“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!

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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

Vietnamese Rice Paper Wraps

These yummy little guys are super easy to make. Generally you need to set aside 20 mins for the folding process but its not hard! And the thing I love about them is that substitutions are totally what makes them unique every time.

Here is my basic recipe (and what I adapt from depending on whats in the fridge:

  • grab a packet of rice paper wraps
  • vermicelli (I tried it with thick and medium rice noodles today and it worked fine- left overs for the win)
  • lettuce/cos/spinach thinly chopped
  • pork or chicken (although i have used schnitzel too and that was good)
  • thinly sliced veges, usually a couple of red capsicum/carrot/pumpkin (if you can tolerate it)/ cucumber
  • mint and coriander leaves (you can go without one or the other but these make the flavour)

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sauces

For the meat, fry thin strips and then add the sauce over the top

  • 2TBsp peanut butter
  • 1Tbsp GF soy sauce
  • 2tsp of glucose powder
  • 1TBsp sesame seeds

Its based on a hoisin and peanut butter recipe (I am yet to find a safe hoisin..)

the dipping sauce is equal parts

  • white vinegar
  • lemon/lime juice
  • glucose powder
  • either a chilli or tomato sauce (depends on tolerance- i usually try and forget that i don’t do well on chillis as it tastes better)
  • fish sauce

and then the fun begins….

So there are a few rules.  You need a fry pan with about 1-2cm of hot water (that you can put your fingers in). A dinner plate for rolling them on, needs about 1tsp of water on the plate so they don’t stick or just run under the tap and don’t dry it.

The hotter the water the faster the rice paper wraps fold up and then dissolve  Pop it in, but immediately take it our and flip over otherwise it will uncontrollably roll up. When the wrap is soft but not limp, pull it out and pop on dinner plate. It will get softer whilst on the plate so dont let it get too mushy!

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Time to start rolling. Add your ingredients starting with the noodles, the more you put in the harder it is to roll and more likely to explode. Roll it up like a kebab and bobs your uncle.

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Easy!!! And fructose free!!! Enjoy

 

 

The worlds most amazing breakfast smoothie!!!

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It sounds weird but hang in there… For a breaky smoothie that will blow your mind its so so simple!

1/2 C of fructose friendly muesli
1/4C of fructose friendly yoghurt
3 strawberries with their tops taken off
1/2 C milk

Blend to supreme perfection