Gluten Free Mulled Wine Cheesecake

I had a bit of fun with this one.

Least of all because I’ve had to make 2 cheesecakes, but also getting to munch of some mulled wine jelly! Don’t get me wrong, the first cheesecake was indeed very nice – a baked cheesecake, but sadly lacking for me on overall depth of taste with the mulled wine. The no-bake cheesecake has for me, made the grade. A hint-and-a-hit of mulled wine. Just in time for the festive season. Or indeed to use up any spare at the end of the festive season. Waste not want not 😀

As this is to be made in 3 stages, some planning is required.

You’ll need 1 x 7” cake tin or similar tin in order for the jelly to set and with a little depth and fully lined with cling film to encase the jelly and ensure it sets. Then another 7″ deep, springform cake tin (lined) for the cheesecake.

Ingredients;

  • 200g gluten free shortbread biscuits (I used Sainsbury’s Free From) crushed into breadcrumbs
  • 70g melted butter
  • 360g full fat cream cheese
  • 170g double cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Speculaas Spice
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 380ml mulled wine
  • 3 sheets gelatine

To make the mulled wine jelly; put the sheets of gelatine into a small bowl and pour over with just enough water to cover. Leave for about 5 minutes to absorb the water and become floppy. Measure out 300ml of the mulled wine. Once floppy, gently squeeze the water out of the gelatine and place into a small saucepan. Over a gentle heat warm the gelatine to melt it to a liquid. This will only take a couple of minutes and don’t use a fierce heat – gently does it.  Then with a whisk, pour the mulled wine onto the melted gelatine and give a gentle whisk to ensure everything is mixed together. Pour into the prepared, lined tin and place in the fridge to set.

For the base of the cheesecake, mix the melted butter with the crushed up biscuits and press into the base of the springform cake tin and leave to set in the fridge whilst you make the filling.

Gently whisk the double cream with 30g of the icing sugar, 40ml of mulled wine and the speculaas spice. Don’t over whisk though or it’ll turn to butter.

Whisk the cream cheese with the remaining 40g of the icing sugar and the remaining 40ml of mulled wine. Then combine the 2 creams for a final whisk and blend, then scoop onto the set biscuit base. Cover with film and pop back in the fridge for a couple of hours for the cream mix to set.

Once you are ready to assemble remove the mulled wine from the fridge and using a suitable cutter, cut out your required shapes. For something a little different, I dredged the shape of the Christmas tree using a mix of a tablespoon of cocoa and 1/2 a teaspoon of speculaas spice.

To serve, and as you will have plenty of mulled wine jelly left, roughly chop this up and serve as a worthy accompaniment.

 

Advertisements

Its nearly Christmas

Just around the corner now, Christmas. It comes around every year, to some a complete surprise, to others – those who are well organised – something to relax to and enjoy. A time of family, friends and loved ones, to give and to receive.

To some a time of mixed emotions, memories of events that they may want to forget. Everyone tackles this time of year in a different way, spare a thought for the quiet ones, the not so over enthusiastic ones.  Go and say ‘Hello’ and spread the joy, you never know, someone might just need it.

From me a simple welcome to the festive season, with a simple recipe for the humble, gluten free mince pie.  A family favourite – warm or cold, with cream or custard, or any variation thereof. Only this time I decided to pop a teaspoon of Speculaas spice into the pastry, not too much to over power, but enough to enhance the overall experience of the mince pie.

This recipe should make around 24 x 7cm mince pies with the limited topping as show in the pastry.  If you need a little more, then the recipe should scale up (or even down) well.  Have your cutters at the ready…..and go….

Preheat the oven to Gas 5, 190c, 175c fan

  • 300g gluten free plain flour
  • 170g soft butter
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon Speculaas Spice – I used mine from The Speculaas Spice Company
  • milk to bind together – approx. 40ml
  • a jar of Mincemeat – Tesco or Sainsbury’s – have own brand no-gluten ingredient mincemeat

For complete ease I blended the gluten free flour, butter, sugar, gum and spices in a food processor until I had fine breadcrumbs, tipped this out into a bowl and added the milk until I had a lovely smooth dough.  Alternatively you could rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have the fine breadcrumbs and then pick up with adding the milk.

Roll out to your desired thickness – some around the thickness of a pound coins – 2 – 3mm – and cut out shapes with your cutter. You can bring the remaining pastry together to form another ball, then re-roll to create more bases (and tops)

Line each disc with your mincemeat – around a teaspoon of the mixture in each and then cover with your desired pastry cover.

Brush with a little milk and bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes until the pastry has a little bronzed look to it.

Remove and cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy.

Alternatively cool completely and they will freeze well for up to 3 months.  Defrost thoroughly before eating though.

Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts

I shall take this moment of ‘cakespiration’.

Perhaps I should be saving it all up and spreading the cake love as the year progresses? Perhaps not, there are recipes to share and cake to eat, I firmly believe that food should be accessible to everyone. Isn’t that what the internet is for?

The last time I baked a baked donut, I forgot to put the the sugar in! They were a bit different….

I love a challenge and the current regular challenge on the social media circuit is being headed by my Twitter a friends Jackie and Rob.  It’s a brilliant idea with a challenge being set over a week rather than a weekend, giving just about everyone a fair crack at the topic. The week I baked these donuts was indeed ‘donut week’ – baked or otherwise and the main criteria being you must include the hashtag ‘#TwitterBakeAlong’ plus any other small requirements. No matter your skill, it’s the taking part that is the fun and the challenge is for you to challenge yourself to bake something you haven’t done before. Give it a go!

Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts

And so the Donuts. Gluten free Chocolate Donuts flavoured with Speculaas Spice. A lovely cinnamon based spice blend orginating in the Netherlands. I think it lends itself nicely to Chocolate.

Preheat the oven to Gas 6/200c and grease your 12 hole donut tray.

Place all the following ingredients into a mixing bowl –

180g Gluten free plain flour

50g Cocoa (I used Food Thoughts)

2 teaspoons of baking powder

180g caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon of Speculaas spice ( Van Dotsch Spices )

3 large eggs

80ml vegetable oil

160ml milk ( I used semi skimmed)

Then using a hand held electric whisk, whisk for 4/5 minutes to whisk everything together to a lovely velvety, pourable mix. Then carefully pour the mixture into the 12 hole tray (or 2 x 6 trays).

Pop in the oven for about 12 – 15, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool, before prising out of the Donuts. Place them on a cooling rack, and melt the chocolate.

In a bowl, set over some simmering water in a saucepan – don’t let the bowl touch the water, melt 160g dark chocolate. Once melted, dip each of the Donuts into the melted chocolate and allow to cool on the rack. Take care when dipping the donuts in the bowl as it will be hot.

Decorate the donuts with (or not, the choice is yours) your choice of sprinkles and allow the Chocolate to set.

Best eaten with 24 hours, however they do refresh particularly well if you reheat them in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Allow the donut to stand for a few seconds before eating.  But again, do take care as there will be hot spots on the donut, if you eat them straight from the microwave.

 

Gluten Free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcakes

Never one to shy away from an offer of a free sample and never one to then have to adapt a recipe around that product. I was very eager to try a sample of some speculaas spice from The Speculaas Spice Company. And of course its gluten free!

There are further details on the website of the origins of the spice, but it is a wonderful blend of – according to the literature – ‘9 spices including real, high grade cinnamon from Sri Lanka, cloves, ginger and 6 others’ its really quite heady. The smell whilst baking is certainly very festive as well.

But what to make? I had a few ideas and they may yet appear, but for now I went with gluten free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcakes. Chocolate may be the next one… there are a few possibilities….

Gluten Free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcake

Line a 12 hole cupcake tray and pre-heat the oven to 170c/gas 3.

150g soft butter

130g light brown sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of Camp Coffee

120g Gluten Free Plain Flour

30g Ground Almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Van Dotsch Speculaas Spice Mix

50g Crushed Pecans (plus 12 extra for decoration)

Buttercream;

100g soft butter

200g icing sugar

1 tablespoon Camp Coffee

1/4 teaspoon Speculaas Spice Mix

Firstly mix/sift the flour, almonds, baking powder and spice mix together and set aside.

Cream the soft butter with the sugar until light and fluffy and the beat in, one at a time, the eggs, adding a little of the flour mix if needs b,e to stop the mix from curdling.

Mix in the flour mix and finish with the crushed pecans.

Divide between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes – or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tray before removing onto a cooling rack to completely cool.

To make the buttercream, cream the butter till soft, stir in the icing sugar, speculaas spice mix and Camp Coffee and them finish beating – I used an electric hand mixer to get a smooth finish. Pipe as required onto the cupcakes and finish with a pecan. You could also just use plain water icing mixed with the spice.

Thanks again to Steven Dotsch at the Speculaas Spice Company for the sample, I’m looking forward to the next recipe

Enjoy