Gluten Free Torta Della Nonna Recipe

Today I’m going to share with you my gluten free take on a classic Italian dessert called Torta della Nonna, which in English means ‘Grandma’s Cake’.

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Torta della Nonna is a traditional dessert cake, not unlike a custard tart, which consists of a sweet shortcrust pastry case, filled with creme patisserie and topped with almonds or pine nuts.

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Gluten free pastry can be notoriously tricky to get right, but with a few experiments I have come up with a simple recipe and a few tips and tricks which make handling the pastry much easier.

Gluten Free Torta della Nonna

Ingredients

Pastry:

300g plain gluten free flour

100g icing sugar

3 egg yolks

150g butter

Creme Patisserie:

Zest of 1 small unwaxed lemon

400ml milk

3 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

30g cornflour

100g caster sugar

Topping:

Milk (for glazing)

A handful of almonds or pine nuts

Method:

1) To make the pastry: Stir together the flour and icing sugar. Add the egg yolks and butter, rub the ingredients together until they start to form a dough. Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough for a few minutes until it forms a smooth ball of pastry.

2) Wrap the pastry in cling film and put it in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes to an hour. This is very important as the colder gluten free pastry is, the easier it is to work with.

3) While the pastry is chilling it’s time to make the creme patissiere. Start by placing 300 ml of milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest into a heavy bottomed pan – remember to save 100 ml of the milk as you will need it in a moment.

4) Warm the milk over a low heat but do not let it boil. Once the milk is hot strain it through a sieve to get rid of the lemon zest.

5) Next, place the remaining milk, egg yolks, cornflour and sugar into a separate bowl then whisk until combined.

6) Add this mixture to the hot milk by pressing it through a sieve to get rid of any lumps.

7) Increase the heat slightly to bring the mixture to a boil, keep stirring until the mixture thickens and remove from the heat.

8) Pour the creme patissiere into a bowl and allow it to cool slightly before covering it with cling film and popping it in the fridge for later.

9) Once the pastry has been chilled it’s time to assemble the tart. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4, then grease an 8 inch loose bottomed flan or tart tin with butter – remember to throughly grease the sides of the tin or you will struggle to remove your tart at the end.

10) Take your pastry out of the fridge and cut it in half. Keep one half for the base of the tart and place the other half back in the fridge to keep cool – this will be used to make the lid later.

11) The best way to roll out gluten free pastry is between two sheets of greaseproof baking paper which will prevent the pastry from sticking to your work surface.

12) Use greaseproof paper to help get the pastry into the tin safely. Firstly, peel off the top layer of baking paper, place the tin upside down into the middle of the pastry then carefully flip the pastry over with the help of the bottom sheet of baking paper. Peel off the bottom baking sheet and gently press the pastry down into the tin, insuring it’s pressed right into each groove – don’t panic if you do get any tears or any holes, just neatly patch it up with some spare pastry.

13) Trim off any excess pastry. Place some baking paper into the case and fill it baking beans (any dried beans or rice will do) then blind bake the pastry case for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and bake the case for a further 5 minutes to help dry it out.

14) Once the pastry case has been blind baked, allow it cool for a few minutes before spooning the creme patissiere into the pastry case until it’s almost full.

15) Roll out the pastry for the lid between two baking sheets, exactly the same way as you did the base. I often struggle getting lids on pies and tarts without the pastry tearing, so I like to pop the pastry lid into the freezer for a few minutes once it’s been rolled out which makes it much easier to handle and less likely to tear. To get the lid on your tart safely, use the bottom baking sheet to help flip the pastry upside down on top of the tart, then carefully  peel off the baking paper and trim off the excess pastry.

16) Press down around the edge of the tart and prick the lid with a fork to prevent air bubbles forming. Using a pastry brush, glaze the top of the tart with milk and sprinkle on a few handfuls of either almonds or pine nuts.

17) Bake the tart in the preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the nuts are lightly toasted.

18) Once the tart has cooled, sprinkle it with a dusting of icing sugar and serve with either vanilla ice cream, double cream, or you can have it plain with a cup of coffee!

Torte della Nonna is best stored in the fridge and will keep for a few days – if it lasts that long!

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I love seeing your take on my recipes, so remember to share a snap of your Torta della Nonna over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

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Gluten Free Salted Caramel Millionaire Shortbread (Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

‘Bake Off’ is back and I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the new series; especially as the show made a controversial move from the BBC to Channel 4 last year. I’m normally incredibly excited for the start of a new series, but this year I didn’t have quite the same enthusiasm for the show returning again. Saying that, I am I actually quite enjoying the new series and am pleased to see that the show hasn’t changed too much. I do, however, miss the old team – especially Mary Berry, can someone hurry up and make her a Dame already?!

This recipe is inspired by Caramel week,  which was a Bake Off first. We seen the bakers make Caramel before, but we’ve  never whole programme centred around it. It made for great television because Caramel can be quite unpredictable.

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I’m not sure Paul Hollywood would approve of my method of making Caramel, as it’s somewhat of a cheat to use the microwave… but, the result is perfect Caramel that sets brilliantly every time.

I’ve made Caramel on the hob many times and sometimes it’s been a bit hit and miss. Possible scenarios have included, burning myself in the process, burning the caramel to the bottom of the pan, or almost burning the house down… not with the microwave method!

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Gluten Free Millionaire Shortbread

Ingredients

For the shortbread base:
275g gluten free self raising flour
175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
100g caster sugar

For the caramel layer:
1 x 397g tin of condensed milk
100g unsalted butter
100g dark brown sugar

Approx 1/2 tsp Sea Salt – but depends on your taste!

For the chocolate layer:
250g dark chocolate
250g milk chocolate

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C/gas mark 3 then grease and line the base and sides of a 20 x 20 square tin with greaseproof paper.

2. To make the shortbread base, mix together the flour and sugar in large bowl, then rub in the butter until left with a breadcrumb like texture.

3. Start to bring mixture together with your hands until you have a smooth ball of dough.

4. Press the dough into the tin, smoothing it into an even layer that reaches the corners of the tin.

5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown, then set it aside to cool whilst you make the caramel.

6. To make the caramel, place the butter into a large microwavable bowl and heat until melted. Add the sugar and give the ingredients a good mix until you can’t feel any grains of sugar on the bottom of the bowl – you may need to heat it again for another 30 seconds or so to encourage the sugar to dissolve throughly.

7. Add the condensed milk and heat for a further two minutes before whisking the ingredients throughly with a balloon whisk. Heat the caramel for a further 5 minutes, giving it a good whisk after each 30 seconds.

8. Drop a little bit of the caramel into a glass of cold water – if the mixture can be rolled into soft ball then it’s ready to be used, otherwise it may need another 30 seconds in the microwave.

9. Stir through the sea salt and then smooth the caramel in an even layer over the shortbread base. Leave to set.

10. For the chocolate layer, gently melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour the chocolate over the top of the shortbread and caramel layers and smooth out with a palate knife, then leave to set before cutting the Shortbread into equally sized pieces.

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I love seeing your take on my recipes, so remember to share a snap of your Shortbread over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

Gluten Free Party Rings Recipe

If you’ve run out of Summer holiday activities to do with the kids, why not give my Gluten Free Party Rings recipe a go?

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This is the perfect bake for the weekend or the holidays, as it’s super easy and a really good one to get the kids involved in –  I’m sure they’ll love helping icing the biscuits… and eating them!

It’s a great recipe for us big kids too – because when are you too old for Party Rings?

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Gluten Free Party Rings 

Ingredients:

For the biscuits:
150g sugar
150g butter
130g rice flour
150g self raising gluten free flour
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the Icing:
400g icing sugar
Food colouring

Method:

1) In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy.

2) Add both flours and mix until you have a bread crumb like texture.

3) Add the egg, milk and vanilla essence, then start bringing the ingredients together using a wooden spoon.

4) Use your hands to work the ingredients into a soft dough. Don’t worry if the dough seems a little sticky as it will be chilled for a while to help it firm up – don’t be tempted to add more flour!

5) Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least and hour.

6) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

7) Dust a clean surface with gluten free flour and roll out the dough using a floured rolling pin.

8) Cut out circle shapes using a 6cm pastry cutter, then transfer them to the prepared tray using a palate knife. When the biscuits are on the trays, use a pipping nozzle to stamp a hole through the middle of each one.

9) Bake for 10 minutes or until they are a light golden brown – be sure to keep an eye on this biscuits as they could quickly over-bake.

10) Leave the biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes to help them firm up,  then transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

11) To make the icing: place icing sugar in a large bowl with a few teaspoons of cold water, then mix the ingredients until they form a spreadable paste. You may need to add a little more water if the icing is too thick.

12) Divide the mixture into different bowls . Leave the icing in one bowl white, then add a little food colouring to each of the other bowls – the colours are up to you! Transfer the white icing to a piping bag fitted with a small writing nozzle.

13) To decorate, spread a little icing over the biscuit using a palate knife. Pipe three lines of the white icing across the biscuit, then run a cocktail stick through the lines to feather the icing – repeat until all the biscuits have been iced.

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I love seeing your take on my bakes, so remember to share your a picture of your Party Rings over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

Gluten Free Salmon Fishcakes with Tomato Relish

Today I am going to share with you my incredibly simple Gluten Free Salmon Fishcakes recipe which is super quick and easy to prepare – perfect for those midweek meals where you might be a little short of time but don’t want to compromise on flavour.

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I initially came up with this recipe as I am trying to eat more fish – this recipe uses tinned Salmon which is not only cheaper than buying fresh fish but still as good for you as the fresh stuff. Salmon is also high in omega-3 fatty acids which is good for your skin, nails and your hair and helps to keep blood pressure low.


Gluten Free Salmon Fish Cakes

For the fish cakes:
2 large potatoes – boiled, mashed and cooled.
170g tin of skinless, boneless salmon
1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
2 cups of gluten free breadcrumbs
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to season

For the tomato relish:
1 large shallot
4 large tomatoes, chopped into small pieces.
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt

To serve:

Fresh Pea Shoots or mixed salad
A wedge of Lemon

Method:

1) Start with the tomato relish: Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Gently fry the shallot and the tomatoes until softened, then add the sugar, red wine vinegar and salt and simmer gently for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.

2) For the fish cakes: In a large bowl, add the cooled mash potato, breadcrumbs, salmon, spring onions and lemon juice and mix until combined – then season the mixture with salt and pepper.

3) Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Heat a tablespoon of oil in frying pan over a medium heat. Shape the mixture into patties and fry each one until brown on both sides – you could probably fry three or four at a time. Transfer the fishcakes to the oven to stay warm.

4) Serve the fishcakes on a bed of fresh pea shoots or mixed salad, with the tomato relish and a wedge of lemon.

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I love seeing your take on my recipes, so remember to share your a picture of your Fishcakes over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

 

Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars

It’s been a little too hot to bake recently, as here in the UK we’ve been experiencing a heatwave – I do like to see the sun out at last, but our country is not built to cope with heat… and neither are us Brits!

So, I’ve been eating a lot of lazy food; lots of salads (my particular favourite is a watermelon, cucumber and feta salad) and cured meats, like salami and prosciutto – basically anything that doesn’t involve standing in front of a hot stove.

I have been feeling a little sick of ice cream, so I wanted to come up with a quick, easy and refreshing no bake dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth.

My Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars tick all the boxes – they take a matter of minutes to put together, there is no baking required and they don’t  need to be left to set.

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Strawberries are at their best right now and I absolutely adore them – but you could also use Raspberries or a mix of both if you prefer.

For the biscuit layer, I used Schär Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits – I prefer this brand because they are also free from oats, but you can use any kind of biscuits you like.

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These Cheesecake jars are best served right away, but they can be made ahead of time and popped in the fridge. They are also ideal for a picnic as they are portable – simply put the lids on and pop them in a cool bag to keep them fresh!

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Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars

Makes 4 (depending on the size of your jars)

Ingredients

180g Philadelphia cheese, cold
330ml whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons icing sugar
150g gluten free digestive biscuits (I prefer ones by Schär, as they are also free from oats)
500g fresh strawberries, halved
Fresh mint to decorate

Method

1. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor (or crush them by hand) until they are the consistency of breadcrumbs.

2. In a large bowl, gently mix the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until combined. Add the whipping cream and whisk using a electric hand mixer until the ingredients form soft peaks.

3. Add a layer of the biscuit crumbs to the base of each jar, followed a layer of cream and a layer of strawberries. Repeat until the jars are full and top with mint leaves to decorate.

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I love seeing your take on my bakes, so remember to share your a picture of your Cheesecakes over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

 

No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe + Gluten Free Torino

Summer certainly seems to be arriving here in the UK, so I can finally share with you my No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe, inspired by a recent trip to Italy where I ate some of the best Gelato on earth!

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Over Easter weekend I visited my family who live in Torino. A huge part of Easter celebrations in Italy revolves around food and I’m pretty sure I can’t remember the last time I was so full 5 consecutive days in a row!

This was my first trip to Italy since going gluten free, so at first I was a little worried about finding food I could eat and anxious because the language barrier makes reading labels and menus a little more difficult – however most supermarkets had a huge range of gluten free products which were all clearly labelled as gluten free (Senza Glutine in Italian). Most supermarkets stocked Schär products too, a brand we are familiar with in the U.K.

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Gluten Free Pan di Stelle which I posted about on Instagram

Before I went I also did some research into Coeliac friendly restaurants and cafes in Torino. On the first day we went into the city for lunch, my cousin found a place called Poormanger which served Baked Potatoes stuffed with lots of adventurous fillings.

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Lunch at Poormanger

I also printed out a restaurant card to keep in my handbag, just incase we ended up going to restaurant and I needed to explain what I can and can’t eat – you can get cards in 54 different languages here. I didn’t really have to use mine, as my cousins were fantastic at transalting for me and at correcting my terrible Italian.

When it comes to ice cream, you’ll find most gelatarias are confident dealing with gluten free queries and knew which of their flavours contained gluten, they also seemed very clued up on cross contamination. They obviously served ice cream in cups, but I’ve heard that Grom (which is a sort of chain gelataria) does Gluten Free cones.

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Gelato at Lago di Viverone

Overall, I had a safe and hassle free trip and I high reccomend Torino as a Coeliac friendly city.

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As you can imagine, when I got home I wanted to try and recreate the amazing gelato I ate while I was out in Italy.

This recipe is a no churn recipe which makes it super quick – the trick to excellent homemade ice cream is to make sure you don’t knock the air out of the cream while you fold the ingredients together.

I reccomend making this ice cream ahead and leaving it to freeze overnight as it needs a good amount of time to set – never a bad idea you’re going to serve it at a party or barbecue the next day.

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No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream 

Ingredients

1 x 397g tin condensed milk

500ml double cream

500g ripe Strawberries, hulled and quartered.

Method

1. Place the Strawberries into bowl and blend using a stick blender. If you don’t mind a few chunky strawberries don’t over blend, but if you want smoother ice cream you should blend until there are no whole strawberries left. Stir through the condensed milk and set to one side.

2. Whip the cream using an electric whisk until it reaches soft peaks (don’t over whip). Gently fold through the strawberry mixture using a spatula – be careful not to knock too much air out of the cream.

3. Transfer the mixture to a freezer safe container and freeze for a least 6 hours.

4. Thaw the Ice Cream slightly before serving.

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Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe (for Coeliac Awareness Week)

Today I’m going to share with you my Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffin recipe in honour of Coeliac Awareness Week, which is being held this week between the 8th – 14th May 2017.

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Coeliac UK have estimated that approximately 1 in 100 people in the UK suffer with Coeliac Disease and just 24% have been properly diagnosed – which  means there are people living with undiagnosed Coeliacs Disease all across the UK, something Coeliac Awareness week is aiming to change.

You can find out more about Coeliac Awareness Week over at Coeliac UK, including ideas about how to get involved.

If you think you have have Coeliac Disease you can find out more information about the symptoms and how to go about getting a diagnosis here.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed and are new to Gluten Free baking, there is a tonne of advice over on my Ton’s Tips and Tricks page.

My Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins recipe is perfect for Gluten Free baking beginners as there are no difficult techniques involved – you don’t even need to worry about the batter being lumpy!

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This recipe was inspired by my Gluten Free White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins recipe which I posted last year,  in that post I listed a few extra tips and tricks to achieve perfect muffins -you can find that post here.

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Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:

275g gluten free self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
100 ml sunflower oil
200ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g milk chocolate chips, refrigerated
Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with 8 muffin cases.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
3. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, milk and vanilla extract until combined then add this to the dry ingredients.
4. Gently mix the ingredients together until they form a batter which is only just combined (don’t worry too much if there are any lumps), then stir through the chocolate chips.
5. Spoon approximately 3 tablespoons of batter into each case – the cases should be about 3 quarters full.
6. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
7. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

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