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Cinnamon Pumpkin Slice (Gluten Free)

February 17, 2013

cinnamon slice

There are a few flavours I can never tire of. Cinnamon is one of them.

I remember a time in the 70’s, my parents travelled to the United States and some of the exotic delights brought back to thrill us kids was Spurt chewing gum and cinnamon flavoured tic tacs! I was in heaven. Those were the days when a bag of mixed lollies cost 20 cents and you could painstakingly choose each and everyone one of them from the cabinet at the corner shop. How I marvel at the patience of the man behind the counter!

Cinnamon has always maintained its position at the top of my flavour preference. Chocolate comes a close second and citrus is up there as well, but cinnamon always remained elusive and not so commonly found. I’m sure it was the heady scent of cinnamon which encouraged my donut fetish in my childhood!

Now we know that cinnamon has therapeutic value as well as tasting yummy. Numerous studies show that cinnamon regulates blood sugar,  making it a great choice for diabetics and hypoglycemics alike.  It has also been proven to reduce LDL cholesterol levels which may help reduce the risk of  cardiovascular disease.

Cinnamon has natural anti-infectious compounds and in studies, has  been effective against ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and  other pathogens. Research at the University of Texas, published in the journal Nutrition  and Cancer, shows that cinnamon may reduce the proliferation of  cancer cells, holding promise for cancer prevention and sufferers of  the disease. In addition to being a natural preservative, it also contains lots of fibre, calcium & iron. Some people swear that it is effective for reducing menstrual pain as it contains a natural chemical called  cinnamaldehyde, which studies show increases the hormone progesterone and  decreases testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones.

I just like the flavour!

There are several types of cinnamon but the two common types of cinnamon that we get here are Ceylon & Chinese Cassia. Ceylon cinnamon has very thin inner bark and has a lighter brown colour. It has a finer, less dense, and more crumbly texture, and is considered to be more aromatic and more subtle in flavour than cassia.

Cassia has a much stronger flavour than Ceylon cinnamon, is generally a medium to light reddish brown, hard and woody in texture, and thicker (2–3 mm). You are more likely to find cassia sold in Asian & Indian food stores than cinnamon, and I use it for more savoury dishes than sweet dishes which require the delicate flavour of cinnamon. I also love to use my cinnamon essential oil for flavouring. Make sure you get a food grade one and don’t make the mistake of buying cinnamon leaf oil as it has a VASTLY different (unpalatable) flavour than cinnamon bark oil. I buy mine from here.

I use cinnamon in lots of my cooking. It pairs fantastically with chocolate, apples, chicken & lamb. I use it in my Moroccan spice mix and curry powders. Best of all I love it in cake! This slice features cinnamon as it’s star. It has a pumpkin based batter with a cinnamon swirl top. Feel free to mix it in the whole batter if you prefer. I like to grind my cinnamon in my Thermomix for 1 minute. Break up 4 sticks of cinnamon and mill on SP 10 for 1 minute. If it is not fine enough, go a further 30 seconds.

On a side issue, I have been playing around with Konjac flour. Otherwise known as glucomannan, konjac is a water-soluble dietary fiber derived from the root of the Konjac plant. It is the foundation of Shirataki noodles or miracle noodles that I have mentioned in previous posts. (I am actually trying to work out how to make miracle noodles but have only worked out miracle rice so far!!)

I have been experimenting with using Konjac as a binder, much in the same way that you would use xantham gum or psyllium powder. I don’t expect you to have this in your pantry so I have added substitutes in the list.

20g butter
70g coconut flour
2 teas konjac flour (or 2 teas psyllium powder or 1/4 teas xantham gum)
2 1/2 teas baking powder
90g sugar (I use Natvia)
30g honey
100g water
100g almond butter (or any nut butter)
4 eggs
180g cooked mashed pumpkin (or sweet potato)
1 tab rice flour
80g almond butter
3 teas cinnamon (freshly ground is best)
a few drops of cinnamon oil (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients in your TM on SP 4 for 8 seconds. Reserve 1/4 of the mixture and spread into a 8 x 11 inch slice tin. In the remainder of the mix, add the 80g almond butter and cinnamon. Feel free to add some cinnamon oil too. Dot this on the top of the batter and swirl through. Bake in a 160°C oven for 15 minutes. Don’t overcook, slice when cool.
If you are not a cinnamon addict like me, this recipe works equally well with freshly ground nutmeg too!




One Comment leave one →
  1. February 17, 2013 6:05 pm

    Another great recipe, Sarah … Have to go and buy a butternut today, as I’m dying to try it!!

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