Gluten Free Ground Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies – Miss Muffin Made These Marvellous Morsels.

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Look at this wonderful photo, Miss Muffin (nearly 12yrs) took it. She has a keen interest in photography and has a far better eye than me. She is also coming along nicely with her kitchen skills and is still making the odd meal. She doesn’t want me to blog every one so I have respected that. These cookies need a mention though, these were so good that I could have eaten far too many. That is not like me, I am not a food binger. I had to get Mr Muffin to hide them from me as they were part of my baking for his work along with the Cherry Turnovers. You have been warned.

The original recipe can be found on Wellness Mamma.

Gluten Free Ground Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: around 16 cookies
  • Print

2 cups ground almond

1/4 cup castor sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2  cup/115g of melted butter (can use the same amount of melted coconut oil)

1 large egg lightly whisked

1 cup dark chocolate chips (we used Whittaker’s 70% Dark Ghana)

Heat oven to 180c.

Line 2 cookie sheets with grease proof paper.

Mix ground almonds, castor sugar, baking soda and pinch of salt.

Add melted butter and stir until it forms a dough.

Then add egg and stir in, should become slacker.

Stir in chocolate chips until well mixed.

Make into balls that are roughly tablespoon size,

Place on prepared cookie sheet leaving a space of roughly 4cm.

Bake until tops are lightly browned.

Remove from oven and leave on the sheet to cool enough to touch.

When cool remove to a wire rack.

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Cherry and Almond Cake and the one egg saga

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I have this problem, I can not cope when there is space in the oven for something else and I have just one egg left. One egg drives me mad. It screams to be used and use it I must.

This happened just yesterday and my frantic goggling for a cake recipe that uses just one 1 egg and me mixing it up made for a very lovely cherry and almond cake which was very easy to make. Yes, cherries and almonds again. I do love them so. The original recipes is here.

This recipe makes a very robust European tasting cake, it is not on the light fluffy scale. If you don’t have the cherries it will still be interesting.

Cherry Almond Cake

Grease 20cm round cake tin
1 Cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 (170 grms) Melted butter
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 c ground almonds  (75grm packet)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup drain morello cherries (I used jar Delmaine)
1/2 c slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 180
Grease a 9″ cake tin and line with baking paper
Lightly whisk sugar and eggs
Slowly whisk in melted butter until well combined
Stir in almond extract and ground almonds
Stir in flour, baking powder and salt
Spread half the batter over prepared tin
Stir cherries into remaining half and spread over existing batter
Sprinkle slivered almonds over the top

Bake for around 30- 40 minute, until set and top browning
Cool in tin for around 10 minute, loosen with a knife, remove baking paper and place on wire rack.

Dinner party- Indian slow cooked beef, Chocolate Tart and Chewy Orange and Almond Cookies

Just can not turn it around.

Just can not turn it around.

The dinner party-

I decided to have a dinner party on a Friday. I planned all the ‘making life easy’ moves and ensured I wouldn’t have too much to do when I got home from work at 3.00pm. I, of course, still ended up on my feet until dinner was served at 6.30pm.

The menu was Indian themed.

Nibbles were bhuja, popadoms and Indian frozen snacks (cooked of course)

The main-
Pakistani “old clothes” beef curry (nihari)
Cumin Potatoes
Cauliflower and tomato curry
Naan bread

The pudding –
Chewy orange and almond cookies.
Chocolate macaroon cake

The slow cooker beef was a bit of a gamble, but one that paid off. Beef and Indian food are not usually a match but in the north of the country beef is eaten. This sounded appealing and like a Indian version of pulled pork. It worked and was very tasty and lovely. I would recommend any Indian food/ slow cooker fans to get the book it came from as it gives a real idea of how to get flavour into the meal and quantities needed.

The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
By Anupy Singla

Pakistani “old clothes” beef curry (nihari)
Ingredients
2 medium yellow onions, peeled, cut in half, sliced
2 lbs beef brisket, trimmed of fat
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into chunks
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 heaping tsp ground (powdered) ginger
4 green or white cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp garam masala
2 Tbsp ground fennel
1 Tbsp ground mild (red) chili pepper
2 pinches ground nutmeg
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black salt (or substitute kosher salt)
1/2 cup canola oil
Directions
Place the onions in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, and set the meat on top. In a food processor or mortar and pestle, grind the ginger and garlic to a paste, and add it to the slow cooker.

Add the remaining ingredients and drizzle the oil over everything; no need to mix! Cook on LOW for 9 hours (after 5 hours, turn the meat), until the beef falls apart.

Remove the meat to a bowl, and shred it with two forks. Return the meat to the slow cooker and toss with the sauce. Serve with naan or over white, brown or basmati rice.

My main adaptation was, I drained the juices off the meat into a saucepan. I shredded the meat and placed back in the slow cooker with some of the juices to cook for a further 40ish minutes.

This dish was really, really tasty. It was different from the normal India food but I would certainly make it again.

Not a pretty picture but had a pretty taste. Full of flavour.

Not a pretty picture but had a pretty taste. Full of flavour.

Now to talk about my favourite bit, PUDDING.
I did 2 choices but we all had both.
With the tart I left out the coffee liqueur and substituted the hazelnuts for ground almonds. This was one impressive pudding and easy to do. I made the base the night before and then did the chocolate mousse as soon as I got in from work. I will be making this again.

So, so good. look at that base. Gluten free too.

So, so good. look at that base. Gluten free too.

Chocolate Macaroon Tart (GF)
2 x #6 egg whites
¼ cup caster sugar
50 grams hazelnuts, finely ground
¾ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Chocolate Mousse
½ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
pinch sea salt
200 grams dark chocolate, 62% cocoa, finely chopped
50 grams butter, diced
2 tablespoons liqueur, I used a coffee liqueur
¾ cup cream, softly whipped
24 cm spring form cake tin
Grease the cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan bake.
Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar until thick and glossy.
Combine the hazelnuts, coconut, icing sugar and ginger then fold into the egg whites in two batches.
Spoon into the tin and smooth the top.
Bake for 20 minutes until firm to the touch and a pale golden. Cool completely.
Mousse: Put the water, vanilla, sugar, oil and the salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Take off the heat and immediately add the chocolate and butter. Leave for 1 minute then whisk until smooth and shiny. Stir in the liqueur, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool. Fold in ½ of the cream then gently but thoroughly fold in the remaining cream, stopping as soon as it is combined. Don’t over mix or the chocolate will go grainy.

Pour the mousse over the base and very gently shake the tin to settle it in an even layer. Decorate the edges with extra shaved chocolate if desired then chill for several hours until firm.

To serve: Remove the sides of the tin and carefully peel off the baking paper. Remove the tart from the base and transfer to a serving plate. Serve well chilled straight from the refrigerator topped with fresh raspberries. Serves 8-12

I have made these next biscuits several times. I was directed to the recipe by a fellow almond lover, Micky. It took me a while to make them and they are now requested fairly frequently. They are mouth wateringly good. The recipe is from Chelsea Sugar, use their ingredients, they are quality.

The yoghurt is a sneaky preview sample, boy, it is good.

The yoghurt is a sneaky preview sample, boy, it is good.

Chelsea Sugar Chewy Almond Orange Biscuits – Gluten Free
Ingredients
2 cups ground almonds
1 cup Chelsea Caster Sugar
finely grated rind of one orange
2 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks
1 heaped Tbsp honey, warmed
Chelsea Icing Sugar to dust
Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Dust this with icing sugar.
Mix all ingredients to a thick paste.
Sieve a layer ofi cing sugar onto the work surface and roll small balls of the mixture in the icing sugar to coat well.

Press down on the trays leaving plenty of room to spread. (Biscuits just need to be pressed down slightly not flattened out with a fork as you do with other biscuits).

Bake for 15— 18 minutes then cool on a wire rack— store in an airtight container.

Cherry and apple strudel

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This morning we had friends around for brunch.  If I do say myself, it was rather yum. I will talk about the hash browns another time, they came with the first with some more savoury items. The strudel came next and was so, so, so good. I served it with the Christmas special from The Collective Dairy – Vanilla Bean Custard. Oh blimey, they worked well together, very well. In fact so well that I saved all the crumbs and odd bits of cherries and sprinkled the on the left over for yoghurt for later.

Anyway, on to the strudel. I must confess that I used filo and didn’t spend hours making really, really thin strudel pastry. I used the filo from the fridge in the supermarket as I find it easier to work with. I filled it with cherries as I had a jar in the cupboard and I love cherries. I couldn’t get fresh ones as they would never last past getting stoned. The one things about strudel is, it is easy and you can put what ever you like in.

heat oven to 180 (160 on fan)

Ingredients

Filo pastry- 8 sheets (I used Timos)

Jar of cherries

2 apples

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 lemon

Ground almonds

Around 100 g melted butter with a teaspoon of vanilla essence added

Clean tea towel

Directions-

Drain the cherries, get as much liquid out as possible

Peel and thinly slice the apples

Add fruit to a bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and squeeze lemon juice over  (I did night before and stuck in the fridge so was all ready  in the morning)

Lay the clean tea towel out and put 1 sheet of filo on it, brush with butter

Lay another sheet on top and brush again,

Lay the next sheet on and brush with butter then sprinkle some ground almonds over

Repeat until all 8 sheets have been used

Turn the sheets so the long side is horizontal

Sprinkle ground almonds in a long thin rectangle , just enough to cover ( leave a gap of 3cm from all edges and make it around 10cm high)

Put fruit mix over the almonds, try not to transfer any liquid

Grab the end of the tea towel closest to you and pull up so strudel rolls over the filo

Transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking paper, you can curl it around to fit

Bake until browned- around 40 minutes

Leave to cool slightly and sprinkle with icing sugar

Slice on the diagonal and serve warm with Vanilla Bean Custard.

There are a good few clips on YouTube about the whole strudel business, I  like this one with a huge strudel-

The roll

Persian Love cake- almond heaven

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I made this cake to have as pudding after my lovely friend Lily made us dinner. I wanted something that would go with well flavoured food and this fitted that perfectly. There are all kinds of opinions of this cake on the net and ideas about the origins of the recipe. All you really need to know is it is easy, wonderful and my kind of pudding.

I made the Gourmet Traveller recipe and will stick to this. Next time I may add some lemon rind or well drained jar cherries. My mouth is watering just thinking about cherries in this cake, it would be very bakewell like.

Ingredients

360 gm (3 cups) almond meal (ground almonds)
220 gm (1 cup) raw sugar (demerara sugar)
220 gm (1 cup) brown sugar
120 gm unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250 gm Greek-style yoghurt, plus extra to serve
1 tbsp freshly grated nutmeg (I also added 1 tsp cardamom)
45 gm (¼ cup)  pistachios, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 180C. Combine almond meal, sugars, butter and 1 tsp salt in a bowl, then rub with fingertips until coarse crumbs form. Spoon half the mixture into a lightly buttered and baking paper-lined 26cm-diameter springform pan, gently pressing to evenly cover base.

Add egg, yoghurt and nutmeg to remaining crumble mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Pour over prepared base, smooth top, scatter pistachios around edge and bake until golden (30-35 minutes.) Cool completely in pan on a wire rack to room temperature, then serve with extra yoghurt. The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Gluten-free lemon drizzle cake

Mr Muffin has a roster for Friday morning tea at his place of work. It was his turn and I kindly offered to bake. This always seems like a good idea and then my panic sets in, these people have expectations when it comes to our turn. As there are a couple of gluten free folks, I decided to make a cake to suit their needs. On my voyage into the world of recipes I found a GF cake with potato in it, yes, the humble spud. This had to be tried. And try I did.
Well, I didn’t really try it. I sent the cake in whole with instructions that a decent slice must come home. I made the mash the night before and stuck it in the fridge. I brought it to room temperature before using.
I guess the cake really was a success as this is what I got-

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This is the recipe and it was from the BBC Good Food site.
•    200g butter , softened
•    200g golden caster sugar
•    4 eggs
•    175g ground almonds
•    250g mashed potatoes
•    zest 3 lemons
•    2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
FOR THE DRIZZLE
•    4 tbsp granulated sugar
•    juice 1 lemon
•    Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a deep, 20cm round cake tin. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, then gradually add the egg, beating after each addition. Fold in the almonds, cold mashed potato, lemon zest and baking powder.
•    Tip into the tin, level the top, then bake for 40-45 mins or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack after 10 mins cooling. Mix the granulated sugar and the lemon juice together, then spoon over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let the cake cool completely before slicing.
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