Teeny weeny gluten free blinis and a fancypants morning tea

Sometimes when there is a significant birthday, (you know, we all just turned 21 recently), our mothers group have been known to celebrate by putting on a fancypants morning tea.

We figure we can do a bloody nice job without forking out the big bucks elsewhere. It’s also a great excuse to use some of the lubbly jubbly old plateware that this Cheergerm voraciously crazily sensibly collects.

My food contribution to this delectable spread was a gaggle of gluten free blinis topped with silky smoked salmon, a burble of sour cream and and a dash of dill.

Other goodies included squares of a moreish gluten free chocolate cake, a beautiful Tasmanian squodge of Brie and chockie dipped strawberries. One of our number has discovered a gluten intolerance, hence we rolled ‘mostly GF’ so she could enjoy this slap-up feast.

A traditional Russian blini is a yeast raised buckwheat pancake that symbolised the sun. They had pride of place in a festival called ‘maslenitsa’ that marked the end of winter and the start of spring. How totally appropriate I thought (in complete research hindsight).

These nutty tasting, light gluten free beauties do not contain yeast, instead, I separated the egg whites and beat them into peaks before folding through the batter. They are best eaten on the day you make them. If that isn’t possible, I suggest warming them slightly before devouring them with whatever topping you so desire. On saying that, I have had them without being heated the next day and they were still delicious.

GLUTEN FREE BLINIS

WHAT YOU NEED
1 cup plain gf flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup of milk
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 tbl neutral oil
Extra pinch of salt
Little bit of butter or oil for the non-stick pan frying pan.

HOW YOU DO IT
Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
In a jug or small bowl, beat the milk, egg yolks, vinegar and oil together.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine.
In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the extra pinch of salt iuntil stiff peaks are formed.
Fold the egg white mixture into the combined flour and milk mixture.
Let the batter rest for about 30 minutes.
Heat the non stick pan to a medium heat, brush with a little butter or oil. Place teaspoons sizes if you want really weeny blinis or a dessertpoon full for a small blini, into the pan. Cook for around 2 minutes until bubbles start to form on the surface of the blini. Flip and cook for another 45 seconds or so on the second size. (My first batch is never the best, as the pan heats up the blinis tend to cook faster. )
Remove to a teatowel and cover. This keeps the blinis soft and nice like a snuggly blanket.
Keep cooking until all the batter is used up.
Makes about 30 small blinis. In this case I topped them with finely diced smoked salmon tossed in a big squeeze of lemon juice, a wee blob of sour cream and a sprig of dill. They are lovely with jam and cream as well.

Cooking note: variations in this batter may occur due to the size of the eggs used and the type of GF flour blend. Add a bit of extra buckwheat flour if the mixture isn’t as thick as a pikelet batter should be or a dash of milk if it’s too thick. The batter should be almost spongy, the photo below may give you an indication of the required texture.

A Cheergerm adaptation of a recipe from The Weiser Kitchen website. Link follows after photos.

http://theweiserkitchen.com/recipe/gluten-free-buckwheat-blini/

Advertisements

Titanic and a gluten free date slice

I swore I would never watch the movie, Titanic.

Managed to avoid it for years. Then, one stormy night, it came upon the TV and I did.

Lord, I loved it. Lord, I was surprised.

Leonardo Di Caprio, what a wee spunk. And the luminous Kate WInslet.

That kiss at the stern bow (I ain’t no freakin sailor) of the boat is the stuff that Mills and Boon is made of, on steroids. A sweaty palm on a fogged up window, the boat was heating up on the inside whilst the outside temperature dropped ominously.

All along, you know what is going to happen. Making this love story seem more heightened and intense.

Yeah, the ending sucked. Like really sucked. And mayhaps, you think the movie really sucks.

But this slice doesn’t.

If Kate and Leonardo had made it to a desert island (geographically unlikely I know) they could have made this slice with its tropical coconut and dates. Bummer.

The zippy lemon icing is the perfect foil (such a strange saying) to the sweetness of the dates and rich coconut. It’s like a bunch of hula dancing Hawaiian hotties jumped into your mouth and had a party.

DATE, COCONUT AND LEMON SLICE, GLUTEN FREE

WHAT YOU NEED
1/2 cup sorghum flour (60g)
1/4 cup brown rice flour (40g)
1/4 cup tapioca flour (40g)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Xanthum gum
1 big pinch salt
1 cup desiccated or shredded coconut
1 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup rapadura, coconut or brown sugar
Zest of a small lemon
125g butter
1 egg, lightly beaten

Lemon Icing
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbl lemon juice
15g butter, melted
1/4 cup extra coconut for sprinkling on top of slice

HOW YOU DO IT
Preheat oven to 180C.
Line an 18cm x 28cm slice tin with baking paper.
Sift the flours, baking powder, xanthum gum and salt into a large bowl.
Stir in the coconut, dates, sugar and lemon zest.
Add the melted butter and beaten egg and mix well.
Spread into the baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and firm. Cool in the tray.
Lemon Icing. Whilst the slice is cooling, add all the ingredients in a bowl and combine until smooth. Spread over the slice and sprinkle with the coconut. Cut into 12 squares and serve in an airtight container. This slice is a bit crumbly when you cut it but the rest of the slice holds together well.

Cooking Notes:
If you don’t have all of these flours you can use 140g of your preferred self raising gf flour blend.
This icing is thin but I knocked back the amount of icing sugar to try and minimise the sugar content a tad.

A Cheergerm adaptation from a recipe from the Womans Day website. See below for the link to the original recipe.

http://www.womansday.com.au/food/recipes/readers-recipes/2008/7/date-and-lemon-slice/


Gluten free zucchini fritters and a hankering

Kid 2: ‘I am a tiny bit weakened by winter and I think I am allergic to it, kind of like Kid 1 is allergic to spring.’

Kid, I hear you. Winter has weakened me, I hanker for stone fruit, light salad greens, vibrant vegetables, pretty frocks and fizzy wine. I long for sunshine on my pillow and swims in the pool on long, endless summer days.

My Cheergerm soul pines for the high pitched deafening buzz of cicadas and I yearn to be strong armed by sproglets into buying ice-cream at inappropriate times of the day.

Summer is now in sight and this is the kind of food that we will be eating.

Soft goats cheese marinated in olive oil and herbs makes another stunning appearance in these little beauties. The cheese provides the salty tang and works a treat with the pop of peas, zing of lemon, aromatic mint and springy zucchini. These fritters were light, like a summer sky. Don’t be a hater, just get it down you alligator.

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI AND GOATS CHEESE FRITTERS

WHAT YOU NEED
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
120g besan flour (chickpea flour)
2 large or 3 small zucchinis grated and squeezed well to get rid of excess liquid
1 cup frozen peas
Zest of one lemon
1 large handful of mint, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
Black pepper, a few generous grinds
100g marinated goats cheese
3 tbl olive oil

HOW YOU DO IT
Preheat oven to 180C.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add all the ingredients except the goats cheese and mix well.
Crumble the goats cheese into the batter and stir to combine.
Heat the oil in a medium to large saucepan over medium heat.
Add two large tablespoons of batter per fritter to the pan.
Cook for 3-4 minutes until a light golden brown then turn over and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side. Remove to an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Repeat this process until all the fritters are cooked.
Place tray of fritters in the oven for 10-15 minutes to cook through, this also turns them a tad more golden and crunchy.
Serve with a dipping sauce of either sour cream and sweet chilli, plain yoghurt and sweet chilli, salsa, or a tomato chutney. Great with a green salad, coleslaw, steamed beans or broccoli.
Makes around 10- 12 fritters, depending on how big you make them.

Cooking note: sometimes chickpea flour gets watery in a batter, if this happens, add an extra spoonful or two into the batter halfway through cooking.

A cheergerm adaptation of a recipe from the Taste website, link follows the recipe.

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/31267/zucchini+pea+and+mint+fritters