AD Three gluten free recipes you can rely on

this post contains gifted items, all thoughts and views my own 

I feel like I’ve not covered enough of my baking on the blog this year to justify all the calories I’ve combined and consumed. Baking helps me to relax, unwind and I am always coming up with new and inventive ways to get creative in the kitchen. As a coeliac, I enjoy making meals for the whole family who aren’t gluten free and testing out things that they can enjoy just as much as me. It can be tough to produce top quality bakes that are in fact gluten free, and GF food does come with a reputation of being dry, crumbly and just generally bad. I am here to tell you that this just isn’t the case once you know what you’re doing. I’ve come up with three gluten free recipes that you can rely on with the help from Sous Chef, whether you are newly diagnosed or just trying to bake something for a gluten free friend. 
Sous Chef (established 8 years ago this month) sells thousands of amazing ingredients from around the world to its customers. I’m in love with middle eastern spices and flavours, so in this blog post you’ll discover a few products that aren’t in your average pantry… 

It’s cupcake day! 

If my daughter had her way, it would be cupcake day every day in our household. I love baking with her and I try to do it as much as possible when we have the time. The easiest things for us to make are gluten free cupcakes. Here’s my perfected recipe over 15 years of making them: 

Mix 250g white caster sugar together with 250g soft spread (I use a plant based spread as gluten free flour needs that extra oil). Once this is silky smooth and there are no sugar lumps, go ahead and crack in 3 eggs one by one. Don’t worry if the mixture separates a little, and you can do this by hand or with a mixer. Next is 250g gluten free self raising flour and three tablespoons cocoa powder (sifted or mixed in with flour before adding). It’s really important to do this slowly, and do this stage by hand so you don’t knock the air out of the mixture. Once combined, add a little drop of vanilla extract plus a quarter teaspoon of xanthan gum -note this last ingredient isn’t 100% essential but I do find this helps to keep the cakes from crumbling. Bake in the oven for around 15-18 mins at 190 degrees, though adjust your temperature accordingly to your oven and cupcake size. You are after a slightly domed top that is firm to touch, and no wobbles! 

I let Alice loose with all our Frozen accesories, while I used a vanilla butter cream and beautiful rose petals (via Sous Chef) to create my batch. 

New York style baked cheesecake

For the biscuit base:

The base is 80g butter and one pack of gluten free choc chip cookies. Blitz the biscuits in a blender, and mix with melted butter to form the base. Press into your cheesecake mould (lined with baking paper) and bake at 180 degrees for ten mins. Take out to cool, then whack up the oven to 220 degrees before making the filling:

 The filling ingredients 
  • Roughly 900g of cream cheese
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of gluten free plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A dash of lemon juice
  • 3 eggs and an extra yolk
  • 300ml of sour cream
The topping 

Whisk together your cream cheese and sugar carefully, then add your flour. Next go ahead with your vanilla extract and lemon juice, then the eggs plus extra yolk (one at a time). I added the sour cream by hand next, as I didn’t want to over-whisk the mixture. Making sure there are no lumps, pour onto the cooled biscuit base and pop in the oven for 10-15 mins before lowering the temp down to 100 degrees. Bake for around 45 more minutes, or until the edges have browned and there is a slight wobble in the middle. I let my cheesecake stay in the oven for a little longer turned off as I wanted it to be a bit firmer on the inside. I then left it to completely cool before putting in the fridge overnight with foil on the top.

three gluten free recipes you can rely on

In the morning it was ready to decorate with my pomegranate molasses (via Sous Chef) and the pomegranate seeds! The molasses has a tart bite that cuts through the creaminess of the cheesecake perfectly.

Late night chocolate brownies

Sometimes you just need that late night, oven-baked snack to satisfy you. I had a packet of gluten free brownie mix in the cupboard that just required an egg and oil as ingredients. Not entirely my own recipe but hey, you can always rely on a good old packet mix for ease and speed!

My absolute favourite combo is chocolate and pistachio, so here’s where you can get creative with a packet mix. I added some swirls of pistachio cream (via Sous Chef) on top of the brownie mixture in the tin and baked it for 15 mins. They turned out amazing- the creamy swirls just made the brownie so much nicer and they didn’t last long!

So there you have it, three gluten free recipes that you can rely on no matter if you have a spare 15 minutes for brownies or a morning to make the perfect baked cheesecake. What’s your go-to gluten free bake? Let me know in the comments below and share with me.

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading. Have you seen my latest parenting blog post featuring Alice’s current daily routine?

Ready for any occasion with Prestige Hampers

I just love this time of year. Not just because there are many holidays and events to look forward to, but we have many birthday celebrations in the family from September to December. This is such a busy season, and I’m always on the hunt for great gift ideas. I’ve got to be really prepared and organised, as we never let an occasion pass us by without some sort of party or family fun weekend. This post is all about being ready for any occasion with Prestige Hampers.

I’ve been a big fan of DIY hampers since I can remember. Hunting down all the perfect products to complete a hamper is so much fun. However, time constraints now apply as I am older and responsible for my own little one, so finding a bespoke hamper has to be quick and simple. Take this lovely example, aptly named ‘Simply Delicious’…

Hamper contains:
Founders Stone Shiraz 75cl
Founders Stone Pinot Grigio 75cl
Belgian Chocolate Mint Thins 125g
Sweet Chilli and Lime Yorkshire Crisps 100g
Mint Chocolate Cremes 150g
Minty Crisp Dark Chocolates 50g
Biscoffee Cappuccino Coffee Shortbread 160g
Belgian Fancy Truffles Cocoa Pieces 200g
English Afternon Tea 25s 50g
Monty Bojangles Pistachio Marooned Truffles 100g
After Dinner Coffee Pouch 56g
Cheesy Nibbles 175g
Mrs Bridges Ploughmans Chutney 230g

Naturally I had a very keen Alice wanting to inspect each and every gift to make sure it was up to scratch!

I simply love how so much thought has gone into creating this hamper- the green colour scheme is something I would definitely look for when choosing a perfect gift, also the mixture of sweet and savoury is a definite crowd pleaser.

This hamper is priced at under £100, and Prestige Hampers have gifts to suit every kind of budget. They also have gluten free and vegan hampers which I haven’t seen anywhere else before.

If you’re tight on time but still wanting a personal and excellent quality gift, you can be ready for any occasion with Prestige Hampers.

Alice approves

View the incredible range of Christmas hampers online!

Saharasplash x

Next up, head to my autumn vibes edit for a look at what’s new in my wardrobe this season.

PR Samples included, all thoughts and views my own

Quick and easy gluten free food with Copper Stone Pans

It’s about time I visited the topic of my culinary skills again after the successes of my pumpkin soup post during labour. Two well-known facts for those who are familiar with my lifestyle is that I love to cook and I am a coeliac. Just the other day I was hungry (as per) for something new, quick and unbearably good to sooth my hangry self. So I decided to grab a few items and head on down to my mum’s new kitchen (cheeky I know) to make something great. Here’s some quick and easy gluten free food with Copper Stone Pans.

These pans are ultra non-stick, so depending on what you’re cooking, you won’t have to splash in the oil or butter. Plus, the extremely tough, scratch-resistant coating combined with a forged aluminium body and steel base means these pans are built to last. Here are the ingredients I used to make a scrummy pesto pasta dish in ten mins flat:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Gluten free green pea fusilli
  • 100% pure rapeseed oil
  • Pesto (2tbsp)
  • Creme fraiche (2tbsp)
  • Spinach leaves
  • Schar gluten free bread

There are many benefits to using rapeseed oil such as its non-greasy qualities, not to mention a great choice for cooking health wise too. I put the smallest dash in one of my Copper Stone Pans along with the tomatoes and mushrooms while my pasta cooked in a saucepan.

Once they looked nice and sizzly, I added the pesto, creme fraiche and the spinach leaves.

In my smaller pan, I decided to toast my gluten free bread with some of the rapeseed oil. This worked so well, and who needs the hassle of grilling bread when you don’t own a toaster?!

The toast was just how I liked it – the quick and easy gluten free food with Copper Stone Pans was a success! Hassle-free, super yummy and best thing of all, the pans just needed a wipe down and that’s it!

The Copper Stone Pans range from £19.99-29.99 and are available from  www.JMLdirect.com. Suitable on gas, electric, induction and ceramic hobs.

Saharasplash x

This is a sponsored post, PR samples included 

Welcoming Alice to the world with Bakerdays

Today marks Alice’s eight week milestone! I really cannot believe how we are almost at the two month mark. She has come such a long way since the 16th October and what better way to celebrate her being here than cake! I’ve teamed up a remarkable and innovative online service who have helped by creating a fabulous, personalised letterbox cake. Make sure you keep on reading to enter my competition to win your very own personalised cake! We are welcoming Alice to the world with Bakerdays today, and you can celebrate with us!

Alice’s letterbox cake is quite literally a cake that can fit through your letterbox. It is perfectly designed by experts, so all I had to do was choose the text and a rough design scheme. I was so blown away by the final design and finish- it was such a shame to cut into it!

Alice loved it too, of course she didn’t actually eat any but she was certainly interested and wanted a hold!

The cake was ordered gluten free and had all her birth details on it. The colour scheme was her favourite colour- purple! There are so many options for the filling and sponge- just take a look online! There are loads of ready to order designs to choose from if you don’t want to make one up from scratch.

Alice was fully pooped after all the excitement, so all that was left to do was eat the yummy cake!

So my friends, would you like your very own personalised letterbox cake? Enter on Twitter by retweeting the competition tweet and enter on Facebook by sharing the competition post. To gain an extra early entry, all you have to do is COMMENT BELOW!

Competition ends 7pm on Tuesday 12th December, winner will be chosen at random by all valid entries. UK only. 

The only way is Niche

For coeliacs and those who are gluten free, it sometimes sucks when all you’re craving is a gorgeous burger or some fried chicken. Even living in one of the world’s most popular cities sometimes has its limitations when it comes to living gluten free. It’s not easy when you’re out unless you have scoped out the area you are travelling to to see what’s about. So here’s where Niche comes in. Located just a 5 minute walk from Angel, Niche is a completely gluten free restaurant. I want to tell you all about my visit there and why, for me, the only way is Niche!
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So we (my partner in crime Paul) arrived for around 7.30 and were immediately seated near the window. It is a quaint place that can seat around 25 people. The lighting is relaxed and chilled and the music is lovely so it’s a perfect place to take your gluten free bestie or your partner.
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The menu is laid out on the table so you can begin to feast your eyes over all the possibilities as soon as you are seated. I went straight in for the starters and ordered the Parmesan and cheddar doughnuts. As I said, fried food is a tough one to find as a coeliac! Paul had the soup of the day which was tomato.
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Both were really lovely and flavoursome and the presentation flawless- we each paired the starters with homemade lemonade. For the mains, I had to go for the Cheeseburger with extra avocado. It’s not every day I get to order a burger with the bun! It was so beautiful when it came out, I didn’t want to eat it… but I did 😉 Paul had a fantastic sausage and mash- I nipped a bite from his plate too, it would be rude not to sample his dish!
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By this time we were both feeling full as the generous portion sizes settled, but I had my eye and heart set on ordering a cheesecake and so that’s what I did. The passion fruit cheesecake was lovely. Sadly my dessert was far too much for me to finish it all off after the first 2 courses, but somehow Paul polished off his chocolate brownie with ease. I must say that both desserts were delightful and I wished I could have finished mine!
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Needless to say I really recommend Niche to all gluten free Londoners and travellers as it is such a fantastic place. The service was sublime, the food divine and not a drop of wine in sight! Go check Niche out now and see for yourself how great the dining experience can be for coeliacs. We sometimes forget that our diet does not control us, we can decide where we want to eat. The only way is Niche when you’re looking for some extraordinarily good gluten free food so thank you so much Niche for hosting us!
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Saharasplash x

 

For more things to do around London, I went to a spectacular rooftop not long ago- find out where it is by clicking here!