Streusel cake (gluten and dairy free)

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I thought I would share this rather successful experiment with you. With increasing numbers of friends who avoid/are allergic to gluten and/or dairy, this was my attempt at making a dessert that everyone could enjoy. I began with a blueberry muffin recipe which I joyfully chopped and changed till I had something I thought might work – both in terms of universal-friendliness-of-ingredients and deliciousness. I am sure it could do with a little refining, however, even this ‘first draft’ was a very acceptable dessert contribution. Fingers were licked. I imagine that you could continue to mess around with the different flours used to suit your preferences, I think I was particularly limited by the amount of almond meal I had at home that day! Anyhow, perhaps it will inspire you to do something new with a recipe (I find muffin ones quite forgiving if you don’t change the fat or sugar content too much) – or do some baking for a friend!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup light olive oil (or another light flavoured cooking oil of your choice)
1/2 cup brown sugar – loosely packed
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup almond milk
1 2/3 cup self-raising gluten free flour
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
3/4 cup frozen blackberries

Streusel topping:
1/3-1/2 cup quiona flakes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup buckwheat groats

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180oC, line a square cake tin with baking paper.
2. Whisk the oil, sugar, eggs and milk to combine.
3. Stir the dry ingredients through wet mix gently.
4. Pour most of the cake batter into the cake tin, reserving perhaps 1/2 a cup.
5. Stir the frozen berries through the remainder of the batter.
6. Dot the berries over the top of the rest of the cake batter – try to achieve even coverage!
7. Lastly, blend the remaining streusel topping ingredients and sprinkle these over the surface of the cake.
8. Bake for about 40 minutes – check on it to ensure it doesn’t brown too quickly around the edges and protect the top with foil if the centre needs further cooking.
9. Enjoy warm with greek yogurt or a dollop of mascarpone cheese.

Pikelets

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I have to admit that cooking this particular blueberry pikelets made me begin to doubt the holiness of ordinary things. This batch were the first I’ve made on a new gas stove and when they said that gas was fast … well, they were right. I managed to get it in the end, with the help of a patient husband and after a wash out of sizzled brown pots. The actual recipe itself is from my cousins (and originally a friend of theirs) and is very, very yummy! It is great with blueberries added before flipping to the second side, but if you are feeling like making them even more special, choc bits work well too! Happily eaten by brothers, husbands and cousins alike, this particular batch nourished a bunch of young, hungry musos 🙂

Ingredients:
2 cups self raising flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs beaten
butter for frying
Optional: Blueberries (or any other berry) or choc bits

Method:
1. Add the dry ingredients to a big mixing bowl. Mix well.
2. You can then mix the buttermilk and eggs together and whisk gently to combine. Or you can just make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
3. Heat a fry pan (or two if you are impatient) and melt butter, ready for frying. A medium heat is good.
4. Add spoonfuls (size can vary depending on appetite, but they do puff up while cooking so don’t make them too big!). Ensure you add your extra special ingredients (berries and chocolate) if you want before flipping to the second side.
5. Enjoy on their own or with some butter or cream cheese and jam! We find they disappear quite quickly and a double batch is often required …

A new way to do Blueberry Muffins

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This recipe is slightly altered from one I found in Ros Dobson’s Wholefood Kitchen cookbook. Relatively low in fat and sugar (it is still a muffin recipe) it has lots of fibre and complex carbohydrates. I really like blueberries so it caught my eye. I also love that as I cooked it I learnt a new trick.Keep an eye out at step 5!

Ingredients:
250ml buttermilk
65ml ricebran oil
375g wholemeal flour
50g oatbran
1 heaped tablespoon baking powder
1 small green apple
200g frozen blueberries
1 egg
75g brown sugar
75g caster sugar

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a muffin tray with muffin papers.
2. Combine the buttermilk and oil in a jug, set aside.
3. Choose a large mixing bowl and mix the flour, oatbran and baking powder together.
4. Wash and grate the apple (discard the core), add this to the flour mixture. Toss through the flour to coat the apple pieces (hands work well, probably better than a spoon)
5. This the the revolutionary step! Add the blueberries now. Coat them in the flour mixture too. This means they are encased in their own little flour barrier and, wait for it, do not turn your muffin purple! Amazing!!!
6. In a separate smaller bowl, beat the sugars and egg till thick and smooth. Combine this with the buttermilk and oil, again, beat till all ingredients are combined.
7. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mix together only till all the flour has been incorporated, muffin mixture does not like to be over-worked
8. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full of mixture and bake till golden and cooked through (about 20 minutes).
9. Enjoy as they are or with butter or cream cheese!

Muffins for breakfast

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A recipe I got at TAFE a few years ago for Blueberry Muffins. It is a melt and mix recipe, where the butter is melted so that there is no need to use an electric mixers (which makes it quite quick and easy). This is a good basic recipe that works even when you play with the ingredients a little (something I enjoy). I have used them for junior Food Tech classes for a few years (where they have been happily enjoyed) and, slightly poignantly, this particular batch were for a ‘good-bye’ breakfast held in that same Food Technology room. It was a special occasion so I added some chopped up chocolate to make them a bit more special.

Ingredients:
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter (55g)
3/4 cup buttermilk
150g frozen blueberries (using them frozen means that the mixture doesn’t have the chance to turn purple so quick!)
chopped chocolate to taste (maybe 125g)

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 190˚C.
2. Either line a muffin tin with muffin papers or use pretty thicker ones (see pictures) and put these on a baking tray.
3. Sift the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and sugar) in a large bowl.
4. Melt the butter in the microwave (in a ceramic dish, covered in paper towel to save splattering). Allow to cool slightly so it does not cook the eggs when added at the same time!
5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, melted butter and buttermilk. Stir till ingredients are just combined – try to not over stir.
6. Take the blueberries out of the fridge and add to the mixture (add chocolate here too if desired), again stir only till mixed through.
7. Fill the muffin cups to about 2/3 of their capacity.
8. Bake for about 20 minutes or till golden and the skewer comes out clean!

Enjoy as a quick and tasty breakfast (as my Year 8 students can hopefully tell you) or snack!