I know I have said this before but I need to reiterate – I have the most amazing and tolerant family in the world. I mean, yes they have to love me anyway, but the support and care that they have shown me with my diagnosis has been unbelievable. Today’s recipe was made for me by my grandma, ‘Janma’, and proved to me that even the old can be taught new tricks! My grandma is a pro gluten-free baker! The recipe hails from a fellow coeliac; Mandy Vains, so a huge thank you for passing it along, I love it and it will definitely feature in my family’s up and coming gluten-free cookbook!
1 Gluten-free packet cake mix
1 Large tin or 2 small tins of pie apricots or apples (strained)
300ml sour cream
Melt butter and add to cake mix, stirring until well combined. Press mixture into a pyrex dish.
Top with pie apricots (or apples).
Beat the egg. Add the sour cream and beat until combined. Pour this over the apricots (apples).
Sprinkle with nutmeg (or cinnamon/ mixed spice).
Bake for 1 hour in a moderate oven, or until golden on top.
Best served with a frothy coffee (Read: A cappuccino from a sachet you buy in boxes at the supermarket).
p.s. Doubting how cool my grandma is? Or how legit she is as a cook? Take her Micky Mouse interpretation for some evidence and get baking!
I don’t know about you, but I have a compulsive thing about going to dinner parties with something in hand. I just can’t stand the thought of rocking up without taking something with me. Normally it’s easy to just take a bottle of wine or two, however, it gets a little more tricky when the house your going to has a huge wine cellar and oodles of wine. I made the mistake of taking wine there once and got a very strange look followed by ‘you know we have lots of this, my dad works in wine’.. duly noted… So last night I was off to a dinner party there. Now don’t get me wrong, this is one of my best friends and I love her family dearly, but taking things is HARD, especially when you want to do something nice as they are making the entire meal gluten-free just because you are coming. So, I figured I would help out and make some gluten-free cookies that people could have for dessert! Pulling out all my gluten-free cook books I found an easy and quick recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, always a crowd-pleaser! They tasted delightful and the non-coeliac’s couldn’t even tell they were gluten-free. For me, thats a win!
115g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g gluten-free self-raising flour
60g rice flour
85g chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees (Celsius). Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy using an electric whisk (I used my new Kitchenaid – worked a treat!) Add the egg and vanilla and whisk again.
Sift the flours into the mixture and combine. Add the chocolate chips and stir through until evenly divided.
Roll the dough into about 1 inch diameter balls and place on the baking trays about 5 cm apart as they will spread as they bake. Flatten each ball with your fingertips until they are about 1cm thick.
Bake for around 15 minutes, or until golden. Leave on the baking trays to cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: Don’t worry if the cookies seem a bit soft when they first come out of the oven, they will harden and crisp up as they cool.
I made these scones last year when I went through a huge gluten-free baking spree to find what tasted good and filled the growing void where gluteny snacks used to be! However, before posting them up here for you though, I needed to remake them and ensure they were up to deliciousness standards (well… really… C and I needed breakfast whilst writing and this seemed like a great idea)! They are super easy and only use 3 ingredients so get to it! Plus, the lemonade in them makes up for the gluteny ingredients that normally make them all fluffy!
Note: My housemate, B, is sugar-free so I try and take the sugar out of things so she can eat them too! This is really easy to do with this recipe, change the lemonade for sugar-free lemonade and dadaaa, sugar-free!!
3 cups gluten-free self raising flour
A little extra gluten free self raising flour
2 tbsp milk
Toppings (Optional) – jam in your favourite flavour and extra cream
Preheat oven to 220°C.
Combine all ingredients but don’t overmix.
Use a lightly gluten free floured rolling pin or the palm of your hand to roll out the dough until about 2cm thick.
Dip a round 5cm pastry cutter in extra flour before cutting out each scone. Don’t twist the cutter as the scones will rise unevenly during baking. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and then brush tops with milk.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden on top.
To serve: Whip the extra cream until stiff peaks form (careful not to turn it to butter, I have seen this happen) and place this and the jam in little containers.
To eat: Rip the scones open – i prefer to open them so they look like a taco – split down the middle and joined at the bottom – smother with jam (my favourite is rapsberry) and top with cream. If you are doing the taco thing, flip the top back over and eat like a taco – this stops the cream and jam coming out all over you as you eat!
With my almost a year now of being a coeliac I have learnt the thing you miss most is baked goods. Whilst typical dinners can be made with minor adjustments, baking is more of an art! Luckily my friends had the realisation that I was going to die without being able to bake (and eat) delicious cakes, muffins, cookies and cupcakes so I got given 3 cookbooks entirely about gluten-free baking within a week of being diagnosed! I know what your thinking: damn I wish I had her friends! Well the best bit is that you can share in their wisdom through my posts about the delicious recipes I have found. First a tip: a LOT of the recipes in books are NOT delicious… they are gluten-free but definitely not up to baking standards. Try not to get too excited about how something sounds until you try it, you may just end up really depressed about how gross it tastes. Don’t blame yourself, blame the devil: xanthan gum!
So today’s recipe is gluten-free Red Velvet Cupcakes. I made these on Thursday so that my housemate, B, could take them to a party (just in case there was a coeliac/gluten-intollerant… well not really.. just because they are delicious!).
175g gluten-free self-raising flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 stp cream of tartar
85g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp natural red food colouring
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cider vinegar
For the cream cheese icing:
115g full-fat cream cheese
60g unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla extract
350g icing sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place patty-cake paper cases into a cupcake tray and set aside.
Combine the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa, and cream of tartar in a large bowl.
In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking between additions. Add half the flour mixture, colouring, vanilla, vinegar and hald the buttermilk. Whisk well with a hand whisk.
Add the remaining flour and buttermilk. Whist again for 30 seconds. Divide the mixture between the paper cases so they are two-thirds full. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the centres spring back with lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, whisk the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric whisk. Gradually add the icing sugar, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated. Whisk for 30 seconds until really light and fluffy.
Carefully slice and crumble a thin disc from the top of three cakes to make crumbs for the topping. Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe it in swirls on top of the cakes.
Scatter over the cake crumbs to finish.
Note: Be careful with how much you put in… these little delights RISE!
P.s. you may notice that B even took some of the Banana and Choc Chip Cupcakes I had made to her party. Coming from a non-coeliac, I take that as a huge sign they are delicious!
Final Note: I have found that most gluten-free baked goods are 10x better the day they are made then the next, try and bake them on the day they are to be eaten!
Having gone through a huge ‘I-need-to-buy-800-gluten-free-cookbooks’ stage, I am now slowly working my way through the dog-eared pages of recipe’s I think sound delicious! Paired with the Artisan Kitchenaid Mixmaster my father gave me for my birthday, it has resulted in a baking-spree! A big win was the Banana and Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins – try them for yourself and find our just how good they are!
1 cup millet flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1&1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
2 ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dark choc chips
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (C).
In a large bowl, mix together the millet and brown rice flours, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.
In a medium bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
Finely chop the walnuts. Stir the walnuts and the choc chips into the mixture.
Put patty-cake liners/muffin cases into a tray and spoon mixture into each one until 2/3 full (usually about 2 heaped tablespoons).
Back for 20-25 minutes, or until they are browned on top and spring back when lightly touched.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Flat Belly Diet! Gluten Free Cookbook, Rodale (2013)