“This cake came about when I was asked to make a gluten-free cake for a catering gig. I wasn’t happy with the texture of my mud cake when I use GF flour so I decided to try something else. It’s a combination of a carrot, banana and hummingbird cake with added crunch from nuts, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips. The layers are smothered with moorish cream cheese icing and it’s decorated with toasted coconut and pineapple flowers. Needless to say it’s a real show stopper and utterly delicious! Enjoy”
“I’ve decided I need to master gluten free baking! When I cater I always have to do some gluten free items and tend to fall back on things like a chocolate flan with hazelnut meal or an orange almond cake. Â I decided to try a gluten free lemon bar because I love the non GF version and it seemed to be easy to make using almond flour and corn flour. The result was delicious! You can also substitute lime or passionfruit juice or as I did, a combination of two juices. It also works brilliantly as a dessert with fresh berries and a dollop of thick cream. Enjoy!”
Ingredients for the base
200g almond meal
25g corn flour
75g white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
100g cold butter
Method for the base
Preheat your oven to 180 C.
Line a 20cm square baking dish with baking paper making sure the paper comes all the way up each side. This makes it much easier to remove from the tin once it’s baked.
Cut your cold butter into 1cm squares and add to a food processor with the other ingredients.
Blitz the mix until its come together.
Press into your baking tray and smooth the top with a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Ingredients for the custard
200g white sugar
100g lemon, lime or passionfruit juice (I used 50g lemon and 50g passionfruit)
20g corn flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Method for the custard
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined.
Pour over your cooled base.
Bake in a 180 C oven for 15-20 minutes or until the custard has just set.
Allow to cool on the bench then cover with cling wrap and let cool completely in the fridge.
Once cool, Cut into bars and serve sprinkled with icing sugar or serve as a dessert with fresh berries and thick cream.
“This recipe came from necessity. Â I needed a dessert for a catering job that was Christmas themed and gluten free, so I adapted my mud-cake recipe to include some Christmas flavours. Â The result was a super moist cake that works brilliantly as a warm dessert served with ice cream or custard and a hearty cake for your Christmas celebrations. Â If you don’t need it gluten free thenÂ substitute regular flour. Â For the dessert cake I slightly undercook it so it is still fudge and moist inside. Enjoy”
375g dark chocolate
600ml water (or red wine)
300g almond meal
200g gluten free self raising flour
400g dark sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
150 chopped walnuts or almonds
1kg Christmas mince (Recipe on “Christmas Mince Pies” post)
Place chocolate, butter and water (or red wine) in a saucepan and bring to a medium heat, stirring occasionally until all ingredients are melted and combined. Â Allow to cool.
Combine in a mixing bowl the almond meal, GF flour, sugar and spices.
Beat the eggs and mix into the cooled chocolate mixture.
Add the Christmas mince to the chocolate mixture and stir through.
Pour the chocolate mixture and the nuts into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour into a large flat lined dish or several smaller ones. Â I use one that is 35cm by 24cm. Â If you try to use a traditional cake pan it will take ages to cook and burn around the edges. Â You want the cake to be about 4cm tall (It won’t rise much at all)
Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 45 minutes or until just set. Â As long as there’s no movement in the cake when you move it and a skewer comes out relatively clean it should be fine.
Allow to cool in the pan in the fridge before turning out and cutting.
“Who doesn’t like chocolate brownies? Â Well, from the speed these flew off the plate, I’d say no-one! Â I’ve made so many different versions of the humble brownie: date, white chocolate, GF with almonds, the list goes on. Â This was one of those fortuotous moments when I had a container of diced dried figs sitting on the bench from a previous recipe and only a short amount of time to cook something. Â So my brownies got a healthy dose of figs at the last minute. Â I love the extra texture and flavour they impart. Â I’ve also found thatÂ grinding my own almond and hazelnut meal gives me more control over theÂ texture. I like to process the nuts with the skins on and mill to a slightly bigger grain than the store boughtÂ versions. Finally, the trick in getting a really good brownie is having the courage to take them out of the oven before they feel totally cooked. Â You just have to trust your own judgement and get used to your oven. Â But even if they’re slightly underdone they’ll still taste amazing. Enjoy!”Â
(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)
300g dark chocolate
1/4 tsp flaked salt
150g dark sugar
150g white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
175g Self raising flour
130g almond or hazelnut meal
25g cocoa powder
150g chopped dried figs
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
In a medium saucepan on medium heat melt the chocolate and butter, stirring regularly. Â Once melted stir through the salt. Â Leave to cool slightly.
Mix together the sugars with the eggs and vanilla until combined.
Add the flour, almond/hazelnut meal and cocoa and mix until combined.
Pour in the chocolate mixture and figs and stir to combine.
Spray a 20cm square baking dish with baking spray and line with baking paper.
Transfer the brownie mixture to the pan and bake for 40-50 or until the brownie stops wobbling in the pan and a seeker comes out with a few crumbs on it.
Allow to cool to room temperature or eat warm with ice-cream. Â Brownies also freeze really well, so make another batch to keep for later!
“In an attempt to find a good white chocolate brownie recipe and use up a surplus of lemons I ended up with a delicious combination I’ve called “Lemon Lemonies”. Â It took three Â attempts to get the combination right, but the final one has the moist consistency of a brownie and a tangy kick from the lemons. Â And they’re gluten-free! Â Great for a morning tea with a cup of English Breakfast tea with a slice of lemon. Â Enjoy!”
340g white chocolate
Rind and juice from 2 lemons
Pinch of salt
215g almond meal
135g slivered almonds
50g extra white chocolate for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line and grease a 20cm brownie tin.
Melt the white chocolate and butter in a saucepan then leave to cool for 20 minutes.
Beat the eggs and sugar until combined then add the lemon rind and juice.
Fold in the salt, almond meal and slivered almonds.
Transfer to brownie tin and smooth the top.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly brown and cake is cooked through. Â It should still be a little moist when you take it out and will firm up once it’s cooled.
Once cooled melt 50g of white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each. Â Put in a piping bag or sandwich bag and cut a small hole in the corner. Â Pipe the white chocolate onto the lemon lemonies.
Hello, my name is Craig.
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!