Monday, 17 June 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies in the TV!

Today's blog post is bought to you by the wonder of the small internet television screen!  Yes, it's real, you can watch me make Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies!  Hooray!

This is super exciting and very scary, (because you can see a popper broke on my top and my shirt keeps popping open every now and then! haha, spot that!)

But the main thing is that I'm chatting to you all and we're making gluten free chocolate brownies together.  Even if you're not following a gluten free diet, making these brownies, wheat free, is a pretty special treat indeed, I hope you'll agree!

We had so much fun making this video - biggest thank you to Justin and Alison the creative duo behind Golby Creative and also to Gary and his team at Obsidian Kitchens and Bathrooms in Cheltenham for letting me hang out in their kitchen.

This is the first video in 3 - we've got some more tasty, quick and easy gluten free recipes to share with you soon.

If you don't have a notepad and pen handy to take down the ingredients and method in the video - here it is again below. Enjoy!

340g Plain Chocolate chips
85g Unsalted butter
25g Unsweetened Cocoa (I used Green and Blacks)
40g Cornflour
½ teaspoon Salt
150g Caster Sugar
3 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (Neilsen Massey's brand is certified gluten free)

Add chopped pecans if you wish
A good local Ice cream to serve (Winstones Ice Cream is great, local and delicious!)


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

In a heatproof bow, over a saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and butter together.

Take off the heat, cool for a bit.

In another bowl, whisk up the eggs and sugar together.

Add the Vanilla extract.

Then add this mixture to the melted chocolate slowly.

Sift in the cornflour and cocoa powder.  Mix until well combined.

Pour into a lined brownie tin.  If you line it with baking paper, and let the sides flap over, they make great handles to easily lift it out of the tin afterwards!

Serve warm with ice cream.  Enjoy.  Let your troubles melt away in the chocolate moment!

♥  See you all again really soon! 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Gluten Free Banana Bread

What's your favourite food memory?

Shall I tell you mine?  Let me re-live this lovely memory with you and maybe it'll spark a foodie memory for you too.  (I tend to remember a lot from 'food' milestones!)

You see, when I lived out in Australia, before I started on the Gluten Free way of life, one day I went to this local cafe - a really cool cafe called 'Lemon'.  They did this banana bread as part of their breakfast menu and everyone seemed to be ordering this banana bread.  The waitress asked me if I wanted it toasted.  Hmm 'Toasted?' I enquired, 'do you recommend that?'  

'Oh yeah,' She replied in her friendly, peppy, Aussie drawl,  'it's awesome.'

'Cool,' I said, 'I'll have it toasted, thanks.'

A few moments later, banana bread arrived, toasted, warm, smelling outrageously of cinnamon, sweet banana and .... well, what I can only describe as heaven.  It was served with butter on the side, so I spread the warm fluffy banana bread with the butter and I took a bite.  My goodness, that bite will stay with me for a very long time.  Why, on earth, had I not discovered the sweet wonder of toasted banana bread before?  Pinch me.  I'm done.

And with that banana bread became quite a staple in my life down-under.  When I started working at the cafe there, they made banana bread fresh each morning and served it toasted with icing sugar dusted on top.  When working on the breakfast shift, we would be able to take a 15 minute break to have breakfast, choosing anything from the menu.   Looking forward to that Banana Bread break got me through a long shift, I can tell you!

Little did I know that the wonderful banana bread was probably contributing to my very poorly self at the time - with tummy cramps etc (now, looking back, it all makes sense).  But in some ways it was worth it while it lasted.

So, since going gluten free, I often crave banana bread.  So I woke up the other morning and was like, 'I'm going to make Gluten Free Banana Bread!'  And so I damn well did!  And do you know what?  It was absolutely awesome, toasted with butter on top :)

Here's the recipe - enjoy it and make sure you at least try a toasted bit with butter!!

I n g r e d i e n t s

250 grams Doves Gluten Free plain flour
2 teaspoons Doves or Dr Oetker Gluten Free baking powder
125 grams unsalted butter (room temp)
250 grams caster sugar
4 bananas (ripe and mashed)
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

M e t h o d

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Lightly grease a loaf tin and then line it with parchment paper. (No parchment paper? No worries, you will be fine with just a greased tray :)

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.

Mix the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine, be careful not to over mix.

Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for around 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out kind of clean and the top is golden brown (don't worry if the skewer doesn't totally come out clean - the bread is meant to be of a moist consistency :)

Leave to cool and then serve in thick slices with butter.

This cake is also awesome with cream cheese frosting and coconut on top! (Just saying ;)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A Birthday and a Beach

So another Birthday has arrived! And the sun came out!

I had a lovely day full of surprises - birthdays always make you smile for many reasons - like friends who live far away and remember (and are organised enough) to send you a card which arrives on your birthday.  My friend Jo, who I've known for 13 years and now lives in Canada, never fails to send me a birthday card every year no matter where in the world she is.  The envelope is always covered in pretty stamps and stickers and she always writes a nice little note with it too.

As for pressies, I got lots of new herbs and plants for my windowsill!  I am cultivating my first strawberries, basil and rocket thanks to Georgina, and then I got a nice bundle of Mint, Coriander and Parsley too!  I'm going to have to get some more windows!

Window box greenhouse via IKEA £12
As a birthday treat, I took myself to the beach for the weekend - the sun was shining and I needed some sea air, inspiration and relaxation, and I definitely found it here... listening to the waves and other people's funny conversations on the beach was great entertainment (a new phase of people watching, is people eavesdropping!) I then enjoyed a nice plate of Fish and Chips for dinner.   Sorry I didn't take a photo of the fish and chips to share with you (I really wish I had, to remember the moment) but I ate them all before I thought about it.  Yum.   I was as happy as the seagull who nicked one of my chips!