The problem with blogs - especially ones that aren't private - is that anyone can read what you've written. Now, that can be a good thing, and I've enjoyed a half hour or so on various occasions reading through the blogs of people I don't know. Perhaps it's a quilt blog and I marvel over photo after photo of wonderful quilts all beautifully quilted. Or perhaps it's a blog where someone shares their own personal faith journey and I find myself being challenged by the words.
When it's a personal blog it can be a little awkward announcing to the world something that you haven't yet told your family. A bit like Prince William and his Kate. According to the tabloids, the Queen only found out minutes before the rest of the world that another direct heir to the throne existed.
Not that I have anything to hide. But I wanted to post some flour-less recipes and for some weird reason I felt that I owed my readers an explanation. I am not gluten-intolerant - that I know of. I am however wheat-free at present - for my own personal reasons.
(And now my family are going to laugh me out of my tree.)
The problem is that a few years ago I was tentatively diagnosed with a condition about which there seems to be very little real information available (hence the tentative diagnosis). There seems to be no real way to know for sure whether or not one has it apart from building up a picture of the symptoms and eliminating anything else it's likely to be - which we did - kinda. It's not life-threatening and for the most part (apart from occasional flare-ups) it is manageable. But because no one seems to really know how or why it occurs - although a food allergy link seems to be the most likely suspect - it is often left up to the individual to do their own research.
Which I did. Which, after several years, led me to this place where I have tried to cut wheat and most wheat products out of my diet. An article online suggested that rather than doing a full elimination diet, begin first by eliminating those foods that you had problems with as a child. Simple.
Eggs. (Couldn't eat them when I was expecting either - despite craving them. Sigh. Yes, I'm weird.)
Coffee. (Okay, not coffee as a child, but as an adult I had noticed it increases pain, so coffee has been a no-no for a long time, apart from the occasional mud cake - or the following recipe.)
I quickly discovered that I seemed to be able to eat eggs with no problem, so eggs remained in the diet. Next to go was bread. Since I wasn't eating a lot of bread (having cut out yeast when first diagnosed) I decided it was time to go further and cut out all wheat. I've always felt sick after eating anything made with white flour but I just assumed that everyone felt that way. After all, there's not a lot of goodness in white flour and I had this mental picture of it glugging up my internal organs. Eek! But it just wasn't white flour. I had been eating bughur wheat for months thinking I was having a wonderfully healthy lunch while at the same time wondering why I couldn't seem to isolate the foods causing my pain - never thinking for a moment that it could be the culprit. But it seems it was - unless it's a gross coincidence.
I still haven't reintroduced oranges. Ever since I was a child, I've only eaten them if I have been able to peel them and cut them really small so that there is absolutely no chance of getting any juice on my skin. (I'd eat them with a knife and fork if I knew my family wouldn't have me committed.) It just seems easier to not even bother with them - although orange juice in small doses seems to be okay. It's not like I miss them or anything. (It was a different story when I thought I couldn't eat pineapple or indulge in a cuppa, but since cutting out wheat, I can eat pineapple and drink tea.)
So, all that just to share a recipe or two. You're probably thinking I could have just skipped the intro part and you'd probably be right. lol
The first is a chocolate torte that comes from a small book of chocolate recipes that I've had in my library for a long time now. I've been wanting to try it for years, but have only just managed to do so. I really should have given it a try earlier. But better late than never.
Chocolate Fruit and Nut Torte
200g whole unblanched hazelnuts or almonds
200g cooking chocolate, broken into pieces
5 egg whites
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 Tbs coffee
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat over to 180 decrees Celsius. Line the base of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.
Place hazelnuts or almonds and chocolate in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Beat the egg whites until the peaks just fold over when the beater is removed. beat in the egg yolks.
Combine caster sugar and coffee and gradually beat into the eggs. Continue to beat until the mixture thickens and lightens in colour.
Fold the nuts, chocolate and dried fruit gently but thoroughly into the egg mixture. Turn into the tin.
Bake in the over for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tested inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 20 minutes before turning out and removing the baking paper. Dust with icing sugar before serving. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
The second recipe is for Cornmeal Pancakes. I found this recipe on my birthday and just felt like pancakes with maple syrup so I tried it. It was good. Very good. Better than plain flour pancakes in my book.
Yesterday, a son-who-shall-remain-nameless decided to make some pancakes for lunch. I was out and he knew that I didn't eat flour and pulled this recipe out. Not being familiar with ground cornmeal flour or what it should look like, he found a container that said it was the ingredient he was looking for, and used it in the recipe. When I arrived home and saw the batter I thought it looked to be on the thin side but he assured me that the recipe said it would be thin but would cook up okay.
I didn't click.
Then he made some comment about using cornmeal flour and I said that he must have used the cornflour (as in thickening agent) rather than the cornmeal flour. But he said that he'd gotten it out of the right container.
I still didn't click.
Only then did he show me the container and I realised what had happened. Someone had put icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) into the wrong container. He had used a whole cup of icing sugar in the recipe instead of a cup of ground cornmeal flour!
Ah well, it's the thought that counts and I certainly appreciated the effort he went to.
Apparently they were very sweet and very yummy.
The Most Adorable granddaughter#4 ate three!