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.

IMG_5468

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.

IMG_5473

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!

IMG_5471

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.

IMG_5474

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.

 

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.

IMG_5136

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!

IMG_5138

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.

IMG_5139


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.

IMG_5133

Gluten Free Easter: Marmalade Simnel Cake

Today I am going to share with you my Gluten Free Marmalade Simnel Cake recipe.

IMG_4506For me, it simply wouldn’t be Easter without Simnel Cake – a traditional cake made up of a lightly spiced fruit sponge with a hidden marzipan layer. It is topped with 11 marzipan balls which are said to represent the 11 apostles, minus Judas.

My recipe is a slight twist on the traditional Simnel Cake. I have added a little more liquid in order to create a moist sponge, as Gluten Free Flour requires more moisture than normal flour – Simnel cakes are usually slowly baked on a low temperature for a long time, so the extra moisture is necessary to prevent a dry cake.

I also used Orange Zest instead of Lemon zest and instead of apricot jam I brushed the cake in a generous layer of marmalade.

IMG_4516

Simnel Cake would make a beautiful centrepiece for a special Easter Sunday meal, it is also easily prepared in advance and will comfortably feed a large family.

Gluten Free Orange and Marmalade Simnel Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

200g butter, softened
200g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
200g gluten free self raising flour, sifted
3 large eggs, whisked
500g sultanas, raisins, mixed peel
Zest 1 orange, plus 2 tbsp of juice
2 tbsp marmalade, gently warmed
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
300g Marzipan, for the centre

To decorate:
2 tbsp Marmalade
500g Marzipan, to decorate

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 140 Degrees C/Gas Mark 1 and grease and line a loose-bottomed cake tin.

2) In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer or a wooden spoon.

3) In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients: sift together the flour, baking powder and spices, then fold through the fruit and the orange zest.

4) Add the eggs one at a time to the wet ingredients along with a tablespoon of dry ingredients to stop the mixture from splitting. Ensure each egg is fully combined before adding the next one.

5) Fold in all the remaining dry ingredients, then add the marmalade and orange juice and mix until fully combined.

6) Spoon half the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth out with a spatula.

7) Roll out 300g of marzipan into a circle large enough to fit the tin and place it on top of the cake mixture

8) Spoon the remaining mixture on top of the marzipan and smooth out with spatula.

9) Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour 40 – 50 minutes, until the cake is deep golden brown and firm to touch.

10) Leave the cake to cool in the tin slightly before turning it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

11) Once cake is cool, brush the top with a generous amount of marmalade which which will help the cake to stay moist.

12) Roll out 400g of Marzipan into a circle large enough to cover the top of the cake.

13) Place the marzipan on top of the cake and divide the remaining marzipan into 11 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into 11 balls and arrange them around the edge of the cake in a circle.

14) Place the cake under a grill high heat for a minute or so until the marzipan is golden brown – watch it like a hawk or the marzipan could burn!

15) Place the cake onto a serving plate and wrap it in a pretty ribbon.

You are now ready to proudly display your beautiful and entirely gluten free Easter centre piece for all the family to admire!

IMG_4512

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

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Cocoa Pops Recipe

Every year I make it my New Years Resolution to eat breakfast every single day – but, every year I fail miserably and just end up  feeling pretty bad about myself and my lack of willpower. So this year, instead of coming up with resolutions I know I won’t keep, I decided to challenge myself to come up with fun breakfast ideas and to just enjoy food more.

My breakfast of choice used to be cereal and wouldn’t just eat it for breakfast, I’d have it as an after school snack or for a late night feast – now, I can’t eat most cereals as a lot of popular brands aren’t gluten free, and haven’t found many gluten free cereals which I really like or that don’t contain copious amount of sugar and additives.

This morning I had a huge craving for Coco Pops, so I decided to try to make my own homemade version and I’m very pleased with how they turned out.imageThese homemade Cocoa Pops are super easy to make – you only need four very basic ingredients and they can whipped up in less than 20 minutes. The recipe uses a natural alternative to refined sugar and is both dairy and gluten free, but I promise they are delicious and taste just as good, if not better than the shop variety!

image


Gluten Free Cocoa Pops

Ingredients

3 cups puffed rice
60 ml maple syrup
30 ml sunflower oil
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees/Gas Mark 3 and line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2. Place the maple syrup, oil and cocoa powder into a sauce pan and place it over a low heat. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon until no lumps remain, then fold through the puffed rice until it is fully coated in the cocoa mixture.

3. Spread the mixture into a thin layer across the two baking trays. Bake for 6 – 8 minutes, until the puffed rice becomes crisp – make sure to give the cereal a stir half way through the bake time.

4. Leave the cereal to cool on the baking trays for a few minutes, then it’s ready to enjoy!

image

Gluten Free Christmas: Gingerbread Wreath

We are 12 days into advent and I finally feel as though I’m getting into the full swing of the festivities. So far most of Advent has been spent in the kitchen working on festive bakes, most of which have involved copious amounts of edible glitter which I keep finding everywhere, including in my hair, on the floor, on the cat…

Today I’m going to share with you my recipe for this gingerbread wreath which is definitely an excuse to get out the edible glitter.

 

img_3316

The Gingerbread wreath is completely edible (except for the Red Ribbon) and although it looks impressive and difficult to achieve, it was actually incredibly easy! You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a large dinner plate, a sharp knife and a few different sized cookie cutters. Whipping up the gingerbread dough takes only a matter of minutes and the construction of the wreath isn’t too daunting, as long as you follow the instructions step by step. The wreath is not really design to be used as a decoration as the ribbon won’t support the weight of a wreath – but it would make a lovely edible Christmas gift.

img_3321


Gluten Free Gingerbread Wreath

This recipe is inspired by Cassie Best’s Gingerbread Wreath for BBC Good Food

Ingredients

For the Gingerbread:
125g gluten free self raising flour blend
200g rice flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
125g unsalted butter
150g soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp black treacle
1 large egg

To Decorate:
200g Ready to roll Icing
30 ml cold water
250g icing sugar
1 egg white
Edible glitter

You will also need:
A sharp knife
1 x large dinner plate
1 x inch piping nozzle
1 x 9cm round cutter
1 x small star cutter
1 x medium star cutter
1 x large star cutter
1 x small angel cutter
1 red ribbon

Method

1) In a large bowl, sift together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon. Using your hands, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it becomes like fine bread crumbs and then stir through the dark brown sugar.

2) In a separate bowl whisk the egg with a fork, then add this to the cookie mixture along with the golden syrup and black treacle. Mix until the ingredients come together. The cookie dough will appear quite wet at this stage but don’t be tempted to add more flour or you will dry out the dough!

3) Gently knead the dough on a floured surface with floured hands until it turns into a smooth, soft and slightly sticky ball of dough. Dust the dough with flour as you knead to stop it sticking to the work surface. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours – chilling helps the dough to firm up so it can be rolled out.

4) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/160 fan/gas mark 4. Roll half of the dough out in between two sheets of greaseproof paper until it is the thickness of a 1 pound coin. Remove the top layer of greaseproof paper, then place a large dinner plate face down into the centre of the dough and use a sharp knife to cut out a large circular disc of gingerbread.

5) Transfer the gingerbread onto a baking tray (you can use the bottom sheet of baking paper to line your tray) then use a 9 cm circular cutter to cut out a circle of dough from the centre of the gingerbread disc and a 1 cm piping nozzle to cut out a hole for the ribbon.

6) Bake the base of your wreath for 10 to 12 minutes – watch out for the edges catching.
Once baked, leave the wreath to firm up on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring it to wire rack to finish cooling.

7) Roll out the remaining dough and cut out 5 large stars, 4 medium stars, 11 small stars and 2 angel shapes. Arrange the shapes onto a baking tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes – the smaller cookies will need checking after 8 minutes.

8) Once baked, leave the cookies to firm up on the baking tray for a few minutes bering transferring them to wire rack to finish cooling.

9) While the cookies cool, make the royal icing: place 1 egg white in a bowl and slowly sift icing sugar in batches. In between each batch of sugar, stir the icing with a wooden spoon or a balloon whisk until the icing thickens up, then transfer the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small writing nozzle.

10) Next, make the fondant icing: break the ready to roll icing into pieces and place them in a bowl. Add a splash of water and use a spatula to break up the icing until it starts to become more paste like, then add the rest of the water and beat with an electric hand mixer until the fondant becomes runny.

11) Spread the fondant icing over the 5 large star shapes and sprinkle each one with edible glitter. Decorate the remaining pieces with the royal icing and leave all the pieces to dry for about an hour before you assemble the wreath.

12) Use the remaining royal icing to stick the biscuits to the wreath. Sprinkle the wreath with edible glitter and thread a red ribbon through the hole to finish.

img_3343

 

There will be plenty of festive bakes coming your way really soon. Meanwhile, why not come and see what else I’m getting up to over the festive season by following me on Instagram or Facebook. Remember, If you give this recipe take a snap of it and share it with me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #titchytonbakes and I will share my favourites on my Facebook page!

Gluten Free Christmas: Stollen Muffins

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… and I don’t know about you, but I’m rather glad. It’s been a scary and rather uncertain year with everything that has been going on in the world, so I’m grateful for a distraction and I hope that a bit of Christmas cheer will help to take my mind off it… and yours too!

So, get ready for my first Christmas recipe of the year and prepare to feel fabulously festive.

image

My Gluten Free and Dairy Free Stollen Muffins are every bit as tasty as actual Stollen and are the perfect way to get your Stollen fix, without the hassle of making bread.

Stollen is a German Christmas bread which usually contains dried fruit, almonds, marzipan and spices, such as cinnamon. These muffins are chock full of everything you’d find in traditional stollen, but with a dash of my favourite tipple for good measure, because it’s Christmas!

image


Gluten Free and Dairy Free Stollen Muffins 

Ingredients

2 – 3 tbsp Cointreau (you could also use Brandy, Rum or Amaretto)
200g mixed dried fruit (I used sultanas/raisins/cherries/mixed peel)
300g gluten free self raising flour
Zest of an orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g ready to roll marzipan (chopped into small pieces)
100g caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
100 ml sunflower oil
200 ml almond milk
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 vanilla extract
50g flaked almonds

Method

1) Leave the mixed fruit to soak in Cointreau overnight.

2) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.

3) In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, orange zest, cinnamon and ginger, then stir through marzipan.

4) In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, almond milk, vanilla extract and almond extract until combined, then add this to the dry ingredients.

5) Gently mix together all the ingredients using a wooden spoon until you are left with a batter which is only just combined (don’t worry too much if there are any lumps), then stir through the dried fruit and the flaked almonds.

6) Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin case, then bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

7) Leave the muffins to cool completely on a wire rack, before dusting them with icing sugar to finish.

Be sure to store the muffins in an air tight container and they will last for 4 to 5 days.

image

Keep your eyes peeled for lots more Christmas recipes coming soon, but in the meantime why not try some of my Christmas recipes from previous years:

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Gluten Free Hazelnut, Cranberry and Orange Biscotti

Gluten Free Cointreau Christmas Cake

Gluten Free Kransekake (Traditional Scandinavian Cake)

Gluten Free Fondant Fancy Cupcakes (Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

Today I’m going to share with you my Gluten Free Fondant Fancy Cupcakes recipe which is inspired by the showstopper challenge from the Semi Final of ‘The Great British Bake Off’.

image

Last week’s show saw the remaining four bakers battling it out over Patisserie for a place in final, but sadly Selasi didn’t make the cut. He might not have made it to the final, but he did win over the hearts of the nation and I will definitely miss him during this week’s show. Speaking of this week, the final will be a very bittersweet occasion, as although I am excited to see who wins, I am sad that this is the last episode of GBBO as we know it.

What I’m going to miss most is how the show has inspired me to bake things I’d never thought of trying – this includes fondant fancies, which were featured on last week’s show.

I used to love Fondant Fancies and seeing them on the show has made me feel super nostalgic – I remember having them at my Grandma’s house when I was little and how I always would choose the pink ones, because I liked them best!

I will admit though, Fondant Fancies looked incredibly difficult and fiddly to make, so I decided to go for a more simple approach. My Fondant Fancy cupcakes are much a easier to achieve, but they are every bit as delicate, dainty and delicious as the fondant fancies I remember.

image

These cupcakes would be lovely served at afternoon tea or a birthday party and are sure to impress, despite being deceptively simple.

Gluten Free Fondant Fancy Cupcakes

Makes approximately 16 small cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

150g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
150g caster sugar
150g gluten free self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk (or dairy free alternative)

For the buttercream:

100g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
100g icing sugar

For the fondant icing:

300g ready to roll icing
50ml cold water
A few drops of pink food colouring

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C/gas mark 3 then line two cupcake trays with 16 cupcake cases.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.

3. Add a tablespoon of flour, then beat in the eggs a little bit a time before sifting in the remaining flour and baking powder. Add the milk, then beat the ingredients together with the electric hand mixer until combined.

4. Spoon two teaspoons of mixture into each cupcake case, being careful not to overfill them. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch.

5. Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack. To make the buttercream, beat the butter with an electric hand mixer until it’s very light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat until all the ingredients are combined, then transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle.

6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, pipe a blob of buttercream onto each cupcake then place them in freezer to firm up while you make the fondant icing.

7. Cut the ready to roll icing into pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add a splash of water and using a spatula start to break up the icing until it starts to become more paste like. Add the rest of the water and beat with an electric hand mixer until the fondant becomes more runny.

8. Save a couple of tablespoons of the white icing to decorate the top of the cupcakes. Add a couple of drops of pink food colouring to the remaining icing and mix until the fondant turns a light pink colour.

9. Remove the cupcakes from the freezer. Spoon a little of the pink fondant icing over each cupcake, then use a palate knife to spread out the icing making sure that the buttercream is covered.

10. Put the left over white icing into a piping bag fitted with a small writing nozzle. Pipe the icing across the top in a zig zag pattern.

image

Gluten Free Bakewell Tart (Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

Today I’m going to share with you my gluten free take on Mary Berry’s Bakewell Tart, as featured on the latest episode of ‘The Great British Bake Off’.

image

This week the bakers had to tackle pastry and they were tasked with making Danish Pastries, Filo Pastry Amuse Bouches and a Bakewell Tart, which was this week’s technical challenge.

There was some controversy on Twitter after the show aired that Mary’s bake was not a Bakewell Tart, but in fact a Cherry Bakewell because it was topped with an almond flavoured icing – apparently a traditional Bakewell Tart is supposed to be topped with layer of flaked almonds, not icing.

It may annoy traditionalists, but I decided to stay true to Mary’s recipe and go for a layer of icing…  but I did add some flaked almonds for good measure!

image

The challenge making a gluten free version of this bake is coming with a good shortcrust pastry recipe.

Gluten free pastry can tend to be a little on the crumbly side, so it’s important that there is enough liquid in the mixture to help bind the ingredients together. My recipe uses a combination of egg yolks and butter to achieve this, but if the mixture is being little stubborn, a drop of water can be added to help bring it together.

It’s also incredibly important to chill your pastry before using it, as it this really does help to make it more pliable.

Finally, a good quality non stick tart or flan tin with a loose base is essential, or you will struggle to get your tart of its tin!

image

Gluten Free Cherry Bakewell Tart

(Recipe inspired by Mary Berry’s Bakewell Tart recipe from ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

You will need a 8″ inch fluted flan or tart tin with a loose base.

Ingredients

For the Pastry:

200g plain gluten free flour

50g ground almonds

75g  icing sugar

2 egg yolks

125g butter

A drop of water

For the filling:

4 tbsp seedless raspberry jam

150g butter, softened

150g caster sugar

150g ground almonds

1 large free-range egg, beaten

1 tsp almond extract

For the icing: 

300g icing sugar

1 tsp almond extract

A handful of toasted flaked almonds to finish

Method

1) To make the pastry, stir together the flour, ground almonds and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl.

2) Rub together the flour mixture and the butter, add the egg yolks and start to bring the mixture together your hands.

3) Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough until it comes together in a smooth ball – you can add a few drops of water to help, if necessary.

4) Wrap the pastry in cling film and put it in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes to an hour – this is very important as the colder the pastry is, the easier it is to work with.

5) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4, then throughly grease your tart tin with butter.

6) Roll out the chilled pastry between two sheets of greaseproof baking paper (this will prevent the pastry from sticking to your work surface) until it is about the thickness of a 1 pound coin.

7) Use greaseproof paper to help you 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.

8) 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.

9. Meanwhile make the Frangipane: cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, ground almonds and almond extract until the ingredients are combined.

10. Leave the pastry case to cool down slightly before spreading the jam over the base of the case in an even layer. Next, spoon the Frangipane into the case and smooth it out with a palate knife.

11. Bake the tart for 25 – 30 minutes or until the Frangipane is golden brown and firm to touch. If the pastry starts to get a little too much colour, put some tin foil over the tart, this will prevent it from burning.

12. Leave the tart to cool completely before decorating. While you are waiting, toast your flaked almonds by spreading them over a lined baking sheet and baking them at 180 degrees for about 5 minutes until toasted.

13. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the almond extract and 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water and mix until you are left with a thick but spreadable icing.

14. Spread the icing over the cooled tart using a palate knife. Sprinkle over the toasted almonds, then serve!

image

I hope you enjoy this recipe and all other recipes I have recreated during this series of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ so far.

I love seeing your bakes, so if you try any of my recipes please take a snap and share it on Instagram or Twitter by using the hashtag #titchytonbakes or post a picture on my Facebook page.

 

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

Over the past week there has been an uproar over the news that the BBC has lost the rights to host ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and that as of the next series it’s new home will be channel 4, after they paid double the amount than the BBC had offered to take the show. Mel and Sue stepped down from hosting the show saying that they are ‘not going with the dough’ and today Mary Berry has also announced that she will be exiting the show, leaving fans worried about the future of their favourite programme  – it’s been more dramatic than series 5, when Ian dumped his Baked Alaska in the bin!

I, for one, am absolutely gutted that this is the end of Bake Off as we know it, but I have a huge amount of respect for Mel, Sue & Mary for not selling out. I don’t know whether I will continue to watch the show over on channel 4, but I am determined to enjoy every second of the current series, while it lasts.

To help cheer everyone up, today I’m going to share my Gluten Free Churros Recipe, inspired by the showstopper challenge from this year’s Batter Week.

image

Batter week saw the bakers tackle stuffed Yorkshire puds, delicate lacey Pancakes and a simple Spanish street food called Churros, out of which they were expected to create a spectacular showstopper.

To achieve perfect Churros the bakers were tasked with making a choux pastry like dough that would be soft enough to pipe, but firm enough to keep its distinctive shape during frying. The Churros also had to be crisp on the outside and cooked to perfection on the inside, so it was essential to get the oil at the right temperature otherwise you may end up with uncooked dough inside… oh, and they had to be uniform in size!

Last year I worked a lot on perfecting my gluten free choux pastry, so as I already had a recipe which I thought would work, I decided I would give Churros a try.

image

My Churros plan – does anyone else make notes whilst watching bake off?

It took a few attempts to find the perfect balance of ingredients. I made my first batch of dough following my gluten free choux pastry recipe, but the result was a dough that was slightly too soft – perfect for choux buns, but not stiff enough to keep its shape in hot oil.

My second batch was much better as I used less egg which helped to give the dough a much firmer consistency. I also discovered that the pinch of baking powder I’d added to my choux pastry recipe was not required for Churros as it made them puff up and split during frying.

Getting the oil to the right temperature without a deep fat fryer was tricky, although not impossible – it’s a good idea to do a few testers first and adjust the temperature accordingly. I also found I had better success piping the Churros straight into the pan (as opposed to piping them onto parchment paper) which is fine as long as you don’t mind them not being uniform!

I’m pleased to say that once I had ironed out all these issues, the result was Churros which were beautifully crispy and light and fluffy on the inside.

imageI recommend eating them fresh as they don’t keep all that well. I served mine with a rich chocolate dipping sauce and together I think they would make a fantastically unique dessert for a dinner party.

Gluten Free Churros with Chocolate Dipping Sauce 

Ingredients

For the Churros:

60g gluten free self-raising flour

1 tbsp caster sugar

55g unsalted butter

110ml cold water

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Churro coating:

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp caster sugar

Plus 1-litre sunflower oil for frying the Churros.

For the chocolate dipping sauce:

100g good quality milk or dark chocolate

100ml double cream

1 tbsp golden syrup

Method

1. Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low to medium heat, then add the water, sugar and butter and bring the ingredients to a gentle simmer.

2. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and quickly beat in the flour until all the ingredients come together in a smooth ball. It’s important to cook out all the flour, so if you can still see some flour keeping beating.

3. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and beat it gently for a few seconds with a wooden spoon to help release some steam – this will help the mixture to cool down.

4. In small bowl whisk the egg to break up the yolk.

5. Once the pastry mixture is cool, add the vanilla extract and then the egg a bit at a time whilst beating with an electric hand mixer – don’t add the egg whilst the mixture is hot or you will end up with scrambled eggs!

6. At first the mixture will look a little bit lumpy but keep beating and adding the egg bit by bit until it becomes a smooth and stiff dough.

7. Transfer the mixture to piping bag fitted with a star nozzle then  place the dough in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, slowly heat up the oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat while you make the chocolate sauce.

9. To make the chocolate dipping sauce, together the chocolate, cream and golden syrup slowly in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Gently stir until all the ingredients together, then set aside the sauce to cool.

10. Once the dough has chilled, you can fry your churros – you’ll know the oil is ready when the surface starts to shimmer.

To double check the temperature of the oil, test a little bit of the mixture and adjust the heat accordingly. If it takes more than a few minutes for the dough to turn golden brown, your oil needs to be slightly hotter, but if the dough turns a deep golden brown after about 30 seconds it’s too hot and the oil needs to cool down slightly. The perfect Churros should be ready within 4 to 5 minutes and should be crispy.

Whatever you do, don’t leave leave the hot oil unattended at any point.

11. Pipe 3 to 4 Churros directly into the hot oil and use scissors to snip off each one. Don’t cook too many at once as this can reduce the temperature of the oil and your Churros will take longer to cook – the longer they take to cook means they are exposed to the oil for longer, this can make them soggy!

Fry each Churro for 4 to 5 minutes, turning them over occasionally with kitchen tongs to make sure they are cooked on all sides. Transfer them to kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil. Keep going until all the dough is used up.

12. Mix together your caster sugar and cinnamon, then roll each Churro in the mixture until they are coated.

13. Serve immediately accompanied with the chocolate dipping sauce.

 

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

image

image

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!


image

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!

image

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!