Category Archives: Great baking

Matcha Impossible Pie

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Impossible Pie is an oldie but a goodie. It’s called Impossible Pie because it’s impossible to stuff up. If you cook it too long it becomes a cake and too short and its baked custard. I’ve bought it into the modern era by adding Matcha.

There’s only one step to this pie. Usually I whizz everything up in a blender but you can mix it all by hand.

Ingredients

2 Cups of Milk or Coconut Milk
1 Cup of desiccated Coconut
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Self Raising Flour
125 grams (4 Oz) of butter
3/4 Cup of Castor Sugar
3 Teaspoons of Matcha Powder (Green Tea Powder)or 4 for a stronger flavour

To Make it

Whizz all these ingredients in a blender or mix well by hand. Pour into a greased and floured baking dish. Bake at 175c for 60 minutes. Turn the oven down if the top is getting too brown.

When cool place in the fridge to set and serve cold with cream.

Options:

Use vanilla for normal impossible pie, add extra matcha for stronger flavour, sometimes I use coconut milk instead of cows milk – this gives an extra coconut flavour but also makes it a bit heavier. Some times I use half milk and half cream for extra creaminess, decadence and extra calories.

Robbi’s easy peasy 100% Rye Bread and nothing else (made for Pete)

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My lovely husband Peter looked at the salt content in shop bought bread and had a coronary over his sardines on toast so I said I would make home made bread for him that was 100% rye – his favourite.

This bread is so yummy and so easy to make I’m now making it every second day – (ahh what you can manage when the kids fly away).

Smile because there are no arduous hours of kneading and the smell of bread cooking and the taste of hot bread smothered in butter is one of those things that makes life worth living.

Just make sure you have somewhere warm away from drafts to leave the bread whilst it rises. Up here in the tropics that means anywhere.

Ingredients

6 Cups of Rye Flour

2 Teaspoons of Yeast granules

2 Dessertspoons of Molasses

1 Teaspoon of salt

1/4 Cup of Rice Bran Oil

2 Cups of Warm Water

To Make that Dough

Put the rye flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre, put the yeast into the well, sprinkle the salt and molasses over the yeast. Pour over 1 of the cups of warm water, stir the well until the salt, molasses and yeast is mixed into the water but don’t stir in all the flour.

Leave it in a warm place for about 15 – 20 minutes, after this time there should be bubbles in the watery-yeast mix.

Pour in the other cup of water and the oil and mix the whole lot up until combined. Cover with a towel if you have drafts near by and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size or for about 1 – 2 hours.

Now cover  your hand in rye flour and knead the dough. I usually do this in the bowl using one hand. As its rye you won’t knead to knead (hah hah) for long – just until the dough is doughy and holding together and a bit shiny and elastic – no more than 20 kneads.

Now shape it into the tin you want to bake it in and leave it in a warm place for another 1 – 2 hours until it doubles in shape again.

Bake that Bread

Now bake the bread at 175 degrees celsius or 350 farenheight for 1 hour.

When cooked tip the bread out, slice, smother so its dripping in butter (another coronary coming on) and try not to eat the entire loaf in half an hour.

Carrot, Maple & Macadamia Cake

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It was a scorching 35 degrees celsius in Townsville and so what did I decide to do to stay cool – I decided to bake. Really I was trying to avoid looking at my manuscript which is due back at the publishers in just a few weeks because I am filled with trepidation – no I lie – I am filled with utter panic that I’m not up to the task. So instead of writing why not bake. My Peter has declared this his all time favourite cake. It was influenced by Pete Evans – all kudos and bowing to Pete Evans but I’ve made a few changes to his wonderful recipe (sorry Pete) to suit our tastes. But if you want his version of this cake which included dried fruit that My Pete can’t eat and less nuts and more eggs you can find it in his book Healthy Every Day. This is a dense nourishing cake so don’t expect light and fluffy. I like it served hot with cream, Pete liked it cold with ice-cream. Its super easy to make.  I posted my original how-to-stay-cool-while-Australia-burns-carrot-maple-and-walnut-cakes to Facebook and some of my friends asked for the recipe but as I never measure I had to bake another cake – seen above so here is the recipe.

Ingredients

4 cups of grated carrot

100 grams of chopped macadamias

100 grams of chopped walnuts

125 mls (1/2 cup) of maple syrup

125 mls (1/2 cup) of coconut oil

2 teaspoons of Vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of Cinnamon ( Being a cinnamon lover I usually spill a little more cinnamon in)

2 teaspoons of ginger

125 grams Self Raising Flour Gluten Free or use 125 grams of any other flour and add 1 teaspoon of baking powder

6 large eggs or 8 smaller eggs

Mix all this together and bake at 175 degrees, 20 minutes for smaller  serve cakes (which is what I baked) and 60 minutes for a large cake or until a skewer comes out clean

 

 

Spanakopita Gluten Free – Spinach and Cheese Pie

Our current favourite we are eating this once a week

Our current favourite we are eating this once a week

We love spanakopita – the salty fetta, healthy spinach. I have worked to perfect this recipe over the last 6 months to get it how we think is just the right combination of fetta, other cheeses and the spinach. Its super easy to make. Super yummy and there is never any left over.

You will need:

1 diced onion, sautéed until it is just browning

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of grated tasty cheese

200 grams of fetta cheese (I use the Danish because I love its creaminess)

300 grams of  spinach leaves, chopped and make sure they are dry (even though I find it difficult to cook anything that has the word baby to describe it I do use baby spinach leaves)

6 eggs

3 tablespoons of fresh oregano

1/2 cup of gluten free self raising flour – now you can leave this out and sometimes I do – but then you have to make sure the spinach really is dry. If you add the 1/2 cup of flour you will have a fail safe pie.

No salt – the fetta is salty enough on its own

To make it:

what it will look like before you pop it in the oven

what it will look like before you pop it in the oven

Combine all these ingredients and pour into an oiled baking dish and top with extra cheese and some extra fresh oregano.

To Upload it

Sometimes – and my daughters love it when I do this – I line the greased dish with nitrate free prosciutto and then pop the spinach cheesy mix on top. It does make it more salty but also super yummy.

to upload line the dish with prosciutto

to upload line the dish with prosciutto

 

 

Raspberry and Banana Muffins

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I am a bit of a fussy muffin eater – they have to be moist and full of fruit and flavour. I have tried so many ways to make them but family feels I have hit the jackpot with these ones.

These are our favourite muffins – super yummy – super moist and they never last longer than the day they are cooked.

We love them for breakfast but they are also great for afternoon tea. I hope you love them as much as we do.

Ingredients

1 and a half cups of S.R. Flour

1/3 cup of oat bran (if you can’t get oat bran ground oats will do)

3 eggs

3/4 cup of dark brown sugar

200ml container of any yogurt (3/4 cup). I use a nice Jalna berry one

1/3 cup of cocoanut oil

1 cup of fresh or frozen berries

1 large banana, split down the middle and cut into thick slices

Cinnamon Sugar

For Cinnamon sugar mix 1/4 cup of cinnamon with 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar – you will use this to sprinkle on your hot muffins

Making them

gently combine all ingredients

ladle the mix into  muffin tins lined with baking paper. I make six large muffins but you could do 12 small ones

Bake the 6 large for about 20 minutes at 180 C or 350 F. If you make 12 small ones probably about 12 minutes will do it. You can tell they are ready when they are springy on top.

Remove from oven when cooked and sprinkle with cinnamon  sugar

Hidden Shepherds Pie – a Fair Dinkum Aussie Meal

Shepherds Pie with hidden layer of Cheese Melt

Shepherds Pie with hidden Cheese Melt

My baby daughter (okay she is 17 so maybe not a baby) is off to the other side of the world – to Italy and she wants to make a Fair Dinkum Aussie Meal for her host family. She decided there was nothing more Fair Dinkum Aussie than Shepherds Pie and asked me for my recipe.

So why do I call it Hidden Shepherds Pie – I have been making this one for years and when the kids were little they never picked up on the hidden veggies and lentils which add to the texture. But its not just stuff kids don’t like that are hidden in here – there are also yummy slices of Tomatoes and Cheese.

It looks like a lot of ingredients but it is really quite simple to make.

The secret to this recipe is it tastes even better the next day.

This serves 6-8 people.

Ingredients

1 Onion
2 – 4 cloves of Garlic (depending on taste – we are 8 cloves kinda people)
2 Tablespoons of fresh Herbs or 1 tablespoon of dried Mixed Herbs. For fresh I used rosemary, thyme and oregano because that is what grows on my back porch.
1 Stick of Celery sliced thinly
1 kg of Minced (Ground) meat. We use Kangaroo – its low fat, cheap and ecologically sound in Australia. Kangaroos breed prolifically and don’t hurt our environment. You can use Lamb or Beef just as easily
I Grated Carrot
I cup of Peas fresh or frozen
1 can of Lentils
2 Tablespoons of any Gluten Free Flour
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Red Wine (more if like me you want to have a glass while you cook) or Balsamic Vinegar
4 generous Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
Olive Oil
3 Cups of Diced Sweet Yellow Potato or Yams or Butternut Pumpkin
4 Cups of Diced Potato’s
Sliced or Grated Mature Tasty Cheese
Fresh Tomatoes

Let’s Make it

Meat Base

In a deep saucepan fry the onion, garlic and herbs in a good lug of olive oil until the onion is transparent. Then add the meat, grated carrot, celery and peas and continue frying until the meat is cooked.
Remove from the heat.
Add the flour and stir thoroughly so lumps don’t form. Then add the Lentils, Soy, Worcestershire, Red Wine or Balsamic and the Tomato Paste.
Pour into a deep baking dish and pat flat.
Cover the meat with slices of fresh tomato
Cover the tomato with a yummy layer of Tasty Cheese.

Potato Top

Boil the diced Potato until cooked soft enough to mash.
Mash the potato with Olive oil (I used 3 tablespoons of Oil) – you want a soft but firm consistency.
Place the mashed potato on top of the cheese and spread evenly with a fork
If you want to you can drizzle olive oil or grated cheese over the potato to assist browning.

Bake 20 minutes @ 350F

Apple Pie with delicious Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry

Apple Pie with Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry

Apple Pie with Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry

It is so difficult to make gluten free pastry that stays together when cooked and doesn’t taste like thongs (flip flops for non aussies).
This recipe for pastry is fantastic, its rich and buttery and crisp. So I have used it to make a traditional Apple Pie.

Shortcrust Pastry Dough

1 cup of Ground Almonds
2 Cups of Plain Gluten Free Flour
2/3 Cup of icing sugar
200 g of cold butter or margarine
2 eggs

Crumb together the flour, almonds, icing sugar and butter. Then add the egg and with floured hands work into a dough. Now for non gluten free dough you would pop it in the fridge at this stage and let it rest but I find that just doesn’t work with gluten free flour and the sooner you use it the better and the less you work it the better.

Saving 1/3 of the dough for the top of the pie roll out the remaining dough.

So I roll it out straight away on baking paper and use the same baking paper to line the pie tin, so I just lift the whole thing into the pie tin and trim any edges that need trimming. Its good to do it this way because even though this pastry is yummy, its still gluten free which means its a pain in the you know what to work with. Cover the pie with baking paper and pop in your blind baking balls and bake in a warm oven 180c/350F for 12 minutes. Remove the ceramic balls and let the shell cool.

Apple Filling

8 Granny Smith Apples
Almond slices
Cinnamon
Lemon zest

I made a thick custard and once cool spooned it into the bottom of the pie dish. But you don’t have to, you can just go full on apples.
I used thinly sliced granny smiths (green apples). Make sure to cut all the cores out thoroughly or they will taste like toe nails in the pie.
In a pot cook the sliced apple with a cinnamon stick and the zest of one lemon for no more than 10 minutes. You want the apple softened but still firm so it doesn’t turn mushy. Drain the apple and let it cool before adding to the pie.

Add the cooled apple to the pie. Now you can either lattice the top or completely cover the pie with dough (if you do this make sure you make fork holes for hot air to escape), decorate the top however you want to, let your imagination run wild and create a painting on top of the pie. The rolled out pastry will still need supporting as you place it on the pie. I actually cut strips right through the baking paper and the dough and supporting the dough with the paper turned them onto the pie.
I used natural food colouring for the rose buttons.

Bake the pie again for 20 minutes.

Quinoa Fritattas

Quinoa Frittatas

Quinoa Frittatas

I was going to post some delicious gluten free biscuit (cookies for non aussies) recipes but instead I have decided to go healthy. This recipe for Quinoa Frittatas is one I make for my daughters for their school lunches. They are full of yummy veggies, cheese and what is life without cheese? and of course Quinoa an excellent source of protein, fibre, carbs etc.
This is a super healthy but super yummy recipe.

This recipe will make 12 Quinoa Frittatas in a large muffin pan

Cook 1 cup of quinoa in a saucepan with 2 1/2 cups of water and one vegetable gluten free stock cube. I use Massels stock cubes which also have no nasties like msg.

Add together:

Cooled Quinoa
1/2 cup of gluten free self raising flour. I use white wings but any brand or type is fine.
salt – just a pinch
Herbs, just a handful chopped well, I use what ever is growing well in my pot plants on the back verandah, today is was oregano and thyme.
6 cups of mixed finely diced or grated vegetables. I used mushroom, grated zucchini, capsicum, spanish onion, carrot – what ever you have on hand will work. I have used grated sweet potato which was yum.
2 cups of cheese, I use 1 cup of tasty and 1 cup of shredded parmesan
8 eggs

Combine this and spoon into 12 lined large muffin pans.
Sprinkle a little cheese on top.
Cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes

Salted Caramel Scones – an ultimate comfort treat

My daughters class gobbled these up

My daughters class gobbled these up

I made these for my daughter’s class when she had to take morning tea to share. She said the kids loved them and ate them before the junk food. I make them for the ultimate in comfort food on a cold afternoon in front of a movie, or afternoon tea with friends.

The recipe is actually based on an old school text book from the 60’s and 70’s called ‘Cookery the Australian Way’. I wanted to do Wood-work but only the boys were allowed so I had to learn to make exciting dishes like fried liver, junket and arrowroot custard – then one day we got to make butterscotch scones and they were delicious.

I have changed the recipe quite a bit to accommodate gluten free flours but these goodies owe their heritage to a falling apart school text book.

Ingredients

125g butter (not margarine)
125g dark brown sugar
salt
3 cups of Self Raising Gluten Free flour
300g Sour Cream
2 Eggs

Making the Salted Caramel

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – add salt to taste and set aside

Making the Scone Dough

1.Combine the eggs and sour cream and add to the 3 cups of flour. Mix well and then with floured hand knead into a ball of dough.
2. Place the dough on a floured sheet of baking paper. Sprinkle some flour on top and place another sheet of baking paper over the top.
3. Roll the dough out between the two sheets of paper into a rectangle approximately 40cms long, 25 cms wide and .5cm thick (5mm).
4. Spread the caramel evenly over the dough
5. Roll from the long side into a 40cm long roll (like a long sausage)
6. With a sharp floured knife slice into 2cm thick slices and lay flat on a baking tray
7. Bake in a hot oven of 200o Celsius for about 10 mins
8. Wait till they have cooled a bit before removing from tray but they are hard to resist and usually get eaten as soon as they are cool enough for fingers to grab

3 cups