Dessert

Chocolate mousse

chocmousse

Before 2014 draws to a close,  I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for following me here, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

In 2015 I am planning to post more healthy breakfast and snack ideas. I am also developing some bread recipes, both GFCF and GAPS, which I hope be able to have ready for you soon. And I would like to cook more desserts that are free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar – so watch this space.

In the meantime, with no apologies, here is a chocoholic’s dream of a recipe for dairy-free chocolate mousse. Enjoy!

Chocolate mousse

300 g dark chocolate (I use Green & Black’s cooking chocolate)

40 g cocoa powder (again, I use Green & Black’s)

80 ml hot water

2 egg yolks

6 egg whites

200 g caster sugar

Serves 8

Break the chocolate into squares and melt in a bowl over a pan of hot water, on the hob.

Mix the hot water and the cocoa powder to form a thick paste. Combine with the melted chocolate and egg yolks and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Whip the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar.

Add a third of the egg whites into the chocolate batter, mixing well, then fold in the rest carefully.

Put the mixture into a large bowl or eight small bowls, glasses or ramekins.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Dips and spreads, Side dishes

Cranberry-apple chutney

chutney

This cranberry-apple chutney is one of my holiday staples. Every year I like to make a big batch just before Thanksgiving and pack it into jars, either to serve with festive meals at home or to bring to our hosts as an edible gift. I’ll be testing it out on Thanksgivukkah this year and I think it will go down a treat.

apples

The chutney is lovely with turkey, slow-roasted duck legs or really any roasted bird – and wonderful with leftovers.

chutneyjar

Cranberry-Apple Chutney (adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe)

700g Granny Smith apples (about 5 medium or 7 small), peeled, cored and sliced into bite-sized pieces

250g dried cranberries

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

a thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

350 ml apple cider vinegar

200g caster sugar

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons salt

Makes about 3 jam jars of chutney

Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan or dutch oven and place over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a rapid simmer, stirring regularly, then lower the heat to a slow simmer.

Cook for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the apples have become soft and the mixture appears thick and jammy.

Transfer the chutney into clean jam jars and close the lids tightly. Once cool, store the chutney in the refrigerator until the holidays are over.

Dessert

Coconut macaroons

marble

Did I mention that we have a lot of April birthdays around here?

Continuing our theme of birthday celebrations, my son asked me to bring a treat in to school on his birthday to share with his friends and teachers. The catch? My son is gluten and dairy-intolerant, and the school is nut-free.

Fortunately, I had this coconut macaroon recipe up my sleeve. This is another family favorite and I think it might now be a school favorite too. The recipe scales up or down very easily to I simply adjust quantities depending on the occasion. Over the years I’ve made notes of the ratio of ingredients for different quantities, so I’m sharing that here as a table.

Coconut macaroons (adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe)

Yield: 20 macaroons Yield: 25 macaroons Yield: 30 macaroons Yield: 60 macaroons
3 large egg whites 4 large egg whites 5 large egg whites 10 large egg whites
210g caster sugar 285g caster sugar 350g caster sugar 700g caster sugar
165g dessicated coconut 225g dessicated coconut 280g dessicated coconut 560g dessicated coconut
30g rice flour 40g rice flour 50g rice flour 100g rice flour
1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon honey 2 tablespoons honey 4 tablespoons honey
pinch of salt pinch of salt pinch of salt large pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine the egg whites, caster sugar, dessicated coconut (make sure this is unsweetened), rice flour, honey and salt in a large skillet or pan and place on the hob over low heat. Allow the ingredients to melt together, stirring constantly, until the mixture has a porridge-like texture and begins to brown on the bottom. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract and allow to cool.

The batter should at least be cooled to room temperature but for best results refrigerate for several hours or overnight (the batter will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week, and according to David Lebovitz can also be frozen for up to two months).

Preheat your oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

Using your hands, form the batter into balls, around the size of golf balls. Place on a non-stick baking tray (or two) in evenly spaced rows and press the sides with your fingers to make a slight pyramid shape. (This is a fun task for small helpers!)

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops of the macaroons have lightly browned.

In an airtight container, the macaroons will keep for up to one week.

Dessert

Chocolate rice krispie treats

rice krispie treats

My children and I do not see entirely eye to eye on what makes a fun cooking project. On a rainy “let’s make something” day, I might suggest we attempt pavlova, or California rolls, or something slightly ambitious that I bookmarked in my Charcuterie book. The kids, on the other hand, love to make rice krispie treats.

It’s pointless to argue. The recipe is simple enough that very little adult supervision is required. Also, it is not only gluten and dairy free, but also nut free.

But the main point is really that kids love to make rice krispie treats because kids love to eat rice krispie treats.

Chocolate rice krispie treats

(adapted from Ellen’s South Hampstead Dinners, available from South Hampstead Junior School)

250g golden syrup

25g unsweetened cocoa powder

300g gluten-free puffed rice cereal (we buy Kallo brand)

Makes enough to feed a houseful of kids.

Heat the golden syrup over a low flame in a large heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.

Remove from the hob and stir in the rice cereal.

Transfer to a lightly-oiled, high-rimmed baking tray, spreading evenly. Refrigerate for one hour or until firmly set.

Cut into squares to serve.