Apple, Ginger and Cinnamon Tea Cake

About a year and a bit ago (I think, it feels like forever), with a specialists help, I finally managed to figure out that I have developed an allergy to egg. If you can’t hear the wailing and the knashing of teeth over here, you are lucky! Egg was one of my favourite foods, was an essential part of my baking and was a very difficult ingredient to replace. Not so much for its sticking power (banana does a great job for that), but for the light and fluffy-ness it adds to sponge cakes. So I have been experimenting for months and months with increasing despair – trying to bake a half-decent vegan, gluten-free sponge is hard!

But with the help of Jaime Oliver, and his magnificent Vegan GF sponge recipe, I now have cracked the code. This is not the same recipe, though his recipe is superb (I am incapable of not-tampering with any recipe). But it gave me a few pointers in the right direction for how to craft my own recipe that is repeatable and delicious.

So this is it, my Apple, Ginger and Cinnamon Tea Cake!
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Pear and Miso Stir-Fry

 

It’s been a while since I did a foodie post, so I thought I would share one of my more surprising successes. This is a lovely and simple gluten-free vegetarian stir-fry I made with what was left in the cupboard at the end of a long week. It’s a slight variation on our usual stir-fry sauce, but it worked! I particularly loved how well pears go in a stir-fry. It was a rare success in the what’s-in-cupboard-oh-that’ll-do method of cooking.
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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Banana Biscuits

After a number of tasty disasters, I have finally been able to create my first success at gluten-free, dairy-free and egg free baking. These lovely biscuits did not last long – my kids (yes, both of them which is a miracle) gobbled them up. My daughter really loved them, and as she has an aversion to all baked goods, this was worth a victory dance or two (or three, who’s counting?).

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Everything Substituted Spice Carrot Cake

This recipe started as an experiment to see if I could make a gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free cake. We also had a lot of carrots, since my little girl loves buying carrots at our grocer. So it was only natural to combine the two and make a delicious and light carrot cake.

This cake is lovely on its own, but it is even better with the vanilla-cream and nutmeg icing. I had trouble taking really good pictures of this cake, and tried a few times – each time I had less cake to work with (over the course of 48 hours), because it was extremely popular and everyone kept gobbling it up!
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Gluten and Dairy-Free Chinese Beef Buns

Whenever I walk past a Chinese restaurant, I tend to get a little sad because of all the lovely food I can no longer eat. I particularly miss the lovely steamed buns which are springy and glutinous and soft inside. So in desperation, I checked online to see if there were any recipes that were able to show me how to make a gluten, dairy and yeast free Chinese bun. Nada. (Of course I was hungry, so it’s possible there’s one out there somewhere.) Thinking about how my bread mix doesn’t have yeast in it but does rise, I decided to experiment, and it worked!

These buns are so close to my memory of what Chinese buns should be it’s scary. There were a few hiccups along the way, as I misjudged the length of time they would need to steam and had to do some bun-surgery. I also created some wonderful carbon when the steam-water ran out and charcoaled in the steamer. Very lucky escape that one – and the buns weren’t hurt either!

This is so worth giving a try – you may need to fiddle around with the quantities for making the buns till you get them just right. I will be doing these ones again as they were a hit, so I’ll be able to let you know if they continue to work.
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Lamb and Sweet Potato Curry

This is a nice, simple and quick curry that we have started to make a bit – it’s a variation on a coconut cream-and tomato based curry – that has neither ingredient!

This one can also be made vegetarian, just add carrot, Kumara, potato and/or parsnips instead of meat. It’s also good with other stew-type vegetables – like tomatoes, or green, canellini, or kidney beans. Though it’s best not to try it with broccoli or zucchini. Shudder. This can be made quite hot, but we tend to keep it mild for the kids. This recipe has had some success on the children-will-eat front.
It should take about 1/2- 3/4 of an hour to put together. Don’t forget to have with rice or thick fresh bread.
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Gluten and Dairy-Free Train Wheel-Piston Cake

I was going to write more about our NZ trip, and I will next week, but today is recipe day, so I’m going to run through how I made C’s 7th Birthday cake. Seven? How did that happen? And after convincing him that I couldn’t design a cake with the cake-wheels on edge with an axle in between that would move, I worked through some sketches of train wheels till I had executive approval for this design.

It’s two train wheels, with a piston sitting on a train track in a coal yard. And as far as cakes go, this one wasn’t the hardest I have ever made. Working with fondant is like working with playdoh. Though it does taste rather commercial – next time I will be experimenting with different flavours but I ran out of time this year. I also think the cakes would be improved with the add‭itions of a jam layer – something tart, like apricot, so I will be experimenting with that too at a later date.

Anyway, enjoy the chaos!
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Gluten-Free Doughnuts

There are an awful lot of great-looking gluten-free doughnut recipes out there. And Pinterest is a dangerous pastime. From this, to this…ooh and this, and maybe this one too.

But when I actually got down to looking at how they were made – most of them required yeast and buttermilk, which I prefer to avoid in large quantities. And that doesn’t really go with over-the-top doughnut indulgence.

But then, I found this great recipe, from Alicia Baker at examiner.com, Easy gluten free and dairy free glazed doughnuts.
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Spice Biscuits

These yummy biscuits are lovely with a cup of tea, and have an aroma that easily wins me over to the ‘must-eat-biscuits’ cookie-monster dark-side. These biscuits are one of C’s favourites – but then again, he loves most cakes and biscuits. J rather loves crumbling them – and some even gets eaten. They’re also excellent as presents. It’s the freshly ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves that really does the trick – yes you can use pre-ground spices, but nothing beats that freshly ground smell. Continue reading “Spice Biscuits”

Basic Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

This is the cake I make all the time. I don’t need to look at a recipe anymore, it’s so automatic. I use this cake-base as a start for pretty much all my cakes and cup-cakes – just add other flavours – banana, dates, cinnamon, raspberry, apples or blueberries.  It works beautifully.

This cake is lovely just as it is, but is also lovely iced, or turned into a cinnamon tea cake. Continue reading “Basic Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake”