Different Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

I was wanting to make some gluten free chocolate muffins, and though I have been using this recipe recently I didn’t have any yoghurt in the fridge so needed to do something different.

175g gluten free self-raising flour
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
125g golden caster sugar
125g softened unsalted butter
2 medium eggs
100g dark chocolate chips
20g of dark chocolate chunks for decoration
1 tbsp milk

Heat oven to 180C or 160C fan and line a 12-hole muffin tin with 8 paper cases. 

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.

Beat in one of the eggs and then beat in the second egg.

Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, chocolate chips and the milk. 

Stir until smooth.

I bought my paper cases from Amazon, though I later found similar ones in Waitrose.

Spoon the mixture into the eight cases and then sprinkle the chocolate chunks on top.

Bake in the oven for twenty minutes so that they are firm to touch.

Put onto a cooling rack.

Eat.

Chilli con carne

tomatoes and chilli
Image by Kai Reschke from Pixabay

This is not an authentic recipe for chilli con carne, but a dish I cook that has lots of flavour, is spicy, contains, beef, tomatoes, beans and chilli.

This dish serves 4-5

500g steak mince the 5% fat kind. You can use cheaper mince, but I find I often need to drain the excess fat after cooking off the mince.

Tin of tomatoes. We did for a while use cheap tins of tomatoes, but found that they lacked flavour so generally now use a quality brand. I use a blender to break down the tomatoes into a passata style base. If I had a carton or bottle of passata in the cupboard I may just use that instead of the tin.

Tin of kidney beans. For this dish I find the budget range fine.

Tomato puree. Like the tin of tomatoes, I have found budget brands of tomato puree okay for some dishes, but this I want that real hit of tomato, so got for a better quality version.

Two onions, diced. Sometimes I use brown onions, other times I use red onions, depends what’s in the fridge.

Red pepper, diced.

One carrot, diced. This is about “hiding” some more veg in the chilli, as well as adding texture and a little sweetness.

Cajun spicing (optional)

Chilli powder

Garlic powder, though you could use fresh.

A beef stock cube

A splash of Balsamic vinegar.

To cook the chilli I do the following steps.

Heat a large pot (or pan) and then add a little sunflower oil.

Cook off the mince in the pan, ensuring that it is evenly cooked through. If you have used a mince with 10% or higher fat content then drain off the excess fat.

Add the onions, pepper and carrot and stir into the mince.

Cook for five minutes, stirring every so often.

Add the Cajun spicing, chilli powder and garlic powder, stir into the mince. I generally use half a teaspoon of each. If you like your chilli spicier then add more Cajun spicing, if you like it hotter than add more chilli.

I might try using fresh chilli in a future version, this I would chop (and deseed) and add with the onions and pepper.

Cook for another minute.

Stir in the tomatoes and tomato puree. Sprinkle in the beef stock cube and the splash of Balsamic vinegar.

Stir, put on a lid and cook on a low heat for thirty minutes.

Add the tin of kidney beans and cook for five more minutes.

Serve.

I serve it either with rice or tortilla chips. Sometimes I use the chilli to fill soft (gluten free) corn tortillas, which I cover with cheese and then bake in the oven.

Chicken Bao Buns

Bao Buns

I made myself some chicken bao buns for my lunch.

I took some cooked chicken I had in the fridge. I heated up the chicken by pan frying and adding some miso sauce.

I used some bao buns from M&S, I microwaved the bao buns to heat them through. 

Once the chicken was hot, I added it to the bao buns, I added some shredded romaine lettuce and then added some Yo! Japanese Creamy Mayonnaise.

I then folded the bao buns and ate them.

Gluten Free White Choc Chip Muffins

We made some gluten free white chocolate chip muffins. 

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter softened, plus 1 tbsp, melted, for greasing

140g golden caster sugar

2 large eggs

140g natural yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

250g plain gluten free flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g pack white chocolate chips

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

I bought my paper cases from Amazon, though I later found the kind I like in Waitrose.

Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs and beat in for  about a minute. You then need to mix in the yogurt, vanilla extract and milk. Combine the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl with ¼ tsp fine salt.

Add this into the wet ingredients and stir in. Finally, fold in the white chocolate chips and divide the mixture between the muffin cases.

Bake for 5 mins, then reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for 15-18 mins more until risen and golden, and a metal skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then carefully lift out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

You can after a day or two, pop them in the microwave for 10-15 secs on high to freshen up.

Time for a Spanish inspired rice dish

paella

Well we call this paella, but I know it isn’t paella, but it was inspired by paella.

This is a regular dish in our household and this pan of paella was finished off at dinner time.

What goes into the pan, depends on what we have in the house and whether I have been shopping or not. If I am out of the shops knowing that I am going to cook paella, then I will probably buy some cooking chorizo, some squid, and maybe even other kinds of seafood such as langoustine or clams. This time was what we had in the house.

This serves about four people

In preparation I diced a red onion and a large pepper. Well actually I diced half a red pepper and half an orange pepper.

In a hot large frying pan, I put some olive oil and I cooked off some smoked pancetta bacon and a small amount of diced (dry) chorizo. I then added the diced onion and pepper. When this was softened, I added 250g of paella rice. I ensured that this was then coated with the peppers and onions in the pan. I let this cook for a minute or so before adding a splash of white wine (we had that in the fridge). Recently I have been using some Spanish sherry I got from Aldi for Christmas, but that was all finished off the last time I did paella, sorry Spanish inspired rice.

I then (cheated and) added a jar of paella paste from Waitrose. In the past I have used herbs, spices and saffron when making paella, however I do like the jar that Waitrose do as it does taste quite authentic and is quick and easy. Tesco use to do a sachet of paella herbs and spices, but they’ve stopped selling that now. I use to prefer that. 

After stirring in the paste I added some chicken stock. Last time I did paella I used a fish stock, but didn’t have any of that in the cupboard.

Stir once and then leave. 

I once got “told off” by a Spaniard for stirring my paella, so now I just as advised, leave it to cook.

In a separate pan I cooked off the remaining dried chorizo I had sliced, I also added some sliced linguiça sausage from Lidl I had picked in their Iberian week recently. In previous Spanish themed weeks Lidl have done some nice cooking chorizo which I have liked using in my paella dishes. This time though in their most recent week they didn’t do it, hence picking up the linguiça sausage. Not quite a replacement, but worked well with the paella.

We had some cooked prawns in the fridge, so I warmed them up in a pan with some olive oil and mixed herbs.

The prawns, chorizo and lemon slices were added to the top of the paella, with some chopped flat leaf parsley and served.

Overall, delicious.

Pan frying some cauliflower

Sometimes I like to roast cauliflower, sometimes I make cauliflower cheese, other times I like to pan fry my cauliflower.

I recently cooked some pan fried cauliflower florets.

These were cooked in butter with some Schwarz seasoning.

The key for me is to ensure that the cauliflower is cooked, but that it isn’t overcooked and falls apart. 

I also slice the florets in half to have a flat edge when they go in the pan. I like a nice caramelisation on the edges which adds texture and flavour.

Homemade Hummus

hummus

Having got a food processor for Christmas one thing I wanted to try and make was some hummus.

I used this as the recipe for the hummus.

400g can chickpeas, drained
60ml extra virgin olive oil
50ml water
1-2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 lemon, juiced then ½ zested
3 spoonfuls of tahini

Drain and rinse the chickpeas in cold running water, and then place in the food processor with the olive oil.

Blitz until you get an almost smooth consistency. Then add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini and 30ml of water. Blitz again until you have a smooth creamy texture. You can add more water if it is too  thick. Season and then transfer to a bowl.

I have made some variations. For the coriander hummus I added a handful of chopped coriander and then blitz again. For the red pepper hummus, I chargrilled half a red pepper on the gas hob. I then removed the burnt skin before chopping it up. This was added to the hummus and blitzed in the food processor.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

I made some gluten free chocolate chip muffins following a recipe from my blog. It was only after I started making them that I realised I didn’t have natural yogurt. Rather than throw the initial mixture away or go out to buy some natural yoghurt, I used some creme frache I had in the fridge.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. 

I bought my paper cases from Amazon, though I later found similar ones in Waitrose.

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter softened, plus 1 tbsp, melted, for greasing

140g golden caster sugar

2 large eggs

140g creme frache

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

250g plain gluten free flour

2 tbsp of cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g of chocolate chips (dark or milk)

20g of fudge pieces to decorate.

Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs and beat in for  about a minute. You then need to mix in the yogurt, vanilla extract and milk. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl with ¼ tsp fine salt.

Add this into the wet ingredients and stir in. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and divide the mixture between the muffin cases.

Bake for 5 mins, then reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for 15-18 mins more until risen and golden, and a metal skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then carefully lift out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

You can after a day or two, pop them in the microwave for 10-15 secs on high to freshen up.

Chewy Chocolate Flapjack

This is quick and easy recipe that results in delicious, moist, sticky chewy flapjacks.

150g unsalted butter
75g brown sugar
75g golden syrup
200g of oats

In a pan melt the butter, sugar and syrup together. I find the easiest way to measure the golden syrup is to put the pan on the scales, zero the scales and then add the syrup.

Once the sugar, butter and syrup are bubbling take it off the heat and stir in the oats.

My preferred oats are the Mornflake Whole Jumbo Oats.

Place the mixture  into a greased tin (or lined using baking parchment) and bake in a 180ºC (160ºC fan)  oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are browned. If you cook for too long the flapjacks will be harder and not chewy.

I cool the flapjacks on a wire rack.

I quite like chocolate flapjack, so I melt a bar of chocolate and cover the flapjack. Once the chocolate has set I cut the flapjack into squares.

Time for some Seafood Ramen

Cooked a ramen dish this time last year. I based my ramen on the ramen dishes I have had at Wagamama.

In a bowl I added some cooked rice noodles. On top of this I added some sliced shiitake mushrooms, spring onions, pak choi and sliced red pepper. I then added some homemade ramen broth.

On top of the ramen I added scallops, prawns, squid and a tea-stained hard boiled egg. I also added some gyoza dumplings as well.