Gluten free pecan and honey cake

Here’s a really simple quick cake recipe for when only cake will do! That’s how the recipe came about yesterday, when I just needed cake.

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Pecan and honey cake

2 large eggs ( weight approx 150g )

150g gluten free self raising flour ( I used Doves farm )

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

150g melted unsalted butter or melted coconut oil

30g coconut palm sugar I used Biona from natureshealthbox ( or use regular brown sugar )

2 ripe bananas

topping

pecans about a handful

honey

butter

Method

prepare one 8 inch cake tin grease and add a piece of greaseproof paper to the base

mash the two bananas with hand blender

Add the palm sugar, beaten eggs, flour, baking powder and melted butter

use blender to mix ingredients

check all ingredients are well mixed together, use a spoon to stir mixture just to make sure all is blended

 

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in the bottom of the cake tin break up pecans and sprinkle over tin along with a little butter

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drizzle some honey over the nuts

spoon mixture carefully over the top of the nuts

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pop in a pre heated oven 180c for 25 mins, I checked after 20mins

check the cake is cooked completely through

cool, then turn out on to a wire rack so that the pecan topping faces up

remove grease proof paper carefully

 

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You can add a little more honey drizzled on the top

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The cake was moist and sweet enough for me, its amazing how little sugar you actually need to add.

Happy Baking!

Surviving gluten free at Le Mans 24hr race

This was to be our first visit to the Le Mans 24hr race but we have been away to other motor racing events like grand prix’s and my experience has been that there has been little or no options for those on a gluten free diet. We were due to be away for 5 days so I knew I had to be very organised about my food.

 

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We had hired a caravan for the trip which had a fridge. This made food choices much easier as you can pack fresh veggies and meat, cheese etc. I decided my best option was to make a selection of gluten free and grain free bakes which I would freeze and take for the trip. I made a grain free fruit and chocolate loaf

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and some yummy gluten free cheese scones.

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No trip would be complete without a homemade cake, I chose a grain free Mocha cake which I made the day before we left and stored in an airtight plastic box.

 

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I decided that as well as fresh food I would prepare for any eventuality and take tinned food, just in case! I bought tinned tuna, sweetcorn, peas and carrots, new potatoes, spam, corned beef, tinned tomatoes and soup. For a treat I took chocolate and hazelnut grain free granola, I ran out of time to make homemade granola.

 

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I filled the fridge with gluten free cold meats, cheese, butter, bacon, gnocchi, regular milk and almond milk. There was limited space in the small caravan fridge so I took two cool bags with plenty of cold packs full of fresh fruit and veggies, eggs and the frozen bakes.

Bottled water is always expensive at these venues so I went prepared with lots of small bottles of still and sparkling water.

All prepared and packed we set off on our first caravan trip.

Our trip was full of adventures I could tell you some stories! Suffice to say we have learnt lots of lessons for our next towing experience.

We had a few issues with our van fridge too and next time I would check the temperature more often on our journey to Le Mans and use some cool packs inside the fridge to help keep the temperature cool enough ( our electric connection to the caravan was faulty due to a mistake on our part )

Our camp site was on the Porsche curves 2 mins from the track. We booked with Village on the curves with Lycian Events I can recommend, well worth spending a little more for secure site with 24hr security and good quality loos and showers, even a ladies pamper tent with power and hairdryers etc. Power for recharging phones too.

 

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We arrived on thursday evening in time to watch some racing just moments from our van. After a night of  horrendous thunder storms we woke to damp cloudy day.

 

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Friday was no racing so we took the free site mini bus into the main arena and dived into the Le Mans museum during a heavy shower. I had packed a picnic and snacks for the day in a back pack with a cold pack and I was so relieved I had as there was absolutely nothing for me to eat. On offer was gluten filled baguettes and sausage, burgers or pulled pork in a bun and fries.

I tucked into a homemade cheese scone or two, salad, crisps and cubes of cheese. I really didn’t feel as if I was missing out.

 

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For treats during the day I took along paleo bars, bananas, apples and some kit kat style chocolate bars. The Mocha cake I saved for down time in the caravan as it doesn’t transport well in a back pack.

A wander through the pits and garages followed, always my favourite bit.

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The weather was damp but this hadn’t put the racing fans off. Twice the number of people who attend Glastonbury attend Le Mans although it never felt overly crowded.

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Saturday was bright and sunny and we started the day as we did every day with a big cooked breakfast. Cheese and spinach omelette was my favourite. I also had a slice of fruit and chocolate bread every morning knowing this big breakfast would keep me going all day.

 

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It was good to be able to have a Pimm’s on site watching the races, champagne was also on offer!

We stood on the bank of the Porsche curves to watch the start of the 24hr race. Such a good vantage point and no travelling.

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We watched the race from different parts of the track and sheltered from the sun for a while in the site marquee watching on the big TV’s provided. I took along a small container of almond milk so that I could order a tea from the on site caterers.

 

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We took deck chairs and warm tops up to the bank to watch the night racing, a brilliant experience.

Evening meals went well in the caravan

steak with veggies

steak with veggies

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some emergency tins had to be used

tinned corned beef with fresh potatoes and asparagus

tinned corned beef with fresh potatoes and asparagus

 

tinned tuna and sweetcorn with rice

tinned tuna and sweetcorn with rice

Sunday we were up at dawn to watch the racing ( we could obviously hear it all night ) Still managed to get some sleep.

Later we took the onsite mini bus to near the Dunlop bridge to watch more of the race. We made our way to the finish line for the final few minutes where we watched Porsche’s win and award ceremony.

 

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During the trip I never felt hungry or worried about what I could eat. Going prepared was the best way to have an enjoyable time. It takes a little more organisation but well worth it to save anxiety.

I had a chat with the manager of the onsite catering who said they could cater for me another year If I emailed a few months ahead of the race. I had a quick look through at the make shift kitchens and feel that the cross contamination issue would worry me too much. My husband and our friends enjoyed all the food they had on site and well worth it if you don’t have food intolerances, allergies or Coeliac disease.

 

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We loved our experience at Le Mans 24hr race and I’m sure we will be back next year.

 

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Go on!  why not have a gluten free adventure too

Pecan and date bread

Looking for a breakfast alternative from gluten free bagels and fruit bread that you can toast or eat as it is? Well I think this could be the answer. Not only gluten free but grain free too ! With a sweet flavour it makes for a delicious breakfast treat.

 

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Free from yeast or refined sugar this bread is easy on the tummy and most importantly very yummy.

 

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Pecan and date bread

130g ground almonds

30g flax seeds

1 tsp baking powder – gluten free

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

150g pitted dates

70g finely chopped pecans ( i used my food processor )

3 free range large eggs

50ml melted unsalted butter or 50ml of melted virgin coconut oil

100ml almond milk or regular cows milk

Method 

Pre heat oven 170c 35-40mins

grease 81/2 in x 4 1/2 in loaf tin

put the ground almonds, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and flax seeds into a bowl stir well together.

 

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chop pecans in a food processor and add

 

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Put the pitted dates in a food processor and cut until it forms a paste add a splash of hot water to help loosen the paste.

 

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Add the date paste to the dry ingredients along with 3 beaten eggs , the melted fat and the milk.

 

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Stir all ingredients together well

 

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spoon into a greased loaf tin . I lined the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper too.

 

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and pop in a pre heated oven 170c

check after 35 mins

 

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leave to cool before turning on to a wire rack

slice and serve on its on or with butter or nut butter . Good toasted in the morning with your favourite low sugar jam or marmalade. Homemade no sugar jam would be perfect. I like homemade blueberry jam. Cut thicker slices for toast for best results.

 

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You could try using a different finely chopped nut like walnuts or add 50g of raisins

This bread freezes well, ready sliced or whole.

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Happy Baking!

 

 

 

Grain free Mocha cake

Grain free chocolate cake is a family favourite. Served with extra thick cream it makes a delicious pudding. Today I thought I would make a mocha version. hope you like it.

 

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Mocha cake –

150g ground almonds

40g cacao powder ( I use BonPom )

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups of dates stones removed , approximately fill a 1 pint jug with dates

1/2 cup  ( 100ml ) of fresh strong coffee – from soaking dates

2 tbsp melted unsalted butter ( or 2 tbsp melted coconut oil )

Method-

pre heat oven 165c

 

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put the halved dates in a pint jug and fill to the top with freshly made coffee

leave for 10 mins

put dates in a blender with 1/2 cup( 100ml ) of the coffee soaking liquid

( keep rest of coffee soaking liquid incase you want to add some more later )

blend to a smooth paste.

put dry ingredients in to a bowl

add beaten eggs and melted butter

add smooth date paste

 

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mix well

pour into a greased lined cake tin

 

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bake for 25- 30 mins at 165 c

cool

remove cake from tin and put on a wire rack

Enjoy with cream or cream alternative.

If you are not avoiding sugar I’m sure this cake would be delicious with chocolate and coffee butter icing

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Gluten free at Big Church Day Out

On a sunny Saturday in May my sister and I packed up the car and took a drive down to Wiston house, a beautiful stately home in West Sussex for Big Church Day Out.

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Big Church Day Out is a gathering of Christians from around the UK and Europe. Now in its 7th year BCDO has coined the phrase ‘A celebration of all that is good’

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This was my first visit to BCDO and I would describe it as a music festival with Christian music from ever genre. An opportunity to hear the very best christian rock, folk, jazz , pop, classical, dance, soul, gospel reggae, singer song writers and worship bands from across the world. A number of big names from The States playing a big part in the weekend. click here for acts > BCDO ARTISTS

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The festival is very much a family day with a fab marque area for Big Church Kids,and a soft play tent for the under 7’s. A Big Church fete on the stunning front lawn of Wiston house offered village fete fun.

 

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The avenue was the place to find delicious food. I was very pleased to see gluten free, vegetarian and vegan clearly marked in the programme. These stalls were listed as offering gluten free options- Tasty Thai, Jumping bean burrito, Woodburn Racletterie , Goodness gracious, Healthy foods and Goan fish curry. There was also gluten free biscuits available in the tea tent. Next year I would really like to see a 100% gluten free food stall including some dairy free options.

 

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I choose to pack a gluten free picnic for BCDO there was plenty of places to sit and enjoy your own food.

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Make sure to take a big blanket to sit and listen to the varied music acts. With a choice of the Main stage, Illuminate stage and on ( what looked like ) the croquet lawn by the Tear fund tea tent  surrounded by the beautiful gardens of Wiston house.

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There was plenty of places to find something to drink, coffee stalls and the tea tent along with a Pimm’s tent and an Ale tent. At the Tear fund Tea tent there was soya milk as a dairy alternative. I would love to see almond milk available next year. Plenty of water and juices available too.

 

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I packed boiled eggs, sliced peppers, tomatoes and celery. homemade gluten free cheese scones and cold meats along with some gluten free crisps from Seabrooks and a large bar of Green & Blacks dark chocolate. The day was sunny and warm and a picnic was the perfect choice for my sister and I.

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The highlights for me on Saturday were Martin Smith both his set at the Tear fund tent and on the main stage , The Abrams brothers and NeedtoBreathe.

 

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I returned on Sunday and my highlights were Switchfoot and Rend Collective.

 

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The site is not flat so be prepared for some walking. One particularly large hill leads up to the fete and the tea tent and church. Well worth the hike!

I must mention my fellow festival ‘Big Day Out’ goers, the friendliest happiest crowd I have ever had the pleasure of spending a weekend with. So much so, that on Sunday I went back the the festival on my own, not something I would do at any other festival. But I never felt alone, we danced and sang together and worshiped our Amazing God and it was fantastic!

 

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Big thanks to Tim Jupp and team for a wonderful weekend

I will certainly be back next year!

 

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Follow Big Church Day Out Twitter here > @bigchurchdayout

Website here >  bigchurchdayout.com

 

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Facebook > Big Church Day Out

 

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My top tip –  buy your tickets Early for the best price tickets. I paid £40 for an Adult weekend ticket. Super Early bird price was £36 for the entire weekend!

Watch  BCDO video 

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