Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies Decadent Red Velvet Cake review

Melinda's Red Velvet Cake

I decided it was time to try the Decadent Red Velvet Cake from Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies for a belated father’s day.

I followed the instructions on the back of the packet to a tee and was rewarded with a light reddy-brown coloured cake. Instead of making the suggested cream cheese icing, I made a glaze with coconut oil and icing sugar, which complemented the flavours really well. 

red velvet cake

The cake was served with strawberries and vanilla ice cream. The red velvet cake was moist and delicious. It received positive feedback from all the family members who tasted it. My sister-in-law said “She couldn’t believe it was gluten free. It tastes that good.”

Available from Coles, Woolworths, IGA, Independents, and various online stores.

 Thank you, Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies for allowing us to try Decadent Red Velvet Cake

Best recipe: ANZAC biscuits

ANZAC biscuits

The original ANZAC biscuit recipe is easy to find online, but I decided to go with a moist and chewy ANZAC biscuit recipe as that’s how I prefer them. The original biscuits were hard, as they had to last the journey across the sea to the men fighting in Europe. Most recipes share the same ingredients and just vary the amounts. Curtis Stone in his latest cookbook, “What’s for Dinner?” calls them “Oatmeal Coconut Butter Cookies”!

I guess I could have waited until ANZAC day to make these, but I thought they’d be simple to make and something good to start learning to cook with.

My first problem was that I don’t own any baking trays, so I had to use a roasting tray. Then it took about 20 times to start the gas powered oven – I hope it’s not on its way out!

I mixed together all the dry ingredients, but the brown sugar left lumps, so it took about five minutes to squish them against the side of the mixing bowl. Then I moved on to the wet ingredients. It was taking a long time to pour the CSR golden syrup from the squeeze bottle into the measuring spoon.

Matt said “You know you can take the lid off of that.”

“Now you tell me” I replied. “I’m nearly finished!”

“Well, you need to work on your muscles.”

I combined the dry and wet ingredients and then popped the biscuits in the oven. In the meantime, I decided to do the washing up. I hate washing tongs, wooden spoons and plastic containers, and this load had all three! The stupid timer stopped with four minutes to go. Fortunately I noticed.

The first batch was a little under done and one of the biscuits crumbled apart as I slid them onto the wire cooling rack. I reread the instructions and saw that I was supposed to let them “Stand on trays for 5 minutes” but I missed that step. The second batch had a distinctive home-made look about them, but they are still not brown enough! The third and final batch were just what I was looking for in an ANZAC biscuit.

ANZAC biscuit recipe

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour*
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda*
125g butter, organic
2 tablespoons golden syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Prepare baking trays by lining three of them with baking paper.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients – oats, flour, sugar, coconut, and bicarbonate of soda – in a bowl.
  3. Place butter, syrup and 2 tablespoons cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir for 2 minutes or until butter has melted.
  4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients by stirring the butter mixture into oat mixture.
  5. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on baking trays about 5cm apart. Flatten slightly with the back of the spoon.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden. Stand on trays for 5 minutes.
  7. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Variations

I made my biscuits wheat-free by swapping the 1 cup of flour and bicarbonate of soda, for one cup of Melinda’s Gluten-Free Goodies Self Raising Flour. To make them gluten-free swap the oats for quinoa flakes.

 

Review: Gluten free rice based breads

There are three gluten free breads available in Brisbane that do not contain corn or maize, that I can recommend:

SOL Gluten Free Rice & Pumpkin Loaf (Sliced) – by Sol Bread

Sol Bread’s rice and pumpkin is good, but it seems to be always dry. It’s best for toasting and doesn’t keep so well. You sometimes get the odd pumpkin skin or seed. The sliced version is so much easier to use. It is available from the markets, many health food shops and their Sol Bakeries. It is popular with cafes that sell gluten-free bread.

It contains: Filtered Water, Organic Rice Flour, Arrowroot, Pumpkin, Buckwheat, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Cultured Rice, Xanthan Gum.

Rice Chia bread – by Dovedale Bread

Dovedale’s Bread is my next favourite. I love the addition of the chia seeds, which actually are pretty tasteless so you don’t even notice them. Best toasted again. The fruit and rice chia bread is also great. It is available from Mrs Flanneries.

It contains: Certified Organic Rice Flour (White and Brown) (50%), Filtered Water, Chia (12%), Certified Organic Rice Starch, Vegetable Gum (412), Sea Salt.

Gluten free rice bread – by Britt’s Organic Bakery

This is my current favourite gluten free bread. It is best toasted twice and tastes exactly like normal bread. It is available from Mrs Flanneries.

It contains: White rice flour, rice sourdough starter, potato starch,tapioca starch, rice bran, organic Non-hydrogenated palm fruit oil, rice malt, unrefined sea salt, guar gum, filtered water.

We have found it best to buy two loaves at a time, and place one in the freezer for the second week. Gluten free bread is also best kept in the refrigerator.

Berry coulis with chocolate cake

As this blog is supposed to be about fruit and vegetables try to ignore the chocolate cake for a moment.

How easy is coulis to make? Absolutely lick-out-the-container-delicious and dead easy. You don’t even really need a recipe. Well, you won’t after the first time.

Raspberry Coulis

¼ cup of raspberries blitzed in the blender
add juice from half a lime (or quarter of a lemon) and 3 teaspoons of sugar to taste

You can try other fruits to make coulis (French for uncooked fruit sauces), such as strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, and kiwi fruits.  If you are  pedantic, you may like to  strain out the seeds. Drizzle over chocolate cake or dessert of choice.

Chocolate Cake

For this gorgeous gluten free chocolate cake I used Cocoa Farm chocolate to give it a hint of fruity shiraz. It’s great to see an all Australian company coming up with innovative products. I can’t wait to try their Orange Organic Dark Chocolate.

150g chocolate
100g butter
100g brown sugar
150g almond meal
3 eggs, organic and free range

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C
  2. Melt together butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. (Or use microwave on low if you are game).
  3. Separate eggs and set whites aside.
  4. Cream together yolks and sugar until pale and doubled in size. Add melted chocolate to egg mixture and beat on slow speed until combined. Fold in almond meal with a spatula.
  5. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks.
  6. Fold whites through cake mixture.
  7. Transfer mixture to a greased cake tin.
  8. Bake for 25 to 40 minutes.
  9. Cake should be springy in the middle and skewer should come out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

B.T.W. Try to avoid blitzing frozen raspberries near clean washing up. It was hard to mop up and hide the evidence of all the red segments flicked all over the place. Blend in the sink people.