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.

May 31, 2012

Two Years

Two Years

That's how long I've been blogging now.

I've had such a lovely time, and enjoyed every minute. I've gotten to know so many of you Dear Readers, and love reading your comments and blogs as well. Thanks for sticking with me, I know things have slowed down just a little with my health issues, but  I'm not going anywhere and hopefully will be picking up the pace bit by bit.

I thought I'd share a few of my favourite things about my Blog, and show you a bit about what else I been up to lately as well.

Favourites So Far:

My Favourite Blog Post so far: Pumpkin

It just appeals to me as a great snapshot of our family life. Funny, but true.

Most Viewed Post: A Bit of Fluff

Guess it's the pretty pink pictures perhaps?

Most Conversation Generating Post (not the same as most comments): A Bit On The Side

Would you go the free biscuit?

Post I'm Particularly Proud Of: Cooking En Masse

I enjoyed sharing a bit about the challenges of commercial catering, also how I try to bring out the best in my food under difficult circumstances.

Favourite Recipe So Far:

Really tricky indeed to pick one! I don't post a recipe I don't like, but they aren't all recipes I'd eat all the time. Despite not being a big sweet fan, this is just a lovely dessert that I could enjoy any time of day, any time of year, any time at all!

Recipe I Won't Be Making Again In A Hurry: Wasabi Macarons

Love the macaron, love wasabi, but I think I prefer sweet flavours instead. One of my favourite macaron flavours was an Adriano Zumbo Eucalyptus one that was fabulous indeed!

Best Dinner Party Dish: Twice Cooked Goat Cheese Souffles

So delicious, so easy, so impressive!


It's hard having all this time off without being able to do much though. With my shoulder still out of commission and both wrists waiting on surgery, I can only fumble through life at the moment. I love my 'swype' app making typing accessible, or I would be stuck for sure!
I find it hard to do nothing, I hate daytime television, I don't do Facebook or Twitter, so I always have projects on the go. Apart from these below, I also have olives brining in my laundry, blackberries boozing under the sink, an edible flower garden underway, a coffee tree and tea bush growing, and of course my veggie garden to tend to.

This is a bit of what I've been up to lately:

Growing Shiitake Mushrooms, delicious!

Making my own Vanilla Essence

Enjoying a Birthday Cake baked by my lovely Girls, and presented in a gorgeous Cake Stand as a present

Being spoilt with a stand of gorgeous gluten free goodies for my birthday

Growing my own Saffron

Making dinner, with all the vegetables having been grown in my garden:
Beans, Pumpkin, Spring Onions, Parsley, Broccoli, Chili, Silverbeet, Carrots, Potatoes and Mushrooms

Well my Dearest Readers, I hope you have enjoyed the last two years as much as I have. Is there anything you would like to see me cover on my Blog?

P.S. The Next post will have a Blogaversary Giveaway!


May 24, 2012

Chocolate Fondant Puddings

I know I only just made a chocolate recipe last time Dear Readers, but with post-Easter chocolate still hanging around, I thought I'd use it up with a recipie more suited for our wintery weather and make some Chocolate Fondant Puddings, AKA Chocolate Lava Cakes.

What lovely impressive little cakies these are indeed!

Molten chocolate flowing from the centre, with a raspberry or two on the crest of the wave. Mmmm...

These are perfect desserts for when you want a bit of Wow for a dinner party, and they can even be prepared a few days ahead of time, or frozen for a few weeks if you're really that organised- or like me and just like to have a few things on hand for chocolate emergencies!

It took a few goes to work out the kinks in my recipe, this one was Too Soft- collapsing into a sog on the plate, this one was Too Hard- just a plain old cake, but finally I got it Juuuuuust Right!

I didn't want a light and fluffy version of these that almost souffles up before collapsing, or a plain raw-cake batter mix either (yes, I've been served one of those and it wasn't at all nice) I decided instead to go for a heavier almond meal base that would really stick-to-your-ribs for winter, but be perfect as a small serving to end an elegant meal.

The raw mix sets quite stiffly and the heaviness of the almonds means you need to cook it a bit lower and slower than you might think. I also tried baking these from frozen, to try for the perfect molten centre, but the heavy mix put too much pressure on the softer baked shell.  I timed them exactly for my oven and it's quirks, but you might need to try one out in yours before you want to impress anyone with perfection. That also means that the sacrificial pudding will need eating so it doesn't go to waste- what a shame! I won't tell anyone you got one extra, I promise.

Chocolate Fondant Puddings

makes 4

200g Dark Chocolate (I used Lidnt 85% because that's what I had handy, but really it was very rich and strong. 70% would have been much better)
200g Butter
1/4 cup Almond Meal
1/4 cup Castor Sugar
4 Eggs
Pinch of Salt
Frozen Raspberries
4 1/2 cup capacity ramekins

Melt the butter and chocolate together. You can use a pan, a water bath, or just the microwave, it doesn't really matter as long as they are combined nicely

Add in everything else

then stir really well until smooth and silky looking with no lumps

Grease your ramekins really, really well. You don't want the little Lavas to stick on their way out now.
Fill your ramekins nearly to the top, then pop just a few frozen raspberries into the mixture, and push them into the middle of the cake

Tap the ramekins sharply on a flat surface to remove any air bubbles and settle the raspberries in place

Now you can put the little cakies away in the fridge and forget about them for a few days, or until your dinner party. You can even freeze them if you like, but let them defrost thouroughly before baking

Bake these little lovelies at 180* for exactly 13 minutes. Pull them out, then let them settle for just 2 minutes more before turning them out carefully onto the serving plates

Aren't they just lovely!

I served these with a swipe of raspberry sauce underneath and some extra berries scattered around. If you have some lactose free cream or ice cream around, that would be nice too.

Cut into your little pudding, and watch the magic happen! Oozy, molten middle spilling over the crust of cakiness, Yummo!

More elegant than a self sacing pudding, and a bit of foodie theatre as well. What a perfect ending for a winters evening.

So Dear Readers, what do you think is the perfect chocolate dessert for winter?


May 17, 2012

Dark Chocolate Sorbet

I had a lovely Mothers Day last weekend

My family made me breakfast in bed- with home made Hollandaise on my perfectly poached eggs; we went to yum cha for lunch, watched a movie, worked in the veggie patch, had one of my favourite dinners, and of course there were presents!

Look at the load of lovely goodies I received!

A delicious Saffron Syrup, some crystallised violets, a jar of very good quality saffron, 2 dozen plump vanilla pods, and the latest Donna Hay cookbook.

Totally blessed!

While nibbling away at my breakfast, I was flicking through the cookbook and one recipe in particular caught my eye: Chocolate Sorbet.... I knew it was meant to be.

I love Donna Hays fresh and lovely approach to food. Her recipes are delights that have such a universal appeal and can be made easily by home cooks. I own all her cookbooks, as much for the styling ideas as well as the food, and her magazine is one I squeal over every time I find it in my letterbox.

I have had a good chocolate sorbet before, but hadn't been able to recreate it in my own kitchen. I was really overthinking it. No dairy disasters, no eggwhite fluffiness, no glucose viscosity- just 4 simple ingredients. That's it. Would it have the rich mouth feel I was after without fats, would it be gritty and icy or smooth and soft, would it really taste like chocolate? I was about to find out!

2 3/4 cups Water
1 cup Castor Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup good quality Cocoa

Place the sugars and water in a saucepan on high heat, stir until dissolved, and bring to a boil

Whisk in the cocoa powder and reduce heat to medium

Leave on a high simmer for 14- 17 minutes, until the mixture is thick and syrupy and hits 96*C on a thermometer

Let it cool

Process mixture in an ice cream churner, then freeze until firmed up and ready to serve. Alternatively, place cooled mixture in a shallow dish in the freezer, stirring it vigorously about every half hour or so until ready


Scoop out into delicious dollops of dark delight

The sorbet was exactly what I had been trying for- smooth and very, very chocolatey. I really didn't think I could have achieved that result with just cocoa alone, and I would certainly have thought that I'd need an amount of fat to achieve such full bodied richness. Boy, was I glad to be wrong.
The sorbet scooped very well and also held it's shape nicely, having a nice thick syrup is really the key here. If you didn't let it reduce far enough I don't think it would have enough viscosity to maintain it's structural integrity once frozen, or achieve such small, smooth crystals.

I'm so happy to have found this recipe, it's perfect for InTolerances and vegetarian/vegans, and trust me, so very, very delicious!

So Dear Readers, how did you celebrate Mother's Day and spoil your Mother?


May 11, 2012

Rhubarb and Custard Muffins

You know Dear Readers,

 I really thought I was onto something unique.

I was processing all the  goodies I picked up at the Farmer's Markets, and having a lovely time planning out all the recipes that they would turn into when I had a flash of inspiration amongst the rhubarb -      Rhubarb and Custard Muffins.

I don't think I've ever seen these before, but what a great idea! I mixed and stirred, baked and tasted, and was feeling very pleased with myself... until I thought 'I'll just Google these' - Oh dear, 886 000 results!

Oh well, they still taste good, even if they aren't as unique as I had hoped.

Muffins are so nice and easy. You really should mix the wets into the drys, but I like to save on washing up and add the drys into the wets instead. The secret to a good muffin is not to overmix the batter. Fold them together nice and loosely, some small lumps aren't a problem. I use a spoon with hole in the middle to help keep the batter light, but just don't get too carried away.

I have a real fondness for rhubarb, and have hopefully solved the problem of my green only stems for good by the simple solution of finding a mature RED rhubarb and splitting and planting the crowns in my garden. I now have 8 new little babies growing, and need never be embarrassed by my lack of culinary colour again.

This is a great basic muffin batter, feel free to add whatever flavours you wish to it, rhubarb and leftover custard is just what I happened to have on hand

3 cups gluten free Self Raising Flour
2 1/2 cup lactose free Milk
2/3 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Oil
pinch of Salt

1 cup stewed Rhubarb
1 cup really thick gluten free Custard made with lactose free milk- you want it to hold it's shape when spooned

Whisk together the milk, eggs, salt and oil in a large bowl until well combined (as you'll see, I used a small bowl and made a mess)

Mix together the flour and sugar then stir briefly into the wet mixture

Marble through the three quarters of the rhubarb and about a quarter of the custard mix spooned into little clumps of yumminess

I used 1 cup capacity pans, so that means I'll use 1/2 cup of batter for each. Start with 1/4 cup in each

Pop a good spoonful of custard on top of the batter, trying to keep it in the middle

Top them off with another 1/4 cup of batter

Finish the lovelies with a little splodge of rhubarb for prettiness and an extra hit of flavour

Bake at 200* for about 25 minutes, allow to cool in the pans for just a few minutes then place on a rack

These are most yummy served warm with lovely lava like custard in the middle with of course, a nice cup of tea

So my Dear Readers,

have you ever created something you thought was unique, only to discover it's been made before?


May 5, 2012

Ploughman's Pate

When we were younger Sunday lunch wasn't a roast, it was often a great platter of cold meats, cheeses, pickles and salad- basically a delicious Ploughman's Lunch.

A traditional Ploughman's Lunch is definitively English, but  does seem to vary according to region. Some include pork pie, sliced ham, or other meats, but what they all have in common are cheese, pickles and bread, usually washed down with an ale (or two)

I really like a snacky, nibbly meal like this that I can mix and match to suit my mood and what I happen to have in the refrigerator at the time.
My fridge is usually pretty well stocked with all sorts of odds and ends, and  today I just happen to have a packet of chicken livers in my fridge that are crying out to be made into a heart, rustic pate that will be perfect on my luncheon platter.

Offal is really nothing to be afraid of. It's cheap (500g of livers just $2ish), great protein, and actually quite yummy.
This recipe is a really easy way to try it out without too much effort or ickiness factors if you're squeamish.

500g fresh Chicken Livers
200g Speck or Streaky Bacon
2/3 cup lactose free Cream
2 tab Brandy
3 cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Herbs

This is one of  your lovely fresh chicken livers.

See how shiny and glossy it is, quite pretty isn't it? They aren't slimy or gross, and they don't smell at all.

All you need to do is cut off any of the white bits, then cut the larger part in half. Easy peasy.

If you are still a bit worried about the flavour being strong and iron-y, just soak them in some lactose free milk or even water, with a decent pinch of salt for a couple of hours then dry them well

Cut the speck or bacon into thick slices, then slowly cook them and the garlic without oil,
over a low heat until cooked and lots of the lovely smokey fat is rendered out

Pull out the speck and garlic, but keep the fat in the pan and turn to high heat

Pop in the herbs-  I used sage, thyme and bay, then add in the dried chicken livers

Cook on high heat turning quickly. They aren't very big and won't take long at all to cook, only about a minute. You want them to be lovely and browned on the outside, but still just slightly pink in the inside.
If they are over cooked they go really sawdusty instead of soft and juicy

Once just about done, pour in the brandy to deglaze the pan, then pull off the heat

Take out the hard herbs and stems, then pop the lot into a blender.
Include all the pan fats and scrapings- they're full of yumminess. Add in the speck and the cream as well

Blend until nice and smooth

Put into containers, smooth the top, then place into the fridge.

The pate will firm up a lot once it's chilled, so if you want a softer consistency like peanut butter, add in some more cream, or even a chunk of butter.
I think it's definitely rich enough without it, and like to spread mine nice and thickly onto my bread

I went for so many yummy goodies with my Ploughman's Lunch- a semi hard earthy goats cheese, a crisp, sharp apple, some sweet, sour gherkins, warm crusty gluten free bread, and my lovely, silky pate, still slightly warm , and all washed down with a glass of Apple and Elderflower Cider.

Perfect for a picnic or Sunday Lunch.


So my Dear Readers, what do you think of offal, and what did you eat for Sunday Lunch when you were growing up?