Gluten free custard tart with berry compote

This recipe is E A S Y ! On a pantry stock up spree I bought some gluten free sweet pastry shells from gfpantry.com. They looked fun. As soon as the order arrived I just had to create something, anything we had in the kitchen would do. Some eggs, almond milk and berries. . .

The berry compote recipe is from thehiddenveggies.com. I added some extra brown sugar to it for a bit of extra drool. This with my go to healthy custard recipe from traditionalcookingschool.com is literally the easiest and the best healthy custard recipe I have come across. I added 2 tsp extra gelatin to make sure the custard sets well.

Once you have prepared both the custard and the compote, you must cool to room temperature prior to filling so that the pastry does not go soggy.

I used an organic gelatin powder from Changing Habits. It is full of natural amino acids and protein, great for your gut health and tissue repair. There is so much you can make with gelatin like gummie bears, jellies, thicken sauces, panna cotta and cheese cake!

Makes 24 small tarts , there will be extra custard!

Custard:

Ingredients:

3 cups unsweetened almond milk

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

1/3 cup arrowroot powder or cornflour

1 tbs butter

4 teaspoons gelatin powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

Whisk together arrowroot and gelatin in a small bowl.

Into a medium saucepan, pour milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, and sea salt.

Sprinkle the arrowroot mixture over its surface, and whisk again to combine.

Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY until the pudding begins to thicken. It will start to steam first, which is your sign that the custard is almost done.

Once thickened, remove immediately from the heat.

Add butter and vanilla and continue to stir until mixed.

Chill to room temperature.

Berry compote

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup berries of choice (fresh or frozen)

3 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice

1/3 cup cold water

1 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Method

Add berries to a small saucepan and sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice.

Heat the berries on medium-low until they start to release their juices.

In a separate bowl, mix corn starch (or arrowroot) and cold water and then pour it into the berries and stir well. 

Stir constantly and continue to heat the berry sauce until after it has boiled for about 30 seconds.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Assembly:

Place pastry cups onto a platter

Spoon custard into a piping bag and pipe to fill ¾ of the cup.

Spoon the berry compote over the top. Chill for an hour to set and then dust with icing sugar if desired.

Dan Whitford Interview

Chat with Dan Whitford from Cut Copy and finding out if he is a Beach, City or Country person.

I had a chat with Dan of Cut Copy last week about their latest album. What Dan has been doing during the pandemic and also if he is a beach, city or country person. Also the themes that went into their new and sixth release Freeze Melt.

It was a pleasure to be able to chat with a vocalist of a Aria award winning band and Grammy nominated at that too!

To this day Cut copy are making great electronic music which started with their roots in Melbourne and have now become a world wide name and festival staple.

An act I’ve seen live 5 times before while thinking back but I’m sure I’ve probably caught a set or two as well at festivals along the way. They’ve always been great to see live and put on a insanely good show. So once this pandemic starts to calm down I’d be keen to see them live playing new material.

They’d even be a group I’d see from my car honestly if that was the first type of live music that would be happening here in Victoria.

For a world gripped by a panddemic cut copy have done pretty well to support New order and release a new album.


Check out my Interview Below

Also, put their latest album into your playlist rotation as it really is a great addition to the Cut Copy discography.

My First Crap Cake

*With beginner cake decorator tips!

This amazing white chocolate cake is both way out of your baking league, and delicious -assuming you are also a beginner cake decorator. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this unless you have such low self esteem that the only way you can survive this life is through feeding off others disastrous attempts and mishaps and just plain untalentedness. It’s ok, we all do it.

You can find the recipe for this absolutely scrumptious cake here: https://livforcake.com/white-chocolate-cake/ This site has a heeaapp of mouth watering cakes to choose from too!

As you can see from this photo, I read a beginners food photography blog prior to preparing the cake.

I told everyone I was making this heavenly white chocolate cake, an extravagant one that’s three storeys high and decorated. I invited them all to save a spot in their treat bank for it this week and await this amazing cake sensation.

**beginner cake decorating tip: Beware of ‘the slope’ look and layer by evenly distributing weight by evenly cooked cakes and evenly spread frosting

The heavenly whipped merengue frosting is full of white chocolate and a ton of butter, and so is the cake. It surprisingly still kept its light merengue texture and when it melted on the tongue my whole central nervous system goes ‘mmmm … relaaaaax….I’m hooome” while euphoric memories of warm fires, cuddles and puppy dogs flood into my mind.

This merengue frosting was to be used in between each layer of the cake, for the smooth outer layer of the cake, and then for the ultimate finish- my creative input, the intricate piped flower craft on the top of the cake. At this point I am a bit disappointed about my not so smooth finish on the outer layer, but feeling hopeful.

I also threw in a tub of caramilk cream cheese in between the first layers of the cake for the caramel lovers.

**Beginner cake decorator tip: de-crumb cake prior to applying the frosting. Also look up the term  ‘de-crumb’ in cooking methodology.

Now this next step was going to fix my uneven layer… but something just doesn’t look right. White chocolate ganache phleghmnache. Looks like a lumpy goosebumps book cover. It was just not at all what I had been dreaming about over the past week. But I’m not going to let that bum me out I thought.. I’m taking to the sky and with my fantastical imagination and I will make a masterpiece!

Well, now I’m starting to regret telling my boyfriends mum all about this new hobby … and on borrowing her Russian piping tips excitedly telling her I would send photos and bring her some.

When the Russian piping flowers didn’t work my heart sank. They came out in big blue boogie monster globs. I am wondering, should I have followed the recipes directions instead of making this creative disaster? It was crap. This cake was now getting the official crap label. Those dark chocolate layers in there are actually burnt cake. That parmesan cheese around the edges are white chocolate swirls. *Sad face*

At this time my boyfriend had to interfere with some motivational talk all like “it looks goooood” and “the cake decorating craft takes practice, you’ll get better”

Well, boyfriend, if I had a child who was a boy and I was sexist, maybe it would be ok for his 2nd birthday with a previously purchased little blue Choo Choo train on top.

It tasted sensational.

No one received a gift or a photo.

  • **beginner baker tip:
  • – don’t tell anyone about your new hobby yet.
  • – my boyfriends mum recommends completely setting the icing overnight before decorating
  • – I believe in you and a better world with beautiful cakes for sharing.

Well, there’s a lot to learn from cooking fails. I think I will try it again someday and learn from my mistakes.

Please tell me about your wonderful cake fails and I wonder, did you still serve it up? How did it taste? Any tips to share that you learned from it?

Love,

Rosie

Choc Mint Protein Balls

Full of satisfying good fats, protein to keep you going, and it’s plant based. Choc mint is one of my favourite flavours. I love the coolness of the pure peppermint with a kick of cacao. Mwah! Simple recipe yet soooo delicious!

I used doterra peppermint oil, it’s a beautiful high quality oil but you can use what ever you have on hand. Vanilla protein powder along with medjool dates give the bliss balls a luscious almost chewy feel with caramel undertones.

Ingredients

12 Medjool dates

1/3 c Cashews

1/2c Macadamias

1 heaped tbs vanilla protein powder ( I used a plant based one called Amazonia RAW Protein Isolate Vanilla )

2 tbs cacao powder

6 drops doterra peppermint oil

Pinch of salt

1 tbs coconut oil

1c Shredded coconut for rolling

Method

Throw it all into someone’s food processor and whiz until clumps together slightly.

Place coconut into a shallow bowl

Roll mixture into bite sized balls and roll in the coconut.

Store in the fridge and don’t forget to share!

Roya Naldi Interview

Interview with with Roya Naldi from Chicago about her album release. Music that inspires her and where she plays around Chicago.

I had the pleasure of talking with Roya Naldi from Chicago about her album release. Music that inspires her and where she plays around Chicago.

She has a unique style that is reminiscent of the sounds of the ’20s and ’30s and does so with an amazing voice at that too.

If you like what you heard you can check out more of her music from the album A Night in June.

I hope we can all go back to seeing live music and performing soon.

The best trail mix

I love our trips to the local whole foods shop. Especially when it’s time to make a trail mix. This one was created by choosing what they had in store, for an easy shop and chop snack. Yep that is a thing, the shop and chop.

According to my dude, this is the best trail mix ever. I almost have to keep tabs on how much he’s eating so poor me dont miss out! We whip it up about once a month now on our rotation of snack attacks.

We need dietary diversity to nourish the body and its senses. The multitudes of nutrients and flavours give us life in many ways. It really is incredible when you think about the chemistry between us humans and what we eat.

So, let yourself indulge in these ingredients. .

Firstly I’m going to start with the star, the carob coated banana is the best bit. Carob is sweet and doesn’t need sugar, though most brands add it anyway. It’s a great alternative to chocolate and caffeine free!… for those who dig that kind of thing? I’ll stick to eating the carob as well as the chocolate thank you.

The dried banana tastes slightly caramelised and is a magnificent match with carob. It’s like the treat part of the mix that always bloody disappears first. We chop these into 1 CM pieces.

Pumpkin seeds or pepitas, these big green ones are grown in Australia and pesticide free. I notice a big difference in flavour from the supermarket ones.

Organic Mixed raw nuts simple as that. Packed full of goodies they are. Magnesium, protein, folate, good fats, brain food. Keep you full. Don’t eat too many , an overdose may induce a food coma. *lifts one eyebrow* Seriously.

And lastly the second star to the show is the dried pear. Decadent, soft, sweet and juicy. Just so delicious.

This healthy treat just gets me through the day. Especially when my body and brain are working hard. Find the recipe below!

I’d love to hear from you, what are your easy go-to snack attacks?

Love, Rosie

Ingredients:

1 c Carob coated banana cut into 1 cm slices

1/2 c pumpkin seeds

2-3 c mixed raw nuts

3/4 c dried pear cut into 1 CM chunks

Method:

Throw it all into a huge bowl

Mix with spoon or hands.

Store in airtight container or jar.

The dahl that was made

** Easy style IC diet friendly recipe below

It all started in the early afternoon. I was getting through a full day and finally home to study away on my laptop. I was putting my all into it, you see when I have a vision I do my all to create it, that’s who I am.  And if you have endo or know someone who does -you will know that there is only so much one can do in a day before fatigue, or extreme pain or the multitudes of crappy symptoms come kicking down your positivity door and don’t stop there ….   

Well I’m just getting accustomed to the IC diet. And honestly when I’m super strict I feel a bit bloody better. But it takes more energy to be strict doesn’t it? Ahh… Preparation is for another blog. So I fought the urge to do something super easy, cheesy and inflammatory- this is how I got through making a healthy IC diet approved meal on a bad day.

Firstly I decided to make a quick Dahl. Went to the fridge and got out the veg that caught my eye- pumpkin, celery, garlic and broccoli were thrown onto the bench. My man came in and saved the battered veg. He chopped them up lovingly as I gazed through my grumpy eyes searching for the red lentils.

He then walked away because I was cranky pants grumbling so I chucked his wonderfully chopped veg and the seeds into the pot to sauté in coconut oil. How boring I said, look at our boring dinner.

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The steam smelled sad. But then fragrant. Is that what started to change the chemicals in my brain?

After rinsing the impurities or starch off the lentils I threw them in with the low sodium/no crap in it vegetable stock (Maggie beer from the supermarket is great when you don’t want to make your own) while reminiscing the coffee I once enjoyed daily which now is a fuel for the fire in my pelvis. That percolator just sits there some days with nothing to do. You see, when one person suffers from endo, everyone around them does too. Our poor lonely appliances…

I try to remind myself that sometimes we need to grieve the way things used to be, but also see that there is always a light.. that shines.. somewhere?…. At least I’m not bed ridden today. This diet isn’t forever. um. Etc. (Obviously I need help on this today)

The man walks back in perfect timing as usual, gives me puppy eyes and cups his hand over my shoulder. We cuddle by the warm stove.  

I’m feeling a bit more present and sentimental towards the ingredients now. After placing the broccoli and cream in carefully I add some dried mint, a great cooling herb, give it a stir. With the lid on it simmers until all cooked, about 20 minutes. The coconut creams up the dahl nicely. This was making to be a pretty quick meal which also will freeze well for future easy meals.

*ic diet tip!

– turmeric is an antiinflammatory root/spice, but it can cause irritation for ic sufferers, so if you have tested it, grate up a fresh piece of turmeric, throw it in at the sauté part with some pepper to enhance the benfits! Or dried is good too if you are tired.

I like to make sure to have something super easy on hand for these unexpected days as I work and play with this disease. But, sometimes we’re not prepared. It just doesn’t happen. So, the Dahl was made. The extra beans from yesterday conquered it with a dump of roughly chopped coriander for my FULL ON coriander cravings. Coriander will help move toxins out of the body so if your taking lots of meds, just eat it.  Plus some super crunchy and large papadums that my dude made for dipping. He’s so good. What would I do without him and his puppy eyes? If you don’t have a dude or a dudette or a puppy that likes to help- well don’t give up, there is love for everyone. Also a microwave or pre. Chopped veg from the shops is a good helper with no feelings to unintentionally hurt during flare ups.

** Additions on the try list for IC sufferers would be a dollop of natural yogurt and a drool .. I mean a pool of mango chutney.

** Other additions for IC sufferers would be boring rice and another sad mad fit. But really, try to enjoy each ingredient – natural stock is a lifesaver for my flavour lovin tongue buds. And those papadums packed a happy crunch.  Be creative on good days and try to be kind on those.. other  days!

Love, Rosie 😉

Recipe for 2 below.

Ingredients:

1litre vegetable stock (low sodium, nothing artificial)

250ml coconut cream

1-2 tbs coconut oil

1 c dry red lentils

1c cubed pumpkin

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 c broccoli chopped smallish

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1-2 tsp fennel seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp dried mint or fresh equivalent

Papadums of your choice*

A load of fresh coriander chopped for garnish

Method:

You have to read my whole sad story for the method. *evil laugh*

Sauté pumpkin, garlic, celery and seeds

Stir in lentils and stock, cook with lid askew for 7min

Add cream, broccoli, and mint, cook again until lentils are soft, about 15 min.

Meanwhile prepare garnishes and papadums.

Serve up.

*Visit your Indian grocer for a nice variety of papadums and change it up.

The hills of bread

I used a sourdough buns recipe from https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/buttery-sourdough-buns-recipe  for this creation. The topping and shaping recipe is below.

There is something about the shapes of food that really does it for me. Particularly bread. Looking at the bread from different angles instantly swept me away to the hills out in the Otways where I grew up. The layered and swirled curves speckled with herbs resemble the wonderful and windy Great Ocean Road. An abstract landscape.

And well, trips down that road with my family or friends would usually result in eating some kind of scrummy comfort food at some point along the journey

Gorgeous pic by @alexkolca on instagram

                                      

So.   I am honoured to introduce to you the most melt in your mouth, soft and hilly , and moreish bread. The type for special occasions or picnics with your friends or lover. The type that sits in the center of a finely set dinner table where you each take turns in ripping and breaking it to shreds. The bread endures a lovely, somewhat torturous and slow death over the two or three course meal, and then some.

You sit there salivating almost like a wild animal, smearing butter all over the steaming hot piece before you that is already filled with butter and cheese, giving birth to those sensuous hills and curves around your hips. Are you not yet licking your lips? *Wink* So why not make one or two more? This is that kind of bread.

I hope that you will want to share it with your loved ones, too. And during these Covid times with those closest to you.

What other types of food do you love that are great for sharing or remind you of places?

Lots of love,

Rosie 😉

Ingredients

Topping:

2 tbs butter, melted

2 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried dill

2 tsp dried parsley

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 C finely grated tasty cheese

Method:

Instead of making buns, I made a twist/swirl. This is done by rolling the dough into a large rectangle, brush the butter on and throw on the topping.

Roll into a long sausage, closing off each end.

Slice two inches from the top, all the way to the end.

Place one piece over the other consecutively until it is twisted to the bottom.

Curl up one end at a time, in opposite directions and shift to your liking.

Brush more melted butter over the top before baking for 30 minutes at 180°.

Views: From the cliffs to the beach

Cliffs of 13th Beach

Over the last few years while I go out and get waves. I’ve managed to come across some amazing views and managed to take some amazing photos.

I love seeing the ocean. Ocean spray. Views from the cliffs and it inspires me to get out in the ocean not just for the feeling of catching a wave. But also sitting in nature. Theres nothing better than looking down from the cliffs to see the ocean waves coming in or even just a nice day with a nice view. Then to sit out in the surf and have that view reflected back at you. Is always bliss.

Steps of Bells Beach

Every session every wave is different you never come across the same situation twice. During the same session, Week and season. It’s always changing and always different shapes, waves size and current. The waves are always changing and flowing through to the shore differently. Even if it’s just slightly sometimes.

Jan Juc from the shore

Cliffs,Reefs,Sandy shores and sand bottom waves all just in the area I live. Waves that come in to cliff faces run into bays and break on points. All happen. You can find them by yourself or with a crowd. If you go further and go places where you haven’t before away from people where there is solitude you can find bliss.

I will always head towards the beach and while my body still works I will always go out and get waves.

Going for a walk along the beach feeling the sand. Seeing the waves, The views, The senses always feel fresh. Just being around the water.

Early Morning

The love of the beach is freedom it’s excitement it’s changes. It’s never knowing what to expect when you go no matter where you go and how you look at it. It can always surprise you. Then when it’s good. It’s good. When it’s average. It’s usually good. When it’s bad. It’s just average. Even if it’s just to get wet go for a swim or just a walk along the beach. It’s always a fresh feeling for the senses.

No matter how often or how many times you go. When you go. Where you go. The feeling is always there.

Philip Island

Photos by me (Alex Kolcakovski)