Flourless Orange & Hazelnut Cake with Caramelised Walnuts {gluten free}

Flourless Orange &  Hazelnut Cake

It’s been a long while since James and I had a proper baking session, so we decided to whip up this insanely moist gluten-free cake on Saturday. Most of you are probably familiar with the classic orange and almond cake, so we decided to put a little spin on it. We used ground hazelnuts in the recipe instead of the usual almond meal, a concept that has served me well in the past. This cake is a little time-consuming to make, mostly because you’ve got to boil and then purée a couple of oranges before you even start on the cake batter. But it’s all worth the effort, guys. Believe me.  Continue reading “Flourless Orange & Hazelnut Cake with Caramelised Walnuts {gluten free}”

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins {gluten free}

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

These super delicious gluten-free and dairy-free blueberry muffins are the simplest muffins I have ever attempted. And the bonus is that they are lower in carbohydrates compared to regular wheat muffins. Coconut flour is always tricky to bake with, but it’s a gluten-free, high-fibre alternative that most people like to work with. This recipe calls for the tiniest amount of it for substance, and a good number of eggs to hold it all together. I like to call these muffins “dessert quiches” instead, because that’s kind of what their texture’s like. Soft, moist, eggy. But also sweet and solid – like a firm custard. I also use a little rice malt syrup in the recipe as a sweetener.

Blueberries Free Range Eggs Rice Malt Syrup

So, what is rice malt syrup anyway? Also known as brown rice syrup, RMS is versatile, vegan sweetener made from 100% organic brown rice. By culturing rice with enzymes, the starches begin to break down. It is then cooked until it becomes a viscous syrup. Once the process is complete, the final product consists of soluble complex carbohydrates, maltose and a small amount of glucose. RMS is a healthier option to other sweeteners as it is virtually free of fructose. This is important because other sweeteners like cane sugar, honey, maple syrup, and agave (all containing 50% or more fructose) are faster releasing sugars, which can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels and cause insulin spikes.

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Full of juicy blueberries that rise to the top of the batter during the baking process, you have to try these “dessert quiches” at least once. The recipe itself is ridiculously simple. All you have to do is throw all the ingredients into a high speed blender, blend for a few seconds, then pour the batter into muffin cups and decorate with blueberries. Bake at 200°C for 16 minutes and you’re done. Too easy!

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins
a gluten & dairy free recipe; adapted from The Wholesome Home’s recipe.

Ingredients:

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons rice malt syrup*
juice of 1 lemon
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

* I used Pureharvest’s Organic Rice Malt Syrup in this recipe. It is gluten, fructose & GMO free. You can use honey if you don’t have any RMS on hand.

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line a muffin pan with paper cases. This recipe will yield approximately 4 – 6 regular muffins.
  2. Blend all the ingredients except the blueberries in a high speed blender. The batter will be extremely runny.
  3. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle an equal amount of blueberries into each cup.
  4. Bake for about 16 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins start to turn a light golden.
  5. Remove tray from oven and leave muffins to stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Best eaten warm and fresh, the day they are made.

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil & soy milk}

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

We’ve been watching a lot of movies of varying genres lately. I finally caved and sat through Disney’s Frozen (2013) for the first time and I must say: how in the world did I ever go so long without watching such an adorable movie?! Sven, that ridiculous reindeer, was my number one favourite. Ender’s Game (2013), a sci-fi film based on a novel by Orson Scott Card, struck me as somewhat slow-moving, but the story remained fascinating enough for me to watch the entire thing. Asa Butterfield is quite an impressive actor, and you can’t really fault Harrison Ford. We also watched Odd Thomas (2013), a mystery thriller based on a Dean Koontz novel about a dude who can see dead people, though it is nothing like that creepy movie with Bruce Willis. The plot is intriguing, oftentimes incredibly amusing and actually altogether quite brilliant. Finally and most recently, we watched Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006). Probably one of the most bizarre films I’ve ever seen. At least that was the conclusion I came to after watching the final few scenes. Those of you who’ve seen it will know exactly what I mean. Nonetheless, the cinematography was superb and who doesn’t love Ben Whishaw and Alan Rickman?

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Okay, so these muffins. I would like to stress the importance of the lack of butter and full cream milk in this recipe. Use coconut oil and soy milk (any non-dairy milk, really) and you will be rewarded with muffins that are healthier and not overly heavy. These muffins will sit much more comfortably in your stomach than any regular dairy-laden muffin would. Also, use dark chocolate chips with a high percentage of cocoa. If you don’t already know, the plant chemicals in dark chocolate have been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation, among many other things. Read more about the health benefits of dark chocolate consumption here. As for coconut oil, you can find some evidence-based health benefits of the superfood ingredient here, if you are interested.

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

The muffin batter is easy enough to whip together — you’ll end up with a pale and pretty mixture reminiscent of cookie dough. The muffins themselves rise beautifully in the oven and bake to a lovely crisp-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside sort of perfection. I think it’s safe to say these were a huge hit with everyone who tried them. Well, you’d be a lunatic to turn down something so thoroughly studded with warm, ooey-gooey, melty chocolate chips. Granted, these little baked goodies seemed to be more chocolate than muffin, really. What’s not to like?

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Interested in other types of muffins? We can offer recipes for a good batch of Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {eggless & butterless}, Chocolate Honey Buckwheat Muffins {gluten, grain & dairy free}, Savoury Polenta & Semi-Dried Tomato Chilli-Cheese Muffins {butterless}, and Chocolate Cream Cheese Walnut Muffins {eggless}.

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil & soy milk}
a simple butterless recipe for chocolate chip muffins; yield: ~12 regular muffins.

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup organic soy milk*
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups dark chocolate chips

* I used Pureharvest’s Organic Unsweetened & Malt-Free Soy Milk in this recipe.

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 210°C and line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and sugar. Mix well, set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, thoroughly stir together the coconut oil, soy milk and eggs.
  4. Using a large wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined – don’t worry if the mixture remains a little lumpy.
  5. Add the dark chocolate chips and gently fold them into the mixture. Do not overmix.
  6. Carefully spoon equal amounts of the batter into the prepared paper cases, filling them just over three-quarts full.
  7. Bake in the oven for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are a nice golden brown and have started to crack a little.
  8. Remove tray from oven and transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool. Best eaten still slightly warm.

Storage tip: Let muffins cool completely before storing them in an airtight container. Muffins will keep for about 4-5 days after baking. For a heavenly, gooey, melty chocolate treat, zap muffins in the microwave for a quick 20 seconds before eating — they’ll be hot and fluffy just like when they first came out of the oven!

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake

Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake

I recently read an article about beauty rituals from around the world. Some of the more interesting ones included using lemon juice to remove nail polish residue (apparently common knowledge to the French), and boiling daisies in water to create a tonic that intensifies the highlights in your hair (a Turkish secret). However, the most intriguing beauty ritual on that list by far – at least to me – was the use of rosemary water to improve hair shine and enhance hair growth. Imagine that! I guess that explains why I’ve seen shampoos and conditioners glorifying rosemary as a key ingredient.

Rosemary and Orange Rosemary and Orange Rosemary and Orange

Well, I’ve got a rosemary secret for you: the woody herb makes a pretty delicious addition to sweet cakes. The fragrant, evergreen leaves of this wonderful plant proved its worth by giving depth and flavour to the mandarin orange pound cake we made over the weekend. Of course, much of the flavour came from the oranges, but the brazen use of rosemary just added a little something extra. 

Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake

As soon as we pulled this cake out of the oven, we were greeted with the best smell in the entire world. There’s nothing quite like the scent of a warm, sweet, amazingly aromatic, fresh-out-of-the-oven cake chock full of herby, citrusy goodness. We slathered the top with a simple glaze made of one part mandarin orange juice, four parts icing sugar. A single sprig of rosemary completed the look and made for the ultimate adornment.

Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake

Then came the taste test. We think it passed with flying colours. Baked to golden perfection with a slightly crumbly exterior and a moist-yet-dense interior (just like a pound cake should be), this thing was unbelievably buttery and gorgeously flavoured. We noted that the cake itself didn’t turn out too overly sweet, which gave the orange glaze the perfect time to shine.

Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake

Rosemary & Mandarin Orange Pound Cake
adapted from Tide & Thyme’s meyer lemon pound cake.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup organic soy milk
Juice of 1 mandarin orange
Zest of 1 mandarin orange
1 large sprig rosemary
1 cup caster sugar
250 grams butter, softened
5 eggs, beaten

for the glaze:
1/4 cup mandarin orange juice
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line a 9×5″ loaf pan with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well, set aside.
  3. In a small cup, stir the soy milk and orange juice together. Set aside.
  4. Remove rosemary leaves from sprig and chop finely.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the orange zest, chopped rosemary leaves and sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
  6. Add the butter to the sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, then gradually beat the eggs into the creamed mixture.
  7. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the milk mixture, gently stir them into the mixing bowl in 3 or 4 increments, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and use a spoon to smooth the top.
  9. Bake for approximately 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and let cake stand in pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. To make the glaze, combine the juice and sugar in a cup, stirring thoroughly until the sugar dissolves. Add more sugar or juice to create your desired consistency, then carefully drizzle the mixture over the cooled cake.
  12. Best eaten the day it is made, but you may also keep the cake stored in an air tight container for a couple of days.

Rosemary Sprig

Top 5 Recipes on {angie & james do stuff} for 2013

Best Recipes 2013

Happy 2014, readers! Is anyone out there missing 2013 yet? Heh. I hope everyone enjoyed last week’s gift-giving frenzy that was Christmas and ushered in the New Year with a huge bang! This honestly feels like the first time I’m properly using my laptop in weeks. It has just been so hectic this festive season, hence the painful lack of updates. Brown paper, sassy ribbons, colourful twine and a plethora of other ingredients for gift-wrapping took over my life for a little while (not a bad thing). Thankfully, I finally have the time to publish a list of this blog’s Top Five Recipes of 2013! These guys have chalked up thousands of views over the past year, making them pretty darn popular. I am so excited to share them with you once again!

five | chinese wolfberry (goji berry) matcha cake

Goji Berry Matcha Cake

It goes without saying: we’ve made many different types of green tea cakes over the years, from two-toned cheesecakes to steamed mini cupcakes. But of course, this loaf cake is something special. Yielding a spongy soft and stunningly green crumb with adorable specks of red, this matcha and goji berry creation is all kinds of tasty… and just a little bit healthy for you too! { Interested in other easy-to-make loaf cakes? Have a look at this eggless and butterless chocolate rye loaf! }

four | orange & cinnamon chocolate brownies

Orange & Cinnamon Brownies

At number four, we have our delightfully moist orange and cinnamon brownies, made extra sinful with a good dose of both milky white and fragrantly dark chocolate. Perfect as a sweet post-dinner dessert or a late afternoon energy booster, these brownies will never fail to impress. The chopped walnuts provide a contrast in texture, with their subtle crunchiness hiding in the soft, melt-in-your-mouth cake. { Counting calories? For a healthier alternative, try our eggless honey & chia seed brownies. }

three | blueberry blondie bars {with coconut oil}

Blueberry Blondie Bars

This one holds a special place in my heart. Blueberries are my absolute favourite. Filled with precious antioxidants and bursting with flavour, these gorgeous little gems give this decadent blondie recipe some oomph. Add some aromatic coconut oil and you end up with a gorgeously moist, delicately fragrant crumb. Despite the fact that these started out as an experiment and weren’t actually supposed to turn out the way they did, you readers seem to think they’re pretty awesome nonetheless! { If these blondies seem a little too rich for you, try our flourless peanut butter & cacao nib blondies instead! }

two | flourless hazelnut dark chocolate cake

Flourless Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Cake

Just a little bit addicting is this dense chocolate baby, subtly flavoured with kinako. It uses ground hazelnuts in place of flour, so we have here a zero gluten and zero grain recipe (always good if you want to escape the prevailing horrors of wheat belly). Incredibly gooey and fudgy, this rich bittersweet cake is best reserved for a day of ultimate indulgence! { Big fan of chocolate desserts that are entirely gluten and grain free? Take a look at our recipe for chocolate & honey cake donuts with cream cheese glaze! }

one | baked soft & chewy yeasted cinnamon sugar donuts

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Coming in at number one are our soft & chewy yeasted cinnamon sugar donuts. Honestly, who in the world can resist a freshly baked donut dusted in sparkly cinnamon sugar?! The dough itself is spiced with a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, giving us a very unique flavour profile. And because they are baked, not fried (like most donuts typically are), these rings are not saturated in oil and fat, making them much healthier. Perfect! { Not patient enough to wait for the dough to rise? Fear not! We also have a recipe for pillowy cinnamon sugar banana bread donuts that requires no yeast! }

And that’s it, guys! The shining stars of twenty-thirteen! We have a very exciting lineup of blog entries coming soon – lots of restaurant reviews and healthy recipes that I can’t wait to share with the world! I hope the new year brings endless excitement and amazing opportunities to your lives. Have a great year ahead, everyone!

Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies

Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies

We’re finally back on the Gold Coast and there are a few stories and sets of photographs I’d like to share with you from Singapore, but they’ll have to come later. Right now, let’s talk about these blondies. I made them this afternoon during my downtime at home (if you’ve been following my tweets, you’ll know I’m still recovering from a terrible cold – not to worry, the worst is over!). Adapted from Megan’s ooey-gooey version, these blondies are quite a treat, especially if you’re stuck trying to cut carbs and eat healthy.

Natural Peanut Butter Organic Cacao Nibs Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies

Natural crunchy peanut butter, manuka honey and organic cacao nibs figure prominently in this simple recipe. Megan used a much runnier peanut butter when making hers, which is probably why my batch came out less gooey than hers did. It was probably also why my batch seemed to cook a lot quicker, starting to burn a little at the edges just before 20 minutes. Despite not coming out as moist as I’d have liked, it was still a good result: a slightly flaky tray bake that, once sliced, resembled firm cake squares more than fudgy blondie bars. I do enjoy the way the peanuts and cacao nibs give them an awesome crunch. Megan used chocolate chips in her recipe, but I thought I’d give cacao nibs a go instead, for a healthier + crunchier alternative.

Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies

Not too sweet and not too salty, these blondies are still amazingly decadent in all its peanut butter glory. And best of all, they are completely flourless (making them fairly low in their carbohydrate count) and are entirely free of gluten, dairy and processed sugars! In other words, they make for a pretty healthy snack. Just make sure you don’t eat them all in one sitting!

Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies

Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies
gluten, grain & dairy free; adapted from the detoxinista’s flourless peanut butter chocolate chip blondies.

Ingredients:

1 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (no added sugar/salt)
1/3 cup honey*
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a generous pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs**

* I used Medihoney’s Active 10+ Manuka Honey.
** I used TRU RA’s Cacao Nibs. They’re organic, cold-processed and vegan!

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C and line a square 8″ baking pan with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, egg, baking soda and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Stir in the cacao nibs.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spoon to even out the top.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting into squares and serving.

Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies Flourless Peanut Butter & Cacao Nib Blondies

Wholemeal Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake {with coconut oil}

Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake

Coconut. A fragrance like no other. And wouldn’t you like it to greet you every morning as you warm up a slice of cake? I know I would. Here, we have beautiful coconut oil mixing with the smoky aroma of cinnamon in this sweetly scented, subtly spiced, earthy brown coffee cake, topped with a nutty spelt + brown sugar crumble that melts divinely in your mouth like buttery shortbread.

Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake

This one’s for all you vegans out there. No eggs, no butter, no milk. Instead, this recipe uses ground flaxseeds, coconut oil and non-dairy milk alternatives to fill in as yummier, healthier substitutes. And they work a treat. It’s always very gratifying when your final product works well (and tastes just as good, if not better) after you’ve made several health-conscious changes to the recipe.

Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake

The addition of soft, tender almond meal and the amalgamation of ground flaxseeds and coconut oil in the cake batter yields a delightfully moist crumb, far different from that of the hard, dry coffee cakes that sell at subpar cafés. The sweetly spiced top layer of streusel perfectly balances out the moist cake with its crisp, sugary charm. Pair with a cup of coffee and you’ve got an ultra-indulgent breakfast (or afternoon snack).

Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake

Wholemeal Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake {with coconut oil}
a vegan recipe; adapted from Love & Lemons’ almond & cinnamon coffee cake.

Ingredients:

1 cup almond meal
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 1/4 cup milk of choice (non-dairy, if you’re vegan)
1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds*
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

* I used Melrose Organic Golden Flaxmeal. The golden variety tends toward a more subtle flavour in baked goods, whereas brown flax might leave too strong an aftertaste.

for the crumble:
1/3 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons coconut oil

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C and lightly grease an 8 x 8 square baking pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the almond meal, spelt flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix well, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, coconut oil, milk, ground flax seeds and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  4. In 2 or 3 increments, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, gently folding after each addition to combine.
  5. Fill the prepared baking pan with the batter.
  6. To make the crumble, combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a fork or your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add more flour if the mixture seems too wet.
  7. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the cake batter and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top turns a deep brown colour.
  8. Remove pan from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Best served warm.

Spelt, Cinnamon & Almond Coffee Cake