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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Côte Brasserie gluten free update

Today I treated myself to lunch out with a friend. Now Côte Brasserie has come to my local town I have a safe choice to eat out gluten free. Click here to see Côte Brasserie locations 

Taking inspiration from the brasseries of Paris, Côte offers authentic french classics with many options available which are free from gluten.

I chose Steak frites from the gluten free menu. The gluten free menu is large and has plenty to choose from. Click here to see the full GF menu 

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Due to my extra food intolerances steak is a good option for me.

The meals arrived promptly and my steak looked really delicious, I was impressed, great flavour and perfectly cooked. The frites as always were very good.

New breakfast gluten free menu

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Côte Brasserie have always been good for gluten free but now they have the added bonus of being accredited by Coeliac UK joining other chains including  Carluccio’s , La Tasca , Frankie and Benny’s , find complete list here Coeliac UK accredited eateries 

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A recent visit to Côte Brasserie in London

Updated gluten free menu click here

follow Côte on Instagram Cote_brasserie

Gluten free at Flat Iron

Yesterday Mr S and I decided to have a day in London. Even though the weather was freezing and damp we wrapped up and took the train to Victoria. Selfridges was our first stop for a few gluten free treats. I choose apricot abricotines and viennese shortbread from Peace of cake London and a bakewell slice.

We then had a walk around Marylebone and found a gorgeous indie cheese shop La Fromargerie and bought some extremely stinky delicious cheese.

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We took a taxi along to Soho and quickly found Flat Iron ,a restaurant that I had heard did great steak and gluten free chips. The restaurant is on Beak street really close to Carnaby street. Flat Iron was packed with customers and the friendly door guy took our phone number so that they could text us when a table was available with a web link counting down until a table was free. He had warned us that it would be approximately a 50min wait. I normally wouldn’t wait such a long time for a meal, but as it was already 2ish and we had come over specially  we took a walk around Carnaby street in the rain.

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After about 40mins a text came through to say our table was ready. Hungry and more than a little chilly we were shown up one flight of stairs to a narrow but warm room with exposed brick walls, knives on the walls and simple brown paper style menus. Here you sit on communal tables.

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The menu makes life very easy, a great place for those who struggle to decide on what to eat! Just one choice of main and one special. The main is a steak, not a fillet or sirloin but a feather blade steak which comes from the shoulder. This is served with a small green salad.

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The chips I’m pleased to say are gluten free and are fried in dripping. Possible my favourite chips ever! There was a choice of 5 sides and 4 sauces. Mr S choose Fred’s sauce.

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Our waiter came over promptly and explained the entire menu and told us all about the cut of the steak, he was very helpful and reassuring about what on the menu was gluten free and pointing out the very few things that weren’t safe for me.

The special yesterday was a wagyu burger for £15

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Our meals arrived quickly , the steaks looked and tasted very good. Tender and flavoursome ,perfectly cooked. The chips were equally scrummy and I will definitely returning for more very soon.

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In fact I cannot fault the meal, simple and delicious and at £12.50 for a main course good value for money.

The only dessert on offer is sadly not gluten free, I was surprised that a chocolate salt caramel mousse needed to contain gluten. Maybe something to look at for the future?

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I watched Mr S enjoy his light and creamy mousse. This was priced at £2.50 . Thankfully I had earlier bought the treat sweet bakes to indulge in on the way home.

Flat Iron has three restaurants in London

Beak street, Denmark street and Henrietta street

The restaurant doesn’t take reservations

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You can find out more here

Website – FlatIronSteak

Twitter – @flatironsteak

If you are in Soho why not go and try it for yourself , I would like to hear your thoughts.

 

Norwich’s very own gluten free cafe and shop

Today we drove over to Norwich to visit The gluten free cafe and shop on Timber hill. We parked at the John Lewis car park but there are numerous places to park near the shop and cafe. The setting is perfect on a pretty street, one of the oldest recorded city streets in Norwich. Home to quirky shops , boutiques and beauty salons. Since January home to this exciting new enterprise from the Norfolk gluten free company. 

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I was blown away by the smartness and quality of the exterior and interior of the cafe and shop. Stepping into the busy cosy cafe I felt like a child in a sweet shop. To know that you can eat from the entire menu on the large black board was the most exciting thing ever. If  like me you have Coeliac disease or gluten intolerant  you will totally understand the wave of relief and calm you feel when you know you are safe to eat somewhere that is 100% gluten free with no worries of cross contamination. It offers a huge range of tasty savoury and sweet options for all the family including delicious looking soups and pies, quiches and ploughman’s. An enormous array of sweet treats from chocolate eclairs and muffins to beautiful cup cakes and flapjacks . You could have the biggest sugar high ! We all need a treat sometimes

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The staff were busy with lots of happy customers. Today Families , young couples and older people were sat around at tables drinking coffee and eating lunch. It was lovely to see the place so busy. We found a little table near the window where we could watch the world go by. I decided on hot cheesy balls with butter for lunch and Mr S choose a chicken pie with ploughman lunch, with coffee.

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After ordering at the counter I couldn’t resist a quick look upstairs at the gluten free shop where I was greeted by the lovely Louisa founder of the Norfolk gluten free company . I scanned the shelves full of everything you could possibly imagine, it really is like an Aladdin’s cave. I was beyond excited , far superior to a free from section in a supermarket. From an incredible selection of freshly baked bread goods from Wheat free bakery ( the best bread in my family’s opinion ) to pies and quiches and dry mixes , pasta’s, taco and wraps. Every gluten free flour, dough ball mix  I could go on.

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After doing a quick grab of goodies and paying upstairs I was down just in time for my Latte and hot yummy cheesy dough balls. These can be served with a selection of dips but I went for butter with mine. they were so scummy.

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With so many extra food intolerances I often find it difficult to order anything when I am out shopping. These were just what I needed. My husband was pleased with his flaky chicken pie packed with hearty pieces of chicken inside with a side salad, bread roll and cheese plus chutney, a feast.

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My coffee was so good I ordered a second and couldn’t resist a sweet treat.

 

IMG_9904 Its not often I can go out and order a pudding . After much thought I decided on the caramel choux bun and Mr S had a fruit and chocolate flap jack.

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I spotted some very pretty looking cup cakes made by the talented Imogen from Sugar buttons cakes so it would of been rude not to take one home for later . A toffee popcorn cupcake was popped into a little cake bag for me to enjoy later.

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Imogen made my son and daughter in law’s wedding cupcakes in August 2014 so I know just how good they are. As well as cup cakes Imogen makes the most stunning large gluten free Wedding cakes too, do check out her website Sugar buttons creative.

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Before I left I had one more quick look upstairs in the shop, It is a surprisingly good size space. So if you are in for a coffee don’t forget to take a look yourself. I choose some freshly baked bread to take home and some extra special chocolate hearts from Montezuma.

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The prices in the cafe and shop I thought were very fair and we will definitely return next time we are in Norwich armed with extra bags and more room in the freezer to take home lots of gluten free bread for the family.

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I do hope if you are in the Norwich area or visiting Norfolk this year you will make time to visit this fabulous cafe and shop. If we don’t support these brave enterprises they won’t survive . I would like to wish Louisa and her team all the very best for the future. I’m sure you have a real success on your hands. I could see just how much work must have gone into the last few months do get this venture off the ground in the centre of this beautiful city.

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You can find the Cafe and shop at the top Timber hill number 21 on the left hand side as you look down the hill.

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Website – Norfolk gluten free company

Twitter – @nklkglutenfree

 

Silly Yak gluten free pastry part 2

We never normally have gluten free pies for dinner, but as I had a second box of Silly Yak ready to roll gluten free pastry I thought I would make a chicken pie. The nice thing about this pastry is the end result is rather like a rough puff pastry so it lends itself to lots of different bakes both savoury and sweet. Although not made with butter ( personally I think this is a great shame ) but made with margarine a far less healthy choice, it does have a good ‘ buttery’ taste.

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I used the pastry straight from the fridge while it was still nice and cold and rolled out and cut a circle for the topping to my chicken pie. My filling consisted of chicken breasts diced, courgette finely chopped, finely sliced rashers of streaky bacon and plenty of double cream and seasoning including some thyme.  I cooked this in a frying pan before putting in the oven proof dish. I have to avoid usual filling ingredients like mushrooms onions and garlic as I am intolerant to them. I find the pie still tastes delicious.

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I struggled to find a dish small enough for two people as all my bakeware is for 4/6 or more. Now the family have all moved out I need to buy myself a pie dish for two!

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The pie was popped into a hot pre heated oven for 25mins. It was a huge success with Mr S , and I’m sure I will use the pastry again to make a big family pie when everyone is back home for a meal.

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With the remaining pastry I cooked down some apples and cut 4 squares from the remaining pastry and made apple turnovers. I brushed beaten egg on the outside and sprinkled a little sugar on top.

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Again these were far more successful than I expected, delicious cold or warm

 

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The pastry was sent to me by Silly Yak to test out and I feel that I gave it a fair try with both savoury and sweet bakes. If you are looking for an easy gluten free pastry that you can rely on this is your product. My only disappointment as I’ve said before is that it is not as yet made with butter. So Silly Yak if you read this review please consider maybe making a second product for us butter lovers. I’m sure it would be very popular.

If you try this ready to roll pastry and enjoy this product why not mention it to your local stores like Waitrose, Sainsburys, Ocado and Morrisons. It would be great to have more suppliers and make it more available.

 

IMG_9868Today I heated up some of the sausage rolls I made yesterday and they were delicious .

Silly yak

follow on twitter @SillyYakfoods

Facebook SillyYakFoods

The Silly Yak pastry is crossed grain symbol certified

 

Silly Yak ready to roll gluten free pastry review

Today I decided to put Silly Yak pastry to the test.

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I started with a favourite, something I haven’t made for a while ,sausage rolls. The chilled pastry proved easy to use. I gave the surface a dusting of gluten free flour and unpacked the silly yak ready to roll pastry. I decided to use cling film on the pastry to stop it sticking

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The pastry rolled out easily, I then used some delicious Black Farmer sausages for the filling. I just opened up one end of the sausage and squeezed out the sausage meat on to the pastry.

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I sealed the pastry together with water and cut to size, Then I brushed the sausage rolls with beaten egg and popped in a pre heated hot oven 200c for 25mins.

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I was pleased with the results. The appearance was good and the taste delicious.

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The pastry was perfect.

With the remainder of the ready to roll pastry I decided to make a Tarte Tatin something I’ve only made once before. I used a Mary Berry recipe replacing refined sugar with coconut sugar and was very pleased with the result.

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Firstly I made the sticky sauce the added the sliced apple and finally the pastry top.

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Once again the Tarte Tatin went in the hot oven for 25mins

IMG_9816Again perfect pastry, with very little effort on my part and perfect dessert.

IMG_9823Once turned over you could see the fabulous sticky sauce and the perfectly cooked apples. Will now add this to my list of puddings.

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The only disappointment for me is that the pastry is not made using butter. I assume to make the pastry vegetarian, margarine is used. This is something I hate. really not a healthy choice. Maybe Silly Yak would consider making an all butter version too? I know I and many others would be keen to buy it. Sadly I am not likely to buy this version again even though it has made fantastic pastry.

The pastry is available from Tesco stores here is the list  > Tesco stockists or Tesco online £1.75 for 400g

find it in the chilled section

I would be interested to know your thoughts too, as I’m sure would Silly Yak

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Follow them on Facebook Silly yak and on Twitter @sillyyakfoods

or leave a message below

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I’m off to make a gluten free Chicken pie and apple turnovers using more of the Silly Yak pastry, second post to follow

Happy baking!

click here for Silly yak review part 2 

My review of Deliciously Ella’s new book Every day

Needing some inspiration for new meals for 2016 I went out and bought a new cook book. I chose Deliciously Ella Every day, Ella’s second book is packed full of recipes. Breakfasts, healthy eating on the go, salads, easy weekday dinners and big batch cooking also a few simple sweets.

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The first recipe I tried was the gingerbread cookies these were very easy to make. I would definitely advise using as little extra flour as possible. Mine had a little too much flour on the biscuits once baked which didn’t taste nice. The biscuits themselves were nice, very plain which you can see by the photo in the book. I have to admit using some of mine to make chocolate refrigerator cake, oops. I would call these ‘biscuits’ rather than cookies as they are crisp and snap like a biscuit.

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The second recipe I chose was the maple chia pots. I thought this would be a new good breakfast alternative. They were easy to make and I popped them into the fridge to have the following day. I used a cleaned out Lucy bee coconut oil jar the perfect size. I found the maple chia pot had a pleasant creamy taste and just the right sweetness. Unfortunately I struggled with the texture and the look of the breakfast pot. A very gluppy gluey consistency I’m not sure I would make this again.

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For a change I thought I would try one of Ella’s vegan main meals in the batch cooking section. We normally tend to eat quite a lot of fish and meat. I halved the recipe which made enough for 3 large portions. Another simple recipe very easy to follow, Spiced sweet potato stew which was delicious. This went down well with Mr S so I will make this again. We had leftovers for supper with a few gluten free nachos.

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We had a family lunch yesterday the perfect occasion for a nice new pudding. I chose the chocolate ganache cake. Firstly I would say that this is a pudding more like fudge or a torte than cake. Very quick and easy to make the ingredients are definitely unusual for a cake . Avocados, cacao, chia seeds, maple syrup etc. I was shocked by the quantity of maple syrup in the cake. 15 tablespoons if you add the frosting, or 11 tbsp without frosting. I added the frosting which looked beautiful. The end result looked very nice but it wasn’t a hit with the family or myself. I definitely didn’t love it.  Even with the large amount of maple syrup it didn’t taste overly sweet ,some felt it had a bitter taste. More like a large slice of fudge but not as delicious ! and no better for you . I cut mine into 8 pieces but could have cut smaller slices as it was so rich.I think it is worth saying that this is no healthy for you than more regular sweet treats. Best in very thin slices served with cream.

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The next recipe I hope to try is the chick pea, quinoa and turmeric curry which looks good.

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The photographs in the book are lovely and most recipes have a photo of the finished dish or bake which I think is very important. The recipes so far have been easy to make. The cake recipe was very expensive to make but the spicy sweet potato stew is a good cheap vegan alternative for a meat free day.

I paid £10 for my book which was half price in WH Smiths. It is available every where, I even spotted it in Anthropology . Lots of deals to be had, so if you are keen to buy most places have it for half price.

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You can follow Deliciously Ella on Twitter @deliciouslyella

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Gluten free Christmas at Waitrose

Waitrose is my nearest large food store and it’s where I do the majority of my food shopping. This is why when Waitrose asked me recently if I would taste test and review their gluten free Christmas offerings this year, I jumped at the chance.

 

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Firstly I tried the gluten free mince pies, these come in a box of four and cost £2.50

 

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I found them to have a lovely sugary pastry which was melt in the mouth and a good amount of filling inside. Yummy warm or cold, I love mine warmed in the oven.

I will definitely be buying these for our family gatherings at Christmas. 10/10

 

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Next I tried the gluten free 9 Christmas cake bites, perfect when you just need a mini Christmas fix. At £2.50  There are 9 bite size Christmas cakes in a box.

 

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It was a delicious bite size piece of Christmas cake, for me perhaps a little too much topping to cake. It has a thick layer of icing with a thin layer of marzipan. It does make them very indulgent and it is Christmas! 9/10

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Thirdly the full size Cider and Rum Christmas pudding this costs £4 for a 454g pudding        ( there is also a small, one person 100g pudding for £1.50 )

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The Christmas pudding was very easy to warm up in the microwave just over 2 mins in mine. The pudding was very moist and the smell in the kitchen was amazing. My husband did the taste test for me, A very willing volunteer !  I am yeast free and the Christmas pudding contains cider and rum so I avoided this one. He thought it was very good and awarded it  9/10

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Next I tasted the Christmas cake slices, there are 4 in the box and cost £2.75

moist, sweet and perfect with a cuppa

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These were another winner. Beautiful Christmas cake just like I remember a regular gluten filled Christmas cake used to taste before I was gluten free. I gave these 10/10

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Lastly I tried the gluten free Christmas cake, the small cake 330g costs £3.50

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Both my husband and I felt that this cake was not as moist as the other Christmas cake products scoring it a 7/10

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I will definitely be buying the Waitrose gluten free Christmas cake bites, mince pies and Christmas cake slices to take with me to our family celebrations this year. I don’t think anyone will notice that they are gluten free.

Waitrose.com  now has a go to Gluten free Christmas section on their website. click here > Waitrose.com 

Here you can find information on the gluten free range with some ideas and hints for a gluten free Christmas.

I have tested out Deliciously Ella’s gluten free Mince pie recipe available to watch on the Waitrose  website

Deliciously Ella’s mince pie review  <click here

 

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I love to bake from scratch and these mince pies are really delicious and all the ingredients are available at your local Waitrose store or online.

 

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Keep a look out for these gluten free Christmas treats in your Waitrose store now!

 

This blog post is sponsored by Waitrose. I was sent the Christmas gluten free range to test and a voucher to buy extra ingredients . This has not affected my honest review of the products.

 

 

Gluten free Chocolate fridge cake

This gluten free chocolate fridge cake is very delicious and a real sweet treat.

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Recipe

125g gluten free or grain free cookies / biscuits ( I used some of my homemade low sugar peanut butter cookies )

150g dark chocolate gluten free ( I used Green & Blacks 70% )

50g unsalted butter

70g maple syrup

50g cherries

40g raisins

30g chopped pecans

Method 

I put cling film in a square baking tray so that it came up over the edges

Then melted the chocolate, butter and maple syrup together until smooth

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I used a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water

then I added the cookies which I crushed using a rolling pin

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I added chopped cherries, raisins and chopped pecans

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I gave it a good mix and spooned it into the baking tray

 

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this was put in the fridge for an hour or two

cut in to squares and store in an airtight container in the fridge

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You can double this recipe if you are making this to share !

 

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A great way to use up biscuits and cookies slightly passed their best.

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You could also use grain free homemade biscuits to make this fridge cake

Enjoy!

Gluten free Walnut and Mocha Muffins

These Muffins will be perfect as a baked treat for tonights Great British Bake Off Final

These Walnut and Mocha Muffins are dark and springy with chocolate chips and tiny walnut pieces

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Recipe

2 Large Eggs

125ml plain yoghurt

125ml strong coffee

125ml milk  – cows milk or almond milk

250g gluten free self raising flour

100g sugar or coconut sugar ( if you like a sweeter muffin you can add more sugar ) I’ve used less than half the sugar normally used in a muffin recipe

1/4 cup raw cacao or 75g cocoa powder

pinch of salt

100g dark chocolate gluten free chips

100g finely chopped walnuts

Method

makes 12

pre heat oven 200c

cool the coffee

add the milk, yoghurt and beaten eggs to the coffee in a large bowl

 

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in a separate bowl add the flour, cacao, finely chopped walnuts, sugar, salt

stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix well

 

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add the chocolate chips and mix again

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grease the muffin tin well or use muffin cases ( mine stuck a little to the paper cases ) I need to treat myself to a decent muffin tin.

fill the cups almost to the top with muffin mixture.

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pop in the hot oven

200c for 10 mins

then lower for up to 15mins at 180c  Mine only took about 10mins using a fan oven

the muffins should be firm

 

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cool and pop on a wire rack

delicious warm or cold.

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I’ve eaten two already and bake off isn’t for another couple of hours !

I think next time I will use only 1/8 cup of cacao as it is so much stronger tasting than cocoa powder

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Enjoy the Bake Off Final tonight , maybe you will have time to bake these first

Ready Steady Bake!

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