Dark Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake – GF, LF

**I Drafted this in… 2016 and forgot about it. Here you go, enjoy**

Ohhh yeah, you heard that right. Dark chocolate brownie cheesecake that is lactose and gluten free, AND it’s gooooood.

So my mother, being the epic baker that she is used to make this gorgeous kitkat cheesecake. It was divine and I made it myself for a long time, but then fodmaps. Woo… not. I’ve been promising my friends I’d experiment with lactose free creams and gluten free bases etc for a while so here it is. One dark chocolate brownie base with delicious lactose free cheesecake.

BASE
I think this would be delicious with walnuts in it, but I’m making it for a party with a friend who has a nut allergy.

  • 150g dark, lactose and gluten free chocolate (read the labels, I found mine in the baking section)
  • 125g nutelex
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup gluten free self raising flour*
  • 3/4 cup gluten free plain flour*

*I’m being lazy and using Woolworths freeform flours.

Get your oven preheating. 160c for fan forced or 180c for conventional (Not fan forced?)

Melt dark chocolate and nutelex together either in the double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave – for the uninitiated put ingredients into a microwave proof bowl and heat in bursts of 30 seconds, mixing between. Then put to one side to cool off a bit.

Beat together egg and sugar, and then measure out your flours. By this point the chocolate should be still warm but not burning and you can beat the sugar and egg mix into the chocolate and butter mix. Finally add the flours gradually by shaking a layer of flour over the top of the wet ingredients then stirring it through. Continue until all your flour is in and the mixture is nice and smooth.

Set to one side.

Line a spring form pan. I do mine sort of like this, except I make the base too big and run it up the sides rather than doing the sides longer and running them onto the bottom: http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/tag/lining-a-springform-cake-pan

Pour mix into the lined pan. It’s quite thick so pour it all into the centre of the pan and then gently spread it to the edges with a spoon.

Bake in that now hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to one side. It won’t be cooked, it’s not meant to be. Don’t turn the oven off as you need it at the same for the next bit.

CHEESECAKE!!

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2x 250g packets of Liddells lactose free cream cheese.
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 large eggs
  • 500ml tub Liddells sour cream
    • OR 250ml Liddells sour cream and 250ml Liddells thickened cream (found with the longline milks)
  • 4 cubes dark chocolate
  • Instant coffee

Super easy process. This is easiest with a kitchen aid but can be done by hand. If doing by hand I recommend leaving your cream cheese on the bench for a few hours/overnight.

Mix together the cream cheese and sugar. I find putting the sugar in and then adding the cream cheese around 1/3rd a tub at a time is easiest. Start your mixer on the lowest setting and move up to the 3rd (beating) setting for each section. Mix it thoroughly, you want it nice and smooth.

Add the eggs 1 at a time, and then beat in the vanilla essence.

Grab your chocolate and throw it in a small bowl with a teaspoon or so instant coffee. Pour a little boiling water over it. By the time you’ve done the next two steps it should pretty much have melted the chocolate.

Fold in the sour cream on the lowest setting.

Pour mix on top the cooling brownie base, because your base isn’t cooked I recommend pouring it over a mixing spoon so it doesn’t disturb the base.

Give your chocolate and coffee mix a stir then use as much, or as little, of it as you like to decorate the top of your cheesecake.

Pop it all into the over for an hour. When you turn the oven off the cheesecake should move a bit like jello if shook slightly. Leave in the oven with the door partially open to cool slowly and set.

And you’re done. You can serve it with fruit as it will be quite sweet.

Mum’s Curried Sausages

My mum has been making curried sausages for us since I was a kid. I love them, but when I went low fodmap I kind of ruled them out. At the time onion free pork sausages weren’t easily attainable. Thankfully that’s changed. This is yummy, easy, comfort food.  I’m going to list the original recipe with the low fodmap switches in italics and a quick change of instructions for the “I’m too tired to life” slow cooker version at the bottom.

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Bad photo is bad, but good food tastes good.

Also, this freezes really well. If you want the peas/beans to stay bright don’t put them in before freezing.

Curried Sausages

Ingredients

Vary quantities to accommodate your family. This is what I put in for 4 people with left over for lunch. 

  • 1 pack plain pork sausages – onion free if low fodmap
  • 1 onion – 3-4 spring onions (green parts only) + Aesofoetida 
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2-3 medium to large potatoes
  • Canola oil or spray
  • Keen’s curry powder
  • Cornflour
  • Water
  • Frozen peas – green beans chopped into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Cooked rice (white is usual but works well with brown as well)

Method

  1. (OPTIONAL) Boil your sausages. Allow to cool and remove the skins.
  2. Cut your sausages, potatoes and carrots into bite-sized chunks.
  3. Dice your onion into reasonably sized chunks.
  4. Heat oil in the pan, saute the onion (Spring onions).
  5. Put in your sausages – if you skipped step one brown these up a bit before proceeding.
  6. Add carrots, potato and curry powder to taste* (Usually a solid tablespoon or more at our place).

    *Add some aesofoetida to taste here as well if you’d like to strengthen the onion flavour for low fodmappers.

  7. Brown everything up a bit then cover with water and pop a lid on. Simmer until potatoes are tender.
  8. Add frozen peas/beans to heat through. You want them to be bursts of flavour and not mushy.
  9. Taste, add more curry powder if needed.
  10. Thicken with a good amount of cornflour mixed with water.
  11. Serve with your cooked rice.

We tend to end up cleaning the bowls out with bread and butter post meal!

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SUPER LAZY CAN’T BE FUCKED SLOW COOKER METHOD

  1. Cut up raw sausages, potatoes and carrots, dice your onion/spring onion, and throw the whole lot in your slow cooker.
  2. Mix your curry powder and, if using, aesofoetida with around 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Cover and put on low for around 6 hours (until your potatoes are cooked through)
  4. Add peas/beans to heat through. You want them to not be mushy.
  5. Check that it tastes good and add more curry powder if needed.
  6. Thicken sauce with cornflour and water mix as per normal.
  7.  Serve with rice.

Salted Caramel Popcorn Baked Cheesecake

*WARNING: In order for this to set properly it needs a solid half day or more in the fridge post baking. Make it a day ahead*

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Ok, so my mother, the wonderful woman that she is found a recipe years ago for ‘Kit Kat Cheesecake’. I’m assuming this recipe came from Nestle or Philadelphia Cream Cheese packets. Over the years it has been well loved and then it’s been tweaked. I promised cheesecake for Christmas, I didn’t want to do the same old thing, so this is my latest build from the original recipe.

For a super basic, but delicious cheesecake, you just need to make the base and the cheesecake part. Maybe do a chocolate swirl for decoration on top. When making a plain Kit Kat Cheesecake we use sour cream in place of regular cream (yes, still lactose-free) and do a mocha swirl on top. It’s very rich but delicious.

This recipe is super easy to make lactose and gluten free. We don’t need completely free, just low in both, but there will be notes as we go of what to change.

SALTED CARAMEL POPCORN BAKED CHEESECAKE RECIPE

Step 1: The Caramel

This takes a while, so start it before anything else. I am perpetually scared this will explode on me and I probably always will be. This is the only part I don’t know how to make lactose free because I’ve never tried to… however, you can try this recipe here for a lactose free caramel and salt as per below.

IMG_0618
Caramel on base with Maldon salt flakes on top.

To make plain caramel take one 395ml can of sweetened condensed milk, remove the label and, put two small holes on opposite sides of the top of the can. Place the can in a pot (easiest if it comes with a lid) and fill with water till it’s halfway up the side of the can. Pop the pot lid on or cover with alfoil and cook on low heat for 1.5-2hrs. Allow to cool before touching it (trust me, the burns will hurt if you get this on you hot).

To salt – grab yourself some decent salt and sprinkle it over top the caramel once it’s spread on the base. It is about 50g salt recommended to a can.

Step 2: Prep Your Pan

Line a baking pan of your choice with baking paper. I use a spring coil pan because getting this out of a regular pan is a nightmare.

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The bottom lining of a spring coil pan.

All of this can actually be done in a cupcake or muffin pan using paper liners for cupcakes and muffins. You’ll need to shorten the cooking time to 25-20 minutes per batch (they start to brown slightly on top)

Step 3: The Base

The Original Recipe: Take 2 packets of mini Kit Kat bars and blitz them into a fumble in a blender, alternately beat them with a hammer or rolling pin until thoroughly destroyed. Add 2 tablespoons of melted

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The base. You can also see the side lining here.

butter or butter alternative (Nutelex and margarine both work fine) to the crushed Kit Kats and mix thoroughly. Tip the mix into your pan and press firmly down to make a solid base. Chill until the rest is ready.Alternately – The easiest is a basic biscuit base made with a gluten free and dairy free chocolate ripple style biscuit. 2 packs gluten free, dairy free chocolate biscuits/cookies blended with enough melted butter alternative to make the mix moist, press into a pan as you would the Kit Kat mix and either blind bake for 8 minutes at 180c (crunchy base) or chill (for a firm but not super crunchy base).

Step 4: The Cheesecake

Would you believe this is the easiest bit? First thing, having a bench mixer or something makes this a lot easier just remember to scrape down the sides occasionally. If you’re using an old-fashioned spoon or beater please, for the love of your own sanity, leave the cream cheese out to soften.

Super simple, grab yourself 1/2 a cup of white sugar and 2x 250gm packs of lactose-free cream cheese and cream them together. Beat through 4 large/extra large eggs, one at a time, and 1tsp vanilla. Fold through 500ml of lactose-free cream. Cover and pop in the fridge if your base and caramel aren’t done yet.

Step 5: Put It Together and Cook

Grab your chilled base out of the fridge. Pull out your cooled caramel and pop it in a bowl, if it’s not particularly smooth give it a good stir – that happens and it’ll smooth out with a bit of mixing. Put a layer of caramel over the base, leaving a bit of a gap between it and the edge of the base, and sprinkle with the salt (You don’t need to use all of the caramel or salt). Pop back in the fridge for a little bit to cool it off completely while you pre-heat your oven.

Pre-heat your oven to 160c

Once the oven is up to temperature grab your base with caramel, pour the cheesecake mix over top and bake for 1hr. At the end of that hour turn off the heat, and check the cheesecake. It should have set to roughly the consistency of a wobbly jelly if you gently shake the pan, and it may have browned on top a little. Crack the door and let it cool in the oven. Once cool refrigerate – overnight is best, but long enough for it to cool all the way through and set is what you’re aiming for. 4-6 hours at least but overnight is best. It can be eaten with a liquidy centre but it’s not as nice.

Decorate with salted caramel popcorn…

EAT!

Planning, planning, planning…

Honestly I need to get better about planning my individual days around the hot weather. By mid-morning it’s hitting 30 degrees (86f) and my pregnant ass can not be fucked dealing with anything housework or movement related. At least, that aside, today has been a good day for sitting behind a screen and doing some forward planning.

I spent the first hour or so this morning flicking through the CSIRO Low-Carb Diet. I bought this due to the gestational diabetes – the less carbs I eat the better my blood

Photo on 21-11-17 at 4.59 pmglucose levels are, and in the long term the less risk I have of developing type 2 diabetes (which runs in my family). I spent some time this afternoon putting together a meal plan for next week which looks actually viable and really tasty. I need to try and include 2 serves of fish each week which is… awkward with teenagers in the house who hate fish.

 

**The one thing I did note about this book is that it is in no way low FODmap friendly. I’m experienced enough to make the adjustments where needed but if you’re newer to the FODmap diet try cookbooks especially for it. I only found one low-carb and low-FODmap cookbook and it looked dodgy as sin.** 

I moved on to crafts from there, which has been lovely, and planning out my 2018 gift list. It’s currently far smaller than it will be, but it’s a start. I’m also looking at my current maker list and making sure I’m on track for that. I have 5 current projects:

  • The bunny bonnet for Rabbit that should be finished this week.
  • The waffle weave crochet blanket to go with said bonnet.
  • A blue lap blanket that I think will be a gift.
  • Mum’s gift (she can find this so it goes in as secret squirrel) – Starting this week with view to finish mid-Jan (I may be overly hopeful here)
  • 23798193_10156760990899692_72428983_oA devotional carnelian bracelet made for my work with Hekate which I finally got the beads for and will also start this week once I have the appropriate threads for it (it came threaded on the string)  >>

After a bit of debate I have re-enrolled in the class I dropped earlier this year when I first become pregnant. I was so sick that I couldn’t keep up, and that will be starting late February so there’s time to settle Rabbit in prior to kicking off.

So, yes, today has been a good day for planning. I think, over the years, this isn’t really something I’ve taken the time out to do and that’s reflected in the lack of achievement of goals both in professional and personal fields. My Mate is, thankfully, a very strong planner and their influence is rubbing off.

Misadventures in the Kitchen: Custard Buns

Today was the epitome of frustrating baking.

I was trying out a recipe for gluten free danish custard buns by Gluten Free on a Shoestring. I LOVE custard buns. I wanted nutella filled baked goods as well so, why the fuck not?

Ok ok, before I start ranting about misadventures in Charlie’s kitchen I just want to take 20 seconds out to thank Nicole of Gluten Free on a Shoestring for even providing this damned recipe. It may have frustrated the hell out of me, but the results were edible and I can (and will) try it again with some changes. 

Ok, firstly don’t even look at this recipe unless you have time to kill. Lots of it. This is a long, multistep, chill and work, chill and work, recipe. Hours of your fucking time. So yeah, that’s one thing. Sick girls who just want to sleep should not be trying this shit.

Second thing, Nicole uses a particular gluten free flour that she likes… which bears exactly zero resemblance to my homemade gf flour mix because gluten free flour is a bitch like that. Following the recipe as it was gave me a very soft, wet, dough. I persevered, having no idea what I was doing anyway so what the fuck lets just keep working with it and see what happens…

Round 1: Nutella!

Several frustrating, irritating, hours later I tossed the knife and rolling pin in the sink. I bundled the dough up into two balls – one for custard and the other for nutella – threw the former into the fridge wrapped in cling film and the later broke up into even-ish chunks and smoothed them into rounds with my fingers. A table spoon of nutella, wrap these soft hunks of dough up into balls and threw them on a pan. I didn’t wait for them to rise after they didn’t budge in the first half our and damned near burnt them cooking them…

That said. They were pretty damned good nutella pastries, if a bit flat and doughy.

Next round will involve changing up the dough big time. I’m debating between my bread base with almond flour and a small amount of polenta (I can’t find proper maize here) and my general GF mix with almond flour to get a more resiliant dough. Milk will be added slowly to manage the dough’s texture in much the same way as I’d make bread dough.

I’m gonna do the custard ones tomorrow. Hopefully a night in the fridge will help the dough out a bit.

Maybe.

Round 2: Actual real life custard buns

[UPDATE: The second half of the dough lived in the fridge for 2 days and I finally got around to using it today with the custard filling. Again no rise, but they look better. They’re wayyyyy too hot right now to eat so I’ll report back.

UPDATE 2: OMNOMNOM!!! These turned out much better. I had added more flour to the dough to dry it up a bit and it worked much better.]

Jackpot – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Bread.

It is the holy grail of all food items when you go gluten free: Bread. We eat so much of it prior to finding out it makes us sick. We’re accustomed to the taste, the soft fluffiness of it, the chewiness of it… and then gluten free is ordered. The world is over for a while and then the hunt for the perfect, actually edible, gluten free bread is on.

I think I’ve found it!

Vegemite on mommy fresh bread. Breakfast served!

For those of you who have never had to eat gluten free allow me to enlighten you to what our options generally consist of:

  • So heavy I could beat someone to death with it
  • So dry it sucks the moisture out of your mouth as you eat
  • Flavour somewhere around cardboard
  • Kind of cake like – thick, tasteless cake
  • Crumbles as you try to butter it
  • And bonus point for the low FodMap people, often full of legume or bean based flours.

In short, not so great. Especially for someone like me. I bake. I’ve been baking my own breads for well over a decade and I enjoy it. And then they added dairy intolerance to the mix and it was all over for me. Until I got the recipe for that bread.

Omnomnom!

The Best Gluten Free and Dairy Free Baking Recipes by Grace Cheetham has become my bible and the basic white bread recipe is my fav. It is worth the cost of the book alone ($15 from Amazon US as a hardcover or $6.35 for Kindle), but the rest of it is pretty damned good as well.

The recipe is fairly simple, though calls for a number of flours, and I’ve taken to making up a massive batch of the base flour in advance to keep in the cupboard. I make this most weekends and keep what survives the weekend in the fridge at work for toast. Like all fresh breads it needs to be kept in the fridge after the first 2-3 days or it gets mouldy.

I’m not going to lie and says it’s a perfect soft and squishy bread. It’s not. What it is, however, is a bread that tastes like bread, that isn’t too heavy or prone to crumbling the minute it cools down. It tastes and has a mouth feel a bit like a heavy sourdough. It’s soft on the inside with a crisp-chewy crust. After the second day it benefits from being toasted or warmed somewhat.

And!!!… The Wild One, Buck and other dear friends who can have gluten have also given it the thumbs up as a fresh bread.

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