Dorset Apple Cake – Gluten Free, Nut Free

As Autumn is slowly creeping into winter and the days are getting shorter, you may change your menu choices. Out with the lighter salads and Eaton Messes and in with stews, hot pots and warm puddings ( or comfort food as my nan used to say).

Enter this Dorset apple cake. Inspired by my grand parents who hailed from west bay, and the fact I’ve got loads of apples from our tree. It’s the time of year to make it. When I was younger my nan would always have a bonfire party, and always make this as a pudding. Our party is belated and was last week, I couldn’t possibly not make it now could I?

Dorset Apple Cake- Gluten Free

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 225g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 450g cooking apples ( peeled and sliced thinly)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 225g gluten free self raising flour
  • 25g teff flour

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a square tin
  • Peel and slice the apples. Cover in the lemon juice to prevent browning of the apples.
  • In a bowl combine the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
  • whisk in the eggs
  • Add the cinnamon and mixed spice.
  • Mix in the flours until you have a smooth cake batter
  • Pour in half the mixture then cover with a layer of apples
  • Cover the apples with more mixture and a further layer of apples
  • Use the remaining mixture to cover the last layer of apples
  • Cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. You may need to adjust time for a fan-assisted oven.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

NB you can grate the apples and add to the mixture if you prefer apple all the way through.

So there you have it, easy and satisfying. Right I could do with a slice myself, I’m planning blogmas posts, and really trying to improve my organisational skills- so far it’s not going great. Wish me luck.

Until next time x

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Review – Sainsbury’s Free From Apple Pie

Well it’s most definitely getting colder, and autumn has set in with considerable force. The chickens did not like Ophelia the other day, poor things resembling feathered ping pong balls. They were wise and retreated to their run, likewise we battened down the hatches and stayed in the warm.

The other day I spotted this apple pie in the fresh free from counter in Sainsbury’s. It’s the right time of year for fruit pies, and my pastry is usually hit or miss so I thought I’d give this a go.

Like a lot of gluten free products this is best eaten warm so 15 minutes later out it came looking all golden and tempting.

So did it pass the taste test? Mostly yes. The pastry was lovely and buttery, with no soggy bottoms here although I didn’t particularly like the sugar on the top, it gave a texture that was grainy and too crunchy for my liking.

The filling is generous and has a good tang with I think a Bramley apple filling should have. You can actually taste the apples, this is a bonus for gluten free- I do feel some brands over compensate with sugar, instead of trying to perfect taste.

On the whole I was impressed and despite the crunchy topping I would buy this again. It’s great if you are in a rush and need a dessert or ( like me) pastry isn’t your strongest point.

Have you tried these apple pies? Or anything else from the Sainsbury’s range? Let me know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. I purchased the items and all views are my own personal ones.

Days Out With Allergies- Drayton Manor Theme Park

My Daughter is Thomas mad, I mean obsessed with Thomas. We had a disaster of a holiday, resulting in a broken narrow boat and being stranded by a lock ( thanks Hoseasons) so to make up for said disaster we had our first trip to Drayton Manor Park.

Munchkin spent the first hour in a mixture of excitement and amazement, and I have to admit it brought back nostalgia from school trips and summer holidays in my teenage years. Thomas Land is fantastic, lots of rides all perfect for little ones, plenty of photo opportunities and trains, lots of trains.

Personal highlights are the Troublesome Trucks, and Winston’s Car ride. We loved it so much we booked an over night stay a few weeks later in the hotel for the much anticipated 4th Birthday.

Fast forward to this point, the check in was smooth and very easy. For £30 extra we were offered the themed Thomas bedroom. We said yes- they are amazing from Thomas bunk beds, stunning painted walls, track carpets and breakfast with The Fat Controller the next morning I’d really recommend a stop over if you can ( this is not a sponsored post it REALLY is that great).

This leads me on to eating in the hotel and park. In every outlet there is full allergen menus, many you do t need to ask its all displayed on the walls. This is from The Burger Kutchen, an actual burger that’s both gluten and nut free. Thumbs up all round ( delicious it was to).

The Grill in is another excellent choice. Both chef and magnet sign to say your food is safe to eat. They even did a extra safe special treat for mini me on her birthday. We were so touched and could not sing their praises higher.

I really recommend you go for a day ( or two) to Drayton Manor it’s great fun for all, with or with out allergies.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It’s all my own views and I was really impressed.

Waffles- Gluten and Nut Free

I know what your thinking, it’s not the potato kind, but the lovely, douse me in ice cream or maple syrup kind.  

The long story short is that we purchased a ( sort of tacky) waffle iron in the sale and munchkin then kept on and on until I made some. They are delicious, the downside is that mini me now demands them a lot. This is ok and they are so easy to make, and easily adapted to suit a lot of diets. 

  
Ingredients 

  • 240ml milk of choice
  • 150g GF self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Optional 1tsp of vanilla extract 

Method

  • Combine everything in a bowl to form a smooth batter
  • Pour into your preheated iron and let cook
  • Cover with whatever you fancy and enjoy. 

It really is that simple. 

What is your favourite waffle topping? Let me know in the comments below. 
Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the ear ache you will receive from your kids wanting these again and again x 

We Love Cake- Review

Bold title I know, but really who doesn’t love cake? You know when it’s been one of those weeks? Well it has for me, preparation for mini me starting school, and getting care plans in place takes a lot of work ( and phone calls), so imagine my surprise when a parcel from We Love Cake arrived on the doorstep.  It helped break the week up, although I have been swimming a couple of extra times to counteract the cake. 

  

This fab little bundle co-insides with the new launch of the Brownies and Bakewell Tarts in to Iceland stores across the country. Something else to point out is that they are all gluten, wheat and dairy free, there is obviously almonds in the bakewell so no go for nut allergies. Don’t worry, I’m not cruel, mini me was at school introduction when the photos and tastings were going on. 

So what are my thoughts?

 

The tarts are delicious, lovely crispy pastry ( mine is mostly always a disaster), with a generous amount of jam. The apricot was my favourite- the jam has a sweet but tart flavour that bursts on your tastebuds. All the jams don’t taste artificial, and helpfully don’t set your teeth on edge from too much sugar either. So thumbs up for these. Blackcurrant and strawberry were the other 2 flavours. 

   

Now before the mutters of  “Not another Brownie” start, hear me out. I liked these. I loved the fact they are packaged in twos- great for lunch boxes or picnics.  They have large chocolate chips and a soft squidgy centre with a good chocolate hit. Considering they are dairy free as well you would never know, which I did wonder about, as I’m guilty of adding butter to my brownies. 

  Now I’ve never been a huge Bakewell fan, it’s not something we have often mostly due to containing almonds, but these are new and I like to try different things. The problem I have with bakewell is the icing- it’s often so sweet and sickly, which puts me off. These have the same crisp pastry ( hooray) and a good portion of jam ( great, as some as so stingy on the jam). I didn’t like the cherry, but I hate glacé cherries so nothing new there, but and here is the BIG BUT the icing did not offend me. It’s sweet, but not sickly and doesn’t overpower the almond taste of the pie.  Of all Bakewell tarts I’ve tasted this is the winner in my book. 

  
So there you have it, I enjoyed these cakes. Keep a look out in an Iceland near you. Round of applause fir We Love Cake. 

Have you tried these, or any more of the We Love Cake range? Let me know your favourites in the comments below. 
Disclaimer: I was sent these products to try- all opinions are my own and honest ( promise). 

  

Review- Bakemeister Gluten Free 

  
Check this out, it looks delicious right? These little lovelies are made by Bakemeister, a new company  entering into the free from market. They offer gluten, dairy and egg free products so catering for a fair amount of the free from community. 

Anyway I was kindly sent a box of samples to try, which myself and a colleague ( also gluten free) put them to the test. 

In the box we had :

  • Chocolate Sour Cherry Brownies
  • Italian lemon almond cookies
  • Banana Loaf Cake
  • Carrot Loaf Cake
  • Oat, Walnut & Blueberry Cookies. 

  

    So how do they taste? Well my personal favourites were the almond cookies- a perfectly balanced combination of lemon and almond, coupled with a soft but chewy biscuit were fabulous. They are great with a coffee ( and we all know about my coffee obsession don’t  we? ) Whilst we are on the topic of cookies the oat, walnut and blueberry cookies were not too shabby either, they have a crunch with a slight tartness of the blueberries which were satisfying on the tastebuds, and yes I * might* have dunked them, and they were amazing with tea. 

     The chocolate brownies were a treat as well, very dark, and rich with generous hits of sour cherries running through. I liked these as they are a grown up brownie, less of the sugar or that artificial sweetness you can get with some brownies, and more of a decadent chocolatey hit.  Be warned though the portion size is generous so you might want to tackle them in two sessions. 

    Now my friend loved the carrot loaf cake, she enjoyed the moist sponge with ample walnuts through it. Whilst I loved the flavour I wasn’t as taken with the nuts, but I don’t really like nuts in many cakes, it’s just a personal preference thing. We did both agree that the banana loaf was a winner, moist and sticky with a lovely flavour- my tip is is great with a cup of tea, or warmed with custard as a pudding – win win if you please. 

      
    So the over all verdict was these are a fabulous addition to the free from market, keep an eye out for their full launch, you won’t be disappointed. 

    For more information on Bakemeister click Here
    Disclaimer : I was sent these products to try, all opinions are my own, honest ones. 

    Barley Cup Review and Recipe Ideas

    What is this I hear you ask?  Well I was intrigued to, and therefore very excited when the lovelies at  Barleycup offered me some to try out. With Barley in the name I was a little skeptical to whether it was gluten free, but guess what ( and rejoice ) it is.     

      
    In fact this is what Barley Cup say on their website about the products. 

    Barleycup is a delicious range of instant gluten-free drinks made from roasted cereals and chicory root. All Barleycup beverages are gluten-free and have been certified by Coeliac UK. A special process is used to separate the gluten and the products are regularly tested by an accredited laboratory to ensure that the gluten levels do not exceed 10mg/kg**.

     To start off I thought I’d try It as a drink, 2 teaspoons of Barleycup mixed with just off boiling water, and I added a splash of milk. The verdict is I liked it, the organic and original both taste like a very mild coffee, but without the caffeine. Probably my favourite was the barley cup with dandelion. There is the extra, slightly sweeter flavour that adds to the drink as a whole. Incidently all versions work wonderfully as a latte, and the even bigger news was that the product has not aggravated my coeliac disease what do ever. 

    I’ve also been experimenting with recipes using Barleycup. Below is my first attempt at a ( sort of) gluten free, nut free and dairy free malt loaf. Now it’s been years since I’ve had soreen, I can’t really remember the taste but I do remember the ‘squidge’. I’ve got to play one more time to go for the squidge factor but the taste is amazing ( sorry slight blow of own trumpet ). I promise as soon as its perfected the recipe will be up on this post. 

      

    Other ideas I’ve had are mocha type smoothie and chia seed pudding. I’ll keep you posted on how they go. 

    So would I recommend Barleycup? You bet I would, it’s a gluten free, caffeine free drink that tastes delicious and is proving to be versatile in its uses as well. Thumbs up all round. 

      
    Disclaimer: Barleycup sent me these products to try, all thoughts and ideas are entirely my own. 

    Coeliac Awareness Week 2017

    Well here we are again 8th-14th May is #CoeliacAwarenessWeek and this year Coeliac UK are asking you to join the Gluten Freevolution. But what does that mean??  

     
    Well aside from the usual scramble of companies launching new products and special offers in the free from field, the message is to help improve gluten free choices where ever you are.  According to Coeliac UK 1 in every 100 people could have coeliac disease ( I’m one of them), and many more are choosing to incorporate gluten free into their diets and lifestyle. Which ever way you look at it, free from is a growing market. 

    As a coeliac, higher demand means more products on shelves, which is great.  I support this campaign, I personally feel eating out is still my problem area, staff in restaurants don’t fully understand allergies and if I’m to be glutened this is the week spot. Don’t get me wrong some places are great ( Pizza Hut springs to mind) but the issues of cross contamination and lack of staff training and understanding are usually the issues.

    As with the growing free from market, there too is a huge opening in the hospitality sector, they could attract ( and keep) new customers if a little more understanding and options were given to those with coeliac disease, and other food allergies for that matter. 

    So let’s all get behind the campaign, no more are you to feel like you are being fussy. Let’s shout it from the roof tops – more allergy friendly establishments= happy customers all round.