinkle roasted rice powder over beef and serve with jasmine rice.

Green Tea Berry Cobbler

This cobbler recipe looks good…but what is a cobbler?..fruit baked with some sort of dough apparently!

Here’s also is a link to some recipes and an explanation of What is the difference between a cobbler, crumble and crisp?

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: Green Tea Berry Cobbler! Now you can drink your tea and eat it too. Presenting a unique twist…

Green Tea Berry Cobbler

Simple Roman #Lamb

Simple delicious Italian dish that transports me back to trattorias in the back streets of Rome. Fresh, honest food, cooked with love!

We’ve been enjoying the Spring weather and trips to our local markets here in Sydney …the vegetables at the markets are so much fresher and much more interesting than supermarkets.

We are lucky despite lockdown to have Paddington markets and EQ markets nearby, within our 5km lockdown zone. A long way from Rome but inspiration to recreate some of the memories of times gone by.

These photos are from dinners reviewed here Divine food in the eternal city at Da Enzo and La Pentolaccia

So my humble Roman Lamb recipe truly pays back by transporting us to wonderful times of international travel and many visits to Rome.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time:1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • 6 lamb chump chops on the bone, fat removed and cut into chunks or 750g lamb shoulder, fat removed and cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4/5 sprigs of fresh thyme(optional)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon coarse chopped rosemary
  • Chopped parsley to garnish
  • 4 anchovy fillets coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

2. Chop meat, heat oil to almost smoking, then brown in batches, adding 2 chopped cloves of garlic along the way. I use a non-stick frying pan and then transfer to a small casserole dish. ( beware this will turn your smoke alarms on if you don’t use fans/open windows!)

3. Place lamb and garlic in a casserole dish with a lid. Sprinkle with salt, lots of black pepper, thyme and flour.

4. Meanwhile deglaze the pan in which you browned the meat with 1 cup of white wine, then pour the wine and pan juices mixture over the lamb.

5. Put casserole dish in oven with lid on for 30 minutes.

6. While lamb is roasting, put rest of garlic, rosemary and anchovies into a mortar and pestle and pound into a smooth a paste as you can. Add the wine vinegar and mix vigorously to creates an emulsion.

7. After 30 minutes, remove lamb from oven, pour over the rosemary emulsion and mix through well.

8. Put lamb back in oven with lid off for another 30 minutes until fully cooked through and browned on top.

9. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 5 minutes and serve with sides such as #Cipollini Onions #agrodolce or Roman #Cauliflower? #Broccoli? Or a simple rocket and parmesan salad.