Miniature Pavlovas – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Miniature Pavlovas - FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Ignore the dietary guidelines that these Pavs suit in the title… these are not  a health food.

I didn’t think it was possible to love a dessert more than I love a good Pav but I found one. I suppose it might not really count, as these are still Pavlovas… but they’re mini, cute and you don’t feel like such a guts after eating one, as I find it easier to have just one of these than to cut a small slice from a big Pav.

Sweet, with a crispy outside and a perfect marshmallowy inside… what more could you want? Whipped cream and fruit on top? Of course you can.

These are perfect for a dinner party or a high tea (I really want to host one of those!), as you can bake them a day ahead and store them (once cooled) in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (aka. the pantry). They will turn a little soft in the fridge (though they still taste amazing) but once the whipped cream has gone on, that’s where they need to be stored.

Notes:

  1. Sucrose (castor sugar) is 1:1 fructose/glucose but if eaten in excess can overwhelm the co-transport method of fructose absorption, so for this reason I would recommend stopping yourself at one mini Pav per day. Which even normal people should do, really.
  2. Normal double cream can be swapped out for lactose free double cream or full fat coconut cream (both of which can be whipped) or lactose free yoghurt.
  3. Two raspberries and 1-2 tbsp. of strawberry sauce would fall within the label of a “single serving” of fruit.

Miniature Pavlovas

Makes approx. 16

  • 4 eggs whites
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • 250 g castor sugar
  • 2 tsp. corn or potato starch
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 300 ml double cream – lactose free if required
  • Fruit of your choice to top

Pre-heat the oven to 150 C/300 F.

In a cool, airy kitchen (no dishwasher running!) beat together the egg whites and salt on a medium speed for 2 minutes, then a high speed for a further 3 minutes, or until satiny peaks form.

Then add in the sugar (in thirds) and beat on a high speed until stiff peaks form. This is important, as you need the batter to hold its shape or it will just pool once you’ve piped it onto the baking tray.

Finally, add in the potato starch, white wine vinegar and vanilla extract and stir on a slow speed for a minute to combine everything.

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Transfer the mixture to a piping bag (or a large zip lock bag with a 1 cm snip off the corner) and pipe about 1/3 cup batter in a swirl onto the baking tray. As Ev said, they will look like Pavlova dog poo – have a laugh and keep going. I spaced mine evenly and had eight mini Pavs per baking tray.

Bake for 50-60 minutes at 150 C/300 F, swapping the bottom/top trays half way through to ensure equal cooking.

Once they have cooled, top with whipped cream and berries and serve with this strawberry sundae sauce or passion fruit pulp drizzled over the top.

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Peach and Walnut Upside Down Cake – Low Fructose & Gluten Free

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Peaches are cheap at the moment, yes! This makes me happy. I was planning on doing something else with the last two peaches we had, sort of like a peach wellington if that makes sense but they were called into action a little earlier when a cake was needed for dessert at a friend’s house.

This cake is peach cobbler/crumble inspired. I wanted to make something that tasted like a crumble but was a little more presentable, like a cake.

Note: After my Dad told me that I was “sugar bashing” and I was becoming a “sweetist,” I will refrain from expanding on the sugar content of this cake other than to say that peaches, while they have 0.4 g/100 g more glucose than fructose, do contain polyols. If you are sensitive to polyols – the P in FODMAPs – this might not be suitable for you. You could, however, change out the peaches for a berry of your choice and the cake would still taste just as good. Also, while brown sugar has slightly more fructose than glucose, the addition of dextrose should negate that and the f/g ratio of this cake should be in glucose’ favour. I don’t think I am at risk of cutting sugar out of my diet entirely – I only aim to minimise and treat myself on the weekend – so Dad and his sweet tooth can relax.

Peach and Walnut Upside Down Cake

  • 125 g/1/2 cup unsalted butter/coconut butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup dextrose/castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cup GF plain flour
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. all spice
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 medium peaches – about 7 cm or so in diameter
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease and line a 9″ cake tin.

Slice one of the peaches into wedges just under 1 cm thick. About 1/4″. Arrange them as you’d like them to appear on the top of your cake on the base of your cake tin. Next time I make this cake, I plan on making a small amount of walnut crumble topping to sit in the middle and make it resemble a cobbler/crumble even more.

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Finely dice any left over wedges and the second peach and set aside. Roughly chop the walnuts, if they aren’t already, and put them in the oven to toast for 5 minutes. Remove, set aside and let them cool.

Cream the butter and sugars for 5 minutes at a medium speed, using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, scrape the sides of the bowl down and continue to mix for another 2-3 minutes. Add the buttermilk and keep beating until the mixture is well combined.

Meanwhile, combine all the dry ingredients, except the fruit and nuts, and sieve them gradually into the butter/egg/milk mixture until the stand mixer has thoroughly mixed them through. Pour in the diced peaches and walnuts and fold them through the cake batter until they are evenly distributed.

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Carefully pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, ensuring your don’t disrupt the arranged peach wedges. Bake at 180 C for 50-55 minutes, or until the cake tests clean with a skewer, then turn the heat off and let it sit in the oven fur a further 5 minutes.

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Let it sit for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a cooling rack. Wait until the cake has cooled for at least an hour before removing the baking paper sheet from the “top” of the cake, otherwise it might pull away some of the peach slices with it. To give the top of the cake a nice shine, you could lightly glaze it with some maple syrup.

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Serve with vanilla bean custard, ice cream, whipped cream, plain/Greek yoghurt or fresh berries. I took this to a dinner to which my friend, Chath, had also brought homemade ice cream. Yum. If I ever buy an ice cream maker, it’s going to be my one way ticket to obesity, I swear; proper ice cream is so much better than store bought.

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What I learnt from this cake: the GF flour you use makes all the difference. This is my usual plain cake mixture with diced peaches and walnuts added and when I made it with King Arthur GF Flour it was fluffy, when I used Namaste GF Flour it was so pudding-like to almost be rubber. I hate that King Arthur GF Flour is so expensive (around $7/lb, so about $14/kg) but every time I trial a new, cheaper flour mix it just doesn’t perform as well. I keep going back to the King Arthur Flour. It does have whole meal brown rice flour, towards the end of the ingredients list, so if you are sensitive to brown rice it may not be suitable but from what I’ve read there is contention about brown rice being high in fructose anyway. I have ordered Sue Shepherd’s latest FODMAP book so hopefully I will have some solid information soon! At any rate, it doesn’t affect me.

With all that said, enjoy! Just make sure you’re using a decent GF/FF flour mix. Now I had better go and feed the dogs before the bark the house down…