So here I am, dusting my old blog and making an entry… There really isn’t any excuse for not posting apart from laziness. While i have been cooking and baking up a storm over the past couple of months, I haven’t been posting them up in here.
Nevertheless, it’s 10.38 pm on a Good Friday evening. I didn’t want to miss posting a “Hot Cross Buns” recipe. Because as we all know Hot Cross Buns are made to celebrate Good Friday. And i didn’t want to wait till Good Friday 2015 to post this up!
These buns were made using sourdough starter which i’ve been growing in my kitchen for the past couple of months (more on that on a later post). They were studded with raisins and are refined sugar free with the use of coconut sugar.
“Why the sudden health kick???”, u ask… Well, it’s because these buns were made with my toddler’s health in mind. And you know how paranoid mothers can get… Plus, they are all not that bad for you!
So here’s wishing everyone a Good Friday!
Sourdough Hot Cross Buns
250 gram bread flour
120 gram sourdough starter
50 gram coconut sugar
5 gram salt
1 egg yolk
35 grams butter
50 ml water
100 grams raisins
For the crosses, i just made a paste out of water and flour.
1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt and sourdough starter into a bowl. Make a well in the center, add in the egg yolk, water and milk. Pour the dough onto a kneading table, add the butter and start kneading away till the dough turns elastic and is able to be stretched to thin membrane without tearing. Add the raisins and knead till they are well distributed around the dough
2. Round the dough into a ball and leave it at room temperature, covered, till it doubles in size (about 2 hours, on a hot climate like mine).
3. Gently deflate the dough and cut the dough into balls each weighing 50 grams. Place them on your baking sheet and set aside till it doubles in size again. (about 2 hours)
4. Make a paste with flour and enough water. Pipe crosses across each bun
5. Preheat oven to 200 degree celcius. Bake for about 10-15 minutes till the bread turns a nice golden brown.
Besides being swamped with handling the payroll at work on the first day of every month, I like to do a little what i call “blog event browsing”
It’s the time of the month where i poke my nosey nose at the various blogs that’s hosting some of my favourite blog events.
So, the theme of this month’s Little Thumbs Up is Soya Bean
And since Mich, the host, was kind enough to open this event to dishes with at least 2 tsp of soy sauce. Our breakfast of DIY Rice Noodles automatically qualified as they were practically swimming in soy sauce!
The rice rolls came out so silky soft that i decided that they were fitting for my 14 month toddler with +- 8 teeth.
Her version was drenched with carrots, corn and some bone broth.
So here goes!
Homemade Rice Rolls
Makes about 5 rolls
40 grams rice flour
1/2 tbs cornstarch
1/2 tbs wheat starch
1/2 tbs cooking oil
pinch of salt
Sift the rice flour, corn starch, wheat starch and salt into a large bowl
Gradually, while whisking, pour the water into the flour, making sure that there is no lump.
Add the oil and set aside for 30 minutes
Place an oiled tray into a steamer. When the water in the steamer has come to a boil, Give the batter a good stir and ladle a think layer of batter into the oiled tray.
Cover and steam on high heat for 5 minutes.
Remove tray from steamer, let cool.
Using a spatula, carefully lift one edge of the cooked rice roll and roll it up into a cylinder.
Continue to steam the rest of the batter until it is used up.
Soy Sauce dressing
1 TBS oil
4 slices of ginger
2 TBS sugar
50 ml of soy sauce
50 ml water
Heat the oil, ginger and sugar till the sugar turns syrupy. Add the water and the soy sauce. Let the mixture come to a boil
To serve. Place the rice rolls onto a plate and ladle the soy sauce dressing over it.
I’ve been observing numerous foodblogs and their abstinence to grains.
A Grain-Free diet, as they call it, is a diet devoid of grains. This includes things like rice, barley, oats, etc.
To summarize, ALL the flours in my pantry, be it rice flour, wheat flour or corn flour unmitigatedly breach this grain free diet.
“So what the heck are you supposed to bake with?” screamed the baker in me.
Well, take it easy, Because baking is still possible without the above mentioned flours. Days after days of blogstalking activities revealed that almond flour (almond being a nut, not a grain), and coconut flour (coconut is a fruit), are the top favourites amongst the grain-free dieters.
And since i live in the tropics where coconuts are aplenty. I am using coconut flour on this grain free adventure
but WHY ???? you ask. Aren’t grains good for you? Aren’t they full of fiber? Don’t they reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Well, i guess there are two sides to every story.
The followers of a grain free diet believe that:
1. Grain are inflammatory food due to its high starch content.
Grains that are refined have higher inflammatory index than unrefined grains. So a white flour is more inflammatory than a whole wheat flour.
2. Grain contain phytic acid which binds minerals and prevent absorbtion.
This pretty much means that you won’t be able to fully and effeciently absorb the minerals that the grains boasts about.
3. Grains are linked to tooth decay.
High starches in grain is a breeding ground for bacterial growth in your mouth.
There are probably a more extensive list of the detrimental effects of grains. But I’ll leave it up to you guys to research into it on your own. My brain is starting to hurt just by highlighting the three points above. I guess i could never look into health advisor as an occupation.
Sugar Free Coconut Flour Chiffon Banana Cake with blueberries
Makes two ramekins
5 grams coconut flour
1 egg yolk (preferable organic)
10 grams coconut oil
10 grams coconut milk
60 grams ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg white
a handful of frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 165 C (330 F).
Mix egg yolk, mashed banana, coconut flour, oil, and milk into a bowl. Stir till you get a smooth batter
Beat egg white till stiff peak.
Fold egg white into banana batter
Transfer batter into ramekins
Drop blueberries on the batter
Bake for +- 20 minutes or till the cake turns a golden brown
I know, i know, majority of you would probably feel repulsed by yet another sugar free, gluten free baby food.
But i feel the need to post this recipe, namely because it’s a recipe I’ve developed myself.
After rounds and rounds of trial error, I’ve finally came up with a cake recipe i really loved.
A cake recipe that’s subtly sweet and soft as can be.
Considering that this is an entirely sugar free (refined/unrefined, synthetic/natural), this is quite a breakthrough. No stevia, no xylitol, or any of that fancy sweeteners was used here.
The goodness came from ripe bananas.
Working with my sugar free constraints, I also wanted to come up with a frosting that’s equally healthy for these cupcakes. For days, I find myself sometimes staring into blank space. I just couldn’t think of something that’s naturally sweet and is thick enough to pipe.
Then the idea hit me. avocadoes! At first I was skeptical, I didnt know whether blended avocadoes would be too watery. I also thought that avocadoes would be too tasteless as a frosting. That’s when i decided to drop in some medjool dates in. And boy, did it work like a charm! and most importanly, baby Caitlyn loves it!
Sugar Free, Gluten Free Chiffon cake with Avocado Date Frosting
Makes 3 of the above star shaped cupcakes
15 grams rice flour
5 grams sago flour
1 organic egg yolk
8 grams olive oil
11 grams raw almond milk
60 grams banana, mashed
1 organic egg white
Preheat oven to 170 degree celcius.
In a bowl, mix the yolk, raw almond milk, bananas, and olive oil together. Sift in the flours.
Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the banana mixture.
Pour into mold and bake till golden brown (+- 20 to 25 minutes)
1 medjool date
With a blender, blend the avocado and the date together.
Using a piping bag, pipe onto cupcakes.
After my mini success with the homemade sprinkles, i was hooked.
Baby Cait is at an impressionable age where her senses and motoric skills are developing and need to be stimulated.
This rainbow pop has got colors that captivate and freezing temperature to excite. And it’s made from 100%fruits with NO sugar, coloring, jello, or any other fancy shmancy.
Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. All it takes is a little bit of time, effort and creativity.
And here’s a little “Cait comics” I made. It’s her first experience with a popsicle!
Rainbow Pop is made of
and Blueberry Juice
Ever since Baby Caitlyn started her solids, I’ve been really watchful of what she eats.
I go out of my way to ensure that all her meals were homemade and prepared with the freshest ingredients that were free of unecessary toxic chemicals. Yes, i am one of those pesky mothers who insist on organic produce.
I want her food to be healthy, wholesome and nourishing. I don’t want her to grow up mindlessly eating sugar laden cereal for breakfast, fast food burger and fries for lunch and takeaway pizza for dinner.
I want her to respect and enjoy food (and its preparation), the way I’m enjoying myself making meals daily for my family.
Geez, how can all the above sentences start with “I” when it’s all actually about her?
To be fair, I (there I go again…) also dont want her to be the “weird” kid singled out at school with steamed brusselsprout in her lunch box. I want Caitlyn to be the “cool” kid with the sprinkled chocolate bread in her lunch box.
Made of icing sugar and cornstarch, this sprinkle is free of synthetic dyes, wax and whatever unpronounce-able ingredients that plague the storebought variety.
I’m really excited about this. I bet i can make the whole spectrum of colors with other fruit juices and vegetables out there.
So come on, bring out the child in you and sprinkle some fun on your food!
Home made Pink sprinkle:
2 tablespoon of icing sugar
1/4 tsp of cornstarch
1 – 2 tsp of raspberry juice (strained of seeds)
Mix the ingredients together to form a thick batter of pipe-able consistency. The consistency of the batter should “sheeting” (batter should fall in sheets when lifted with spatula).
Fill your pipping bag with the batter. Cut ever so small an opening.
Pipe the batter in straight lines across a pre-greased parchment paper.
Let the piped sugar dry. It will harden as it dry
The sprinkle is ready to use.
Chocolate Bread Recipe:
This is actually a recipe for a doughnut, but instead of frying, i decided to bake it instead.
Recipe taken from Resep donut Ala Jco by Fatmah Bahalwan
225 grams bread flour
7 grams instant yeast
150 ml water
0.25 tsp salt
Mix the ingredients together and set aside to proof for 90 mins.
50 gr bread flour
30 grams sugar
15 grams milk powder
30 grams shortening
1 egg yolk
Mix ingredients B together, then knead it into ingredients A.
Preheat oven to 170 degree
Continue kneading till the dough is no longer sticky and is elastic.
Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into balls and let it proof for another 30 mins
Bake at 170 degree for +- 15 mins.
When the bread is cooked and cooled, dip it into the chocolate and sprinkle the sprinkles.