Homemade Aribars

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This recipe is so simple and quick to make. It contains no nasties and even a whole lot less ingredients than listed on the store bought variety, which makes managing any allergies or intolerances so much easier!

My kids LOVE these and other than the lack of packaging, haven’t noticed any difference. They are a perfectly safe and a relatively healthy treat for school lunch boxes too.

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Homemade “Aribars” (makes 12 bars)

4 cups puffed rice (check the pack if you need Gluten Free)
2 tbsp cocoa or cacao of your choice
2 tbsp rice malt syrup (or preferred sweetener – but it needs to be sticky)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Put the puffed rice into a large bowl and add the cocoa. Mix until the puffed rice is completely coated.

Add the rice malt syrup and stir in as best you can.

Melt the coconut oil and pour into the bowl. Mix really well until the whole lot becomes coated and sticky.

Line a small baking tray with baking paper (I used a half size tray) and pour the mixture on top. Using the back of a spoon spread it out evenly, all the way to the edges and press down firmly but not so much that you crush the puffed rice.

Place in the freezer for 1/2hr – 1hr (it should be firm to touch). Remove and cut into bars.

Store in an air tight container in the fridge. Can be kept in the pantry in cooler climates.

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Gluten-free lemon meringue layer cake

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We have been trialling a gluten free diet in our home this week as recommended by our daughters naturopath to hopefully help…well quite a few things actually! Now it seems every man and his dog is on a gluten free diet these days so I thought for sure it would be easy to convert.

My first attempt at a gluten free cake failed miserably. I milled some brown rice in the Thermomix and the cake turned out grainy and tasted like raw vanillary (it’s a word now!) rice. Not nice at all. I hope to make my own gluten free flour and bread in the near future but I thought I would simplify things for now and buy some from the supermarket.

Once I was armed with some new ingredients I got to work on the cake today. A gluten free lemon meringue layer cake and I can report this attempt was much better than the first.

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Deciding on the flavour was based on two things – the beautiful orange blossom Persian fairy floss I had purchased over the weekend while we were away, and the fact that gluten free flour has a distinct flavour and I needed something that was going to work with that.

So here is the recipe and due to the few extra elements it is a Thermomix recipe today, but as always you could use an electric mixer and your stove top if you choose.

Gluten-free lemon meringue layer cake 

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C. Grease a 12cm cake tin and set aside.

Cake

  • 100g butter, softened and cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain gluten free flour
  • 1 cup self raising gluten free flour
  • juice and rind of half a lemon

Place butter and sugar into the bowl and cream them. Speed 4, 15 seconds. Repeat if necessary.

Add eggs and vanilla extract. Insert butterfly, speed 3, 30 seconds.

Scrape down the sides. Add flour. Speed 3, 1 minute.

Scrape down the sides again, add grated lemon rind and juice and put on for a further 2 minutes at speed 3.

Pour batter into the cake tin and smooth down the top. Place in the oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the tin and place onto a wire rack. Once cold, carefully slice into three even layers and set aside.

Fluffy lemon curd

  • Half a lemon – rind, flesh and all
  • 100g raw sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Place the sugar and lemon chopped in chunks into the clean bowl – Speed 9, 15 seconds.

Add egg yolks. Butterfly, 5 minutes, 60 degrees C, speed 5.

Add the cornflour, remove the measuring cup from the lid and put the steam basket on top to prevent spills. 3 minutes, 80 degrees, speed 3.

Set aside and allow to cool.

Meringue – make sure the bowl is clean and dry.

  • 6 egg whites
  • 200g raw sugar

Place raw sugar in the bowl and mill – speed 9, 20 seconds. Set aside.

Thoroughly clean and dry the bowl, blade and lid.

Place the egg whites into the bowl. Butterfly, 50 degrees, Speed 3, 4 minutes.

Then – Speed 3 for 3 minutes. Remove the measuring cup from the top and slowly add the sugar, approximately one teaspoon at a time until it is all combined.

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Now it is time to layer the cake.

Place the bottom layer onto a plate or serving platter of your choice. Cover in a thick layer of meringue and top some of the fluffy lemon curd.

Add the middle layer and again top with a generous layer of meringue and then fluffy lemon curd.

Place the last layer on top and cover in meringue. You can choose to blow touch this layer if you choose.

I topped mine with the delicious orange blossom Persian fairy floss that reminds me of childhood…but I can’t pinpoint an exact memory. Just lovely. It is an expensive addition but totally delicious and absolutely worth a try! It is also safe for those who need to remain gluten free.

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Let them eat cake

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Today we made cake, birthday cake to be exact. For no good reason at all and it was fabulous.

It was Ivy’s birthday and Ottilia’s birthday and dolly and Kiki, they all had a birthday today and we sang Happy Birthday to each and every one of them. We clapped, cheered, blew out the imaginary flames and cut the cake, 4 times.

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Today we made cake and we laughed when we smelt the flour and it tickled our nostrils. We laughed when we licked the spoon and we got chocolate covered faces and we squealed with delight when we taste tested the icing.

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Today we made cake and covered it in sprinkles, too many sprinkles…but it didn’t matter. It was a birthday after all.

We decorated it with candles and lace because we wanted to and it was beautiful.

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We clinked cups and drank our imaginary tea while scooping spoonfuls of icing into our mouths. My tea was chicken and hers lamb and it was the sweetest tea I have had in a long time.

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Today we made cake and we smiled, we laughed, we cuddled, we played. We shared with the toys and rode off into the sunset on our hobby horses.

 

*For those of you that are interested, the cake is chocolate with a marshmallow frosting. The recipe is a work in progress so stay tuned.

Wagon wheels with a difference

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Like most people, I love a wagon wheel. Jam, marshmellow cream, biscuit and chocolate…what isn’t to there to like about that? Well, I guess if you want to be picky you could say the fact they are packed full of bad fats, colours, flavours and preservatives. All in moderation I think.

However, if you wanted to enjoy this treat on a more regular basis…I think I have found the perfect solution for you! My wagon wheels are made from mostly raw ingredients, contain no sugar and nothing artificial.

These delicious bites of goodness contain sugar-free, homemade, berry jam and sweet macadamia cream, sandwiched between two raw biscuits and coated in raw vegan chocolate. Yuumm!!

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Wagon wheels with a difference (makes 9)

This recipe requires 4 separate elements.

Biscuit

You have the option of making these with the biscuit recipe below or you could use this recipe I used for the Chocolate wheatens. The puffed rice in the recipe below does give the biscuit a distinct flavour so if that is something you don’t like I suggest you use the other biscuit recipe.

  • 150g rolled oats
  • 60g puffed rice
  • 100g coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 50ml water

Place all ingredients, except for the water, into a blender and blend to a fine crumb. Add water and mix again until it begins to come together.

Distribute evenly between a cup cake baking tray – about 1-2 centimeters per hole. (You will need to make 18 biscuits all together to get 9 wagon wheels). Place in the freezer.

Sweet macadamia cream

  • 130g macadamia nuts
  • 90g  rice malt syrup

Place the nuts into a blender and blend until it begins to form a butter.

Add the rice malt syrup and continue to mix until it is thick and creamy. This may take a couple of minutes. Set aside.

Sugar-free mixed berry jam

  • 140g mix berries (you can use any berries you like)
  • 90g rice malt syrup
  • 50g coconut oil

If your berries are frozen make sure you defrost them before beginning.

Blend or mash berries and then place in a saucepan. Add rice malt syrup and coconut oil. Boil on high for approximately 5 minutes – It might not take this long so watch that it doesn’t begin to burn and remove or stir if needed.

Alternatively you could use your Thermomix – Varoma, butterfly, speed 2, 5 minutes.

Place in a bowl to cool completely. It will thicken.

Chocolate

50g cocoa powder
100g coconut oil
4-5 tbsp rice malt syrup

I would suggest doubling this recipe to ensure you get a good coverage over your wagon wheels but I have found that this recipe give the best consistency for dipping.

Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and heat until melted and combined. Alternatively use your Thermomix to do this.

To assemble…

Remove the biscuits from the freezer and carefully remove from the cupcake tin.

Spread one biscuit from each pair with the macadamia cream, then top with jam and place the other biscuit on top to create a sandwich. Carefully dip into the chocolate while it is still warm.

If you are able, I found it best to stand the biscuits upright while the chocolate set. Depending on the size of you biscuits this may or may not be possible. Place in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set – approximately 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Whilst I was trying to be all creative and takes these photographs to share with you my kids decided to help…and this happened…

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Rolled right off the board and into the mud! Not kidding, had to throw it out which was a little devastating but funny at the same time.

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Caramel custard

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This is a recipe for those days when you have used a tonne of egg whites but have a bowl full of egg yolks left over.

Caramel custard

  • 5+ egg yolks (I ended up using 9 because that is what I had, if you use less check consistency and see if you require a little more milk)
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 20g corn flour
  • 100g milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place egg yolks, brown sugar and cornflour into the Thermomix bowl. Speed 3, 5 seconds.

Add milk and vanilla extract.

Remove the measuring cup and place the basket insert on top to avoid splashes. Varoma, Speed 2.5 for 3 minutes.

The custard should now be nice and thick but will also thicken as it cools. If it is lumpy or too thick place the butterfly in, add some more milk and mix on varoma, speed 2.5 for another minute.

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*serving suggestion: sprinkle with a little cinnamon or use to top a warm dessert.

 

 

Steamed choc malt puds

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To be honest, this recipe was kind of a happy accident. I was mucking around with making different flavoured meringue and this particular time I couldn’t get the consistency right and the meringue to thicken. So instead of throwing it out I added a few more ingredients and thought I would try making cup cakes in my Thermomix. The result – these beautifully soft and sweet little puddings.

If you don’t have a Thermomix, don’t fear! You could easily make these using an electric mixer and steamer.

Steamed choc malt puds (makes 6)

  • 5 egg whites
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 50g malted milk drink or malt powder
  • 40g almonds
  • 20g cocoa powder

Place the almond into the bowl and grind to meal. Speed 10, 30 seconds. Tip into a bowl and put aside until needed. You could also buy pre-made almond meal if you prefer.

Give the thermomix bowl a quick wipe out. Place the eggs and icing sugar into the bowl. Put the butterfly attachment in. Speed 4, 3 minutes.

Add the malted milk powder, almond meal and cocoa. Leave the butterfly in. Speed 3, 30 seconds.

You will need individual silicon cup cake molds to cook your puds. Pour an equal amount of mixture into each mold. Do not fill them all the way to the top as they will rise a little. Depending on the size of your molds they may not all fit into the varoma/steamer at once.

Half fill the Thermomix bowl with water, put the lid on. Place the varoma on top and put the filled cup cake molds into the varoma. Put the varoma lid on. Set Thermomix to varoma, speed 1, 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes, carefully remove the cakes from the varoma and when they have cooled enough to handle, remove them from the molds.

Dust with icing sugar and serve.

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Best when warm, try with some cream or ice cream. Could be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge and reheated as desired.

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Cute idea – serve in small tea cups with a hidden surprise underneath!

 

 

Ice cream mountain cake

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Earlier this month my little brother turned sixteen. Being the outrageous sweet-tooth that he is, he requested an ice cream cake. Yes, my sixteen year old brother wanted an ice cream cake for his birthday party…

So I came up with this wacky, sugar overloaded creation for him and his friends to enjoy.

Ice cream mountain cake

  • 1 packet coles brand choc chip cookies
  • 1 4Lt tub neapolitan ice cream
  • 1 large packet smarties
  • 1 packet or home made chocolate cake (I went with a simple packet chocolate cake this time)
  • 1 bottle chocolate ice magic
  • 1 pack 100’s and 1000’s (sprinkles)

Bake your chocolate cake. Depending on your preference, you could try a chilli kick with this recipe, caramel mud if that is more to your liking, spiced choc mint for something different or just use a basic packet cake like I did.

Allow the cake to cool and slice into two layers. Set the bottom layer aside as a whole. Crumble the top layer into a bowl and set aside.

You will need a deep bowl that will fit into your freezer, if the top of the bowl is approximately the same size as your cake tin then that is ideal. Line with cling wrap and allow the cling wrap to hang over the sides – this will be handy when you are trying to remove the cake later.

Place cookies along the bottom of the bowl and up the sides of the bowl. Open the neapolitan ice cream and use the vanilla as the “cement” to stick the cookies to the bowl and each other. Fill in the gaps with ice cream.

Using the crumbled cake, line the bottom with cake and begin to take it up the side. Push down, the ice cream should help it stick.

Fill the crater with the smarties and cover over with the remaining crumbled cake.

Layer the chocolate ice cream on top. You may not want to use all the chocolate ice cream depending on your bowl shape. See how much room you have and you be the judge.

Layer the strawberry ice cream on top of the chocolate. Again, judge how much room you have in your bowl as to how much ice cream you use.

Place the layer of cake flat over the top of the bowl. Gently push it down so it sticks to the ice cream.

Cover with cling wrap and place into the freezer overnight.

*When serving:

Remove cling wrap from the top and turn the bowl upside down on your serving plate.

If it doesn’t come out straight away gently tug on cling wrap. If it needs further assistance, wet a tea towel with hot water, ring it out and place it over the top of the bowl. This should help to loosen it.

Once it comes out, remove the cling wrap.

Squirt the entire bottle of ice magic over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides. It will set quickly and creates a good effect.

Top with sprinkles. Sing Happy Birthday, blow out the candles, cut, serve and enjoy!

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I can quite proudly say that not a single piece of this cake was left. It was a huge hit with the swarm of teenagers. Just goes to show that ice cream cakes don’t always belong in primary school!

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I’m not sure what she is thinking here but probably something along the lines of “Hurry up and sing happy birthday so I can eat this thing!!”…and she did.

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Happy 16th Birthday Zainey xo