December 3, 2013
Can you believe that it's the last In My kitchen for the year!
November and December seem to flash past so fast in the blur of Christmas prep and End-Of-Year functions, and there hardly seems time to catch your breath
The In My Kitchen phenomenon sponsored by lovely Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial has grown hugely over the last couple of months as well. It's a lot of fun to participate and also to sticky-beak into some of the other kitchens out there in the blogisphere. You might be surprised what some of them are up to!
In My Kitchen... is a teensy, tiny Gingerbread House cookie cutter
So little that you can apparently perch them on the side of your cup of cocoa! I'll have to get busy and make some to show you all very soon
In My Kitchen... is some yummy smoked Goat Salami from our local butcher
Very tasty and rich indeed. A nice change from the usual
In My Kitchen... is another seasonal salami, with the Woolies Truffle Salami
I haven't cracked it open yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to it- I just hope they haven't been too stingy with the truffley treasures
In My Kitchen... are some absolutely fabulous cookie cutters!
I just love these so much, they're so much fun and I'll have lots of creative uses for these next year- stay tuned..
In My Kitchen... are some lovely Floral Flavoured Chocolates
I have a real weakness for floral flavours, and these are not some I've come across before. I plan on making a whole floral themed high Tea soon, any one for a cuppa?
In My Kitchen... are yet more cookie cutters
Very seasonal indeed, I ordered these from Norway and they have luckily arrived before I hang up my baking apron for the holidays
I couldn't resist this one! It was just so whimsical and joyous. It makes me smile :)
Not In My Kitchen... is my beautiful upside down Christmas Tree
There's very little space left on it to hang ornaments now- I might just need to buy another!
In The Lounge Room... is my more traditional Christmas Tree
Reds and golds, and very classic- it's getting a bit full now too
and finally, In My Hallway... is a beautiful Nativity
Reminding us every time we pass by what Christmas is really about and to count our blessings
So my Dear Readers, what have you been cooking up for Christmas, and have you got your Christmas tree up yet?
November 27, 2013
I'm really not that hard to please
I don't want much at Christmas- just a nice dinner, maybe some dessert
Whatever the rest of the family is eating is generally OK- maybe just a little tweak or two to make it more Tolerant for us InTolerants, but it's not hard. Especially as all the hard work can already be done for us at the Supermarket....
This is my Christmas Cheat for everyone out there like my MotherInLaw who still thinks someone like me is just 'fussy' and doesn't have a clue what to feed us InTolerants. She has once made lactose and gluten free custard- from a packet- but still didn't trust it and was waiting for it to curdle because it wasn't 'real'...sigh....
Well it can't get any easier than this
Frozen Christmas Pudding- Gluten and Lactose Free
These are the main two ingredients of my pudding, in fact you don't have to add anything else. Of course either of them are quite nice on their own, but when you mix the two together you make a whole new, sublime creation
The Peter's Lactose Free Ice Cream is available at Coles and Woolies, and the pudding I've used today is the Woolworths Macro Free From brand available,of course, from Woolies
This is my little extra splash of Christmas Cheer- liquid Christmas Cake, otherwise known as Pedro Ximenez Sherry. You could use rum or brandy, or just leave it out altogether if you don't have any of this deliciousness on hand. I may gulp down an extra bit to help me deal with my In Laws :)
Soften down your ice cream
I found that the trip home from the shops was the perfect amount of time for this to happen- how handy!
Break up the pudding into nice little chunks- not little crumbs, chunks are nicer for texture
Add to the Ice Cream, along with a decent glugg of sherry, if using
Mix it all up to distribute the yuminess
Then place in a basin, bowl or mould lined with cling film so it's easy to get out when wanted
Frozen pudding with no nasty gluten or lactose to upset my tummy!
A few drips are OK, it's always hot down here in the Southern Hemisphere at Christmas
Perfect for making us InTolerants feel special, and using ingredients that are easy to source, easy to use and delicious to eat- For Everybody!
So Dear Readers, do you enjoy a hot or cold Christmas Pudding, and do you have any issues with your Mother In Law?
November 20, 2013
I love Spritz Cookies
Each the perfect little size for popping into hungry mouths, but small enough that you can happily take a handful and still not feel guilty!
Such a small amount of effort, but it sure looks like you've been cooking up a storm as pile after pile of little moreish morsels stack up, and by dint of changing the shape you have created a whole new cookie too :)
Do you remember Dear Readers, me showing off some yummy maple products in my November In My Kitchen post? (look here,) Well I wanted to use them a bit more creatively then just slathering them over pancakes or waffles, and as the sugar was really quite expensive I also wanted to find a way to make a little go a long way.
I figured the best way to get bang-for-my-buck was to layer the flavour effect with Maple Syrup and Sugar in the cookie dough, glaze with Maple Icing, then dust with Maple Sugar- too much is never an option!
Gorgeous sticky Syrup and fine-as-sand Sugar, you can see I couldn't help running my fingers through it :)
Another ingredient I wanted to trial today was this new Spread from Liddells. Liddells have released quite a lot of new products in the chiller section lately, and as I've been loving them I thought I'd see how it stood up to cooking as opposed to just spreading
Glazed Maple Spritz Cookies
1 1/2 cups Liddels Lactose Free Dairy Spread (or lactose free/dairy free alternative)
3/4 cup Castor Sugar
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/3 cup Maple Sugar (or just use 2 tab Castor Sugar if you can't find any)
4 cups gluten free Plain Flour
1 tsp gluten free Baking Powder
gluten free Icing Sugar
Maple sugar for dusting
Cream together the sugars and spread, and beat until nice and light and fluffy
Add in the egg and maple syrup and mix again
Gently mix in the flour and baking powder until just pulled together
A nice light dough- don't chill it or it will be too firm to push through the spritz press properly
If you don't happen to have a Cookie/Spritz Gun, this dough works really well just rolled and flattened into little discs. It may need to bake for a minute or two longer, but it still tastes just as lovely- I promise
Prepare your dough ammunition
Load up your Cookie Gun
Fire when ready!
So pretty indeed
Bake your little Spritzies for 12-15 minutes at 180*C
Let them cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling down
To Glaze the cookies, combine the icing sugar with enough maple syrup to make a nice thin mixture. The easiest way I've found to get a nice even coating without taking ages to dip each little baby, is to line all the cookies up closely and paint them. The wider your brush the better. Much easier than fussing around any other way. Then while the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with the Maple Sugar or a little Castor Sugar for extra bikkie bling
These little Cookies were just lovely indeed. Very tasty and surprisingly not too sweet for me. The Maple Sugar is subtle and not as strong as raw or golden sugar and the fine texture looks very pretty sprinkled on top. The Liddells spread worked really well- it didn't melt too early or while baking, and the moisture content was just right. Some margarine type spreads have a lot of water and it can make baking a bit tricky
All in all, a perfect little compliment for my afternoon Earl Grey!
So Dear Readers, what little morsels do you like to munch on with a cup of tea, and have you ever tried Maple Sugar?
November 11, 2013
Hello My Lovelies!
Did you remember that today is Remembrance Day (11 November) that marks the anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War? Each year Australians observe one minute silence at 11 am on 11 November, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.
I always seem to buy enough silk poppies for a bouquet each year, and the colour is so beautiful and vivid that I wanted to replicate it in a cake. At first I thought about a Red Velvet cake, but as I'm not too fond of plain chocolate I came up with Raspberry and Poppy seed instead. I just wish I could give a slice to all the indefatigable fund raisers out there at the poppy stands who do such a great job each year- well done!
Raspberry Poppy Seed Cake
3 1/2 cups SR gluten free Flour
2 cups Castor Sugar
1 cup Oil
2 tablespoons lactose free Milk or substitute
300gm packet frozen Raspberries
1/3 cup or packet Poppy seeds
2 tablespoons Red Colouring
2 tsp Vanilla (or Raspberry) Flavouring - I actually used Raspberry White Balsamic
Now you can see from this photo that I actually made my cake with lactose free spread instead of oil, but as it turned out a little dry I would definitely use the oil next time. The step by step instructions will be the same if you use the oil, but the photos are obviously using the spread which makes for a fluffier look
Beat the oil/ spread and butter until nicely incorporated and a bit fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time and beat well
Add in the flour and the milk
I always like to add in any colouring or flavouring now as I find it disperses better in the finished cake
So pretty once you beat it through!
Add in the defrosted berries and the poppy seeds and give it all another good mix to let the berries disintegrate into the batter
Full of seedy goodness
Pop the batter into your prepared cake tins- I made two 18cm cakes
Bake at 180*C for about 50 minutes or so until cooked through
Look at the split cake- it looks just like a Dragon Fruit doesn't it?
I filled and covered my cakes with a dark chocolate ganache- and yes I cracked the outside because I didn't let it warm up to room temperature :(
I think the finished cake was very pretty and very tasty with all the raspberry yummies- just a tad dry so make sure you use the oil! The pop of the poppy seeds was quite a nice texture change form the smooth cake- just make sure you check your teeth before you have to smile :)
So Dear Readers, did your work place stop to observe a minutes silence today, and do you like poppy seeds too?