Tag Archives: Baking

Gluten-free Yeast-free Bread

This Gluten free and yeast free bread is nice and soft and has a lovely crispy crust.
Not only is it gluten free and yeast free, but it has one of my favourite ingredients in it….OATS!
Yes Oats, as an everyday “baked Oatmeal” eater, you can probably imagine how happy this bread makes me.
Since there’s no yeast, there is also no waiting for the bread to rise. The kneading is minimal, which I now do in the electric mixer, so while I enjoy my mid-morning coffee my bread is basically making and baking itself.

I believe the true magic ingredient in this bread to be the ground psyllium husk. It binds the bread beautifully and makes it so soft, and it has a substantial amount of beneficial fibre making it in my humble opinion the best bread ever! The original idea comes from Ela Vegan, and since reading her recipe for gluten free bread, I’ve done a fair amount of research about adding psyllium to bread recipes. And there seem to be many many people using psyllium in gluten free bread as a binder. So after testing and baking a few weeks, here is my version and we love it, simply because it’s so easy, quick, delicious and healthy.
I hope you agree, why not give it a try?


Prep time : 10 min
Cooking time : 60 min
Makes : 1 loaf

INGREDIENTS:

• 30 gr. Psyllium husk powder
• 425 ml. hand warm water
• ½ tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. regular vinegar
• 100 gr. (gluten free) Oat flour
• 150 gr. Brown rice flour
• 45 gr. White rice flour
• 45 gr. Tapioca
• 50 gr. Seeds of choice (sunflower seeds, hemp, sesame…)
• 2 tsp. Baking powder
• ½ tsp. Baking soda
• 1 egg,  beaten for brushing loaf

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Pre heat the oven to 180 C. / 350 F.
2. In the bowl of your mixer add the water, salt and vinegar. Stir to combine and sprinkle the psyllium husk powder over the water. With the hook attachment in place, run the mixer for a minute or so until well combined. Let it sit for 10 minutes until a jelly forms.
3. In a large bowl combine the flours with baking powder, baking soda and seeds, set one tablespoon of seeds aside for sprinkling on top of the loaf. .
4. Turn the mixer on to the lowest setting and pour in the flour mixture.
5. Mix until combined. It will not turn into a normal dough ball like what you are used to, but instead remain more crumbled.
6. Transfer the dough onto a counter top that you have dusted lightly with tapioca flour, knead slightly and shape into a loaf. Brush with egg and sprinkle with the remaining seeds.
7. Place the loaf on a lined baking tin and place in the middle of the oven.
8. Bake for 60 minutes until golden on top. And when tapped with your fingers, it will sound hollow. Alternatively you may insert a wooden skewer, it should come out dry.
9. Remove from the oven once fully baked and let it cool completely before cutting.
10. This bread will keep well wrapped or in a Tupperware for a few days. You can also freeze this loaf.

Enjoy!

If you make this Gluten free and yeast free bread , be sure to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you and if you love it, pin it. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! @thecookingspoonblog or hashtag it #thecookingspoonblog

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

If you love Raspberries, you’re going to love this recipe. I’m a little obsessed with this bread at the moment and have been eating it every single day for the past two or three weeks, I can’t even remember, we just can’t get enough of it.

Dark chocolate chunks with sweet Raspberries are just the best combination ever. Put those two in a rich Banana bread batter and you are pretty much in Paradise.

I used freeze-dried Raspberries, because I happen to have them, but you can use fresh ones if you prefer. Frozen ones on the other hand will dye your bread pink.

I love dark chocolate, the darker the better but if you prefer a little sweeter chocolate, by all means use semi-sweet.

As for the bananas, use them very ripe, when they’re speckled with black dots.

I have used olive oil here, a very mild kind since I love the fruitiness it adds to the bread, perfect with the Raspberries.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cup mashed)
  • 1/4 cup neutral olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour,
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried Raspberries or 1 cup fresh raspberries

METHOD:

Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F. Lightly oil a 9×5-inch/23x13cm loaf tin and line with baking paper.

Puree the bananas in a food processor, add the oil, yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Add the (freeze-dried) Raspberries and stir until mixed thru, don’t over-mix. You want to keep the Raspberries whole.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with the spatula.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out dry(-ish). It is still supposed to be moist since it’s a banana bread, however there should not be any batter still sticking to the skewer.
Should the bread become too dark you can tent some foil over the top loosely.

Remove from oven once it is finished baking and let it cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from tin with the parchment paper and let cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!

Matcha Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

Let’s talk about Matcha.

Matcha is the finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea.

It is special because the green tea plants for Matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, this is how it produces more theanine and caffeine.  This combination of chemicals is considered to account for the calm energy people might feel from drinking Matcha. The powdered form of Matcha is consumed dissolved in water or milk.
I love Matcha dissolved in almond milk sweetened with a little honey. Known as the “Matcha Latte”. And the calm energy part is the perfect description of the energy you feel after a cup of Matcha, it’s not like when you drink too much coffee, where you might feel uncomfortable with a raced feeling. Matcha just gives you tons of energy due to the high levels of Theanine. Theanine makes the brain produce alpha waves, which induce a state of relaxation and focused attention, similar to meditation. Matcha has a high amount of EGCG, a plant chemical that stimulates cell suicide in unhealthy cells, and stimulates metabolism as well.
It also has one of the highest ORAC values and is therefore a potent antioxidant. The ORAC value for Matcha is 1348 units per gram, compared to 24 units for blueberries.
The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) unit, ORAC value, or “ORAC score” is a method of measuring (in vitrio) the antioxidant capacity of different foods and supplements. The higher the food on the ORAC scale the more effective it will be at neutralizing free radicals.

Since I love  Matcha so much I have come up with many ways to incorporate it into baking. Today I’m sharing one of my favourite recipes for Matcha Cupcakes,  with a delicious white chocolate buttercream.

Makes: 12 Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cupcakes;

  •  1 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. Matcha green tea powder, culinary grade
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  •  1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup butter or margarine
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk + 1/4 cup milk, mixed in a jug

For the Buttercream;

  • 5 oz. white chocolate
  • 1 Cup butter at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 1/4  Cup confectionary sugar
  • 2 tsp. Matcha powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Sift flour, Matcha, salt and baking powder together into a bowl.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the bowl.
  4. Meanwhile line a cupcake tin with liners and pre heat the oven to 180° C. / 350° F.
  5. Mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating with the buttermilk, mix with a spatula and do not over mix.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners half way.
  7. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out dry.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a rack before frosting.

To make the buttercream;

  1. Melt the white chocolate au bain-marie by bringing a pot of water to a simmer, suspend a bowl in the pot without touching the water, break up the chocolate into smaller pieces and place in the bowl, leave to melt stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula .
  2. Meanwhile beat the butter with your mixer until fluffy, slowly add the confectionary sugar and the Matcha powder, mix until well incorporated.
  3. Once cooled, slowly add the melted chocolate and beat quickly to incorporate.
  4. You may have to put the butter cream in the fridge for half an hour if it is too soft before piping onto the cupcakes.

To assemble:

  1. Simply place the buttercream in a piping bag and put on your favourite tip. Squeeze the buttercream gently in a circular motion over the cupcake until you have a nice peak. Decorate with flowers and/or sprinkles.

Enjoy!

Double chocolate zucchini banana bread

Chocolate zucchini banana bread

One bowl and 15 minutes, that’s all it takes.

Death by Chocolate cake is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this dense chocolatey zucchini banana bread.

It’s by far our favorite one.

Intensely chocolaty…with chocolate in the batter and more chocolate in the form of chocolate chunks, and plenty of them. Soft gooey puddles of chocolate throughout, a tender crumb and so perfectly soft yet firm enough to slice effortlessly.
There’s just something about homemade banana bread that I find irresistible, add chocolate to the equation and you’ve got yourself the perfect breakfast, tea or dessert loaf.
About the ingredients, when it comes to  cocoa, I like to get the best quality I can get my hands on.  It’s worth the extra money.
The yoghurt may come as a surprise but it is perfect to balance out the intense chocolate flavor. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 c. grated zucchini (after squeezing dry), about 1 large
  • 1 cup bananas mashed, about 2 large
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup regular plain yoghurt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole grain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 c cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or  chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a buttered loaf tin 22cm/9″ with parchment paper.

Start by grating the zucchini with a medium grater onto a kitchen towel. Bring the corners of the towel together and squeeze out all the moisture. Set aside.

In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork, add the eggs, coconut oil, sugar, vanilla and yogurt. Beat together until well combined. Add the zucchini and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to combine without over mixing.

Chop the chocolate leaving some chunks, mix into the batter. Alternatively add the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared loaf tin, smooth out the top of the batter with a small spatula and place in the middle of the oven.

Bake for about 55-60 minutes, insert wooden skewer to check, if it comes out dry it’s done.

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from loaf tin, leaving on the parchment paper and let cool completely before cutting.

This loaf will keep for 3 to 4 days, or you can slice and freeze individual portions.

Enjoy!

Spread with some extra Nutella…for a full chocolate explosion 🙂