Sweet and Salted Peanut Butter Popcorn Squares

These Sweet and Salted Peanut Butter Popcorn Squares are the perfect treat to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon, snuggled up on the sofa in your pyjamas while you watch a film Marathon. Be careful though, they are super moorish!

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Gluten Free Sweet and Salted Peanut Butter Popcorn Squares 

Ingredients

For the popcorn squares:
60g butter
100g gluten free salted and sweet popcorn
180g white mini marshmallows
3 tbsp chunky peanut butter

To decorate:
50g milk and dark chocolate

Method

1) Grease and line a square cake tin with baking paper.

2) Place a large heavy bottomed pan over a low to medium heat, then add the butter and marshmallows and heat them until they have completely melted.

3) Fold the peanut butter through the marshmallow mixture, then add the popcorn and stir until fully coated.

4) Working quickly, spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out using a greased palate knife until it starts to reach corners of the tin.

5) Place a large square of grease proof paper over the top of the mixture, then use your hands to press the mixture right down into the tin.

6) Peel off the greaseproof paper and leave the mixture to set for a few hours.

7) Once the mixture has set, turn it out of the tin and cut it into bite size squares.

8) Next, melt the chocolate in heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Transfer the chocolate into a piping bag and pipe a zig-zag pattern over each popcorn squares.

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Store the popcorn squares in an airtight container and they should last for up to a week.

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Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

Last weekend I went to stay with my sister and her boyfriend up in Leeds and on a rather dull and grey sunday afternoon, we decided to bake a Lemon Drizzle cake.

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My family are not coeliac or on a gluten free diet, but they are always happy to try and critique my gluten free cakes whenever I’m around and I’m happy to report that they think they taste just as good as normal cakes!

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When I was little, my mum used to make the most delicious lemon flavoured Madeira cake and have I tried to create a gluten free version of her Madeira cake as the base of my Lemon Drizzle.

Here a few snaps of our afternoon:


Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

175g caster sugar
175g butter, softened
225g gluten free self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest from an unwaxed lemon
3 tbsp lemon juice

To decorate:
150g icing sugar
3 – 4 tsp lemon juice
Finely grated lemon zest

Method

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees c/gas mark 4 then grease and line a 2 lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Sift together flour and baking powder then stir through lemon zest.

3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer until pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time along with one tablespoon of the flour to stop the mixture from curdling.

4. Stir through the remaining flour and lemon juice and mix until all ingredients are fully combined.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, then bake for 50 – 55 mins minutes.

Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake to check if it’s cooked– if it comes out clean the cake is ready.

6. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, before turning it out on a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

7. To make the icing: sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the water slowly whilst stirring – the icing shouldn’t be too runny but should be spreadable.

8. Spread the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it drip down the sides.

To finish, sprinkle finely grated lemon zest across the top of the cake.

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Gluten Free Christmas: Hazelnut, Cranberry and Orange Biscotti Recipe

It’s December which means one thing and one thing only… IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!

We are only a week into December and my friends have already accused me of Buddy The Elf levels of excitement at least a hundred times… but I can’t help it because Christmas is my favourite time of the year!
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The decorations are up, I’ve made my first batch of gingerbread, I’ve drunk my first mulled wine of the season and I’ve listened to my Christmas playlist on loop for about a week so I can confirm that I am officially in full Christmas mode.
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For me, the best thing about Christmas is the food. I love all the flavours that the season has to offer more than any other time of year and quite frankly it’s not christmas without spicy gingerbread, chewy chestnuts, juicy clementines or even Brussels sprouts!

Following a gluten free diet has never stopped me enjoying Christmas either. If anything, I’ve found more enjoyment in food because having to bake my own festive treats is all part of the fun.

I have tonnes of Christmas recipes which I cannot wait to share with you but I’m going to start with my Hazelnut, Cranberry and Orange Biscotti recipe.
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Since I shared my Cranberry, Almond and White Chocolate Biscotti recipe a few months back I’ve had it in my mind to create a version using more festive flavours for Christmas.

When my family and I arrive home from church on Christmas morning we usually enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with a sweet treat just before opening all the presents. I think this year these Biscotti would be absolutely perfect and I will definitely be making a batch for the big day.
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Gluten Free Hazelnut, Cranberry and Orange Biscotti 

Ingredients:
150g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
300g gluten free self raising flour, plus extra for shaping the dough
3 large eggs
150g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
75g dried cranberries
1 tsp orange zest
2 tsp hazelnut syrup or extract (I used Monin Hazelnut Syrup)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4.

2. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

3. In a large bowl, stir together the caster sugar, baking powder and flour.

4. Add the eggs, cranberries and hazelnuts then mix until all the ingredients are combined.

The mixture will be slightly wetter than expected so please don’t panic and add more flour. Remember that gluten free flour needs more moisture than regular flour and these biscuits are going to be baked twice – if you add more flour you’ll end up with a very dry dough which will result in an overly dry biscotti that cannot be baked twice.

5. Separate the mixture into two halves and generously dust a work surface with a flour.

6. Spoon one half of the mixture onto the work surface into a rough log shape then dust the mixture with a generous layer of flour – do not knead or roll the mixture but gently use your hands to shape the mixture into a log shape. The flour will stick to the mixture like a coating which will help the log keep it shape whilst allowing the inside to stay soft.
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7. Transfer to the log to a baking tray (you could use a cake lifter to help) then flatten the log slightly so it’s approximately the width of a ciabatta. Repeat the with the other half of the mixture then place the second log on the tray – make sure you leave a little room between to allow them to expand slightly.

8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the biscotti is golden brown. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack to cool completely. Leave the oven on.

9. Once the biscotti is cool, slice it diagonally across into inch thick slices. Do not attempt to slice the biscotti whilst still warm or it will crumble.

10. Transfer the biscotti back onto the baking tray and bake for a further 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Leave the biscotti to cool completely before serving.
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I can’t wait to show you what else I have planned for Christmas, but if you are looking for more Christmas inspiration in the meantime, why not take a look at my Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies recipe which I posted last Christmas, or, follow me over on Instagram or Facebook to see what else I’m getting up to.

The Allergy & Free From Show (London Olympia) Review

Yesterday I attended the first day of The Allergy and Free From Show, which is being held this weekend (3 – 5 July 2015) at the London Olympia.

The show prides itself as being ‘Europe’s largest free-from family day out’ so I was really looking forward to seeing what was on offer and anticipated bagging myself a bargain or two.

Upon arrival I was directed into a huge hall and I was taken aback by the sheer number of exhibitors attending the show – 221 to be exact!

I am someone who ends up shopping at a number of different supermarkets in order to have more choice and to compare the deals on offer, so it was a wonderful to have so many products all under one roof – let’s just say, I was like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.
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A huge benefit of attending a show like this is getting the opportunity to try before you buy and the majority of the exhibitors also offer special deals on their products, so it’s worth bringing a bag and stocking up on your favourites.

As you’d expect, there were lots of well known brands in attendance, including:

  • Udi’s (who also sponsored the show)
  • Sainsburys
  • Tesco
  • ASDA
  • Doves Farm
  • DS (soon to be Schär)
  • Genius
  • Warburtons Newburn Bakehouse
  • Nairns
  • Bfree
  • Delicious Alchemy
  • Mrs Crimbles
  • Nak’d

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A lot of companies, especially the big brands, were showcasing new products and it was a great to opportunity to speak to companies face to face and give them feedback, which they were more than happy to receive.

I also discovered so many brands I hadn’t heard of before, including Pudology, Sweet Rebellion, Venice Bakery and Dohertys.

As you’d expect from an Allergy and Free From show, the majority of exhibitors were focused mainly on Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free and Dairy Free products, but there also quite a few companies exhibiting Nut Free and Sugar Free Products.

Despite the fact that the majority of food on offer was suitable for Coeliacs you still need to exercise some caution when sampling products as it’s not just a gluten free show. A lot of companies had signs up stating any allergens that their products might contain, but be sure to double check with the stall holders before you sample anything – they were all really friendly and more than willing to help.

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Meeting the lovely ladies at Delicious Alchemy

There were also other things to do at the show besides shopping, including cooking and baking demonstrations and a ‘speakers corner’ where people could share their experiences. There was also an activity for children called ‘Allergy Adventures’ which helped educate children with allergies on how to stay safe and healthy.

In the same hall there were two other food shows, the Love V show (for Vegetarians & Vegans) and the Love Natural Love Organic Show – both of which you could also attend if you had tickets to the Allergy and Free From Show.

Overall, I was highly impressed with the amount the show had to offer and I had such a lovely time meeting like minded people and chatting to the companies about their products. This year you could get hold of free tickets for the show which meant more to spend on bargains so it was totally worth attending! I heartily recommend this show to everyone, including those who might have friends or family who suffer from food allergies, Coeliacs Disease or IBS.

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Just a few of the bargains I picked up at the show!

Tomorrow (Sunday 5th July) is the last day you can catch the show at London Olympia but if you miss it, there is also a show in Liverpool on the 7th and 8th of November 2015 and according to their website they are planning to launch a show in Scotland in March 2016.

For more information visit: http://www.allergyshow.co.uk/london/ or for a full list of exhibitors click here.