Eggless Honeydew Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream

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With its light, fruity flavours and the pretty swirls (I guess you can tell, I’m obsessed with swirls), this ice cream seems absolutely perfect for the summer, not for the dreary month of December. However, during this time of cold (not here in Singapore though) and rain, this bright and cheerful ice cream is just what you need to lift your spirits up. Be warned though, because its so light and doesn’t leave that creamy aftertaste that most commercial ice creams have, you might end up eating a lot more of this ice cream!

This recipe relies a great deal of improvisation and tasting while cooking, as the size and sweetness of the fruits (the honeydew and the strawberries) vary greatly. Therefore, you’ll have to decide the amount of sugar going into the ice cream and the strawberry swirl, the amounts I used should just be a guideline.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/11738/easy-melon-ice-cream

Ingredients:
For the honeydew ice cream:
1-1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon caster sugar, to taste
1 ripe honeydew melon, peeled and chopped into tiny pieces
Juice of half a lemon

For the strawberry swirl:
2 cups whole strawberries, chopped
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar, to taste

Procedure:
For the honeydew ice cream: In a medium saucepan, pour the heavy cream and add the sugar. Stir on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts simmering. Then, remove from heat, and allow it to cool.

In a blender, blend the honeydew melon pieces and the lemon juice together until smooth. Add the cooled cream mixture, and blend together. (If your blender capacity doesn’t allow for such a large volume, you could simply mix the cream and honeydew mixtures together, they should mix together nice and smooth). Taste this mixture, if its too sweet, add half a tablespoon of caster sugar, and repeat until it tastes just slightly too sweet (as during freezing some of the sweetness reduces slightly).

Let this mixture chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, and then pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

For the strawberry swirl: While the ice cream is churning, prepare the strawberry swirl. In a saucepan, place the strawberries and the sugar. Stir on medium heat until the liquid released starts simmering/boiling, then reduce to low heat and stir for 5 minutes. Allow this to cool slight, and then mix with an immersion blender (or a regular blender) until smooth. Store in the freezer until the ice cream has churned.

For assembly: Once the ice cream has churned and reached soft serve consistency, spoon some of it in a container/loaf pan. Add spoonfuls of the strawberry syrup, and swirl with a skewer. Repeat with layers of ice cream and syrup, and then allow to freeze for 4-5 more hours or overnight, until well frozen.

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Then, enjoy!

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Gluten Free and Eggless Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

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These brownies were made as a way to salvage what has been quite a sad week. The holidays have started, and along with this holiday season came the flu, cough syrup and a terrible sore throat. Talk about terrible timing!

While this week has been bad, these brownies do make things a lot better. They are super fudgy, which in my opinion is better than cakey brownies. The beautiful and timeless combination of peanut butter and chocolate shines through twice, both in the brownies, as well as in the pretty marbled ganache, that makes them look super festive.

The recipe for the peanut butter ganache yields a bit more than what you would need to use for the brownies, but I don’t think anyone’s complaining. The scrumptious ganache leftovers can be used on top of cookies, to dip fruit in, or to just eat on its own (I may or may not have finished all the extra ganache doing this).

Brownie recipe adapted from: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/12/30/ultimate-fudge-brownies-with-peanut-butter-chips-2/

Ingredients:
For the brownies:
10 tablespoons (145g) unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons caster sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Egg replacer equivalent of 2 eggs
1/2 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
1/2 t0 3/4 cup peanut butter chips (depending on how much you prefer)

Marbled ganache:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 + 1/8 cup heavy cream
A dab of butter

Procedure:
For the brownies:
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a 8/9″ square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some at the sides to pull the brownies out and for the ganache.

In a microwavable bowl, heat the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate chips together in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment until you get a smooth glossy mixture. Transfer this to a separate mixing bowl if you prefer, or proceed with the same bowl.

Stir the vanilla extract and egg replacer into the chocolate mixture. Sift in the flour, and then fold until well-combined. Stir in the peanut butter chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth over with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle a few peanut butter chips on the top.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs attached.

For the marbled ganache:
In a microwavable bowl place the chocolate chips, 1/4 cup of the cream and the dab of butter. In a separate microwavable bowl place the peanut butter chips and the 1/8 cup of cream.

Microwave both the bowls in 30s increments, stirring after each increment until both the ganaches (is that a word?) are smooth.

To decorate:
Ensure that the brownies have cooled before decoration. To begin with, spread the chocolate ganache over the brownies, ensuring that the ganache is even.

Next, place spoonfuls of the peanut butter ganache all over the brownies. Use a toothpick or a skewer to swirl the two different ganache(s) together, to create that beautiful swirl pattern. Chill in the fridge for the ganache to set.

After the ganache has set, use the sides of the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the pan, and then cut into pieces with a knife.

Enjoy!

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Gluten Free and Eggless Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

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I spend a lot of time reading other baking blogs, and see all these references to candies and confections sold in other parts of the world, such as Tim Tams, tootsie rolls etc. We don’t get a lot of these in the mainstream stores in Singapore, and so when shopping in my local NTUC I found Andes chocolate mints, I semi freaked out. I knew I HAD to bake something with these, and thus I present, these delicious mint chocolate cupcakes.

These are filled with chopped andes chocolates mints, but you could use any brand of chocolate mints, or these really exciting dark chocolate and mint morsels.
The chocolate cupcake is highly dense and fudge-like, and is wonderfully balanced by a light and airy mint whipped cream. This balance definitely makes for a highly delectable and pretty cupcake.

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
1-3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups scant white sugar
Egg replacer equivalent of 2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup chopped mint chocolates, or mint chocolate chips/morsels

For the mint whipped cream:
1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Few drops of green food coloring
Few drops of peppermint extract (depending on how potent your extract is)

Melted chocolate, to decorate (Optional)

Procedure:
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, egg replacer, milk and oil together. Fold in the sifted flour mixture, until well-combined. Using an electric mixer, mix for about a minute, or until well combined.

Add the boiling water and stir in. Fold in the mint chocolate pieces/chips/morsels.

Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, until about 2/3rd full. Bake for 15 – 17 minutes, or until well risen and springs back when pressed gently. (Inserting a toothpick may not work as this cupcake is very dense and fudge-like). Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting, and refrain from eating too many (if possible).

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For the mint whipped cream:
Chill your mixing bowl and the whisk attachment of your electric mixer in the freezer for 15 minutes before using.

In the chilled bowl, pour the whipping cream and whisk until very slight peaks form. Add the powdered sugar, and whisk until soft peaks for.

Add a few drops of green coloring (I advise you to do this drop by drop, mixing after each drop), until the desired colour is reached. For me, a very slight green tinge is the most appealing and appetising.
Next, add the peppermint extract, drop by drop, mixing and tasting after each drop. Its important to do this drop by drop as different brands have different potencies, and adding too much extract is definitely unpalatable. If you do happen to add too much extract, simply pour in more whipping cream and whisk.

Assembly:
Once the cupcakes have thoroughly cooled, begin assembly. Pipe the mint whipping cream on the cupcakes as fancy as you like, or do it the simple way – spooning a dollop of cream on the cupcakes.
Optional: Drizzle with melted chocolate if you’re going for fancy. Or if you love chocolate.

Enjoy!

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Gluten Free and Eggless Pancake Stack

The origin of this dessert was a hungry snack and a lazy chef. It was late afternoon, and I was rummaging through our fridge and pantry searching for something not too terrible to eat. And I chanced upon a tub of packaged chocolate pudding and some bread. And so I made a chocolate pudding sandwich. Which was scrumptious.
What followed next is what you see before you today, a stack of fluffy thin pancakes sandwiching a silky and rich chocolate pudding, with a dollop of whipped cream on the top. Its safe to say that this tasted much better than my later afternoon snack did. You should definitely try this out, either as a luxurious breakfast, or as dessert at the end of a meal.

Pancake recipe adapted from: http://www.sarahbakesgfree.com/2015/12/gluten-free-vegan-pancakes.html
Chocolate pudding recipe from: https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/en_US/recipes/2804/quick-creamy-chocolate-pudding.html
Whipped cream recipe from: http://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/4-ways-to-make-whipped-cream/

Ingredients:
For the chocolate pudding:

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the pancakes:

  • 2-1/2 cups gluten free plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or mix 1 cup milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar, and let it sit for about five minutes at least)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the decoration (Makes around half cup extra):

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles, as needed

Procedure:

For the chocolate pudding:
In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt together. Add 1/4 cup of the milk, and whisk well to get a thick, homogenous mixture. Slowly add more and more of the milk (in 1/4 cup instalments), whisking well each time, to ensure that there are no lumps.

Place the saucepan on medium heat and stir well, until the mixture becomes thick and starts boiling. Ensure to continue stirring and scraping the sides throughout, to prevent lumps from forming. Once the mixture starts boiling, stir for about 30 more seconds, and then remove from heat.

Stir in the vanilla extract and butter in the chocolate pudding. Allow the pudding to cool before using.

For the pancakes:
While waiting for the pudding to cool, make the pancakes.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the brown and granulated sugars, and whisk well.
Using the whisk, create a well in the centre of the bowl, and into this well add the canola oil, vanilla extract and the remaining 1-1/2 cup of the milk. Whisk well, until the mixture is somewhat smooth and free of lumps.
Add the buttermilk and whisk well again, ensuring that there are no lumps.

Place a non-stick pan on medium heat, and wait for the pan to get heated. Spread a small cube of butter or 2 teaspoons of oil on the pan, and wait for it to get heated as well. Once the pan and the butter/oil are sufficiently heated, using a ladle spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter on to the pan. Use the back of the ladle to spread the pancake batter as thin as possible.
Once bubbles start developing on the top side of the pancake, and once lifting the pancake slightly reveals a medium brown colour, flip the pancake using either a serrated knife (works well) or a spatula. Repeat for this side, and then remove the pancake from the stove. Repeat to use up all of the batter, to make about 14-15 pancakes. Let the pancakes cool.

For the decoration:
Make the whipped cream: 
In a chilled bowl and using a chilled whisk (chill by placing in the freezer for about 30 minutes in advance), whisk the cream, sugar and vanilla extract together, until stiff peaks form. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

To assemble, start by placing a pancake on the serving plate. Top with around 2 big dollops of chocolate pudding, and top with another pancake.

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Continue this stack until all the pancakes have been used up (I made a stack of 14 pancakes, with a bit of chocolate pudding left to spare). On the top of the pancake stack pipe or spoon the whipped cream, and top with sprinkles. Chill for a bit longer, and then enjoy!

(Note that you could also spoon some whipped cream along with the chocolate pudding as the filling for the stack, but you should make about half a batch of whipped cream more if you wish to do this).

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