Australia Day 2013

The weather on Australia Day was beautiful. Sunny, hot, perfect for a barbie. Too bad we planned ours for the next day!

Still I felt like doing something on the day, so my housemate, her dog and I walked to Enmore Park to see what was on. I had just trained and feeling peckish, but didn’t have high expectations on the food offering. Yeah, there was Turkish pide, fairy floss and paella, but also a few interesting finds (with really crappy music on the background).

The Gourmet Rotisserie immediately caught our eye with their chickens on display. They offered both chicken and porchetta served in panini. A closer look at the menu revealed the magic words: gluten-free option, served on potatoes.

The Gourmet Rotisserie

The Gourmet Rotisserie

Rotisserie chicken

Rotisserie chicken

Porchetta

Porchetta

Bonnie and I shared the porchetta served on potatoes with aioli and salad. It was good (nice crackling), although not precisely huge on flavours. We eat potatoes very sparingly so I’m glad when they are as good as those. I guess we can thank the aioli.

Porchetta on potatoes

Porchetta on potatoes

There were two Mexican stalls. I found it cool that one of them emphasized the use of free range eggs and organic meats.

Burritos

Burritos menu

My husband would have gone nuts with the coconut man, who offered young coconuts to drink and/or eat and was also selling a handy perforating tool that apparently works both on young and mature coconuts. You still need a knife to expose the flesh, though.

Coconut & coconut openers

Coconut & coconut openers

The rain on Sunday did not stop us from having an Aussie barbie. We had salads, lamb chops, beef burgers, homemade condiments and sauces (ketchup, macadamia oil mayo & aioli, a Venezuelan cousin of guacamole, and salsa verde made by a real Italian, Paola). My friends Susy and Jose brought some outstanding beef and sausages. He is Uruguayan and arrived with his own BBQ tools. Needless to say, he’s an expert!

Salads

Salads

Homemade condiments, pickles

Homemade condiments, pickles

Lamb chop, beef burgers

Lamb chop, beef burgers

Sausages, beef

Sausages, beef

Gladys baked a delicious Paleo chocolate & banana cake with chocolate frosting.

Paleo chocolate/banana cake

Paleo chocolate & banana cake

Dessert number two (yes, we had two desserts) was an amazing apple crumble (a.k.a. scramble) that Bonnie made in the slow cooker.

Paleo chocolate/banana cake, slow-cooked apple crumble

Paleo chocolate & banana cake, slow-cooked apple crumble

We ate too much and drank too much. So yes, we had a great Australia Day.

Recipe: Paleo lamingtons (take 1)

Happy Australia Day! Time for a confession: in the 4 years I’ve lived in Australia I have never eaten a lamington. When we were “fresh” in the country I didn’t like coconut. Over time, this aversion disappeared but I just wasn’t too excited about sponge cake with chocolate icing and desiccated coconut. Then I ditched the grains so lamingtons were out of the question.

As an almost citizen of Australia, I felt it was about time to try a lamington. I thought it would be relatively easy to find a gluten-free commercial one, but not a grain-free, crap-free one. So I had to make my own. Luckily, I’m one of those persons who can get a pretty good idea of what something should taste like by knowing what’s in it. Thus, I’m pretty confident my first attempt did not taste or feel like a true lamington. But it was delicious nonetheless. And I accidentally came up with a side recipe that will be posted soon.

For the moment, feel free to give this recipe a go. And yes, by “take 1” I’m taking on the challenge of coming up with a new, improved version every year on Australia Day.

Paleo mini lamingtons
Yield: 12 – 15 mini lamingtons

Paleo mini lamingtons

Ingredients

Sponge cake
Adapted from Diane Sanfilippo’s Practical Paleo.

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons macadamia butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla esence
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Icing

  • 1 can coconut cream (270 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar

Topping

  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut

Directions

Sponge cake

  1. Preheat oven to 180° and line a small baking tray with wax (baking) paper.
  2. If your coconut oil is solid, heat it up to soften/liquefy it.
  3. Whisk eggs, macadamia butter, coconut oil, maple syrup (I used 1 tablespoon maple syrup but you might want to use 2 if you eat more sweets than me) and vanilla essence until frothy. Don’t freak out if your macadamia butter is not so smooth and there are chunks of nuts in the mix.
  4. Mix coconut flour and baking soda with the rest of ingredients until well combined.
  5. Pour batter on tray and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack.

Icing

  1. Do not shake the can. Open it and remove the top layer (i.e. the creamiest part). Refrigerating the can makes this process easier.
  2. Whisk cream, cocoa powder and coconut sugar until well combined.

To serve

  1. Optional: with a sharp knife remove the upper and lower layers of the cake. This helps it absorb the icing better.
  2. Cut the cake in small rectangles.
  3. Dunk them in the icing and coat them with desiccated coconut.