Cherry Ripe Slice | gluten free

Cherry and coconut filling coated in dark chocolate atop a cocoa biscuit base. It’s everything you love about a Cherry Ripe bar in gluten free baked form! Get out a cold glass of milk and put your feet up with a slice of this delight by your side!Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCherry ripes were not one of my favourite chocolate bars as a little kid, but when I got to high school I took a liking to them. There’s something a little naughty sweet about the sweet cherry coconut filling coated in dark chocolate. It’s the perfect chocolate bar for a teenage girl. And it’s actually one of the oldest chocolate bars sold in Australia! There’s your Random Australian Fact for the day. Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis slice is just like a cherry ripe bar met a biscuit and they became friends. Delicious, delicious friends. These bars start off with a very simple biscuit base that is pressed into a tin and partially baked. Then you chop up pretty pink glace cherries and mix them together with sweet condensed milk, and shredded and dessicated coconut and bake it for a little while until the condensed milk caramelises slightly on top. Once this naked cherry ripe bar (ooh) has cooled the bar is topped with molten semi-sweet chocolate. Just look at those swirls.Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI could not get enough of this slice. I loved the not-so-sweet biscuit topped with the sweet and sticky cherry-coconut filling and the deeply dark chocolate coating. Paired with a cold glass of almond milk this is the afternoon delight I would choose after a long sticky summer run. This would also be the perfect treat for boardgame night. It’s a little more of a grown-up’s treat than a treat for kids given the dark chocolate and it’s just so moreish. Give yourself a treat this weekend and leave the mini chocolate bars for the kids. I know I’ll be sneaking a few slices while I’m scaring little trick-or-treaters!Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cherry Ripe Slice

Gluten Free | Makes 16 squares

Ingredients

For the base

  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 large egg
  • 30 grams (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 40 grams brown rice flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour

For the filling

  • 200 grams glace cherries
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

For the topping

  • 150 grams dark chocolate

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C (320F) and line an 8-inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl beat together softened butter, caster sugar, and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together cocoa powder, buckwheat flour, white rice flour and brown rice flour.
  4. Add flours to wet ingredients and mix until well combined into a sticky dough. Place dough into the lined baking dish and use the back of a spoon to press the mixture into the tin. Ensure it is as level as possible.
  5. Bake base in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then remove and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Use a small food processor to finely chop glace cherries.
  7. Place cherries, condensed milk, and both coconuts and mix well.
  8. Spread filling over the base evenly.
  9. Bake filling for 20 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before topping with chocolate.
  11. Chop dark chocolate roughly and place in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second bursts, stirring well with a metal spoon between microwave bursts until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  12. Spread melted chocolate over the cooled slice.
  13. Chill until chocolate is completely set and then use a very sharp knife to cut into squares.

Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Rum and Raisin Brownies with Brown Sugar Rum Frosting | gluten free

Rum is the rebels drink. I like to think of these as the rebel’s brownies. Rum and raisin taken out of the chocolate wrapper and baked into chewy, rum-soaked raisin and bittersweet chocolate gluten free brownies, and then there’s the brown sugar and rum frosting. Yo ho ho.Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeDear Mum,

I think we’ve had a good run of non-rebelliousness these past few decades. I didn’t steal your car keys or money from your wallet. I was a teenager who enjoyed showering and personal hygiene. I didn’t get so much as my ears pierced until I was 24. But my sweet Mama, times they are a-changing because today I’m rebelling against one of your strictest rules: no dried fruit in chocolate baked goods. I know this might see me written out of the will, but you have to believe me: it’s worth it.Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeYou see the raisins are plumped up in a bit of vanilla rum and then folded into midnight chocolate brownie batter. They bake up chewy and moist. Each bite is punctuated by sweet rum-soaked raisins and bittersweet chocolate chunks. And then, because you always taught me that more is more when it comes to desserts, these chewy, rummy brownies are frosted with brown sugar rum frosting. Mother dearest, this frosting is everything. It’s rum-enhanced evenings under Caribbean skies, dark midnight snacks by the refrigerator light, all the merriest of moments in one fluffy brown sugar mouthful. These are pirate trap brownies, desert island cookie jar brownies, totally over-the-top Friday night brownie-instead-of-a-cocktail brownies. I hope you can see it in your heart to forgive me some day. Until then, I will be sitting in the corner with a chocolate stained smile and rum-sticky fingers.

Love, your oldest daughter.Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeDear Dad,

I got your back. Eat these in the shed and don’t share with Molly.

Love, your oldest ratbag.Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Rum and Raisin Brownies with Brown Sugar Rum Frosting

Gluten Free | Makes 16 pirate-sized brownies | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla rum (Sailor Jerry is our household favourite)
  • 35 grams white rice flour
  • 40 grams buckwheat flour
  • 3o grams (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 150 grams good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150 grams butter, chopped
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup  chocolate chips (milk or dark)

For the frosting

  • 100 grams butter, softened
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla rum
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line an 8-inch (20cm) square tin with baking paper.
  2. Place raisins in a small bowl and pour over rum. Allow to sit while you prepare the brownie batter.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together white rice flour, buckwheat flour, and cocoa powder.
  4. Place chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second blasts, whisking well in between blasts, until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth (mine only took 1 minute total, but it will differ depending on your microwave). Allow to cool slightly.
  5. Whisk eggs lightly and add to the chocolate mixture along with caster sugar, vanilla extract and whisked dry ingredients. Stir until smooth.
  6. Add raisins and any leftover soaking liquid and chocolate chips and mix until distributed.
  7. Pour batter into prepared baking tin and bake in preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes back with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  8. Allow brownies to cool completely before frosting.
  9. To make the frosting place all ingredients into the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can use a large bowl and a handheld mixer instead) and beat until light and fluffy. Smooth frosting over the cooled brownies, cut and serve.

Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies | Gluten Free

Pure peanut butter flavour captured in a chewy, gluten free blondie studded with semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. These easy to bake bars are sure to become a family favourite.Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comLet’s pretend that I’ve had more to eat in the last two days than five rice crackers and three almonds. Having a stomach flu is probably one of the worst things to strike people who love food, and for those of us who love to photograph it, write about it, and share it, when you can’t eat you can’t do what you love, which for me, is fill this little spot right here with all of my latest favourite eats and treats. Whinge over.

Luckily, I made these gorgeous, chewy peanut butter chocolate chip blondies on Saturday night well before my stomach turned rogue.Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comOkay, let’s talk blondie science very quickly. Much like their dark chocolaty sisters a blondies chew-factor (a valuable measure in the blondie ranking system) is determined by a few factors:

  • Flour to batter ratio: A lower flour to batter ratio makes for chewier blondies as most of the blondie body is made up of eggs, sugar, and, here, peanut butter!
  • Leavener use: Both baking powder and baking soda appear in this blondie batter to provide adequate leavening without an increase in acidic ingredients. Here the brown sugar provides the acid needed to make the baking soda work. The baking powder provides a little extra boost to the puffiness, without these brownies becoming cakey. Using both leaveners here also creates crispy edges (hollah to my crispy edge loving people) and a soft, chewy centre.
  • Type of sugar used: Brown sugar is important for boosting the peanut butter flavour of these cookies, and keeps the batter moist. The presence of caster sugar boosts the chew factor as there is less moisture in caster sugar (owing to the absence of molasses in its formula). Using both in combination gives you the best of both blondie worlds: moist and chewy = win.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comJust let me take my lab coat off….ahem. Now that we’ve got the science covered, let’s talk about flavour and texture and the yum factor of these blondies.

The scent of these gluten free blondies baking in the oven was enough to have my stomach rumbling in anticipation. Pure peanut butter flavour is enhanced by brown sugar, vanilla essence, and a touch of cinnamon and what pairs better with peanut butter than chocolate!Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comBite into one of these squares and you are met first with absolute brown sugar peanut butter chew quickly accompanied by a morsel of peanut butter chip or semi-sweet chocolate chip. Forget that midnight snack peanut butter cup and reach for one of these instead!Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Gluten Free | Makes 24 blondies | Adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Leftovers will keep for three days (if they last that long) in an airtight container at room temperature. Or they can be wrapped well and frozen for up to two months.

Ingredients

  • 50 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup (125 grams) peanut butter (I like chunky myself)
  • 60 grams butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) caster sugar
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup peanut butter chips
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line a 9-inch (22.5cm) square baking pan with baking paper.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together sorghum flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside until required.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a handheld mixer and a large mixing bowl) beat peanut butter and butter together until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add caster sugar and brown sugar and beat until well combined, another 2 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  6. Beat in vanilla extract.
  7. With mixer on low speed add dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated.
  8. Switch to a wooden spoon and mix in peanut butter chips and chocolate chips until well distributed.
  9. Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  10. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the tops turn a deep golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  11. Remove blondies from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into small squares.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free

Fudgy,dark chocolate brownie bites topped with creamy sweet white chocolate buttercream are the perfect last minute gluten free sweet treat for weekend celebrations. In under an hour you can have them on the table or wrapped up to give to the ones you love!

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTomorrow is Easter Sunday and these tiny double chocolate treats are my contribution to our family morning tea. I made these as an Easter gift for Chris’s parents, and they were so quick and easy and full of my favourite sweet flavours that I just needed to make them again! I based my brownie bites on my favourite melt and mix brownie mixture. These brownies are based on melted chocolate and butter with a simple dump and stir method, which yields a chewy brownie, and they feature a double-chocolate dose with the addition of cocoa powder to the mix. Double chocolate? Double yum!

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWhite chocolate buttercream is my new favourite buttercream. I could (and have) eaten this sweet, caramel, fluffy frosting until I feel sick. The pure sweet blankness of white chocolate buttercream contrasts with the slightly bitter dark chocolate brownie bites so well. These might be tiny treats, but they make an impact. Each little cake is just enough to satisfy any chocolate cravings that your Easter eggs might not have satisfied. And they are just so cute!

If you look closely at the sprinkles on top of my little brownie bites, they are tiny little pink rabbits, blue birds, yellow chicks, and green eggs. I loved these pastel sprinkles when I saw them at the cake shop a few weeks ago and I was so excited to use them in my Easter baking. If you need a last minute treat for the table, try these delicious triple chocolate treats, and if you have kids who want to help make Easter gifts these are perfect for little hands. I hope everyone has a sweet holiday with plenty of time with their families. Happy Easter to you all.

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeBrownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream

Gluten Free | Makes about 24 bites | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Ingredients

For the brownie bites

  • 125 grams dark (60-70%) chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 100 grams butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 40 grams hazelnut meal
  • 40 grams buckwheat flour
  • 40 grams sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs

For the frosting

  • 85 grams good quality white chocolate
  • 120 grams butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160C (320F) and grease a 24 hole mini muffin pan.
  2. In a large saucepan melt butter and chocolate together over a low heat. Stir until smooth.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in all remaining ingredients.
  4. Divide brownie batter evenly between holes in the tin.
  5. Bake until tops of brownies bounce back when lightly touched, about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Allow brownie bites to cool completely before frosting and decorating as desired.
  7. To make the frosting. Melt white chocolate and allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. Beat butter in the bowl of an standmixer (or in a bowl with a handheld mixture) until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add cooled white chocolate, icing sugar, milk, and vanilla essence. Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  10. Frost and decorate brownie bites as desired. I used a piping bag fitted with a small star tip.

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Top Ten Gluten Free Treats For Your Sweet This Valentine’s Day

Florists are hurriedly filling their shelves, rose petals dripping to the floor; chocolatiers present rows of gleaming handmade creations for lovers to gift to each other; and restaurant staff starch tablecloths, polish cutlery until it gleams, and cook plates of perfect aphrodisiacs. These are all beautiful ways to show your love on Valentine’s Day, but I’ve always been more of the homemade type. Something made with hand and heart for the one you love. The time is the gift, and love is a verb.

Here are my Top Ten Gluten Free Treats for Your Sweet this Valentine’s Day from Thoroughly Nourished Life:

Two forks and a plate with a massive slice of my Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting would be a sweet end to Valentine’s Day.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOr how about two spoons and a tub of my Irish Coffee Ice Cream? Chris and I bonded over our love of whisky, so this would be a perfect Valentine’s Day treat.

Irish Coffee Ice Cream | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNeed a vegan salty sweet treat for your beloved? Tahini and Peanut Butter Cookies would be welcomed by anyone – bonus points if you wrap them up in a cute little box with tissue paper!

Peanut Butter and Tahini Cookies | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNeed a little spice in your life this Valentine’s Day? (Don’t worry, this isn’t about to turn into that kind of blog!) Try my Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeChocolate and Peanut Butter, not since Romeo and Juliet have there been two more meant for each other. Here in my Peanut Butter Doughnuts with Chocolate Peanut Glaze, rather more successfully than those teenage lovers, chocolate and peanut butter are united in heavenly doughnut form.

Peanut Butter Doughnuts | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOh so you aren’t going away to a tropical island with your lover for Valentine’s Day? Neither am I, but I’m tempted to bring the tropical home with a batch of Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream. These gluten free cupcakes are also perfect for a Gal-entine’s Day celebration too! Perfect for that Sex and the City / Friends marathon!

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeHow about some pure, lustful, lush chocolate indulgence? My Frosted Peppermint Brownies are an aphrodisiac for sure….(leave out the mint and candy canes for pure chocolate sin…)

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeIs your sweetheart a cookie monster? I’m lucky that I have found a fellow cookie monster to love, and my Even Better Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of our favourite indulgences. Best when paired with binge watching Parks and Recreation.

Even Better Chocolate Chip Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comBreakfast in bed, or maybe brunch in bed in your plans for this weekend? My Zucchini, Carrot and Walnut Pancakes (with plenty of maple syrup) are a sweet and wholesome start to the day.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAnd now, for the pull-out all stops, don’t bother going out for dinner, just grab a fork and your stretchy pants and let’s eat in bed, piece de resistance – Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Layer Cake. It’s over the top, it’s more than over the top. It’s magnums of champagne, 25 carat diamond, a thousand red roses strewn on white silk sheets over the top, but sometimes, that’s exactly what love needs to be.

Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Layer Cake 3

And a few more love-ly links from around our internet world:

  • Just in time for our Lady and the Tramp Valentine’s Day re-enactments, Not Quite Nigella gives us perfect Bean and Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs. The call it bella notte….
  • Red Velvet is Chris’s current love language, and doughnuts, well of course, doughnuts are the ultimate symbol of love – they look like a hug after all. Lynn from Fresh April Flours combines the two in her delightful Baked Red Velvet Doughnuts.
  • If a jar of Nutella is one of your ultimate couple foods (just add two spoons for happiness) – this Hazelnut Chocolate Cheesecake from Urban Bakes is the perfect up-your-game treat for Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! And even if Valentine’s Day isn’t your thing, I hope you have an extra sweet weekend too!

Cream Cheese Swirl Beetroot Brownies | Gluten Free

Beetroot adds a smoky, earthy background to the dense chocolate of these brownies, and a sweet sharp cream cheese swirl is the perfect decadent finishing touch. Cream Cheese Swirl Beetroot Brownies are an indulgent gluten free treat perfect for sharing with your special someone.

Cream Cheese Beetroot Swirl Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI wanted to call these heart beet brownies (get it?), but I thought that might be a little too cheesy for you all. If there is a holiday that encourages us towards cheesiness, Valentine’s Day has to be it. I know it’s not really a holiday, and companies make a lot of money off gifts, chocolate, and flowers just for the sake of one day, but isn’t it nice that even in today’s slightly cynically-bent world that we can still find time to celebrate love. The desire for love is universal, and I don’t just mean romantic love. I mean love as in finding someone, or ones, who really see you and accept you just as you are, but are invested in helping you to reach a higher form of yourself too.

Cream Cheese Beetroot Swirl Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAs a wise man once said ‘Love is the only shocking act left on the planet.’ To stand in front of someone, a lover or a friend, just exactly as you are and let all the walls down is difficult. And when that person sees you raw and scarred and shining your own light and finds room in their heart to take you in without asking anything of you in return, then you have found love. I have that love in my life in many different forms, and to be reminded, even one day a year to celebrate those people who let me love them, and love me in return, is a valuable thing.

Cream Cheese Beetroot Swirl Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNow, about these brownies. Beetroot is the plant world’s gift to chocolate baked goods. Baked, cooled, and pureed into thick magenta paste and then added to melted midnight black chocolate, beetroot is chocolate’s perfect Valentine. You can’t taste the beetroot here, but it adds a little earthy magic that highlights the slightly bitter notes of dark chocolate. These aren’t brownies for the faint of heart. They are rich, dark, deep in the earth brownies that require coffee and fine plates. Brownies that hit that spot of craving for dark chocolate.

To this deep, dark beetroot brownie batter we add dollops and swirls of sweet and sharp cream cheese. Not so much to overwhelm, but just enough to provide a creamy contrast. Each bite is a mouthful of dark dense brownie with a tiny cheesecake ripple. These brownies are elegantly simple. Decadent enough in themselves to not require any frosting or extra add-ins. They are lush and classic and perfect for a chocolate treat for the one you love.

Cream Cheese Beetroot Swirl Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI took these brownies to a dinner with Chris’s family over the weekend, and we returned with an empty pan. His sister (hi Rosie!) even snuck a container of the leftovers into her handbag before she left. I stood in the kitchen and ate one and a half of these while sipping on a cup of tea. When you feel comfortable enough to start cutting brownie slivers in half in front of people, you know you have found love.

Cream Cheese Swirl Beetroot Brownies

Gluten Free | Makes 20-24 brownies | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days

Ingredients

  • 400 grams (to yield about 300 grams, cooked) whole raw beetroot, scrubbed
  • 75 mL sunflower oil (or other flavourless vegetable-based oil)
  • 250 grams dark chocolate (I used 75%), chopped
  • 75 grams cocoa
  • 50 grams buckwheat flour
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 40 grams hazelnut meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 125 grams cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Wrap beetroot in aluminium foil and bake for an hour, or until beetroot are tender in the middle when pierced with a skewer. Allow to cool completely before peeling. Once cooled roughly chop and use a food processor or blender to puree to a smooth paste (you can add up to 1 tablespoon of water if required).
  2. Preheat oven to 180C and line a 9-inch (22.5 cm) square tin with baking paper. Set aside until required.
  3. In a medium bowl beat together beetroot puree and oil.
  4. Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second bursts, stirring well in between bursts, until smooth and melted. Allow to cool and then mix into beetroot mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together cocoa powder, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, hazelnut meal, and baking powder.
  6. In the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  7. Reduce speed to low and add beetroot mixture. Add dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.
  8. Pour brownie batter into the prepared pan.
  9. In a small bowl beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar, white rice flour, and milk and beat until smooth.
  10. Place small drops of cream cheese mixture in a checkerboard patter on top of brownie batter. Use a thin knife or skewer to pull gently through the mixture in a zig-zag fashion to create swirls. Don’t overmix as this will ruin the swirl effect.
  11. Place into preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  12. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.

Cream Cheese Beetroot Swirl Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Are you a beetroot and chocolate lover? How are you spending your Valentine’s Day?

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free

These brownies are what I imagine it would taste like to be caught inside your house during a snowstorm with a mug of hot chocolate and a candy cane in hand beside a crackling fireplace. Candy cane and white chocolate pieces sprinkled throughout the batter, a thick coating of fluffy chocolate frosting, and a shower of candy cane pieces make these brownies into a festive treat sure to please the sweetest of teeth.

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe idea for these brownies came to me last week while I was completely uninterested in actually eating food, but still of course dreaming about food! Mint and chocolate is a classic Christmas combination, and what better way to combine the two than in a brownie – with frosting and candy cane sprinkles!

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese brownies are based on my Melt and Mix Chocolate Brownies, but this time they are gluten free and all gussied up for Christmas. You will love these brownies for the following reasons:

  • they are full of chocolate (white and dark) goodness,
  • you can taste the peppermint in each bite,
  • they are a contrast of chewy, under-cooked brownie and fluffy sweet frosting, and
  • you can put them together quickly (only one bowl required) so that you have more time for all your other Christmas tasks – Santa’s not the only one who has a list!

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I made these brownies for the people who run the farmers market coffee shop. Every week rain, hail or shine they are there making us perfect cups of coffee and bringing warmth and caffeinated cheer. There were eye rolls of pleasure as they bit into the chewy brownies and licked my best fluffy chocolate peppermint buttercream off their fingers. Some of my colleagues saw the photo on Facebook and were most disappointed that there weren’t any left to share! Never fear guys and girls, there are plenty of treats coming your way this week!

Frosted Peppermint Brownies 6

You are going to love how easy these are to make. One bowl, one spoon, one pan to bake it all in! Wash your bowl and spoon and use them to make the frosting once your brownies have cooled down. The less extra mess in the kitchen this December, the better.

You are also going to love the chewiness here. The small amount of gluten free flours in ratio to the chocolate, butter, and eggs makes for chewy, dense brownies – the kind that are so rich that one should do, but never does. Add crushed candy canes, white chocolate bits, and a cap of peppermint frosting and the Christmas flavouring is complete!

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Frosted Peppermint Brownies

Gluten Free | Makes 16-20 (depending on how big you cut them) | Store for up to three days in the fridge

Ingredients

For the brownies

  • 8 medium candy canes
  • 125 grams dark (60-70%) chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 100 grams butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 40 grams hazelnut meal
  • 40 grams buckwheat flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

To frost and decorate

  • 100 grams butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar (ensure this is gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160C (320F) and line an 8-inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Place candy canes into a plastic freezer bag. Place bag inside a doubled over tea towel. Use a rolling pin (or meat tenderiser) to crush candy canes into small shards. Divide into two even piles and place aside until required.
  3. In a large saucepan melt butter and chocolate together over a low heat. Stir until smooth.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in all remaining ingredients. Reserve half the crushed candy canes for decorating the top of the brownies.
  5. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  6. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. This should take about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Allow brownies to cool completely before frosting and decorating as desired.
  8. To make the frosting: place butter in a large bowl and use a handmixer or wooden spoon (earn those brownies!) to beat until smooth and light. Add icing sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla essence, peppermint extract and 2 tablespoons milk. Beat until smooth. You may have to add the extra tablespoon of milk if your frosting is too stiff.
  9. Spread frosting over cooled brownies and sprinkle with remaining crushed candy canes.
  10. Slice into pieces as desired and serve.

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

For more peppermingoodness try these:

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

Brown butter is distracting. Chocolate chips are distracting. Add them together and you have double the distraction, and double the deliciousness. In fact, this post has taken me two days to write because every time I get started I remember the container of shortbread bars sitting on the kitchen bench just waiting for me to open it up and devour another crumbly, buttery, dark chocolate morsel filled bar.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

My sister and I did a mega-workout morning on Saturday (9km of dog walking, 5km of cycling, and a Body Attack class) and by the afternoon my tummy was craving a treat for all the hard work my body had put in. When my body wants a treat the first thing that crosses my mind is chocolate chip cookies. They are my favourite everything. But then I started thinking about browning the butter, maybe adding some hazelnut meal, and so the Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bar was born.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

This recipe is the answer to your buttery dreams because in addition to browning a half cup of butter, we also cream another half cup with sugar and vanilla. Double the butter = double the treat = double the happiness. To this beauteous bounty of butter we add a medley of gluten free flours, an egg, and a large helping of chocolate chips (to be honest, I should have added more chocolate chips to my mix because you can never, ever, have enough chocolate chips).

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeYou then press your mixture into a lined slice tray (steal a little taste test of the dough too – oh boy) and it gets to rest in the fridge for two hours. This ensures the butter chills again and gives your shortbread the flaky, buttery crumble that we expect.

When these bars emerged from the oven I knew I had created the treat my body was craving. Crumbly but chewy, brown sugar sweet but browned butter salty, and studded with semi-sweet dark chocolate chips. These are the perfect treat for when you are resting your weary legs on a Saturday night with a new novel, and a happy dog at your feet.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

Gluten Free | Makes 24 bars | Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days

Note: this article is a great explanation (with photos) of how to brown butter.

Ingredients

  • 250 grams butter, softened
  • 150 grams brown sugar
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 75 grams brown rice flour
  • 75 grams white rice flour
  • 75 grams sorghum flour
  • 75 grams hazelnut meal
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (or more, to taste) dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Place half the butter (125 gram) into a small heavy-based saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Keep heating butter once it has melted continue to heat it, stirring frequently. The butter will foam a little and once the foam has disappeared keep a close watch of the butter – it should now be a light caramel colour and smell nutty. When little brown specks begin to appear at the bottom of the pot remove it from the heat and pour the butter into a small bowl to cool for 20 minutes.
  2. While browned butter is cooling line a 7 x 11 inch (18 x 28 cm) slice tray with baking paper. Set aside until required.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together brown rice flour, white rice flour, sorghum flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Beat together remaining softened butter, brown sugar, caster sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Once browned butter is cooled beat it into batter until fully incorporated.
  5. Beat egg into batter.
  6. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined.
  7. Add chocolate chips and mix until well distributed.
  8. Press mixture into prepared tray and chill in the fridge for two hours.
  9. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and bake bars for 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and bounces back when lightly touched.
  10. Allow to cool completely before slicing. I recommend slicing the bars in the tray as it saves you a lot of mess.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

These buttery bars are sure to become a favourite in our house, and I hope you enjoy them too.

10 Gluten Free Sweet Ideas for Father’s Day

Recent weekends with my Dad have included both of us romping with the dog Molly, putting our heads together to design a bar cabinet for the new house, the whole family shovelling dirt to help with my parent’s backyard renovation, and watching Monster Trucks or Austrian detective shows. You could say we are an eclectic pair. (Rocking it old school in the photos below – I would still wear that dress actually…)

Dad and I

Growing up, my Dad was the perfect father for two daughters. He taught us how to make shortbread and how to hold a hammer. He (and my Mum) was a great example of feminism: he taught my sister and I that there is nothing you can’t do as a woman, or as a man. He told bedtime stories (my favourite was Stuart Little); sang us songs that he made up on the spot (I still think of them when I can’t sleep); and fixed everything from broken jewellery to broken hearts. My Dad is my friend as well as my father, and I only hope I can live up to the example of being a great person with big ideas, big love, and a big heart that he has set me. Love you Dada, and Happy Father’s Day.

Another thing my Dad and I have in common is a huge sweet tooth. Put a bag of freckle chocolates in front of us and the only thing that will stop us is the bottom of the bag!

So when it comes to treating Dad for Father’s Day I know that sweet baked goods are the way to go. I’m working on something new for this weekend, but here are ten of my favourite gluten free ideas to help you treat your Dad to something this weekend.

When my Dad says something is ‘terrible’ it means he loves it. These Oatmeal Caramel Cookies earned that label and the batch disappeared very quickly.

Oatmeal Caramel Cookies | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Want to give your Dad something he can enjoy for breakfast the whole week long? Try my fruit studded Breakfast Bread. Perfect with a man-size cup of tea in his new ‘Best Dad’ mug.

Breakfast Bread | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

You might not be able to send Dad away on a tropical vacation, but you can give him all the flavours of a beachy cocktail in Banana and Coconut Doughnut form, which makes it even better in my opinion.

Banana and Coconut Baked Doughnuts | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

My Dad loves coconut (can’t you tell) – definitely where my sister and I get it from, and we used to buy him coconut ice every Father’s Day. No need to buy it anymore though with this super special Sprinkled Coconut Ice (Dad tested and approved).

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

My Dad and I can easily inhale a bag of Peanut m&ms while watching car racing, and these Chocolate Peanut Cookies are the spirit of Peanut m&ms in a cookie.

Chocolate Peanut Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Now, take that Peanut m&m and turn it inside out. Add a little extra crunch and now you’ve got these Peanut Butter and Millet Cookies. I ate a whole batch on my own. You need to remember to share with your Dad this weekend!

Peanut Butter and Millet Chocolate Chip Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Are you having an extra special morning tea for Dad? These Beetroot Chocolate Cupcakes with Golden Syrup Buttercream are a perfect treat for the whole family and there are plenty to share!

Beetroot Chocolate Cupcakes with Golden Syrup Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Dad and I love to share a pot of coffee sometimes when I am home on the weekends. These Espresso Hazelnut Flourless Chocolate Cookies are perfect for the coffee and chocolate loving Dad and are so easy to make!

Espresso Hazelnut Flourless Chocolate Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Speaking of coffee, these Coffee-Vanilla Sandwich Cookies are an extra special treat if you have a little more time. Bonus points if you find an awesome biscuit tin to present them in!

DSC00804

And for the grand finale, this is definitely what you should bring to the big family party. Impress them with your skills (but keep it a secret that this is super easy), and treat Dad to the perfect springtime flavour combination with my Citrus Poppyseed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Citrus Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten free) | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I hope I’ve given you a little gluten free sweet treat inspiration for treating your Dad this Father’s Day weekend!

Tell me dear reader, what are some of your favourite memories of your Dad? Anyone else have a special ‘Footloose’ dance or is that just us?

Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice (gluten free)

“Tuesday’s child is full of grace.” June Fourth 1957 was a Tuesday. In Aarhus Denmark my Mama was born, and she has truly lived a life of grace. My Mama has the warmest hugs; when you are enfolded in her arms you feel like she is hugging you with her soul, like nothing can go wrong, and that as long as you have this place to come back to then you can weather any storm. She is kind: whenever I bring home a friend she opens her heart and home to them and has mothered more souls on this planet that just my sister and I.

Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice 3

My Mum has been one of my greatest teachers and her lessons are more important than anything I learned at university. Treat others the way you would like to be treated; there are always two sides to the story; work to live, don’t live to work; don’t count the days, make the days count; there is no such thing as too many books; popcorn is an appropriate breakfast food on school holidays; and that love is the hardest work you will do, but also the biggest gift you will give and receive in your life.

Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice 2

This treat is one that Mum used to make with Jess and I on winter school holidays. These were always her favourite, she says, because winter school holidays meant snuggling under the blankets after Dad had gone to work, lying in front of the TV watching our favourite movies (The Princess Bride being chief among these), and doing some extra special baking together. I have taken Mum’s family recipe and changed it a little. I added salted peanuts to the caramel layer, made the biscuit base gluten free, and added coconut and gluten free oats because that’s what the crumbly biscuit base should contain in my opinion. Here the caramel is slightly chewy and the salted peanuts heighten the sweetness. Then the whole thing is coated in a milk chocolate layer because that’s what wintery birthday treats should be about – indulgence and tradition.

Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice 4

Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice

Makes 24 squares | Gluten Free

Ingredients

Base

  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 40 grams sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup gluten free quick oats (I use Freedom Foods brand)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 125 grams butter

Filling

  • 400 gram tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 60 grams butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • Pinch of salt

Topping

  • 200 gram block milk or dark chocolate of choice

 Method

  1. Line an 11 x 7 inch pan (28 x 18 cm) with baking paper and preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together brown rice flour, white rice flour, sorghum flour, coconut, oats and brown sugar.
  3. Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until melted.
  4. Stir melted butter into dry ingredients until a crumbly mixture forms. Press this into the tin, ensuring that it is as evenly distributed as possible. You may wish to use the side of a flat-walled glass to roll and press the mixture into the tin.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden.
  6. Allow to cool completely.
  7. When the base is cooled place sweetened condensed milk, golden syrup, and butter into a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until butter is melted and caramel is golden brown in colour and thickened slightly.
  8. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla essence, salted peanuts and a pinch of salt.
  9. Spread caramel peanut mix over the cooled base. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the top is golden in colour and firm.
  10. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  11. Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Spread chocolate over the caramel layer and place in fridge until set.
  12. Once set use a hot knife to slice into squares.
  13. Slice will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. In my experience it rarely lasts that long.

Happy Birthday Mama Chickpea

My beautiful Mama

My beautiful Mama