Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Torta Caprese Bianca or Italian Lemon Almond Cake

 With a birthday looming, and a lifestyle change - baking was on the no go zone, but birthday's need cake right. Add in dawn service and busy days... so the birthday girl requested quick easy and lemony. google search, brings me to this Torta Caprese Bianca - just the name makes it appropriate for the birthday girl... so we gave it a try. NON Dairy and NON Gluten - lets see.


  • 320 grams almond flour (WELL I USE ALMOND MEAL)
  • 200 grams white chocolate, chopped (DAIRY FREE I HEAR YOU QUESTION? SWEET WILLIAMS FROM COLES IS)
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream or milk (DAIRY FREE WE ALTERED THIS TO COCONUT MILK)
  • 180 grams unsalted butter, softened (DAIRY FREE - OK SO I do amend my dairy to include grass fed butter, and next time I would try it with coconut oil... but this was for the birthday girl, so it had organic grass fed butter as that is what is in my home now) 
  • 130 grams coconut sugar (blitzed in the thermomix to make a finer caster sugar consistancy)
  • zest of 4 lemons, about 2 tablespoons
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • Lemon juice from the above lemons
  • Home Made Lemon curd and Fresh Raspberries as garnish, optional


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and grease a 10" / 26cm pan or line it with parchment paper. 
  2. Combine the white chocolate and coconut milk in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments and stir after every 30 seconds. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest. 
  3. Beat the butter with 100 grams of sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the lemon zest, egg yolks and lemon rind and beat until well combined. 
  4. Then add the almond meal and the melted chocolate. 
  5. Add the lemon juice and beat until combined.
  6. In a separate bowl with spotlessly clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 30 grams of sugar to the egg white mixture. 
  7. Fold the egg whites into the almond batter until well combined. Spoon the batter into the greased pan and bake for 40 - 45 minutes. 
  8. Let it cool completely in the pan. But don't be surprised that on cooling there will be a slight sinking. This is where I poured my optional lemon curd and topped with raspberries.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Gluten Free Lemon Butter Squares

Donna's Mother In Law shared this recipe with me when I was in Coonamble, and after baking it I knew it was a keeper. Although I am embracing my Gluten and Dairy free lifestyle. I am allowed to enjoy a little Grain Fed Butter, occasionally. So with treats being craved and that crazy easter season upon us... it was time for a little bit of baking and definitely time to share with you.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Thermomix - Italian Beef Ragu with Piadinas

Trying out recipes for the thermomix, loving my new tool in the kitchen. Natalie suggested the Thermomg Must try for beginners list on facebook today, so we decided to give it a try. OMG smelt amazing, tasted even better, and it's the best flatbread I've cooked, like anything I tend to cook the recipe got tweaked to what I had in the cupboard. So I'll share it here so I can remember.

Piadinas / Flatbread

350g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
60g olive oil
200g water
Add all ingredients into thermomix for 5 seconds on speed 6. 
Then 2 minutes on dough setting. 
Empty out on to Thermomat, this is the recipe as direct from Thermomg blog, but at this point I found it a touch wet, so I dusted some flour on my mat and dough and kneaded for a bit by hand before setting aside for the until the last 15 minutes of my ragu cook. Then divided into 8 potions and rolled into freestyle shapes and cooking in a hot dry pan. Keeping warm in my tortilla warmer.

Italian Beef Ragu ( tweaked due to what was in my cupboard)

2 small onions
4 cloves garlic
2 celery stalks including leaves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 slices of christmas ham, diced
20g Olive oil
1.2kg gravy beef, chopped
Big handful oregano and basil fresh from the garden
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp homemade veggie stock
100g red wine
50g Worcestershire sauce
400g tin diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Into thermomix add carrots and celery for 2 seconds speed 5, place into a bowl and set aside.

Without rinsing, add onion and garlic and chop for 3 seconds speed 5. 
Add ham, oil and return celery/carrot mix and cook for 10 minutes on Varoma Reverse Speed 1.

Add all remaining ingredients and cook for 45 minutes at 100deg on Reverse Speed 1.


Cook for a further 15 minutes on Varoma Speed 1 removing measuring cup and replacing with basket.

Plate up some Ragu onto a flat bread, add some lemon/olive dressed rocket and drizzle a little natural yoghurt. Enjoy!!!

Lots of leftover Ragu, next time double flatbread or make some pasta that's on my todo list😊

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Superfood Brownies

  • 70g Organic wholemeal spelt flour
  • 70g Organic Raw Cacao powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup Agave nectar
  • ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean,paste
  • ½ cup organic shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup Inca berries

Preheat oven to 180C and line 24 mini muffin tins with papers.
In a small bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and sea salt.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt coconut oil. When melted, whisk in the Agave.
Pour into dry ingredients.
Stir in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated then stir in the vanilla, Inca berries, coconut. Combine thoroughly.
I put my mix into a silicone piping bag and squeezed into prepared mini muffin tins and cook for 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out almost clean.
I had enough mix to do 33 mini muffins.

Nutrition Facts
Per 19 g Serving 73 Calories

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Amish Rye Sourdough Bread & Cinnamon Scrolls

I was recently given a couple of new Cookbooks, and the first thing upon flicking through that struck me was the Sourdough bread. Knowing that we are paying upwards of $7 a loaf, it was high time I started baking it myself.

So after almost a week of preparations it has happened today.... it's been a long day but it's been worth it - well I have only had the Cinnamon scroll for afternoon tea so far, the bread will accompany our dinner  I think it will do nicely mopping up juices. 

So you need to start with a Sourdough Starter.


  • 3 packs active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water


  1. Mix the yeast and warm water in a small plastic container - one that will hold about 3 cups. Seal and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.

Starter Feed


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons instant potatoes
  • 1 cup warm water


  1. combine the sugar, potatoes and water in a small bowl and stir into the starter.
  2. Cover loosely (allowing the pressure and gasses that will build to escape.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for 5 to 12 hours.
  4. Take out 1 cup to make bread and loosely cover the starter and return it to the refrigerator.
  5. Feed again in 3 - 5 days. If not making bread after feeding the starter, be sure to throw away a cup to avoid depleting the starter. DO NOT PUT THE LID ON TIGHT

Rye Sourdough Bread


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 6 cups Rye bread flour + extra for needing ( I needed almost another cup)
  • 1 cup of the above starter
  • Melted butter


  1. Combine the sugar, oil, salt, water, flour and starter in a large bowl. Stir to make a dough.
  2. Form the dough into a ball.
  3. Grease another larger bowl, place the dough in a turn to coat with the butter. Cover with waxed paper and let stand overnight. DO NOT REFRIGERATE (as we are in winter, I decided to leave the oven door ajar with the bread in ant the temp on as low as it would go about 25 all night - I will try without this next time and report the difference.
  4. The next morning, punch the dough down and divide half. My mix was very wet, and it took more than the 8 to 10 times of Kneading and almost a cup of flour before I had a dough that I could cut in two.
  5. Set aside one half of the mix to make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls see below.
  6. Grease a pan place loaf in pan and turn to coat. Cover with wax paper and a towel and place in a warm spot for 4-5 hours to rise.
  7. Bake in a oven at 200 for about 30 -35 minutes
  8. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Rye Sourdough Cinnamon Scrolls


  • dough from above
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • icing - 1 tablespoon butter softened, 1 cup sifted icing sugar, 2 tablespoons warm water (blend till smooth)


  1. Roll out your set aside dough as thin as possible.
  2. Brush with melted butter
  3. sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon evenly.
  4. roll up the dough into a long sausage. 
  5. Cut into slices 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Place the slices 1/2inch apart in a buttered tray and cover with wax paper and a towel and place with the bread in a warm spot for 4-5 hours to rise.
  7. Bake alongside bread in the oven at 200 for about 20 minutes, then while still warm drizzle with icing.
OK, well the books look a lot more fluffy than mine, but I did use the Rye flour so I had expected a more dense loaf, but they are soooo good.

Slow Roasted Lemon Chicken

Friends coming to lunch, and wanting something new to try Pinterest becomes my go too at the moment. I wanted a slow cooked, succulent and soft roast with my soft bread and a nice grilled vegetable salad....thinking yes should tick all the soft maybe to try and eat for the Wisdom Tooth extracted Daughter.

After reading lots of different slow cooked chicken recipes, they all seemed very similar to one I had done before that is a Nigel-la recipe - so here is what I did.


  • 1.8kg tray of chicken pieces from Coles
  • 1 kilo chicken drumsticks
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed and bruised, cloves still have the skin.
  • 4 lemons cut into chunks
  • 6 larger new potatoes cut into wedges
  • fresh from my garden oregano - about 4 sprigs, leaves plucked
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Marsala
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Pre-heat oven to about 150.
  2. Place chicken, garlic, lemons, potatoes, oregano, olive oil, Marsala and salt and pepper into a very large baking tray
  3. With your hands massage all the oils and seasoning's into the chicken and potatoes. Try if you can to make sure that the chicken is skin side up.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and put in the oven to cook at that slow temp, you will think it's not cooking after about 2 hours, the smells will just start leaching from beneath that foil...remove oh my the aroma will be there... yes this is what you want...
  5. Crank the oven too 200
  6. Cook uncovered now for about 30-45mins, if like me you cooking some nice fresh bread to go with pop it in now. The chicken skin will start brown and lemons should start to caramelise a little.
  7. At this point, impressing table service is to transfer the potatoes, garlic bulbs and some of the lemons into a nice serving platter, topping with the chicken pieces.
  8. Skim from the top of the baking tray the oily residue - I didn't have too much, a few sheets of good paper towel soaked it up quick then pop the baking tray onto the stove top and reduce that wonderful sauce by about half, and serve in a jug beside your slow roasted lemony garlic chicken.

Baking Bread - No Knead Bread Rolls

  I've baked bread in the past, but using a bread machine and doing it by hand are too different things. About a year ago I started to eat less bread that wasn't good for me, this meant cutting out all white bread, and increasing the purchases of sour-dough breads with lots of the good super-food grains, like Organic Spelt, Amaranth, Quinoa, Chia, Kamut.... whilst we have enjoyed them all. They have come with a price tag and also the desire every now and then for something white and soft and fluffy - as most are more dense.

So my quest for bread making is not only for something to help reduce our household bills, but also to know what was going in so that every now and then I could spoil myself with some white fluffy home cooked bread.

So my cupboard now sports varying types of super-food grain flours...and my baking is including more and more - the family have not noticed the organic spelt in my sweet treats at all. Yes it puts the price up on that kind of baking - but if I can bring my loaf of bread down in price by baking myself - then I should be evening it out....anyway lets get onto the soft bread recipe I have found and tweaked a little.

Pinterest was the wonderful source that lead me to Martha Stewart's No Knead recipe


  • 2 cups warm water, (blood temperature - a good test is putting your finger in and if it feels as warm as your skin then that's good (well that's what I was taught in school).
  • 2 packages active dry yeast 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for pan and brushing 
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 6 cups bread flour (I sifted in 2 cups of Organic Spelt here) and next time will try more as I think it will work well. plus more for shaping the dough


  1. Pour warm water into a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (I wanted to try my shiny new red machine and its dough hook, so I popped it in there)
  2. Add sugar, butter, eggs, and salt; whisk to combine. 
  3. Add flour; mix until incorporated and a sticky dough forms. (if you are going to use your machine, just pop it into another bowl and brush top of dough with butter; cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface. With floured hands, roll dough into a thick log. Cut into equal pieces Martha says 18 - we managed 24
  5. Grease two lamington/slice tins mine are about 7x12 inch with butter. 
  6. Take one piece of dough at a a time, flatten and then fold edges toward the centre, pressing to secure, until a smooth ball forms. Place dough balls in prepared baking pan, smooth side up (you should have 4 rows of 3). Repeat for second tray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes. If you wish to do your second dozen the next day refrigerate before letting it rise. As refrigerating freezes the rising action, once you are ready to bake the second batch  up to a day later no more. Sit them in a warm spot to prove and rise before baking - on the stove top above the oven whilst the oven warms.
  7. Preheat oven to 200. Remove plastic wrap; brush rolls with butter. Bake until golden and rolls sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes 
  8. Pull rolls apart, and serve warm with lashings of butter.

Coming up soon, is my Amish Sour Dough