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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Desserts

22Jun 12

Coconut Pancakes

Coconut PancakesThese coconut pancakes are made with coconut flour, which lends a delicious and intense coconut flavour and is also a great ingredient for gluten-free baking because of its high fibre, high protein, and low carbohydrate content.  The addition of the shredded coconut and coconut-flavoured extract make the pancakes even more delicious and sweet.

It can be difficult to get these pancakes right the first time, so make sure you follow the instructions carefully, mix all the ingredients very well and don’t skip any steps, such as letting the batter set.  For best results, make sure you use a good non-stick frying pan whose surface isn’t scratched or worn. (For mini treats, try these mini pancakes with mozzarella, spinach and pine nuts.)

 

You Need:

  • 65g sorghum flour
  • 65g cornflour
  • 50g tapioca flour
  • 60g coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 200ml to 250ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut-flavoured extract
  • 65g sweetened shredded coconut
  • Additional butter or oil for frying

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup, sift together the sorghum flour, cornflour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
  2. Gradually whisk in the milk, butter, egg, vanilla, and coconut extract.  Mix well until very smooth.
  3. Mix in the shredded coconut. Let the batter stand 5 minutes and then add more milk, if necessary, just until the batter is thin enough to pour.
  4. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large non-stick frying pan until hot but not smoking. Pour 65ml of the batter onto the frying pan and cook until bubbles appear on top of the pancake, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pancake over and cook until it has browned on other side.
  5. Repeat step 4 with the rest of the batter to make the rest of the pancakes.
  6. Serve immediately, either plain or with maple syrup or your favourite pancake topping.

 

Ready In:  25 minutes

Serves:  2

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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12Jun 12

Raisin Bread

Raisin BreadThis raisin bread recipe may take a bit of work to get right, but it’ll make your morning breakfast oh-so-much better! If you are looking for something crispier, this Biscotti di Prato recipe might also do the trick.

Toast and butter it for best results.

 

You Need:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 250ml warm (45°C) milk
  • 55g dark brown sugar
  • White rice flour for dusting
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 435g potato starch
  • 90g sorghum flour
  • 90g cornflour
  • 70g tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 85ml canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 170g raisins tossed with 1 teaspoon of potato starch

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, and 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar. Set aside to foam 5 minutes.
  2. Generously grease a non-stick loaf pan. Dust the bottom and sides of the pan lightly with white rice flour.
  3. In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, beat eggs until light and frothy, about 30 seconds. Add the potato starch, sorghum flour, cornflour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, oil, vinegar, and remaining brown sugar and beat on low speed until blended.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4.  Increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds, or until dough thickens slightly. Stir in the raisins. Dough will be slightly softer than most yeast breads.
  5. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and smooth the top with a wet spatula.
  6. Cover the dough lightly with foil and let rise in a warm place (about 25ºC) until the dough is level with the top of the pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  8. With a sharp knife, make three diagonal slashes (1/3cm deep) in the  loaf so steam can escape during baking.
  9. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes or until temperature reaches 205°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into centre of loaf. Do not under bake. Cover with foil tent after 20 minutes of baking to reduce overbrowning.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool in pan the 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  11. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.

Ready In:  150 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

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10Jun 12

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry MuffinsThese lemon blueberry muffins are mouth-wateringly delicious and make a great snack or only slightly decadent breakfast.  The crispy lemon and sugar topping is the icing on the cake, or in this case, the muffin!  If you manage to not eat them all in one sitting, they will keep in the refrigerator for up to ten days. (I would also recommend these raspberry and cinnamon muffins.)

 

You Need:

LIQUID INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 185ml milk
  • 125ml canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 180g + 25g sorghum flour
  • 180g + 20g cornflour
  • 140g + 15g tapioca flour
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 175g (1 cup) fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry

TOPPING

  • Cooking spray
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

 

Steps:

 

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 190ºC.
  2. Generously grease the cups of a standard 12-cup non-stick muffin pan, or line with paper liners coated with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on low speed until light yellow and frothy, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the milk, oil, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat just until blended.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients except the blueberries. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients until the batter is smooth and slightly thickened.
  6. Gently stir in the blueberries.
  7. Divide the batter evenly in the muffin pan.
  8. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the muffin tops are firm and the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  9. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack.
  10. Spray the tops with cooking spray.
  11. Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest.
  12. Dip each muffin top into the sugar mixture and let stand on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  13.  Serve warm.

 

Ready In:  60 minutes

Serves:  10-12

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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24May 12

Creamy Cheese Blintzes

Creamy Cheese BlintzesThese creamy cheese blintzes are great for dessert or brunch.  The sweet cherry topping is both colourful and tasty. For a saltier flavour, you could also try these crepes stuffed with ricotta and courgette.

You Need:

For the crepes:

  • 190ml milk
  • 30g sorghum flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • 25g tapioca flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Additional butter for frying

 

For the filling and topping:

  • 230g ricotta cheese or firm silken tofu
  • 90g cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar + 125g for dusting
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 can (about 500ml) cherry pie filling

 

Steps:

 

  1. Make the crepes: In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the additional butter, and process until smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 205°C.
  3. Coat a glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Just before frying the crepes, blend again to reincorporate ingredients.
  5. Heat a 20cm frying pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water dances on the surface.
  6. Brush the surface of the pan with butter.
  7. Pour 60ml of batter into the pan and immediately tilt and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly with the batter.
  8. Cook until the underside of the crepe is crispy brown, then flip with a thin spatula and cook the other side for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the batter sets.
  9. Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the remaining batter.
  10. In a medium bowl, beat the ricotta cheese/tofu and cream cheese together on medium speed until smooth.
  11. Gradually beat in the 3 tablespoons icing sugar, lemon zest, and egg until smooth.
  12. Spoon 60ml of the cheese mixture in a line along the lower third of each crepe.
  13. Fold the bottom to just cover the cheese filling and keep rolling, ending with the seam side down.
  14. Place the blintzes in the baking dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the egg is cooked and the cheese sets.
  15. Dust with icing sugar, spoon cherry pie filling on top, and serve warm.

 

Ready In:  90 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

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10May 12

Baked Tofu in Peanut Butter Sauce

baked tofu in peanut butter sauceIs it a dessert?  Is it a main course?  It’s hard to classify precisely although the one thing that’s for sure is that it is 100% awesome yumminess!  I pulled this Baked Tofu in Peanut Butter Sauce recipe out of my hat last Sunday after a meat-loving friend bet me I couldn’t prepare tofu in a way that he would consider delicious or even edible, for that matter.  Since he is notorious for having a sweet tooth, I decided to mix things up a bit and go for something leaning towards dessert than your typical savoury tofu dish.  This was the result.

So, to make a long story short, I made the dish, he tried it, and he was absolutely blown away!  The saltiness of the tamari contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the peanut butter, and the ginger, chilli pepper and garlic seemed like a good idea to give it a bit of a Thai feel.  (Another Thai dish that can be made with tofu is Pad Thai.) It may be a bit rich for some tastes, but if you’ve got a sweet tooth or just love peanut butter, I definitely recommend you try this one right away!

You Need:

  • 400g soft tofu
  • 3 tbsps gluten-free Tamari Soy Sauce
  • 6 tbsps smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fresh chilli peppers, finely chopped (can substitute ½ tsp paprika)
  • 200 ml boiling water.

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. Mix the peanut butter with the boiling water in a bowl.  Stir until all the peanut butter is dissolved.
  3. Sauté the ginger, garlic and chilli peppers in a little oil for about 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown.
  4. Add the spices to the peanut butter and tamari sauce and mix well.
  5. Cut the tofu into ½ cm slices.
  6. Lay the tofu slices along the bottom of a deep, non-stick baking pan or casserole dish.  If you don’t have a non-stick pan, grease the bottom with a little oil or butter before laying out the tofu.
  7. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the tofu slices.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the peanut butter sauce solidifies and starts to bubble at the edges.
  9. Serve on top of rice or alongside some steamed veggies.

Ready In:  30 minutes

Serves:  3

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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02Apr 12

Sugar-free Gingerbread

Sugar-free GingerbreadThis sugar-free gingerbread is just as rich and delicious as the one Grandma used to make, but without the guilt!  I recommend using agave nectar as a sweetener, but if you can’t find it, you can go ahead and use any other fruit sweetener, or even regular sugar if you prefer, although it obviously won’t be sugar-free then.  The gingerbread freezes very well, so you can double or triple the recipe if you like and freeze the rest for another occasion. (Also try this spicy pumpkin cake.)

You Need:

  • 250g  pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  • 250ml  agave nectar
  • 65ml canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 375g brown rice flour or sorghum flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 250ml unsweetened applesauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Spray a 23cm square pan with a non-stick spray and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the agave nectar or fruit sweetener and the oil.
  4. Beat with an electric blender on high speed until thoroughly blended.
  5. After you have mixed the oil and the sweetener, add the eggs, one at a time. Make sure to beat well between additions.
  6. Add the orange rind and the vanilla extract and continue to blend together for another minute. Set aside.
  7. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  8. Add the nuts to the sifted dry ingredients.
  9. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a little at a time, alternately with the applesauce, blending well after each addition.
  10. Continue until you have added all the ingredients.
  11. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the gingerbread comes out clean.  Alternatively you can press lightly on the centre of the gingerbread. If it leaves a dent, it’s not done.  If it springs back after touching, it’s done and you can move it to a cooling rack.
  12. When cooled, slice and serve.

Ready In:  30 minutes

Serves:  8-10

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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29Mar 12

Lime Cheesecake

 

Lime cheesecake

Tangy and cheesy and sweet, get ready for a taste bud explosion with this lovely lime cheesecake! Or for a more bite-sized option, try these mini lemon cheesecakes.

You Need:

For the crust:

  •  200g gluten-free vanilla or lemon-flavoured biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted,
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest

For the filling:

  • 700g cream cheese
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 65ml sour cream at room temperature
  • Juice and grated zest of 2 limes
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 250ml whipped cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons of very fine sugar and 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 165°C.
  2. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 23cm nonstick spring-form pan and set aside.

FOR THE CRUST:

Place the biscuits and sugar in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs.

  1. Add the butter and lime zest and process until the mixture is crumbly.
  2. Pat the crust onto the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until the crust is fragrant.
  4. Cool the crust while preparing the filling, but leave the oven on.

FOR THE FILLING:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the sugar and beat 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the lime juice and zest, vanilla extract and salt and beat until smooth.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one a time, just until blended.
  5. Pour the filling over the crust and smooth with a spatula.
  6. Bake 1 hour or until the top is firm.
  7. Cool the cheesecake 15 minutes on a wire rack.
  8. Run a sharp knife around the outer edge of the cake to loosen the edges and remove the sides of the pan.
  9. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  10. Slide a thin knife between the cheesecake and the pan and slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate.
  11. Bring the cheesecake to room temperature; slice with a knife dipped in hot water, then dried.
  12. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with a lime slice.
  13. Refrigerate leftovers.

Ready In:  60 minutes + overnight setting

Serves:  10-12

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

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