Cran-Ban Muffins (Cranberry Banana)

 

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It has been a while since I last posted a recipe.  With the lock down however, and bananas getting a bit past their prime, I decided to do a little baking.  I also discovered that I had an unopened jar of cranberry sauce in the cupboard with a use by March 20 stamp, so thought it might make a nice complement.  It did.

Ingredients:

  • Bananas 2-3 over ripe
  • Sugar 3/4 cup/approx 100 g
  • Eggs 2
  • Milk 150ml (or as needed, you may need less if using 3 bananas)
  • Cranberry Sauce 1/2 cup
  • Vegetable Oil 1 Tbs (I used coconut oil for the sweetness)
  • Flour (self-rising) 2 cups/approx 250 g
  • Baking Soda (Bicarb) 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Powder 1 tsp
  • Salt pinch

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 190C (170 C fan)/ 375F.  Place a dozen paper cases into a 12 whole muffin pan, and set aside.  Sift flour, sugar, bicarb, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. In a separate bowl mash the bananas, cranberry sauce, oil.  Beat the eggs and mix into the moist mixture.  Make a depression in the centre of the dry mixture and pour in the moist ingredients.  Mix together with a fork, and slowly add the milk as needed to make a thick but not runny batter.  Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin cases and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.  Cool on rack.

Each muffin approximately 190 – 200 calories.

 

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Ecclefechan (or Border) Tart

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Ecclefechan

I wasn’t aware of this dessert until it was mentioned to me by a dear friend.  The name seemed interesting so I looked it up.  It did seem a yummy confection, so I gave it a go.  The tart is named after a village in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland.  It is indeed yummy,  and it is a great alternative to mince pies.

Ingredients:

The Crust:

  • Plain or All-Purpose Flour 1 1/4 cups
  • Butter 1/4 cup chilled and cubed
  • Stork (or similar) Shortening 1/4 cup
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Chilled Water 3 to 5 Tbs

The Filling:

  • Butter 1/2 cup  (unsalted is best), melted
  • Dark Brown Sugar 1/2 cup (packed)
  • Treacle 1 tsp
  • Eggs 2 large
  • Lemon Juice 1 Tbs (fresh is best)
  • Lemon Peel 1 tsp (packed), grated
  • Ground Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  • Raisins 2 cups
  • Walnuts 1 cup (chopped)

Method:

 

The Crust:

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water about a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each splash. Continue adding water until the dough starts to hold together. Roll the dough into a ball and chill for at least half and hour before rolling out to fill a pie pan. It should make enough for a 9 inch single crust pie.

Then, preheat oven to 190 C/375 F. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set and slightly brown (about 30 minutes). Remove foil and beans. Continue to bake until golden brown. Cool crust in pan on a rack for 30 minutes.

The Filling:

Mix the butter and sugar in bowl.  Whisk in eggs 1 at a time.  Add the lemon juice, lemon peel, and cinnamon. Stir in raisins and the chopped nuts.  Pour filling into crust. Bake the tart [still at 190 C/375 F] until filling is deep brown and set in center, covering crust edges with foil if browning too quickly (about 30 minutes). Cool tart.

 

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Carrot/Almond Muffins

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Here is another baked treat which while not strictly keto, is still keto-friendly in moderation. It is basically a carrot cake sans the grains and high-carb sweetening. I have made it as a muffin recipe as it is easier to portion out, than a loaf, but with a little adaption I am sure it would work in a loaf pan as well.

Ingredients:

  • Almond Flour or Ground Almonds 1 1/4 cups (approx 125 g)
  • Shredded Coconut 3 to 4 Tbs (to taste)
  • Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Salt 1/8 tsp
  • Xanthan Gum 1/2 tsp
  • Stevia 3 rounded Tbs
  • Ground Cinnamon 2 rounded tsp
  • Ground Nutmeg 1/4 tsp
  • Coconut Oil 1/2 cup
  • Eggs 3
  • Carrots 3
  • Coconut Milk (as needed)

Method:

Preheat an oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Place 10 to 12 paper baking cups into a muffin pan. In a large mixing bowl add all of the dry ingredients and mix well. Then scrape and shred the carrots and add them to the dry mixture. Whip the eggs well and melt the coconut oil. Add these to the mixing bowl and stir until evenly mixed. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly add splashed of coconut milk as needed.  Don’t over do this last step though, it should end up a very soft dough not a batter. Spoon the dough into the cups and place in the oven for fifteen minutes, then check consistency and that they are beginning to form a crust. Rotate the pan and bake for an additional three to five minute. Remove and allow the cool thoroughly.

These can be eaten as is, or as an added treat a Cream Cheese Icing can be added once they are cooled.

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Almond Bread

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My wife has really wanted to have some “bread,” but she hasn’t wanted to mess up her gain on her ketogenic diet.  After some research, and the relative success of almond flour flat breads, almond bread seeded the answer.  Here is the recipe which after a little bit of trial proved a keeper.

Ingredients:

  • Eggs 4
  • Almond Flour or Ground Almonds  2 cups / 200g 
  • Butter 1/4 cup / 60g  melted
  • Baking Powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Xanthan Gum 1/2 tsp
  • Salt pinch
  • Warm Water 1/2 cup
  • Sour Cream 1 Tbs heaped
  • Stevia 1/8 tsp

Method:

Preheat an oven to 180 C/350 F. In a large mixing bowl add the almond flour, salt, Stevia,  and baking powder. Mix very well.  Separate the eggs (putting two yolks aside for other recipes) and mix the remaining too yolks until smooth. Add the sour cream and warm water to the yolks, and then mix them into the dry ingredients. Melt the butter and add this to the mixture as well and stir until a moist dough. Whip the egg whites until stiff, and them slowly stir this into the dough ball but do not over mix.

Line a loaf pan with baking paper and pour in the dough. Bake for 45 minutes (but check at 40).  The bread is ready when a skewer or tooth pick comes out dry.

Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan to avoid crumbling.

We found this to be a moist, nutty loaf, and one that cuts well for toast; or to eat with soup or cheese.

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Almond Flour Brownies

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Here is another keto inspired baking treat. It is an amazingly satisfying brownie, and my wife likes them even better than wheat-based ones. They are also very easy to bake.

Ingredients:

  • Almond Flour or Ground Almonds 1 1/2 cups
  • Ground Coconut 1/4 cup
  • Eggs 3 large
  • Cocoa Powder 3 heaped Tbs (or 4 to taste)
  • Stevia 4 Tbs
  • Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Butter 1/2 cup (melted)
  • Salt pinch
  • Vanilla Essence 1/2 tsp
  • Xanthan Gum 1/4 tsp
  • Coconut Milk splash as needed

Method:

Preheat an oven to 180 C/ 350 F. In a large bowel add the ground nuts, coconut, and Stevia.  Mix well then add the remaining dry ingredients. In a small bowl mix the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour into the centre of the dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk of electric mixer. Add splashes of coconut milk as needed to make a thick batter/thin dough which can be spooned not poured.

Line a 6 to 8 inch baking pan with baking paper, and spoon the batter/dough in and spread it evenly with a spoon to fill the pan. Bake for 25 minutes and then check with a tooth pick or skewer.  Allow no more than 30 minutes as the nut flour will set even more while cooling.

Allow to cool at least a half hour before cutting into squares. The hold their form best if refrigerated after initial cooling.

Serve with thick cream.

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Mint Chocolate Cheesecake

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After the success of my trials with keto friendly cheesecake (well my wife liked it, that’s all that mattered), I decided to widen the choices. So with a little adjustment to the original recipe, and the addition of the trusted ingredients chocolate and mint, this recipe was born.

Ingredients:

  • Butter 2 Tbs
  • Ground Almonds 5 Tbs
  • Cream Cheese 350 g
  • Eggs 2
  • Stevia 3 rounded Tbs
  • Mint Leaves 1 tsp finely chopped
  • Peppermint Extract 1/4 tsp
  • Cocoa Powder 1 rounded Tbs
  • Sour Cream 2 Tbs

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 C/ 400 F. Melt 2 tablespoon of butter and mix in the ground nuts to form a crumbly paste. Use a fork and line the bottom of a small oven dish with the mixture. In a bowl beat the egg thoroughly, and then cream in the sweetener, cream cheese, and sour cream.  When evenly mixed into a thick liquid stir in the mint, extract, and cocoa, then pour it over the nut crust. Place uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes, then increase the temperature to 220 C for five to ten minutes so that the surface starts to caramelise but not burn.  Remove from oven, and allow to cool to room temperature, then chill.  Makes 6 medium pieces.

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Keto Friendly Cheesecake

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I was looking to make a treat for my wife and just started with the standards her diet allows: nuts, cream, cheese, and eggs. The result – cheesecake.

Ingredients:

  • Almond Flour (Ground Almonds) 3 rounded Tbs
  • Butter 2 Tbs
  • Full Fat Cream Cheese 180g
  • Stevia 4 tsp
  • Egg 1

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Method:

Preheat oven to 200 C/ 400 F. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and mix in the ground nuts to form a crumbly paste. Use a fork and line the bottom of a small oven dish with the mixture. In a bowl beat the egg thoroughly, and then cream in the sweetener, cream cheese, and remaining butter.  When evenly mixed into a thick liquid pour it over the nut crust. Place uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes, then increase the temperature to 220 C for five to ten minutes so that the surface starts to caramelise but not burn.  Remove from oven, and allow to cool to room temperature, then chill.  Makes 4 small pieces.

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Easy As Pie

It is autumn, the days are getting shorter (and theoretically) and are getting cooler. that makes it baking season. With apples, pumpkins, and the like filling our grocery shelves, pie is a natural. Below are a couple simple pie crust recipes to get us into the season.

Easy Pie Crust  This is an all purpose crust for sweet or savoury.

Ingredients:

  • Plain or All-Purpose Flour 1 1/4 cups
  • Butter 1/4 cup chilled and cubed
  • Stork (or similar) Shortening 1/4 cup
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Chilled Water 3 to 5 Tbs

Method:

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water about a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each splash. Continue adding water until the dough starts to hold together. Roll the dough into a ball and chill for at least half and hour before rolling out to fill a pie pan. It should make enough for a 9 inch single crust pie.

Simple Sweet Crust  This is for fruit and milk based sweet pies.

Ingredients:

  • Plain or All-Purpose Flour 1 1/4 cups
  • Butter 1/4 cup chilled and cubed
  • Stork (or similar) Shortening 1/4 cup
  • Sugar 2 Tbs or Stevia 2 tsp
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Chilled Water 3 to 5 Tbs

Method:

Mix the flour, sweetener, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water about a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each splash. Continue adding water until the dough starts to hold together. Roll the dough into a ball and chill for at least half and hour before rolling out to fill a pie pan. It should make enough for a 9 inch single crust pie.

Chocolate Pie Crust Great for chocolate pies, cheese cake types, or just to be decadent.

Ingredients:

  • Plain or All-Purpose Flour 1 1/4 cups
  • Butter 1/2 cup chilled and cubed
  • Sugar 2 Tbs or Stevia 2 tsp
  • Cocoa Powder 2 to 3 Tbs
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Chilled Water 3 to 5 Tbs

Method:

Mix the flour, sweetener, cocoa, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water about a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each splash. Continue adding water until the dough starts to hold together. Roll the dough into a ball and chill for at least half and hour before rolling out to fill a pie pan. It should make enough for a 9 inch single crust pie.

For each recipe bake according to pie recipe requirements. Or for prepared crust bake at 350 F/ 175 C for 20 to 30 minutes.

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Lavender Sugar

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It’s summer, and the lavender is in bloom, so it is the perfect time to make lavender sugar.  This is a great little confection that goes well with teas, cream desserts, and as my favourite use, as the sweetener in cheese cake.

It really is simple to do as well.

Ingredients:

  • Lavender Heads about 10-20
  • Granulated White Sugar 2 cups

Method:

Cut the lavender heads just under the bottom blooms, keeping the blossoms on the stem. Place a quarter of the flowers in a 1 Litre (one quart) Kilner or Mason jar.  Pour 1/3 of the sugar over the blooms, then layer a few more flowers and sugar until all is used. Seal tightly and set aside.  The next day, holding the jar firmly, shake vigourously and set aside again. Repeat for 3 days.  The mixture is now ready to be used, and will keep for several weeks (even months).

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The flowers can be filtered out after three days, or kept in the jar.  If retaining them, shake the jar periodically the best mix the lavender into the blend. Then just remove them before use.

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Cheese Pie

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Image: Hadley Reclaimed

Here is a recipe for a sweet, milk/cheese based pie.  While I know it is a bit hot these days for baking, the results are well worth it.  The pie is loosely based on old German and Pennsylvania Dutch recipes, and playing with the spices to fit to taste. A little more sugar can be used, but I find the balance as written really nice.

 Cheese Pie

  • Cottage Cheese 1 1/4 cups
  • Mild Cheddar 1/4 cup shredded
  • Sugar 1/2 cup
  • White Flour 2 Tbs
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Double Cream 2 cups
  • Eggs 2 separated
  • Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  • Ground Ginger  pinch
  • Nutmeg pinch
  • Lemon Zest 1/2 tsp
  • Pie Crust (see recipe)

Method:

Mix the cottage cheese, shredded cheese, sugar, flour, salt, lemon zest and spices together in a bowl. Add beaten egg yolks and mix again thoroughly. Then add the milk a little at a time and stir until smooth. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold the whites into the mixture.  Lightly grease and flour a 8 or 9 inch pie pan, and then line with the pastry. Pour the cheese mixture into the pan. Bake in a preheated 175 C/ 350 F oven for about 1 hour (use a tooth pick check for a thorough cooking).

* This was a camera shy dessert, but I will try to add pics when I make it next time.

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