Gluten Free Paradise Slice

And not a soggy bottom in sight.

I seem to be getting through my list of bakes to convert to gluten free. There was the chocolate mini rolls last year, thanks to the new series of The Great British Bake Off.

Then there was the creation of the gluten free ‘double decker’ bar… home-made nougat….ummmm 😀

Now, the gluten free Paradise Slice. But without the coconut….it’s not my favourite. Currently found in a local high street coffee chain

This is a 2 part bake, so line a small cake tin (26x16x3cm) with greaseproof paper and Preheat the oven to Gas 4, 180c, 160c fan.

For the shortbread;

– 75g soft butter

– 40g caster sugar

– 80g rice flour

– 40g cornflour

Beat the butter and sugar until, light and fluffy. Sieve the two flours together onto the butter and mix until fully combined and bring together to form a dough.

Now this is a small amount of shortbread and I found it easier to roll this out, to the size of the tin, but placing the dough onto the greaseproof, covering with cling film and the rolling out to fit the size of the tin. Remove the cling film before baking, then bake the shortbread for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before spreading the jam.

For the next bit;

150g Raspberry jam (or other dependent on taste)

90g soft butter

90g caster sugar

2 eggs

60g ground almonds

30g gluten free oats

90g dried fruit

40g halved glacé cherries

1 teaspoon almond essence

Once you have spread your jam, beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time, mix in the almonds, oats, rice flour and essence, then stir in the dried fruit and glacé cherries. Pour onto the jam, shortbread and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. There should be a light bronzed top. Allow to completely cool in the tin before removing and slicing – as 9 big slices or 18 bite size pieces.

 

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Gluten free Marzipan Cake

There was a vision of writing up some recipes based on using up the cupboards of all their festive foods. But it seems there was a) little in the way of foods left over and b) what was left went into this recipe! 😀

This recipe and bake is loosely based around a Nigella Lawson recipe for Easy Almond Cake, but I have adapted it for gluten free and a couple of additions and different methodology. Mainly because I couldn’t be bothered to get the food processor out. So I made this in the Kitchen Aid food mixer.

You’ll need a deep, lined 8” cake tin with a loose base or you can use a springform cake tin.

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 160c fan.

220g soft Marzipan – can be microwaved for about 10 seconds if required. I used a mixture of Hotel Chocolat and Niederegger Marzipan. And yes these are chocolate coated, it just adds to the taste. And yes, we had a lot of Marzipan for Christmas 😀😀 there was also a chunk of ready to use Marzipan left in a tub too.

220g  very soft butter

40g caster sugar

1 teaspoon almond essence

5 eggs

120g gluten free self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

60g toasted nibbled almonds

60g icing sugar (to make into water icing when the cake has cooled and has been removed from the tin)

Extra Marzipan (and glacé cherries if you have them) to decorate

Beat the marzipan and the butter in the mixer until soft mushed. Beat in the eggs one at a time then pour in the essence.  Don’t forget to scrape the sides of he mixing bowl.

Tip in the flour and baking powder and stir in until fully combined.

Place the cake mix into the prepared cake tin, sprinkle on the toasted nibbled almonds and bake for 40 – 50 minutes. Check with an inserted skewer. If it comes out clean it’s done.

Allow to cool in the tin before removing and cooling on a rack.

Make the water icing by adding hot water to the icing sugar a tablespoon at a time until you have a smooth paste. Then using a spoon drizzle on the icing sugar and decorate with chocolate marzipan (and or glacé cherries of you have them).

 

Gluten Free New Year

Here is hoping you have had a good Christmas so far, and that you have plans for a pleasant New Year surrounded by those whom you love.

And perhaps now is a good time to think about using up some ingredients you may have in the cupboard or the fridge?

There will I’m sure be something leftover after all the festivities.  If not, a small purchase will suffice.  This is a lovely rich and moist bake and can be eaten warm or cold.  You’ll need to taste the orange once you have cooked it, unless you already know if the orange is going to be sweet or sour.  This one certainly needed some additional sugar!

For the pastry;

  • 300g gluten free plain flour
    170g butter – taken out the fridge an hour or so before hand
  • 60g Caster sugar
    1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum (or similar binding agent)
  • Level teaspoon of cinnamon
    milk to bring together to form a dough

To bake the pastry blind, preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 160c fan.

I used a food processor to blitz the flour, butter, sugar and gum into breadcrumbs. If you don’t have one, work quickly with your fingers to rub the mixture together to the same point. From the processor, tip the ingredients into a bowl and pour in 30ml of cold milk at first, then a tablespoon at a time, in order to bring the dough together. Adding a  little at a time will ensure the dough doesn’t get too sticky, but the dough will take a bit of sticky as the gluten free flour will absorb the liquid, if you do happen to add a little too much milk.
Once you have that dough, roll out to roughly the 4/5mm thick and fill the tart tin. Retain any surplus pastry dough and wrap in cling film, this will be for the decoration. Prick the surface, cover with a sheet of greaseproof, fill the tart with baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove and cool the pastry. Only half stage blind baking is required as it’ll go back into the oven to finish with the filling.

For boiling the orange;

Take an ordinary large orange and gently pierce the skin with a cocktail stick, just half a dozen times should suffice.  Place into a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil.  Once the water is boiling, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook the orange for about 20 – 30 minutes until the skin is soft and the orange feels squishy.  Allow the orange to cool before removing from the water.  Cut into quarters to cool more rapidly, but you do need the orange to go cold before ‘blitzing’ in a blender, before making the tart filling.

For the filling and preheat your oven to gas 4, 180c, 165c fan;

  • 1 blended orange (c200g in weight)
  • 100g soft brown sugar – depending on how sweet or sour you orange. The sweeter the orange the less sugar required.
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g gluten fee self raising flour
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90ml sunflower oil
  • 50ml milk
  • 120g dried or fresh cranberries (I used dried)

Once the orange is cold, add to it all but the cranberries and beat with a hand-held whisk until all the ingredients are well combined.  Toss the cranberries in a little extra flour and fold into the mix.

Pour into the pastry case and level off.

With the remaining pastry cut out some seasonal shapes and place onto the sponge mix, then brush with some additional milk.

Then bake in oven for 35 – 40 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool before trying to remove from the tin.

May 2018 bring you peace and happiness.

Thanks for reading 😀

 

 

Gluten free Chocolate Chriwhisky Tart

And that’s  Cree-Whisky!! 😀😀😀 Or Christmas in-a-bite-Tart.

Adding a slosh of decadence to your festive season with a dash of chocolate, mincemeat and a slosh of whisky. What’s not to like?

Using my lovely new, shiny 13” long tart tin again, I have created what could be something of a centre-piece for your table anytime of year, but the use of sweet mincemeat (a favourite of ours) means it’ll fit wonderfully for this coming Christmas.

Resting the pastry a topic for discussion? For this recipe I found there was no need. So don’t bother 😀. There is quite a bit of pastry here, I found that to cover the surface area and keep the pastry sturdy, the thicker the merrier. Plus you can then use the excess for the decoration.

For the pastry;

  • 300g gluten free plain flour
  • 170g butter – taken out the fridge an hour or so before hand
  • 60g Caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum (or similar binding agent)
  • milk to bring together to form a dough

Stage 1 would be to bake the pastry blind. So Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 160c fan.

I used a food processor to blitz the flour, butter, sugar and gum into breadcrumbs. If you don’t have one, work quickly with your fingers to rub the mixture together to the same point. From the processor, tip the ingredients into a bowl and pour in 30ml of cold milk at first, then a tablespoon at a time, in order to bring the dough together. Adding s little at a time will ensure the dough doesn’t get too sticky, but the dough will take a bit of sticky as the gluten free flour will absorb the liquid.

Once you have that dough, roll out to roughly the 4/5mm thick and fill the tart tin. Retain any surplus pastry dough and wrap in cling film. Prick the surface, cover with a sheet of greaseproof, fill the tart with baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove and cool the pastry. Only half stage blind baking is required as it’ll go back into the oven to finish with the filling.

The filling (oven on gas 4, 180c, 160c fan);

  • 140g Soft butter
  • 140g Caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 30g cocoa – I use Food Thoughts Cocoa
  • 30g gluten free self raising flour
  • 180g mincemeat
  • generous splashes of whisky (we had some Bowmore in the cupboard…..)

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time until fully combined. Tip in the dry ingredients, the mincemeat and the splash(es) of whisky and mix in well.

Spread the mix into the pastry case evenly. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out some little shapes to decorate the surface. Brush with a little milk before baking for 35 – 40 minutes. Check with an inserted skewer, but some moisture is required to the finished bake.  The retaining heat will finish the bake-off nicely.

Remove from the oven and cool before serving or cool completely before serving cold. (Best served warm, sprinkled with icing sugar and either cream or custard)

Merry Christmas one and all 🎅🏻😀🎄⛄️

 

 

Gluten Free Mulled Wine Cheesecake

I had a bit of fun with this one.

Least of all because I’ve had to make 2 cheesecakes, but also getting to munch of some mulled wine jelly! Don’t get me wrong, the first cheesecake was indeed very nice – a baked cheesecake, but sadly lacking for me on overall depth of taste with the mulled wine. The no-bake cheesecake has for me, made the grade. A hint-and-a-hit of mulled wine. Just in time for the festive season. Or indeed to use up any spare at the end of the festive season. Waste not want not 😀

As this is to be made in 3 stages, some planning is required.

You’ll need 1 x 7” cake tin or similar tin in order for the jelly to set and with a little depth and fully lined with cling film to encase the jelly and ensure it sets. Then another 7″ deep, springform cake tin (lined) for the cheesecake.

Ingredients;

  • 200g gluten free shortbread biscuits (I used Sainsbury’s Free From) crushed into breadcrumbs
  • 70g melted butter
  • 360g full fat cream cheese
  • 170g double cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Speculaas Spice
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 380ml mulled wine
  • 3 sheets gelatine

To make the mulled wine jelly; put the sheets of gelatine into a small bowl and pour over with just enough water to cover. Leave for about 5 minutes to absorb the water and become floppy. Measure out 300ml of the mulled wine. Once floppy, gently squeeze the water out of the gelatine and place into a small saucepan. Over a gentle heat warm the gelatine to melt it to a liquid. This will only take a couple of minutes and don’t use a fierce heat – gently does it.  Then with a whisk, pour the mulled wine onto the melted gelatine and give a gentle whisk to ensure everything is mixed together. Pour into the prepared, lined tin and place in the fridge to set.

For the base of the cheesecake, mix the melted butter with the crushed up biscuits and press into the base of the springform cake tin and leave to set in the fridge whilst you make the filling.

Gently whisk the double cream with 30g of the icing sugar, 40ml of mulled wine and the speculaas spice. Don’t over whisk though or it’ll turn to butter.

Whisk the cream cheese with the remaining 40g of the icing sugar and the remaining 40ml of mulled wine. Then combine the 2 creams for a final whisk and blend, then scoop onto the set biscuit base. Cover with film and pop back in the fridge for a couple of hours for the cream mix to set.

Once you are ready to assemble remove the mulled wine from the fridge and using a suitable cutter, cut out your required shapes. For something a little different, I dredged the shape of the Christmas tree using a mix of a tablespoon of cocoa and 1/2 a teaspoon of speculaas spice.

To serve, and as you will have plenty of mulled wine jelly left, roughly chop this up and serve as a worthy accompaniment.

 

Its nearly Christmas

Just around the corner now, Christmas. It comes around every year, to some a complete surprise, to others – those who are well organised – something to relax to and enjoy. A time of family, friends and loved ones, to give and to receive.

To some a time of mixed emotions, memories of events that they may want to forget. Everyone tackles this time of year in a different way, spare a thought for the quiet ones, the not so over enthusiastic ones.  Go and say ‘Hello’ and spread the joy, you never know, someone might just need it.

From me a simple welcome to the festive season, with a simple recipe for the humble, gluten free mince pie.  A family favourite – warm or cold, with cream or custard, or any variation thereof. Only this time I decided to pop a teaspoon of Speculaas spice into the pastry, not too much to over power, but enough to enhance the overall experience of the mince pie.

This recipe should make around 24 x 7cm mince pies with the limited topping as show in the pastry.  If you need a little more, then the recipe should scale up (or even down) well.  Have your cutters at the ready…..and go….

Preheat the oven to Gas 5, 190c, 175c fan

  • 300g gluten free plain flour
  • 170g soft butter
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon Speculaas Spice – I used mine from The Speculaas Spice Company
  • milk to bind together – approx. 40ml
  • a jar of Mincemeat – Tesco or Sainsbury’s – have own brand no-gluten ingredient mincemeat

For complete ease I blended the gluten free flour, butter, sugar, gum and spices in a food processor until I had fine breadcrumbs, tipped this out into a bowl and added the milk until I had a lovely smooth dough.  Alternatively you could rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have the fine breadcrumbs and then pick up with adding the milk.

Roll out to your desired thickness – some around the thickness of a pound coins – 2 – 3mm – and cut out shapes with your cutter. You can bring the remaining pastry together to form another ball, then re-roll to create more bases (and tops)

Line each disc with your mincemeat – around a teaspoon of the mixture in each and then cover with your desired pastry cover.

Brush with a little milk and bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes until the pastry has a little bronzed look to it.

Remove and cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy.

Alternatively cool completely and they will freeze well for up to 3 months.  Defrost thoroughly before eating though.

Gluten Free Chocolate and Black Cherry Cupcakes

A little joyous seasonal goodwill to all

Well I never!! Could this nearly be the stuff of dreams??? Those good people over at Sugar and Crumbs do seem to put some great flavoured icing sugars together!  This Black Cherry flavoured icing sugar brings a whole new life to any cupcakes. And no they didn’t give me the ingredients, I actually bought this flavour at the recent Cake and Bake Show at Event City near Manchester.

The range is fantastic and can be used to swop out traditional caster sugar in cupcakes and sponges, but also to swop out icing sugar in macrons and buttercream for example – see their website for further details – http://www.sugarandcrumbs.co.uk

I also used Food Thoughts cocoa – because I find it tastes better.  This is available in Sainsbury’s and is making a show in some Waitrose stores.

Preheat the oven the gas 4, 180c, 160c fan and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cases.

The keen-eyed may notice that I have reduced the amounts of ingredients used for 12 cupcakes. Well done and very observant, mainly to have a more balanced eat, but also to potentially reduce costs.  There is also no need to look at a filling for these either, there is enough taste per bite 🙂

  • 110g soft butter
  • 50g Sugar and Crumbs Black Cherry Icing Sugar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g Food Thoughts Cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90g gluten free self raising flour
  • splash of milk

Beat the butter and sugars until they are light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time until fully beaten in. Then tip in the dry ingredients, stir in well to create and lovely mixture.  You may need to add a splash of milk at this stage if the mixture feels a little ‘heavy’.

Evenly fill the cupcake cases, then bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing the cupcakes from the tin and transferring to a wire rack before piping.

For the buttercream;

  • 110g soft butter
  • 40g Food Thoughts Cocoa
  • 80g Sugar and Crumbs Black Cherry Icing
  • 80g Icing Sugar
  • splash of milk

Beat the butter (I used a hand-held electric whisk – for both the batter mix and the buttercream) until light and fluffy.  Stir in the sugars to combine with the butter before finishing with the electric whisk. |Overall, roughly 5 minutes of beating should give you a light and fluffy buttercream. You may need to add the splash of milk to get a lovely smooth, pipeable mixture.

The thing with the Sugar and Crumbs Icing is that you could use the full amount of icing to butter ration, in a buttercream mix.  It al depends on how flavoured you like you mix.  I prefer a light, subtle flavour, rather than the full on hit.  You are free to flavour as you so wish.  With less flavoured icing in the recipe you are able to make it go further.

Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes and decorate as you see fit.  I used these without gluten Christmas Sprinkles.