Archive for October, 2012

Fancy a Gluten and Dairy Free Technical Challenge?

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Tonight the BBC are treating us to a masterclass by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood to ease our Great British Bake Off withdrawal symptoms!

If you’re Gluten / Dairy Free and watching tonight feeling rather jealous because you can’t join in – why not try following one of my recipes.

Those 10 weeks flew past…

 

The Great British Bake Off – gluten and dairy free technical challenge – The Final

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Technical Challenge – The Final. Gluten and dairy free fondant fancies.

I’ve really enjoyed my own technical challenge. I hope I have proved that most dishes can be adapted to suit a gluten and dairy free diet which are just as tasty.

I had a bit of an issue with this challenge. I have never used powdered fondant sugar before. I have always used block fondant available from bakery wholesalers.

I thought I would use the powdered fondant sugar this time as it is available from supermarkets and the allergy information easier to find.

I definitely prefer block fondant so if you can get it I recommend using it. I found the powdered fondant icing sugar takes ages to set and the sugar feels grainy in your mouth.

I read in Peggy Porschen’s fondant fancy recipe that block fondant is available from www.almondart.com I have contacted the company and this fondant is free from all allergens.

I used four 500g boxes of fondant icing sugar to cover 25 fondant fancies! The instructions state to add 6 tablespoons of water to 500g sugar. I added 5 tablespoons water. I had to coat the sponges twice to get a thick enough coating. I’m wondering if I had added even less water and warmed  the sugar up instead then one coat would have been thick enough. If anybody has success with this sugar I would love to get some tips.

The Recipe

Ingredients

For the sponge

125g Doves Farm plain gluten free flour
65g fine maize flour or cornflour
60g ground almonds
1 heaped teaspoon gluten free baking powder
250g dairy free margarine – I use Vitalite
250g caster sugar
gluten and dairy free flavouring
5 free-range eggs

For the dairy free ‘buttercream’

150g dairy free margarine
600g icing sugar
vanilla extract

200g gluten and dairy free marzipan

For the icing and decoration

1 – 2 kg white fondant icing sugar, depending on your success! Or 1kg gluten and dairy free block fondant icing
gluten and dairy free flavouring
gluten and dairy free liquid or paste food colouring
100g gluten and dairy free dark chocolate – I use Plamil 60% dark chocolate

Method

Grease and line a 20cm / 8 inch square cake tin. Run a knife along each side of the tin to give a sharp edge. Make sure your baking parchment sticks to the sides of the cake tin or your sponge will not have straight sides.

Preheat oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas mark 5.

Combine the gluten free flour, maize flour, ground almonds and gluten free baking powder. Sieve together four times to fully distribute all of the ingredients.

Cream together the caster sugar and dairy free margarine until light and fluffy. It is best to do this using a food mixer with a beater attachment or use a hand held electric mixer.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork.

Beat the egg into the creamed mixture a bit at a time making sure to beat in each addition properly before adding the next. If the mixture starts to split, mix in a spoonful of the flour.

Add the flavouring.

Fold in the gluten free flour with a large spoon.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until firm to touch and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate then turn onto the cooling wire so the cake cools the right way up or it could break in half.

For the dairy free butter cream

Mix the icing sugar and flavouring into the dairy free margarine. Do not overbeat the mixture as it will split. Stir in a few drops of water until it reaches the required consistency.

You may think this is a lot of icing sugar. If you use less icing sugar to margarine, the mixture will split. Add a little extra flavouring to this buttercream.

Place 100g/3½oz of the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Keep the rest in a bowl for the cake sides.

When the sponge is cold. Level the top of the sponge. You want the sponge 4cm high. Turn the cake over so the bottom is now the top. Spread a thin coat of dairy free buttercream over the top of the sponge.

Roll the marzipan out very thinly, cover the top of the cake.

Cut the cake into 25 equal squares (each 4cm/1½in square). You may need to cut off the edges if they have rounded and pulled away from the sides of the tin – all the edges must be straight and neat.

Cover four sides of each square with dairy free buttercream (not the marzipan top or the base). Using the buttercream in the piping bag, pipe a blob in the centre of each square on top of the marzipan. Place in the freezer for 2 hours.

How I used the powdered fondant sugar – I mixed one 500g pack at a time with 5 tablespoons water until smooth and add food colouring and flavouring. I spooned the fondant over each sponge until completely covered then placed onto a cooling wire to let the excess drip off. Continue with the rest of the squares. Leave to set. My coating was too thin so I coated each square a second time.

I would prefer to use block fondant. To use this, place 1kg fondant into a large bowl that can fit in a microwave. Cover the fondant with water then drain off. Place on a low heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in the colouring and flavouring if using. If the fondant is still quite stiff, add a drop more water and place in the microwave for 15 seconds, stir and repeat until the fondant is easy to stir. Hold the sponge underneath and scoop through the fondant. Leave to set on a cooling wire.

Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Once melted, place the chocolate in piping bag and set aside.

Using the piping bag of melted chocolate, drizzle the chocolate over each fancy in a zig-zag pattern.

Leave to set and then place on a cake stand to serve.

The Great British Bake Off – gluten and dairy free technical challenge – Week 9

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Technical Challenge – week 9. Gluten and dairy free Fraisier cake.

I’ve really been enjoying adapting the technical challenges. I’ve been able to bake lovely things for my family that I probably wouldn’t have made otherwise.

This weeks challenge is my kind of pudding. I remember the first time I tasted crème pâtissière, I thought it was the nicest thing I had ever eaten.

The Recipe

20 cm/8 inch cake

For the genoise sponge

150g caster sugar
4 eggs
75g ground almonds
75g cornflour
40g dairy free margarine, melted and cooled

For the crème pâtissière

570 ml almond milk
100g caster sugar
4 eggs
80g cornflour
20g gluten free custard powder
a few drops of vanilla extract

For the lemon syrup

75g/2¾oz caster sugar
2 lemons, juice only

To finish the cake

200g/7oz marzipan
50g/2oz dairy and gluten free dark chocolate, for decoration
50g/2oz dairy and gluten free white chocolate, for decoration
600g/1lb 5oz medium sized strawberries

For the genoise sponge

Preheat the oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas mark 5.

Grease and line 2 x 20cm/ 8in cake tins.

Melt the dairy free margarine in the microwave on a low setting.

If you are using a food mixer – place the caster sugar and eggs into the machine bowl, fit the whisk attachment and whisk on a fast speed for 8 – 10 minutes. It is whisked enough when you lift up the whisk it leaves a trail on the top of the mixture for a second. This is called a sabayon.

If you are using a hand whisk or electric hand whisk – find a large saucepan and a large heatproof bowl that will sit on top.

Fill the saucepan with 1 inch of water. Bring the water to the boil. Take off the heat.

Place the caster sugar and eggs into the bowl and whisk together.

Place on top of the saucepan and whisk for 10 minutes until when you lift up the whisk it leaves a trail on top of the mixture.

Using the pan of hot water speeds up this process.

Sift together the ground almonds and cornflour. Use a spoon to add the flour and melted, cooled dairy free margarine to the sabayon and fold in carefully. You want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible so try not to bang the bowl!

Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until firm to touch.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling wire.

For the crème pâtissière

Pour the almond milk into a large saucepan and place on the heat.

Beat the sugar and eggs together until white and creamy.

Stir the cornflour and custard powder into the egg.

When the almond milk has come to the boil whisk half the milk into the egg mixture then pour this back into the hot milk. Stir over a low heat until the mixture thickens then beat until smooth.

Cool and store in a fridge until needed.

The custard can be made thinner by whisking in more almond milk to the cold crème pâtissière until it is the required consistency.

I have taken the rest of the recipe from Mary Berry’s recipe used on The Great British Bake Off

Place the ingredients for the lemon syrup in a small saucepan with 70ml/4½ tbsp water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly for two minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, roll out a thin disc of marzipan to fit a 20cm/8in circumference circle. It is best if you draw around the 20cm/8in base of another loose bottomed tin for the perfect circle. For best results and a perfectly flat surface, chill it in the fridge until it is needed.

Place a strip of acetate plastic or a double strip of baking parchment around the inside of the springform tin. Or line the base and sides with cling film or parchment lined foil.

Place one layer of sponge cake in the bottom of the cake tin. Then liberally brush the sponge with half the syrup. With the back of a spoon, gently squash the edges of the cake down so that they are pushed directly against the sides of the tin, creating the defined edges necessary for the Fraisier cake.

Rinse, hull and halve about 12 strawberries, try and make sure they are all the same height.

Place the cut sides of the strawberries against the plastic on the inside of the tin. The strawberry halves should be sitting snugly beside each other, so it looks like a little crown inside the tin.

Take the chilled crème pâtissière out of the fridge and spoon two thirds of the crème into a piping bag, fitted with a 1cm/½in nozzle.

Pipe a swirl covering the exposed sponge completely in the bottom of the tin.

Then pipe between each of the strawberries so the gaps are filled right to the top with the crème pâtissière.

Set about 3-5 strawberries to one side for decoration, then hull and quarter the rest of them and place on top of the crème, so it raises the inside of the cake by about an inch.

Pipe another swirl of crème pâtissière on top of the cut strawberries to cover the whole surface. Then smooth with a palette knife.

Place the other disc of sponge on top of this, with the cut side uppermost, so it has a completely flat top. Brush with the remaining syrup.

Gently press the top down quite firmly, so that the cake and filling push against the acetate to create the distinctive smooth and defined sides of the Fraisier cake.

Lay the chilled marzipan circle on top of the cake and put the whole thing back in the fridge to set.

Make some pretty decorations of your choice with melted chocolate.

When ready to serve, remove the cake from fridge.

Very carefully release the spring tin/loose bottom and remove the cake from the tin and from the acetate or cling film.

Place onto a serving plate and decorate with reserved strawberries, chocolate decoration and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve chilled.

The Great British Bake Off – gluten and dairy free technical challenge – week 8

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Technical challenge – week 8. Gluten and dairy free teacakes

Making teacakes took me back to when I worked in a bakery in cornwall.

We made the biscuits ourselves but the marshmallow came in 10kg buckets. It was a thick rubbery clear jelly which you whisked for 10 minutes to make the marshmallow. It definitely didn’t taste as good as this recipe.

My silicon mould is slightly smaller than the recipe so I have sat my biscuit above the line of the mould to allow for a good portion of marshmallow.

I have adapted Mary Berry’s recipe.

Makes 6

Equipment and preparation: You will need a silicone mould that has 6 x 7.5cm/3in wide, half sphere moulds.

Ingredients

400g/14oz dark dairy and gluten free chocolate. I used Plamil 60% chocolate 
50g/1¾oz Doves Farm plain gluten free flour
50g/1¾oz maize flour
pinch salt
½ tsp gluten free baking powder
25g/1oz caster sugar
25g/1oz dairy free margarine
1 tbsp almond or soya milk

For the marshmallow

3 free-range eggs, whites only
150g/5½oz caster sugar
6 tsp golden syrup
½ tsp salt
½ vanilla pod, seeds only

Preparation method

1.To be able to get the teacakes out of the mould easily without breaking and with a lovely shiny chocolate you need to temper the chocolate first. I find it easier to do this in a microwave. Break up 300g/ 10½oz chocolate into a microwavable bowl. Melt on a low microwave setting stirring every 30 seconds.

Stop heating the chocolate when you can just see tiny lumps of unmelted chocolate, stir slowly until completely melted. If you stick your clean finger in the chocolate it should feel just warm, not hot.

Pour the chocolate into the mould. Move the mould around so all of it is covered with the chocolate.

Turn the mould upside down over the bowl so the excess chocolate falls out. Place still upside down onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave to set.

Do not put the domes in the fridge as the chocolate will lose its shine. When the chocolate has set, pick up the mould at the edge, try not to touch the chocolate as the warmth of your hand will melt the chocolate onto the mould.

2.Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.

3.To make the biscuits, put the gluten free flours, salt, gluten free baking powder and caster sugar into a bowl and rub in the dairy free margarine with your fingertips. Add the almond milk and stir everything together to form a smooth ball.

4.On a surface dusted with gluten free flour roll out the dough to about 5mm/¼in thick. Cut out six rounds with a 7.5cm/3in straight sided round cutter.

5.Place the rounds on a flat plate or board and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Make sure the biscuits are perfectly round and well chilled, otherwise they might spread or shrink when baked.

6.Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes. They do need to be hard, not soft as they form the base of the teacake.

7.Remove the biscuits from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

8.Meanwhile dip the cooled biscuits in the remaining melted chocolate, covering them completely (you may need to melt more chocolate). You can either dip the biscuits in the chocolate or spread the chocolate onto the biscuits with a palette knife. Place the coated biscuits onto parchment paper.

9.For the marshmallow, place all of the ingredients in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water), and whisk with an electric hand whisk for 6-8 minutes, making sure it is smooth, silky and doubled in volume. Make sure it is very stiff, the consistency of whipped cream, so it will hold when piped – you don’t want it runny.

10.Spoon the marshmallow mixture into a piping bag.

11.Melt the remaining chocolate, and place into a disposable piping bag with a sealed end. Set aside to cool and stiffen up a bit, but not harden.

12.Peel the biscuits off the parchment and place them onto clean parchment, flat side down.

13.Pipe the marshmallow into each chocolate-lined mould just up to the top.

14.Snip a 2cm/¾in end off the piping bag with the chocolate in it.

15.Carefully pipe some chocolate on the marshmallow and a rim of chocolate around the biscuit base and swiftly place the biscuit on top of the marshmallow filled dome. Smooth the join with a knife.

16.Leave the teacakes to set until completely cool and sealed together.

17.Very carefully remove the completed teacakes from the mould – be careful of fingerprints on the glossy dome.

18.Place on a plate and keep cool – but do not refrigerate, to make sure the chocolate keeps its glossy shine.

I had a lot of marshmallow left over so I made some dairy free snowballs. I piped the marshmallow onto baking parchment. Placed in the freezer to firm up slightly then dipped into melted chocolate and coated with coconut. I’m afraid my photos were not too pretty as I did this very quickly so I am not going to post them.

I have now eaten so much of the leftover marshmallow I cannot face anymore teacakes so I am going to make some mums at school very happy with the leftovers.