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






Gluten free Florentines

Inspired by the wonderful Mary Berry I have been trying to perfect a yummy gluten free version of Florentines using just honey to sweeten. The end result is delicious, maybe not quite a traditional Florentine but now probably my favourite biscuit.




50g butter

100g raw honey

50g gluten free plain flour

50g mixed peel

25g flaked almonds

25g chopped walnuts

25g glace cherries

70% or 85% dark chocolate ( I used Green and Blacks )


prepare 3 baking trays with baking paper

pre heat oven 160c fan

melt together the honey and unsalted butter in a saucepan gently



add flour, nuts, cherries and mixed peel

stir thoroughly



teaspoon the mixture onto the trays

6 to a tray



make sure they are flattened down

bake for 8-10 mins until starting to go golden at the edges

cool on trays

then carefully move to a wire rack using a palette knife



gently melt 70% or 85% gluten free dark chocolate



using a pastry brush, paint the underside of the florentines with the chocolate

make zig zag patterns on the chocolate using a fork



Fabulous anytime, particularly nice at Christmas

Happy Baking!






Chocolate Profiteroles for the Great British Bake Off Final tonight

I dont think its possible to watch Bake off without some kind of homemade baked treat!

Tonight I think calls for a tower of gluten free chocolate profiteroles with some sugar shards. Filled with some extra thick double cream and delicious gluten free dark chocolate. I hope Mary and Paul would approve.




120g unsalted butter

300 ml water

150g gluten free plain flour

4 large free range eggs

gluten free chocolate 70%

extra thick double cream



pre heat oven 220c

To make the choux pastry


Put water and butter in a saucepan

Melt butter into the water and allow to start to boil


tip in flour and lower heat, stir / beat pastry vigorously

turn off heat after dough has formed into a ball and contains no visible flour

COOL well !


Put in your food processor or mix by hand ( hard work ! )


mix in machine or beat and gradually add the egg

once blended completely together

put in piping bag or use a tablespoon to make profiteroles

use greased baking tray, I used baking paper too



I managed to make 17 but wasted a little in the piping bag.

cook at 220c very hot oven for 1o mins

then reduce temperature to 190c for a further 20 mins



cool on wire rack

cut through the centre when cold

melt chocolate and dip the tops in to the melted chocolate



once the chocolate has cooled and set you can fill the profiteroles



I used extra thick double cream

using a pretty plate stack the profiteroles

to make a tower


then I added some sugar shards


All ready for this evenings Great British Bake Off final

Have a great evening! My money is on Richard @RichardPBurr

Good luck to Richard, Nancy and Luis all great bakers



Banana, date and walnut bread

This fab recipe from An Aussie with Crohns is dairy free, grain free and yeast free. A perfect recipe for me, being gluten and yeast intolerant . I’m rarely able to enjoy fresh homemade bread .

Tonight is Great British bake off and it is almost impossible to watch without some kind of homemade baked goodies. Or maybe its just me!

Its more fancy bread and doughnut making on Bake off today. Really tough to watch when you are gluten and yeast intolerant.

I’m glad I’ve got a large slice of  grain free banana, date and walnut cake to eat along with the show!

Banana, date and walnut bread


recipe here 

Firstly I chopped dates and walnuts together in my food processor


I put ground almonds and coconut flour in a bowl and added bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice.


I melted the coconut oil and honey ( I used 1/4 cup of honey ) and added to the flour

The small banana’s and eggs were whisked together using a hand blender


and finally I added the chopped walnuts and dates to the bread mix.


I prepared a brownie tin rather than a bread tin and spooned in the bread mix.


The bread baked at 160c for about 37 mins, keep checking incase it burns.

My breads smelt delicious


I have to try and hold off eating the entire loaf before The Great British Bake Off tonight!


The bread has a lovely flavour. I particularly like the addition of dates to the mix. It has a nice sweet taste and is definitely the best grain free  banana bread I’ve made.

Family has given it a big thumbs up and agreed its the best so far.

Do take a look at An Aussie with Crohns website, lots of delicious recipes.




Gluten free Chocolate eclairs

Tonight is the Great british bake off on BBC1 and tonights show stopper is Chocolate eclairs, I thought I would make a batch to enjoy while watching the contestants battle it out.


75g gluten free plain flour ( I used doves farm )

2 eggs

60g unsalted butter

150g water

gluten free chocolate ( I used green and blacks 70% )




Put water and butter into a saucepan


Melt butter and bring to the boil then reduce heat and

add flour and stir vigorously until it forms a soft ball


Leave to cool

Either add beaten eggs by hand and beat in the eggs, this is tough!

or put in a food processor and add eggs gradually until you have a smooth paste


fill a piping bag with the choux pastry

pipe onto a greased or parchment paper prepared tray

I was able to make 9


bake in a hot oven 220c for 10 mins then reduce heat to 190c for a further 20 mins


cool and cut in half



for chocolate topping just melt some gluten free chocolate and dip eclairs into the melted chocolate


once cool, fill with extra thick cream



Delicious and gluten free!

These are no show stoppers but they taste delicious



Happy Baking

Gluten free Lemon drizzle cake

Missing The Great British Bake Off already? Me too! Here’s a delicious cake recipe to help you through.

Lemon drizzle cake a classic and just as delicious gluten free.


Recipe from Pippa Kendrick the intolerant gourmet a lovely book with some great recipes

Lemon drizzle cake recipe-

8oz butter ( Pippa used Pure sunflower spread, I would suggest coconut oil )

6oz caster sugar ( Pippa used 8oz ) I found it sweet enough

3 large eggs ( 4 heaped tsp egg replacer Orgran whisked with 8tbsp water )

8oz gluten free SR Flour Doves farm

1tsp xanthan gum I didn’t add any of this ( I used a tsp of Isabel’s baking fix )

grated zest of 1 lemon

1tbsp milk ( Pippa used rice milk )


3oz caster sugar

1 1/2 lemons ( I used 2 )

mix together

2lb\900g loaf tin greased lined

Pre heat oven 180oc and grease and line tin

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale


add beaten eggs, flour , lemon zest and milk

Mix well then spoon into cake tin

Bake for 45-50 mins until cooked through

While cake is still in the tin,make holes in top of cake using skewer then pour in lemon and sugar .

leave until cake has completely cooled and liquid has been absorbed.

Leaving a sugary crust.

remove from tin when cooled and slice.


Well The Great British Bake Off has finished for another year.  But that shouldn’t stop us continuing to bake lots of delicious gluten free and free from bakes, pastries and bread.  I certainly won’t be stopping!

Happy gluten free Baking!

Gluten free Sweet potato and Butternut squash Pasties

It’s the final of The Great British Bake Off tonight and as always I thought I would bake along.

Today though I decided not to try and recreate any of the final bakes, instead I bow down to their greater skills and knowledge. Instead I thought I would have a go at gluten free pasties as these would also make a great addition to a picnic, similar to the  Picnic pie the finalists will be baking tonight.

Best wishes to Frances, Ruby and Kimberley, may the best Baker win!

I wish I was as talented as these very clever ladies. But think all of us can give baking a go and produce some delicious bakes


Sweet potato and butternut squash Pasties-


350g gluten free plain flour I used Doves farm

175g butter

cold water

small diced sweet potato and butternut squash

grated cheese-   I used cheddar and red leicester

fresh chopped herbs-   I used parsley, thyme and mint

salt and pepper

spinach washed, chopped

Firstly make short crust pastry

rub chopped butter into the flour and add water to bring together to a ball.

wrap in cling film

chill in the fridge for 1/2hr

remove and unwrap

cut in half and place one half on to sheet on cling film and cover with another layer

roll out , not to thin or it will be difficult to handle.

take off top layer of film and use small pudding bowl to cut out a circle for pasty. I only managed to cut one out but had plenty of leftover pastry to make a further pasty later.


Chop sweet potatoes and butternut squash into tiny cubes add herbs, cheese and spinach and plenty of seasoning.

take a handful of filling and put on circle of pastry,


egg wash all the edges and fold over the pastry using the cling film so as not to damaged the pastry


repeat with rest of pastry, and finally use the leftovers to make a third pasty.

Egg wash all pasties so that they go a lovely golden brown

Pop in a pre heated oven at 220oc for 10 mins then lower heat to 180oc for a further 25mins

The pasties should be lovely and golden brown

Enjoy warm or take on a picnic

ImageHappy gluten free baking!