What to do with left over egg whites?

Last week I finally made some gooseberry ice cream. The recipe I use calls for egg yolks, but not the whites. Unfortunately I miscalculated the quantities I was making so when all the ice cream was packed away in the freezer, I had eight egg whites to use up.

whisked egg white

Lemon meringue pie? Making a pastry case is too much effort.

Lots of egg white omelettes? Nice, but no good if you want to use them all up at once.

Angel food cake or some other whipped cake? Apparently the egg whites need to be at room temperature for a good result and mine were chilled.

Coconut haystacks? Just the thing, quick, easy and I happen to have bought a large amount of desiccated coconut recently.

This recipe is from a children’s cook book we were given a few years ago. I don’t feel too guilty about repeating it as it is a pretty generic, basic recipe. It does lend itself to baking with children because the whisking and mixing are pretty straightforward.

Coconut Macaroons

The basic ingredients are egg white, caster sugar and desiccated coconut.

I will give you the quantities for one egg white and you can multiply it up depending upon how many you need to use up.

1 egg white, 35g caster sugar, 70g desiccated coconut. This should make about seven.

Whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Whisk the caster sugar in a third at a time. Your mixture should now be quite shiny. Gently fold in the coconut using a metal spoon and a figure of eight motion trying to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

Mould the mixture into heaps using an egg cup, removing them with a tea spoon. They should hold their shape well when cooked so you can fit quite a few on a baking tray at a time. We bake ours on a good quality non-stick tray but you could line a regular tray with some parchment. In either case a very light coating of oil will reduce the risk of them sticking.

Bake them for 15 minutes at 140C or gas mark 3. They should be golden brown on top when done. Lift them off using a spatula or palette knife and place them on a cooling rack.

coconut haystacks or macaroons

When they are cool, melt some chocolate by breaking it up and placing it in a bowl resting on top of a pan of boiling water. Either dip the macaroons into the melted chocolate so that half is covered or drizzle them with lines of melted chocolate.  Leave to cool again on a piece of greaseproof paper.

coconut haystacks macaroons chocolate

Enjoy as a gluten free treat with your coffee.

 

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Cunchy, nutty, oaty, wheat free treats

Lent has never really meant much to me. I’ve never been one for ‘giving up’ but a few years ago I decided to give up wheat. The experience was an interesting one, interesting enough for me to repeat it last year and again this year. Although I can give up bread, biscuits and cake, it’s nice to have a little treat now and again. I have been playing around with this recipe for a while now. The original version is from ‘Yoga Mind and Body’ by the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre who also publish a yoga cookbook. It started life containing wholewheat flour and peanuts but they have gone now. If you are looking for a wheat free, egg free, dairy free recipe these flapjack style  biscuits are perfect.

flapjack mixture

Ingredients

250g oats

100g ground almonds

100g chopped nuts  – any you like, I have used pecan, brazil, hazel in various ratios

100g brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp mixed spice

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

150ml vegetable oil

50ml milk,soya etc is fine if you want dairy free or water is fine.

Method

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C and lightly grease a swiss roll tin. Mix all the dry ingredients well. Add the oil and stir. Add the milk or water a little at a time, checking as you add it to see how well the mixture is sticking. It should be able to hold together reasonably well (see picture above). Press it into the tin, squashing it flat with the back of a spoon. Bake until it is golden brown, probably for 15 to 20 minutes. When the flapjacks come out of the oven they will still be soft. Mark them into appropriately sized pieces with a round bladed knife. Remove from the tin when they have cooled and hardened. Enjoy!

Note

You can play around with the proportions and types of spices that you use. Personally, I like quite a lot of ginger and not too much cinnamon.

flapjack in tin baked flapjack cut flapjack

Mud lovin’ puddin’

The husband has developed a taste for ‘mud running’. Today he did his second event, the Newcastle Stampede, which is organised by the British Heart Foundation. This is the state of his kit.
IMG_8444Since it was a cold, wet, grey day to be running and I needed to put the oven on for dinner anyway, I decided that he should have one of his favourite puddings. Baked rice pudding, like Mama used to make.

Baked Rice Pudding  ::  Serves 2-3 generously

2 oz or 50g pudding rice

1 oz or 25g sugar

half a pint or 225ml of milk

half a pint or 225ml of evaporated milk ‘Carnation’

butter to grease the dish

ground nutmeg sprinkled on top

Grease a shallow, lidded, oven-proof dish with the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Put the lid on and place in the oven at 160C, 325F or gas mark 3 for 2-3 hours. It is done when the top has formed a golden skin and the inside is creamy.

Mine was probably in the oven for a little bit too long. Such are the perils of taking the children out to a swimming party after you have turned the oven on.

IMG_8443No complaints were heard from The Husband though. Even I enjoyed it with a good splash of double cream on top and I detest tinned rice pudding. This is the real deal and it could hardly be easier to make. If your oven is going on anyway, for something like a slow cooked casserole this is the ideal dessert to pop in at the same time. Two dishes for the price of heating the oven.

No time to blog…

But maybe enough time to share a few photos…Keith's cakeA birthday cake for my brother. I had a lot of fun doing this (and a lot of late nights).

bunnyMy first complete bunny. Only another 5 to go….

It’s been a busy week and now the holidays are here (and I can see the sun – yay). Hopefully I’ll be able to post some pictures of fluffy new lambs next time I’m here. Have a lovely Easter.

Sunday projects.

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IMG_6650A bit of stash busting, thanks to Janette at The Green Dragonfly for the free pattern and tutuorial. I hope I can get them all done for Easter.

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IMG_6663Baking a special birthday cake for my brother. He will be 30 on Monday and thinks he is old (ha ha). I’ve had a lot of fun trying out a new chocolate orange cake recipe (find it here) and even more fun finding the images I want to put on the cake. I will have to share these at a later date so as not to spoil the surprise. Suffice to say it’s been a trip down memory lane.

IMG_6653Finally, this was the scene here a few hours ago. The children, still in their pyjamas, decorated some Easter thank you cards. I’ve been very bad at getting them to do this lately so I feel a bit better knowing I’ve ticked that job off the list.

Hope you are having a good Sunday, despite the horrible weather.

 

Birthday time again

The last of our three Christmas-time birthdays was today. My little Babykins isn’t really a baby any more, he was two today. Last year we rushed off to the in-laws on his birthday and I didn’t seem to have any time for reflection. This year, spending the day in our own home has given me time to remember the events around his (home)birth. I wrote his birth story quite a while ago and I’m so glad I did. It seems really precious now, to have those memories documented. I wish I’d written my other two birth stories down as quickly.IMG_4086Today was lovely. A two year old is so different to a three year old. I expect that next year he will be up at the crack of dawn, desperate to open gifts. Today wasn’t like that, it was relatively slow and gentle to start with. We waited until his Grandma and Great Aunt arrived from Penrith to open gifts. He has been so cute this year – really taking an interest in each present, wanting to play with it before opening the next one, much to the frustration of his older sister.IMG_1275He is now the proud  owner of a mega-blocks crane and construction site, lots of lovely new books and clothes and a big cement mixer wagon. The rest of the family joined us for tea and birthday cake later in the afternoon.IMG_5866There has been a bit of a pig theme going on lately, all due to his recent obsession with the film ‘Babe’. He was supposed to get his special pig shirt for his birthday but my Mum couldn’t resist giving him it on Christmas day. Here he is raising his glass of ‘special wine’ (sparkling grape juice – he’d drink the real thing given half a chance).IMG_1217Mum was so desperate to give him a birthday present today that she was up at the crack of dawn sewing him another shirt – one with tractors on. The boys have quite a collection of these shirts now and we love them all.

After tea the party really got started. New iPods, disco balls and flashing headwear were brought out and The Middle Miss gave us a ‘show dance’ (we’re big Strictly Come Dancing fans in this house) and Son Number One did his best ‘Gangnam Style’ routine. I wish my camera was better at capturing it but the light conditions weren’t the best.IMG_1339The festivities are almost over for the year. Just the New Year celebrations to go and then we’ll be back to ‘normality’. I’m not sure that I am looking forward to that.

Happy Christmas

IMG_5698Happy Christmas everyone. I hope you are still enjoying the festive season.ChtiIMG_5813Christmas takes a lot of organising. I think I spent most of the weekend at my table wrapping. I am eternally grateful to my brother for taking my eldest two children out on Saturday and to my Mum for entertaining them for a big part of Sunday.

IMG_5819It’s not all hard work though. The Husband and I were able to enjoy a proper breakfast on Sunday as I wrapped gifts while still wearing my PJ’s.

IMG_1172As you can see, I found a fruit cake to decorate. It’s been wrapped up in a tin for a while (not sure why we didn’t eat it)  but it seems ok. On the 23rd The Husband and I had a busy night in the kitchen. Between us we made florentines, cranberry sauce, sweet pastry, special jellies and a batch of royal icing. Actually, I made the florentines, The Husband made the rest (and our supper). In my defence, florentines are very labour intensive and I did also manage to put a layer of almond paste on the cake.IMG_1167The next day, while I was out doing some last minute shopping with The Middle Miss, The Husband baked mince pies with Babykins and covered the cake in icing. I love a good snow scene. It’s completely in the spirit of Christmas – over the top in every way. We had so much icing left over he decided it would be a good idea to dab some on the mince pies.IMG_1171The jellies were made in our relatively new but very well used, tree shaped, silicon mould. I bought some lime jelly a week or two ago with this in mind… IMG_1173It worked well as a gluten-free pudding on Christmas day as well as treat for the children. Using the silicon mould worked really well. They all popped out easily without being dipped in hot water.

Father Christmas was good to us this year.

IMG_1175Our living room is still trashed from the present opening. I really should be sorting out all the piles of paper, plastic and cardboard ready for recyling. Instead it’s still stuffed into the biggest gift bag I had, cluttering up the corner of the room.
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My Mum’s house is probably tidy now but on the evening of Christmas day there was a big box full of waste paper in her living room too. As you can see, my children had a great time diving in it. They kept shutting themselves in the box so we teased them that we would parcel them up and ship them off to visit their Great Aunt in Canada. You can’t beat playing in a big box at Christmas.IMG_1261
I hope you had fun this Christmas.