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Tag: gluten free

Lemon Olive Oil Cake


A while ago I wrote this post about an Olive Oil Cake that I made for a morning tea at a friends house. Actually, I just looked up that post and it was 6 years ago… Wow that’s nuts. My friend used to hold themed lunches, Indian, Italian, etc and I always offered to bring dessert. For the Italian Lunch I’d googled and googled till I stumbled upon this lovely Olive Oil Cake.

I’ve always remembered this cake and have made it a few times since. I’m a lover of good cake and this one is always hands down a winner. It’s light and lovely with a beautiful Olive Oil and Lemon flavour.

A side note to start with – the recipe calls for ‘Cake Flour’. For this I take a 1 Cup Measurement, put 1/4 of a cup of cornflour in the bottom then fill the rest of the cup measurement with plain flour = Cake Flour. Also, I always use Gluten Free flour and prefer it for baking as I find it makes cakes and desserts a little lighter in texture.

Also, I now make it in my Thermomix but here’s the traditional cooking method recipe:

Lemon Olive Oil Cake


  • 3/4 Cup Good Olive Oil
  • 1 Lge Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 Cup of Cake Flour (see above)
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar Plus an extra 1/2 Tbs of Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a round springform Cake Tin and set aside.
  2. Finely zest entire lemon and whisk the zest into the flour.
  3. Beat the yolks with an electric mixer with 1/2 Cup of the sugar on high until thick and pale. Reduce the speed and add 3/4 Cup of Oil and lemon Juice, beating till combined. (Mixture may appear separated – just keep going!)
  4. Hold in flour mixture till just combined.
  5. Whisk whites with the salt till foamy then slowly add the last 1/4 cup of sugar till soft peaks form. Gently fold into the yolk mixture.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and evenly sprinkle the extra 1/2 tablespoon of sugar over the top. Bake until golden, around 25 – 30 Minutes.


The Happy Cookbook Challenge – Week 18

I’m a little behind in posting about my The Happy Cookbook Challenge, but here’s a quick catch up on what I’ve been making….
Week 18 - a Week 18 - b Week 18 - c Week 18 - d If you don’t know what I’m on about, you can read about it here, but basically I challenged myself to cook all the recipes from a cookbook within a certain time frame.

At this point I’m 75 Recipes down, so out of 144 I have 69 left with 8 weeks before I reach the end date I originally set. Which would mean I’d have to make 8.6 recipes a week to be able to complete the challenge on time…. While I’d like to move the end date by a couple of weeks as I know we have a holiday coming up and reasons I won’t be at home, I’m going to keep it and see how much I can plough through by the time the original six months are up.

I will say though, loads of good recipes! I’m loving this book and am itching to get my hands on her new one but will wait till I’ve completed this challenge first. 🙂

I love love loved the Paleo Burger, Choc and Macadamia nut Brownies, Hot Cross Buns (Yay for Easter and an excuse to make them again!) and the Baked Pear Porridge (unfortunately I don’t think the porridge much liked me though… I’m going to try the porridge again with soaked Quinoa Flakes.) A few of the smoothies I’ve been a little ‘meh’ about but I keep going back to the first one I made – A Golden Goddess one with ginger and turmeric – soooooo good!

This week I’m going to make a few of the tea cakes for a morning tea tomorrow and am menu planning this afternoon to get organised to smash through as many more as I can. I love that a few of the ‘recipes’ I need to make are just simple smoothies and dressings which makes the 8.6 a week easier to complete.

If you’d like to follow my progress I post them as I make them over on my Instagram – @thestrandsofme

Happy Cooking!

The Happy Cookbook Challenge – Weeks 4, 5, 6 & 7

Okay, so shoot. I’m a little behind in posting. But have been cooking like a madwoman, so that makes up for it, right? And if you follow me on Instagram you can see how much I have been making for my The Happy Cookbook Challenge, and know it’s just that I’m a slack poster.

Weeks 4 5 6 7

So here’s a list of what I’ve made:

  • Oven Baked Salmon Patties
  • Super Green Smoothie
  • Lemon Butter
  • Salted Almond Butter
  • Raw Caramel Butter
  • Sweet Potato and Quinoa Patties with Tahini Dressing
  • Vanilla and Blueberry Oaty Piklets
  • Zucchini Chicken Pasta with Basil Pesto
  • Pineapple Crumble with vegan Mint and Lime Ice-Cream
  • Apple and Mint Pancakes
  • Banana and Berry Bread
  • Fried Banana with Toasted Coconut and Nut Butter

I haven’t had Salmon patties in years. I used to work in a beautiful cafe that would serve them once a week, and people would line up at the door so they didn’t miss out! I know that recipe was different to the one in The Happy Cookbook so I’m planning on experimenting and making a Thermomix version of it to post for you.

The Butters are amazing, and nearly all the Raw Caramel has been eaten. With a spoon. Straight from the jar…..

I loved the Pineapple Crumble (and there’s some left in my fridge, guess what’s for lunch!) as well as the vegan Ice-Cream. What a great idea! Tastes much like a Raw Cheesecake, so good.

This week I’m going to menu plan the next few weeks to help me stay on top of my challenge, especially with Christmas just around the corner and a trip home to family coming up. Challenges are all in the planning!

28 Recipes Down, 117 to go.

*not sponsored, I just enjoy the challenge of making lots of good food!

The Happy Cookbook Challenge – Week 2

Week 2 of my The Happy Cookbook Challenge already! And another seven dishes down, only 133 to go.

I’ve found that I’m trying to make as many dishes as I can while I’m able to as I know that over the Christmas/New Year/School Holiday period I won’t be able to whip out as many. Holidays and celebrations and birthdays are a welcome distraction from the hustle and bustle of life, but cooking is always my escape. If I can get as many dishes done as I can, I definitely will.

This week I was able to seven though, so I’m happy!

Week 2 I made:

  • Chilli Beef Lettuce Cups (without much chilli as it doesn’t tend to agree with me)
  • Quirky Carrot Salad
  • Green Tea and Lime Raw Cake
  • Passionfruit and Lime Snowballs
  • Avocado, Mint and Lime Ice-Pops
  • Crunchy Paleo Granola (which I have been sneaking by the spoonful whenever I can!)
  • Golden Goddess Smoothie (topped with Cruncy Paleo Granola)

My favourite dishes this week were defiantly the smoothie and ice-creams, with how hot and humid it is here they’re a beautiful way to cool down. I love beef in lettuce cups so that was right down my alley and leftovers the next few days were the bomb.

If you’d like any recipes head out and grab your own copy of The Happy Cookbook*!

Here’s to another week of cooking! I already have a dish done and in the fridge (waiting patiently to be photographed!) and more to come.

Happy Cooking!

*not sponsored. 

Tuesday Treat: Gluten Free Waffles!

I’ve never really understood the fascination of waffles. Always thought they were like pancakes, but with dents in them. You know, to hold the syrup and cream and all that fatty goodness. A little while ago Noah was with me at Coles and pushing around his own little trolley and a waffle maker just happened to fall into his trolley.

I figured it was only $10. What the hell, right?

Brought it home, tried it out with a terrible online recipe and wasn’t too impressed. So it got shelved.

The other day the little booklet that came in the box fell out of the cupboard. Hit me on the head on it’s way to the floor. Curious, I picked it up and had a flick through, noticing a few recipes in the back that were heaps different to the one I’d tied. And just because I love cooking, I thought I’d try these out for breakfast the next morning.

Okay, so now I understand the fascination with waffles.

OMG, these were nice. I substituted the flour for gluten free flour and whisked the egg white till it was firm and they were so so so perfect. Crispy on the outside, light in the middle. And as the maker is quite small, they’re a great kid-size. As I’m trying my darndest to be healthy, I served mine with yoghurt, some banana and a light drizzle of golden syrup. Noah wanted sprinkles so I drizzled a little syrup on his first so they’d stick. He ate two. That’s a win in my book.

My Basic Waffle Recipe

 You’ll need:
– 1 cup Self-Raising flour (as I mentioned, I used Gluten Free flour)
– 1 egg, separated
– 1/2 Cup Milk
– 1/3 Cup Water
– 45g Macadamia Oil (or melted butter if you prefer)
– 1 Tbs Rice Malt Syrup (or what ever sweetener you use. Caster sugar is fine)

– Preheat the waffle maker (there’s a little green light that goes on on mine when it’s ready.)
– In a bowl mix the flour, egg yolk, milk, water and oil till well combined
– Meanwhile whisk the egg white and sugar till stiff, then fold into the batter mixture
– Pour 1 1/2 tbs of mixture into each waffle plate
– Cook lid down for 2 min or till golden. Remove carefully with silicone tongs.
– Top with your desired topping then dig in.

You can add anything into your batter. Strawberries, cocoa, bananas, honey, syrup, raspberries, citrus rind, vanilla, the list goes on.

I’m converted. Waffles over pancakes in this house. For now.

Are you a waffle lover?

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Tuesday Treats: Gluten Free Brioche (with a few yummy bits)

I am not a bread baker. Seriously. I’ve only made bread a handful of times and even then, it’s not the best.

That excludes Banana Bread though. I rock at that.

One of the recipes for my Donna Hay Blog challenge included Brioche with some ricotta and a vanilla honey syrup. But I found the recipe quite simple and with my gluten free diet highly doubted my chances of finding a gluten free brioche in Central Queensland, so I decided to make one instead.

I’m quite chuffed with how it turned out. I know that if I made it a few times more that it’d get better and better, but honestly, I don’t need to consume that much butter. Well, I love it, but my hips don’t…

But it was lovely when fresh out of the oven and smeared in ricotta and lemon curd. I’m currently becoming addicted to lemon curd. Thanks Luci!

I just substituted flour for gluten free flour, as I usually do, and found it still worked well. The only recipes I’ve had trouble with using GF flour are sponge cake and another bread recipe, which sucked big time. But hey, you won’t know if these things will work or not until you try them, right?

Gluten Free Brioche

What you’ll need:
2 Tbsp caster sugar
3 Tbsp water
1 packet (7g) active dry yeast
2 eggs
200g plain flour (I used gluten free)
1/4 tsp salt
90g unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk, to glaze
1 Tbsp water, to glaze

 – Put 1 tbsp of sugar in a small saucepan with the water and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Sprinkle the yeast onto the mixture and leave to stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir the yest into the liquid, beat the eggs in a separate bowl then beat them into the yeast mixture.
– Put the flour, salt and remaining sugar into a mixer bowl and with a dough hook on, blend on a low speed (or alternatively you can mix by hand)
– Increasing speed, gradually add the yeast mixture to form a dough and knead for a further 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the dough down the sides of the bowl as required. Add the butter to the mixture a bit at a time, mixing the whole while until fully combined.
– Put the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hr 30 min until doubled in size.
– Grease a 500g tin with butter. Knead the dough two or three times by hand on a lightly floured surface and divide into eight even sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place in the tin. Cover and leave to prove for 40 minutes.
– Preheat your oven to 200C. Mix the egg yolk and water to form a glaze and brush over the top of the dough. Cook in the oven for 30 min until golden brown. Unmould immediately and serve warm. 

You’ll be able to find my Ricotta and Honey Syrup post on my Season Cookbook Challenge blog in the next day or so. I also made my own Lemon Curd using a Jamie Oliver recipe and I’m in heaven. Let me know if you want that recipe and I’ll post it too.