Tag Archives: recipe

Gluten-Free Sticky Tape Pudding

Time for another recipe post!  This is my best-ever recipe and so much fun to make.  I get lots of requests for this recipe, and not just because it’s gluten-free.  There is plenty to keep little hands occupied as well, so a good recipe for engaging children who would otherwise be painting the carpet with Jalna Natural Greek Yoghurt.  Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

1 cup dates (chopped)
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 cup boiling water
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup gluten-free plain flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons (40g) butter

Butterscotch Sauce

2/3 cup thin cream
50g butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla

You will also need:

A mixing bowl
A whisk
Some sort of medium sized (over 2 cup capacity) and heatproof jug or bowl (for dates and boiling water)
A measuring cup
Scales (for the butter, but if you don’t have any, you can estimate by the way you cut it, or measure with a tablespoon)
A 20cm round cake tin, lined with baking paper (the shallow sort you would use two of to make a sandwich cake) – this is the same tin you would use to make the Half-Eaten-Apple Teacake

A saucepan and wooden spoon for the sauce

kitchen helpers

Oh I love this photo so much.  Look at my boys in their aprons!  I need to pull this photo out every time I feel like I’m failing as a mother.   Step one is to chop up the dates.  This is a good ones for the kids to do (with butter knives) whilst you sneak about measuring the other ingredients and doing the messy stuff.  Preheat the oven to 160 C (325 F).  Oh, and put the kettle on, if you haven’t already done so (cup of boiling water, remember?)

dates,hot water and bicarb

Once you’ve chopped about a cup’s worth of dates, put them in your heatproof bowl or jug and add  a cup of boiling water and a teaspoon of bicarb.  Gather the children around to watch it fizz!

dates and butter

Then add the butter, whilst the water is still hot, so it melts into the hot water.  Put this mixture aside to cool.

DSCF4937

Now crack your egg into the big mixing bowl and use the whisk to beat it.

brown sugar

Then add the packed brown sugar (it’s like a sandcastle!  This is Christopher Robin’s favourite part)

mix it

Stir it in with the vanilla (or you can put the vanilla in with the date mix, it doesn’t really matter – I didn’t have any vanilla on the day I made this one anyway!)

flour

Now add all the other ingredients (flour and date mix).  I tend to alternate between the two – mix in a little flour, then some date mix.  Repeat.

in tin

Tip it into the cake tin.  Don’t worry if it seems a little runny:  that’s how it’s supposed to be!

Bake it in the oven for around 50 minutes.

baked pudding

At this point, you could just serve it as a date cake, but nothing beats sticky tape pudding, so pull out your saucepan and put the butter, cream, brown sugar and vanilla into it.  Warm it up over a medium heat until it boils, then turn it down to low and let it simmer for five minutes or so.  Keep stirring it the whole time.

saucepan

Here, we really need a money shot of a slice of the pudding with the sauce on top and a scoop of icecream melting slightly against it.  Or, perhaps a series of such gratuitous pictures.  But the problem is, whenever it gets to this point in proceedings, I get so excited I end up eating it before I remember to take a picture.  This has happened on multiple occasions.

Instead, here are some pictures that Google has to offer:

pudding porn 1

pudding porn 2

pudding porn 3

I hope I don’t get into trouble for sharing these pudding porn photos.  Please don’t sue me – I’ll take them down if you want me to!

This serves 8 to 12, depending on how small you cut it.  Enjoy!

Half-Eaten-Apple Teacake

I’ve decided if I’m going to be a serious Mummy blogger, I’d better start posting some recipes.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?  Here’s one of my favourites.  My great aunty used to bake apple teacake with me when I was small so it comes with warm and comforting memories.  I always wanted to be the sort of mum (does she even exist?) who has some sort of teacake ‘on hand’ when friends drop by.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?  A girl can dream.

Hmm.  A girl can read a little too much Anne of Green Gables than is healthy for her too.

This particular recipe is gluten free.  Of course, you can use regular flour if you like, but I’m just saying it works really well as a gluten free cake – not all cakes do.

OK, enough waffling, on to the recipe!

half-eaten apples

My son is incapable of eating an entire apple.  Why finish this one when I can just trot off and start another?   It drives me to distraction.

There are lots of things you can do with these discarded apples, I suppose.  Some people stew them, some juice them, Mr Knightley cuts them up into coin shapes and rebrands them as “apple money” which the kids think is the best thing ever.

But when I was feeling a craving for apple tea cake, I realised all at once that I could make something wonderful from these little green cast-offs. So here we go.

I should probably point out here that these pictures were taken during my first attempt at the cake and I’ve learnt some extra things since then.  The most important point being that you really only need enough half-eaten apple to make up one full-sized one.  I have far too many in this picture!

bad bits cut off

So: chop off the bad bits (that big apple would have been enough…)

sliced apples

And slice them up.  Slice them as thin as you can – I’ve done it a bit too chunky in this picture.  Why include this picture if it shows far too many apples all sliced the wrong way?  Because I took it, by gum!  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to photograph what you’re doing whilst baking a cake with two little boy helpers?  No?  Well sit down and stop complaining!

Ahem!  Sorry, I got a little carried away there, dear reader.  No more berating, I promise.  Here’s our ingredients list:

65g butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup gluten-free self-raising flour
1/3 cup milk
thinly sliced half-eaten apples – 1 apple’s worth

Cinnamon topping

10g butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons caster sugar

You will also need:

A mixing bowl
An electric mixer (handy, but not essential)
A wooden spoon
A 20cm round cake tin, lined with baking paper (the shallow sort you would use two of to make a sandwich cake)

The best thing about this recipe is that you can make it from things you already have in your cupboard.  I have no time for recipes with exotic ingredients!

Now, before you start, preheat the oven to 180 degrees (or 160 fan forced)  (that’s 350 / 320 Farenheit, for my American friends)

cake batter

So beat up the softened butter until it gets a little paler, then add the sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Mix with an electric mixer (or stir up heaps with a wooden spoon).

cake mix

Turn off the electric mixer and hand out the beaters to lick.  That should get you five minutes worth of peace.  Now stir in half the flour and half the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk.  Make sure nobody dips their beater back in once they’ve licked it clean.

fake cake

Now pour the batter into the cake pan.  I forgot to take a picture of this stage, so I stole one from the Internet instead.  Shhh.  Don’t tell anyone.

Arrange the apple slices on the top and bake for 25-30 minutes.

bakedcake

Mary looking at cake

Mary looks impressed.

While it’s still warm, rub the 10g (a little knob) of butter onto the cake so it melts.  Or, if you’re like me and forget, melt it in the microwave and brush it on later.  Then sprinkle with the sugar mixed with cinnamon.

finished cake

This tastes best if it’s still warm, but still pretty good when it’s cooled.  I made this for my mummy friends on Friday and thus fulfilled one of my life’s ambitions as a stay-at-home mum.  Bliss.

The first time I made this, of course, I had far too much apple left over.

Anyone for apple money?

Vegetarian Fail.

It all came to a head on Friday at 4:15pm.  Annie was crying in the highchair, Christopher Robin and Harry were practising extreme wrestling on the trampoline (“I wasn’t biting him, Mummy, I was hugging him with my teeth!”), I was desperately trying to get dinner together and Matilda was looking grave and pensive.

“Mummy,” she announced solemnly, “I’ve decided I want to be a vegetarian.”

Now, I can’t pretend I didn’t see this coming.  Earlier in the week, a sign at the butcher’s advertising “wild rabbits” sent a tired and tearful Matilda into hysterics (“you mean people KILL cute little bunny rabbits and then they EAT them?  That is just so MEAN!”) and no talk of ‘introduced species’ or ‘feral pests’ or ‘circle of’ bloody ‘life’ would calm her down.  The night before saw Matilda wide awake well past her bed time, wracked with guilt after eating a plateful of roast lamb (It was moist and nice and not at all burnt like last time)

So I knew Matilda had been considering vegetarianism.  I had already laid down the law that she couldn’t only choose to be vegetarian for some meals just to get out of eating them (like beef stew, which she calls “beef spew”),  I just hadn’t anticipated her making this commitment the day before shopping day – an hour before dinnertime – while I was elbow-deep in meatloaf.

So I scratched my head and had a think.  I had half a tin of lentils.  Surely that had to count for something.  Vegetarians are always banging on about lentils.  And I had a muffin tin.  Maybe I could make a mini- lentil loaf?

As I mixed the lentils with all the stuff I usually put in the meatloaf and added plenty of egg to hold it all together, I was struck with a wonderful vision of myself.  I could get really good at this!  I could be That Amazing Mother who whips up delicious vegetarian meals effortlessly for her mature, sensitive and intelligent vegetarian daughter.  I saw myself floating through organic wholefood markets buying bulk packs of tofu whilst hippies and hipsters alike nodded their approval.  What if I’m actually a creative genius in the kitchen, creating small miracles out of chick peas and eggplant?  I imagined myself on the cover of a glossy recipe-and-anecdote book, wearing a mildly ironic 1950s-style apron and smiling benevolently at the camera.  Of all things, I think putting out a recipe-and-anecdote book is a true sign that you’ve made it as a domestic goddess.

I wish I’d taken a photo of the perfect muffin-shaped little lentil loaf after I took it out of the oven.  It was truly a thing of beauty.  Matilda exclaimed at how pretty it was and ate it wordlessly whilst I radiated smug all over the kitchen.

The next day, Matilda was making herself a ham roll with extra ham.  ”I’ve decided not be be a vegetarian,” she said, “that lentil loaf you made yesterday was pretty yuck”

Incidentally, I’d be happy to publish the recipe if anyone is looking to turn their child off vegetarianism.

Maybe I could make a book…

Roast Fail.

Once a fortnight, I’ve started this thing where we try to have a Sunday Roast.  Every time I open the freezer, I see the meat ready for roasting and I wink at it and whisper “soon!”.  Today was Roast Day.  I’ve been known in the past to let the day get away from me before getting the roast on and thus have a late dinner with psycho children too tired to eat, but not so today!  At 1:30pm I lovingly salted and oiled the meat, placed it on a bed of onions and surrounded it with garlic.  I chopped and parboiled the veggies and put them in the oven too.  I then turned the oven right down low, put on the exhaust fan and got the kids ready to go see my grandma. When we got home we would have roast!

On the way home from the hospital it was bitter cold and pouring down rain.  As we drove along with headlights on, we all shared one smug thought:  Roast.  Put children in warm pyjamas, fill their bellies with roast beef and they’ll be in bed asleep faster than you can say “Downton Abbey”!

As we pulled into the driveway, I said in my most important voice, “Mr Knightley, you unload the kids.  I must go in and check on The Roast!”

My first sign that something might have gone wrong was the smell of smoke.  It would seem the roast had ‘caught’.  Then I got to the kitchen.

My delightful two-year-old son, who loves to help Mummy in the kitchen, had turned the oven up to maximum before we left the house.  The kitchen was rather smoky (would have been much more so, had the fan not been on).  And the Roast was a blackened crisp.

Many things happened then:  I stormed about the house yelling to no one in particular about how hard my life is;  Matlida burst into very loud, impassioned sobs to which Mr Knightley and I (I’m very ashamed to say) growled in unison “Don’t YOU start!”;  Harry, confused as to why everyone seemed so cross at him, set to destroying the house with a kitchen whisk; Christopher Robin asked “what’s for dinner?” and Annie gurgled and kicked in amusement.

Mr Knightley, with an air of grim determination, retrieved the smoking, shrunken black mass from the oven and tried to carve it.  Beneath the thick black crust there was a little bit of good meat to pick at (Mr Knightley gave me the nicest piece).  It felt like Tiny Tim’s family from A Christmas Carol.

We had tinned soup and toasted muffins for dinner.

Afterwards, as we were cleaning up, Mr Knightley did a bit of wistful poking around the charred remains of what were once vegetables and presented me with a small morsel of onion.  “Taste this” he said in a kind voice “It’s perfectly caramelised”