Gluten Free Viennese Whirls (Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

Bake Off is finally back on our TV screens, so queue the nationwide baking frenzie and attempts to recreate bakes from the show at home – sometimes with varing success!

This was certainly the case when I attempted to make a gluten free version of Viennese Whirls, the technical challenge from this year’s Biscuit Week.

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I discovered Mary Berry’s recipe on the BBC Food website and decided to give it a whirl (see what I did there?) – I thought a gluten free version would work quite well and that all I needed to do was change the flour… I was quite wrong!

I followed Mary’s recipe to the letter and all the the tips the bakers mentioned on the show, including insuring the butter was soft enough and chilling the whirls before baking. Unfortunately, they turned out a crumbly mess and I couldn’t even get them off the baking tray without them disintegrating into a million pieces

The recipe definitely required a few further tweaks to work gluten free, so it was back to the drawing board.

I think that the first attempt went wrong because the mixture was too soft and a bit oily which resulted in the mixture melting in oven, despite the fact that I’d chilled the whirls in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to baking.

On my second attempt I decided to use margarine instead of butter, which combatted some of the oiliness, and I added a touch more dry ingredients, which resulted in a firm but pipeable mixture. Again, I  chilled the whirls before baking which helped them to keep their shape.

This time they came out overbaked, which I think is due to the oven temperature being quite high in Mary’s recipe – if you don’t check the biscuits every 30 seconds after the first 13 minutes, you might accidentally overbake them and I definitely wouldn’t recommend leaving them for the full 15 minutes without checking them!

By the third attempt, I knew I had found the right balance of ingredients but decided to drop the oven temperature from 190 degrees to 180 to help to slow down any potential overbaking.

It was definitely third time lucky. The result was a whirl that had kept its shape, was golden but not over baked and was actually stable enough to get off baking tray and be filled. They also tasted delicious and melted in the mouth – heaven!

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Gluten Free Viennese Whirls

Recipe adapted from Mary Berry’s Viennese Whirl Recipe from ‘The Great British Bake Off’ found on the BBC Food website.

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

250g soft margarine (or dairy free alternative)

70g icing sugar

225g gluten free self raising flour

50g cornflour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

Strawberry Jam (Mary’s recipe said Raspberry, but I prefer Strawberry)

100g unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative)

200g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees C fan/gas mark 4.

2. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper, then use a 5cm cutter to draw 8 circles onto each sheet of paper, making sure they are well spaced out. Turn the paper over so the circles are underneath.

3. In large bowl, cream together the margarine, sugar and vanilla with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the gluten free flour and cornflour and beat with the hand mixer until all the ingredients are fully combined.

4. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle – I like to use plastic disposable piping bags because I think they are easier to use.

5. Pipe 24 swirls inside the circles on the baking sheets. Place the baking sheets in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes to help the swirls firm up before baking.

6. Bake for 13—15 minutes, until  pale golden-brown in colour. I reccomend checking them every 30 seconds after the first 13 minutes as the edges can catch and they can easily overbake.

7. Leave the whirls to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes then transfer them to wire rack to cool completely.

8. To make the butter cream, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy and almost white in colour. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

9. To decorate: Spoon a little jam onto the flat side of half of the biscuits, then pipe a swirl of buttercream over the top. Place a biscuit on top of each one to create a sandwich, then dust with a little icing sugar to finish.

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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.

Gluten Free Battenberg featuring Delicious Alchemy’s Gluten Free Vanilla Sponge Mix

There is less than a week until ‘The Great British Bake Off’ returns to our screens, and even though it’s been delayed slightly thanks to the Rio Olympics, I am no less excited to see what surprises lie in store this year.

The return of Bake Off means that Delicious Alchemy’s Gluten Free Magic Bake Off is also back for another year and to celebrate I’m going to share with you my Gluten Free Battenberg Cake which I made using Delicious Alchemy’s Vanilla Sponge Mix

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Back in 2014 I entered Delicious Alchemy’s Gluten Free Magic Bake Off for a bit of fun with a Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake that I made for my sister’s birthday. I ended up making it to the final three bakers and although I didn’t win the overall competition, I was chuffed to bits to make it that far. I hadn’t been on a gluten free diet that long and it gave me the confidence boost I needed to start writing that gluten free food blog my friends were always nagging me to write… the very blog you’re reading now!

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am an enormous fan of Delicious Alchemy’s products, particularly their baking mixes and I always have a few stashed away in cupboard for emergencies just incase I need to whip up something super quick.

Their Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix is perfect for this Battenberg Cake as it makes the process much simpler – you need very few ingredients, whipping up the mixture for the sponge takes only a matter of minutes and the construction of the cake isn’t too daunting as long as you follow the instructions step by step!


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My top tip when making a Battenberg Cake is to use food colouring which is bake stable – I recommend using either a gel or a paste as many liquid food colourings aren’t bake stable which means the sponge won’t retain its colour when baked.


Gluten Free Battenberg

Ingredients

You will need one packet of Delicious Alchemy Vanilla Sponge Mix (400g) spilt into two 200g portions.

Yellow Sponge:
200g Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Vanilla Sponge Mix
100g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk (or dairy free alternative)
A few drops of a yellow food colouring (make sure it’s bake stable)

Pink Sponge:
200g Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Vanilla Sponge Mix
100g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk (or dairy free alternative)
A few drops of pink food colouring (make sure it’s bake stable)

For assembling the cake:
400g ready to roll white marzipan
3 tbsp apricot jam

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 then grease and line a square tin with baking paper.

To save time (and washing up) I decided to bake both sponges in the same tin. To do this, I made a divider out tin foil and placed it down the centre of tin. The divider should fit snuggly into the tin which and should be sturdy enough to stand up by itself. Make sure you grease the divider too so that you can remove the cake more easily.

3) Firstly make the yellow sponge: Place half (200g) of the Delicious Alchemy vanilla sponge mix in a large bowl with the butter, eggs and milk, then beat with a electric hand mixer for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the yellow food colouring and mix for a further 10 – 15 seconds ensuring the food colouring is fully incorporated.

4) Next, make the pink sponge: Place the remaining half of the Delicious Alchemy vanilla sponge mix into a large bowl with the butter, eggs and milk, then beat with a electric hand mixer for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the pink food colouring and mix for a further 10 – 15 seconds ensuring the food colouring is fully incorporated.

5) Carefully spoon the mixtures into the prepared tin ensuring the divider properly separates them.

6. Bake the sponges for 20 – 25 mins. Check the sponges are cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle of each sponge, if the skewer comes out clean then the sponges are ready.

7. Leave the sponges to cool in the tin for a moment and then transfer the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely – If you attempt to assemble the cakes whilst they are still warm they will crumble.

8. Once your cake has cooled, trim the tops with a sharp knife or a cake wire to ensure they are flat and even in height.

9. Place the sponges on top of each other and trim the edges so that they are nice and neat.

10. Cut the sponges in half, straight down the middle so you are left with four long pieces of sponge.

11. Gently heat the jam in a pan or a microwave to make it easier to spread.

12. Take one of the yellow and one of the pink pieces of sponge, brush the top and sides lightly with the apricot jam then place them side by side. Brush the next two pieces of sponge with jam and then place them on top so that they create the iconic checked pattern.

13. Knead the marzipan in icing sugar until it becomes more pliable then roll it out into a large square which is longer than the length of the cake and wide enough to wrap around the cake.

14. Make sure the cake is evenly covered in apricot jam to ensure that the marzipan sticks to the sponge. Place the cake onto the marzipan and tightly wrap it around the cake.

15. Trim off the the excess marzipan to create neat edges and leave the ends exposed so the  checked pattern can clearly be seen.

16. Serve!

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You can find out more about Delicious Alchemy’s Gluten Free Magic Bake Off, including how to enter, on their website.

They also have 25% off their baking and bread mixes on their online shop until the 4th October 2016 to celebrate the start of GFMBO so you can stock up and get practicing your skills!

Gluten Free Buckwheat and Peanut Butter Flapjacks (No Oats)

Today I’m going share with you my Gluten Free Buckwheat and Peanut Butter Flapjack recipe.

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I have been working on this recipe for a while, after a kind request from a friend who struggles to tolerate oats. The objective was simple: create a flapjack that looks and tastes like a traditional flapjack but that doesn’t contain any oats, not even gluten free ones.

I happily excepted the challenge because there are many Coeliacs who struggle to tolerate gluten free oats (despite the fact that they are considered to be okay) and there are many looking for an alternative that will work for them.

When I was looking for an oat subsitute I came across some gluten free Buckwheat flakes in my local health food shop; they are slightly paler in colour than oats but are similar in size and texture so I thought they would work well – If you think you can tolerate buckwheat then this recipe might be worth a shot.

It took a few attempts to get the recipe just right. The first attempt resulted in a flapjack that was so crumbly that I couldn’t even cut it into squares and the second attempt was a complete disaster when I accidentally over baked them and they turned out as hard as rocks – oops!

It was definitely third time lucky. The final attempt resulted in the perfect buttery, and chewy flapjack which didn’t crumble at the slightest touch – result!

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I deviated slightly from the brief and used peanut butter which I know isn’t particularly traditional, but I love the flavour! If you’d prefer a more traditional flapjack or have a nut allergy you can miss out this ingredient and they will work just as well.

Free Buckwheat and Peanut Butter Flapjacks

Makes approximately 16 flapjacks

Ingredients

175g unsalted butter
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
150g soft brown sugar
300g buckwheat flakes

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/Gas Mark 2, then throughly grease and line a square tin (20cm x 20cm) with greaseproof paper.

2. Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the peanut butter, golden syrup and brown sugar then stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and you can no longer feel any grains scraping the bottom of the pan.

3. Add the Buckwheat flakes and mix until all the ingredients are fully combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it right into the corners and pressing it down flat with the back of a spatula.

4. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. The flapjack is ready when the top becomes a beautiful golden brown and is soft to touch – do not be tempted to bake it for longer; although the flapjack will seem too soft, it will firm up as it cools down.

5. Leave the flapjack to cool completely before cutting into squares (5cm x 5cm) – if you attempt to cut the flapjacks before they are properly cold they will crumble, so patience is definitely a virtue!

I hope you like this recipe and give it try!

If you want to keep up to date with my kitchen adventures you can find me on Instagram @titchyton or on my Facebook page.

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 Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Granola

It’s a well known fact that I love Peanut Butter and that I would put it in everything and anything, if I could!

In my opinion, granola is made infinitely better with the presence of peanut butter which not only delicious, but dairy free too. To make this granola recipe completely dairy free, just miss out the chocolate chips or use chunks of dairy free dark chocolate instead.

The recipe is easily adaptable, so you can change up the ingredients depending on what you fancy and it’s also lovely healthy way to start to the day, as the oats will give you that energy boost to get through until lunch time!

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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Granola  

Ingredients:
250g gluten free oats
3 tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter (preferably one containing only natural sugars)
1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
50g Dark Chocolate Chips (optional)
A handful of chopped unsalted peanuts

Method:

1) Preheat Oven to 180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4.

2) In a large heavy bottomed pan mix the peanut butter, oil and maple syrup over a low heat, then add the oats and stir until combined.

3) Spread the oats into a thin layer across a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, then scatter across the chopped peanuts.

4) Bake the mixture for 5 minutes, give the oats a a quick stir with a wooden spoon, then return them to the oven and to bake for a further 5 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Once the Granola has cooled completely, stir through the chocolate chips (optional).

If you want to keep up to date with my kitchen adventures you can find me on Instagram @titchyton or on my Facebook page.

I would also like to mention a very exciting project which the good folks over at Delicious Alchemy are getting up to.

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To celebrate their 10th birthday, Delicious Alchemy are setting up a charity called ‘The Delicious Alchemy Charitable Foundation’ which will aid people on a restricted diet, particularly those who are going hungry, by donating gluten free food to food banks such as those supported by the Trussell Trust in the UK.

For their first fundraising project they are planning to produce a recipe book – all proceeds will go The Delicious Alchemy Charitable Foundation – but they need funding to help make this a reality!

Crowdfunding for the project starts on the 18th of April, but in the meantime you can help spread the word signing up to the Thunderclap, a platform that sends a one time message out about the project on the 18th of April via your chosen social network.

To sweeten the deal, everyone who signs up to the Thunderclap will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 10 Delicious Alchemy goodie boxes.

You can sign up to the Thunderclap here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/37982-delicious-alchemy-crowdfund?locale=en

I’m proud to support such a great cause and I hope you will get involved too!

Find out more about The Delicious Alchemy Charitable Foundation here: http://www.deliciousalchemy.co.uk/2016/03/the-delicious-alchemy-charitable-foundation/

 

Gluten Free Easter: Carrot Cake Recipe

Today, I’m going to share with you my Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe – perfect for those of you who aren’t too keen on chocolate but still want something sweet to celebrate the Easter weekend.  
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I love Carrot cake, and whilst it isn’t necessarily thought of as a traditional Easter bake, I really can’t think of a better time of year to enjoy it. After all… Easter, Spring, Bunnies… it all makes sense really!

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This cake is really quite simple to make and keeps really well –  In fact, it tasted as good, if not better a few days later. It can also be kept at room temperature, although, if your house is a bit warm it may be best kept in the fridge.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

For the cake:
300g gluten free self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
200g grated carrots
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
175g light brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
150ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs

For the frosting:
2 x 180g tub philadelphia cheese
1 x 250g tub mascarpone cheese
4 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Plus decorations, I used these House of Cake Carrot Sugar Decorations from Sainsbury’s.

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 and grease and line a round 7″ tin with greaseproof paper.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then stir through the grated carrots and chopped walnuts.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, sunflower oil and maple syrup, then add this to the dry ingredients, mixing until the ingredients are just combined.

4. Spoon the ingredients into the prepared tin and then bake for 50 – 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted through the middle comes out clean.

5. Remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool completely before assembling. `

6. For the frosting, gently mix together the Philadelphia, Mascarpone and vanilla extract then gently fold through the icing sugar.

7. Carefully cut the cake into two halves using a sharp knife or cake cutting wire.

8. Place the base of the cake onto a serving plate, cover it with and even layer of frosting then place the second piece of cake on top. Spread remaining frosting across the top using a palate knife and finish off the cake with your chosen decorations.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend. If you are looking for any more Easter baking inspiration why not check out my Gluten Free Mini Egg Ice Cream recipe which can be found over on The Daily Spectacle website. It’s a no churn recipe and it can be prepared ahead – the perfect dessert for Easter Sunday Lunch.

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There are lots of other Easter recipes for you to try here on my blog too, including my Mini Egg Millionaire Shortbread, Chocolate Nest Cupcakes and Easter Sugar Cookies or you can see what else I get up to over the Easter weekend over on my Instagram or Facebook Page.

 

Gluten Free Easter: Mini Egg Millionaire Shortbread

It doesn’t feel like two minutes since Christmas, but March is here, Easter is almost upon us and I’m excited to be sharing with you my first Easter recipe of the year – Gluten Free Mini Egg Millionaire Shortbread.

imageI’m rather obsessed with Millionaire Shortbread and Mini Eggs are quite possibly my favourite Easter confectionary, so I just had to put them together in a bake!

I don’t know what I’d do if Mini Eggs weren’t gluten free, but they do contain Maltodextrin, which whilst being a gluten free ingredient can sometimes prove troublesome for Coeliacs. There are a couple of supermarket alternatives out there, however, which don’t contain maltodextrin, including ‘Micro Easter Eggs‘ from Sainsbury’s and ‘Chicky Choccy Eggs’ from M&S. ‘Galaxy Golden Eggs‘ are also gluten free and would create and interesting finish.

 

This bake would make a lovely treat for the children after a busy Easter Egg hunt and is the perfect way to use up any left over Mini Eggs after Easter!

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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

For the chocolate layer:
200g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate

To decorate:
1 x bag of mini eggs

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C/gas mark 3 then grease and line 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 you are 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 4 – 5 minutes, giving it a good whisk after each minute.

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. Smooth the caramel in an even layer over the shortbread base, then 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.

11. Decorate the top with mini eggs – I broke up a few mini eggs by bashing the bag with a rolling pin which I then scattered across the top – then leave to set before cutting into equally sized pieces.

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There will be more Easter bakes coming up very soon, but in the meantime, you can keep up to date with my kitchen adventures on Instagram or on my Facebook Page.

UPDATE – Here in the UK Mini Eggs are definitely Gluten Free, but I’ve been informed that Mini Eggs in the US may contain gluten due to potential cross contamination risks during the manufacturing process.

Gluten Free White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins

February has been such an incredibly busy month for me, so I’ve very little time to sit down and get this blog written, but I promise I’ve not been neglecting you!

In fact, I’ve been working on perfecting one of my favourite bakes and I’m really excited to finally be able to share with you my recipe for Gluten Free White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins!

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In the past I’ve struggled to bake the perfect gluten free muffins – often they don’t rise enough or the texture is more like that of a cupcake rather than a muffin, which are supposed to have a much denser texture as opposed to being light and fluffy.  

After a bit of trial and error I have come up with a recipe which I think ticks all the right boxes; the texture was exactly right and the muffins rose enough to create that classic muffin look.

Here are a few golden rules to abide by if you want perfect gluten free muffins:

1. Mix the dry ingredients separately to the wet ingredients – This helps to make sure that the raising agents are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

2. Don’t over mix the batter – Because of the lack of gluten we need something to make the muffins rise, so don’t over work the batter as this can cause the raising agents to work less affectively. Stir the ingredients until just combined and don’t worry about any lumps.

3. Use the right amount of raising agents – I found that baking powder alone wasn’t enough so I also used a small amount of bicarbonate of soda – but don’t use too much or it can leave an unpleasant flavour.

4. Keep chocolate chips in the fridge until you need them – This simple trick stops the chocolate chips melting in the oven and helps them to retain their shape.

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My muffins have an added twist, in that they have a raspberry jam centre but you could use fresh raspberries, if you prefer!

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Gluten Free Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins
Makes 8

Ingredients:
300g gluten free self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
75 ml sunflower oil
200ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g white chocolate chips, refrigerated
8 tsp raspberry jam

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, 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 1 and a half tablespoons of batter into each case, followed by a teaspoon of jam then fill the muffin cases with a further tablespoon of batter, ensuring the jam is fully covered.

6. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

7. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Gluten Free Scones Recipe

Scones have always been one of my  favourite bakes. They were the very first thing I was taught to bake at school and are a good bake for baking beginners.

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I used to have a little trouble making good gluten free scones – the end result would often be quite crumbly and couldn’t get them to rise like I wanted.

I’ve discovered that an egg and a little milk is required to help bind the ingredients together – making the dough ever so slightly wetter than normal (but not sticky) helps to ensure that the scones don’t dry out during baking.

Possibly the most important tip is not to roll the dough out too thin, otherwise your scones will end up rather flat –  start off with a little height (at least 3cm) and you’ll end up with nice tall scones.

I chose to make some of the scones with glacé cherries and some without – feel free to leave them out if you’re not a fan, but if you do use cherries, make sure you wash the syrup off them as they can make the scones a bit soggy in places!

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Gluten Free Scones
Recipe makes approximately 6 – 8 Scones.

Ingredients:
250g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
75g Butter, unsalted
40g Caster Sugar
75ml Milk
2 eggs (one for glazing)
50g Glacé Cherries, chopped and rinsed (optional)

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 a pinch of salt.

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

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

5) Add the milk bit by bit (you might not need it all) 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 about 3 cm thick – don’t roll out the dough too flat or you will have very flat scones!

7) Cut the scones out with 6cm flutted scone cutter. Place the scones on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper then lightly brush each one with beaten egg.

8) Bake the scones in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

9) Leave the scones to cool on a wire rack before serving with jam and clotted cream!

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If you want to keep up to date with my kitchen adventures you can find me on Instagram @titchyton or on my Facebook page.