Monday, September 27, 2010

Homemade, gluten-free buttermilk rusks

When my then boyfriend/now hubby and I were in varsity, and money for dates was thin on the ground, we used to raid my parents' pantry for Ouma buttermilk rusks dipped in frothy, delicious cappuccinos (the flavoured packet mixes). We'd find a spot on the couch in the lounge or outside on the bench in the garden, and smul lekker !

Other than Nature's Choice gluten-free coconut & sesame rusks which are buttery with no nasty aftertaste (but are seriously on the pricey side), no bought gluten-free rusk I've tasted up to now comes close to Ouma buttermilk rusks. But this recipe is about as close as it's going to get.

It's adapted from a recipe which came printed in a little booklet with the Ideas Magazine a few months ago. Make it when you have some time on your hands and are craving a true, homegrown South African tradition - 'n lekker koppie koffie met beskuit op die stoep! (Translation: an enjoyable cup of coffee with rusks on the verandah.)

Buttermilk Rusks


- 1kg gluten-free cake flour*
- 280g sugar
- 250g butter
- 3 eggs
- 333ml buttermilk


1) Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour* and sugar. * Note on the flour: Pick a well-balanced gluten-free flour blend with a taste you love. The quality of the flour will determine how fluffy and light your rusks turn out. If you use a single-source dense flour, the rusks will be dense and wont turn out looking like mine. I use my own mix of flours. Just like I had to, you will need to experiment with the recipe until you find the magic touch which works for YOUR tastebuds and visual appeal. The recipe, however, is a solid, no-flop base recipe open to variation.

2) Make a well in the centre and use a dough hook attachment on your mixer
to add the eggs and butttermilk (the consistensy will be like a thick scone batter).

3) Roll balls and put them next to eachother
in a loaf tin or a cake tin or something with edges.

4) Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 30 - 40 mins (till golden)
BUT you have to start watching them after 20 mins already.

5) THEN you take them out, break them apart, eat a few
as delicious/rich/soft scones
with jam and double thick cream on


put the rest on a wire rack on a baking sheet in the oven at 50 degrees Celsius
with a wooden spoon in the oven door for air flow
and bake it for a few hours (mine took 2 - 3 hours)
till it's the crispy texture of a rusk.
(See pic above post.)

Geniet dit!
Enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nourishing butternut soup

My version of comfort food...

  • 1 large onion
  • 1kg butternut chunks
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic (fresh)
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger (fresh)
  • 1 tsp crushed green chilli (fresh)
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary (fresh)
  • 1 tsp salt crystals
  • coconut oil for frying
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour (gives a creamy, thick texture)
  • roasted, salted hemp seeds (garnish) (optional)
  1. Fry onions in coconut oil over low heat until translucent.
  2. Add butternut chunks, garlic, ginger, chilli, sprig of rosemary, salt and coconut flour to the pot.
  3. Add enough boiling water to just cover the butternut chunks.
  4. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 - 30 mins (depending on the initial size of the butternut chunks).
  5. Remove the sprig of rosemary and zhoesh the soup with a stick blender.
  6. Serve garnished with roasted, salted hemp seeds.
  7. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Coconut Jam Tart

I have always adored coconut - the fresher the better!

Hubby has become remarkably good at calling upon his caveman instincts to crack open those peskily tough but oh-so-delish fresh coconut delights.

Fresh coconut was not always freely available in SA when I was little though, so my Mom used to rock the following recipe using dried desiccated coconut. This recipe assuaged my coconut gland on a regular basis growing up.

Out of the blue a few weeks ago, the memory of this tart jumped into my head. I found my Mom's recipe, de-glutenised it and let the smell of this tart baking conjure up lovely childhood memories.

And the taste? Let's just say, even sans gluten,
it still turns a girl's head!

Mommle, I love you AND all your scrummy baked goods. Thank you for rocking the gluten-free scones and carrot cake every so often now that wheat is so very behind me!

Epic Coconut Tart

Base Ingredients:
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (straight rice flour or a good gf cake flour)
  • pinch of salt
  • 113g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 (125ml) cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb
  • 1/2 tsp creme of tartar

1) Beat butter, sugar, salt.

2) Add in egg and beat lightly.

3) Mix in dry ingredients.

4) Flatten into a buttered baking dish.

Topping ingredients:
  • St Dalfour sugar-free berry jam of your choice (I like the four fruits mix)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup in original recipe for if you've got a major sweet tooth or 20!)
  • 1 cup coconut, dessicated (I prefer using coconut flakes)
  • 1 egg

1) Spread a thin layer of jam over the raw dough base.

2) Mix the sugar with one cup of coconut.

3) Beat the egg and then mix it into the sugar + coconut mix.

4) Spread it evenly over the jam/base.

5) Bake for 20 mins at 175 - 180 degrees Celsius till golden brown.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Truffles

I found this fantastic gluten-free product at a health shop last week, and have been making batches of these little truffles for visitors ever since!

I contacted the distributor, Yussuf, to make sure that the flour doesn't contain any corn flour or other fillers, and was happy to find out that it is just pure, finely-milled coconut.

It's a lovely product to bake with, adding not only a delicious taste, but also fibre. As an added bonus, each bag of flour comes with a booklet of tasty recipes using the flour. Please note, it is a liquid absorbing flour of note, so use less in recipes (as in 3/4 cup of coconut flour instead of 1 cup of gf flour)

Now, onto the truffles! My recipe is a raw modification of the chocolate charm cookies I posted about in February, but based on coconut oil/flour not butter/gf cake flour. You can, however, also bake it (see variation below at step 4 of method), with the end-product tasting like shortbread.

  • 113g coconut oil
  • 100ml agave syrup
  • 175ml coconut flour
  • 30ml cocoa powder
  1. Beat the coconut oil (room temp, not liquid) and agave syrup till lighter and fluffier.
  2. Use a dough hook to add in the coconut flour and cocoa powder.
  3. Roll into balls and refrigerate till ready to serve.
  4. IF YOU'D LIKE A BAKED PRODUCT then add an egg at step 2, as well as 1 tsp of vanilla essence. Refrigerate for 1 hour, roll into balls, bake in the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 8 minutes. These taste like shortbread when baked!
If you would like to order the flour
from the distributor directly
to avoid shop mark-ups

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Vanilla Spring Cupcakes (gluten-free)


The weather has turned it's back on Winter, and the past few days have been beautifully sunny and warm.

Our garden is blooming, vegetables planted as seedlings in my greenhouse over Winter are ready for harvest, and I am finally over a nasty-ass respiratory tract infection that hovered for four weeks.

Man, who wouldn't be inspired to bake cupcakes on a day like today? :-)

Spring Cupcakes
(Made 18)

Ingredients for cupcakes:
  • 169.5 g (1.5 US sticks) butter (room temp.)
  • 175 ml castor sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 375 ml gluten-free cake flour (I used Nature's Choice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp. creme of tartar
  • 125 ml sour cream
  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs and mix well.
  5. Add the flour, vanilla, bicarb, creme of tartar and sour cream all at once, and then mix together till lump-free and well-combined (don't over-mix else they won't rise properly).
  6. Divide the batter into the cupcake liners using a dessert spoon (the cups should be filled roughly three-quarters full).
  7. Bake until a toothpick/cake skewer comes out clean (which is around 20 minutes).
  8. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost/Ice them only once fully cooled.
  9. These cupcakes have an exterior which holds-its-own nicely against icing, while having a lovely moist, light interior crumb.
  10. This recipe is my make-shift vanilla version of these chocolate cupcakes.

Ingredients for butter frosting/icing:
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) sour cream
  • 100 ml castor sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp. matcha powder (or a little food colouring of your choice)
  1. Cream the butter, sour cream and sugar till light and fluffy.
  2. Mix through the vanilla essence and matcha powder.
  3. Refrigerate till your cupcakes are ready for icing!
I found these pretty sugar decorations
to make my cupcakes speak