“Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the GINGERBREAD MAN!!!!”

There are a few things that one should think through when writing a recipe for gingerbread men for the enjoyment of others….
Firstly to take a photo of them, you must pile a plate high with gingerbread. Then you must arrange them beside your computer for safe keeping whilst you write the recipe down…… FAILURE!
They taste bloody good, and if you should so much as accidentally start to eat one, it may well turn into two partially dismembered bodies and the crumbly scene of a crime before a paragraph is out!

My husband made these as a surprise for me last night! I love gingerbread men and I always battle with them as the recipe contains so many no-no’s that it is hard to substitute them all. Between the brown sugar, golden syrup and any form of glutinous glue to stop them falling apart… they have always been a miserable fail!

However, I do believe that he has found a near perfect recipe that IS fructose-friendly. And delicious to the extent that multiple crime scenes await!!!

The appearance of these gingerbread men may well be more ‘psycho-killer-esque’ than happy children’s tale, due to the nature of the deranged designer that built my biscuit cutter mould. However, I find it easier to consume little men piece by piece when they look more like a threat to me, than someone I would quite happily take on a coffee date…

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Here goes.

Ingredients:

2 C gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ginger powder
1 TBSp baking soda
2 tsp zanthum gum
110g butter
85g sugar
1/4 C glucose syrup

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.

Cream butter and sugar in a bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, add the glucose syrup. This replaces the golden syrup that you would normally have in a GB Man recipe. Make sure that you don’t overwork the mixture as it will become more crumbly and harder to get the biscuits to stay together.
Sift and mix dry ingredients in another bowl. Once mixed add to the wet mix incorporating half at a time.
Lightly flour a work bench and rolling pin. Roll out to 5-6mm thick. Using a cookie cutter cut out gingerbread men.
Unfortunately there is no better glue than gluten, thus use a spatula to remove gingerbread men from the bench and place onto trays lined with baking paper.

'Crimescene'..... oops!

‘Crimescene’….. oops!

The biscuits take 10-12 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees. The don’t colour up a lot due to the different sugar being used and will also be quite soft when you pull them out of the oven. Leave on tray for 5-10 minutes to cool before pulling them off to a cooling rack. Alternatively take them off sooner and eat all the limbs that ‘accidentally fall off’. Happy gingerbread man cooking peoples!

Prosciutto and caramelised banana upside-down quinoa cakes!!!!

Goldilocks would have been so proud… Just the right amount of salty and sweet, just the right amount of crispy and soft, and just the right size to leave you longing but not wanting!

A variation on sue shepards recipe for upside down pineapple polenta cakes…. This one is richer in flavour, but not as sweet, and a million times easier to prepare due to the lack of soaking and refrigeration time.

I have made and absolutely love the pineapple version of these guys, but you can have that recipe as a variation of what I have decided is a winning recipe for a Sunday brunch date with coffee! (Yes I’m on about coffee again, yes I know it’s not great for fructards… No I truly don’t care as its the sole pleasure in the food world that I point blank refuse to give up!)

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Prosciutto and caramelised banana upside down quinoa cakes

ingredients

150g low fat vanilla yoghurt (ff)
80g butter softened
1/2 C castor sugar
1/2 C Glucose
2 tsp of vanilla essence
3 eggs
1/2 C quinoa
1 C water
1C Gf flour mix
2 tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp zanthum gum

4 slices of prosciutto
1 banana halved lengthways skin on

Preheat oven to 180deg.

Microwave the quinoa and water for
10 mins in a microwave proof dish.
Mix the butter, yoghurt, sugar, glucose and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix in thoroughly between additions.
Once quinoa is ready, you can add this to the mix. It’s fine if its still hot.
In a non stick fry pan, add the prosciutto and flip after 1 min. Remove from fry pan, add the banana cooked side down and reduce heat. Cook the bananas until the skin blackens, then remove.

Into a regular sized 12 pan muffin tin put 12 silicon muffin moulds. (If you don’t have these then lightly grease the tins, or use paper ones. Having the inserts helps with the upside down part).

Cut the banana (still in the skin) just through the fleshy part into 12 pieces, 6 for each half. Place the caramelised side into the bottom of each of the muffin moulds. Distribute the prosciutto evenly across the 12 moulds.

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Sift the flour, zanthum gum, baking powder and soda into the mix then stir.
Portion between the 12 moulds.

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Bake for 18-20 mins, or until golden tops and they spring back when touched. Allow to cool for 5 mins before turning out on a wire rack. Allow another 5 mins to cool before running a knife around the inside of the mould and lifting it out.

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alternatives

Making these with the same recipe but substitute the prosciutto and banana for any of the following….

1 can of crushed pineapple (make sure it’s in pineapple juice not pear)

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Or

1 1/2 C Stewed rhubarb (200g rhubarb stalks chopped, 1C water 50g glucose, grated ginger and orange zest boiled for 3 mins)

Or

You can make them in 15cm tins and top them with yoghurt and strawberries

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The world’s best BANANA BREAD recipe!

I have Jenny from ‘Independence’ to thank for this one. When we were away on our honeymoon in the middle of nowhere, Jenny whipped up some banana bread (I stole a corner and man it was good). This is the GF /fructose-friendly version of hers. My theory is if you can make it on a boat in Vava’u then there is absolutely no reason that you cant make it at home with the creature comforts and ingredients in hand.

It was warm and sunny this morning and the world was singing the tune of banana bread! I put it on, went for a run and upon my return the house was wafting warm banana smells down the hallway and onto the street…

So the ingredients list…

  • 1 1/2 C sugar (I use 1C sugar and 1/2 C of glucose)
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 mashed bananas (the blacker the better)
  • 1tsp of vanilla bean paste (vanilla essence does the trick if you can’t find vanilla bean paste that is fructose/ inulin free)
  • 3 TBsp milk
  • 1 TBsp white vinegar (the secret ingredient of awesomeness)
  • 2 C GF flour mix
  • 1 tsp zantham gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

The all important instructions….

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Cream butter and sugar in bowl, then add eggs one at a time and mix in thoroughly. 

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3. Mash bananas on a plate and then stir through mixture

4. Add vanilla, milk and vinegar and stir through.

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5. Sift in dry ingredients

6. Once combined, line a loaf tin with baking paper, and pour in mixture.

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7. Bake for 45-55 mins until centre springs back and a knife comes out clean.

8. ENJOY

The Mamasita’n dream!

1/11 Collins St  Melbourne VIC 3001
(03) 9650 3821

Nestled in the upstairs of a pretty dingy building in the city, is the epically amazing ‘not so secret’ that is Mamasita. As far as upmarket new age Mexican, they have nailed it. Then there is there service…. It couldn’t be better if you tried. These guys seem to be rocking the ‘knowledgeable, happy-to-be-at-work, I’m-awesome-at-my-job’ combination that makes the Mamasita experience what it is.

We headed in for a surprise Bday… now there are a few things you need to know… (you cant book unless its a table of 8-10, and you have to do set menu, otherwise you can do the walk in option, and most nights of the week at most times your looking at about an hour wait on the stairs smelling the gloriousness that is Mamasita before being seated- so worth either option)… Set menu for us, and what a menu it is!

Upon arrival you are asked if there are any food intolerances amongst the group – 1x vege, 1x fructard…. didn’t phase them. A couple of questions later and the Man-waiter-extraodinaire was totally under control (questions being my preferences, not what is fructose!?). He apologised for the fact that I would not be eating the same meal as the others….. hindsight says he should have apologised to the others as, as far as I’m concerned mine was better…..

Did I mention that when your dining as a walk in, they have an allergy menu. Basically let you know the items on the menu that they can’t remove the following from; dairy/egg/onion/garlic/chilli…. Oh and the whole menu is gluten free already!

Here’s how I went…

Entrée, exquisite~! no other words for it. I was served up avocado salsa with corn chips… I didn’t know you could make it taste that good. The avocado was even served in its own skin… sorry it looked so good it got eaten before I took piccys.

Tostaditas
2.5 inch fried tortilla with toppings –words cannot convey the flavour explosion…

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We then moved on to rounds 3&4 -Tacos 6 inch soft shell tortilla with filling & Comida para la familia Shared food for the family

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photo (13)Crispy skinned salmon on a bed of quinoa salad and coriander…..mmmmmmmm

And then to top it off mamasita rocked my world with their amazing choccolatey goodness

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Thank you Mamasita for reinventing my belief in fructose free flavour! I couldn’t recommend this place more highly! We loved coming, and we WILL be back…..

I have been here for another set menu experience before, 5 out of the 10 were food-retarded… 1x vege, 1x dairy/soy/gf, 1x gf, 1xonion free and me….. same experience… no worries…

strawberry, blueberry, MASCARPONE & almond tartlets

strawberry, blueberry, MASCARPONE & almond tartlets

1 sheet gluten free/fructose friendly pastry
50g ground almond meal
1/4 cup of gluten free flour mix
1/2 tsp zanthum gum
2 TBSP glucose
3 heaped teaspoons of mascarpone
1 tsp of vanilla bean paste
2 tsp of frangelico (optional depending on your sensitivity – but it tastes bloody good with it)
1 punnet strawberries
handful of blueberries

preheat oven to 200 C and grease 4 tarlet tins (about 12-13cm). cut out pastry and line the tins. line with baking paper and fill with rice/beans to bake blind. bake for 10-15mins
remove paper and bake for another 5 mins.

dry roast the almond meal (I toss it in a fry pan for 3 mins).

Combine the flour, zantham, glucose, mascarpone, vanilla bean paste, frangelico and almond meal in a bowl.

divide the mixture between the 4 tartlet tins and top with sliced strawberries and blue berries.

NB- everyones tolerance to fruit is different, but i use about 2 strawberries and 5-6 blueberries for each tartlet. if you cant use either of these think about using some stewed rhubarb instead.

TOP WITH FRUCTARD SAFE ICECREAM OR YOGHURT!!! sooo good!