Monday, February 8, 2010

Gluten Free, Fructose Friendly Rum Balls

So, here it is, as I promised, my recipe for Gluten Free and Fructose Friendly Rum Balls! I make these quite often and whenever I take them with me to a party/picnic/etc they are always a hit.
I have Fructose Malabsorption (Fructose Intolerance), which means I can't eat lots of common foods, one of which is wheat, so I often miss out on delicious things. These Rum Balls don't contain any wheat, and incidentally any gluten either, so they can be enjoyed by a lot of people, even those with dietary restrictions.
I took them to a party this weekend and they were very popular. I even had a woman who I didn't know come and sit next to me with a handful of my Rum Balls and exclaim : "Oh boy! Have you had some of those Rum Balls!!!?? They're so good! But you better hurry, they're going fast!" Of course, I was pretty chuffed :-)

Okay, here's the recipe:

Gluten Free/Fructose Friendly Rum Balls

500g Gluten Free Chocolate cake*
1 tin Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups desiccated Coconut*
1/2 cup Cocoa powder*
1 tbs Rum*
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whizz the chocolate cake in a food processor until it is fine crumbs. In a large bowl place your cake crumbs, tin of condensed milk, cocoa powder, rum, cinnamon and 1 cup of coconut and set the other cup of coconut aside in a small bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. If your mixture is very moist add a little more coconut. Now using about 1 heaped teaspoon of mixture roll it into a ball with your hands then roll it in your remaining coconut to coat, place on a baking tray that you've lined with baking paper. Continue doing this with the rest of your mixture, then place the tray of balls into the fridge for about 1/2 an hour. You can then pack them away in an air tight container for later, or you can eat them all now with some friends :-)
These balls will last for about 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge (if you don't eat them all!)

Makes approx. 40 balls, depending on the size you choose to make them.

*Instead of buying a ready made gluten free chocolate cake, which can be hard to find and quite expensive, you can either make your own from your favourite recipe or you can make one from a packet cake mix (this is what I do). In this case I recommend not using a Mud Cake mix as this is often too moist. Regular Gluten Free Chocolate cake is best. You will also find that a lot of Gluten Free cake mixes will give you instructions for using Egg Replacer instead of fresh chook eggs, just incase you need to avoid eggs.
* You may find that you need a little more than 2 cups of coconut if your mixture is very moist. Coconut is not suitable for everyone who needs to avoid Fructose, so check this beforehand if you are making these balls for someone else.
* Not all cocoa powder is gluten/wheat free, so make sure you check this. Use one that you're familiar with that you know is suitable for you and your dietary needs.
*You might like to add more or less rum to your balls, or use Rum essence instead, or omit the rum or rum flavour all together, the balls are delicious whatever you do!
*If you're not a fan of getting too messy you might like to wear powder free disposable gloves when rolling the balls.
*Of course, this recipe can be made using regular cake too, if you have no dietary restrictions :-)

*If you're making these balls for a children's party you might like to try rolling your balls in a mixture of half coconut, half hundreds and thousands, instead of straight coconut to add a bit of colour and fun!
*Try making the balls with a vanilla cake instead of chocolate cake, omit the cocoa powder, add a dash of vanilla extract and a little more coconut for Vanilla Coconut Rum Balls!!! Oh yeah!!!!!!

I'd love to hear from anyone who tries this recipe, and of any delicious alteration you try!!

Now lets get cooking!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Choc Leopard Baby Shoes

Well I had a nice day, it was busy, but not too hectic :-)

I made this little pair of Leopard Print baby shoes for a special order that was on it's way to Germany. I made them using one of my original patterns that is available in my JoliBebe store HERE and HERE. The pattern uses such a small amount of fabric that it is perfect for using up those little scraps of your favourite vintage fabric, that you have been saving up for a special piece. It's also a great pattern to make using fabric you have selvaged from a fabulous garment from the op shop/thrift store. Perhaps you found something that is made from great fabric, but the item itself is a bit ugly, or the wrong size etc… Chop it up and make something else with it... like a little pair of shoes for your favourite little person :-)

I knew it was going to rain today, so it was a race against time to get these finished, so I could ride my bicycle to the Post Office to mail them before I got drenched. I wasn't worried so much about me getting wet, but I was worried about my mail getting wet. You'll be pleased to read that the mail and I both survived :-)

I'm not sure why, but these shoes seem to be particularly popular with my German customers. Just like I have one particular hat in my range that is very popular, but has only ever sold to folks in Poland. I know? Odd.

I have a REALLY busy day ahead of me tomorrow. With any luck I'll find a moment to post my recipe for gluten free, fructose friendly rum balls! Here's the link to the recipe:

xox Shara

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hello 2010!

Hello friends :-)

Yes, I know, it's been quite a while since my last Post. Life got busy last year with the business, organising an overseas trip and all the other things that happen in-between.

At the end of last year I went to New Zealand for a holiday and for my cousin's wedding at the gorgeous Craggy Range WInery, near Napier.

I got a lot of shopping done in Napier and here are links to two of my favourite stores KILT and AROHA LAMOUR . I also couldn't help myself and brought home several gorgeous vintage pieces from the multitude of fantastic Antique and secondhand stores around Napier.

And I had a really amazing time, spending New Years Eve at a beach house, watching the fireworks over the bay from our balcony, whilst sipping some fabulous local wines.

After my return from New Zealand I was lucky enough to go camping at Wilsons Promontory with some good friends. Although the weather was a little inclement for the first two days (we all snuggled up in our tents reading, writing and drawing) the weather was perfect for the rest of our stay.

As much as I loved lazing around in the hammock reading, jotting down ideas and working on new designs, I also loved venturing out over the hills and rocks and waves to discover so many new places at the Prom that I hadn't seen before.

I came across two tiger snakes, lots of wombats, a few possums and lots of amazing birdlife, as well as kayaking up a perfectly still tidal river and going to the outdoor cinema. It was brilliant! :-)

I'm back, feeling well rested from two amazing holidays, and I'm ready to get back to work.

I have been working on a whole range of new designs and ideas (it was hard not to be inspired in such amazing surroundings!) and I just wish I had a few more hours in each day to bring them all to fruition.

So, stayed tuned for what's to come in my stores HERE and HERE with a new range of hats & more clothing using upcycled, recycled and repurposed materials. As well as a whole new range of babies and kids clothing and shoes HERE and HERE using the same ecologically sound materials.

It's going to be a big year and I'm going to love every minute of it!