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Prep 11/2hr (+ standing time) Bake 15min (per batch) Makes about 28
Pretty to look at, divine to eat, these macarons were created by Allen Au, one of our Make Me a Baker graduates, to use as part of his Graduation cake recipe.
125g almond meal
125g pure icing sugar
96g egg whites
125g caster sugar
Gel colouring (see Baker's tip)
125g unsalted butter
125g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon sieved cherry jam
- Preheat oven to 165°C (145°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper or silicone baking mats.
- Sift together the almond meal and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add half the egg white and mix until a thick paste forms.
- Combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat, brushing down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush occasionally to prevent any sugar crystals forming. Do not stir. Once the sugar mixture has reached 115°C on a sugar thermometer, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the remaining egg white on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Once the sugar mixture has reached 118°C, remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly whisk the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites. Continue to whisk on medium-high speed until the temperature cools to 30°C. The meringue should be thick and glossy. Add enough gel colour to the meringue to tint to the desired colour, whisking until evenly combined.
- Fold 2 large tablespoons of the meringue into the almond paste mixture until well incorporated. Fold in the remaining meringue until evenly combined. The consistency of the batter should look like molten lava. If you can draw a figure eight and the trail stays on the surface, then the mixture is ready to be piped.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 10mm round nozzle. Pipe the macarons onto the lined trays into 3.5cm rounds. Tap the tray to remove any air bubbles from the macarons. Leave the macarons out in the open until a skin forms on the surface of the macaron. (This can take from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the humidity). The skin should be dry enough that it does not stick to your finger when touched lightly.
- Bake one tray of macarons in the centre of the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until shells don't feel soft at the 'feet' when touched. Set aside to cool on the tray and repeat with the remaining tray of macarons.
- To make the Filling, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until it is pale and creamy. Beat in the icing sugar until well combined. Add the cherry jam and beat until well combined. Spoon the filling into a piping bag fitted with a 7mm star nozzle and pipe a small rosette onto the base of half the macarons. Sandwich with the remaining macarons.
- Store the macarons in the fridge overnight so the flavours from the filling are absorbed by the shells. Bring the macarons to room temperature before serving.
- Allen used Chefmaster Liqua-Gel colours to colour his macarons – he used 8 drops of Super Red with 0.5 drop of Black Diamond
- This recipe is based on a recipe from a course Allen did with Australian Patisserie Academy
Prep 25minBake 30-35minMakes 12
Drizzled with an oozing chocolate ganache, these cupcakes are wickedly rich (but light in texture) and have a surprise of intense raspberry tartness hidden right in the middle!
Don't worry, you haven't done anything wrong – these cupcakes are meant to have a hole in the centre... Because the mixture is flourless, the raspberry jam sinks during baking creating a creator of sorts, giving them their name.
180g good-quality dark chocolate (45% or 70% cocoa), chopped (see Baker's Tips)
125g butter, cubed
60ml (1/4 cup) water
220g (1 cup) brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra
85g (3/4 cup) hazelnut meal
25g (1/4 cup) desiccated coconut
3 eggs, at room temperature, separated
85g (1/4 cup) raspberry jam
180g good-quality dark chocolate (45% cocoa), finely chopped
60ml (1/4 cup) pure (pouring) cream
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 12-hole 80ml (⅓ cup) muffin tin with paper cases.
- Combine the chocolate, butter and water in a medium saucepan and stir over a low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, add the sugar, hazelnut meal, coconut and egg yolks and stir well with a wooden spoon until well combined and any lumps have broken up. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- Place the egg whites in a clean, dry medium bowl and use electric beaters with a whisk attachment to whisk until soft peaks form. Add the extra 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and whisk until thick and glossy. Add a large spoonful of egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in – this will ‘loosen’ the mixture. Add the remaining egg white mixture and fold in until just combined.
- Divide the mixture among the prepared muffin holes. Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam in the centre of each cupcake and press down gently until the jam is in line with the top the cupcake mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top of the cupcakes feels set and crumbs cling to a skewer inserted into the side of a cupcake. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and stand in the tray for at least 5 minutes before transferring to place a wire rack and cool completely.
- To make the Chocolate Ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream almost comes to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and set aside to stand for 3 minutes. Stir the chocolate and cream mixture until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Set aside, stirring occaiosnally until thickened to a thick pouring consistency (see Baker's Tips).
- Drizzle a generous spoonful of ganache on the tops of the cupcakes around the hole in the centre, allowing it to dribble over the sides and down into the hole. Set aside for about 30 minutes or until the ganache sets before serving.
- Using 70% cocoa chocolate in the cupcakes will give them a more intense chocolate flavour.
- The ganache will take between 15 minutes and about 11/2 hours to reach the right consistency for drizzling depending on the weather. If it is a really hot day you can put the ganache in the fridge to help it thicken - just make sure you stir it often so lumps don't form.
- These cupcakes will keep in an airtight container in a cool spot (but not in the fridge) for up to 3 days.
Prep 25minBake 25minMakes about 12
Often gluten-free muffins have little substance – they lack not only flavour but also texture. These ones however, thanks to a clever combination of gluten-free flours, along with three forms of coconut and loads of fruit, will not disappoint. They are also dairy-free.
200g (1⅓ cups) brown rice flour
40g (¼ cup) quinoa flour
30g (¼ cup) arrowroot
1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
135g (¾ cup) coconut sugar
75g (¾ cup) desiccated coconut
200g frozen mixed berries, such as raspberries, blackberries and blueberries (see Baker's Tips)
2 eggs, at room temperature
160ml (⅔ cup) coconut milk
80g coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract or essence
2 large (about 200 g each) ripe bananas
extra thawed frozen and/or fresh berries (optional), to decorate
icing sugar (optional), to sprinkle
25g (¼ cup) flaked coconut
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC (170ºC fan-forced). Line 12 x 80ml (⅓ cup) muffin tray holes with muffin paper cases.
- Sift together the flours, baking powder and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and desiccated coconut. Gently stir in the frozen berries.
- Use a fork to whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, vinegar and vanilla until well combined. Mash the bananas and then stir them into the egg mixture. Add to the flour mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until just combined, being careful not to break up the berries. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, dividing evenly.
- To make the topping, combine the coconut and sugar and sprinkle over the muffins.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the muffins are golden and cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool for 3 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with the extra berries and dusted with icing sugar, if desired.
- There's no need to thaw the frozen berries before using them in this recipe.
- You can replace the mixed berries with frozen blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.
- These muffins are best eaten the day they are baked, however they freeze really well – wrap individually in plastic wrap and then seal in a plastic bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 30min (+1.5hr cooling time)Bake 1hr 10minMakes 1
This bread is almost the complete opposite of most commercially made gluten-free breads - wonderfully substantial (it won’t ‘dissolve’ in your mouth), moist and flavoursome without containing any gums. The key is the inclusion of psyllium husks and chia seeds to give the dough flexibility and structure in the absence of gluten. It’s great fresh, but toasting really brings out the nuttiness of the flours used.
150g (1 cup) sorghum flour
75g (½ cup) millet flour
70g (½ cup) brown rice flour
65g (½ cup) sweet (glutinous) rice flour
90g (½ cup) fine polenta
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
625ml (2½ cups) lukewarm water
7g (1 sachet) instant dried yeast
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light olive oil, plus extra to grease
25g (⅓ cup) psyllium husks
50g (¼ cup) chia seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, to coat and sprinkle
- Combine the sorghum, millet, brown rice and sweet rice flours, polenta and salt in a large bowl.
- Combine 60 ml (¼ cup) of the lukewarm water, yeast and 1 tsp of the honey in a small dish and whisk to combine with a fork. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 5 minutes or until frothy.
- Meanwhile, use a balloon whisk to whisk together the remaining 560 ml (2¼ cups) luke warm water, remaining honey, olive oil, psyllium husks and chia seeds until evenly combined. Set aside for 3 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Whisk the yeast mixture into the psyllium husk mixture. Add to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix to a soft, slightly sticky dough.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1½ hours or until risen slightly and is spongy in texture.
- Grease a 11.5 cm x 21 cm (base measurement) loaf tin with a little extra oil and sprinkle with 1½ tbsp of the sesame seeds to coat lightly. Turn the dough onto a bench top, shape into a 20 cm log and place in the greased tin. Brush the top with a little water and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until well risen.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
- Use a sharp knife to cut 4 diagonal slits across the top of the loaf. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden, cooked through and sounds hollow when tapped on the top.
- Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and set aside to cool completely - this will take about 1½ hours) before slicing.
- This bread is best kept in a cloth or paper bag at room temperature in a cool spot where it will keep for up to 5 days.
- To freeze, place whole or sliced in a sealed freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or toast slices straight from the freezer.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 20min (+ 5min standing time)
Bake 55-60minMakes 8 serves
I have been baking this gluten-free pudding for years. Not only is it completely heavenly, it is also very clever and can be baked as a cake when you want.
Melted butter, to grease
Unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, to dust
200g (1⅓ cups) chopped good-quality dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa is good)
125g unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons marsala wine or freshly brewed strong coffee
165g (¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature, separated
Icing (confectioners’) sugar, to dust
Cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Brush a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity ovenproof dish (about 20cm diameter) with melted butter to grease. Lightly dust with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water, and stir until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the marsala, 110g (½ cup) of the caster sugar and the egg yolks.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry large bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 55g (¼ cup) caster sugar and whisk until thick and glossy. Add one-third of the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold together. Fold through the remaining egg white mixture until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 55–60 minutes, or until crumbs cling to a skewer inserted in the centre.
- Remove the pudding from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve in scoops with cream or ice cream.
Chocolate Soufflé Cake: Bake the mixture in a 22cm (base measurement) springform cake tin that has been base-lined with baking paper, and then greased and dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder. Bake at the same temperature for 55–60 minutes. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Cut into wedges to serve.
- This pudding is also delicious served at room temperature. Leave to cool in the dish before serving.
- Any leftover pudding will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leave to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Prep 20min (+ 30-60min simmering, cooling and 20min standing time)Bake 15-18minMakes 12
These cakes are a play on the original (and wonderful) Middle Eastern Orange Cake from the one and only Elizabeth David. Making use of seasonal mandarins and with the addition of coconut and polenta, this version is also flourless and gluten-free.
2 large mandarins (about 110g)
Melted butter, to grease
100g (1 cup) almond meal
95g (½ cup) instant polenta
45g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs, at room temperature
165g (¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
1½ teaspoons natural vanilla extract or essence
250g (2 cups) pure icing (confectioners') sugar
1½–2 tablespoons mandarin juice
- Put the whole mandarins in a small saucepan, cover with water and set over high heat. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30–60 minutes, or until very soft when tested with a skewer. (You may need to place a small saucer over the mandarins to keep them submerged.) Remove the mandarins from the water and set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush a 12-hole 80ml (⅓ cup) capacity silicone or metal muffin tin with melted butter to grease. Quarter the mandarins and remove and discard the centre core and any seeds. Purée the skin and flesh in a small food processor or blender until smooth.
- Put the almond meal, polenta, coconut and baking powder in a medium bowl and mix well to combine.
- Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk on high speed until very thick and pale and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted (about 3–4 minutes).
- Add the mandarin purée to the egg mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold in until just combined. Add the polenta mixture and fold together until combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin holes (you can pour it from a jug or use a ladle).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15–18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the tin for 5 minutes. Use a palette knife to ease the cakes out and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the Mandarin icing, sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the juice until the mixture is smooth and has a thick coating consistency, adding a little more juice if too thick. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until ready to use.
- Spread the tops of the cooled cakes with the icing. Set aside for 20 minutes or until set.
- These cakes will keep in an airtight container in a cool place (but not in the fridge) for up to 2 days.
Prep 15minBake 35minMakes about 15
Wickedly rich, this gluten-free brownie can match it with the best of them. Fudgy, rich and studded with tart raspberries, you won't be able to stop at just one piece!
- Coconut oil, to grease
- 150g gluten-free, good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 100g (½ cup) coconut oil
- 135g (¾ cup) coconut sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature, light whisked
- 60ml (¼ cup) coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
- 30g (¼ cup) cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- ¾ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- 50g (½ cup) almond meal
- 150g frozen raspberries
- Pure icing sugar, to dust (optional)
- Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Grease a 16cm x 26cm shallow slice tin with coconut oil and line the base and long sides with one piece of baking paper.
- Place the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don't let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until chocolate and coconut oil melt and the mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from the saucepan.
- Add the sugar, eggs, coconut milk and vanilla to chocolate mixture and use a balloon whisk to stir until well combined. Sift together the cocoa powder, coconut flour and baking powder into a bowl, add the almond meal and stir to combine. Add to chocolate mixture and stir with a spatula until just combined. Add the frozen raspberries and fold gently until just combined.
- Pour mixture into prepared tin and use the back of a metal spoon to spread evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a skewer inserted in the centre. Cool in tin and then chill for at least 1 hour (see Baker's Tips).
- Remove brownie from the tin using the baking paper to carefully lift it out. Cut into portions and serve dusted with icing sugar, if desired.
- These brownies are a little more fragile than normal fudge brownies and will be easier to cut if you chill them for at least an hour before removing from the tin to cut.
- These brownies will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Serve straight from the fridge or stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
This recipe was originally published in Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Coconut.
Click here for more Bakeproof recipes.
Photography by Alan Benson.