Gluten free lemon bars


Photos by Gary Corbett

“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.  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
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C.
  2. 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.
  3. Cut your cold butter into 1cm squares and add to a food processor with the other ingredients.
  4. Blitz the mix until its come together.
  5. Press into your baking tray and smooth the top with a spoon.
  6. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
  7. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Ingredients for the custard
  • 4 eggs
  • 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
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined.
  2. Pour over your cooled base.
  3. Bake in a 180 C oven for 15-20 minutes or until the custard has just set.
  4. Allow to cool on the bench then cover with cling wrap and let cool completely in the fridge.
  5. Once cool, Cut into bars and serve sprinkled with icing sugar or serve as a dessert with fresh berries and thick cream.

 

 

Salsa verde

Photo by Gary Corbett

“Like most cooks, I use heaps of herbs in my dishes. It’s a great way to add freshness and a burst of flavour to your cooking. That’s why I love salsa verde. Not only is it delicious, it’s extremely versatile and can be used to jazz up salads, canapés and main courses. You can also use whatever herbs you have to hand, or put more of a herb you like in. Enjoy”

 Ingredients for salsa verde

  • Bunch of basil
  • Bunch of parsley
  • Bunch of mint
  • Bunch of coriander
  • Bunch of chives
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice and rind of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1 green chilli
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
Method
  1. Pick the leaves off your herbs and put into a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds to break them down.
  2. Add the other ingredients except the olive oil. Blitz until you get the consistency you want. It works as a chunky sauce or a smooth one.
  3. Add olive oil until you achieve the consistency you want.
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Caprese salad
Layer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and pickled onions on a plate.
To pickle the onions I use equal parts red wine vinegar and white sugar. Stir the vinegar until sugar is dissolved and put in finely chopped white onions. It’s best to leave the for a day to soften.
Dollop spoonfuls of greek yoghurt and salsa verde over the top. You can also put layers on some sourdough bread for a healthy lunch.
Fresh and delicious.
Baked potatoes
To bake the potato, drizzle with olive oil and salt and wrap in aluminium foil. Bake in a 180c oven for 45 minutes or until the potato is cooked all the way through. Cut the potato open and dollop some sour cream inside, Add the salsa verde and grate some parmesan cheese over the top.
Makes a great midweek dinner if you’re super busy.
Cucumber sandwiches
To be a little bit classy you can jazz up your cucumber sandwiches with salsa verde.
(I actually don’t like cucumber but with the salsa verde they’re delicious).
Butter some white bread and spread on a thin layer of salsa verde on both sides.
Peel your cucumber and add thin slices to one slice. Put the top on, cut off the crusts and slice in half.
Now you’re classy as hell!

Frozen watermelon margarita

Photo by Gary Corbett

“I started making these delicious frozen margaritas with the leftovers from my “Watermelon bites with feta and mint”. They’re super easy to make and can be whipped out of the freezer, blitzed and into a martini glass in no time at all. There has been discussion on whether this is a margarita or a daiquiri. Not really sure, I suppose it depends on which alcohol you put in.  Best to be safe and try it both ways. Great for a summer party. Enjoy!”

You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/kXQZf3Ziol8

Ingredients

  • Fresh mint
  • 800g watermelon
  • 6 tablespoons sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar has dissolved then cooled)
  • 2 limes, zest and juice.
  • 1 cup malibu or tequila
Method
  1. Put a handful on fresh mint into your food processor and blitz until fine.
  2. Add 900g of watermelon, 6 tablespoons of sugar syrup, the zest and juice of 2 limes and 4 shots of malibu or tequila. (or more if you’re feeling adventurous)
  3. Blitz until smooth.
  4. Transfer to some ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
  5. Transfer frozen mix to food processor and blitz until it resembles a slushy.
  6. Spoon into a martini glass and garnish with a watermelon disc and a sprig of fresh mint.

 

Zesty Coconut Loaf

“Is it okay to make a new years resolution in May?  Better late than never I suppose!  So here it is: I plan to try to post recipes at least once a fortnight from now on.  (Let’s see how long that lasts).  So, to start the ball rolling I’ve been trying a new coconut loaf recipe that is great for anyone lactose intolerant or vegan…or just hungry.  And it’s super easy!  Just throw all the ingredients in a mixer and stick it in the oven.  While testing it I tried 2 variations of different ingredients and both loafs were fabulous, moist and tasty.  I think this will be my new standby for those last minute baking emergencies. Enjoy!”

(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)

Ingredients for loaf

  • 300g self raising flour
  • 100g shredded coconut
  • 100g white sugar or coconut sugar
  • 50g coconut oil or olive oil
  • 300g coconut cream
  • zest of 2 limes or 1 lemon
Ingredients for icing
  • juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 20g shredded coconut
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Grease a loaf tin and line with baking paper.
  3. Put all loaf ingredients into a mixer and combine.
  4. Transfer to loaf tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool in the tin
  6. Lightly toast the coconut in a pan until just golden.
  7. Combine Lemon or lime juice with icing sugar until all lumps are gone.
  8. Spoon mixture over warm cake the sprinkle with toasted coconut.

 

 

 

 

 

Lime and Pistachio Cake

“I’m embarressed about how long it’s been since I’ve posted anything here!  What with work, catering, cake design and the installation of a new kitchen, It’s been shunted to last priority.  I’m determined to turn over a new leaf and have a few recipes in my back-log to post in the coming weeks.  I made this cake for a work colleague’s birthday when I had a surplus of lemons.  The flavour and texture was brilliant but I decided to tweak the recipe to give it a bit more texture.  Feel free to use whatever fruit you like for the compote.  I think the strawberries and cherries were a great colour splash for the finished dish. You can also substitute lemons for limes but personally I liked this version better. Enjoy!”

(Photos by Gary Corbett)

Ingredients

Cake

  • 250g room temperature butter
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 3 room temperature eggs
  • zest from 3 limes
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 50g diced pistachios
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
Syrup
  • Juice from 3 limes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
Fruit compote
  •  Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup strawberry liquor
Method
  1. Preheat your oven to 140 degrees (Fan forced).
  2. Grease and line a 20cm spring-form tin.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time until combined.
  4. Add the sour cream and lime zest and beat until combined.
  5. Fold in the pistachios and flour.
  6. Spoon mixture into prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatular.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
  8. While cake is baking place lime juice and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  9. When cake is done remove from the oven and pierce numerous holes with a skewer.
  10. Pour over lime syrup and refrigerate.
  11. For fruit compote cut the strawberries into quarters, de-seed and halve the cherries.
  12. Add fruit, sugar and liquor to saucepan and heat until fruit has just softened. (If you cook it too long you’ll get jam!)  Leave to cool.
  13. Decorate the cake with pistachios then serve a wedge of the lime cake with some fruit compote and a dollop of cream.