I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.


Gluten and lactose are not my friends.


Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.


I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

March 11, 2012

Already Cooked Apricot Quinoa Cakes






I've certainly cooked with quinoa before.












It's not the weired, way-out, freaky health food it once was, but now is sold in nearly all supermarkets and features in a recipe or two in most mainstream cooking magazines.

Touted as a SuperFood, quinoa is certainly gaining popularity, but its gluten-free veggie-sourced perfect protein is something the Incas knew about a few thousand years ago before being vigorously suppressed during the Spanish Occupation while being forced to grow gluten-full wheat instead.



But I've never cooked with already cooked quinoa before.

















The idea intrigued me and the thought of a cake that's high in protein, low GI, includes fruit, and made with a super food was just way too hard to resist, surely all the good bits outweigh the bad bits? It may actually be bad for my health not to eat this cake.

Don't you agree Readers Dear?

I gleaned this recipe straight from the pages of the March issue Australian Gourmet Traveller. Its a lovely recipe, but one that needs a bit of fiddling about really. I don't mean to be disrespectful to its creator, but if I make it again it will have a few changes.

1. dried apricots instead of fresh
2. no oven roasting, and instead of sticky wine I'd just use straight orange juice with maybe a spoon of honey and plump the dried apricots in the microwave
3. cooking the quinoa in the rice cooker with orange juice or apricot juice for an extra boost
4. baked a bit lower for a bit longer. My cakes had a bit of a chewy edge that I actually really enjoyed, but could probably be off putting to others with crunchy odds and ends of quinoa grains getting stuck in their teeth.

I also found that although the recipe stated that it served 8 using 200ml darioles, I had enough mix for 12 using 250ml. Perhaps I whipped my eggs and sugar longer? Anyway, I found them nice and light this way and plenty enough for a single serve.




Roast Apricot, Almond and Quinoa Cakes

This recipe is from the March 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

550 gm (2½ cups) raw caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
16 small apricots, halved
60 ml dessert wine
Juice and thinly peeled rind of 1 orange and ½ lemon
90 gm (½ cup) white quinoa, rinsed
4 eggs
200 gm butter, melted and cooled
260 gm (1¾ cups) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
60 gm flaked almonds, plus extra for scattering

Preheat oven to 200C.

Scatter 220gm sugar and vanilla seeds in the base of a roasting pan large enough to fit apricots snugly in a single layer. Arrange apricots cut-side down in roasting pan, pressing into sugar, then turn over.

















Drizzle with dessert wine and citrus juices, scatter with citrus rinds and roast, spooning pan juices over apricots a few times during cooking, until golden and tender (20-25 minutes).

















Transfer half the apricots and 40ml pan juices to a food processor, process to a purée and set aside (reserve remaining apricots and syrup).


















Meanwhile, bring quinoa, vanilla bean and 250ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid evaporates and quinoa is tender (12-15 minutes).


















Drain through a fine sieve to remove any remaining liquid, then spread on a tray to cool and dry (15-20 minutes; discard vanilla bean).


















Preheat oven to 180C.

Whisk eggs and remaining sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (6-8 minutes)


















Add butter and whisk to combine.


















Sieve over flour and baking powder, stir to combine,


















Stir in apricot purée, almonds and quinoa

















Spoon into 12 buttered and floured 250ml metal dariole moulds, smoothing tops.

















Scatter with extra almonds, bake until cakes are golden and centres spring back when lightly pressed (20-25 minutes).

Cool in tins for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack.
















Serve warm or at room temperature with roast apricots and syrup.
















So Dear Readers, have you come across any recipes that it would be just plain wrong not to make? And do you ever simplify a recipe to suit yourself too?











.

48 comments:

  1. Very nice idea! I've thought about using already cooked grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet etc) to bake something for my parents. You may remember my dad has been eating gluten-free for 3/4 of a year now, and has been completely free of bowel symptoms since then! His gluten-intolerance was just confirmed by a doctor. So he'll definitely go on with it!

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    1. I'm so glad he's feeling better Kath! I hope he likes these

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  2. mhhhh, that is delicious enough to try.

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    1. I thought they were yummy, but they do need some of the syrup Ista :)

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  3. I've had a quinoa cake bookmarked the past few weeks! This sounds great.
    And I totally simplify recipes all the time, where ever possible!

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    1. I hadn't seen one like this before Emma, so it was a nice change. I like to make recipes a bit more simple sometimes, so I know I'll actually make them! :)

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  4. These Quinoa cakes look lovely. Absolutely love apricots too! Cooked Quinoa makes great gluten free pancakes - very hearty!

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    1. Ooh Ina, I hope the recipe is on your blog, I'll check it out, yumm!

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  5. Oh woooooow, cool! Although quinoa is still very new to me, my past experiences with them have all been very much enjoyable! I never knew you can prepare this way. My mind is perpetually more amused with this ingredient than it was before. Thanks for sharing this with us =)

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    1. You are always so enthusiastic Winston! I'm glad I could amuse you :)

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  6. Waw!

    What stunning & alternative apricots & quinoa cakes! They look utterly fabulous! ;)

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    1. I wish I could take the credit for them Sophie, but I'm just the conduit :)

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  7. They look incredible!!! it amazing how far gluten free cooking has come since i first tried gluten free baking back in 2002!

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    1. It is amazing isn't it Muppy. Not all that long ago you could only get gluten free bread on prescription form the chemist!!

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  8. Oh yes, often I simplify recipes! And I absolutely come across recipes I simply must make! These quinoa apricot cakes looks scrumptious, I would certainly not mind quinoa teeth if you handed me one of these :) And apricots...I have not eaten them for so long! Feels like such a shame.
    Heidi xo

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    1. Thanks Heidi! I haven't had many fresh ones this year either as I haven't been getting to the markets, but dried ones would still work well :)

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  9. Hi there.... this looks and sounds delicious! Definitely one for printing and trying out. I just love finding ways to adapt recipes to better suit my tastes... and of course not all recipes are perfectly written either!

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    1. Hi Lizzy! When it comes to gluten free, I find there's lot's of tweaking to be done in even the most well thought out recipe!

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  10. I bought tri-coloured quinoa the other day. I think I'm going to make bread with it. Your cakes look beautiful and moist. Very yummy indeed.

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    1. That sounds great Cass! I'll try that too, I have some gf bread in the oven at the moment with chia and sesame seeds in it, I think the quinoa would be great for my next loaf- thanks!

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  11. What a great looking cake. The apricots in it must give it a wonderful flavour. I have recently been introduced to quinoa and I keep being told how good it is for you so I'm always looking for new ways to cook with it - and if I find my March issue of the magazine (lots of unpacking still to be done) I'll remember to make your simplified version instead!

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    1. I hope you find everything Charlie, and that your internet woes are sorted soon. The apricots are such a nice change from my usual banana or apple cakes :)

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  12. That looks delicious but I also think that your adaptions make sense too! :D And using dried means that you can make it any time :)

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    1. So right Lorraine, yumminess shouldn't be limited by the seasons! :)

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  13. It's taken me a while, but I just cooked with quinoa for the first time last week. I cooked mine in the Thermomix, had tons left over and was wondering how I might use them in a bread recipe, but your cake looks much more appealing. And thanks for sharing the extra tips - it's always useful to know what needs tweaking.

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    1. Make sure you rinse it well Amanda, some brands don't come pre washed and they are so bitter! Who wants bread when you could have cake? :)

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  14. i definitely simplify recipes. You have shared a beautiful recipe here and I love your extra tips. Quinoa is like a staple in my house and I love finding new ways to get creative with it. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It really is such a versatile ingredient isn't it, Sherilyn, so lucky that it's yummy too :)

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  15. I like that you used quinoa in a cake! Definitely more nutritious.

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    1. Very sneaky way of making 'bad' foods good for you!

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  16. I love quinoa, so I'd love it in this cake! I definitely do change recipes to suit me - for example, I think apricots are the devil, so I'd use peaches instead :)

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    1. Oh dried peaches would be so good in this Jasmyne! I don't have a problem with apricots, but I'm not to fond of raisons or sultanas- unless they're cooked into something. Funny how we all like different things! :)

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  17. What a great recipe! I have never used quinoa in a dessert before but it looks so moist!

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    1. I hadn't either Nic, and was (luckily) pleasantly suprised! :)

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  18. Dear InTolerant Chef,

    I have never cooked with quinoa before though I must really try. Your cake looks beautiful, especially with those awesome apricots. They also go so well with the roasted almond flakes.

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    1. Yes, a perfect match Chopinand- although my little daughter plucked every single one off her cake! What a waste :(

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  19. I loke your thinking "this cake would be bad for me not to eat it". A girl after my own heart!
    This looks like a mighty fine treat. I have cooked with quinoa flour and quinoa flakes before, but never with the cooked grain added to a cake. Interesting. I wonder if you could replace some of the flour with quinoa flour to get more of that nutty taste?

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    1. Simetimes your health just has to come first Spice! :P
      I haven't used the flakes yet, are they any good, and do you have any recommendations?
      The flour should be fine, I think it's a good idea, just maybe keep enough of the finer flour in there to keep it light perhaps. Let me know how they turn out?

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  20. wow i thought quinoa was suppose to be used for savoury dishes... but sweet.. amazing~

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    1. It's nice and handy for everything Dolly, like rice! Very good indeed :)

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  21. Oh brilliant! So many nice things to do with Quinoa. I like quinoa and corn fritters at the moment.. MmMm

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    1. Any fritter is a good fritter Msihua! Great idea to use quinoa, is the recipe up on your blog?

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  22. Had never thought of using quinoa in baking- I've a few cakes that use cooked oats, but this would be a great substitute for GF friends. Thank you for the inspiration!

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    1. Hi Tori! I bet you could swap out the cooked oats for the cooked quinoa no problem- they'll probably be a bit lighter even.
      I wish I could take credit for these! :)

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  23. Wow, these look incredibly moist and yummy! I love apricots and I love almonds...must make these! Thank you for sharing your beautiful recipe.

    Mary

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    1. Hi! I loved your recipe today too, and am planning on trying my hand at it with a homemade rosti base. I love how we can get inspriation from so many people now! :)

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  24. It does sound a bit fiddly but the flavours sound yummy!

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  25. It was a bit! The flavours were better the next day Christie as they had time to mellow and seep through properly. Next time, I'll take the easy way out and do them with my modifications to cheat! :)

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