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Christmas bakes 2018

Coconut marshmallows
from Jennifer Joyce's 'My Asian Kitchen'

Coconut marshmallows screenshot sml

This is going to sound complicated, but I urge you to give it a go. You will need a sugar thermometer and standing mixer, but if you follow the directions you won’t fail. Homemade marshmallows are sooo much better than bought ones and a nice treat to serve after an Asian extravaganza. This makes a large number of pieces, but if you halve the recipe the one egg white is hard to beat to stiff peaks.

Prep: 40 minutes, plus 2 hours setting. Cooking time: 12 minutes

200 g desiccated (grated dried) coconut or large flakes, chopped
10 sheets gelatine (20 g)
500 g caster sugar
4 tsp liquid glucose
2 large egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C or 150°C fan forced.
  2. Spread the coconut out over two baking trays. Bake for about 10–12 minutes or until the edges turn golden, stirring once to evenly cook. Remove and let cool.
  3. Line a 30 x 20 cm (12 x 8 inch) brownie tin or something similar in size (it’s ideal if the tin has straight square corners) with baking paper.
  4. Let the paper hang over the sides so you can lift out the marshmallows later. Pour half of the coconut into the tin.
  5. Soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water and leave to sit until softened while you make everything else.
  6. In a large, deep saucepan (be sure it’s deep enough to hang a sugar thermometer on the side) add the sugar, glucose and 200 ml (7 fl oz) water.
  7. Keep the heat on medium until the sugar has dissolved.
  8. Now turn up the heat and boil until it reaches the firm ball stage on the sugar thermometer, about 125°C (250°F). If you don’t own a thermometer, then pour a little of the syrup into a cup of very cold water and if it sets to a firm but flexible ball, then it’s done.
  9. While the sugar is cooking, beat the egg whites until stiff. A standing electric mixer is best for this but you can use an electric hand mixer with a large bowl.
  10. After the syrup has reached the right temperature, pour it quickly into a jug and start slowly drizzling it into the stiff egg whites as they whisk. Don’t worry about the hard dribbles on the side as they will get incorporated as it continues to increase in volume.
  11. Once all the syrup is in, squeeze the gelatine sheets from the water and add, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Pour in the vanilla and whisk for another 10 minutes.
  12. Scrape the mixture into the tin lined with toasted coconut. Spread evenly and then top with the remaining coconut. Leave to sit for 2 hours or until set.
  13. Lift the marshmallow out of the tin using the paper as handles. Set on a chopping board and cut into 6 cm (21/2 inch) square pieces.
  14. Use a paper towel to wipe your knife in between cutting so it’s not too sticky. Roll the squares in the excess toasted coconut (from the tin) and coat all sides.
  15. Store the marshmallows in a tin lined with baking paper and covered for up to 1 week.


Spiced fig and Ginger Bread
from Alexx Stuart's 'Low Tox Life'

Spiced fig snapshot smlCOOKING TIME 45–55 minutes • ACTIVE TIME 10 minutes • GF NF VEG

I created this recipe for a lunch with friends, and it’s now quite the cult hit.

10 preservative-free dried figs, plus 4–6 extra to garnish
250 ml boiling filtered water
2 heaped teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
100 g butter or coconut oil, melted
80–170 ml rice malt syrup or maple syrup, to taste
80 ml coconut cream
3 eggs
40 g coconut flour
90 g buckwheat flour
tapioca flour / arrowroot flour (see note below)
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice (ready-made or a mix of your own favourites)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Grease a loaf (bar) tin about 8 × 25 × 8 cm with butter or coconut oil and line with unbleached baking paper.
  3. Pop the figs in a blender or food processor with the boiling water and half the bicarbonate of soda. Leave them to soak for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour off 170 ml of the water.
  5. Add the butter, syrup, coconut cream and eggs to the processor, and pulse until smooth.
  6. Add the coconut and buckwheat flours, spices and remaining bicarbonate of soda.
  7. Blend for 5–6 seconds on medium.
  8. Pour into the prepared tin.
  9. Cut the extra fig into thin strips and arrange on top.
  10. Bake for 45–55 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  11. Eat fresh from the oven, or enjoy over the next couple of days toasted and topped with melting butter or coconut butter, or as little slices in lunchboxes (nut-free)!

Notes: Arrowroot flour is often preserved with E220, so check. For a denser pudding, replace the tapioca flour with 90 g buckwheat flour.


Chocolate, orange and pistachio salami

from Tess Robinson and Byron Smith's 'Slow Down and Grow Something'.

ChocSalami 1985This is not only one of the easiest recipes to create, but it is also the star of the dinner party show for its chewy texture and tangy, full-bodied flavour. It is addictive!

½ cup (65 g) slivered almonds
50 g dark chocolate (we use Lindt, 85% cocoa)
50 g milk chocolate
120 g salted butter
2 tablespoons Amaretto
1 cup (150 g) pistachios, shelled, roughly chopped
½ cup (60 g) amaretti biscuits, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (you can replace the orange zest with pitted cherries – yum!)
2 tablespoons icing (confectioners’)

  1. In a frying pan over medium heat, lightly toast your slivered almonds until they are golden brown. Roughly chop them and then set them aside.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter into a metal bowl over a saucepan of hot water, making sure the base of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Keep over low heat until the ingredients are completely melted, stirring to combine.
  3. Ensure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Place the chocolate mixture into a small bowl. Add the Amaretto and mix well.
  4. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, add the almonds, pistachios, amaretti biscuits and orange zest. Combine everything together well so that all the ingredients are covered in chocolate.
  5. Place the mixture into the fridge for 30–45 minutes. Check it at 30 minutes to see how much it has hardened. It should have hardened significantly, but still be malleable so you can shape it.
  6. Spread a large piece of plastic wrap over your bench. Place half of the chocolate mixture into the centre of the wrap and shape it into a log that is about 5 cm (2 in) in diameter.
  7. Tightly cover the salami with the plastic wrap and secure the ends with twine or twist ties. Roll the salami back and forth in the plastic wrap to create a compact, even shape.
  8. Repeat the process with the other half of the mixture.
  9. Place the salamis into the fridge for at least 6 hours, or ideally overnight.
  10. When you are ready to serve the salamis, take them out of the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Dust a clean surface with icing sugar and roll the salamis until they are coated. Shake off any excess.

Using a super-sharp knife, carefully slice the salamis into 1-cm (½-in) thick pieces and serve. 


  • My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce
  • Lox Tox Life by Alexx Stuart
  • Slow Down and Grow Something by Byron Smith and Tess Robinson

Low Tox Life      My Asian Kitchen Cover    Slow Down and Grow Something-1