Thursday, 16 April 2020

Gluten free basics : Banana bread, several ways!

A handy staple as ever, and one that's always easy to bake – you've always got the ingredients to hand most of the time, and it's perfect to knock up during lockdown. However you prefer this essential treat, here's some of my favourite variations on the classic banana bread to try.

The classic loaf.

Banana bread is always quick to bake, and this easy gluten free take by Doves Farm is incredibly simple. You can easily knock up a loaf (or two) and make use of those over ripe bananas.

Try a tasty twist on the classic recipe with this Cinnamon Swirl banana bread recipe by Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. Trust me, it's utterly delicious!

Another tasty variation with a sprinkling of chocolate with this Gluten free banana bread recipe by Becky Excell – nom!

Mix it up.
Why bake a loaf cake when you can make a batch of muffins instead! Try this recipe for gluten and dairy free banana muffins by Free From Fairy for a tasty treat.

Try a yummy chocolate-y version with this recipe for Gluten free banana choc chip muffins by From The Larder.

Smother it in frosting with my own yummy version of these Gluten and dairy free banana and chocolate muffins.

However you choose to bake it, there's plenty of tasty ways to use up some over ripe bananas!

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Tasty gluten free basics : Biscuits

When I was first diagnosed, other gluten free blogs were a life saver for recipes. Biscuits may not count as an essential to some, but honestly, if you told me to do without them I'd probably be glaring you to death.. if that were possible.

Yes, biscuits are a gluten free essential, a staple tasty treat that you should always have in. With all the panic buying that's been going on, I can't say I've seen a sudden mad rush for the last packet of gluten free jaffa cakes (maybe word has been getting around amongst the non-coeliacs about how deliciously stale they taste..), but if you suddenly find yourself short of a packet or two of biscuits, why not bake up a batch!

These are some of my favourite tried and tested recipes from other gluten free bloggers. Yes, they be predominately cookie based, but it's one of the major food groups.. honest.

All of these hand picked, and often munched upon't recipes are incredibly easy to bake, and don't require a lot of extra ingredients either, you should hopefully have all of the essentials to hand in your cupboard and fridge to get knocking up a batch.

The main food group – chocolate:

Start off with a scrumptious batch of chocolate chip cookies, try this recipe from Becky Excell. They're perfect as a good tasty cookie base. If you can't find choc chips, just cut a chocolate block into pieces, it's just as tasty.

Also worth trying from her blog, is this chocolate chunk shortbread recipe - a good gluten free substitute for the Starbucks version!

Swapping chocolate chunks for the melted stuff, with this recipe for chocolate crinkle cookies from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. These are the most requested bake I usually whip up (see first pic on this post). A bit of effort, but you should have everything in to bake a batch. If you don't have a chocolate block to hand, just add an extra 50g of melted butter/stork, it's just as nice!

Something fruity:

You can't go wrong with a bit of fruit in a bake, it could possibly count as one of your five a day... almost.

Perfect if you have some sultanas left in the cupboard, try these spiced lemon and sultana cookies by Free From Favourites. I have swapped the lemon zest for lemon juice occasionally and it's still just as tasty!

Use an over ripe banana up for these peanut butter banana cookies by Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. A tasty use of some peanut butter too!

Raiding the store cupboard:

Use up some of those jars that may be a little over the best before date.. don't worry, you can still use best before food items a little past the date (of course, if it's several years out of date though it's probably best to leave it..). These recipes are a great way to use up some spices that have hidden in your cupboard.

Bake something with a little bit of a kick with these ginger cookies by Kimi Eats Gluten Free. Why not try adding a handful of stem ginger for an extra tasty treat if you have some to hand.

Whilst we may not be familiar with Snickerdoodles in the UK, they do make for a tasty treat. Try these cinnamon sugar biscuits by Gluten-Free Baking. If you can find some store bought cinnamon sugar this does save time - Aldi used to sell it, hopefully it's still in stock! If not, just make your own.

I've tried all of these recipes several times, they're all fairly easy to follow, even if you've not baked gluten free biscuits before. Just give a go, and if it doesn't go according to plan, just eat the tasty evidence anyway..

Monday, 6 April 2020

Baking some gluten free essentials.

Whether your're new to baking gluten free, or just looking for a tasty new recipe to try whilst we're all stuck indoors, there's plenty of recipes out there. I've already looked at some gluten free basics for newly diagnosed coeliacs in the past, but there's much more essential recipes that are worth a try, especially now.

Whilst there may be some of you thinking, hang on, cake isn't exactly an essential? Before I glare at you for countless hours, I'll suggest a few tasty recipes that may sway you around. 

Hopefully, we've all got a bag or two of gluten free flour to hand, and you don't need self raising flour either - here's your first tip if your stuck with just a bag of plain flour, just add in a tsp of baking powder to help the bake along.

Of course, the first basic bake that's always handy to add to your repertoire is a classic sponge cake. Try this recipe for a gluten free victoria sandwich cake - you can easily opt out of adding the buttercream if you prefer, try a few tweaks for fillings and add in what you like!

From there why not try a traybake? They're perfect to use with some fruit, or some odd bits from your cupboard, like dried fruit or sweets. This apple and cinnamon traybake makes for a great base for any traybake. Simply swap the final four listed ingredients for whatever you prefer; be it m and ms, or fresh blueberries. Sprinkle on top (without the sugar) and bake.

Muffins are another great staple. Take this recipe for cherry muffins, it's incredibly simple, and once again you can easily swap the cherries around for whatever filling you like. Simply add your chosen filling to the mix and bake away.

There's so much more that you can bake, but of course, when we may all be struggling more than usual to find some of those ingredients, it's time to be a little more creative with your baking. I'll be sharing some of my favourite essentials from other gluten free bloggers in the coming weeks, so you can try even more tasty free from bakes out.

In the meantime, why not take a peek at the Cake Porn archives for more tasty free from recipes.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Baking and cake cooing during a pandemic.

Ok, so it's taken a pandemic for me to get this baking blog back up and running, temporarily for now at least. Seeing the struggle fellow coeliacs, and other free from'ers have had trying to find baking essentials during the midst of toilet roll panic buying that somehow started impacting on our precious packets of inedible pasta.. Seriously though, why would anyone willing want to eat gluten free?!

Anyway, I digress.. after seeing the struggle, I thought we could all do with some baking advice. A lot of my past recipes that you'll find archived here on the blog were actually created on a budget, starting with some basics and using what tasty ingredients I already had in. Whether you're a fellow coeliac struggling to find some basic recipes, or your looking for some tasty treats to bake on a budget. You can find plenty to help you out in my baking archives.

There's already been some amazing gluten free bakers and bloggers sharing some advice for where to shop for gluten free essentials – check out The Gluten Free Blogger & Coeliac Sanctuary for some handy links. So you can soon get stocking up on plenty of gluten free flour without having to develop contact free, contact sport tactics in the free from aisle to get that last packet.. 

So rather than re-posting the same advice there, I'll be focusing on sharing some past recipes that will really come in handy when your in lockdown with only a tiny bottle of Jif lemon juice, or some potentially dangerously out of date cocoa powder to hand for flavouring. I may even attempt to concoct some new treats if I can figure out how to combine the odd dregs of packets in my cupboard with some baking magic. 

For now, why not delve in the archives. You'll find plenty of gluten free and regular baking recipes from my pre-coeliac diagnosis days to try out, whatever your dietary preferences. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and eyeball up some tasty cakes.. oo'er!!

Images: Emma Jones & Marta Dzedyshko from Pexels  - I haven't had time to photograph any bakes in the apocalypse just yet..