Gluten free Patisserie for Bake Off

Today is Patisserie week on The Great British Bake Off . For this weeks challenge the contestants have to make 24 Cream horns for the signature challenge.  Mokatines are the technical challenge these are squares of genoise sponge with coffee buttercream and two types of icing. The show stopper is religieuse a l’acienne Three tiered choux pastry eclairs filled with creme patisserie.



I’m sure they will look a lot better than these!

click here to find out more about > The Great British Bake Off


I decided to make some of my gluten free choux pastry buns today to munch along with the show

Chocolate Choux buns makes about 9 large buns

( double the recipe if you are making a family show stopper )

75g gluten free plain flour I used Doves Farm

60g unsalted butter

2 large eggs

150g water

gluten free chocolate I use Green and Blacks 70%

extra thick double cream



pre heat oven 220c

put the water and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat


melt butter in to the water until it starts to boil

take the saucepan off the heat and add the flour, beat well it take a huge amount of elbow grease!

the easiest way is to pop the dough in a mixer and beat well



when the mixture is cool add the two beaten eggs


again beat well by hand or in a mixer


spoon the mixture on to a greased baking tray,

If you want to make eclairs use a piping bag to pipe the batter



sprinkle a little water on the tray this should help to produce some steam to help the buns to rise

pop in the hot oven 220c for 10 mins then lower temp to 190c for a further 20 mins until golden brown

remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack


once cooled slice the choux buns in half and filled with extra thick cream . You could keep the buns whole and fill the choux buns using a piping bag

melt some 70% gluten free dark chocolate and dip the tops of the buns in to the melted chocolate and allow to cool and set


pop the tops back on to the buns and enjoy



For a special dessert make a double quantity, fill with creme patisserie or extra thick double cream and arrange into a tower.


Why not try your hand at sugar shards to add some wow.


Happy Baking!

From the archives blog posts Gluten free profiteroles < click here

Chocolate profiteroles < click here

Chocolate eclairs < click here

Grain free Fruit cake ready for the Great British Bake Off

Tomorrows episode of The Great British Bake Off is inspired by Victorian baking. The contestants will be asked to make a Game pie for the signature bake and a fruit cake topped with sugar paste and marzipan. The show stopper is a Charlotte Russe

I was looking for an alternative Fruit cake that was refined sugar free and grain free. I found a delicious looking recipe from Elana’s Pantry   there are lots of amazing recipes on her website and her book, I have made many of them and can recommend you visit the website and check out her book the Gluten free Almond Flour cookbook   <click here to find out more . Its probably one of my most used cookery books !

I love to bake something that I  can eat along with Bake Off,  keeping it as healthy as possible and this fruit cake ticks that box




This recipe is packed full of yummy dried fruit and the zest of both lemon and orange



Click here for Elana’s delicious recipe > Fruit cake

I used

90g Raisins

100g dried cherries chopped

130g ground almonds

100g finely chopped walnuts

10g coconut sugar

80g chopped medjool pitted dates ( about 5 )

zest of 1 lemon

zest of 1 orange

4 large eggs

2 tbsp melted coconut oil ( I use Lucy Bee )

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract

I added

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp nutmeg


pre heat oven to 180c

prepare 2 small loaf tins

I mixed the almonds, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice, ground nutmeg and salt together

Then I added the dried fruit, chopped dates and walnuts and zest


In a separate bowl and beat the eggs and added the vanilla extract coconut oil and coconut sugar


I added these to the dry ingredients and mixed well


spoon mixture in to the tins and bake for 25/30mins at 180c

cool on a wire rack



This Fruit cake tastes amazing, I was thrilled with the result.  Grain free and very little added sugar. Remember dried fruit is already very high in natural sugar so this cake is still very much a treat food. I think this will become a family favourite.

find more recipes from Elana’s pantry here 

follow on Twitter @elanaspantry

Happy Baking!


For one large cake I used a large loaf tin and baked at 170c fan oven for about 45mins




My review of Deliciously Ella’s sweet potato Brownies

I recently had a go at making some sweet potato brownies. I used Deliciously Ella’s recipe from her book


Click here for recipe Sweet Potato Brownies and video


I was intrigued to make these as I know they are one of the most popular recipes from Deliciously Ella


steamed sweet potato along with dates are the main ingredients


dates and cooked sweet potato are blended together


ready to bake


once cooled the brownies can be cut into squares


The Brownies were dense and semi sweet, perfect for an afternoon treat. The brownies do contain some gluten free flour so they are not grain free.

If you expect them to taste exactly like a highly sugar filled chocolate brownie you will be disappointed, these are definitely a healthy version with no refined sugar. If like me you are avoiding all refined sugar then they satisfy that sweet craving.

I’m sure I will make them again as they were very easy to make and I like the idea of using sweet potatoes in baking.

They were enjoyed by friends and family and my husband even served them up at a business meeting.

Follow @deliciouslyella  < here 

Facebook  Deliciously Ella < here

Deliciously Ella website jam packed with recipes

Pastry week tonight on Great British Bake Off

Tonight’s Bake Off episode is Pastry week The contestants will be asked to bake a frangipane tart, a cheese filled pastry from Cyprus and classic 70’s canapé vol- au-vents.


Here are a few gluten free ideas for you to bake along later

Gluten free Bakewell tart < click here for recipe




Gluten free Cheese tartlets  <click here for recipe


Gluten free sausage rolls < click here for recipe



and a Grain free Quiche < click here for recipe


Gluten free chicken pie < click here for recipe


Gluten free Puff pastry < click here for recipe


Enjoy tonights episode, why not bake something ready to eat along with tonights Pastry week ?

A Free From Special on Bake Off tonight

Tonight on The Great British Bake Off the contestants will be asked to make a cake using an alternative to refined sugar . One contestant is making a pineapple upside down cake and another a carrot cake.

click here > Alternative ingredients 

The technical challenge is Paul’s gluten free pitta breads. It will be interesting to see how they get on with this tricky recipe. They are something I have not tried. Mainly due to the fact I can’t have yeast.

The Show stopper tonight is dairy free ice cream surrounded by jam and a light sponge.

I decided to make a Pineapple upside down cake that is not only gluten free but grain free and refined sugar free and dairy free too.

Pineapple Upside Down cake  grain free and dairy free




100g coconut oil or unsalted butter

70g coconut sugar or maple syrup

4 large eggs

1/2 cup Almond milk or regular full fat milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g ground almonds

70g coconut flour

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

pinch salt

fresh pineapple

fresh cherries


Pre heat oven 170c fan

prepare a loose bottomed cake tin

line with baking paper and fill the base with slices of pineapple,fresh sliced cherries a little coconut oil and a drizzle of maple syrup


melt the coconut oil and mix with the coconut sugar or maple syrup



add the 4 beaten eggs

in a second bowl mix together all the dry ingredients

Add the dry ingredients into the wet

mix well

add the vanilla extract and the almond milk

and mix well together


spoon on top of the pineapple pieces




bake in a hot oven 170c for 45 mins


cool on a wire tray in the cake tin





Here is a recipe for a gluten free Pineapple Upside Down cake

click here


They were a real success !

Lets hope tonights episode is really good and inspires those who need to use alternative ingredients due to choice or intolerances or allergies to bake at home.

Fabulously Free From at The Big Feastival

Last weekend was a foodie and music lovers perfect Festival, The Big Feastival.


Set in the gorgeous countryside of the Cotswolds at Alex James’s farm. Presented by Jamie Oliver and Blur’s Alex James with an amazing line up of chefs, cooks and musicians. Featuring the best street food and restaurant stalls as well as cooking classes and demos.


I was attracted to the Big Feastival this year due to the addition of a Healthy Living Zone , added to highlight all the latest thinking on eating well and healthy. There was to be gluten free , grain free, paleo , raw stalls and demos with healthy eating pioneers including Hemsley and Hemsley and Deliciously Ella . I was thrilled to be accredited with a media pass and was determined to Max out my weekend finding out as much as I could for myself and my followers on twitter and Fabulously Free From.



Our trip to Kingham in the Cotswolds on friday did not entirely go to plan. Our renovation project a Bambi Airstream was not as far advanced as we had thought so we spent an unexpected 5 hours waiting for it to be campsite ready! Once on the road we made good progress and arrived at Merry Weather campsite close to the Festival site , plenty of time to prepare for the two days ahead.



Unfortunately due to the teething troubles with Betty the Airstream we missed out on friday afternoon and evening at the festival . I was desperately disappointed to have missed out on seeing at the Big Kitchen Monica Galleti, Nathan Outlaw and Richard Burr of bake off fame.


Saturday brought sunshine and light cloud desperate not to miss a thing we were up and out quickly after  homemade grain free fruit bread and a full english ready to take on the day. Only 14 mins from the Festival site we arrived just as gates were opening . There was no massive queues and parking was easy. We checked in and I quickly purchased an itinerary in the form of a programme on a lanyard.  I knew today was going to be quite a challenge to get around everyone I wanted to see.


My main area was to be around the Healthy Living Zone and Big Kitchen thankfully the quietest part of the vast festival.






Firstly I made my way to the Oatly Kitchen counter to hear Anna Jones.


Here was to be the place I would be able to get up close to health food pioneers and chefs during the Feastival. Just a few tables and chairs set out in a rectangle covered by an open sided marquee with bright coloured deck chairs around the edge and a couple of bench seats. Very cosy and never overly busy.

Anna talked about her passion for healthy vegetarian food and about helping Jamie Oliver to write some of his books and how she had now written her own vegetarian recipe book.


Following Anna was Ella Woodward better known as Delicious Ella. Ella talked about managing her illness by changing her diet dramatically to healthy eating including cutting gluten and refined sugar and vegetable oil.


Admitted to being a sugar addict and advised using maple syrup etc with control and to find a balance. Ella’s top tip was to buy nuts and flour in bulk online. Deliciously Ella also talked about using coconut oil and olive oil in her cooking and baking and eating lots of good healthy fat especially her favourite avocados . I found her to be very honest and realistic . She summed up by saying she wanted to get vegetables in the centre of the plate.


Following Ella I dashed over to the Big Kitchen a partly covered large stage with simple seating and extra tv screens to go and see Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley of Hemsley and Hemsley demonstrating a lime and avocado cheesecake and other healthy meals.


The ladies talked lots about healthy fats including butter and coconut oil. They talked of their love of cabbage and bone broths. The Hemsley’s also encouraged the use of natural sugars instead of refined sugar but only in low quantities.


Raw vegan blonde was next on the Oatly kichen counter art with fresh fruit and veg.


I arrived at the end of this demonstration ready for Hemsley and Hemsley


This really was a brilliant opportunity to see them and ask questions and hear more about their philosophy . In the slow cooker they had beef bone broth bubbling away and also the famous spiraliser for anyone to come and have a go with. They spoke about their book the Art of Living well, which I can recommend.


The spiraliser was popular with the gathered crowd and a huge plate of courgetti in a pesto sauce was passed around the table to try. I had seen Jasmine and Melissa only a few weeks before in the literature tent at Latitude festival. But I have to say this was far better and easier for the ladies to demo properly.


There was time for a Q&A and in such a small group worked really well. Their passion for not wasting food and using every part of the animal was good to hear. They talked of their love of saturated fat including dripping and butter, I was thrilled. Gelatine from chicken feet and bones also got a mention as well as encouraging everyone to watch the new Sugar film called That Sugar film! Probably my favourite Health pioneers at the Feastival.

Around the healthy living arena area was plenty of food to tuck into including Raw Press from London serving cold pressed juice and almond milk. I had the chocolate raw pressed almond milk which was very refreshing




As I have so many additional intolerances as well as being intolerant to gluten I bulk baked before the festival and froze it all for our trip. Lunches and dinners for me were gluten free dough balls, grain free quiche lorraine , salad, cheese and fruit and water. If you were just gluten free there was many stalls offering gluten free options including raw press. there was also lots to sample from stalls like UGG Foods offering grain free bread and muffins to try and mix’s to buy


UGG Foods stall was very popular with grain free mixes and testers


Coconut merchant had coconut in almost every form from sugar and jam to oil


Dried Kale looked tasty, sadly ran out of time to go back and buy some.



The Primal Pantry were in the Healthy living zone offering tasters and their grain free bars for sale.

Deliciously Ella and Olivia Wollenburg were on the Big Kitchen stage demonstrating a chocolate orange brownie recipe a large crowd came to watch.


Later at the Oatly kichen counter I heard Olivia Wollenburg talk about her line of crumbles Livia’s crumble part of Livia’s Kitchen. unfortunately the crumbles are not gluten free,  I think she is missing a great opportunity but she told me that it was not cost effective as 100 % dedicated gluten free factories are more expensive.


DSC_0035 DSC_0073


On the Big Kitchen at 5.30 pm was Gennaro Contaldo this was a fun cooking demonstration followed by Jamie Oliver at 6.30pm as you can see I hadn’t left the Healthy Living Zone all day as there was so much to do. All this time there was music on three stages the Main stage, Udder stage and the Bandstand. Also BBQ demonstrations and even yoga


As you would expect Jamie’s Big Kitchen demo was the most entertaining he also had a guest all the way from Brazil cooking steak on a BBQ on stage.


It was difficult to get close as the crowds by now had grown enourmosly.

Earlier on the Main Stage had been Iris Gold, Johnny Borrell and Zazou , The Beach , Hudson Taylor and Grandmaster Flash

On the main stage that evening was Ella Eyre, Example and DJ Wire and the headliner was Dizzee Rascal


Sunday brought a damp start but once again knowing that some of the speakers started early we were quickly on our way after a cooked breakfast with plenty of eggs and bacon to keep us going.

Natasha Corrett was first on the Big Kitchen stage demonstrating here recipe for a grain free quiche using cauliflower in the base. She urged everyone to keep your way of eating healthily sustainable. In her opinion 70% healthy 30% normal eating So as not to make the task to great to stick to.


Natasha massaged kale with lemon juice to make it easier to eat in its raw form. She also used this in her quiche.

Next on was Joe Wicks The Body Coach I have to admit not knowing the name at all but he had a huge following mainly amongst the ladies.


A star of the internet due to his 15 minute meals and new book called Lean in 15 . Joe chose to make a Thai green curry which looked good and then a turkey burger using lean turkey mince and a white processed burger roll, really not sure that was the best choice! He did though encourage the use of coconut oil and rubbished the old school pyramid way of eating.


Emily Watkins was up next on the Big Kitchen Stage as the ran poured outside we stayed huddled under the stage over hang . Emily is a local chef who ‘s pub The Kingham plough is ranked in the Times top 25 pubs for food and two AA rosettes .  She made a delicious looking trifle

I had to leave Emily’s demo before the end to head back up to the Oatly kitchen counter for Adam Henson from the Cotswold farm park and Countryfile presenter final chat followed by



Natasha Corrett Honestly Healthy a self  trained cook who encouraged the gathered crowd to avoid meat, dairy and sugar and to cut out processed food. She was asked during the Q&A what she couldn’t live without  food wise Nashasha answer was Lemons and avocados . The weather by now was not too nice and we were all tightly packed under the open sided marquee.


I was very excited about the next speaker the very lovely and talented Raymond Blanc


It was amazing to be so close and hear him talk with such passion about good local healthy food and the quality of british chefs, he teaches many of them! We heard all about his recent series on TV Kew on a plate and about seasonal fruit and vegetables and seasonality. He is also passionate about the environment and was very animated when speaking it was quite hard to take a photograph as he never sat still.


Raymond was definitely the highlight of the weekend for me.


Jamie Oliver was once again on the main stage but due to the sheer number of people watching we decided to take the opportunity to look around more of the festival.

The choice of food stalls was amazing, even for those who avoid gluten there was a good choice




Some delicious pork belly cook on the BBQ


corn on the cob


Duck and seafood



and sausages


Here is a list of the gluten free stalls from my earlier blog post

There were also gluten free treats including

Ice lollies



and cakes



I preferred the healthy Paleo bars from Primal Joy Foods



especially the grain free chocolate brownie


lots to try and buy!

We sheltered under our umbrella to listen to Rae Morris who sounded amazing


and then the weather started to improve

We watched Mabel Rogers on the Bandstand 


and enjoyed a Rocktail


After all the speakers it was time to relax!


This festival is very family friendly with the best choice of food I have every seen at a festival. No wonder its called Feastival

It felt very much like an old fashioned English fair with fairground rides and independent local food stands Bales of hay to sit on


and a helter skelter, bunting, fairy lights and balloons. Plus an enourmous live music stage with some big names over three days.



There was so much to do I barely scratched the surface. I really focused on the Healthy Living Zone which I loved . The Feeling with Sophie Elis Bextor followed by Paloma Faith brought the Big Feastival to a grand finish. Even the earlier rain couldn’t dampen the festival goers spirits


I’m sure we will be back next year for more tasty food, great music and interesting talks and demonstrations. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.




Follow The Big Feastival on Twitter @thebigfeastival

The website is




Early bird tickets now available for next year Friday 26th – Sunday 28th August 2016

Update –

Tickets now available for Feastival 2016



Gluten free and grain free dessert ideas for this weeks Bake Off

Here are some ideas to bake along to Dessert week on The Great British Bake Off tonight.

The contestants will be making a traditional Crème Brûlée the technical challenge is a Spanische windtorte  from Austria, and the show stopper will be Baked Cheesecakes.

Why not have a go at one of these


Deliciously Ella’s Banoffee pies really yummy dessert with no refined sugar


Gooey grain free chocolate pudding a yummy moist chocolate cake pudding


Lemon meringue pies grain free  possibly my favourite pudding


Chocolate profiteroles A big family favourite and my most popular recipe on my blog


Harvest apple pudding fresh and crunchy delicious when apples are plentiful 


Gluten free french apple tart requested by my husband this turned out really well


Raspberry and vanilla panna cotta Another family favourite 


Pumpkin baked cheesecake this is a rich delicious dessert perfect for a chilly day like today!


Enjoy The Great British Bake Off tonight. Make sure you have something sweet to eat along to dessert week.

I would love to see photos of the finished desserts, tweet me @nels3 gluten free Helen

Birthday and Bake Off

Today is my niece’s first birthday, yesterday was spent baking in readiness for the celebration family lunch party. I bought some tasty gluten free Cumberland sausages and chicken nuggets from Marks and Spencer’s along with some cocktail sticks for a retro birthday feel. I also made a grain free smoked salmon quiche with a mixed salad Click here for the recipe A birthday cake was the most important bake of the day. We decided on a Victoria sandwich 3 layer cake with 2 fillings a strawberry low sugar jam and a butter cream filling. This was topped of with a layer of 70% dark chocolate. Here is the recipe I used > click here 

I made two cakes and used three of the layers.


The cake was a success, the family all enjoyed it.



For my little niece I made some no refined sugar cake pops using a mashed banana and a tiny amount of good quality maple syrup.





I was thrilled that she loved them.


It is also The Great British Bake off tonight so I felt I should join in with the biscuit baking. Instead of making a gluten free biscuit I decided to make a batch of grain free low sugar ones.


This was a recipe from An Aussie with Crohns >click here <to get the recipe for Jam Pinwheels



I rolled out the dough between two pieces of grease proof paper



I spread a little apricot jam on the dough



I then used the grease proof paper to help roll the dough up like a swiss roll


The rolled dough was then chilled overnight


They baked quickly and were then left to cool and firm up


These are not what I would describe as a true biscuit, they don’t snap or really melt in the mouth but they do taste nice and are low sugar so ideal for those who are avoiding all grains and those avoiding sugar.

If I was in the bake off this week I would definitely be out in this round!

I was far more focused on our family birthday party today which went really well with all the family being hopefully well fed. A wonderful family event sharing food and making lots of memories.



Enjoy Bake Off tonight

Happy Baking!


Gluten free Madeira cake ready for Bake off!

Today see’s the start of 2015 The Great British Bake Off with the legend that is Mary Berry. I have been using her cookery books to teach me about baking long before I knew who she was. Then Bake Off came along in 2010 and around about the same time I had to go gluten free due to having Coeliac disease. What dreadful timing!

Now Mary is probably one of the most well known bakers and cooks in the country. I love watching Mary on the telly, she continues to inspire me to bake new and more difficult cakes and pastries, converting them to gluten free, low sugar versions for myself and my family.

My Mum often recounts the story of when I was doing a practical home economics assignment at senior school she gave me rock solid butter to make Mary’s Pineapple upside down cake I think I spent almost all the allotted time trying to beat the solid butter into submission. Thankfully I am slightly more organised these days.

I thought today I would make the Madeira cake as the contestants have been asked to bake this simple cake, the only difference being that mine will be gluten free and lower sugar.



Madeira cake


180g soft unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

200g gluten free self raising flour

50g ground almonds

3 large free range eggs

zest 1 lemon

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method –

Pre heat your oven 150c fan

grease and line an 8 inch loaf tin



cream the butter and sugar together until very smooth



add one of the beaten eggs

and beat

add the ground almonds and beat again

add the remaining beaten eggs and vanilla essence

and beat thoroughly

sieve in the flour and zest and fold in gently



if the mixture is a little thick add a splash of milk

spoon in to your prepared tin



bake for 50 mins

check the cake is cooked by using a skewer



cool completely, remove from tin and slice


Review –

The Madeira cake I am pleased to say was a success. Using only 100g of sugar didn’t affect the rise or texture and the cake is quite sweet enough.  A simple cake, very easy for a new baker . Perfect for slicing and serving with a cup of tea. You could use this recipe in a round tin and slice through and fill with jam or for a Lemon Madeira just add juice of one lemon and add zest of an extra lemon. Or to make it extra special you could serve with lemon curd.



We will be enjoying our Madeira cake while watching The Great British Bake off tonight,

My parents are staying with us and they are not normally fans of the show. My Dad says he can’t watch it as it frustrates him as he can’t smell or taste the offerings on show, and for my Dad who really does Love Cake its just too tough!

Hopefully tonight with the added incentive of freshly baked Madeira cake they might get hooked.

Happy Baking!

The Great British Bake Off < website here





My review of Isabel’s gluten free baked Donut mix

Today is my niece’s 15th Birthday so this morning I searched through my pantry for inspiration on what baked treat I could take down for afternoon tea. I spotted a new mix which I picked up from the Allergy and Free From fair in London. I’m  a big fan of Isabel’s baking made easy gluten free Cheesy dough balls made from cassava flour, and this new mix from Isabel is a baked donut mix using a mix of gluten free flours including cassava starch.


All I needed to add was an egg, milk ( or dairy free milk ) fat and sugar.


I decided to make mine with raw honey instead of sugar, almond milk instead of cows milk and melted unsalted butter instead of vegetable oil suggested on the packet. I think melted coconut oil would work really well too. I try and avoid vegetable oil as it is not a healthy fat.

First I tipped the Donut mix in to a bowl and make a well in the centre, next you add the beaten egg, melted butter , sugar or honey and blend together. Then I added the almond milk and used a hand whisk to mix together.



For this recipe you need an electric cake pop maker or a silicone cake pop mould which goes in the oven. Or you can make ring donuts using a donut ring tray.

I used a silicone cake pop mould which I quickly popped out to buy ( £9.99 ) you need to grease this mould, I used some spare melted butter.



I pre heated my oven to 160c fan

I carefully filled the bottom half of each mould with the donut batter mix . It just went round my 20 cake pop mould , and then popped on the top mould ready for the oven.



The mould went in the oven for 15 mins, after 15 mins I carefully removed them from the oven using oven gloves. I took off the lid to check the donuts. The donuts were a lovely golden brown and had mostly risen well.



While warm I popped them out and rolled them in a little sugar, they looked amazing and the aroma was delicious!




Finally I filled a syringe style icing set with low sugar strawberry jam ( Delfour ) I forgot to pass mine though a sieve which I think would of helped with piping into the donuts. I used the finest nozzle to inject into the donuts. I think next time I will use a thin metal skewer to make a deeper hole first. I do love a jammy donut.



The donuts went down well at the party ( all gluten eaters ) and I thought they were very nice, I think I would prefer a little less vanilla flavouring. They had a lovely springy texture and if you are looking for a mini treat these would work well.


The Donuts were really easy to make and would be extra delicious served warm and sugary.  Its been many years since I’ve eaten a traditional gluten filled donut but these sugary tiny donuts are very good 7/10

The Donut mix costs £2.15



You can buy this mix HERE < Isabel’s website 



Isabel’s website >

Dough ball review here <

cheesy dough ball mix here <