Thursday, 30 January 2014

Gluten Free Mincemeat Shortbreads

After all the of the Christmas baking I have found myself with a couple of half finished jars of mincemeat in the fridge to use up. I did contemplate just making another massive batch of my rather popular mince pie cookies but thought I should probably experiment and try something a little different instead. And so I pimped up my gluten free shortbread recipe and made these mincemeat shortbread sandwich biscuits instead. These rather buttery biscuits aren't going to help with those January detox diets but will free up a bit of fridge space by using up an leftover Christmas mincemeat.


340g butter
175g caster sugar
50g icing sugar
200g rice flour
100g polenta
300g gluten free flour
200g mincemeat
zest from 1 lemon

Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C and line a 24 x 18 cm baking tray with grease-proof paper.

Beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.

Mix the flours, polenta icing sugar and lemon zest into the butter mixture until fully combined.

Take half of the mixture and push into the prepared tin until and even layer is covering the base. Spoon on the mincemeat and spread out before topping with the remaining biscuit mix (I took small lumps of the dough at a time and scattered on top of the mixture and then gently pressed the dough down so as not to squash the filling too much).

Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden in colour. Remove from the oven and allow the mixture to cool completely before turning out...the biscuit mixture is really 'short' meaning it crumbles really easily so needs to cool fully before attempting to turn out and slice otherwise it may just turn into a big pile of crumbs. Then enjoy with a big cup of tea...and store the rest in an airtight container.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Vegan Tofu Quiches

I was lucky enough to receive the incredibly thoughtful present of a lot of magnetic spice pots from Santa this Christmas. These pots meant I could free up some cupboard space and stick a stash of my spices onto the side of the Rayburn. To achieve this however I had to begin the year with a massive kitchen cupboard clean up session to consolidate all of my spices and discover long forgotten ingredients lurking on shelves out of my usual reach. And as well as discovering a massive stash of kaffir lime leaves I also unearthed a few scrumpled up pieces of paper with barely legible scrawl on. But these little scribbles turned out to be a couple of recipes that I made months back that I thought had been lost to a local landfill site. And so at last I can share these little crust less and vegan alternatives to traditional quiches…a fairly healthy start to the new year.


A little olive oil
1 red pepper, chopped into chunks
½ red onion, roughly chopped
300g firm silken tofu
60ml soymilk
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
A pinch of salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C

Lightly grease 6 large muffin cups in a muffin tin.

In a frying pan gently cook up the onion and pepper (you can add other vegetables such as mushrooms or add a little garlic at this point for a little extra kick). Once softened remove from the heat and place to one side.

Place the tofu, soymilk, cornflour, herbs and spices to a food processor and blitz until a smooth, lump-free mixture is formed.

Add the vegetables to the tofu mix and combine thoroughly before dividing the mixture evenly between the muffin cups. Transfer the muffin tin to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before turning the quiches out, then tuck in and enjoy (as I did with a little tomato salsa).