Delicious Alchemy Christmas Products Review

There are 9 weeks to go until Christmas and though it still seems a little way off, it’s not too early to start getting excited!

I was definitely excited when I received an early Christmas present from the elves over at Delicious Alchemy. The team at DA kindly sent me some of their brand new Christmas products to try, and as there are some absolute crackers (Get it? Crackers?!) I thought I would share my thoughts on them with you.

All of the products below are already available to buy over on the Delicious Alchemy Shop.

Gluten Free Christmas Fruit Cake Mix

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This product was actually launched last Christmas, but I’m absolutely thrilled it’s back this year! My mum, in particular, was very impressed with this mix and thought the cake was so much better than her usual shop bought cake – and if something gets the mum seal of approval, then it must be good!

The Christmas Fruit Cake Mix is both gluten and dairy free, good for those of you with multiple intolerances. It is one of Delicious Alchemy’s more expensive baking mixes at £5, but that’s because you get a huge 650g bag which is chock full of dried fruit, including dates, raisins and sultanas and all the ingredients are spiced beautifully – as soon as I opened the bag, I could smell Christmas!

Like all Delicious Alchemy’s products, it super easy to make – the cake mix takes a matter of minutes to whip up, so it’s perfect when you’re a little short of time during the festive period.

As well as Christmas Cake, this mix would make a great Christmas Pudding!

Gluten Free Sage and Onion Stuffing

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When I received the package from Delicious Alchemy I had no idea what was going to be in it, so I was really excited when I opened it to find Stuffing Mix!

I’ve actually never had stuffing on Christmas Day because the one my family usually has contains gluten and while my parents are great at catering for my dietary requirements, I know that they can’t always find a gluten free alternative for everything.

I think they will be more than happy to try out this gluten free stuffing mix this year, as it tastes just as good as normal stuffing and you’d never know it’s gluten free. I also love the traditional flavour combination of sage and onion – yum!

As well being gluten free and dairy free, the stuffing mix is also vegetarian – which means my sister can have some too.

Again, like Delicious Alchemy’s other products, the stuffing was quick and easy to make – you add water and oil, leave the mixture to stand before rolling it up into balls shapes before baking for 20 to 25 minutes – foolproof!

If my house is anything to go by, the kitchen can get rather hectic on Christmas day –  these stuffing balls could easily be prepared the day before and baked just before you need them.

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Remember tuffing isn’t just for Christmas! You could have this stuffing all year round with a Sunday roast.

Gingerbread Mix

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The final new product is probably my favourite – Gingerbread Biscuit Mix!

As I’ve mentioned on my blog before, it’s simply not Christmas without Gingerbread and I always bake a batch on Christmas Eve to enjoy with a cup as of tea before we open our presents on Christmas morning.

I was sceptical whether this mix would live up to my own  Gingerbread recipe, but I was pleasantly surprised!

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The Gingerbread dough is easy enough to achieve – simply add butter, eggs and golden syrup, work the mixture into a dough then chill it before you cut out your biscuits to make the dough more managable.

I like my Gingerbread to pack a powerful punch, so I was worried the ginger flavour might not be strong enough for me, but the level of ginger was just right – the biscuits were sweet but with a lovely fiery kick.

I do like my Gingerbread to be a slightly darker colour though, so next time I might experiment and add a little bit of treacle as well as golden syrup.

The biscuits weren’t too soft and had some snap to them, they also kept well for a few says in an airtight container.

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I made these rather handsome gingerbread men, but you could use this mix to make more a more festive Gingerbread House.

All of the above products are available to buy as a special Christmas bundle or they can be purchased separately from Delicious Alchemy’s Shop.

Delicious Alchemy do not pay me to advertise their products, they sent me products to sample in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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.

Coeliac Awareness Week: Gluten Free Cheese Scones

Here in the UK it is Coeliac Awareness Week and to help raise awareness of this important campaign I am posting very simple Gluten Free recipes to help any newly diagnosed Coeliacs get started.

My first post was my Victoria Sandwich Recipe and today I will be sharing my recipe for Gluten Free Cheese Scones.
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Scones are a true classic and a bake that should be in every baker’s repertoire. They are perfect for beginners (they were certainly the first thing I learnt to make) and possible to achieve Gluten Free – you just need to make sure the dough is moist enough!

Gluten Free Cheese Scones

This recipe makes approximately 8 scones.

Ingredients:
250g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
75g Butter, unsalted
Pinch of Salt
75g Mature Cheddar, plus extra for the top.
2 eggs (one for glazing)
75ml Milk

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/Fan Oven 200 degrees C/Gas Mark 6.

2) In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3) Rub together the butter and flour mixture until you have a breadcrumb like texture, then stir through the cheese.

4) Add an egg and start to bring the mixture together using a wooden spoon.

5) Add the milk bit by bit and use your hands to bring the mixture together in a smooth dough.

6) Lightly dust a work surface with flour then roll out the dough to 3/4cm thick – don’t roll out the dough too flat or you will have very flat scones!

7) Place the scones on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Lightly brush the top of each scone with beaten egg then sprinkle over a little bit more cheese.

8) Bake the scones in a preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes until they are golden brown.

9) Leave the scones to cool on a wire rack or enjoy warm with lashings of butter! To refresh the scones, sprinkle them with a little cold water and gently warm them in the oven.

Please don’t forget to check out my Victoria Sandwich Recipe for Coeliac Awareness Week or if you are looking for more inspiration take a look at my Recipes Page.

You can also keep up to date with my kitchen adventures on:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/titchyton/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/titchyton

Coeliac Awareness Week: Gluten Free Victoria Sandwich Cake

It’s Coeliac Awareness Week!

Here in the UK approximately 1 in 100 people suffer with Coeliac Disease, however, due to the fact it is commonly misdiagnosed it is believed that an estimated half a million people are living with undiagnosed Coeliacs Disease every day – something that this campaign is aiming to change.

To help raise awareness of this fantastic campaign, this week I will be posting very simple Gluten Free Recipes starting with my Victoria Sandwich Recipe.

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Victoria Sandwich is one of those really classic bakes. This week I will be all about those classic favourites that people don’t want to miss out on just because they are on a Gluten Free diet. I also hope these recipes will inspire any newly diagnosed Coeliacs to get baking!

Gluten Free Victoria Sandwich

Ingredients:

Sponge:
150g Caster Sugar
150g Unsalted Butter
150g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (I used Doves)
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 large Eggs
3 – 4 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Filling:
Strawberry Jam
Icing Sugar, to decorate.

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees C Fan Oven/Gas Mark 4.

2) Grease and line two sandwich cake tins.

3) In large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.

4) In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy.

5) Add the eggs one at a time along with a tablespoon of flour to stop the cake mixture from splitting – make sure each egg is fully combined before adding the next one.

6) Fold in the remaining flour, milk and vanilla extract until all the ingredients are fully combined.

7) Divide the cake mixture between the two sandwich tins and smooth it to the edges using a palate knife.

8) Gently tap the tins on the work surface to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cake is golden on top – the cake is ready when it is firm to touch.

9) Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.

10) To assemble the cake: place one of the cakes onto a serving plate and cover it with a thick layer of jam. Place the second piece on top then dust with icing sugar for a lovely finishing touch!
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Please check out www.coeliac.org.uk to see how you can get involved with Coeliac Awareness week or share this recipe with your friends to help to spread the word.

You can also keep up to date with my Gluten Free adventures by following me on Instagram or on Facebook.

Gluten Free ‘HP Sauce’

Today I had a bacon Sandwich with HP Sauce for the first time in almost 3 years, and it was GLORIOUS.

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If you asked me which foods I miss the most since giving up Gluten, top of the list would be HP Sauce.

It has always been my favourite and was a firm fixture on my family’s dinner table, in fact, we couldn’t live without it so much that we would take it on holiday to Italy with us – that, and Yorkshire Tea!

I was upset once I realised I could no longer eat HP Sauce as it contains Malt Vinegar… but, I am a firm believer that with creativity it’s possible to eat everything thing I used to before and so I decided it was finally time to attempt making my own HP Sauce. The aim? To make it as close to the real deal as possible.

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Gluten Free HP Sauce

This recipe makes approximately 500ml.

You will need 1 550ml Glass Preserve Bottle or a Twist Top Bottle which you will need to Sterilise:

1. Remove the wax seal or lid. Wash the bottle in hot soapy water, rinse well then and leave to dry.
2. Place the bottle in an oven on a low temperature (140 degrees C/ Gas Mark 1) for 15 minutes, do this shortly before the sauce is ready so that the bottle remains warm.
3. Sterilise the wax seal or lid in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes.
4. If you are using a clip top bottle, replace the wax seal once the bottle has been sterilised.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Olive Oil
4 Shallots, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
65g Dates, with the stones removed and chopped.
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
200 ml Water
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Ground Pepper
100ml Apple Juice
150ml Cider Vinegar
50ml Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Molasses or Black Treacle
1/2 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Cornflour

Method:

1) Heat the Olive Oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat.

2) Fry the Shallots and Garlic for 4 -5 minutes until soft, then add the dates and 150 ml of the water.

3) Using a hand blender, blend the ingredients into a thick paste.

4) Add the remaining 50 ml water, tomato puree, ginger, cinnamon, ground pepper, and turmeric powder. Give it a good stir and then simmer the ingredients over a low heat for 10 minutes.

5) Remove the pan from the heat, then press the mixture through a sieve with a wooden spoon into a clean pan.

6) Add the Apple Juice, Cider Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, Molasses and Sugar then return the pan to the heat and boil the sauce for 5 minutes.

7) Place the cornflour into a small bowl, then add a few tablespoon of liquid from the sauce to to make a paste.

8) Add the cornflour paste to the sauce and then whisk with a balloon whisk to ensure there are no lumps.

9) Boil the sauce for a further 4 minutes whilst whisking continuously.

Tip. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps after you’ve added the cornflour – just sieve the sauce again.

10) Remove the sauce from the heat and leave to cool slightly before carefully pouring the sauce into your sterilised bottle –  you may need to use a funnel to help you do this safely.

11) Leave the sauce to cool before storing -the sauce should keep up to 3 – 4 weeks in the fridge.

I hope you give my recipe a try this weekend. If you are looking for Gluten Free inspiration you can check out all the recipes I have posted to date on my Recipes page.

Remember that you can also keep up to date with all my kitchen adventures on:
Instagram or on my Facebook page.

Gluten Free Gnocchi

I have always been a keen baker, but I can’t say I have always been the most confident cook – until I gave up gluten!

When I started my Gluten Free diet over two years ago I decided to become a better cook, believing that if I had better cooking skills I would find a way to eat everything I used to before.  What I didn’t expect was how enthusiastic I would become about food and how much it’s taken over my life. I love experimenting to find away to eat ‘normal’ dishes and this newfound enthusiasm has prevented me from feeling down about the food I can’t eat.

Now, as well as baking all the sweet treats I love, I have started to develop savoury recipes and today I’m going to share with you one of the first savoury recipes on my blog, this very easy Gluten Free Gnocchi recipe.

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Making food from scratch is so rewarding but can often be very time consuming. I’m pleased to say this recipe is very quick as you only need 4 ingredients and you won’t require any specialist equipment. Gnocchi also cooks in a matter of minutes, making it a quicker option than pasta.

Gluten Free Gnocchi
Serves 3 – 4 people.

Ingredients:
800g Potato (Approx 2 Large Potatoes)
200g Rice Flour (I used Doves)
1 Large Egg
1/2 tsp Salt

Method:

1) Peel and cut the potatoes into similiar sized chunks to ensure the potatoes cook evenly.

2) Place the potato into a steamer and cook for approximately 20 mins until it starts to become soft – but do not over cook.

You can boil the potatoes but I prefer to use a steamer as it prevents the potatoes from soaking up too much moisture. If you boil the potatoes you will need to ensure you drain the potatoes well and soak up any excess moisture with paper towels.

3) Drain the potatoes and leave them to cool on kitchen paper in order to help them dry out.

4) Finely grate the cooled potatoes – you can also use a potato ricer.

5) Place the flour and salt onto a clean work surface, make a well in the middle of the flour for the potatoes, then add the egg.
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6) Use your hands to work the ingredients together until it starts to form a smooth dough.
7) Work the dough into a rectangle and then cut the dough into slices using a dough cutter.
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8) Roll out each piece of dough into a ‘rope’.
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9) Cut each rope into inch long pieces.
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0) Roll each piece up into a ball then indent them with a fork to create the classic gnocchi indentation.
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11) Place the Gnocchi in boiling water and cook for 2 – 3 minutes – you will know the Gnocchi is cooked when they float to the surface. Remove the Gnocchi from the heat immediately and drain to prevent it from over cooking.

Gnocchi is so versatile, so you can experiment with a variety of toppings. I like to top mine with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese then gently bake it in the oven to create a Gnocchi Bake.  Delicious!

Gluten Free Black Forest Gâteau Recipe + My Gluten Free Birthday Party

Happy Monday Everyone!

I hope I can help get your week off to good start with my Gluten Free Black Forest Gâteau recipe, a quadruple layer cake, which I made for my Birthday last week.
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My birthday is usually a rather quiet affair, as it falls just after Christmas and people are usually a little too down to do anything because of Post-Christmas Blues.

I decided this year that I was going to have a little party, and that hopefully that would help to cheer people up! I wanted to come up with a menu that was both fun and most importantly quick, because when I have friends round for dinner I usually end up in the kitchen all night, rather than socialising.

Some of my guests were Vegetarian, so I decided to make the menu entirely Vegetarian as well as Gluten Free so that no one felt left out. One of my guests was also Egg Free and as my Black Forest Gateau contained eggs, I made them an alternative Egg Free dessert.

My Birthday Menu:

Drinks:
Lime and Pomegrante Fizz Mocktail (Recipe at www.whatjessicabaked.com)

Prosecco

Nibbles:

Toasty Cups filled with Spicy Five

Bean Salad & Salsa (Inspired by this recipe on BBC Food)

Paneer Cheese Bites coated in

Sesame Seeds with a Chutney Dip

Cheesy Nachos with Homemade Salsa

Desserts:

Gluten Free Black Forest Gâteau

Homemade Nutella Ice Cream (Recipe at www.whatjessicabakednext.com)

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The party went off without a hitch because the majority of the food was prepared the day before, such as the cake sponges and the ice cream, meaning the hours leading up to the party were just for finishing touches, including assembling the cake.

What I was most happy with was that the food was suitable for everyone attending, proving that with a little imagination you can prepare a menu suitable for all sorts of different dietary requirements.

Now, back to the main event and the showstopper of my party – my Gluten Free Black Forest Gâteau:
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Ingredients

For the Sponges:
200g Butter, softened
200g Caster Sugar
175g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
25g Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
4 Large Eggs
3 – 4 Tbsp Milk

To Assemble the Cake:
2 tbsp kirsch (optional, miss out if you want a non alcoholic version)
600ml Double or Whipping Cream
400g Black Cherry Jam
200g Good Quality Milk Chocolate
A handful of Fresh Black Cherries to decorate

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees C/160 Fan Oven/Gas Mark 4

2. Grease and line the bases of two 9 inch cake tins.

3. In a large mixing bowl sift together the GF flour, Baking Powder and Cocoa Powder.

4. In a separate mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.

5. In a small separate bowl add the eggs and whisk them throughly with a fork.

6. Using your electric hand mixture, beat the egg alternated with large spoonfuls of the flour mixture into the butter and sugar. Scrape the bowl down well in between additions and continue until all the egg and flour has been fully incorporated.
Then, gently fold in the milk until fully combined.

7. Carefully spoon the cake mixture into the cake tins, ensuring both tins contain equal amounts of cake mixture.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 – 25 minutes. If baking the sponges on separate shelves, remember to swap the sponges around towards the end of the bake to ensure they are evenly baked.

9. To test the sponges insert a skewer into the centre of both sponges. If the skewer comes out clean the sponges are baked.

10. Leave the sponges to cool in their tins slightly before turning them out onto cooling racks. Allow both sponges to cool completely before storing them in the fridge to chill overnight (or for a few hours, at least). This will help make the cake easier to assemble.

11. Once the sponges have been chilled you are ready to assemble your cake: Firstly, use a wire cake cutter or a sharp knife to cut each sponge half horizontally so that you are left with 4 sponges.

12. Next whip the cream with an electric hand mixer until it resembles soft peaks and gently sieve the jam so that it spreads onto the sponges easier.

13.  Take your first piece of sponge and lay it flat onto your serving plate. Prick the sponge with a cocktail stick and gentle spoon over 1/2 tbsp kirsch (if using) then spread over a generous layer of cherry jam.

14. Using a palate knife gently spread a layer of cream over the the jam then place your second piece of sponge on top and repeat the steps until you have four layers of sponge and three layers of cream and jam. You should save some cream to decorate the top of the cake later.

15. Gently melt 175g of chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, saving the remaining 25g to decorate the top of the cake later.

15. Spread the chocolate over the top of the cake and leave to set.

16. Once the chocolate has set, pipe the remaining cream around the edge of cake to create a frame, then grate the remaining chocolate into the centre of the cake and gently place the fresh cherries around the the edge.

Voilà! One Black Forest Gâteau Showstopper!

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