Recently the spectre of gluten free has reared its head in my household, and after spending A LOT of money buying cakes, treats and biscuits which were all wheat and gluten free, and my husband (who is the possible allergic, intolerant or celiac amongst us) saying YUCK to pretty much everything, I knew the only thing to do was to get baking and see what treats could be made at home!
These are my successes – the failures have been too many and too many shocking to share!
Gluten free baking starts with buying a gluten free flour, and there are a few to choose from, most made from a mix of grains (Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Maize & Buckwheat), which of course contain no gluten. The flour is far finer feeling that standard flour, but I found the cakes generally come out a lot heavier so the key is getting some air in!
BBC Good Food
My favourite recipe site BBC Good Food have of course come up trumps with a fabulous tasting and definitely worthy top of the pile Lemon Drizzle Cake, not only is it Gluten free, but it instead of using the Gluten free flour substitute, it utilises ground almonds and…..wait for it ….. mashed potato. I know – sounds gross doesn't it, however it really works well, so well in fact I would advocate giving this recipe a go even if you don't have an intolerance to Gluten. Its very moist and stays that way, its lemony scrummy and actually bloody lovely!! The Gluten free'er in the house suddenly felt all loved again! Easy to make with a not too extensive shopping list (gluten free baking powder the only one a bit more tricky but if you are in the market for gluten free recipes, would wager your cupboard already contains it, of course if you just want to try the recipe, and gluten is not your enemy, then just use regular old baking powder).
When I purchased my gluten free flour, I noticed that the packet was adorned with recipes, and that more delicious ones were promised on the Doves Farm website (www.dovesfarm.co.uk), so off I trotted and straight away I came across these carrot cake muffins, they very easy to make, and I think that the muffin takes very well to the gluten free flour (an alternative is given for anyone who doesn't mind a bit of wheat in their muffin)! Cinnamon and carrot give the muffins that delicious slightly warming carrot cake taste, and the cream cheese frosting topping is delicious. The ingredients list is not too onerous, and shouldn't tax anyone anymore than making a regular carrot cake does!
If you love carrot cake and adore muffins – this combination will have you happily munching! A great treat!
This is another recipe found on the website of a company producing gluten free products (www.glutafin.co.uk), I was slightly concerned about going straight in and making a large victoria sponge cake, and so these little chocolate cupcakes were a great sponge starter – after all, it is rather easy to use icing/jam/lemon curd/chocolate spread/cherries to cover up all mistakes. This recipe is nice and simple to make, without a onerous ingredient list. It does call for Glutafin flour, but as I had already bought a large packet of a different brand – I, of course, went with that.
Super chocolaty and surprisingly light – these chocolate cupcakes were enjoyed by all. They did also keep very well for a few days in a airtight container. If you like me, are embarking on some gluten free baking but are concerned about producing a victoria brick rather than a sponge then give these lil cakes a go!
The Baking Beauties
I have saved the most expensive and tricky biscuits for last!! Whipped shortbread is a rare treat, and finding this recipe meant that I absolutely had to give it a whirl. I didn't struggle finding all of the ingredients, but they did strip out my wallet quite well, however if you are living gluten free and love a bit of baking, there is a good chance you already have a few of the ingredients. I have had to travel a little bit further than usual, for this article, my standard recipe sites haven't really been able to deliver the goods. The Baking Beauties is a great resource for gluten free recipes of every description.
Whipped shortbread should be buttery and light, and literally melt in your mouth and this recipe delivers all of that in spades. For a treat these are hard to beat, and really do rival any I have tasted full of that gluten stuff!
I have enjoyed my foray into gluten free baking, and it looks like I may well be continuing, it has however made me realise how difficult it can be for those with a food intolerance, allergy or celiac disease to find good recipes. Shop bought goods are sometimes over the double the cost of their wheaty (or other "free from") counterparts, and so searching out these recipes is a great and cost effective way to enjoy some yummy treats!