Thursday, June 18, 2015

RECIPE: Gluten free Apricot, honey, almond and lavender Muffins



I adore these simple little muffins which are perfect alongside a cup of tea, anytime of day. 
You can source edible dried lavender petals from most health food stores.

Makes 12 small muffins

Ingredients:
330g ground almonds
pinch sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp lavender extract
3 organic eggs
75g butter, melted
75ml honey
3 very ripe apricots, stones removed and quartered

Icing:
250g cream cheese
½ lime juice
4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

To decorate:
honey to drizzle
berry coulis (optional)
pistachios (optional)

To serve:
whipped cream or yogurt 

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC fan bake. Line 8 muffin wholes with paper cupcake cases, or grease well if not using papers. I like to use silicone moulds if not using papers to prevent sticking.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all the dry ingredients.
Gradually mix in the lavender extract, eggs, melted butter and honey, being careful not to over mix.
Evenly divide the batter between the cupcake cases. Place an apricot quarter into each one.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If you didn't use papers, allow the muffins to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. If you did use papers, take the muffins out of the tin as cool enough to touch.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and continue to add all the other ingredients.
Once the muffins are cool, pipe or spread the icing onto each one. Decorate as desired.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

RECIPE FOR GANACHE

My biggest luxury ingredient is one that I use in my cake kitchen on a daily basis, yet I still consider it completely and utterly exceptional. Dark chocolate. But not just ordinary dark chocolate; the kind I buy for my cakes is the best money can buy. In fact I spend much more money on chocolate than I do on rent, or any other ingredient, but will never compromise on it because it's such incredibly quality. I get my chocolate from a company called Equagold, who sell all sorts of other luxury ingredients, like the finest freeze dried vanilla powder, saffron threads and the most pure tasting cinnamon you'll ever come across. My chocolate brand is called Barry Callebaut and it's Belgian couverture, 70% cocoa solids, so pretty dark but not bitter. It's naturally vegan because it contains no milk solids, is low in sugar, and melts like an absolute dream. This chocolate is the main ingredient in my famous flourless dark chocolate cake, which has been voted the best chocolate cake in Auckland! I'll never share the recipe for this cake as it's top secret and so easy that I'd go out of business if people knew how to make it, but here's my recipe for silky, rich ganache, which is simple to make, but utterly decadent. It will bring every dessert to another level of luxury.

Dark chocolate ganache

Ganache is easy to make, but also pretty easy to mess up. When it's made properly it's glossy and thick and delicious smothered over a cake, fruit or ice cream. I make it all the time, but it took me a little while to figure out how to get it perfect (the number one rule is very good quality chocolate).

Ingredients:

250ml heavy cream
250g 70% very good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: 

1. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it just reaches a boil (small bubbles will appear).
2. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. 
3. Stir gently to make sure all of the chocolate is covered by the cream and allow it to sit for a minute. 
4. Stir well, until it is smooth and blended. Add the vanilla and mix it in. 
5. Pour over your cake immediately and then refrigerate if you want it to set quickly.


Note: you can use a dollop of butter if you want it to be extra glossy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Things I've made this week...

Check out this cute little e-book created by Raglan Coconut Yogurt which you can purchase for $11…it contains 11 delicious, healthy coconut recipes from a bunch of talented cooks, chefs and bakers. The Caker has shared a recipe for a raspberry, lime, almond and coconut cake using Raglan Coconut Yogurt (my absolute favourite new product to bake with)

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Our mini gluten free cakes are selling like mad at Vulcan Lane Bagels!

CAKE MIX SUCCESS! I absolutely love seeing your creations and I'm so impressed by the way you are able to embody The Caker's style in your decorations.