18 December 2010

Chocolate & Raspberry Brownies (vegan, gluten free)

dairy free, egg free, nut free, vegan, gluten free

Gooey and intense and very chocolatey, with a hint of tartness via the raspberries. The perfect brownie, really. Vegan and gluten-free too! Beware though - without the addition of a couple of binding eggs, they're in danger of complete collapse. Best kept refrigerated and you must have cooled the pan for a good hour or two in the fridge before attempting to cut them. They would definitely improve their shape-holding capacity if you cooked them 5-10 minutes longer...but as most of us know, an overcooked brownie is a travesty, so don't even think it.

175g coconut oil
200g dairy/nut-free chocolate (eg. Kinnerton), in pieces
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder, sifted
2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup apple puree or 2 egg replacers
3/4 cup plain flour or gluten-free flour, sifted
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 160 C. Lightly grease an 18cm square cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

Place oil and chocolate into a saucepan over low heat and stir until the butter and chocolate have melted. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add cocoa, brown sugar and vanilla and mix to combine. Stir in apple puree/egg replacers and flour. Gently fold in raspberries.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for approx 40-45 minutes or until the cake starts to come away from the sides of the tin. Cool in the tin and then in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before cutting into squares. Dust with pure icing sugar before serving.

10 December 2010

Gluten-free Shortbread

dairy free egg free nut free vegan gluten free

Gluten-free! What a minefield. The growing interest in the allergy-friendly baking section at Elwood Market meant that sooner rather than later, I had to cater for our coeliac friends. I'll admit to feeling a bit apprehensive. Apparently gluten works in mysterious ways so while one substitution can work perfectly in a recipe, it will fail dismally in another. Luckily shortbread is practically gluten-free anyway....so this turned out very nicely without much effort. Phew!

1/2 cup maize cornflour (some cornflours are wheaten so check ingredients)
1/2 cup pure icing sugar
1 cup rice flour
180g dairy-free margarine, chopped

Sift the cornflour, icing sugar and rice flour together. Add chopped margarine, and mix with hands until a soft dough forms. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180 C and line two baking trays. Roll out dough to 5mm thick, sprinkling lightly with cornflour (it's quite a wet mixture, so I also rolled out onto baking paper to prevent it sticking to the board). Cut into desired shapes and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing.

07 December 2010

Election Cupcakes

dairy free egg free nut free vegan

Gloat post alert:



My home-made, wish-i'd-spent-a-bit-more-time-on-them cupcakes got their 15 milliseconds of fame. I made a hurried batch for the Elwood Primary School fundraiser during election day recently in Victoria. So hurried in fact that when the usual issue arose of red icing refusing to budge darker than pink, I decided to add a drop of black colouring.  You can't make red out of pink. If you add black to pink, you  just get darker pink. I already knew this. And still, in my bleary-eyed state, I did it.

Early indicator to the result of the election, I believe.

Never mind, I thought - no-one will notice, or care, right? Well who should be skulking around the school doing vox pops at the polling booth but ABC TV.  After a few encouraging words to the cameraman by my husband, they took some footage. Unbelievably, it didn't end up on the cutting room floor - but closed the community piece on the 6pm news!

The winning cupcake