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

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free

Delectable, double chocolate cookie cups that are easy to make, quick to bake, and delicious to eat. These gluten free cookie cups are a great last-minute chocolate treat!Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe unwavering support and belief of your partner no matter what your creative pursuit is a precious thing, but it can get downright frustrating when you are a blogger with a list of ‘must try recipes’ a thousand pages long (not kidding) and you can’t make up your mind what to make next. In fact, you may feel like picking up your favourite cookie sheet and applying it to said partner’s head when he shrugs and says ‘everything you make is good’. That is not an answer that a chocolate-starved mad woman wants to hear on a Wednesday night when she needs something to make for dessert with her in-laws on Friday.Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeLuckily Jessica from Sweetest Menu was there to save me, the cookie sheet, and Chris’s head (love you babe). One of the first photos to greet me this morning was Jessica’s post about her delectable and charming Chocolate M&M Cookie Cups. I just knew these chewy chocolate cookie treats were the perfect sweet treat to take with us to Chris’s parents.

These delightful cookies mix up like any basic cookie recipe, but instead of waiting for them to chill so that you don’t get molten cookie disaster (this happens to me all the time because I am super impatient, not that you’ve noticed that by now…), you bake them in a well-greased muffin tin. This ensures that each cookie has that thickness that is so desirable. Cooking these cookies in a muffin tin also ensure crispy edges on every cookie. Crispy edges + thickness + soft, pillowy, chocolate-filled centre = cookie monster win.Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI cannot wait to make these cookie cups again, and I can only imagine all the other incarnations these cups might take. If you are new to gluten free baking, these are a great place to start, and this is a wonderful recipe to make with kids (they nestle perfectly inside little lunchboxes). If you’re making these for a special occasion dessert you might want to pile them up with a little ice cream too…just a suggestion….Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Gluten Free | Makes 12 cookie cups | Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days

Ingredients

  • 50 grams buckwheat flour
  • 50 grams sorghum flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 115 grams butter, softened
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 70 grams (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (plus extra for decorating)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and grease a 12-hole muffin tin very thoroughly.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and cornflour. Set aside until required.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes.
  4. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure thorough mixing.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low and add whisked dry ingredients. Beat until the batter starts to form a sturdy dough. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to help everything come together into a thick, cookie dough consistency.
  6. Switch to a wooden spoon and mix in the white chocolate chips.
  7. Divide dough between holes in muffin tin.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes. The edges should look puffed and the middles will have sunken a little. Decorate with extra white chocolate chips while still warm from the oven. Allow cookies to cool completely in the tin.
  9. Remove from tin when cool and devour!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies | Gluten Free

Chewy, oaty, chocolate chunk filled morsels with a little sprinkling of something from the garden. These cookies are my new small batch gluten free favourite that I make when I need to feel just a little justified at baking cookies at 9 o’clock on a Wednesday night.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI try to keep my treat foods limited to the weekend, apart from a square or two of dark, dark chocolate while drinking tea and watching a little pre-bed television (side note: does anyone else watch House of Cards? Is anyone else completely in love with Claire’s wardrobe?). Now, I am not one for deprivation, but allowing myself a little chocolate during the week and saving my big treats for when I am baking on the weekend makes those indulgences even more special, which is something I have had to learn about how my body, mind, and I relate to ‘sometimes foods’.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeBut then, there’s the Wednesday cookie. You know what I’m talking about even if you call it by a different name: #winowednesday ring a bell anyone? The Wednesday cookie is the treat that you know you don’t quite need, but you need it at a deeper level. You need it because you just sat through an eleven hour meeting. You need it because you went to the gym at 5 am and didn’t get home from work until 7 pm. You need it because you want to change into stretchy pants and indulge in some midweek brain-draining television. Enter: the Wednesday cookie.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNow that you know about the Wednesday cookie, you need to know that I have a few rules for my Wednesday cookie indulgences. I want a small batch so that I don’t find myself with two dozen extra cookies after I have had my little treat. I want something rich and truly indulgent so that my cravings are fully satisfied in just one or two cookies. Wednesday cookies also need to be easy to make while you are putting together dinner, which these are apart from a little time chilling (time to eat dinner and wash the dishes). Once the cookies are baked I keep them in the refrigerator – it adds a little extra chewiness; though, I can attest that these are also perfect eaten warm off the tray. Melted chocolate chip smiles make Wednesday nights all the sweeter.

My Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies are filled with dark chocolate chips and chewy rolled oats, and some grated zucchini, you know, so that your indulgence is tempered with a little bit of green too. Because, it’s only Wednesday after all!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

Gluten Free | Makes 12 cookies

Notes:

  • You need to chill this dough for 20 minutes before baking. This is important to obtaining the perfect texture.
  • If you can’t tolerate oats, you can leave them out, or replace them with quinoa flakes.

Ingredients

  • 40 grams buckwheat flour
  • 40 grams sorghum flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour
  • 30 grams cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 small zucchini grated

 

Method

  1. In a small bowl whisk together buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer) beat butter and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract, and milk, and beat until well combined.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add whisked dry ingredients. Mix until completely combined.
  5. Switch to a wooden spoon and mix in chocolate chips, oats, and grated zucchini.
  6. Chill dough for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  8. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place on lined baking sheets. Leave space for spreading.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden. The centres will still be soft (this makes for chewy cookies). Remove and cool completely on baking sheets.
  10. Store cookies in refrigerator for maximum chewiness for up to four days.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

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?

Lamingtons for Australia Day | Gluten Free

Lamingtons are an iconic Australian treat, and you are going to love my gluten free lamingtons. They are just like the treat you remember: a soft, vanilla sponge with a sweet and simple dark chocolate glaze and a coating of powdery coconut. It’s time to celebrate Australia Day with the sweetest of treats!

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comLamingtons are an essential part of any Australia Day celebration. These little squares of vanilla cake coated in chocolate glaze and dunked in coconut might appear strange to visitors to our shores, but since 1896 they have been beloved by Australians, and as iconic on our dessert tables as Pavlova, custard slice and Peach Melba. Now, I present my gluten free lamingtons to you so that all your Australia Day guests can enjoy a true blue Australian treat.

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comAustralia Day is a time for us to celebrate our history as a nation, our heroes, and our villains. As is true of any country, there are parts of our history that we aren’t proud of and events that haunt us still, but to me Australia Day is a time to celebrate how far we have come in building our nation and the hope that lies in our better tomorrows. It’s also a day to gather round the barbecue with our families and friends, to play odd Australian bush games (two-up anyone?), make fun of our accents and strange words, call each other ridiculous Aussie nicknames, and just enjoy a public holiday in the beautiful summer weather.

The barbecue (that’s barbie in Australian) is the most common way to celebrate Australia Day along with sausages (Aussie: snags); steaks; salads (usually based on iceberg lettuce); and backyard cricket. When dessert time comes around the Pavlova (Aussie: Pav) is usually the centrepiece of the table; crowned with a thick draping of whipped cream and slices of kiwi fruit and strawberries it is a looker, but if you look off to the side there is always, always a packet of lamingtons – and they go fast!

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comMy homemade lamingtons take a basic gluten free vanilla cake recipe, dunk it in a thick chocolate glaze, and sprinkle it with desiccated coconut. These are the perfect treat to make with kids. Just prepare yourself for a messy kitchen, messy kids – and a delicious homemade treat! The most important thing about these lamingtons is to keep the cake in the fridge until you are ready to slice, glaze, and dunk them. This gluten free cake recipe is not crumbly, but it helps to make the cake a little hardier before it gets handled in this way (I would do this with non-gluten free lamingtons too).

They look a little strange when you first make them, but once you bite into the soft spongy, vanilla scented cake and get a lick of deep chocolate glaze with the tiniest hint of coconut you will understand the lamington’s allure. They are just the treat for long, hot summer nights; workplace morning teas; or for sneaking out of the fridge for a midnight snack. It is an Aussie truth that only the sneakiest gets the last lamington of the night – so be quick!

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Gluten Free Lamingtons

Makes 16 lamingtons | Gluten Free | Leftovers will keep in airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.

Note: if you want to dress these up you can try serving them with whipped cream and berries.

Ingredients

For the lamingtons

  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 55 grams white rice flour
  • 55 grams brown rice flour
  • 55 grams buckwheat flour
  • 55 grams almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds

For the frosting

  • 4 cups gluten free icing sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and grease a 9-inch square pan with butter. Line the bottom with baking paper and set aside until needed.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together white rice flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. In a small jug mix together milk, vanilla extract, and chia seeds.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well to incorporate. Scrape down the sides and bottom between additions.
  5. Switch mixing speed to low and add flour mixture to the bowl. Beat until just combined.
  6. Add milk mixture and beat on low until well incorporated.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove cake from the pan and cool completely before decorating with frosting.
  8. Once lamingtons are cooled trim the sides of the cake so that they are even and then cut the cake into 16 equal squares. Transfer the cake squares to the freezer for two hours.
  9. Once the lamingtons are chilled you can decorate them. Combine icing sugar, cocoa powder, and water and beat until thoroughly mixed. Measure coconut into a large bowl.
  10. Using two forks dip one piece of cake into the frosting so all sides are covered. Shake off the excess. Place in coconut and toss until sides are covered completely.
  11. Place on a lined baking tray. Repeat until all cake squares are covered.
  12. Stand for an hour or until set. Store in fridge. Stand at room temperature for half an hour before serving.

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Happy Australia Day dear readers! What are your plans for the holiday long weekend? We are hosting a board games night and eating lamingtons and ice cream!

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.