Grain free Easter fruit cake

The perfect Easter cake for those not keen on Simnel cake the traditional Easter cake made with marzipan .

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If you miss Simnel cake and are living grain free, you could use this recipe and add a thin layer of golden marzipan to add to the centre of the cake mixture about 1/3  and then once baked and cooled add warmed apricot jam and a top layer of marzipan, crimp the edges and use the remaining to make 11 balls to place around the edge on the top. This can be brushed with beaten egg and popped under a hot grill for a moment. A good alternative to a traditional Simnel cake.

This really is a treat cake packed with lots of dried fruit, high in sugar but for a special celebration cake this is perfect and I think it will become a new tradition in my home.

You will need

140g raisins/sultanas

30g chopped dried apricots

80g chopped dried cherries

80g pitted finely chopped medjool dates

130g ground almonds

100g finely chopped walnuts

1 heaped tsp mixed spice

zest of one orange

1/2 heaped tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp squeezed orange juice

15g coconut sugar

4 large eggs

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Method

Mix all the dry ingredients together and the fruit

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add the coconut oil, beaten eggs, orange juice

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mix well

line a loaf tin or round tin with greaseproof paper

spoon in the cake mixture

sprinkle a little coconut sugar on top

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bake for 40mins in pre heated fan oven 170c

Allow to cool

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remove from the tin and continue to cool on a wire rack

decorate with mini Easter eggs or leave as it is .

This cake freezes well.

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Happy Easter  x

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Grain free Hot Cross Buns

This Easter I am determined to stay grain free through the festivities,  with this in mind I set about trying to make myself some Hot Cross Buns, for me an essential taste of Easter. Just to make this more tricky for myself I could not use yeast as I am intolerant to it.

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I decided to use Ugg chia seed and nut bread mix as my starting point and added spices and fruit to get as near to this classic as possible

1/2 pack – 175g of UGG Foods chia seed and nut bread mix ( I buy mine from natureshealthbox.co.uk  )

3 eggs separated whites and yolk

2 tbsp coconut oil ( I used Lucy bee )

1/2 pint almond milk

3 tbsp maple syrup

110g a mix of raisins, sultanas

1 tbsp chopped dried apricots

1  heaped tsp cinnamon

1 heaped tsp mixed spice

add more spice if you prefer

zest orange/lemon

 

low sugar Apricot jam for glaze

For the cross- 2 tsp coconut flour add water until you have a smooth paste

or use icing sugar

Method

I put the dry ingredients in a bowl

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I then beat the egg white until stiff peaks

I beat the egg yolks and added the maple syrup and melted coconut oil

then added them to the dry ingredients

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I mixed well and then folded in the egg whites

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This makes a very wet dough

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I sprinkled ground almonds on the surface

I used my hands to mould each bun shape

You should be able to make six hot cross buns

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I placed these on a baking tray with greaseproof paper

I found the cross the hardest to achieve. I mixed coconut flour and water until it formed a smooth paste. I used a icing syringe to make this cross.

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You could wait until the buns are baked and cooled and add pipped icing sugar to make a cross.

I put the buns in a pre heated fan oven 170c

for 30- 35mins

Straight out of the oven I brushed warmed sieved low sugar apricot jam over the buns

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I was quite pleased with the over all look , will try harder with the cross next time.

The taste was very close to I remembered, obviously the texture is slightly different. going to make another batch very soon.

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If you have any other ideas to make the cross do let me know

 

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Delicious as they are or toasted with plenty of butter.

Happy Baking!

 

 

 

 

 

Grain free chocolate brownies

I have been looking around for a grain free chocolate brownie recipe. I’m trying very hard to stay grain free, I find I stay almost symptom free this way. There are plenty of gluten free recipes but I wanted something with no grains just nuts and if possible no refined sugar. I still need sweet treats !

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I came across a recipe from Elana’s Pantry. New York Times best selling author . I use many of her delicious recipes .

Here is her recipe for  Paleo Brownies there are lots more recipes on her website Alana’s Pantry

follow her on Twitter @elanaspantry

I liked the recipe but wanted to change a few things

Grain free Chocolate Brownies

100g ground almonds

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

110g gluten free dark chocolate I used 85% Green & Blacks

12 medjool dates

3 large eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil

to decorate

walnut pieces

assorted gluten free dark chocolate drops I used Sainsbury taste the difference dark chocolate drops and Montezuma dark chocolate buttons

 

Method

Firstly I soaked the dates in coffee, you could just use boiling water

make sure the stones have been removed

I put the ground almonds, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a processor

then I added squares of the chocolate into the ground almonds etc and processed until fine power

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I drained the dates and added them to the food processor

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whizzed up the mixture again until smooth with the other ingredients

added the coconut oil , soften slightly if very hard

processed again

added the 3 beaten eggs whizz up again

check everything is well mixed together using a palette knife

The batter should not be to thick

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I spooned the batter in to a 8×8 prepared tin

decorated with chocolate buttons and drops and walnut pieces

pressed the chocolate and walnuts down slightly

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popped in the oven 170c for about 20 -22 mins

until cracks appear on the top.

 

leave to cool for as long as you are able!

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cut into squares and enjoy.

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these are not a healthy treat as they are still high in fructose from the dates and small amount of sugar in the dark chocolate.

But we all need a sweet treat sometimes.

The brownies were dense and delicious not crumbly or overly sweet. its along time since i’ve eating a regular gluten filled brownie so I can’t compare. I certainly prefer the sweetness level of these treats to a gluten free sugar filled version. Although I might add even more chocolate buttons next time.

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Enjoy!

 

 

Review of Flaxseed buns from Hemsley & Hemsleys new book

Today I had a go at making a recipe from Hemsley and Hemsley’s new book Good and Simple.  The flaxseed buns really intrigued me , an unusual list of ingredients but all things I can eat. Not being able to tolerate regular gluten free buns and trying to avoid grains these looked perfect for me.

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I mixed the dry ingredients together then added the beaten eggs etc. Before my eyes I could see the mixture change after 5mins it had thickened up and was ready to mould into buns.

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I baked them for 20mins in a fan oven and they came out looking very like little bread rolls. I have to admit I had my doubts about these. But I was very pleasantly surprised . After cooling I cut one in half and filled it with salad and grated cheese.

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If I had a blind fold on, I don’t think I would have known that this was made from flaxseeds! Good bread like texture and not crumbly something that is often hard to find with gluten free bread.

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I will freeze the majority of these ready sliced and they will be perfect for a quick lunch.

definitely worth giving them ago especially if like me you are intolerant to gluten and yeast and avoid grains.

Flaxseeds are not a cheap ingredient ,but if you are grain free then I feel its worth spending the money .

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follow on twitter here @hemsleyhemsley 

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website hemsleyandhemsley.com

Natures health box sells flaxseeds for £3.19 for 200g or £4.99 for 425g

Holland and Barrett  425g are £5.99 offer buy one get one half price

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