Sunday, 26 October 2014

Banoffee blondies...sheer heaven

Ok, so if you haven't ever eaten banoffee then you are really missing out on one of life's greatest desserts. I mean banana and toffee were really just made for each other and that's where the whole banoffee idea came from. This version of banoffee is a little different to the pie version but it still has all the amazing flavours in there. The only problem I have with making these is the use of the dulce de leche because as we all know it involves boiling the be-jeepers out of cans of condensed milk for hours and hours. However, luckily for me, I got to have the cheaters way out as I was able to get my hands on some soft toffees which I could melt down in the microwave and put into the blondies. I love when you get an easy way out!

Banoffee Blondies (from raspberri cupcakes, makes approx 20) 

115g (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 1/2 cup (110g) packed light-brown sugar 
1/3 cup sugar 
1 large egg 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed (about 1 medium banana) 
1 cup (130g) plain flour (spooned and leveled) 
1 tsp salt 
1 cup chocolate chips 
1/4 cup dulce de leche or soft toffees

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line 9 x 9 inch baking pan with a piece of baking paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper. 
In a large bowl, lightly whisk butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla and mashed banana. Add flour and salt; stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Use a teaspoon to place dollops of dulce de leche (or melted soft toffees) over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (25 - 30 mins). Leave to cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Lemon poppy seed gluten free waffles

I'm on a pretty big waffle kick at the moment as I find them a great way to start the day. I can make a whole batch and then wrap and freeze them and take them out when I feel the need. Anything that makes my life easier when I have to wake up at 5.45am is always good.
I'm also trying to experiment with gluten-free eating so I was particularly excited yesterday when I found a small bag of gluten-free flour in Ranch market yesterday. I also wanted to try a different flavour for my waffles as mostly I've just been doing a banana cinnamon flavour. So remembering my little bag of poppy seeds in the fridge and how great poppy seeds are in all things lemon I figured that was the way to go.
Waffles can be whipped up pretty quickly and once you have a waffle maker (naturally!) you just pop your cup full of batter in there and let the maker do all the work. These are crispy waffles with a soft interior. I like my waffles crispy so I tend to cook mine on a higher setting. They are also light and I don't get that ridiculously full feeling from eating one.

Lemon Poppy Seed Gluten Free Waffles

1 3/4 cups gluten free flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp molasses sugar
2 tsp poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk (almond, soy, regular, up to you)
1 tsp vinegar
Zest of a lemon
Juice of a lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all your dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk briefly to make sure there are no lumps.
Mix the vinegar and milk and leave to curdle. Add eggs, zest and juice of lemon, olive oil and vanilla.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until combined.
Cook according to your waffle maker.
Enjoy with blueberries, strawberries or just nude with a drizzle of maple syrup. A great start to the day!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Almond butter granola bars

So, I've been struggling recently with sensitivities to gluten and yeast and have been making a big effort to seek out healthy alternatives. I mean just because you have to reorganise your diet shouldn't mean you have to cut out everything mildly delicious. I've always loved granola bars. They are a handy inbetween meal snack that makes you feel full and satisfied. However, the ones sold in supermarkets are full of strange ingredients and lots of sugar. So, I decided to make my own. Truth be told, these are even more delicious than ones I've bought in the supermarket. Perhaps tasting even better because I know exactly what went into them. I based these on a recipe I found online but changed the nuts/seeds that went into it.

I started off by making my own almond butter by just chucking a load of almonds in the food processor and remembering to be patient while the nuts go through their various stages before reaching butter. Then this goes in a pot with two mashed bananas and is heated gently to soften it up. I like to add a splash of vanilla and a sprinkling of cinnamon to ring out flavours. While the butter and banana is gently heating I throw into a bowl lots of nuts, seeds, some wheat free oats, cranberries and to be just a little bit naughty some chopped up dark chocolate. 
Then pour your melted butter and banana onto your oat and but mix and mix thoroughly. Then put into an oiled brownie tin and press down. Pop into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Slice up into bars and refrigerate. These last in the fridge for quite a while and I usually get a week out of them.

Almond Butter Granola Bars

1/2 cup almond butter
2 bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup cranberries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
80g chopped dark chocolate

Heat oven to 180 degrees. Oil a brownie tin.

Heat banana and almond butter until soft and well combined.
Place nuts, seeds, oats, chocolate and cranberries in a bowl and mix together.
Add banana and butter and mix thoroughly. Press mixture into tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Cool and slice into bars.
Store in the fridge and devour shamelessly when hungry.