Scallion Soda Bread (Gluten Free)

Happy St Patrick’s Day! or ‘Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!’

So a traditional Irish recipe is in order I think.  This soda bread is gluten free (of course) and flavoured with spring onions, or scallions as I keep being corrected. I didn’t have any buttermilk for this recipe so I’ve made my own version combining yoghurt and milk which works just as well and may even be a bit thriftier.

If you are looking for other Irish food inspiration then you could try these delicious gluten free potato farls here, otherwise…

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of Doves Gluten Free White Bread Flour
  • 2 eggs, topped up to 12fl oz with half yoghurt and half whole milk
  • 6 spring onions scallion, sliced finely
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 oz of sugar
  •  1 oz of bicarbonate soda
  • 2 oz of butter

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (fan) and oil a baking tray.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and rub in the butter. Add the spring onions and mix.   Whisk up the egg, yoghurt and milk mixture then stir into the dry ingredients.  Turn out the dough onto a well floured board, the mix will be quite sticky so be generous with your dusting.  Knead the mix for a couple of minutes then form in to a large ball and plop onto the oiled tray.  Cut a deep (over half way) cross through the centre, brush with milk and dust with flour.

Bake in the oven for about 30/40 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when you knock its bottom.

Serve with butter, cheese and chutney for tea or toasted the next day for breakfast.

‘Tabhair dom an rud céanna mar atá ag an fhear ar an t-úrlar!’ – translations sourced here.

Banana, Cinnamon and Sultana Cakes (Gluten Free) and the Fairy Cake Revolution

This is becoming a bit of a regular slot on here, they are just so easy to make and each week I seem to have a new ingredient that needs eating or cooking with before it goes to waste so here we have it another use for those spotty bananas at the bottom of the bowl, or if you’re looking for an alternative try this or this.

I do kinda like the idea of championing these little cakes, they seem to have disappeared in the whole cupcake phenomenon that has swept the world, it’s like a little fairy cake revolution!  All hail the humble fairy cake, whipped up easily by everybody, without the need for half a tonne of butter cream icing and designer names and price tags.  So this my friends is a little shout out to my  fairy cakes, I still love you!

Makes about 20

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 150g gluten free self raising flour (I used Dove’s)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • A big handful of sultanas
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan).  Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one by one. Add the mashed banana, sultanas and cinnamon and stir.  Mix in the flour and then spoon into cases, ab0ut 2/3rds full.

Bake for about 15 min or until golden and cooked through.  Leave to cool then share, spreading the word, the revolution is here, LONG LIVE THE FAIRY CAKE!!!

Cranberry, Chocolate and Clementine Fairy Cakes (Gluten Free)

I’ve basically nabbed the core recipe for fairy cakes from the side of the Dove’s Self Raising Flour pack here but I’ve added a bit of a twist by adding an ace little favour combination which was inspired by the dregs of my kitchen cupboard and fruit bowl.  I wasn’t sure this was going to work but it makes a pretty damn tasty batch of  moist, clementine scented cakes filled with morsels of dark chocolate and cranberry pieces.  These disappeared pretty sharpish in my office and will definitely be making a come back for any impromptu cake deserving sessions in the future, any old excuse will do.

Makes about 20 in bog standard fairy cake cases.

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 150g gluten free self raising flour (I used Dove’s)
  • 1 small packet of dried cranberries
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • Juice and zest of 2 clementines

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.

 Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, add the orange juice and zest, then the cranberries, chocolate and flour.  Spoon into cases, about half full.  Bake for about 15 min or until lightly golden and cooked through.

Once cooked leave to cool, then eat, share and stand back and be proud – Well that would be the safest advice but actually what you want to do is try one of these little bad boys warm from the oven when the chocolate is still all melty and delicious and tell yourself you deserve it and really you are just checking the quality right? Yeah? You know what I’m talking about.

Carrot, Apple and Ginger Loaf (gluten free)

Well hello there.  No more apologies, I’m just slack ok? ...and, well, I do have a quite demanding day job too, so yeah… let’s just leave it there.

This is the perfect cake for cool, blustery, drizzly days, it warms you, settles you and is practically a health food (ok it is a cake).  I was a bit poorly yesterday and was researching looking up all things ginger on the internet in search of something to settle my stomach.  However I was a bit too sick to actually get up off my arse and cook something so, today, feeling better, having done some work (got to get that in there!), I felt it was time to experiment a little in the kitchen again. I’m a big fan of this combination of flavours in a juice, but after ordering one of those juicing contraptions a couple of  years ago (well, actually I bought one twice, once when I was a teenager, insisting it would be used every day and I would clean it meticulously, in fact I think it’s still in my parent’s cupboard, coated in dried up vegetable mush) I hastily sent the second one back after switching it on and realising it sounded like a Mitsubishi motorbike revving in our kitchen, not necessarily what you want as your invigorating wake up call of a morning.  Anyways cake is much better isn’t it, juice is for namby pamby health freaks, cake however is a health food of the more sophisticated mind, you have to think about it a bit harder, but yes, it is good for you in so many other ways.

Right enough of this clap trap, onto the cake.

Ingredients:

  • 3 small apples, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 3 nuggets of stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 6oz of gf self raising flour
  • 6oz of butter
  • 6oz of caster sugar
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 3 eggs

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree (fan) or 200.  Grease and line a loaf tin.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (nuke a little if solid from the fridge).  Add the eggs, one by one, and beat in.  Add flour, stir.  Add ground ginger, apples, carrots and chopped up stem ginger and mix (try to sprinkle the stem ginger around the bowl a bit to stop it clumping together).  Turn mix into loaf tin and bake for about an hour (or until a knife comes out clean). Serve however you bloody fancy, I’ve already tucked into mine warm from the oven – it’s good.

Citrus Drizzle Fairy Cakes (Gluten Free)

Interesting day today, I’ve  been trawling round the charity shops of West Wickham and found a lovely set of teacups, a pretty plate, a kite, a set of glass bowls, a Polaroid camera and a couple of bargainous children’s books. Good day.  So to top it all off with a sparkle I (well I had a bit of help, elbow grease provided by P. Curtis, thankyou!) we made some very gorgeous and delectable fairy cakes.  Yes you heard me right, FAIRY cakes, not cupcakes (as lovely as they are) but good old fashioned fairy cakes, WITH sprinkles, mmm yeah.  These are moist, sweet and moreish little numbers that you would be proud to provide at a children’s party and even damn prouder to produce for grown ups even if you are having a glass of cider on the side(!).  I used the basic recipe from the side of the Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour packet and adulterated it with zest, drizzle and sparkly bits.

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
  • Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 5 tablespoons of milk

For the drizzle:

  • Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • Icing sugar
  • Zest of one lemon

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees or 180 degrees (fan oven).

Cream the butter and sugar together until while and fluffy (if anyone asks if they can help at this point say yes and hand it over, this recipe is not hard but this is the most labour intensive part!).  Grate in the zest of the orange and lemon.  Beat in the eggs.  Add the flour and milk and mix together.  Spoon into paper cases (half full). Then bake for 10-15 min.

Whilst baking put together your drizzle.  Squeeze the juice of an orange and lemon into a bowl.  Add icing sugar until you have a double cream consistency syrup.  Zest a lemon in and stir. Taste and add more sugar or juice if necessary.

Once the cakes are baked spoon the drizzle on whilst warm (to allow it to soak in).  Sprinkle over the best sparkly bits you can find (there is no shame in hundreds and thousands) and serve.

Pear, Chocolate and Almond Cake

I have two inspirations for this post, 1.  Lynn at http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/about/recipes-2/spicy-pear-cake/, I was tweeting the other night and got distracted by this delicious spiced pear cake and also 2. a memory of a summer holiday in France as a child eating Crepes Poire Belle Helene, a heady mix of pancake, pear, vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate sauce, heaven!

This recipe uses the same frangipane base as my apple and almond cake posted last week.

Anyway I set to work the other day and this was the result:

Ingredients:

3 ripe pears

3 eggs

150g ground almonds

150g sugar

150g butter

2 dessert spoons of amaretto

About 60g of dark chocolate, chopped into shards

Method:

Set the oven to 180 degrees (fan). Grease a spring form round cake tin. In fact line the tin, PLEASE, I didn’t and as delicious as this cake was it would not come out of the tin whole so I have had to prise individual slices out or (and this is what has happened mostly) I have dug out spoonfuls every time I felt peckish!

Cream the butter and sugar. Whisk the eggs then beat into the creamed butter mix.  Stir in the almonds and then fold in the chopped chocolate.  Pour the batter into the tin and shake it out so it fills the sides. 

Then peel and core 3 ripe pears. I used a potato peeler and then a teaspoon to core them.  Half the pears and sit on top of the cake mix, in the end I could only squeeze in 5 halves so we guzzled down the remaining pear just to check it’s suitability.

Put cake into the oven for about 45 min.  It’s done when lightly golden and a knife comes out clean.

Apple and Almond Cake

Apple and Almond Cake

Happy Mothers Day everybody.  I have had a lovely  morning so far, breakfast in bed and even the offer of a roast dinner later so in gratitude of my lovely little ones gestures as well as the more than helping hand of her daddy I made a cake.

This is lovely and moist and very moreish, in fact I keep going back for extra slivers every time I enter the kitchen!

I had a little disaster this morning in that I dropped the scales for about the upteenth time and now they definately aren’t working so I had to use a bit of guestimation with the weights but the result was delicious.

Ingredients:

4oz of ground almonds

4oz of sugar

4oz of butter

2 eggs

2 apples

An extra genrous tablespoon of butter and couple of spoonfuls of sugar to caramelise the apples

A spoonful of amaretto

Zest of lemon

Method:

Pre heat oven to 180degrees (fan) or 200 if it isn’t.

Peel and slice the apples and fry in butter and sugar until golden and sticky.  Grease a loaf tin.  Place apples into base of tin, you can try to be decorative here but beware the apples can stick a little so be prepared to rearrange when the cake comes out of the oven. 

Cream butter and sugar.  Whisk in 2 eggs.  Fold in almonds.  Grate in zest and pour in dessert spoonful of amaretto.  Stir.  Pour batter over cooled apples. 

Put in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Check it is cooked by poking in a knife or skewer, when it’s done it should be firm to the touch and the knife should come out clean.  Turn out onto plate.  Rearrange apple topping if slightly stuck, it happens, it still tastes good!

Eat when cooled, although it’s very yummy warm too, we couldn’t wait!