Gluten Free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcakes

Never one to shy away from an offer of a free sample and never one to then have to adapt a recipe around that product. I was very eager to try a sample of some speculaas spice from The Speculaas Spice Company. And of course its gluten free!

There are further details on the website of the origins of the spice, but it is a wonderful blend of – according to the literature – ‘9 spices including real, high grade cinnamon from Sri Lanka, cloves, ginger and 6 others’ its really quite heady. The smell whilst baking is certainly very festive as well.

But what to make? I had a few ideas and they may yet appear, but for now I went with gluten free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcakes. Chocolate may be the next one… there are a few possibilities….

Gluten Free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcake

Line a 12 hole cupcake tray and pre-heat the oven to 170c/gas 3.

150g soft butter

130g light brown sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of Camp Coffee

120g Gluten Free Plain Flour

30g Ground Almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Van Dotsch Speculaas Spice Mix

50g Crushed Pecans (plus 12 extra for decoration)

Buttercream;

100g soft butter

200g icing sugar

1 tablespoon Camp Coffee

1/4 teaspoon Speculaas Spice Mix

Firstly mix/sift the flour, almonds, baking powder and spice mix together and set aside.

Cream the soft butter with the sugar until light and fluffy and the beat in, one at a time, the eggs, adding a little of the flour mix if needs b,e to stop the mix from curdling.

Mix in the flour mix and finish with the crushed pecans.

Divide between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes – or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tray before removing onto a cooling rack to completely cool.

To make the buttercream, cream the butter till soft, stir in the icing sugar, speculaas spice mix and Camp Coffee and them finish beating – I used an electric hand mixer to get a smooth finish. Pipe as required onto the cupcakes and finish with a pecan. You could also just use plain water icing mixed with the spice.

Thanks again to Steven Dotsch at the Speculaas Spice Company for the sample, I’m looking forward to the next recipe

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares

I do like to try to mix things up occasionally. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

We’ve had a few visitors over the past few weeks, the school holidays playing havoc with the normal routine (But then what is normal?) and it’s been a little chaotic!  Sometimes I’ve had time to bake, other times, sadly not. And in the hope of bettering myself I even baked some gluten free Caramel Shortcake for a job interview!! I was asked to talk about something I’m passionate about……. 😀

I think I’ve said it before, planning what to bake normally ends in epic failure! Make-it-up-as-I-go along mostly works out well and this was one of those occasions.

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 3 / 160c and line a small baking tray (20cm X 10cm) with greaseproof paper.

 

Gluten free Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares

90g soft butter

80g soft peanut butter

160g soft brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

120g gluten free self-raising flour

40g Cocoa (I used Food Thoughts)

40g ground almonds

1 tsp bicarb of soda

200g chocolate (I use Callebaut)

80g melted butter

1 Bag of Reece’s mini peanut butter cups

First of all scatter about half the bag of mini chocolate peanut butter cups on the base of the baking tin.

Then mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Beat the butters with the  brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. I used a stand food mixer, so I also had to remember to scrap the sides occasionally. When beating in the eggs leave the to beat in well before adding the next. Ensure the mix is smooth and not curdled. Mix in the vanilla extract. Then alternate mixing in the sour cream and dry ingredients. Dry – cream – dry – cream – dry. Until all mixed in well. Pour over the scatter mini cups, smooth out to an even surface and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30mins.

Leave to cool for about 30 minutes before removing from the pan, and making the topping.

Melt the chocolate – in a microwaveable bowl – in 30 second bursts. Or in a bowl over simmering water. Ensuring no water gets into the chocolate and the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl.

Once melted stir in the melted butter and pour over the chocolate cake. Spread evenly and then decorate with the remaining mini Reece’s chocolate  peanut butter cups.

Leave to cool and set at room temperature before cutting as it will cut easier. If you need it quick pop in the fridge. But beware……it’ll be harder to cut.

As with most gluten free fresh bakes,  it’ll only last a couple of days before it starts to dry out. The chances are though it won’t last that long😃😃

Enjoy 😀😀😀

 

Gluten Free Star Biscuits

Biscuits. For the me the gluten free baker, are a bit of a devil.

The lack of gluten to hold the ingredients can prove a little tricky during baking as the mix just doesn’t hold and the ‘biscuits’ flood the baking tray. You’re left with a very tasty slab of biscuit.

So you have to think a little differently and a little outside the box sometimes. A little less of this and a little more of that. Trial and error. At least that’s what I’ve found.

I’ll keep at it, but I’d like to share this recipe with you in the meantime. You can of course eat these as simple biscuits without putting a filling in or drizzle some sauce on.

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c and make sure the shelf is in the middle of the oven. Line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof, or get sheets ready to put on baking sheets when you have cooked a tray of biscuits. This recipe will make about 20 biscuits, but that’ll depend on how big your cutter is.

Gluten Free Star Biscuits

100g butter

100g caster sugar

1 beaten egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

180g Gluten free Plain flour

100g Rice flour

Filling –

80g soft butter

160g Icing sugar – I used Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugar. The Cherry Bakewell Icing is Gluten free.

Your choice of jam

Cream and the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the beaten egg and the essence. Stir in the flours until well combined and you have a lovely dough.

Place this on a floured surface and roll out to you desired thickness – about as thick as a pound coin.

Using your cutter of choice, gently cut out your shapes. Use a smaller cutter of the same shape and press into half of the biscuits to get a ‘hole’ – a bit like the Jammie dodgers you see. When done, you can bring the ‘bits’ together, form another dough ball and roll out again. Repeat again of needs be. Place your cut shapes on the greaseproof.

Before baking you need to rest the cut shapes in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Once rested, bake one tray at a time for about 8 minutes. Once cooked leave the trays of baked biscuits to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the greaseproof. They need to set and rest otherwise they’ll break and bend.

To make the buttercream beat the soft butter until fluffy then stir in the icing sugar before beating again – I used a hand-held electric whisk – until nice and smooth. Fill a piping bag using a plain nozzle.

To make the gluten free Bakewell Biscuits – pipe a little of the buttercream onto half of the biscuits – the ones without the hole, leaving a little gap in the middle for the jam. Put half a teaspoon of jam into the little space and then top with the holey biscuit.

If you want to buy some lovely flavoured icing sugars, the link is here. There is a fantastic range of flavours to get your imagination going.

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Mrs Darlington’s Jams, curds and pickles are now available on-line too.

http://www.mrsdarlingtons.com