Tag Archives: gluten free

Chocolate brownie crinkle cookies with powdered sugar and olive oil


chocolate brownie crinkle cookie with powdered sugar and olive oil

chocolate brownie crinkle cookie with powdered sugar and olive oil

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle cookie with powdered sugar

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle cookie with powdered sugar

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle cookie with powdered sugar

These reminds me of the view from 35,000 feet high, flying from Auckland to Christchurch for work. It was in the middle of winter and the Southern Alps was thickly covered by a blanket of snow – it was such a serene and beautiful scene.

J requested these cookies after sampling a version of them at a birthday party many years ago: “the icing sugar dusted chocolate cookies” was mentioned every now and then. Last weekend I finally got around to it.

They are brownie-like: soft and tender inside, but have a cookie-like crisp exterior. I have been blessed with a delivery of olive oils from Te Wheke Olives and they worked so well in this recipe. As the batter is very soft, it requires a minimum of 4 hours fridge time. You can speed that up by placing it in the freezer for 2 hours. Before you bring the batter out, have a few cookie sheets lined and the oven preheated, so that once you have two trays of 12 cookies each rolled in icing sugar, you can bake the first two trays straight away. This ensures they don’t loose too much height. I managed to complete rolling out dough for two more trays while the first batch is baking (I do have 6 identical cookie sheets – they were imperative for the large batches of macarons I make!)

The other option is to skip the icing sugar step, this creates brownie cookies with beautifully random cracks.

If you would like to make these gluten free, as I did for colleagues, just substitute the plain wheat flour with gluten free flour. The Countdown branded gluten free flour packs had corn and maize as the main ingredients. Be sure to check that your baking powder and icing sugar are free of gluten as well. They turn out a tad softer than the ones made with wheat flour, and my tasters actually prefer these!

Ingredients (50-60 cookies)

  • 125ml olive oil
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 95g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs (size 7, about 60g each)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 80g icing sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil, caster sugar and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Paddle on a slow speed until homogenous. Add in eggs one at a time, making sure each has been incorporated before adding the next. Add in the vanilla paste.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt then add into the cocoa mixture. This will look just like a brownie batter, thick and runny. Chill batter for at least 5 hours, best over night.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking trays with baking paper. Using two teaspoons, drop small scoops of thick mousse-like batter into a bowl of icing sugar. Roll the balls until they are covered with powdered/icing sugar.
  4. Place on lined baking trays.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

chocolate brownie crinkle cookie with powdered sugar and olive oil

Kohu Road – creamiest dairy-free coconut ice cream  


If I am going to indulge in a treat, my motto is to go for the best that I can afford. I reckon if I am going to use up my calorie quota on ice cream, it should be an indulgent experience in itself. One of my favourite is Kohu Road, artisan ice cream made locally, in West Auckland.

Kohu Road uses natural ingredients to make their award winning products. You might have come across their Peanut Butter ice cream that was launched earlier in 2017. My favourite is still Dark Chocolate, made with 72% cocoa dark chocolate making it the most decadent ice cream you can buy. I gave up making my own chocolate ice cream when they first launched in 2007.

For the past three years, they have been secretly developing a new range. Finally, launched in July 2017, is their new Dairy Free coconut ice cream.

“We’ve cut out the dairy to leave our customers feeling lighter, healthier and wanting more.” Charlotte Stein, Marketing Executive of Kohu Road gushed as she passed me the new 500ml packs.

Made with coconut cream, the ice creams are creamy and smooth. Look at that shine! Far superior than any other dairy-free desserts I have ever tried. After tasting these, I would in fact choose these over the normal range. Ice cream identical in both taste and texture, yet with less calories, sugar and fat. Why wouldn’t you?

This is one of the only products in the world to use monk fruit as a sweetener. Monk fruit is 200 times sweeter than sugar, meaning a lot less is required to sweeten the ice cream.

The ice creams are also 100% pure, containing no additives, preservatives or stabilisers – only natural ingredients.

So what did we think after tasting them?


Vanilla

These are so light and smooth – they picked up a gold medal at the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards: ‘Dairy-Free’ category with judges commenting “clean and refreshing, with a good texture”. Very coconuty and made with vanilla extract and seeds, this is a very nice palette-cleansing ice cream.


Chocolate

At first taste, the deep cocoa aroma fills your senses. Next the creamy coconut glides smoothly around your tongue. All the same smooth sensation of the Dark Chocolate dairy ice cream, but without the heaviness. Earlier in the year they hosted a sensory experiment with food bloggers and journalists and the majority were unable to tell that this flavour was dairy-free.


Strawberry

The burst of freshness and lightness surprised me – this flavour is our family’s firm favourite. Judges at the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards commented “creamy texture and well-balanced strawberry and coconut flavours”. This was a gold award winner and ‘Best in Category’ in the ‘Dairy-free’ category. With 22% strawberries in each tub, it reminded me of the strawberry ice creams at berry farms. Super fresh tasting and I would not have believed it to be a dairy-free dessert.


Green tea

The distinctive flavour of Japanese matcha green tea sings out, just like their dairy range. I love matcha and am very happy that I now have more ways to consume matcha.

Where to find:
Exclusive in Farro Fresh for the month of August and will be in select Countdown and New World from October 2017.

I dare say Kohu Road makes one of the best ice creams in the world. Now I have even more choices for the ‘light’ dessert days!

Gluten Free Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bar with Cocoa Puffs


IMG_20170522_084318_039

Finally! A gluten free version of my most requested hazelnut chocolate crunch bar for you all! Be warned: it is as addictive as the normal version and super easy to make. No baking required.

DSC_6441

What makes these chocolate bars so irresistible? Two things: the hazelnut taste and the cocoa pops crunch. I tested many different type of gluten free cocoa pops before I was finally satisfied with the taste and texture. I settled on Hubbards’ Thank Goodness Gluten free cocoa puffs. These stayed completely crunchy!

Regarding the hazelnut-chocolate combination, you can certainly change it to suit your latest cravings. Think peanut butter, salted caramel, macadamia butter, almond cacao and also peppermint to name a few.

You can dress the bars up with whatever you like: a dusting of cocoa powder; hazelnut; hazelnut praline crunch; fresh-dried berries. Or left naked. Your options are endless which makes this an ideal ‘bring-a-dessert’ that *potentially* satisfies everyone.

Makes one tray, cut bars sized to your liking. I got 39 (3 rows of 13 bars of about 1.5 cm by 8cm)
For the crunchy Bottom layer:

  • 250g milk chocolate (33% cacao), melted
  • 100g roasted hazelnut paste (Nocciola from Equagold)
  • 125g (about half cup) chocolate-hazelnut spread (or instead of the hazelnut paste and chocolate-hazelnut spread, you can use the same amount of Forty Thieves’ Cacao Hazelnut butter instead, or Nutella.)
  • 2 cups Hubbards Thank Goodness gluten free cocoa puffs

For the filling:

  • 400g dark chocolate (70% cacao) broken into small pieces, (I used Solomon’s Gold or Whittakers 72% Ghana.)
  • 400ml cream
  • 65g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  1. For the bottom layer, line a narrow rectangular tray (or shallow slice box, I used my Tupperware rectangular box) with 2 pieces of baking paper, with the paper hanging over the sides of the tray. (This will help you lift the slab off from the tray effortlessly.)
  2. Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering hot water. Once smooth, add the roasted hazelnut paste and chocolate-hazelnut spread; stir until smooth.
  3. Fold in the cocoa puffs until the chocolate is combined (It should look like a mess!) Scoop the chocolate mixture to the prepared tray. Press the mixture down into a smooth, even layer. Let it chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
  4. To make the top layer, place the broken chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream till it is just simmering and pour over the chocolate.
  5. Shake the bowl a little and let this sit for about 2 minutes, this is so that the chocolate melts smoothly, avoiding any lumps in your final product.
  6. Add the cubed butter and whisk until ganache is smooth. As you whisk, the cream will magically homogenize with the melted chocolate to form a shiny smooth, pourable ganache.
  7. Pour the ganache over the cocoa puffs and smooth with a spatula. Leave in the fridge to set, about 1 hour.
  8. Decorate with whole hazelnuts, hazelnut praline crunch, freeze dried fruits or anything you wish! Place in the fridge to set it a further 2 hours. Slice into bars before serving.

DSC_6459

Styled by my little chef.

Baked Chocolate Mousse


Cornflake crumble with Kohu Road Ice Cream and baked chocolate mousse #momofuku #goldcutlery

Having made a delicious salty-sweet combo out of my cornflake crumble and Kohu Road Pure Vanilla ice cream, I needed something to serve it with. Cookie sandwich was an obvious contestant, but I had a particular picture in mind. I wanted something light but not cakey, rich but not heavy. I need, a mousse cake. More so, I need a Darren Purchese cake. I’ve adapted the recipe from Lamingtons and Lemon Tart as follows.

Ingredients:

  • 100ml thickened cream, whipped
  • 180g dark chocolate, 70% minimum
  • 2 whole eggs + 2 yolks
  • 30g caster sugar

*this proportion when baked in a square tin will produce a beautiful but rather thin (1.5cm) cake slice. If you would prefer a thicker slice, double the amounts and bake for 1 hour 15 mins.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a square baking tin with baking paper with enough overhand to lift the cake once cooked. Spray the paper lightly with rice bran oil.
  2. Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave (2 mins should do it).
  3. Whip cream till thick and fluffy.
  4. Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together until thick and pale. Gently fold half of this mixture into the melted chocolate, then fold in the remaining egg mixture.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream.
  6. Pour mixture into the baking tin. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and leave cake to cool completely before chilling in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  8. Lift cake by the baking paper and cut the cake into squares.

This is best served warm with ice cream or milk. Perfect for Mother’s day afternoon tea or dessert.