Wednesday, 27 April 2011

When life gives you lemons - Make lemon and poppyseed loaf cake!

You know what they say, 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade....'

...So what do I do when I have 2 lemons and a couple of eggs? I make Gluten Free Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf Cake! <-- woohoo!

As always, the purpose of poppyseeds are lost on me, but let's just run with it shall we!

Did I mention that it's gluten free?  You really would never guess!  It's still just as moist, sweet and light and fluffy as the real deal.  Yes, dreams do come true my Gluten Free friends!

Ok, before you get too excited, Pre heat your oven to 190 C / gas mark 5


125g Doves Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
100g Butter
125g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon rind grated
1/2 tablespoon poppyseeds

Lemon Icing Glaze
125g Icing Sugar
2 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 the lemon zest for sprinkling afterwards

On your marks, get set.... Sift the flour into a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, add the lemon juice, half the lemon rind and the poppyseeds -  and then fold in the flour.

Pour the mixture into a greased and lined load baking tin.

Bake in your pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean form the centre.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing...

To make the runny icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon of warm water and mix slowly into a paste with the icing sugar, add the other table spoon and repeat, and then the lemon tablespoons one by one... until the mixture slowly comes together into a runny consistency (add more water if the mixture is still a little too thick).

Now here's the fun part - pour over the cake and sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest.  There's something very satisfying about watching the icing dribble slowly over the edge of this sweet scented cake.  It's a real summertime treat!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Fortune Cookie Monday!

It's not every day that the special offer in the local supermarket is half price fortune cookies.  I found this box of ten reduced from £1 to 50p.  This was a bargain not to be missed.

I had so many when I was travelling in Asia, I'd take the fortune and my friend would munch on the cookie (as it was 'wheat').  

I bought this box to give to some friends, I know they're going to love them! But I just had to crack open one to see what it said....

It read, 'The game is nothing, the playing of it is everything.'

Too true.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sweet and Healthy Summer Salad

When the summer sunshine comes along, there's nothing better than a nice crisp, cool salad.

And here's one with a bit of sweetness, a bit of zing and a lovely bit of crunch.

(By the way, who'd have thought balsamic vinegar and strawberries were a great combo?! Not me, but they taste great. It's the double sweetness I think... the sensation is amazing.)

Strawberry and Cucumber Balsamic Salad

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse grainy mustard
1 tsp clear honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole cucumber
1 punnet fresh strawberries

Cut the cucumber length ways and scoop out the seeds, slice into half inch moons

Chop the strawberries in half and then half again.

Put the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey into a screw top jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake the living daylights out of it.

Pour over the strawberries and cucumber and toss to coat fully.

squeeze a tiny bit of lemon juice on the top.

Serve with young spinach leaves in the sunshine.

A Powerful Breakfast!

Breakfast. Oh Breakfast I love you.
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is hit the snooze button. I snooze for 1o minutes, sometimes more, and sometimes I even dread the day ahead. Yes it's really 6.30am. But you know the thing that gets me out of bed? BREAKFAST!

Yes, it's time to eat.

Now, my usual breakie of choice is sometimes eggs, sometimes museli, but the other day I decided to make a 'Power Breakie Bar!' Oh yeah, this bar was going to be like no other cereal bar on earth, it would have pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, toasted coconut and linseeds for luck. (All the seeds provide umpteen amounts of Omega 3,6 and 9 and are great for skin, hair, nails and support your metabolism for supported weight loss... as well as an even longer list of health benefits...! Fantastic.)

... And in addition to all the above, they're also gluten free and require no baking at all - hooray!

This is what they turned out like. I'm pretty proud of these bars and my friends now you can get yourself a Power Breakie Bar too - and who knows, maybe you will grow wings.

So here's the ingredients and method.

1 1/4 cup jumbo oat museli mix
1 1/2 cup crisp rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon neilsen massey vanilla extract (the only certified gluten free vanilla essence)

First of all, put the coconut on a baking tray and pop into a preheated oven of 180 degrees.

Bake for 5 minutes, take out and toss the coconut so you can brown the other side for another 5 minutes.

When both sides are toasted, toss the coconut in a bowl with the other dry ingredients.

In a saucepan heat the rice syrup, sugar, vanilla until they start to bubble. Bubble away for another 5 minutes.

Now pour the syrup into the dry ingredients and stir stir STIR!

Combine until all the dry ingredients are wet.

Pour out into a greaseproof paper lined baking tray/dish and flatten into out large rectangle.

Leave to cool so it can harden, before cutting into bars.

Now you have the POWER! Go get 'em tiger!

Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Cake

Yes folks this really is chocolate heaven on a plate, covered in raspberries.

You sure are in for a gluten free treat! Who said gluten free food was bland...? I challenge them not to want to wholf down this whole slab of stodgey chocolate goodness.

For this you will need the following...

Preheat oven to 350f or 177c

200g Dark unsweetened chocolate (I used Green and Blacks Cooks Organic)
200g Unsalted butter
4 large eggs (separated - put whites in one bowl, yolks in the other)
200g Caster sugar
2 packs of raspberries

First of all spray a 9inch baking pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with cocoa powder. This will stop the cake from sticking.

Now melt the chocolate and butter together using a double boiler.

While that's melting away... your kitchen will start to smell like chocolate heaven. Try to ignore this and plod away with the task in hand.

Whisk the egg yolks and half the sugar until fluffy and smooooooth. Smooth like George Clooney.

Now whisk the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form, or you can turn the bowl upside down over someone's head and no fluff will fall! (great trick)

By now, the chocolate and butter should have melted.... cool a little bit.

Now fold the chocolate goop into the egg yolks and then pour that into the egg whites. incorporate by folding fast. Don't worry if they curdle a bit.

Pour into your baking pan and 'tap tap tap' on the counter to level out.

Bake in the centre of a preheated oven for 40 mins.

You will know it's done when the middle is springy to the touch and the top has gone hard and cracked a bit.

Wait to cool before turning out. Cover in raspberries and sprinkle with icing sugar.