Sourdough bread

February 21, 2018

I was very kindly given a gluten free sourdough starter this week. I fed it for a few days then made this loaf using spelt flour, although it's easy to replace with a mix of brown rice, buckwheat and tapioca flour if you want to be totally gluten free. This recipe is adapted from Homegrown Kitchen.
To keep your starter going, reserve at least 1/4 c starter after taking out 1 c to use. Mix 1/4 c flour and 1/4 c water to your starter every 12 hours. Store in a glass jar with a tight lid. If you only bake once a week, feed it once then keep the starter in the fridge. To prepare for baking, take it out of the fridge, discard all but 1/2 c and feed as usual. Rest at room temperature for 12 hours, until bubbly. Repeat until the starter doubles or triples in volume over 6-8 hours. Then it is ready to leaven bread. Mix in enough water and flour for your recipe. Once it bubbles you can take what you need for your recipe. Then feed the starter again and allow the starter to work for 2 hours before putting back in the fridge.
With any discarded starter you can make waffles, pancakes, pizza, cakes or crackers. Or give to a friend so they can make their own sourdough goodies.
2 c flour
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 c sourdough starter
1 tbsp olive oil
300-350ml room temperature filtered water

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to aerate. Add starter, oil and about 300ml water and mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon (not metal) for about 30 sec. The mixture will look like a thick cake batter.
Pour the batter into a lined loaf tin. You can sprinkle seeds on top if you wish. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 5-8 hours on your kitchen bench (or maybe in a hot water cupboard during winter). The mixture should have risen about a third and will have little bubbles on top.
Preheat the oven to 190. Place an oven tray or baking tray underneath the rack where you'll place your loaf. Boil 1 c water. Place the loaf in the oven and pour the water over the oven tray to make steam. Close the oven door immediately and bake loaf for 50-60 min. The bread is cooked when the load sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. Store wrapped in a tea towel or in a bread bin for up to a week. Or cut into slices before freezing.

 

Banana cake with butterscotch icing

February 18, 2018

A freshly baked banana cake is pretty rad, but add butterscotch buttercream and it's an indulgent treat!
175g butter, softened
1/2 c ground coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2-3 bananas, mashed
3 tbsp boiling hot milk or water
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c flour (I used spelt)

Butterscotch icing:
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c cream (I used coconut cream)
185g butter
375g cream cheese

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 sponge tins with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and smooth. Add va...
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Ginger and pistachio cookies

February 15, 2018

A little bit spicy and a little bit nutty! Just what you need for your afternoon dunk. This is a variation on my very easy vegan digestives. You can experiment with any nut or seed flours, add zest or other spices. Go crazy.

1/2 c sunflower seeds, ground in a coffee grinder
1 c flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c chopped pistachios
1/2 c coconut sugar, ground in a coffee grinder
1/4 c coconut oil
5-8 tbsp non-dairy milk

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a ...


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Vegan chocolate ganache cake

February 10, 2018

A deep, rich cake perfect for special occasions. No one will even tell it's vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free.

1 1/2 c non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 c flour (I've used spelt and buckwheat on different occasions and both worked fine)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 c cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 c rice syrup
1/2 c sunflower or rice bran oil
grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
4 tbsp jam (I use sugar-free St Dalfour)
juice of half orange or lemon

Gan...


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almond cupcakes

February 4, 2018

I read an interesting book about the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, basically promoting foods that are easy to digest that help build gut flora and it has been proven to relieve sufferers of intestinal and neurological conditions, such as autism, ADHD and schizophrenia. The GAPS diet aims to rebalance the immune system by restricting grains, refined carbs/sugar, dairy food and processed food. This is a very simple recipe as a base for sweet or savoury cakes...
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Ginger apple muffins

January 30, 2018

The apple really helps to keep these little cakes moist. Adapted from The Minimalist Baker.

2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp water
1 1/4 cup grated apple, skin on
1/2 cup organic ground coconut sugar
3 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (I used coconut)
1 1/2 c non-dairy milk
1 1/2 cups flour (I used spelt)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 170C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with patty pans.
In a large bowl mix th...


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Berry almond tart

January 1, 2018


I followed the Little Flower Bakery recipe for this brisee dough but it just didn't hold, maybe there was too much butter? Maybe Auckland is just too humid at the moment? Anyway, instead of several small tarts I pressed half the dough into a large tin. I still have half the dough in the fridge, maybe I'll make a savoury quiche with it.

Pastry:
4 1/2 c flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 (342g) butter, cut into 2cm cubes and chilled
1/3 c ice water

Almond cream:
1/2 c (114g) butter, softened
1/2 c g...
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Double chocolate zucchini muffins

December 31, 2017

Our 5-year-old runs at the sight of zucchini but she scoffed these muffins - ha gotcha! No one could tell these cakes had vegetables in them, and vegan and gluten free to boot. Adapted from The Love & Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio (Avery, 2016).

1 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp water
1 c non-dairy milk at room temperature (I used rice)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 c spelt flour
1/2 c cacao powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
2/3 c brown rice sy...

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Banoffee pie

December 26, 2017

I scoured the net and came up with a mix-and-match raw vegan banoffee pie recipe. This is different from my other banoffee pie, which uses cashew cream.

For the base:
1/2 c almonds
1/2 c walnuts
1/3 c desiccated coconut
6 deglet noor dates (use medjool if you have them, I was just saving $)
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the caramel:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 c coconut cream or milk or other nondairy milk
2 heaped tbsp almond/cashew/peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

2 banan...


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Coconut milk caramels

December 22, 2017

First attempt at making toffees. Quite a process, but the combo of coconut milk, spices and coconut sugar is rather delicious. This is adapted from Sweet Things by Annie Rigg (Kyle Books, 2013).

400ml coconut milk or cream
10cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cardamom pods, bruised
2 star anise
1 stick cinnamon
150g soft brown sugar
75g golden syrup
50g non-dairy spread or butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
220g coconut sugar
2 tbsp desiccated coconut, toasted
50g dark chocolate, melte...
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MAY THE CAKE B WITH U

Frances Chan is a freelance editor/proofreader who has written a couple of children's books and writes for Weekend Notes. She also loves to bake. She shares some of her adventures, culinary or otherwise, on Instagram.


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