Crispy Cauliflower with Torn Basil and Lemon Dressing

Vegan, Gluten Free, Low Fat IMG_2309 Guys, where have I been the past few weeks?? I’ve been so slack! Holidays are only three weeks away though and assignments will be done and dusted so get ready for some very exciting posts coming up!! (Salted coconut gelato anyone?!) Also, it’s almost mango season. If you don’t know what that means for this space, perhaps consider checking out last years mango frenzy, when I went a little cray cray and made about ten mango desserts in two months. (Mango Honey Tart, Mango Froyo, Coconut Mango Tarts… I am obsessed.) But before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s time to have some salad appreciation. This salad is literally the best combination of flavours. See that platter of salad in the photo? I ate the entire thing over about two hours, no joke. And I have zero regrets too. IMG_2293 Also, you can spruce it up with all kinds of fun things like broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, some lettuce if you want. The dressing is so tasty you can just dip fresh vegetables in it and call it a day. If you’ve never tried roasting cauliflower before, you are living a half life. I was a roasted cauliflower sceptic until I had it at a restaurant one day and my mind was BLOWN. Such a simple vegetable, transformed! If you follow my Instagram you probably know I eat this salad all the time, in some form or another. But that’s because it only takes 30 minutes and it’s better than any other meal I can think of! I’m notoriously bad at making nice food when I’m going to uni and always end up spending $15 on random snacks because I convince myself it’s cheaper than just buying a sandwich. I made this salad last week though, and it tasted just as good a few hours later. Very impressed with myself 🙂 Have a great week guys! I will be back soon with ice cream. One Year Ago: Vegan Chocolate Fudge Jaffa Cupcakes (GF)IMG_2317 Cauliflower Salad with Basil and Lemon Dressing:

1 small cauliflower head, cut into florets

1 small butternut pumpkin, sliced in half long ways, de-seeded and sliced into 1cm strips

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp za’atar

1 large handful fresh basil

1 small handful fresh coriander

Dressing: 3 tbsp tahini juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp warm water  IMG_2306 Preheat the oven to 200C/390F and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Toss the cauliflower and pumpkin slices in a tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and spread out on the tray. Sprinkle all over with za’atar. Bake for about thirty minutes, until the vegetables are crispy. Tear up the herbs and toss with the vegetables. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and stir well. Spoon over the vegetables and serve either warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6 IMG_2292

Spiced Pumpkin Fritters with Roast Garlic Tahini Sauce (gluten free!)

Gluten Free
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 Oh my gosh guys. Today might just be the biggest day of the year. Possible EVER. Sugar and Cinnamon has officially started doing savoury! I can hear you thinking ‘but the name sugar and cinnamon suggests you know, sugar…and cinnamon…’ I knooow. But I thought that was a silly reason at the end of the day to not do something I’ve pretty much been thinking of doing since I started this blog. 

This year I wanted to focus more on making healthy, wholesome recipes packed with loads of good for you things. In my real life I’ve actually started making savoury food all the time, as you can probably tell if you follow me on Instagram (I over-gram. I can admit it.) So I thought it was time to start sharing the successful recipes on here with you guys. Because everyone has to eat savoury food. You can try and live off cake, weetbix and toast, I did that very well all through school. But once you start making awesome stuff like these fritters it’s kind of hard to go back to those sad breakfast foods for lunch. 

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I think the photography is going to take a while to catch up in the savoury department…I did try and do some ‘stylistic’ swishing of sauce and fancy herb placement as you can see but fritters are hard. Fritters are just so ugly. They make up for it though by tasting amazing. Packed with pumpkin, carrot and zucchini as well as cumin and tumeric they’re so flavoursome! And the roasted garlic sauce…oh my goodness. I might of eaten the whole bowl while shooting photos…I’m not going to lie. 

I’ve given quantities for the amounts of vegetables I used but you can sub in sweet potato, more or less carrot and zucchini, basically whatever you have really. I bet even corn would be nice! Just try and keep a good ratio of firm roots (carrot, potato, sweet potato) and the watery vegetables (pumpkin, zucchini, spinach). I used quinoa flour as a little experiment and they worked out so well! You can’t taste the difference at all. Feel free to sub back in plain white flour if that’s what you have though. And you can double or even triple the recipe too if you want, they’re so easy! I have a sneaky feeling they’d taste epic in a sandwich or burger as well. 

I haven’t tried making these fritters without eggs but you could try flax as a binding substitute. If you do let me know how they go! Otherwise these fritters would be completely vegan friendly 🙂 

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 Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Tahini Dipping Sauce:

350g grated zucchini (about 4)

350g grated pumpkin (1/4 large pumpkin)

250g grated carrot (4-5)

1 handful chopped coriander

2 shallots, finely sliced

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp each cinnamon and tumeric

100g quinoa flour

4 large eggs, or 4 tablespoons flax mixed with water

Olive oil, for frying 

Mix everything together in a large bowl, seasoning with a little salt and pepper at the end. Heat a large fry pan with a good splash of the olive oil to shallow fry the fritters. Use a big spoon to scoop ladles of the mix (about 3-4 tbsp) into the pan. Using the back of a spatula, push down the fritters carefully so they are flat. Fry on each side for about 5 minutes, draining on a plate with paper. 

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For the dipping sauce:

Roast 4-5 cloves of garlic in the oven until soft in the middle, about 10 minutes. 

Blend with 4-5 tablespoons of tahini and the juice of 2 limes. 

Keep blending, slowly adding water until the sauce is as runny as you like it. Drizzle over the fritters with extra coriander to serve. 
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Lemon and Berry Butter Layer Cake

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Eleven years ago, when I was little, me and my family moved suburbs. We changed primary schools to go to the local public school. I really didn’t want to go! I didn’t want to leave all my friends behind. I didn’t want to wear egg yellow shirts and crimson boy shorts, or have our school initials constantly changed to ANUS. But now I realise that move was the best we could have ever made, because it led me to my friend Maddie.

Our families became friends basically straight away, and almost all my childhood memories are interwoven with Maddie’s family. We moved to within a block of each other, bought a puppy in the same week, bought the same car, went to the same high school, went on holidays together and even went to university together. Maddie and her family don’t realise this, but I’m actually involved in an intense lifelong stalking project.

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For her birthday I made her a classic victoria sponge cake, but fruitified. The sponge is infused with lemon zest because she loves lemon. In between the layers is a strawberry and raspberry curd and sliced strawberries as well. And the whole thing is encased in whipped cream, sort of like a giant jam scone.

I know it’s not quite spring yet but it feels so close! Strawberries are super cheap at this time of year and it was actually warm enough not to wear jeans today! This cake has a feeling of spring about it. I think it’s the sugared violets that are actually three years old but I never deemed a cake worthy enough to use them.

The curd for me ended up turning out too thin, I think because I under-cooked it. Don’t worry I’ve adjusted the recipe, but lemme tell you there were some stressful moments trying to build this cake! I ended up thickening it with some icing sugar and ground chia seeds (so yes this is indeed a very healthy cake), and the flavour wasn’t affected. If you like a super sweet cake you might want to add some extra sugar to the curd anyway, depending on how tart your berries are. 

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In other news, the very kind Jessica from Daily Gluttony nominated Sugar and Cinnamon for the Versatile Bloggers Award! I was really excited because I think Jessica’s blog is great, and love reading her recipes and stories. I’m meant to tell everybody seven things about me but my posts are usually full of things about me so I’ll just tell you one little weird thing: I love peanut butter and banana slices on toast. 

I’m not really sure how to nominate my own favourite blogs, but here are some great new blogs that I have read this week, that I think are worthy of a mention: 

Sugary and ButterySinfully SpicyMunchin’ Mel, Tide and Thyme, Half Baked Harvest, Peeps From Abroad, The Baker Chick, Recipes From a Pantry, 350 Sweets, and Cesca

For a longer list of my long-time favourite blogs, check out my library page. Now for the recipe! Feel free to adjust the types of berries you use, and as I said judge the sweetness you think you’ll prefer. You’ll need to start this recipe the day before.  

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Lemon and Berry Butter Cake:
Berry Curd: Adapted from What She’s Having

700g (4 + 1/2 cups) mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, but not blackberries, mulberries or anything too sour)

170g (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) caster sugar

60ml (4 tbsp) lemon juice

60g (4 tbsp) butter

6 large egg yolks

Cut up all the berries and toss with the lemon juice and sugar. Leave to macerate at least 45 minutes. Blend together and strain into a bowl. It might take some time! Use a spoon to push out the chunks. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs. Pour a ladle of the berry puree in to the eggs to warm them, then return it all to the pan. Add the chopped butter and stir constantly over a medium-low heat until thickened. Strain into a jug and place plastic wrap directly on the surface to stop a skin forming, refrigerate overnight. If the mixture curdles slightly, either strain out the lumps or blend for a few moments to bring it back together. 

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For the sponge: Adapted from Cook wWith Jamie

225 (1 cup) grams butter, softened

225g (1 2/3 cups) self-raising flour, sifted

225g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar

4 large eggs

zest of 1-2 lemons

Either: Make two sponges with this recipe and use a knife to cut them in half once cool, or split the recipe in half and make four sponges, washing your two 20cm pans in between. I find it easier to bake the layers separately but it’s up to you. 

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line 2 or 4 20cm sandwich pans. Cream your soft butter and sugar together until pale. Slowly add each egg, beating well in between additions until smooth and creamy. Sift over the flour and use a spatula to fold it in. Split the mix into two and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool, then take out of the pan.

IMG_6034For the icing and extras:
600ml (2 + 2/3 cups) whipping cream
75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
250g (1.5 cups) strawberries

Beat the cream in a cold bowl on high until just starting to thicken. Decrease the speed to medium and slowly pour in the sugar. Beat until just thick enough for soft peaks to form.

Assembly:
Cut any domes off the four cake layers. Place one layer on a large plate. Spoon over a thick layer of curd and spread it to one or two centimetres from the edge. Top with sliced strawberries. Repeat with the next two layers. Top with the final layer. To ice, use a large offset spatula to gently spread the cream in waves around the cake. Decorate either with more berries, or sugared violets.
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Lavender and Lemon Tarts (gluten, dairy and sugar free)

Gluten, Sugar and Dairy Free

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Throughout my entire childhood, every time my stepdad came in contact with a tart he’d call it a fart. Every time we went to a Chinese restaurant, he’d order custard farts. When we went on a holiday to Paris, we ate raspberry white chocolate farts and mini cream farts. He once went through a faze of buying whole boxes of Portuguese farts. At Christmas time my family doesn’t eat fresh fruit tarts, no. We only eat fruit farts. 

I found this joke really funny, probably for about 3 years. Now when he cracks it he is greeted with stony glares from everybody at the table. Nowadays he saves it for special occasions and unsuspecting guests. 

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When I first wanted to make these tarts I thought I had a streak of genius when I dreamed up the combination of wattle lemon tartlets. Wooow. Doesn’t that sound im-press-ive. Flowers, tarts, people do crazy stuff like that all the time! Plus don’t people make some kind of bread out of wattle? So I picked me some wattle blossoms to taste them, and it turns out! They taste like kerosene. Boohoo. Wattle seeeeds. That’s where it’s at. 

So these have lavender instead! There’s only the tiniest amount. I took the tiny purple flowers out of one head of lavender and chopped them up really finely, then added about a teaspoon in the end. 

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The tarts turned out really yummy. Confession time, I don’t actually like pastry. It’s always too…flaky, dry, and hard. This pastry though, made out of coconut and almond flour, is more biscuity and way more flavoursome. It’s more sturdy than traditional pastry but it is still quite crumbly, so be careful when filling them. The gentle scent of lavender is subtle enough not to take away from the lemon or coconut flavours. 

These taste best the day you make them, after that they might go a little soggy. But the bases can be made the day before and they’ll stay crisp overnight. The pastry is adapted from this recipe, and the curd is from this one. Both sites are great! And full of other great recipes, so you should go over and have a look. 

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Lavender and Lemon Tarts:
Pastry: (Adapted from Against all Grain)

90g (3/4 cup) coconut flour

60g (1/2 cup) almond meal

1 tsp fresh lavender or dried, if unavailable

2 eggs

30g (2 tbsp) coconut butter, melted (or regular butter) + extra for tins

36g (2 tbsp) runny honey

Preheat oven to 170C (340F). In a blender, blend all the ingredients together until combined, pushing down occasionally from the sides. Grease 8-12 tart tins depending on how big they are with melted butter. Wait for the butter to harden before lining. Push pastry in with your fingertips to shape the moulds. Prick a few times with a fork, not all the way through. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden and hard. 
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For the filling: (Adapted from The Nourishing Gourmet)

3 eggs

115g (1/3 cup) runny honey

zest of 1 large lemon

85g (3/4 stick) coconut butter or regular, cut into small chunks

110ml (1/2 cup) lemon juice

whisk the eggs with the honey and zest until light and frothy. Mix in the other ingredients. Stir constantly over a low heat until the curd thickens. Be careful as it will go from runny to curdled very fast! Strain into a jug and leave to cool. Fill tarts with a few spoonfuls of curd when ready to serve. 

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Lemon Berry Poppy Seed Cake (gluten, dairy and sugar free)

Gluten, Sugar and Dairy Free

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When I went to flip over this lemon poppy seed cake this morning, I knew something was wrong as soon as the bundt tin was facing upside down. Me and bundts have quite a long and emotional history. The pattern usually follows that I make a cake, decide a bundt would be fun! Pour it in to the tin, bake it, pull it out, flip it over, flop out hunks of cake all over the bench, swear and throw the bundt tin in the sink. 

But bundts are so pretty! And the word bundt is so fun to say. “What’s that?” Someone asks? That cake-looking object that’s somehow more than a cake could ever be? “It’s a bundt!” Booom. Instant popularity and high status as cake baking master. This is why I persevere with bundts. This morning, after tapping ominously on the tin with a wooden spoon, half the cake very slowly and pathetically detached from the pan and cracked on the plate. At first I didn’t really react. I just said, oh there it is, and walked upstairs. I could hear my mum and cousin whispering over it trying to poke it back together. And then I lost my mind, and told the bundt pan that whatever we had, it was over. 

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 I was going to leave the cake forever and forget about it even though it’s been a whole week since I last posted! But that was until I tried it. As you can probably tell I’m pretty new to gluten and dairy-free baking, especially with full-sized cakes, so when I tasted this cake this morning I was literally wowed by how nice it was. 

The recipe for this came from a blog that’s one of the most helpful, informing and inspiring gluten-free blogs I read, Green Kitchen Stories. You’ve probably heard of it before, and if not get your butt over there and prepare to be wowed. The only changes I made to the recipe was I increased the berries and mixed them up a bit, increased the honey and poppy seeds, and tried olive oil instead of ghee. If you like the sound of a yogurt topping and glaze check out their recipe as well, although the cake is so nice on its own it doesn’t really need it.IMG_5468

 So because of the cracking disaster I didn’t have a whole cake to photograph, only the few pieces I could salvage and cut in to relatively normal slices. I’m sorry! If the photos are a little bit funky blame the bundt! No to be honest I did find it quite hard to make this cake not look like pieces of bleeding brown rocks. Luckily my neighbour is away and therefore doesn’t mind that I stole some of her flowers to make it a little prettier. 

If it isn’t clear by my own failures I wouldn’t recommend using a bundt tin here. I reaaallly buttered my pan, I mean really buttered it. Like it was slicked on, and it still stuck. There just isn’t that much fat in the cake itself so it isn’t really ideal for a tin without baking paper. I think it would make really delicious muffins though, especially if you juice another lemon and reduced it with some honey and glazed them, or even used some marmalade as a glaze like apricot or cumquat. I wanted to make mini cupcakes and put a dollop of strawberry jam in the centre but maybe that’s the worst idea anyone has ever had, and complete sacrilege to lemon poppyseed cake. It’s very sweet and dense, and crunchy on the top. It would taste good with oranges instead of lemons too.

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Lemon Berry Poppy Seed Cake: Adapted from here:

400g (4 cups) almond flour

35g (2 tbsp) poppy seeds 

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt

Zest of 1 large lemon or two small ones, unwaxed

Juice of 2 lemons

120 g (1 cup) runny honey

110ml (1/2 cup) olive oil or melted butter

3 eggs

320g (2 cups) mixed berries, frozen or fresh (don’t defrost before adding)

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Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin (or 10-12 muffin tins). Whisk together almond flour, rising agents, salt, poppy seeds and lemon zest. Combine the oil, honey, and lemon juice and mix together. Lightly beat the eggs together. Mix in the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well. Stir in the berries and pour into cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden and cracked and the centre is dry when skewered. 

For optional glaze: Juice half a large lemon or 1 small one and mix with a tablespoon or two of honey. Mix well and skewer the cake a few times. Pour over the glaze whilst the cake is still warm and leave to soak in. (This will mean the top won’t be crunchy any more). Cake will last for about 5 days in an airtight container, and serves 8-10 people. 

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Tangy Lemon Curd Frozen Yogurt

Low Fat and Gluten Free

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Growing up, every summer holidays my mum would take me and my sister to her friends farm. It was an eight hour drive north, and every time we’d buy McDonald’s egg and bacon McMuffins and throw out the papers so that no one would know about it. 

 Their property was on the banks of a river. During the day when it was boiling hot, we’d lie in the water, raft down to the rapids with our friends, or sleep in the hammocks under the lemon trees. I remember the heat was so strong the horses would lie down in the paddocks on the cool soil, their heads in the shade. IMG_4884
Above us, in the gum trees cockatoos would watch us waiting, waiting for us to go inside so they could take the lemons and the mandarins straight from the branches. Sometimes we’d bundle the fallen fruit up in tea towels and carry it to the cows, feeding them through the fence. Once we walked right in to the paddock and they came stampeding towards us. We threw the lemons over our shoulders and ran. When they caught up to us they slowed down and pressed their big wet noses into our underarms and faces, looking for fruit. 

IMG_4864Last weekend our friends came down to Sydney and brought with them a bursting bag of lemons. The smell was so strong it perfumed the whole kitchen. I made lemon curd and while I was stirring, the smell reminded me of their farm and the childhood I had there. The lemon curd was so sweet and thick, it tasted exactly like a lemon meringue tart! I folded it through with thick Greek yogurt and froze it. It made the richest, creamiest, tangiest lemon frozen yoghurt I’ve ever had. I followed a recipe from an old delicious magazine article. Even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, I’m sure it’s creamy enough to freeze right away. Just take it out half an hour before you want to eat it and keep it in the fridge.
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Lemon Curd Frozen Yogurt: Curd adapted from Delicious Magazine

2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature

165 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar

The juice and zest of two large lemons 

85 grams (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

500 grams (1 pound, 2 cups) thick Greek or natural yogurt (the lower the fat, the harder it will freeze)

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In a medium saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined. Place over a low heat and add the lemon juice and zest, and the butter. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon continuously for about 20 minutes, until the mix is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Have a jug ready with a strainer placed over it. Once the curd is thick pour it through the jug, using a spoon to push it through and remove the lumps. Allow to cool, then place in the fridge and cool overnight. 

In an ice cream maker or large container, mix the yoghurt with the lemon curd. Either freeze according to your machine’s instructions, or freeze straight away for around 8 hours. Tastes best either half an hour since it was frozen, or having been softened slightly before eating. 

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