Lemon Coconut Cake – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Dairy Free

Lemon Coconut Cakes - Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Dairy Free 1

I’ve been in a bit of a baking rut for the last few months – just being lazy and going back and forward between banana cake or chocolate brownies, two delicious, tried and true recipes that I love but, honestly, was getting a little tired of. I never thought I’d get tired of banana cake! But it happened.

Seeing as we’re trying to make the most of the last days of summer, I felt a tropical, refreshing flavour was called for – so lemon and coconut it was. Lemon and ginger was another flavour contender but it’ll have to wait for another day. Maybe until next weekend…

These cakes are incredibly light, fluffy and moist – something that doesn’t come as easily to gluten free baked goods as wheat flour products. Honestly, I’m pretty proud of them. The subtle lemon and coconut flavour is gorgeous, not in your face at all, as I know quite a few people who aren’t coconut fans. For those who are, simply add in a few drops of coconut extract to up the flavour. Voila. I think the best compliment that I received for these cakes was Ev eating an entire muffin himself and enjoying it. If you knew him, you’d know he hates cakes, he’s a pastry man. These are that good.

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FODMAP Notes

  1. Lemon zest has not been tested for FODMAP content, to my knowledge. However, the zest is taken from the outer layer of the peel, which contains the essential oils, fatty acids, pigments and other compounds.
  2. Coconut milk/cream are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup (125 ml) serves. The 1/2 cup in this recipe is split between 12-16 serves, so is quite safe. Coconuts are also not tree nuts; they are seeds and are considered safe for those with tree nut allergies.
  3. Coconut oil has been tested and is low FODMAP. FODMAPs are carbohydrates and as coconut oil is an oil, it makes sense that it’s safe. Beware that the high saturated fat content of coconut oil can stir up IBS symptoms in those with fat malabsorption issues.
  4. The flour blend that I recommend is low FODMAP, follow the link for the recipe.
  5. Turbinado sugar is low FODMAP, with a fructose ratio of 1.0. If you wish to learn more about sugars and their FODMAP content, please read this post.
  6. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs but can cause gut issues in those with egg intolerances. If this is the case for you, please substitute in your favourite egg replacement.
  7. Xanthan gum contains no FODMAPs, though some can have separate issues to gums. Chia seeds are low FODMAP in 2 tbsp. serves, this recipe suggests half that as an alternative to xanthan gum, so is safe.

Lemon Coconut Cake

Serves 12-16

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup turbinado or raw sugar
  • 145 g coconut oil, softened (or butter if dairy is okay)
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 250 g gluten free plain flour blend
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tbsp. chia meal soaked in 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • Optional – 2-3 drops coconut extract

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F.

Grease and line a 9 inch round cake tin, or a 12 hole muffin pan.

If not already soft, in a small saucepan, very gently melt the coconut oil, do not let it boil. Set it aside to cool (refrigeration will help). If using the chia gel, rather than the xanthan gum, mix the chia seed meal in the water now, then set aside.

Next, separate the eggs, putting the yolks aside. Beat the egg whites and salt at a high speed until light and fluffy, then add in the sugars and continue beating on high until stiff peaks form (as if you were making a pavlova).

Thoroughly mix the cooled coconut oil, egg yolks, vanilla extract and coconut cream together and whisk briskly, then pour into the meringue batter and stir on a medium speed until combined. Add in the chia gel at this stage, if you are using it instead of xanthan gum.

Place the gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum (if you are using it rather than the chia gel), baking powder and lemon zest in a small, separate bowl, mix through and then pour into the rest of the batter in thirds. Mix the finished batter on a medium speed for a minute to properly combine all the ingredients, scraping down the sides as required.

Bake at 180C/350 F for:

  • 9″ round cake tin – 50 to 60 minutes, or until the cake tests clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for at least ten minutes before upending it onto a cooling rack.
  • Muffins – 18 to 20 minutes, or until a muffin tests clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for at least ten minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack.

I serve these dusted with icing sugar (as it looks pretty) at dinner parties but it does not need it for the flavour, so if you’re just baking for you, feel free to leave it off.

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Maple Lemon Butter – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo & Vegetarian

Maple Lemon Butter - low FODMAP, fructose friendly, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, no refined sugar, paleo

A few months ago, I posted my Gran’s lemon butter recipe with a promise to attempt a healthier version soon. Well, better late than never, right?

As much as I love baking, photographing the end results and posting them up here for you, sometimes life gets in the way. Over the last few months my IBS was getting worse, no matter if I took it back to basic FODMAPs or not, after which I discovered that spelt, unfortunately, had begun to make it worse. I then embarked on a gluten challenge for ten weeks, to get retested for coeliac disease and wait for an endoscopy, which also took its toll and left me feeling constantly fatigued and with a shoddy immune system to boot.

Well, on Monday I had the endoscopy and I’m already feeling better now that I’m back to being wheat and spelt (fructan/gluten) free. It sounds like a quick turnaround but, given that I stopped eating on Saturday evening for the Monday afternoon procedure, used a colonoscopy prep (those things clean you out!) and knowing what I do about my reactions normally taking about 2-3 days to clear, I’m not surprised that I’m feeling so much better by Wednesday morning. I’m just glad to be able to get on with everything and not be in a brain fog haze.

So, Tuesday evening I decided to get cracking with this healthier lemon butter. Now, I say healthier, which it is, compared to traditional lemon curd – but it’s still definitely not an health food, so don’t go guzzling it down like water! Maple syrup (used instead of castor sugar) is unrefined and the grade B syrup (not pictured but delicious and flavourful) even contains many nutrients but it is still sugar. Luckily, using stevia allowed me to cut the sugar in half. The reason I did not use a stevia product as the only sweetener is that I find it can get too bitingly sweet and leave a distinctive aftertaste; by combining a natural sugar like maple syrup with the stevia drops, you get the best of both the flavour and low calorie worlds.

The result is a creamy looking curd with a nice balance of maple and lemon, both tart and sweet but not too sweet, with very minimal stevia taste.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Maple syrup is a natural, low FODMAP sweetener. Make sure you’re not buying maple flavoured syrup.
  2. Stevia is FODMAP friendly, however many products that contain stevia also contain other sweeteners that may not be. Read the labels. I use SweetLeaf stevia drops, which contain water, organic stevia leaf extract and natural flavours. Seeing as only 1 tsp. is required to reach the sweetness of 1/2 cup of sugar, the natural flavours are not present in large enough amounts for me to be affected, if any of them are not low FODMAP. Use the sweetener that you are happy with.
  3. Lemon is a low FODMAP fruit.
  4. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs.
  5. Coconut oil is an oil, therefore contains no carbohydrates, so cannot contain FODMAPs. This is the dairy free option.
  6. Butter is lower in lactose than other dairy products due to its very low water content.

Maple Lemon Butter

Makes approx. 1 pint.

Option 1: maple syrup and stevia combination, paleo

  • 25 g virgin coconut oil or 20 g grass fed butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp. SweetLeaf stevia drops (equivalent sweetness of 3/8 cup sugar)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

Option 2: maple syrup and raw turbinado sugar combination

  • 25 g virgin coconut oil or 20 g grass fed butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

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Gently beat the coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup and stevia (or turbinado sugar) in an heat proof bowl until well combined, then add in the eggs and continue to whisk until mixed through. Add in the lemon juice (using a sieve to keep out pulp and pips), then place the bowl over a double boiler on a medium heat.

Mix with a whisk until the coconut oil (or butter) has completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then keep stirring and slowly increase the heat until the mixture thickens. This should take 2-3 minutes.

Maple Lemon Butter Double Boiler

Keep stirring for another 2 minutes at that temperature, then divide it between two clean half pint-sized/235 ml jars and let it come to room temperature before refrigerating. It will thicken further as it cools, though is a little runnier than the original recipe. But don’t worry, it won’t run sideways off your toast!

All that’s left to do now is enjoy your treat on some gluten free/FODMAP friendly bread, on a scone as part of afternoon tea or use it to fill up tart shells. Yummo!

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Oven Baked Sockeye Salmon with Herb Lemon Butter – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free & Paleo

Oven Baked Sockeye Salmon with Herb Lemon Butter - Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free & Paleo

Ev and I have been on a bit of a salmon kick lately, making the most of the last of the fresh caught salmon this season. It’s still available over winter, just frozen and a little more expensive – though the price here in Seattle has nothing on how much even farmed Atlantic salmon would cost in Australia.

When my parents were visiting us over Easter this year, they went through the same shock that we did when we moved to Seattle – Salmon is how cheap? There are so many varieties! You can get wild caught salmon in the supermarket, without going to a fishmonger?! Bliss. I have a feeling that the reason they are going to visit us again next summer has something to do with the salmon (and the dogs) and less to do with us. When we eventually move from Seattle, we will definitely miss the fresh seafood. Not that we don’t have a plentiful supply of fresh seafood in Australia, it’s just much more affordable over here.

Salmon is a very healthy and abundant source of omega 3/healthy fats, protein – with all the essential amino acids present (22 g/100 g), vitamins B-6 and -12, and selenium, as well as containing moderate amounts of potassium, phosphorous and the other B group vitamins. Definitely something that should be a regular part of an healthy diet for those who eat meat.

Notes: 

  1. Lemon is a low FODMAP fruit. Use slightly sweet, juicy lemons, not bitter lemons, which can impart the bitterness onto the salmon – been there, done that. It can really spoil an otherwise delicious meal.
  2. Oregano is low FODMAP but does contain salicylates, which can also cause IBS symptoms. But once again, low FODMAP.
  3. Butter is lower in lactose due to its reduced water content, though for a dairy free/lactose free version you could use coconut oil or a dairy free spread of your choice for a different, though just as tasty flavour.
  4. Fresh fish will always taste best – a fresh fish shouldn’t smell of much at all. If your fish smells “fishy,” it probably is. We normally buy whole fresh fish, as they are considerably cheaper per pound and you can make stock with the skeleton.

Baked Salmon with Herb Lemon Butter

Serves 10.

  • 2.5 kg/5.5 lb whole sockeye salmon
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4-5 lemons, sliced into rounds
  • 2 lemons, sliced into wedges for serving

Clean and fillet your salmon, if not already done – leave the skin on. Rinse and pat dry the salmon, before slicing 4-5 x 1 cm deep slices into the skin. This will require a sharp knife, as the skin can be quite tough.

Choose your baking dish and lay down a bed of the lemon slices, on which you will later lay the salmon.

In a food processor, combine the oregano leaves, butter, garlic oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper and blend until smooth, the leaves should end up finely shredded. Rub the mixture on both sides of each salmon fillet, before placing them skin side UP on the lemon rounds. Cover in foil and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour, to let the flavours seep into the fish.

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Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F; when ready, place the covered tray on the middle shelf and bake for 20 minutes, at which point you’ll remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes. If your fish is smaller, it might not need any more time, or 5 minutes at the most. Keep an eye on it.

Once the fish is flaking apart, remove it from the oven and carefully lay it on a bed of greens. The skin will peel off easily, for those who don’t wish to eat it. The lemon livens up the salmon’s natural flavours, while the butter and oregano play very well with everything. Delicious and a definite crowd pleaser… enjoy!

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Sangria – Low FODMAP/Fructose Friendly for Some

Lower FODMAP Sangria - Not From A Packet Mix

I love red wine, especially a good Pinot Noir but, unfortunately, it doesn’t always love me back. Earlier this year I woke up at about 3 am with a racing heart rate and I freaked out. Heart conditions run in my dad’s side of the family and I’m only 26! Despite my chest feeling like someone was playing the drums in there, I eventually managed to get back to sleep and was still alive in the morning. Phew! A few weeks later, the same thing happened… and then again, a few weeks after that. Only, the third time it happened, I thought back to what I’d been doing beforehand.

It turned out that I wasn’t dying (!) but I had enjoyed two glasses of Merlot the nights before I had woken up with a rapid heart rate. I asked on the very trustworthy Fructose Malabsorption Support Group whether anyone there knew anything and two words were thrown at me: histamines and sulphites.

Histamines are a a biogenic amine that occur to some extent in many foods, in addition to being produced endogenously by mast cells; histamine is degraded by the amine oxidase class of enzymes – if this enzyme activity is reduced, histamine levels can accumulate and allergic-type reactions can occur. Sulphites are a common food preservative, which some people develop a sensitivity to over their lifetimes, the cause of which is unknown. My money is on histamines, as I am yet to have a problem with white wines but red wine apparently contains anywhere from 20-200% more histamine than white wine, whereas white wine usually contains more sulphites than red wine (thanks, Wikipedia). Whichever it is, I do know that I can drink about half a glass of red wine safely, definitely not more than one. Stupid body!

So, this is where sangria comes in. The sangrias I have had in the past were 1:1 red wine and soda water, among other things, so half the amount of whatever it is that makes my body react. Ergo, I can drink twice as much. Yay! It is best to make this at least 4 hours before you plan to serve it, I normally make it in the morning, so the flavours have had time to mingle together and settle down.

Notes:

  1. A traditional sangria originated in Portugal and Spain and contains red wine,  a little brandy, chopped fruit and a sweetener of some sort (honey, castor sugar, orange juice).
    • Brandy is NOT FODMAP friendly, so I replaced it with vodka. Feel free to use brandy if you can.
    • I looked up quite a few different recipes to create this one, and I liked the use of triple sec to enhance the orange flavour. I do not know if it is strictly low FODMAP but there is only a small amount in there. If anyone knows anything different, please let me know.
    • I only used low FODMAP fruits – orange, lemon, lime… if strawberries were cheap, I would probably have diced some and thrown them in, too.
    • I used soda water/club soda to add some fizz and also reduce the histamine content… though the vodka helps to get the alcohol percentage back up a little bit, maybe I should have made this brew a little more potent?! Haha.
    • Dextrose helps to balance out any excess fructose that might occur due to the red wine or triple sec liqueur.
  2. Like white wines, the dryer (less sweet) the red wine, the lower it will be in FODMAPs. Choose a bottle that is nice but not expensive, as I’m sure that some would count that as an offense to the Wine Gods.
  3. If gluten is an issue, make sure you choose gluten free spirits and liqueurs.
  4. As always with the low FODMAP diet, everyone is a little different. If you are just trying out wine or a sangria for the first time, take it easy and just have a small serving.

Low(ish) FODMAP Sangria

Serves 8-10

  • 1 x 750 ml bottle of a red wine that you tolerate.
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup triple sec – I’m okay with this but it can be replaced with fresh orange juice if required
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar or 1/3 cup dextrose
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh OJ
  • 1/2 orange, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 x 750 ml bottle of soda water

Pour the vodka, triple sec, fruit juices and dextrose/castor sugar into the jug you plan to serve it in. Thoroughly mix until the dextrose/castor sugar has dissolved and then pour in the entire bottle of red wine, before mixing once more and adding the sliced fruit. Refrigerate for at least four hours, I normally leave it for eight.

Just before you are ready to serve the sangria, pour in the chilled soda water and give it a gentle stir.

Sit back and watch it disappear! I made two batches of sangria for a dinner party a couple of months ago and they were both gone in under an hour and a half, between 14 people.

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Warm Salmon Salad, Dressed in a Lemon, Ginger and Soy Sauce – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Warm Salmon Salad Dressed in Lemon, Ginger and Soy Sauce - Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free 1

Firstly, I apologise for the dodgy photos in this post; my camera’s battery had run out and I used my phone, which isn’t great for indoor photos.

Secondly, have I mentioned how spoilt we are for salmon in the Pacific Northwest? It’s crazy good. In Melbourne, you’re lucky to get lightly ripped off when you buy Atlantic salmon, which is really just farmed salmon that’s never even sniffed the Atlantic Ocean… side note to any ichthyologists out there, can fish smell? In Seattle, Atlantic doesn’t even factor into our choice of salmon, it’s the bottom of the barrel. At your local supermarket you can get whole Chinook, Coho and Sockeye (my personal fav) when they’re in season for about a third of what we pay for Atlantic back home; when they’re out of season, they’re still only about half the price. There are more varieties, of course, if you go to specialty fish markets.

Guess what July is? The middle of Sockeye salmon season.

Notes:

  1. The green tips of leek are low FODMAP.
  2. Zucchini is low FODMAP in servings of 1/2 cup.
  3. Cherry tomatoes are low FODMAP in servings of 1/2 cup.
  4. Mushrooms contain mannitol, so if you malabsorb mannitol then swap them out for more zucchini.
  5. Spinach is low FODMAP in servings of 1 cup.
  6. Lemon, ginger and soy sauce are all low FODMAP. Use gluten free soy sauce if you are a coeliac/sensitive to gluten.

Warm Salmon Salad

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cm of ginger root, minced finely
  • Juice of half a lemon, plus a little from the other half

Salad

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic infused olive oil
  • 225 g/8 oz salmon fillet – I like sockeye
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup green leek tips, finely sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 button mushrooms, finely sliced

Seal your pan with the olive oil and pan fry the salmon fillets over a med-high heat; it should take about 4 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second, though this will depend on the thickness of the fillets. Once for each side, drizzle with the “little bit” of lemon juice from the second half of the lemon.

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Meanwhile, lay out washed baby spinach on a serving dish. Saute the leek tips, zucchini, cherry toms and button mushrooms in the garlic infused olive oil until tender (not over cooked) and remove from the heat.

By this time, the salmon should almost be done. Turn down the heat to low and cut the salmon into bite-sized chunks and stir through the sauce ingredients. Once the sizzling has stopped, stir through the sauteed veggies.

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Layer the warm salmon and veggies over a bed of fresh baby spinach (you could wilt the spinach if you like but I prefer it fresh) and serve with white rice. The white rice takes 30 minutes to cook (without a rice cooker, I couldn’t tell you how long it would take with one), so make sure you get it going before you start cooking the salmon and veggies, as they only take 10 minutes once they’re on the heat.

Oh and the most important part – enjoy!

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Lesley’s Lemon Butter – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Lesley's Lemon Butter

When life gives you lemons, make lemon butter!

Some recipes make you think of your childhood; certain tastes and smells can bring back happy memories. This particular recipe is for my Gran’s lemon butter (curd). When I eat it, I’m instantly back in her kitchen, having breakfast and maybe a cup of tea, after sleeping the night.

I have been asking my mum to find it for the last two years but it was written on a scrap of paper and had gone missing. Luckily, it turned up a month ago. By putting it up here, I am sharing it with you and storing it in a place from where it is much less likely to be lost. Touch wood.

This is a traditional British style recipe, so it’s not a big surprise that it’s also popular in Australia. No starches or thickeners required, just patience and a double saucepan (boiler)/bain-marie. Tarter lemons are more suited to lemon butter than sweet, because it adds a depth of flavour. If you use sweet lemons and sugar, it will of course work but you will just end up with sweet lemon butter and no notes of anything else. If that’s how you like it, though, then by all means use sweet lemons.

This lemon butter works well in a sandwich, as you’d expect but it also goes great guns with a Pav or as part of a Devonshire tea. Or just on a spoon, when nobody’s looking. If you can bear to part with it, lemon butter makes a fantastic gift… a great way to get rid of the ridiculous amount of jars that you (or I) may have collected.

Notes:

  1. Lemons are a low FODMAP fruit
  2. Butter is lower FODMAP than other dairy products, as FODMAPs are water soluble and it is mostly the milk fat. However, if butter does not agree with you, replace it with a lactose free alternative such as coconut butter.
  3. There is a lot of sugar in this recipe, so obviously small servings (1-2 tbsp) are recommended. As it’s intended as a spread, that’s about all I ever use, anyway.
  4. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs.
  5. Replace some or all of the castor sugar with dextrose (glucose-glucose) if you want to increase the glucose:fructose ratio of the spread.

Lemon Butter

Makes approx. 1 pint

  • 20 g softened unsalted butter
  • 225 g castor sugar (or 125 g castor sugar and 100 g dextrose)
  • 3 large eggs
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

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Gently beat the butter and sugar together in a heat proof bowl until well combined and then add in the eggs and continue to beat until mixed through. Add in the lemon juice (using a sieve to keep out pulp and pips) and then place the bowl over a double boiler on medium heat. Mix with a whisk until the butter has completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then keep stirring and slowly increase the heat until the mixture thickens.

Lemon butter, before and after double-boiling

Keep stirring for another 2 minutes at that temperature after it thickened, then divide it between two half pint-sized/235 ml glass jars and let it come to room temperature. It will thicken further (from a runny sauce consistency to spreadable) as it cools, don’t worry.

Now all that’s left to do is enjoy!

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Potted Raspberry Cheesecakes – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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About a month ago I posted a recipe for a delicious baked ricotta cheesecake. When I made the batter to fill the cheesecake, I slightly really overestimated how much I would need and made way too much. Whoops! But instead of making an extra crust, I decided to bake these in ramekins, instead.

If you’re looking for an easy dessert for a dinner party that can be made ahead of time, then look no further. These cheesecakes are the perfect blend of fluffy and creamy; the zing from the lemon plays well with the berries and they are not overly sweet. They will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container (which prevents the top from drying out and forming a skin – yuck). As long as you keep your serving to one ramekin, you won’t walk away from this dessert feeling terribly guilty – just pleasantly satisfied… but this of course depends on everything else you’ve eaten that night.

Notes:

  1. Ricotta and cream cheese are not low in lactose, so this recipe isn’t suitable for those who malabsorb lactose.
  2. The eggs I used were 50 g each.
  3. Pure maple syrup does not have additives in it that may increase the level of FODMAPs present, thus should be safe.
  4. Fresh lemon juice is generally better tolerated than lemon juice concentrate. If you use the concentrate, only use 20 ml.
  5. Pure vanilla extract is low FODMAP.

Potted Raspberry and Ricotta Cheesecakes

Makes enough to fill 8 x 4 oz. ramekins

  • 275 g ricotta cheese
  • 115 g cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dextrose or castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 30 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Raspberries to scatter over base of ramekins

Pre-heat your oven to 150 C/300 F and boil a kettle full of water.

By hand or in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, blend the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, eggs, maple syrup, dextrose, lemon zest and vanilla extract together. A stand mixer will give a smoother end product and makes life a lot easier.

Meanwhile, mix the potato starch and lemon juice together to create a smooth paste. This step is important, because if you mix the potato starch into the mixture as a powder it may cause your baked cheesecakes to become gritty, which is not a texture we want to associate with this dessert.

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Scatter the bases of the ramekins with the raspberries and cover with the cheesecake batter. Lightly tap each ramekin on the bench top to eliminate air bubbles.

Place the ramekins in a large baking dish and place that dish in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the baking dish so that it surrounds the ramekins up to 3/4 height – this water bath technique allows the cheesecakes to bake slowly and evenly while providing steam to prevent them from drying out, thus eliminating those unsightly cracks from the surfaces that can form as they cool.

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Bake for 20 minutes at 150 C/300 F and then turn the oven off. Open the oven door for 60 seconds before closing it again and set the timer for 15 minutes more. Remove the baking tray with ramekins from the oven and then take each ramekin out of the water bath.

Let the potted cheesecakes cool for 30 minutes before refrigerating in an airtight container for 2-3 hours to finish the setting process. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days, max. If you do not store them in an airtight container, your fridge may dry out the surface and a skin will develop. You can also freeze these cheesecakes, if your ramekins/pots are freezer safe – again, in an airtight container is best to prevent frost damage.

Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream to cut the richness if necessary… and enjoy!

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