Saturday, 31 December 2011

Lemon cheesecake (V)

I can't believe I've had this blog for so long and haven't even told you about my cheat's recipe for wheat free lemon cheesecake- maybe cos' the measurements are all approximate and I don't have them to hand. There are a few important tips to remember when making this: one is to use the lemon juice and the yellow zest (preferably from an unwaxed lemon), but take off the zest carefully so as to not get any bits of the white pith as that tastes bitter. Another tip is that I use 'nairns stem ginger oat cakes' for the base as these are wheat free (don't know if they're egg free or nut free though so check the label if unsure). These can be made a couple of hours in advance before serving and kept in the fridge. I'd recommend making these by using a small round mould/ring instead of a medium or large one, because the mascarpone is a bit rich and heavy in a large portion. It's fairly easy when you get the hang of it and look how gorgeous it is:


5 oat biscuits (I use nairns stem ginger oat cakes)
10-15g butter (soften by leaving it out of the fridge for an hour or two)
1 tub (roughly 125g) mascarpone
juice and zest of 1 small (or half a large) lemon
icing sugar to taste (roughly 5-8 teaspoons)

You will also need at least one metal ring mould or metal round pastry cutter ring roughly 6cm diameter would be fine

- Place the biscuits in a bag and crush them by bashing them with a rolling pin, then pour the crushed biscuit crumbs into a bowl

- Stir in the butter so that it combines and clumps up

- Place the metal rings on a serving platter and put 2-3 teaspoons of the biscuit mixture inside the ring, then press down at the bottom using the back of the spoon to make a biscuit base layer

- In a separate bowl, put in the mascarpone (drain off any watery stuff from the mascarpone tub before adding it to the bowl), then gradually stir in some lemon zest, lemon juice and icing sugar a bit at a time so that the consistency is still fairly firm and the taste is just right (if it's too sour add more icing sugar and if too sweet then add more lemon)

- Spoon the mascarpone mixture into the metal ring until the ring is full, then with a palette knife, smooth over the top

- Place the platter in the fridge for at least 2 hours, then remove the metal rings by either picking them up with a hot cloth, or by blasting the sides for a few seconds with a blow torch- this prevents the cheesecake from sticking to the rings so that the rings come off easily and it's ready to serve

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Chicken Pittas (GF) (NF) (EF)

This is yum yum yum yum yum and sooo easy! In fact, I've been meaning to post this recipe for a long time but always gobbled these up quickly- so it was months before I actually had a plate of these and had the sense to pause for a moment and actually take a photo before eating it up... and it only takes minutes to make! These measurements are approximate.

(serves 1)

Gluten Free
Nut Free
Egg Free

12 x 1inch pieces boneless chicken
2 gluten free pittas
2-3 tablespoons smooth plain yogurt
1/4 cucumber, chopped (removing seeds is optional)
1/5 beetroot, peeled and chopped
1-2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
half a level teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
5-10 slices of onion
Salt and Pepper to taste

- In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, cucumber, beetroot, salt and pepper, then set aside

- In a hot frying pan, heat the garlic oil and stir fry the chicken for 4 minutes

- Add the Chinese five spice powder and onion slices, and stir fry for a further 2 or so minutes on medium heat

- Warm up the pittas in a grill or toaster, then halve them and fill them up with the chicken pieces, onion slices, yogurt mixture and serve

NB: An optional extra to add to the recipe which I haven't tried yet (but want to try next time) is to add strips of red/mixed bell pepper to the onion slices so that they are lightly stir fried and add another colour and taste to the meal as well.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Baked Felafels (GF) (NF) (V) (EF) (DF)

I wish I could take credit for this recipe but I should give credit where it's due as actually I found the baked felafel recipe here:

I made some minor changes in my version but it still tasted good alhamdulilah. I should also point out that it was my dad who put in all the effort to make the felafels in the picture below- thanks dad! I found 'free from' gluten free pittas in the supermarket and I seriously couldn't tell the difference between those and the wheatflour version so they were well worth buying.

(serves 3)

Gluten Free
Nut Free
Egg Free
(Can be Dairy free if you leave out the yogurt)

For the felafels:

1x 450g tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup coriander leaves
2 tbsps olive oil

For the tahini sauce:

3 tbsps tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 cup yogurt (leave out yogurt if on dairy free diet)
2 tsps lemon juice
A little water

For the salad:

1/3 cucumber, chopped
1/5 beetroot, peeled and chopped

4 gluten free pittas, sliced open

- Preheat the oven to 210 celcius/Gas mark 7

- Place all of the felafel ingredients in the bowl of a food processor except for 1 tbsp of the olive oil, then process for 10 seconds

- Stop the motor, scrape down the sides of the bowl, pulse for another 10 seconds until the ingredients are well combined but the mixture is still a bit course

- Form the mixture into 16 felafel balls and brush the remaining oil over them, then place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 mins

- Flip the felafel balls over and bake for 20 more mins until they are crisp and browned

- Combine the tahini sauce ingredients together, adding enough water to make it into a sauce (like thin yogurt) consistency (leave out yogurt if you are on a dairy free diet)

- Chop the cucumber, then peel and chop the beetroot (optional step: combine the cucumber and beetroot with the tahini sauce)

- Warm the pitta for a couple of mins in a toaster or grill, slice it in half widthways, then fill it with 3 felafel balls, 2-3 tbsps salad and 1-2 tbsp tahini sauce and serve

NB: I can confirm that the salad and falafel ingredients are dairy free. I have also checked the ingredients of the gluten free (Sainsburys free from) pittas and realised that they are dairy free too but if you are buying a different brand, then check the label.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Banana muffins (GF) (NF) (V)

I would actually recommend that you add another flavour to these muffins and not just bananas. My mum says these muffins taste better when I add a few fresh blueberries to each muffin which is why I've written that in the recipe. Alternatively, sometimes I add a crushed walnut in each muffin (though obviously ignore that suggestion if you have a nut allergy). Dried cranberries or raisins are also nice. These things add an extra texture as well as flavour which I think makes the muffins more enjoyable. As usual, I use Doves Farm gluten free flour for this recipe.

125g Gluten free flour
60g butter (or margarine/spread)
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 medium sized ripe bananas
a handful of blueberries (optional)

- Rub the butter and flour together (or mix together with a fork) until it resembles breadcrumbs

- In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then mix in the egg and honey/syrup and pour the whole thing into the bowl containing the buttery flour mixture

- Stir until the mixture is combined and no floury lumps are left, then spoon into muffin cases in a muffin tray

- If you want to make the muffins with blueberries or walnuts or other additional ingredients then add them in at this point- I half fill the muffin case with flour mixture, then add 3 blueberries, then fill the muffin case right to the top with more flour mixture because they wont rise very much

- Bake in the oven at gas mark 4 for 45-50 minutes and serve warm.