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 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

Blueberry and almond flour muffins

Working from home through the lockdown means no morning teas with shared baked goods, or breakfast meetings at nice cafes so I have planned for the week ahead by baking some low gluten muffins for us and to drop to some friends who live within 5km!

Using a combination of almond flour and plain flour, buttermilk and a mixture of oil and melted butter makes these muffins super moist and filled with the goodness of frozen and fresh blueberries.

Super-easy to make and just as easy to enjoy.

Preparation time: 15 minutes Baking time: 25 minutes Makes 10-12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 200g frozen blueberries
  • Handful of fresh blueberries
  • 1/8 the cup of slivered almonds
  • Muffin tin with 12 holes and paper muffin cups

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven 200 degrees Celsius

2. Sift flours and mix dry ingredients including almond flour, plain flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar into a large mixing bowl.

3. Put wet ingredients into a seperate bowl including eggs, oil, butter, buttermilk, and whisk together until smooth.(make sure butter is cooled).

4. Slowly add wet ingredients into flour mixture mixing until just combined. Don’t overmix at this stage.

5. Fold in frozen berries, fresh berries and almonds.

6. Put paper muffin cups into muffin tin holes. Fill each muffin cup with batter ensuring blueberries are as evenly distributed as possible.

7.place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and skewer comes out cleanly. Leave to sit in muffin pan to cool for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy immediately and for days to come.

Free-spirited #Profiteroles

Made these a few weeks ago for a lunch party….reminded me how it actually is easy to make Choux pastry with only a bit of attention to quantities. Going to now think about making some new savoury and sweet recipes with it. Stay tuned!

Free-spirited Profiteroles!

Butter Chicken & Pea Pies #tastypies

This recipe combines 3 delicious things, my version of lite butter chicken curry, peas and puff pastry. My theory goes that skipping cream in the chicken filling recipe makes up for the butter in the puff pastry!

Lovely with just salad on the side and also great picnic food.

Prep time: 40 minutes Cooling: 20 minutes Baking: 20 minutes

Ingredients for 4 pies

  • 400g chicken thigh fillets cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1/2 piece of cinammon bark or quill
  • 1 teaspooon nigella seeds
  • Handful of curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cummin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • I cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 3 sheets store-bought puff pastry
  • 1 egg beaten for brushing pastry

Method:

A. Begin by turning on oven to preheat to 220 degrees Celsius and take out 3 sheets of puff pastry to allow to thaw.

B Make filling and pies

1. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy based pot over medium heat.

2. Add cummin, seeds, cinnamon stick and curry leaves if using and stir until fragrant. Ensure cummin seeds don’t burn.

3. Add onions and cook gently until transparent and soft. Add ginger and garlic paste and mix through the onions.

4. Add cummin powder, turmeric and chilli powder and stir though onion mixture until just heated through. Take care not to burn the spices.

5. Add chicken, salt, nigella seeds. Stir fry until chicken is sealed, then add water and simmer for 15 minutes.

Nigella seeds add an earthy sweetness.

6. While chicken is cooking line pie tins with baking paper, then cut out circles of puff pastry to fit into bottom of pie tins, prick bottom of pastry with a fork. Line with another layer of baking paper, add pie weights or dried beans and blind bake in oven for 10 minutes until pastry is cooked and just turning golden. remove from oven and set aside.

Blind bake bottom layer of puff pastry to form cases for pies.

6. Add yoghurt and butter to the chicken curry mixture and bring back to a simmer, then add peas and cook for further 5 minutes until peas are just tender. The chicken should be cooked by now and the sauce reduced to create a moist filling without too much extra sauce left.

7. Sprinkle generously with chopped coriander and set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.

8. When chicken mixture has cooled to lukewarm, remove pie weights/beans and top layer of baking paper from pastry cases but leave them in the pie tins.

9. Heap chicken mixture into pie cases to form small mounds, don’t forget to remove the cinammon stick.

10. Cover tops of pies with a larger circle of puff pastry crimping edge of uncooked pastry onto the pastry cases, prick top or make a small cut in top to allow steam to escape, use the back of a fork to Mark the edges, then brush with egg yolk and place in oven for 10-15 minutes or until tops are golden and puffed. Don’t worry if they are a bit untidy, they look nice and rustic when done.

11. Allow to cool/rest for 5 minutes or so and serve with salad. If packing for a picnic best to allow to cool for at least half an hour before packing.

Beef Wellington #easyaspie

Beef Wellington is one of those dishes that looks really impressive but is easy as pie to make.

This recipe can be prepared in just over an hour including making veggies on the side.

You can choose to also put a layer of pate between the beef and mushroom mixture but I don’t always include it as it does make it much richer.

Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 500g piece of good quality beef fillet , tied at intervals with string
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 10 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 6 large mushrooms diced very finely
  • 1 small onion diced very finely
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed to a paste
  • handful of thyme leaves stripped from the stem
  • 2 tablespoons butter and a dash of olive oil
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry defrosted
  • 2-3 potatoes peeled and chopped into quarters
  • Broccoli florets or green beans

1. Defrost puff pastry. Heat non-stick frying pan until hot. Sear beef for 2-3 minutes to brown and seal all sides.

2. Place beef on plate and put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

3. While beef is cooling, Place peeled and chopped potatoes rubbed with olive oil on a baking tray and place on lower shelf of oven.

4. Then the mushroom mixture. Heat pan again and add olive oil and butter to melt, then add onion and cook until transparent, add garlic paste and thyme leaves and mix through, then add chopped mushrooms, season with black pepper until just cooked through and moisture evaporates. Mixture should be dry. Put on a flat plate and place in the freezer to cool for 5 minutes.

5. Remove beef from freezer, remove string, rub all over with mustard.

6. Lie prosciutto slices flat on a sheet of plastic wrap, overlapping the prosciutto to form a base to wrap the beef in. Place beef at one edge of the sheet of prosciutto and roll over using the plastic wrap to help create a neat parcel.

7. Place on piece of the puff pastry sheets with a slight overlap, sealing the two pieces together to create one large base sheet. Place beef on the pastry to encase it and seal the ends using a fork. Use excess pastry to create strips and pastry leaves to decorate the parcel. Brush with beaten egg.

8. Place parcel carefully on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake in oven for 30 minutes until puff pastry is puffed and golden. Check potatoes and turn. While beef is cooking, microwave broccoli or green beans pieces until just cooked.

9. Rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing in thickish and serving with roast potatoes and broccoli. Dinner for 4.

Pink in the middle….