cakes

Low-FODMAP Chocolate and Raspberry Pudding Cakes - gluten-free and vegan recipe.

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. I’m of the mind you shouldn’t restrict your romance and affection to one day a year. However, my daughter has other ideas and feels grand gestures should be compulsory. Therefore, I shall be demonstrating my love and affection to my family by making these low-fodmap, gluten-free, vegan, chocolatey-raspberry treats. In return they can show their love and affection to me by not bickering and doing their homework without me having to nag.

I’m using frozen raspberries as they’re readily available. You need to have 9 fairly good-looking ones for the tops but the others can be a bit battered. When using coconut cream, empty the can or tetrapak into a bowl first and beat with a spoon to thoroughly combine, before weighing out. Any unused cream can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container. Please do not panic if the tops go cracked – they’re going to be smothered in choccy topping. FODMAP friendly portion sizes at the bottom.

Squidgy

Squidgy

Makes 9 cakes

85g gluten-free self-raising flour blend

100g dark 72% chocolate, very finely chopped

85g dairy-free margarine

55g caster sugar

1 tbsp. golden syrup

125ml UHT coconut milk

36 frozen raspberries

160ml coconut cream

Pre-heat a fan oven to 150°C. Line a muffin tin with 9 paper cases and place 3 raspberries in the bottom of each case.

Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. In a small pan, melt the margarine, sugar, golden syrup and milk over a low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as it warms, do not let it get hot. When it no longer feels grainy on the spoon, stir in 30g of the chocolate and remove from the heat. Keep stirring until it is all combined and melted.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the well in the flour and whisk well with a balloon whisk. Pour the batter into a jug then pour over the raspberries, splitting the mixture evenly between all 9 cases. Bake for 25 minutes. When baked, leave to cool in the tin.

Place a tightly fitting heatproof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water. Add the coconut cream and stir until it is smooth and just warm. Stir in the remaining 70g of chocolate until it just starts to melt then remove the pan from the heat. Continue stirring until it is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk for 5 minutes using an electric hand-held whisk.

Keeping the cakes in the tin, spoon the chocolate on the cakes to as near to the top of the cases as you can. Leave to cool and set. Lift the cakes out of the tin using a palette knife. I like to remove the paper cases before serving. Place a ‘good-looking’ raspberry on the top and if you’re feeling fancy, sift over a little icing sugar.

Low FODMAP servings

Dark Chocolate – 30g

Margarine – 19g

Sugar – 14g

Golden Syrup – ½ tbsp.

UHT Coconut milk – 125ml

Raspberries – 10 berries

Coconut cream – not yet tested but it is processed in the same way as coconut milk so it is likely to have a similar results. It’s high fat content means it is possible it could be even lower in FODMAPs

This is a sample of how we do Valentine's Day - Homemade Moomin Cards. Like our family sayings - I have no recollection how we started this but after 16 years we're amassing quite a collection! They no longer look like Moomins but strange creatures that find themselves in a variety of unusual situations. 

This is a sample of how we do Valentine's Day - Homemade Moomin Cards. Like our family sayings - I have no recollection how we started this but after 16 years we're amassing quite a collection! They no longer look like Moomins but strange creatures that find themselves in a variety of unusual situations. 

Low-FODMAP & Gluten-free Quick Christmas Pudding Recipe

Gone are the days of a Christmas pudding: heavy, rich and laden with pounds of FODMAP fruit and rum. The curious thing is that the only person mourning this loss seems to be me! The children were never keen on Christmas pudding and my husband is more a cake person.

Core of marmalade :-)

Core of marmalade :-)

This pudding is more of a sponge cake. I don’t usually cook cake in a microwave* but in this instance, when every surface in our tiny kitchen is covered in pans and detritus from the main course, I simply don’t have enough hob space to steam a pudding. You can weigh all the ingredients and cream the butter and sugar ahead of time. The final assembly should take no more than 5 minutes. My family love this with custard and the children can cheerfully use the recipe from the Our House For Tea cookbook to take charge of this task. You can see how quickly this comes together in the video here but do please ignore my eyes - I was having some sort of allergic reaction!

Please don’t be confused by the quantities of flour, butter, and sugar! As an example my eggs weighed 124g so I had 124g flour, 124g butter, 62g light muscovado sugar and 62g white sugar. 

Serves 6

40g dried cranberries

2 tbsp. orange juice (not from concentrate)

30g walnut pieces

2 medium eggs

1 tbsp. coconut milk (not canned)

3 tbsp. orange marmalade

½ tsp. mixed spice

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. orange extract

Extra butter for greasing the bowl

 

Weigh the eggs and have the same weight of

Soft butter

Gluten-free self-raising flour

 

Halve the weight of the eggs and have the same weight of

Light muscovado sugar

White sugar

 

Place the cranberries in a small bowl and cover with the orange juice and leave to soak. Grease a 2 pint microwave safe basin thoroughly with butter, if you have a lid, grease that too. Otherwise grease a piece of cling film to make a lid. Put the marmalade in the bottom in an even layer.

Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon at first then graduating to an electric hand whisk. When it has become fluffy, whisk in the orange extract. Sift the flour and spices together in a separate bowl.

Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add to the butter and sugar with a tablespoon of flour. Whisk thoroughly, scraping down from the sides as necessary. Using a large metal spoon fold in the remaining flour until the mixture is combined. Lightly crush any overly large pieces of walnuts and fold those into the batter along with the cranberry and orange mix.

Place the batter mix on top of the marmalade as evenly as possible. Cover with the greased lid (or greased cling film) and microwave on high (800W Cat E oven) for 6 minutes.

Remove the lid, gently loosen the edges with a palate knife and place your serving plate on top. Turn the plate and pudding over together then remove the basin. Cover any mistakes you made removing the pudding, with holly sprigs or icing sugar.

I had some enquiries about whether it is possible to steam this pudding - it is! Butter a 2 pint pudding basin (one with a lip around the outside edge.) Butter a sheet of greaseproof paper and lay it on top of a sheet of foil. Make a one inch pleat in the middle of the sheets. Place the marmalade then the batter mix in the basin. Cover with the pleated greaseproof paper and foil and tie tightly around the edge with string. It is a good idea to make a string handle to lift it out of the pan with. Steam on a trivet in a large pan of simmering water that comes halfway up the basin. 

After steaming, remove the lid and string. Run a thin palette knife around the edge of the basin and turn out onto your serving dish. These pictures aren't nearly as good as the ones my husband takes but they prove it can be done! You won't have as much of a marmalade core as a marmalade topping. 

 

Parenting the poorly - learning to feed yourself Low-FODMAP and fairy cake recipe

Cocoa Lumps

Cocoa Lumps

Little Miss Low-FODMAP has been poorly with some sort of viral rash that was suspected to be shingles but having spoken to other parents I suspect wasn't as severe as all that. She had a couple of 'peaky' days but the rash has scabbed over and she's back, oh yes she's back! It was the bouncing off the window seat onto the sofa whilst singing 'Let it Go' that convinced me.

 Poorliness may not demand a lot of medical attention but it does demand a lot of attention. There is no point trying to fight that as a parent you are expected not only to be the constant carer but also the entertainer. As you'd expect, in our house my entertainment tends to involve a lot of cookery. Luckily, the poorliness co-incided with the arrival of some Masa Harina from Sous Chef (www.souschef.co.uk). She really got into the hang of making tortilla and there have been 5 different tortilla-based meals. It was worth every penny of the tortilla press! We've also had the ubiquitous green cheese sauce drowning anything that stopped moving long enough.

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     Tortilla faces in the sunshine.

Tortilla faces in the sunshine.

However, my favourite cooking activity was making Cocoa Lumps. Cocoa Lumps happen when you unclench for long enough (Let it Go) to let your children to invent something. It is highly unlikely it will be haute cuisine but it's only experience that divides those who can cook without a book from those who can't. What better time to get this experience in than now?

 Use a little gentle guidance to make sure the invention isn't an unmitigated disaster - the idea is for children to learn what does and doesn't work, not to scare them off from ever trying again!

 If you are cooking meat, be sure you cook it for the right amount of time and at the right temperature, Google if you need to.

 When using sugar, as a general rule if you bake it below 175C your baked goods will be soft. Above that will make for a harder biscuit/ cookie/ splodge.

  I'm of the school that often it is best to smell if something's cooked, particularly baked goods. If the kitchen smells of biscuits they're probably cooked. If it smells of burning use a time machine and get them out 5 minutes earlier.

Very painted nails.

Very painted nails.

Chocolate and orange goes together, lemon and sultanas go together but don't let yourself get too hung up on these details. Be curious - someone came up with the idea of salted caramel once and now there's no getting away from it. Worst-case scenario, it won't taste very nice and you won't make it again.

 Take notes. If you happen upon a brilliant idea or recipe you can replicate it. If it's awful you won't make the same mistake twice. If the experiment is 'almost' there, it's easy to fiddle with next time. Note-making is lots of writing and weighing practise that children may not even notice they're doing.

 When baking you need some sort of raising agent - self-raising flour, whisked egg whites, bicarbonate of soda, yeast, baking powder - see what happens when you don't use any and see what happens when you use too much!

 Experiment with substitution - if you have a recipe that you're missing ingredients for what happens when you use white sugar instead of brown, raisins instead of chocolate chips, maple syrup instead of golden syrup? We are constantly trying to make meals Low-FODMAP so this is particularly significant if you have a child with a restricted diet - they need to learn how to feed themselves!

Chalk Drawings

Chalk Drawings

If failure is not an option, make a basic sponge. You can ice fairy cakes if you feel so inclined or if you've run out of any other activities. The following guidelines makes enough for 12 fairy cakes but you can easily double or halve the ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole bun tin with paper cases.

 Weigh 2 eggs, then weigh out the same amount of (gluten-free) self-raising flour, soft butter or (dairy-free) margarine and caster sugar.

 Cream the butter and sugar together using a wooden spoon, electric hand beaters or mixer until pale and fluffy. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add to the butter and sugar with a tablespoon of flour. You can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you fancy. Mix together thoroughly, it will curdle but that will not effect the final result. Fold in the remaining flour until it's thoroughly combined. Add a tablespoon of milk until it makes a 'dropping' consistency.  This is nothing more than it dropping off the spoon in a splodge but I suggest you use the term for added credibility. Gluten-free flour sometimes needs a 1/2 tbsp more and we would use coconut milk.

 Spoon the mixture as evenly as possible into the cases (remembering to let the child have some input) and bake for 20 minutes. Clear up during this time, it's as an important a lesson as the cooking. The cakes will be cooked when the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a rack.

 Decide whether you can bear the thought of decorating the cakes or whether it's now time for the millionth viewing of Frozen.