Monday, 16 July 2018

Adventures in gluten free baking : Cake donuts.

I've been re-discovering the joy of baking during my short break from the blog, trying out different gluten free recipes and finding some scrumptious new treats that I didn't realise I'd missed so much.

Turns out a break from the blog was much needed, I'd been through a lot in the past two years and even more before then, which eventually led to my coeliac diagnosis late last year. A lifetime of dietary problems and it was finally solved!

You'd think that finally getting the answer to all your problems would fix things, but it's been more of a struggle than I'd initially admit adjusting to life without gluten. Being lactose intolerant on top of it all has made things even more difficult, I'd have hoped that taking the approach of making things myself when the pre made, shop bought cake-y alternative wasn't always available would have made things easier, but it was more of a struggle at first – not to mention worrying about it being “picture perfect” to share on this blog.

Needless to say, a short break has certainly helped. I've learnt to appreciate the tasty, freshly baked, gluten free treats however they turn out – besides, it's all about how scrumptious the bake is, not making it look as pretty as possible. I've remembered why I started this blog in the first place four years ago, not to make the perfect cake, but to share tasty, yummy treats, however they turn out, making light of the entertaining disasters along the way!

So, long story short, I'm back here sharing some scrumptious gluten free recipes – whether they're as pretty as can be, or just ridiculously delicious.. As I start posting up new treats I've decided to start sharing some of my favourite recipes that I've tried since my diagnosis, recipes that are rather scrumptious that have certainly hit the sweet spot!

Admittedly, I've been sat on this recipe for a while, so it seemed fitting to include it as my first post after my break. One thing I'd really been missing since being diagnosed was a tasty donut - I used to love the cake like chocolate ring donuts at Krispy Kreme – so after kitting myself out with some donut ring trays I had to try a few recipes out to make some scrumptious baked donuts.

These are deliciously stodgy and as the name suggests, very much like a round tasty ring shaped cake. Topped off with a tasty layer of icing and sprinkles making for a yummy treat.

Ingredients (makes 12 donuts – made using a standard sized ring donut tray)
200g gluten free plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
120ml lactose free milk (or dairy free milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g dairy free margarine
200g caster sugar
2 eggs

For the icing
150g icing sugar
lactose free milk to mix (or dairy free milk)

Pre heat your oven to 180c/170c fan/gas mark 4, and prep your donut tins – I used silicone donut trays for mine, placing them on a tray to keep them stable.

Cream together the dairy free margarine and sugar, till pale and fluffy. Then add in the eggs one at a time and mix.

Measure the lactose free milk in a jug (you can use dairy free milk if you prefer, the results should be the same). Stir in the vanilla extract and set aside.
Sift the flour into the margarine mix a little at a time, alternating with the milk to mix. Add in the baking powder and xanthan gum with the final measure of flour and mix to blend.
Spoon the mixture into your donut trays, a tea spoon helps with this to spread the mixture out in each donut hole. Fill each around half way.

Bake for 12-15 minutes till risen and golden. Then set aside to cool down in the trays for 15 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool.

Once your donuts have cooled mix your tasty icing to top each one. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and blend with the lactose free milk to a thick, but smooth consistency, it should just fall off a spoon a little (again, you can use dairy free milk if you prefer).

Pick a donut up in the middle of the ring, then hold it upside down and dip it into the bowl of icing, you'll want to just cover the top of each donut in icing.

Then place the donut with the icing facing upwards on to a wire rack to set, and put your sprinkles on top before the icing completely sets.
For a tasty chocolate-y version use 180g of gluten free plain flour, to 20g cocoa powder, adding 1-2 tsp of cocoa powder to the icing for a yummy chocolatel topping! It's a tasty gluten free take on the Krispy Kreme donuts that I've been missing!

Credit where credits due, this yummy donut recipe was adapted from Becky Excell.