Gluten Free Cottage Cheese, Chocolate and Quinoa Tray Bake with Pears

Baking with quinoa flour on its own, without any other gluten free flours, starches and gums added, gave both savoury and sweet previous bakes an amazing texture and taste, and it became obvious to me that many more healthy and easy treats can be baked with this nutrient rich flour. It is not hard to notice for those who follow this blog, that I like to create recipes for sweet baking products which can be considered less as the sweet treat and more as a regular food. I try to increase the nutritional value of these products by reducing refined carbs and avoiding the unnecessary fat, so often used to increase moisture in gluten free bakes. I try to enrich these bakes with protein by using gluten free wholegrain flours high in protein content with quality amino acid mix in them.

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For the moisture I usually add either soft cheeses, or fruit and vegetable purees, which also provide extra protein or minerals, vitamins and fibre mix respectively. The recipe below ticks all the boxes in this approach. The list of ingredients is simple, affordable on any budgets, and consists of products usually at hand in gluten free pantry. Preparation of the batter is super easy, it can be baked as a cake, tray bake with different fruits, or muffins. I happened to have a ripe and juicy large pear, but apples, plums or peaches would be excellent as well.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g cottage cheese/ricotta cheese (I used my home made cottage cheese, but ricotta cheese from the Deli in the supermarket is fine as well)
  • 80g light sour cream (I used Coles Light Sour cream)
  • 120g sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 2 tea spoons vanilla extract
  • 150g quinoa flour (I used Aldi brand for this bake)
  • 25g pure cacao powder
  • 5-7g cinnamon powder
  • 8g gluten free baking powder (one and a half tea spoon)
  • large pear
  • unsalted butter and extra granulated sugar for the baking tray
  • icing sugar and cacao powder for dusting

Preparation:

  • grease 20cm x 30cm baking tray and dust it with sugar
  • beat eggs with sugar and vanilla sugar until pale and at least double in volume
  • in another bowl sift quinoa flour, cacao powder, cinnamon powder and baking powder
  • mix all dry ingredients with a whisk
  • in a separate wide bowl mix cottage cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla extract until fully combined
  • add 2-3 large serving spoons of beaten eggs to cottage cheese mix
  • whisk this eggs portion in to loosen cottage cheese mix
  • return this mix to the bowl with the rest of beaten eggs
  • mix wet ingredients together, first with a whisk and finish mixing with 1 min either with a whisk attachment of a stick blender, or hand-held mixer
  • add dry ingredients to wet ingredients
  • mix them together with a whisk, make sure there are no lumps left, let the batter rest for 5 min
  • pour the batter into prepared baking tray
  • tap the tray several times on the surface to help the batter to spread in the tray
  • slice the pear
  • insert pear wedges at equal intervals into the batter
  • baked in preheated to 170C fan-forced oven for 40 min
  • check the bake with a tooth pick, it has to come out clean
  • rest the bake in the baking tray for 5 min, make sure it moves within the tray and can be separated easily
  • turn it over to a wire rack lined with baking paper to rest
  • lightly dust with icing sugar and cacao powder (optional)

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Cottage cheese, chocolate and quinoa slice with pears can be cut when still warm. There will be no crumbs, the cake has a very sound and stable texture with a spring in it. It is very soft and chewy at the same time.

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The recipe might be not sweet enough for some, feel free to add extra table spoon of sugar. Chocolate flavour is not overpowering as in some cakes, you might want to replace cinnamon in the recipe for extra cacao powder if you prefer more deep chocolate flavour. With 3 eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream and quinoa flour with 14% of protein in it and no added fats, this pear slice can be an excellent breakfast on the go, two pieces will keep you satisfied for lunch, no guilt attached. I suspect the slice can be frozen, but we did not try that.

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