BFF Dessert: Clafouti

I was baking clafoutis even before I knew what they were. If I had fruit – no matter what kind – I’d whip up a light batter, change up the flavours, pour it over and into the oven it went. It’s so quick, easy and utterly delicious.

I’ve used buttermilk, yoghurt, cream, milk, 3 eggs, 2 eggs, flour and sugar of every kind, drizzled over booze, maple syrup, toasted almonds … all sorts if toppings … spiced with sliced apples … and it’s always been delicious. The French certainly know a thing or two about desserts and this simple, light dessert is the best of them all and my favourite.

My go to basic batter is:

  • 1 1/2 cups cream or milk of choice
  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 heaped cup flour of your choice, I use almond
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla essence
  • 2/3 or 1/2 heaped cup keto sugar (less sweet option)
  • 1 tsp almond essence (optional)
  • Zest of a lemon (optional)
  • Enough fruit to cover a very well buttered pie dish

Heat oven to 350F. First butter your dish very generously, arrange fruit in dish, sliced if large fruit. Place your liquids in a blender first, top with the dry and add the flavourings of your choice. Blend well, at least two minutes, checking for clumps. It should be smooth! Pour slowly over the fruit, then bake for 50 minutes or until nicely browned on top. If you want a heavier batter add an extra 1/4 cup flour, but I like it light.

Serve once completely cooled and improves each day. Be sure to keep covered and in fridge. Good with any topping! I like it with whipped or clotted cream. It’s delicious with Greek yogurt, creme fraiche or even mascarpone scooped over.

I’m going to try it with a light cheesecake spread next time. And some whisky or brandy whipped flavoured cream when it’s time for a treat. Here are pics I took of two different bakes.

The first was with cherries and berries, the second with apricots I baked tonight on a last minute whim. Those are the best bakes!

This one was cherries, blueberries and apricots. These organic apricots are beauties!

Best eaten when refrigerated. It was still warm when we cut it, and my sweetie kept having another sliver to “tidy it up”. LOL!

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Shallot Scapes and Mint Chimichurri

My partner grows – apart from a fabulous summer crop of garlic and tomatoes, amongst other veggies – a years supply of shallots. We have enough to see us through a year. Here is the chimichurri I made a couple of weeks ago with the scapes he harvested. We’re still eating it. It’s sort of a pesto sauce consistency without the pine nuts. Spring onions will work just as well, I guess you’d need about 6 large bunches of spring onions.

*scapes are the flower buds of garlic, onions, shallots etc, snipped off early before they begin to swell or flower about 10 cm from the tip of the bud while the stalks are still tender; they are also delicious in stir fries.

  • About 40 scapes
  • 1 heaped cup fresh mint leaves, use 2 cups for extra minty zing
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 shallots or 1 small onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup olive oil, or enough for a thick pouring paste
  • Ground pepper
  • Ground Himalayan salt
  • 3 Fresh or dried chillies
  • 3 tblsp sherry vinegar

Blend the scapes with the olive oil, add the rest of the ingredients and blend for at least 3 minutes. Pour into sterilised jars and use within a month. Keep refrigerated.

It’s delicious served over any meat, with cheese on radish “crackers”, stirred into mayo or drizzled over salad or boiled eggs.

On my way back from taking a photo of the newly lifted harvested shallots which are now drying on the fence, I met Little Miss Fluffypants, aka, Felicity.

Oh, hi!

Aren’t these beautiful?! After a busy day cleaning and cooking, time for some vidya gaming with my sweetie! Today he is trying his hand at making kimchi with the daikon radish greens harvested today as well. I’m intrigued and watching his progress in awe!

Quick Daikon Radish Pickles

My partner grew the most amazing red daikon radish this year (they are usually white). Our friend, Yumiko, is always telling me about the “quick pickles” she makes, it’s a thing in Japan and very little effort is involved. She sent me a photo of pickles she made with radish we shared with her and they ate them that night with dinner. I tried the recipe and wow, they are really good and super easy!

I’m sure any large radish will do, or even thinly sliced cucumber or courgette.

Here is the basic recipe, feel free to alter the quantities to taste.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large daikon radish, scrubbed
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 5 chopped pieces ginger
  • Rice wine vinegar to cover
  • 1/2 cup sugar, your fave keto brand
  • A few grinds of pink Himalayan salt

Grate the radish, add the thinly sliced shallots or small onion, chopped garlic and ginger (I did not have fresh so used crystallised). Cover with rice wine vinegar and stir in the sugar, add more to taste as needed. Lastly, add salt. They are ready in a half an hour of marinating and improve in flavour each day.

My friends pickles:

She even pickled the radish leaves and macerated it with soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar and a smidgeon of salt and her family eat it over rice and tofu.

Tayberry and Marionberry Jam, with a whisky twist

Know your tools, especially when it comes to jam making! Once the jam was made I found I did not have the correct size jars, could not find any lids and should have used 1 pint extra of berries. That said, I made a plan. In the bottle it went, and we’ll eat it soon enough anyhow! Long ago, on my very first trip abroad to England, I bought 3 of these plastic lined cloth lids. This is the last I have left, sadly.

In the end, this keto jam turned out very well. Also, I’ve made a discovery. I’ve never been a big fan of pectin, and never managed to get the proportions right and found it too dominant and chewy in jam. Also, I tend to wing it when I make jam! Therefore, may I introduce you to my healthier “make do”: gelatine! I’m sure I’m not the only person who uses it, but it feels like it! I know I am probably breaking all the rules of jam making purists out there but I love the softer texture it gives the setting and its good for you!

Recipe!

  • 2 pints of berries (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup xylitol birch sugar
  • 1/4 cup whisky or brandy
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (I toss in the lemony bits too, not the pips)
  • 1 sachet (2 tblsp) gelatine
  • 1/3 cup warm water to add to gelatine or enough to stir into a soft paste

Wash berries, toss them in a deep pot, add sugar and bring the whole lot to a soft boil, stirring gently. Turn down to a simmer, add whisky, lemon juice too! Simmer stirring on occasion for about 20 to 25 minutes. It’s ready when it’s a deep purple red colour and the fragrance is less fruity and more jammy!

While the jam is simmering: In a separate little dish stir the warm water into the gelatine, leave it to stand and bloom. Sterilize your jars and lids. When your jam is done, stir in the gelatine with a small whisk.

Bottle, seal … and listen to that satisfying sound of the lid pop as it cools and sets – if you have a lid! I keep my jam in the fridge as it is not made with sugar, make in small quantities and we eat it pretty soon. It’s great fresh!

This post is dedicated to my Dad who was the most prolific and The Best Jam Maker and Pickler I have ever known. Sorry about the gelatine, Dad! ❤

As my sister said about my Dad: “if you sit still too long you’ll end up pickled in a jar”. Fact!

Keto Meatloaf Bake

Here is dinner and plenty of leftovers to portion off for our lunch boxes the next work week. I’m not such a good meatloaf maker, it’s one of those bakes that always is never as good as I expect and never quite as browned inside as I’d like. So this is more a casserole bake but keto style with low carbs. I baked this alongside some roasted veggies. Courgette, yam, garlic head and mini peppers, each flavoured with different seasonings (in order of mention, dill, turmeric, ground pepper, chilli flakes).

Meat recipe is:

  • 1 whole sweet onion, diced
  • 6 eggs
  • Toasted herbs and spices: chilli, cumin, mustard powder, paprika, coriander, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, oregano, curry leaves, lightly toasted in a pan
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chutney, I had green tomato chutney from last year’s cook up
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1x 8 oz pack of cream cheese

Toast the spices gently.

Beat the eggs in a mixer, add the diced onions to infuse the eggs. On the slowest setting, add the cream cheese, ground meat, spices, and the last of the ingredients. When mixed pour into a well buttered dish. This makes a nice large portion for work lunches. Bake for 25 minutes at 350F. Leave to set while making the spread to finish off your bake

Topping!

  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 8 oz philly cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 heaped cup grated strong cheddar
  • 1 bunch scallions, chives or herbs, chopped (I used parsley and fresh bay leaves)

When cooled slightly, spread on the tomato paste, lightly smooth over the cream cheese beaten with the eggs until spreadable, top with cheddar cheese and chopped chives or herbs, rebake for 10 minutes at 350F, grill top until brown at the end.

Viola!

It’s delicious. Serve with mint and garlic scapes chimichurri sauce, coming on next post. See you then!

Will video work here? Let me try!

Okay, long day in the kitchen. Time for some Division 2 online with my sweetie!

Kate’s Applesauce Keto Muffins with cinnamon and flax

We were talking on Skype with my Mum this morning, and the shaming burning question was asked of my partner: “what treats do you have with your morning coffee right now?” LOL The cookie jar was empty, Mom!

My dearest friend Kate, who is recently back from an epic road trip from OR to NOLA and back, gave me a bottle of applesauce in April. I’ve had Big Plans for this bottle and resisted opening it until now. Here is Kate’s amazing record of her road trip she blogged all the way there and back. It’s an incredible record of lovely places and people. Check it out, it’s a fantastic read.

I have so many photos of things I cook and bake on the fly inventing them as I go and then forget the quantities and ingredients. I’m posting this recipe straight away before I forget! They turned out really great and I hope you try them. This is a keeper recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 heaped cup brown Sukrin sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 stick melted butter (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 dessert spoon vanilla paste

Method

  • Place all dry ingredients in a bowl
  • Whisk dry ingredients to mix
  • Add wet ingredients mixing in well
  • Spoon into muffin pan
  • Bake 400F for 20 minutes

These turned out really well and are just as good plain, buttered or for pretty pics with homemade tayberry jam and whipped cream!

And you throw them together in no time..

Thanks Kate!

Keto Burger Buns

I thought I had posted these before, but apparently not. These are a little bit of extra effort but worth it! Have a big bowl for all your dry ingredients, a separate clean bowl for beating 6 egg whites, a bowl for two yolks to beat and eventually add to the beaten egg whites, and use the 4 leftover yolks for pouring custard or making ice cream! 😉

This recipe originated from ketodietapp.com and is one of my very favourite recipe sites I visit

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cup fine almond flour
1/3 cup psyllium husk powder
1/2 cup peanut flour
1/2 packed cup flax meal
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
5 tbsp sesame seeds or poppy seeds

Wet ingredients:
6 large egg whites
2 large egg yolks
2 cups water, boiling

Preheat the oven to 360 °F.

Measure all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl (not the seeds which are used for topping).

Stir these dry ingredients well, pressing out lumps.

Beat 6 egg whites until stiff peaks and add a pinch of cream of tartar prior to beating, it helps! Also, helps if your eggs are room temp.

Very carefully add the whisked egg yolks to the whites and gently fold in but be sure to be quick.

Pour two cups boiling water into the dry mix and beat until you see the dough is mixed but DO NOT over beat.
Lightly mix the egg/yolk into the dough and beat but only until the dough thickens.
Do NOT over beat – only mix until just combined.

Spoon and shape buns onto a non-stick baking tray or parchment paper. Be sure to leave decent spaces between them!

Top each of the buns with leftover beaten egg yolk, sprinkle over sesame or poppy seeds.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden.

We served them with burgers today, and they are delicious toasted too.

My favourite treat is one of these buns buttered with strong cheddar cheese.

For sweet buns:

Leave out the onion/garlic powder and add 2 heaped teaspoons of powdered birch sugar (xylitol) or powdered monk fruit sugar to dry mix.

Please don’t expect a usual bun texture, these are 100% keto texture, kind of dense and a lil’ bit eggy.

Store in sealed container in fridge, or freeze and thaw as needed.


There was only one small problem, the buns were a bit inadequate for the giant burger patties and trimmings we had! Not a bad problem to have, though. Next time I’ll make the buns bigger and bake them a little longer…

Today’s just for fun photo, a gamers workout – nearly 2 hours on Rock Band pro drums! Yeah!

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake

I had a few strawberries to use up and felt like something sweet!

Nut base:

  • 3 oz softened butter
  • 1 heaped cup nut flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste

Filling:

  • 2 room temp packs Philly softened cream cheese
  • 6 large chopped hulled strawberries
  • 1 tsp stevia concentrate
  • 1/2 tsp lemon essence and zest if you have
  • 4 room temp eggs

Make nut base by beating together butter and 1/4 cups of nut flour at a time, add vanilla paste and beat. Press into buttered pie dish.

Filling:

Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. My trick is to pop it into the oven in my stainless steel mixing dish to warm and soften while I’m heating up the oven making the crust.

Chop in the strawberries and beat into the cream cheese. As you work further with the filling it will crush the berries up as necessary – trust me on this!

Add the stevia or you could add fine keto sugar (or normal sugar, about 3/4 cup ) to taste. I prefer things not too sweet, so I usually taste my filling and stop when it’s sweet enough.

Add the lemon zest and essence, or 2 tbl fresh lemons if you are lucky enough to have a tree in your garden 😉 and beat until blended.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well each time.

Pour filling over crust base, and place in pan of water, but this is optional.

Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.

Serve with whipped sweetened whiskey cream and flaked toasted almonds.

Strawberry Shortcake a la Keto

Necessity is the mother of invention. ~ Olde English Proverb

Poor people are crafty. ~ The Russian Version!

Since strawberries came out this year I’ve been wanting strawberry shortcake. I’ve avoided all carb and sugar versions and realised it was either create something or I was going to have a weak moment. So this is the closest I can get but with a twist of flavours I love. Almond and lemon zest! It really is tasty and I’m writing it up before I forget how I did it! It had no raising agent in it, I wanted it a bit dense and heavy, but do add 1 tsp baking powder if you prefer it to have some lift. It was wonderful dense like this and the crumb was perfect – for keto baking that is!

I made raspberry and strawberry jam on Wednesday after the farmers market, as well as tayberry and blackberry jam too, with a touch of whisky added using xylitol sugar. I should have taken pictures and blogged it, it came out so great. Anyhow, we had the strawberry and raspberry jam with the shortcake today, served with sour cream … or you could use fresh whipped cream or Greek yogurt!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter or 1/2 stick
  • 1 cup powdered xylitol
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup fine almond flour
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 1 tblsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tblsp psyllium husk powder

Method

  1. Melt the butter and stir in the powdered sugar.
  2. Cool, then add two eggs and whisk lightly.
  3. Add a heaped cup of almond flour, stir in lightly.
  4. Add the zest of a lemon, stir in the almond and vanilla essence.
  5. Lastly stir in the psyllium husk, if you don’t have any don’t worry, it’s not essential.
  6. Pour into a well buttered pie dish and add halved strawberries to the top.
  7. Bake at 350F for a half hour.
  8. Serve dusted with powdered xylitol (I grind my own in a coffee grinder) and cream, doused with fresh strawberries or a compote or fresh strawberry jam.
  9. If you use regular flour and sugar, this should work just as well!

This is Felicity, watching me eat the dessert I baked. She is an absolute sweetheart and you’d never say lived feral around our house for nearly 8 years. We finally have her safely living on our porch and she now purrs gently with a very occasional meow. She will not venture in but she has many warm sleeping spots under cover, and an igloo and heating pad in cold winter months. Love this little feline.

Great Aunt Margaret’s Chicken Liver Paté

When I was little, I can’t really remembering liking liver paté very much. I ate it, but it was a mystifying texture and flavour, and I was not easily convinced just how good it was for you. Fast forward into adulthood, and now – at least a few times a year – I absolutely must have some! When we lived in East London, SA, and went to tea at my Great Aunt Margaret – a favourite Aunt of mine – she would serve this with Bakers Water Crackers and strong cheddar cheese, followed by a delicious Swedish Orange Cake, which I should try to bake sometime, but Keto style! Chicken livers are my favourite, I find beef liver is way too intense and heavy.

So I purchased 2 trays of free range chicken livers, had all the necessary ingredients and here you go!

It always seems more daunting to make than it actually is, just waiting for it to firm up in the fridge is the longest process, which is the effortless part!

I have some on almond flaxseed crackers as a snack or with salad.

If you don’t top it with garlic parsley butter add 6 cloves of garlic to the livers. But do remember to top and seal the top with melted butter to prevent the top going a grey colour and to seal it. Keeps well for up to two weeks refrigerated and sealed.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick / 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion, I used red
  • 1 lb chicken livers
  • 1/4 cup whiskey or sherry
  • 2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme or mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Optional (to add to above) :

  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Topping for paté:

Garlic and parsley butter

Smoked paprika, or plain

Method:

Fry onions in butter, when just cooking and glossy add the livers and whiskey or sherry, simmering gently. Cook until just done and pink, overcooked livers can be tough.

Sprinkle in herbs and your choice of seasonings, and simmer for a few minutes gently. Turn off and leave for 5 minutes to cool for a bit, then turn into a deep dish and blend with a blender stick or in a food processor.

Lastly, blend in the heavy cream lightly.

Pour into a bowl and smooth over. Top with melted garlic and parsley butter. Place in fridge overnight or until set.

Before serving, sprinkle with paprika.

Here’s to Great Aunt Margaret, who first taught me about roses, bought us our first roses – the Peace Rose and Queen Elizabeth, and … see photos below of the roses in our garden this summer of 2019.

Dearest Aunt, you are thought of often and with much love.