A new normal

I’ll try and not make a habit of this; a blog post!

I know it’s been a while and I thank those who have been visiting the site over the last few months. Whilst the World is on pause for a while, whilst a solution or solutions are being sort for the virus, there have been a lot of people searching the internet for recipes. Baking at home has become a new normal for most across the world. I hope those that have visited this site have something that has inspired them or has been useful. After all, that’s what I set out to do. I hope to be able to continue to provide something for you, for as long as I can.

I also feel fortunate enough to have been able to source ingredients. I know some people have been having difficulties and now, some 10 weeks or so since lockdown began in the UK, groceries across the country are beginning to appear more regularly in supermarkets. So hopefully you will be able to recreate these recipes once again very soon. And if not, the page isn’t going anywhere; so when you can, you’re welcome back any time.

If you feel you can afford to buy me a coffee, to contribute to the site, please do so via the ‘contribute’ page. It will be very much appreciated.

And I’m not one for these long intro’s into a recipe, on the why’s and wherefores of mixing it this way or that, that ingredient over that or any such dribble, that no one really wants to read… just give me the ingredients and recipe.  But while i’ve got you………

An actual crisp biscuit that is gluten free! It took a couple of goes but I got there in the end. Especially after the first go had no vanilla essence in!

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 5, 180c fan, 200c and line 2 or 3 Swiss roll trays with greaseproof paper

50g soft butter

60g caster sugar

1 medium egg

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

150g rice flour

50g gluten free plain flour (if your flour contains xanthan gum, DO NOT add any more)

half a level teaspoon of xanthan gum (only if it’s NOT in the flour)

1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

For the buttercream;

60g soft butter

130g icing sugar

splash of milk to make it pipe-able

80g raspberry jam ( or your favourite jam)

Simply beat the butter and the sugar in a bowl with an electric whisk until, light and fluffy, no more than a minute. Then add the egg and the vanilla and continue to beat until you have a smooth batter.

Sift in the gluten free plain flour, rice flour, bicarb and xanthan (if using) then using a spatula just mix this in until all the flours etc are fully mixed and the mixture forms a soft, ‘pastry’ dough ball.  Using your hands continue to bring together by ‘kneading’ for a few moments. You can’t really over work this dough, but it will help in the rolling out and keep it from crumbling.

Leave the dough for about 10 minutes in the fridge to firm up.

Remove the dough from the fridge and using a scattering of gluten free flour on your kitchen surface, roll out the dough to the thickness of a one pound coin (2 – 3mm).

Then, using a specific jammie dodger cutter, or similar 5cm flutted cutter, cut out roughly 36 – 40 discs, placing them on the lined baking trays in rows of 4. You will need to gather up the remaining dough, bring it together again into  a ball and re-roll, in order to get the desired amount of biscuits.

Then using a smaller cutter ( a small heart shaped cutter that allows for the jam to be seen, once the biscuits are assembled) cut out the middle of half the biscuits. One will form the base the other the top.

Place one tray in the fridge and place one in the oven to cook for 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven to cool; then repeat with the second tray and cook that for 6 – 7 minutes as well. Allow both trays to cool and you can start to make the buttercream.

Beat the butter with the icing sugar until you have a smooth paste. At this stage you could also flavour the buttercream; I’ll leave that up to you.

Once the biscuits are completely cooled, and using a piping bag filled with the buttercream, pipe a ring of buttercream on the half of the biscuits without the hole in the top.

Then with a couple of teaspoons, place in the middle of the ring, the raspberry jam. Top with the ‘holey’ biscuit and you’re done. You should have around 18 biscuits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Tis the season to be…….

I might not be able to take really good photos, but ‘by eck, do I make rather tasty bakes!

Gluten Free Chocolate Swiss Roll

The festive season is usually one for over indulgence, adding sweetness upon sweetness. You can take the humble mince pie and drown it in brownie, the humble Swiss roll and drown it in buttercream or ganache, a humble mince pie and drown it in alcohol. The list goes on, it seems Christmas is an excuse to over indulge?  But that’s ok, it’s just for a couple of days 😀😀

And this recipe goes only half way to indulgence 😀 Still indulgent and can still be made for a simple centrepiece for a gluten free Christmas table. And if you make this, no one – no one – will be able to tell the difference between this and a ‘normal’ cake. It’s so light and fluffy. Let’s not talk about the other Swiss roll I made, that cracked and fell apart….. 🙄 but did have green Christmas trees and red baubles on!

Preheat the oven to 180c fan, 200c, Gas 4 and line a Swiss roll tin (35cm x 25cm) with baking parchment/greaseproof paper.

To make the swirls;

35g soft butter

35g icing sugar

1 egg white

30g gluten free plain flour

A simple cake mix, beat the butter and the icing sugar together until you have a soft paste, beat in the egg white; again until you have a soft paste, then mix in the gluten free flour until you have a combined mix, that will be easy to pipe.

Now I did this bit by free hand (I know, you can tell) place the cake paste into a piping bag with a writing nozzle and draw onto the greaseproof paper your pattern/s. There are plenty of templates on-line. You don’t need to cover the whole piece of paper as some of the pattern will sit underneath the Swiss roll when it has been rolled up.

Also, if you are going to write actual words, write them back to front. Otherwise when you  turn the Swiss roll over to roll once filled, the writing will be backwards.

Once you have piped your design, place in the freezer, for at least 10 minutes, whilst you make your Swiss roll.

3 large eggs

80 caster sugar

70g gluten free plain flour

20g cocoa (I use Food Thoughts Cocoa)

Using a stand mixer (I have a kitchen aid) whisk the eggs and the sugar for at least 5 minutes until you have trebled the volume of he mix and once you left out the whisk, it leaves a trail or ribbon.

Sift the cocoa with the gluten free flour together and then sift again onto the egg and sugar mix. Then using either a large metal spoon or plastic spatula gently fold in the flour mix.  Gently, so as to keep as much air in th mix as possible.

Once fully folded, take your tray out of the freezer (the pattern should have set) and carefully pour the Swiss roll mix over your pattern. Making sure the mix gets into each hole and crevice. Tap the tray gently and place into the oven on the bottom shelf, and bake for about 8 minutes.

Whilst baking – and this is going to get fiddly i’m afraid – get a sheet of greaseproof paper slightly larger than your Swiss roll, and place onto your kitchen table/surface and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar.

Now, once the Swiss roll is cooked, allow the tray to cool for about a minute to take some of the heat out of the tray, and the turn the tray upside down onto the sugared greaseproof to turn the cake out.  Gently peel off the greaseproof from the cooked cake, place another clean sheet of greaseproof back on top and turn over again! This way the pattern should be on the side of the kitchen surface? Using a sharp knife make a cut along the long length of the cake, only about half way down into the cake. This will help rolling up. Then roll up the Swiss roll with the greaseproof inside and allow to th cake to fully cool.

By cooling the Swiss roll rolled up, it will be easier to roll once filled. It will be stretched enough and shouldn’t crack!

For the filling;

200g of jam/preserve – I used Single Variety Company – Maravilla Raspberry Preserve. Because they were lovely and sent me a jar or 2 to play with 😀😀

200g Nutella (or similar chocolate and hazelnut spread) – gently warmed to make it easy to spread.

Unroll the Swiss roll. It will have cooled enough for you to use by the time you have weighed out the filling ingredients. Then spread on the jam/preserve and then cover with the warmed chocolate spread. Then roll back up, the Swiss roll. Trying to get in tightly rolled to get that all important ‘swirl’, and taking care to keep the filling in!

Place onto your cake dish and serve.

It should keep well (and covered) for at least 2 days.  If it lasts that long!

 

 

 

 

Gluten free mini Bakewell tarts

Unbelievably this is my favourite recipe and one I haven’t put on the blog before! Not at least, in its simplest form as just a Bakewell.  There are many permutations of this recipe and those are in, but for the simplest and my original – time that was rectified!

This amount of pastry (in the lin) is enough for a large tart with several off cuts – enough for 12 mini tartlets.

There are recipes for pastry on this blog, namely this one (another recipe based around the Bakewell);

https://wp.me/p64jEx-gL

I used a similar amount of pastry for a large gluten free Bakewell tart before I then rolled out the leftover piece of pastry and cut the pastry into 12 large stars.

For the Bakewell ‘sponge’;

150g soft butter

150g caster sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon almond essence

125g ground almonds

25g plain flour

Beat the soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, until fully combined. Beat in the essence and then fold in the flour and ground almonds.

The majority of the Bakewell sponge went in the larger, oblong dish (36cm x 13cm) What was left went into the mini tarts.

For the smaller tarts I used a 7cm star cutter and a 12 hole mini tart tin. The oven was preheated to gas 4, 180c, 160c fan.

Cutting out the 12 star shapes then gently lining the tart tin holes (each hole is roughly 6cm wide at the top).

Then I placed half a teaspoon of Hartley’s raspberry jam into the base of the pastry. The rest of the Bakewell sponge – a teaspoon of mix – I used up for the mini tarts. No waste 🤗🤗

The mini tarts were then baked for around 20 minutes, left to cool and then decorated with water icing.

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 😀