Dairy, egg and gluten free chocolaty banana rum raisin cake -Pian suklainen rommirusina banaanikakku

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1 dl (100ml so 1/2 cup) raisins

1/2dl (50ml so 1/4 cup) rum

150g dairy free margarin

2dl (1 cup) sugar

2 bananas mashed

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 dl gluten free flour preferably self-raising

2 tsp baking powder (if you don’t have self-raising flour use double amount of baking powder)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

50g grated dairy free dark chocolate

3 tbs coco powder

2dl (200ml so 1cup) rice milk (or soy milk)

1. Soak raisins in rum.

2. Whisk margarin and sugar.

3. Mix the dry ingredients.

4. Add mashed bananans and vanilla extract to the margarin sugar mix.

5. Add dry ingredients into the mixture together with the rice milk. Mix well.

6. Cook in a cake tin for 30min in 175 celsius degrees.

I coated the cake with vanilla flavoured oat cream (1 pack of oat cream, 1 tbs sugar, 1 tsp vanilla sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract) and it was tasty but you can also use the avocado chocolate mousse recipe found in my blog and have that as an icing on the cake. Alternatively if you can use soy, whip the soy cream or serve with the soy custard, they would go lovely with the cake as well! Oh and almost forgot to mention..I cut the cake half and mashed banana and miz it with a small amount of oat cream and put it in between the cake to give some moist!

Bill Granger’s breakfast loaf -gluten, dairy and egg free

photo (23)I bought an amazing cook book yesterday. It has all the recipes of my favourite chef Bill Granger. The book was only four pounds in our local second hand book store and I didn’t even have to glimpse it through as I knew I would want it. I have been watching Bill Granger’s TV show where he is touring around UK and I absolutely love his recipes. He is so health conscious but recipes whilst being healthy are always mouthwatering. So if you need a good cookbook I warmly recommend Bill Granger’s Every Day. I am planning to cook it through and will drop some of the recipes to this blog.

I baked the breakfast loaf yesterday following Bill Granger..Well..I almost followed the recipe but not quite so here is my version of it.

50g rolled oats (1/2 cup = 1dl)

300 ml oat milk (Granger uses regular milk)

240g (2 cups =4 dl) plain white gluten free flour (Granger used regular self raising flour or wholemeal)

2 tsp baking powder

150ml (approximately 175g) dried fruits and nuts (crushed walnuts and hazelnuts, small pieces or dried apricot, raisins and dried cranberries, Granger used 125 dried cherries and 50g dried apple, 3 tbs crushed almonds)

75g (1/3 cup+3/4dl) soft brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

3 tbs honey (I used Acasia)

1 tsp Orgran No Egg + 2 tsp water (Granger used 1 egg  lightly beaten)

on the top some rolled oats

1. Soak the rolled oats with the oat milk for 30minutes.

2. Preheat the oven in 180 celsius degrees. Grease and line the bread tin.

3. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl.

4. Stir in rolled oats with oat milk, dried fruit, sugar, cinnamon, honey, No Egg mix and mix together well.

5. Pour it to the bread tin and bake for 35-45 minutes.

I can guarantee this is tasty!!! Bear in mind that when not using regular wheat flour the dough does not raise a lot but the flavour is amazing!

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Dairy free Anzac biscuits

KuvaI know it probably have become self evident that i love Anzac biscuits. My biggest challenge has been lately to replace all the dairy products with something else. I guess I have already mentioned my baby girl’s allergies. Well, whilst being on holidays in Finland which by the way has one of the most amazing health care systems you can possibly imagine, I got my baby allergy tested. It turned out that she is allergic to milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, sesame seeds plus something was detected regarding wheat and oat. This means that my diet for the following half an year whilst I am still breastfeeding should be dairy, egg, soy, gluten and nut free. Of course an occasional consumption in small amounts can be ok but still I wouldn’t risk it as if she gets a reaction nobody sleeps in our household.

Sadly I have noticed that UK does not provide the same level of replacements products as they do here in Northern Europe. We have such a fantastic selection of oat and rice replacements products for milk. We have oat and rice ice cream, we have several different flavoured oat yoghurt (even home brands produce these!!!!). I have gone through all the UK online stores and haven’t found oat yoghurts, rice creams or ice creams!!! Also in Finland we have lots of allergy friendly baby food otherwise like in the UK. So if anyone of you have an idea where I could get these please give me a hint!

I also have to admit that first time in my life I have seriously questioned my choice of living in the UK. Number one reason being health care, number two special dietary products for me and my tiny baby girl. I will always remember one of my clients who said to me just before I went on my maternity leave  ”Pia, I have visited Finland. It is the most amazing country in the world (this gentleman had traveled EVERYWHERE!). Before you can go and start your maternity leave, please explain to me what an earth are you doing in the UK? is it the bloody husband of yours who brought you here?”. Well as much I have enjoyed living in the UK health care and good quality food have become rather important to me lately. I still don’t know the answer to my client. Finland is amazing and I am so proud to be a Finn, somehow I just ended up in the UK. My husband did not drag me 🙂

I guess after my baby’s allergies have become milder and I can eat normally again I will be happy in the UK again. At the moment I, however, feel that it is a compromise not the best option I could have chosen if I am purely honest. I just have to make most of it now.

So, I placed an Ocado delivery with all the special products I was able to find (not many, but enough). This is quite tough time for me as I love good food. Giving up from all the things I love to eat has made me rather down. I have lost so much weight too and it does not seem to go up as easily as when eating pasta, cheese, cream and butter. Luckily here in Finland I have been eating so many berries and gotten nice carbs from there!

Below you can see my previous Anzac biscuit recipe modified for dairy and gluten (low gluten) free diet.

2dl porridge oats

2dl desiccated coconut

1 3/4dl  dark rice flour

1dl caster sugar

100g dairy free margarin

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1. Heat oven to 180 celsius degrees. Mix oats, coconut, flour and sugar in a bowl. Melt the margarin in a small pan and stir in the golden syrup.

2. Add the bicarbonate of soda to 2 tbsp boiling water, then stir into the golden syrup and margarin mixture.

3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter and golden syrup mixture. Stir gently to incorporate the dry ingredients.

4. Bake in batches for 8-10 mins until golden.

THE SECRET IS When taken away from the oven pour golden syrup on the top of the each biscuit to add the flavour!!

Strawberry tart -Mansikkatorttu

ImageWhat do we Finns love in summer -berries. Our forests and fields are full of berries. Wild forest blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, lingonberries, cloudberries…planted blackcurrants, redcurrants, strawberries, raspberries..All these amazing treats just a hand pick away. My little daughter tasted blueberries for the first time and loved them, who wouldn’t. Wild blueberries are so tasty, drastically different from bush blueberries as I have noted before.

I will continue to add raw food delights to my blog. I know, you must think I have lost my mind being so excited about  raw food. I want to highlight that I am interested in ”raakaruoka” not ”elävä ravinto” as we distinguish those two in Finnish. In English I don’t know whether there is such a clear distinction between ”raw food” which is uncooked food and delights made of mainly nuts etc. to replace flour, eggs, dairy and so on, whereas ”living raw food” is more about growing your own stuff and eating sprouts and all sort of greenies, I am not into that 🙂 I love good food so much so for me something that does not taste good even though being healthy is useless!

The recipe below is a fantastic alternative for strawberry cake. It is gluten, egg and dairy free so perfectly suitable for people with these allergies (of course nut allergic cannot eat this!!). This recipe is also from the book called ”Raw food delights”. Even my carnivore Aussie man loves these kind of raw food treats and that is a win!

Base:

7 dl (700ml) almonds

5 tbs honey

3 tbs vegetable oil

Filling:

3 pureed bananas

1/2 litre of strawberries

Topping:

5 dl (500ml) cashew cream (see the recipe in this post )

Decoration:

1/2 litre of strawberries

1. Crush almonds in a blender.

2. Add honey, oil and salt. Blend more.

3. Press half of the mixture in a cake tin or on the plate.

4. Pour half of the banana puree on top and half of the sliced strawberries on the top of them.

5. Add the half of the rest of the base mix on the top of banana puree and strawberries.

6. Add the rest of the banana puree and sliced strawberries.

7. Pour and press the rest of the base mix on top.

8. Pour cashew cream on top and decorate with strawberries.

Enjoy on a beautiful summer day!!!

Kalamata Olive Focaccia

WP_000111We had a house warming BBQ last weekend to celebrate our new home. It was rather crazy as this point almost everyone has a kid or two so it was probably the same number of adults and kids, some newborns some toddlers. The funniest thing was that in the middle of the BBQ cooking it started suddenly rain rather heavily. As a result some of the meat burnt and some was uncooked -well bad luck! I made so many things for this BBQ  party and I will post the recipes here one after another. I baked home made focaccia, prepared some couscous salad, feta butternut squash salad and French strawberry tart. All of the recipes will be available soon. The first one I wanted to share with you was this home made focaccia. It was really tasty and in fact the first focaccia I have ever made. It turned out to be very tasty though.

4dl water (400ml)

50g fresh yeast or 1 pack of dry yeast (you need 1 1/2 pack of English dry yeast as it is only 7g per pack)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

7.5dl plain flour (750ml)

4 tbs olive oil

Topping:

handful of kalamata olived (pitted) chopped

4 tbs olive oil

rock salt

fresh thyme chopped

1. Heat up the water (37 celsius degrees if fresh yeast, 40 celsius degrees if dry yeast). Mix sugar and salt and a bit flour (approximately tablespoon).

2. Add half of the flour and olive oil. Mix well and add rest of the flour. The dough is supposed to be quite runny. Cover the bowl and let it rise for half an hour.

3. Oil the baking dish 20cm x 30cm. Pour the dough into the baking dish and rise half an hour. Drizzle olive oil on top.

4. After the dough has risen add the kalamata olives and rock salt.

5. Cook in the oven in 225 celsius degrees for 25-30min.

Catherine Berwick’s Parsnip and maple syrup cake

I am currently living in a land of ale and fish&chips. Everything that is served has to go with the beer. Sometimes I have been wondering what is the common denominator when a Finn marries an Aussie and lives in England. Well, easy, it has to be the beer. In other words, a good beer. Finns like Aussies are proud of their own beers, the labels no-one else has even heard about and still they call them the real beer. In England I think their love of pints is something the same. A pint or two is always welcome.

This is only an introduction to the quote that came up when I served this heavenly parsnip cake. It is evidently very important that a cake goes with the beer.

One of our friends had a birthday last weekend. I wanted to surprise him so I decided to bake a cake, but I had a big dilemma ahead of me. What to serve so that it would go with a beer? I thought through the recipes in my mind..no chocolate based, that wouldn’t go well, neither a cheesecake -too much dairy product…then I remembered this wonderful cake that won the competition in Good Food magazine last year. Fantastic. I tried it as it was said to be ”the new carrot cake”. I ran to the store early in the morning to get the ingredients and voila the cake was ready in two hours. It was time to serve it for the demanding audience..half of them Aussie men requiring something that goes with a beer, half of them women who are very into good food. I was a bit nervous.  When our friends had eaten their first pieces of cake and were running to get another ones, I realised the cake was a success. Boys absolutely loved it. The legendary comment was ”this is not too sweet and it goes so well with the beer”! Great! So, if you fancy a cake recipe that would go even with a beer whilst you’re having your summer picnic in the park this is it! Try it. The parsnip cake is a brilliant invention, it has a carrot cake texture, but it is not that sweet. It is moist and mouthwatering. Bake it and enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 175g butter , plus extra for greasing
  • 250g demerara sugar
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour (or flour mixed with baking powder)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 250g parsnips , peeled and grated
  • 1 medium apple peeled, cored and grated
  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
  • zest and juice 1 small orange
  • icing sugar , to serve

FOR THE FILLING

  • 250g tub mascarpone
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the base of the 20cm cake dish with baking parchment. Melt butter, sugar and maple syrup in a pan over gentle heat, then cool slightly. Whisk the eggs into this mixture, then stir in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice, followed by the grated parsnip, apple, chopped pecans, orange zest and juice. Bake for 45-55 mins until the tops spring back when pressed lightly.
  2. Cool the cake. Just before serving, mix together the mascarpone and maple syrup. Spread over one cake and sandwich with the other. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

ROCKY ROAD –BROWNIES

I have been terribly lazy to add any new recipes. I felt embarrassed to check out my own blog and notice that my last recipe was added in February! Then I looked at my site stats and I realised that you all have been anyway reading my blog all that time probably hoping to get some new delicious recipes!

Well, I have a good excuse (at least I keep on telling that to myself). I have a new job that has taken most of my time lately and second of all I just got married so all the wedding arrangements have taken that other part of my time. Anyway enough of excuses. All I can say is that I guarantee and I promise that I will add more recipes and be more active.

The UK is great, London is great. I feel like I see the whole city with the new eyes as I have a fantastic job that I am excited about. The down side of it is that I have less time to cook, in fact less to do experimental cooking. After a long working day one does not want to try out something new that may not please the taste nerves.

I had the most perfect hen’s night. It was a total surprise. I landed in Helsinki airport, I was supposed to have a quiet BBQ party with a few of my closest friends. At least I thought so until we arrived to her place and we opened the door. There they were, all my best and closest friends together. The table was full of the most tempting looking salads and cakes, and all this was made for me. I was touched. I could tell you all the smallest details about this amazing night, but I guess you would get bored of it in the end. It was a traditional Finnish hen’s night with bridal saunas, spells, beer etc. I feel so thankful that my dearest friends devoted two full days only for me….as  I finally relised if not before that I WAS GETTING MARRIED!

Well, Päivi, one of my dearest friends, my cake master friend was resposible for the sweet side of the dishes for my hen’s night dinner. Here I want to share her Rocky Road Brownie recipe with you. It was mouthwatering! They were the best brownies I have ever eaten and I am saying this as a person who does not even like brownies. They were superb!

BASE:

3 dl            flour

2 tl             baking powder

2 tl            salt

2 dl            coco powder

3,5 dl            caster sugar

2 dl            brown sugar (farin)

2 dl            white chocolate crushed

2 dl            melted butter (200 g)

4            eggs

1 dl            coffee

FILLING:

2 dl           dark chocolate crushed

2 dl            marshmallows (small pieces)

(2 dl            walnuts crushed)

1. Whisk butter, eggs and coffee. Add all the dry ingredients.

2. Pour this base on a baking dish or tray and bake it in 170 degrees for 20-25 minutes or a little bit longer.

3. Mix all the filling ingredients together and pour the filling on the top of the base after taking it out from the oven.

4. Bake the brownies for additional 5-7 minutes so that chocolate melts and the marshmallows turn to brown.

5. Serve either warm with vanilla ice cream or cold with some coffee.

ENJOY!