Gluten free Syrup Sponge Cupcakes

Ok, so I have a sweet tooth. Nothing that comes as a shock to anyone, I don’t think…. 😀 And where does it say that you have to eat summery things in summer and comfort foods in winter? I missed that email! Sometimes you need a little bit of comfort, after all our summers aren’t all sunshine and heat. It has been known to rain on and off.

These are delicious both warm – straight from the oven or cold (served with or without a sploge of cream…) with, as shown, a spoon or two of custard. And yes the recipe makes 12 cupcakes, and you could have just one, but they are small enough to have 2…

Preheat the oven gas 5, electric fan 160c, 180c and place a small water bath on the bottom shelf keep the oven cavity moist whilst baking.

Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with your chosen cupcake case.

  • 24 teaspoons of golden syrup
  • 160g soft butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g golden syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 160g gluten free self raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Using the 24 teaspoons of golden syrup, place up to 2 teaspoons of this into each cupcake case. Then prepare the batter.

Beat the butter, syrup and caster sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. If the mix curdles beat in a little of the flour.

Fold in the flour and baking powder and loosen with the milk, pour into the prepared cases and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool a little – if eating hot or warm – remember the syrup will be hot, hot, hot. Otherwise allow to,cools before enjoying.

Remember the water bath in the oven will be VERY hot, so allow this to cool completely before removing from the oven.

If eating hot (with custard) the cupcake case will peel off easily, cold it’ll need a bit of help to scrap out the syrup.

 

 

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Gluten Free Banana and Chocolate Loaf

You have to admit, most of us have had a great summer so far – weather wise at least. We have certainly been making the most of the new French doors, on our extension, on these warm summer evenings 😀😀

We have found though that with the warm weather, the bananas have ripened extra quickly. Not that we don’t eat enough or even that we buy too much. Oh no! It’s just an excuse to make some banana loaf 😀😀😀

And this recipe couldn’t be any easier!

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan assisted) or Gas 4 and line a 2lb loaf.

  • 75g soft butter
  • 110g light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 180g gluten free plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 ripe bananas – mashed
  • 75g chocolate chips

Blend the dry ingredients and put to one side.

Whisk the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.

Stir in the dry ingredients, followed by the mashed bananas and chocolate chips. Stir until fully combined and then pour into the prepared loaf tin. Pop into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin before turning out. Slice and enjoy, with or without butter 😀

Gooey Gluten Free Cinnamon Slice

Never short on ideas for cakes and bakes, it’s always difficult to choose which ones make the blog. I try to make the baking varied and interesting with something for everyone, but there are a few bakes that don’t always make the page. That’s more for me and the neighbours just less for the reader 😀😀 (sorry 😂)

This little bake is one I most definitely need to share.

It was such a hit at home that it had gone within the hour it came out of the oven!! If I make this again I wouldn’t double the recipe to make it deeper, oh no! I’d double the recipe and make two!

I’ll be honest, I didn’t think this would be a hit with Noah, cinnamon can be a love/hate food, but he loved it!  So I thought I’d share the recipe.

Preheat you oven to 160c fan, Gas 4 and line a small brownie tin with greaseproof.

  • 230g melted butter – slightly cooled
  • 180g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence ( I use Nielsen Massey)
  • 120g gluten free plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • Icing sugar to decorate

Firstly mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon, if you like cinnamon you can add a little more. It does depend on your taste. Leave this to one side.

Mix the melted butter and sugar together and whisk in the egg. You need to whisk this well for about 5 minutes or so to ensure the mixture is fully combined. Not enough whisking and the mix will separate.

Then whisk in the vanilla essence and then stir in the flour until fully combined.

Pour roughly a third of the batter mix into your prepared tin, generously sprinkle over the all of the cinnamon sugar mix, then cover with the remaining batter mix.

Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, remove from the oven and leave to cool, before removing from the pan and either cutting and enjoying or cutting for later.

Before slicing I made up a small amount (3 table spoons) of glacé icing to pour over to decorate. You could equally drizzle with melted white chocolate.

 

 

 

Anyone for tennis? Or a cupcake?

Although there isn’t any tennis actually on the blog, it is that time of year when the world goes tennis mad as Wimbledon is now upon us.

What better way of getting into the spirit of the occasion than producing some delicious cupcakes with two very seasonal ingredients that blend well together; Pimms and strawberries.

These might not be for Noah, but they’ll go down well with a glass of bubbly 😀.

You’ll need to think ahead before doing these, as the some of the strawberries will need steeping in the Pimms before putting in the finished cupcakes. Also, with this Pimms ‘marinade’ you will need to produce a syrup and allow it to cool before adding to the cake batter.

The recipe will make 12 cupcakes.

Start by soaking 12 small to medium-sized strawberries in 100ml of Pimms, for as long as you dare, but for at least an hour. Carefully remove the soaked strawberries and put to one side.

Take that marinade and top up to 100ml of additional Pimms and place into a saucepan with 2 table spoons of granulated sugar. Heat to boiling point, simmer for 2-3 minutes, switch off the heat and allow to cool in the pan, before starting the cake batter.

Preheat your oven to 160c fan, Gas 4 and line 12 hole muffin tray with cases. Then you’ll need;

170g soft butter

140g caster sugar

3 eggs

2 tablespoons of cold Pimms syrup

140g gluten free self raising flour

To ice

140g more of soft butter

280g icing sugar

red colour (optional)

at least a teaspoon of the remaining syrup to flavour

12 more strawberries for decoration.

Cream the butter and sugar until you have a light fluffy mixture by using an electric hand whisk. Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is well beaten in between mixes. Add in th 2 tablespoons of syrup, and mix in the flour slowly, so as not to knock out too much of the air you have just beaten in.

Divide between the 12 cases and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. Or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool.

Whilst cooling you couple make the buttercream ready to pipe on.

Beat the 140g of butter until light and fluffy, pour in the icing sugar and at least a teaspoon of syrup, stir with a spoon to combine (and reduce the dust cloud that you would get if you went straight in the whisk), then whisk (using the electric hand-held whisk) until, again, its light and fluffy. Adding a tablespoon or two of hot water to make the mix ready to pipe.

Once the cupcakes are cold, scoop or core out the middle of the cupcake and place inside one of the Pimm’d strawberries, pipe on your buttercream and garnish further with another strawberry.

Deuce 🎾🎾🎾🎾

Afternoon Tea starts with gluten free scones

It may be National Cream Tea Day coming up but that shouldn’t stop you being able to enjoy it any day of the week 😀

I have a new recipe for gluten free scones, from the previous version. These are more robust and probably a little less expense to make as they contain no cream.

If you have all the ingredients together you can have these made, baked and slightly cooled within about 45 minutes. Of course, they can be cooled and warmed later to enjoy.

Preheat the oven to 200c for a fan assisted oven and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. The recipe makes about 7 scones using a 7cm round cutter.

70g dried fruit – soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes, drained and cooled.

240g Gluten Free self raising flour

40g gluten free strong white flour

1 level teaspoon of xanthum gum

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

80g butter

60g caster sugar

1 egg

130ml milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

milk for brushing

Start by beating the egg, milk and essence together and put to one side, with the soaked and cooled fruit.

Sieve the flours and powders together into a bowl, to ensure they are thoroughly combined. Then rub in the butter until you have a mix that resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then pour in the milk mix.

It will be very wet and sloppy, but fear not, the flours will soak up the liquids whilst you continue to bring together for a minute or so.

Tip the mix out onto a well floured surface and bring together to form a flattened, round dough ball of about 3cm deep. Cut out the shapes with the cutter, bring the mix together again to cut more rounds out. Repeat until the mix has been used up. For the last round you may have to go free-style.

Place the scones onto the prepared baking sheet, brush with the extra milk and place into the oven. Bake for approx 16 – 20 minutes until bronzed on top and an inserted skewer (into the side) comes out clean.

Cool on the tray and transfer to a wire rack, once cool enough to do so.

Slice and enjoy with your favourite jam and clotted cream. We prefer the cream on top 😀

 

Back to baking….at last! 😀

At last!

Its been a while but finally there is some end in sight and the kitchen is very nearly finished.  We have at last filled the new cupboards, emptied the boxes and have stopped going up and down stairs to do the washing up and to fill the kettle for a cuppa.

You get to miss the simple things in life and the things you take for granted. Like cooking (and indeed baking), one can only live off pasta and stir fry for so long.  The Andrew James multi-cooker certainly came in hand and did what we asked it to do..

Now its time to put the new cooker into action. We went for a Neff oven in the end. The option of the double oven and the seemingly easy to use knobs were a couple of the deciding factors. Now of course I have to get used to a new oven and new temperature range! Which I think should be too difficult. (famous last words)

Gluten Free Blackcurrant and Almond Crumble Cake

The first bake was a little bit of fun. Quick and easy and I had all the ingredients to hand. So little planning was required…

Now I baked this at 160c for about 50 mins, so pre-heat the oven and line a deep 8″ round cake tin with a loose base.

For the crumble – and this actually worked for me;

80g Rice Flour

50g Butter

50g Caster Sugar

For the Sponge;

180g soft butter

150g caster sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons almond essence

30g ground almonds

120g gluten free self raising flour

1 tin of blackcurrant pie mix (c410g)

First up make the crumble, either rub the flour and butter together to fine breadcrumbs then add and stir in the sugar. Or blend it all together in a food processor. Leave to one side – ideally in the fridge – until it’s needed.

Next up the sponge base. Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour if required to stop it curdling. Add in the almond essence, then stir in the gluten free flour and ground almonds. Mix well and pour into the prepared cake tin. Spoon the Blackcurrant pie mix onto the sponge batter, this can be gently stirred into the surface of the sponge, but not too much. Let it sit  on the top and some will gently sink into the top of the sponge whilst cooking. Sprinkle over the Crumble mix and spread evenly.

Bake! For approximately 45 – 50 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Allow to completely cool before removing from the tin and serving, perhaps with a dollop of cream.

Our Gluten Free Holiday to Abu Dhabi

..well not a specific gluten free trip to Abu Dhabi (that would be both insane and expensive) but as a family holiday it certainly played a vital part of our time there.

It’s been awhile since my last post and if you have been following me on social media you’ll have seen we are having some work done in the house, which is very nearly at its end. A new kitchen is only just around the corner. But I couldn’t miss an opportunity to post about our recent holiday.

You would have thought that the normal person would have done some reasearch before going to see what the options were. The normal person. I’m not sure we would ever describe ourselves as normal, but thanks to our friends in the UAE, they had already done some looking on our behalf.

So I will do my best to recount some of the experiences we had, how easy was it, what difficulties we had and anything else that springs to mind.

 

One thing to bear in mind though was that our holiday actually began just as Ramadan began. The very day fasting began. Now  I (we) would freely admit our lack of knowledge of Ramadan, but our friends bought us up to speed very quickly. In no uncertain terms, eating and drinking (amongst other things) in public is a no-no and between certain hours of the day – but generally from dawn to dusk – ending in Iftar – the breaking of the fast with a feast.

To begin with this was rather a challenge, but we were there as guests and we felt we must obey the local laws and customs. We quickly became accustomed to this and it wasn’t that difficult to manage at all. Especially as we were informed by our hosts that there are areas/places to eat that have been granted ‘licenses’ to provide and sell food and drink, so long as they were hidden from view – either behind closed doors, curtains or food courts surrounded by hoarding. This would mean that anyone following Ramadan (a month of piety and generosity to those in need) would not be offended and any tourist or non-Muslim (there is a very large population of non-Arab workers/contractors) would be able to eat during the day (lunchtime). Naturally of course these places were not publicised and it was only through local knowledge that we were able to find them.

In the main, food courts in the Malls were closed (apart from those granted licenses) until the late evening, but supermarkets were actually open. A side point to make is that during the month of Ramadan opening hours do vary – somewhat- and nothing was publicised on any websites, so you had to turn up and find out.

Spinneys (stocks some Waitrose products) and Carrefour were the supermarkets of choice, but we did find a Waitrose as well! And the choice of gluten free foods (and for that matter free from) was astounding. I’d go so far as to say way better than in the U.K. Carrefour even go so far as to have own branded foods. The Fig roll like bites made with dates though of course) were amazing. The range of Schar products was fantastic, again a difference market and better range of goods. Just a shame we couldn’t bring it all home!

Home. Being with friends also had its benefits in regards food. We were able to perfectly manage the gluten free foods available. Buying from, then cooking from the supermarkets certainly cut out any risks and meal times were a breeze – simple self-catering if you like.

The rather trickier piece was eating out. It would be slightly remiss to travel all that way and not eat out, so with some (and I stress some)  forward planning we ventured into the City. Now outlets are up to speed on dietary requirements and indeed Coeliac Disease and gluten free foods, I’d say slightly better than the UK. But there were occasions were the translation was slightly lost. In one instance we were about to walk out of Pizza Express because the delivery hadn’t turned up with gluten free bases, when in fact that had turned up and the waiter hadn’t been informed! Noah loved his pizza (and no adverse effects either 😀).

The conclusion there is, ask. Most if not all those working in the food outlets speak English. It’s the most commonly spoken language in the UAE with the large amount of foreign workers from around the globe, it kind of makes sense. The staff come across knowledgable and eager to please and will find out if they don’t know.

A great trip, made easier with the help of friends. Other highlights included swimming with Dolphins, cycling round the F1 Yas Marina race track, 35c heat and an average 70% humidity and of course, time with friends and family. What we won’t mention is the crisis that blew up with Qatar, a most stressful 48hours.

We’ll be back as soon as we’ve saved enough. 😀😀😀

Ramadan Kareem and have a great Eid