Gluten free churos (work in progress)

Building on the success of the chocolate cake we got our creative juices going to make a dessert with some chestnut flour we had picked up recently.   We are calling it gluten free churos as this is closest thing it resembles but still needs a bit of work to get the texture just right.   We are pretty happy with our first attempt and thought we would share this with you in the hope that you can input your ideas on improving and perfecting it.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup of chestnut flour
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and boiled with a few cloves and a black cardamom pod and then mashed
  • 2 tsp fruit sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • Oil to fry

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Mix all the ingredients in bowl and knead together to form a soft dough.   Heat oil in a frying pan and fry long strips till done.   The end result is a crispy exterior with a semi chewy interior.  We used a traditional South Indian muruku press to place the dough into the oil – works a treat.

Gluten free chocolate sponge

The ultimate compliment any parent can receive from their child on their cooking – “it is incredible”.   Our young six year old was being unusually excited about dessert as he wanted us to bake him a cake with custard just like his school cafeteria.  Normally Anna does the baking but I wanted to give gluten free baking a go and worked off a standard sponge recipe my mother normally uses (equal measures of flour, sugar, butter and eggs) and added my own extras.  Barring the initial mishap of baking the cake under the grill for the first 15 minutes (burnt the top – scrapped it off in the end!) the end result was an exceptionally moist chocolate cake which the entire family enjoyed.

Chocolate cake

What do I need to make it?

  • 200 gms gluten free flour (we use Dove’s Farm all purpose flour)
  • 250 gms softened butter
  • 250 gms golden caster sugar
  • 50 gms cocoa
  • 1 bar dark chocolate (melted)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar to sprinkle on top (optional) 

How much will I make?

12″ round cake

How do I make it?

Cream sugar and butter in cake mixer before adding the remaining ingredients (except the cocoa and melted chocolate).  Keep mixing till you get a glossy sheen before adding the cocoa and melted chocolate.   Place batter in a greased cake tin and bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degree Centigrade for 45-50 minutes or till the cake is cooked.  Remove and cool on a wire rack before sprinkling the icing sugar on top.  Serve on it’s own or with a good dollop of creme fraiche/vanilla ice cream.

Gluten free bread

Since going on the Paleo diet Shiv and I have not touched bread in the last four months.  As I have been experimenting with gluten free baking of cakes and cookies I decided to give bread baking a shot.   The base recipe is borrowed from “The Best Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes” by Grace Cheetham with some tweaks.   We made some fresh mint and coriander chutney with a twist to go with it.

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Gluten Free Bread

What do I need to make it?

  • 450 gms gluten-free bread flour (we used Dove’s Farm)
  • 2 eggs
  • 350 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp malt vinegar
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp quick acting yeast
  • 3 tbsp mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame and sunflower)
  • 1 tbsp unrefined sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

How much will I make?

1 kg loaf (medium loaf about 12 slices)

How do I make it?

Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar.  Warm the almond milk and then beat eggs into it with the malt vinegar.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and then add the milk mixture and mix into a sticky dough.  Add 2 tbsp of seeds and oil and continue to mix till all the ingredients are bound together.  Pour into a greased loaf tin and sprinkle remaining seeds on top and cover with moist cloth and  set aside for an hour to allow the dough to rise.  Place loaf in a pre-heated oven at 220 degree Centigrade for 40-45 minutes.  Crust should turn dark brown and centre cooked through (check with skewer to ensure it comes out dry).  Remove and cool loaf on wire rack before slicing.

Mint & Coriander Chutney

What do I need to make it?

  • Small bunch fresh coriander
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • 3 stalks of basil leaves
  • 2 sprigs of green onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1 bird’s eye red chili
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp unrefined sugar
  • Salt to taste

How do I make it?

Place all ingredients in a blender and grind to a fine paste.  Add lime juice and adjust seasoning before serving.  This chutney can be used a marinade for barbecued fish/chicken or as an alternative salad dressing without oil.

Gluten/Lactose Free Almond milk pancakes

I  have always struggled with breakfast as I do not have a sweet tooth and do not usually like something sweet for breakfast.   Our breakfast options have become rather limited after we started our gluten free journey.  I can no longer bolt down a slice of toast before rushing off to drop the kids off in school.  I have found a breakfast idea which I enjoy and can be made really quickly and the great thing about this is I can have a sweet or savoury option.

 What do I need to make it?

  • 1 ½ cup gluten free all-purpose flour (we use Dove’s Farm)
  • 1 tsp unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 250 ml Almond milk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Dash of vanilla essence (optional)
  • Butter or oil to grease the pancake while cooking (just a little)

How many will I make?

Around 8-10 small pancakes

How do I make it?

Whisk all the ingredients together to make a smooth batter.  Heat non-stick  frying pan and then pour a ladle of batter and spread evenly by moving the pan in a circular motion.   Add butter/oil around the pancake.  Serve the pancakes hot with a traditional maple syrup or fresh seasonal fruit.  Alternatively, chop up some overripe bananas and heat them through with a knob of butter and 2-3 tsp of honey (if allergic to honey buy a bottle of Agave nectar which is a fantastic alternative)  to get a warm banana compote.

For a savoury option, chop up some spring onion, a red Thai chilli, coriander leaves and a couple of tablespoons of sweet corn.  Drop all the ingredients in the batter before making the pancakes.

Makkai roti – semi Paleo approach

Most makkai roti recipes call for the addition of wheat flour which gives the dough some elasticity.  We tried to make makkai roti’s (although corn is not strictly Paelo and frowned upon by some we have taken a more practical approach to our diet and try to adhere as much as we can to Robbs guide) a few times with little success.  We once tried it with a beaten egg and the dough felt soft but couldn’t be rolled out.  Finally we think we have cracked it with the addition of Xanthum gum.  Another tip – if you want perfectly round rotis use a large cookie cutter and voila!

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup of gluten free fine  corn/maize meal (get a makkai roti flour from Indian shops (yellow colour) – we used Dilsbury brand – not to be confused with the dough boy!)
  • 2 tsp Xanthum gum
  • 1 tbsp oil (vegetable or sunflower)
  • Salt to taste

How many will I make?

Makes around 10-12 rotis

How do I make it?

Mix ingredients in a bowl and knead with a bit of cold water till you get a firm dough like consistency.  Roll out, cut with cookie cutter (optional) and cook on hot tawa/pan.  Use a bit of ghee to coat either side again optional for the health conscious and Paleo purists.  Serve hot with the gravy dish of your choice.

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