Mini Coconut and Cranberry Munchies

This morning I fancied making something quick and sweet for a special treat to have with our cuppa.  I like to have homemade goodies readily available rather than shop bought biscuits and cakes for several reasons:

  • they are tastier and healthier – homemade cakes are additive-free and made with natural ingredients
  • they are of course always gluten free, so I can indulge too
  • I know what’s in them – with all the chemicals shop-bought cakes have in them, the ingredient lists read more like a science experiment than a food item!
  • and because it’s so much nicer to offer homemade treats when friends pop in
This recipe is naturally gluten free and dairy free and for that matter grain free too. It makes about 18 -20 little bite sized morsels. These little fun bites can be stored up to a week in an airtight container, although in this house they are usually gone by day two!
You will need:

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Baked Syrup Sponges

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This is another recipe that is in my favourites list from the book ‘Totally Flour-Free Baking’ by Dinah Wilson. These are so tasty, they are so sweet and syrupy and the sponge is so light, they only have five ingredients, all of which are easily bought from your local supermarket. They really remind me of and old fashioned steamed pud and are so easy to make. Have them with custard or ice-cream or maybe on their own with more syrup poured over. Yummy.

You will need:

  • 5 dstsp golden syrup
  • 120g ground almonds
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 3 medium eggs – separated
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 5 oven proof cups – about 200ml in size – well buttered/greased

Next:

  • Turn oven on to 170C/325F/Gas mark 3 or if you are like me and have a fan oven then 150C works well.
  • Spoon one level desert spoon of the golden syrup into the base of each of the well buttered cups
  • Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar together two times.
  • Beat the eggs yolks together with the vanilla essence, I just use a wire whisk
  • Beat the eggs whites until very stiff, I use my Kitchen Aid for this, then pour the egg yolk mixture onto the egg whites and stir thoroughly with a wire whisk
  • Now sprinkle the almond/icing sugar mix over the top of the egg mix and fold in gently using a large metal spoon. At this point I find a last mix with a rubber spatula collects all the mixture on the sides and gives it a final proper mix in.
  • Spoon the fluffy mixture on top of the syrup in the cups and level out carefully. The mixture will rise up and then sink back as it cooks, so be careful not to overfill the cups.
  • Now put the cups on a baking bray and cook in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. The centres should be just firm and the sponge a golden colour. Mine took 30 minutes but yours make take less depending on what oven you have.
  • When they are ready, pop them out of the oven and then run a knife around the edges to loosen and turn out onto your desert plate. Enjoy on their own or add your favourite custard/icecream.

 

Now, if you are able to resist and not eat them all at once, then they are fine to keep in their cups and turn out the next day for a lunch treat, eat them cold on their own or with custard or if you want them hot, nuke them in a microwave for about 20 seconds, be careful as the syrup will be hotter than the sponge.

 

GF and Vegan Energy Bars

I have tried several recipes for energy bars and this is the one that all the family like. My daughter has just recently chose to go vegan and so this ones for her…

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  • 125g Apricots (roughly chopped)
  • 150ml orange juice
  • 50g Coconut oil (or 50g butter for not vegan)
  • 75g maple syrup (or 75g runny honey for not vegan)
  • 150g unrefined cane sugar (demerara)
  • 175g Pure gluten free porridge oats
  • 50g sultanas
  • 75g pecan nuts
  • 50g mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • 25g sesame or other seeds (eg linseed)
  • Line a square ‘brownie’ tin (approx. 9inches) with baking parchment
  • Oven temp – 190c/375c/gas mark 5
  1. In a large saucepan bring the apricots and orange to the boil and simmer gently (uncovered) for about 20 mins so that the apricots are soft then blitz them in a food processor to make a puree
  2. Put puree back in saucepan and add the coconut oil, maple syrup and sugar. Cook over a low heat for about 5 mins to dissolve the sugar – keep an eye and stir occasionally
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients. The mixture will be quite sticky
  4. Spoon into the lined tin, level the sticky mixture and press down, I find using the back of a fork better as it sticks to anything else.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, check if done, if it still seems a bit goey in the middle give it another 5 mins. You may have to flatten it down again.
  6. When done allow to cool in the tin, then turn out, remove lining and cut into whatever size you want.