Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beef Lasagna with Less Dairy

I am yet to find a dairy free cheese that is any good. This beef lasagna recipe still is not 100% dairy free, but I have adapted this recipe to include LESS dairy. I have served this lasagna recipe to lots of people who love dairy- and they always seem to like it.

You will need:
Homemade beef bolognaise sauce (use your own favourite recipe)
Lasagna sheets

Ingredients for white sauce- these are all approximate measurements since I never really measure the quantities.
60g nutellex spread or your dairy free spread of choosing
1/2 cup Plain flour
500ml Rice milk
Salt and pepper
1/2 Grated strong flavored cheese such as vintage cheddar or Parmesan

Method for white sauce
1. Melt the nutellex in a saucepan.
2. Add enough flour to soak up melted nutellex. Stir until it is absorbed and becomes a dough.
3. While stirring on low heat, gradually add the rice milk in small amounts. Stir to incorporate each new addition of milk before you add more. The smaller the amount of milk each time, the less likely there will be lumps in the sauce.
4. By the time you have added all of the rice milk, there should be quite a bit of sauce in the pan. Continue stirring while simmering until it thickens a little. Don't expect it to be as thick as a normal white sauce- it won't be. The sauce will thicken up as it cooks in the oven.
5. Take sauce off the heat.Add half the cheese to the sauce and stir to melt.

Assemble lasagna as you normally would. I.e:a thin layer of beef bolognaise, then the lasagna pasta sheets, then the white sauce and repeat until everything is used up and the dish is full.

Add the remaining cheese to the top and cook at 200.c for 45 minutes, or until golden and crisp to your liking.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dairy Free Almond and Cranberry Biscuit Bread

The original recipe for these biscuits is already dairy free, but I was never happy with the original recipe... So here is my version. This is basically like Italian Almond Biscotti.

The preparation for these biscuits is very quick and easy, but they do require baking twice. So keep this in mind!

4 eggs
1/2 cup castor sugar
Vanilla essence
1/2 cup self raising flour
1 & 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries or craisins
1 cup raw almonds

1. Combine eggs and sugar in a mix master bowl, and whip on high until light and frothy.
2. Add vanilla, and flours. I continue to use the mix master for this step, and swap the beaters for a dough hook. Mix on low until well combined and it looks like soft nougat.
3. Add cranberries and almonds. Continue to mix on low.
4. Line a loaf tin with grease proof paper. Pour mixture into tin.
5. Bake in oven, at 180.c. for 35 minutes, then turn it down to 160.c and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. You want the top to be golden and to have a crack in it- like crusty bread- otherwise it probably won't be cooked through enough.
6. Cool in tin, then wrap in plastic bag and place in fridge overnight.
7. Unwrap the baked almond bread. Use a bread knife and cut into thin slices.
8. Place each slice on a baking tray, and cook on a slow oven (120.c) for about 30 to 45 mins.

Enjoy! My friends enjoy it with coffee. I like it with peppermint tea!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dairy Free Very Rich Dark Chocolate and Almond Cake

This recipe has been adapted from the "Australian Gourmet Traveller Chocolate" cook book... Page 68, Queen of Sheba Cake

Ingredients for a dairy free version:
- 250g dark chocolate with no dairy (I like to use Lindt 70% dark chocolate as it has a nice smooth consistency and can be found in many places)
- 150g castor sugar
- 150g cocoa butter (find this at a health food store)
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 tablespoon of coffee
- 125g ground almond meal
- 5 eggs, separated

Chocolate topping
- 200g dark chocolate (again, same as before)
- 60g cocoa butter

- combine chocolate, butter, sugar, brandy and coffee in a large heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth.
- stir in almond meal.
- whisk in egg yolks, one at a time until well combined.
- use an electric beater to whisk egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture until just combined.
- spoon mixture into a greased and lined (grease with a little melted cocoa butter) 20cm square cake tin.
- bake at 180.c for 40-50 minutes, or until cake is firm to touch but still a little soft in the middle.
- cool cake in pan. It will sink a little as it cools.
- topping: combine chocolate and cocoa butter in bowl over simmering water. Melt while stirring occasionally until smooth. Cool until thick, then ice cake. Decorate as desired.

This cake is perfect for many occasions, and since it has no flour, it is great for those who have a gluten allergy or for Passover festivities.

Happy baking!

Please note: I am not a dietician, I am not a chef or even a cook. I am actually a fashion designer, and you can read my other blog, "The World of Ms Penelope Red" if you like. Please take this into consideration if you decide to use my recipes, and if you have a very sensitive allergic reaction to dairy.