Category Archives: Sweet Treats

Banana and Hazelnut Bread


Love the hazelnut meal in this Banana Bread recipe from Weight Watchers Gluten Free cookbook.

Banana Bread


2/3 cup gluten free plain flour

2/3 cup rice flour

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup hazelnut meal

2 eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup sunflower or canola oil

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large ripe bananas (460g), mashed


Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).  Line a 22 cm x 11 cm loaf tin with baking paper.

Sift flours and baking powder into a large bowl and add cinnamon, brown sugar and hazelnut meal.  Stir to combine.

Whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.  Stir in mashed banana.

Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Spoon mixture into prepared tin, smooth surface and bake for 45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Set aside for 5 minutes before turning out.

(from Weight Watchers Gluten Free)



Before recipes became complicated, before supermarkets stocked mascarpone and before Tiramisu came into vogue, our family enjoyed ‘Savioardi Cake.’

This is our family favourite, enjoyed most Christmas lunches and as long as you use Schar Savioardi Biscuits, gluten free.

This is also a family recipe from the days gone by when measurements weren’t precise nor written down and ‘to taste’ was a common notation.  I have a recipe from my nonna which reads – one sifter of flour. You certainly had to have a feel for baking in those days.


1 packet Savioardi Biscuits (Schar is the only brand I have found that is gluten free)schar savioardi

600 ml thickened cream


Instant coffee

Icing sugar


Line a loaf tin with baking paper making sure to have paper overhanging.

Whip cream together with icing sugar and instant coffee to taste.

Dip biscuits in marsala on both sides and place as a layer in tin. DO NOT SOAK THE BISCUITS. DIP ONLY.

Cover the layer of biscuits with cream mixture.

Repeat layers finishing with cream.

Refrigerate overnight.

To plate, gently lift the Tiramisu out of the tin and slide or using cake servers, move to serving plate.

Finely grate chocolate over the top.

 You can also prepare the Tiramisu in a bowl, like my sister’s version in the photo with walnuts sprinkled over the top.  Or you  could  present the dessert in individual glasses


Creamy Rice


Creamy Rice.JPG


I have taken to making this recipe every couple of weeks, to take to my 91 year old father.  It is easy and needs about 20 minutes of one’s time and Dad loves it, not only because he enjoys its sweetness but also because it reminds him of Mum and the recipes she would make.  The other pudding Mum used to make was Apricots and Rice : stewed apricots with lots of syrup and plain unsalted boiled rice…

tastes of my childhood

Creamy Rice and Stewed Prunes

1 packet prunes, a spinkle of sugar and a little water.  Stew prunes on gentle simmer.

600ml full cream milk, 3 tablespoons short grain rice, 3 tablespoons caster sugar (a bit too sweet for me so I use 1/5 to 2 tablespoons), a bit of butter.  Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Reduce to a gentle simmer and stir regularly until 3/4 liquid has been absorbed by the rice.  Pour into a dish and sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.







Cheesecake Decadence




My sister Terese is our Dessert Queen and this is one more of her  creations.  A special celebration dessert, this cheesecake will more than please the gluten free-er and gluten eater alike.  The base is a rice bubble (gluten free of course) and white chocolate mix which Terese also used to adorn the top.  Use you favourite cheesecake filling recipe and VOILA! Here is Terese’s version.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Coconut Crunch Cheesecake

Prep: 35 mins + chilling

Cook: 5 mins

Serves: 12 – 16


  • 300 g Cadbury White Chocolate Melts
  • 60 g butter
  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal
  • ¾ cup coconut
  • 750 g Philadelphia Original Block Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tabs gelatine, dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups cream, whipped until stiff
  • 3 x 125 g punnets raspberries


  1. Place chocolate and butter in a bowl and place over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth. Combine puffed rice cereal and coconut in a bowl, then add the melted chocolate and butter and mix well.
  2. Line the base of a 24 cm springform pan. Evenly press half the mixture into the base and chill.  Reserve remaining mixture at room temperature.
  3. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla essence with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir through the dissolved gelatine, then fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Scatter 1 punnet of raspberries over the base, then pour over half the cream cheese mixture. Top with another punnet of raspberries, then pour over the remaining cream cheese mixture.  Lightly crumble over the reserved chocolate mixture, top with the remaining raspberries and chill for 3 – 4 hours or until set.


Christmas Stockings – Retro Style

Back in the day, when Christmas wasn’t quite so commercialised, one would receive a Christmas Stocking and one other gift.

Life was simple and uncomplicated and many of my peers have memories of this Christmas Stocking : cardboard backing with material netting and containing a comic, a packet of lollies and a few bits and bobs such as whistles, yo-yos, toy car, tin clickers.

Xmas Stocking

With too much time on my hands, I decided that a gluten free Christmas Stocking could be easily (if not roughly) made.

Xmas Stocking (3)

A cookbook, lollies, caramels, chocolates and there it is, my version of a gluten free Christmas Stocking.

So if you are still looking for inspiration: gluten free or otherwise, then put together a few items, sew together cardboard and a scrap of curtain material and personalise a Christmas Stocking gift.

Gluten Free Shortbread


Shortbread (2).JPG

Short and Sugary

What caught my eye about this recipe is the small amount of rice flour it uses. And the currants.  Rice flour can make a biscuit chalky and sandy – my son’s words and texture has become an important criteria for rating new products.

Too short for a lunch box, but perfect with a cup of tea.

Gluten-free shortbread with lemon and currants 


250 g butter, softened

1/2 cup caster sugar , plus extra to sprinkle

2 tablespoons of currants

2 teaspoons of lemon zest (lime zest works well)

2 1/4 cups gluten free plain flour

1/4 cup rice flour

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)


In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.  Mix in currants and zest.

Sift in combined flours and salt.  Mix to combine.

Turn dough out onto a board and knead gently.  Roll into an even 5 cm x 20 cm log.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to moderately slow 160C.  Line two oven trays with baking paper.

Cut dough into 1 cm thick rounds.  Arrange on trays 2 cm apart and sprinkle with extra sugar.

Bake 20 – 25 minutes, until lightly golden.  Cool on trays 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

(From Woman’s Day : Baking – Kate Brown)

Brookies – Gluten Free


It is always good to have honest feedback and while what I might think is tasty or delicious  and worth a repeat bake, my son might have a totally different opinion.

And this is honestly something that parents of gluten free children must keep in mind: children have very different taste and texture likes and dislikes compared to those of adults.

So the conversation went like this when I baked Brookies:

KJ: Can I have one of these?

Me: Of course you can, they are a new recipe.

KJ: What are they?

Me: Brookies – a cross between a brownie and a cookie.

KJ: Why didn’t you just make brownies?

Me: But don’t you think they look good… a little like snow covered cookies… a feel of Christmas.

KJ: I’m not a fan.

Me: So does that mean I don’t make them again.

KJ: Just make brownies.

This recipe was included in the September 2016 The Australian Coeliac Magazine and was submitted by Jade Dunne. Thank you Jade, your recipe wins my tick of approval.


42 g gluten free cocoa powder

200 g caster sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

125 g gluten free plain flour

1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

30 g pure icing sugar


Preheat oven to 180 C fan forced.

Mix cocoa, caster sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, then stir into cocoa mixture until combined.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 4 hours or in the freezer for about 30 – 60 mintues.

Pour icing sugar into a separate bowl.  Remove mixture from the fridge and roll into tablespoon sized balls, then roll in the icing sugar to coat.

Place on a lined tray and bake in preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes, until brookies have risen slightly and the surface is cracked.

Cool slightly on the tray before place on a rack to cool completely.

NB I used icing sugar not pure icing sugar (which I didn’t have in the house) but I think the look for have been even better had I used the pure icing sugar.  Also, as I bake in a rather tropical temperature kitchen, I think I would place the brookies pre-baking bake into the fridge for 30 minutes or so.  I think this would help them not spread so much when baking. I also found this recipe from Rachel at Bakerita which is worth adding to my “To Cook” list.

Red Velvet Gluten Free Cupcakes


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Struggling with your gluten free diet because you feel you can no longer eat some of your favourite cakes?

Once you get more confident with gluten free baking, you might just find that a packet cake mix plus a bit of tweaking could just be the answer.

Cup Cakes

1 pkt Basco Golden Butter Cake Mix

2 eggs

3 tablespoons softened butter/margarine

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cocoa, sifted

1 tablespoon red food colouring


125 g cream cheese

25 g unsalted butter, softened

60 g icing sugar mix

1 ½ teaspoons milk


Cup Cakes

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and with an electric beater, mix on low until all ingredients are combined.

Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Divide batter between cupcake papers.

Bake in a moderate oven 180 C (fan forced 160C) for 15 – 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool.


Place cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat for 8 – 10 minutes with an electric mixer.  Add icing sugar and beat for a further 5 – 6 minutes until smooth.  Add the milk and beat until just combined. Top the cupcakes with the icing.

Sweet Bases

Looking for an alternative sweet base to the usual biscuits and butter or short crust pastry?

Here are three gluten free sweet base options that you might like to try.*  They are all variations on a theme: dates and nuts and while I have only included the recipe for the bases, please visit the bakers’ websites for the rest of their recipes.  Alternatively you can try Matt Preston’s ‘Cheatscake’ Lime Pie

Happy baking!

Raspberry and Lime Cheesecake

From Courtney

1 ¼ cups almond meal

¼ cup flax meal

½ cup pitted dates

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Combine ingredients in a food processor until it clumps together.  Remove and press firmly into a greased pie or flan dish.  Freeze for 3 hours.  Once set, remove to fridge.

Raw Lime Pie

From Woolworths Fresh

1 cup walnuts

½ cup pitted dates

½ cup cocoa

Combine ingredients in a food processor until crushed.  Press mixture firmly into the base of pie dish or flan tin.  Freeze.

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

From Kathleen King’s Baking for Friends

1 cup pecans

1 cup almonds

1/3 cup pitted dates

In a food processor combine ingredients until it all becomes finely ground.  Transfer nut mixture into pie pan and press evenly to form a crust.  Refrigerate.

*My taste testers have very specific likes and dislikes. After all I am cooking for our 19 year old son and my 91 year old father. Therefore these bases are not to their liking. They like a crunch and so much preferred the almond meal, granulated sugar and butter style base.

Ossi Di Morte  – Dead Man’s Bones


This recipe belongs to Nonna Fu Fu my Aunty Dora’s mother who came to Australia from the Isle of Elba, Italy in 1936. Made to look like gnarly bones, traditionally this is a biscuit made for All Souls’ Day, though some of you know this as Halloween.  I have found many Italian recipes for Dead Man’s Bones but all use almond meal.  Using the whole nuts, makes this recipes unique and special.


4 egg whites

2 cups caster sugar

6 ozs Marsala

4 cups almonds (2 cups whole and 2 cups sliced in half)

1 sifter plain flour (start with 4 cups gluten free flour plus extra added as needed)


Preheat oven 150C fan forced. Line three baking trays with baking paper.

Beat egg white and sugar until glossy.

Add and fold through the Marsala, almonds and flour. You might need to add extra flour 1/4 to 1/2 cup to make the dough workable but not stiff.

Line bench with baking paper. Place one half of dough onto paper and with hands and fingers, spread out into a rectangle of about 20 x 30 cm. Try to move almonds in between dough.

Cut into stripes.  Cut smaller pieces of 7 cm. Remove from paper using the blade of a knife and lay onto baking tray. You might need to pat with flour or flatten out dough between nuts with your fingers. You want the dough to be thinner than the nuts.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden. Rest on trays for 5 minutes before transferring and cooling on racks.

Repeat with rest of dough.

There are many recipes for Ossi di Morte but most use almond meal and therefore you don’t get the gnarly look as you do when whole nuts are used.

Eleanora Balwin shares her Nonna’s Piemonte recipe on Aglio Plio e Peperoncino which is the closest recipe I have found to Nonna Fu Fu’s.

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