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’.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.