Gluten Free Pancakes

Pancake Day comes around with astounding regularity, yet I don’t think I’ve put a recipe together for the occasion. Sad but true so no better time than now to put that right.

gluten-free-pancakes

Sadly Pancake Day is invariably in the working week and making time to put the batter together isn’t always top priority – or time itself just slips away and by the time we get around to it, its just too late.  But with a little forward thinking anything is in fact possible! So the night before put the ingredients together and whisk them all up, pop them in a bowl, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge. The following evening you are ready to fry/cook.

This makes at least 6 pancakes

  • 160g gluten free plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • sunflower/vegetable oil for frying – no more than 6 tablespoons worth.

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk.  Either with a hand-held whisk, electric whisk or hand-held blender. Depending on how thick (or thin) you like your pancake mix, you can add a little more flour or a drop more milk.  If you can leave this for about half an hour, great.  If not, not. Or if you are planning ahead cover and put in the fridge.

If using straight away, heat your frying pan over a medium heat – gas or electric – pour in a tablespoon of oil and swirl around the pan and using a piece of kitchen roll wipe out to remove excess oil. Using either a ladle or from a jug, pour – in a gentle stream – the batter into the frying pan and moving the pan ensure the batter spreads – crepe like – around the base of the hot pan.

As the batter cooks – the batter will set and the edges will curl up – watch the heat and with a palette knife lift up the pancake to see if it’s cooked. If so – flip it over to cook the other side. Finish cooking and serve – all over within 3 – 4 minutes and most of that on side 1. Serve with topping of choice – lemon, sugar (or both), chocolate sauce or Maple Syrup or….. The choice is yours.

Repeat until all the batter has been used and everyone’s happy.

If you are using batter from the night before or from a 30 minutes rest, ensure you give it another good whisk. Again if it’s too thick – ‘water’ down with some more milk. The flour will have thickened the batter.

Happy Pancake Day

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tefal-frying-pan

 

 

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Half Term Fun

At last!

You do have to feel for the little ones, its been a long start to the school year with the bulk of school year seemingly over and with little in the way of a break, we have decided to have a pretty slow and uneventful week at home. The first half of the school year has been pretty full on and you can see it in them – they (at least our 2 our) are very exhausted. The second half of the school year for us, now has 2 lots of 2 weeks off before the summer holidays. It just seems like it’s all down hill from here 🙂  A bit like Wednesday is Hump Day, so February/March is Hump Month! That’s a new phrase….

This month also sees Noah’s annual Coeliac check up and this year the hospital seem to have got their act together (not that it was ever disorganised – North Staffs have been fantastic) in that now we can get Noah’s blood tested, a week before the actual appointment. So come appointment day we can actually discuss his progress and concerns. Taking the blood for the test has never been Noah’s favourite time of year, by association a trip to the hospital has nearly always meant some form of pain. You can’t blame him really, but this year he was particularly brave and the visit passed almost without a tear. The promise of some Pokémon Trading Cards might have helped…. So more on the results later. For now we’ll enjoy the rest of the half term with a spot of laziness.

One thing that has though happened is that I have now found a new cake treat that Noah enjoys. Gluten Free Cherry and Marzipan Shortbread.

gluten-free-cherry-and-marzipan-shortbread

Line a baking tray roughly 20x10x3cm with greaseproof and preheat the oven to Gas 2/140c

  • 200g diced butter
  • 200g rice flour
  • 100g caster sugar (plus a little extra for dusting – 2 tablespoons)
  • 100g cornflour
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 150g marzipan
  • 1 small jar (225g) of Opie’s Cocktail Cherries – drained and dried (with paper/kitchen towel)

Put the butter, sugar and flours into a food processor and blitz for about a minute until you have fine breadcrumbs. Remove from the food processor bowl and bring the mixture together to form a dough ball – divide this into 2.

Roll out one half of the dough to the size of your tin and then sprinkle the surface with the cherries and the marzipan – broken up into small pieces.

making-gluten-free-cherry-and-marzipan-shortbreadRoll out your second piece of shortbread dough and place over the top and lightly press down, taking care not to break the surface but to get a nice seal at the edges. No need to brush them with anything though.

Place into the middle of the oven and bake slowly for about 35 – 40 mins until a light brown colour has been achieved.

Remove from the oven – sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of extra caster sugar – and leave to completely cool in the tin before removing and cutting into 15 squares – or larger depending on your appetite.

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opies-glace-cherries

Gluten Free Sachertorte

Oh my word…this is one seriously rich dessert.

Not one for the faint hearted and certainly one for a weekend special or dinner party. Not one really to indulge in for 2. Unless you have stomachs of concrete!

This has been on my list of things to do for some time, but finding time to slot it in has been the tricky part.  It’s not a complicated recipe, it’s just made up of different stages, so leave yourself plenty of time to make, bake and decorate and then enjoy it’

gluten-free-sachertorte

  • melt the chocolate and butter
  • whip up the meringue
  • whip up the yolks and sugar
  • mix in the gluten free flour and chocolate mix
  • the add in the meringue in 4 waves
  • bake
  • slice into 3
  • fill with jam
  • melt chocolate and pour on top
  • decorate

I have adapted this recipe from the ‘Bake it Better – Classic Cakes’ book, that came from ‘The Great British Bake Off series of books. There isn’t much adapting but I have also added my own little touch, suspecting that if I didn’t it could be dryer – as is usually the case with gluten free baking. More on that in a bit.

Ingredients for the cake;

  • 180g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces – I use Callebaut 70.5% cocoa solids
  • 100g butter – unsalted
  • 5 eggs separated – 4 yolks and 5 whites – at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 115g caster sugar (split 85g and 30g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 85g gluten free plain flour

For the filling;

  • 200g Apricot jam – Hartley’s do a wonderful squeezy bottle one
  • 80ml Amaretto

For the chocolate glaze;

  • 190g Dark Chocolate – as before
  • 40g butter
  • 60ml double cream

to finish off

  • 30g dark chocolate – as before

And so to begin;

  • Preheat the oven Gas 3/140c
  • Line the 8″ deep, loose bottomed cake tin, base and sides with greaseproof
  • Begin by melting the chocolate and butter for the cake – melt gently in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Once nearly melted remove from the heat and set to one side whilst the chocolate and butter finish melting and it cools down.
  • Whisk the 5 egg whites until soft peaks – about 5 minutes and then with the 85g of sugar – add in whilst whisking a spoon at a time. You are making a meringue and you need to keep whisking until the meringue goes ‘stiff’.
  • Once whisked – and if you only have one large bowl like I, take out the meringue and place on a large plate.
  • Into the bowl put the 30g sugar, 4 egg yolks and vanilla paste and then whisk some more until double in volume. Until if you remove the whisk it leaves a ribbon. Ribbon Stage.
  • Then stir in the cooled chocolate mixture, sifted flour and one-quarter of the meringue.  Stir it gently and ensure there are no white streaks from the meringue or flour.
  • Fold in the remaining meringue in three batches, ensuring no streaks.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 – 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool before lifting out and removing the greaseproof.
  • Once cooled you can begin to fill 🙂
  • Slice the cake so that you have 3 layers – or just 2 layers.  If you have one of those cake layer cutter, you can ensure the slices are cut evenly.
  • Using the top layer of the cake as your base – drizzle with 40ml of Amaretto and spread with 80g of apricot jam. Put on the next layer of cake, drizzle with the remaining Amaretto and spread with 80g of apricot jam. Top off the cake with the last slice of cake and use the remaining 40g of apricot jam and brush the sides of the cake.
  • Then to make the chocolate glaze;
  • As before melt the 190g of dark chocolate with the 40g of butter, remove from the heat once melted.
  • Heat the double cream in a saucepan until just before it boils – keep your eye on, or it could catch the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour the hot cream onto the melted chocolate, stirring as you do, then mix well until you have a glossy chocolate glaze – pour over the cake ensuring the chocolate mix covers the sides.
  • Leave on the work surface to cool and set – don’t put it in the fridge – please.
  • Melt the remaining chocolate, as before and place into a piping bag with the end snipped off, to pipe the decoration – ‘Sacher’.
  • Cool and slice

gluten-free-sachertorte

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

This is one of those recipes I have had on my ‘to do’ list for a while.

There is always cake in the house – believe it or not – and its so easy to bake those easy ones, the quick wins that puts a cake in the box. But just occasionally I have to force myself to create a bake that challenges me. As we have challenges that we must face in life, they do not go away. In fact, left, a challenge can get worse the longer it’s left. A little like that problem you have sitting on your shoulder. Left too long it becomes insurmountable.

This would in fact make a great pudding! And if there is anything left the following day, it’s better warmed up.  Finding a small enough dish is key, as the dish needs to support the size of the cut rolls once cut after the first prove. I found that not having the gluten, the structure isn’t there and the dish supports the rolls whilst baking. Something ceramic around 20x15cm and 3cm deep.

gluten-free-cinnamon-rolls

Start to finish this should take around 4 hours which includes the proving and baking. Ensuring you have a warm place in the room to ensure an even prove and pre heat the oven set to gas 4/350F/180c

The Cinnamon Roll –

300g gluten free plain flour

50g caster sugar

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons of dried fast action yeast (I used allinson easy bake yeast and use 1 of these sachets)

level teaspoon of xanthum gum

50g soft butter

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

100ml warm milk (30 seconds in the microwave, body hot, too hot and the yeast will die and too cold and nothing will happen and it’ll have to be proved for too long)

1 egg

Teaspoon of vanilla extract

Filling –

140g soft brown sugar

6g cinnamon

50g very soft butter

Small amount of milk for brushing.

The topping –

180g Full fat cream cheese

100g icing sugar

30g diced soft butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon.

Into a mixing bowl pop in the gluten free flour, sugar, salt, xanthum gum, easy-bake years and the soft butter. Mix until you have a fine mix of breadcrumbs. Tip in the egg, milk, oil and vanilla, beat to mix and then beat for about 3 minutes. Stopping half way to scrap the bowl.

Cover the bowl with film and leave to prove for at least 2 hours, in the warmest place you can find. I found the top of the oven did best for me.

Whilst waiting for the prove – it doesn’t rise much but it does get air in, which is th important thing – you can make the filling. All you need to do is mix the sugar and the cinnamon. The butter we’ll use to spread. Put the kettle on and enjoy it until the time is up.

Once the 2 hours are up, place a sheet of greaseproof on to your surface – it needs to be about 16″ long and as wide as the sheet. Take the dough and gently roll it out to about to about 10″ wide and about 16″ long. Spread the dough with the soft butter and then sprinkle with the sugar mix. Then using the greaseproof as a guide roll the dough up into a long cigar/ Swiss roll. Not too tight as the dough will rise a fraction.

Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 8 satisfying pieces and place into your ceramic dish with the cinnamon facing up. Cover and leave to prove again for about an hour more. Brush with some milk and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. Whilst the rolls are in the oven make the topping.

Literally put all the topping ingredients into a bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes until soft and smooth. And then quite simply smoother the cinnamon rolls in the cream cheese topping the minute the rolls come out of the oven. Leave it to cool a little before serving and allow the topping to seep into the rolls just a little…Serves about 6, but that depends on your serving size..

 

Love is in the air x

Love is in the air.

Such a lovely time of year, when you are able to really connect to the ones you love, albeit in some cases, secretly. The trick here though, is how do you tell someone you love (like) them so much, you have baked them a cake! To then somehow get the cake to them without them realising it’s from you? Tricky. Get into the office, before everyone and leave it on the desk? Have it couriered over to them (knowing their address helps)? Or leave it on their doorstep (then hoping they don’t figure out who its from and label you a stalker!! 🙂 You could just send a card and post if from somewhere other, than the postcode area in which you live.  But I rather like the idea of cake, of course.

gluten-free-valentines-cake

Caution is required x

Valentines Day, is of course for everyone. No matter your dietary needs or limitations. Your only limitation is your own creativity.  Pinterest is fantastic for a whole manner of ideas, but it’s then down to you ability.  Here I have tried to keep it relatively simple.  Bake the cake, cut it in half, fill with jam, cover with a smooth layer of buttercream, cover with fondant icing and then cut out some heart shapes with a cutter. Nothing too fancy. It’s the thought that means so much more 💋

You will need to line, the base and sides of your cake tin – I used a heart-shaped cake tin. Pre heat the oven to Gas 3/150c.

180g soft butter

170g caster sugar

3 large eggs at room temperature

180g gluten free self-raising flour

6 drops of strawberry flavouring (I used Foodie Flavours Strawberry)

3g Red Food Colouring (I used Rainbow Dust red gel – very bake stable)

1 Packet of White Fondant icing

150g more of soft butter for the buttercream

300g icing sugar

4 drops more of strawberry flavouring

4 tablespoons of Strawberry Jam

Pink Food colouring (‘Rainbow Dust’ again)

You can make this as an all-in-one. Place the soft butter, sugar, eggs, gluten free flour, colouring and flavouring into your mixer and beat well, until light and fluffy and fully combined – about 6/7 minutes on medium. I used a table top mixer.

Pour into the prepared cake tine and bake ‘low and slow’. It may take around 45 minutes. There is a lot of mixture in tin, so it needs time to cook and rise without over cooking and burning.  Check with a skewer to ensure its cooked – it needs to come out clean – before removing from the oven and cooling then cooling in the tin.

Once cooled remove from the tin, by turning it upside down onto a wire rake and then flipping back around again. Cool completely before icing.

Meanwhile you can make the buttercream

Beat the 150g of soft butter, until its white, light and fluffy. Mix in the icing sugar by hand – so you don’t get a dust cloud – add the flavouring and beat again until its light, fluffy and easily spreadable.

Once the Cake has cooled, cut in half, and spread with jam, then put the top back on.  Cover the sides and edges with buttercream and smooth down with a palette knife. A smooth edges here will help to ensure a smooth finish once the fondant goes on top.

gluten-free-valentine-cake

Roll out the fondant icing – using icing sugar on the board and rolling pin, so that it doesn’t stick to the surface – to the desired thickness and cover the cake. Using your hands, gently smooth down the fondant over the top, then down the sides of the cake. Again using your hands, smooth down the sides to the base of the cake. Smooth down around the cake, to ensure you have the outline of the cake you have and there are no crimps and unnecessary edges.

Using a sharp knife, trim away any excess fondant and keep.

Place the cake on a board to finish off.

Take half of the fondant left and drop in some red colouring, knead until the desired colour has been achieved.  Do the same with the other half, but with pink colour.

Rollout the coloured pieces of fondant and using your cutters, decorate your cake. I used a small brush and ‘painted’ the area with a little water to get the decoration to stick to the main cake.

Give yourself time to deliver the cake and for it to be enjoyed – but it certainly wont last longer than a couple of days – sadly the nature of gluten free baking 😦

Happy Loving x