Who would have thunk that you could do a dairy free (and failsafe) version of caramel! I gave this recipe a shot and it turned out pretty good! It definitely lacks that creamy smoothness that cream or cow’s milk would give but hey when you gotta be dairy free you can’t really complain right? The original recipe came from here but when I gave it a go it took a lot longer than described, probably around 45mins cooking time.
1 1/4 cups rice milk (I have used Aldi and homemade, or you can try any other milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Take your milk and heat up for 1-2 minutes in the microwave till it is warm. It doesn’t need to be hot hot.
Place the sugar in a wide pot so it makes a thin layer and place on medium heat.
Give the sugar at least 5 minutes to heat up and then you will notice it will start to liquefy. Agitate it around so that crystallised sugar can hit the pot and also liquify. If it is browning too fast turn down the heat a bit.
Once all the sugar is liquefied and the colour has developed to a nice caramel brown then grab your milk and pour it into the pot of liquid sugar. This will produce heaps of steam so stand back and keep stirring.
The milk is cool the sugar so it will become quite hard and separate from the liquid. Don’t worry, keep it on heat whilst stirring (you may want to increase the fire a bit since it cooled down) and it will eventually dissolve.
Once it has dissolved you can simmer the sauce till the desired consistency. For a runny and pourable sauce I simmered for close to 30 minutes. It looks quite thin because of the heat but once it cools it became thicker (I checked by taking less than a teaspoon out and cooling it on a plate to see the consistency). For a hard sauce suitable for a glaze I reduced it till it was thick whilst it was still hot (close to 45 mins).
When you have the right consistency then pour it into a jar and keep it in the fridge.
I have used this sauce on pancakes, mixed with icing sugar to make a doughnut glaze and in trifle. The possibilities are endless!
It seems difficult to find gluten free puffed rice, does any one else have that issue too? I also found that it actually is quite expensive to buy so I decided to check if it was feasible to make it yourself. I found some people do it on Youtube and it’s pretty easy but it is an oilier version of the store bought product. Pretty much it involves using leftover rice, dehydrating it and then frying it into puffs. It’s does take a little time but it is super easy!
Whoever came up with pancakes is a genius! I love hot breakfasts because I grew up with my mumma fixing up epic meals to keep me going through the day at school. Breakfast pho anyone? Seriously, I got noodles for breakkie many a time. All my asian friends be jelly. Pancakes are so easy to make, but I’ll be honest you do have to get up a few minutes earlier to prep but if you are super lazy like moi then you prep it the night before and zap them in the microwave to heat them up. I did when I was travelling around America. Too easy my friends so no excuses.
1 cup GF self-raising flour (I use a soy free blend from Aldi)
1 tablespoon sugar (white sugar if you going failsafe)
1 cup rice milk (or you can substitute any other milk)
Extra baking powder (optional)
Oil or butter/nuttelex to fry
Place the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. If you only have plain flour then add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to make it self raising. Some flour blends don’t rise very much so you can add a little more baking powder to help it along, something along the lines of 1/2-1 teaspoon.
Make a little well in the middle and add the egg and most of the milk and start whisking the liquid around and dragging in little bits of flour at the interface of the liquid and flour as you go. If you go and mix the whole lot in one go then you most likely get lumps so just be patient go slow from inside out and you will save time later trying to get lumps out.
Check the consistency once its smooth, you are looking for a thick-ish pancake batter. Add a bit more milk if it is too thick. Add a bit more flour if you need to thicken a watery batter. My pancake batter usually takes just a tad under 1 cup. If it is too thin it will spread too much in the pan and won’t be thick and fluffy.
On medium heat, pop a bit of oil or nuttelex/butter in a pan and pour some batter on to the size you want. Smaller is easier to flip. When bubbles start to form and it is solid enough to slide around the pan then its ready to flip. Then cook till golden.
For a failsafe option I have it with some golden syrup or dairy free caramel sauce with some pears. Have it any way you like it though! Below I had them when I was doing an amine challenge so I had dark chocolate and bananas. Needless to say I flared like cray so I won’t be doing that ever again! If you can get you hands on Rice Dream ice cream, it is the BEST (also send me a message of where you got it because I can’t find it in Australia)!!!
This recipe is extremely simple for some crunchy savoury biscuits which is sometimes nice for a change. However, I feel they are a little dry on the tongue because they are made of chickpea flour. They also did not turn out anything like the picture the original recipe had (you can see it here), these turned out super yellow but they still taste good! The recipe makes a bowls worth of biscuits and you can double chickpea it up by dipping in some hommus (you can find my failsafe recipe here).
I was trying to find a way to have whipped cream to make trifle but I could only use rice milk because of my sensitivity to soy and salicylates. I found a recipe on wakingupvegan.com. However, I think due to lack of proteins and fat it never made a stiff whipped cream that dairy cream or coconut cream could made. The consistency of this “cream” was more like double cream, very pourable. It still sort of worked and for the purposes of the trifle, it sufficed. So here is the recipe!
For this I think a stick mixer is probably the best way to do this as it is a similar principle as the mayonnaise. Find a container that is thin and the stick mixer can fit at the bottom an extra centimeter or two to move around.
Place all ingredients in the container and use the stick mixer to whiz it up. Make sure to move the stick mixer around to make sure you get a complete emulsion of the oil and the water based ingredients.
Keep whipping till the required consistency, which was around double cream for me. If it gets hot place it in a larger bowl of ice or ice water as heat will split your cream.
Once done chill it in the fridge till you are ready.
Here is a little lunch I quickly whipped up when I was short on time. I had all the usual stocks on hand to speed up the process and I used left over chicken. Normally we use what ever we have lying around the house and/or leftovers. It’s a good way to have something slightly different but not wasting the leftovers.
Coat chicken fillets (you can use thigh or breast, I prefer thigh) with equal amounts of pear ketchup and the failsafe magic sauce (the recipe is all over the place but here is one of them). Just enough to coat them and then place them under the grill on medium-high heat. Once they start to brown turn them over, should be at least 10 mins.
Bring water to the boil in a saucepan and add 1-2 teaspoons of the veggie stock paste. Place in half a handful of some cut up string beans and half a handful of chopped up cabbage. Boil for around 5 mins or till they start to go tender. Add in some vermicelli and cook till aldente. Once they are ready transfer to a bowl and add in cut up chicken and garnish with some chopped up spring onions.
These amaranth crackers are literally just amaranth. Like magic they can be manipulated into crispy little discs to be eaten with dip (ie. hommus and maybe some cashew dip for us failsafers). You can also lightly salt them and then you can skip the dip all together! They are actually very light and crispy, similar to the “Peckish” brand of rice crackers. They are so easy to eat that you can eat a bowl and not even notice. You would probably want to double the recipe because they will go quick! I saw the original recipe here.
Cook the 1/2 cup of amaranth in one cup of water for around 30 mins till the water is absorbed and it looks like sticky porridge. You will need to stir is closer to the end so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Let it cool down.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
When the amaranth is cool wet your hands and roll little balls and flatten them on baking paper into thin discs (couple of millimeters thick).
Bake them at 180C for about 15-20 mins (less if your oven is really good). Look out for them browning and looking dry and toasted. They shouldn’t stick to the paper when they are done.
Take them out when ready and cool before removing from the tray.
This sauce claims to be a failsafe cheese substitute. I did have to make some minor alterations from the original recipe to have it fit under the strict elimination diet and no potato because I think it makes me bloat. However it still turned out really well! But it still doesn’t really taste like cheese to me. I have since done the original sauce recipe and it doesn’t look as good as the one on their site unfortunately because my stick blender was broken and I had to use the normal blender. That said even though it doesn’t taste like cheese to me, it still tastes amazing and packs a flavour punch! I used it once to make a sauce for my stir fried chicken and when it started to dry out it tasted so good! So I am not going to call it a cheese sauce, rather a white sauce.
White Sauce (Strict eliminination diet version, no potato)
I am so excited to write this post today! Just when I got back from overseas I went to the market with my dad to stock up on food since I had been away for 6 weeks and nothing was left in the house that was failsafe. We came home with a box of pears for $5! Yep, $5. Of course all the pears were nearly ripe so what to do with all the spoils and not enough tummy space for it? You find ways of preserving it, of which one of the ways to preserve fruit is to “leather”. Essentially it is to cook the fruit down to a pulp and then dehydrate it. When you dehydrate food you discourage yeast and bacterial growth because they need water to survive.
I found lots of posts on how to leather fruits and it really seems simple enough. The main steps are to chop up the fruit and boil it down to a puree. Then spread it out to dehydrate it. Once its dehydrated you can then rub it with sugar to help stop it from sticking to each other. A lot of the posts are for fruit other than pears and so when I experimented with it over the weekend I felt there were some things you could skip. So here is what I did to make my pear leather/roll-ups, it doesn’t have measured quantities so I will attempt to describe the process for you to get a feel on what to look out for.
White sugar (to taste and to rub on if you desire)
Citric acid (to taste)
A splash of water
Peel and chop up your pear. The smaller the pieces the quicker it cooks and becomes soft.
Place chopped pear in a saucepan with a little water over medium heat. You won’t need much water especially if your pears are very juicy. The water is there to stop the pears from burning as they start to cook. Once they start cooking they should release water and the less water you have to start with means less time to let it evaporate off.
Cook the pears over medium heat till they become soft and become a pulp. Once that happens you can lower the heat and keep reducing it till there is little water left. Especially look for a layer of water on the top of the pears when it is simmering, you want this to be gone.
Once as much water is evaporated off as possible without burning the pear pulp on the bottom, take it off the heat and let it cool for a bit.
Using a stick mixer (or any other equivalent appliance you have) puree the pear pulp till smooth. The smoother the better as it will mean you can have a nice even roll-up.
At this point, have a taste and see if it is sweet enough. If not, add a bit of sugar. Also, taste for a balance of some tartness and if it lacks then add a sprinkle of citric acid. You won’t need much citric acid as it is quite strong. Make sure you mix well (you can use the stick mixer for this).
Line a baking tray with some non-stick baking paper (or some people suggest heat proof cling wrap). Pour your pear puree on it and spread it out evenly to a few millimeters thickness.
Place it in an oven set around 70-80C or a dehydrator to dry for around 8 hours. The oven needs to be below 100C because then you will cause it to boil and caramelise into a hard mess. The aim is to just dry it without further cooking. Alternatively you could try leave it out for a few days. I did it in bursts in the oven over the course of two days to make sure I didn’t over dry it.
Feel to see if its dry, especially the middle of the tray as that is the last to dry out. If it is very sticky, it is not dry enough. When it dry enough it should be tough enough to be able to peel it off the baking paper without it ripping and it may look more translucent (see picture below). I wasn’t patient enough and the middle was still a little too soft.
When dry you can peel it of the baking paper, rub it with sugar to stop it sticking on everything and then cut it into strips.
Store in a dry, airtight container.
I am seriously rationing it because of all the fruit I cooked, it had low yields and I really must restrain myself if it is to last longer than a few days! It takes a lot of time but not much effort so seriously think of doing it because the taste is so worth it!
Firstly, I’d like to apologise for not posting anything for 6 weeks. The first two weeks I was cruising in the South Pacific and internet was at a premium price. Then I had four weeks in Europe for a conference and some lab visits. I had all intentions of posting while I was away but travelling had taken its toll. Since I have returned (five days ago) I have already finished one batch of hommus so I thought I would share my super easy failsafe recipe.
1/3 cup canola oil (or any other oil you can tolerate)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon citric acid
Garlic to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor and whiz away till you have a smooth paste! Literally that is it!
The longer I whiz the more smooth it gets but it’s a compromise because my food processor is loud. Some people peel the chickpeas and it does yield a smoother result but it takes a lot of effort to peel a whole can.
If you leave it for a while it can start to separate but it is still good, just give it a mix.