Dips

One of the things I have tired a few times since going Free From is dips. They just make a great pre tea snack or addition to my lunch box.

The recipes I’ve tired so far have been from the aptly named “Deliciously Dip” section of Deliciously Ella Everyday. Its been handy as a few of the ingredients overlap so has reduced the costs of making each dip.

First up was a sweet potato and garlic puree. I was very excited to try this one as it was very simple; just sweet potato, garlic, lemon, salt, and almond milk. However once all blended together the result was a little disappointing as it was a lot like eating mashed sweet potato. If I had some sweet potatoes to use up I would make again, but it won’t be my go to dip.

Next up was a spiced turmeric hummus. Spice wise it contained two teaspoons of ground cumin, two teaspoons of coriander, two teaspoons of turmeric, two of paprika, and one of chilli powder, and the flavour was lovely. Texture wise I found the recipe slightly dry, so will play around will the recipe to try and get the perfect consistency. Maybe a little more lemon juice, tahini, or a wee dash of water.

But the one I’ve had the most success with is a smokey aubergine dip. Aubergines, sun dried tomatoes are the two main ingredients and Deliciously Ella flavoured with cumin. Now I have a low spice tolerance, even a korma can sometimes be too spicy, but I thought this recipe needed more spice flavour. The second time I made it I used a teaspoon of cumin, along with a teaspoon of paprika and a teaspoon of turmeric. The result I think was much better. I had friends over the day I made it too, and they both asked for the recipe so I’ll take that as a positive.

Over all recipes I’ve tired so far have been good bases but have, in my opinion, needed a little adjusting. This has helped grow my confidence in the kitchen though and get to know a little more about what spices and flavours I like, so can’t be a bad thing.

dipsMy food processor hard at work!

Strawberry Shortcake Sponge

Personally for me nothing is more relaxing than baking a cake on a Sunday afternoon. However since March, my attempts at gluten free, diary free, and egg free cakes have failed to raise to the occasion.

But while writing this blog I stumbled amongst a website dedicated to gluten free vegan bakes and took a look.

There were a few required ingredients I hadn’t got in, such as flaxseed, and I didn’t have time to pop to the shops to get them, but I had everything needed for the Strawberry Shortcake recipe.

The recipe was easy to follow, and I soon had the mixture ready for the oven. I will say though that the mixture seemed to have a rubbery consistence, and I was sceptical about that. The only change I made to the recipe was add in 2 teaspoons of Xantham Gum as I find it always helps give sponges strength.

After 25 minutes in the oven it seemed well risen and definitely resembled a cake. I left to cool but when I took it out of the tin one of the sponges cracked a little down the middle but the cake was still together and I thought icing would fix it.

For the icing, I didn’t have time to chill the coconut cream before mixing it up, and used three little cans of creams, as the recommended brand in the recipe isn’t stocked in the UK.

After it was all put together, I couldn’t wait to give it a taste. And without wanting to blow my own trumpet, I think it was success. The texture was light and fluffy, and the coconut cream was lovely and fresh.

The only downside was after 24 hours and being cut a few times, it did crumble, but I guess if you eat it quickly this wouldn’t be an issue!

Definitely a recipe I’ll be repeating and a site I’ll be using again.

strawberry cake