Straight from the heart

Homemade soda

A ginger bug is a lactic acid culture started from shredded raw ginger root and sugar (or honey) mixed together in dechlorinated water. When the ginger bug has matured to a slightly fizzy state, the strained liquid will contain lactobacillus which is used to ferment sugar in the beverage you add it to. The ratio is, generally, 250 ml of ginger bug to 1 liter of sweet beverage for a 250 ml flip top bottle.

Lemon & ginger soda

 

I mixed 50 ml of ginger bug to 200 ml of lemonade ( juice of half a lemon, water and honey). I placed the bottled mixture in a dark and warm area of my kitchen and allowed it to ferment for 3 days. The result is shown in this video. Of course, like any other carbonated drinks, you don’t want to shake before opening them!  I guess I just wanted to present the outcome in a more dramatic way! Haha… 😀

Inspired by Wellness Mama’s recipe, I added my own twist.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp grated organic ginger (with skin)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 480 ml dechlorinated water

Method:
1. Add all the ingredients into a flip top mason jar and stir.
2. Add 1 tbsp grated ginger, 1 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp water each day for the next 5 days.
3. The culture is active when bubbles form around the top of the mixture, fizzes when stirred and smells a bit yeasty.

Notes:
Feed the culture with ginger, honey and water every now and then to keep it alive.
Replace the same amount of liquid with water every time you use some of the ginger bug. 

 

Root beer soda

root-beer

I’m now in the process of making a root beer. I’m inspired by Nourished Kitchen’s recipe, and I altered it a bit. Instead of adding sugar, I added honey. I also skipped a few ingredients, thinking it might not make a significant difference to the final taste.

Ingredients:

  • 50 g sassafras root bark
  • 50 g winter green leaf
  • 2 tablespoons sarsaparilla root
  • 1 stick licorice root
  • 1 tablespoon dandelion root
  • 1 tablespoon birch bark
  • 1 tablespoon wild cherry tree bark
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 250 ml honey
  • 140 ml ginger bug

Method:
1. Boil 2 liters of water.
2. Add all ingredients except the honey and the ginger bug.
3. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
4. Let the mixture cool down and allow it to infuse overnight.
5. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove herbs and barks.
6. Add honey to the strained liquid, and stir until it is dissolved.
7. Add the ginger bug. Stir.
8. Pour the mixture into swing top glass bottles.
9. Store the bottles in a dark and warm place for 3- 4 days to allow secondary fermentation. (Mine was ready after 2 days)
10. Allow the beer to mature in the refrigerator for 2 days.

I can’t wait to taste this homemade root beer!!! I’ll post a vid when I open one of the bottles! 🙂

More information on the history and the benefits of drinking homemade root beer are described on Nourished Kitchen and The Healthy Home Economist websites.

Update: It worked just after 1 day of second fermentation! Now I just need to figure out how to make it into a soda rather than a champagne! 😁 I want to drink it all!

 

 

 

 


Straight from the heart

Gimme a “breake”!!!

You read it right! B – r – e – a – k – e. What is it, you ask? It’s a bread and a cake in one. 🙂 Hybrid bakes are trending. There are doughsants and cronuts. Why not breakes?! 🙂 I came up with this idea of baking a banana bread, which uses dates as sweetener.  Tadaaa!!! The result: One healthy banana bread disguised as a cake 😉

Dried dates contain dietary fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals that are good for the body. It really is a good substitute for sugar, isn’t it?

Banana breake

 


20160916_11202320160916_111954

Doesn’t the texture look like that of a bread?

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites, beaten
  • 5 egg yolks + egg whites
  • 4-5 dried dates, seedless
  • 100 g rice flour
  • 35 g rice protein powder
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp baking powder (2 cream of tartar: 1 baking soda)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • rice flour


Method:
1. Preheat oven at 160° C (# 2 in my oven), and grease a loaf or a cake tin generously with butter or coconut oil.
2. Dust the inner side with rice flour.
3. Separate 3 eggs – yolks in a bowl (A), egg whites in another bowl (B).
4. Crack 2 more eggs and add them into bowl A.
5. Remove the seeds of 4-5 dates and put them in bowl A.
6. Blitz until the dates are finely chopped.
7. Mix the flour, the rice protein powder, and the baking powder altogether, and add it into bowl A.
8. Blitz the mixture until creamy.
9. Add the cider vinegar, and blitz shortly.
10. Whipped the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.
11. Fold in the egg whites into the batter quickly but gently.
12. Pour the batter into the tin.
13. Bake for about 60 minutes or until done.

 

Notes:
Not into bananas? Try it with lemons. This recipe could be used for basic lemon muffins as well.

Lemon breake
Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 5 egg yolks + egg whites
  • 16 dried dates, seedless
  • 70 g rice flour
  • 30 g rice protein powder
  • 1 tsp psyllium husk powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder (2 cream of tartar: 1 baking soda) 
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp liquid (soya drink, rice drink, etc.)
  • lemon zest (of 2 small lemons)

 

Lemon & ginger breake
Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 5 egg yolks + egg whites
  • 16 dried dates, seedless
  • 70 g rice flour
  • 30 g rice protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp psyllium husk powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder (2 cream of tartar: 1 baking soda) 
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar 
  • 6 tbsp liquid (soya drink, rice drink, etc.)
  • lemon zest (of 2 small lemons)
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

Straight from the heart

Keto bread

Keto bread is a low carb bread used in the ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diet as a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbs diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.

Although I am not into keto dieting, I gave this recipe a try to see what the bread tastes like. To my surprise I actually like it! Appearance-wise, it looks like an inflated soufflé, and the texture reminds me of mamon – a Filipino sponge cake. The texture is light and spongy, but at the same time firm, making it a hybrid between a cake and a bread. Although it could smell a bit eggy, it definitely doesn’t taste eggy.

The original recipe calls for whey protein, but I substituted it with hemp and/or rice protein power. I also added a bit of fiber. Here are my 2 versions:

My keto bread with hemp protein powder

20160820_144235There’s a tint of green, the reason I call it The Incredible Hulk Keto Bread. 😀

Keto
Look at the texture. It does look like that of a sandwich bread, doesn’t it???

My keto bread with rice protein powder

20160820_153205
It does look  like a collapsed soufflé. 😀

Why not cupcakes, too? A generous swirl of butter icing on top would make them into wonderful treats!

20160820_153240.jpg


Servings
: Small loaf

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp psyllium husk powder
  • 25 g protein powder
  • 2 tbsp water or rice drink, soya drink, etc.


Method:
1. Preheat oven at 160° C (# 2 in my oven), and grease a loaf tin generously with butter or coconut oil.
2. Separate 3 eggs – yolks in a bowl, egg whites in another bowl.
3. Add 1 egg, water, and the protein powder to the egg yolks.
4. Mix well. (I use a stick blender.)
5. Beat the egg whites until stiff.
6. Fold in the egg whites and combine all ingredients gently.
7. Bake for about 35 minutes.
8. Cool completely before taking out of the tin.
9. Slice and serve.

Notes:
I find it 
delicious served warm with butter and honey! Oops – bye-bye keto diet!!! 

Recipe for a big loaf:
5 egg yolks, 5 egg whites, 1 egg
50 g protein powder (rice)
3 tbsp water
1 ¼ tsp psyllium husk powder
a bit of cider vinegar*
½  tsp baking powder* (2:1 cream of tartar/baking soda

Same procedure, but bake for 35 minutes.
* Adding baking powder and a bit of vinegar prevents the bread from sinking in the middle!!

20160821_14030720160821_140242

Keto diet:

20160821_141020

 

 


Straight from the heart

Pizza with a twist

I know I’m a bit late for this, but better late than never, right? Pizza made from cauliflower is nothing new. However, I finally gave it a try today. The verdict: Y U M !!!! I want more!!!

Most of the recipes on the net call for cooking the cauliflower first and adding cheese in the pizza base. I want to retain as much nutrients in the cauliflower as possible, and I prefer to add the cheese on top, the reason I came up with my own recipe.

I added quinoa to give the base a touch of crunchiness. I also used a bit of psyllium husk powder, tapioca starch and rice flour to bind the elements together, and it actually did!

Although my simple recipe tastes good, and it has a slightly crunch to it (sides), the challenge lies in making the crust crispier. Stay tune for more pizza-riments!!! 😀

Cauliflower & quinoa-based pizza free of gluten

Cauliflower-based pizza

YUM

Ingredients for the base:

  • half cauliflower florets, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp rice flour
  • 2 tsp psyllium husk powder
  • 25 g quinoa, cooked
  • salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

Toppings:

  • sliced mushrooms
  • diced bacon
  • sliced tomatoes
  • fresh mozzarella cheese


Method:
1. Cook the quinoa and let it cool.
2. Meanwhile chop the cauliflower florets in a food processor.
3. Combine the quinoa and the finely chopped florets in a mixing bowl.
4. Add the beaten egg and salt. Mix with a spatula.
5. Sprinkle the rice flour, tapioca starch and the psyllium husk powder. Combine all ingredients withe a spatula or with your hands until the mixture comes together.
6. Take half a portion and place it on a baking parchment paper. Press and mould to a round pizza base. I recommend a thickness of about ¼”
7. Bake for 30 minutes at 200 C. (Gas mark 4)
8. Take the pizza base out of the oven and let it cool.
9. Prepare your desired toppings.
10. When the base it cool enough, add the toppings. Finish off with shredded mozzarella cheese on the top.
11. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is slightly brown.

Update: Take 3
Third time lucky, so they say! I got my crispier crust!!! I revised the ingredients for this crust:

  • half cauliflower florets, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 3 tsp tapioca starch
  • 100 g cashew nuts, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 25 g quinoa flakes
  • 2 tsp psyllium husk powder
  • pizza sauce
  • salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • olive oil

Brush a bit of olive oil on a silicon mat before shaping the base, and again (on the surface) before turning it onto the sizzling hot pizza stone. This will help seal the bottom. Below is the pre-baked crust with a nice golden brown color! I gave it 10 minutes under gas mark 7, and another 20 minutes under gas mark 4 or 200 C.

Baked crust

Baked pizza with a crispier crust. 

Cauliflower and cashew based


Update: Take 2
My second trial is a vegetarian one – just without the bacon. I also used a pizza sauce instead of fresh tomatoes. The result is a lot better! I baked the base on a pre-heated (Gas mark 7) pizza stone, and the crust has turned crispier and also drier. Just a few more adjustments, and I think I will get that crispy crust that I want. 
on pizza stome

 

Update: Take 3
Gluten-free pizza base:
1 egg
1 tbsp cider vinegar
125 g gluten-free flour (1 tbsp almond flour, 1 tbsp quinoa flour, rest rice flour)
1 tbsp potato or tapioca starch
1 ½ tsp baking powder (2:1 cream of tartar: bicarbonate soda)
salt
liquid

 


Straight from the heart

Mantou

Alas! After a number of trials and errors, I’ve finally discovered that gluten & lactose-free recipe for steamed buns that works! Most have turned out too crumbly.

This recipe was inspired by an existing one on the net. I revised it and came up with my version. What caught my attention was glutinous rice flour. Used with the right amount, it gives the bun a wonderful bounce and a bit of a bite to it. “QQ” as my family would call it in Fookien 🙂 Used it too much, and it could turn your buns into mochi balls!!! (This was the Number 1 reason I had to re-invent that recipe which requires 90 grams of glutinous rice flour apart from 260 g of different starches!)

Gluten and lactose-free steamed buns
MantouSome people roll and flatten them before folding in the middle. If you are a bit lazy like me, you can just leave them after cutting the dough into smaller pieces. The result will look rectangular just like the right side of the photo.

Mantous with pork fillingI like to use pork adobo as fillings for my mantou. The salty and lightly sour taste of the adobo balances the sweetness of the bun. Yes, Chinese steamed buns are sweet!

Mantou with porkThese buns are quite filling on their own, so I suggest that you make them relatively small.


Ingredients:

  • 35 g glutinous rice flour
  • 50 g potato starch flour
  • 50 g tapioca starch flour
  • 315 g refined rice flour
  • 250 ml rice drink or quinoa drink
  • 7 g active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder (2 parts cream of tartar : 1 part baking soda
  • 30 g butter)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 tsp stevia
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tsp coconut oil

Method:
1. Put all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
2. Put the butter in the rice or quinoa drink, and heat only until the butter melts.
3. Let it cool for a few minutes.
4. Add the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.
5. Drizzle 2 tsp of coconut oil on the table counter and lightly knead the dough.
6. Repeat Step 5.
7. Put the dough in a bowl, wrap it with a film and let it rest for about 1 ½ hours.
8. Prepare the steamer.
9. Take out the dough and roll it to a cylindrical shape.
10. Cut the dough according to the desired size and form individually.
11. When the water begins to boils, steam the buns in batches, for about 13 minutes.

Notes:
Resting time allows the starches to fully hydrate, as many gluten-free flours take more time to absorb the liquid than regular flour. Next time, I’ll add about 50 ml more liquid to see if it will help soften the texture. 

Most gluten-free flour don’t include glutinous rice flour. Perhaps it’s a good idea to incorporate this in my GF bread.

For my homemade GF flour I use 70% flour 30% starches ratio. 35 g of glutinous rice flour was just a lucky guess 🙂 

This recipe makes 17 small buns.

My thoughts: Next time, I’ll add about 50 ml more liquid to see if it will help to soften the texture even more. Usually, gluten releases water which is absorbed by the starch. Without gluten, the ratio of liquid to flour needs to increase. Also why add baking powder and yeast? Starch provides food for the yeast to produce C02 during fermentation. However, I can’t see the role of baking powder. 

 


Straight from the heart

Ice ice,  baby!

Who doesn’t love ice cream specially if it’s relatively healthy?!!! Luckily, I’ve found a couple of ways to make delicious ice cream that is suitable for gluten and lactose intolerant people like me. I recently made two different flavours of ice cream, using slightly different ingredients. Below are the recipes, which by the way, are also dairy-free!

Banana and avocado ice cream

Banana and avocado ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 360 g diced coconut
  • 360 ml water
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 260 g or 2 ripe bananas
  • Vanilla extract

Method

  1. Slice the bananas, scoop out the avocado and freeze overnight.
  2. Put a bowl in the freezer to chill before you start making your ice cream.
  3. Make the coconut milk. Put the diced cococnut and the water in a blender and blitz together.
  4. Using a milk bag, squeeze out the coconut milk in a bowl.
  5.  Clean the blender and put the frozen banana slices and avocado in it. Add the cococnut milk and a couple teaspoons of vanilla extract. Blitz together until creamy.
  6. Pour the mixture into the chilled bowl.
  7. Place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  8. Take out the bowl and stir the mixture vigorously for about 15 minutes.
  9. Return the bowl to the freezer for about 45 minutes.
  10. Repeat steps 8 & 9 until the mixture is firmly frozen.


Note
:
When the mixture is starting to firm up, use a spatula instead of a whisk.
If you want more sweetness, add more honey, sugar or stevia.
To make the color more appealing, you can add a few drops of yellow or green food colour 🙂

 

Blueberry ice cream

20160703_115804

Quenelle of blueberry ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 400 g coconut milk
  • 400 g silken tofu
  • 350 g fresh blueberries
  • 4 tsp stevia sweetener
  • Vanilla extract


Method:

  1. Chill a bowl in the freezer.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a blender and purée.
  3. Pour the mixture into the chilled bowl.
  4. Place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Take out the bowl and stir the mixture vigorously for about 15 minutes.
  6. Return the bowl to the freezer for about 45 minutes.
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 until the mixture is firmly frozen.


Note
:
When the mixture is starting to firm up, use a spatula instead of a whisk.
If you want more sweetness, add more honey, sugar or stevia.
To enhance the purple color, you can add a few drops of red food colour 🙂


Room for improvement
On the overall I think using the ziplock method is more convenient than repeatedly manually whisking vigorously for 3 to 4 times within a period of about 6 hours! Of course, needless to say, even if I don’t own a churner, I think using an ice cream machine is the easiest of all the three methods.

I must admit that the texture of the ice cream is still a bit icy. I can assure you that I’ll continue to play with flavours and methods, until I get that silky smooth texture that I love in an ice cream. There’s a whole science to making rich and delicious ice cream. In the meantime, just enjoy the taste! 🙂


Straight from the heart

Oh NO!!!!!

It’s strawberry season, so I thought, why not make a strawberry cheesecake, but without the cheese since I’m lactose-intolerant. I’ve made one before substituting cream cheese with cashew nuts.  But what’s the filling this time? Believe it or not, the main ingredient of this light, soft and creamy “cheesecake” is tofu!

This “cheesecake” is nothing like your usual cheesecake. Not only is it rich in protein and fiber (yes, fiber!), but it also contains the amino acids and the good fats our body needs. The recipe reveals why.

NO-bake NO-lactose NO-gluten NO-cheese “cheesecake”

No-bake no-dairy no-gluten no-cheese cheesecake

Slice of tofu cheesecake

 

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 80 g almond flour
  • 50 g palm sugar
  • 30 g lactose-free butter, softened
  • a pinch of salt

 

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 10 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • lemon juice
  • acacia honey
  • 400 g silken tofu
  • ½ avocado
  • 3 tsp psyllium husk powder

 

Method:
1. Combine all the ingredients for the crust until it resembles bread crumbs.
2. Put it in the pan. Press down as evenly as possible. Chill. (I usually put it in the freezer while I prepare the filling.)
3. Blitz together all the ingredients for the filling EXCEPT the lemon juice and the honey.
4. Gradually add honey and lemon juice until a balance of sweetness and tartness is achieved. Always taste before you add some more.
5. Blitz the mixture until it is totally creamy.
7. Add the psyllium husk and blitz.
8. Pour the filling on top of the crust, and spread evenly. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Notes:

Line the bottom of the round baking pan with a plastic wrap, so that portions of it is sticking out of the pan. It will make it easier to transfer the cake to a plate.

Alternatively, you can also use 12 tsp coconut oil and 2 tsp psyllium husk powder for a finer texture. Gradually add the psyllium husk. Too much and the filling will turn clay-like!

You can also use raspberries or blueberries – basically, any fruit of your choice.

Delicious and healthy, but not low calorie. Enjoy moderately! 🙂

 

 


Straight from the heart

Gluten-free & lactose-free chocolate muffins

I had some leftover chocolate buttercream, and I thought why not be resourceful and use it to make some muffins! Here they are:


I don’t have an exact recipe though 😀 I used my gluten & lactose-free carrot cake recipe as the baseline, halved the ingredients, substituted butter with 60 grams buttercream, added 4 tablespoons water and 2 teaspoons stevia into the batter. To finish, I inserted half a walnut and a few dark chocolate chips on top before putting them in the oven. Done in 18- 20 minutes at 160 C!

Surprisingly, all 4 muffins turned out quite good 🙂


Straight from the heart

 

Love – the most important ingredient!

I took the day off yesterday so I could enjoy an extended weekend. The weather’s been lovely, and I looked forward to get some sun and get creative. I decided that I would work on improving my dairy-free and gluten-free chocolate cake. I made one a couple of days ago with beetroot, but I wasn’t 100% convinced. I pictured this moist and spongy chocolate cake covered in a delicious, rich and glossy chocolate ganache. The aftertaste would surprise you with a hint of chili. However, for some reasons the cake turned out to be totally inedible! I had to literally throw out a whole cake! I guess I was a bit stressed out, because I set up an agenda instead of simply going with the flow.

H E L L O O O O O O … D a y  o f f  !!!

Our emotions reflect on the quality of our food, the reason we always should cook and bake from the heart. ♥

 

The opportunity of adversity

That was exactly what I did today. In the process of trying to redeem myself from yesterday’s disaster, I came up with these delicious cupcakes, that have a rich and glossy ganache that I wanted! These cupcakes were soft, moist and not crumbly. There’s a wonderful bite to it with the right amount of sweetness. The icing was smooth, gooey, chocolatey yet peanut buttery. The marriage of the two was perfect!

There is one challenge though – I need to re-create the beautiful chocolate and peanut butter icing. Why? Because under my focused, creative and intuitive state, it just happened, and I didn’t take notes! LOL (Let me deal with it later :))

Gluten-free & lactose-free banana cupcakes with chocolate and peanut butter icing

Before icingThey have risen evenly and beautifully.

With the icingCovered in rich and shiny chocolate and peanut butter ganache. (The presentation could be better like using a piping bag and sprinkling som chopped peanuts on top.)

Baked properly
A properly baked cupcake, like this one, easily detaches itself from the liner.

Texture
The texture is soft and airy and not crumbly. Perhaps the starch in the mashed bananas (apart from the potato starch) helps bind the structure more together.

Servings: 10 regular cupcakes and one 8 cm cake or 12 regular cupcakes

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 100 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 55 grams sugar
  • 6 teaspoons stevia
  • 2  1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 230 grams mashed bananas
  • 25 – 30 milliliter water
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder (cream of tartar and baking soda 2:1)
  • 25 grams potato starch flour
  • 50 grams almond flour
  • 125 grams rice flour
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for the icing:

  • Smooth peanut butter
  • Acacia honey
  • 100 grams 70% dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 avocado, pureed

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C (Gas mark 2)

2. Grease an 8 cm round baking tin, and line 10 cupcakes tin.

3. Mix the flour and the baking powder together.

4. Add the water to the bananas and mash.

5. Whip the butter and sugar until soft and creamy.

6. Add the mashed bananas. Mix.

7. Add 1 egg into the mixture. Mix. Repeat.

8. Add the flour mixture in. Mix.

9. Add the cider vinegar. Mix.

10. Tip the batter into the tins.

11. For the cupcakes bake for about 25-30 minutes. For the small cake bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean.

12. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 15 mins, then remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack. For the cupcakes take them out of the tins and let them cool on a wire rack immediately.

13. Meanwhile, make the icing. Scoop out the avocado and put it in a food processor.

14. Add the melted chocolate ( over bain marie) to the pureed avocado and blitz.

15. Add the peanut butter and the honey in small portions. Blitz. Taste. Repeat until the desired balance is achieved.

Note:
When I made the icing, I used the leftover chocolate ganache and added a few teaspoons to the pureed avocado. I also added about 3 or 4 teaspoons of tahini. But since avocado is already rich, I figured it’s sufficient to just use the chocolate in the ganache, and add peanut butter and honey.

For chocolate muffins ½ recipe:
100 g dark chocolate
4 tsp of palm sugar
1 tsp glutinous rice flour
2 egg yolks
1 egg
50  – 80 g butter (to be melted with the chocolate)
a bit of lactose-free cream 


Straight from the heart

A high-fiber carrot cake

Inspired by one of the episodes in MasterChef Australia, I decided that I, too, would bake a carrot cake, but with a twist. My version would be gluten and lactose-free!

To be completely honest, I’ve never been a fan of carrot cake. However, it’s been a while since I baked something, and it was my day off. So, to kill some time, I thought I’d give it a go. As usual, I took a couple of recipes on the net and altered them to suit my purpose. Woah! I was positively surprised by the outcome. The cake had a nice cinnamon color, and was baked evenly! It was moist, and not overwhelmingly sweet. I struggled a bit with the icing, because I was using yogurt instead of cream cheese. To make matter worse, I overlooked the temperature of the yogurt when I added it to the butter! It was cold, and naturally, I got small lumps of butter! 😀  I managed to fix the icing, and it has become relatively healthy! It’s rich in fiber – thanks to psyllium husk powder.

What I love about this cake is that, it allows you to enjoy the pleasure of eating a dessert without overindulging. You simply can’t, because you feel full just after consuming one slice! And this is due to its fiber-rich frosting. Everyone, I present to you one of my relatively healthy desserts 🙂

Gluten-free & lactose-free carrot cake with sour cream icing top with chopped walnuts

Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 140 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 75 g sugar
  • 6 tsp stevia
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 250 g grated carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder (cream of tartar and baking soda 2:1)
  • 25 g potato starch flour
  • 50 g almond flour
  • 125 g rice flour

Ingredients for the icing:

  • 300 g soya natural yogurt or lactose-free sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp psyllium husk powder
  • lemon zest
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • lemon juice
  • chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C (Gas mark 2).
  2. Grease a 20″ round baking tin.
  3. Mix the flour, the cinnamon and the baking powder together.
  4. Whip the butter and sugar until soft and creamy.
  5. Stir in the grated carrot.
  6. Add 1 egg at a time into the mixture. Mix.
  7. Add the flour mixture in. Mix.
  8. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix.
  9. Tip the batter into the tin.
  10. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 mins, then remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Meanwhile, make the icing. Add the yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon zest and icing sugar. Blend.
  13. Add the psyllium husk powder, and blend.
  14. Add lemon juice, taste. Keep adding and tasting until the balance of sweetness and sourness is reached.
  15. When the cake is cool, add the chopped walnuts.
  16. Spread the icing on top, and sprinkle with the remaining chopped nuts.

Note:

Adding a bit of nutmeg to the cake batter would enhance the flavour.

For sweet potato cake:

  • 90 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 50 g coconut oil
  • 30 g palm sugar
  • 3 tsp stevia
  • 2 ¼ tbsp lemon juice
  • 150 g grated sweet potato
  • 30 g raisins
  • 20 g chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp baking powder (cream of tartar and baking soda 2:1)
  • 25 g potato starch flour
  • 40 g almond flour
  • 10 g glutinous rice flour
  • 125 g rice flour

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