Chocolate Orange Shortbread – Gluten Free

Chocolate and orange flavours together are to die for and when I found this combination in a shortbread biscuit, I had to have a go at baking them. I came across the recipe in Jamie Oliver’s 5 ingredientbook, which, you guessed it, has delicious meals that only need 5 ingredients. Homemade shortbread that’s tasty and quick? Yes please.

As I have Coeliac, any form of gluten is off the cards, so I adapted the recipe. The only ingredient I changed was the flour, I’m sure there’s a proper way of doing it, but I find in most ‘muggle’ baking recipes this is the only thing that is really required and I haven’t had any problems yet!

Ingredients

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.
  2. Grease a 20cm square baking tin and line with greaseproof paper.
  3. Mix together the butter, flour, sugar and the finely grated zest of half the orange by rubbing the mixture between your thumbs and fingertips.
  4. Squash and pat into dough – don’t knead it – then push into the lined tin in a 1cm-thick layer.
  5. Prick all over with a fork, then bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  6. Remove, sprinkle over a little extra sugar while it’s still warm, then leave to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, then remove.
  8. Cut the shortbread into 12 finger portions, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. It’s really important to make sure the shortbread are cooled before trying to take out. Due to our impatience we ended up breaking a couple of portions!
  9. Drizzle with the chocolate, then finely grate over the remaining orange zest.

 

This recipe is extremely quick and easy and uses ingredients that you would have lurking in your cupboards anyway! The only issue I had was that they were very crumbly, which I can only guess is from the type of flour I used. Still tasty.

Has anyone made any other gluten free biscuits?

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chloemartin1993

Gluten Free Chocolate & Raspberry Cake

It’s taken me a while to decide what kind of content I want to produce on my blog and I’ve decided that I want to focus a lot more on gluten free food and erm, cooking it. After being Coeliac for nearly six months now (woah) I’ve discovered a love for baking and cooking, that I never thought I would.From cooking toasties at uni, more often than not, to actually making food, from scratch, feels like a huge development in my culinary skills. Here goes, my first food post….

I’ve been doing an awful lot of research and recipe hunting in regards to gluten free cake recipes. I’ve made cupcakes, shortbread and brownies and decided that it was the time to create a two layer cake, yes, big challenge! I use Jamie Oliver’s recipes a lot, I find them very simple in regards to ingredients and always a very short cooking time, which is a bonus. We all just want to sit down and eat our creations asap right? I came across his Gluten-free chocolate cake recipe online and the first thing I do is always look at the ingredients. I think it’s very important for gluten free recipes, as gluten free food is expensive anyway and you don’t want a long list of things to buy, for a cake that may not turn out that great. (If you are gluten free then you will know what I mean!) I must say, when I saw the picture I knew I had to try my hand at it.

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Ingredients

  • 300g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing (I use stork butter, not sure whether it’s unsalted but always seems to work wonders)
  • 300g gluten free plain flour (I use Dove Farms flour, around about £2) 
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Tesco’s own brand madagascan vanilla is gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (Dr Oetker is gluten free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk

For the filling

  • 200g icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g cream cheese (I didn’t use cream cheese for my filling, but you can of course add this in) 
  • 70g fresh raspberries
  • Chocolate shavings for the top (I used a twirl, ha! I love twirls and I know that they are gluten free)

As you can see, there are very minimal ingredients involved for making this cake, which is amazing! I have adapted the recipe slightly, especially for the filling as I always find buttercream icing yummier without cream cheese.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Grease two cake tins with butter (roughly 20cm or whatever you have in the cupboard)
  2. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar for around 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Crack in the eggs, then mix in the vanilla extract until combined. Sieve the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and cocoa powder into the bowl, then fold through. Add the milk and stir briefly until you have a nice, smooth batter. If you find the mixture is still stiff, then add more milk
  3. Carefully divide the mixture between the cake tins, then place on the middle shelf of the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, before turning the cakes out onto a wire cooling rack, then leave to cool completely while you make the icing.
  4. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl, then add the butter and beat until smooth. If it’s a little thick, add a splash
    of milk to loosen.
  5. Crush the raspberries with a fork, until it is a gloopy, jam like consistency.
  6. Once cooled, place one of the sponges on a plate or cake stand. Carefully spread over half the butter icing and raspberry filling. Sandwich the second sponge on top and press down slightly, then carefully spread over the remaining icing.
  7. Finish off with shavings of your favourite gluten free chocolate and add raspberries and icing sugar to decorate.

There you have it, a  gluten free chocolate cake recipe that takes just 50 minutes to create. As a coeliac, we don’t have many options out there that are suitable for us to eat, so I find it much more satisfying and tastier to create your own cakes. This cake cost around £5 to make, as most of the ingredients you will have at home anyway. I would recommend always having xanthan gum, as it makes the consistency of your cake mixture thicker and will act as the gluten agent.

 

Although this is not the healthiest recipe in the world, we all deserve a treat. I think this will make a wonderful Christmas cake for Coeliacs!

If you decide to make this, send me pictures of your creations and ask me any questions!

Enjoy!

Lots of Love,

Clox 

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Eating Out For The First Time – Nandos

For any of you reading the title of this post and thinking that is seems rather odd that I ate out for the first time, I did, but with Coeliac Disease. Since I was diagnosed I haven’t ate out, just because I’ve felt nervous about whether I could really trust what the restaurants say, as I’ve heard some really bad horror stories. I’ve noticed that some restaurants and pubs advertise doing gluten free food, but then in the small print it says that everything is cooked in a gluten environment, i.e they may use the same pans and utensils to cook the food. Yes, it is that serious. When I visited my dietician a couple of weeks ago, I received a hefty information pack, which contained restuarants that are highly recommended for people with Coeliac Disease, one of those was Nandos. Okay, it may not seem like the most exotic of choices, but who doesn’t like peri peri chicken?

I have noticed that many high street chains such as Prezzo, Bella Italia, Pizza Express and Wagamamas, seem like such a safe option to eat at, compared to independent restaurant chains. This is perfect for convenience and also affordability, being gluten free is so expensive anyway that I’m reluctant to pay out for a higher priced meal, for something that I may not like. Before I went to Nando’s I did a lot of research regarding their gluten free range and was surprised (and shocked) that the grilled peri peri chicken goodness is naturally gluten free, along with most of their side dishes too. In my head, I just presumed that the sauce contained gluten, just because most sauces I’ve wanted to have and try from the supermarkets contained an ingredient I could not have, so to say I was happy was an understatement. Obviously things like the pittas, wraps and bread based food I knew I had to stay away from, but that still meant there was a lot for me to choose from on the menu.

When me and Adam arrived yesterday at the Peterborough branch, I told the waiter I had Coeliac Disease and was therefore gluten intolerant. He happily said that there is a lot on the menu to choose from and if I did need any help in ordering, then to just ask him, or to go and ask for their allergy bible behind the till. It was great that someone understood how serious it is, and reassuring that they had the knowledge to advise me. We opted for the No Bones Platter, chips and macho peas, which was delicious! Even though it is chicken, chips and peas, to be quite matter of fact, it was heaven eating something anyone else could eat and even better that I knew I wouldn’t be doubled over in pain and feeling sick after eating and I can safely say I wasn’t. I went away feel happy and importantly, full up, which is something I haven’t felt in ages after eating out.

If anyone does have Coeliac, I would truly recommend eating at Nandos, it is such a hassle free meal, that is both affordable and safe to eat.

What’s everyone elses favourite high street restaurant chain?

 

Lots of Love,

Clox

 

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

As some of you may know, I have recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which means any gluten containing product is off the menu, annoyingly. After three weeks of being fully gluten free I have found that many supermarkets offer very over priced, sweet treats, which is when I decided to try my hand at being a Mary Berry and make some tasty snacks. I’m going to start a whole brand new section on my blog, dedicated to Gluten Free recipes and lifestyle as I feel that there is a not a great deal out there, that is easy to read and easy to get hold of the ingredients! If anyone has got Celiac Disease, then I really would recommend getting The Gluten Free Cookbook by DK as it has over 200 easy to bake recipes and a whole section on how to make bread, pastries and more. The pictures may not to do the cakes I made justice, and I do need some work on the icing haha,but they taste amazing and possibly better than “normal” cakes. They’re so light and fluffy (probably due to having no gluten in them) and are the perfect sweet treat, so if anyone wants to try their hand at baking and devour a tasty snack, then read on to find out more!

Ingredients

  • 115g unsalted butter, softened
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g gluten-free self raising flour (I use Dove’s Farm)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Gluten Free cake decorations
  • 200g Icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/ Gas 4. In a large bowl mix the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fluffy. Add 1 -2 tbsp of flour with the last egg to stop the mixture from curdling. Add the remaining flour, milk, and vanilla extract and mix for 1 minute.
  2. Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 20 minutes until the sponge looks golden. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. For the icing, sift the sugar into a bowl, add the vanilla and gradually 2-3 tbsps of water, beating well in between. Spoon the icing over each cake, spreading it to the edges.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. This recipe will make 12 cakes.

This recipe is super easy and the only difference is using gluten free flour, making them really inexpensive to make! I’ve found that with most recipes all you need to do is tweak the ingredients slightly to make them gluten free, which means it is so much cheaper to make your own than buying them from the shops!

 

What’s your favourite Gluten Free cakes and sweet treats?

 

Lots of Love,

Clox

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Real Girl Struggles…Eating Out

I love eating out and I love that you don’t have to worry about cooking the meal yourself and worrying if the food is going to set off the smoke alarm. However, when it comes to eating out, I am so unadventurous. Eating out is, usually, the perfect opportunity to try new foods, that are cooked properly, but for me, I stick with what I know. Which means, after eating, I feel utterly disappointed after chomping on the same chicken based meal and wishing I had ordered something else. It’s also ridiculously difficult choosing something when you have Celiac Disease, especially as I’m in some sort of in between stage until I have my hospital procedure next week. I don’t want to choose something that is bland and tasteless but also, I don’t want to be doubled over in pain. It’s a no win.

So when the waiter comes over and asks “is everything okay with your meal” and politely I reply ” yes it lovely,” in my head I’m thinking, no it’s bloody not, I’ve had this a million times before, I hope it doesn’t leave me in agonising pain and please don’t come over when I have a mouthful of food, thanks. Of course, no one ever reply’s with a negative, just because it is British Etiquette and you should be bloody thankful that they’re waiting on you, hand and foot.

HOWEVER, is it me or do you always have to wait a lifetime for them to bring the bill over? Maybe it’s just me wanting to try and shake the food coma off and have a walk around the block, but it’s like they keep you hostage for that 20 minutes until they decide to bring the card machine over. You end up awkwardly looking around the restaurant trying to catch someone’s eye and when you do, you half smile and look down like it never happened. All I want to do is leave, so please, hurry up.

The moral of the story: try something different (if you can) and be prepared to wait for the bill and if you are worried your food contains gluten, make sure a toilet is nearby.

Lots of Love,

Clox

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