Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Brazilian banana and chocolate chip tapioca cake - gluten free

This cake is a Brazilian love affair, made with tapioca flour (a staple in Brazil), bananas (10% of the worlds banana's are produced in Brazil) and chocolate (Brazil being the 6th largest producer of Cocoa bean in the world) this cake is my World Cup recipe. Personally I can't stand football and I would rather watch paint dry so I thought I try to get in the spirit of things by baking a cake that takes it inspiration from the country of Brazil.

Bahia, Sao Paulo, Brasilia are all mentioned in the classic track by "Brazilian Love Affair" by George Duke which I recall being played over and over by elder soul / jazz funk loving sister when I was a child and it all seamed so exotic and tropical, so here are some of the flavours of Brazil in cake form.

Happily for me Tapioca flour is naturally gluten free so is a great flour to be baking with here, fairly easily obtainable mail order or in your local health food shop.

This image is an image of an image of the cake on a tablet pc, Mr Lancashire Food being very creative ! when it comes to food photography.

What you need
  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 3 large ripe bananas - mashed
  • 1/2 cup oil - Coconut oil is nice but regular sunflower would work here too
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (cardamon would also be good)
  • 2 eggs - free range
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 bag of dark chocolate chips (I always toss in a little of the flour to prevent them from sinking too much)
This recipe makes 2 x 2lb loaf tin cakes, I used the ready to use liners but you could lightly oil and base line instead.

What you do 
  • Pre heat the oven to 180c 
  • Whisk up the sugar, eggs and oil until light and frothy, add the rest of the ingredients except the choc chips.
  • Stir in until you have a smoothish mixture and then stir in the choc chips 
  • Pour in the prepare tin, smooth level and bake for 50 - 55 minutes until golden and test cooked with a skewer
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so in the tins and then remove to a cooling rack.
  • The flavour of the cake develops more fully the day after baking.
A delicious cake inspired by Brazil, it has a wonderful crumb structure and is not dry or gritty as often cakes containing rice flour can be. 

I'm adding this post to Bake of the week over on Casa Costello 

                                                          Casa Costello

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Hollands new Steak and Guinness Pie

Hollands Pies sent us a few samples of their recently launched Steak and Guinness pie for taste testing. Frankly I'd forgotten they were on their way but hey ho...., Mr LF was put in charge of tasting given that they contain pastry and beer, two things that are off the menu for me now that I'm gluten free.

Initial impressions were good, the pictures on the box of a juicy well packed pie with a rich dark gravy all contained in Hollands trademark pastry looked tempting.

Hollands have been making pies for 160 years and this new introduction to their range retails for around the £2 mark and is available through Tesco and other retailers.

On opening the box Mr LF was a little disappointed as the pie definitely wasn't as tall as the one pictured on the box, for the purposes of taste testing the pie was cooked both in the oven and in the microwave following the instructions on the box. In both cases the flavour of the filling was good, the gravy rich with only a slight hint of the classic Guinness flavour. The pie did contain chunks of steak but also some shredded steak as well with a good quantity of gravy. The oven baked pie's pastry was crispy and crumbly and was the much preferred pie by Mr LF, but the one microwaved was soggy and a little rubbery.

Overall this is not a bad addition to the Hollands range but definitely not a rival to the classic Potato and meat pie.

The pies where supplied on a complimentary basis by Hollands for review and testing purposes, any opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Back of the fridge frittata

This recipe came about by combination of wanting to use a few bits and bats that were hanging around in the fridge and the ongoing battle of egg mountain (i.e a recipe that uses plenty of eggs), so using a Spanish omelette as the basis the back of the fridge frittata was born.

Its a versatile forgiving recipe that can use a variety of ingredients and is frugal and filling, its also great to serve cold with salad in a lunchbox (As I have done on several occasions) or as tapas cut into bite size squares with olives with a glass of wine or beer.

What You need
  • Onion - large finely chopped
  • 1 tin of potatoes - drained (or quantity of cold leftover cooked potatoes) - sliced about the thickness of a £1 coin
  • Salami or chorizo (if using)
  • Red pepper / green peppers (could be out of a jar)
  • Mushrooms (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 eggs - whisked
  • Olive oil
Large frying pan and pre heated grill (broiler for our US friends)

What you do
  • Heat some olive oil in the frying pan over a medium heat
  • Add the onions and cook gently until softened and add the chorizo
  • Cook the peppers and mushrooms (if uncooked) in the same pan
  • Now add the sliced potatoes, move around in the pan ensuring nothing is sticking
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Pour over the eggs and cook until set around the sides
  • Place under the pre heated grill until golden and bubbling
  • Serve in generous wedges
  • Or allow to cool and pack in the fridge for a quick snack or easy lunch dish.

Here it is served with a freshly picked salad from the garden, the salad contains rocket, spinach and mizuna. If you wanted to make this vegetarian just omit the chorizo and of course this is naturally gluten free. Courgette, aubergine or artichoke would also make tasty additions to the dish.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Amaretto chocolate torte - Gluten Free

Chocolate cakes are always popular regardless of the time of year and this is a recipe I have been using for quite a while even before I went gluten free, the resultant cake or should I say torte is not a natural beauty but it is light, moist and very chocolately. The addition of amaretto and almond essence make this an adult treat and a cake that can both happily be served with a cup of tea or cream for a dinner party.

Whipped up in a flash this is an easy reliable recipe, which despite having a fragile top (as you can see from the photographs) is happy to sit in a cake for a few days whilst its devoured. Its also currently a favourite as it uses a good quantity of eggs and the battle of the egg mountain continues, 3 hens equals 3 eggs a day most days and as we are a 2 person household that's a lot of eggs. We do give to friends but most of our neighbours keep hens too so the market is limited locally.

What you need
  • 200g salted butter - chopped into chunks
  • 200g dark chocolate - broken into pieces
  • 4 eggs - large and free range
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour (Gluten free)
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp amaretto
  • 1 tsp almond extract
Greased and base lined round cake tin, loose bottomed or springform is best about 22cm diameter

What you do 
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan over a very low heat, keep stirring so it melts and is smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar in a mixer until light frothy and the consistency of custard. This will take about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chocolate and butter mix to the egg and sugar mixture and also the flour and almonds, fold in with a large metal spoon retaining as much air as possible.
  • Once full mixed pour into your prepared cake tin and bake for 35 minutes until risen slightly and set in the middle. This is more of a torte than a cake.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin

This recipe is being linked to We should Cocoa created by Choclette and hosted this month over on Utterly Scrummy food, the theme this month is Gluten Free, so this cake qualifies.


And I am also linking up to  Baking with Spirit , created by Cake of the Week and hosted this month over at The usual saucepans , the theme being a re-invented classic. This chocolate torte is a recipe I have had for a while but I have added the twist of amaretto and almond extract to give it an adult twist, its also gluten free too which is always a bonus.

                                                                 Baking with Spirit Logo
And my final linky is to Alphabakes, with the letter D this month, so I am using Dark Chocolate as my entry into this challenge hosted by Caroline Bakes and More than the occasional baker.


I am also linking up to Bake of the Week over at my fellow cakeclubbing WI member blogging chum Casa Costello 
                                                            Casa Costello

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Gluten free rhubarb and rose cake

Yet another Rhubarb recipe, this one is combined with rose cordial in a gluten free cake mixture, satisfyingly tasty and better eaten the next day this a great recipe for lunch boxes in the summertime. Not overtly sweet the rhubarb really sings with the subtle hint of rose.

Currently in the garden rose "Gertrude Jekyll" is flowering prolifically,so this is the inspiration for this bake, a deep rose pink highly fragranced David Austin rose with ample double blooms. Roses always mean summer to me, their luscious fragrances and ample flowers and also quintessentially English.

A delicious bake with a good crumb studded with tangy juicy chunks of rhubarb.

What you need
  • 3 or 4 talks rhubarb, washed and chopped into 1cm ish chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups of ground almonds
  • 1 cup of gluten free plain flour (I used Doves Farm)
  • 150g softened butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tbsp rose syrup
  • 4 eggs - free range
23 cm cake tin, base lined (ideally loose bottomed or spring form)

What you do 
  • Pre heat the oven to 180c
  • Toss the prepared rhubarb into the flour and ground almond mixture
  • Beat the sugar and softened butter together until light and slightly fluffy, add the vanilla and rose syrup
  • Add the eggs one by one , don't worry to much if the mixture curdles slightly keep mixing, add a little of the flour / almond mixture
  • Now fold in the rest of the flour, almond and rhubarb mixture
  • Scrape into prepared cake tin and bake for about 45 mins or so , bake until golden, slightly risen and done when tested with a cocktail stick.
  • Allow to cool in tin
  • Wrap and store once cool, its has a better flavour if kept for 24 hours.

I am linking up this post to this month's Tea time treats , hosted in turn by Karen over on Lavender and Lovage and Hedgecomber. This month's theme is Floral, I think this more than qualifies.

                                                                 Tea Time Treats

I am also linking up to Ren Behan with her Simple and in Season campaign. As this is a very seasonal recipe as it features rhubarb from the garden and is decorated with fallen petals from Gertrude Jeykll rose.


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Strawberry, rhubarb and creme fraiche pavlova

We are currently dealing with a surfeit of eggs in our household (our chickens are in full production ! not that I'm complaining) so any recipe that uses a good quantity of eggs is welcome at the moment. I love Pavlova and still remember the first time I experienced this blousey confection at a friends birthday party when I was about 10 years old, I was blown away with the crunchy crumbly yet marshmallowy texture of the meringue offset by the creamy fruity centre.

This Pavlova uses local strawberries, some homemade homegrown rhubarb anise compote (see earlier post here) to contrast with a cream fraiche and yogurt centre which was slightly sweetened with a little icing sugar.

I love the rustic look of this dish, garnished with just fresh fruit and lemon balm leaves and it tastes amazing, I can't for the life of me recall why I don't make this more often........, I'm off to the kitchen for another slice.

What you need
  • 4 egg whites
  • 220g Caster Sugar
  • Lemon juice - generous splash (this is to make the meringue marshmallowy in the middle)
For the filling 
  • 1  pot of Creme fraiche
  • Half a large pot of Greek yogurt
  • Icing sugar, 1 tbsp
  • Fresh fruit of your choice, I used local strawberries and rhubarb compote/jam
  • A few lemon balm or mint leaves
  • Icing sugar
What you do 
  • Pre heat the oven to 140c / 275F, gas mark 1
  • Prepare your baking tray with either using a silicone sheet or a large piece of baking parchment.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a scrupulously clean mixer bowl until stiff, add the lemon juice and caster sugar whilst still whisking in roughly tablespoon amounts until all incorporated and the meringue is all glossy and shiny
  • Scoop the meringue onto the prepared baking tray making a rough circle about 8 inches in diameter, make the sides higher the middle so it can hold the filling.
  • Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours until very lightly golden and firm to touch,switch the oven off and allow to cool fully in the oven with the door slightly wedged open with a tea towel
  • Once fully cool remove from the oven.
  • To make the filling mix the creme fraiche and Greek yogurt with a little icing sugar, spoon into the centre of the Pavlova
  • Drizzle with the rhubarb compote and top with fresh fruit
  • Dust with icing sugar and dot with artistically with a few lemon balm or mint leaves

I am also going to use this post as an entry in this months cooking with herbs challenge as the recipe features the beautiful lemon sherbety leaves of lemon balm as a garnish. I think the dish would also work beautifully with elderflower scented strawberry compote. The challenge this month is hosted right here on Lancashire Food

                                                               Cooking with Herbs

I am also linking up to Four Seasons Food Summer who's theme this month is red, well this is strawberry red. Created by Eat your Veg and Delicieux, its being hosted our on the Spicy Pear this month

Here is an instagram image of the partially demolished pavlova ! , very rustic but very very delicious.....

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Rhubarb anise syrup and frugal jam

This recipe is a two for one for you, utilising the ubiquitous rhubarb which is currently, triffid like taking over the garden.

A delightfully simple recipe which yields a versatile syrup which can be used in cocktails, Bellini springs to mind if you get hold of some good prosecco, or if you prefer something non alcoholic then sparkling water and ice would work just as well. Or you could try it drizzled over ice cream, yogurt or cake for a decadent dessert or maybe stirred into whipped cream for a creative syllabub. In fact there are lots of ways you can use this lovely syrup and its colour is amazing !

The other by product is a fridge jam or chunky compote which can be used to fill cakes, to top pavalovas or simply spread on scones or toast. The syrup would also make a great gift for a foodie or gardening friend, I would love someone to bring me something like this as a dinner party gift or just a seasonal treat.

The star anise twist came about as I recently dipped into the Flavour Thesaurus written by Niki Segnit (a kind gift from a friend a couple of Christmas ago) and stumbled across a reference to rhubarb and aniseed as a flavour combination, so giving that I was making rhubarb syrup I thought I'd give it whirl and yes reader it worked, it worked beautifully. You still get the rhubarby tang but with a rounded aniseed end, just don't over do the star anise as you don't want it tasting too medicinal.

Star anise is beautiful spice, both in taste and looks, departing a gorgeous warming anise flavour to your baking and cooking.

What you need 
  • 4 cups of washed chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup of sugar (granulated is fine)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 whole star anise 
What you do 
  • Place everything is a large heavy bottomed pan
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the rhubarb is softened
  • Sieve the fruit , the syrup should be bottled in a sterilised bottle, the fruit pulp is your jam and stores well in a covered bowl in the fridge.

This is my entry for Credit Crunch Munch which we are hosting this month here and I think more than qualifies as you get two dishes from homegrown rhubarb. The challenge was originally created by Food 4 all and Fuss Free Flavours.


I am also including this post in the No Waste Food Challenge created by Elizabeths Kitchen Diary and hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food this month. This post more than qualifies as there is no waste from the recipe and the cordial is even presented in a recycled olive oil bottle.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Cooking with Herbs - June 2014

We are really excited to be hosting Cooking with Herbs this month for June 2014, as you may know this is one of my favourite blog challenges and is probably the one I join in with most. 

Created by the lovely Karen across at Lavender and Lovage this challenge is all about cooking with herbs in their many forms. I really love herbs and have a beautiful raised herb garden surrounding my patio where I can easily get to from the kitchen to snip seasonal herbs and to add a final flourish to a dish.

I don't really have a favourite herb as they are all have their unique characteristics which make them invaluable in the kitchen, I am also fascinated with their medicinal properties as well.

Cooking with Herbs (which used to be known as Herbs on Saturday) is a Recipe Sharing Blog Challenge……a simple and easy way to share recipes throughout the month and also a chance to learn new ways to cook with herbs, as well as discover new blogs and blogger chums!
All you have to do to enter is add your ANY recipe that you have made throughout the week, or indeed the month, to the linky below, its really that simple.

Guidelines how to enter:

1. Post your recipe url to the Linky at the bottom of the appropriate month’s challenge, including your email and the title of your recipe or post.

2. Display the Cooking with Herbs badge (as shown above and below) to the relevant recipe post, with a link back to the monthly challenge post.

3. Add as many recipe links as you like, there is NO limit!

4. If you tweet your post, please mention #cookingwithherbs and @KarenBurnsBooth @LancashireFood in your tweet – we will retweet all that we see.

5. The recipe can be one of your own or one you’ve seen elsewhere. You are welcome to republish old recipes/posts but please add the information about this challenge as listed above with the Cooking with Herbs badge.

6. If using a recipe from another person, book, website, chef or blog, you must link back to the original recipe and not reproduce the recipe in full in your post. You must also use your OWN images for the recipe and not the original images, unless you have permission to do so, with appropriate links and any other information requested by the photo’s owner added to the image.

The challenge opens on the 4th June and the round up from last month will be on Lavender and Lovage shortly. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Credit Crunch Munch - June 2014

We are  pleased to be hosting Credit Crunch Munch a fab blogger challenge this month which is exactly what it says, all you need to do to  to take part is blog about a money saving foodie idea or recipes. Created by the awesome bloggers Food 4 All  and Fuss Free Flavours, here are some suggestions of ways you could take part but we are sure there are many more.
  • Dishes using cheaper ingredients
  • Cheap cuts of meat or vegetarian
  • Meals using leftovers
  • Meals using up the ends of packets
  • Substitutions of cheaper ingredients
  • Packed lunches
  • Meals that use less energy to cook 
  • Pressure cooking
  • Slow cooking
  • Faster cooking – less oven time for example
  • Batch cooking for the freezer
  • Sustainable foods
  • Food you have grown yourself
  • Meals from reduced food in the supermarket
 Basically a recipe that saves money in these challenging times...... yet produces some great tasting food !

I for one want to use more of my homegrown produce from the garden to best effect, or may be what about ingredient substitutions when the cupboard is bare. If you would like to see last month challenge for inspiration this was over on Gingey Bites 

If you fancy hosting later in the year please get in touch with Helen at fussfreeflavours dot com

To take part you just need to 
  • Link back to Food 4 All , Fuss Free Flavours and me (Lancashire Food)
  • Complete the linky below to take part
  • Use the lovely Credit Crunch Munch badge in your post
  • And if you tweet use the lovely #CreditCrunchMunch hashtag and we'll all try to RT you.
  • The closing date is 30th June 2014
By entering you are agreeing to let us use an image from your entry on this site, and to pin to Pinterest.
Please be respectful of other people’s copyright when blogging recipes and give credit to the originator. But feel free to send to as many other entries as you like, let’s help everyone save money!
To enter just fill in the linky below which you can also share on your post if you so wish, its a blog hop so lets have some money saving fun.

Amanda Biggs of Thyme Deli

This month's Lancashire Foodie is non other than world famous Amanda Biggs, owner of Thyme Deli and Cafe in Horwich, who unsurprisingly turned down a visit by George Osborne whilst he was campaigning in the area so she didn't let her regular customers down (good on you Amanda ). Amanda ended up in all the national press for her comment and even being mentioned on the topical satire quiz show "Have I got news for you" !

Thyme Deli is a gorgeous quirky cafe deli in the centre of Horwich where the emphasis on local seasonal Lancashire food, Amanda stocks a fabulous range of local produce and products and makes daily specials everyday. The cafe has also hosted numerous cake club events and is a favourite with all who visit.

Here's Amanda's answers to our now familiar questions.

  • What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication ? 
I have too many cook books so it’s hard to choose one but I do love Nigel Slater’s writing.

  • What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ? 
So many fabulous places to eat and buy food.

  • If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you like to be ? 
 If I wasn’t doing what I do now I’d be dreaming about opening a deli!

  • Which piece of kit could you not do without ? 
· My Wusthof knife

  • Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why? 
My ultimate party would be with my family and friends though if I could I’d also invite Wentworth Miller !

  • What advice would you give to your younger self ? 
Stop worrying about it, just do it.

  • Describe your style in three words 
 Busy Busy Busy

  • What was your latest foodie gadget purchase ? 
Last year I bought a Kitchenaid stand mixer which I have coveted for a long time. My only regret is that i didn’t buy it sooner

  • What is your greatest achievement to date ? 
Without doubt becoming a mum. Coming second would be opening and running my business, especially trading through the recession.

  • What is the worst mistake you have made ? 
Employing people based on their experience when I should have concentrated on personality.

  • Tell us a secret about yourself ? may be something we wouldn’t expect ! 
I absolutely cannot eat fish or seafood, not for health reasons either. It’s limiting!

You can find Thyme Deli Cafe at 4-6 Winter Hey Lane, Horwich, Bolton, there is easy parking locally.
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