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!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Bread

It’s the holy grail of all things gluten free, a loaf of edible bread. Something that isn’t dry and crumbly, or thick and cake-like. Something that actually resembles the bread we all knew and loved.

 

Slow Cooked Steak and Kidney Pie Filling

Ok, ok, so this was actually fucking awesome. My attempt at home made pastry was not so awesome. It came out a bit too dry for anyone’s tastes, but it was soft and crumbly in all the right ways. We have a plan of attack for that. However the second pie, made with shop bought gluten free pastry, was perfect and the filling was amazing.

PIE!!!!!!!

To make it grab (approximately) the following. I say approximately because I wasn’t really measuring shit. It also made two large pies so adjust accordingly:

  • 1kg beef or lamb – Super cheap cuts work fine for this but no bones.
  • 6-7 lamb kidneys
  • GF flour of some description to dredge kidneys in
  • Mushrooms – I put a lot in, but up to you.
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Garlic infused olive oil
  • Asafoetida powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika – I love this stuff. I put it in everything ok?
  • Beef stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine or port, or a mix of both
  • Cornflour
  1. Throw beef/lamb into the slow cooker on low. No need to dice it at this point.
  2. Slice up mushrooms and chuck them in with the beef/lamb (you can also do this at the end)
  3. Dice up kidneys into bite sized/pie sized pieces and dredge in flour.
  4. Fry up kidneys in a hot pan with olive oil. Allow to stick to the bottom a bit. When they’re mostly done throw them in the slow cooker with beef/lamb and mushrooms.
  5. Toss tomato paste, a good amount of the smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, a bit more garlic infused oil, salt an pepper to taste and asafoetida into the pan and let sizzle a bit.
  6. Pour in wine/port and scrub at the bottom of the pan with a spatula to life any crusted flour.
  7. Add in bay leaves and beef stock, and let reduce for a few minutes.
  8. Pour over meat and mushrooms in slow cooker over night (8-10 hours is good)
  9. Pull out cooked beef/lamb and ‘shred’ (By shred what I mean is gently prod while it falls apart around your cooking implements).
  10. For the next bit you need to be able to bring the sauce part of the dish to the boil. If you’re able to just pop your slow cooker insert over a burner then use a slotted spoon to remove most of the solids into a bowl to one side and get it on the boil. If not you’ll need to strain the liquid out into a pot. Do this, get liquid boiling.
  11. Add some salt, pepper, more paprika, etc to the liquid to get it tasting how YOU like it. We like lots of pepper and paprika.
  12. Add a few heaped teaspoons of cornflour to cold water and drizzle it into the boiling liquid while stirring continuously. Let it thicken a bit* and then add it back to the meat.
  13. Do pie related stuff here! You want your over pre-heated to 200 celsius. You’ll be cooking it anywhere from 20-40 minutes depending on the oven – basically you want the pastry nice and brown.
    • The easiest method is to pour the filling into a dish and then grab some GF pre-made pastry from the freezer section, roll it out and fit it over top, poke a few holes in it.
    • Slightly harder is using said pre-made GF pastry again. Grease your dish, put down a layer of pastry so the bottom and sides are well covered and add filling – leaving a gap at the top. Cover with pastry, rolling or scoring the sides to the pie lid. Then cook.
    • Hardest method is doing either of the above with home made GF pastry. When I get the pastry right I’ll tell you about it.

 

*A note about thickening: We made the mistake of reducing the liquid by half then thickening it. The pastry and shredded meat drank it up so the filling was quite solid (Still moist but not gravy-ish). I’d recommend either following what I said above or reducing the stock only. Feel free to experiment.

 

 

Sweet BBQ Slow Cooked Pork Ribs

Looking for something simple to make for dinner tonight that the girls would also enjoy I came upon maybe half a dozen recipes for BBQ crockpot pork ribs… All of which require BBQ sauce. I’m not good with BBQ sauce, no fodmap person really is, so I switched those up using this awesome low FODMap BBQ Sauce recipe as a jump off point and this recipe for crockpot pork ribs as inspiration.

It looks simple, because it is. It’s also really amazingly good. Sweet caramelised sauce on met falling from the bone.

This is a first time recipe so I’ll probably tweak it a lot.

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg pork pork ribs
  • 1 cup Raspberry jam
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • 4 tbsp dark brown sugar (5 of normal brown sugar)
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup caramelised balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp garlic infused oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (and then some more or golden syrup)
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2.5 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 heaped teaspoons of cornflour dissolved in a small amount of cold water.
  1. Put the hot water and brown sugar in a small pot. Dissolve sugar in water then bring to the boil and let boil for a few minutes until reduced.
  2. In a bowl whisk together vinegars, garlic infused oil, raspberry jam, maple syrup and mustard. Add to pot and bring to the boil.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the pot. Let boil until reduced a little.
  4. Add cornflour mix, and take off the heat as soon as thickened.
  5. Put a layer of sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the first layer of ribs and roll them in it a little. Then add the rest of the ribs and pour the sauce over time. Use hands (if the sauce has been left long enough to cool) or tongs to spread the sauce through the ribs.
  6. Leave for an hour or two and then check the sauce. Mine tasted too much of vinegar for the girls to enjoy it so I added a good drizzle of golden syrup over top, but adding more jam into the sauce would also work.
  7. Cook on low for 6-10 hours.
  8. Throw into a pan and into a hot oven for 20-ish minutes.
  9. Die happy.

Seriously, this was insanely good. Sweet, spicy, sticky with meat falling from the bone. We actually couldn’t get the ribs out of the slow cooker without bones sliding out. Everyone downed it fast. It’s perfect for a warm night with minimal cooking actually involved. These are definitely going to be a regular in our kitchen. They’d make for great potluck food too.

The sauce should keep for around a week refrigerated in a sealed container if you want to make it in advance or 2-3days if you’ve strained it from the crockpot (make sure to strain it with a one sieve to remove any traces of the meat).

 

 

Re-learning baking

I learnt how to bake at my mother’s elbows as a child. My mother cooks some of the most delicious baked goods I have ever had in my life. Her caked put store bought, cafe and even the finer restaurant cakes to shame. I’ve always wished I was half as skilled as she was. Over the years I’ve gotten pretty damned good. Not Mum good, but pretty damned good.

Going gluten free means starting from scratch. Nothing I knew will work anymore which is just… frustrating.

It, once again, says a lot that instead of sad and overly intimidated I’m actually rather excited about it. Bread will be a while in the making, but cookies, cakes, pastries… scones. These things are necessary parts of my existence. I will learn to make them asap.

First up is scones.

I love scones, and my lovely friend (and author) Nicole Field was heading over to write on my couch so scones and tea sounded like a perfect idea. I’ve never had a good gluten free one so this was a bit scary, admittedly. I followed this recipe from The Sensitive Epicure. It started really well, but at I was a little unsure by the end. The dough was very very very soft. Unusually wet for a scone dough. I passed on the kneading and plopped the dough into a pie dish to cook as a single piece when chilling it didn’t really help.

And the results are pretty fucking good. It’s got a perfect crumb. Soft and fluffy, very light.

Slightly too salty, but I realised upon a re-read that I actually put in far too much butter and forgot to add the sugared top which would explain the very wet dough and slightly too saltiness.

The first piece fell apart, but the following piece slipped out perfectly formed and crumbled no more than a normal gluten filled scone.

Score one for the first baking effort of gluten-free life! Nicole noted a slight aftertaste which I think would have been caused by the millet flour. I can’t say I noticed and she wasn’t overly bothered by it so…

Next up, tomorrow night’s dessert.

 

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