Tiger cupcakes – made because the Richmond Tigers made it into the AFL finals!

My son follows the Tiges, so I made these cupcakes for him as a celebration because they made it into the finals even though they didn’t go far.  They still did better than my team, but maybe next year (sigh).

The cupcakes, icing, and the eyes are gluten free, but alas I haven’t found any gluten free liquorice, so the whiskers, ears and noses aren’t.  Hubby just picked them off and happily ate cupcakes anyway….

Makes 12

Tiger cupcakes

Tiger cupcakes

 

Cupcakes:

125g butter

1/2 cup caster sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup liquid, made up of whatever juice you get from an orange, then top up the rest with  milk

1 & 1/2 cups gluten free self raising flour

 

Icing:

125g butter

1 & 1/2 cups gluten free icing sugar (sometimes icing sugar mixture contains starches, so check the pack)

2 tbsp milk

Yellow food colouring

3 gluten free marshmallows (not the tiny ones)

Silver cachous for eyeballs

Liquorice allsorts and straps

 

Preheat the oven to 160 Celcius fan forced, or 180 if not.

Cream the butter and sugar for the cake, beat in the eggs one at a time and mix well to prevent curdling.  Add the liquid and flour alternately.  When you have a nice smooth batter, spoon into 12 hole muffin tin or into big cupcake papers.  Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes – cakes should spring back when you touch them lightly.  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

 

Cream the butter and icing sugar together and beat until light and fluffy.  Add milk, and the food colouring a few drops at a time until you get the colour you like.

For the eyes, I used a fish filleting knife as it was the thinnest blade I have.  Wet the knife (for some reason the marshmallow doesn’t stick as much) and cut each into four slices.  Cut each slice in half and bend them to make rounds, pinch the ends.  They might open a bit after you put them on the cake, but that doesn’t matter.  Dot the marshmallow with a cachou.  Using some liquorice allsorts, cut the black squares out.  Cut each in half on the diagonal to make ears.  Use a pink bit for the noses – I cut each square into four smaller squares, then just nicked off the corners to make a rounded shape.  Cut some liquorice straps into whisker pieces and stick on.

 

He can now munch on Tiger cupcakes while humming “Yellow and Black, we’re from Tigerland!”

Gluten free pork and chia seed sausage rolls – excellent party food – AFL Grand Final time!

With party season approaching us, I was thinking about what you could make that can be heated and eaten easily, particularly if you have a couple of friends over.

Especially with the footy finals approaching (AFL of course) – there will be times when you want to sit in front of the TV with a drink and something to munch.  Then of course there is the possibility of a Melbourne Cup barbeque, and there is the entire Christmas and Summer Holiday entertaining season just after that (I think I have got a bit ahead of myself here!)

As I have probably said once or twice before (sarcasm intended there!) gluten free pastries are crumbly.  This one isn’t too bad but you still have to be very gentle.  There were bits that I did tear, but not too badly.  I have done far worse!

Makes 12 larger than normal sausage rolls.

Gluten free pork sausage rolls

Gluten free pork sausage rolls

Preheat the oven to 200 Celcius for a fan forced oven, 220 if not

Pastry:

2/3 cup rice flour

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup buckwheat flour (or buckwheat ground fine if you can’t get buckwheat flour, see below for proof that I really went that extra mile!)

1/3 cup arrowroot (tapioca starch)

1 tbs white chia seeds, lightly ground if possible

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Pinch salt

125g butter chopped finely

1 egg, separated

Iced water, if required

Filling:

500g pork mince (you could make this with chicken, but I wouldn’t use beef with tarragon – if you substitute the beef, change the herb as well)

1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (you can get these usually in the health food aisle of the supermarket, sometimes they are actual GF breadcrumbs, sometimes they are rice husks which will also work)

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tbs dried tarragon

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ground cardamon

 

Put the flours, salt, gum and chia seeds in a large bowl, rub in the butter.  Mix in the egg yolk, and water if you need it, until you have a dough.  Turn out onto board floured with additional rice flour or other gluten free flour and knead into a ball.  Divide into three and allow to rest while you prepare the filling.

Put the mince in a large bowl, add the other ingredients and mix well.

Roll out one third of the dough to a rectangle about 22 X 13 cm.  Put one third of the filling along the middle from one end to another.  Gently gather up one long edge of the dough and roll over the filling, rolling the whole thing over until you can’t see the filling any more.  Cut into four pieces, place on tray, join side down.

Repeat with other two parts of dough and filling.  Brush tops of sausage rolls with egg white.

Serve with a gluten free tomato sauce.

Grinding it to flour

Grinding it to flour

Gluten free Rocky Road – eat while watching the AFL Grand Final!

One of hubby’s favourite chocolates (among many of course) is Rocky Road.  Of course, usually it isn’t gluten free, so I made one.  All you really have to do is use gluten free biscuits and make sure that the marshmallows are gluten free, and the rest of the ingredients shouldn’t be a problem.  It is very sweet, but yummy.  I use a silicone loaf pan to make mine, once the rocky road has set it is easy to “peel” away the cake pan, it saves all that hassle of greasing tins and layering them with paper!  Too hard!

Gluten free Rocky Road

Gluten free Rocky Road

125g gluten free plain biscuits (I used arrowroot ones here), roughly chopped

250g pink and white gluten free marshmallows, cut in half with wet scissors (keep a cup of water nearby and keep dipping the scissors in)

100g red glace cherries, cut in half

1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped

500g dark chocolate

250g milk chocolate

 

Place all ingredients except the chocolates into a large bowl.

Put the dark chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and in 30 second bursts, melt it.  I usually find that after each burst, I shake the bowl, it should only take about three bursts until the chocolate is starting to melt.  When you can see it is soft, take it out and mix vigorously to finish off the melting process and make sure the chocolate is smooth.  (When melting the chocolate in the microwave you have to be careful because if you heat it too much it will sieze and you will have to throw it out and start again).

When the chocolate is melted and smooth, mix through the ingredients in the bowl.  Spoon mixture into the loaf pan.

Put the milk chocolate into the microwave safe bowl (you can use the same bowl that you used for the dark chocolate, it won’t matter), melt it using the same method.  When melted and smooth, spread over the top of the mixture in the loaf pan, trying to fill in the gaps.

Chill for an hour, then cut using a heavy knife.

Chilli Con Carne with Gluten Free Dumplings

Slow cooked meats, yummy.  This has a little heat from the chilli but it isn’t too spicy.  You will need a flameproof, ovenproof casserole dish – I have a cast iron casserole dish.  You need this as you cook the casserole on the stove top initially, then put it in the oven to cook the dumplings.  I usually cook the casserole the day before I need it and leave it in the fridge overnight, as the flavours intensify overnight, and just reheat it and cook the dumplings on the day I want to eat it.

Chilli Con Carne with Dumplings

Chilli Con Carne with Dumplings

 

Casserole:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 kg gravy beef, cut into 2cm cubes

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp cardamon

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground chilli or chilli flakes

400g can diced tomatoes

1 cup beef stock

2 tbsp tomato paste

400g can drained red kidney beans

1 cup frozen peas.

 

Dumplings:

2 cups sifted gluten free self raising flour

2 pinches salt

Handful coriander leaves and stalks, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup warm water

 

Heat oil, cook onion, garlic and spices for one minute.  Add steak, stir and brown the meat.  Add the tomato paste, cook 2 – 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, sugar and stock and stir well.  Cover and simmer for 1 & 1/2 hours.  Add kidney beans, cook ten minutes.  Add peas and stir.

Preheat oven to 180 celcius fan forced  – 200 if not.

Put flour and coriander into a bowl.  Make a well in centre, add oil and water.  Spoon tablespoonfuls onto top of casserole and roll over to coat.  Cook in oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until dumplings have puffed up and a bit and are cooked.

White chocolate custard tart

If you have one of the Gluten free coconut sweet pie crusts handy, this is a breeze to  make.  You just mix up the custard, pour it into the (defrosted if you have stored it in the freezer) crust, and bake.

White chocolate custard tart

White chocolate custard tart

One pie crust/shell

300ml cream

1/2 cup milk

375g packet white chocolate melts

2 eggs, lightly beaten

 

Preheat fan foced oven to 150 celcius (1700 if not fan forced).

Place cream and milk in a medium heavy based pan, and heat over a medium heat until just simmering – do not allow to boil.

Remove from heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.  Let cool for 15 minutes.

Beat in eggs quickly, then pour into crust.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until set.  Cool for a few minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

Decorate as you wish.

Gluten free chocolate, coffee and coconut sweet pie crusts

This is very similar to my “regular” sweet pie crusts, just with the addition of chocolate and coffee and a dribble of water. As usual, I make more than one, so I have a spare on hand (in the freezer) for a quick and easy dessert – just fill and go!

Gluten free chocolate, coffee and coconut sweet pie crusts

Gluten free chocolate, coffee and coconut sweet pie crusts

100g butter

1 tsp instant espresso powder

1 tbsp cocoa

3/4 cup gluten free plain flour

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup white sugar

Pinch of salt

 

Melt the butter in a large, microwave safe bowl, at the same time mixing in the espresso powder to make sure it dissolves.  Mix in the sugar and cocoa, then add the flours and salt.  Stir well to combine then press into base and sides of your tart tins.  You can either use tins that have removable bases, or as you can see, I prefer the silicone ones as you can unmould them once they are cool.  Place in an oven that you have preheated to 180 celcius (fan forced – 10 degrees higher if not fan forced).  Bake for approximately 18 minutes or until brown.

Gluten free Couscous and Chickpea Salad

This isn’t really couscous, because of course that can never been gluten free.  However, I have found a gluten free version, which is made from corn.  Although not tasting the same and being yellow instead of white, it is a good substitute if the Coeliac in your house misses couscous.  This quantity will serve four people as a side dish.

Gluten free Couscous and Chickpea salad

Gluten free Couscous and Chickpea salad

1 & 1/2 cups gluten free couscous, made up according to packet directions

400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

6 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 tbsp capers

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Cook couscous, combine with all other ingredients, mix well.

Slow cooker (crock cooker) Easy Goulash

This would have to be one of the easiest slow cooker recipes – you don’t even have to brown anything, you just throw it all in the pot!  If you are running short of time you can cook it on high for the first two hours, then on low for four hours – so it will only take six hours to cook instead of eight.  Serves 4.

Slow cooker (crock crooker) Easy Goulash

Slow cooker (crock crooker) Easy Goulash

500g gravy beef, cut into 2cm cubes

2 brown onions, chopped finely

1 green capsicum, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

2 cm piece of ginger, chopped finely

400g tin chopped tomatoes -sluice the tin out with 1/4 cup of water and add that as well

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tbsp sweet paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Place all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

 

Serve with rice, pasta, potatoes – or to be different, with Couscous and Chickpea Salad

 

Floor pie – chicken, chorizo, potato and a bit of history!

First things first – definitely NOT gluten free.  I have tried the commercially prepared GF puff pastries and they are expensive and brittle.  So this recipe has been consigned to the times when hubby is not at home.

The recipe makes enough for two pies (each pie serves two people) or what I sometimes do if I only need one, is to freeze the mixture for up to a month, then it is simple to defrost it and assemble a pie.  So the second pie is not so much cooking, as assembling.

Regarding the history – if you read my post I am the Queen of the Kitchen Disaster you will see why this is called Floor Pie.  I have since modified my recipe from the original, to make it more suitable to our tastes and my laziness.  I still don’t have another dog to help clean up kitchen messes though.  The cat still is too good for such menial tasks.  Sigh.  Pie tastes good though.

Floor pie

Floor pie

2 sheets frozen puff pastry

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 4cm cubes

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 tsp olive oil

4 chicken thigh fillets, cut into 4 cm cubes

2 chorizo sausages, cut on the slant into 1cm pieces

1 tbs dried rosemary

2 tsp dried thyme

 

Take the pastry from the freezer and leave it to one side to defrost.

Put the potato in a microwave safe bowl with enough water to cover and cook on high for 8 minutes.  Drain and set aside once done.  Fry half the chicken until brown all over and just cooked through, transfer to a bowl and repeat with the other half of the chicken.  Put the chorizo in the pan for 2 minutes, add the onion and herbs and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the potato to the pan and cook a further two minutes.  When done, put in the bowl with the chicken, stir well and put in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.  (If you put a hot mixture on your puff pastry it will go soggy).

Preheat oven to 200 Celcius fan forced oven, 220 if not.

Shape one sheet of the pastry into a shallow square tart tin (I like the silicone variety as you can see).  Put half the mixture into the pastry.  Repeat with the other half of mixture and the other pastry sheet.  If you are instead going to freeze your leftover mixture, make sure the chicken is cooked.  Put on a try and bake for 30 minutes or so.

 

Serve with vegetables or a salad.

Gluten free espresso cream biscuits

I used to make these years ago before hubby was diagnosed a Coeliac, and for some reason stopped making them.  Recently I thought I would see if the recipe worked with gluten free flour, and hubby was very excited that it did!

Makes 18 pairs (36 single biscuits).  You will need two big biscuit trays for this recipe.

Gluten free espresso cream biscuits

Gluten free espresso cream biscuits

 

Preheat oven to 160 Celcius for a fan forced oven, 180 if not.

Biscuits:

125g butter

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 tsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tbs boiling water

1 egg

1 & 1/2 cups gluten free self raising flour

Espresso Cream filling:

2 tbs butter

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 tsp espresso coffee powder dissolved in 2 tsp boiling water

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and beat well to prevent curdling.  Add coffee and flour and mix thoroughly.  Using teaspoons for measurements, place biscuits on trays, leaving a bit of room for biscuits to spread (they don’t spread much).  Bake for 12-15 minutes, leave to cool on tray for a few minutes then carefully (as they are gluten free they will be a bit more fragile than “regular” biscuits) lift off and let them finish cooling on a wire rack.  When cool, sandwich with Espresso Cream Filling.

 

To make Espresso Cream filling:

Cream butter and sugar, add coffee and mix well.