Low FODMAP salted dark chocolate delicious tart (egg-free)

My favourite tart recipe in the world is Donna Hay’s Dark Chocolate Pretzel Tart. Dark chocolate and salt? The best combination ever. Ever.

(Her recipe is in Issue 64 2012)

And here is my egg-free, FODMAP-friendly version:


  • 120g gluten-free digestive biscuits
  • 120g gluten-free pretzels
  • 180g butter, melted
  • 375g dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp of your fave liqueur (I used drambuie)

Process the biscuits and pretzels to crumbs and add the butter until combined. Press into a tart tin and throw in the fridge for about an hour.

Place dark choc, coconut milk and liqueur in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted. Pour into biscuit base and refrigerate until set.


The above pic is decorated with coconut chips – they are delish and have no preservatives added.

If you have extra pretzels and chocolate leftover, dip the pretzels in melted chocolate and use them to decorate the top.


Low FODMAP desserts

One of my besties is on the low-FODMAP diet to help with some health problemos. I cook for her regularly, and at first I freaked out quite a lot when I looked at the no-go list. And then add to that dairy and egg allergies from other family members!! Desserts become quite difficult…

But I’m getting it sorted now, and I’m particularly proud of two desserts that I pulled out for Christmas, and then her birthday.

And here is Christmas in a Glass (low-FODMAP, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free):





The bottom is a layer of coconut tapioca pudding. I boil 3/4 cup of tapioca pearls in water, drain them, stir in a tin of coconut milk and let it set in the fridge.

On top is cinnamon-salted popcorn, a candycane, fresh blueberries, coconut chips (these are McKenzies brand and are beautiful) and gingerbread. I altered a Donna Hay recipe (from Issue 78, pg 150) for the gingerbread.

Gingerbread dough (more FODMAP friendly):

  • 125g butter or nuttelex, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup treacle
  • 2 1/2 cups GF plain flour
  • 1 tsp bi carb soda
  • 3-4 tsp ground ginger (depending on your palate!)
  • 1-2 tsp mixed spice (depending on your palate!)

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the other ingredients and beat until it comes together in a smooth dough. Press into a tin and bake for about 30 mins at 160 degrees.


Then, as a birthday cake, I made a layered pudding! The tapioca is the same again on the bottom. The next layer is frozen banana (freeze bananas, then whiz them in the food processor until they look like icecream) and topped with ganache. I made the ganache using 2/3 cup of coconut milk and 90g of dairy-free dark chocolate. And again, sprinkled with coconut chips.

Looking back, I realised that this is actually a pretty healthy dessert – the only sugar is in the dark chocolate!



A homemade Christmas

This year was a homemade Christmas in our family, and a very satisfying one at that! Here’s what we got up to:


Salt dough impressions of Adella’s hands (and feet – forgot to take a photo!).


Easy pompoms – find the link here. I always thought pompoms were easy – this was even easier!!! I bought the wool at Lincraft.


Adella coloured in and painted lots of stars!


Crepe paper circles sewed together.


Some of our decorations on our table centrepiece.


Christmas cake – Donna Hay recipe here.


Apple and cranberry chutney – Nigella Lawson recipe from her Christmas book.


Christmas spiced nuts.


IKEA has awesome packaging!!!


And it is TOTALLY worth making their gingerbread house – delish!

Can’t wait to try new things next year! Any suggestions or links would be great.

Baby Led Weaning – zucchini slice and potato cakes



I find it hard to give the little one a balanced diet. Well, it’s not difficult. I just sometimes forget. It’s easy to make a one big serve of something, freeze it, and then she’ll eat it for the next few days. And then I suddenly think, “Aiya! She’s been eating the same thing for three days!!”. Bad parent.

So, I’m making an effort to keep a variety of things in the freezer. Here are two recipes to share!

Zucchini Slice (inspired by the recipe on pg 67 of Donna Hay magazine, Issue 65)

  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 900g veg (zucchini*, eggplant, broccoli), grated
  •  100g cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (to cut down on eggs)
  • a handful of basil, chopped
  • 2 cups of SR flour
  • pepper

Fry the onion and garlic until golden. Mix all ingredients together and bake in the oven until golden brown – about 40 minutes.

*For those of you in Beijing, I used 西葫芦 instead of zucchini.

Potato Cakes

    • 1.5kg/5 potatoes, shredded (squeeze well, or leave to drain)
    • 2 eggs
    • 150g flour
    • pepper
    • 2-3 tblsp cheese (I used some parmesan)
    • 5 cloves of garlic

    Mix it all together. Drop balls into a fry pan and flatten them with your spatula.


Both were very popular with the little one! Let me know if you try it out too!

The most amazing cupcake icing

So, I’d been looking at this recipe for a couple of days. The beautiful picture had caught my eye, and once I read the recipe, I was having mouthgasms. I was so intrigued by the caramel icing. You basically make caramel, and then add icing sugar – genius!!

These are possibly the least healthy things I have ever made (maybe with the exception of Mars Bar slice) and they are heavenly.

The recipe is from the Donna Hay magazine – Issue 62, pg 151 (Caramel maple mud cakes with caramel fudge frosting). Below is the recipe for the icing. Thanks Donna! I love new inspiration!

Caramel Fudge Frosting (Donna Hay Magazine – Issue 62)

1 cup dark brown sugar

100g butter, chopped

¼ teaspoon table salt

¼ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

Place the sugar, butter and salt in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Increase heat to high, add the milk and vanilla and bring to the boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat.  Add the icing sugar and whisk until smooth.  Working quickly, spread the cupcakes with the caramel fudge frosting and allow to set.

The cakes are delish too! Donna Hay, you rock my world.


My most recent Adelaide discovery is the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market. It’s held every Sunday and has an amazing array of delicious fresh produce. Everything that we’ve bought from there has been full of flavour and has stayed fresh for so much longer than the crappy fruit and veg from the supermarket.

I recently bought the April/May edition of Donna Hay magazine and got so excited by the whole section of pomegranate recipes. My eyes were continually drawn towards the most beautiful photo of a ginger, cardamon and pomegranate syrup cake


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (I didn’t have this, so I just made extra syrup)
  • 1/2 cup treacle
  • 100g melted butter
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger (I doubled, if not tripled this amount)
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cardamon (I doubled, if not tripled this amount and ground it myself)
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp. bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  • 3 pomegranates, juice and seeds removed (1 1/2 big ones is enough!)
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 160. Mix the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, molasses, treacle and butter. Add the ginger, cardamon, flour and bicarb. Bake for 1 hour in a 24cm round tin. Place the pomegranate juice and sugar in a bowl and mix. Pour over cake and cool completely in the tin. Remove cake and sprinkle with seeds to serve.

I made the cake one day earlier than eating, so I let it cool completely. I then mixed the pomegranate juice, seeds and sugar and heated it in a saucepan until the sugar was dissolved. I then tipped that over the cake before serving.

Recipe taken from Donna Hay  magazine, Issue 62, April/May 2012 (written in my own words)

I loved the cake so much that I made a second one. Again, I’ve kept the syrup separate to make the cake last longer. The cake itself is delicious – quite gingerbready, and I’ve eaten it with the syrup, with yoghurt and with chocolate sauce and they were all great!

Check out the colour!

To avoid possibly making this cake a third time (even though I’m eating for two, my cake consumption is getting scary), I found another amazing looking pomegranate recipe in the same magazine: Quail with pomegranate and pine nut stuffing. Not having quails on hand, and I doubt that I could cook them to Matt Preston perfection anyway, I adapted the recipe to use chicken thigh fillets. So the recipe below is my adapted version, but the original is still from Donna Hay  magazine, Issue 62, April/May 2012.


  • couscous (we used about 300g for 4 hungry people)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 2 tblsp caramelised onion relish
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds and juice removed
  • s&p
  • 5-6 chicken fillets (for 4 people)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • roast vegies (optional)

Put the couscous in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Cover and stand for 10 mins.

Mix the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and half the pomegranate seeds and juice. Put the chicken fillets in this mix. Heat a fry pan and cook the fillets, basting with the pomegranate mix.

Whilst cooking the chicken, mix the garlic, relish, seeds, mint and other half of the pomegranate. Add this to the couscous with s&p.

Serve the chicken on top of the couscous with a side of roast vegies.

Mmmm… Donna Hay – you are the best!