Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gluten free, dairy free pear cupcakes

I have just finished watching Part 1 of Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.  For non-Aussies, Cleo is the Aussie born rival to Cosmo, born out of the fact that News Ltd lost the bid for the Australian rights to Cosmo to the Fairfax Group.  Cleo was born at approximately the same time as me, so I found it compelling viewing for more reasons than one.  I am loving the 70s fashion and hair, and I can't help but admire Ita Buttrose, the female editor of Cleo at its inception appointed by the Packers.  She is not only gutsy and strong (and it seemed that you had to be working for the Packers), but also stylish and very much a woman at the same time.  Ita had to deal with terrible upheaval at home as well as at work, while having to hold it all together - who needs it!  I laughed when I heard that Sir Frank Packer's nickname was "God" - I have worked in offices where there is also God.  The soundtrack is a fabulous assortment of 60s and 70s hits, including one of my personal favourites, The Real Thing, written by Australia's own Johnny Young.  I also chuckle every time that I hear Gough Whitlam's campaign song for the 1972 Australian Federal election, It's Time.

It was a weekend for recapturing my lost youth, and I watched The Breakfast Club, by John Hughes, for the first time.  I totally cracked up - it really was just like my school days (minus that scary principal!), despite being set in the US.  I blush to confess it, but if I was one of the characters in The Breakfast Club, I would be a girl version of Brian, the geek who believed that he had to achieve perfect marks at all costs (although I have never been called on to make an elephant lamp). And how good was the quote from John Bender when describing Brian as a "neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie"?  OMG - I just loved it!  And I am also loving Simple Minds' Don't You (Forget About Me), which is the movie's theme song. It is very representative of the era, and a terrific song to boot.

What does this have to do with food?  Nothing!  Just wanted to put down some things that have been going through my head this weekend before they are lost forever.  Now onto the food ...

This weekend, a group of us went out to celebrate my lovely friend Craig's birthday.  We went to Birdman Eating in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.  Its name was inspired by the Birdman Rally at the Moomba festival, and there are wooden artists' models with wings suspended from the ceiling as an homage to that event.  I won't review the food, which is designed to be shared, but I will say that I adored the slow roasted lamb and the duck confit that we had, as they were melt in your mouth fabulous, while the pavlova was very average and should have been given a miss.

A couple of weeks back, I made the pear cupcakes at the top of this post for Craig - they are gluten free and dairy free, and Craig tells me that they were quite delicious, and unusual because of the inclusion of golden syrup.  You can find the recipe here.  I think that they are definitely worth bringing to your attention, because so many gluten free recipes that I come across are flourless orange or chocolate cakes.  The beauty of these cupcakes is also that they don't use special gluten free flour, just plain old rice flour, which happens to be gluten free but is inexpensive to buy.  They are also super quick to make - which is what I need when I am baking mid-week.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


CurlyPops said...

I can't believe you've only just watched The Breakfast Club for the first time!
I think I've seen it about 500 times. We'd watch it over and over and over again as teenagers, and we knew all the dialogue word for word.
I even had the lyrics to that Simple Minds song on my wall.
When I saw INXS a few years ago at the Palais, Simple Minds played back up - it was the best concert ever!

Cakelaw said...

Ah CP, I was very sheltered - I think I only saw 2 movies during the entirety of my high school career, as it was not the done thing at our place to go out at night.

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

Such a classic movie! You going to make your way through the whole John Hughes back catalogue now? :)

Nice easy recipe, and I'm sure it would be easy to substitute another fruit in there to make it fructose friendly too!

I love golden syrup.

Anonymous said...

We loved John Hughes' movies, not so much for the plots (which were fun), but because the soundtracks included music we were actually listening to - radio didn't reflect our tastes at all, then.

I enjoyed reading about your gluten-free baking adventures (in this post and your other recent one. There's so many well-tested recipes available now. I'm looking forward to trying the pear cupcake recipe for my partner some time.

adele said...

Interesting. I love this look at Australian history - I don't know much about the 70s in Australia at all (though I believe my father met Gough Whitlam once!)

Sometimes, I think the blogosphere has a hive mind - I just wrote up a gluten-free blondie recipe using golden syrup! :)

Johanna GGG said...

great cupcakes - and enjoyed your reflections on paper giants - loved this show - strange to see Ita Buttrose seeming so young and groovy because she always seemed old when I saw her on tv as a kid - love the fasions in the show! And Breakfast Club is a great film - though I saw it ages ago and never remember it well - probably saw it with friends and didn't concentrate

cocoa and coconut said...

Ah! I love the Breakfast Club so much - what a great movie.

Also, your muffins look like the sort of muffins I love. I bet your friend was pleased with them.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

hehe as a child of the 80s I found so much to love in this post! :P I adore Don't you Forget about Me. I was watching The Breakfast Club while I was going through high school so it had special meaning! And Cleo and Cosmo were my staples!

The Blonde Duck said...

I was a 90s kid, so I never got it!

Cakelaw said...

Conor, I only watched Pretty in Pink for the first time 2 years ago after my friend E said it was her favourite movie ever. I have seen Ferris Beuller and Home Alone though.

OWF, I know what you are saying - the soundtrack is fabulous. Only beaten by Ferris Bueller in the scene where Ferris is on the float miming to Twist and Shout.

Adele, your father met Gough? Wow - he is pretty close to Aussie royalty!

Johanna, Ita always did seem older, but I know now that she is older than my Mum!

Brittany, he loved the cupcakes - they were compensation for the fact that Craig can't have the galaktoboureko that I made Steve.

Lorraine, I missed out on all of it - I truly was the geek kid, and wondered why I seemed to be on the outside looking in.

LOL Duckie - oh well, it is still worth a laugh, eh?

The Caked Crusader said...

pears and golden syrup in one cake? Drooooooooool!

Anonymous said...

OMG, Sixteen Candles was my favorite John Hughes movie. It came out when I was still a kid, but when I finally watched it as a pre-teen, I fell in love with Jake Ryan! Your cupcakes look delicious, and I especially love the pear.