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.

July 28, 2014

Beautiful Blood Orange Cupcakes

Cupcakes are just so cute aren't they?

I know they've been done-to-death, but there is just something so appealing about a whole little cake all for yourself that sucks me in every time. The frosting to cake ratio doesn't hurt either :)

I've still been having so much fun playing with my case of Blood Oranges, and as my Last Recipe was savoury, it was definitely time for something sweet. In a vague attempt to ease my conscience I included some healthy almond meal this time- but who's kidding, it just makes them even yummier instead!

Blood Orange Almond Cupcakes

1 3/4 cup gluten free SR Flour
3 1/4 cup Almond Meal
1 tsp gf Baking Powder
220 lactose free margarine/spread
1 2/3 cup Castor Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Blood Orange Juice
1/4 cup lactose free Yoghurt
pinch of Salt
zest of one Blood Orange

Zest the orange first of all, so you won't forget to do so after you cut and juice it. Much easier this way, I promise!

Cream the butter and sugar together until nice, creamy and fluffy

Add in the eggs and orange zest and beat in for a minute or so

Fold in the rest of the ingredients carefully, keep it nice and light

Lovely and lightly tinted from the juice

Divvy up the batter into 24 cupcake papers


Bake for about 20mins at 170*C, then let the cakes sit in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully placing on a rack to cool down completely
As you might be able to tell I left out a crucial ingredient- the baking powder! Ooops! As these little sweeties are fairly dense from the almond meal, it doesn't really matter though, it just means they stayed a bit flatter than usual

I added an extra layer of deliciousness by filling my cupcakes with some sublime Blood Orange Curd- because, well..why not?

A crowning glory swirl of  Buttercream Frosting, using half blood orange juice for the liquid, and tinting it a nice mixture of orange food colouring

Before finally topping it all of with a wedge of candied blood orange slices

Now aren't these pretty indeed!
The almond meal adds a bit of body to these cupcakes without leaving them too dense at all. The orange flavour is definitely much better the next day after it's had time to settle in and really mingle with the rest of the ingredients, and with the extra layering of orange in the frosting they are really quite delicious indeed

So Dear Readers, what's your favourite flavour cupcake, and have you ever left an ingredient out of a recipe by accident- or is that just me?

Thanks again to Redbelly Citrus for providing me with a case of their amazing Blood Oranges to play with!


July 23, 2014

Sardines with Blood Orange and Bay Leaves


I know I do a lot of whinging about Winter, but I guess there are a few benefits after all....

I can stay in my fluffy slippers and PJ's all weekend because they're the warmest things I own; rich, thick soups are on the menu regularly; mulled wine is a great alternative to tea or coffee; and citrus are certainly at their best- especially the gorgeous globes of goodness that are Blood Oranges!

The very lovely people at Redbelly Citrus kindly sent me a box of their new season Blood Oranges to play with and I while I always knew how good oranges were for me, I was very interested to find out the extra benefits they provide.
The Redbelly website states that "Blood Oranges produce Anthocyanins which is extremely rare for Citrus fruits. Anthocyanin, most commonly found in berries such as the blueberry, flowering plants and red wine (derived from red grapes) is one of the most powerful phyto-chemicals known in the plant kingdom. This group phyto-chemical’s are known for their potent antioxidant capability, being some 150 times more powerful than Vitamin C alone and along with their ability to be beneficial in so many parts of health we have decided to call this specialty VitaminRED."
With such great taste as well as being extra good for me, how could I resist? Find out more of the amazing health benefits of VitaminRed HERE and tell me you're not as impressed as I am!

A Navel Orange in back and a Redbelly Blood Orange in the front

Just look at the colour contrast!

How do I explain the difference in flavour? It's subtle, maybe a bit of raspberry in there, definitely more mellow than the Navel Orange though. You know how Granny Smiths and Pink Ladys are both types of apple- same same but different- just like that! Got it? I will tell you this- I would pick the Blood Orange every time over any other variety, that's for sure, it's definitely my new favourite citrus!

Now as Redbelly Blood Oranges are such seasonal items, I wanted to pair them with some other lovely fresh produce coming into season now too. Tiny truss Tomatoes are just coming in from Queensland, radishes are nice and add a bit of zing, and wild rocket greens bring a bitter edge to the mix as well

Sardines are another great Winter winner, and I thought that the sweet blood orange combined with garlic and fresh bay would really be a great match with the slightly strong, oily fish

Sardines with Blood Orange and Bay Leaves
To serve Two

about 4 Sardines per person
3 Blood Oranges- 1 for slicing, 1 for zesting and juicing, and 1 for segmenting
1 bunch fresh Bay Leaves
4 cloves Garlic thinly sliced
half bunch fresh Parsley
1/3 cup Olive Oil

Wild Rocket
baby Truss Tomatoes

Blood Orange Juice
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar

Slice one of the oranges into fairly thin half circles

Segment the other orange by peeling it, then cutting between membrane that separates each little piece from its neighbour

Nice and tidy now

Make the marinade by placing the oil, garlic, zest,crumpled bay leaves, juice and parsley in a dish. Squeeze in the juice from the orange bits left from segmenting as well- waste not, want not :)

Place 2 orange slices and two bay leaves as well as a couple of the garlic slivers into each sardine cavity

Place them all in the marinade and spoon some over as well. Pop this into the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours develop

Grill the sardines with their stuffing in a hot pan for a few minutes each side, until they're just cooked through the middle and there's a nice bit of charring on the skin for extra flavour

Thinly slice the radishes and combine with the rocket and orange slices. Because it was a pretty cold day still, I decided to blister my tomatoes on the grill pan for a few minutes just to warm them through. Just because they were so pretty I kept them attached to the stem as well, but if it's nice and warm in your neck of the woods feel free to keep the tomatoes au naturel

Mix the dressing, adjusting the flavours to taste- I like a nice acidity from the vinegar. I was so lucky to have some local Homeleigh Grove Blood Orange olive oil on hand to make my dressing extra special and yummy!

Plate up your yummies, then drizzle all with the sweet, salty, acidic dressing to tie all the flavours in together

A perfect Winter Weekend Lunch- and extra good for you as well!

So Dear Readers, have you tried yummy Blood Oranges yet, and what's your favourite thing about Winter?

Many thanks go to Redbelly Citrus for providing me with the delicious Blood Oranges. To find the closest stockist of yummy Redbelly Citrus check out the map Here and stock up while they're in season- enjoy!


July 17, 2014

Truffled Celariac Soup

One of my personal joys in Winter is the availability of all the wonderfully seasonal Root Vegetables

Parsnips, turnips and swedes are all lovely, but one of my absolute favourites of all is the Celariac. A Celariac is a big, ugly, hairy ball that really doesn't look very appetising, but don't be put off by it's ugly exterior, this humble veggie is a surprise package indeed!

Sweet, mild, nutty and earthy- a delicate flavour, but one that stands up well next to strong dishes like roast beef, steak or even with blue cheese. Whether raw in a traditional French remoulade, or soaked and pureed as I've done today, this undistinguished little veggie should definitely not be underestimated

I often find that Celariac are sold per item not by weight, and as the price at the start of the season hovers around $8 each, I try and find the biggest one on the stand. I was picking through the display trying to find a nice one, when right on top I spied a beauty the size of an rockmelon! I'm only 5'1, and my arms don't reach too far, so I had a dilemma. Now, I admit, I'm not too proud to look silly in in pursuit of culinary joy- don't judge me- and I was determined that baby was going to be mine.

I tried standing on tiptoes- no good. I tried jumping- no good. I then tried strategically removing lower celariacs, hoping to cause an avalanche of sorts with my prize carried to me triumphantly on the crest of the wave- nope, just a few falling on the floor that I had to pick up. Finally I spotted a storeman who was luckily much taller than I and could pluck my celariac from the peak and into my arms- Yes!
Ignoring the stares of slightly bemused shoppers, I bore my behemoth 2 kilo celariac away while dreaming about what it would become in my kitchen....mmmmmm....

Now I do apologise Dear Readers, I seem to be missing some of my usual step-by-step photos somehow, but as this dish is really just so simple I don't think it will be a problem today

Truffled Celariac Soup

lactose free Milk or Cream
Truffle- if lucky enough to have some on hand
Truffle Oil
Salt- preferably yummy truffle infused

Cut your lemon in half and squeeze into a bowl of water

Peel your celariac quickly, and pop each piece as you go into the acidulated water to stop it oxidising and going a yucky brown colour

I always prefer to steam the celariac as I find that boiling really makes it soggy and dilutes the delicate flavour. As this is to be pureed, steam until it's very tender indeed so it will break down well

See how dry this is, not soggy at all

Blend the celariac with the milk or cream to a silky smooth puree

See how gorgeous- not a lump in sight!

At this stage the puree can be used in so many wonderful ways...
Folded through mashed potatoes for a nice change, perfect under seared scallops to match the sweetness, or even a bit of crumbled blue cheese folded through would make it a great side for roast beef

Winter time is Truffle time here in Canberra, and we are lucky enough to have fresh truffles available at the markets for a few weeks- sublime! As the season is rather short lived though, and for those unable to get such goodies, there are a lot of truffle products on the market so you can get your truffley fix. One of my favourites is Truffle Salt, the flavour really permeates through so when it dissolves into the food the flavour is carried subtly through as well

Another goodie is this Truffle Oil- rich and earthy, not artificial tasting like some on the market either

Heat the puree through gently without boiling, adding just enough milk/cream to bring it to your desired consistency. Season well with the truffled salt, then drizzle generously with the truffle oil- just because you can :)

A final flourish of truffle or truffle salt on top, and TaaDaa! I know truffles are pretty special, but who would have guessed that under the ugly exterior the Celariac hid such a tasty, luxurious interior?
This dish is a great starter to a dinner party, or just serve for your own weekday lunch as I did- just because you can :)

So Dear Readers, what are your favourite root veggies, and are you willing to make of a fool of yourself for Culinary Joy?


July 9, 2014

In My Kitchen- July 2014

Each month I seem to collect a few Weird and Wonderful bits and pieces

Ingredients, utensils, cookbooks- whatever, as long as it's food related I'm interested. Sometimes I don't really know what to do with them, but I sure have fun figuring it out!

That's just one of the reasons I love sweet Celia's In My Kitchen Posts that give a monthly roundup of what's new and interesting in other kitchens around the Blogisphere as well. If you'd like to have a stickybeak with me, check out all the action at Celia's blog over HERE and feel free to join in the fun

In My Kitchen is...
a Cake Pop stand. They're not something I make very often, but they certainly need to be displayed well after all the effort they require. Littlej and I are going to make some over the holidays and now they shall stand tall and proud in their new stand!

In My Kitchen...
are some Cake Stencils. Great for adding a nice dusting of icing sugar or cocoa powder to the top of a pie, tart or cake. Nice and easy to add a bit of bling

In My Kitchen...
is a Mushroom Cookbook from Australian Mushroom for even more Mushroom Inspiration. I loved playing with all my little Funghi Friends last month

In My Kitchen...
are a set of cute little Dumpling Press that my Mum bought me. They have lanterns on them that should stamp an imprint onto the little dumpling cheeks and help them look pretty. I haven't tried them yet, but I'm looking forward to some Yummy Cha soon

In My Kitchen...
is a Windmill Cookie Cutter to add to my collection. I thought this would be nice to use when I make Speculaas, yummy spiced Dutch biscuits

In My Kitchen...
is some Jasmine Syrup and some Jasmine Tea Flowers from T2. I'm thinking of poaching some pears in jasmine, but it's still in the planning stage

In My Kitchen...
are some gorgeous Pickled Vegetables. Each 600gm jar cost just 99c- too good to be true!

In My Kitchen...
are some cute tin Tea Canisters. My old ceramic ones met with a sad accident recently, so until I replace them these cheery sayings will brighten up my benches and keep my Earl Grey nice and cosy

In My Kitchen...
is a big jar of Honey I bought off a little Greek man, literally from the back of his truck. I was poking around an op-shop when he came in and bought a few dozen empty jars of various sizes. When we asked him what on earth he was going to do with them, he told us he was in the middle of  his honey harvest and had run out of jars to put it all in. He had boxes of golden goodness in the back of his truck that he was planning on selling at the markets, but we got first dibs as we were there first :)

In My Kitchen...
is a bright bowl of home grown Mandarins from my lovely Italian Nonna Neighbour. They are so sweet and just the right size for a quick snack. They add a nice splash of colour to the Winter bleakness outside the window

In My Kitchen...
are some terrific truffley treasures- Truffled Gouda and Truffled Brie- yummo! What a lucky find at the market deli indeed :) The Brie is French but the truffles are local, I'm not sure about the Gouda and I actually don't even care, as it is by far the yummiest thing I've come across in a long time! After trying the Brie, I've stuck in back in the fridge for a while to let the flavours develop a little more, but the Gouda is good to go right now and it is GORGEOUS

In My Kitchen...
is a beautiful big bag of local Chickpeas I picked up at the Capital Region Farmers Markets. I've popped them in soup and they are gorgeously creamy when cooked. Yummo

In My Kitchen...
also from the Farmers Markets, is another treasure indeed- a pile of Prunes! I love prunes, I'm really not too big a fan of raisins or sultanas, but prunes have a lovely, subtle sweetness that suits both sweet and savoury dishes. I'm thinking a classic tart, or a lamb tagine, or poaching them with spices, or just eating them as is perhaps while I think about it. Better than lollies or candy any day!

So Dear Readers, what's your favourite snack and what's going on in your kitchen this month?