Gluten free pineapple upside down cake

We have long been wanting to bake this cake but invariably defaulted to making something that had been tried and tested.  As we were expecting guests for lunch on New Year’s day we decided to take a chance and bake this cake for dessert.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 250 gm gluten free self raising flour
  • 250 gm soft butter
  • 150 gm light moscavado sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 5 pineapple rings
  • 15 glazed cherries

How much will I make?

12″ round tin

How do I make it?

Grease and line cake tin with parchment paper – pre heat oven to 180 degree.   Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer before adding the eggs, vanilla extract and milk.   Keep mixing for a few minutes before adding the flour and baking powder.   Continue till you get a nice glossy mixture.   Spread the base of the cake tin with golden syrup – layer the pineapple rings with glazed cherries in the middle of each pineapple ring.  Pour in the cake mixture and bake in oven for and hour to an hour and fifteen minutes till cake is done.   Remove and turn the cake over so the pineapple rings are on top.   Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.

 

Gluten free Chinese noodle soup

In a hurry, here’s a recipe for a hearty Chinese noodle soup which is very warming/satisfying and helps endure the sudden change in weather.   We have gone from warm low twenties one week to low teens the following week – I guess that’s English weather for you.  With the barbecue going into hibernation it’s time to get the creative juices flowing with some new recipes for soups, casseroles and stews starting with this one.  Hope you enjoy it as much as Anna and I did.

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What do I need to make it?

  • Handful brown rice soba noodles boiled with a pinch of salt and drained
  • 1 closed cup mushroom sliced
  • 1 chestnut mushroom sliced
  • 2 baby corn chopped
  • 4 mangetout
  • 1/4 carrot finely chopped
  • 1/4 celery stick finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of spring onion chopped
  • Small clove of garlic chopped
  • 1 gluten free chicken stock cube
  • 1 tbsp Shaohsing wine
  • 1 tsp Tamari soya sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 tsp Sriracha chilli sauce
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chilli oil
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • Handful chopped coriander to garnish
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

1 hearty serving

How do I make it?

Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped garlic.  Stir for a minute before adding the carrot and celery.    Stir for another couple of minutes before adding remaining vegetables (except the spring onion and coriander).   Sprinkle the 5 spice powder and pour in 500 ml of boiling water.   Add the stock cube, sauces and seasoning and simmer over a low flame for 5 minutes.   Toss the spring onion in and switch off the heat.    Place cooked noodles in a large bowl and pour the soup over it.   Garnish with fresh chopped coriander and enjoy.

Gluten free spaghetti without sauce

Ever get tired of eating pasta or spaghetti with a tomato or cream based sauce – here’s an alternative which I personally love as it is simple to make and tastes great.

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What do I need to make it?

  • Handful of gluten free spaghetti cooked and drained
  • 1/2 courgette halved and sliced
  • 1 stick of celery chopped into bite size pieces
  • 4-5 button mushrooms quartered
  • 2 green chillies
  • Small onion/shallot sliced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

1 large serving

How do I make it?

Heat a heavy bottom pan and add olive oil and garlic – saute for a couple of minutes.   Add the sliced onions, chopped green chilli and celery and cook for 5 minutes till the onions go translucent.   Add the remaining vegetables and cook for 4-5 minutes.   Season with dried Italian herb, salt and pepper.   Add the cooked spaghetti and give it a good toss.   Finish with garnish of fresh chopped parsley, Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Gluten free coffee & walnut cake

Having discovered chestnut flour a few weeks back I decided to bake with it today and replaced our normal gluten free flour mix in a coffee and walnut cake.   Net result, I think texture wise it is better and the cake is not as crumbly.  Another incentive for using it moving forward is that it is a singular flour and not a composite of many.  I searched the web for some inspiration and found that almost all the recipes for the cake are similar with slight alterations to the icing (equal measures of flour, sugar, butter and egg with personalized extras thrown in for good measure!)   Here’s my recipe for gluten free coffee and walnut cake (notice the equal measures!!)

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What do I need to make it?

  • 250 gms chestnut flour (singoda)
  • 250 gms golden caster sugar
  • 250 gms softened unsalted butter
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1 tsp espresso coffee powder
  • 5 tbsp Kaluha
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 50 gms chopped walnuts

For the icing

  • 100 gms icing sugar
  • 1 shot of espresso

How much will I make?

12″ round tin

How do I make it?

Cream the butter and sugar first before adding the eggs.  Continue whisking before adding the flour and baking powder.  Whisk for another 5 minutes before adding remain ingredients barring the walnuts. Keep whisking till you get a nice glossy sheen – finally add the walnuts and fold them into the batter.   Pour into greased pan and place in a 180 degree Centigrade pre-heated oven for 45 minutes to an hour till cake is done.   For the icing mix the icing sugar and espresso a little at a time till you get a thick mixture.   Add more icing sugar if the mixture is too runny.   Pour over cooled cake and allow to set before slicing and serving.

Millet (ragi) flour pancakes (gluten and lactose free!)

Having successfully made pancakes with chestnut flour last week I tried making a batch using a gluten free flour which has long been a staple in the state of Karnataka in southern India.  I loved the taste and texture which is probably more akin to a crepe than a fluffy pancake (don’t be put off by the darker colour either).  Anna makes a spicier uthapam and dosai with some instant batter using millet flour and water (great alternative for those too busy to grind fresh dosai dough).  The hazelnut milk/drink is available in most UK supermarkets but I am sure you can substitute it with a non lactose option of your choice.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup red millet flour (ragi)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Manuka honey
  • 1 cup hazelnut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (we used 1/4 tsp vanilla paste)
  • Butter to grease the pan
  • Pinch of salt

How many will I make?

6-8 pancakes

How do I make it?

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk till you get a nice smooth batter that coats the back of your ladle or spoon.   Use a little butter in a frying pan and spoon in some batter.   Cook on both sides and enjoy with topping of your choice.

Gluten free – cauliflower and spinach cheese bake

We indulged ourselves a bit earlier in the week with a real cheesy cauliflower and spinach bake (used mom’s recipe for white sauce – one of the first things I learned to cook).  We used the Apache chillies from the garden in the dish and it helped spice it up a bit.  Feel free to reduce the amount of cheese you use.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into bite size florets (par boil with some salt)
  • 1 small bag of spinach (~150gms) par boiled with a bit of salt
  • 1 bunch of spring onions chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 6-8 green chillies chopped finely (de-seed if you want the sauce milder)
  • 3 tbsp gluten free flour mix (we use Dove’s Farm flour)
  • 100 gm medium grated cheddar cheese
  • 100 gm red Leceister grated cheese
  • 250 ml milk
  • 75 gm unsalted butter
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat a heavy bottom pan and melt butter before adding garlic, spring onion and green chillies.  Saute for 5-8 minutes before adding the gluten free flour.   Give it a good stir, add the milk and reduce the heat.   Bring the mixture to a boil before adding half of each cheese.   Continue to mix till you get a nice thick cheesy sauce.   If it is too thick add a bit more milk.   Add the remaining ingredients and mix well before transferring into an oven proof dish.   Sprinkle the remaining cheese and place under the grill in pre-heated oven at around 220 degrees Centigrade.   Remove the dish once the cheese has melted and begins to form a golden crust.  Enjoy and then make an appointment to go to the gym afterwards to work it off 🙂

 

Gluten free chestnut flour pancakes

We are loving the discovery of chestnut flour (singoda) which we probably never would have used had we not started experimenting with gluten free flour options.  We are still trying to perfect the sweet potato/chestnut flour “churros” but tried using the flour today to make some delicious pancakes – they are not as fluffy as traditional pancakes but taste divine.   So for all those who want a gluten free breakfast option this recipe is for you.  Enjoy!

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup chestnut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp fruit sugar (sweeter than normal sugar)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (we used 1/4 tsp vanilla paste)
  • Butter to grease the pan
  • Pinch of salt

How much will I make?

6-8 medium sized pancakes

How do I make it?

Beat the egg and milk in a bowl and then add the chestnut flour and baking powder.  Use a whisk to beat further to ensure no lumps.   Add the remaining ingredients, whisk further and batter should coat your ladle.   Heat frying pan on medium heat and add a knob of butte,r some batter and cook on both sides,   Serve hot with topping of your choice – we had three different toppings today – icing sugar, Greek honey and Agave nectar (amazing alternative to sugar – natural and tasty).