Gluten Free Honey and Lemon Cupcakes

And so we move now into Spring.

The evenings are getting lighter, colour begins to take its hold in the garden and Easter is just around the corner. Next stop summer….

So some light cupcake baking to throw into the mix, to add some colour to the kitchen

gluten-free-honey-and-lemon-cupcakes

Pre-heat the oven to gas 4/180c and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with cupcake liners – I chose yellow 😀

For the cupcakes –

  • 150g soft butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g honey – ideally not a cheap one as you need the flavour of the honey to shine through. You could use acacia or thyme.
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g gluten free self raising flour

For the filling –

For the topping (a meringue) –

  • 2 egg whites
  • c150g caster sugar (if you weigh the egg whites, you’ll need twice the amount of sugar)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • extra honey to drizzle

Beat the butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, you will find you will need to add a tablespoon of gluten free flour to keep it from curdling. Once the eggs have been beaten in (I used a hand-held electric whisk) add in the flour and divide between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes. Or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool before removing from the tray and transferring to a wire rack..  You can then make the meringue topping.

Place the sugar onto a tray and warm gently in the oven. Whilst the sugar is warming, whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak. Remove the sugar from the oven and add the warm sugar to the stiff egg whites  2 tablespoons at a time. Taking care between additions to ensure the sugar has been completely whisked in.  Continue whisking until the meringue is nice and shiny. You also need to make sure the sugar has dissolved into the meringue. You can find this our by pinching some of the meringue between your fingers. If the mix is smooth you are done.  If you can still feel the sugar crystals keep going.

Now depending on your mixer it could be done in around 10 – 15 minutes – or if it’s an older version (like mine) – longer.  But its worth the wait. The finished meringue will be nice and smooth to eat.

Before you top the cupcakes, scoop out the middle (or use one of those fancy cupcake hole makers) of each cupcake and put a teaspoon of lemon curd into each hole.

Once you have your finished meringue put into you piping bag – with nozzle of choice – and pipe onto the cupcakes with your desired pattern of preference.

Glaze under a very hot grill, or use a hand-held bakers’ blow torch to give the meringue some colour. Please take care which ever you use,  make sure you take necessary precautions if using a blow torch. The naked flame is hot and will burn! It stating the obvious perhaps, but its easy to lose concentration.

To finish – drizzle with some extra honey and sprinkle the lemon zest over the tops and enjoy.

Ad – if like me you need a new whisk, click the link to Amazon and get yourself a new one

http://amzn.to/2mbrqp4

hand-held-electric-whisk

 

 

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Gluten Free Blueberry Loaf Cake

Finally I get around to posting this!

Sometimes, despite all the planning, it just all falls apart and something else just gets in the way. Others’ priorities take over, it goes above and beyond your control.

I’m  very proud to say that this gluten free Blueberry Loaf cake won me winner of  Week 2 of the Delicious Alchemy ‘Gluten Free Magic Bake Off’ or #GFMBO. Now in its 3rd year, it’s a great way for the gluten free community to showcase any and all of their bakes, through the magic of social media. Weekly winners are picked over 6 weeks and those winners, win a hamper of goodies. Then finally, all the bakes entered, go out to a massive public vote and there is then a final bake-off, before a winner is crowned.

Its my second year of entering and it really is such fun, especially trying to think of something different for each week.

That and with the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong, being run by my Twitter friends The Baking Nanna and Robert Allen, there is plenty of baking to be done, as the Country goes baking mad over the course of the ‘Great British Bake Off’ on the Beeb.

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase…

Gluten Free Blueberry Loaf Cake

Preheat the oven to Gas 3/170c and line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper or a loaf tin liner.

180g soft butter

170g caster sugar

3 eggs

210g gluten free self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

60ml milk (I used semi skimmed)

200g fresh blueberries

120g Mrs Darlington’s Wild Blueberry Jam

approx 200g icing sugar

water to mix the icing sugar

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. You may need to add a little flour to stop it splitting. I’ve learnt over time, to be patient with this bit. Get the beat going and throughly mix this bit together.

Add the vanilla extract and beat again.

Pour in the rest of the flour and baking powder and mix well, you’re can add the milk at this point so the mix isn’t to stodgy.

Just before adding to the loaf tin, stir in the fresh blueberries, pour into the loaf tin. If you wish, at the point spread the jam over the top of the mix and gently mix in, into the top of the cake before popping into the oven on the middle shelf for 50 – 60 mins. Or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool, before taking out of the tin, and then when cold remove the greaseproof/liner, before adding the icing.

To make the glacé icing, add a tablespoon of the water to icing a little at a time, until your desired thickness is achieved. I love my icing thick, but you may prefer it thinner. If you add to much water, add a little more icing and vice versa.

I have another similar recipe with blackcurrants and almond…..I’ll save that for another day perhaps…

Slice and enjoy 😄😄

 

Gluten Free Star Biscuits

Biscuits, for  me the gluten free baker, are a bit of a devil.

The lack of gluten to hold the ingredients can prove a little tricky during baking as the mix just doesn’t hold and the ‘biscuits’ flood the baking tray. You’re left with a very tasty slab of biscuit.

So you have to think a little differently and a little outside the box sometimes. A little less of this and a little more of that. Trial and error. At least that’s what I’ve found.

I’ll keep at it, but I’d like to share this recipe with you in the meantime. You can of course eat these as simple biscuits without putting a filling in or drizzle some sauce on.

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c and make sure the shelf is in the middle of the oven. Line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof, or get sheets ready to put on baking sheets when you have cooked a tray of biscuits. This recipe will make about 20 biscuits, but that’ll depend on how big your cutter is.

Gluten Free Star Biscuits

100g butter

100g caster sugar

1 beaten egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

180g Gluten free Plain flour

100g Rice flour

Filling –

80g soft butter

160g Icing sugar – I used Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugar. The Cherry Bakewell Icing is Gluten free.

Your choice of jam

Cream and the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the beaten egg and the essence. Stir in the flours until well combined and you have a lovely dough.

Place this on a floured surface and roll out to you desired thickness – about as thick as a pound coin.

Using your cutter of choice, gently cut out your shapes. Use a smaller cutter of the same shape and press into half of the biscuits to get a ‘hole’ – a bit like the Jammie dodgers you see. When done, you can bring the ‘bits’ together, form another dough ball and roll out again. Repeat again of needs be. Place your cut shapes on the greaseproof.

Before baking you need to rest the cut shapes in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Once rested, bake one tray at a time for about 8 minutes. Once cooked leave the trays of baked biscuits to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the greaseproof. They need to set and rest otherwise they’ll break and bend.

To make the buttercream beat the soft butter until fluffy then stir in the icing sugar before beating again – I used a hand-held electric whisk – until nice and smooth. Fill a piping bag using a plain nozzle.

To make the gluten free Bakewell Biscuits – pipe a little of the buttercream onto half of the biscuits – the ones without the hole, leaving a little gap in the middle for the jam. Put half a teaspoon of jam into the little space and then top with the holey biscuit.

If you want to buy some lovely flavoured icing sugars, the link is here. There is a fantastic range of flavours to get your imagination going.

Home

Mrs Darlington’s Jams, curds and pickles are now available on-line too.

http://www.mrsdarlingtons.com

 

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

 

Gluten Free Jam Tarts

Gluten free baking for Noah is such fun. There are so many cakes and bakes that I try out, both with and without success.  So trying to sort through which ones to write about does pose some difficulties, as not everything I bake gets a post.  I have to keep somethings to myself for a later date!

But on this occasion the post was chosen for me. Perhaps by default or by design this particular post has had the most interactions (or impressions) on my Twitter page in recent months.  Its simplicity was a surprise hit and yet this could be what everyone wants. Nothing complicated, nothing with ingredients that folk have to buy, but ingredients that most kitchens already have to hand.

These were actually an after thought! I was fortunate enough to have been sent a bag of gluten free flour from the lovely people at The Gluten Free Flour Company so I was going to write a post on Blueberry Frangipane with Wild Blueberry Jam, but perhaps destiny had something else in mind.  After all everyone loves a Jam Tart 🙂

http://shop.glutenfreebaking.co.uk/ – click here to visit their on-line shop.

Having made a batch of the pastry for the larger tart, I was faced with a few ounces of pastry… and I just knew jam tarts would go down a treat…..and wouldn’t last long either!

Gluten Free Jam Tarts

The basic recipe for my 7″ pastry is;

8oz Gluten Free Plain Flour – from The Gluten Free Flour Company

5oz diced butter

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon of icing sugar

semi-skimmed milk to bind

Rub the gluten free flour and the butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg yolks and the icing sugar and then bring to a dough using the milk. I used a touch more milk, so the dough was slightly wet, as I knew the flour will absorb the liquid and experience tells me that the dough would other wise be dry.

Leave then for 30 minutes to rest in the fridge.

Roll out and use for whatever else you are making and bake blind.

With the remainder of the pastry, I made the jam tarts.  Roll out to the desired height and using a 6cm round cutter, cut out as many (at least 12) rings as you can. Place the pastry into a greased shallow baking pan and fill each case with a teaspoon of your favourite jam – I used Mrs Darlington’s – and spread to cover the base of the pastry.

Then bake in the preheated (Gas 4, 180c) oven for about 10 minutes or until the pastry has a bronzed look.

Stockists of Mrs Darlington’s and a bit about them can be found here.

http://mrsdarlingtons.com/

Now I’m not sure of any differences in using this particular brand of flour, because I tried a different mix of ingredients, but the end cooked result, was a little less crumblier than that of other gluten free flours and the ‘bite’ was also a little better. I’ll let you make your own conclusions when you try it yourself 🙂

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

A New Year a New Gluten Free Week

All change in our household this week.

After our first week back after the festivities, it’s a time to look back on what has been a new chapter in our little lives, in this corner of South Cheshire.

Out of School Club is now the order of the day. And there was of course a certain amount of trepidation that we turned this corner, but needs must I’m afraid. Number 1 daughter we knew would have no problem with this, but for Noah, this would be something completely new. And ‘new’ and Noah don’t normally mix. And as sure as eggs are eggs, Monday morning was no exception. To cut the story short with some bribery and a little corruption ( and some fellow classmates) he went in. Phew.

The new team in place in the Out of School Club have been great with Noah’s diet. I’d almost go as far to say, better than the actual school dinners!  Noah has enjoyed every meal – pizza bases, chicken nuggets,  and pasta. Very accommodating.  To such an extent that now after week 1, Noah doesn’t want to leave and would rather go to his ‘new school’ instead of the other school, with the boring work and reading! Sorry my little boy 😉

Ground star anise

This week has also seen a little experimenting in the kitchen. I made a Chocolate Cake last week, rather unsuccessfully, with a liquorice flavoured topping and Blackcurrant filling. It kind of worked, and kind of didn’t. But I wasn’t going to be beaten. So I ground some star anise and made a quick plain sponge and topped the end result with some rather nice Lemon Curd from Mrs Darlington’s. Result. Need to tweak it a little but, rather nice. 😀

Gluten Free Anise and Lemon Cake

I also bought some small  gluten free pizza bases and gluten free tortilla wraps from Venice Bakery for us to try. I’ll report back with a recipe in due course. You can shop on line here in the meantime –

http://shop.venicebakery.co.uk

And so to a hectic weekend of parent taxiing and hopefully a date night 😀

And please dont don’t forget to vote for my blog in the years UK Blog Awards 2016. Votes close January 25 2016. Many thanks.

http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2016/my-entry/cakesbynoahcom

votenow_ Cakes by Noah

 

Gluten Free Mince Pies

I do love a mince pie!

And because I love a mince pie, I like to try them with various toppings so here I have created some gluten free recipes for mince pies using three different toppings – Viennese, Crumble (with or without custard!) and Frangipane (with or without Marzipan!!). All suitable for everyone to enjoy over the festive period.  I have also used my favourite local producer of all things jams, curds, chutneys & mincemeat. Mrs Darlington’s Mincemeat contains no gluten ingredients.

www.mrsdarlingtons.com

gluten-free-mince-pies

 

I could eat mince pies throughout the year, a bit like sprouts – we love them here! Besides you can’t beat the festive smell permeating through the house as these bake, it can’t be beaten……..

So,  the sweet pastry. One batch of this should make enough pastry for about 18 mince pies, using an 8cm round cutter, plain or fluted. And it is important to rest the pastry, so please allow the time.

200g Dove Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour
100g cold diced butter
1 1/2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 egg yolks
cold milk to mix
1/3 teaspoon xanthum gum
Firstly rub the flour and the butter together to form breadcrumbs, then mix in the icing sugar, egg yolks, and xantham gum together, this should start to form and bring the dough together, you will then need a few tablespoons of milk to bring the rest of the dough together. Knead this dough for a couple of minutes to ensure all the ingredients are bought together, then wrap in cling film or cover and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

 

For Viennese Mince Pies

250g soft butter
50g Icing sugar
200g Dove Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour
100g Dove Farm Rice Flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Beat all of these ingredients together to form a lovely dough and place into a large piping bag with a star nozzle.

Once the pastry has rested, roll out to your desired thickness and cut out the rounds using the cutter, place into your pastry tray and spoon in a tablespoon of mincemeat into each round. Then pipe the gluten free Viennese pastry on top of the mincemeat.

Bake in the oven at Gas 3, 160c for 30/35 minutes, or until golden brown.

For Mince Pies with a Crumble topping

This goes slightly outside of the ‘box’, as I bake the crumble first and sprinkle on top of the finished mince pie.

 

Using a food processor (or rub with your fingers) mix

100g Gluten free plain flour
50g butter
then mix in 40g caster sugar.
Place on to a lined baking tray and bake at Gas 4/180c for 8 – 10 minutes. It should come out golden, soggy and will have spread out. But allow this to cool and it will crisp up, allowing you to break up and form a lovely crumble topping.

Make the pastry as before, fill as previous with a tablespoon of mincemeat and bake these then for 15 – 18 minutes. When removed from the oven and cooled, sprinkle with the cooled and broken up crumble. This could then be served warm or warmed later to serve.

If you wanted to go crazy – once baked and cooled, spoon a little custard on top of the mincemeat before putting the crumble on top…delishious….

For Mince Pies with Frangipan

Gluten free Mince Pies with Frangipan

I also added a small 10p coin size piece of marzipan to each mince pie. Just because we love a bit of marzipan with our mince pies 🙂

Again make the pastry as previously, roll out and fill.

To make the frangipan

100g soft butter
90g caster sugar
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 teaspoon almond essence
100g ground almonds
Beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, and then beat in the eggs a small amount at a time. Mix in the almond essence and then fold in the ground almonds. Once the pastry has been cut and filled, top with a small flat disc of marzipan (if desired) and then top further with a tablespoon of frangipan.
Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes on Gas 4/180c

Gluten free mince pies