Sunday, 13 February 2011

Gluten Free At Heart

How could I not take advantage of my first St. Valentine's Day as a food blogger? This recipe has to be right up there as one of my favourites. It's simple to make, it's sweet and most of all it lends itself to being romantic. With the two main ingredients being chocolate and cinnamon, you know you're in good company. 

I call these Heart Warming Chocolate Cinnamon Pots. This recipe makes 2 - 3 portions, depending on the size of the ramekins used. Please see my 'Cups For Cooking' page for measurement conversions.

1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 tablespoons caster sugar

3/4 cups Juvela gluten free White Mix (I think any decent gluten free flour mix will do for this recipe, I just like the 'lightness' that the Juvela blend gives to this recipe)
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup of milk
4 - 6 tablespoons boiling water

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and place an oven rack on the middle shelf.

- Grease 2 or 3 ramekins with butter.

- In a small bowl combine the cocoa and sugar for your topping and set aside.

- In a medium sized bowl combine the Juvela flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

- Add the oil and milk to the mixture and stir until everything is well combined. The mix should look like a cake batter.

- Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins and place them on a baking sheet.

- Now sprinkle on the topping you've pre-prepared, dividing evenly over the batter in each ramekin.

- Pour 2 tablespoons of boiling water into each ramekin.

- Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until they are firm on top, with just a little give in the middle.

- Once baked, break open the top of your chocolate cinnamon pot and pour cream into the middle. They have a wonderful gooey centre made all the more tasty with the cream you add.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

New Bits 'n' Bobs

Seeing as we're all well and truly into the new year, I've decided to give my blog a bit of a facelift  - I've recently updated my 'Clue Me In!' and my 'Eat Out' pages. Clue Me In is shaping up to be more of a resource page and a little more informative. I've added two new links that I feel are valuable to people living on a gluten free diet.

There have been a few more additions to my Eat Out page and I've also added a map to correspond with the entries, so you can find their location a little easier. I've been lucky enough to have been to all the restaurants/cafés I've put up and am hoping that this will become quite a comprehensive list of places that are genuinely of a high standard to eat at for the gluten free foodie.

Over the next few weeks I am going to revise my 'Off The Shelf' page to include all the reliable gluten free products that are on the shelves at the moment, as well as a list of gluten free beers and their stockists - an off-licence aisle, so to speak!

You may have noticed a new page went up last month, 'My Gluten Free Mission' - basically it does exactly what it says on the tin. It outlines what I want this blog to ultimately become.

As always, I welcome any and all feedback. If you are aware of a great online source for living a gluten free diet, let me know. I'd love to know if there are other Irish coeliac bloggers out there or of other restaurants/cafés/bakeries that are of exceptional standard that should be included in the Eat Out page. So if you know, or know someone who can contribute, feel free to get in touch!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Tickety Boo Tasty

You probably have seen those ads for Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer on TV recently. I was undecided about this drink, maybe in part to the advertising campaign and also I'm not a fan of non-alcoholic ginger beer. It was only when I tasted it that I realised I had been missing out! Being gluten free definitely has its challenges when it comes to alcohol - see my 'Do You Have Any Beer' blog post for my preferred tipple - so I'm constantly on the look out for a decent gluten free alcoholic beverage that isn't cider or the dreaded alco-pop.

Crabbies is actually really tasty. It is sweet, but the ginger gives it a lovely warmth and there's no denying the kick you get from drinking it. I like to pour it in a large glass over a lot of ice and a big wedge of lime. It might seem summery and I have to say I'm looking forward to drinking this on occasion during the long summer evenings, but it is just as good as a winter warmer.

It can be found in most off-licences and major supermarkets around the country. It is relatively affordable and you definitely get more bang for your buck than you do when compared to buying a bottle of gluten free beer.

It's also a spiffing alternative to the usual wine and GF beer options one has available out there ;)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Best Cakes Are Made In A Pan

I can't seem to get away from the notion of breakfast for my blog! I know I just wrote about a full Irish, but my ultimate favourite thing for breakfast are pancakes. I love them. I could eat them every morning if I was allowed to. When I first went gluten free, I thought I had looked my last pancake in the eye and that was that. Crepes were easy enough to make with the gluten free flours that are around, but I wanted a true blue, full on, actual pancake. The kind you stack and drown in unholy amounts of syrup and butter. I use the Gluten Free Juvela White Mix and it is perfect for pancakes. This recipe was developed by me and truly it doesn't work nearly as well or taste nearly as delicious with any other flour. So if you don't suffer from a true wheat allergy - this is the recipe for you.  Please note that I use  the North American cup measurement for baking - see my 'Cups For Cooking' page for a conversion table.

2 cups Juvela White Mix
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk

- Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

- Then add the beaten egg, using a whisk.

- Add the milk while whisking the batter continuously until it is mixed. It's okay if there are lumps, the batter does not need to be smooth.

- Leave the batter for a minute before you start cooking with it. This gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid properly and make it very thick. If it's too thick to manage add another quarter of a cup of milk. Careful not to add too much milk! It may appear super thick, but if you add too much milk, the pancake will end up having an 'eggy' or 'slightly wet' texture in the cake and not the dry, fluffy pancake you're aiming for.

- Put a large frying pan on a medium high heat and add a generous amount of butter to your pan.

- When the butter is bubbling in the pan, using a large spoon, scoop the batter onto the frying pan so that you can fit three individual pancakes. The batter does not need to be moved around the pan like a crepe - it should be too thick to do this anyway.

- Bubbles will start to appear on the pancake and just before they begin to pop, they are ready to be turned over using a spatula.

- Cook the pancakes on the other side until golden brown and serve immediately from the pan onto a warmed plate with butter and syrup.

This recipe makes around a baker's dozen.

My syrups of choice are Aunt Jemima's original syrup, Highbank Original Irish Orchard Apple Syrup or Canadian maple syrup.