Buckwheat and Glutinous Rice Flour Savoury Waffles

I’ve been making these a lot, but keep forgetting to take a photo and type up the recipe. Better late than never.

Yo, Dear Reader, this is one of those recipes I hesitated on posting, not because it isn’t good, it’s really great, I’m as surprised as anyone, Dear Reader, it just works so well for so little effort, but because it feels almost too simple for requiring such specific ingredients, but then I remember I’ve been there countless times: Having bought a bag of flour, or flours on the promise of so many wonderful recipes only to find the usual contenders and often hardly even that. I’ve often tried to make up the absence of recipes like these, so I thought put it up. I really like he texture of the glutinous rice flour, but too much makes it a little too gooey in the wrong way in some recipe, but balancing it with buckwheat, I went through a few trial runs, increasing ratios as I went, yo end up with he best of both, while each counter the others weaknesses. Buckwheat is dry and all buckwheat waffles do tend towards the crisp, but dense, the addition of the rice flour means you get a lighter waffle, with just a little chew and spring. These aren’t extraordinary, but on a limited diet like mine these are a wonder. You tend to see a lot of wild clams when it comes to any gluten free versions of any recipe, I never do that, Dear Reader, I respect my readers far too much to deceive them. These are a little fluffy, a tad crunchy and really quick to prepare, waffles have been a great replacement for frozen loaves as I like harder, crusts over soft breads, but the best part is they’re fresh. I still freeze so much, but being able to throw these together in minutes is really so very useful. Buckwheat and Glutinous Rice Flour  is turning out to be an amazing combination I hope to be able to ind more uses for this duo, for now this’ll do. Until later, Dear Reader, take care and stay safe.

Ingredients

60g Buckwheat Flour
40g Glutinous Rice Flour
80ml Low Fat Milk
30ml Water
1 Egg, 60g-65g in Shell
15ml Olive Oil
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
Pinch Sugar

Method

1. Turn on Waffle Iron.

2. Mix together the Egg and Oil add in the Flours, Baking powder, Salt and Sugar and mix together, finally add in he Milk and Water and mix everything until a light, slightly lump, batter has been formed, add more Water if too thick.

3. Add enough Batter to warmed Waffle to fill the plates, close and cook for 7-10 minutes until waffles are golden brown and the bottom is crisp. Remove with a rubber spatula and let cool for a few minutes, Waffles will crisp up further as they cool. Repeat until batter is used up.

Buckwheat and Glutinous Rice Flour Crepes


Any batter with glutinous rice flour seems to be guaranteed a few lumps, hey don’t affect the crepes at all, but beat it well.


I made three times the recipe in a big pan and none tore, which is nice.


I really wasn’t planning on making so much, but here we are.

Yo, Dear Reader, I wasn’t really planning on typing up a recipe today, but as this worked so well, you can tell the time of year by when I make crepes it always whenever there’s salad ingredients to hand in the garden, I figured I should type it up properly. I’ve talked about crepes before, they’re pancakes that require patience, but do reward those who persevere. I’ve tried to put the steps as clearly as possible in the recipe, but if you, kind patient soul, are reading this in the hopes that there will be something to elaborate, well, I can’t let you down, Dear Reader, can I? So, one main point is that you’re heating the pan separately from the butter, which runs counter-intuitive to most frying techniques, but you heat crepes on a high heat fast and having butter hit the pan at high temperature will result in burnt butter and that taste will transfer to the crepes, it’ll also cause them to look more done than they are resulting in sadness and sodden flaps of batter. I left out he oil I usually add, by mistake, but these are just fine with just the butter, the glutinous rice flour tends towards the moist so you’ll be better off without them being too oily. The second part that you may stumble on is having the pan be too hot for he batter, yes I’m aware I said they cook on a high heat, think about pouring the batter, it cooks the second it hits the pan, you can swirl set batter, so you stop the butter from burning and when that melts the pan cools a hair and the batter swirls and everything goes onto the heat again. Over and over and in time you get into the rhythm. These flip just fine, they fall back if they fold and they’ll be cooked once you flip if they’re the right thickness. I usually go by about a third of the pan, I just eyeball it mind, you do you, Dear Reader, whatever works.


Will it rip is where these often fail and I end up covered in filling.


Will it hold I ask having made them impractically large.


It held and didn’t fall apart. I’m shocked, this was just a rough and ready recipe, but I have learned a lot about utilising individual strengths.

As I said above they held perfectly, they have a slightly more elastic feel, not quite rubbery, but nearly there, if you dislike this flour this won’t change your mind. They don’t have much taste, which I prefer, whether I’ll use them savoury, most likely, or sweet, probably once and that’ll be it, I want them to work without interfering with the other ingredients. These are really great to be honest, I’m as surprised as anyone else, they’re not some magical combination, the rice flour isn’t going to make elastic light dough, it’ll make dough, but it’ll be more along the chewy, gooey joy that is the trademark texture of this flour. For now, Dear Reader, I have “wraps” that’ll make it easier to grab some salad ingredients, shove those and meat into a bit of bread and not have to think too deeply about what I’ll eat on a given day, that’s a blessing currently. I’ll probably be back soon with another variation style recipe like this, waffles with this combination seem to work well, I’ll have to try it again and get back to you. Stay safe and take care, Dear Reader.

Ingredients

56g Buckwheat Flour
28 Glutinous Rice Flour
1 Large Egg
80ml Low Fat Milk
80ml Water
Pinch Salt
Butter for frying

Can be Frozen, wrap in clingfilm or layer between grease-proof paper.

Method

1. Place Flour and Salt in a bowl and Make a small well in the middle. In a jug whisk together Egg, Milk and Water and whisk it into the flour and Salt until a mostly smooth, there will be some slight lumps, thin Batter has formed.

2. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium high heat and remove from the heat add a small bit of Butter, swirl to coat, when coated add enough Batter to cover 1/3 of the pan, swirl it to coat the bottom of the pan and return to the heat. Cook crepe until lightly browned and slightly dry to the touch, about 1 minute, then flip, cook the same way and then transfer to a wire-rack. Remove pan from heat before adding Butter for second crepe as Butter may burn. Repeat until Batter is used up.

Tigernut and Buckwheat Flour Waffles

That’s roasted garlic, yes, I’m using a coffee cup I have plants in my ramekins.

Ah, Dear Reader, okay then until next…what? You want to know what these are like? Edible?…I mean edible, but. You know me, Dear Reader, I place a great deal of value in understand all that can be made from these various free from flours, but some just aren’t very good or worthwhile at all. Of course the question then becomes Why, Jack, why share? Because you and I, Dear Reader, have probably been in a situation where we’ve had a bag of some, apparently heretofore unheard of flour and nary a recipe to use it in. I place recipes in a few categories, the traditional categorisation and in the less conventional like: Edible, but nah. See, recipes like these are vital in free from cooking and baking because they inform, there is nothing worse than hearing about the value of some new food that might be crucial to your continued dietary choices, I’m okay without these thankfully, but having no idea what it works as, or doesn’t. So, yes, you know me, ever conscientious Jack, I’ll will share what works, even if I’d never make it again, Dear Reader, but I will wring ever bit of knowledge I can from the experience and pass it on.

So, I bought the tigernuts on a whim, they’re somewhat reminiscent of coconut flakes, slightly sweet, but mouth dehydratingly dry. I popped them into my old coffee grinder that has never seen a coffee bean and they ground with easy, they’re dry so they won’t turn to butter, they’re also soft enough to blend to a fine meal, you need them super fine because if there is a single chunk there is a horrible soggy crunch, no other word does it justice, Dear Reader. I put them with buckwheat because I doubted they’d hold well on their own, lift a flexible waffle attests to this, they smell like porridge while cooking, but where you may find this impossible is that they’re almost mushy, not quite, but too soft, I have issues with that personally, but where I struggled was the slightly, sickly sweetness. I think if you needed these you could make it work by disguising the flavour more, it can be masked, but I would say you need to blend them with a better structural flour. I may try them in a sweet application, perhaps to cut through buckwheat’s dryness. As it stands they remind me of banana flour: Just not that interesting or useful. They might be one of the rare occasions where a strained milk may well be the best use of them. I will never stop trying everything out hat I can eat, Dear Reader and I will never lie to you about how I fare. Until later, take care.

Ingredients

50g Buckwheat Flour
50g Tigernut Flour
100ml Water, More as Needed
1 Large Egg, 65g-75g in Shell
15ml Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
Salt to Taste

Method

1. Turn on Waffle Iron. Beat the Egg, Olive Oil and Salt until combined, then beat in Flour and Baking Powder. Finally add water, gradually, until a stirrable, but still thick batter has formed.

3. Add enough Batter to warmed Waffle Iron to fill the plates, close and cook for 7-10 minutes until waffles are brown, dry and firm. Remove with a rubber spatula and let cool for a few minutes. Waffles will soften as they cool.

Buckwheat Carrot Cake With Cardamom Buttercream

I used what I had left after the first big harvest and still had some leftovers.

You can probably skip the “Grow Your Own Carrots” step if you’d like.

Our kitchen is small and doesn’t make for attractive photo backgrounds.

Yo, Dear Reader, this has been on my bucket list for even longer than I have been growing carrots. I’ll tell you the bald truth, Dear Reader, I can’t look at sweets like these the same way I used to, some of that is the weight-loss journey, but some of it is the trauma I’m still dealing with. A lot of what happened with the weight isn’t really open to me, I don’t have an reference to map my experience so it comes in dribs and drabs if at all, I’m okay with not making much like his these days, but I’d still like to try my hand without the feeling that this isn’t some kind of enjoyable. I’m proud of what I can do in the kitchen, I’m no one’s idea of an amazing cook or baker, but the sheer volume of what I’ve learned and the variety of what I know and can do makes me aware that I have a talent and I should be proud. I’ve honestly never eaten carrot cake, I know, but I will be absolutely critical of this, if it isn’t worthwhile I will go as far as  thrashing this post. Which is being typed piecemeal as I get the elements ready, no rushing to eat it as soon as possible for me anymore, Dear Reader. I know my cakes because I’ve had to start from scratch twice and I never start and assume I know everything or anything, you know me, Dear Reader, I might be a Jack of all trades, but I know what I’m doing and why. So, in this post I’ll share the recipe, the whys and hows and hopefully insert a few general tips I’ve picked up about cake making as I won’t be doing this again for a long while.

I like to see batter in the tin before baking, it shows what rise to expect.

Not very much rise, but that’s preferable to keep the cake stable.

So, this is a pretty basic recipe, but then again most cake recipes are usually fairly straightforward. Every cake’s quality is often extremely reliant on the baker more so than the recipe because sometimes we need to be able to elevate a simple recipe beyond what can be mad with he ingredients, this can be done with eternal additions, the frosting, extra flavour via toppings or fillings. Obviously you need to make it well, there’s no question that many bakers can take lazy, often foolishly self-assured, steps that damage the overall quality of the cake, but when you know what you’re doing to a goodish degree and are making a recipe from scratch you can create something greater than the elements that go into it. The synergy between ingredients is key here. What do I mean? Okay, let’s go, Dear Reader. Hotchpotch Cake lesson time.

My tins are getting worm so there was a moment where it seemed stuck. A skewer around the topmost edges freed it.

I left this overnight. Lovely even texture.

This is just pulled partly from a few recipes, all from commercial sites, I’m not going to steal from users, have no fear there, Dear Reader, and from my own experience in cake making. The fact that it makes such a large cake with so little flour is really interesting to me, I wanted to keep as closely as I could to the average carrot cake recipe, but as I couldn’t use sultanas, or orange which seems a pity, I went with a darker sugar and added a fair pinch of spices. Already the denser, dark sugar is working twofold, the moistness of the carrots, that will release as the cake bakes, and the moisture in the sugar help make the cake less dry, I’m using buckwheat flour which can be extremely dry, naturally the oil helps here and replaces the need for water all these ingredients play a part in making the cake moist, changing any one will change the cake and that’s a vital part of understanding cake making, learning requires you to tweak recipes and watch what occurs or what doesn’t. The darker sugar compliments the spices used perfectly too, the spices in the cake and buttercream are matched as well so the two elements blend better together. I couldn’t get suitable cream cheese or use orange so I went a completely different way. It’s important to know what can be done with different ingredients so you can use them effectively like this. Naturally that comes with practice and understood failures. I went with two eggs for stability and texture. I used very little baking soda as I went by the flour’s measure, the eggs help with the rise so it all works. The carrot is coated in the flour to stop it sinking to the bottom as it bakes, same as with fruit cakes. Simple when explained, isn’t it, Dear Reader?

I almost frosted the middle twice.

There it is, simple, but well made.

So, a simple batter is formed, poured into the tin, a very deep tin, about 3×6 inches if I’m thinking right, it goes into the oven for half and hour, gets flipped, depending on your ovens quirks you may not need this step, then it gets covered for the final fifteen to prevent burning and ensue the centre is well cooked. The top softened quickly, but I’ll rest it overnight regardless, cake always tastes its best when rested overnight, I don’t know if it’s the sugar dissolving or softening, it happens with gluten and gluten free baked goods so it must be something other than the flour. Patience is a huge asset when baking, Dear Reader. One thing i wonder about, though I haven’ much experience, or any really, with carrot cake I do think that either fresher or failing that smaller carrots might be the best. The larger the carrot the more of the centre, the core, can toughen and though baked for a long time I still think you’d be best not trying overly large carrots. The ones I used, from tiny to decent, went through the grater with surprising ease, skins and all, what skin there is. I’m glad I finally gave this a chance, as I said it’s been in my mind for a while. I think I’ve covered the batter and baking side, next up is the texture and frosting, then the taste. A longer post than usual, Dear Reader, but while I’m here I might as well be thorough, I won’t be baking cake again for a while after all.

Funnily, it does resemble my vegetable bread and I’ve never thought of it that way.

So cutting the cake, thankfully it cut smooth with no crumbs at all. It has a firm, spongy texture, light and moist and you can taste the carrots, but mostly the sweetness thanks to all the sugar, the spices provide a gentle backing of warmth. Not a complex recipe, but these are often the ones that showcase mistakes easier. Now, the buttercream is a very simple recipe, I make mine in a jug if I’m doing a small batch, it keeps everything together and stops it spreading itself too thin around the bowl and not mixing. Test it as you go, you don’t want a gritty buttercream, nor do you want it runny, it will set up later, but runny will stay soggy even after setting. I frost the inside with a little left off the edges, so when the top compresses it doesn’t squirt buttercream everywhere and I frost the top and bottom separately, leave them for twenty minutes or so and then join them, gives the buttercream that slight firmness that stops it spreading too much from the top half’s weight. I just scooped the buttercream on as you can see, this is just me testing his out and I’m not messing with nozzles for that. As for the taste with the buttercream, well, it delicious, the slight tang of the cardamom, with a pinch of turmeric for colour, and the dark, warm flavour of the cake go together perfectly, not always a given or easy, Dear Reader, to match like that, I Google pairings often to see what flavours match well. The texture of the slightly dry cake, the carrots add moisture as you bite in, and the soft, airy frosting are a match made in heaven, sure cream cheese would have been great, but this isn’t too shabby either. Not much else to add, Dear Reader, hopefully you enjoyed this, as I say I don’t do this often, there is a lot of work involved in making and typing it up and I just don’t eat like this as much as I used too. Nice for a change of pace. Until later, Dear Reader.

Cake

Ingredients

112g Raw Buckwheat Flour
2 Large Eggs (Roughly 55g to 65g)
100g Grated Carrot
85ml Olive Oil
75g Dark Muscovado Sugar
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Ginger
1/6 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC (No Fan). Grease a Loaf Tin with and line the bottom with grease-proof paper.

2. Add the grated Carrot to a bowl and then add the Sugar, Buckwheat Flour, Baking Sode and Spices. Stir everything together until the Carrot is completely coated in the Flour Mixture.

3. Whisk the Eggs, then add to the bowl, add the Vanilla Extract and finally add the Olive Oil. Stir everything together with a fork until completely combined. Batter will be runny and pourable.

5. Pour into the prepared tin, Bake for 45 minutes, turning after half an hour and covering for the last 15 minutes with grease-proof paper. Make sure top is firm to the touch and a knife comes out clean. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then let cool completely on a wire-rack. Rest overnight before cutting.

Buttercream

Ingredients

200g Icing Sugar
50g Butter/Marg, Softened (Ratio of 4 Sugar to 1 Butter)
2 Tsp Milk, More as Needed
1 Tsp Ground Cardamom
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
Pinch Ground Turmeric

Method

1. Place Butter, Icing Sugar, Spices, Milk and Vanilla in a bowl and beat until completely smooth and aerated.

2. Slice cake down the centre and use half the buttercream to frost the centre, leave a gap near the edges to stop overfilling, add the top and use remaining buttercream to frost the top. Let Buttercream set completely before serving.

Same Old, Same New: Crepes Revisited

I’m still getting the hang of not stuffing them so much they burst. Still, progress.

Yo, Dear Reader, I wasn’t certain I’d write this, but then I thought of the many Dear Readers out there like myself that might have been discouraged at a failure or two and then decided to type this up, also the batteries died in my Nintendo switch so here I am. Jack is all heart, Dear Reader. So, firstly I do have a Crepe recipe, joking I have three: And here and here, nope, four apparently. When I say I’ve been around I’m not joking, Dear Reader, but crepes have always caused issue with me. Whenever I’d defrost some they’d be too brittle to work with, I’ve only recently found that defrosting hem in the microwave straight from frozen then giving them a little reheat makes them as pliant as fresh. They still tear if they’re too full, I’m trying to gauge my lettuce and misjudging it to the point I can’t taste anything, I’m learning, this is a learning experience, Dear Reader, life I mean, not crepes. So, having solved that, I never thought much about it as I have other baked goods I use, but with the need for wraps the crepes have come back into fashion. Did you know that crepes were invented because crepe paper tastes terrible? For a brief moment you thought I was in earnest and I’ve let you down, Dear Reader, and I’m not sorry….okay I am. Onto the vague guide/ramble.

So, crepes aren’t all that complex, they’re almost a production line in that you start and go through the exact same motions and if done right you end up with extremely thin crepes. I’l try to guide you through my method, it’s basic, but works consistently.

An Extremely Hot Pan: Not too large or they’ll take too long to cook, I’ve made that mistake before, you want this on a high heat getting nice and hot.

A Bitty Bit of Butter: I like butter here, but oil might work too, the crepes have oil in them so you need the barest bit of butter, just a little piece that will evaporate almost instantly. I’m talking an eight of a teaspoon. Why? Because if you make the crepes too oily they’re get soggy. To me a while to realise the crepe will release when it’s cooked.

The Heats Off: Okay, I take the pan off the heat, give it a breath and toss in the butter, quickly swirl and then add about a third of batter, you want enough heat to cook, but not too much to heat all the batter right away. Gentle swirl it, the thinnest batter layer will stick and cook and the rest will fill in a neat, mostly neat, circle. Then back onto the heat.

One Two, Off You Go: You literally just need a minute or two a side, the crepe will release when the first side is done, just flip and cook again, then toss it onto a wire-rack and pull the pan of the heat and repeat. I let two cool and then stack those when the third is ready. I made four times the recipe above and they all came out fairly consistent.

Wrap it Up: When they’ve cooled I just stack two on a square of grease-proof paper and turn the corners in to make a parcel and into a bag they go to be frozen.

It’s simple, but much like scrambled eggs when you want them done exactly the same each time and want them to taste as good as they can you need to know the technique rather than a recipe. I love that buckwheat can be savoury or sweet, these work either way, I prefer savoury uses these days, but here’s nothing quite like a warm crepe filled with ice-cream. Just a quick bit of guidance, Dear Reader and a gentle reminder that this is still a recipe blog, even if the garden is busier than the kitchen currently. I’l be back again soon, Dear Reader, if you have any questions or need anything clarified just drop a comment below. Until later, take care.

Same Old, Same New: Baffles and Raps

I had quinoa flour, but wanted a change from the usual.

They’re nice and springy, but not that different from most of my savoury waffles.

Yo, Dear Reader I was looking through AIP recipes for the blog that I could eat, but apparently we’re very mismatched, but that’s the norm for me and pretty much every dietary plan out there. Still, I’ll keep an eye out, I hope that the kitchen aspect of the garden will start to pick up steam, once the weather warms I can start planting seeds in the greenhouse. As it stands right I have onions starting, garlic that looks healthy and strong and not much activity on the food side. It’s early days yet and the flowers are beautiful. I had a lot of eggs that need to be used up, but since my Bap recipes uses round tins that I can’t get the tins I decided rectangle baps were fine. too. So: Raps are born! Heh. All you need is about an inch of batter, the size of the tin is irrelevant, but you have to amount for the amount of batter available for each tin, my tall loaf tins worked just fine as you can see.

It’s rare I have quinoa flour so readily available to purchase.

I wasn’t going to photograph t cut, but, I don’t like when others hide what the bread looks like cut.

While I was making those I wondered if I’d still get the same springiness that makes these such great alternative to the usual loaves in a waffle. It worked well enough that the Baffle, Bap Waffle, was born! Seriously, it’s just a plain waffle, but convenient if you have a waffle iron and need something that isn’t as dry as they can be when using a single flour. The waffle is just half the batter with no other changes. It’s a surprisingly complex recipe despite its simplistic steps. The main part is in working each flours strength to counter the weakness of another. The quinoa’s natural lightness helps alleviate the buckwheat’s dryness which helps stabilises and firm the texture that would be mush with the flaxseed which in turn hold everything together and increase the springy texture. And so on. It tastes strongly of quinoa flour, no way around that, but look at the health benefits and stick something strong tasting in it. I’ll be back again sooner rather than later, Dear Reader, until then take care.

Buckwheat Flour Pumpkin Pie

Freshness Update: Even after two days in the fridge, aside from some shrinkage and sweating, the pastry and pie both remain delicious. You’d be best to let it rest overnight and there are methods to avoid shrinkage, but I have absolutely no experience with baked custards so I can only advice you look it up if you need a pristine pie. For Jack this is enough. I still have to test a freezer pie and when I do I’ll report back.

A mixture of Honeybear and Sweet Dumpling.

“Breadcrumbs”.

Wrap it up, toss it in the fridge, gets easy with practice.

Ah, Dear  Reader, this has been in the pipeline for, oh, three years or so. What? I get it done, eventually, heh. In all honesty the major difficulty with a recipe like this is twofold: Firstly I’ve never eaten, seen it in person nor heard anyone ever mention, Pumpkin Pie. So I have no frame of reference as to what it should be like. Recipes, like the one I based this on, never say anything about how it should turn out or taste, then they pose photos to further obfuscate matters, so the second problem occurs: I’m a stickler for details when I’m sharing something, I will wrack my brain to wring out every necessary description, step and variable. Which is exhausting. When large recipes sites fail to do this you’d think I’d give myself a free pass, but I never do, not that it really does anything tangible, I never know who uses these recipes outside of a few dedicated Dear Readers, but it is stressful, it’s why I often shy away from these kinds of recipes, but an abundance of squash forced me to reconsider and, well, here we are. If ever you feel that Jack deserves something for his work remember that a share, like, comment or a coffee really do make a difference. Anyway, onto the breakdown, no, not the break-dance. Stop doing the worm!

I didn’t realise it’d make five. I jut kept returning the scraps to the fridge.

Plop.

Trim the edge with the back of a butter knife. Always away from you.

Fix the edges with a fork.

A little about pumpkin and squash flesh variations. Pumpkins are more watery in composition, because they’re big probably, I just grow things, Dear Reader, I don’t quickly Google and then copy and paste, and fresh squash such as the kind I used are much drier. This is annoying because it reduces the cooking time, which can make it confusing for anyone making these, add to the fact these are individual pies and you’re better doing the double test of a knife  coming out clean and a press for firmness. For the most part, aside from the sweetness naturally present in the flesh, you’re okay with any squash or pumpkin, but do make sure that you’re using the flesh and not the fibres that surround the seeds. You’re making a dense, cream custard not an abomination. The taste isn’t all that much with the squash alone, between the sugar and spices, and whatever topping you decide on, I wish I’d had some whipped cream, you’re going to find them the main cause of taste. As an aside: I’m really not huge into sweet treats anymore, it’s part of the lifestyle, so if at any point I seem less than enthused about any of this just remember I’d never share I recipe I wasn’t happy with and willing to eat myself. I just can’t muster the energy to care all that much about sweet things. The work of eating as I do is draining at times, Dear Reader, but know the recipes when they appear will be great and this is no exception.

Buckwheat bakes fairly grey in pastry, don’t over bake.

Leftover apple thingy.

You’ll have some left over. Hard to guess at this perfectly.

Squash and milk.

All the rest.

Look at me, Dear Reader, and hearken: I don’t know what baked custard is. I was flying by the seat of my pants, thanks to the lack of description in the original, and many others. You’re pouring a mixture of vegetable, fruit really, but anyway, sugar, milk and eggs into pie shells. That isn’t anything like the food I grew up on. Pumpkin pie is this strange concoction from America. With the quick bake, again probably freshness and dryness, I was weary. It looks odd, feels strangely firm until you cut it. When I ate some, hot, but much better cool, I’m freezing two as a test I’ll update whenever, it wasn’t a lot of things, bear with me, it wasn’t mousse, it was too dense for that, it wasn’t baked cheese cake, it was creamier and lighter than that, it wasn’t mashed squash, it was too sweet and gently spiced for that, it really is just it’s own textural experience. If I had had more chances to try foods way back when I may have a better descriptor for it, but as it is, to me at least, it isn’t a lot of things, but it’s really delicious. The pastry might be a little harder than you’re used to and the taste is stronger if you more accustomed to wheat flours, I’m so long at this this is the norm to me so I can’t approach in the other direction in my write up. But, for a dry flour, it yields a delicate pastry, the slightly drier texture always suits me with a moist filling, moist but not soggy, it doesn’t look that was, but it’s firm and just dissolves on the tongue. But it doesn’t look like it should, which is what cause me such confusion eating it. A really interesting taste too, the spice is just there enough, the sweetness is just right, you could top it with more sugar if you’d like it sweeter, or ice-cream say, a double melting delight.

I made way too many.

It looks like custard from a packet, then again, so does blended squash.

They cooked fast and didn’t brown much, the pastry would’ve been burnt if in any longer.

Firm to the touch and just melts in the mouth. Strange.

Cut hot because I’m impatient.

As for the assembly, it’s all really simple once you’ve made the pastry, which with practice is simple. I’ve frozen two, as I said, wrapped in cellophane and tinfoil as per directions, somewhere, and I’ll update with the results of the freezing. As I say I just don’t want this much these days, it’d be fine if I could store them guaranteed, but even then I just feel better without all this unnecessary food hanging around. I’m not on my best form today, so if I’ve missed anything or you have any questions about this recipe just ask below. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader.

Ingredients

Pie Crust

440g Buckwheat Flour
200g Butter, Very Cold, Cut into Cubes
2 Chia Egg (2 Tbsp Ground Chia in 6 Tbsp Water for 10 minutes in fridge)
2 Medium Eggs (60-65g in Shell)
60g Caster Sugar
4 to 6 Tbsp Ice Cold Water (Only if Needed)

Pumpkin Custard Filling

750g Steamed Squash Puree
140g Caster Sugar
2 Tsp Pumpkin Spice (More as desired)
2 Medium Eggs (60-65g in Shell)
25g Butter Melted
175ml Full Fat Milk

Makes five 6 inch tarts.

Method

1. Add the Butter, Flour and Caster Sugar and crumble together with hands until it forms a lumpy, dry breadcrumb like mixture.

2. Add the two Eggs, Chia and Chicken, and then mix with a fork without water. You shouldn’t need it.

3. Dust lightly with flour, knead into a ball and then form into a flat disc and place in fridge for 2 hours.

5. Grease the baking tin with Butter and scatter with Buckwheat Flour, shaking out the excess.

6. Divide dough into five parts, take o part from the fridge as needed, keeping the others chilled, roll out the Dough into a circle and place over the baking tin, trimming the edges as needed. Prick the bottom with a fork.

7. Blind bake, with baking beads or rice in crumpled greaseproof paper, for 10 to 15 minutes at 180c (Fan). Remove from the oven and remove the rice and greaseproof paper then bake for another 5 minutes or until centre is dry to the touch. Leave to cool in tins.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 200c (Fan) and add the Squash and Milk to a food processor and blend until smooth, then add the Sugar, Eggs and Pumpkin Spice, blend until uniform and smooth. Finally blend in the Butter until mixed. Pour into the baked shells.

9. Bake the Pies for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 180c (Fan) and bake for a further 15-25 minutes or until pies are firm to the touch. Bake for longer if needed, but cover with grease-proof if the top starts to brown too much. When ready test with a knife and if clean leave the pies to cool completely before cutting.

Flowers, Like Stars, Cake Like….Beef?!

Yes, that is a roasting tray.

Double the cake, double the terror of failure.

Halfway: Wobbly. At end: Solid.

It will be, is, or was my birthday, depends on when I publish this really. Birthdays aren’t big here, lots of reasons, Dear Reader, none you need worry about. I do want to share my screwing around with my Buckwheat Flour Simple White Cake. I say it a lot, but you really don’t know who it’ll help. I’m writing this piecemeal so it’s not going to be a comprehensive look at cake making, just a look at what Jack did (Worst kid’s book series ever. Heh). I just wanted to screw around, I’ll be honest, I’m not really bothered about sweet things now. There’s a part of me that could be, much too much so, but the other part is getting stronger, the part that understands my complex relationship to sugar. It’s weird, there’s a gap between the me that was and that is and its widening, there’s just work to go. I hope by my next birthday the surgeries will be over. This is mostly for my nieces and nephew, a few friends and just, again, a bit of fun. Let’s not get heavy. It’s my birthday and I’ll maunder if I want to.

Stick a folded teatowel in between the rack and the cake and flip.

Double baking makes the edges a little hard.

I’m also using vanilla powder, which isn’t all that great. I couldn’t get my usual low alcohol essence.

Like I say I’m not breaking this down, it’s meringue topping, on the aforementioned cake, doubled and a caramel sauce just taken to the desired burnt stage, a hair more it was ruined. Sugar is hard to do, I’ll be the first to admit it. There’s a smell that appears when it starts to caramelize, then it goes, that’s when you pull it off the heat. I’m also doing whipped cream with this. We’re going all out, this is the last cake I’ll eat for a long time, but I have two more to help make and to decorate. I’ll share them here, one is using an icing sheet and the other has plastic toppers. Really basic stuff here, Dear Reader, but it’ll make people happy. Worth it for that really. That’s the reason for the unconventional tin, and fully lining it too, I’ll need two cakes, both rectangles, so I want to check it now rather than get caught when the time comes. More cake for everyone, it’s a win-win.

Ta-da…eh.

Have a kettle on the boil to avoid clean up.

It thickens to almost tar as it cools.

I’m going to be taking a lot of photos, or, rather having a lot taken of me. In my jeans. I tell you it was so hard to find jeans in a thirty eight inch leg. Getting the waist and leg was really just a matter of luck, I looked at the right time and bought a couple of pairs since the first fit. I was worried about sagging in places, but they seem to fit just right. I still like tracksuits, I have sensory issues and, honestly? I dress for me, for comfort. No one really notices unless you’re dragging dirt in so I’ll dress up once in a while, after that I’m in the garden and the plants aren’t worried. They’re all in the nude after all. Sorry, I’ve ruined jaunts through the garden, haven’t I?

You come here for my sparkling wit.

Oh, I turned the cake upside down so it sunk as it cooled and mostly evened out.

These really are beautiful. 

They’re so tiny.

Things are still slow, but it’s getting better. Every single year brings different weather, a different experience and different lessons. I still take such pleasure in the small shoots just starting to poke through the soil. My rhubarb crown, the new one, has poked above, it starts to appear and suddenly it’s so large. I should get a harvest this year from it. I seem to have squash seeds that didn’t rot in the compost popping up in the soil, they’re easy be rid of, but I’m really going to do better this year. With the surgery I couldn’t tend to the compost, it is a  living thing after all and needs proper care and attention. If I publish this tomorrow then I’ll try to add a few photos of the cake cut up and assembled. A bit glob of caramel and a blob of whipped cream. It’ll be fun being able to share a cake with people. Okay, that’s it for now, take care Dear Reader.

P.S If I have anything to add I’ll add it below.

I forgot the photo! Just one more slice.

There we go.

Giant Novelty Strawberries and Plastic Curd

The candle fell over after a few minutes.

Oh, that looks fake.

I’ll figure out a buckwheat sponge recipe yet.

Yo, Dear Reader, I mentioned Yesterday that I was baking. I just thought I’d share the photos. The base isn’t gluten free and I’m not eating it because of the curd, but you could easily substitute some pastry like mine: Buckwheat Flour Pastry. Okay, I hate when recipes are teased and not listed until the end of a post so here you go.

Buckwheat Flour Simple White Cake
Buttercream
Meringue Topping (Doubled and without cream of tartar)
Lemon Curd (With a pinch of cardamom)

The cake has a secret that I may neglect to take a photo of so I’ll tell you. There’s a layer of jam in between the two halves. What I did differently this time is I spread a thin layer of buttercream on each half and the iced he little blobs all around the edges, they stuck much better with the buttercream backing. I did the same thin spread at the top and it really helped. There’s a little strawberry jam in the buttercream as well, it really pops. I’ve never been that great a hand at decorating cakes, I usually do them all the same way. It works and there’s always enough icing to cake going so that you don’t end up with just a large chunk of plain cake after you’ve eaten some of it. The one marvellous thing about the cake is that aside from the slightly stronger taste, my brother said it’s like a cake made with brown flour, is that it’s identical to the wheat flour version. Honestly, like most recipes if you didn’t tell people what’s in it they’d likely have no idea. We’re nowhere near as discerning as we like to think and people have a mental block towards anything “different”.

My own birthday is coming next week and I’m undecided on whether I’ll make another cake. I’m the only one who knows how to make this, it’s my own recipe, came about when a cake recipe botched and I only had a single night to make a cake for my nephew. The ideas in the comment section involved more milk and at that stage I just went to Google and did it myself. Buckwheat works for cakes like this as it’s a heavy flour, but these are sturdy cakes, they’re not delicate or crumbly. They’re fluffy, but solid. I’m thinking of perhaps trying it as a round cake in a spring-form pan, it’d end up flatter and I’m concerned that it might lose it’s texture if baked too flat. Or, worse, it might rise too much in the middle and sink. One thing I have learned is that leaving it in the tin too long will cause that soggy, thin layer at the bottom, as will under mixing the sugar and butter. You really need to taste the butter mix to make sure the sugar has fully dissolved. I use caster sugar to make it easier, but ordinary sugar works too.

I mentioned about ditching the cream of tartar and I honestly prefer it this way. I have a high speed hand-mixer and it aerates the eggs really fast. These are the same free-range hen eggs from a friend so the white are really thick and you can see how bright the yolks are in the curd. The eggs I used in the cake are duck eggs and though I haven’t tried it yet, I’m typing this as it rests and awaits tomorrow or today depending on how you look at it, the batter looked better even before baking. It look more silky and smooth. Duck eggs are great for baking, but very strong to eat as is. I opted for the hen eggs for the curd as I wasn’t sure that the duck egg’s strong taste wouldn’t over power everything. The secret to the curd is to use plenty of zest, I just peel big chunks letting the lemon spritz it’s oils into the yolks as I peel, all yolk this time and it had set firm after an hour or so. Even after baking the topping it wasn’t long setting again after cooling. It takes time to get it all together, but it’s a big occasion and when it’s done right, shared with people you loved then it’s a really wonderful thing to create. I’ll leave it at that today, Dear Reader, I’ll try to get some cut photos of the cake and pie.

Baps, Bulbs and Breads

Original Quinoa Flour Bread Recipe here.

For the low low price of: FREE!

Neener Neener my bread is golden hued and delicious.

A Dear Reader, yes, there are a few of you, happened to name me as part of their inspiration for a wonderful recipe, which you can see for yourself here. They also set my brain in motion. See, one of the things that I’ve found in my style of cooking and baking is that I’m very much out of the norm. I’m not getting into this in a big way, but I have often wondered what it would’ve taken for me to, well, fit in. I honestly think it would’ve been detrimental to my recipes, my readership and just generally to the blog. See, if I had followed the idea, erroneous idea, don’t care too long at this, that all free-from baking requires gums and starches, well, I’d have starved, end of. See, I also thought that that was the “correct” way, having learned in time it’s the common way. Is it correct? Depends, nutritionally lacking foods made from bits and pieces that photograph well or can be sold commercially are so ubiquitous that I can take a shot at them and hit everyone. They’re bad, but there are so many shades of grey that it would take a lifetime to go through them all. But what’s important is that if you made Jack’s style a brand say. Jack’s Diet! From Fat To Jack! Etc. Then you’d see it differently, no longer an aberration, but actually a contender. But, that’d entail gatekeeping, lying, sponsorships, shady ones, some are fine, not complaining here just saying, because that’s why the gum and starch side is seen as the only side. It’s not that good, but a starving coeliac isn’t fussy and brand loyalty builds a great defensive line of buyers. I’m hitting the tinfoil hat threshold here, but it’s backed up simply by the blog here. You see recipes made with skill and craft that no one else has. I’m not bragging, if I was I’d be doing a much better job. I’m just reiterating for what feels like the millionth time that there are many kinds of free-from baking and cooking. Try different things out, write posts differently, be yourself, Dear Reader. I no longer care about acclaim or glory. With my scar came a sense of freedom. The free-from world is a mess, the fact I struggle to find recipes, to find ingredients to just find clear information speaks to that. What can be done? Yeah, that’s a huge order, just be open-minded and really look at what you’re eating. I’m not going to wreck my good mood breaking this down again and again. Nor do I want to attack anyone. Let’s talk bread. Let’s enjoy these posts, what more needs to be done?

Pain my my…whoops! Family friendly blog.

I went half again to get a third bap.

Baps are here.

Fluffy, light and so good.

You know I can never understand why quinoa flour is so ridiculously expensive. I keep an eye out on Amazon hoping for a new start-up, which is what this was, that has a cheaper bag of flour in stock, marked as Gluten Free, not naturally gluten free, containing no gluten ingredients or any of those sneaky terms. Not to say that it’s that cheap, but by comparison to a bag less than half the size for more I’d say it was okay. It’s actually a really nice flour, not paid for this, but I have to mention it for anyone struggling to find any. Oh, it’s gone. Sorry. It lasted a few days at least. See? I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s difficult. I’ve found that free-from flours can vary, but rarely by a great deal. Sometimes you get one that’s off colour or just doesn’t work as well. This one is, as I’ve said, a really good quality flour, no bitterness coming through either. Grinding your own leads to a very uneven texture without a very good grinder. So, once every few months I splurge and then bake up a storm. The reason I have so many of these recipes is that I bought a batch of six bags for a pittance that were going out of date very quickly.

Fried in butter with a poached egg…which is invisible.

You know what irks me? Every bags says how it replaces wheat flour, no, no, NO! And that they have a lot of recipes, which they never do. Seriously, how daunting is that to someone trying these out for the first time. You know, way back in the beginning, when I bought quinoa for the first time it had no clear instruction on how to cook it. Ditto amaranth, kaniwa and, I think buckwheat was rough too. Even rice tells you to boil and drain and that’s just wrong. Steam it, always perfect. But complacency is a dangerous thing, Dear Reader, I was miserable in the beginning and I was damned if I was going to eat terrible food forever. Yes, I too ate gummy loaves and loved them, more fool all of us, Dear Reader. Here I am, with crispy quinoa loaves and springy buckwheat baps. See? What the companies rely on is the idea that you can really only get this kind of bread with some kind of special ingredient or by buying their brands. I figured out all of this myself, through stubborn determination and by eating a lot of nasty bread. I’ve talked about the breads in numerous posts so I won’t rethread old ground again. These turned out really, really well.

I’ll just re-pot this and oh…

It turned out to be a rather pleasant day, hence my buoyant mood, I am so buoyant , you shut up! So I went out filling potato pots, getting them ready in advance and decided I should move my poor exposed Canna Indica to a larger pot as it really needs the space. A bulb that cost a Euro and thirty nine cents, yes, I remember, I rooted through a bulb bin and found it in amongst tiny plants, should’ve been easy to move. As you can see the solid mass of roots and new growth argued otherwise. So, I re-potted it by literally placing the whole mass, moved by those nigh unbreakable stems, they’re like ropes, into a pot lined with a little soil which I filled in. Tedious and will be repeated for other established plants like the strawberries. Still, it’s amazing what can be grown in a pot. You’ve seen the sunchokes. You just have to try, I suppose, Dear Reader, you really never know what you can accomplish if you never start. Okay, I’ll pop off to hope for good weather, there are still pots to fill, empty and work to be done. Until later.