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Archive for March, 2014

I’ve been thinking a lot about wheat and dairy recently – more specifically the fact that I am not comfortable with the quantities in which I consume them. At the same time, I have been reading more about paleo/grain free diets and, while I am not about to go hard-core paleo, take photos of my belly and post them on Instagram or give up running in favour of Cross Fit (although I have briefly considered each option), it does make sense to me.

But I miss bread. Good lord how I love toast. Even when I know it doesn’t love me back or make me feel good. So I made a loaf of chia seed, buckwheat and quinoa bread using this recipe from Quirky Cooking (I love that website). And it was delicious. I mean, hideitinthefreezerandtrynotthinkaboutit delicious. I’m not sure I should make it again. But I probably will.

Unbaked bread after 1 hour of proving

Unbaked bread after 1 hour of proving

Baked bread basking in the sun

Baked bread basking in the sun

Bread porn

Bread porn

I also made paleo chocolate beetroot brownies, which look pretty tasty. Unfortunately they were not particularly delicious. I think it was because they relied partly on the sweetness of the beetroot (I must have used a fairly tasteless one) and partly on rice malt syrup, which just isn’t sweet enough for me. And that is saying a lot, given that I prefer my baked goods to be low on the sweetness scale. I think I will give it another chance but will use dates instead of rice malt syrup. Actually, on reflection, I don’t think that rice malt syrup is even an “approved Paleo sweetener”, although it is a favourite of the anti-sugar brigade. I guess I’m just confused as to which current food fad I want to join in on.

Deceptively delicious looking chocolate beetroot muffins - nut, grain, fructose and taste free

Deceptively delicious looking chocolate beetroot muffins – nut, grain, fructose and taste free

I also made my third batch of coconut yoghurt and feel quite confident that it will be my third consecutive coyo fail. Damn you coyo.

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I’m not under any illusions about my ability as a baker and cake decorator. I know too many people who are genuinely talented to indulge such fantasies. All I aim for is to make something that is recognisable and which makes the relevant birthday child feel happy and loved. Having said that, this cake came the closest to meeting my artistic vision of all my previous efforts. Yep, it’s lopsided and yep, the fondant icing melted in the humidity yet again (when will I learn? Or move to somewhere less melty). But it was fairly recognisable as a stage and backdrop and the birthday girl was beaming. To this relative success I owe thanks to:

1. A simple concept;
2. A very clever mother in law who brought me a whole stash of paper ballet dancers; and
3. The good fortune to find a lost Lego swan down the gap between the car driver’s seat and the park brake.

Here is the unadorned cake before the icing backdrop and curtains melted.

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Here is the finished cake. Cool swan eh? Or, as my 4 year old Mr R referred to it, “that duck from Swan Lake”.

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Happy birthday to my clever, funny, won’tputherbookdowntogetdressedforschool, beautiful 6 year old Miss B.

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