Monday, October 17, 2016

Sage and Apple Fritters (SRC)

Sage and apple fritters - gluten and dairy free - from

There are some food combinations that just work - think peanut butter and chocolate, tomato and basil, lemon and blueberries to name just a few.

Well, you can now officially add sage, apple and maple syrup to that list.

Because WOW. So yummy!

This isn't my invention, though. Credit must go to Helen from Casa Costello, whose blog I was assigned for this month's Secret Recipe Club.

Helen had my blog back in May and made my Thumbprint cookies, and I remember then flicking through her recipes and looking forward to getting her blog sometime.

Helen is from the UK and mum to 3 girls. She is a self-described 'massive foodie' and has been working with food and cakes since she was since 16.

Speaking of cakes, Helen is also a fantastic cake decorator and shares lots of her creations on her #BakeoftheWeek challenge. My boys particularly liked this Police Car Cake. Gorgeous isn't it?

When it came to choosing a recipe I took ages to decide, but I knew I wanted something pretty simple and of course, it had to be gluten and dairy free (or easy to convert). I loved the sound of Helen's Walnut and honey granola and Scrambled eggs with style. And this Lemon Frangipane Pie looks fabulous.

In the end though these Apple fritters with sage were calling my name. I've never used sage in this way before. Typically I only use it in stuffing at Christmas time. Which probably explains why it was so hard to find at the shops right now, no one else uses it much either!

My husband eventually found a little pot of sage that Mr 7 immediately took outside and replanted into a bigger pot. It's still very young but we got enough off it for this recipe and 2 perfect little leaves for garnish.

Sage and apple fritters - gluten and dairy free - from

I've always loved fritters, especially tuna and corn fritters, but the rest of family doesn't share my same level of enthusiasm.

That may have changed with this recipe!

Apple, sage and maple syrup are a match made in heaven.

I made only a few changes to the recipe to suit our way of eating - using gluten free flour, non-dairy milk and frying in coconut oil. I also reduced the sugar and am glad I did because between the apples and maple syrup I found them very sweet!

Sage and apple fritters - gluten and dairy free - from

All 3 of my boys loved these and were literally licking their plates clean. Mr fussy-5 even ate an extra sage leaf (covered with maple syrup) and declared it 'really yummy.' So huge for him to eat something green voluntarily even if he did have to smother it in syrup!

These would be perfect for a weekend brunch and will definitely be on the menu at our place again.

Sage and Apple Fritters
Adapted from Apple fritters with and without sage

2 large red apples
125g gluten free plain flour
1 ts baking powder
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts cinnamon
2 ts rapadura sugar (or sweetener of choice)
150ml rice milk
1 large egg
6 sage leaves
coconut oil for frying

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar.

Peel the apples and chop into very small pieces. Add them to the dry ingredients and toss to combine.

In a small jug beat together the milk and egg together then pour into the flour and apples and mix well. Finely chop the sage leaves and stir through.

Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large heavy-based frypan over medium heat.

Dollop in spoonfuls of mixture and flatten out into pancake shapes.

Cook until gold brown then flip and cook on the other side until cooked through.

Remove and place on a rack while you cook the remaining fritters.

Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Makes 10 fritters.

Thanks for a great recipe Helen! I will definitely be making these again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Gluten and dairy free Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce -

I definitely have a tendency to procrastinate.

If it seems too hard or it will take too long, it slips right to the bottom of my to-do list (possibly never to be seen again!)

Anything I've read about procrastination says that you need to do the hard stuff first.

Basically, if there is anything you're avoiding, just get up and do it first thing - it will be over and done with and set you up to have a really productive day.

Take this post for example.

I made this Sticky Date Pudding for our Christmas in July party. Yep July. And it's now the middle of October.

I'm not sure why it's been so hard to post lately but today I am taking my own advice and I'm just gonna do it!

So, sticky date pudding. A bit of a classic and a little retro. But things are a classic for a reason and a dessert that tastes this good never really goes out of style.

Sweet, sticky, decadent, and packed with warming spices and a good splash of brandy. Perfect for cold weather (it was just a pity the cold snap had ended and it was 28 degrees that day in July!).

Often when you go gluten and dairy free you can feel like you're missing out. Ingredients can't always be substituted one-for-one and I can tell you, I've had some spectacular failures. Think pizza bases as hard as cement or muffins that taste like cardboard. It's so frustrating! Not to mention a big waste of ingredients and money.

This sticky date pudding is definitely special occasion fare - and for a special occasion you want something that works.

I actually made 2 different versions of sticky date pudding, baking one in the oven (this one pictured) and steaming one in a pudding bowl in the slow cooker. I wasn't sure which technique would work the best, but in the end, they both did!

So I will be keeping that in mind and I have a feeling the steamed version will make an appearance at our Christmas Eve dinner along with some cinnamon coconut ice cream. My mouth is watering already!

Ok yes, there is a LOT of sugar here, but for Christmas (or Christmas in July) I have no problem with it. In saying that though, I am planning on experimenting a bit more and seeing how it goes with most or even all of the sugar taken out and with just the dates for sweetness.

Gluten and dairy free sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce -

Gluten and Dairy Free Sticky Date Pudding

200g pitted dried dates
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup very hot water
2 ts bicarb soda
2/3 cup coconut sugar
60g coconut oil, melted
3 eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
170g gluten free flour
2 1/2 ts baking powder
1/4 ts salt
1 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts ground ginger

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 degrees fan-forced.

Grease and line a loaf pan with baking paper and set aside (I used a pyrex loaf pan).

Roughly chop the dates and place in a heatproof bowl. Add the brandy and the hot water and leave to stand for 10 minutes or until the dates have softened. Once soft, mash the dates and water together and stir in the bicarb soda.

To this mixture, add the coconut oil, eggs and vanilla and mix together until very well combined.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger with a whisk.

Pour the date and egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until the top springs back and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Suitable for freezing.

Serve with butterscotch sauce for an indulgent dessert.

Dairy free Butterscotch Sauce - from

This sauce was truly a revelation. I admit it's been many years since I had a real butterscotch sauce but this dairy free version was amazing. So rich and creamy. It would be perfect over coconut ice cream with a sprinkle of crushed nuts. Yum!

Dairy-free Butterscotch Sauce

1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
2 ts vanilla extract
1/4 ts sea salt
1/2 ts cream of tartar

Place all ingredients except cream of tartar into a medium pot and bring to the boil. Add the cream of tartar and stir until completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil for 5 minutes or until it reaches 110 degrees Celsius / 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Pour immediately into a clear glass jar. Allow to cool to luke warm before serving (it is like molten lava once it is cooked so don't lick the spoon or stick your finger in for a taste - it will burn you!!!)

Pour over warm pudding just before serving.

Are you a procrastinator like me? 
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