Archive for the ‘The Great British Bake Off’ Category

Gluten, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge – week 9.

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

charlotte royale

Here is my Charlotte Royale. Please excuse my particularly bad photos and believe this tastes a lot better than it looks!

You will find the recipe used in the programme here.

The Recipe

For the swiss roll
250g self raising gluten free flour
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
170g caster sugar
pinch salt
75ml sunflower oil
12ml white vinegar or lemon juice
200ml cold water
few drops vanilla extract
strawberry jam

For the raspberry mousse
250g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
125g caster sugar
7 teaspoons cornflour
175ml coconut cream

Coconut cream and raspberries to decorate

To make the raspberry mousse
Blitz the raspberries in a food processor and sieve the puree into a bowl.
Blend the cornflour with a little cold water.
Place the caster sugar and 125ml water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and add the raspberry puree. Bring back to the boil and thicken with the cornflour. Leave to cool.

For the swiss roll.
Line a 12 x 8 inch swiss roll tin with baking parchment. Place another piece of parchment the same size on a worktop and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Place the gluten free flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Measure the sunflower oil, vinegar, vanilla and water into a jug and mix into the dry ingredients to make a smooth thick batter.
Pour into the tin and bake for 20 minutes.
Turn the sponge out on top of the prepared baking parchment, move the sponge around so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Leave for 5 minutes with the baking parchment on top.

swiss roll sponge
While the sponge is still quite hot, spread on the strawberry jam and roll up the sponge using the baking parchment to keep the sponge together. Keep the baking parchment around the sponge until cold.

swiss roll


Line a 2 pint bowl with cling film. Cut the swiss roll into slices 1cm thick. Line the bowl with the sponges packing tightly together.
Whip the coconut cream until thick, fold into the raspberry mixture and pour on top of the sponges.
Leave to set before turning out onto a serving plate.
You can boil a spoonful of apricot jam with a spoonful of water and brush this over the sponge if you don’t fancy coating the sponge in arrowroot.
Decorate with the whipped coconut cream and raspberries.

charlotte royaleI’m going to work on this swiss roll recipe. It tasted fine on the first day but wasn’t very nice the next day. The mousse though tastes yummy!


Gluten, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge – week 8. Hazelnut Dacquoise.

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

The quarter final of ‘Bake off’ gave us some much anticipated ‘Free from’ dishes. We had a gluten free bread in the Signature Bake, dairy free cake for the show stopper and a gluten free technical challenge. 

Here is a link to Mary Berry’s Hazelnut dacquoise.

So can this recipe be made without dairy, soya and egg too? Yes and honestly tastes just the same as with these ingredients.

I thought the meringue would fall apart quite quickly but it was still intact the next day – probably too soft to serve. I was a bit worried about coating the sides of the meringue with the custard but now I think it would hold.

hazelnut dacquoiseThe Recipe – makes a 6  inch meringue.

For the meringue
50g whole hazelnuts
30g Orgran No Egg
¼teaspoon pectin
45g icing sugar
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar

For the chocolate ganache
40ml almond milk
60g dairy and gluten free plain chocolate (60%)

For the coffee custard filling
150ml /¼pint almond milk
2 teaspoons coffee granules (we’re not coffee drinkers so this is all we had!)
15g caster sugar
couple drops vanilla
4 teaspoons cornflour
75ml coconut cream (keep in the fridge for 24 hours before using)

For the decoration
50g white sugar
whole hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan oven)
Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Spread onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
Turn the oven down to 130°c (110°c fan oven).
Mix the no egg together with the pectin and 85ml cold water in a large mixing bowl. Mix on a high speed for 5 minutes.
Add the icing sugar and brown sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking for 5 minutes until thick and it stands in peaks.
Draw 3 x 6 inch circles on baking parchment, turn over onto two baking trays.
Fold the hazelnuts into the meringue.
Fit a piping bag with a large plain nozzle. Fill with the meringue.
Pipe the meringue into the three circles. Bake in the oven for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and leave in the oven until cool.

hazelnut meringue

For the custard – heat the almond milk in a saucepan. Dissolve the coffee with a little boiling water.
Blend the cornflour with a drop of cold water. When the almond milk comes to the boil, whisk in the cornflour to thicken.
Stir in the dissolved coffee and sugar. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Place in the fridge until needed.

For the ganache – bring the almond milk to the boil and stir in the chocolate to melt.

Place the white sugar into a small saucepan with a drop of water. Boil to a caramel. Throw in the hazelnuts to coat. Take out the hazelnuts with two forks and place onto baking parchment to set.

When ready to assemble

Place the coconut cream into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until thick. Fold into the cold coffee custard.
Place one meringue onto your serving plate. Spoon half the custard onto the meringue. Place another meringue on top. Spoon the remaining custard on top. Top with the final meringue. Decorate with the ganache and hazelnuts.

Look layers of meringue!


hazelnut dacquoise




Gluten, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge – week 7. Religieuses.

Friday, October 4th, 2013

I have wanted to experiment with egg free choux pastry for a while. This weeks challenge has given me the chance to try gluten, dairy and egg free.

gluten, dairy and egg free Religieuses

The egg replacement has impressed me again!

For my first attempt I used gluten free flour. They turned out like this.

gluten and egg free chouxThey puffed up but tasted a bit like a prawn cracker.

I thought I needed a different flour so I tried gram flour (chickpea) and it worked!

I found this recipe worked best for small profiterole sized choux buns. My larger buns had a bit of a soggy bottom! But after 30 minutes I opened them up and scraped out some of the mixture and popped them back into the oven for 5 minutes and they tasted fine.

gluten and egg free choux


Here’s a link to The Great British Bake Off recipe for Religieuse

For my gluten and dairy free choux pastry recipe, see here.

For my gluten and dairy free creme patissiere (pastry cream) recipe, see here.

And here is my recipe for chocolate ganache and dairy free chocolate ganache.

The recipe – Gluten, dairy, soya and egg free Religieuse – makes 4

For the choux pastry
50 grams Vitalite margarine – other dairy free margarines will work but I find they don’t puff up as much.
65 grams gram flour (chickpea flour)
4 teasoons Orgran No Egg whisked together with 8 tablespoons cold water

For the custard filling
250ml almond milk
25 grams gluten free custard powder
10 grams caster sugar

For the dairy free chocolate ganache
50ml almond milk
75 grams dairy and gluten free plain chocolate (60% cocoa solids)

Dairy free whipping cream
If you have trouble finding this, coconut cream whips up great.

Chill your dairy free whipping cream.
For the choux pastry – Preheat the oven to 220°c/200°c fan oven/ gas mark 7.
Place the margarine into a saucepan with 125ml cold water, place on the heat.

marg and water
The margarine should have melted by the time the water comes to the boil.
Stir in the gram flour. Stir over the heat for a minute until the mixture comes together and looks like a dough. It will have some lumps of gram flour.

adding gram flour
Leave for a minute while you place a piece of baking parchment onto 2 oven trays and prepare a piping bag with a large plain nozzle.
Stir in the egg replacement and water a little at a time.
Fill your piping bag with the mixture and pipe 4 bulbs onto one baking tray and 4 bigger bulbs onto the other tray. The buns will stay a similar size as piped.

gluten, dairy, egg free choux


Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes depending on their size. Small profiteroles took 25 minutes. Make a small hole near the base of each bun after 25 minutes (20 minutes for smaller buns) to help dry out and continue baking. For larger buns, once the outside is cooked you may want to open up the bun and scrape out a little of the mixture from inside the base and put back into the oven for 5 more minutes.

gluten, dairy, egg free choux


For the custard – bring the almond milk to the boil.
Blend the custard powder with a little water and whisk into the milk. Stir in the caster sugar. Leave to cool then store in the fridge until needed.
For the ganache – bring the almond milk to the boil, stir in the plain chocolate until melted. Leave until coating consistency then dip in each bun and leave to set.
Just before serving place the custard into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. Fill each bun with the custard.
Stick a smaller bun on top of a larger bun. Decorate the join with the whipped dairy free cream.


Gluten, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge – week 6. Apricot Couronne.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

A yummy technical challenge this week – finally! Apricots and sweet bread. Not an egg in sight!

apricot couronne

Here is a link to Paul Hollywood’s recipe.

The recipe – Makes a 12 inch ring.

For the filling

90g/3¼oz dairy free margarine
70g/2½oz light muscovado sugar
120g/4½oz ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped and soaked in orange juice
35g/1¼oz plain gluten free flour
60g/2¼oz raisins
65g/2¼oz chopped walnuts
1 orange, zest only

For the dough

200g/8oz Doves Farm gluten free plain flour
100g/4oz cornflour
100g/4oz ground almonds
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
100g/4oz caster sugar
8 teaspoons (4 x 7g sachets) dried yeast
60g/2¼oz dairy free margarine, melted
350ml almond milk

To finish

50g/1¾oz apricot jam
100g/3½oz icing sugar
25g/1oz flaked almonds

Draw an 11 inch circle onto a piece of baking parchment. Turn it over and place on a baking tray.
Make the filling – Beat the dairy free margarine and muscovado sugar together until smooth. Drain the apricots and add to the margarine mixture along with the gluten free flour, raisins, walnuts and orange zest. Mix to combine.

SAM_2783For the dough – combine the flours with the ground almonds, xanthan gum, salt, sugar and yeast.
Stir in the melted margarine then the almond milk. It will be a thick batter.

sweet doughPlace the dough into a large piping bag without a nozzle and the apricot mixture into another piping bag.

couronne mixPipe a line of dough to look like it is forming a twist. Follow with a line of the apricot mixture. Continue to form a ring.

uncooked apricot couronneLeave to rise for 20 – 30 minutes. Bake at 200°c / gas mark 6 for about 30 minutes until golden and it sounds hollow if you tap the bread.
Place the apricot jam into a small saucepan with a little water. Stir to the boil then brush over the bread.
Mix the icing sugar with a drop of water, drizzle over the bread and scatter toasted flaked almonds on top.

apricot couronne 2

apricot couronne 3


Gluten, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge – Week 5. Tuille Biscuits

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Egg replacer is brilliant stuff! This challenge has taught me this. Before now I had never realised how good it is.

egg free tuille

The technical challenges this year have been particularly eggy and without the egg replacer I would have fallen at the first hurdle.

I followed Mary Berry’s recipe for these biscuits replacing the allergens. My tuille biscuits tasted just the same. I reduced the amount of flour slightly.

The Recipe – makes 12 small biscuits

1 teaspoon egg replacer. I used Orgran No Egg. Whisked together with 2 tablespoons cold water.
33 grams dairy free margarine. I used Vitalite.
30 grams icing sugar.
a little vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
30 grams Doves Farm gluten free plain flour.
½ teaspoon gluten free cocoa powder.

Draw around a 10cm biscuit cutter onto a piece of baking paper. Turn the paper over so the pencil marks are underneath onto a baking tray.
Preheat oven to 180°c / gas mark 4.
Whisk together the margarine with the icing sugar until soft.
Whisk the egg replacer with the water then whisk into the margarine.
Stir in the gluten free flour.

ingredients tuille
Take a spoonful of the mixture and mix it with the cocoa powder.
Make a paper piping bag and put the cocoa mixture into this.
Place a teaspoon of the mixture onto a circle and spread into shape with the back of the spoon.
Pipe a swirl of the cocoa mixture onto half of the biscuits.

Tap the baking tray on the table so the cocoa mixture levels with the rest of the mixture.
Bake for 9 – 12 minutes until the edges start to turn a golden colour.
Place the tuilles with a swirl over a rolling pin to shape. Roll the plain tuilles into a cigar shape.
Melt a little dairy free plain chocolate and dip both ends of the cigars. Leave to set.
These biscuits were still lovely a day later.

Gluten, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge – Week 4. Custard Tarts

Monday, September 30th, 2013

I cannot get excited about a custard tart. I know people who think they are the best thing since sliced bread. I don’t get it – but if you take that sliced bread but some butter on it (or dairy free margarine!), add some dried fruit, pour the custard over the top and bake then you have one of my all time favourite puddings. So maybe they’re not so bad!

custard tartAs I am a few weeks behind with this challenge I will crack on with the recipe.

Here is a link to the recipe used in the programme. Egg Custard Tarts.

To make this recipe dairy free, replace the butter in the pastry for your choice of dairy free margarine and the milk in the custard for your choice of dairy free milk. I prefer almond milk.

See here for my gluten and dairy free sweet pastry.

Gluten, dairy and egg free sweet pastry – Make 9 individual tarts.

100g Doves Farm gluten free plain flour
100g fine maize flour
100g cold dairy free margarine
50g caster sugar
40 – 50ml cold water. The less water the better the texture.

Combine the flours in a large mixing bowl.
Rub the margarine into the flour
Stir in the sugar then the water. Bring together to form a dough.
Use straight away. You can roll out the pastry and cut circles using a pastry cutter. Push into the moulds of a muffin tin. Neaten the edge.
I used a tart press to form my cases.

gluten free pastry

Place a ball of pastry into a large muffin tin, dip the press into gluten free flour and press down a little, dip into flour and press again. Continue until your pastry is your desired thickness. Trim the top with a sharp knife or round biscuit cutter.

gluten free pastry in muffin tin

If you are filling the pastry with egg custard, I would part bake the pastry for 15 minutes at 190°c/ gas mark 5 before adding the custard and sprinkling of nutmeg. Continue baking at 180°c / gas mark 4 for about 10 – 15 minutes until the custard has set.

For egg and dairy free custard I turn to custard powder or Vege-Gel, depending on which texture you prefer.

custard set with vege-gel

This custard is set with Vege-Gel.

Using vege-Gel.
900ml your choice of dairy free milk.
1½ sachets (9g) Vege-Gel.
50g caster sugar.
vanilla extract.

Stir the Vege-Gel and vanilla into the milk.
Pour into a saucepan and stir until boiling.
Stir in the caster sugar. Check you have enough flavouring and sugar. Pour into cooked pastry cases. Grate a little nutmeg on top.
Cool then keep in the fridge until needed.

Using custard powder.
900ml your choice of dairy free milk. I prefer almond milk.
50g gluten free custard powder.
35 – 50g caster sugar.

Pour the dairy free milk into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
Blend the custard powder with a little water, when the milk comes to the boil whisk in the custard powder. Keep whisking until thick.
Stir in the sugar. Pour into the cooked pastry cases. Grate a little nutmeg on top. Leave to set and chill in the fridge.

Why not put a spoonful of jam or apple puree into the pastry case before the custard.




Gluten, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge – Week 3. Floating Islands

Monday, September 16th, 2013

So how do you make an egg free meringue?

egg free floating island

Did you know Alfred Bird invented custard powder because his wife was allergic to eggs?

I had never used an egg replacement until a little while ago when I saw a recipe for meringue and had to try it. I tried making a sponge with it which I didn’t like at all so I keep it just for meringue.

The original recipe from The Great British Bake Off is already gluten free – remember if you use Meri-white, it contains wheat. The recipe can be made dairy free by using your choice of dairy free milk in the custard.

The Recipe – 4 portions.

45g Orgran No Egg
2ml pectin
few drops vanilla extract
65g icing sugar
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar

500ml almond milk
35g gluten free custard powder
20g caster sugar or to taste

Mix the No Egg with the pectin in a mixing bowl.
Add 125ml water and mix on high speed for 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla and the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue on high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

egg free meringue
Place the almond milk into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down to just under a simmer.
Shape the meringue into quenelles and place into the milk. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes depending on the size. Lift out onto a plate.

poached egg free meringue
Strain the almond milk and pour back into a clean saucepan. Bring to the boil.
Mix the custard powder with a little water. Whisk into the almond milk until it is your preferred thickness. Stir in the sugar.
Pour into serving bowls and place the meringues on top.

Place 100g white caster sugar into a small saucepan with a drop of water. Place onto the heat and melt the sugar. Boil until the sugar turns to caramel. Take off the heat and dip the saucepan into the sink filled with a little cold water to stop the caramel cooking further.
Dip two forks into the caramel and flick the caramel over a rolling pin to form strands – this is messy! Place on top of the meringues.



Gluten Free English Muffins – The Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge 2013, week 2

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

So this week was bread week. I’m joined in my gluten and dairy free technical challenge this year by Julia from Alimentary Bites. This time we are attempting the challenge egg and soya free too!


Julia was lucky this week as she has already made MEWS free English muffins. You will find Julia’s blog here

Here is my attempt. I was pleased with my result. Once toasted and spread with dairy free margarine and jam, even my husband said it tasted ‘muffiny’.

The Recipe – makes 12

200g Doves Farm gluten free plain flour
100g cornflour (corn starch)
100g ground almonds
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons caster sugar
4 teaspoons fast action dried yeast
30g dairy free, soya free margarine, melted
210ml almond milk
200ml water

Place the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.

Measure the almond milk, water and melted dairy free margarine and stir into the flour. This will be a thick batter.

gluten free English muffins

I tried two ways of cooking the muffins – I baked two muffins in the oven. I spooned some of the mixture into two greased dessert rings, left to rise for about half an hour then baked at 180°c / gas mark 4 for 20 minutes.

gluten free English muffins

I left the rest of the mixture to prove in the mixing bowl. I heated a frying pan and using a wet spoon carefully scooped the mixture onto the pan. Bake for 10 minutes on each side. If the outside is colouring too quickly, turn the heat down and place a lid on the pan.

griddled gluten free muffinsI split the muffins in half and toasted them. I think griddling the muffins gave it a muffin flavour.




Gluten Free Angel Food Cake – Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge 2013, Week 1

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

The Great British Bake Off is back on so we get to see Mel and Sue together again – yey, bring back Light Lunch!

For a second year I have decided to challenge myself to make a gluten and dairy free version (and this year – egg free when possible) of each weeks technical challenge.

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake

This cake is naturally dairy free.

The first hurdle I came to was that I don’t have the special cake tin used to make this cake which is never a good start. I improvised by using a 10 inch cake tin with a dariole mould in the centre which might have worked if the tin hadn’t been non-stick! The dariole mould was lower than the sides of the cake tin so this maybe another reason why the cake pulled away from the sides.

I felt unsure about which gluten free flour to use for this recipe as I have never tried Angel Food Cake. As there is so little flour in this cake I decided to use Doves Farm Plain Gluten Free Flour. I also added xanthan gum for luck which I never usually use in my cakes.

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake

The Recipe

125g gluten free plain flour (Doves Farm)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
300g caster sugar
10 large egg whites
2 lemons, grated zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt

Whipping Soya Cream – to serve

Preheat oven to gas mark 4/ 180°c/ 160°c fan oven.
Sift together the gluten free flour with the xanthan gum and 100g caster sugar.
Weigh the remaining sugar into a bowl.
Measure the cream of tartar and salt onto a dish, add the grated lemon zest.
Squeeze the lemon and put 1 tablespoon into a small bowl. Wipe around your mixing bowl and whisk with the squeezed lemon then wipe with kitchen roll to get rid of any grease.
Separate the eggs and put the whites into your mixing bowl. You can use the yolks to make Mary Berry’s lemon curd. You can substitute the butter in this recipe for dairy free margarine, it may be slightly runnier with this.
Whisk the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar, salt, lemon zest and juice and whisk until it forms soft peaks.
Increase the speed and add the 200g sugar a spoonful at a time to form firm peaks.
Gently add a third of the gluten free flour and fold in. Gently add the rest of the flour and fold in. Try not to bang your bowl.
Spoon into the cake tin and level.
Gently run a knife through the mixture to get rid of any air pockets.
Place into the oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Turn the cake tin upside down straight away and rest the edges of the cake tin on something to keep it raised off the worktop.
Leave for at least one hour to cool and set.
Run a knife around the outside and inside edge and tease the cake out of the tin. Leave to cool then decorate.

The gluten free flour worked well in this recipe.

I did attempt an egg free / vegan version but I ended up with a very nice marshmallow!

I used the recipe for egg free meringue from the Orgran website and added cornflour. I’m wondering if it might have been better to used Doves Farm gluten free flour instead.

Vegan Marshmallow

Egg Free Attempt

90g Orgran No Egg
½ teaspoon citrus pectin
250ml cold water
140g icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice and zest 2 lemons
50g cornflour

Preheat oven to 130° (250°F)

Blend Orgran No Egg & pectin together thoroughly while dry, and then add to cold water in mixing bowl.

Mix on high for 5 minutes.

Add vanilla and sugars 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing on high for a further 5 minutes. The foam will increase in volume.

Keep mixing until the mix forms firm peaks.

Gently fold in the lemon juice then the gluten free flour

Spoon into a cake tin with a centre and level.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Turn upside down straight away and balance on something to keep off the worktop for at least 1 hour.

If you want to make this egg free marshmallow, it will only last about a day as it absorbs any moisture around and goes soggy.

Vegan Marshmallow




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…