My self publishing journey

It’s taken me a while to write this. Not really knowing how to start or what to write; there are no bakes, no recipes. Just a plain old story, my, plain old story. So here goes…

Of course, I couldn’t continue without a picture of my gluten free cookbook 😀 available here – Cakes by Noah | LOVINGLY MADE & GLUTEN FREE

I guess there is a lot of procrastinating that goes on when you choose to make a decision to write a cookbook. When shall I start? How many recipes shall I create and write, who takes the photos, who will read it and what will they think? How do I go about designing the layout when all I have is Office 365 and I can barely write a letter!! And as I progressed there were a whole bunch of questions I hadn’t even thought of!!

But as you can tell – spoiler alert – I wrote the book – I started the process.

Way back, in what now seems a lifetime ago, in 2018, I made the conscious decision to go ahead and start compiling the recipes at the start of the New Year – 2019. It seemed like a good place to start; a new year and a fresh start. Although I had started to make some head way a few years before, the magnitude of the task back then was too much. I got bored of writing and really had done no research what so ever as to the size of the task – my mind then, was not up to the task, so what ever recipes I did have meant nothing and I started from fresh.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, every recipe I have developed over the past 9 years of starting Cakes by Noah, are all in several notebooks, but are not in a form I can use and besides, I feel they represent the journey as does the blog. The blog. Yes. What should I do with it? Do I keep it? On the later, yes I am keeping it for now. It shows the journey, it shows where I have come from, it shows Noah’s story and the progress he is making and continues to make as he grows older. There are still lots of people out there to hear and read the story, people that are still struggling silently, unaware of the help and support out there.

Its not the fanciest of blogs and websites, I don’t think I ever wanted it to be. I don’t have the time or relentless energy to keep it updated as some, perhaps more professional bloggers can and do. Its hard enough keeping a full time job and managing and loving our little growing family 🙂

The book, yes, the book.

The mind was set and the story can re-start. In fact the layout of the finished cookbook begins to tell the story itself, as the first few recipes were the ones that pretty much chose themselves. The ones that were Noah’s favourites! But what next and where to begin? I think then at that point I think I then needed to decide what the book was going to be and who it was for. Have I got that right? Who knows. But the original working title of the cookbook, was something like ‘Back to Basics – Gluten Free Baking by Cakes by Noah’. A gluten free cookbook that gives the cook and reader a base to start from. Some basic recipes – pastry, choux pastry and Victoria Sponge, then some traditional bakes like Bakewell Tart, Brownies and Flapjacks and so on. It was also important for me to share, again, Our Story. How we came to this point and the pain we suffered. I felt I had a platform – albeit a small platform – so I felt I need to use it wisely. Plus some insight to ingredients and some more sage words of wisdom.

Cakes by Noah Cookbook – behind the scenes

So the recipes slowly but surely began to get written up and the photos (literally hundreds of them and dozens of the same cake and bake) were patiently taken. A little shout out to Jane from @LoveYourLens – whose food photo workshop I had attended at least a year before. At the workshop it became fastly evident that back then I had some work to do, I knew that, and quickly understood that the little camera I had a) wasn’t up to the task and b) I could do so much more with my phone camera!! I have continued to shoot all my photos on my phone camera. I get better with each shot, but to be honest I do get impatient. After all its a cake! There are some great photographers out there, who take some really inspiring shots, but to get a photo done between getting up and going to work, you take what time you have and do your best. So ‘thank you’ Jane for letting me think just a little bit more about the shot and make my time more effective 🙂

So yes, the photos in the book were all taken by the camera on my phone – a Samsung, something or other. Which only became a small problem when it came to printing and design… The photo studio was floor by the back door, a stool to prop up the backdrops and as much natural light as was available. And that was another small hurdle that had to be overcome. The clue was in when I decided to start making and baking the recipes – January – when light was at a premium and I was working during the day! So very quickly, after some negotiating…. I had to make and shoot the recipes over the weekends. No ‘lets order in all the ingredients and do all the recipes in a week’ here. Oh no, knowing that this was a self funding project, one with no agent or publisher and with little or no budget, it was all done with the weekly shop! The first 4 months of weekends of 2019 were taken up testing, cooking, shooting and writing up recipes. I think the neighbours did pretty well over those months with the excess cakes and bakes – nothing was wasted!

And so the book, slowly began to take shape and it was time to do a little more research on publishing. There is quite a bit on line on self publishing and indeed getting a book published, but not very much on publishing a cookbook. Advice varies, but the strong piece of advice was to get an agent and publisher. For which I needed a vast amount of followers; a reasonably large and established social media presence…. Hurdle 1 through 99… More research established that (and this won’t come as a surprise) I needed an editor – someone with a grasp of the English language and associated grammar…. So with as much of a manuscript (I can call it that at this point – sounds very professional) as I had at that point, I sent it over to my little sister who has some relevant qualification, to have a read and make some grammatical amends. This took a while – as she too had a full time role as a mum to Noah’s cousin – life just gets in the way and that is the wonder of this story. There really was no specific time line, no deadlines to meet. OK I had set myself some timelines and deadlines (each failed to hit by the way) but I never shared these with any one. For my sister, I was just grateful for the time.

Duly edited, corrected and saved – I think I had saved 4 separate copies in various files – almost losing the lot at one point and to this day I have no idea how, my heart fell that day make no mistake!! I was still several recipes short of what I felt I needed. I had done some homework that alluded to the fact that, in order to have a spine on the book it needed to be thick enough, which decreed it needed more content. So further baking and photo’ing was required.

Next on the list, how can I make this into a book? A publishable, printable cookbook, that is worth reading. More research revealed I needed a degree in graphic design!! Which I don’t have and knew no one who did. I started asking around…. now baring in mind I had pretty much no budget… quotes were wild – from the crazy to the ridiculous. But I found someone through a chance discussion, someone with a quote that made sense and one I finely knew I had to dig deep and put some money where my mouth was. If this project was to go anywhere, if it was really going to happen, it needed the investment to make it happen. So Sam H, who as part of the initial quote, created a cover design that made me feel confident to progress further with – thank you 🙂

We are now pretty much 16 months down the line from making the conscious decision to weigh the first ingredient and bake the first bake – The Gluten Free Caramel Shortbread. We now need to through into the mix Lockdown and Covid-19… There was a brief moment where I needed to now press ‘pause’. So close; the manuscript was ready to get its design makeover, ready to make a word document into the makings of a cookbook. But with the prospect of no money coming in, it wasn’t really practical to go forward. And then this new word appeared; ‘Furlough’.. I called Sam and we were back on again. But there were now new questions, layout, content, design, colour, shape etc… And I think at this point – I had no idea. I hadn’t really thought this far and I had to put a certain amount of trust in Sam to come up with the goods. I’m glad I did. Feedback has been really positive.

So next on the list – physically publishing the cookbook. More research. And rewind back a couple of years to a conversation I had with Val Stones – Great British Bake Off contestant, who has herself written a cookbook. I just asked for some advice on publishing and Val was fantastic. We had a great discussion via the DMs on Twitter, she was incredibly helpful and the insight in her journey as a writer was incredibly useful. Now in a position to recall some of this conversation, I needed to make a call as to how many book I was going to get printed! Its like a ‘million dollar’ question. How many is enough? I really had no idea. One thing for sure it wasn’t going to be the levels that Val had produced! I just didn’t have that kind of following, but I did need to be able cover the costs at the very least. So I set about finding a UK based company that could print a book! Again wild differences in cost and the mere ability to print to requirements. Then came new questions – book size. Who knew there were so many choices! And taking a look at your own bookshelf will show you, that actually there really is no format for this sort of thing. Its almost anything goes.

Another step back for a moment. What did I want from the cookbook in the end? What I wanted for for those suffering from Coeliac Disease, or those suffering from a gluten intolerance was for them to be able to cook for themselves. To be able to cook simple, honest and traditional cakes and bakes that most people were enjoying without even having to think about it. Baking made as simple as I could make it, not over complicated and yet easy to read and understand. A cookbook that just sits on a website or as an eBook waiting to be bought as and when required. No pressure; it’s there when you want it. So when it came to choosing a book size that would go to print….! And now a spot of advice – have this discussion with your designer in the beginning. Sam had been designing to A4, so we went with A4. Simple really, plus, A4 fits nicely through most letterboxes in the UK! Yet something else to be considered – postage and packaging. This would also have to be managed from the home office – no warehouse distribution centre here! Just the Kitchen/Diner. Just as an aside, I did consider other print on demand services, like Ingramspark, but they just didn’t fit well with me and my situation. There were other costs and payments that again, didn’t fit.

Manuscript – graphic designer = tick

Designed layout – printer = tick – Mixam

There were a couple of other things to consider around this point. Its all very well writing recipes and then getting that text grammatically corrected. But does it actually makes sense? To me; of course it made sense, but I am more than aware that what makes sense to you does not always make sense to someone else. its all down to the interpretation of the text. So once the book had been graphically designed and the layout agreed, it needed a small army of close family (that could be trusted… :)) to proof read the recipes and content. This could possibly have been done before sending to the designer but, hey ho. It would take a few more weeks to get this turned around and amended before finally being in a position to send to the printer for printing. And then it comes to Amazon..

Gluten free Victoria Sponge – Cakes by Noah

Getting the book to the printer was a massive step, a huge piece of work done and a proud moment. Another slightly tricky bit was to follow. What did I want from Amazon? Well an eBook for sure, again keeping it simple. But now I had a print-on-demand solution as well to put in the mix. So whilst the cookbook was being printed and delivered we worked on the e-solution. Using Kindle Direct Publishing does take a little getting to used to, but its not insurmountable. The programme they use to upload a book for eBook/Kindle reading is fairly easy to use and with hindsight I think we could have designed the eBook slightly differently to use up less memory; easier to read and upload. But the e-reader now gets the same book whether in eBook or hard copy. And then there is the option to use have eBook as a print-on-demand solution. To cut a very long story short, we ditched this solution. Its an exacting solution and required too many tweaks and amends to cut the eBook into the required Amazon standard. The other reason for ditching this solution is that Amazon does take a very hefty cut! I would have almost been paying Amazon to print the book! Plus it would have ended up more expensive to purchase than physical book I now had had delivered! Coincidently we had ordered a cookbook on Amazon via what would have been the print-on-demand solution for this particular author, only to discover how the delivered product did not live up to expectation….

Website solutions in order to actually sell the book…. With Amazon now set up and ready to go; how do I sell, safely, the hard copy? Again there are various solution on line and all have their varying costs, but I did actually already have the solution at hand. I just needed to work out how to do. As many readers and visitors to the site will profess, its not perhaps the brightest and most inviting of websites/blogs – it does what it needs to do and that is to give you the reader what you need. Its functional and no-frills. None of the long winded wording and back story to each ingredient (that I completely understand the need for, for the professional blogger – its how they earn their living), mainly because I still haven’t got to grips with all of the functionality of the blog admin. I blame time… This was the platform to safely and easily sell the hard copy. In the end, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, but then, it never is. Just have a go, what’s the worst that can happen??

Book delivered, eBook ready to go, print-on-demand ditched; it was time to think about a publishing date and for no other reason than a date as close to my birthday as I could think – October 2nd 2020. Happy near-birthday to me! Books were ordered in the run up to the date and since; personally put in envelopes, personally hand written addresses and personally queued at the Post Office to have them then hand delivered to you by your Postie through your own letterbox. A unique and friendly personal service, to all parts of the UK, Europe, USA and beyond. And now with an added donation from each sale of the cookbook to Coeliac UK, supporting the work they do.


So what next? Who knows. I’ll take suggestions. I continue to try different things, to explore new cakes and bakes, to boldly go where no gluten free baker has gone before. Spread the word..

Gluten Free Gingerbread and Gluten Free Stuffing

In my ongoing quest to get to grips with the blog I like to try out another little review.

The lovely people at Delicious Alchemy asked if I would like to try out some new products prior to launch. Having no idea what they would be – I love a secret challenge – I said ‘Yes’. What could these new product/s be I wondered?? I duly waited for the parcel to arrive…

The tension mounted….

The box arrived… but shhhhh I mustn’t say a word, but of course I would love to play around with them 🙂

First up out of the box….

Gingerbread mix!  Gingerbread Biscuits – gluten free too!

gluten-free-ginger-biscuits-da

The smell from the open packet was divine. The guys were certainly going to love this. And, again, if mixed with a dairy free alternative you would have dairy free and gluten free biscuits. But I made them with butter so just the gluten free for us.

Again simple enough to make, but leave a bit of time a side to make these as they need resting in a fridge/freezer. Once poured into a bowl you mix the mix with golden syrup and butter (or DF alternative). And preheat the oven to 180c/Gas 4. Mix the mix well, wrap in cling film and pop into the freezer. Although I popped it into the fridge for a bit longer.

Once ready to roll (pardon the pun) cut the dough into 4 and roll each quarter between to ‘sheets’ of cling film to a thickness of around 5mm! and then cut out with your desired cutter.

Now it depends on how big your cutter is as to how many biscuits you get. I got about 10 biscuits out of the mix, but the cutter I used are rather big.

Place the cut gluten free gingerbread biscuits onto a lined baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing from the tray.

These did not last long at all. They tasted fantastic. Crispy and chewy. I didn’t want to add too much icing, as I needed to taste the biscuit, but of course you can top these with whatever you can. I put some chocolate eyes in place so that you can tell what they are…. #Halloween.. They only just lasted just the day!.

Next up. some Sage & Red Onion Stuffing…such generosity

I had a couple of ideas for this…but ultimately it was for what it said on the packet.. some stuffing. And as timely as it came, we had a very impromptu roast chicken dinner on a Saturday night and this was going to be a great accompaniment. The mix is not only gluten free but also dairy free 🙂

Gluten free Sage and Red Onion Stuffing

Once poured out into a bowl, the stuffing mix is finer than most traditional stuffing mixes and you would be forgiven that the final made mix is therefore finer. The stuffing mix is made up of gluten free crumbs, dried red onions and dried sage. To this you add olive oil and boiling water, mix well and leave to stand for the crumbs to absorb the liquid. Now here of course I did something a little different.

Most people would make little stuffing balls. Once the mix is cool enough, roll an amount of the stuffing into a ball using your hands. Place the balls of stuffing onto a sheet of greaseproof on a tray and bake in the oven – 200c or Gas 7 – for about 20 minutes.

However because time isn’t always on our side in this old house, I lined a little dish with greaseproof and put the whole lot in, to make one big piece of stuffing. Popped it into the oven and baked it for about 30 minutes, until lovely and crisped on the top.

When all was done and dinner was served, the stuffing went down a treat. Despite the smooth nature of the stuffing, it tasted great and was a great gluten free accompaniment for  dinner. Thank you DA 🙂

There is a Christmas Cake mix as well! But I haven’t made that yet…its only a matter of time..

Thank you Delicious Alchemy for the opportunity to trial these new products and just because I was supplied these, the end result and opinion is most certainly mine.

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Almond and Jam Thumbprint Bites

Now, don’t get over excited….2 posts inside a week!!!

There is no other reason than the fact that these went down a storm and the four of us devoured the lot within 24 hours…….they needed to be shared with the world.

GF Almond & Jam Thumbprint BitesI also initially trialled a recipe for this a couple of weeks ago and its proved pretty popular on Instagram. So I thought I’d give it another go and make them even better 🙂 And just ahead of the school holidays in the UK, it’s also a very quick and fun recipe to put together with the children. My eldest enjoyed rolling these into balls and popping in the jam…Noah just loved eating them.

Gluten Free Almond & Jam Thumbprint Bites

175g soft butter

50g caster sugar

50g Demerara sugar

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons of almond essence

280g gluten free plain flour – I use Dove Farm

60g Ground Almonds

60g chopped Glace cherries

150g jam – I actually used Mrs Darlington’s – Summer Fruits Jam – a current favourite

Preheat the oven to Gas 5 / 180c and line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof. This will make 24 ‘Bites’

Cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolks and essence. Gently mix in the flour, almonds and cherries. Mix well until all the ingredients are bound together and you get a large dough.

Gluten Free Almond & Jam Bites

Divide this into 24 balls, roughly the size of a large walnut and place onto the 2 trays. Gently press a thumb into the middle of each ball to create a hollow. At the same time, you are also flattening them, which is fine. Into these, place about half a teaspoon of your preferred flavoured jam – raspberry would also work well.

Bake one tray at a time in the oven (you could put the other tray in the fridge) on the middle shelf for about 11  minutes, they’ll bronze nicely.  Once cooked put the other tray in and repeat.. Leave to cool and then eat…. They are great cool, but rather nice still warm…ummmm

 

Coeliac Awareness Week – May 2019 – Noah’s Tale

Some things are hard to put into words.

I’m sure there are many out there, in Coeliac Awareness Week, who have a similar story to tell. But perhaps not many, a story about an 18 month old little boy.

It all began in the summer of 2012. Noah was around 18 months old and we are about to embark on a summer holiday with the family and the in-laws in France. Living as we do ‘up-North’, an overnight stay was required in Portsmouth. However we didn’t have the start we would have liked and Noah was very poorly on the way down. Something that had not happened before, but as it was his first long trip in the car, we put this down to travel sickness and perhaps one too many sweets…..

And so the holiday began. A week in a chalet in France with family around you, what could possible go wrong!  But little did we know, Noah though had already begun his painful journey and that week he barely ate and we barely slept.

We returned home a week later. Returning to our respective work places, school and Noah returned to full-time nursery.

And then the most stressful 3 months followed.  Noah’s health deteriorated rapidly. Noah wasn’t getting any better after our return from holiday and although he would eat, it wouldn’t take long for it to return out of one or another or even both ends. We would wake to him during the night screaming in pain and having just thrown up. we’d go to bed with our hearts in our mouths, hoping he’d still be breathing! We were at our wits end – the washing machine didn’t stop. But we somehow continued, tried to live our lives. We would get calls from the nursery telling us Noah had been ill and because they had a 48 hour policy, we had to stay at home with him. We both had some very understanding employers. But as soon as he had been ill, he  was much better! All smiles and laughter. It was getting a little frustrating.

Naturally we sought the help of the NHS, but to start with they were about as useful as a chocolate teapot!  But more than anything it was the screams of what we could tell was pain and discomfort. When this got magnified in a surgery waiting room, it made things more unbearable. Yes we were given medicine. Some to make home ‘stop’ and some to make him ‘go’, but Noah was losing weight fast and had become quite withdrawn. His tummy was distended, bloated. He was what we now know, malnourished. Morning after morning we would wake and not know what we would find. We were no nearer knowing what the problem was.

That was until a dear friend of ours suggested we try an osteopath. Yes and Osteo! We would try anything. After all the NHS nearby wasn’t being very helpful and so still screaming in pain and discomfort, we took Noah for his appointment. The Osteo asked us lots of questions and made some rather insightful comments. The best thing Noah could have done at that point?

He threw up.

All over the Osteo and the floor; again, afterwards, Noah was the better child again, all smiles and cheer. More importantly, the Osteo was able to look at the vomit and conclude that everything Noah was eating wasn’t being digested and was somehow fermenting in his stomach, until such time as it needed to come back up! With immediate effect we were told to remove gluten and lactose from Noah’s diet. Within the week Noah practically transformed (and so did our bank balance – this stuff wasn’t cheap!).

One small step. But we still needed to find out what was wrong with our little boy. We made a rather frustrated and overly concerned call to the health visitor and managed to get a rather hasty appointment with a doctor to urge for a referral. In the meantime bloods were taken and we were given an iron supplement as Noah’s height and weight were well under that for his age. But we were at least able to rule our Diabetes.

Over  the next couple of months, Noah came ‘back to life’, our little boy started to return, but it would still be another 3 months (some 6 months after our holiday) until the specialist appointment, for which we had to return gluten to his daily diet. But we able to make the necessary arrangements at home. A new and separate toaster, his own butter and jam. We dissected the food labels and became experts in what contained gluten and what didn’t. Cooking fresh, became the order of the day, which for us was not a problem.  Cross contamination became the watch word. The day of the specialist appointment came. We had put Noah back onto a diet containing gluten. Can’t have a positive blood count if you have removed all the gluten from the diet. We didn’t go the whole week putting Noah back onto gluten, we could tell he wasn’t very well after a day or so we removed it pretty quickly. it did not impact on the test.  The team at North Staffordshire Hospital could not have been anymore helpful. It was a delight that finally we could get some answers from someone who wanted to help. The taking of the bloods wasn’t a pretty ordeal, but it was required. But after all the questions and answers and after the test results were returned, it was without doubt, Noah had Coelaic Disease. No need for a biopsy the blood results were conclusive enough, and he wasn’t lactose intolerant.

With our prescription in hand, we returned to our local surgery and then in turn the pharmacist, who was a little sceptical at first, but they are now a little more understanding.

 

And now, Noah is Noah. He started school September 2015 and we turned a new chapter in his gluten free life. He has started to learn more about what he can and can’t eat. He has also come under the responsibility of others; school and his local scout group, they have been both helpful and understanding; we don’t want all the hard work to come undone. Noah has now had 5 years of great blood tests and we continue to be under the specialist care of North Staffs Hospital, even if that is further away than our nearby hospital, he will continue to have his annual check up there as they are fantastic.  Noah knows that he has Coeliac Disease, he knows that he needs to eat foods that are Gluten Free.

Our new greatest hurdle is getting Noah to try different foods, there seems to be a something that is within him that distrusts food. If we are not there to ask or check with, he won’t eat. He needs that reassurance. As he grows he will find out for himself  more and more of what his body can and can’t take. As he grows the choices will be wider, as, we have seen the food industry adapt. Who knows where this will lead in the coming years, as there is still a long way to go for certain parts of the catering industry yet to adapt and remain consistent in their approach to allergies, intolerances and disease.

But for now Noah, you are gluten free and you cannot be ‘normal free’

For further reference the following websites are all you need

http://www.coeliac.org.uk

http://www.isitcoeliacdisease.org.uk

This is a revised and updated post from 2015

 

A Touch of Nostalgia – Gluten Free Macaroon Tart

I wrote earlier about inspiration and how it comes in various ways. So when I was leafing through an old folder and notebook, I came across several years worth of old recipes and ideas. Ones that needed updating and ‘glutenfree-ing’.

These recipes and ideas have various origins and stretch almost to the beginning of my career. At a time when allergies and intolerances were  certainly unheard of to me. And bless you, should you be a vegetarian!

These recipes are both sweet and savoury and many are from the menus I cooked from. Recipes and ideas passed down from chef to chef to ensure some form of standardised dish presentation. All this, way before establishments started to formalise their own actual recipes and produce physical trade cook books.

There are many tales to tell and as I went through the random pages of my ‘Little Blue Book’, and sheets of recipes and menus, many fond memories came flooding back. But those I shall save for another day. Perhaps…..

But there was one set of recipes that bears some relevance to ‘today’.

I’m not entirely sure how the recipes were acquired or even how I managed to charm them out of such closely guarded secrecy, from the hands of 2 fellow students. But of the 2 sheets of paper I had, only one remains. Of the ‘lost’ recipes, I only remembered 2 of them,  and I have managed to track down one of them. The other will remain undetected. The recipes were for school dinner puds. Good old-fashioned comfort food. Of days gone by; of walking to school 3 miles away (it felt more), of long summers and white Christmases.  The two students (as was I) were dinner ladies, gaining valuable knowledge and qualifications at a College in Suffolk.

Now, I must have enjoyed school and its dinners, because I can’t ever remember complaining and the memories I do have are fond and warm. And I most certainly remember the puddings!

And now I have the (some at least) recipes! 😀

Sadly I can’t locate ‘Chocolate Crunch’, but ‘Toffee Cream Tart’ and ‘Lemon Love Cake’ are mine! As well as ‘Macaroon Tart’ and this I share with you now. Originally baked as a whooping traybake (served with warm custard) I have adapted this to gluten free of course and amended further to make it mine. But the origins remain.

And as Noah starts school this year, my hope for him, will that he too can enjoy his school dinners (especially as they are free!!). That he too can have fond memories in the years to come. That having Coeliac Disease does not mean he misses out.

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Macaroon Tart

The recipe requires a 7cm pastry cutter and makes approx 24 tartlets.

Preheat the oven to Gas 4, 180c

The Pastry – Rub 200g Dove Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour with 100g butter to form fine breadcrumbs, then mix in 1 egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon of Xanthum Gum and bring to form a dough with a few drops of cold water. Mould into a dough, roll into a ball, wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

The Topping – Beat 120g soft butter with 100g soft brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then mix in 150g Gluten Free Rolled Oats (I used  Nairns) 60g of Ground Almonds, 2 teaspoons of Almond Essence, and 2 tablespoons of Jam (I used a new jam from ‘Mrs Darlington’s’ – Peach Melba). I guess this now resembles something akin to flapjacks.

Remove the pastry from the fridge. You will need to give this a little knead to make the pastry more pliable and then roll out to the desired thickness. Using your pastry cutter, cut out the pastry discs and place into the pastry baking tray. Place 1/2 a teaspoon more of jam, into the bottom of each pastry round. Roll the ‘macaroon’ mix into balls, no bigger than a walnut, flatten a little and then place on top of the jam, and into the pastry shape. No need to press down as the cooking will do this for you.

Bake then on the middle shelf, for approx 18 – 20 minutes until cooked and the tart has a golden look. You’ll probably have to bake one tray at a time. Once cooked, leave to cool completely before removing from the tray, as the gluten free pastry is a little fragile at this stage.

These can be enjoyed cold, or if you are making one large tart, serve warm with custard…..enjoy 😀

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I am also sharing this post with others for ‘Credit Crunch Munch’ May 2015. As I was able to use up some ingredients I  had left in the cupboard, namely the rolled oats. Always a tricky one!

You can find all manner of other dishes on a budget from

http://www.fussfreeflavours.com/credit-crunch-munch http://www.bakingqueen74.co.uk and http://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/credit-crunch-munch