Gluten Free Chocolate Tiffin

Is it me or does the humble fridge turn into the Tardis around this time of year? Despite having spent Christmas away from home, there is still a fridge full of food. Have we planned well? Or have we planned too much? We are, it seems, ready for anything and anyone.

Gluten Free Chocolate Tiffin

Who knows (see what I did there?😀) why there is so much food, but sometimes you have lots of little bits that don’t quite add up to a whole meal or dish, just lots of little meals that are no good to anyone. As we strive to ensure we waste as little as possible, it sometimes helps to have a little imagination and try something that you haven’t tried before. It might just work…..

This little recipe will help to use up some of those little bits to make something of a treat for this coming, or anyway, weekend. Chocolate Tiffin always goes down well whatever the occasion, and with the added topping on this one, it took no time at all to disappear.

Firstly line a small brownie tin with cling film (around 25cm long, 20cm wide and around 3cm deep).

360g Melted chocolate ( I used Dark  Chocolate – you could use up some of the chocolates from the selection boxes….just saying..)

100g Soft butter – melted

2 tablespoons of golden syrup – warmed

130g gluten free biscuits (I used chocolate chip cookies, but digestives, custard creams will work just as well) – crushed.

130g dried fruit

Remaining chocolate and sweets of your choice to decorate.

Melt 180g dark chocolate with the 100g of butter. I put these in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water – ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water and the water is just simmering. Stir gently and frequently so that the mix combines and melts evenly. Warm the syrup separately in the microwave. I have found that melting all three together can make the mix come out rather lumpy – it could just be me….

Remove from the heat and (add the syrup if you have warmed this separately) continue to mix until the three ingredients are combined well. Stir in the crushed biscuits and the dried fruit. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to set.

Meanwhile melt the remaining dark chocolate (you can also melt this in short 30 second bursts in the microwave. But do stir between each burst of energy, as you’ll find that around the 3rd burst, the remaining heat from the chocolate will finish off, and melt the chocolate. Don’t over heat it or will burn.

The chocolate biscuit mix should have set enough for you to pour and spread the newly melted chocolate on top.

Scatter on your selection of sweets and treats before the chocolate topping completely sets. I used a mix of Reece’s Pieces, Gourmet Jelly Beans, Kinder Chocolate and marshmallows. But really, the choice is wide and yours to choose. Allow the Tiffin to completely set before removing on the tin and cutting. I would set at room temperature overnight, it will be easier to cut than if you leave it set in the fridge.

Happy New Year to all, thanks for reading. Maybe tell and friend and spread the word.😀😀🎉

 

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Gluten Free Christmas Yule Log

Ho Ho Ho

We are well and truly in the Festive swing of things here in Cakes Towers. With little time left until the big day, Noah’s mum has all but completed the Christmas shopping and we can almost relax and hear the sleigh bells jingling in the distance.  Just a lttle hurdle of the day job to get through between now and then.

And what better way to start than putting together another centre piece cake for the Christmas table than a Gluten Free Chocolate Yule Log. Full of seasonal richness and our favourite – chocolate.  Although I’ll admit, it looks more like a Yule Stump! 😀😀

gluten-free-christmas-yule-log

There is a little bit of work with this one, but having all the ingredients together makes life very easy.

There are 5 stages to this Yule Log and it is certainly best if you can do the lot on the same day. Least of all because as we know gluten free baking has a tendency to dry out quicker than conventional baking. You will be making the swiss roll, then covering it with Nutella, cover this with a cream frosting, rolling it up and then covering the lot in chocolate buttercream!

To start, line a swiss roll tray with greaseproof paper and pre heat the oven to Gas 6/200c. You are going to use the top shelf for this one, none of the middle shelf nonsense!

Also take another piece of greaseproof paper slightly larger than the swiss roll tray and sprinkle with caster sugar – about a tablespoons worth. You will need this for when the swiss roll has been baked.

To make the Gluten Free Yule Log

75g Caster Sugar

3 Large eggs

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

20g Cocoa – I used Food Thoughts

55g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour

200g Nutella

120g Double Cream

20g Icing sugar

60g Full fat cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

200g soft butter

380g Icing Sugar

220g Melted dark chocolate

Decorations of your choosing ( I just used sifted icing sugar)

Whisk the Sugar and Egg together until at least tripled in size.  I used a Kitchen Aid standing mixer with a whisk attachment and left it going for about 8 – 10 minutes. You need to get the air in, you’ll know its ready when you left our the whisk and it leaves its ‘impression’ in the mix, the mix will hold its shape too. Whisk the extract in briefly.

Put the dry ingredients into a sieve and sieve them over the egg and sugar mix. FOLD in gently with a metal spoon, using swift scooping motions too slow incorporate the flour mix, taking care to not knock out all the air you have just put in.

Pour this mix into the prepared tin and bake for about 8 minutes.

Once baked, and cooled for no more than a minute, turn this out immediately onto the sugar lined greaseproof paper. Keep hold of the oven gloves and take care not to burn yourself, a quick flip is required.

Remove the greaseproof paper form the base of the cooked swiss roll and then roll the swiss roll up into the greaseproof paper. Roll from the short end. This should help the cooked swiss roll to stretch into shape and be easier to roll up again with filling. It stops it cracking and breaking up as well. Although if it does, no matter as it’ll get covered!

To make the cream frosting, put the double cream, 20g icing sugar, cream cheese and vanilla extract all into one bowl and using a hand held whisk, whisk until its stiff and spreadable – about 2-3minutes. Then set to one side.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter until soft, then mix in the icing sugar and beat again until light a fluffy. Then pour in the melted chocolate and beat again. You’ll need to ensure you scrape the sides of the bowl.

gf-christmas-yule-log1

To assemble;

Unroll the swiss roll, spread with the Nutella – you’ll need to warm this slightly, so 10 seconds bursts in the microwave on full, should do this. Then dot the cream mix over the top of this and spread carefully until the roll is covered. Then carefully roll it all up to create the Swiss Roll.

Now if you want to just use it as one roll or ‘Log’ simply place the Swiss Roll on to your desired serving platter. However if you want to create more of a ‘branch’ then cut the roll a quarter of the way down – either at an angle or straight down and place this small piece alongside of the larger piece. Placing and decorating this on your desired serving plate, is by far easier than transferring the finished product.

For ease of spreading the buttercream, I piped mine on using a star nozzle, it also helps with creating the ‘bark’ lines too.  Start along the top and work your way around the cake from there.  Using a knife you can then smooth the ‘bare trunk’ sides in order to create the tree rings.

christmas-yule-log-gluten-free

Sprinkle with dusted icing sugar or your decoration of choice and then you just have to decide where to cut it and who gets the rich buttercream ends or the slice of cake!

 

 

Gluten Free Christmas Cake Slices

‘Ding dong merrily on high……’

As I sit here and eat a piece of this here cake, Christmas is but short distance away. Luckily for me it would appear the bulk of the present buying has been done and organised to its various hiding placed around the house (how we recover them though presents (pardon the pun..) another issue….

Time is ever precious at this time of year and as our lives seem to be squeezed on a daily basis, it comes as a welcome tonic (mines with vodka)  to find a gluten free Christmas fruit cake that is both easy to make and bake and similarly easy to decorate.

I was lucky enough to have been given a packet of this gluten free Christmas Fruit Cake Mix from the lovely people at Delicious Alchemy. And it really is easy to make 🙂

gluten-free-christmas-cake

Forgive me DA but I lifted this straight from your website – I have though linked it straight back to your lovely, helpful website.  I couldn’t see the point in reinventing the wheel. A couple of things to note, I didn’t use the orange and I used a tad more brandy in the cake – oops my hand slipped…

For clarity I used a square 7″ cake tin which isn’t overly clear in the original method/recipe.

You’ll need:

Before you get mixing, preheat the oven to 160C/140C for fan-assisted ovens.  Line the base and sides of a 7 inch baking tin with greaseproof paper. Make sure the paper sticks out 2.5cm (about an inch) above the rim of the tin.

In a large bowl, mix the butter (or dairy free alternative) and zest (if using) then add in 45ml of the brandy or orange juice. Whisk the eggs separately and then add to the bowl along with the dry cake mix.

Mix together for 2½ minutes. You can pop it all in a mixer if that’s easier.

Once it has all come together, put the mix into your prepared tin and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes. I would suggest that you smooth the surface of the cake mix down to get an even finish once cooked. It also helps when ready for icing.

Once baked to perfection, allow to cool for 20 minutes, then pierce the cake several times with a skewer and pour on the remaining 30ml of brandy or orange juice until it is all absorbed.

Wrap up well in greaseproof, tin foil and cling film and store.

gf-christmas-cake

Should you have the time left.. unwrap carefully, turn over, pierce the base of the cake again and ‘feed the cake’ a little more brandy.  Although if you have some calvados lying around this is just as tasty…

When you are ready to cover the choice is indeed yours.  For better use of time I used Dr Oetker Marzipan and Dr Oetker Regal Icing . Remove both from their packets, knead the marzipan until it’s a little more pliable and roll out until your decide thickness, brush the top of the cake with apricot jam and cover with the marzipan. Use the base of the square cake tin as a guide for size and shape. Brush the marzipan with a little more of the apricot jam, and repeat the process with the Regal Icing.

Now you can eat this (once decorated to your liking) as one whole cake, use as a Christmas Day centre piece and slice as required, but for something a little different I cut the iced cake into 8 ‘slices’ and decorated each slice as I desired. Just because.

And because I was able to plan a little ahead I was able to feed the cake twice – once a week over the two since I baked it.  You still have time…

delicious-alchemy-christmas-cake-mix

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Gluten Free Mulled Wine Chocolate Brownies

Mulled Wine Chocolate Brownies…yes Mulled Wine! Not for the feint hearted…..time to get into the festive spirit..literally 😀

The smell of Christmas is abound whilst making and baking this one!  But if you can leave it overnight – the flavour from the mulled wine really starts to infuse….. and there’ll be plenty of Mulled Wine left over to try whilst baking

gluten-free-mulled-wine-choc-brownie

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 3/150c and line a baking tray roughly 27x14x43cm with greaseproof, ensuring there is a couple of centimetres above the height of the tin.

200g Butter – diced

200g Dark chocolate – chopped into small pieces

3 Eggs

230g Soft brown sugar

100g Gluten free plain flour

50g Cocoa (I used Food Thoughts Cocoa)

1/2 Teaspoon Mixed Spice

140ml Mulled Wine (I used this one from Waitrose)

gluten-free-mulled-wine-chocoalte-brownie

Begin by melting the dark chocolate and butter. I melted mine in a bowl set over a pan of water on the stove. Not letting the bowl touch the water and let the water come to a gentle simmer. Leave the butter and chocolate to melt gently and stir often to get an even melt. Remove the bowl from the heat once melted and leave to cool.

Sift the flour and the cocoa together and set aside.

Using a hand held electric whisk, whisk the eggs and sugar until twice the volume. This should take about 4/5 minutes.

Gently pour in the sifted gluten free flour and cocoa and add the 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice and fold in using a large metal spoon until the flour is all mixed in with no lumps of flour.

Pour in the mulled wine and mix in gently with the spoon. Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin and the dust with icing sugar before cutting and serving.

Happy holidays

I am also linking this post with

http://tinandthyme.uk

In December 2016 #WeShouldCocoa

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