Slow-Cooked Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang

From Allyson Gofton’s Slow. I love slow-cooked meals; I usually prepare everything in the pot the night before and turn it on the next morning (or use an electric plug with a timer). Then you just need to prepare the rice or other sides before serving. Slow-cooking, especially on a low setting, cooks extremely tender meat, so it’s ideal for poorer cuts or defrosted meat.

Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
• ¼ cup water
• 1.5kg lean beef for casseroling
• 2 stems lemon grass
• 2 onions, peeled and diced
• 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon minced ginger
• 8 dried chillies or 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek
• 6 whole cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups coconut milk
• 1 teaspoon ground laos (optional)

Method:

• Turn the slow cooker on to low to pre-warm while gathering and preparing the ingredients.
• Knead the tamarind pulp into the water until murky and thick. Scoop or strain out the seeds and fibre and reserve the thick liquid.
• Cut the beef into index finger-sized pieces. Trim the lemon grass where the white bulbous end changes colour to green. Finely slice the white part. Discard the green stem (or or put aside for use in soups or stocks).
• Traditionally, the meat is not browned; however if you prefer the taste then you may want to brown the meat at this stage, on high in a dash of oil. This is best done in batches to avoid stewing the meat.
• Place all ingredients into the pre-warmed cooker. Stir to mix then cover with the lid.
• Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
• Taste and season with additional salt if required before serving with boiled rice.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Cupcakes (GF/V)

Easter

I made vanilla Easter cupcakes a couple of years ago, and this year I followed the same theory to create these gluten-free vegan Easter cupcakes.

Base = GF/V chocolate cupcakes

Icing = Vegan peanut butter frosting:

• ½ cup / 112g vegan butter, softened
• ¼ cup / 65g smooth peanut butter
• 3 cups / 360g icing sugar
• 3 tablespoons / 45ml non-dairy milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bake the cupcakes according to the recipe, leave to cool, then ice with a thick layer of the frosting (just use a knife to smooth it over).
Then dip the cupcake in grated dark chocolate, and top with a mini-egg and a chick (found in craft stores like Spotlight). You can use melted dark chocolate or peanut butter to get the decorations to stay on.

Easter 2

Basic Gluten-Free/Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Another winner from Cara Reed, this is just the chocolate cupcake base. I’ll be referring to it in future recipes for various GF/V cupcake creations, or you can combine it with your own choice of toppings and decorations. This recipe makes a dozen cupcakes.

DRY:

• 1 ½ C / 250g gluten-free flour blend
• ¾ C / 66g cocoa powder
• ½ / 73g brown sugar
• ½ c / 100g granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons / 7.5g baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon xantham gum
• ½ teaspoon salt

WET:

• 1 C / 240 ml non-dairy milk
• ½ C / 120ml hot water
• ½ C / 120ml vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons / 14g flaxseed meal plus 6 tablespoons / 90ml water – thickened for 5 minutes
• 1 tablespoon / 15ml apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
• ½ teaspoon vanilla essence

METHOD:

• Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease or line a muffin pan.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
• In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients together until well mixed.
• Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
• Pour in the muffin tin and bake for 17-20 minutes.
• Allow to cool, then decorate as desired.

Moroccan Cashews

Moroccan Cashews

• Cashews
• Sugar
• Honey
• Salt
• Cumin
• Tumeric
• Coriander
• Vegetable Powder

I kinda stole this from the ingredient list of store-bought nuts, so I don’t have a proper recipe. I used a teaspoon of sugar and honey with maybe half a teaspoon of each other ingredient, for about two cups of cashews.

I tossed the cashews in a frying pan on medium heat with the sugar and honey until the sugar dissolved. I then combined the other ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkled them over the nuts. I kept frying for another couple of minutes on medium heat, then let the cashews cool on baking paper.

Lemon Cupcakes (gluten-free, vegan)

Lemon Cupcakes

From the ever-wonderful Cara Reed, author of “Decadent Gluten-free and Vegan Baking” and creator of Fork and Beans. These cupcakes are ridiculously moist and delicious, and also super-easy!

Ingredients:

DRY:

• 2 ½ cups / 200g gluten-free flour mix (make sure you get one with guar gum)
• 1 cup / 200g granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoon / 7.5g baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt

WET:

• 1 ½ cups / 398ml canned coconut milk
• 6 tablespoons / 90g applesauce
• ¼ cup / 60ml hot water
• 1 tablespoon / 15ml lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
• 1 tablespoon / 13g lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

VEGAN LEMON FROSTING:

• 1 cup / 24g vegan butter, softened (I used Olivani)
• 3 cup / 360g powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoon / 10ml lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
• 3 teaspoons / 9.5g lemon zest

Method:

• Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the wet until well mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
• Pour into a muffin pan and bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. As you wait, make the frosting.
• With an electric mixer, cream the vegan butter on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add in the powered sugar and then beat in the lemon juice, vanilla and zest until light and fluffy.
• Pipe the frosting over the cooled cupcakes.

Sticky Ginger Pork

Sticky Ginger Pork

From Gourmet Garden’s Asian volume of its ‘Taste the World’ series.

Ingredients:

• 750g pork fillet, trimmed of all sinew and thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
• ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 4 star anise
• 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• Coriander
• ¼ wombok cabbage, finely sliced
• 2 cups long grain rice

Method:

• To prepare the marinade, mix together soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and oyster sauce in a bowl. Add pork and star anise and marinate for a few minutes.
• Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok. Brush off excess liquid from pork and cook in two batches over high heat until well-browned.
• Add coriander and any remaining marinade and cook until pork is tender, about 1 minute.
• Serve over shredded raw or lightly steamed cabbage, with steamed rice on the side.

Buttercream

Buttercream

A master-post for my favourite buttercream frosting recipes.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 ½ cups salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups icing sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cream

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream

 

Vegan Vanilla Buttercream

  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup margarine
  • 3 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup plain non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, soy, etc)

Vegan Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup / 24g vegan butter, softened (I used Olivani)
  • 3 cup / 360g powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons / 10ml lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 teaspoons / 9.5g lemon zest

Vegan Peanut Butter Buttercream

  • ½ cup / 112g vegan butter, softened
  • ¼ cup / 65g smooth peanut butter
  • 3 cups / 360g icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons / 45ml non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract