gluten free chocolate chip cookies

24 Feb 2020

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions but this year I made two. The first resolution was to try a barre attack class at the gym. Mission accomplished. The second resolution was to do more gluten free baking so a gluten free work colleague wouldn't feel left out whenever I bought in my treats.

I found this recipe on Liz Prueitt's instagram account and they looked so good I decided to give the recipe a try. When I saw the price of oat flour at the fruit market, I decided to make some at home. I used the oats I had on hand and it only made 50g of oat flour so changed the proportions of the GF flour mix and only made half a batch.

They must make their cookies big in the US because I still managed to make 21 cookies from the batch.

Here's the recipe for you which makes about 21 cookies. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

GF chocolate chip cookies adapted from a Liz Prueitt recipe– 
150g GF flour (see below)
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
½ tsp salt
40g softened cream cheese
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs milk 
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg 
85g chocolate chips
100g toasted pecans, chopped
Sea salt flakes

Flour mix
50g oat flour
33g almond meal
33g tapioca starch
33g gluten free flour

In a large bowl, combine the GF flour mix with the bicarb soda and salt. In a separate bowl mix the softened cream cheese with the brown sugar, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir in the egg then add the cream cheese mixture to the flour. This will make a very loose batter but it will firm when chilled. Stir through the chocolate chips and the walnuts. Place in the fridge overnight.

The following day, line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Preheat oven to 190°C. Scoop out the dough with a tablespoon, sprinkle each cookie with sea salt then lightly flatten each cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes, whacking the tray a few times halfway through the baking time to flatten the cookies. Place the tray on a cooling rack. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

These cookies are delightful but they're definitely not crunchy and the texture is delicate. Three broke in the tin on the journey to work. I've just made a regular version to see how they turned out and to be honest, I actually preferred the super fragile GF cookies.

See you all again next week with a little treat from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



plum frangipane tart

17 Feb 2020

It's plum season in Sydney so I'm using plums in just about everything I'm baking at the moment in cluding this plum frangipane tart. I've been making frangipane tarts forever using whatever fruit is in season and the plum version always goes down well. Looking through some of my old posts I realise I've never shared the recipe with you and today I'm going to rectify that situation.

I love making frangipane tarts because they're so verstaile and best of all, you don't need to pre-bake the pastry shell. I had some shortcrust pastry in the freezer; I whipped up the frangipane mixture in the food processor and I had a few unopened bottles of plum jam in the cupboard, so making the tart was a snap. 

I make jam regularly but I rarely eat it and the plum jam I used was bottled in 2014! I'm happy to say it was in perfect condition and I now have to add that opened bottle to the other half used bottles of raspberry jam, blackberry jam and blood orange marmalade residing in my fridge.

If you'd like to make your own plum frangipane tart, here is the recipe. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Makes a deep 17cm tart or a shallow 22cm tart
¼ cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
¼ cup almond meal
175g plain flour
Pinch salt
110 g (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg yolk lightly beaten

⅓ cup plum jam

100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or finely grated orange rind
1 beaten egg
100g almond meal
Pinch salt
1 tbs flour
1 tbs rum or orange juice 

3-4 large plums
1 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs finely chopped pistachios

To make the pastry, combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor, and whiz for a few seconds until well combined and free of lumps. Add the cold butter and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and whiz until a soft dough just starts to form around the blade. Remove the dough from the food processor and gather the pastry into a ball; flatten slightly before wrapping in plastic and placing in the fridge. You’ll only need about half of the pastry dough to make a 17cm tart or the full quantity to make a 22 cm tart. The pastry freezes well so just wrap the remaining pastry in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. 

Refrigerate the pastry for an hour and then roll out thinly - 3mm thick. Line a greased deep 17 cm or shallow 22cm flan tin with the pastry then return to the fridge for another 30 minutes. Trim excess pastry.

Cream together the unsalted butter, sugar and vanilla or orange rind until light and fluffy. Add the egg followed by the almond meal, salt, flour and rum or juice. You should end up with a soft paste. Refrigerate until required.

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Halve the plums; remove the seeds then quarter each half. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the plum slices. Set aside. 

Spread a thin layer of jam over the base of the tart shell, then fill the pastry shell with the frangipane mixture stopping about ½ cm from the top, then level the surface with a knife. Decoratively arrange the plum slices over the filling then sprinkle over the chopped pistachios. 

Place the tart on an oven tray and bake at 190°C/375°F for an hour or until the frangipane filling has puffed and is golden brown. The 22cm tart will take less time to bake. Let the tart cool in the switched off oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, place on a rack and let the tart cool completely. 

If you like you can glaze the plum slices with some warmed apricot jam. Place in the fridge until serving time. Serve as is or with a dollop of cream.

I took this into work and it disappeared in record time, so quickly I didn't get a chance to snaffle a slice for myself.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


apricot coconut cake

10 Feb 2020

The apricot season is way too short in Sydney so when apricots appear in the fruit shop I buy a few to make apricot cake. This year I ventured out of my comfort zone and tried something new, a recipe I found in an old issue of Gourmet Traveller.

When I looked through the cupboard I had everything I needed except for rapadura sugar so I used brown sugar instead and went to work. I found the finished cake not quite sweet enough, maybe rapadura sugar is sweeter than brown sugar, so I've increased the quantity a little in the recipe.

Here's the recipe for you which makes an 8 inch round or square cake. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Apricot and coconut crumble cake adapted from a Gourmet Traveller recipe
Coconut crumble
60 gm chilled butter, cubed
2 tbsp brown sugar
75 gm plain flour
a pinch of salt 
2 tbsp shredded coconut

For coconut crumble, rub ingredients in a bowl until coarse crumbs form. Place in the fridge until needed.

160 gm softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup caster sugar
Finely grated rind of 1 lime
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
160 gm plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
90 gm shredded coconut
125 ml well-shaken coconut milk
40 gm dried apricots, diced
8 small apricots, seeds removed and quartered
1 tbsp coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Butter a 20cm round or square cake tin and line it with baking paper. 

In an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, rind and vanilla until pale and fluffy (4-5 minutes). Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl between additions. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Stir in the coconut then add to the batter in thirds, alternating with the coconut milk. Stir in dried apricot, spoon batter into prepared tin and smooth top. Scatter the crumble over the cake batter then tuck in the apricot slices. Scatter half the coconut flakes over the apricots. 

Bake in the preheated 180ºC oven until golden brown and centre springs back when lightly pressed (45-50 minutes). Cool in tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut flakes over the cake before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Old habits die hard and even though this was a nice cake I felt the coconut in the cake batter over powered the apricots. T
he very next day, I went back into the kitchen and  whipped up an apricot cake using my old recipe so I could do a taste test. Hands down my old cake was nicer. Maybe next time I could just top my apricot and almond cake with some of the coconut crumble instead of flaked almonds? Now there is a thought.

No photography this weekend as my studio aka the sunroom was flooded by torrential rain in Sydney, so see you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



blueberry scones

3 Feb 2020

It's berry season in Sydney and I couldn't go past these blueberries when I saw them in the shop. But what to do with them? While browsing through the Flour and Stone cookbook I spied a photo of some blueberry scones and decided to make a batch adapted from my cream scone recipe.

As there's no rubbing in of butter with this scone recipe, the scones are made in a flash. I barely had time to whip the cream before it was time to take the scones out of the oven.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 12 scones. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 gms and I use unsalted butter. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Blueberry Scones – makes 12
2 cups self-raising flour
pinch of salt
¼ cup icing sugar, sifted
125g fresh blueberries
125 ml thickened cream
150 ml milk
jam and double cream, to serve

Line a small baking tray with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Combine the flour, salt and icing sugar in a large bowl. Stir through the blueberries then pour in the cream and cut in with a broad-bladed butter knife. Mix in the milk to make a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat gently into an oblong about 2.5 cm/1 inch thick. A light touch will ensure fluffy scones. Use a floured 5 cm/2 inch scone cutter to cut out the scones, re-rolling the dough as needed. Place the scones close together on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Lightly glaze the top of each scone with some cream or milk. 

Bake the scones for 20 minutes at 220°C/425°F or until the tops are a golden brown. Take the tray from the oven and wrap the hot scones in a clean tea towel for a few minutes. If you like a crunchy scone, then omit this step.

Serve at room temperature with jam and cream (or butter, if preferred). These are best served the day they're made.

I have a confession to make - I had 2 of the scones slathered with home made blackberry jam and cream for my lunch. The scones were light and fluffy and absolutely delicious. I paid the price later on so the scones have been dispatched to the freezer.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

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