Monday, November 23, 2015

Cardamom Pear Muffins (SRC)

It's Secret Recipe Club time again! Each month a dedicated group of bloggers are assigned a blog in secret to peruse and cook from, and then we all post on the same day. Today is reveal day for group D.

This month I was assigned Nicole's blog Hapatite and wow was I in for a treat. Hapatite ("hapa" meaning half or of mixed racial heritage and "tite" meaning appetite) is an absolute treasure-trove of amazing recipes, all drawing upon her family's Chinese, Cherokee, German and Hawaiian American background. As you can imagine this makes for some fabulous food!

One dish that really caught my eye was Nicole's take on char siu chow fun which is served for Chinese New Year.  But then I also loved her Baked Onion Rings and homemade Filet-o-Fish which was my go-to late night meal back in my uni days!

Nicole is also something of a tea connoisseur and has reviewed some really interesting tea blends. My favourite was the Candied Chestnut Tea and I wish it was available here! I really love tea and have an ever-growing collection of herbal teas so this made for some great reading.

As usual though I was on the hunt for kid-friendly snack ideas and you can't beat a muffin. Enter these Cardamom Spiced Pear Muffins.

Cardamom is one of those spices that seems to get overlooked. I remember making a cardamom cake years ago that I absolutely loved but I haven't really used it since, apart from in curries.

These muffins were absolutely delicious. The cardamom added a complexity of flavour that I wasn't expecting yet it wasn't overpowering, probably because it was paired with cinnamon and nutmeg (and the clove that I added because I love it). My boys loved these and as usual I wished I'd made a double batch because they disappeared way too quickly.

Cardamom Pear Muffins
Slightly adapted from Hapatite

2 cups self raising flour (or 2 cups plain flour + 1 tbs baking powder)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
85g softened butter
2 large eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
1 ts ground cardamom
1 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts nutmeg
1/4 ts ground cloves
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used 1/2 cup rice milk soured with 1 ts apple cider vinegar)
1 large pear, just ripe, cut into small dice

Line a 12 cup muffin tray with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius fan-forced.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the spices and mix well.

Fold through 1/2 the flour followed by 1/2 the buttermilk, then repeat with the remainder.

Fold through the pear pieces.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely (or just eat warm as they are amazing straight from the oven!!).

Thanks for a great month and a delicious recipe Nicole!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Creamiest Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

Creamiest Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

Happy November everyone! I never intended to be absent so long but life got busy, as it tends to do this time of year. Anyway you'll be glad I'm back because this ice cream is awesome and perfect for the stinking hot weather we're having at the moment (33 degrees C right now if anyone else is a weather tragic like me!)

So ice cream without dairy can be a little tricky, it can swing between too icy or too coconutty (totally a word) pretty quickly. But as 3 out of 5 of us are dairy free I've done a lot of experimenting. You're welcome.

My kids claimed this was the best chocolate ice cream ever and their chocolate covered faces spoke volumes. It was smooth and luscious and intensely chocolatey. The perfect antidote to a hot summer's day.

The weather made it impossible to get a picture before it melted (that and the kids kept opening the freezer every 5 minutes to check if it was ready!)

Make this. It's really good.

Creamiest Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

400g tin coconut cream
400g rice milk (or any dairy-free milk you like)
2 eggs
2 heaped tbs raw cacao
2 tbs arrowroot
120g rice malt syrup (or maple syrup)
2 ts vanilla extract
pinch salt

TMX - place all ingredients in mixing bowl and cook 9 minutes / 90 degrees / SP 4.

Don't have a thermomix? Warm the milks in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile in a medium heatproof bowl, beat together all remaining ingredients. Pour the warmed milks into the other ingredients whisking continuously. Tip the mixture back into the saucepan and stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon, 5-10 minutes.

Pour the custard into a heatproof bowl and cool to room temperature before placing into the fridge and leaving to chill for at least 4 hours. Make sure you press some baking paper over the surface of the custard to stop it drying out.

Once the custard is completely cold, pour into your ice cream maker and churn for approximately 15 minutes or according to the manufacturer's instructions. It will be soft-serve consistency at this stage so pop it in a glass container in the freezer for a few hours before serving (if you can wait that long).
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