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!! ūüôā 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 ūüíč

You will need to line, the base and sides of your cake tin РI 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 Рvery 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 ūüė¶

Happy Loving x

 

GF and DF Caramel Cupcakes

I have written in the past about our journey with Noah and Coeliac Disease. I have also written about my professional journey and my thoughts about how the wider industry I work in also deals with that.¬† Some can cater for the free from market and do it particularly well.¬† Others offer a¬†half-hearted approach and do not appear to offer the continued guidance to their¬†teams on how to deal with, empathise with or understand the health issues associated with coming into contact with foods that their customers/guests/visitors simply cannot in any way, consume/touch or be in the vicinity of.¬† We won’t mention those that don’t appear¬†do anything.

Will there be a light bulb moment for those outlets than continue to get it wrong? What will it in fact take, to make a menu choice easy for every one? Where a pudding is not fruit, that complex menu making becomes not about quantity, but about quality and ease of delivery.

To see the face of my colleague when he realized I had made these for everyone to enjoy was a moment to behold. I wish we had taken a photo.¬† It really isn’t difficult to include everyone. It just takes a little thinking time and when you get it right, its a wonder to behold.

gluten-free-and-dairy-free-caramel-cupcakes

Now I have that off my chest ūüôā I can bring you these wonderful little cupcakes created for some work colleagues.¬† They are not difficult to make, in fact they are very quick and easy and are also incredibly light to eat.

You will need a 12 hole muffin/cupcake tray Рlined with muffin cases.  Pre heat the oven to Gas 3/160c Рusing the middle shelf.

This is an all-in-one recipe, so pop the mixing bowl on the scales to weigh out the ingredients. I used a stand mixer (Kitchen Aid) and the paddle attachment.

  • 150g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g Light Brown sugar
  • 50g dark Brown Sugar
  • 10 drops of Butterscotch flavouring (I used¬† Foodies Flavour Butterscotch)

Once you have weighed all the ingredients, turn on the paddle on low and slow to initially mix the ingredients, then turn it up a little to 4 and beat for about 8 minutes until the ingredients have all combined and you have a smooth caramel colour mixture Рit will be quite runny. You need to ensure all the sugar has been incorporated and there are no lumps.

Pour the mixture into the 12 cases and bake for about 20 minutes Рor until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tray before removing and completely cooling on a cooling rack.

Then to make the frosting. Again pop all the ingredients into the mixers, stir to mix together, so you don’t get a icing sugar dust cloud, then beat for about 5 minutes to combine. The mix will get light and fluffy as it mixes the sugar into the Stork

  • 100g Stork – for Biscuits & Cookies – softened
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 10 drops of Butterscotch Flavour
  • Food Thoughts Cacao Nibs to decorate

Pipe onto the cupcakes with your desired nozzle and finish with a sprinkling of Cacao Nibs.

I would suggest you eat them within a couple of days, whilst at there best.

Gluten Free Butterscotch Butterkist Cupcakes

Well this is just all about the recipe.

This rather quick and easy cupcake gluten free recipe is best eaten with friends and will certainly go well before any night out!  Cupcakes and Champagne anyone? With party season fastly approaching you can now plan ahead with an indulgent cupcake to match the glamour of the occasion. And yes, there is Christmas cracker in the photo.

gluten-free-butterscotch-butterkist-cupcakes

This will make 12 cupcakes

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c and line a 12 hole muffin/cupcake tray.

150g Soft butter

130g Soft brown sugar

2 eggs

145g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (I use Dove Farm)

5 drops of Butterscotch Flavouring (I use Foodie Flavours)

50g more soft butter for the buttercream

100g icing sugar

5 more drops of Butterscotch flavouring

50g Butterkist Popcorn

30g Dark Chocolate – melted

Beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy – this may take 3-4 minutes in order to break the brown sugar down enough. Beat in each egg one at a time, adding a little flour so that the mix does not curdle. then add in the flavouring. Mix in the remaining flour. Divide the mixture the 12 cases and bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes. Or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the tray and cooling on a rack.

Cool completely before piping on the buttercream

To make the buttercream beat the soft butter until light and fluffy – I used a hand-held electric whisk for this volume of buttercream. Mix in the icing sugar by hand,¬†prior to whisking, otherwise you’ll get a dust cloud of sugar! Continue to whisk until fully combined and fluffy and white. If the mix is too stiff add in a couple of tablespoons (one at a time)¬†of boiling water. This will make it easier to pipe.

gluten-free-buterscotch-cupcakes

Pipe on to the cooled cupcakes with your desired nozzle (I used a Wilton 2A), pop on the popcorn, drizzle over with the melted dark chocolate (with a spoon)¬†and then sprinkle over any other decorations you see fit. Or not ūüôā

Enjoy – with a glass of Champagne..

 

Gluten Free Bubble Gum Cupcakes

Its been a while.

The mum and dad taxi service has been pretty hectic over the past couple of weeks since returning from our holiday. Our eldest has been doing a few dance exams with mock trials beforehand and Noah, the busy socialite that he is, has had many birthday parties. Of which one lovely mum actually baked Noah his own gluten free cake!! Progress at last. Needless to say I was very thankful.

Baking hasn’t ceased though, as you will see from the social media time lines.¬† But trying to ‘pen’ a blog post has proved a little tricky. I guess like most, there are times when you hit a wall, words don’t seem to flow. But cake will always provide the inspiration ūüôā

gluten free independence day cupcakes

These little cupcakes were just for a bit of fun.¬† Clearly inspired from the fact that today is July 4th American Independence Day. A lot of red, white and blue from our friends across the ‘pond’.

I made these fairly quickly – time was not on my side, it just goes to show that baking needn’t take all day ūüôā ¬†– and used the all-in-one method of mixing.

Pre-heat the oven to 170c

Line a 12 hole muffin tray with muffin cases and then make the mix.

150g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour – Dove Farm

150g soft butter

140g caster sugar

3 eggs – large

Drop of Blue Colouring –¬† I used Rainbow Dust

1/2 tsp baking powder

10 drops of Foodie Flavours Bubble Gum flavouring

Mix these ingredients all together until mixed well. I used a table top food mixer with a  beater for about 4 minutes on number 7.

Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes, 170c. Test with a skewer and if it comes out clean, they are done.

Leave to cool before icing

200g (approx.) icing sugar to finish, plus Rainbow Dust РRed and Blue ProGel colouring

gluten free bubble gum cupcakes

I used a plain water (glace) icing to top these as it’s a favourite with Noah and a pleasant surprise for when he and his sister come home from school later. So firstly dissolve 120g of icing sugar, with a little warm water until you have a thick paste. If you add too much water just add a little more icing sugar until you have a thick paste. I used Tala disposable piping bags to pipe on top of the cupcakes for a more even distribution of the icing. But you could just spoon it on ūüôā¬†¬† Then take roughly half of the remaining icing to make some red coloured icing and make as with the plain icing, Then pipe this over as the photo.¬† Then make the blue icing and pipe in the opposite direction.

Simples.

Happy July 4th to all my American readers from across the world. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Mini Marshmallow ‘Flumps’ Blondies

Flumps! I saw these and thought of a bake. Although I wasn’t sure what…But as most of what I bake are treats, I tend to see/buy lots of different things and wait for the inspiration to give me a slap.¬†Whilst not particularly ground-breaking, it’s certainly a treat ūüôā And whilst the recipe contains no gluten ingredients, it’s not gluten free. But for Noah its gluten free. I know what’s in it and where its come from.

Marshmallow Blondie

1 packet Р170g Рmini Flumps/marshmallows

150g White Chocolate –¬†either chocolate drops or broken into small pieces to aid melting

150g Butter

3 medium free range eggs

170g caster sugar

4 drops of Foodies Flavour – Strawberry

90g Gluten Free Plain Flour

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 4 / 170c Рand line a small brownie tray (20cm x 27cm) with greaseproof

Firstly melt the white chocolate and the butter together in a mixing bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water.

Whilst this is melting, whisk the eggs, sugar and essence until double the volume. This will take about 5 minutes. When the chocolate and butter has melted, mix together and the pour into the beaten egg mix and continue to whisk until fully incorporated. Then sift in the gluten free plain flour,¬†fold in¬†and pour into the line baking tin. Depending on how goey you like your Blondie, place the Flumps on top of the batter, either a complete layer, covering the batter¬†or half the packet and placed at intervals over the surface. the choice is yours ūüôā

Bake in the oven for 30 Р35 minutes on the middle shelf. If you test with a skewer it wont come out clean. Whilst it cools it will set a little. Like a brownie, the Blondie is better eaten goey!

Mini Flump Blondie