Gluten Free Coconut and Raspberry Chocolate Fondants.

Does anyone else think GBBO was unfair on Wednesday?

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GBBO to those not in the know is the Great British Bake Off. I love it! Watching them create those masterpieces and how they think some of them up – unbelievable!

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But Wednesday night I was livid. Poor Iain! It wasn’t even his fault – Diana removed his ice cream from the freezer. Why would you do that Diana? Why?!

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So this is my tribute to Iain and their first challenge – the melty sponge. Mine is a helluva lot simpler  (there’s a reason I’m not on GBBO!) but still damn tasty. AND it uses the vegan chocolate from Seed & Bean Coconut and raspberry chocolate. So a winner on all rounds (except for poor Iain).

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And on a side note, I may or may not be having this for breakfast.

Ingredients (for 3 fondants):

85g Seed & Bean Dark Chocolate with Coconut and Raspberry

2 Tbsp. Gluten Free Flour (I used Dove’s)

75g butter

75g caster sugar

1 Tsp. vanilla extract

1 egg

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease 3 ramekins, then melt together the butter and chocolate in a bain marie. Stir, and when it’s melted remove from the heat. Beat the egg with the caster sugar, then add in the vanilla extract and the flour. Fold in the melted chocolate and divide between the ramekins. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove and eat up – perfect with cream! These can be covered in cling film and chilled for up to 2 days, but remove from the fridge at least 45 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature.

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I tried to tip it out to look all professional but it failed! Let me know if you manage to do it. If not, trust me, it still tastes amazing.

Toffee, Pear and Frangipane Tart.

I have had such a lazy week. I sprained my ankle last Friday (it ballooned up and looked hilarious – if it weren’t so painful it would be funny) and so I’ve not been able to do any exercise. And boredom leads me to eating… It’s a complete reverse of the past few weeks! Thank goodness bootcamp is starting up again next week, else the inches I lost last time will be back for good! Noooooo!

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Anyhoo. This is a showstopper, perfect for a dessert after a dinner party. You can make your own pastry or use store bought – either way, it’s going to taste good. Before making this tart, I did not know how simple it is to make your own toffee sauce! Seriously. It’s two ingredients. I’m never buying it again! Think of the possibilities – dribbling it over popcorn, dipping strawberries into it, eating it with a spoon…

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This uses 4 pears, so that must count as some of your five a day, surely.

Ingredients:

50g butter

3 Tbsp. soft brown sugar

4 pears

300g ready made shortcrust pastry

75g butter

75g caster sugar

1 large egg

25g plain flour

75g ground almonds

Heat the oven to 190C and put a baking tray in the oven. Peel and core each of the pears, then cut each into 8 wedges.

Gently melt the 50g of butter and brown sugar until the sugar has melted. Add the pears and cook them for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Put a sieve over a bowl and tip the pears into it. Set them aside to cool, reserving the toffee sauce.

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Roll the pastry and line a loose-bottomed tart tin. Trim the edges and line the pastry with baking paper and baking beans. Bake for 18 minutes then leave to cool.

Beat the 75g butter with the sugar until soft and fluffy, then beat in the egg, flour and almonds.

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Spread this on the pastry case, then arrange the pears on top.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. When cool pour over the toffee sauce. Serve with cream or ice cream.

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Coconut and cardamom pannacotta.

I made my first ever pannacotta quite recently and it was a major hit! However, when the family party rolled around and I was asked to make it again, it was a shamble. The pannacotta didn’t set so it was like a cream-milkshake thing. Tasty, sure, but definitely not a pannacotta. So of course I had to try again. And, hallelujah, it worked!

This isn’t strictly speaking a classic pannacotta, as I’ve added coconut milk for a taste of the orient. It is delicious after a curry as it continues the tropical aromas whilst not leaving you completely stuffed. And if you add a slice of juicy mango on top that must surely count as one of your five a day, no?

This recipe is from Rachel Allen’s Easy Meals, and golly is it easy.

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So how do you do it, I hear you ask? Read on, MacDuff!

Ingredients:

  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 150ml double cream (single would work too!)
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 4 leaves of gelatine
  • 400ml of coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 mango, optional, to serve

The fiddliest part of the whole dessert – gaffing with the cardamom pods. First you need to get the seeds out of the pods, so place the pods on a chopping board and lay the flat side of a large knife over the top. Press down to crush, and extract the seeds (you can chuck the pods) and crush to a powder with a pestle and mortar.

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Place the crushed seeds in a saucepan and add the cream and the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it’s dissolved, remove from the heat.

Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatine has become very soft.

Place the cream mixture back on the hob on a medium heat, then add in the coconut milk. Whisk to make sure the coconut milk is smooth. Add the gelatine and as soon as it’s dissolved remove the mix from the heat.

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Divide the mixture between 4-6 small bowls or glasses and set in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Serve topped with some mango slices and demolish!

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Lemon and Poppy Seed Mousse.

The lovely people at Seed & Bean sent me a little supply of chocolate for me to toy around with. Suffice it to say, the first bar barely saw the kitchen – only my mouth. I regained a little willpower though with the others (marginally!), and knew exactly what I wanted to do with the white chocolate bar; a chocolate mousse. The richness of the chocolate compliments the airiness of a mousse, so although this is a decadent dessert, it’s not sickly sweet.

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I first came across Seed & Bean in a little shop in Bristol Market, where it was actually this lemon and poppy seed white chocolate which attracted me, chocolate fiend I am. But not only do they make bloody amazing chocolate, it’s good for you too! Well, not your figure, but your impact in the world. Ethically traded (they have received 100% ethical accreditation from The Ethical Company Organisation), fair-trade, organic and handmade here in Blighty. Basically, it’s heaven in a bar.

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So go grab yourself a selection (their new Glastonbury range looks to die for!) and make yourself happy – even happier still if you turn one into this mousse!

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Ingredients for two:

85g Seed & Bean Lemon and Poppy Seed White Chocolate

40ml semi-skimmed milk

1 egg white

110ml double cream

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How to:

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie, then take it off the heat and whisk in the milk.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg white until small peaks form, then fold it into the chocolate mix.

In another bowl whisk the cream until stiff (sorry about all the washing up), then fold that into the chocolate mix. If it looks a bit lumpy to you, pass it through a sieve. If not, go ahead and pour it into 2 martini glasses.

Chill for about 3 hours, then serve it up – or put on Bridget Jones and eat them both yourself. Haven’t you heard? Seed & Bean mousse is the new Ben & Jerry’s.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake.

This was my aunt’s present to me when I went to stay with her when I went to Royal Ascot (really the thing I need before fitting in a little white dress – copious amounts of chocolate!). I saved it until afterwards, then I powered through it, like a beast.

We were so lucky this past weekend with the weather – barely a cloud in the sky. Ascot, as expected, was fabulous, but we were so preoccupied with the champagne and Pimm’s that we forgot to eat. Un-freaking-believable. But as you can imagine, when we got back and saw this, well, there was no question. We had to have some. And by some, I mean, most of it.

It uses a whopping 10 eggs so make sure you’ve popped down to your local farm shop for free range eggs for this. And you’ll need chocolate. Lots of lovely, lovely chocolate. Oh, and don’t forget your appetite.

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Ingredients:

10 eggs

3 oz cocoa

7 oz caster sugar

 

Method:

whisk yolks with caster sugar

sieve in cocoa

whisk egg whites to stiff peaks

fold in egg whites

divide between 3 8” sandwich tins

bake for 20 mins at 180C

(As you can probably tell, my aunt gave me this recipe whilst we were a little tipsy on champagne, hence the brevity of the method – well, at least it’s succinct!). She also made it again for my 21st birthday – that’s why we were on champers!

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Sangria Granita.

Alcoholic desserts are just the best. And this one is up there with the best of the best. A good quality Cabernet with the sweetness of orange juice and the iciness of the granita equals a fabulous summer dessert! It’s nice and light too, so it won’t leave you feeling bloated and full. If you like sangrias you will LOVE this. It literally takes a few minutes for prep and requires no more than a few hours in the freezer, a good forking (did I just say good forking?) and you will be on your patio in no time, spoon in one hand, book in the other.

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Ingredients:

  • 175ml Cabernet Sauvignon (or your favourite red)
  • 125ml water
  • 35g sugar
  • 125ml orange juice

Method:

In a saucepan combine the wine, water and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute then remove off of the heat and add in the orange juice.

Pour into a 9×9 metal pan and let cool before popping it into the freezer.

After 30 minutes remove. With a fork scrape the edges and break up any frozen clumps. Return to the freezer for 30 more minutes and repeat one or two more times.

Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Scrape the granita one last time before dishing it up into small bowls or glasses.

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