For those of you who have stomach problems I highly recommend looking into the FODMAP’s diet. It has saved me and I can assure you it is not a fad diet, but a life changing diet. I used to have stomach pain every day, bloating, indigestion and constant discomfort. I went to doctor after doctor and it wasn’t until I saw a particular Gastroenterologist that he int
For those of you who have stomach problems I highly recommend looking into the FODMAP’s diet. It has saved me and I can assure you it is not a fad diet, but a life changing diet. I used to have stomach pain every day, bloating, indigestion and constant discomfort. I went to doctor after doctor and it wasn’t until I saw a particular Gastroenterologist that he introduced me to this diet. Within a month I was not sore, I wasn’t constantly complaining and I was actually happy and enjoying food again.
There are a lot of foods that must be cut out but I won’t go into that, it is easy enough to find information about it, however what I will say is that I had been searching for a book on FODMAPs written by Dr Sue Shepherd who is a specialist in this area. Recently I found it while holidaying in QLD and had to buy it. The great thing about this book is that is explains clearly what FODMAPs is, how different foods affect different peoples and then it gives suggestions on how to make such a diet part of your life even if you are also gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, vegetarian or vegan. There are a range of great recipes at the back which I really wanted to try out.
So this easter I thought I would make a dessert so I could enjoy it without feeling sick and decided that the items I had on hand were sufficient to make the lemon bars. It was really easy to make and actually didn’t require as many as I expected.
It is as easy as making the base then pouring over a lemoney mixture, baking and cooling. Done. Easy peasy! It is even a great one for the kids to help with!
Gluten Free Lemon Bars
(recipe slightly adapted from “Food Intolerance Management Plan, Dr Sue Shepherd)
3/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tsps grated lemon zest
125g unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
6 tbsps lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsps rice flour
1.Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
2. Mix flours, sugar and zest in a food processor to combine. Mix in butter until it starts coming together in a ball.
3. Press into a lined tin and bake for 10 minutes or until slightly browned on top.
4. In the meantime beat eggs and sugar in an electric mixer then add lemon juice, zest and flour and mix until well combined.
5. Pour over the top of the base and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
6. Let cool then dust with icing sugar to serve.
Mum’s birthday. What do I cook??? She has recently deemed a new cake cookbook she purchased as her favourite thing since sliced bread….well maybe not that much, but she is very excited, so I thought I would do something out of that for her. I did think however maybe the choice should be her’s and I am glad I did as she told me to make one of her favourite cakes which I forgot I was saving to bake for this day.
I lie actually, I made it a couple of weeks ago but that recipe was stupid, or maybe I was the stupid one to listen, as it instructed to put a springform tin into a waterbath to cook the cake. It is evident that the bottom half of the cake was absolutely soaked! Straight to the bin it went….
I researched and found many recipes for souffle cakes which did not require a waterbath and decided on one. The key to this cake is creating as much air as possible and being very delicate and careful when you do finally fold everything together as you want it to be as light and airy as possible, so if you are too rough or stir rather than fold, you will get rid of a lot of the air bubbles.
Once you pout it into the springform tin (no waterbath this time) you bake it slowly for a long time. If you cooked it fast the outside would cook and the inside would remain raw, so be patient and it will turn out like this…..
Crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy, to the point of it melting in your mouth, on the inside. It is for this that it is so appropriate for any event as it is rich yet light and wont leave you feeling like you just ate a brick, you might even go back for a second one.
When I served this to my Mum she was just in heaven and did, like most girls, continue to cut slithers to make themselves feel better about not having a second slice. My twin brother was convinced it was just too rich and did not understand why I was putting a large scoop of ice cream to have with mine….some boys just don’t know how to enjoy decadence!
All in all Mum loved it, which is the most important thing. We had a simple do for her birthday this year, but I know she did not mind as she got exactly what she wanted…..the best chocolate cake in the whole wide world.
Chocolate Souffle Cake
(slightly altered from Dolcetto Confections)
400g dark chocolate, chopped
175g unsalted butter
7 large eggs, separated
¾ cup sugar
ice cream to serve
My Mum recently purchased a cookbook of the most simple cakes you will ever come across. This one is no exception, and features in the ‘food processor cakes’ section. With the exception if boiling some fruit, everything is thrown in, blitzed and baked. Easy peasy!
Cakes which use almond meal commonly are paired with oranges but we had just been given a bag of homegrown mandarins from the elderly couple next door, so of course I feuded to substitute these as the flavour of these mandarins were so intense, they were juicy and sweet, Much nicer than those dry ones you buy in the supermarket!
The benefit with this recipe is that it is not only gluten free but also completely dairy free, no butter, no milk zilch! Great for people with intolerances and this cake although it has a little but if sugar is high in protein and fibre. For those who can have dairy it is great with some natural Greek yogurt, but it is still delicious just plain.
The texture is so moist and light so great for any time of the day, if you wanted to make it an adult version you can pour 2 tbsps of galliano or cointreau over the top once it cones out of the oven.
Overall I give this cake 5/5, it is light, tasty ad super easy to make. I’ll let Mum gloat now and tell Me that cookbooks do not need to be expensive or have celebrity chefs to be good. How right she is!
Flourless Mandarin & Almond Cake
1/4 cup galliano
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp vanilla essence
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Boil mandarins in a pot full of water for 40 mins or until the skin is soft.
2. Cut off any bad bits of skin and then quarter mandarins. Allow to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
4. Once cooled slightly blitz until quite a smooth purée. Add galliano, sugar and baking powder as blitz again.
5. Add among meal and pulse until just stirred through then add eggs and pulse until just combined. (do not over mix it otherwise it will be dense and heavy)
6. Line a springform tin with baking paper then pour mixture in. Bake for 50 mins.
7. Allow to cool in tin then when ready to serve dust with icing sugar.
This dip is a favorite in my family. Whenever there is a tub at home you can be assured it will not be there 2 days later, it is highly addictive and can be put on anything (some might say). That is how much we love it.
My Yiayia (grandmother) is a legend. Everything she cooks tastes amazing and no one can cook her dishes better.
I have been determined to learn how to make taramasalata for a long time and document these recipes she has stored in her head as I want to pass them down to my children one day and keep the passion of particular dishes alive. Also because I know she would be so proud of me.
My Yiayia came out to Australia in the 1960’s with two young boys. Of course assimilation was hard and the strength or the Greek network in the inner west was at it’s peak. Unfortunately in the early 1980’s she lost her husband and both sons had left home and gotten married, so learning English was not something she really got a lot of help with. Luckily has many friends who she catches up with everyday but until recently I did not know how much of a social butterfly she is. Coffee with friends 3 days a week, shopping 2 other days a week and then seeing her sons twice a week. You really need to plan to see her as dropping past is not always a successful plan.
As a grandchild who does not speak Greek it does make it hard to converse, but the more time I spend with her the easier it is for us to understand each other and learning her recipes brings us both so much joy. I want to share this recipe with you all as it is very unique and not many make Tarama in this way, but that is why it is so good, the best. I know you will agree with me.
3 large potatoes, Boiled and mashed
200g tarama paste*
1 3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup lemon juice
1. With a hand blender mix the tarama paste and onion together.