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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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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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Chocolate Tofu Friendship Cake

Posted on Apr 6, 2016 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

Chocolate Tofu Friendship Cake “A problem shared is a problem halved” I find¬†staying at home hard. I’ll admit it. All my life adult life, I’ve either worked or studied – there’s been very little down time. Even when I went to Japan on a scholarship, I was busy taking classes at Uni, going from school to school doing¬†classroom observations or teaching English on the side to supplement our¬†meagre income. Sadly, the one time when I did have down time came with a number of other life changes: marriage breakdown, moving to a new state, strained relationship with my parents, starting a new relationship, and unemployment. I thought I was doing fine. But one day, around 3 ¬†months after I’d moved to Melbourne, I woke up and I started to cry. I felt like I couldn’t stop. I just sat on the sofa and I cried and cried and cried. So I got busy and went out from a long walk. I came home and baked some carob-apple muffins. But the whole time I felt like I wanted to cry. Darin came home and I pulled it together, and then when he went to bed, I sat on the sofa and started to cry again. I thought I was going mad. So many things were right in¬†my life. I’d found my soulmate who¬†I loved intensely and deeply, and he loved me right back. I’d lost a heap of weight and was super thin – so I felt so great about my body (enter eating disorder thinking here – not healthy body thinking!!). I was running and felt fit and healthy. I’d moved to an exciting, new city with great opportunities. But I’d hit a wall and I couldn’t get past it. I couldn’t get up. And I felt like I was breaking up inside. I wrote a poem back then to try to explain how I felt, and I now realise as a form of catharsis: I am a glass vase.¬† Not crystal, just glass. You can see right through me What comes in, and how it pours out. ¬† I once held flowers.¬† Everyone thought they were so beautiful. “How wonderful. How lovely”, they would say. I was their keeper.¬† I fed them. I held them.¬† I let them die.¬† ¬† Now my glass has cracks.¬† Some are small and superficial.¬† Maybe they’ve always been there.¬† But others are growing Larger and longer each day.¬† I can hold nothing.¬† Everything seeps away from me. ¬† Should the cracks grow and join I will break. I will not be a vase. I will be a broken glass jar.¬† Useful for nothing And dangerous in the shards I splinter.¬† ¬† Who will stop the cracks? Who will seal the faults? I cannot.¬† I feel them grow More and more each day.¬† And I cry. Because soon, unless help comes,¬† I will...

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Avocado Rock Cakes

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 in Blog, Snacks, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

  I met my Dad’s parents – Nana and Pop – when I was around 12 years old. I had very vague memories of them as a child just before we left England to move to Australia. I think we were visiting them or staying with them the night before we boarded the flight for our new life in Australia – I was almost 4 years old. ¬†I remember walking with them and Mum on a frosty morning to the park and feeding swans. I can’t remember much more, and I think even when we lived in England, we rarely saw them. Anyway, they had finally come out from England to Tasmania for a holiday after years of making excuses. “Oh no. We could fly all that way. What about Poppet (the dog)?” “Oh no, we can’t leave just now, the garden is about to bloom and will need tending”. (It’s just as well you could smoke on flights back in 1983, or they would never have come!! Nana was a big smoker – 40 cigarettes a day for most of her life! I know!! Smoking on airplanes?? I know, it beggers belief really!). But this time Dad had bought them plane tickets, and they had no escape! ūüėČ They were here for just three days when they announced (in their very plummy and proper English accents): “we think Tasmania is the most beautiful place. We’ve decided to move here!” ¬†And move they did; both in their late 60s, Nana with chronic arthritis and Pop with two hip replacements. They came and their whole house! I’m sure they went home and everything just went from cupboard and drawer into box and was addressed: “Tasmania – the most beautiful place on Earth!” They were truly eccentric people from Pop waging war on the eucalypts that surrounded their garden and dropped bark on the lawn! He’d be out their everyday picking up the bark. He couldn’t stand it and through it looked so untidy. Errr, it’s not England, Pop, where autumn comes, you rake up the leaves and be done with it. They’ll keep dropping bark all year long!!! Nana would sit all day typing letters to her friends and family back in England (she couldn’t write well because of her arthritis), doing cryptic crosswords and reading history books. She lived on a diet of cigarettes, coffee, cheese sandwiches and rock cakes. She didn’t cook much, but made rock cakes and marmalade cake. I have her marmalade cake recipe which I love, (I have made some changes), but I don’t have her rock cake recipe. I had a hankering for rock cakes on Sunday, and I thought “what if”…..and so these bad boys were born. **AVOCADO ROCK CAKES!** I wonder what Nana would think? In all honesty (and I’m not just blowing my own trumpet), I’m not sure she’s be able...

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