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 Tiffin

Is it me or does the humble fridge turn into the Tardis around this time of year? Despite having spent Christmas away from home, there is still a fridge full of food. Have we planned well? Or have we planned too much? We are, it seems, ready for anything and anyone.

Gluten Free Chocolate Tiffin

Who knows (see what I did there?😀) why there is so much food, but sometimes you have lots of little bits that don’t quite add up to a whole meal or dish, just lots of little meals that are no good to anyone. As we strive to ensure we waste as little as possible, it sometimes helps to have a little imagination and try something that you haven’t tried before. It might just work…..

This little recipe will help to use up some of those little bits to make something of a treat for this coming, or anyway, weekend. Chocolate Tiffin always goes down well whatever the occasion, and with the added topping on this one, it took no time at all to disappear.

Firstly line a small brownie tin with cling film (around 25cm long, 20cm wide and around 3cm deep).

360g Melted chocolate ( I used Dark  Chocolate – you could use up some of the chocolates from the selection boxes….just saying..)

100g Soft butter – melted

2 tablespoons of golden syrup – warmed

130g gluten free biscuits (I used chocolate chip cookies, but digestives, custard creams will work just as well) – crushed.

130g dried fruit

Remaining chocolate and sweets of your choice to decorate.

Melt 180g dark chocolate with the 100g of butter. I put these in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water – ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water and the water is just simmering. Stir gently and frequently so that the mix combines and melts evenly. Warm the syrup separately in the microwave. I have found that melting all three together can make the mix come out rather lumpy – it could just be me….

Remove from the heat and (add the syrup if you have warmed this separately) continue to mix until the three ingredients are combined well. Stir in the crushed biscuits and the dried fruit. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to set.

Meanwhile melt the remaining dark chocolate (you can also melt this in short 30 second bursts in the microwave. But do stir between each burst of energy, as you’ll find that around the 3rd burst, the remaining heat from the chocolate will finish off, and melt the chocolate. Don’t over heat it or will burn.

The chocolate biscuit mix should have set enough for you to pour and spread the newly melted chocolate on top.

Scatter on your selection of sweets and treats before the chocolate topping completely sets. I used a mix of Reece’s Pieces, Gourmet Jelly Beans, Kinder Chocolate and marshmallows. But really, the choice is wide and yours to choose. Allow the Tiffin to completely set before removing on the tin and cutting. I would set at room temperature overnight, it will be easier to cut than if you leave it set in the fridge.

Happy New Year to all, thanks for reading. Maybe tell and friend and spread the word.😀😀🎉