sweetcorn-and-coconut-cakesweetcorn-and-coconut-cake-slice

This week I was hunting for something a wee bit different to feature and ended up finding this really easy to make, gluten and dairy free Brazilian recipe. I don’t know much about Brazilian cuisine except for pao de queijo which is a delicious and chewy cheese bread my mum introduced to me a while back. If you haven’t heard of, or tried, the cheese breads before they are kind of like dumplings, go really well with salsa and are a real party pleaser.

I think the most exciting thing about this cake is just how different it is from any other cake I’ve made before. It might not be a showstopper but as the saying goes ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ because you certainly will not be disappointed with this cake. Neither will anyone you make it for.

If you have the chance, do use grated instead of desiccated coconut. It lends great texture plus it smells amazing while in the oven. Grated coconut (for those of us not living in a tropical country) should be fairly easy to find in your local Asian supermarket in the frozen section.

The measurement of ‘1 tin’ used for a few of the ingredients is the tin the corn comes in so don’t throw it out.

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Raspberry-Chia-Seed-Jam-Oat-Crumble-Squares

Yes, yes it’s another healthy gluten-free, vegan slice recipe but I promise it’s really different from the apricot one, for starters it contains raspberry chia seed jam! The jam is pretty flexible, you could swap out the raspberries for literally anything else and it would still make a perfect jammy filling for your oat crumble squares. The base and topping are equally as flexible as well. I’m definitely going to have a play around with a few different fillings (sour cherry maybe!?) and spices to match.

Granted this slice is a bit more crumbly but that doesn’t have to be a negative. The only problem I’ve had with it being more delicate so far is when I didn’t put the slice into a container before putting it in my bag and my drink bottle squished it flat… A minor problem overall, but it was still annoying.

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healthy-date-cashew-caramel-chocolate-sliceSo while this doesn’t exactly taste like a caramel slice (not that anyone should reasonably expect that to be the case), Nadia Lim has created a creamy and rich slice that is eons more healthy than your average caramel chocolate slice. All in all what I considered a win-win, unless you were actually expecting caramel slice in which case I hate to break it to you, you’re going to be mildly disappointed.

I do have to say, I have no idea how her food photographer managed to cut such beautiful looking slices because boy were mine ugly. Rustic and cracked and made with love, but ugly none the less. She suggests using a hot sharp knife but maybe mine just wasn’t enough of both. The chocolate on the second lot I cut up was a lot nicer looking which could be because it was sitting out on the bench for a good 20 minutes. Maybe that’s the trick, maybe it’s not. All I know is it’s gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free (excluding the dark chocolate – oops) which is good enough for me.

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chocolate-olive-oil-cakeI‘ve recently been craving a tummy friendly (aka. gluten-free and dairy-free), easy and delicious chocolate cake recipe to lock into my recipe archives and not that I could ever doubt Nigella but… I just wasn’t expecting this recipe to come from the queen of luscious decadence herself. Yet after trawling the internet there it was, and at around 8pm last night I thought to myself ‘why not?’. I make all my best baking decisions at night.

This cake couldn’t be easier to pull off and with such a short bake time you could be happily munching away at your own cake in 40 minutes time. Serve this cake to your friends and family whether they have dietary restrictions or not. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think anyone would be able to pick that this cake was gluten and dairy-free, mum’s the word.

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Chocolate-Chip-and-Walnut-Cookie_2Do you have a trusted chocolate chip cookie recipe that’s super easy, potentially not that healthy and you could recite off by heart? I used to. It was a classic tollhouse cookie. I would make them every Wednesday night to take to school the next day (aka. cookie Thursday) and sometimes if I got lazy on a Wednesday night, it would be cake Friday instead.

I stumbled across this recipe completely by chance while I was at the supermarket and I’m so glad I did. This is really the best chocolate chip cookie recipe that a dairy and gluten-free person could wish for. Soft, moorish, keeps well, packed full of chocolate. I loved them so much and ate them so fast I had to make a second batch two days later…

Chocolate-Chip-and-Walnut-Cookie_1 Seriously though, get a load of these cookies. Who would have thought that gluten-free cookies could be so inviting? Coconut flour is pretty amazing as well actually. It’s a really dry flour that soaks up a lot of moisture and if the batter doesn’t have enough liquid in it then it just ends up drying out your mouth and making it hard to swallow. I made cookie ‘puffs’ with a different recipe a couple of weeks ago and they were pretty dry on the first day. Luckily our house is like most other New Zealand houses, damp, cold and totally lacking in double glazing so the cookies sat out on the bench overnight and were much better in the morning. They were nowhere near as addictive and delicious as this batch though.

Chocolate-Chip-and-Walnut-Cookie_3I really like where this new chapter of baking is heading and it’s amazing how quickly i’ve adapted to all my new food restrictions. It does however make most bought things taste extremely sweet (especially muesli bars). Perhaps I should test out some bar recipes for next week?

P.s. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients list. I made a whole lot of changes to the original recipe and put in instructions for making your own date paste so it just looks like a lot but they are really quick and easy to make. Promise!

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Apricot-Oat-Slice_2

I think this super healthy apricot oat slice has finally convinced me that being gluten-free and dairy-free is going to be a-okay (and really easy). Maybe even more than okay, it’s still early days yet. Along with this much needed reassurance, this slice also happens to be refined sugar-free and vegan, more bonuses! Also, on the off chance you are allergic to nuts, feel free to substitute the almond meal for additional oats or rice flour.

Apricot-Oat-Slice_3

My grandma is reaching a milestone age next month and to celebrate all her children, her children’s children and her children’s children’s partners will be whipping up a grandiose lunch-time feast. It was mum’s idea and to be perfectly honest, I think it’s fab. Why am I telling you about my grandma’s birthday celebration? Well, I have just decided that this is what i’ll be presenting her for dessert.

Apricot-Oat-Slice_1

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Banana-and-Mango-Muffin

Baking is my ultimate form of procrastination. It’s also a really good way to warm up an old, cold, one bedroom flat. Obviously muffins don’t take that long but if it’s really that freezing you can always go for a cake with a 1+ hour bake time. Technically you’re not using a heater but you still get to defrost and something delicious comes out of it – winter baking at its finest (and most economical).

I’ve never used a gluten-free flour mix before so this was a total experiment, more so since the original recipe is not actually gluten or dairy free. These muffins are without a doubt, no where near as good on the second day. Don’t even bother trying them on the second day. To be fair, the flavour is still all there, along with the aroma, but the texture is a classic case of baking gone rock.

Now that I’m sure you have HEAPS of faith in this recipe, do give them a go if you know they’ll all be gobbled up half an hour out of the oven. They honestly are quite delicious and have the benefit of being gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free to keep everyone’s bellies, and allergies, happy!

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