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 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 Chocolate And Peanut Butter Biscuits

Gluten free biscuits are a bit of a nemesis when it comes to gluten free baking.

There is a little outside-the-boxing thinking required.

‘Normal’ biscuits are held together with gluten, simple. But just look at the makes up of gluten free flour and you’ll notice that there really isn’t anything there to do this. Now in some instances – mostly I have found with sponge cakes – you can just about get away with swopping out gluten free flour for normal flour. But with biscuits, that is not the case, in my humble opinion. Simply swopping out with gluten free flour gives you a puddle (once baked) on a tray, of cooked dough. Your cut cookies merge into one large piece of something…..

Some would say that adding xanthum gum is the way forward, but there are several arguments about the long-term effects on the body that this can cause. You can read that for yourself as I am not knowledgeable in those scientific matters. For me adding too much, can actually alter the taste, so I just add it to pastry, sparingly.

So thinking outside the box, what do you add? I simple terms, I know that my shortbread biscuits are pretty crispy, they have a ‘snap’. So by keeping to this relatively easy recipe a few tweaks and you have the basis for a gluten free biscuit.

So whilst the Country surges ahead with biscuits, as seen on the new series of ‘The Great British Bake Off’, some of us would rather buy a packet of gluten free biscuits from the supermarket! I on the other hand struggle and strive to create something nice and edible, which I think I have found here 😀

And this was my second try at this……Dear author of a well-known bakery (2 books) in London take note….you cannot simply swop ingredients to create something for everyone. Instinctively I knew it wasn’t going to work, but I had to give it a shot. Wont be doing that again!

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c/165c fan and line 2 – 3 trays (dependant on size of tray) with greaseproof paper.

This receive will make about 20 single biscuits, or in the case 10 biscuits sandwiches.

  • 50g soft butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 90g Rice Flour
  • 70g cornflour
  • 40g extra caster sugar

Filling;

  • 90g melted chocolate
  • 50g peanut butter – smooth or crunchy
  • 20g more of soft butter
  • 100g icing sugar

To make the biscuits, beat the sugar and butter with an electric hand-held whisk until it comes together and is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk. Sieve in the 2 flours and beat until combined. Now you may find this ends up as ‘breadcrumbs’, which is fine, just stop with the whisk and get your hands dirty and bring the mix together to form a dough. It will feel a little dry, but it’ll work.

With the dough break of small pieces, roughly 15-20g each, roll into a ball and place on your trays roughly 5cm apart. Once you have used up all the dough, dip the base of a small glass into the extra caster sugar and then press down on the balls of dough to slightly flatten them into biscuits. If they do stick, release them from the glass using a butter knife.

Bake in the oven for about 9-12 minutes, there should be little or no browning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, before removing from the tray and placing onto your cooling rack.

To make the filling, which is rather fudge like – you are not going to be able to pipe this.

Beat the butters together, then beat in the icing sugar and pour in the melted chocolate. You should have som thing resembling fine breadcrumbs, but you need to then bring this together with your hands to form a ball.  From this, roll small balls of fillings, roughly 20g each, and use to sandwich between 2 biscuits. Repeat until you have filled all the biscuits.

Cover or serve.  They should last 2 – 3 days, if they haven’t all been eaten first.

Gluten Free Strawberry and Rhubard Frangipane

There are just so many strawberries around at the moment and besides making jam with them, eating them plain (with a bit of cream!), why not make a lovely refreshing frangipani tart with the last few odd squishy ones at the bottom of the punnet. You could of course make just a strawberry one, but in the spirit of balance, I mushed up a few strands of stewed rhubarb we had knocking around in the freezer.. as you do!!

And here is yet another chance to practise your gluten free pastry making skills, I do like to help.

First to make the pastry to line an 8″ fluted flan dish; Which you will be required to bake blind later on.

  • 200g gluten free plain flour
  • 110g cold diced butter
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of xanthum gun
  • 1 egg yolk
  • about 30ml of cold water to bind

I used a food processor to mix the flour, x gum and butter into fine breadcrumbs, you can of course use your finger to rub to the same stage. It does help though if you have cool/cold fingers though. Add in the egg yolk and sugar and stir to mix then add in the cold water a bit at a time until the mix comes together to form a dough. You can get away with the dough being a little on the sticky side as the flour will soak up some of this as you work it and as it rests.  Roll into a ball, cover in film and pop in the fridge to rest, for at least 30 minutes.

You’ll then need;

  • 120g strawberries crushed with the back of a fork – drained and juice retained plus a few extra for decoration if required)
  • 80g stewed rhubarb (you can use from a tin if you don’t have any to hand) – drained and juice retained
  • 100g Soft butter
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence (optional)

Whilst the pastry dough is resting you can make the frangipane;

Beat the soft butter and the sugar until white, light and fluffy then beat in the eggs one at a time.  Add in some of the ground almonds if it begins to curdle. Finally fold in the rest of the ground almonds and the optional essence.  Leave to one side.

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 170 fan

Once the pasty has rested, remove from the fridge and knead a little to bring it back to life, before rolling the pastry out to around 3mm thick and the size of the pasty tin.  Line the pastry tin, gently press into the edges,.  Leave the pastry hanging over the edges to allow for some further shrinkage.  Place in a sheet of greaseproof and cover with baking beans, then bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, remove the beans and greaseproof – take care it’ll be hot – and return to the oven for a about another 8 minutes, or until the surface has dried out and has a gentle bronze colouring. Remove from the oven and cool a little.  Once cooled and then carefully using a knife, cut the excess pastry from around the top of the flan. Follow the top of the case/tin and trim back so that you can see the flan rim underneath.  Brush out any crumbs that fall into the case.

Mix the crushed strawberries and rhubarb and line the base of the tart and gently cover with the frangipane – spreading carefully across the tart to the edge of the pastry case, but try not to cover it.

Pop back in the oven for around a further 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Serve warm or cold, decorated or not.

I covered mine with some glace icing made with the juice of the strawberries and rhubarb and brushed over the warm surface of the tart, a little meringue and some strawberries dipped in chocolate – plus extra for guests…

 

 

Gluten free Syrup Sponge Cupcakes

Ok, so I have a sweet tooth. Nothing that comes as a shock to anyone, I don’t think…. 😀 And where does it say that you have to eat summery things in summer and comfort foods in winter? I missed that email! Sometimes you need a little bit of comfort, after all our summers aren’t all sunshine and heat. It has been known to rain on and off.

These are delicious both warm – straight from the oven or cold (served with or without a sploge of cream…) with, as shown, a spoon or two of custard. And yes the recipe makes 12 cupcakes, and you could have just one, but they are small enough to have 2…

Preheat the oven gas 5, electric fan 160c, 180c and place a small water bath on the bottom shelf keep the oven cavity moist whilst baking.

Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with your chosen cupcake case.

  • 24 teaspoons of golden syrup
  • 160g soft butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g golden syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 160g gluten free self raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Using the 24 teaspoons of golden syrup, place up to 2 teaspoons of this into each cupcake case. Then prepare the batter.

Beat the butter, syrup and caster sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. If the mix curdles beat in a little of the flour.

Fold in the flour and baking powder and loosen with the milk, pour into the prepared cases and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool a little – if eating hot or warm – remember the syrup will be hot, hot, hot. Otherwise allow to,cools before enjoying.

Remember the water bath in the oven will be VERY hot, so allow this to cool completely before removing from the oven.

If eating hot (with custard) the cupcake case will peel off easily, cold it’ll need a bit of help to scrap out the syrup.

 

 

Gluten Free Banana and Chocolate Loaf

You have to admit, most of us have had a great summer so far – weather wise at least. We have certainly been making the most of the new French doors, on our extension, on these warm summer evenings 😀😀

We have found though that with the warm weather, the bananas have ripened extra quickly. Not that we don’t eat enough or even that we buy too much. Oh no! It’s just an excuse to make some banana loaf 😀😀😀

And this recipe couldn’t be any easier!

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan assisted) or Gas 4 and line a 2lb loaf.

  • 75g soft butter
  • 110g light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 180g gluten free plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 ripe bananas – mashed
  • 75g chocolate chips

Blend the dry ingredients and put to one side.

Whisk the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.

Stir in the dry ingredients, followed by the mashed bananas and chocolate chips. Stir until fully combined and then pour into the prepared loaf tin. Pop into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin before turning out. Slice and enjoy, with or without butter 😀

Afternoon Tea starts with gluten free scones

It may be National Cream Tea Day coming up but that shouldn’t stop you being able to enjoy it any day of the week 😀

I have a new recipe for gluten free scones, from the previous version. These are more robust and probably a little less expense to make as they contain no cream.

If you have all the ingredients together you can have these made, baked and slightly cooled within about 45 minutes. Of course, they can be cooled and warmed later to enjoy.

Preheat the oven to 200c for a fan assisted oven and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. The recipe makes about 7 scones using a 7cm round cutter.

70g dried fruit – soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes, drained and cooled.

240g Gluten Free self raising flour

40g gluten free strong white flour

1 level teaspoon of xanthum gum

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

80g butter

60g caster sugar

1 egg

130ml milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

milk for brushing

Start by beating the egg, milk and essence together and put to one side, with the soaked and cooled fruit.

Sieve the flours and powders together into a bowl, to ensure they are thoroughly combined. Then rub in the butter until you have a mix that resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then pour in the milk mix.

It will be very wet and sloppy, but fear not, the flours will soak up the liquids whilst you continue to bring together for a minute or so.

Tip the mix out onto a well floured surface and bring together to form a flattened, round dough ball of about 3cm deep. Cut out the shapes with the cutter, bring the mix together again to cut more rounds out. Repeat until the mix has been used up. For the last round you may have to go free-style.

Place the scones onto the prepared baking sheet, brush with the extra milk and place into the oven. Bake for approx 16 – 20 minutes until bronzed on top and an inserted skewer (into the side) comes out clean.

Cool on the tray and transfer to a wire rack, once cool enough to do so.

Slice and enjoy with your favourite jam and clotted cream. We prefer the cream on top 😀