Thursday, 31 January 2013
It’s Foodie Pen Pal time again but unfortunately the post man appears to have done a runner with my parcel! To be honest if I knew I was delivering a box of wonderful delicious delights I may well intercept it too. But hopefully it will turn up sooner or later and I won’t miss out on receiving a mystery food package this month.
In the mean time I thought I would post a recipe for the biscuits that I sent to my pen pal Kimberley who has a lovely blog, Full As An Egg, which you should check out. Kimberley was pretty happy in receiving just about anything so I sent her quite a mash up of a package with lots of unrelated bits and pieces. The parcel included a little box of homemade carrot and coconut polvorones. I’ve never actually eaten a polvoron but apparently it is Spanish shortbread style biscuit that usually contains some form of nut. These little biscuits are covered in a generous dusting of icing sugar, hence the name as polvo is the Spanish word for dust or powder (you learn something new every day!). But I had seen a couple of recipes online for these continental treats and ended up amalgamating a number of these recipes to create a vegan version of the polvoron. Since I have never had a proper Spanish polvoron I am not too sure how authentic these are but they tasted great and Kimberley enjoyed them too!
120ml coconut oil
150g raw carrot (peeled and sliced into medium chunks)
110g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
45g desiccated coconut
45g ground almonds
250g plain flour
Makes approx. 25
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F
Begin by boiling the carrot in a small pan of water until tender. Once cooked drain the carrots and allow to cool before blitzing in a blender to form a smooth puree.
Mix the oil, carrot puree, sugar and spices together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
Gradually add the coconut, almond and flour to the wet ingredients until everything is well and comes together into one large ball.
Take small sections of the mixture and roll into balls. Place each ball on a baking tray lines with non-stick baking parchment and press each ball down lightly to flatten slightly (don’t squash the balls of mixture down too much, these biscuits should resemble little domes more than flat discs).
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden in colour.
Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Once cooled the biscuits need to be covered with icing sugar. I achieved a good even coating by taking a small Tupperware container and placing approx. ½ cup of icing sugar into this container. I then placed small batches of biscuits into the container and sealed the lid on before rotating the tub a couple of times until the biscuits were completely coated with the sugar. I repeated this process until all of the biscuits were fully dusted!
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
I’ve been a bit slow on updating the blog recently. This has been in part down to me suffering from a case of ‘what did I write that on?’ syndrome. Whenever I get creative in the kitchen I always end up jotting down recipe details on whatever comes to hand whether that be the back of an envelope or on a torn off piece of cereal packet. I then have a habit of shoving these scrawlings into a draw or shoving them between the pages of a cook book and often completely lose track of the safe places I have squirreled my recipes away to!
There were a few recipes that I had made before Christmas that had done a disappearance act on me and I had given up hope of being able to blog about them. But after a thorough rummage through a box of ‘important stuff’ I finally recovered the missing recipes. And so after a little bit of a delay here is a dairy free flap jack recipe.
200g melted soya spread
125g soft brown sugar
125g caster sugar
4 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
100g oat bran
Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C / 350 deg F
Place the spread, the sugars, golden syrup and molasses into a large saucepan. Place the saucepan over a low heat and stir until the ingredients have melted and are well combined.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add all of the remaining dry ingredients to the melted mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined.
Spread the mixture into a 20 x 30 cm tin which has been lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a shopping board and dividing into squares.
The flapjacks can be stored in an air tight container until you are ready to munch!!
Sunday, 13 January 2013
Last week I posted a method on how to ‘milk’ (or possibly more appropriately ‘juice’) your own oats! Juicing oats is surprisingly easy and provides a great way to make dairy free ‘milk’ at home. Oat milk however doesn’t provide the most convincing dairy alternative and whilst a little splash in your cuppa might go unnoticed it is hard to drink a whole glass of the stuff without noticing an obvious difference. So I thought I had better provide a recipe that uses up some of this milk that may now be hogging space in your fridge. And so I substituted your regular full fat cow’s milk with oat milk in this pumpkin bread recipe, which also helped to use up some of the pumpkin puree reserves I have currently sitting in my freezer!
60ml warm water
75ml warm oat milk (recipe here)
7g fast action yeast
1 large egg, beaten
180ml pumpkin puree (see here for instructions on how to make your own)
1 tablespoon olive oil
300g plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Place the water, oat milk and yeast into a large bowl. Stir together and then leave for 5-10 minutes until the mixture begins to froth slightly.
Add the remaining ingredients to the yeast mixture and use your hands to combine all of the ingredients together well.
Once the mixture starts to come together turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy to the touch.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Once risen shape the dough into a large loaf and set on a lightly greased baking tray (or transfer the mixture to a loaf tin if preferred). Again cover with a tea towel and set aside for 45 minutes until risen.
Now pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C / 375 degrees F.
Place the loaf into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
Recipe inspired by the Pumpkin Bread recipe at The Keenan Cookbook
Sunday, 6 January 2013
Although I have a bit of a backlog of sweet treats to write up the recipes of for the blog I thought as it is the New Year and that time when most people are trying to be a little bit health conscious I decided that my first post of 2013 should also be a little bit healthier! Since starting on my ‘Something Missing’ mission I have become more aware of the great diversity of alternative products available to those with dietary restrictions. In the last couple of years in particular the number of different milks available in supermarkets has dramatically increased with soya, rice and nut milks becoming the norm. I suppose ‘milk’ isn’t really the most appropriate term as I wouldn’t really know how to start milking an almond or grain of rice!! Maybe ‘juice’ is a more appropriate term….but either way I decided to try and make my own dairy free milk and began with something simple, oat milk. This is really simple to make and can be substituted anywhere where you would normally use milk.
1 litre of water
Simply place the oats and water into a large jug and set aside for a couple of hours. (There are numerous recipes for oat milk on-line, some leave the oats in the water over night while others believe that if you leave the oat/water mix too long it all goes a bit slimey but I have found that two to three hours works fine).
After a couple of hours either transfer to a food blender of use a stick blender to blend the oats and water together.
Line a sieve with a fine meshed muslin (or alternatively a coffee filter or kitchen roll), place over a jug and pour the oat mix into the sieve. The resultant liquid in oat milk and can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.