Avocado cream chicken

Avocado cream chicken

Avocado cream chicken

 

I love an easy dinner during the week, and this is pretty good.  You can serve it with a salad, or with some nice carbs, such as rice or mashed potato.  This will serve four and the chicken can be cooked in one pot, so it is especially good for the lazy cook!

1 tbsp olive oil;

Two large chicken breasts, sliced into thick strips;

1 tsp garlic granules;

1 cup cream;

1 tbsp cornflour, if a thicker sauce is desired;

1 avocado;

Chopped tops of spring onions, or fresh parsley for garnish.

 

Heat the oil in a large, heavy based pan, and lightly brown the chicken.  Scatter the garlic granules into the pan, and stir through the cream.  Turn the heat to very low and allow the chicken to poach in the cream.  If you like your sauce thick, you can make a dredge of cornflour and water and stir it through once the chicken has cooked (it will take about 15-20 minutes on low), or you can leave it thinner, whichever you prefer.  When almost ready to serve, chop up an avocado and stir though.  Garnish with spring onions or parsley.  If you just want the avocado warmed through, don’t leave the pan simmering very long after you have added the avocado.  Or, you can let it simmer for a few minutes until the avocado starts to break up, then your sauce will turn a pale green colour, which can be very striking over white rice or mashed potato.

White chocolates with almond meal cream filling (trick them up for Halloween)

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I tried some filling with almond meal to see if it worked, and it did.  I had some moulds with little ghosts and pumpkins and other gross looking things for Halloween, so thought I would make them look a bit wierd for Halloween and this was the result.  I used about half a block of white chocolate for this recipe – it should be enough for about twelve medium sized moulded chocolates.

100g good quality white chocolate, plus a small amount of white chocolate buttons for tempering,

For the filling:

50g white chocolate buttons;

50 ml cream;

1 tbsp finely ground almond meal.

I described the procedure to temper chocolate in relation to the salted caramel chocolates.  That was milk chocolate however, the temperatures required for dark and milk chocolate are different for dark chocolate, you need to melt the chocolate and get it to 40-50 and then bring it down to 32-33 before you try to mould it.  For white chocolate, it is 40-45 degrees then 28-30.

Temper the white chocolate and cover the bases of the mould (whatever you choose to use) and then set aside somewhere cool to set – maybe the fridge for a little while.  While it is setting make the filling.  Put the white chocolate buttons and the cream into a heatproof bowl or jug, and heat in 30 second bursts, shaking between times, until the chocolate is starting to melt.  You will only do this two or three times, you don’t want to boil the cream, stir it well and the chocolate should melt in the hot cream.  Stir the almond meal in, and then set aside to cool.  Spoon into the moulds and leave to cool and set a little.  Then reheat the white chocolate that was left over from the mould, and cover the bases, scraping off any excess.  Leave to cool.

Peanut butter chip rock cakes – gluten free

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125g butter

140g (half a bag) of Reeces Peanut butter chips

2 eggs

2 & 1/2 cups gluten free self raising flour

3/4 cups milk – may need to add a little bit more if mixture is too dry.

Preheat a fan forced oven to 170 celcius, 180 if not fan forced.

In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt the butter.  Allow to cool a little, just so the peanut butter chips don’t melt when you put them in.  Add the remaining ingredients one at a time, mixing until just combined after each addition.  Using a tablespoon, scoop out mixture, which should be looking a little bit like rocks.  Put into paper cases and place on trays, bake for approximately 15 minutes and cool on a cake cooler.

Recipe should make about 30 rock cakes.

Giant red velvet gluten free cupcake

This was the cake I made for Mum’s birthday – she doesn’t like things to be really sweet, so this was a good cake recipe, even though there is a lot of sugar in it, the salt and vinegar tend to balance it out.  The icing was sweet though, it is my favourite icing recipe, so it is the icing of choice.

To make this you will need one of those special giant cup cake moulds – where the base and the top are two separate parts, and you sandwich the two cakes together after baking.  You will also need a mixer on a stand, as the butter and sugar have to be creamed for a while to get the right consistency, so doing this by hand would be very tedious.

Gluten free giant red velvet cupcake

Gluten free giant red velvet cupcake

For the cake:

125 butter, softened and cubed;

325g caster sugar;

2 eggs;

25g cocoa powder;

1 tsp vanilla extract;

1 (approximately 40ml) bottle of red food colouring;

325g plain flour;

1 tsp xanthan gum;

1 tsp bicarbonate soda;

1 tsp salt;

280 ml milk;

1 tsp vinegar.

To sandwich the cake together:

4 tbsp berry jam of your choice;

Icing:

125g butter, cubed and softened;

1 1/2 cups gluten free icing sugar;

2 tbsp milk;

Colouring of your choice.

Decorations:

I used edible butterflies and hearts, but you can use whatever you fancy.

 

Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 celcius, 180 if not fan forced.  Cream the butter and caster sugar together and beat until light and fluffy (this could take up to ten minutes).  While the mixer is still going, add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.

While the mixer is creaming the eggs and sugar, mix the cocoa, vanilla and food colouring together in a small jug, and once the eggs have been mixed in, add this slowly to the mixer, scraping down the bowl as needed to ensure that the colouring is evenly distributed.

Sift the flour, gum, salt and bicarb in another bowl, and spoon small quantities of this in to the mixture in the mixer bowl, alternating with the milk as required to keep the batter smooth.  Once everything is added, add the vinegar and beat until mixed.

Divide the mixture between both halves of the mould, and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the mix comes out clean.  Keep a careful eye on the moulds, as the top might cook quicker than the bottom so it may need to come out of the oven a few minutes earlier.

Cool on a tray.  You may need to trim the two halves with a sharp knife to get a flat surfaces to sandwich together.  Warm the jam for a few seconds in the microwave to make it spreadable (not too long as you don’t want it to go too runny) and spread over the top of the bottom half, and fix the two halves together

 

To make the icing – cream the butter and icing sugar together, add the milk and beat until mixed, add whatever colouring you fancy (I thought a pale green might look like the butterflies were sitting on grass) and spread over the top of the cake.

Ginger chocolates – for the serious ginger addict!

I made these for my mother recently, she has a serious ginger addiction!  While I like ginger in savoury dishes, she loves it in any form, even encased in chocolate.  There was a lot of ginger in these, so unless you really like it, tread carefully!

Ginger chocolates (gluten free)

Ginger chocolates (gluten free)

200g milk chocolate, cut up finely, plus extra for tempering.

100g processed ginger – I used the “nude” variety, the one not rolled in sugar, although if you like your chocolates sweet, you could use the crystallised variety.

 

Temper the chocolate as per the directions for the caramel chocolates, and cover the moulds to coat.  Leave to thicken just a little, then upend the mould over your bowl of chocolate and let the excess run out.  Place in the fridge to harden while you prepare the ginger.

To prepare the ginger, I cut it finely with a knife.  You could use a food processor, but don’t turn it to mush, small chunks for chewiness is better.  Put into moulds, compacting firmly but allowing a little bit of room for chocolate to fill up the gaps.  Soften the remaining chocolate (you can just put it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, you won’t need to retemper it) then coat the back of the chocolates, scraping the excess off the mould.

Once set, unmould and enjoy.