Happy New Year #2022 #NY2022 #cheesecake

Happy new year from Sydney and thank you all for following and supporting freespiritfood.net since I started my blog so many years ago.

Mini baked cheesecake with hints of ginger

How the world has changed in the last two years? Rather than being able to travel the world, or even go to restaurants and places in Australia, I have been relying on my foodie memories and experiences to inspire my cooking at home.

I hope you have enjoyed my attempts to try new recipes and create different dishes. As with the rest of life, some ideas have worked better than others!

To finish the year for desert tonight I created these mini baked cheesecakes, made in a muffin tin, with a ginger biscuit base and shavings of uncrystallised ginger on top. Made in just 3 hours from start to finish, they have been given a tick of approval by our family.

I will post the full recipe but wanted to share a small foodie experience with you from the last day of 2021!!

Jimmy Buffett might say “there’s a little bit of fruitcake in all of us”, but I prefer “a little bit of this cheesecake”!! 😀

#Christmas #pavlova

In my book, the best pavlova has a crispy, crunchy outer and a pillowy soft marshmallows centre.

Our Christmas Pavlova this year ticked all those boxes and more with delicious ripe mango, berries, juicy passionfruit, and a topping made of sweet whipped cream and marscapone .

Absolutely delicious, thank you Ashley!

Christmas Pavlova 2021
Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside:Christmas Pavlova

Walnut Banana Loaf #coconutflour

This is a very more-some banana loaf with a crunchy maple syrup walnut crust.

Banana walnut coconut flour cake with walnut crust

Organic Coconut Flour is a delicious, low carbohydrate, high-fibre, grain-free alternative to wheat flour. It is made from fresh organic coconut flesh. This cake also uses the natural sugar of maple syrup rather than sugar. So you can enjoy it almost guilt free!

It just involves a bit of hand whisking and mixing so is fuss-free and doesn’t require beaters or mixers.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 40-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup and another 2 tablespoons for walnut crust
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 large or 3 smaller overripe bananas mashed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1.5 cups coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (1/2 for cake mixture and 1/2 for crust)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius

2. Coat a loaf pan (22cm long) with oil, then line with baking powder. The oil sticks the paper to the pan.

3. In one large bowl whisk eggs, oil and maple syrup until well combined.

4. In another bowl mash bananas with vanilla essence. then add to egg mixture and mix well.

5. In a third large bowl, mix together dry ingredients: coconut flour, desiccated coconut, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder, salt, 1;2 the chopped walnuts, baking soda and baking powder.

6.Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour egg mixture into the centre, mix well until combined. It will have the consistency of a thick dough almost.

7. In another bowl mix the rest of the walnuts (about half a cup) with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 2 tablespoons or so of maple syrup.

8. Put the cake mixture into the loaf tin and then spread walnuts over the top, pressing the walnut mixture firmly into the top.

9. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

10. Allow to cool then remove from pan, slice and enjoy!

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

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!