Strawberry and Vanilla Cheesecake Gluten Free

I admit I’ve had strawberries on the brain this last week.  In my efforts on embracing the good life the vegetable plot is growing, and strawberries are one of this years projects.  My new plants are in, and we are waiting for them to grow.  However in the mean time, what better excuse for a free from cheesecake? Oh and we had a houseful for Mother’s Day and cheesecake is always a winner. Plus this is a no bake cheesecake so it’s easy to make as well. 

My error with this was that I personally think it would be better in an 8 inch tin, but I misplaced mine so the 9 inch had to be the tin of choice ( I don’t  think my guests noticed anyway). 

  

Ingredients 

Base

  • 250g biscuit I used gullon as they are nut free. You can click Here to buy them. 
  • 80g melted butter

Filling

  • 600g  full fat cream cheese
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 200ml double cream 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence. 

Method

  • Crush the biscuits either in a bag with a rolling pin, or in a food processor
  • Add the melted butter and pulse until you have a damp rubble.
  • Press into the base of a spring closing cake tin and leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

  

  • For the filling whisk the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla together. 
  • I whisk the double cream separately until it forms stiff peaks. Then gently combine this with the cream cheese mixture. 
  • Put this on top of your biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge ideally overnight. 
  • I decorated with fresh strawberries and mini meringue kisses. 

  

  

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Gluten Free Tiger Cake. 

As you may, or may not know, I have a three year old.  Those of you with kids will ( probably) tell you how, at times, the toddler years can be challenging, and I’m not just talking about allergies. 

I’ll paint you a picture, currently the obsession of LR is Thomas The Tank, Dinosaurs, Paw Patrol ( the theme tune makes my ears bleed) and animals. Which leads us on to the fact my birthday is this week and she thought it would be great if I have a birthday cake. Only Thing was madam thought a tiger cake would be great. Now if it’s anything like the dinosaur I attempted the other week, the cake was going to be a car crash- trying to explain that to a head strong tot was even worse.   The stropometer reached a level I think we have never seen before, and quite frankly I’ve no desire to see again.

So why am I babbling about my cake decorating disasters? Well the compromise was a tiger cake in the form of stripes ( sort of ) with chocolate and vanilla layers to look ( sort of) like a tiger,  and LO was promised to be able to like the bowl so the actual cooking could commence. 

  
 Don’t worry about the vanilla sponge looking a rather odd colour, yours will look great, ours had the addition of orange food colouring to add to the tiger theme. 

Ingredients 

  • 4 eggs
  •  100ml milk ( of choice) 
  • 250 ml oil I have used either coconut or sunflower
  • 250g caster sugar 
  • 1tsp vanilla extract 
  • 475g self raising flour ( I use Doves farm Gluten free) as a side note you can sub 75g of flour for ground almond which helps make the cake moist we don’t due to nut allergies. 
  • 25g Cocoa or raw cacao powder. 
  • 1tsp baking powder

Method 

  • Preheat oven to 180C /Gas Mark 4 
  • Line a 23cm cake tin 
  • Lightly beat the eggs then mix with the milk, oil and vanilla extract. Add 175 g of flour and whisk until smooth
  • Get 2 bowls pour half this mixture in 1 along with 1/2 tsp baking powder and another 175g of flour
  • In the other pour the rest, add the cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking powder and the remaining flower. 
  • In the centre of your tin put 2 large spoonfuls of white mixture, then the same of chocolate directly on top. Keep doing this until the tin is full

  

  • Don’t worry if it’s not perfect circles I had to improvise a bit at the side but it adds to the effect of the cake. 
  • Put in the oven and cook for 40-50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. 
  • I let it cool for 10 mins in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

  

Et voila there you have your marble ( I mean tiger) cake. My only notes to add would be that I think it would look great decorated as a chocolate drippy edge cake with the full works in terms of a mountain of chocolates on top.  

It’s better eaten fairly quickly as well, I find the gluten free version has a tendency to go dry quite quickly, but it goes wonderfully with a cup of tea, and I fact the dry sponge I made into a chocolate and orange trifle….. Buts that’s another post. 

Chocolate (Green) Smoothie

Hello, hello, hello I’m back ( or BT has finally fixed our phone line). anyway now normal service can be resumed and I’ve got loads of posts to share with you all, so I best get started. 

  
This here Is a green smoothie in disguise. It’s perfect for a chocolate fix but has less sugar than some of the other smoothie combinations out there. I’m not going to say  it’s clean, or sugar free etc, sugar is sugar whichever way you look at it, and this has some fruit in. 

Ingredients 

  • Handful of spinach 
  • Small piece of cucumber
  • 1/2 frozen banana 
  • A few chunks of mango
  • 1tsp of cacao powder 
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • Milk of choice 

Place all ingredients into your blender/ nutribullet etc and voila there you have your smoothie

  
Right back to it I’m experimenting with photo backdrops and have some pictures to take. ( it’s one of my aims this year to improve my photography skills). 

Bircher ( Overnight Oats) Bowl 

Hmmm so how’s 2017 going for everyone? Not bad for us this end, although losing a dear friend has been a blow.  However this is not a post intended on depressing you all, on the contrary the year is still young, opportunities are a plenty and my popcorn machine is on standby for me to pull up my chair and watch the comedy/ horror/ disaster movie that is Trump ( I’m childish and still snigger at his name) going into the Oval Office. 

I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m supposed to be keeping you all uplifted, well you will need energy to do this…..and this breakfast is perfect for that. I love ( gluten free) oats, they are filling, good for you, and versatile. What’s not to like? 

  

  The best thing about over night oats is that there is no right or wrong way to eat them, any flavour or combination work, they can be as clean ( or dirty??) as you want them to be, and can be made the night before. This is the real winner for me, as it saves precious time on that early morning rush….

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats ( or gluten free oats) 
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup of yoghurt or choice 
  • 1-2 tsp chia seeds ( optional) 
  • I dessert spoon raisins 
  • Sweeten with honey or maple syrup or Apple juice ( to suit your palate ) 
  • Topping of choice 

Mix the oats, milk, yoghurt, chia and sweetner together and leave for 6-8 hours in the fridge. 

In the morning add to a jar ( or bowl) and have fun with your toppings. 

  

Have you tried over night oats? What’s your favourite flavour combinations? Let me know in the comments below. 

Allergy Friendly Cupcakes 

Welcome one and all ( old English christmas speak ) to Blogmas day five. I hope the new week brings you some more festive cheer, me on the other hand have a beauty of a cold and a three year old to entertain. It wasn’t fairing too well but we hit on a winner with baking cupcakes. 

They are easy to make and if your kids are like mine then the decorating will keep them entertained for a bit, then you get another 5-10 minutes for eating their creations – result. I take no credit for the recipe either, it’s adapted from your traditional sponge recipe just made allergy friendly. 

I’ll reiterate that mini me did a lot of the decorating, but to add on a more serious note Waitrose Christmas cake decorations are largely free of gluten, nuts and soya. B&M have gluten free cupcake toppers to. 

  

Ingredients 

  • 125g self raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter ( or dairy free alternative) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Cream together butter and sugar
  • Add the eggs one at a time. 
  • Add vanilla extract
  • Sift in flour and stir until well combined. 
  • Put in cupcake cakes and bake in the oven until well risen and firm to touch. (15 minutes roughly) 
  • Cool on a wire rack and decorate to your hearts content. 

After all that hard work, have a well earned 5 minutes eating one of these creations until your kids utter the dreaded words “I’m bored!!!” 

That’s it from me for now. Have a great evening and I’ll be back tomorrow x 

Eggnog Smoothie

Welcome to day 2 of my Blogmas posts. I thought a recipe would go down well for today.  I say a recipe, but that makes this super easy smoothie sound harder yo make than it is.  Fear not it’s incredibly easy and tastes fantastic. 

 Edit   
To me there is nothing more satisfying that the festive taste of an eggnog, it’s rich and oh so moreish and contains all the right spices that just scream christmas. However I can appreciate as much as the next that A) not everyone likes the idea of eggs in a drink and B) it’s fairly  calorific as a drink, but hey it is christmas so a treat is ok.  With all this in mind this version has all the taste but without the egg or refined sugar. I can’t (and won’t) be jumping on the clean wagon with this. There is still sugar in it- so you know every thing in moderation, but this can be vegan friendly, it’s all down to your choice of milk used. 

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 dates or a dash of maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • Top up with milk of your choice ( almond works brilliantly) 

Put all ingredients into your blender and blitz until well combined.

 Edit   
Enjoy in between wrapping, putting up decorations or, in my case, as a reward from stopping the cat from wrecking the Christmas tree. Cheers 

My November Favourites 

Happy 1st of December, excited yet? Yes I am to, also very selfishly I cannot wait to open my advent calendar ( M&S beauty one in case you were wondering). I love Christmas so I’ve decided ( foolishly probably) to do Blogmas as well. You can expect recipes, ideas, reviews and a giveaway to. 

 

I digress this is about November, or my favourite finds anyway. 

First up Aldi, or their new free from section anyway.  Christmas wise they have mince pies, Christmas puddings and cakes all gluten free. The free from range in my local store is growing, and includes Newburn BakeHouse and Nairns. The prices are amazing  £1.29 for flour ( although I’ve not tried it yet) seems a great buy. The downside is that not all stores have the range yet, as some of my followers have sadly told me. Fingers crossed it will continue to be rolled out. 

 Next up is a new company Angels and Cookies they offer allergy friendly cookie dough free from the top 14 allergens, and what’s more they are delicious so if you fancy a treat for Christmas Eve grab some and get baking. 

  
Next up is Moma Bircher muesli. I found via Ocado but they sell direct to. It’s great add your juice and yoghurt leave for minimum of 5-10 minutes and eat. No added sugar either. My only down side is it has a may  contain with nuts but in fairness I keep mine at work so not a problem. 

A few more things to add, Sainsburys have both gluten free, dairy free and nut free Christmas puddings and cake ( I’ll add a picture when I get them) and keep an eye open at M&S their party food is coming in and a lot is gluten free. My personal favourites are the mini chicken Kiev and Asian belly pork. 

That’s it from me today, I’m back to the hell of trying to find a Hatchimal and de icing the car. See you tomorrow. 

Review- Angels & Cookies Cookie Dough 

  
  The name is romantic, the logo vintage, the products are super and free from the top 14 allergens. Say hello to Angels and Cookies a new company on the free from scene.  

  Their product is raw cookie doughs in 3 flavours Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Chip and Ginger & Spice. All come ready to bake and each pot can make roughly 6 large or 12 small cookies ( £7.99 a pot).   The lovely people from Angels and Cookies sent me some goodies to try and get creative with- so here are my thoughts. 

They are extremely easy to bake, preheat your oven to 180c. I took the dough out of the fridge 15 minutes before using it. You then divide it into however many cookies you want. Roll into a ball and then flatten.  You can also roll the dough between baking parchment to get a thinner biscuit, which is ideal for then cutting with a cookie cutter. 

 

Cook for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool on a cooling rack before tucking in. 

  
So how do they taste? In short delicious. My particular favourite is the ginger, if you go for large and soft baked it’s wonderful with a cup of coffee. If you go for a thinner, crispy biscuit you then have a perfect ginger snap ( which dunked really well). The smell whilst cooking was amazing, just perfect for the Christmas season. 

Mini me favoured the chocolate fudge, it’s satisfying for a chocolate hit, but not overly sweet or full of sugar like shop bought ones can be. I made sandwhich cookies with a chocolate buttercream filling, and they were exceptional ( my take on an Oreo if you will). 

Lastly Choc chip, well what’s not to like? They taste better than supermarket cookies I’ve tried in the past- no artificial aftertaste in your mouth.  The chocolate is dark, the dough is plain, mixed together they are a match made in heaven.  I’ve not yet tried, but I can see this working well in a home made ice cream. It’s up there on my to try list- I cannot remember the last time I had cookie dough ice cream. 
   

 
   I throughly recommend this cookie dough, as does the biggest critic of them all – my 3 year old. I have to  say she also enjoyed the baking element of the process to, and I can feel better knowing  that most of the ingredients are ( where possible) organic and free of nasties. 

Have you tried this cookie dough yet? If so let me know about your creations in the comments below.     

Easy Slow Cooker Rice Pudding 

 
  Hello to you all, apologies to being a bit quiet, I got married on Sunday so the last week or so has been a whirlwind of flowers, organising catering, hair, makeup and celebrations.  All went well, we are very happy, but when the new week started my head was still sore, my feet hurt, and we had visitors – cooking wasn’t  top of the list.  

However all was not lost, it’s autumn ( or Fall for my American readers) which for me means slow cooker season. Now I love my slow cooker, and don’t be deceived that they are just for stews- oh no, and I shall show you here. 

Rice pudding, in 4 hours with no effect ( or skin, I hate the skin). It’s thick and creamy, perfect for the cooler evenings ( and hangovers). 

  

Serves 4-6 

Ingredients

  • 100g pudding rice
  • 3 pints of milk of choice ( dairy or almond work well) 
  • 4tbs of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract 
  • 1 generous  knob of butter 

Method,

This couldn’t be easier, place everything in your slow cooker, turn on high and leave for 3-4 hours until thick and creamy. 

Serve and eat straight away. 

Rana’s Ingenious Flatbreads 

It’s busy busy busy here at the moment, wedding preparations are into the final few stages, wedding is in T-5 weeks!  I’m still trying to convince mini me her flower girl dress is the way forward ( she’s having none of it in case you were wondering) I needed a happy distraction, and it came in the form of Rana’s Ingenious  Flatbread Mix. 

  
The lovely peeps from Rana’s sent me this, and as I was peckish the other lunch time, it was time to give it a go. The mixture is adaptable, you can make many things including pizza bases, and cheese crackers, but to start I gave actual flat breads a go. 

The instructions are super easy, weigh out your mixture, add warm water, mix leave for 5 minutes, then mix vigorously ( I love that word) for a minute. The next step is to shape on parchment paper, but do flour the surface your dough is put on, and using a wet spatula is so much easier. Leave to prove for thirty minutes. 

Cooking is easy to, even for me. On a heated frying pan place the bread dough side down, and leave the paper on, it took about 5 minutes but as the bread is getting ready the paper starts to ballon a bit, and it’s then easy to peel off, and flip over to cook the other side. 

  
  They really are delicious, I had to bake more, mini me stole the first one. Even better the mix is both gluten and nut free, as well as egg, dairy and soya free so can be enjoyed by everyone. 

I served them simply with a balsamic and olive oil dip which worked wonderfully. My next mission is cheese crackers- I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.