Saturday, 1 August 2015

Double chocolate muffins (free from nothing)

Penelope's Pantry: Double chocolate muffins

I mentioned in the last post, just how easy muffins are to make - I whipped up 4 batches on Sunday, 2 batches of mini ones for Harry, Blueberry ones for me. So of course I had to make the one person not on a restricted diet a batch of his own. M was presented with a batch of Double chocolate muffins. Now known as the Free from nothing muffins, they have sugar, butter, eggs, chocolate, and hot chocolate powder. He was a happy bunny. As were his colleagues I hear.

The basic recipe is very similar to the one I posted yesterday, but as I mentioned - free from nothing!

Double Chocolate muffins
Makes 12 small muffins or 6 big ones

Penelope's Pantry: Double chocolate muffins

¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup butter
1 egg
¼ cup stewed, unsweetened apples - if you have
1 cup plain flour - remove 3 tablespoons of flour and replace with
3 tablespoons hot chocolate powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup stewed, unsweetened apples - if you have
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 170 C
Put cake cakes in a 12 hole fairy cake tin
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add in the egg and stewed apples with a spoonful of the flour so it doesn't curdle
Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and beat together
Stir in the chocolate chips
Bake in the oven for 17-19 minutes - the top needs to bounce back when you press it

These make a great addition to packed lunches or picnics - and M's colleagues demolished the lot!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Blueberry muffins: dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free

Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry muffins, dairy free, refined sugar free

Muffins are such an easy bake - you assemble your wet and dry ingredients and mix the two together. Pop in the oven and you're done. The muffin recipes I historically used contain butter, buttermilk, and eggs - three things that are obviously off our list.  Today I still managed to make Apple and cinammon, Banana and sultana and blueberry muffins that are all allergy friendly. I also made M and his colleagues entirely un-allergy friendly double chocolate.

A couple of months back I scoffed at the need for recipes to be free of refined sugar. The further I progress in our weaning journey, the less I want Harry to have and become accustomed to sugar in any form. However, especially now he's up and about maintaining his weight is crucial and also giving him access to new tastes and textures. Also, I don't want him to be the child at parties found face down in a bowl of Haribo because he never has anything sweet (only slightly exaggerated story of a Brownie I once knew).

Maple syrup is one of my favourite sweeteners, I love the flavour it has - this recipe was borne out of a remembrance of a Nigella blueberry and maple syrup sauce for pancakes. We've got all the books packed away at the moment as M is building me shelves (happy squeal - I'm such a booklover, this is the equivalent of shoe cupboards for other women) so I didn't bother to look that up, just went with those flavours. I'd been sent some Maple syrup from We love maple so made good use of that.

The weather today was disgusting, Harry has a streaming cold, Mark is putting up my much wanted shelves and I declared today a pyjama day and decided to hit the kitchen and do some baking.

Blueberry muffin recipe
Makes 12 small muffins or 6 big ones

Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry muffins, dairy free, refined sugar free

¼ cup maple syrup - or honey if you're not vegan/ don't have any maple syrup
¼ cup Pure or other dairy free spread
1 egg -  or ¼ cup of stewed apples/ or 1 mashed banana
1 cup plain flour – ideally I’d have used half and half wholemeal and white flour, but had run out of wholemeal
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup stewed, unsweetened apples this replaces the buttermilk that you would traditionally use
1/3 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 170 C
Put cake cakes in a 12 hole fairy cake tin
Beat together the maple syrup and dairy free spread – this won’t go light and fluffy, but will end up looking curdled. That’s fine.
Add the stewed apples, and the egg/ stewed apples/ banana and beat again
Beat in the flour, baking powder and bicarb – at this stage you want a dropping consistency – if it seems a bit runny just add a couple more  tablespoons of flour

Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry muffins, dairy free, refined sugar free

Thanks to We love Maple for the Maple syrup - I wasn't compensated in any other way for this post, nor was I required to write it.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Blueberry and Banana Oaty Bites: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan

Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry & banana oaty bites, Dairy free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan

In the eternal quest for bakes the whole family will enjoy, that meet the needs of my CMPA, egg allergic baby, I came across a recipe for a Banana, oat and chocolate munchy bar on Jenny Eatwell's Rhubarb and ginger. Whilst that recipe looked very tasty it’s near impossible to get dairy and soya free chocolate, and what you can get is too expensive to use in cake (Booja Booja, I’m looking at you). I thought I’d adapt the original recipe to suit our needs allergy wise and make it a bit more suitable for a weaning treat.

Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry & banana oaty bites, Dairy free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan

This is a fabulously easy recipe that you could easily change up to suit your family’s tastes. It's much like an oaty version of a banana bread or a cakey version of a flapjack - not unlike my Porridge fingers for big people.

Blueberry and Banana Oaty Bites: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan
Penelope's Pantry: Blueberry & banana oaty bites, Dairy free, Egg Free, Soya Free, Vegan

Serves 12 (or 24 if all being used for babies)

2¼ cups Porridge Oats
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
½ tsp Baking powder
¼ tsp Salt (just a pinch if using Kosher or sea salt)
1 tsp sweet mixed spice
3 overripe Bananas
1 pot Apple puree (the type for Babies) or ¼ cup of cooked down Bramleys
2 tsp Vanilla extract
¼ cup Maple syrup
½ cup Blueberries

Grease a 9”x9” Brownie pan, and line with a long strip, the width of the tin, and 3 times the length
Preheat the oven to 160ºC
Blitz the oats in a food processor until they are rough flour
Pour into a mixing bowl, add the Bicarb, Baking powder, Salt and sweet mixed spice. Give a quick mix to combine the dry ingredients.
Break the bananas into chunks and pop into the food processor, add the Maple Syrup, fruit pot and Vanilla. Blitz until smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add the Blueberries, and stir to combine.
Pour this into the prepared tin, smooth out the top, and bake for 20 minutes at 160ºC (Check at 15 mins)
When the top is golden and the bake feels firm to the touch, remove and leave to cool in the tin.
When cool, use the strip of baking paper to easily remove from the tin.
Slice into bars, this makes 12.
Enjoy with a cup of Tea, or if you are little, half a bar with a sippy cup of Oat milk.

These freeze beautifully - I halve the bars, and much like I do for pancakes separate them with little square of greaseproof paper before popping in a freezer bag. Then it's just a case of defrosting at room temperature. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Dairy free, egg free, vegan cake round up - CMPA friendly baking

One of the things I miss most since Harry has developed his egg allergy is cake. Previously it was so easy to whip a cake up while he napped - M could have it for his packed lunches, I could have it as a sweet treat after breastfeeding - it was all good. At first I tried using apple puree as a substitute, flax eggs and really wasn't happy with the results, although I know others are.

Over the last week I've tried some of the most popular recipes I could find for dairy and egg free cakes (which are happily vegan too I think - if I've got that wrong, feel free to correct me in the comments). Some were great from the off (chocolate fudge, I'm looking at you), others required a little tweaking. Generally I've reduced sugar and upped flavouring a little - that's just to our tastes.

I thought I'd do a round up post so all the cakes are in one place - and I've also added some links to other dairy, and egg free cakes from some of my favourite bloggers. If you've got a favourite dairy and egg free cake - pass the link on, either via email, or in the comments below and I'll be sure to add it in.

First off - here's my list:

Pina Colada cake
Chocolate fudge cake with marshmallow icing
Dorset apple inspired 'wacky' cake
Vegan meringues
Big person porridge fingers (a cakey flapjack)
Maple, apple and banana bites

Here's the round up from some of my favourite bloggers - just see my notes in italics for other allergen information:

From Munchies and munchkins (Love that name!) Peanut butter banana bread - which is gluten free too
From Family, friends, food Egg and dairy free spiced apple and raisin cupcakes Helen, also told me that in Kosher produce, food labelled parve will be dairy free - you'll have to check for soya, but it's definitely worth knowing if you have a Kosher section in your supermarket
From Fab food for all Vegan banana cake (clearly bananas work well in dairy and egg free recipes!)

From Emily recipes and reviews Vegan vanilla cupcakes - not soya free for those of you baking with CMPA in mind
From one of my favourite blogs Fuss Free Flavours - Vegan date and orange cake
From Goodie Godmother Vegan lemon cream cake not soya free - Mary doesn't mention if the vegan cream cheese contains soya - but Violife have just released a dairy and soya free cream cheese. If you can find that, that would work.
From Jen's food - Egg free, dairy free carrot and cinammon cake These aren't vegan as they contain honey, but you could substitue that for maple syrup 
From Natural kitchen adventures Banana chocolate chip cake - another one that's gluten free too. Although you'll need to check the chocolate chips for soya

From Rough measures - a Date, apple and walnut loaf (sub the egg for a banana to make it egg free)

From Tin and Thyme a Coconut, chickpea and chocolate cake also gluten free
That list should keep all of us dairy and egg free bakers busy for a while - it'll certainly keep M's lunchbox and colleagues going for a bit. Just don't tell my Slimming World leader!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Pina Colada cake - dairy free, egg free

Penelope's Pantry Pina Colada Cake Dairy and Egg Free

The third of my dairy free cakes is a Pina Colada cake - a loaf cake, speckled with chunks of pineapple, with a hint of coconut rum in the background. Drizzled in a pineapple infused glace icing and topped with heaps of dessicated coconut. It's either a retro wonder, or beautiful in monochrome.

Based on the three ingredient pineapple cake that pops up all over the internet, I wanted to make this a bit different. And was thinking about my mispent youth - so of course Malibu (coconut rum) had to be paired with the pineapple.

This is such an easy cake to make, You don't need to ice it, I was mainly just prettying it up, although the pineapple juice in the glace icing does add a tartness as a foil to the sweetness of the topping, cutting through and preventing that tooth aching feeling that too much glace icing can give (unless you're 7 in which case there's no such thing as too much glace icing - I've seen Brownies icing cake, believe me I know).

Penelope's Pantry Pina Colada Cake Dairy Free and Egg Free

Pina Colada cake
(serves 8-10)

2 cups Self raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tin pineapple in juice - you should get crushed pineapple, but if like me you pick up chunks by mistake just blitz them down in either a food processor or with a stick blender (I used the latter, less washing up)
4 tablespoons Coconut rum

For the icing
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
100g icing sugar
50g dessicated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Grease and line a loaf tin
Take out 4 tablespoons of pineapple juice from the tin and set aside
In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, add the sugar and the pineapple (including the remaining juice)
Add the coconut rum
Using a hand mixer or a wooden spoon and elbow grease, beat briskly until combined. You will have a thick batter, speckled with the occasional chunks of pineapple.
Pour this into your prepared loaf tin and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. 

When baked, remove from oven and allow to cool in tin.

Pineapple glace icing

Mix the icing sugar and pineapple juice together until you get a thick, glossy glaze.
Pour, drizzle or spoon this over the top of your cake. It is not meant to be perfect, part of the beauty of this cake is in it's simplicity, it doesn't need fancy icing.
Sprinkle the top liberally with dessicated coconut.

Penelope's Pantry Pina Colada Cake Dairy and Egg Free

This cake goes beautifully with a mid morning coffee or as a casual pudding after supper. You wouldn't know it's dairy and egg free and to me that is part of the beauty. Once again, we are aiming for inclusivity for those of us with allergies. Inclusivity and cake.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Dorset apple inspired 'wacky cake'

Penelope's Pantry: Dorset apple 'wacky' cake dairy free, egg free, vegan

 'Wacky cake' is a dairy and egg free cake that uses bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in their place. It's one of the most popular pins that comes up when you search for dairy and egg free cakes and I had to give it a try. The original recipe is incredibly sweet, but aside from that, surprisingly enough makes a lovely cake, albeit slightly on the dense side.

This is an ideal cake for packed lunches or picnics as it's firmer texture means that it travels really well. 

I stuck to this recipe the first time I made the 'wacky cake' and as I said, it was tooth achingly sweet, and the timings meant it was slightly overbaked and therefore chewy. I thought I'd make some changes to see if I could suit it to our taste buds.

Dorset Apple inspired 'wacky cake'
Serves 16

Penelope's Pantry Dorset Apple 'wacky' cake dairy free, egg free, vegan

1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon sweet mixed spice
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt (I reduced this down)
1 tsp white vinegar
1tsp vanilla extract
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water

Large handful chopped, dried apple

Grease an 8inch brownie pan
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sweet mixed spice, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and chopped, dried apple and shake to level
With your measuring cups, make three separate dints in the dry ingredients (you don't want them to combine just yet)
In one pour the vinegar, in another the vanilla, and in the third the oil
Pour the water over all the ingredients and mix well until smooth
Scrape the batter into the brownie pan and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes
Allow to cool in the tin, then loosen and turn out onto a plate
Cut into 16 peices and dust with icing sugar
Serve with a strong cup of tea, feet up on the sofa while the baby naps (just me then?)

I'm going to keep making variations of this recipe and will continue to post those that are successful!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Dairy free, egg free Chocolate fudge birthday cake with marshmallow frosting

 Seven months ago if you'd asked me for a dairy free, egg free chocolate cake I'd have looked at you like you were asking for the moon on a stick. And here's todays post - dairy free, egg free chocolate cake. Oh the learning curve we're on. It's a good one too - densely chocolatey, with a fudgey consistency that's not too ooey gooey (technical term), topped with sweet, creamy marshmallow frosting and hundreds and thousands of hundreds and thousands. What more could any husband want.

However, I do feel that this post should come with a caveat. With a letter from my Mum. It's not proper baking. Not the way I do it. Please meet - the boxed cake mix...

Oh Betty Crocker, you don't know how much I wanted this not to work. But it did. And beautifully. And you know what - as much as a year ago, I'd have (silently) judged a blog post purely about cake mix - I get it now. I've always believed in inclusivity - for years my Guides had soya milk in their cakes, bakes and scrambled eggs because we had a girl with lactose intolerance. Similarly we are a completely nut free unit as I have three with nut allergies. I've never made anyone's additional needs the crux of who they are - just ensured they're included in everything by making appropriate adjustments that ensure they don't stand out. And for us these cake mixes do just that.

So, here's my 'recipe' for Chocolate fudge birthday cake with marshmallow frosting 
(serves 16)

1 box Betty Crocker Devil's food cake mix
1 can/ 300ml(ish) Cherry coke

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees
Grease and line 2, 8 inch sandwich tins

Empty the cake mix into a big mixing bowl, and pour in the coke. Using electric beaters or a hand whisk, mix until smooth (three minutes using my electric beaters)
Split the batter between the tins and bake in the preheated oven for 28 minutes

Remove from oven, allow to cool in the tins and then turn out onto a wire rack. These are really light cakes so do be careful or the layers will tear.

Marshmallow frosting

200g marshmallows - check the packet to make sure they're dairy free. Ours were from Sainsburys
3-4 tablespoons of rasperry jam - seived so there's no pips (or use a seedless one)
4 tablespoons of almond milk

Tip all three ingredients in a pan, and pop over a low heat. Stir constantly as the marshmallows melt until you have a smooth mixture.
Remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring occaisionlly.
When cold, spoon about a third in between the cake layers, and pour the rest over the top of the cake - this isn't a frosting you want to be epically tidy - part of the gloriousness is that it's quite casual.
Top with hundreds and thousands of hundreds and thousands.

Enjoy your dairy free, egg free birthday cake.

Up on Friday - an Apple and sweet mixed spice 'Wacky cake' - also dairy free and egg free


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