Author: Ting-a-ling

South Island New Zealand

The South Island of New Zealand is a more popular tourist destination than the North Island. An ideal amount of time in the South Island would be at least two weeks. If you are thinking of doing any over night hikes especially for the Milford track, do remember to make bookings at least six months in advance because it is extremely popular during the Great Walks Season. Initially I had booked for the Routeburn track. Unfortunately, due to an accident in October, I was physically unable to complete a 3D2N hike so I had to make last minute changes to my itinerary. As it was over Christmas period, most of the accommodations were fully booked in Queenstown or ridiculously expensive, we ended up staying at Cardona Alpine Resort which has got to be one of the best places I’ve stayed in New Zealand! Here I am sharing my South Island itinerary, hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!  Destination Duration of stay Distance to next destination Picton 2 nights (N) ~279km Waipara …

Gluten free hot cross buns

The annual hot cross buns baking begins. This year, I’m making gluten-free hot cross buns so that Mr X can enjoy. Making gluten free bread is a real challenge. I analysed a couple of recipes and looked at the type of ingredients they had included before coming up with one. The first buns I made tasted good but resembled more like a scone then a bread. So I did more research and read about adding xanthan gum to give it more elasticity. On my second attempt, I’ve added Xanthan gum and there was a difference in texture of the dough as I was kneading it. The end result was softer and tasted so much better! I was on a baking craze yesterday and I made both gluten-free and non-gluten free hot cross buns. I still prefer my non-gluten free ones but the gluten free ones tasted good too! I’ve chosen to add dates instead of sultanas into the buns but feel free to add whatever ingredients you like. Both buns are best served heated up …

Carrot pineapple muffins (Gluten and dairy free)

Second post of the year! It’s not that I went nuts baking over the last few days, I just haven’t had the time to post what I’ve been baking over the last few months. I made these muffins a couple of weeks ago because I was trying to clear my pantry. I had this can of sliced pineapples that was sitting in the pantry for months and I didn’t know what to do with it. Finally I thought – I can use them in baking! Like most of my baking, these muffins are very easy to make and perfect for morning tea. Ingredients for the muffins (makes 16) 1 can sliced pineapples (in juice 432g) 1 large carrot grated (90g) 220g gluten free flour 1 tsp bicarbonate soda 1 tsp cinnamon powder Zest 1 orange 1 tsp vanilla essence 2 eggs 120ml vegetable oil 100ml soy milk + 1 tbsp vinegar (or 120ml buttermilk) 100g caster sugar 16 pieces of walnut DirectionsPreparation time: 20minBaking time: 20-25min or when the skewer comes out clean Preheat the …

Rock cakes (Gluten and dairy free)

It has been a while since I’ve made a post. I graduated last year and moved down to Sydney. I’ve been trying to juggle with work, yoga and baking. Thank goodness I’m more or less settled now so I can start on sharing my recipes again. Rock cakes… honestly, I had no idea what they were until Mr XX requested for them. His mom used to make it for the children and it was his favourite snack growing up. Apparently its an English dessert. The method is similar to making scones – rub the butter and flour together until it resembles bread crumbs. As Mr XX is gluten and dairy sensitive, I had to adapt the original recipe so that it is friendly for his gut. I love how these rock cakes turn out, it’s like half cookie, half cake like texture. He loves it so much that I make them at least once a fortnight. You may also substitute the Nuttelex with butter and gluten-free flour for normal plain flour. Hope that you’ll enjoy …