Tag Archives: ginger

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake

Its that time of year where we have time to indulge in such luxuries as cake making.  Smells filling the house, warming it up rather than over heating it (we live in Spain). This is a Nikki recipe. We are experimenting with different no gluten flours that are not heavily processed like some of the branded gluten free flour on the shelves.

Pumpkin is really popular with cakes and desserts in the America. In Europe we tend to go for different roots like carrot or beetroot. This cake is dense and will last forever getting better day by day. It would of been called ‘hippy cake’ where I am from, not that thats a bad thing. Its the chestnut flour that gives it that texture. I really like it for its longevity and it can also double up as a winter dessert.  Serve it with yoghurt and honey or yoghurt agave or vanilla ice cream. Failing that it works really just with a cup of tea.

If you find this cake a little dense or you cannot find chestnut flour, you can use ground almonds instead.

Ingredients

225g pumpkin (once peeled and grated)
200g chestnut flour
4 large eggs
175g brown sugar (or half xylitol) if you have it, all sugar is fine
225ml oil
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tsps ground ginger
75g raisins
50g hazelnuts (roughly chopped)

Method

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and grease, line and flour (with the chestnut flour) a 23cm (9 inch) springform cake tin.

Sieve the flour, ginger and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, oil and sugar in a seperate bowl until mixed well. Fold the egg mixture into the dry mix and add the carrots, raisins and hazelnuts.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and cook for 50 to 55 minutes. If you insert a wooden skewer into the middle of the cake it should come out completely clean, and feel firm to the touch in the middle.

Leave to cool in the tin for at least half an hour before transferring to a plate.

In the photo it has been served with Quark and a drizzle of agave.

Gluten Free Ginger Loaf

Today you can find many different options for gluten free baking.  Brown rice flour, cornflour, corn starch, polenta all with  varying degree of success.  Some of the gluten free flour mixes for baking work well but can leave  a chalky aftertaste in the mouth, I am guessing this comes from the cornstarch.  This recipe uses  almond powder resulting in a  lovely rich  texture which retains moisture over time.

Ingredients

250g ground almonds
2 tsps ground cinnamon
5 tsps ground ginger
1 1/2 tsps ground nutmeg
125g raisins
1/2 tsp salt
125ml of olive oil
3 eggs
125ml maple or agave syrup (or mix of both)

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade.  Grease a 26cm loaf tin with olive oil, and lightly dust the sides with cornflour (I am using cornflour here to keep the cake completely gluten free.  If you don´t have this use any of the above flours, or just oil well.  The cake may stick a little if you don´t use any flour, just loosen from the sides before removing from the tin.

Mix together the almond powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and raisins.  In a seperate whisk together the oil, eggs and syrup.  Blend the two mixes together and evenly pour into the tin.

Bake for approximately 55 minutes.  The top may brown before the cake is completely cooked, this is not a problem, just cover the loaf tin with foil.  When tested to see if the cake is cooked, insert a wooden skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean it is ready.

Cashew and Ginger Spelt Cookies

There is nothing better than having a biscuit tin full of fresh cookies. Normally this is out of bounds if you are keeping to a healthy regime because they are full of butter and sugar.  Here we have lost the butter and replaced the sugar with agave syrup (which is lower on the glycemic index), and also retaining the chewiness which is what we all love about a cookie through the use of almond paste or tahini.  The crystallised ginger makes up for the loss of chocolate chips.

Ingredients (makes 12 medium size cookies)

125g spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
50g cashews
65g crystallised ginger
65g agave syrup
75g almond paste or tahini
65g light olive oil or good sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.  In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Mix in the sugar and the salt.  In a separate bowl whisk the oil with the agave, almond paste (or tahini) and vanilla essence.

Fold together the above ingredients always remembering to be gentle generally when working with pastries.  Add the roughly chopped nuts and ginger, and mix gently until evenly distributed.

Spoon 12 rounds of the mix onto a large lined baking tray (you could do these in two batches if you dont have a large baking tray) leaving 3cm in-between each cookie as they will spread a little in the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes.

The cookies will still be fairly soft when they come out of the oven, but this is fine as they firm when cooling.  Should be light golden in colour.

Two-way Chicken Soup

It’s a really good feeling when you cook and eat a dish that has been around you since you were a child.  Curative chicken soup has always been a part of my life, and this take on the recipe will always stay with you. It can seem like quite a long process, so you could make the stock the day before and the main soup the next day.

To make things a little more interesting, but equally as nourishing, a couple of changes in ingredients creates a more exotic Asian version. Its quite dramatic how this classic dish can become a different experience using the same cooking process.

Ingredients (for the stock).

1 chicken
4 peeled carrots (whole)
2 onions peeled and cut in half
1 leek chopped into four
2 celery sticks cut in half
2 tablespoons of decent stock powder (vegetable)

Ingredients for version 1: Classic Chicken Soup (serves 4)

200g mixed green vegetables (I used green beans, peas and broad beans)
400g potatoes
Fresh parsley chopped
2 Spring onions
Zest of a lemon

Ingredients for version 2: Asian Soup.

200g mixed green vegetables
150g rice noodles
Coriander chopped
2 spring onion
15g ginger (thumb size)
2/3 birds eye red chili (depending how hot you like it)
2 limes

Method

Ask the butcher to prepare your chicken, separating the legs, wings and breast, keeping the carcass.  Remove the skin from the legs (use a tea towel or kitchen roll to grip the skin and pull).

Take a large saucepan and put all of the stock ingredients in (except the breast, keep those in the fridge). Cover with water, put a lid on the pan and boil for 25 minutes.  Remove the legs and continue to cook for a further 2 hours.  Keep the water topped up and  the contents covered the duration of its cooking time. Strain the stock into a bowl and put aside.

Version 1: Classic Chicken Soup

Peel and slice the potato into 3cm rings.  Cook the potatoes in the stock, be careful not to move them too much otherwise they will break and make the stock cloudy. Once the potatoes are cooked turn off your stock.

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Meanwhile, oil the pan, when it’s piping hot lay the chicken breasts, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 4 mins each side on a medium heat. Cut the chicken breast into thick slices.  If you feel the breasts are not quite cooked, then sit them in the hot stock for a minute or so to finish off. At this stage you want to remove the meat from the leg of the chicken and put aside.

Cook off the green vegetables in boiling water (put the vegetables in as their individual cooking time demands ie. green beans would go in before peas and peas before broccoli) set the cooked vegetables to one side when cooked.

Slice the spring onions, zest the lemon and finely chop the parsley, and add to the stock to slightly soften. Hold a little of each back for the final garnish.

To present the soup, take four bowls and place the potatoes on the bottom of the bowl and the green vegetables on top. Place the sliced chicken breasts and legs onto the vegetables and ladle the hot stock over.  Garnish each plate with the chopped parsley, lemon zest and the thinly sliced spring onion.

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Version 2:  Asian Chicken Chili Soup

Cook off the noodles for 3 minutes until firm but not cooked, swiftly wash under cold water to prevent them sticking together. Oil the frying pan, when it’s piping hot lay the chicken breasts, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 4 mins each side on a medium heat. Cut the chicken breast into thick pieces. If you feel the breasts are not quite cooked, then sit them in the hot stock for a minute or so to finish off.

At this stage you want to remove the meat from the leg of the chicken and put aside.

Cook off the green vegetables in boiling water (put the vegetables in as their individual cooking time demands ie. green beans would go in before peas and peas before broccoli) set the cooked vegetables to one side when cooked.

Cut the ginger into thin matchstick pieces, thinly slice the chillies and the spring onions on a slight angle. Pick the leaves from coriander, rather than chopping as this gives the dish a more Asian feel.

Heat through the stock and add the matchsticks of ginger, half of the spring onions, chili and coriander and squeeze in one of the zested limes.

Taste the stock to make sure it is seasoned properly add some salt if needed and more lime to taste. Add the noodles to heat them through. To assemble the dish take four bowls and divide the noodles evenly (tongs work best for this), place the green vegetables on top. Lay flat the sliced chicken onto the vegetables and ladle the hot stock over.  Garnish each plate with the chopped chili, lime zest, the thinly sliced spring onion and a good pinch of coriander.