Chestnut Flour Crumble

 photo IMGP4090_e_zpskzqdxnnl.jpgThis is a “crumble” as I knew it growing up. Oats never factored in, nor did I ever eat a what some call a crisp. This is a crumble and this is my stand. Now, shush.

Quick recipe time today. I ripped off my Buckwheat Crumble to make this Chestnut one, I also took a little inspiration from an old wheat based recipe too, again mine. I’m now at the stage where I can just pilfer my own recipes. Okay, this is more akin to a coconut flour crumble, than the buckwheat one, by which I mean it’s a bit drier and softer on the underside. In saying that there is a really great taste from the chestnut flour and the juicy berries, blueberries and strawberries, which I can tolerate a little now, soaked into the underside and melded together really well. It’s simple, but I like these single serve recipes. I’ve made this one dairy free and vegan too as I haven’t had a vegan crumble before. I also think that coconut oil may work in my pastry, but it may have to be melted and then added as the oil stayed lumpy in parts and melted completely in others. Like I say, fast and simple. Until next time.

Ingredients

100g Berries, or Other Fruit, of Choice
35g Sugar
35g Ground Almonds
35g Chestnut Flour
35g Coconut Oil, Cold and Chopped

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 175c (Fan).

2. Place the Berries in an oven proof dish. Set aside.

3. In a bowl mix together the Ground Almonds, Chestnut Four, Butter and Sugar. Work together with fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.

4. Sprinkle Crumb Mixture over the Berries and cook for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

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Rustic Buckwheat and Chestnut Flour Bread

21 January 2016 Update: I’m really too scrupulous for my own good. Hey, that’s me *Shrugs*. I just wanted to say that the bread will be slightly drier when frozen and defrosted. Nothing major and it usually happens with any bread. Just a wanted to point it out as it’s always important to get the whole picture before taking a chance and baking a new recipe. Still fine to eat, but I’m glad I only made a small loaf rather than a huge one. It’s funny, but I never realised how well my Buckwheat and Quinoa breads froze until now. Fun times, okay that’s that. Like the hungry Tiger, my conscience is clear. Minor point but it had to be said, er, typed.

 photo IMGP4059_e_zpsqqllhxy2.jpgNot much rise, though no break up cracks either.

Halved and changed slightly from: Northern Italian Chestnut Buckwheat Bread. I’ve honestly forgotten what it’s like to find a recipe and not have to change it. I halved it because buckwheat flour is scarce and I’m cautious. That’s in no  way a slam against the original, it’s just the way I operate. I told you that I’d tame the beast that is chestnut flour. Man, it’s a royal pain in the backside. There seems to be no real benefit to it, maybe your taste gets you a little praise chestnut, but still, you’re more a of a novelty flour for me. I took a chance and almost got burned, thankfully I know enough to make something of it and in finding a recipe, nearly a twin of my own funnily, I’ve found a bread that can actually make  a case for using chestnut flour, if only slightly. Hey, it’s a good recipe, but chestnut flour is still not a great choice compared to other alternative flours. Fool me once and all that.

 photo IMGP4056_e_zpsjd7n6qni.jpgI nearly threw it out when it wouldn’t come together. I didn’t want to lose too much buckwheat trying to save it.

 photo IMGP4057_e_zpsrkbtumwy.jpgThankfully it only took a little extra.

As you can tell it isn’t a large loaf, it barely filled a third of the tin, but as I say I halved it. I don’t own any other sized tin than the tiny one and that was too small. Still, I’m used to flat breads, this didn’t suffer much for being slightly flat, but double it if you’d rather a larger loaf or use a smaller tin, maybe even bake it shaped instead. I’ve actually rarely made kneaded bread, so I was a little nervous, thankfully no gluten means nothing to develop or overdevelop. Other than the need for extra flour it came together by the book. I thought it might spread when baked so I used a tin, but now I think it might have been okay. There’s nothing complicated here if you take your time and read through the whole recipe, par the course really. It baked fast, but no faster than these breads usually do. Now, my dairy-free friends, I’d say you’d get away with ditching the milk for water. I could be wrong, but I’d say I’m fairly confident. Question for any dairy free bakers, what do you use a to grease your tins? Textually it’s hearty but not heavy. It’s dense, but not heavy or dry. The kind of bread where a thick slice will go a long way.

 photo IMGP4061_e_zpsrdo6pxos.jpgThere’s a slight crust nothing much sadly. The crust we all love ever eludes us free-from-ers, huh?

So taste, now this is where it gets interesting. Though there was more buckwheat used, all I could taste was the chestnut, which if you aren’t familiar, said the guy who just started using the stuff a few weeks ago, is sweet and nutty, but the catch is that it doesn’t go well with sweet things. Now you could use it that way, but I’d say aged meats and strong cheeses would be better suited to this bread. It’s no sandwich bread, more of a fancy bread that you’d take hunks out of and served covered in thinly sliced histamine-rich ham. Probably a wine bread too, but I’m also straight edge, hey it sounds better than teetotaller, so no booze for me. Yeah, no aged meats for me nor aged cheese either, yay histamine intolerance. Nothing stopping you slapping butter on it and calling it a day either mind. It’s just I feel like this flour would be better suited to someone else. It feels like a one trick upper-crust flour and I’m more a jack-of-all-trades kinda person. More dinner parties and candlelight suppers (Heh) than sticking it in your gob when rushing out the door. So finally chestnut finds a place where it can shine through and it ain’t bad. I won’t be buying it again, but I’ve still got two bags to work through so, well, more recipes eventually. Someone will use them, right?

Blah! One thing I forgot to say, I blame this headache, the bread cut really well when cool, not much crumbling at all. It really shouldn’t be cut hot though that’ll just make a mess of it, let it cool for a few hours.

Ingredients

150g Buckwheat Flour
100g Chestnut Flour
120ml Low Fat Milk
60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Egg
1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/8 Tsp Salt

Makes one small loaf.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160c (No Fan).

2. Brush with melted Butter and dust with Rice Flour a 6×3 inch loaf tin if baking in a tin.

3. In a large bowl add the Flours, Salt and Baking Powder, shake together and form a well in the middle. In a jug whisk together the Egg and Milk until combined then, while whisking, slowly add in the Olive Oil and whisk for about a minute. Add this to the centre of the Flour Mixture and fold everything together with a wooden spoon. If the dough is sticky and clinging to the sides add a little more Buckwheat Flour until it can be handled without sticking to hands. Dust a work surface with flour and roll the dough in it. Knead the dough until smooth and even. Dough should just be slightly tacky. Either press into the prepared tin or form into desired shape and place on a lined tray. Slash the top of the loaf with a knife.

4. Bake for 35-45 minutes, turning halfway if needed, until lightly golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from tin, dust off the excess flour and let cool completely on a wire rack.

 photo IMGP4060_e_zpsosdefkza.jpgMan, I have too many recipes….just kidding.

Chestnut Flour Peanut Butter Banana Bread

 photo IMGP3958_e_zpspeo2latt.jpgYou were supposed to be special. How could you!?!

Oh, chestnut flour, I thought you’d be something special, but you keep letting me down. I’ve never used chestnut flour before today so I’m learning about it from scratch. I’ll try to share what I’ve learned so far. Firstly this falls onto the side of moisture absorber with no hold, like Coconut Flour. It may take very little flour, but needs a lot of eggs or other binders to hold it together. I’m not the biggest fan of coconut flour, I find it too dense and dry. Whereas the chestnut flour seems to be lighter, still a little rubbery, for want of an appropriate culinary term, but nowhere near as dry as coconut flour. I’ve tried it a few ways and from what I’ve seen you’d be better sticking to flatter recipes, not unleavened exactly, I just don’t think you’ll get a large loaf made with just chestnut flour. On the positive side it does have a slightly sweet nutty taste that seems suited to baked goods, it’s also decent in the nutrition department, brands vary so Google it to get an idea.

So today I decided to go for a Coconut Flour Recipe to adapt. One of my own naturally so I’d know how well it worked. There’s really very little chestnut flour used, but that seems like it’ll be par the course for this flour. I changed up the recipe slightly, I ditched the honey in favour of maple syrup so I’d be able to avoid the honey burning. I used baking powder because I never have a lemon to hand and this recipe never rose more than two inches. You could probably call it a slice or something, it’s only an inch thick after resting. The texture is a dense banana bread, there’s a slight dryness , but it’s barely noticeable. It’s a quick recipe, nothing special and I prefer the chestnut version. Handy if you have the ingredients to hand want want a quick snack that can be frozen.

Not much else to say. I’m disappointed in the chestnut flour, but as I have a few bags to use up I’ll keep trying what I can and report back. If nothing else it’ll be a learning experience. I also snagged some quinoa flour with a low expiration date going dirt cheap so I’ll be able to flex my culinary muscles a little more in regard to quinoa flour. No need to spare it if it’s going off, right? (Though I don’t know when as I bought it online. I like to live dangerously) One thing I will mention is that the Quinoa Bread freezes really well and I think it may be great for French toast as it’s very light and spongy. I’m sure an intrepid reader will take the plunge in my stead and report back. That’s it for now, keep an eye on the blog in the new year for new recipes, here’s hoping we have as much success with quinoa as I’ve had with buckwheat (Rationing my supply for a while). Until next time.

 photo IMGP3959_e_zps5apmvaym.jpgYou’re okay, kid. I’ll make something of you yet.

Ingredients

Wet

125g Natural Peanut Butter
1 Large Egg
1 Medium Banana, Mashed
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil, Melted
1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Dry

1 Tbsp Chestnut Flour
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

Can be frozen.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175c (No Fan). Grease and line the bottom of a baking tin.

2. Add all the wet ingredients to a bowl and beat together, using an electric mixer, until smooth. Then add the dry and beat until mixed completely. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway if necessary, or until a knife comes out clean. Loaf should be golden brown and firm.

4. Let cool in the tin for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Slurry Curry

2017 Update: Due to a problem with Photobucket, see here, there will be a lot of recipes without photos. I will be slowly redoing the recipe pages, as best I can, but many other posts will be impossible to replace. I’m doing this in my own time, while continuing to update the blog with new recipes and posts. If you’d like to donate, any amount appreciated, you can do so here. The site will always be free, the recipes will never be locked behind a paywall, but this is a lot of additional work. I’m not demanding or begging, just putting it there so if you feel like repaying my hard work you have that option. I don’t make any money from the site, all that I do here is to help others, I couldn’t charge for that.

Yeah, it’s been a good two years, but I know it when I see it.

A basic curry I use for experimenting with different thickeners. You’ll notice I like to try different things with recipes and this one was born exclusively for the purpose of testing thickeners. The name comes from the slurry you make with cornstarch and water which funnily I never use, but the rhyming name was too much to resist.

Ingredients

1 Chicken Breasts
160ml Chicken Stock (1/2 Stock Cube)
1 Tsp Curry Powder
1/8 Tsp Black Pepper
1/2 Yellow Onion, Chopped Fine
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, Grated
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

For Thickening

1 Tbsp Coconut Flour and 30ml Water 1 Tbsp Rice Flour and 30ml Water 1 Tbsp Buckwheat Flour and 30ml Water 1/2 Tbsp Whole Chia Seeds (No Need for Water)
1 Tbsp Chestnut Flour and 30ml Water

Optional: 1/8 Tsp Ground Long Pepper, 1/8 Tsp White Pepper

Method

1. Heat Olive Oil in a pot and when melted add Onion, Ginger and Garlic, mix and cover. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, on a medium heat, or until soft.

2. Add Curry Powder and stir together, then add Chicken, stir and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add Stock and stir, bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Mix Flour of choice and Water to form a paste and add to pot, mix until dissolved and then cook for a further 10 minutes.

Variations:

Rooibos/Wild Rooibos Curry: Steep two Teabags in 150ml of Hot Water while preparing everything else. Dissolve 1/2 Stock Cube in 10ml of Hot Water and add to Rooibos. Add the same time as you would stock.