Spiced chestnut flour apple cake, gf

Oh no, not that old chestnut.

Rest assured, this is not some stale joke of a cake. After much searching, I finally found some chestnut flour and have been enjoying experimenting with this fine and light textured ingredient. Adapted from a lovely wee recipe on the Gluten Free Goddess blog, this cake is fruity, nutty, earthy and rich with spice.

It has been ‘dinner party tested twice’ and speedily gobbled up. And there is nothing tiresome or old about that.


Apple mixture
4 apples/ 800g (I used 2 Granny Smith and 2 small pink ladies)
1 tbl lemon juice
1 tsp raw caster sugar

1 cup almond meal
1 cup chestnut flour
3/4 cup gf plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 1/2 tsp vanilla bean essence)
1/2 tsp fine salt
3 eggs (70g each), room temperature
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup raw caster sugar
3 tbl light olive oil or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp raw sugar

Preheat oven to 170C and line a 24cm springform tin with baking paper.
Peel and cut the apples into a 2 cm dice, place in a bowl and add the lemon juice and tsp of raw caster sugar, stir and set aside.
Sift all of the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Beat the eggs and sugars in a large bowl until smooth then add sour cream and oil and combine well. (Add vanilla essence here if you are using it.)
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet until combined.
Smooth half of the batter over the base of the prepared tin.
Add the drained apples to the tin and gently press down a little.
Spread the remaining batter over the top of the apples. (This ain’t easy.) Then sprinkle the chopped pecans mixed with raw sugar over the top.
Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool for ten to fifteen minutes then release from the tin, remove onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
This cake is complemented by a splodge of whipped or double cream or creme fraiche.

An adaptation from the Gluten Free Goddess blog. Link to the original recipe after the photos.


The danger of eating chimichurri

The modern woman faces many challenges and hidden dangers. Point in case, a friend recently rushed home from work to get ready for a girls night out. She had 15 minutes to do so. Hair, done. Makeup applied, she was ready for the final touches of a finishing translucent powder to her face. As us ladies know, there is nothing worse than a shiny fizzog (face.)

She took her makeup brush, hurriedly swiped it across the product and diligently applied it vigorously to her forehead, chin, nose and cheeks. She put down her brush. Time to go, she thought and did a final check in the mirror. Staring back at her, other than the usual visage of loveliness, she now resembled a two year old who had gotten into her mothers makeup. Her entire face glowed like a red emergency beacon bobbing up and down in the ocean. It appears she had mistakenly applied her blush/rouge instead of the powder. Must wash face and start again, she sighed.

We were at a girly dinner the evening our friend recounted this story to us. That same night, another friend turned to me and said ‘you have something stuck between your teeth.’ Ahh, yes, I was encountering yet another hidden danger. The old ‘herb wedged in the dentures drama.’ Nothing quite completes a well put together look like a huge chunk of parsley stuck between your choppers. It says ‘class’. It says ‘look at me’. It says ‘you know I got it going on ‘. At this point, we rely on family, friends and sometimes embarrassingly, the kindness of strangers to point out our herbivorous shortcomings.

If you are willing to accept all the adventure and danger that freshly chopped herbs can bring you, I can’t think of a more exciting way to spark up grilled vegetables, meats, haloumi or eggs than chimichurri. I am currently addicted to this zingy, herbaceous South American condiment. Used as a sauce or a marinade, there are many variances between recipes. Some contain oregano, some use no vinegar. The beauty is that you can tinker around until you discover how you like it best.

But I beg you. Please let me know if there is something lodged between my pearly whites.

This makes a large squodge of sauce and keeps well for 3 days in a well sealed container in the fridge. I found this on a website (see link below) and have made it over and over again.

1/2 small red onion
3 cloves of garlic (if you like it really garlicky, add an extra clove or 2)
2 cups of well packed parsley and coriander. (I use a half/half mix. If you hate coriander, use parsely and a bit of fresh oregano.)
1/2 cup extra Virgin olive oil
2 tbl red wine vinegar
1 tbl lime juice
Sea salt and pepper

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic together until finely chopped.
Add the herbs and pulse briefly until finely chopped.
Put the herb and onion mixture into another bowl and stir in the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
It can also be used as a marinade.

Go here for the original recipe:

Hey dude, don’t call me dude corn fritters

Buying a new computer sucks. No matter how crap your old one is, it’s somewhat akin to ending a destructive intimate relationship. You may have to come to loathe them, yet you know their foibles and quirks. You keep coming back for more, even when they continue to let you down.

Hence, shopping around begun. The first two young men, at two different mega stores, were 20 something self professed computer nerds. (I prefer to call them enthusiasts.) Both had super long hair, tied back and both were battling errant flakes of dry scalp that adorned their tresses like fake snow at Christmas. (Bless them). They were fountains of information and happy to hear what I wanted and what my opinions were. (Even though my eyes were rolling back in my head due to a total lack of comprehension.)

Young guy No 2, in his excitement at explaining a new space age laptop and it’s amazing abilities, exclaimed to me ‘it has 12 gigabytes, dude!’

Dude!? I have always thought of myself as non-conformist and reasonably ‘hip to the jive’. Whilst I found this moniker slightly amusing, I had to admit that the inner Victorian within (lace stays and corsets done up tightly) was a little taken aback. Not being an actual ‘dude’ and all that. Let alone the fact that the normal sales assistants that one encountered, did not usually call their customers dude.

So, off to the third unnamed mega store. This third much, much older guy, allowed me to briefly explain my needs. He then condescendingly, proceeded to tell me what I needed. I dared to asked him a question at the end of his diatribe. His reply? A brusque ‘come back when you are ready to buy and I will tell you the answer.’

In the light of guy number 3, I was forced to reconsider my opinion. I think that now, I am more than happy to be called dude. I also know where I won’t be buying my new computer.

Enjoy this recipe dudes. (I imagine this may be a dish that those totally awesome computer dudes would enjoy). These fritters are a fab light, vegetarian (and gluten free) dinner.

Dude, don’t call me dude corn fritters

1 small red onion, finely diced
1 corn cob, kernels cut off
1 cup besan (chickpea) flour
1 egg
1 tbl chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground chilli powder
Few grinds black pepper
Up to 1/3 cup water
2 tablespooons rice bran oil or vegetable oil

Place all the ingredients except the water in a large bowl.
Add the water slowly and mix to form a batter. You may not need all of the water, I used the 1/3 of a cup but it will depend on your chickpea flour.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium heat.
Add ungainly large spoonfuls of the batter to the frypan. Cook 4 to 5 minutes until just turning golden, flip carefully and transfer onto a tray lined with baking paper.
Once they are all pan fried, transfer the fritters into the oven and cook 8- 10 mins until golden and crispy.
Serve with whatever you want. We enjoyed it with a dollop of plain yoghurt mixed with sweet chilli sauce and a simple rocket salad.

Makes about 9 – 12 depending on the size you make them!

A cheergerm recipe