Sometimes you’re just too busy or too tired to bake your own biscuits. All you want to do is prepare a cup of tea and have a few biscuits. Baking? Not always!
Of course, now that I am stuck with gluten-free varieties of biscuits, I’m going to have to find one I like. Goodbye Butternut Snaps, most brands of Scotch Fingers, Tim Tams, and Kmart choc chip biscuits! Hello lack of variety.
I started with Freedom Foods’ Crunchy Coconut Biscuits. They were disappointing. A friend who recently started eating wheat-free posted how he was unhappy with Freedom Foods’ Chocolate Blitz cookies on Facebook, and I decided that I would have to try an alternate brand next time I was at the supermarket in search of biscuits.
So it occurred one night at my local Woolworths supermarket, and I came home with Macro Wholefoods’ Double Choc Biscuits. I think they’re meant to be a gluten-free version of the Tim Tam.
Gluten free but also dairy free and vegan. That was probably too accommodating to those not in the typical population and should have set off alarm bells.
They look a little like Tim Tams (although it’s now been a while since I’ve had a glorious Tim Tam, so my judgement may be compromised by romantic ideals of the Tim Tam).
Does not taste like Tim Tam. “Sickly sweet” is how I would describe it in two words. Texture was good, but taste not so much.
Would I buy again? No
The search continues…
Fantastic wraps: gluten-free but still flexible!
My new diet really cuts back on carbohydrates (no fruit, sugar or refined carbs – complex carbs OK for lunch and afternoon tea/meal only), and after a few days of being confined to foods that could be eaten with cutlery I sought an easy recipe for gluten free wraps. I found a good post on the Healthy Indulgences blog that not only had a recipe for gluten-free wraps but also some good information on stocking a (low carb) gluten free pantry. I have to confess that my pantry is only just starting to get some kind of order since the gluten-free supplies stock-up.
I’ve been made aware of how non-flexible gluten-free wraps can be, so I was pleasantly surprised that these came out so well! The recipe is especially easy to go through successful if you have a sandwich press, take the desired quantity of mix, press down and in a few minutes you’ll have some wraps! If you’ve overcooked them and they’ve lost their pliability let them rest on a paper towel after pressing.
My wraps generally followed the recipe in the link, but with a very minor changes due to what I had available in the pantry. I used 3 tbsp ground LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond), 2 tbsp almond meal, 1 tbsp buckwheat flour, 1/2 tsp protein powder, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, 1/8 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp baking powder. The liquid ingredients were the same as in the original recipe. Later in the week I found that my local Woolworths stocked flaxseed so I’ll substitute 2 of the LSA tablespoons with flaxseed and make it closer to the original recipe. I also found I could add a bit more water and stretch out the mix to three wraps when made in a sandwich press.
Chocolate and avocado “mousse”
Early into my new diet, I decided to try making an avocado and cocoa “chocolate mousse”. I blended 2 avocadoes with about 4 tablespoons of cocoa, added a touch of vanilla essence and a little maple syrup to sweeten things a little. It’s a lot healthier than a typical mousse, without losing too much of the fun of mousse! I made a second batch later with natvia in place of the maple syrup to make it more guilt-free than before!
While it’s healthier than a real mousse, it does have a fairly high calorie count due to the (good) fats in the avocadoes. I tend to split my mix into six portions, and add a little self control.
Lime macaron shells
While I love butternut snap biscuits, I am yet to find a recipe that has yielded something that resembles the texture and taste of them… so today I am sharing my kiwifruit and lime macaroons, based on the ones in the Australian Women’s Weekly book titled Afternoon Tea. I prepared them for my uni’s Baking Society meeting, where the theme was “fruit.” I had lime zest in the freezer and plenty of kiwis in the fridge, so it seemed like a logical pairing.
Beat 3 aged egg whites to soft peaks and add 55g caster sugar. Fold in 200g sifted icing sugar, 120g sifted almond meal, the lime zest (to taste) and green food colouring gel. Pipe into 4cm rounds onto a lined tray, leaving about 2.5cm between them. Tap trays so mix spreads a little and stand for 30 minutes.
Bake at 150°C for 15 minutes. This was my second attempt at macaroons – my first batch were strawberry flavoured, and only some had developed feet. This time around, all the shells had feet – although I over-stirred the mixture (late in the folding I decided I wanted a more intense colour) so the shells aren’t that smooth! I’m sure my third batch will only get better.
Once cooled, I filled the shells with kiwifruit puree, that was heated and then had gelatine added. Although I was impatient and added more gelatine, which sometimes clumped, rather than waiting for the mixture to cool. I’m not sharing that recipe as it still needs work! Lesson learnt, future batches = better.