19 June 2011

Chocolate Hedgehog with Cranberries

dairy free egg free nut free vegan

Mmmm. Just love biscuity chocolate goodness that is classic hedgehog, and you get a nice flavour kick with the cranberries. McVitie's Digestives is a great vegan biscuit (though package states they're made on a production line handling milk. We take the risk on these occasionally because they're so nice). Eskal and Freedom Foods make gluten-free biscuits so you could make these gluten-free also.

125g dairy-free margarine
100g dairy/egg/nut free chocolate
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 egg replacer (Orgran)
220g McVitie's Digestives or other dairy/egg/nut free biscuits, broken into small pieces
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup cranberries

Chocolate topping
200g dairy/egg/nut free chocolate
50g vegetable oil or dairy/egg/nut free margarine

Grease a slice pan (17cm x 27cm) and line with baking paper, allowing some to overhang at long ends.

Place margarine, chocolate and syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Cook gently stirring for a few minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Whisk in egg replacer.

Meanwhile, place biscuits, coconut, sugar, cocoa and cranberries in a bowl. Stir to combine, then add chocolate mixture, mixing gently. Transfer to prepared pan and press mixture evenly using the back of a fork. Cover and refrigerate until firm.

To make chocolate topping, place chocolate and margarine/oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Spread over slice and refrigerate for a couple of hours until set.

Using a hot knife, cut slice into 24 pieces.

18 June 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

dairy free egg free nut free gluten free vegan

Recently at Elwood Market, a new mum joined the ranks with gluten-free baked goods on our allergy-friendly baking table. I was so enamoured with her chocolate chip cookies that I hounded her for the recipe and then made them vegan. They are very very good! 

She used a commercial gluten-free flour mix but because I'd run out, I subbed in a mix of brown rice flour and coconut flour. And instead of using egg replacer, I just added 1/4 cup rice milk. It probably accounts for the slightly crackled appearance that weren't a feature of her cookies, but they weren't crumbly upon eating. The Sweet William choc chips tend to melt somewhat on baking, but it all still makes for an incredibly tasty (and rich) cookie. 

250g dairy-free margarine (Nuttelex)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup rice milk
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour + 1 cup coconut flour 
or 2 1/4 cups gluten-free plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 cups dairy/egg/nut free chocolate chips (I used Sweet William)

Beat margarine and sugars in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add in rice milk and extract and beat until well combined. Transfer to large bowl.  Stir combined sifted flour and soda into mixture, in two batches. 

Stir in chocolate, cover, refrigerate 1 hour.  Preheat oven to moderate (180 degrees/160 degrees fan forced). Grease oven trays. Roll dessertspoons of the dough into balls; place 3cm apart on trays.  Bake, uncovered, about 12 minutes.  Cool completely on trays.

08 June 2011

Chorizo & Lentil Stew

dairy free egg free nut free gluten free

I'm suffering through the blast of icy Melbourne weather and craving one-bowl comfort food, so this is just the thing. Tuck in with crusty bread, or for something a bit fancy, the artichoke farinata I just made (which is gluten-free).

1 chorizo sausage, sliced
1 cup dried lentils, soaked overnight (or 1 can of lentils)
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
bay leaf
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch baby spinach leaves
1 can diced tomatoes

Fry the sliced chorizo in a frypan with a tablespoon of olive oil until browned. Remove and set aside in a bowl. In the same pan with the remaining chorizo-flavoured oil, gently saute onion, garlic and carrots, until soft.

Add lentils, stock, tomatoes and bay leaf and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add spinach and chorizo and warm through for a couple of minutes, until spinach is wilted.

Serve in bowls.

Farinata (Chickpea Flatbread)

dairy free egg free nut free vegan gluten free

This recipe is from the River Cafe's Green cookbook, one of very few Italian cookbooks I treasure. It is divided into seasonal fruit and vegetables and features interesting produce with inspiring recipes. (eg. who knew Italians had even heard of ginger, let alone willingly cooked with it in both savoury and sweet dishes?!)

Because I am embracing all things gluten-free at the moment, it must be said that the farinata, a traditional Ligurian street food, is an ideal gluten-free pizza or flatbread.

Make sure the oiled pan is smoking hot before you pour in the batter or you won't get a crispy base. And the batter should only be 1cm thick (reserve the rest for another tray if need be) or you'll get a pancake rather than a pizza. I suspect it should be browner and crunchier than it looks in my picture but I was in a (hungry) hurry. In fact, if you squint, it almost passes for an omelette. Which gets me thinking that a bit of chickpea batter, liberally seasoned and poured into a pan with vegetables might make for a tasty egg-free frittata...

250g chickpea flour
750ml warm water
75ml olive oil

*You can add any flavourings you like - strong herbs like rosemary, marjoram, thyme or sage. I sliced up some artichokes as per the original recipe and scattered fresh marjoram.

Add chickpea flour to the warm water in a bowl. If you can be bothered, sieve it first, but I didn't and given it sits for a couple of hours while it absorbs the water - it's not really necessary. Whisk it well to get rid of any lumps, add a tablespoon of salt, cover the bowl and set aside for at least 2 hours in a warm place.

Remove the foam that forms at the top of the batter and stir in the olive oil, mixing well. Pour a tablespoon of oil into your largest baking tray or pizza tray (around 40cm is best) and put into the oven until the oil starts to smoke. Remove the pan from the oven and quickly pour in the batter. It's supposed to be thin and not more than 1cm deep. Scatter over the artichoke slices and/or herbs, salt and a drizzling of olive oil. Place back in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Surface is supposed to bubble and the edges will crisp up.

Slice up and serve immediately.