Recipes

    Crispy crackle squares

    Crispy crackle squares
    Yields 15
    A decadent chocolate treat, great for lunch boxes, packed with anti-oxidants and energy.
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    Prep Time
    40 min
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Ingredients
    1. ¼ cup of coconut oil
    2. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    3. 1 tablespoon honey
    4. ¼ cup of cocoa powder
    5. 2 cups of rice crispies or puffed rice (use gluten free if necessary)
    6. ½ cup desiccated coconut
    7. 50g 71% dark chocolate ( I used Cocoafair's 71% sweetened with maltitol)
    8. ¼ cup dark chocolate nibs - optional (Cocoafair)
    Instructions
    1. Combine the coconut oil, maple syrup and the chocolate; melt slowly in a saucepan. Using a whisk, add the cocoa powder and mix until lovely and glossy.
    2. Add the rice crispies, coconut and the nibs; mix until all are nicely coated and combined.
    3. Line a 22cm x 22cm tin with cling film and press the mix into the dish. I like to lay a cloth onto the top and press very hard with the palm of my hand until the crackles are all firmly pressed down.
    4. Pop this into the freezer for about 30 minutes to harden before cutting up into squares.
    5. Store in the fridge.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Oat, chickpea and rosemary crackers

    Oat, chickpea and rosemary crackers
    Yields 3
    A healthy homemade cracker, perfect as a vessel for many delicious toppings. Dairy and wheat free.
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    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Ingredients
    1. This recipe makes about 3 dozen crackers
    2. 2 cups of oat flour
    3. 2 cups of chickpea flour
    4. 2 teaspoons salt
    5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
    6. 4 teaspoons chopped fresh or dried rosemary
    7. 1 large egg
    8. ¼ cup of good quality olive oil
    9. ¼ cup of coconut oil for brushing the cracker before baking
    10. extra salt and freshly ground pepper for dusting
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and give it a really good stir. Add the egg, olive oil and a ¼ cup water, using your hands mix this into a dough. Keep another ¼ cup of water spare and use it teaspoon at a time until the dough is nice a soft, not too dry and not sloppy.
    2. Tip the dough out onto a surface and roll it out about 2mm thick. I tend to this in two portions otherwise there is too much dough to manage. If the dough is a bit crumbly simply push it back together. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut out circles and lay them on trays. Re-roll the scraps until you have used up all the dough.
    3. Cover the trays and put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes, to allow the dough to rest.
    4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    5. Using a teaspoon, smear the top of each cracker with a little coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
    6. These crackers keep for a few weeks in an airtight container.
    7. Serve topped with hummus, avocado, cream cheese or any other delicious topping of your choice.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Oat pancakes

    Oat pancakes
    Yields 6
    Nutty and tummy friendly pancakes.
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    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    15 min
    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    15 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup of oats
    2. 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds
    3. 1½ cups of milk of your choice ( coconut, almond, cows milk)
    4. ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
    Instructions
    1. Blend all of the following together. I use my NutriBullet but any good blender will do the trick.
    2. Heat a frying pan with a tiny little bit of coconut oil and pour in enough batter to make a round pancake. These babies take a little longer to cook then your standard pancake. Flip over when cooked and let it cook nicely on the other side.
    3. I filled these with stewed apple and apple butter, a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Delicious.
    4. These pancakes really are so quick you can whip them up for breakfast before school with no trouble, and slip a few into the lunch box as a treat
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Banana chocolate cake – guilt free pleasure

    1. Banana chocolate cake
      Serves 8
      A delicious refined sugar free, gluten free, dairy free cake filled with antioxidants and yumminess!
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      Prep Time
      10 min
      Cook Time
      40 min
      Prep Time
      10 min
      Cook Time
      40 min
      Ingredients
      1. 4 bananas mashed up
      2. 4 eggs
      3. ½ cup of nut butter (almond or macadamia)
      4. 4 tablespoons coconut oil melted
      5. ½ cup of coconut flour
      6. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
      7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
      8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
      9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      10. pinch of sea salt
      11. 1 cup of dark chocolate ( I used Cocofair  85% dark chocolate)
      Instructions
      1. Grease a round 22cm baking pan and line the base with baking paper.
      2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
      3. In a large bowl combine the mashed banana, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla and the nut butter until well combined using an electric beater.
      4. Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
      5. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Make sure the pieces aren't too big.
      6. Pour this into the prepared baking tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
      7. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the pan before removing onto a wire rack.
      8. So Yum!
      Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/
     

    Chocolate truffles – superfood

     

    Chocolate truffles - superfood
    Yields 20
    How can chocolate be good for you? These little balls of rich antioxidant are so easy to make and satisfy even the biggest chocolate cravings.
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    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Total Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Total Time
    30 min
    Ingredients
    1. This recipe is for people wishing to avoid refined sugar and dairy.
    2. 280g chocolate ( 100% dark chocolate)
    3. ¾ cup coconut cream
    4. 3 teaspoons coconut oil
    5. ½ cup organic maple syrup plus 2 teaspoons ( this can be reduced or increased depending on how bitter you like chocolate)
    6. Flavouring ( I used a hazelnut essence or a vanilla extract - optional)
    7. Cocoa for dusting
    8. Toasted coconut for dusting
    9. Can use toasted finely chopped flaked almonds
    Instructions
    1. Melt the chocolate in glass bowl in the microwave, be careful not to burn it. Add the coconut oil to this and allow it to melt into the chocolate. Once everything is nicely melted, add the flavouring if using and the coconut cream and mix well. The chocolate will thicken and go a little grainy, Don't panic, put a little elbow grease into it and mix vigorously. It should become lovely, shiny and thick.
    2. Pop the bowl, covered, into the fridge for about 2 hours to thicken and harden a little to make it easier to deal with.
    3. Once it is a ready, use a teaspoon to dig out small quantities, roll them in the palm of your hands into a balls. Dunk these into either the cocoa or the coconut. A lovely messy job, get everyone to help. At best the mixture is a lovely hand moisturiser!
    4. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 weeks or at room temperature for a few days - if they last that long!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Duck bolognaise with gluten-free fettucini

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    Duck bolognaise with gluten free fettucini
    Hearty and rich duck bolognaise served with soft fresh pasta, all tummy friendly!
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    Fettucini
    1. 230g gluten free flour (in South Africa I use a mix which does not contain soy flour from Health Connection Foods containing rice flour, potato flour, tapioca flour, chickpea flour and a little xanthan gum; in the UK use Doves farm)
    2. 15ml olive oil
    3. 3 medium eggs
    4. 2 egg yolks
    5. grated nutmeg
    6. a pinch of salt
    Duck bolognaise sauce
    1. 4 duck legs/thigh portions
    2. Enough melted duck fat to cover the duck legs. This can be bought, but you will find you can re-use the duck fat from this recipe if you strain it and store in a glass container. Don't throw away duck fat, it is a wonderful useful fat to keep and last for ages in the fridge.
    3. 6 garlic cloves whole with skin removed
    4. 4 sprigs of rosemary
    5. 1 finely sliced onion
    6. balsamic vinegar to taste - start with a tablespoon and adjust once the duck is added
    7. black pepper and salt
    8. a little lemon zest and fresh thyme to garnish
    9. parmesan cheese grated
    Instructions
    1. Sieve the flour, grated nutmeg and the salt into a bowl.
    2. Mix the whole eggs with the egg yolks and the oil.
    3. Combine the two in a bowl and mix into a dough. If too dry you can wet your hands with water and continue mixing; the water on your hands adds moisture to the dough.
    4. Knead this on a surface for 2 minutes or so.
    5. Wrap in cling film and allow it too rest for about 20 minutes.
    6. It will then be ready to cut or pass through a pasta machine. Gluten free dough can be fiddly to get through a machine. I find it a good idea to break off a piece and shape it into a flattish circle. Pass it through the widest setting a couple of times until it holds together and then move through the settings until you are happy with the thickness of the sheet of pasta before putting it through the fettucini cutter. At this point I can almost hear most of you saying "I'm going to buy a bag of ready made fettucini pasta!" This homemade version is so much nicer, so persevere.
    7. Remember for those of you who are not gluten sensitive make your pasta with normal flour.
    8. Toss the pasta in some extra GF flour and store on a tray covered with a tea towel too prevent it from drying out and sticking together.
    9. This quantity should make enough pasta for 4 people. It can also be frozen in a bag for about 3 months and cooked from frozen.
    10. Heat the oven to 150ºC. Cover the duck portions in the melted duck fat with the garlic and rosemary sprigs. Make sure they are covered fully in the fat so the dish shouldn't be too shallow and should be able to go in the oven. This is a slow bake so best not rush as these babies need 4 hours to cook slowly. You really don't want a deep fry in the oven. The meat should fall off the bone. Duck meat cooked this way is beautiful and moist.
    11. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow the duck fat to drain from the duck by placing them on a wire rack. Keep about 120ml of the duck fat to use in the dish and allow the rest of the fat too cool and strain it into a glass container for future use.
    12. Sweat the onion in a little duck fat and mix with the vinegar and black pepper. Shred the duck meat off the bones and add to the pan. The duck mix can be a little dry so add a little duck fat. Adjust the seasoning by adding a splash more vinegar, salt and pepper.
    13. Cook your pasta in salted boiling water - it won't take long as it is so fresh.
    14. Toss the duck bolognaise through the pasta.
    15. Garnish with a little parmesan, lemon zest and thyme.
    16. Too make it truly low carb you could skip the pasta and serve it with zucchini noodles or pumpkin noodles made with a spirilizer.
    17. A delicious rich dish any night of the week!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/
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    Tomato sauce – fresh and wholesome

    Tomato sauce
    Yields 250
    A wonderful homemade tomato sauce packed full of vitamin and goodness!
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    Prep Time
    10 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup of sundried tomatoes (see recipe)
    2. 2 fresh dates pitted
    3. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    4. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    5. 3 tablespoons of grated carrot
    6. 2 tablespoons raw grated beetroot
    7. 1 teaspoon dried or fresh finely chopped basil or oregano
    8. ½ clove of garlic (optional)
    Instructions
    1. So simple – put all the ingredients in a little blender and blend until smooth. If you find it is a little dry add a little olive oil or use some of the oil/liquid from the sundried tomatoes.
    2. Scoop this into a sterilised jar and store in the fridge for about 2 weeks – if it lasts that long! It is delicious!
    Adapted from Mila's meals by Catherine Barnhoorn
    Adapted from Mila's meals by Catherine Barnhoorn
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

     

    Chicken soup for the soul

    Chicken soup for the soul
    Serves 10
    A bowl of pure goodness, no preservatives, dairy or gluten added.
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    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    2 hr
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    2 hr
    Ingredients
    1. 1 whole chicken – free range or organic if possible
    2. 2 onions finely diced
    3. 3 garlic cloves minced (optional)
    4. 4 small potatoes peeled and chopped into small cubes
    5. 1 small sweet potato peeled and chopped into small cubes
    6. 2 cups of carrots peeled and chopped into small cubes
    7. 1 cup sliced celery
    8. 5 leeks washed and chopped
    9. 8 cups of chicken stock – I used the water the whole chicken was boiled in, as my stock
    10. 1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
    11. ¼ cup of fresh chopped parsley
    12. salt and pepper to taste
    13. coconut oil for frying the onions
    14. 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Start by boiling the whole chicken for about 1½ hours until cooked. If you don’t like a lot of fat then remove most of the fatty skin before boiling. Keep the water used for boiling as it makes a delicious stock. Remove the chicken and allow to cool a little.
    2. Lightly sauté the onions until translucent, add the garlic and the remaining vegetables as well as the thyme. Place the potato on top of the vegetables and add the stock. Allow this to cook until the potatoes are nearly done. This shouldn’t take longer then 30 minutes.
    3. While this is bubbling away shred the chicken off the carcass, and finely chop it up. Discard any grizzle, skin and bones.
    4. When the potatoes are nearly done, add the chopped and shredded chicken to the pot and allow to simmer for a further 15 minutes.
    5. Give the soup a good stir to break up the potato and blend all the lovely flavours.
    6. Take about a 1½ – 2 cups of the soup and blend them to a smooth puree and add back to the soup. This creates a creamy soup. Add the chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
    7. I love a little lemon zest stirred through at the end to round off all the wonderful favours and give a wonderful freshness to the dish. Remember to wash the lemons very well to remove all the mould from the skins before zesting them.
    8. Garnish as desired.
    9. This soup freezes well.
    10. I served this soup with a sweet potato toast.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

     

     

    Healthy chocolate brownies

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    Healthy chocolate brownies
    Warm dairy free, gluten free and sugar free chocolate madness!
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    Prep Time
    20 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Prep Time
    20 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Ingredients
    1. 200g dark chocolate - I have used a combination of 85% and 99% due to soy allergies, but 70% is the norm or milk chocolate if you have too - it will however be very sweet so you might need to reduce the coconut sugar or xylitol
    2. 100g coconut oil
    3. 3 eggs
    4. 150g coconut sugar or xylitol
    5. 85g nut butter of your choice, any flavour will do
    6. 55g tapioca flour
    7. 1 tsp baking powder gluten free
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 22x22cm tin with baking paper making sure to go up the side of the tin.
    2. Put the coconut oil and the chocolate in a bowl and melt in a microwave or over a simmering pot of water. Once it has melted, stir until it is lovely and smooth.
    3. Meanwhile put the eggs, coconut sugar and nut butter in a large bowl and beat until it is thick, frothy and light.
    4. Gradually add the chocolate to this. Be careful not too be too heavy handed and knock all the air out of it. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
    5. Poor it into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes. Check and see if ready. It should have a slight wobble to the centre. Brownies can often turn to cake if left too long. If not ready bake for a further 5 minutes but keep and eye on it.
    6. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before removing and slicing up.
    7. So good!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/
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    Mushrooms on toast

    Mushrooms on toast
    Serves 4
    Mushroom on toast with a healthy twist!
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    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    FOR THE SAUCE
    1. 1 tin butter beans
    2. 2-3 tablespoons coconut milk or sour cream
    3. 3 tablespoons lemon juice, use only 2 tablespoons if using the sour cream
    4. ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    5. ½ teaspoon salt or too taste
    6. Black pepper to taste
    7. 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary (optional)
    FOR THE TOAST AND MUSHROOMS
    1. 3 punnets of mushrooms: I used 1x Portabello mushrooms; 1x shimeji mushrooms; 1x button mushrooms – you can use any kind. If you prefer large black mushrooms, go for it!
    2. Bread of your choosing. I used a sweet potato gluten free bread from Freedom bakery Cape Town
    3. freshly chopped rosemary
    4. goats chess to crumble on top or a strong mature cheddar (optional if you can tolerate dairy)
    5. coconut oil for frying the mushrooms
    Instructions
    1. In a blender, add the butter beans, coconut milk or sour cream, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and chopped rosemary; blend until it’s smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Some may like it a little saltier or a little more lemony! Set aside.
    2. Lightly toast the bread – be careful not too overdo it as the toast is still going to go in the oven and you don’t want them too burn.
    3. Chop all the mushrooms and add to a large pan with the oil. The quantity of mushrooms is enough for 8 pieces of toast.
    4. Fry the mushrooms until they are starting to go a little golden. If using large black mushrooms drizzle with a little olive oil and salt, bake in the oven – 200ºC, for about 20 minutes until they are soft and sizzling.
    5. Lay the toasts on an oven tray and pile each piece with the fried mushrooms. Using a tablespoon place a dollop of the butter bean sauce in the centre of each toast and sprinkle with the your choice of cheese. (optional)
    6. Heat the grill to 220ºC and place the tray under the grill for about 8 minutes or until the cheese bubbles. If not using the cheese, the grill will warm the butter bean sauce and allow it to melt a little into the mushrooms.
    7. Garnish with a sprinkle of rosemary and serve!
    8. YUM YUM!
    Adapted from Heidi Du Preez
    Adapted from Heidi Du Preez
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Italian chickpea socca

    Italian chickpea socca
    A delicious chickpea pizza cooked in the oven topped with succulent lamb, fresh peas and crispy onions. This recipe is good for people who are gluten intolerant, dairy intolerant, and sugar sensitive. It is good for candida sufferers as long as the meat is freshly cooked and no left overs are used.
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    Ingredients
    1. This quantity makes roughly one medium italian socca and one small socca, and can be increased to make more.
    2. ¾ cup of chickpea flour
    3. 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or oil of your choosing)
    4. 1 teaspoon sea salt
    5. 1 large onion (best to chop up a few onions and fry them if making a lot of socca crépes)
    6. Oil for frying the onions
    7. Cooked lamb steak or any other meat of your choosing ( chicken, beef, mince meat etc...)
    8. Peas - frozen
    9. 2 tablespoons oil for cooking the crépe
    Instructions
    1. In a bowl whisk the chickpea flour, oil and salt with one cup of water until it is lovely and smooth. Leave this to stand for 10 minutes.
    2. Heat the oven to 200ºC and place an oven-proof pan in to get nice and hot.
    3. Chop your onions and fry until lovely and golden brown.
    4. Slice up your cooked meat.
    5. Once the oven has come to temperature remove the pan using a heat-proof cloth and add the 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Swirl the oil around the pan to make sure the pan is nicely covered and pour in a generous layer of the socca mixture tilting the pan to make sure it covers the entire pan as you would a crépe.
    6. Return the pan to the oven and allow the socca to cook for 10 minutes or until the edges are browning.
    7. When you are happy the chickpea crépe has cooked remove the pan from the oven and arrange the top generously with the toppings - onions, meat and peas - optional cheese. Return the pan to the oven for a further 5 -10 minutes to warm through.
    8. Slide the socca onto a plate and enjoy. If you only have one pan and need to make a few crépes cook the crépes until they are all ready, one by one, and set them on a greased oven tray. Place the topping onto the crépes and cook them for a second time on the oven tray. This way you can serve them sliced up on a platter for people to help them selves.
    Notes
    1. This recipe is good for people who are gluten intolerant, dairy intolerant, and sugar sensitive. It is good for candida sufferers as long as the meat is freshly cooked and no left overs are used.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Beef meatballs and tomato sauce

    Beef meatballs and tomato sauce
    Serves 4
    There is something so decadent about a pan of simple home-made meatballs and tomato sauce. No gluten or sugar added. Slap it on the table and let everyone tuck in!
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    Prep Time
    45 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Prep Time
    45 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Meatballs
    1. 1kg beef mince
    2. a good handful of fresh thyme and rosemary finely chopped
    3. salt and pepper to taste
    4. zest of a lemon
    5. ½ teaspoon of xylitol
    6. coconut oil or cooking olive oil to fry
    Tomato sauce
    1. 2x tins of chopped tomatoes
    2. 4 garlic cloves peeled and minced
    3. ¾ cup of good red wine
    4. 1 cup of bone broth or beef stock
    5. a good handful of fresh thyme and rosemary
    6. ½ cup of sundried tomatoes with the olive oil they are soaking in
    7. salt and pepper to taste
    8. ½ teaspoon xylitol or to taste
    9. zest of a lemon
    10. 1 ball buffalo mozzarella or plain mozzarella (optional)
    11. fresh or dried basil leaves to garnish
    Instructions
    1. To make the meatballs combine all the ingredients in a bowl and give a good mix with a spoon or by hand until all the favours are nicely mixed.
    2. I always take a small amount and fry it off to check my seasoning before frying all of the meatballs and discovering they taste bland. Adjust the salt, pepper and xylitol accordingly.
    3. Using your hands, roll the mince into small balls roughly the size of a golf ball or smaller if preferred. Fry these in a pan until cooked and brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
    4. To make the sauce: I like to use the same frying pan as long as the meatballs haven't been burnt in the pan. If they have then remove the burnt bits, but try and retain some of the flavour of the meat in the pan.
    5. Add the tomatoes, herbs and garlic to the pan and cook until nicely bubbling. Add the wine and cook until the alcohol has reduced a little. Add the stock and the sundried tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.
    6. Season with the salt, pepper, xylitol and lemon zest.
    7. Add the meatballs and simmer for a further 8-10 minutes.
    8. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and arrange on the top allowing them to melt onto the tomato and meat juices.
    9. Sprinkle with basil leaves and serve with crusty bread, pasta or zucchini noodles.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

     

    Sun-dried tomatoes

     

    Sun-dried tomatoes
    Yields 3
    A little jar of summer, packed full of healthy omegas and vitamins. Pop them onto a cracker or into a lunch wrap. Delicious!
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    Ingredients
    1. This recipe requires you to use your oven on a very low temperature 40 - 50º C or a dehydrator.
    2. The quantities are not specified, however 3 x 500g bags of baby tomatoes will generally fill about 3-4 small 250ml jars. The tomatoes shrink and can be compacted into the jars.
    3. - Cherry/baby tomatoes - as many as you can fit into the oven or into a dehydrator. Chop them in half and lay them flat on trays which have a non-stick baking parchment.
    4. - Garlic cloves chopped into quarters - usually about 3 quarters per jar
    5. good quality olive oil - you will need enough to fill the jars to the brim
    6. - Rosemary - 2 small sprigs per jar
    7. - Apple cider vinegar - 1 teaspoon per jar
    8. - Stevia liquid sweetener (optional) - 2 drops per jar
    9. The tomatoes will take about 12 hours to dry out, so a dehydrator will help. However, they may take a less time in the oven. A good warmer draw would also work. Some of the tomatoes will dry out quicker then others and that is okay, a few squishy ones are good for the flavour of the tomato oil.
    10. Once dried, pack them into the sterilised jars with the garlic, rosemary, oil, vinegar and stevia. (optional)
    11. Seal the jars and give them a few good turns back and forth to mix the oil and vinegar. Allow them the stand for at least 2 days to soak before eating. In my house they are lucky to last that long as my kids love them on everything.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Cheesecake minus the cheese

    cheesecake minus the cheese
    A cheesecake made without cheese, gluten or eggs and still tastes like heaven.
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    Prep Time
    20 min
    Prep Time
    20 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup cashew nuts soaked overnight
    2. ¼ cup lemon juice
    3. ½ zest of lemon
    4. ¼ cup melted coconut oil
    5. 40ml of maple syrup
    6. 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract
    7. pinch of salt
    Crust
    1. 1 cup almonds or pecan nuts soaked overnight
    2. 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
    3. 1 cup of pitted dates
    4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5. 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
    6. pinch of salt
    Instructions
    1. Drain the cashew nuts from the water it has been soaking in and discard, you won't need it. Blend all the filling ingredients in a strong blender until they are very creamy and smooth.
    2. Blend all the crusts ingredients in a blender until they are coarsely chopped and stick together when you hold a small amount between your fingers and squeeze.
    3. The ingredients quantity is sufficient to make a 20cm cheesecake or 3 smaller ones.
    4. Press the crust filling into the pie tin firmly, making sure to take it up the sides as evenly as possible. Press it in firmly and make it smooth.
    5. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top.
    6. Pop the tart into the freezer for about an hour - although truth be told I've left it in overnight and it has come to no harm. The freezer sets the tart nicely and it can be stored in the fridge thereafter.
    7. I like to top it with a fruit coulis and chopped fruit. In this image I used a strawberry coulis and chopped fresh figs.
    8. With no oven needed and a delicious dessert so easy to prepare, why not give it a go. For all those who can't eat eggs, wheat or dairy - you will be in cheesecake heaven!
    Adapted from Holistic habits YouTube
    Adapted from Holistic habits YouTube
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Coconut pancakes

     

    Coconut pancakes
    Yields 8
    A light and tasty coconut pancake.
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup almond milk
    2. 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    3. 5 large eggs
    4. ¼ cup firmly packed almond flour
    5. ½ cup coconut flour
    6. ½ cup tapioca flour
    7. 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    8. 2 tablespoons honey
    9. ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    Instructions
    1. Blend all of these ingredients together in a blender or a nutribullet. Store in a glass jug in the fridge and use as and when pancakes are needed. So simple!
    2. I like to use a small pan and cook one at a time as I make them quite large. They need to cook at a low temperature otherwise the outside will burn before the inside is cooked.
    3. Serve with maple syrup, fruit and toasted coconut shavings.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Chunky chocolate banana cake – dairy free and gluten free

     

    Chunky chocolate banana cake
    Serves 10
    A dairy free, gluten free, sugar free moist super easy delicious tea-time or anytime munch.
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    40 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    40 min
    Ingredients
    1. 4 bananas mashed up
    2. 4 eggs
    3. ½ cup of nut butter (almond or macadamia)
    4. 4 tablespoons coconut oil melted
    5. ½ cup of coconut flour
    6. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
    8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
    9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    10. pinch of sea salt
    11. 1 cup of dark chocolate ( I use predominantly Lindt 85% - less sugar and soy, with a little Lindt 70%)
    Instructions
    1. Grease a round 22cm baking pan and line the base with baking paper.
    2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    3. In a large bowl combine the mashed banana, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla and the nut butter until well combined using an electric beater.
    4. Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
    5. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Make sure the pieces aren't too big.
    6. Pour this into the prepared baking tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
    7. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the pan before removing onto a wire rack.
    8. So Yum!
    Adapted from Rachel Conners
    Adapted from Rachel Conners
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

     

    Aubergine pickle

     

    1 teaspoon turmeric

    3 white onions finely chopped

    100g fresh ginger finely chopped

    1 tablespoon mustard seeds

    1 tablespoon cumin powder

    10 curry leaves

    3 tablespoons tomato puree

    2 tablespoons tamarind paste

    100g raisins

    100g xylitol or brown sugar

    250ml brown malt vinegar

    2 tablespoons cooking olive oil 

    1kg aubergines sliced sprinkled with a little salt for about 30 minutes to remove the bitter taste 

    2 sterilised glass jars 

    Rinse the aubergines slices and chop into smaller pieces leaving the skin on. Fry the onions and the ginger until soft. Add the spices, tomato puree and tamarind paste and fry lightly to release all the flavours. Add the aubergine, sugar and the vinegar. Allow this to bubble away slowly for about an hour with a lid on, leaving it on a low heat. When it is nearly ready, add the raisins and simmer for a further 15 minutes. It should be lovely and soft with all the aubergines broken down.

    Spoon the hot mixture into the glass jars and seal with the lids.

    This should keep in the fridge for 6-8 months.

    roasted pumpkin and ricotta ravioli with a brown butter and sage sauce – gluten free

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    Roasted pumpkin and ricotta ravioli with brown butter and sage sauce
    Serves 4
    Fresh homemade ravioli filled with roasted pumpkin and crumbly creamy ravioli topped with a nutty butter and sage sauce finished off with a sprinkle of toasted chorizo
    Print
    Prep Time
    2 hr
    Cook Time
    15 min
    Prep Time
    2 hr
    Cook Time
    15 min
    Pasta
    1. 2 cups gluten free flour
    2. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum - unless your flour already contains it
    3. 45g tapioca flour
    4. ½ teaspoon salt
    5. 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks all at room temperature
    6. 1 tablespoon olive oil
    7. 1/3 to 2/3 cup of warm water
    8. ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    Pasta filling
    1. 400g pumpkin, roasted
    2. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    3. 250g ricotta cheese
    4. salt and pepper to taste
    Sauce
    1. 150g butter
    2. fresh sage leaves finely chopped
    3. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    4. salt to taste
    5. chorizo crumbs (optional)
    6. parmesan to serve
    Instructions
    1. Into a food processor (much easier if you have one, but you can do it by hand) place the flour, xanthan gum, tapioca flour, salt, nutmeg, olive oil and all the eggs, pulse to combine.
    2. Start by adding 1/3 cup of warm water and mix the dough. It should come together into a ball. It shouldn't be wet or sticky but a nice soft dough. I usually add a drop more water and not another whole 1/3 cup. Check by pressing your finger into the dough, it should be pliable and not too hard. Remove the dough from the processor and knead it on a surface dusted with rice flour. The dough should be lovely and smooth.
    3. Divide the dough into four portions and wrap in cling film. Allow it to rest in the fridge for at least and hour. This dough does not harden in the fridge so it is lovely and easy to work with.
    4. Roast the pumpkin in the oven with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. When it is ready allow it to cool before mixing it with the ricotta, nutmeg, salt and pepper. By roasting the pumpkin, there shouldn't be too much water in the mixture. You need to be able to spoon the pumpkin mixture onto the pasta without it spreading.
    5. Roll the pasta through the pasta machine. (hoping you have used one before) Keep the shape as rectangular as possible while passing it through the pasta machine.
    6. The first roll is the toughest so simply roll it on the first setting a couple of times before moving on. This dough is very strong and can usually go to about setting 5-6. You really want as thin a pasta sheet as you can get.
    7. Lay the pasta sheet onto a rice floured surface. Using a 6cm cookie cutter, cut out rounds for the base. I like to use a larger cookie cutter for the tops - a 7.5cm. Place a teaspoon dollop of your pumpkin mixture into the middle of each pasta round, making sure to leave a good centimeter around the edge. Dip your finger into a cup of water and run it around the edge of each pasta circle before popping the top on. This will help seal the two: bottom and top together. Using your fingers press the ravioli into its shape, sealing the little mound of pumpkin in the middle.
    8. Lay the complete ravioli's onto a floured tray under a dish cloth, to not let them dry out.
    9. This method may seem very long and complicated, but once you get a little system going it goes very quickly.
    10. Heat up a pot of salted water to cook the ravioli's.
    11. Melt the butter in a saucepan until it is bubbling and a little brown, add the lemon juice and sage leaves. This will sizzle and spit. Allow this to sit while you cook your pasta.
    12. To make a chorizo crumb: fry off slices of chorizo in a pan until crisp. (no need to add oil as there is enough fat in chorizo) When cooled blitz them in a food processor or blender until they are crumbs. These keep in the fridge for a few days and are wonderful as a garnish for many dishes.
    13. Add the ravioli's to the boiling water and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Drain into a colander.
    14. Heat up the butter sauce making sure it is a lovely brown colour and tastes nutty. Season with a little salt.
    15. To serve lay a few ravioli's in a bowl, top with the butter sauce and a sprinkle of chorizo and parmesan.
    16. This really is worth the effort!
    Notes
    1. My pasta recipe was adapted from the web site: Gluten free on a Shoestring by Nicola Hunn
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/
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    matcha green tea swiss roll – gluten free

     

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    matcha green tea swiss roll
    Serves 8
    A super healthy anti-oxidant filled dessert or tea time cake made with matcha green tea powder. Light and delicious!
    Print
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Swiss roll
    1. 5 eggs separated
    2. 150g xylitol sugar plus extra for dusting
    3. 100g ground almonds
    4. 3 tablespoons coconut flakes lightly toasted
    Filling
    1. 250ml cream
    2. zest of two limes
    3. 40ml organic maple syrup
    4. 1¼ teaspoons matcha tea powder
    5. chopped kiwi fruit; chopped mango; passion fruit if in season
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 180º C and line a swiss roll tin or flat baking sheet with baking paper, making sure the paper stands about 2,5cm up the sides of the tin.
    2. Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar in a large bowl until they are very light in colour, thick and creamy. This does take a little while, so best to use an electric whisk. The batter should leave a trail when it drops into the bowl.
    3. Fold the ground almonds into this.
    4. Wash and dry the whisk very well, and whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
    5. Fold this into the batter very lightly until all is well combined.
    6. Spoon the mixture into the baking tray making sure to ease it into all the corners. It is a 'handle with care' batter as a heavy hand will knock all the air out of it.
    7. Sprinkle the top with the toasted coconut flakes.
    8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springs back to the touch.
    9. Allow the cake to cool in the tray.
    10. Too make the filling make sure all the fruit is chopped up.
    11. Whip the cream until it forms a soft swirl and holds its shape. Add the maple syrup, the tea powder and the zest of the limes.
    12. Sprinkle the extra xylitol sugar onto a spare baking sheet lined with a piece of baking paper. Turn the cake onto it top side down into the sugar.
    13. Spread the green tea cream onto the cake and sprinkle with the fruit. Use the paper to roll the cake up. It may crack and seem very fragile but it does form a roll shape. Be confident.
    14. Dust with more xylitol or icing sugar if prefered and enjoy!
    15. For those with a dairy intolerance I made this cake with a tin of beaten coconut cream instead of cream and it was lovely. The green tea has a very bitter taste so be careful not to add too much. You really want a subtle tea flavour in the cake.
    16. With all the anti-oxidants from the green tea, the goodness from the almonds and the eggs, this cake is healthy dessert or tea time delight.
    17. It does keep well in the fridge for 24 hours.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

     

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    orange and dark chocolate shortbread – gluten free

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    orange and dark chocolate shortbread - gluten free
    Yields 12
    A buttery, crumbly orange flavoured shortbread dipped in dark chocolate.
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    30 min
    Ingredients
    1. 55g cornflour
    2. 115g rice Four
    3. 85g almond four
    4. 80g castor sugar
    5. 175g chilled and diced into small cubes butter (I use salted as I like the salt in the biscuit)
    6. Grated zest of a ½ orange
    7. 200g dark chocolate melted
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
    2. Add all the ingredients to your food processor and blitz until it comes together into a ball.
    3. It is not a very sticky dough as it has enough butter to keep it from being difficult, but it is a very soft dough. Wrap and roll the dough up into a tight sausage in clingfilm. Some of you may not know how to do this: Very simply take a large piece of clingfilm and lay it on your work surface. Take the dough and shape it in your hands into a fat sausage and lay onto the bottom edge of the clingfilm, the edge closest to you. Make sure you have at least 5cm of clingfilm on each side of the dough. Take the bottom edge of the clingfilm and lay it over the dough and continue to roll until all the clingfilm is on the dough. Take the edge pieces and use those as handles to roll the dough up tighter and get a nice uniform shape. Put the sausages of dough into the freezer for an hour to freeze.
    4. The frozen dough is very easy to deal with. Slice into rounds with the clingfilm on using a very sharp knife. Once cut remove the clingfilm from each biscuit and lay on a baking tray. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes and warm up a little before popping in the oven.
    5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Once cooled dip one end of each biscuit into the melted dark chocolate and allow the chocolate to set.
    6. The flavour of orange and chocolate in a biscuit is amazing!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    churros and chocolate – gluten free

     

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    churros and chocolate - gluten free
    A delicious Spanish donut dipped in cinnamon sugar, dunked in heavenly chocolate sauce - all tummy friendly!
    Print
    Prep Time
    20 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    20 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    CHURROS
    1. 1 cup milk
    2. 60g butter chopped up
    3. ¼ teaspoon salt
    4. 190g gluten free flour
    5. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (unless your flour already contains it)
    6. 4 eggs basically 240g eggs out of their shells
    7. 50g sugar approximately ( too make a cinnamon sugar)
    8. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    9. oil for frying
    10. piping bag
    CHOCOLATE SAUCE
    1. 200g chocolate chopped and melted
    2. 50ml cream
    Instructions
    1. Too make the churros, heat the milk, butter and salt in a saucepan until the butter has melted and the milk is hot but not boiling. Remove this from the heat and stir in the flour and xanthan gum. Basically you are making a roux similar to making choux pastry. You need to stir this mixture vigorously until the mixture comes away from the side of the saucepan and begins to make a ball. It can appear a little lumpy, definitely not a smooth dough, but not too worry as those lumps do disappear later.
    2. Transfer the dough to a food processor or free standing mixer. Add the egg in a slow trickle until the mixture is smooth and well blended. I mix it on a high speed for about 4 minutes to make sure the dough is cool and glossy. If there are still a few lumps don’t stress as they cook perfectly.
    3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pot with high sides or a deep fat fryer. This is a deep fry not a pan fry, so pour your oil into the pot until it is halfway up. The temperature should be about 180ºC, but a good way of testing is to put a little bit of the dough into the oil and if it sizzles and cooks it is ready to go.
    4. A piping bag is a must, as you will be piping over hot oil and this is the easiest way to get a nice sausage shape without burning yourself. Fit the piping bag with a star shaped nozzle if you have one other wise don’t stress. They taste just as good without the fancy shape. The star shape simply helps the cinnamon sugar stick a little better to the cooked churros.
    5. Mix up your cinnamon sugar ready to go.
    6. Pipe strips of dough into the hot oil and allow to fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel for a few minutes before rolling in the cinnamon sugar. Repeat with the remaining dough.
    7. To make the chocolate sauce: melt the chocolate and stir in the cream until smooth, if it is too thick add more cream. It should be a runny sauce so you are able to get a churros dunked in and coated without too much trouble.
    8. I have also kept the dough in its piping bag overnight and made fresh churros in the morning and the dough held very well.
    Adapted from Gluten free on a shoestring
    Adapted from Gluten free on a shoestring
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

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    spicy, crunchy chicken wings with a sriracha mayonnaise

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    Spicy, crunchy chicken wings with a Sriracha mayonnaise
    Serves 10
    Print
    Prep Time
    15 min
    Prep Time
    15 min
    Ingredients
    1. The quantity of spice is good for about 2kg of chicken wings.
    2. 2 teaspoons chermoula mix optional (a North American spice)
    3. 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
    4. 3 teaspoons brown sugar
    5. 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
    6. 2 tablespoons garlic flakes
    7. 2 teaspoons sea salt
    8. 4 tablespoons paprika
    9. ½ cup of olive oil
    Instructions
    1. This is a rough guide. If you fancy a smoked paprika or a more cumin flavour feel free to play around. The main idea is to get a good spicy flavour with some texture to cover the chicken.
    2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC
    3. Place all the chicken in a large bowl and rub ¼ cup of the olive oil into the chicken. This will make the chicken moist and allow the spice to stick to it.
    4. Put all the spices into a mortar and pestle and give it a good grind to crush the coriander seeds.
    5. Dip each chicken wing into the spice making sure to cover it well.
    6. Lay the chicken wings onto a tray and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
    7. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they can burn. Cut a wing open to check if they are cooked.
    Sriracha mayonaise
    1. 250ml oil – sunflower, corn oil or a cooking olive oil
    2. 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    3. 4 egg yolks
    4. 1 teaspoon mustard – I use Dijon mustard
    5. ½ lemon juiced – use to taste
    6. salt and pepper to taste
    7. sugar to taste
    8. Place the egg yolks, vinegar and mustard in a mixing jug. I find that a tall jug works best as you get less mess then a bowl when mixing.
    9. Using a stick blender, give it a good whisk. The gradually add the oil in about 3 or 4 batches whisking well between each addition of the oil. The sauce will thicken nicely.
    10. Once all the oil has been added, taste the mayo for a seasoning check adding salt and pepper. I like to add a little sugar or xylitol , no more then a ½ teaspoon. This really finishes the mayo off and balances the flavour, however you can leave it out if you desire.
    11. If the mayo becomes too thick simply add a little water to loosen it.
    12. To the above recipe add 3 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce or any tasty hot sauce in the fridge.
    13. Gluten free and carb free, very yum and easy!
    Adapted from Taste magazine
    Adapted from Taste magazine
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

     

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    Foccacia – gluten free

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    Foccacia - Gluten free
    Serves 6
    Warm fresh gluten free foccacia, smothered in butter. What could be better!
    Print
    Prep Time
    1 hr
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Prep Time
    1 hr
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Gluten free bread mix
    1. Makes 1.3kg flour
    2. 400g soya flour
    3. 200g tapioca flour
    4. 400g potato flour
    5. 300g corn flour (corn starch)
    6. Mix all of these together and store in a good airtight container. I sometimes double this recipe and then I have enough for many loaves, although the quantity does make roughly 3 loaves of bread.
    Foccacia
    1. 2x 10g sachets easy blend dried yeast
    2. 500ml warm water
    3. 2 teaspoons castor sugar
    4. 500g gluten free bread mix
    5. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    6. 2 teaspoon baking powder
    7. 1 teaspoon vitamin C powder available at pharmacies (Hint: I use my daughters orange flavoured flu and cold powder!)
    8. 2 egg whites
    9. 2 tablespoon fresh/dried herbs of your choosing (optional)
    10. course salt
    11. 4 tablespoons olive oil
    12. sprigs of fresh rosemary
    Instructions
    1. Grease a 30cm springform pan and line the base with baking paper.
    2. Whisk the yeast, water and sugar together, cover this with a tea towel and leave to stand for about 10 minutes to activate. It should develop a foamy top.
    3. In the mean time mix the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and the Vitamin C powder together in a bowl. I like to add the dried herbs to the flour mix, it adds flavour to the bread. This is optional.
    4. When the yeast is frothy, whisk the egg whites until they are foamy: basically until they look like bubbles in a bubble bath. Add both of these to the flour mixture and combine, be careful not to be too heavy handed and over mix.
    5. Your dough should be quite thick. Spoon this into your oiled pan, smoothing it with the back of a spoon. It is rather sticky so be careful.
    6. Leave this to prove in a warm place for 20 minutes. I cover it with a tea towel, but it can rise right up and touch the tea towel, so be careful when removing it as it is sticky and you don't want the bread to collapse.
    7. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
    8. When the dough has risen up nicely, pierce the top with the sprigs of rosemary. Make small indents with your finger and pour the olive oil over the top and sprinkle the dough with the course sea salt. Never add the salt into the dough as it stops the bread from rising, always scatter it on the top.
    9. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until nice and brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Slice, smother with butter and enjoy.
    Other options I have used
    1. Garlic slivers: by adding these to the bread it must all be eaten on the same day as the garlic makes the bread go a little soggy the next day.
    2. Sundries tomatoes: Also add these if you are going to eat the bread in the same day.
    3. The herb and sea salt version above allows you to keep the bread for 2 days after baking!
    Adapted from Phil Vickery
    Adapted from Phil Vickery
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/
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    belgian chocolate chip biscuits

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    belgian chocolate chip biscuits
    A gluten free biscuit loaded with dark Belgian chocolate. Fill up those cookie jars and have a happy family!
    Print
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    15 min
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    15 min
    Gluten free version
    1. 170g butter at room temperature
    2. 150g brown sugar
    3. 50g castor sugar
    4. 300g all purpose gluten free flour
    5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    6. ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    7. ½ teaspoon salt
    8. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    9. 1 whole egg
    10. 1 egg yolk
    11. 300g chocolate buttons - ¾ dark or milk chocolate and ¼ white chocolate buttons (optional)
    Wheat version
    1. 170g butter at room temperature
    2. 150g brown sugar
    3. 50g castor sugar
    4. 300g plain flour
    5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    6. ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    7. ½ teaspoon salt
    8. 1 whole egg
    9. 1 egg yolk
    10. 300g chocolate buttons - ¾ dark or milk chocolate and ¼ white chocolate buttons (optional)
    Gluten free version
    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    2. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, butter and the vanilla until well combined.
    3. Add the egg and the yolk to this and beat until pale.
    4. Add all the dry ingredients and mix.
    5. Lastly add the chocolate buttons mixing well. The dough should be sticky, not sloppy and wet.
    6. Divide the dough into two and roll them into cylindrical shapes in cling film. Place in the fridge to firm up, or freeze until required. I found the dough is easier to deal with when frozen, as gluten free dough is a little softer then the wheat version. You will get a nice uniform biscuit if you cut the tubes up while frozen. They can be baked from frozen as well.
    7. Otherwise, if you are impatient and want to bake them straight away, use a spoon and place dollops of the dough on a baking tray and press down with a fork. A more rustic biscuit!
    8. I like to slice the biscuit dough while still wrapped in cling film as it helps to keep the biscuit together. Once they are all sliced up, I remove the cling film circle from each biscuit. Pop them on a greased baking tray and into the oven.
    9. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or less. They do cook quickly so keep and eye on them. They should be golden brown on the edges and a little pale in the centre.
    10. This recipe can be doubled or tripled for those very nibbly souls needing more biscuits!
    11. choc-chip-biscuits-3-of-5
    Wheat version
    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    2. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, butter and the vanilla until well combined.
    3. Add the egg and the yolk to this and beat until pale.
    4. Add all the dry ingredients and mix.
    5. Lastly, add the chocolate buttons mixing well. The dough should be sticky, not sloppy and wet.
    6. Divide the dough into two and roll them into cylindrical shapes in cling film. Place in the fridge to firm up, or freeze until required. They can be baked from frozen.
    7. Otherwise, if you are impatient and want to bake them straight away use a spoon and place dollops of the dough on a baking tray and press down with a fork. A more rustic biscuit!
    8. I like to slice the biscuit dough while still wrapped in cling film as it helps to keep the biscuit together. Once they are all sliced up, I remove the cling film circle from each biscuit. Pop them on a greased baking tray and into the oven.
    9. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or less. They do cook quickly so keep and eye on them. They should be golden brown on the edges and a little pale in the centre.
    10. So yum!
    Adapted from Ashburton Chefs Academy
    Adapted from Ashburton Chefs Academy
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/
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    pecan and zucchini cake

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    pecan and zucchini cake
    Serves 8
    A wonderful take on a carrot cake. Loads of green energy in this nutty wonder to make you feel healthy while eating a slice of cake!
    Print
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Gluten free version
    1. 3 large eggs
    2. 300ml sunflower oil
    3. 220g light brown sugar
    4. ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
    5. 300g All purpose gluten-free flour
    6. 3 teaspoons baking powder
    7. 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    8. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    9. ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    10. ½ ground nutmeg
    11. 300g grated courgettes unpeeled
    12. 100g pecan nuts roughly chopped
    13. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    14. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line two 20cm baking tins with baking paper.
    15. Using an electric mixer or hand held mixer, combine the eggs, oil, sugar and essence and beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. This is important as it helps the GF cake to rise.
    16. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum and all the spices together in a separate bowl.
    17. Using a cake spatula, fold the flour into the egg mixture until combined being careful not to knock all the air out of it. Add the zucchini and the pecan nuts to this and combine.
    18. Divide the batter into the two baking tins and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden on the top and a skewer comes out clean.
    19. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 minutes before turning out.
    Icing
    1. 250g butter
    2. 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon plus extra for dusting on the cake
    3. 750g icing sugar
    4. 75g greek yogurt
    5. Beat the butter, icing sugar and the cinnamon with the electric mixer until well combined and then add the greek yogurt and beat until light and fluffy.
    Normal wheat version
    1. 3 large eggs
    2. 300ml sunflower oil
    3. 220g light brown sugar
    4. ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
    5. 300g baking flour
    6. 1 teaspoons baking powder
    7. 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    8. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    9. ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    10. ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    11. 300g unpeeled grated courgettes
    12. 100g pecan nuts roughly chopped
    13. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line two 22cm baking tins with baking paper.
    14. Using an electric mixer or hand held mixer combine the eggs, oil, sugar and essence until well combined.
    15. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and all the spices together in a separate bowl.
    16. Add the flour mix to the egg mix in two batches and beat on a low speed with the electric mixer. Add the zucchini and the pecan nuts to this and combine by hand.
    17. Divide the batter into the two baking pans and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden on the top and a skewer comes out clean when pricked.
    18. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 minutes before turning out.
    Pecan Praline
    1. 1 cup of sugar
    2. ¼ cup of water
    3. 1 cup of pecan nuts roughly chopped
    4. Bring the water and the sugar to a boil until the sugar reaches a temperature of 170°C and is a lovely caramel colour. Arrange the nuts on a tray lined with non stick paper or a silpat baking mat. Pour the hot caramel over the nuts and wait for it to cool before breaking into pieces for decoration.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

     

     

    Gnocchi with brown butter, crispy sage and broccoli

    Gnocchi (1 of 8) Gnocchi (2 of 8) Gnocchi (6 of 8) Gnocchi (8 of 8)

    Gnocchi with brown butter, crispy sage and broccoli
    Serves 4
    A delicious comfort food so easy too make. Light and tasty gnocchi with brown butter and crispy greens.
    Print
    Prep Time
    1 hr 30 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    1 hr 30 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Ingredients
    1. 800g potato
    2. 300g all-purpose gluten free flour or normal wheat flour
    3. 1 egg
    4. ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    5. salt and pepper to taste
    6. Extra rice flour for dusting or normal wheat flour
    7. 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
    8. 3 garlic cloves grated
    9. 10-12 sage leaves torn or chopped into pieces
    10. 8 heads of long stemmed broccoli chopped up - stalks chopped off as only using the heads of the broccoli.
    11. 300g butter
    12. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    13. salt and pepper to taste
    14. grated parmesan cheese for garnish
    15. Optional - two duck breasts cooked and sliced
    16. Crispy potato skins - olive oil, salt and smoked paprika.
    Instructions
    1. Heat oven to 200ºC. Rinse and prick the potatoes, bake them until they are cooked, approximately 45 minutes.
    2. Scoop all the flesh out of the potato skins into a bowl and mash. Reserve the skins for a treat later.
    3. A potato ricer is an amazing tool to have for making smooth mash and gnocchi. I would highly recommend it. I put the potato mash through the ricer twice, too ensure a smooth fluffy gnocchi. You can mash it with a potato masher if all else fails but make sure it is really lump free.
    4. Add the flour, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg to the mash and mix with a fork until combined and then with your hands to form a light dough. Be careful not to over work the mash/dough as it will release starch and make a heavy gnocchi.
    5. Flour a surface with whichever flour you are using and take small handfuls of the dough, roll them into sausages about 2cm in diameter. Chop them into bite size pieces and lay them on a floured tray. The dough will make enough gnocchi for 4 people as a main course.
    6. Too cook the gnocchi put a large pot of salted water onto boil. Add small portions of gnocchi to the water at a time. The gnocchi is ready when it rises to the surface of the water. Use a slotted spoon to remove them. I placed all the gnocchi into a large frying pan.
    7. To make the brown butter sauce: add all the butter to a frying pan and allow it to melt and bubble, add the garlic, sage, chilli and broccoli. Continue to fry the butter. The butter will start to go brown and the herbs and broccoli will become crispy. Don't let it burn, remove from the heat and add the lemon juice - which will splatter and sizzle. Season to taste.
    8. Pour this over the cooked gnocchi and sauté the whole lot in the pan for a few minutes to reheat the gnocchi.
    9. Sprinkle with plenty of parmesan cheese just before serving.
    10. I added a few slices of duck breast to the dish for a small protein kick. (optional)
    11. While the oven is still warm from baking the potatoes, slice the potato skins in half after having scooped out all their flesh and lay them on a baking tray. Rub them with olive oil, salt and a good sprinkle of smoked paprika. Bake them for 10-15 minutes until crispy. These make a delicious pre-dinner snack for the starving masses and you won't waste any of the goodness of the potato. Great for dunking into a dip. Definitely not banting friendly!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/
    Gnocchi (5 of 8) Gnocchi (4 of 8)

    gluten free scones

    Scones (4 of 16) Scones (2 of 16) Scones (7 of 16)Scones (9 of 16)
    Scones (16 of 16)

    Scones - gluten free
    Yields 6
    A perfect light scone to serve your gluten free family or guests for tea. So easy to make.
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Ingredients
    1. 125g self-raising rice flour
    2. 80g potato flour
    3. 60g tapioca flour
    4. pinch of salt
    5. 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
    6. 3 teaspoons baking powder
    7. 80ml milk
    8. 1 egg
    9. 50g castor sugar
    10. 50g butter - cold from the fridge
    11. 1 egg for brushing
    12. extra rice flour for dusting
    Instructions
    1. Heat the oven to 200ºC.
    2. Combine the flours in a mixing bowl with the salt, xanthan gum and baking powder. Cut the cold butter up into smaller pieces and with your fingers rub it into the flours until it resembles breadcrumbs. Make sure there are no large pieces of butter left in the flour. Add the sugar to the crumbs and mix with you hands. Make sure to do this quickly as you don't want the butter to melt into the flour.
    3. Beat the egg into the milk and pour this into the flour mix. With a knife cut the liquid into the flour until it has almost combined.
    4. Flour a kitchen surface with the extra flour and tip the dough onto the surface. With your hands bring the dough together. Don't be heavy with your hands, it has to be just formed into a dough and shaped into a circle of about 4 - 5cm in height. The secret with scone dough is to handle it as little as possible. This keeps it from being heavy and tough.
    5. With a cookie cutter cut out the scones. My recipe gave me 6 perfect scones and one scone from the off-cuts of the dough.
    6. Lay the scones on a baking tray and brush the tops with the extra egg.
    7. Bake for 25 minutes or until they are golden brown.
    8. These scones pop up beautifully and can be broken into two with the hands which for me is the sign of perfect scone!
    9. I beg you to tell these apart from a normal wheat based scone!
    10. Top with cream and jam or jam and cream whichever you prefer and gobble!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    fragrant chicken curry

     

    curries (1 of 1)

     

     

     

    fragant chicken curry
    Serves 8
    Fresh ingredients, indian spices - a healthy spicy chicken curry made with spinach. So delicious!
    Print
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1½ kg boneless chicken thighs chopped into small pieces
    2. 2 teaspoons curry powder (make sure it is gluten free if you are intolerant as many curry powders contain wheat)
    3. 1 teaspoon tumeric
    4. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    5. 1 teaspoon garam masala
    6. 3 onions finely chopped
    7. 250ml chicken stock
    8. 1 tin chopped tomatoes
    9. 250ml water
    10. 60ml lemon juice
    11. 2 teaspoons salt
    12. 6 teaspoons agave syrup ( if using normal sugar you will need less, probably only 2 teaspoons)
    13. 2 teaspoon garlic and ginger paste (see instructions)
    14. optional 1 fresh red chilli finely chopped; if you like it hot
    15. two large handfuls baby spinach, rinsed
    16. 4 tablespoons coconut oil
    17. large handful of chopped fresh coriander
    Instructions
    1. Before you start making this curry you will need to make up a ginger and garlic paste. This paste keeps in the fridge for about two weeks to use in other curries. Using a small blender take equal quanties of ginger and garlic: a whole bulb of garlic and whole root of ginger. Peel all the cloves of garlic and remove all the skin from the ginger, place them in the blender with a little water and blend until you have a paste. Add the water a little at a time as you don't want a soup, but it all needs to be nicely blended and smooth. This is the most labour intensive part of this dish but is so important for the flavour. I like to make a lot of this paste as it does take a while to peel all the garlic cloves and ginger, you don't want to be doing it every time you make a curry. I store it in a glass tupperware in the fridge.
    2. Dry fry all the spices in a pan until they are smoking and fragrant. Remove these from the pan and set aside. Melt two tablespoons of the coconut oil in the same pan and fry the onions until they are glassy, add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a minute. Garlic burns very quickly so be careful. Add the tomatoes, the chicken stock and the water (the optional chilli), as well as the curry spices and allow this to bubble for about 5 minutes. This is your sauce.
    3. Pour this lovely sauce into a blender together with the baby spinach and blend till smooth. The heat from the sauce will cook the spinach.
    4. Use the same frying pan and add the remainder of the coconut oil and fry the chicken until it is almost cooked. Add the sauce and allow the whole lot to simmer for about 20 minutes.
    5. Now comes the hardest part: balancing a curry. This is something very few people do when making a curry. This is only done at the end of the cooking process. A curry needs to have a little bit of sweet, salty, and sour. I have put quantities in the ingredients but these are estimates as it really boils down to the individual. Start by adding the lemon juice and a little of the agave or sugar. Add a little of the salt. Taste, taste, taste! The favours should balance. Adding sugar generally brings out the heat in a curry. Sometimes this takes practice. The curry should have a little sour, a little sweet and a little salty with the spice as well. So keep adding the favouring until you feel it is perfect. Add the coriander once you feel the flavours are perfectly balanced. Save a little coriander for garnish.
    6. If your curry has too much liquid simply allow it to simmer a little longer. Another trick to thickening a curry is too add a tablespoon or two of almond flour, this will soak up the extra liquid and not change the flavour. The use of chicken thighs is important as they don't dry out and can take longer cooking time.
    7. Serve this with basmati rice, a nice dollop of yogurt and indian roti.
    Adapted from Monisha Bharadwaj
    Adapted from Monisha Bharadwaj
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    curries (2 of 2) 

    blueberry muffins – gluten free

    miffins (4 of 9) miffins (7 of 9)

    miffins (9 of 9)

    blueberry muffins - gulten free
    Yields 8
    A gorgeous muffins filled with plump moist blueberries and a hint of coconut flavour, all gluten free. Super quick to make for a teatime or breakfast treat.
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup rice flour
    2. ½ cup potato flour
    3. ½ cup almond flour
    4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
    5. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    6. ½ teaspoon baking soda
    7. ½ cup of brown granulated sugar
    8. ½ teaspoon salt
    9. ¼ cup of melted coconut oil
    10. 2 eggs
    11. ¾ cup of natural yogurt
    12. ½ cup of milk
    13. 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
    14. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    15. 32 frozen blue berries - 4 per muffin
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    2. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Combine all the wet ingredients, except the blueberries and the coconut oil. Stir the two mixes together with two or three good turns of the hand before adding the coconut oil. If you add the coconut oil to the wet ingredients it tends to set after coming into contact with the cold milk and yogurt. Stir the mixture until all the flour is combined, do this by hand and not with an electric mixer as it doesn't take long and you don't want to over mix it.
    3. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tray. The quantity should make 8 large muffins.
    4. Push 4 blueberries into each muffin making sure you push them deep into the batter. You don't want them getting burnt on the top of the muffin in the oven.
    5. Bake for 25 minutes or until they are nice and brown.
    6. When cool load them up with blackberry jam and a good camembert for a real treat.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

     

    Pomegranate toffee glazed pork

    pork (1 of 3)pork (2 of 3)

    Pomegranate toffee glazed pork
    Serves 10
    Crispy pomegranate flavoured pork crackling, succulent pork - a new spin on pork belly.
    Print
    Prep Time
    3 hr
    Cook Time
    3 hr
    Prep Time
    3 hr
    Cook Time
    3 hr
    Ingredients
    1. 2,5kg piece of pork belly unrolled - all bones removed and the fat scored
    2. 3 tablespoons five spice powder
    3. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
    4. 1 teaspoon course salt
    5. 4/5 cloves
    6. 2 tablespoons salt
    7. 2 cups pomegranate juice
    8. 1 cup brown sugar
    9. ½ cup water
    10. ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
    11. pomegranate seeds for serving
    Instructions
    1. Combine the five spice, fennel, salt and cloves in a grinder and crush to a powder. Rub this into the underside of the pork and leave to marinade for about 3 hours or overnight.
    2. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
    3. Lay the pork fat side down in a baking tray and cover the tray with tin foil. I like to lay a non-stick mat in the tray as it stops the pork from sticking.
    4. Cook the pork slowly for 2 hours. Remove it from the oven and flip it over so that the fat is facing upwards. Rub the 2 tablespoons of salt into the fat making sure it all gets a good covering.
    5. Raise the oven temperature to 220ºC and pop the pork back in. You are going to want a lovely crispy fat crackling. Depending on your oven this could take anywhere between 30 - 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it. To test pull it out and tap on the pork fat when you think it is nearly ready. It should sound nice and hollow. Be careful not to burn it or your fingers.
    6. When it is ready take it out of the oven and allow it to stand for 20 minutes before cutting into smaller portions. For this recipe I cut the pork into small cubes.
    7. While the pork is cooking get on with making the caramel.
    8. Simmer the pomegranate juice until it has reduced by half and has a slight syrupy consistency. This will intensify the flavour of the pomegranate.
    9. Place the cup of brown sugar into a small saucepan together with the lemon juice and water, bring to a boil. Don't stir the sugar mixture while it is boiling. If you have a sugar thermometer allow the sugar to come up to about 175ºC. With no thermometer it is a little tricky. The caramel will bubble until it is a rich amber colour. Don't panic, allow it to reach this colour. You have to keep a close eye on it. Remove it from the heat and carefully add the pomegranate juice. Be very careful as it will bubble and splatter. Stir this to combine.
    10. Arrange the chopped pork on a serving dish and drizzle the caramel over the top.
    11. This is lovely as a canapé snack or served with a puree and vegetables. I served it with a warm roasted cauliflower, roasted fennel and baby spinach salad drizzled with olive oil and pomegranate seeds.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    creamy oats – breakfast in a jar

    Oats (2 of 11)
    Oats (3 of 11) Oats (7 of 11) Oats (8 of 11) Oats (10 of 11)

     

    creamy oats - breakfast in a jar
    Serves 4
    These oats are so creamy and nutritious tasting you could almost be fooled into thinking that they are bad for you!
    Print
    Prep Time
    5 min
    Prep Time
    5 min
    Ingredients
    1. 2 cups gluten free or normal oats
    2. ½ cup of ground flax seeds - simply take flax seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder
    3. cinnamon - optional
    4. 2 teaspoon honey, xylitol or agave syrup - optional
    5. Fruit, nuts or flavouring of your choice
    6. 2 cups full cream milk, almond milk or coconut milk
    7. glass jars or containers with lids which can stand in the fridge
    Instructions
    1. Place ½ cup of the oats into each jar and add two tablespoons of the ground flax into the jars. Top this with ½ cup of the milk of your choice. I have tried cows milk, almond and coconut milk and they are all delicious. If you are going to add a sweetener then add ½ teaspoon into each jar and give a good stir. Seal the lids and place the jars into the fridge to soak overnight. The oats need about 6 hours to soak.
    2. The fruit and nuts are best added just before eating.
    Some of our favourites are
    1. Chopped pear and melted 70% dark chocolate - my daughters absolute best. I leave out the sweetener as the pear and chocolate make it sweet enough.
    2. Berry blast - chopped strawberries, pomegranate seeds and blueberry coulis ( which is blueberries boiled until mushy and then blended and stored in a glass jar in the fridge)
    3. Apple pie - stewed apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon, a good accompaniment to this would be toasted almonds.
    4. Short of time then grab a banana, a jar of nut butter and your oats from the fridge. Chop the banana and a spoonful of the nut butter into the oats and you have a great breakfast on the go!
    5. The only thing you need here is time to prepare ahead.
    6. These jars keep in the fridge for a week so no excuses for no breakfast as you can make them on a Sunday evening!
    Notes
    1. The prep is quick, but you do need at least 6 hours to get the oats lovely and creamy!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/






     

     

     

     

    smoked trout and cream cheese waffles

    smoked trout and cream cheese waffles - gluten free
    Serves 10
    A warm cheesy waffle topped with ribbons of smoked trout or salmon, a soft oozy poached egg and creamy herby sauce - all very good for you and gluten free.
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    2 min
    Total Time
    12 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    2 min
    Total Time
    12 min
    Ingredients
    1. 2 cups gluten free flour mix
    2. 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
    3. ½ teaspoon paprika
    4. 1¼ teaspoon salt
    5. ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
    6. 75g melted butter
    7. 2 eggs beaten
    8. ¾ cup of milk
    9. 2 teaspoon french mustard
    10. 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
    11. 1 packet smoked trout or salmon if you prefer
    12. poached eggs to order
    13. 1 tub crème fraîche
    14. 1 small bunch of fresh chives finely diced
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients including the cheese.
    2. In a separate bowl combine all the remaining ingredients, whisk well.
    3. With a wooden spoon mix the two together until you have a sticky dough. Don't over mix.
    4. Make sure your waffle machine is nice and hot and if you need to spray it with a non stick do this before you turn it on.
    5. Place dollops of the mix into the waffle machine, usually about two tablespoons. Don't try to press the dough flat, as when you close the waffle machine it will press the dough into place and give you a nice uniform waffle.
    6. While the waffle is cooking prepare your crème fraîche by mixing a handful of finely chopped fresh chives into the it.
    7. Poach your eggs.
    8. Assemble by placing ribbons of smoked trout on the warm waffle followed by a soft poached egg and a good helping of crème fraîche!
    9. So simple and yet so delicious! You wouldn't even know it is gluten free!
    10. Any remaining waffle mix can be stored in a container in the fridge for about a week and used whenever you fancy a waffle! Bonus!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    ice cream sandwiches

     

    ice cream sandwiches
    Serves 8
    A biscuit ice cream dream - perfect for afternoon tea or as a dessert!
    Print
    Prep Time
    3 hr
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    3 hr
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Mielie meal biscuits
    1. 180g butter
    2. ½ cup mielie/maze meal
    3. ½ desiccated coconut
    4. 1 cup rice flour
    5. ½ cup potato flour
    6. 1 cup sugar
    7. 2 teaspoon baking powder
    8. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    9. ½ teaspoon salt
    10. 2 eggs beaten
    11. 3 tablespoons milk
    Chocolate Ice cream
    1. 250ml full cream milk
    2. 500ml double cream
    3. 75g granulated sugar
    4. 3 egg yolks or 45ml
    5. pinch of salt
    6. 100g chocolate - 60% is best
    7. 50g cocoa powder - unsweetened
    Mielie meal biscuits
    1. Mix all the dry ingredients together including the coconut and the sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
    2. Mix the beaten eggs and the milk together and add this to the dry ingredients and combine until the mixture resembles a sticky dough.
    3. In order to have a nice shaped biscuit, roll the dough up into cling film to form a tight sausage and chill for about an hour or until firm. This helps when cutting the biscuits. If too lazy then simply roll a teaspoon of dough in the palm of your hand and press with a fork. Slice the rolled dough, when firm, into slices remembering to remove the cling film first.
    4. Bake at 200ºC until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tray before lifting off as the GF biscuit is always a little delicate.
    5. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
    Chocolate Ice cream
    1. Bring the milk and cream to a simmer. Beat the eggs, sugar and salt until pale, in a separate bowl. Add this to the heated cream mixture in small batches off the heat so as to not cook the egg and curdle it. Return to the heat and whisk until it reaches a temperature of 85ºC. Add the cocoa and chocolate to this and whisk until combined.
    2. Set it aside to cool before churning in an ice cream machine or using the old fashioned method of fridge freezing it and stirring it every hour until it is frozen.
    3. Once churned spoon it onto a 20x20cm tin lined with cling film. This makes it easier to cut into the required shape for ice cream sandwiches later on.
    Ice cream sandwiches
    1. Cut out discs of ice cream with a cutter. It is best to heat the cutter by dipping it into hot water first, this makes it so much easier to cut through the frozen ice cream.
    2. Lay a mielie/maze meal biscuit on a plate and top it with a disc of ice cream, followed by another biscuit. Dust with icing sugar and dig in. Happy smiling faces!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    sweet chilli sauce

    Sweet chilli sauce
    A healthy sweet chilli sauce with no additives, tangy and delicious.
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    25 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    25 min
    Ingredients
    1. 500g tomatoes
    2. 100ml rice wine vinegar
    3. 100g sugar
    4. 2 large red chillies
    5. 1 red birds eye chilli
    6. 2 cloves of garlic
    7. a handful of chopped coriander
    Instructions
    1. Simmer the rice wine vinegar and the sugar in a pan for a few minutes until all the sugar has dissolved.
    2. Place all the tomatoes, chillies and garlic into a blender a blitz until you have a good course mixture. I leave the skins of the tomatoes on as I love all the texture they give, as well as the added vitamins which lie under the skin. If you are very fussy then blanch the tomatoes and remove all the skins.
    3. Add the tomato mixture to the vinegar syrup and cook for 10 minutes or until you are happy with the consistency. It should have reduced and be a nice thick sauce.
    4. Add the chopped coriander and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
    5. If you don't have birds eye chillies simply add more of the large chillies. You can also reduce or increase the amount of chillies depending on how hot or cool you like it.
    6. This sauce keeps for weeks in the fridge.
    Notes
    1. I know that many of you are going to give this recipe a miss, as you are thinking it is easier to grab a bottle at the supermarket. Go to your fridge and read all the ingredients in that bottle and you may be a little more eager to make your own. This sweet chilli is the best. I was given this recipe while at chef school in the UK at Ashburton Chefs Academy. It is a permanent staple in my fridge.
    2. With none of the additives and extra sugar, it is a fresh healthy condiment which is so versatile, try it on scrabbled eggs or dip prawn spring rolls into it. Go on give it a go....!
    Adapted from Ashburton Chefs Academy
    Adapted from Ashburton Chefs Academy
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    spinach and smoked trout galettes

    spinach and smoked trout galettes
    A galette is technically a french crêpe traditionally filled with eggs and ham, but it can be filled with anything savoury. It looks wonderful folded into a square with the filling oozing out the top. I have created a gluten free galette, but this recipe can easily be adapted to a normal wheat crêpe. They make a tasty quick fix supper after a long day or an easy ladies lunch. I have used the crêpes in other crafty ways as well. They are very versatile. They make a great wrap for school/work lunch boxes. I have spread a layer of hummus or whatever spread I have going in the fridge at the time, topped this with salami, pepper dews, lettuce and grated cheese for example; rolled it up and popped it into the lunch box. It holds the filling beautifully without becoming soggy. A great way to get spinach into your kids as you can’t taste it! If your kids know the books Dr Seuss make them with eggs and ham and you have to most wonderful green eggs and ham wraps!
    Print
    Ingredients
    1. Crêpes
    2. 85g fine polenta
    3. 85g rice flour
    4. pinch of grated nutmeg
    5. 2 eggs
    6. 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
    7. 200ml full cream milk
    8. a little oil for cooking
    9. Filling ( this is a guide line as you could fill the crepes with anything from mince meat to left over curry)
    10. 1 large cooked smoked trout – flaked
    11. salt and pepper to taste
    12. 200g baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
    13. 150g crême fraîche
    14. freshly grated parmesan cheese
    Instructions
    1. Cook the spinach in the microwave for 2 minutes or until it has wilted. Set this aside to cool as you will want to give it a good squeeze to remove the water.
    2. Using a blender or food processor ( I used my Nutribullet) Add all the ingredients for the crêpes and give it a good blitz. Once the spinach has cooled and you have managed to squeeze out the water, measure out 55g of this and add it too the mix giving it another blitz until it is smooth. Pour this into a jug.
    3. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan, wiping off the excess with a paper towel. Pour in enough crêpe batter to line the base of the pan and cook as you would a normal crêpe, flipping it over when it is cooked.
    4. Slide it onto a plate and keep warm while you continue cooking the remainder of the crêpes.
    5. To assemble: Place a crêpe onto a plate and scatter some spinach into the centre, topping this with trout and crême fraîche. Fold the crêpe to create a square and grate some fresh parmesan over the top. Freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of salt and voila!
    6. Si savoureux! So tasty!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    friday fish – gluten free

    friday fish - gluten free crumb
    Serves 4
    A crunchy tasty deep fried goujon of fish perfect for a friday quick fix meal, and the batter is gluten free.
    Print
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Total Time
    1 hr
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Total Time
    1 hr
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup rice flour
    2. 1 cup fine polenta flour
    3. ½ cup tapoica flour
    4. 100g crushed plain Lays chips or any gluten free potato chip
    5. 1 teaspoon salt
    6. 4/5 eggs beaten
    7. oil for frying the fish
    8. hake fillets or any white fish cut into goujons/strips
    Instructions
    1. Deep fat fryer or a deep cooking pot of sunflower oil set to a temperature of 170ºC
    2. Mix all the fours together with the salt, making sure they are well combined. Place this in an open dish. Beat your eggs and put them into another open dish. Place your crushed Lays Chips into another dish.
    3. Dip your pieces of fish into the egg and then roll them into the flour. Re-dip them in the egg and then roll them into the dish of crunchy crushed chips. The chips give a wonderful crunchy element to the goujon.
    4. Pop a few pieces of fish into the hot oil and cook until they are golden brown, approximately 8/9 minutes.
    5. Lay them on a paper towel to drain when they are cooked.
    6. Serve with some hot chips and a lovely aoli ( homemade mayonnaise. )
    Notes
    1. The cooking time is an estimate and is for the fish. It does not include the cooking time for chips.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    super simple homemade mayonnaise

    super simple homemade mayonnaise
    A creamy mayonnaise without any fuss or preservatives added, ready in five minutes
    Print
    Prep Time
    2 min
    Cook Time
    5 min
    Total Time
    7 min
    Prep Time
    2 min
    Cook Time
    5 min
    Total Time
    7 min
    Ingredients
    1. 250ml oil – sunflower, corn oil or a cooking olive oil
    2. 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    3. 4 egg yolks
    4. 1 teaspoon mustard – I use Dijon mustard
    5. ½ lemon juiced – use to taste
    6. salt and pepper to taste
    7. sugar to taste
    Instructions
    1. Place the egg yolks, vinegar and mustard in a mixing jug. I find that a tall jug works best as you get less mess then a bowl when mixing.
    2. Using a stick blender, give it a good whisk. The gradually add the oil in about 3 or 4 batches whisking well between each addition of the oil. The sauce will thicken nicely.
    3. Once all the oil has been added, taste the mayo for a seasoning check adding salt and pepper. I like to add a little sugar or xylitol , no more then a ½ teaspoon. This really finishes the mayo off and balances the flavour, however you can leave it out if you desire.
    4. If the mayo becomes too thick simply add a little water to loosen it.
    5. Transfer it to a jar or container and store in the fridge. It will keep for about 2 weeks.
    6. To change the flavour you can add capers and olives, or sundries tomatoes. The possibilities are endless.
    Adapted from Ashburton cookery school
    Adapted from Ashburton cookery school
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    dutch pancakes – gluten free

    dutch pancakes - gluten free
    Yields 3
    An oven baked pancake, gluten free, topped with poached or fresh fruit and yogurt. Warm, delicate and delicious.
    Print
    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    12 min
    Total Time
    17 min
    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    12 min
    Total Time
    17 min
    Ingredients
    1. 30g butter – enough for 10g per pancake and the recipe makes 3. This is not used in the batter.
    2. ¾ cup of milk
    3. 3 eggs
    4. 106g flour – 70g rice flour; 23g potato flour; 13g tapioca flour. Mix this up before hand.
    5. ¼ teaspoon salt
    6. fruit – blueberries, apples, pears, peaches etc..
    7. Greek yogurt or mascarpone
    8. icing sugar to dust
    9. cinnamon to dust
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and pop your pan with the 10g butter into the oven. The pan needs to be lovely and hot and the butter golden and bubbly when you pour in the pancake batter.
    2. While the oven is warming up, mix up your pancake batter by placing all the ingredients ( excluding the butter) into a blender ( I used a NutriBullet ) and blend to a thin batter.
    3. When your oven has reached temperature remove the pan with a ovenproof glove or cloth and pour enough batter into the pan to cover the base of the pan generously. Please remember to leave the cloth/glove over the handle of the pan as not to forget and burn yourself – this is very important!
    4. Pop the pan back into the oven and bake for 12 minutes. If you are going to use the blueberries and want them to be baked into the pancake them pop them onto the wet pancake batter before putting it in the oven.
    5. Dutch pancakes (9 of 11)
    6. Once cooked remove from the oven and serve garnished with fruit or topping of your choice. The larger pancake can be sliced and then decorated.
    7. This recipe can easily be doubled and leftovers – if there are any, can be stored and reheated.
    8. This is a really easy, totally delicious breakfast, mid-morning tea treat or dessert.
    Poached apples
    1. 2 apples – peeled, chopped and cored
    2. 30ml water
    3. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    4. 2 teaspoons sugar
    5. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    6. Place all the above ingredients into a small saucepan and simmer until the apples are al dente. This can be doubled or tripled and stores in the fridge. The apples can be served warm or cold on the pancake.
    Adapted from Nicole Hunn
    Adapted from Nicole Hunn
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    watermelon cooler

    watermelon cooler
    sweet, cool, refreshing on a hot, hot day. watermelon, mint, lemon and ice.
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Ingredients
    1. Chop up all the watermelon and throw it into a blender. It is a good idea to add a little water to get the blender going. I leave the pips in as the labour of removing them is too much, however if the watermelon has black pips it is best to remove them as they won’t blend well.
    2. Add a handful of fresh mint leaves according to the quantity of watermelon and too taste. I love the fresh flavour of mint so I add a lot. Blend this up until it is a liquid. If you find it is too thick add a little more water, but be careful as adding too much will make it a watery juice with little favour.
    3. Once it has all blended, add a squeeze of lemon juice. This balances out the flavour of the sweet watermelon. Taste and adjust the lemon as you may need more if you have a large quantity of melon.
    4. Pour into a jug and drink or store in the fridge.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    christmas mince pies – gluten free

    christmas mince pies - gluten free
    Yields 12
    buttery short melt in the mouth pastry filled with a sweet fruit mince and it is all gluten free.
    Print
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    15 min
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    15 min
    Ingredients
    1. 115g rice four plus extra for dusting
    2. 55g tapioca plour
    3. 55g ground almonds or almond flour
    4. ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
    5. ½ teaspoon mixed spice
    6. finely grated zest of a lemon
    7. 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
    8. 115g butter diced
    9. 1 egg
    10. beaten egg or milk to glaze
    11. icing sugar for dusting
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
    2. Place all the flours into a food processor with the ground almonds, xanthan gum, lemon zest and the sugars and give it a quick blitz. Add the butter and the egg, and blitz until the flour crumbs come together into a dough. As soon as it comes together stop the processor and remove the dough. Press it onto a disk, wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.
    3. Dust your counter surface with rice flour and roll ½ the dough out until it is about 2cm thick. Use a cutter according to the size of your muffin/mini tart tray, usually a 6cm cutter, and cut out rounds of pastry.
    4. Grease your muffin tray and carefully place each pastry circle into a muffin hole. The pastry may break, you can simply patch it with a small piece of dough. Re-roll the offcuts until the tray is full. Use up the other half of the dough as well. The offcuts are good for the star-shaped top of each pie.
    5. Fill each pastry case with a teaspoon of fruit mince, being careful not to over-full each one as it tends to bubble up and overflow which make them difficult to remove from the tray once cooked.
    6. Use a star cutter, a little smaller then the round cutter, to cut out the tops and gently place on top. Brush with your egg glaze or milk using a pastry brush and pop in the oven for 15 minutes until golden and bubbly.
    7. Allow them to cool a little in the tray before removing as the gluten free pastry is very delicate when warm.
    8. Once cooled dust generously with icing sugar and a little christmas sparkle glitter and gobble away.
    Adapted from Amanda Higgins
    Adapted from Amanda Higgins
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    chocolate tia maria christmas cake – gluten free

    chocolate tia maria christmas cake
    Yields 1
    A rich chocolate flavoured fruit cake with a hint of coffee, packed to the brim with fruit and nits
    Print
    Prep Time
    45 min
    Prep Time
    45 min
    Ingredients
    1. 350g pitted prunes chopped up into small pieces
    2. 250g fruit cake mix
    3. 175g cranberries
    4. 175g soft butter
    5. 170g dark muscovado sugar
    6. 170ml honey
    7. 125ml tia maria plus extra for pouring onto the baked cake
    8. juice and finely chopped zest of 2 oranges
    9. 1 teaspoon mixed spice
    10. 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    11. 3 eggs beaten
    12. 150ml gluten free flour
    13. 75g ground almonds
    14. 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    15. ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    16. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum if your flour mix does not contain it already
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC and prepare your baking tins, by lining the bottom and the side with baking paper. This recipe makes either one large cake or 3 smaller ones.
    2. Place the fruits, butter, sugar, honey, Tia Maria, orange juice and zest, spice and cocoa powder into a saucepan and bring to a very gentle simmer, stirring continuously as the butter melts. Allow the fruit to simmer for 10 minutes and then take off the heat leaving to stand for at least 30 minutes.
    3. Once the fruit mix has cooled a little, add the beaten eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda to the mix with a wooden spoon and combine well.
    4. Pour this batter into the cake tins and place in the oven.
    5. A large cake will take about 1¾ – 2 hours and smaller cakes will take about 1 – 1¼ hours. The cake will look a little shiny and sticky on the top and this is fine. They should be firm to the touch and not be wobbly. If they look like they are burning and are not cooked yet cover them with a piece of tin foil and keep baking.
    6. I like to pour a few extra capfuls of Tia Maria onto the warm cake to give it a wonderful coffee boozy touch.
    7. This cake keeps very well for weeks in a cake tin, as any good christmas cake should. I have even frozen left overs for a few months and had a little taste of christmas later in the year.
    8. To convert this recipe to a non-gluten free cake simply leave out the xanthan gum and use the same quantity of normal flour. Reduce the baking powder to ½ teaspoon and you should be good to go.
    9. You can also add 1½ cups chopped pecan nuts or walnuts to the recipe, giving the cake a nutty dimension.
    10. Decorate the cake as desired or simply gobble it up as it is, straight from the oven.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Cinnamon cider doughnuts – gluten free

    cinnamon cider doughnuts - gluten free
    Yields 16
    A really soft doughnut which has been baked not fried, with a soft apple cinnamon flavour
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    20 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    20 min
    Ingredients
    1. doughnuts
    2. 1½ cups gluten free flour
    3. ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
    4. 1½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    5. ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    6. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    7. ¼ teaspoon salt
    8. ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
    9. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    10. 80g sugar
    11. 80g butter at room temperature
    12. 2 large eggs beaten
    13. ¾ cup of apple cider (I used Savannah. For a non alcoholic version use ginger beer!)
    14. icing
    15. ¾ cup of icing sugar
    16. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or too taste
    17. 1-2 teaspoons of milk
    Instructions
    1. Preheat your oven to 180º C.
    2. Grease a doughnut pan.
    3. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
    4. In a separate bowl beat the butter and eggs together until light and fluffy. Add the cider to this and combine well. Add this to the dry ingredients. The mix should be thick but you should be able to pipe from a piping bag.
    5. dougnuts (1 of 4)
    6. Transfer the batter to a piping bag and squeeze the batter into the doughnut pan. It should reach about ½ way up each doughnut well in the pan.
    7. Bake until done about 8-10 minutes. The top may be quite pale but the under side will be golden.
    8. Allow the doughnuts to cool.
    9. Mix the ingredients for the icing by combining the icing with the cinnamon and the milk, and mixing well. The icing must not be too runny as it needs to stick to the buns, so go carefully with the milk. Add only 1 teaspoon at time until it feels right.
    10. Dunk the underside of the doughnut in the glaze and place on a cooling rack to drip. Dust with additional cinnamon for decoration.
    11. These are ideally best eaten on the same day, which is not difficult as they are so delicious.
    12. Double yum!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb

    Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb
    Print
    Ingredients
    1. 2kg large leg of free range lamb
    2. 3 tablespoons olive oil
    3. 3 sticks of celery chopped into a small dice
    4. 4 large carrots chopped into 5 -6cm pieces
    5. 1 whole bulb of garlic approximately 10 cloves broken up but with the skins still on
    6. 8 shallots or small onions peeled and chopped in half
    7. 2 cups of dry white wine
    8. 1lt chicken stock, use more if necessary
    9. a handful of fresh rosemary
    10. 2 juniper berries
    11. 10 black peppercorns
    12. Roast potatoes to serve
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    slow roasted leg of lamb

    6 hour slow cooked lamb
    Serves 8
    A lazy man's Sunday lunch; soft spoonable lamb served with carrots and roast potatoes.
    Print
    Prep Time
    45 min
    Cook Time
    6 hr
    Total Time
    6 hr 45 min
    Prep Time
    45 min
    Cook Time
    6 hr
    Total Time
    6 hr 45 min
    Ingredients
    1. 2kg large leg of free range lamb
    2. 3 tablespoons olive oil
    3. 3 sticks of celery chopped into a small dice
    4. 4 large carrots chopped into 5 -6cm pieces
    5. 1 whole bulb of garlic approximately 10 cloves broken up but with the skins still on
    6. 8 shallots or small onions peeled and chopped in half
    7. 2 cups of dry white wine
    8. 1lt chicken stock, use more if necessary
    9. a handful of fresh rosemary
    10. 2 juniper berries
    11. 10 black peppercorns
    12. Roast potatoes to serve
    Instructions
    1. Heat the oven to 160º C.
    2. Use a heavy duty casserole pot with a lid.
    3. Pour in the olive oil and brown the lamb on all side for about 20 minutes. Remove it from the pot and set it aside while you sauté the onions and vegetables for 5 minutes. Scatter the garlic cloves into the pot and place the lamb on top of this.
    4. Pour the wine and the stock over the lamb. It should come about half way up the lamb. Scatter the peppercorn, rosemary and the juniper berries into the stock.
    5. Close this up with the lid and place in the oven for about 6 hours. After about 3 hours open up the pot and spoon some of the stock over the top of the lamb. After the 6 hours are up test the tenderness of the lamb by digging into it with a spoon, it should come away easily.
    6. Leave the lid off the pot and turn the temperature up to 200º C. This will encourage the lamb to brown a little on the top. It should take about 30 minutes.
    7. When you are happy with the colour, remove from the oven, lift the lamb and the carrots from the stock.
    8. Place the casserole pot on the stove top and allow the stock to reduce a little. I then use a stick blender and blend the stock into a lovely thick sauce which gets poured over the lamb.
    9. Don’t bother straining the sauce as this is a very country rustic dish. Arrange the carrots around the lamb, as well as your roast potatoes – which you would have popped in the oven in the last hour of the cooking time of the lamb.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    pumpkin butter cutout cookies

    pumpkin butter cutout cookies
    Yields 20
    a halloween cookie made with pumpkin butter
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    20 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    20 min
    Ingredients
    1. 2 cups gluten free flour plus extra for dusting and rolling the biscuits
    2. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (unless your flour already has it added)
    3. ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    4. ¼ salt
    5. 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice∗
    6. ½ light brown sugar
    7. 112g butter at room temperature
    8. 113g pumpkin butter∗
    9. icing
    10. 1 cup icing sugar
    11. 1 egg white beaten until it is frothy
    12. food colours of your choice
    13. cookie cutters of your choice
    ∗pumpkin butter
    1. 500g pumpkin
    2. 1/2 cup maple syrup
    3. 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
    4. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
    5. Steam or boil the pumkin till cooked and puree.
    6. In a heavy-bottom pot, combine the pumpkin puree with the maple syrup, apple cider (or juice) and pumpkin pie spice. Mix to combine well and then simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half (at least 30 minutes, depending upon the moisture content of your pumpkin puree). Stirring will keep the mixture from splattering.
    7. Allow to cool completely before baking with it. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
    *pumpkin Pie Spice
    1. To make your own: in a small bowl, place 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground allspice, ½ teaspoon ground cloves and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Mix to combine.
    Instructions
    1. Preheat your oven to 180º C.
    2. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients, until well combined.
    3. Create a well in the middle and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles large, crumbly breadcrumbs. Add the pumpkin butter and mix with your hands until it forms a smooth dough. Place the dough in its bowl in the fridge for 5 minutes, to cool down a little and rest.
    4. Flour your work surface with the GF flour and divide the cookie dough in half – easier to work with a smaller quantity. Roll out one half until the dough is approximately 2cm thick. Use your cutter to cut out the biscuits and lay them on a tray covered with baking paper or a silmat.
    5. Bake in the oven till golden brown which should take about 8-10 minutes.
    6. Re-roll the offcuts until you have used up all the dough. The top of the dough can get sticky while rolling so don’t be afraid to dust with flour to make sure the roller doesn’t stick.
    7. While the biscuits are baking and cooling down, mix up the icing. Add the egg white, lightly beaten until frothy, to the icing sugar and mix together until smooth and creamy. If it is a little too runny add some more icing sugar. Divide the icing into smaller bowls if you wish to make more then one colour. Colour as desired. I used a piping bag but you can use a teaspoon to apply the icing, and a toothpick to create the patterns with the other colour.
    8. The kids will have fun helping you.
    Notes
    1. The time allocated excludes the time for making the pumpkin butter and the pumpkin spice. These need to be done before making the biscuits
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    halloween pumpkin ginger cake – gluten free

    halloween pumpkin ginger cake - gluten free
    Yields 12
    A spicy, moist, gingery, pumpkin cake with a crunchy topping.
    Print
    Prep Time
    1 hr
    Cook Time
    35 min
    Total Time
    1 hr 35 min
    Prep Time
    1 hr
    Cook Time
    35 min
    Total Time
    1 hr 35 min
    Ingredients
    1. crumble topping
    2. 80 g unsalted butter, melted
    3. ½ cup gluten free flour
    4. ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend already contains it)
    5. ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
    6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
    7. 100g packed light brown sugar
    8. 60g gluten free rolled oats
    9. 1 teaspoon grated ginger
    10. cake
    11. 2 cups gluten free flour
    12. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend already contains it)
    13. 2 teaspoons baking powder
    14. ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    15. ½ teaspoon salt
    16. 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
    17. 70g granulated sugar
    18. 70g light brown sugar
    19. 200g pumpkin butter, at room temperature
    20. 112g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    21. 2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
    22. For the glaze
    23. 115 g icing sugar
    24. 2 to 4 teaspoons milk
    *Pumpkin Pie Spice
    1. To make your own, in a small bowl, place 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground allspice, ½ teaspoon ground cloves and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Mix to combine.
    Instructions
    1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
    2. Grease or line a 9-inch square baking tin and set it aside.
    3. To make the crumble topping place all of the crumble ingredients in the order listed, mixing to combine after each addition. You will have a thick wet mixture. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to chill until firm.
    4. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk again, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar.
    5. Place all the wet ingredients in a bowl and beat them together until they were light and fluffy.
    6. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Take the crumble topping from the fridge, break the topping up into irregular crumble pieces with a fork. Scatter the crumble evenly over the top of the cake and press down gently to help the topping stick to the cake batter.
    7. Place the cake in the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
    8. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze.
    9. In a small bowl, place the icing sugar and 2 teaspoons of milk, and mix well. Add more milk by the half-teaspoon until you have a smooth but thickly pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze this way and that way over the top of the cooled cake. Slice into squares and serve.
    10. Pumpkin butter
    11. 500g pumpkin
    12. 1/2 cup maple syrup
    13. 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
    14. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
    15. Steam or boil the pumkin till cooked and puree.
    16. In a heavy-bottom pot, combine the pumpkin puree with the maple syrup, apple cider (or juice) and pumpkin pie spice. Mix to combine well and then simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half (at least 30 minutes, depending upon the moisture content of your pumpkin puree). Stirring will keep the mixture for splattering.
    17. Allow to cool completely before baking with it. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
    Notes
    1. The prep time has included the making of the pumpkin butter, which would need to chill in the fridge before use, so the prep time may seem long but is in fact broken up as the butter can be made the day before.
    Adapted from Amanda Higgins
    Adapted from Amanda Higgins
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    prawn toasts – gluten free

    prawn toasts - gluten free
    Yields 10
    A crunchy toast topped with a prawn flavour burst!
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    2 min
    Total Time
    12 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    2 min
    Total Time
    12 min
    Ingredients
    1. 100g raw prawns, peeled and deveined (just buy a bag of frozen already sorted prawns!)
    2. 2 egg whites
    3. 2 tbsp cornflour
    4. ½ tsp sugar
    5. Pinch of salt
    6. 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
    7. 2 slices gluten free bread
    8. ¼ teaspoon fresh chopped chilli or dried chilli flakes
    9. Vegetable or groundnut oil for deep-frying
    10. 2 teaspoons sesame seeds for decorating the top
    Instructions
    1. Mince the prawns in a small blender with one of the egg whites and 1 tbsp of the cornflour. Add the sugar, chilli, salt and stir in the coriander. Mix the remaining egg white with the remaining cornflour. Remove the crusts from the bread and cut each slice into 8 triangles. Brush the top of each piece with the egg white and cornflour mixture, then add 1 tsp of the prawn mixture. Smooth the top and press it onto the bread. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and press these into the top, to make them stick.
    2. Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a wok, deep-fat fryer or large heavy-based saucepan until it reaches 180-190°C, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Fry the toasts prawn-side down for about 2 minutes. Turn and fry for a further 2 minutes until golden. Place on a piece of kitchen towel to drain and serve!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    lemon drizzle loaf – gluten free

    lemon drizzle loaf gluten free
    Serves 10
    a moist, lemon flavoured cake - very refreshing
    Print
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Ingredients
    1. Cake
    2. 1 ½ cups Gluten free flour
    3. 1 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
    4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
    5. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    6. ½ teaspoons salt
    7. 3 eggs
    8. ½ cup sugar
    9. 2 tablespoons butter softened.
    10. 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
    11. 1 teaspoons lemon extract
    12. 1/3 cup lemon juice
    13. ½ cup oil (recommend coconut oil)
    14. Lemon syrup
    15. 100g sugar
    16. 3 lemons juiced
    17. Lemon icing
    18. 1 cup icing sugar
    19. 1 – 2 tablespoons full cream milk or until you have the correct consistency
    20. 2 lemons juiced
    Instructions
    1. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
    2. Use a mixer to blend together the eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla until they are fluffy and light. Then add the lemon extract and lemon juice.
    3. Pour the wet ingredient into the dry ingredients and fold until combined.
    4. Add the oil and fold in lightly
    5. Pour batter into a well greased 9×5-inch loaf pan.
    6. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into center of the cake comes out clean.
    7. While the cake is baking make the syrup by placing the sugar and the lemon juice in a small saucepan on the stove and bringing to a simmer until the sugar has all dissolved. Set this aside.
    8. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven prick the surface with a toothpick and drizzle the syrup over the top.
    9. Allow the cake to cool.
    10. Make the lemon icing by combining all the icing ingredients in a small bowl with an electric mixer on low speed.
    11. When the loaf is cool, remove it from pan and frost the top with the icing.
    12. Let the icing set up before slicing if you can wait that long!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    amanda’s minestrone soup

    amanda's minestrone soup
    Serves 6
    a delicious smoky soup packed with flavour and goodness
    Print
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Total Time
    50 min
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Total Time
    50 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 onion finely diced
    2. 1 packet thick cut pork rashers chopped into 1 cm pieces
    3. 5 sticks of celery finely diced
    4. 2 large carrots finely diced
    5. 5 fresh tomatoes chopped
    6. bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
    7. 1 tin cannellini beans
    8. 1 tin chopped tomato
    9. 500ml chicken stock - fresh
    10. 30ml oil for frying
    11. salt and pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. Use a large saucepan and fry the bacon rashers till cooked, don't worry about making them golden as they tend to burn and leave the bottom of the pot black. Just seal the meat and release the lovely smoky flavour into the oil. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside, and use the fat to fry the onion till soft. Add the diced celery and carrot to the pan and sauté.
    2. Add the tomatoes and allow it to bubble for a bit before adding the stock. Cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. I then take little of the soup out and blend it, approximately a cup. I do this to add a fuller, creamier texture to the soup. I like it chunky but with a good base. I find if I don't do this the soup tend to be too watery. Blending pulls all the flavours together, but just do a little and add it back to pot.
    3. Add the beans and the parsley and cook for 5 minutes more.
    4. Season to taste, but be careful as I find the soup has a lot of flavour already and does not need too much salt.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    gluten-free hazelnut pancakes with berry coulis & maple syrup

     

    Theses babies are nutty, fluffy and gluten free!
    Print
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup rice flour
    2. ½ cup hazelnut flour
    3. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    4. 3 teaspoons baking powder
    5. ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    6. ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract
    7. pinch of salt
    8. 1 tablespoon melted butter
    9. 80 ml natural yogurt
    10. 240ml full cream milk
    11. 2 eggs
    12. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    13. 1 packet of frozen berries
    14. maple syrup to taste
    15. mascarpone
    16. cinnamon to taste
    Instructions
    1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients together in another bowl. Combine the two. It may seem very wet at first but once the flour has all been mixed the consistency is perfect.
    2. These pancakes need to cook slowly in a pan on the stove as they are very thick. So keep the temperature down, rather then expecting them to ready in a minute as you would with a normal wheat based pancake.
    3. To make the coulis, simply put the frozen berries in a pot and allow them to bubble and cook. I don't add any water or sugar as we like them sour and natural against the sweetness of the maple syrup. These keep in a glass container for two weeks in the fridge. Allow the coulis to cool down before using on your pancakes.
    4. Pile them up high, ladled with berries and cinnamon, drizzled with maple syrup and a dollop of creamy mascarpone. Beautiful!
    5. These are my daughters favourite Sunday breakfast. The left over batter can be stored for a few days in the fridge for pancakes in the days to follow.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    super healthy muesli

    super healthy muesli
    A crunchy super healthy muesli which is carb and sugar free and still tastes good
    Print
    Prep Time
    20 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Total Time
    40 min
    Prep Time
    20 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Total Time
    40 min
    Ingredients
    1. 500g flaked coconut
    2. 200g flax seeds
    3. 3 teaspoon s cinnamon
    4. 2 cups chopped pecan nuts
    5. 2 cups macadamia nuts
    6. 4 tablespoons hazelnut flour - if available, or make your own
    7. 375g cranberries - optional, otherwise any dried fruit of your choosing
    8. 1 cup sunflower seeds
    9. 1 cup pumpkin seeds
    Instructions
    1. Start with a large frying pan and dry fry the coconut to toast it and release the oils. Tip this out into a large bowl as you want to use the same pan to toast all the seeds and nuts.
    2. The flax seeds need to be ground up into a flour, which you can do in a blender. The same goes for the hazelnut flour. If you cannot find this simply grind up whole hazelnuts in the blender to a flour. The flavour of the hazelnut flour gives the muesli a wonderful flavour - nutella! These form the base of the muesli.
    3. Toasting the seeds and nuts gives them a good crunch and flavour.
    4. Dry fry all the pecan, macadamia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds in the pan. Once these are a little toasty add the flax, hazelnut and coconut to the pan and dry fry for a few minutes. Add the cinnamon to this and give a good stir.
    5. Add the cranberries once you have taken the mix off the heat.
    6. Store in a glass jar. Keeps up to 3 months.
    7. Hint: You can add any combination of nuts or seeds to this mix. I like the pecan and macadamia nuts, but there is no stopping you adding walnut and brazil etc...
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    red wine beef pie – gluten free

    red wine beef pie -gluten free
    Yields 8
    A warm delicious pie filled with meaty goodness.
    Print
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    2 hr
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    2 hr
    Ingredients
    1. 750g beef chuck steak dubbed and the fat trimmed off
    2. 1 tablespoon potato flour
    3. 40ml olive oil
    4. 150g onions, peeled and diced
    5. 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
    6. 4 sprigs of thyme with the leaves picked off
    7. 150g carrots cut into small cubes
    8. 150g celery cut into small cubes
    9. 250ml shiraz red wine
    10. 15ml beef stock
    11. 375g tinned tomatoes chopped
    12. 10g salt
    13. 1 teaspoon pepper
    14. Pastry – gluten free
    15. 175g rice flour
    16. 115g tapioca flour
    17. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    18. 150g butter salted
    19. 2 eggs beaten
    20. sea salt flakes (optional to garnish)
    21. 1 egg for egg washing at the end
    Instructions
    1. Toss the beef in flour and shake off the excess. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan and cook the beef in batches until browned. Transfer to a dish and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the same saucepan and cook the onions, garlic and thyme until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil to reduce by a third. Add the beef, stock, tomato, salt and pepper, simmer for 2 hours, until tender.
    2. Set this aside to cool.
    3. While the beef is cooking, get on with making the pastry.
    4. Add all the dry ingredients to a food processor and blitz with the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add three quarters of the egg and mix to a smooth dough, adding a tablespoon of water if needed. Remove from the processor and wrap in cling film to rest in the fridge until the beef is ready.
    5. Too assemble roll the pastry out on a rice floured surface. Use a muffins tray to bake the pies if making small ones. Cut out disks which are larger then the hole of the muffin tray and press the pastry into the muffin hole, patching when the pastry breaks. Make sure to get an even spread of dough as it is not great having a pie where the pastry is thick and thin, and the filling spill out.
    6. Fill the pie casings with the red wine beef.
    7. Cut out the pastry tops a little bigger then the circumference of the top. Brush the underside of the pastry top with egg wash around the edge and place on top using a fork to seal the top to the bottom. Cut a little hole to allow the steam to escape.
    8. Brush the tops with egg wash, you want a nice golden finish.
    9. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
    10. These are great for lunch or in a lunch box!
    Adapted from Amanda Higgins
    Adapted from Amanda Higgins
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    sweet potato and chocolate fudge cake – gluten free

    sweet potato and chocolate fudge cake - gluten free
    a moist light chocolate cake made with healthy sweet potato and topped with fudge icing.
    Print
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Total Time
    1 hr 10 min
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Total Time
    1 hr 10 min
    Cake
    1. 250g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
    2. 100g chocolate, I used 70%
    3. 125g salted butter
    4. 150g light brown sugar
    5. 2 medium eggs
    6. 175g gluten free flour ( South Africa - I used the gluten free flour from Woolworths)
    7. 3 teaspoons baking powder
    8. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    Icing
    1. 200g chocolate - 70%
    2. 35g butter
    3. 2 tablespoons golden syrup
    Instructions
    1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a saucepan. Boil the sweet potato until tender and then mash until smooth. Stir in the melted chocolate. Set this aside.
    2. Beat the butter and sugar until pale in color, beat in the eggs one at a time. The batter should be nice and light. Add the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum. Mix till smooth. Stir in the sweet potato till well combined.
    3. Tip this into a prepared tin, either a 23cm round cake tin or a 1lt loaf tin.
    4. The loaf tin will take longer to cook then the round tin, but you are looking at a time of about 25-30 minutes.
    5. For the icing: Melt the chocolate, butter and the golden syrup, stirring all the time, set this aside to cool. As it cools it will thicken. When you are happy with the thickness - not too runny and not too thick, spread it on the cake. Decorate the cake as desired.
    Adapted from amanda higgins
    Adapted from amanda higgins
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    cranberry and cashew rusks – gluten free

    cranberry cashew rusks - gluten free
    Rusks are a winter treat. Hard, crunchy, nutty biscuits great for dunking in a mug of tea or coffee anytime of the day. They are my favourite breakfast. However, being a gluten intolerant person finding a tasty rusk on the shelves of the health stores or supermarket poses a problem. They all taste disgusting. I have a wonderful wheat rusk recipe which I decided to adapt to a gluten free version and I must say they are splendid. This recipe was given to me by my second cousin Anne Donovan many years ago and I have fiddled around with it around over the years. The recipe does use oats which can be a problem for many gluten intolerant people. I used an organic oat seed which I ground into an oat flake myself, to avoid any cross contamination. Most health stores do however, stock gluten free oats.
    Print
    Ingredients
    1. 500g melted salted butter
    2. 1kg flour - I used 500g rice flour and 500g potato flour
    3. 10ml salt
    4. 300g brown sugar
    5. 125ml psyllium husk
    6. 700ml oats
    7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    8. 10 teaspoons baking powder
    9. 10ml xanthan gum
    10. 1 cup sunflower seeds
    11. 60g desiccated coconut
    12. 3 eggs
    13. 250g natural yogurt
    14. 500ml buttermilk
    15. 250ml dried cranberries - any dried fruit can be added to give different flavours
    16. 250ml cashew nuts roughly chopped - any nuts can be added to give a different flavour
    Instructions
    1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
    2. The method is very simple - simply add all the ingredients together and mix thoroughly. As it is such a large volume of ingredients the mixing is best done is a very large bowl and it can take a while to get all the flour incorporated. Add the buttermilk slowly as you may not need it all if the mix come together. It should be a thick dough, not too wet. If your mix is too dry after adding all the wet ingredients, simply add a little more yogurt.
    3. Press the dough into baking tins, it will fill about three tins to a height of about 5cm. Press down firmly.
    4. Bake in the oven till brown,
    5. When cooked allow to cool and then cut into the size rusk you desire. Place these onto trays and allow to dry out in a cool oven or warmer draw, approx. 50 degrees for about six hours! They should be hard and dry.
    6. Store in an airtight container for up to three months.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    ooh!box cook ups

    ooh!box cook ups
    Print
    Ingredients
    1. I could not resist sharing some of the great food and images I have been whipping up in my kitchen for the July Ooh!Box.
    2. We received some amazing goodies and playing around with the favours and eating them have been a delight.
    3. I received two Slow sauces - the first, a Wasabi Oyster sauce, and as the name declares I had to try it with some fresh West Coast oysters. I topped it with a sprig of micro coriander and it was a winner - fresh, zingy and salty!
    4. The second sauce was a Mozambican Piri Piri, which simply begged to be brushed onto some prawns and dumped onto the barbecue. I could have been sitting on a beach in Mozambique licking my fingers.
    5. The third image is a classic lamb steak sandwich decked out with the most amazing truffle mayonnaise. I am not normally one to buy mayonnaise, but this rocked my boat. The recipe can be found on the Ooh!Box website -  Lamb steak sandwich.
    6. Simply the best!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    goulash with creamy mash

    goulash with creamy mash
    Goulash is a wonderful meaty, spicy dish great for a winters evening. Seasoned with paprika and other spices it originates from Hungary and is eaten in most Eastern European countries. This recipe was made and photographed for the June Ooh!Box, and was absolutely delicious. It was paired with the 2011 Lyngrove Platinum Shiraz. Recipe courtesy of www.yuppiechef.com.
    Print
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    2 hr
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    2 hr
    Ingredients
    1. 300g pork off cuts or bacon
    2. 1kg beef chuck, cut into cubes
    3. 2 red onions, finely chopped
    4. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    5. 2 chillies, chopped
    6. 2 tbsp smoked paprika
    7. 4 peppers of your choice, cut into 2cm cubes
    8. 1 tin chopped tomatoes
    9. 2 bay leaves
    10. Rind of 1 lemon, peeled into strips
    11. 375ml beef stock
    12. 1 bunch fresh oregano, chopped
    13. 1 bunch parsley, chopped
    14. Sour cream, to serve
    Instructions
    1. In a large saucepan, heat up a good glug of olive oil. Fry the pork or bacon and beef chuck until brown. Don’t worry if you don’t get a perfect grilled look, you’re just looking to seal the cubes and draw a bit of fat out of the pork for cooking.
    2. Once done, remove with a slotted spoon and keep the pan on medium heat. Add the onions to the pan fat or add a dash of oil if necessary. Add garlic, cook for another minute then add the chillies, paprika, and peppers. Cook for a few minutes to heat up and soften slightly.
    3. Add the tinned tomatoes, bay leaves, stock and lemon rind. Add the meat back in and bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 2 hours until the meat is tender.
    4. Before serving, stir through the chopped herbs and serve with mash or rice and a dollop of sour cream.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    white hot coco with chocolate dipped pink marshmallows

    chocolate dipped marshmallows
    Yields 15
    soft, pink, powdery marshmallows dipped in 72% chocolate
    Print
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Total Time
    1 hr
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Total Time
    1 hr
    Ingredients
    1. 200g water
    2. 500g castor sugar
    3. 50g glucose
    4. 30g gelatine
    5. 100g water
    6. 3 egg whites
    7. 3 drops of flavouring of your choice - coconut, rose,vanilla etc...
    8. 2 drops of colouring of your choice - you can add more colour if you would like a deeper colour
    9. Chocolate for melting and dipping
    Instructions
    1. Place the sugar and the first quantity of water in a pot with the glucose and boil till a sugar thermometer read 120 degrees.
    2. Place the gelatine into the second quantity of water and leave to "slake."
    3. Start to whisk the egg whites to a foam, adding the hot syrup in a thin stream down the the side of the mixer. The mix should become very creamy and thick.
    4. Melt the gelatine in the microwave or on the stove top, and add to the egg whites.
    5. Continue whisking until cooled slightly but still pouring consistency.
    6. Add the flavouring and the colour.
    7. Pour this into a prepared container - covered with cling film. Place a piece of greased cling film on the top of the marshmallows to stop a skin forming.
    8. Allow this to cool, then cut into your shapes using cornflour as a dusting on the board and cutters you are using to stop the marshmallows from sticking.
    9. Dip into melted chocolate of you choosing.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    homemade honeycomb served with tribe coffee

    chocolate honeycomb
    Yields 10
    Honeycomb
    Print
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Total Time
    2 hr
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Total Time
    2 hr
    Ingredients
    1. 150g granulated sugar
    2. 50g local honey
    3. 1.5 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
    Instructions
    1. Place the sugar and the honey in a saucepan with one tablespoon of water and bring to the boil. Give it a little stir to make sure all the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has reached a temperature of 150 degrees add the bicarb. Whisk it in until it has all dissolved. Be careful not to overmix as you will knock all the air out. Pour the mix onto a prepared baking tray covered with a non-stick mat.. Don't spread it or disturb it as this will cause it to deflate. Allow it to cool - about 10 minutes!
    2. Break the honeycomb into pieces and dip into chocolate - or eat eat it straight up!
    3. It does keep well in an airtight container for a week or so - though in my home that never happens!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    ricotta cheesecake with balsamic reduction

    ricotta cheesecake with balsamic reduction
    Serves 4
    a soft crumbly ricotta filling inside a light gluten free pastry
    Print
    Prep Time
    1 hr
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Prep Time
    1 hr
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Ingredients
    1. Pastry: The pastry is gluten free
    2. 150g rice flour plus extra for dusting
    3. 55g fine polenta or mielie meal (South Africa)
    4. 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    5. salt and pepper to taste
    6. 115g cold, diced salted butter
    7. 1 egg beaten
    8. 2-3 tablespoons cold water
    Filling
    1. 3 eggs
    2. 2 white onions sliced into rings
    3. 10ml olive oil
    4. 5ml salt and a sprinkle of sugar
    5. handful of fresh thyme
    6. salt and pepper to taste
    7. 300g fresh ricotta
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
    2. To make the pastry put the rice flour, polenta, xanthan gum and a little salt into a food processor and blitz until the mix is well combined. Add the butter and mix untill it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour in the egg and as much water as is necessay to make a soft but not sticky dough. Squeeze this into a ball and wrap in cling film. Leave to rest for 10 minutes in the fridge.
    3. Mix the 3 eggs and the ricotta cheese together. It will look curdled, this is perfect.
    4. Fry the onions in the olive oil with the salt and sugar until they are caramalized.
    5. Chop the fresh thyme and add this to the egg mix with the salt and pepper.
    6. Roll the pastry out and either press it into 4 small pie tins or one large one. Don’t worry if the pastry breaks just patch it with more of the left over pastry. There is no need to leave a pastry overhang as this pastry does not shrink. Blind bake this for 10 min.
    7. To assemble: put the onion into the pie case first and then top it with the egg mix. It is nice to have the egg and onion in a layer and not combined in the cake.
    8. Bake for 25 minutes until the pie has no wobble and it is a little golden on the top.
    9. When cool enough drizzle the thyme balsamic reduction over the top and serve.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    best ever crunchies

    best ever crunchies
    Yields 30
    a chocolate drizzled oat and coconut crunchy bisciut
    Print
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Total Time
    1 hr
    Prep Time
    30 min
    Total Time
    1 hr
    Ingredients
    1. 200g oats
    2. 100g potato flour
    3. 100g rice flour
    4. 180g butter melted
    5. 80g desiccated coconut
    6. 100g muscavado sugar
    7. 80g brown sugar
    8. 200g pecan nuts chopped
    9. 1.5 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    10. 3 tablespoon honey
    11. 20g dark chocolate for decoration
    12. 20g white chocolate for decoration
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a biscuit tin, 35x25cm, with grease-proof baking paper.
    2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the honey and bicarbonate of soda. Give a good stir.
    3. Combine all the dry ingredients together and add the melted butter to this. The mix may seem a bit dry, but persevere combining the ingredients, it comes together nicely.
    4. Press this into your prepared tin. Use the palm of your hand to make sure it is firmly pressed down.
    5. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.
    6. Allow the mix to cool for 15 minutes before you cut into it. Mark the biscuits with your knife before you drizzle with chocolate, this makes it easier to cut and lift out.
    7. Melt the white and the dark chocolate. I cheat and do this in the microwave to save time and because the amounts are very small.
    8. Drizzle this over the crunchies, allow to set.
    9. This recipe makes about 20 biscuits.
    10. Delicious with a cup of tea or if you are my husband have them for breakfast with coffee!
    Notes
    1. This recipe is gluten-free as I have used rice flour and potato flour. However, you can use the same quantity of normal cake flour.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    kassler chops with pears and honey roasted sweet potatoes

    kassler chops with pears and honey roasted sweet potatoes
    Serves 4
    Salty, smoked pork chops with a sweet honey sauce, roasted pears and sweet potato
    Print
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Prep Time
    40 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Ingredients
    1. Kassler chops: serves 4
    2. 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
    3. 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    4. 1 tbsp honey
    5. 1 tbsp mint chiffonade (mint chopped into fine ribbons)
    6. 2 pears quartered and drizzled with olive oil
    7. 4 Kassler chops
    Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
    1. 900g red-skinned sweet potatoes
    2. 2 tbsp olive oil
    3. 2 tbsp honey
    4. 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
    5. ½ tsp salt
    Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
    1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into blocks (2.5cm) and put in a baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey and lemon juice. Pour mixture over potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the salt and bake, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour until potatoes are tender.
    Kassler Chops
    1. Make the vinaigrette by combining the mustard, vinegar, honey and mint and set aside.
    2. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Grill the pears on both sides and set aside. Keep these warm. Clean and reheat the grill pan for the Kassler chops using a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Once cooked arrange the chops and pears on a plate, drizzle over the vinaigrette. Add the sweet potatoes.
    Adapted from Amanda Higgins
    Adapted from Amanda Higgins
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    chilli chicken omelette

    chilli chicken omelette
    What a surprise in the flavours of this omelette. This recipe came from the June Ooh!Box and I gave it a whirl to capture on camera. It was beautifully paired with the unwooded Chardonnay from Glen Carlou. A most delicious light lunch or dinner. A low carb, gluten free recipe which more then filled the tummy! Recipe courtesy of www.bite.co.nz.
    Print
    Ingredients
    1. 1 tbsp olive oil
    2. ½ cup cooked chicken (about 75-100g - I used free-range mini chicken fillets chopped in half)
    3. ½ tsp ground black pepper
    4. A sprinkle of your favourite chilli powder
    5. 2 eggs, beaten, with a pinch of salt
    6. 1 tsp soy sauce (use tamarin sauce for the gluten free option)
    7. 1 tsp lemon juice
    8. 2 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
    9. 2 mushrooms, sliced
    10. ¼ avocado, sliced, to serve
    11. 2 small cherry tomatoes, sliced, to serve
    Instructions
    1. Start by heating two small non- stick frying pans. In the first pan, place ½ tablespoon of the olive oil then the chicken followed by pepper and chilli powder. Stir to mix then let it cook while you get going with the egg.
    2. In the second pan, add the other ½ tablespoon olive oil then pour in the beaten egg. Tilt the pan so the egg evenly coats the bottom then let it cook and brown on the bottom while you finish the filling. Keep the heat fairly low, but you need to get a feel for your stove and pan, checking that the egg is browning but not burning.
    3. Revisit the pan with the chicken, it should be hot by now. Add the soy sauce, lemon juice, tomato and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes until soft.
    4. The egg should be mostly cooked but still a little runny on top. Spread the chicken mix over one half of the egg (the hot chicken will finish cooking the top of the egg), then fold the other half on top of the filling. Sprinkle with a little more pepper and chilli. Serve this on a plate with the sliced avocado and tomato.
    5. Eat while fresh and hot.
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/
     

    rocky road

    rocky road
    This is by far the easiest, moreish sweet to make. It uses up all the old marshmallows and crunchy biscuits you may have lying around in the pantry. It really is an anything goes kind of mix. I made these gluten free of course, but only by adding some left over ginger biscuits I had popped into the freezer to keep for a cheesecake base. There's no flour in these babies.
    Print
    Ingredients
    1. 100g butter
    2. 300g good chocolate - 70% if you can
    3. 50g chopped pecan nuts - although you could use any nut
    4. 200g mini marshmallows or if you have the large ones just cut them up into 2cm pieces. I used an old bag of gluten free marshmallows
    5. 74g - 80g crunchy biscuits roughly chopped up
    6. 100g white chocolate chopped up
    Instructions
    1. Line a loaf tin or small deep-sided tin with cling film plastic.
    2. Place the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl over a barely simmering pot of water. Make sure the base does not touch the water. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
    3. Mix all the remaining ingredients into the chocolate, keeping 20g of the white chocolate back for decoration.
    4. Spread this into your prepared tin and leave to chill for 2-3 hours. I popped mine into the fridge for a bit as well.
    5. Melt the remaining white chocolate in a heatproof dish and drizzle this over the rocky road. Leave to set for a few minutes.
    6. Lift the rocky road out of the tin and slice to the size you prefer.
    7. It keeps for a week in an airtight container, if it lasts that long!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    sausage tree safari camp and amanda in their kitchen

    sausage tree (40 of 40)

    My recent trip to the Sausage Tree Safari Camp in the Balule Reserve has left me with a craving for more bush and wide open spaces.  I was recently invited to help them in their kitchen.  We spent the most wonderful week developing new recipes and improving their food standard in order for the kitchen to work more efficiently and deliver an even more exceptional service to their guests.

    I worked with the kitchen team and we spent many happy hours looking at their approach to cooking and updating their methods.  What an amazing bunch of guys! Chef Orlando, originally from Mozambique, and Pitzo  from South Africa, made me feel so welcome. I so enjoyed working with them.

    The general consensus from the guests at Sauasage Tree is one of feeling as if they are at home – and the team really do make you feel welcome.  It is an owner run camp with Sonja and James (right) doing an amazing job. Jason (second left)  manager, never seems to sit still, making sure everyone has exactly what they need.  Frankie (far left) and Liam (middle)  see to all your games viewing needs and adventures. They are a wealth of useful information and do their very best to get you the best sightings of the Big 5, while not forgetting the Little 5.

    sausage tree (32 of 40)

    Sausage Tree is a little oasis in the middle of the reserve.  I was lucky enough to be invited to join a group of game trackers on a training hike through the bush one morning. What a treat!

    Brett Horley,  a very experienced tracker led the group. I was able to get this picture of the lodge from the bush behind the water hole. Luckily, we did not meet any dangerous game, though they were ever present, evident by their tracks in the mud and sand – lion, leopard as well as the elephants and rhino. An amazing few hours spent wandering around the wilderness.

    sausage tree (10 of 40)

     

    sausage tree (9 of 40)

     

    sausage tree (8 of 40)

    This beautiful elephant came ambling past the lodge water hole one evening and gave me an hour of relaxation watching him, before the crazy evening rush in the kitchen before dinner.  What a different world life is in the bush!

    sausage tree (6 of 40)

    My favourite perch when taking a break from the kitchen in the evenings – watching the elephants and taking in the odd sunset!  Not a bad place to be cooking up a storm!

    sausage tree (7 of 40)

    While everybody was busy enjoying themselves; eating, sleeping and watching the animals, two busy people kept everything neat and tidy. Sebastian and Linky always had a smile on their faces and a happy tune on their lips. Sebastian worked tirelessly in the kitchen with me, washing up the the piles of pots and dishes we managed to produce while testing and trying out new dishes.

    sausage tree (39 of 40)

    I spent the week working closely with the kitchen team watching how they work, their kitchen organization and planning.  We worked out what was missing from the kitchen and what equipment they needed to achieve more efficiency.  Menu planning, cost cutting, and the efficient use of waste were high on the agenda.  A very busy time!

    How wonderful it was to spend hours in the little kitchen and to occasionally look up and have a beautiful view of the bush from the window.  I was told they have had a python go slithering past, as well as a rhino and her baby. All in a days work at the camp!

    sausage tree (30 of 40)

     

    sausage tree (29 of 40)

    We spent every evening laughing and learning!

    3 more pics (2 of 3)

    Delicious traditional “braai” in the boma around a toasty fire under the stars, with the roar of the lions in the distance.  It is easy to forget the outside world exists!  These are very popular evenings for the guests, who come from far and wide to experience the peace and beauty of the African bush.

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    Breakfast smoothies to welcome you back from the early morning game drive, before you tuck into a hearty breakfast on the camp deck.

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    A pan filled with delicious venison sausages for breakfast!

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    After a morning siesta, a light lunch was served.  A homemade venison hamburger on a homebaked bun served with a caramelised onion, olive and fetta salad and potato wedges. The food at Sausage Tree was simple and fresh using the most available ingredients from the town of Hoedspruit.

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    A vegetarian flan with a lovely light pastry served on bed of leafy greens. South Africa has regular power failures so cooking for many guests can sometimes be a tricky affair.

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    Traditional “Milk Tart” served with a drizzle of salted caramel had the guests begging for more!

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    On an evening game drive I had an amazing sighting of a young male leopard. He had the most beautiful coat and when he looked at you his eyes bore straight into the soul!

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    One of the many plated evening meals we served in the week: slow cooked pork belly with crispy crackling served with a potato puree, roasted parmesan fennel, caramelised apple, green beans and an apple cider jus!

    On a cold evening after an exciting game drive catching up with leopard and lion, this dinner ticked all the boxes.

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    This male leopard had the longest and most beautiful whiskers!

    The absence of many hyena in this part of the Kruger has meant an increasing number of lion and leopard, wonderful for all the tourists to the area. The leopard are so relaxed they seldom take their prey into the trees for safe keeping, they simply bury it and eat it over a few days!

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    One of the delicious evening starters served by the kitchen: pan fried haloumi wrapped in lightly grilled aubergine served with a spicy tomato sauce.

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    I was enchanted by this colony of Dwarf Mongeese. Their little eyes and incredibly long sharp claws defy their angelic appearance. In the evening light I could have watched them for hours.

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    Dessert, one evening, surprised and delighted guests.  We made a orange chocolate mousse with a secret ingredient – avocado pear! Perfect for vegans. We served this with a chocolate shortbread and candied orange peel. A delicious rich chocolate delight which is healthy!

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    Everyday, before the evening game drive, guests could come up to the deck and have a cup of tea or coffee and gobble up one of Chef Pitzo’s creations!

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    Thank you Sausage Tree Camp – Sonja, James, Jason, Orlando, Sebastian, Pitzo, Liam, Linki and Frankie for allowing me to boss you all around and invade your little piece of paradise!

    Review from Sausage tree:

    We took over Sausage Tree Safari Camp on 1st March 2012 . The occupancy was very low to begin with and Sonja, one of the four owners, was in charge of the cooking assisted by Pitso, who as the former camp maintenance man had requested a transfer into the kitchen.

    This worked fine for the first two months but then became a struggle as we started to become a lot busier. Fortunately, out of the blue, we were phoned by Orlando, a trained cook who wanted to join our team.

     

    We enjoyed success in terms of occupation levels and reviews but we were well aware of our shortcomings in the kitchen as well. Orlando is a very competent and experienced cook,  given his sixteen years of employment at his former lodge.  However it would be fair to say the culinary standard he had been used to there was more about quantity than quality, and he was still somewhat set in his ways. We also were wasting too much food due to ad hoc menus and inadequate planning. Sonja,  Orlando and Pitso were completely passionate about the kitchen but lacking in professional experience to get us to the next level in terms of quality, planning and economics .

    Fortunately for us in January we were hosts to Amanda Higgins and her family for part of their summer break. It soon became clear to Sonja that Amanda’s skills and experience were exactly the catalyst we needed so arrangements were made for her to return for seven days in March for a complete training programme.

    This week went extremely well for all kinds of reasons. Not only is Amanda a hugely talented and experienced chef but she is also completely down to earth and her calm and patient perseverance got everyone on side and enthusiastic from the start. She is a wonderful teacher and gets the best out of her pupils at all levels.

    The result for us is clear . We now have two seven day winter and two seven day summer menus of a much higher quality than our previous menus consistently cooked to a much higher standard and with far better presentation. Ingredient costs have significantly fallen and we have far less wastage.

     

    Amanda is a stickler for high levels of kitchen cleanliness and as a result our staff are far more self motivated in this area than before, which makes life a lot easier for management.

    Finally we were persuaded to invest in some new additional equipment which in hindsight we should have done long ago and which will be paid for very quickly given the costs benefits we are now enjoying.

     

    We so loved having Amanda as part of our team at Sausage Tree and strongly recommend any lodge to make use of her exceptional skills and ideas whilst also enjoying her fabulous nature, incredible personality and great sense of humour.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    deconstructed pear and jelly trifle

    deconstructed pear and jelly trifle
    With winter here at last and the gorgeous Cape pears in season, this recipe popped into my head for the Ooh!Box. In this months box we received a delicious bottle of Heaven and Earth Organic Fair Trade Muscat d' Alexandrie - a natural sweet wine. It has the most wonderful scents and flavours of apricots and honey. I thought it would be perfect set as a jelly topped with pears. The poaching liquid is then reduced to form a sticky oozy caramel sauce, a marriage made in heaven! The base cake it gluten free, but is so light and easy who would want the wheat version anyway! This recipe was adapted from the Food and Home magazine.
    Print
    Jelly
    1. 750ml Muscadel – used Heaven and Earth Organic Fair trade Muscat d’Alexandrie
    2. 250ml water
    3. 100g sugar
    4. 1 vanilla pod split lengthways
    5. 2 star anise
    6. 6 pears and cored and peeled
    7. 20ml gelatine powder or 5 -6 gelatine leaves
    8. 60ml water
    Custard
    1. 500ml milk
    2. 2 cardamom pods
    3. 2 sticks of cinnamon
    4. 70g sugar
    5. 15ml cornflour
    6. 4 egg yolks
    7. Sponge: Gluten free
    8. 5 eggs separated
    9. 150g castor sugar
    10. 100g ground almonds
    Instructions
    1. Pour the muscadel, water, sugar, vanilla and star anise into a saucepan over a medium heat. Place the pears in an upright position and cook till golden but not too soft: 15 – 20 minutes. Remove and set aside, keeping the poaching liquid.
    2. Line a 28 x 18cm cake tin with plastic wrap. Return the poaching liquid to the heat and reduce to 750ml of liquid.
    3. Mix the gelatin with the 60ml of water in a little bowl.
    4. Remove the spices from the poaching liquid. Add 500ml of the warm poaching liquid to the gelatine and mix until dissolved. Pour the liquid into the prepared the tray and place in the fridge for about 2 hours to set.
    5. Return the remaining poaching liquid to the heat and reduce until syrupy. Set aside to cool.
    6. For the custard, combine the milk and the spices in a saucepan over a low heat. As soon as the milk starts to simmer remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
    7. Combine the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a large bowl. While stirring add half the spiced milk to the egg mixture and mix. Add the remaining milk and return to the heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, strain through a sieve and set aside.
    8. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
    9. Line and grease a Swiss roll tin 23 x 33cm.
    10. For the sponge, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail in the batter. Fold in the ground almonds.
    11. Clean the whisk and beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Fold this into the batter a little at a time being very careful to not beat the air out of the mix.
    12. Spoon this into the lined tin, very carefully, easing it into the corners.
    13. Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
    14. To serve: cut a circle of sponge and the same size circle of jelly. This is easier if using a cutter. You can however make the shapes into squares as well. Layer them on top of each other. Warm the pears in the microwave and place on top of the jelly.
    15. Drizzle the Muscadel reduction over this and serve with the warm spiced custard.
    16. A dinner party delight!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    spiced apple muffins – gluten free

    spiced gluten-free apple muffins
    Muffins are a delight for everyone; a quick snack in the morning for breakfast, midmorning tea, coffee in the late afternoon, school lunch boxes... the list goes on and on. However, shop bought muffins are dry and taste like cardboard especially if they are gluten free. I have been using this recipe for ages and it never fails me. It is very easy to adapt to a normal wheat flour muffin recipe as well. Play around with the flavours, these muffins are flop-proof. I took the original recipe from a Nigella Lawson version, but have added to it and changed it so much I guess it is now my own, but I have to give her the credit for the inspiration!
    Print
    Ingredients
    1. 2 cups rice flour
    2. 2 large eggs
    3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
    4. 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
    5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    6. 125ml oil (vegetable oil or cooking olive oil)
    7. 250ml natural yogurt ( although I have used fruit yogurt before)
    8. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    9. 2 teaspoon mixed spice
    10. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    11. 130ml buttermilk
    12. 125ml soft brown sugar
    13. 2 apples grated with the skin
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 12 cup muffin tray, unless you are using paper muffin cases.
    2. Grate the apple and set aside.
    3. The rest is so easy you could make these with your eyes closed. Measure out all the ingredients and simply add them to a bowl. Use a spatula and mix. Be careful not to over-mix the batter. If you find your mix is dry, add a little more buttermilk. It needs to feel like a wet dough.
    4. The apple is added at the end, skin and all. I love adding the skin as it gives more flavour and a real rustic chunky feel to the muffins. Fill each muffin cup to the height you desire. They don't tend to rise in the way a traditional wheat muffins would in the oven, so you can fill the muffins cups without the worry of the batter touching the top of the oven.
    5. Sprinkle the top of the muffins with a little brown sugar or cinnamon or both, and bake for 45 minutes or till they are nice and brown. Do over cook them a little as the centre is very moist and tends to need extra cooking time.These are delicious for breakfast with a ripe brie cheese and blackberry jam!
    Variations which are lovely
    Salted toffee apple muffins
    1. I have used the same recipe and half filled the muffins cups with batter, making a small indent with a spoon. I have used either shop bought salted caramel or made some of my own. Place a half teaspoon of caramel into each little indent and top with more muffin batter. Bake the muffins as per the recipe. The caramel tends to ooze out a little and make these sticky and like a cinnamon bun. Yum!
    Pear and ginger muffins
    1. In this version I use two grated pears; omit the cinnamon and mixed spice, and add 3 teaspoons of ground ginger. If you wanted to add a little zing add a tablespoon of chopped preserved ginger to the mix. So fragrant!
    Bacon and cheese muffins
    1. In this version leave off the sugar, fruit and the spices, and add 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard and  2 cups of grated chedddar cheese ( although this is an amazing way of using up all those bits and pieces of old cheese in the cheese drawer in the fridge.) I then add a 1/2 cup of chopped parsley and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt  to the batter and sprinkle a little paprika on the top of each muffin before baking! Breakfast in a jiffy!
    Wheat floured muffins
    1. To make a normal wheat floured muffin, replace the rice flour with normal flour and leave out the xanthan gum. Simple as that!
    Amanda In The Kitchen http://www.amandainthekitchen.com/

    ooh! box – your personal tasting journey!

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    Exciting news!

    As a wonderful extension to my blog site I will now be adding recipes and photographs from the Ooh!Box to my repertoire!

    The Ooh! Box is a wine and food experience which you can subscribe to.  Every month a box of delights is delivered to your door consisting of approximately  4 alcohol beverages and 4 foodie items – a selection of carefully sourced treats.   Off-the-beaten-track food suppliers and wine farms from around the country are selected to contibute to the box.  Wine and food one would normally never taste or see – what a pleasure! There is something for every member of the family.

    I will be working with Jaco Schoeman and his team, helping them create and develop recipes which are included in your box each month.  This will help you to pair your wine and food items and make it even more of a treat!  I will also be capturing these delicious recipes with my camera.

    To find out more about the Ooh! Box click on the link in my side bar!

    As usual, where possible I will be giving a gluten-free option to the recipes posted.

    Let the fun begin!

    ginger nuts – gluten free

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    Wow, gluten free ginger nuts. These are the best. So many gluten free biscuits taste absolutely awful. I have tasted so many different gluten free biscuits and ended up throwing them in the bin. These little beauties tick all the boxes; spicy, moist, chewy and crunchy. I have a little nephew who loves ginger biscuits, and he can’t tell the difference between the gluten free version and the normal wheat flour version. With a cup of tea what more do you need!

    This recipe was adapted from “The Farm Kitchen” by Collette Comins.

     

    250g butter

    400g rice flour

    50g almond flour

    300g brown sugar ( this can be reduced to 250g if you are worried about the sugar)

    15ml mixed spice

    20ml ground ginger

    5ml ground cinnamon

    2 eggs

    15ml milk

    30ml golden syrup

    10ml bicarbonate of soda

    10ml xanthan gum

     

    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a couple of baking trays.

    I use my Kenwood free-standing mixer for these biscuits. Mix the flours and the butter together in the mixer, then add the sugar and the spices. I then add all the remaining ingredients and mix till the dough comes together. I do find this dough often feels a little wet, don’t worry, rest it in the fridge and bakes beautifully.

    There are two ways of resting this dough.You can simply cover the bowl of dough and put it in the fridge. When you are ready to bake the biscuits roll the dough into little balls, the size of walnuts, and press each ball with your thumb. This method gives a more rustic biscuit.

    The second method it a little trickier, but gives a lovely round professional looking biscuit. Take half the dough and lay it on a piece of cling film. Shape it into a sausage and roll it up tight in the cling film, making a tight tube and tying off the ends. Do the same with the remaining dough. This method will keep in the fridge for a few days if you don’t want to bake all the biscuits at the same time. You could also freeze the tubes of dough and bake biscuits when you need them. They can be baked from frozen. When you are ready to bake the tubes of dough, simply slice them up, but don’t forget to remove the plastic before baking. I prefer to slice the biscuit tubes while they are still tightly wrapped in their plastic, and remove it afterwards before baking. This helps to keep the biscuits in a uniform shape while slicing.

    Leave the dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours to allow it to become firm and easier to deal with.

    Bake the biscuits till golden brown, this usually takes 10 – 15 minutes. Allow them to cool before removing from the baking tray, as they can be delicate to handle when hot.

    Recipe makes approximately 32 biscuits.

     

    I pop them into a cookie jar and they keep for a long time.

    Enjoy!

     

    basil pesto

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    My basil bush needed a severe pruning ahead of the cold of winter, I ended up with two huge bags of beautiful fresh basil leaves. Hey presto – pesto time!

    My recipe uses a little cheat which makes it go further and bulks it up. I use ground almonds as well as pine nuts. Pine nuts are very expansive and the ground almond makes it a little cheaper. My kids eat masses of pesto and it becomes very expensive to keep buying it.

    It is super quick to make and much tastier then the shop bought version. I pop it into little containers and put it in the freezer to make it last.

    I use pesto in potato salad, spread on fresh fish, on a sandwich, pasta, a dollop in some soup….. a super healthy way of making a dish tasty!

    It is best to have a food processor for this recipe.

     

    My recipe is a rough guide as to the quantities. Keep tasting till you get the flavour which works for you.

     

    300g basil leaves

    150g pine nuts

    50g ground almonds

    250g ready grated parmesan cheese (I buy the ready grated cheese to save time)

    350ml olive oil ( if you want a very wet pesto add more)

    6 cloves of garlic

    90ml lemon juice

    10ml salt (to taste, you may want more)

     

    This recipe is incredibly easy and quick. Pop all the ingredients into the food processor and blend. Adjust the flavour and texture to your liking. Add more lemon or salt depending on how sharp you like the flavour.

    Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Will keep for a few weeks.

    It freezes well.

     

    This luscious green vitamin enriched condiment has amazing health benefits. Rich in vitamin A and high in magnesium which is good for cardiovascular health, as well as having anti-inflammatory benefits, why not give it a try.

    Yum!

     

     

     

    asian tuna and mediterranean tuna

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    Over the past few weeks, in South Africa, Yellowfin tuna have virtually been jumping out of the ocean begging to be eaten. Yellowfin tuna what a treat!

    Many people ask me how to cook fish, and it can be daunting as it is so often overcooked and tastes awful. Fish need very little cooking time. A flash through the pan so to speak! Yellowfin tuna is on the SASSI green list so you don’t have to feel too guilty about eating it. It is one of the fastest fish in the ocean. To date the heaviest Yellowfin tuna caught weighed in at 400kg – amazing!

    I have put together two recipes which take a few minutes to prepare and taste delicious. Great for the health concious and gluten free.

    Asian tuna:

    The flavours of this sauce are wonderful and can be used on any fish or chicken if you so wish.

    First, trim the tuna to the size you desire, removing any dark bits and chewy sinew. I rubbed my tuna steaks in butter. I cooked them on the gas barbecue and the butter helped to create a good flame and give a smokey flavour to the fish. There is nothing stopping you from cooking them in a pan. Make sure the pan is very hot and rub your tuna steaks with butter or oil. Don’t add oil to the pan. You want to sear the tuna not fry them!

    Make your sauce first, before you cook the tuna steaks, as they will only take a few minutes, so best to have eveything ready.

    The following recipe will make enough sauce for about 6 tuna steaks.

     

    1 bunch of spring onions (roughly 5 spring onions) chopped

    1 handfull chopped fresh coriander

    1/2 tsp chopped fresh garlic

    2 tsp chopped fresh ginger

    100ml tamari (soy sauce for non gluten free)

    100ml rice wine vinegar

    1/2 tsp chilli flakes

    1 tbsp sugar (this is a guideline)

    30ml sesame oil

     

    When making an asian sauce it is all about the balance of flavours: sweet, salty, spicy and sourness. If you like it more salty then add more tamari sauce, if you like it more sweet add a touch more sugar and so on. The recipe is a rough guideline.

    Mix all of the above togther in a bowl and leave to stand and infuse.

    Cook your tuna steaks on the grill or in the pan. They will need about 2 minutes on each side.

    Once they are done drizzle the sauce over and enjoy. This tuna is lovely served with basmati rice or for the carb conscious, a nice salad of coriander leaves, spring onion, sesame seeds and grated carrot – dressed with sesame oil and lemon juice. Yum!

     

    Mediterranean tuna:

    In this recipe the sauce is more of a salad and is a lot more subtle and simpler then the asian flavours.

    The recipe quantity will serve around 8 tuna steaks.

     

    1 bunch of spring onions (roughly 5 spring onions) chopped

    100g jar of capers, drained

    180g  packet of green olives chopped in half

    1 lemon

    125ml Extra virgin olive oil

    1 handfull fresh Italian parsley finely chopped

    Micro salad leaves to garnish

    Salt to taste

     

    Remove the peel from the lemon with a potato peeler, making sure you don’t leave any of the white pith on the peel. If this happens simply scrape the white pith off with a small paring knife. The peel is going to need to be blanched. Put a little pot on the stove with some water and set this to boil. When it is ready, place the lemon peel in and leave to blanch for 2 min. Remove and set aside to cool. When cooled chop into smaller pieces. The lemon peel will give a wonderful fresh lemon flavour to the fish.

    With the remainder of the lemon, chop off all the remaining white pith and remove the segments of the lemon. These little burst of flavour need to be chopped to the same size as the lemon rind. Put the lemon rind and the lemon segments into little bowls to be arranged on the tuna when it is cooked.

    Make sure your parsley is chopped and your olives and capers are ready.

    Clean and trim your tuna and rub in butter. Sear it on the barbecue or in your frying pan, two minutes on each side. Once cooked lay it on a serving dish and dress it with the olive oil. Arrange the olives, capers, spring onion, lemon rind and lemon segments on top of the tuna. Sprinkle with parsley and micro leaves. Drizzle with another splash of olive oil – this is mediterranean after all, sprinkle of salt and serve!

    I served this tuna with a warm quinoa salad of butternut, kale, baby roasted tomatoes and feta cheese.

    A real treat from the sea!

     

     

     

    carrot cake

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    This recipe was given to me by a good friend and fellow chef in the UK, Charlie Shand. Thank you Charlie!

    I have adapted it to a gluten free version and it is amazing. It is so light and moist you will be fooled into thinking it is a wheat-based cake. The original recipe uses raisins or dried fruit, I have left these out to reduce the sugar content in the cake, but you can add them by all means.

    Cake:

    2 cups brown sugar

    4 eggs

    1 cup of oil – I used a light olive oil

    1 tsp vanilla powder or extract

    375ml rice flour (1.5 cups)

    125ml almond flour (0.5 cups)

    2 tsp xanthan gum

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp ground cinnamon

    1 tsp ground nutmeg

    1/2 tsp ground ginger

    1/2 tsp baking powder

    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

    2 cups of grated carrot

    1 cup of raisins or dried fruit (optional)

    1 cup of chopped pecan nuts

    1 or 2 mashed ripe bananas

     grated rind of a lemon or orange

     

    Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

     

    Grate the carrots and chop up the pecan nuts. Good to get the messy stuff out of the way first.

    Mix the sugar, oil and eggs in a bowl and beat until they are very creamy and foamy. This takes a while, so it is a good idea to pop it into a free-standing mixer so you can get on with other jobs while this is mixing. 

    Add all the flours, salt, bicarbonate of soda and spices to the mix and combine very well.

    Stir in the banana, nuts and carrot and give a good stir.

    Pour this into a well greased, lined cake tin. I found the best results from two small loaf tins. This way you can pop one cake in the freezer for a later date.

    Bake in the oven for 1 hour if using small loaf tins, and a little longer if using a bigger cake tin. Cover the top of the cake with foil  if you think it is burning. Gluten free cakes tend to cook quickly on the top and be raw inside. Check by using a cake skewer.

    Allow the cake to cool before turning them out of the tin.

    Frosting:

    1 tub mascarpone cheese

    250g icing sugar

    Juice and rind of one lemon

     

    Mix the Mascarpone cheese and icing sugar together until it is smooth, then add the juice and rind of the lemon. If the icing is a too wet just add a little more icing sugar.

    Ice the cake when it is cool and enjoy!

    Utterly delectable!

     

     

     

    chocolate caramel tarts

    tart 1 (1 of 1)

    These little tarts were a delight to make and eat. They also kept well in the fridge for a few days without the pastry becoming soft, which means you can make them in advance for a dinner party dessert or afternoon tea. I love to make desserts for entertaining which can be done well in advance.

    Making the salted caramel in my house always causes a calamity. My family all argue as to who is going to lick the bowl and the spoon. I make double the recipe amount and keep it in a glass jar in the fridge (right in the back, well hidden.) This way you always have a little for a bowl of icecream or to drizzle over a pavlova when you have the urge to make a treat for the family.

    I have used this pastry recipe previously as it works well and tastes great. The pastry recipe was adapted from Gluten-free & Easy by Sara Lewis.

    The Chocolate Mousse recipe was adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson.

    Pastry:

    I used the Le Creuset 12 cup mini muffin tray for this recipe. The pastry made 12 little tarts perfectly, with a bit to spare.

    115g Rice flour

    55g Tapioca flour

    1/2 tsp Xanthan gum

    55g  Almond flour

    2 TBSP Castor sugar

    115g  Butter, salted and chilled

    1 Egg

    1-2 tsp Cold water

    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

    Place all the flours, xanthan gum and sugar into the food processor and mix very well. Add the cold butter and blitz until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour in the egg and the cold water, one teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together. It must not be too sticky. Remove it from the processor and roll it into a flat disk. Wrap it in clingfilm and put it into the fridge for 1-2 hours.

    Once the dough is nicely chilled, remove from the fridge and roll it on a rice floured counter, to the thickness of about 4mm. Use a cutter to cut out 12 little disks. I used a 7.5 cm cutter. Press them into the muffin tray. Don’t worry if the dough breaks and tears, simply patch it with little pieces of pastry. Chill the pastry cases for 10 minutes in the fridge after this. 

    Bake the pastry in the oven for 7- 10 minutes till golden. The amazing thing about this very verastile pastry is I did not need to fill each little muffin hole with paper and dried beans. I simply baked them. 

    These little pastry cases can then be stored for a week in an airtight container for use at a later date if you don’t want to fill them with the chocolate mousse.

    Chocolate mousse:

    50g dark chocolate, however you can use milk chocolate or white chocolate 

    250g Mascarpone cheese 

    100ml double cream

    So simple and delicious. Beat the cream and mascarpone together and fold in the melted and slightly cooled chocolate. Be careful not to over whip the cream as you don’t want it too thick; however a little unwhipped cream added at the end will lossen it up if you are a little heavy handed. Fill a piping bag or simply spoon the mousse into the pastry cases.

    You can leave the tarts like this and top with fruit if you like. If you are going to top them with caramel then you will need to flatten and smooth the mousse down with a knife.

    Salted Caramel:

    You will need a sugar thermometer for this recipe.

    225g Granulated sugar

    2 TBSP Agave nectar

    250ml Cream

    1.5 tsp Salt

    150ml Water

    Put the sugar, agave and 150ml water in a heavy based saucepan with a sugar thermometer. Bring to a boil over a high heat until the sugar has dissolved. You really don’t need to stir it, just make sure there is no sugar sitting on the side of the pot. If this is the case use a wet pastry brush to brush it off.

    Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat the cream and the salt until the salt has dissolved.

    Once the sugar mix has reached 180 degrees, it should be quite dark in colour, remove from the heat. Be very careful as it is very hot.

    Whisk the cream into the sugar mix. It will bubble and sputter, so pour the cream slowly while you whisk. It is a good idea to do this over the sink.

    Leave this to cool before pouring it in a glass jar.

    Once your caramel is lovely and cool, you can spoon a little onto each tart and smooth with the back of a spoon.

     

    I love this recipe because if you only need a few little tarts for tea, you will have made spare tart cases and caramel for later in the week. Bonus!

     

     

     

    coconut party cake

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    Coconut cake is so unusual but absolutely delicious. It has a summery, holiday taste. I think it makes a great celebration cake. We can always get vanilla or chocolate cakes but very seldom see a coconut cake. Totally yum. This recipe is not a Gluten free method but I will be trying out a GF version soon. I have adapted this recipe from the queen of delicious food, Nigella Lawson.

    225g salted softened butter

    225g caster sugar

    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    4 eggs

    200g self raising flour

    25g cornflour

    1/2 tsp baking powder

    50g desiccated coconut soaked in 150ml boiling water

    For the icing:

    75g soft salted butter

    150g icing sugar

    100g flaked coconut for decoration

    2ml coconut essence or if you have it  1tsp Malibu ( I used the essence as my 19 year old son and his mates had glugged all of my Malibu)

    Set the oven to 180degs and grease up two 20cm cake tins. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before you start. The method I use differs from Nigella’s. She likes to throw it all together and beat it up. I find that you get inconsistent cakes that way. I like to beat the sugar and the butter together till they are soft and pale, and then add the eggs one at a time. I use my Kenwood  mixer. I beat this mix until it it light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients: flour, cornflour, baking powder and coconut with the water. Beat these in quickly. Don’t over beat at this stage as you don’t want to beat all the air out of the eggs. Pour this into your tins and bake for 25 min.

    To make the buttercream icing:

    Mix the butter and icing sugar together with the Malibu. The secret to a light fluffy icing it to beat it for a long time. If you find the icing it to dry add a few drops of water, and if to wet add a little more icing sugar. Once your cake it cooked and cooled, sandwich together with a thin layer of icing. Then proceed to ice the sides and top with a pallet knife. Take the coconut shavings ( which you can get at a health store or at Montague dried fruit and nuts – SA) and press them into the sides of the cake with your hand. May get a little messy but you can always pick up the dropped shavings and press them into the cake so as not to waste. Sprinkle with edible glitter for a party sparkle!

     

     

    fig & almond tarts

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    I love figs and am always looking for ways to cook them.

    Delicious with a dollop of cream or vanilla ice cream, and a brilliant way of using up figs in the fridge when they are in season. The pastry is so light and forgiving, even if you roll it a little too thick.

    I have adapted this recipe from a variety of sources. The pastry has been taken from the ‘Gluten free and easy’  by Sara Lewis and the frangipane recipe came from the March 2015 issue of the Taste Magazine. The Weltevrede fig and guest farm in the Cape posted a recipe for a fig tart in this issue which looked lovely, and I had some figs going a little soft in the fridge so I thought I would make a GF version.

    I have used a food processor to mix the pastry, makes it so easy.

     

    For the pastry:

    115g Rice flour, plus a little extra for dusting when rolling the pasty

    55g Tapioca flour

    1/2 tsp Xanthan gum

    55g Almond flour

    2 TBSP  Caster sugar

    115g cold butter diced, I used the salted butter

    1 egg

    1-2 tsp cold water

     

    Simply pop the flours, xanthan gum, almond flour and sugar into the bowl of the processor and mix well to combine. Add the butter and mix again till the mix resembles a fine bread crumb. Pop the egg and the water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a soft ball. It should not be sticky. Wrap the dough in cling film or a plastic bag and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

    This recipe makes one large 20cm pie tin or 4 smaller ones.

    While the pastry is resting get a move on with the frangipane:

    150g butter

    150g caster sugar

    150g almond flour

    1tsp rice flour

    2 eggs lightly whisked

    Set the oven to 180degs

     

    Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until very light and pale. Add the eggs and beat till lovely and fluffy. Mix in the flour and almond flour.

    Remove the pasty from the fridge and roll it out to the size you require. It may tear as it is a very light pastry. Don’t panic as it can be repaired with a few blobs of pastry. Press it into your tins and make sure it goes up the sides. I like to put it back in the fridge at this point as it does soften very quickly. Give it 20 min to chill again. Once chilled trim the sides with a knife or scissors, the pastry does not shrink like normal wheat pastry. Pop a piece of baking paper into the pie and fill with dried beans to blind bake the pastry. Bake it for 10 min. Remove the paper and bake it for a further 5 min to dry the bottom out a bit.

    Pour your frangipane into the pastry casings. Chop up the figs to the size you fancy and push them into the frangipane. You have to be careful not to overfull the pastry casings as the figs will take up space and you don’t want the filling to spill over. If too full simply scoop it out with a teaspoon.

    Turn the oven down to 160degs. Place the tart tins onto a tray and into the oven for 25 min or there about. There should not be a wobble when you give them a little shake and they should be golden brown.

    They do keep in the fridge for a couple of days if you can’t eat them in one go – not the case in my house!

     

    Enjoy!

     

     

     

    gluten free rosemary and orange shortbread

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    This is by far one of my families favourite biscuits and is unbelievably quick to make. The biscuit is very light and does not have the cloying taste which  normal wheat based flour shortbread often has. The flavours can be changed  to whatever your fancy is. This recipe is orange and rosemary, but I have made lemon, which is delicious.

    I have adapted the recipe from”Gluten free and Easy” by Sara Lewis.

    This recipe is probably best if you have a food processor. It could get a little messy if you only have a hand held mixer, but not impossible.

     

    55g cornflour

    115g rice Four

    85g almond four

    85g castor sugar plus extra for dusting after baking

    180g chilled and diced into small cubes butter (I use salted as I like the salt in the biscuit)

    Grated zest of a whole orange and 1 tablespoon of juice

    1 Tablespoon finely chopped Rosemary (I am sure you could use dried Rosemary as well)

     

    Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

    Add all the ingredients to your food processor and blitz until it comes together into a ball.

    Use a 25cm loose bottom fluted tart tin which has been well greased. Tip the dough into the tin and press it with your fingers as evenly as you can manage. It is not a very sticky dough as it has enough butter to keep it from being difficult. If you struggle with it wet your fingers a little and press it down this way. Use a fork and press it into the edges of the tin, leaving a nice pattern. I like to give a few fork pricks all over the dough to allow it to rise evenly.

    Bake it for 30-35 minutes until it is golden brown. It is better to over cook it a little so as to have a nice crispy biscuit. Leave it to cool in the tin for a few minutes before you cut it up into 12 wedges. Dust with the remaining castor sugar and leave it to cool completely before removing it from the tin.

    I stick it under a glass cake dome and it lasts for a week if I am lucky!

    For the lemon variation I used the zest of a whole lemon and a tablespoon of the juice!