Gluten free Viennese Whirls

Hold your breath, I’m going in!

It’s been a while since my last post; which almost feels like a confession! 

 

I’ve toyed with the idea of a summary of 2020, but I think most people probably want to see the back of last year and want to look forward to what the future may hold. I would though like to take a minute to thank all those who have purchased my gluten free cookbook (still available on this site if you haven’t bought yours yet!).  As I think I’ve said before; I don’t think I ever set out to write a cookbook.  It certainly took way longer than I thought; and I enjoyed every minute of it.  A huge learning curve and one I may write about in a subsequent post.  Its said everyone has a book in them, but do they have the time or inclination?

Do we have two books in us……?

I have not stopped creating recipes though; they may not becoming as thick and fast as to when I started this blog about 6 years ago, but the enthusiasm for recreating everyday bakes into gluten free alternatives is still there.  After all, I have something like 6 notebooks worth of recipes; some work, some need work and some won’t be tried again!  Now is certainly the time to look at revisiting some of the contents within those pages.

And so here is one of those recipes. Possibly not on top of everyone’s to bake list, but they are relatively easy to make and bake.  I really don’t like complicated.  Oh and to help a recent conversation, are they ‘swirls’ or ‘whirls’?  I’ve included 2 photos to give you a couple of ideas of how to finish your bake prior to cooking; larger biscuits dipped in chocolate or smaller ones; stuck together with jam and buttercream.  I’ll let you decide.  You could also flavour you base mix with lemon or orange rind or add in some cinnamon or similar spice.  Or just keep them plain and simple.

As with other recipe creations, swopping out ‘normal’ flour for gluten free flour does not always work.  The flour acts very differently.  Traditional Viennese biscuits have equal quantities of fat and flour, not here.  In fact this is the 4th iteration of this recipe and as I started to write this post, I changed the ratios again to get a firmer spiral once piped.  Needless to say swopping one for another, initially just gave me a tasty puddle of biscuit.  The sacrifices I make to create a tasty bake for you 🙂

Enough of the waffle.

190g soft butter

1/3rd teaspoon Xanthan Gum

180g Rice Flour

60g Cornflour

50g Icing Sugar

I used a stand mixer for this, but you can equally use and hand held electric whisk or beat by hand with a wooden spoon. You’ll need a piping bag and either a star nozzle or 1M nozzle to pipe with. Remember that the finished mix/paste will be quite stiff to pipe.  So your piping nozzle only needs to stick out of the bag a little bit – just enough for the nozzle to pipe out. Too far out and the mixture in the bag will be forced out along with the nozzle, as you need a little more pressure squeezing the bag to pipe than say, piping buttercream.

Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper and prepare your piping bag. We’ll turn the oven on in a bit.

Place all the ingredients into the mixing bowl, bring the mix together first (so as not to create a dust cloud) before beating well for a minute or 2 to combine all the ingredients together to form a smooth paste. 

Fill your piping bag with half the mixture. Too much in the bag and it’ll be difficult to pipe and you’ll possibly burst the piping bag.  It will also be easier to control the piping.  Dependant on how you want your finished biscuits, either pipe in small swirls around 4 – 5cm wide or larger ‘swishes’ if you want a larger biscuit. If a larger biscuit you should get around 15 biscuits, or c30 smaller ones.

Place the piped biscuits in the fridge to firm up, for around 30 minutes. Now you can pre-heat your oven to Gas 5/190c/170c fan.

Once ready, place the trays in the oven 1 at a time on the bottom shelf and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a light golden brown.  Remove from the oven to cool completely before even thinking of removing from the tray.  They will cool quite well without placing onto a cooling rack.

 

Once completely cool (best over night) – the biscuits will firm up – either dip in melted chocolate (c200g of your chosen chocolate) or sandwich with buttercream (50g soft butter/100g icing sugar), jam or curd or just eat them plain.

And I’ve just realised I’ve piped the jam and buttercream the same as the Jammie Dodgers. My last recipe on the blog…. 

Thank you too, to those who continue to support me through the purchase of my cookbook and to those who make a contribution to Cakes by Noah (via the blog), it’s all very much appreciated. X

 

A new normal

I’ll try and not make a habit of this; a blog post!

I know it’s been a while and I thank those who have been visiting the site over the last few months. Whilst the World is on pause for a while, whilst a solution or solutions are being sort for the virus, there have been a lot of people searching the internet for recipes. Baking at home has become a new normal for most across the world. I hope those that have visited this site have something that has inspired them or has been useful. After all, that’s what I set out to do. I hope to be able to continue to provide something for you, for as long as I can.

I also feel fortunate enough to have been able to source ingredients. I know some people have been having difficulties and now, some 10 weeks or so since lockdown began in the UK, groceries across the country are beginning to appear more regularly in supermarkets. So hopefully you will be able to recreate these recipes once again very soon. And if not, the page isn’t going anywhere; so when you can, you’re welcome back any time.

If you feel you can afford to buy me a coffee, to contribute to the site, please do so via the ‘contribute’ page. It will be very much appreciated.

And I’m not one for these long intro’s into a recipe, on the why’s and wherefores of mixing it this way or that, that ingredient over that or any such dribble, that no one really wants to read… just give me the ingredients and recipe.  But while i’ve got you………

An actual crisp biscuit that is gluten free! It took a couple of goes but I got there in the end. Especially after the first go had no vanilla essence in!

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 5, 180c fan, 200c and line 2 or 3 Swiss roll trays with greaseproof paper

50g soft butter

60g caster sugar

1 medium egg

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

150g rice flour

50g gluten free plain flour (if your flour contains xanthan gum, DO NOT add any more)

half a level teaspoon of xanthan gum (only if it’s NOT in the flour)

1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

For the buttercream;

60g soft butter

130g icing sugar

splash of milk to make it pipe-able

80g raspberry jam ( or your favourite jam)

Simply beat the butter and the sugar in a bowl with an electric whisk until, light and fluffy, no more than a minute. Then add the egg and the vanilla and continue to beat until you have a smooth batter.

Sift in the gluten free plain flour, rice flour, bicarb and xanthan (if using) then using a spatula just mix this in until all the flours etc are fully mixed and the mixture forms a soft, ‘pastry’ dough ball.  Using your hands continue to bring together by ‘kneading’ for a few moments. You can’t really over work this dough, but it will help in the rolling out and keep it from crumbling.

Leave the dough for about 10 minutes in the fridge to firm up.

Remove the dough from the fridge and using a scattering of gluten free flour on your kitchen surface, roll out the dough to the thickness of a one pound coin (2 – 3mm).

Then, using a specific jammie dodger cutter, or similar 5cm flutted cutter, cut out roughly 36 – 40 discs, placing them on the lined baking trays in rows of 4. You will need to gather up the remaining dough, bring it together again into  a ball and re-roll, in order to get the desired amount of biscuits.

Then using a smaller cutter ( a small heart shaped cutter that allows for the jam to be seen, once the biscuits are assembled) cut out the middle of half the biscuits. One will form the base the other the top.

Place one tray in the fridge and place one in the oven to cook for 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven to cool; then repeat with the second tray and cook that for 6 – 7 minutes as well. Allow both trays to cool and you can start to make the buttercream.

Beat the butter with the icing sugar until you have a smooth paste. At this stage you could also flavour the buttercream; I’ll leave that up to you.

Once the biscuits are completely cooled, and using a piping bag filled with the buttercream, pipe a ring of buttercream on the half of the biscuits without the hole in the top.

Then with a couple of teaspoons, place in the middle of the ring, the raspberry jam. Top with the ‘holey’ biscuit and you’re done. You should have around 18 biscuits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten free Sticky Pumpkin Spiced Cake

My secret love affair with pumpkin spice continues.  Who knew there was an actual spice that is based around a pumpkin!?  It really does add an extra element to a cake or bake. It’s not just for coffee.

This is a variation on a theme. Gingerbread cake meets sticky toffee pudding. Sticky Pumpkin Pie Spiced Cake. I guess you could even have this as a pudding if you thought about it enough…….

This one requires a little planning and forethought.

Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170c, 150c fan and line 2 x 7” cake tins.

250g stoned and chopped dates

250ml water

90g butter

90g soft brown sugar

90g Black treacle

90g golden Syrup

1 egg

100ml milk – I used semi skimmed

225g gluten free self raising flour

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

Stage 1 – place the chopped dates and water into a pan, bring to a gentle boil, heat for a minute, then switch off and leave to cool. This could take around 15 minutes.

Stage 2 – in another pan – heat gently the sugar, butter, syrup and treacle until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Leave this too cool, again for around 15 minutes.  If these last two stages are too hot, the egg mix will scramble before it’s had a chance to even cook in the oven.

Stage 3 – whisk the egg and milk and set to one side.

Stage 4 – sift together the gluten free flour and the spice.

Stage 5 – once everything is in place and done and cool enough, add the egg mix to the date mix. Add this then to the sugar and butter mix and stir well.  Finally fold in the flour mix. Stir until everything is completely mixed in.

Pour the mix into the 2 tins and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted  skewer comes out relatively clean, with some crumb attached. The remaining heat will finish the cooking off. Leave to cool in the tins, before removing to fill.

For the filling;

130g soft butter

260g icing sugar

30ml milk (optional)

100ml caramel sauce

Beat the butter until light and fluffy, stir in the icing sugar, milk and 80ml of the caramel sauce. Beat further (I used a hand electric whisk) until you have a piping consistency.

Fill and decorate as you desire and drizzle the final 20ml of sauce over the cake to finish.

Gluten Free Halloween Cake

I think I secretly love this time of year. The ghosts and ghouls, the dark and devilish. Not sure about all the blood and gore! But it is rather fun. Certainly had a bit of fun with this cake – a wonderful centre piece for the Halloween table – and its gluten free!

Halloween has been gathering some momentum over here in the UK for the last 10 years. Not sure I had heard about it when I was little, Noah now loves this time of year (I think it’s the sweets when he goes Trick or Treating)

A chocolate cake with a buttercream filling with a gluten free chocolate krispies as the brain, decorated with Schar Cookies and chocolate buttons.

Based around a 7″ cake tin recipe, the first thing will be to make the ‘brain’. Which you could also make using white chocolate coloured red for extra goriness.

Prepare the night before to allow for the krispies to set;

  • A bowl that fits the base of your 7″ cake tin
  • 110g gluten free rice krispies
  • 180g melted chocolate

The curve of the bowl will form the curve of the head of the cake and fits nicely onto the finished cake prior to icing. Mix the krispies with the melted chocolate, pour into the bowl and press down with the base of the cake tin, then leave to set.

 

Pre heat the oven to Gas 4, 180c or 160c fan and line 2×7″ cake tins with greaseproof paper.

  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 100g melted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50g cocoa (I use Food Thoughts)
  • 180g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Beat all the ingredients together, I used the paddle beater with my table top mixer, for about 5 minutes.

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 cake tins and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven to cool, then take out of the tins.

Buttercream and topping;

  • 200g soft butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • red food colouring
  • splash of milk
  • flavouring – optional
  • 1 packet of Schar cookies
  • 1 packet of chocolate buttons
  • 1 packet of ready to roll fondant icing

Beat the butter until its light and fluffy, then mix in the icing sugar before beating further until the buttercream is spreadable.  At this point add the colouring and any optional flavour and beat this in.

Carefully slice each cake in 2 and build using the buttercream – a couple of tablespoons of buttercream should be enough for each layer. Pop the set krispies on top and cover the whole cake with the buttercream. Smooth the buttercream ready to cover. Leave a little over as you can use this to stick the cookies to the cake.

Roll out the fondant icing, you’ll need to roll it fairly thin in order to cover the cake and leave enough extra to give the covering the ‘ghost’ like base.

Cut the cookies so that there is the cream like filling on one side and a plain biscuit on the other.

Use the buttercream to stick a chocolate button on the cookie, then to stick the cookie onto the cake.