Thursday, July 26, 2012

apple tea cake - gluten free

This is not a pretty cake, but it is very moist and delicious.  I used my thermomix to mix this cake, but you could use a food processor.

60g butter
200g milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
190g gluten free flour [110g rice, 50g cornflour, 30g tapioca]
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder [I make my own from baking soda and cream of tartar]
100g raw sugar
4 medium apples, cored and cut into 8 pieces
cinnamon & caster sugar

Preheat oven to moderate and grease & line a round cake tin.

Place apple [skin & all] in thermomix or food processor and chop into small pieces.  Add some cinnamon & caster sugar to taste.

Melt butter in thermomix [or microwave] for 2 mins 90C [speed 1].

Add milk, vanilla and egg and process until well-combined [speed 7].

Add flour, baking powder, and sugar.  Mix for 10-20 seconds [speed 5-7].

Tip half the batter into a tin and sprinkle the apple mixture across the cake.  Pour the remaining batter over the top.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Dust with extra cinnamon sugar just prior to serving.  Serve with a dollop of cream.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the final winter coat

Here is Miss 3's new fleece coat.  She was so disappointed when I presented Miss 5 with her pink coat, that I had to make one for her too.  This one went together much faster than the first one.  It's very cute.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gluten free lemon syrup cake

I recently tasted a delicious lemon syrup cake my aunt made, it was so delicious I had to ask her for the recipe.  I tried to convert it to a gluten free version, and it resulted in a hard-based, eggy cake/slice, so I am not going to give you the recipe, but instead try again, and post a recipe that works.  We all have failures in the kitchen sometimes!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rice & lavender filled heat packs

I have just finished making up some new heat packs.  We seem to lose them with great regularity in our home.  Admittedly the last lot I made ended up keeping the baby chicks warm last winter [instead of using a heat lamp].
This time I used a soft towelling fabric, and made a variety of sizes and shapes.  They contain rice and dried lavender so should be lovely and aromatic while warming up our sore muscles/acting as hot water bottles in bed.

Have you ever made yourself rice or wheat packs?  They're super-easy, just sew the shape you're after and fill with rice or wheat.  You can add dried lavender, as I did.  Far cheaper than buying them, and you can make them as pretty as you like!!

I've always intended to make plain calico ones, and then make a pretty cover for them, so that if the cover gets dirty I can wash it [you can't wash them filled with rice/wheat].  But again I haven't done that this time... I always seem to be rushing to get some made up when myself or one of the family has muscular aches and pains, or another urgent need for a heat pack.  Just another incidence of my sewing things in a rush, last-minute!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Gluten free lemon meringue pie

Every year I make a lemon meringue pie for my mother instead of a birthday cake [it's her favourite].  Because two of my girls are coeliac it has to be gluten free, or course, so over the past six years I've been perfecting the GF lemon meringue pie.  It really isn't as time-consuming or difficult as you may think.  Well-worth giving it a try. 

Here is the recipe I use.  It is based on a Women's Weekly recipe from an old WW cookbook.


1 1/2 cups GF flour
3 tsp icing sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
140g butter
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
approx. 2 tbsp water

Mix pastry ingredients in a food processor until it forms a dough ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 mins while preparing lemon filling.

Lemon Filling:
1 cup corn flour
2 cups caster sugar
1 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 cups water
3-4 teaspoons grated lemon rind
6 egg yolks
120g butter

Combine cornflour, sugar, juice and water in saucepan [or thermomix] until smooth.  Stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens [it will be very thick].  Turn off heat.  Add rind, yolks, and butter and stir until butter is melted.  Cool while blind baking pastry shell.

Roll pastry out between two sheets of baking paper or cling wrap.  Use the paper/wrap to help you to lift the pastry into a pie dish.  Blind bake pastry shell at 180C for approx. 20 mins.
Pour lemon filling into pastry case and cool to room temperature.

6 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar

Beat egg whites in bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar, beating until dissolved. Gently spread meringue over the top of the lemon filling.  Bake in moderate oven for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Stand 5 minutes before serving.

The pastry and filling can be made up to 24 hours ahead, but don't make the meringue until just before serving, or you may find it will sweat and go soggy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

pink fleecy coat

A few weeks ago I was wandering through Target and they had 30% off kid's coats and jackets.  I found a beautiful taupe trench style coat for Miss 9 and then this lovely grey fleecy coat for Miss 7:

Then I realised Miss 5 had also grown out of her winter jackets.  So I traced a pattern off the grey coat and made her up a pink fleecy version:

It's so cute.  Miss 5 loves it.  Of course the first thing Miss 3 said was "Where's mine?" so I get to make another one now!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gift wrapping storage - genius!!

Look what's hanging in my wardrobe today.

Can you guess what I have made myself?

It's a hanging gift wrap storage/organiser.  I have had the pattern sitting in my stash for years [bought for another project included in the pattern].  I noticed the photo while staring at the back of the pattern envelope and realised it would solve my gift wrap storage dilemmas.

As well as the long pockets on the outside for long rolls of paper it has plenty of room inside the zip to store gift bags of every shape and size.

Then on the other side are loads of pockets of various sizes that hold pens, tape, scissors, cards, ribbons and anything else one may need for gift wrapping. 

Before I filled this today my gift wrapping stuff took up twice this amount of space and was always getting damaged/lost.  I am so excited to finally have it all organised and IN THE ONE PLACE.

It is constructed from canvas as I had some lying on my shelf asking to be used.  You could use any heavy duty fabric for this project.  It's just a suit bag with external pockets.  Brilliant.  I wish I could say I had come up with this idea myself.