Raspberry Bundt Cake with Coconut Yoghurt

When I started Friendly Little Kitchen, photography really wasn’t a priority. With limited time, I focused more of my attention on my passion for recipe development, and naturally everything else including photos took a backseat. I started with a phone, and a point and shoot camera, using whichever was handy. I over edited the end results or applied too much filtering. You can see here for yourself, my skill on the subject was fairly non-existent. However I soon realised if I wanted a serious (ie. beautiful, inspiring, dance-around-and-eat-cake) kind of blog, which I did (and still do), I needed serious photographs. And this was something that would take time. 

So I finally invested in my first DSLR (read here), and made an effort to bring photography forward on my priority list. Slowly slowly, with the help of my Plate to Pixel book and some food photography blogs, I taught myself the basics. Soon enough, it wasn’t just the need that was driving me to learn, it was a new passion boiling up inside me. I am now loving the food photography and styling side of blogging, I have so much more to learn and I want to learn it all!!

Gluten free raspberry cake
Cake with coconut yoghurt

I thought I'd share with you two of my most recent photography wins, I'm pretty chuffed about…

1) I’m now shooting in manual - say what!? Yes, well this is a no brainer to getting better photos, but it’s a toughy. There are so many elements to juggle, and I think it’s just one of those things that takes practice and you never stop learning new things about.

2) I’ve finally started shooting in raw image format (as opposed to the usual jpeg), literally just this post. It's apparently another no brainer. I had read I should shoot in raw long ago, but I didn’t. Given I was the slow self-taught type, I thought really there's no rush to add another element into the mix. But I can't believe I didn't do it sooner! The photos not only look a thousand times better, the post-processing was a hell of a lot easier.

Cake on the table
Cake on the table

So in the interest of continuing to learn and improve my photography, next on my list is to attend some classes and workshops (recommendations welcome) and start using Lightroom for editing. I’ve been using Photoshop since I was 12 so it's probably time to make the switch!

Please leave me a comment with any recommendations or tips!

And lastly, enjoy this cake, it's low FODMAP, gluten free, lactose free and it's a real treat!!

Slice of raspberry cake

Raspberry Bundt Cake with Coconut Yoghurt
Makes 1 cake, serves 8-10

1 cup gluten free flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used lactose free cows milk)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (not defrosted)

To serve
1/4 cup coconut yoghurt
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water
Shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 180C and grease your bundt tin really well. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth, add one egg at a time followed by the milk, whisking after each addition. Slowly add the dry mixture and whisk slowly until just combined. Add the berries and gently incorporate them with a spatula. Pour into tin and bake for 45 minutes.

Once the cake is ready and cooled, stir the coconut yoghurt, maple syrup and water together, drizzle over the top and sprinkle with shredded coconut and raspberries.


Low FODMAP | gluten free | lactose free | nut free

Gluten Free Savoury Waffles with Bacon and Eggs

I have never been a big fan of one-purpose kitchen contraptions and gadgets that take up cupboard space. It’s probably the cause of Mum trying to keep the kitchen manageable when we were growing up, which she has always done so well. We didn't have a dishwasher for many years, no mix master, just hand held beaters, it was simple. This mantra has now been (semi) enforced in my own kitchen, and threads it’s way throughout my life. I try to keep things simple, buy less, use less. I’m not very good at it, but I try. Because on the flip side I have trouble letting go. Letting go of things I haven’t used for years, taking up valuable space. So I now err on the side of not acquiring stuff in the first place - to save me from my hoarding self!

There was however, one kitchen contraption that slipped through the cracks of Mum's kitchen. One shiny toy I hold dear. The waffle maker! Though only pulled out on occasional lazy Sunday mornings, I developed a love for waffles and the infinite possibilities. Sweet, savoury, soft or crispy. Sky's the limit with this bad boy. When I moved out of home, over a year ago now (wow how time flies), Mum gifted this on to me. What a gift!

Speaking of gifts, that plate you see in the photo is a Bridget Bodenham piece I was given for my birthday from my family. It's seriously amazing, I even ate my waffles off it post-photo shoot because it felt too pretty not to.

Anyway, back to the serious stuff. These savoury waffles make the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner accompaniment, whilst being healthy and full of protein. Tigernut flour (not in fact a nut) is a great addition to the mixture for a boost of fibre and prebiotics. I got mine from Terra Firma Foods, but if you can't get a hold of tigernut flour, simply replace the amount with a nut meal or oat flour. I also eat these savoury waffles with sweet toppings (see below the recipe) - I did say sky's the limit! But you can also make these gluten free waffles for a sweeter experience.

Gluten Free Savoury Waffles with Bacon and Eggs
Makes 4-6 waffles

1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tigernut flour (or oat flour or a nut meal of choice)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk of choice
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Savoury toppings

Heat your waffle maker. Combine dry ingredients. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl, add milk and parsley, and mix together with the dry ingredients. Add coconut oil and mix well until all combined. Once the waffle maker has heated, pour about half a cup of mixture to make each waffle.

Top and enjoy!

I hear you wondering "can I also eat these as sweet waffles?" Why yes, of course!! My favourite thing about these waffles is having a savoury breakfast waffle first, swiftly followed by a sweet dessert waffle. Heavenly.

Simply top with your favourite sweet toppings, like frozen banana, maple syrup and yoghurt (those are mine), and if you wish you can leave the parsley out of the mixture (but it is delicious regardless).

Low FODMAP | gluten free | fructose friendly | lactose free | sugar free | nut free

Torta di Riso aka Italian Rice Cake

"Sorry to be a pain, I can't eat onion or garlic, what can you suggest from the menu?" That's my latest one liner as I'm getting ready to order, perusing a menu of everything I can't eat. I say it cheekily and confidently, because I know this one liner works. I've eaten out a lot to know that succumbing to embarrassment, bashfulness and plain old cbb (can't be bothered), is not the way to go! But with this magic sentence, you'll put the decision in the trusty waiters hands, coercing them to the kitchen to ask all the questions. 

In saying this, the line didn't work the other day when I was out for dinner. I got that look of confusion, I am all too familiar with, followed by suggestions that I just knew wouldn't fly when the order hit the chefs in the kitchen. All is well though, a bit of flexibility on my part and a nice chat with the waiter, and I had a big bowl of steaming FODMAP friendly mussels in front of me, sans bread.

My point is, a bit of confidence goes a long way. Starting a restricted diet is overwhelming and I hear so many people say they stop eating out, and more often than not it's because it can be a daunting experience, not because there's nothing to eat. But please don't do this! Eating out is a special part of life and a wonderful experience to enjoy with friends and family, especially during this festive time of year. No matter how much I love cooking, I will always love the experience of going to a new cafe or restaurant, sitting back and eating something delicious that has been carefully prepared by a pro, whilst chatting away with my company. I keep my growing list here of some of the places around Melbourne I've 'successfully' eaten at. 

So don't feel weird about your diet, like I did for some time. Be brave and ask away. These days my friends and family look at me in bewilderment. I'm relaxed, casual and ready to eat anywhere - I mean sure there's a few garlic-y exceptions, but you get what I mean! Plus, times are changing and it's getting less and less weird to have a food intolerance. 

To celebrate being brave with our food restrictions, I have a beautiful, interesting and unique cake recipe for you - an Italian Rice Cake! I wish I came up with this idea myself, because it's genius, but unfortunately someone else many moons ago decided to make a cake from rice. How brilliant. If you're a fan of rice pudding, you'll love this one!!

I first came across this rice cake whilst watching Two Greedy Italians, a beautiful and funny food show that pays homage to the recipes of regional Italy. Gennaro Contaldo, one half of the Two Greedy Italians, cooks this up whilst they're travelling through Calabria (a place dear to my heart). In this video you can watch Gennaro cooking his Torta di Riso at home, definitely one to watch before you get stuck into baking! I've tweaked Gennaro's recipe to make it FODMAP friendly and lower in sugar, but just as delicious. Enjoy!

Torta di Riso aka Italian Rice Cake
Makes - 1 cake
Prep time - 45 minutes
Cooking time - 1 hour

900ml lactose free milk
2/3 cup rice malt syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pieces of lemon rind, of half a lemon

180g arborio rice
3 eggs
30ml Cointreau (orange liqueur)
3 tbsp raisins
Zest of half an orange

Yoghurt of choice & cinnamon for serving

Grease and line an 8-inch spring-form cake tin with baking paper. Place the milk, rice malt syrup, vanilla and pieces of lemon rind in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rice and simmer over a medium to low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer until the rice is cooked and the milk has absorbed but still has a creamy consistency. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Discard the lemon rind.

Preheat oven to 180°C. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and liqueur until creamy. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the egg yolk mixture to the cooled rice, and then fold in the egg whites, followed by the raisins and orange zest. Pour in the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Serve warm or cold, with a smearing of natural yoghurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon and orange zest.


Carrot & Tahini Savoury Muffins

I love lazy Sundays. Waking up, not to an alarm nor the urgency of getting out of bed, but to the morning light filling the room as I continue to fall in and out of sleep. A slow breakfast, almost always pancakes, is always the first consideration on one of these days, as there is no rush to get moving or be anywhere in particular. The caffettiera goes on shortly after, albeit a lazy day a caffeine hit is a necessity. What follows after is a blend of reading, baking, eating, tidying, maybe some blogging or some exercise. Whatever it may be, it’s done in a slow and lazy fashion. The day always concludes watching a movie, on the couch, preferably wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea. And hopefully I’ve baked something to accompany said tea, but if not, a piece of dark chocolate will do. Now that's a perfect lazy Sunday.

The latest product of a lazy Sunday are these savoury muffins, the perfect snack to bake up and freeze ready for the week ahead. They may be small but they are packed with heaps of goodness - carrots, eggs, almonds, tahini - so they'll certainly kick those afternoon sugar cravings.

You have most likely gathered by now, if you read my blog regularly, that I love tahini (or you may just be thinking 'seriously, tahini again Steph'). Well yes, sweet or savoury, breakfast or dinner, I'm obsessed. How, you may ask, can one thing be so versatile. See for yourself...

For breakfast, drizzle tahini over your bowl of overnight oats
For a healthy snack, use tahini as a dip for veggie sticks
For a tasty sweet treat, make these gluten free tahini cookies
To jazz up a salad, use tahini in your dressing, like this pumpkin and brown rice salad
For a delicious marinade, replace half the peanut butter with tahini in this satay chicken skewer recipe

Carrot & Tahini Savoury Muffins
Makes 12

1 cup oat flour*
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp sesame seeds (plus extra for on top)
2 tbsp currants
3 eggs
1/2 cup natural yoghurt (or yoghurt of choice)
1/4 cup hulled tahini
2 cups grated carrots (approx 2 medium carrots)

Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12-muffin tray. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients, including the sesame seeds and currants. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yoghurt and tahini. Add the dry mixture and grated carrots, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray, sprinkle each muffin with sesame seeds and bake for 15-20 minutes. Store in the refrigerator or freeze them for snacks.

*To make your own oat flour, simply put 1 cup of oats in a food processor and pulse until fine like breadcrumbs.


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