Monthly Archives: November 2010

Sunday’s Best

The signs are obvious- I think I’m falling ill. Sore throat, tired head, lazy feet, achy back. And such terrible timing for this to happen when my mom’s not home. No one to fuss over me and give me extra tea and sympathy. Boo.

Nevermind, suppose this means I can veg in front of the telly and flick over as many channels as I like, and settle on NCIS re-runs because I really don’t like Parenthood. And it also means I can eat whatever I want, so long as I drain as much water as I can before getting bored of it.

Suppose it also means that no one really saw me slathering my muffins with maple cream cheese. I’m pretty sure our walls have no eyes. Just the pineapple but he won’t tell- I’ll gobble ya!

Today’s muffin has a very earthy taste, definitely not for the super faint hearted. I do think that replacing the agave with maple syrup might be a mighty fine idea so if anyone does try it, let me know how it turns out.

Plum and Cornmeal Muffins (gluten free, egg free, refined sugar free, nut free and vegan) adapted from Babycakes

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp GF flour mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tbsp applesauce (I used Greek yogurt this time)
almond milk
1 tsp apple cider
2 small plums, washed
1 tbsp raw sugar

1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 6-hole muffin tin.

2) Halve and remove the stones of the plums. Slice each half into 5 slices. Set aside.

3) Mix the apple cider vinegar with the milk. Let stand for 5 minutes.

4) Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda together. Add in the cornmeal.

5) In another bowl, whisk the oil, agave and applesauce (yoghurt) together. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.

6) Slowly add in the soured milk and mix well. Divide batter evenly in the tin and place 3-4 slices of plum on top. Sprinkle the raw sugar and bake for 22-25 minutes.

7) Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

8) If you like, mix up some cashew cream frosting (here’s one!) with 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup and ice the muffins or if you’re not lactose intolerant (or calorie intolerant), use a cream cheese frosting base (try this) instead. SO GOOD!


Filed under Fruit, Recipes

Comfort in Chocolate

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter C.

C for chocolate, C for comfort, C for crazy.

For starters, I’ve embarked on a no refined sugar 21-day challenge- mainly to help with my eczema that’s flaring up. Then, because my upper wisdom tooth shifted and started chomping on my bottom gum, I had to get that tooth extracted. If you could picture me now, I’m a shaking I-NEED-MILK-CHOCOLATE-NOW mess who’s chewing whatever I can find with my head tilted to one side. Very attractive.

It’s hard enough avoiding refined sugar but with a sore gum? That’s just cruel. All I really want to do is dive headfirst into a huge cookie and a glass of cold soy milk. Then I remember that no-I can’t have commercial chocolate, and even if I COULD have the cookie, I can’t chew the darn thing. Give up? Me? Nah…

Enter Chocolate pudding! Handsome, gooey, non-chewy, sweet, yet within all the boundaries I have set myself. Is this brilliant or what? And they are great for drenching over vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes which I miraculously have lying around from my baking spree this weekend. TA-DAH!

Chocolate Pudding (free from refined sugar, gluten, dairy and eggs)

2 cups soymilk (I suggest a thicker formula like Silk’s)
6 tbsp cocoa (I used Valrhona, it’s worth using a good cocoa since it’s the dominant flavour)
1/3 agave syrup
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1) In a medium saucepan, combine 1 2/3 cup soymilk, cocoa, agave and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly.

2) In another bowl, mix the remaining soymilk with the cornstarch until homogenous.

3) Bring the cocoa mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. This step takes awhile (6-8 minutes)

4) Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and pour in the cornstarch mixture, whisking until completely combined. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil while stirring.

5)Let it boil and thicken for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Divide between 4-6 ramekins. To prevent a skin from forming, place plastic wrap over the top of each ramekin, ensuring it touches the entire surface of the pudding. I quite fancy the skin so I left it plain in the fridge. Refrigerate for 2 hours at least or over night.

6) To serve, you can dust a teaspoon of cocoa powder over the top or whip some coconut cream for a more extravagant effect.


Filed under Chocolate, Recipes

When Life Hands You Lemons…

Squeeze ’em in people’s eyes!

That’s what my little sister would wish she could do. It’s probably her favourite David & Goliath tee slogan.

I, on the other hand, would bake lemon cake then use the remaining lemon ‘shell’ to perfume my microwave. Or maybe I would make a lemon curd and yearn longingly that it would transport me right back to London. But I do love cake.

So, we’ll settle for this lovely Lemon Layer Cake reminiscent of Primrose Bakery. It positively reminds me of London, when me and the little sister trudged around after a looong day, only to chance upon the bakery… and then finding Hope and Greenwood right up the lane! It was the best. It still is the best.

These two weeks have been a crazy lemony sour, sugary sweet, baking-a-3-layer-cake tiring type of whirlwind. But I can’t complain if it all boils down to two layers of buttery citrus love sandwiching a mighty swirl of lemon buttercream. If it’s going to be a busy week, better have some cake ready!

Lemon Layer Cake, bakes 2 8-inch layers

170g caster sugar
1 ½ cup GF flour mix + 1 heaping tbsp
2 ½ tsp baking powder
25g cornflour
1 cup canola oil, – 2 tbsp
2 tbsp milk (non dairy will work)
4 large eggs (1 whole, 3 separated)
Grated zest and juice of 3 medium lemons

1)      In a bowl, mix the flours and baking powder together. Grease and line 2 8-inch cake pans. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2)      In a big bowl, whisk the 3 egg yolks, 1 whole egg and half the sugar until pale. Add in the oil, milk and lemon zest. Whisk until emulsified.

3)      In the bowl of a KitchenAid, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add in the sugar a little at a time, with the motor running. Stop once you get a meringue with stiff peaks.

4)      Stir the flour into the egg yolk mixture. It will be very sticky. Add in the milk and juice. Mix to combine.

5)      Quickly fold the meringue into the batter until even. It’s okay if the meringue deflates. The important thing is to get a homogenous mixture.

6)      Divide between the two prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and cake pulls away from the side of the tin.

7)      Remove from oven and leave to cool. Invert onto a wire rack. When completely cool, frost with lemon buttercream and enjoy life’s lemons!

Lemon Buttercream Icing from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest of 1-2 unwaxed lemons (or 1 tsp of lemon oil)
500g icing sugar, sifted

1)      In the bowl of a KitchenAid, beat the butter, lemon juice, zest and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy.


Filed under Books, Cakes, Frostings, Fruit, Recipes