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Coffee Hazelnut Crunch Bars

Posted on Dec 19, 2016 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

  I was watching that foodie show on SBS food the other night. I think it’s called “Save my Bakery”. And as part of the brief, the bossy Australian lady demands to know which treats sold in the bakery in question are their top sellers. And it got me thinking. What were some on the best sellers when Birdseed cafe, kitchen and shop was in full swing? I think our carrot cake was particularly popular, as were the Lime Coconut Cakes. The salted caramel slice was a big mover as was the chocolate walnut amaranth slice. To be honest, I think that there were around half a dozen firm favourites. As I started thinking about some of my old favourites, I started dreaming of the Hazelnut Espresso cake. It was a rich, decadent affair and a truly delicious cake. But I’m not eating full fat and sugar these days, so I wasn’t keen to bake it and then have it in the kitchen calling “Jennifer, eat me! Eat me!” So I decided to do a combined cake. Merging this Hazelnut Espresso Cake with the Hazelnut Buckwheat Berry Teacake. These teacakes were delightful and popular in their own right, but I wasn’t after berry flavours. I wanted coffee flavours. And so hence, the Coffee Hazelnut Crunch Bars were born. ¬†The beauty of the egg-dairy-free cakes is that they keep so well. And this little beauty only improves with each day. Well…that’s if you can keep from nibbling on it for that long. It’s perfect with a cuppa, because in my book – coffee with coffee is a perfect match! Coffee Hazelnut Crunch Bars Base recipe: 40g sugar 180g hazelnut meal 140g buckwheat flour 80g tapioca starch 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda pinch salt 100g espresso coffee (2 shots) 150g rice mylk 150g EVOO 150g maple syrup 1Tbsp vanilla essence 1 tsp ACV Combine the wet ingredients together and add in the dry. Mix until combined. Pour into a lined slice tray and cook in 175oC for around 20mins or until skewer comes out clean. Put aside to cool Espresso Cashew Icing: 1 shot espresso coffee 30ml, or 30ml very strong instant coffee, or just use ground coffee 2 – 3 Tbsp cashew butter (100% cashews – no salt, sugar or additives) 1/2 – 1 cup icing sugar (to achieve the desired thickness) pinch salt Hazelnut Crunch topping: Dry roast a mix of nuts/seeds – I used hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios. If the hazelnuts have skins, just rub them inside a clean, folded tea towel once they’re roasted to remove the skins which can be a bit bitter. Make a simple caramel sauce: in a small pot put 1/2 cup sugar and 1/8 cup water. Allow to boil and the sugar to dissolve. Boil for around 10 to 20 mins. If you want to flavour add a...

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Spiced Cashew Biscuits

Posted on Dec 18, 2016 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

What is it about Christmas that sings spice and bikkies? I assume that the spice is a throw-back to the ol’ mediaeval festive goodies of Christmas pudding and Christmas cake. And well, biscuits are the ultimate travelling food and keep so well. In this way they’re the perfect Christmas gift, as they can be easily packaged up and transported by horse or delivery to be given as gifts, weeks, if not months, after they’ve been baked. I’m not sure if that’s the case, but my inner mediaeval chick likes to think so. Of course, these biscuits aren’t specifically a Christmas biscuit, it’s just that they came into being during this festive season, so they’ll always have a little twinkle of Christmas for me. ūüôā They are based on my Birdseed Breakfast Biscuits, and are so easy to make and very delicious. I imagine that they can be filled with all manner of different fillings, if you feel that you’d like to fancy them up a little. Think raspberry jam, or marzipan, or apricot jam, or a ginger cream, or salted caramel or coffee-caramel. I filled them with a spread of chocolate and my caramel sauce. And they were lovely. If you do fill them, you can easily reduce the amount of sugar in the actual biscuits, as they are actually quite sweet. ¬†Also, you can use a nut or seed meal in place of the GF flour if you like. Finally, they can be cut out into any shape you like. I used a round cutter with a “Merry Christmas” stamp. But they’d work perfectly well with a star or snowflake or Christmas tree. Whatever takes your fancy. Happy days. Enjoy and let me know what you think. Spiced Cashew Biscuits 85g cashew butter (100% cashews without added salt or sugar or stabalisers or emulsifiers) 150g gluten free flour of choice (or you can use a combination of seed/nut meals) 50g thin rice flake (or quick oats or quinoa/amaranth flakes) 1/3 tsp salt ¬ľ tsp bi-carb soda 2/3 tsp cinnamon ¬ľ tsp cloves ¬ľ tsp nutmeg ¬Ĺ tsp coriander 1/3 tsp cardamom 2 tsp vanilla essence 2 ‚Äď 4 heaped Tbsp sugar of choice (I‚Äôd advise using a dark sugar like brown sugar or rapadura or coconut sugar) Blitz everything in a food processor. Add splashes of fruit juice (pear, apple, peach) or mylk of choice to bring mixture together. Roll dough between sheets of greaseproof paper until quite thin. Cut into rounds and place onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Cook in a moderately low oven (165oC) for around 15 ‚Äď 20 mins. Fill with melted chocolate and Birdseed Caramel Sauce: 500g Coconut Cream. (Use a brand that has no additives: no stabilisers, emulsifiers, gums, preservatives. You’ll get a much nicer caramel) 400g sugar (use your fav – coconut sugar or rapadura sugar or brown/white sugar) 50g...

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Sprouted Quinoa Strawberry & Chocolate Cake with strawberry jelly & strawberry cashew frosting

Posted on Nov 11, 2016 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

SPROUTED QUINOA CHOCOLATE CAKE 200g sprouted quinoa – drained 100g rice mylk (or mylk of choice) 80g EVOO (olive oil) 100g maple syrup 50g brown or coconut sugar (optional) 1 Tbsp vanilla essence 1 tsp vinegar 80g cocoa Pinch salt ¬Ĺ bi carb soda 1 ¬Ĺ baking powder 80g almond meal (or sunflower seed meal or meal of choice) Set your oven to 180oC Blitz quinoa in a Vitamix (or high powered blender) with the mylk of choice until smooth. Add remaining liquid ingredients and blitz. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Give your blender a bit of help, by stopping and scraping down the sides. Don’t overmix. Pour your ingredients into small muffin papers or divide your mixture into two x 18cm tins. It’s better to cook thinner cakes and sandwich them together with a agar agar jelly filling or strawberry-cashew cream. Cook muffins for 20 – 25mins. Larger cakes will take between 30 and 40mins, depending upon your oven and the thickness of your cakes. A little sticky batter on your skewer is no problem, as the cake is quite gooey, and you’re only marrying the ingredients together – there’s not egg to cook. Allow to cool before removing from tins. These cakes are usually quite delicate, so refrigerate overnight or until fully cooled. Handle quickly, but gently when sandwiching together. A very large spatula can be useful in these situations. STRAWBERRY JELLY 1 1& 1/2 ¬†punnets of strawberries, ¬†sliced 250g apple juice 100g water 1¬†generous tsp agar agar Sugar to sweeten strawberries to taste (optional) Put strawberries and water into a pot and stew until the strawberries are soft. Remove 3 large Tbsp of the stewed strawberries from the pot and put into a bowl. Set aside. Add the apple juice to the pot and bring the mix up to a gentle boil. Sprinkle agar agar into the pot and stir in. Remove from heat and pour your jelly mix into the same sized cake tin that you baked the cake in. Set aside to set. Once set set gently ease out of the tin onto a wide cake spatula and slide onto the bottom cake. STRAWBERRY CASHEW FROSTING Stewed strawberries from jelly 1 – 2 Tbsp cashew butter (salt and sugar free) pinch salt squeeze of lemon 1 – 3 Tbsp icing sugar to thicken. Mix all together until smooth and a thick spreadable mixture is formed. Spread on top of the cake and decorate with remaining strawberries. Tweet!...

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Birdseed Strawberries and Cream Cake

Posted on Oct 30, 2016 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

BIRDSEED STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM¬†CAKE HEAT OVEN TO 175oC – 180oC Dry ingredients: 450g Birdseed AP Flour (or GF flour of choice) 3 tsp baking powder 180g white sugar 1/3 tsp salt Put together into a bowl and mix to combine and break up lumps Wet ingredients: 150g maple syrup 180g oil 250g rice mylk (or mylk of choice) 1.5 tsp vanilla essence 2 tsp strawberry essence (or 2 Tbsp strawberry syrup) ¬Ĺ tsp rosewater essence 2 tsp ACV or white vinegar Mix together in a jug 6 large strawberries chopped into very small bits (optional) Add the wet ingredients into¬†the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Don’t overmix. Add a little more rice mylk if you feel that the batter is too stiff. It will loosen in the oven, especially if you add in chopped strawberries. (You can make this cake in your Vitamix. Just add the wet to the just first and dry on top. Scrap down the sides well and use your tamper to push dry into the wet.) Quickly put into greased/lined tins (I use 2 x 17.5cm tins and put 650g into each tin for layered cakes). You can also make mini-cakes, cupcakes, muffin cakes. Drop bits of strawberry into the batter. Bake for around 35 – 45mins for larger cakes and¬†20 – 25 mins for smaller cakes Remove and allow to cool for around 10 – 15 mins before your remove the large cakes from tins. Sliced strawberries for decoration 1 punnet of strawberries Thinly slice strawberries (discard the outside slices). I got around 4 slices per strawberry. Organise into larger slices for the outside layer. Medium for the second layer and small for the innermost layer.     Strawberry syrup and macerated strawberries 200 – 250g strawberries (frozen are fine) 4 – 6 Tbsp water 4 – 8 Tbsp agave sugar (or white sugar) Put the strawberries and water into a pot and bring to the boil. Once the strawberries are soft add the agave sugar and stir until dissolved. Strain liquid from the strawberries into another pot and return to the heat. Simmer gently until it is reduced by around 2/3. You want to simmer off the water, so that only a strawberry syrup is left. It might take around 20 – 30 mins. Keep an eye on it; you don’t want it to burn. Whipped coconut cream Put a small tin (270ml) of coconut cream into the fridge. Once chilled open and scoop out just the coconut fat on top into a mixing bowl. Try not to include too much of the liquid part at the bottom. Using a balloon whisk, beat your coconut cream with around 1/8 cup of agave sugar or icing sugar (sweeten to taste). Add around 1 Tbsp of the cooled strawberry syrup. It won’t take long to stiffen.   Assembly Make sure that your cakes are...

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Birdseed Never Fail Chocolate Cake

Posted on Oct 2, 2016 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 2 comments

  This is such a great recipe – loved by both the baker and the eater!¬†It’s so easy to make and very versatile: you can make a large layered cake, cup-cakes, a thin slab cake, flavour it differently. ¬†It keeps for ages, staying moist and improving with age. And last, but not least, it’s delicious!! ūüôā This recipe is one that I’ve developed through a fair bit of trial and error. Not that it’s hard to create an egg, dairy, nut and gluten free chocolate cake, but getting the quantities right so that the cake is not too heavy and has the right combination of flavours is the secret. I do use my Birdseed All-purpose flour when making this cake and I’ve included suggested flour blends at the end of the post. It was probably one of most made cakes in the shop, and not just because it was easy – but because it was a winner!! I’ve got another chocolate cake recipe in the Birdseed repertoire which is full dairy fat and uses eggs. But to be honest, I’m not sure that it is better than this cake. Some people see that the exclusion of eggs and dairy in a cake means that it’ll be a poor second to the “real” thing; a substitute for a superior product. I beg to differ. And I’m sure that once you bake the cake and try it that you’ll agree. This cake isn’t a poor second. It’s a certain first! Please let me know what you think. Jxx   BIRDSEED ALLERGY SPECIFIC CHOCOLATE CAKE HEAT OVEN TO 175oC – 180oC Dry ingredients: 375g Birdseed AP Flour (or GF flour of choice) ** See bottom of post for flour ideas 3 tsp baking powder 220g sugar (or 350g if you like your cake sweeter) 80g cocoa 1/2 tsp salt Put together into a bowl and mix to combine and break up lumps Wet ingredients: 150g maple syrup 180g oil 225g mylk of choice (rice if you want it to be nut free) 2 tsp vanilla essence 2 tsp ACV or white vinegar 1 shot coffee (30g) (Optional – if omit increase mylk by 30g) Mix together in a jug Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Don’t overmix. You can make this cake in your Vitamix. Just add the wet to the just first and dry on top. Scrap down the sides well and use your tamper to push dry into the wet. Quickly put into greased/lined tins (I use 2 x 17.5cm tins and put 650g into each tin for layered cakes). You can also make mini-cakes, cupcakes, muffin cakes. Bake for around 35 – 45mins for larger cakes and¬†20 – 25 mins for smaller cakes Remove and allow to cool for around 10 – 15 mins before your remove the large cakes from tins.  ...

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Millet Waffles

Posted on Jul 18, 2016 in Blog, Breads, Breakfast, FAILSAFE | 0 comments

There is something rather lovely about waffles. They look so fancy and decadent, but in fact, they’re super easy to make. They sing lazy Sunday mornings with fresh fruit, strong warm coffee and crunchy, chewy waffles. Well, that is if you like your waffles crunchy…..isn’t that the age old arguement? Crunchy or soft? How do you like your waffles? When I first got my waffle maker, I HAD.NO.IDEA. I’d never eaten a waffle before, let alone make one. It really was a case of – “well, seen plenty of waffles on instagram….and there’s only so many ways you can bake a batter….so let’s make these babies and see what happens!” And they were terrific. Really yummy. Well, I got the big thumbs up from the Grunkies, and that’s good enough for me. Those girls are a tough crew and always ready with their honest critique on all things Birdseed! I guess you’re wondering why I chose millet. Great question! Well, I could easily have made them with buckwheat or chick pea or brown rice or even quinoa flour….but I LOVE millet. I love¬†the texture that it¬†imparts to baked goods. I love the subtle sweetness and gentle aroma of millet. And bottom-line, I like mixing it up. I like diversifying my exposure and my family’s exposure to different grains. I do feel that if you use one grain 90% of the time in your baked goods, then your dietary¬†approach becomes somewhat¬†mono-grain, and you’re potentially omitting the consumption of important¬†minerals and vitamins and nutritional benefits that another grain might offer. Simply put: mix it up. Spread your dietary net far and wide. Give your body the chance to harvest the nutrients it needs from a range of sources, and then I think you’ll do well and your body will reward you with the health and vitality you crave. So without further waffle (hahahaha! ‘S’cus the¬†pun!). Here’s my MILLET¬†WAFFLE¬†recipe. I do hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think. Birdseed Millet Waffles 150g millet flour 90g tapioca starch 60g glutinous rice flour 1 – 2 Tbsp sugar 1 small Tbsp psyllium husk 1/8 tsp xanthan gum (optional** Please see note) 3 tsp baking powder 1 Tbsp¬†vanilla essence 1/3 tsp salt 300 ‚Äď 350g mylk/milk of choice Blitz ingredients all together, and cook in your waffle maker until desired crunch or soft is achieved. ¬†You can even cook these babies as a hot cakes. So much fun and goodness to be had and to enjoy! If the mix is too thick (not all xanthan gums have the same viscosity), just add some more liquid until desired pouring consistency is achieved. I like to make something that is similar to a loose hot cake or pikelet mix. Allow your batter to sit for 5 mins until you make the final D. **Millet is a hydrophobic grain – it resists taking in...

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Sprouted Buckwheat Kasha

Posted on Jul 1, 2016 in Blog, Mains | 0 comments

In its raw, uncooked, hulled state, buckwheat is called buckwheat grouts. (Oat grain is also called grouts in its raw state).¬†¬†Kasha is quite simply cooked buckwheat – usually boiled in water, stock or milk. It is a traditional dish eaten as a staple in many central and eastern European countries. ¬†And kasha can be yummy – very yummy. But then it can also be a bit mushy and soapy tasting. If you’re a bit nervous about cooking these bad boys – try sprouting them instead. You can’t really go wrong with sprouting buckwheat. Unlike millet and amaranth – it sprouts quickly (8 – 12 hours depending on temperature). And then with your sprouted buckwheat there are endless possibilities: arancini, sprouted cakes, breads, and this recipe, a new age Kasha. This Sprouted Buckwheat Kasha is a lovely side dish to serve with roast veggies, some crusty bread or with veggie burgers. It also makes a lovely substantial lunch and keeps well in the fridge for a few days, if you want to make a big pot. There are a number of textural layers and the flavour of the mushrooms works beautifully with the buckwheat. Sprouted Buckwheat Kasha 1 leek chopped finely 6 – 8 cloves of garlic crushed Splash of balsamic vinegar 6 – 8 large mushrooms coarsely chopped 6 – 8 Tbsp sprouted buckwheat 2 large handfuls of spinach leaves 1 – 2 Tbsp dry roasted pumpkin seeds salt and pepper to taste 1 tsp paprika – optional Saute the leek with lotsa garlic. (If you want to add spice – do it now. Paprika/cumin/coriander). Deglaze the pan with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Add your mushrooms and allow them to cook through. Turn off heat and stir through sprouted buckwheat and spinach leaves. Season with salt and pepper and dress up with edible flowers (if you’ve got them) and roasted pumpkin seeds. Totally yummy and totally good for you! The secret is to stop eating it! ūüėČ Tweet....

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Sprouted Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Posted on Jul 1, 2016 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

You know when things just work. You know when you have an idea, but you “umm” and “ahh” about whether or not to give it a whirl. But then you do, and you’re so glad you did? Well, this is one of those times. I developed a lovely cake that I used to make quite a lot in the cafe quite a lot as well as for celebration cake orders. It was my Peruvian Chocolate Cake. Sometimes I made it as a Choc-Orange Cake or a Choc-Mint Cake. No matter how you varied it, it was always a lovely moist, gooey, rich, satisfying chocolate cake. But, the final cake was a bit hit and miss. Sometimes it rose well and held its rise and shape. And other times it ended up a sunken, lumpy looking mess. Tasted amazing, but not great for counter presentation. I know the reasoning behind this variance. Whenever you use whole fruit or whole grains (be they cooked or sprouted) in a recipe – you’re inviting a difficult to control variable that will have an impact on the resultant cake. There are always factors that will affect the outcome of cakes: the size, freshness, temperature of the eggs; the temperature of the¬†butter/liquids; the quality (age, starch/protein content, grind) of your flour(s) and raising agents; the temperature of your oven; the cooking time. And of course, the recipe itself plays a huge role. Does it use weight or cups? Is it a tried and tested recipe, or just something that someone’s kinda guessed at. ¬†And then there’s baker’s folly: how well you did you or did you not follow the recipe. All these things can and will impact of the final¬†product. Add into the mix the use of whole fruits and grains – especially gluten free grains where each grain/seed brings to the table a swag of different hydration levels, absorbency rates, different starch and protein components, different textures, and gelling and cooling points. The list is endless. I don’t mean to freak you out and put you off baking ever again. I’m just trying to give you some reasons why sometimes your cakes might work and other times they flop. However, in saying this, I don’t think that an ugly looking cake is a deal breaker. At the end of the day, we might eat with our eyes, but we savour with our tongues and remember with our tummies. So without further ado, I give you the Sprouted Quinoa Chocolate Cake. It might not win a beauty pageant, but it’s sure win friends with its rich, chocolately flavours and satisfying in-mouth feel. Take it up a notch by serving it with a strawberry-nana ice cream – and you’ll have everybody asking for seconds. But the crowning beauty of this cake is that it’s refined sugar free and low fat. Plus you can reduce the amount...

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Pear Cashew Carob Banana Cake (FAILSAFE)

Posted on Apr 24, 2016 in FAILSAFE, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

When you’re on the FAILSAFE diet – there really isn’t a¬†shortage of sweet treats. But good quality, nourishing and satisfying sweet treats that aren’t full of heaps of sugar, are harder to come by. So, I can up with this yummy cake as a way to have my cake and eat it too! And it gave me a chance to get re-acquainted with Aunty Carob. I kinda think that poor ol’ carob gets a bit of a bad rap. Mention “carob” and you get the same response when you mention Caro instead of coffee, chamomile tea instead of Earl Grey, Grapetise instead of Champagne. It’s seen as a sad second to the real thing. It’s the make-do substitute. It’s the stuff you have to eat when chocolate is off them menu. It’s Chocolate’s kinda frumpy, a little¬†serious Aunty with the sensible-district nurse shoes. She might buy you books instead of cool toys for your birthday. She might remind you to mind your manners when you’re out in a cafe. She might feed you healthy, home-made bread spread with an inch of¬†no-salt-no-sugar peanut butter and topped with home-sprouted alfalfa sprouts. ¬†But she’s always got a supply of yummy bikkies in her baking tin. And she’s always got a myriad of great activities planned to do to fill the holidays when you visit. She’s the aunty you go to when you want someone to talk to. She’s the one you turn to when you need someone to listen to you without judgement, but with familial understanding and concern. She actually your favorite aunt and you’re so thankful she’s there. Well, that’s a bit of an over-exaggeration for little Carob, but it’s a sweet picture, and I just want to encourage you to give carob another chance. ¬†Most certainly this recipe can also be made with cocoa/cacao instead of carob – you just replace it 1:1. ¬†But I dare you to give Aunty Carob a go – she won’t disappoint you. ūüėČ   PEAR CASHEW CAROB BANANA CAKE DRY INGREDIENTS: 150g buckwheat flour 100g cashew nut meal (dry roast your cashews and then blitz to fine in a Vitamix or Thermomix or high powered blender) 50g rice flour 50g starch of choice (tapioca starch or potato starch – not cornstarch as it is not FAILSAFE) 30g carob powder 30g mesquite powder (optional – if you omit – increase buckwheat by 30g. ¬†Also I’m not sure of mesquite’s FAILSAFE status. Ostensibly it should be low salicylate as it is a bean, but I’m not entirely sure and¬†as far as I’m aware, there is no¬†chemical analysis data available) 2¬Ĺ tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp bi-carb soda A good pinch salt. 3 x bananas chopped into small chunks WET INGREDIENTS: 100g oil of choice – if you’re doing the FAILSAFE diet then your choices are either rice bran oil or canola oil 100g maple syrup...

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