John Lennon and Yoko Ono once famously sang: “So this is Christmas, and what have you done?” And if we’re being totally honest, we’ve mainly been browsing through Instagram looking at pictures of dogs in Christmas jumpers and stealing bits of leftover pastry from the Too Good To Be kitchen. HOWEVER, Christmas is far from over, and there’s still time for us to do something valuable with our time and give something back to the community. We initially suggested the idea of a naked advent calendar starring the mind-bogglingly good looking men of Too Good To Be HQ, an idea that was unceremoniously shut down and scoffed at by our ungrateful co-workers. So, unfortunately for you, we settled on sharing our three favourite Christmas dessert recipes. Not the Christmas gift you wanted but not too bad…
Ginger & Orange Christmas Pudding
We couldn’t give you Christmas recipes and not start with one of these bad boys. As with all Christmas puddings you’re going to want to make it a few weeks in advance, meaning you’d better get a shift on…
100g dark brown sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp Valencian orange extract
50ml orange juice
75ml gluten-free wine or beer
50g golden linseed, ground to a powder in a blender
200g mixed dried fruit
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
100g chopped pecans, optional
200g chopped glacé ginger
50g gluten-free plain white flour
50g Sainsbury’s Freefrom spread made with sunflower oil, plus a bit more for the basin
75g gluten-free white bread, ground into soft breadcrumbs
Whisk together the sugar, spices, orange extract, juice, stout and linseed until smooth.
Stir in the fruit, grated carrot, pecans and ginger then add the flour and mix well.
Pour in the melted spread, add the gluten-free breadcrumbs and stir well.
Grease the inside of a pudding basin with more Freefrom spread, then spoon in the mixture, patting it down as you go. Cut squares of non-stick baking paper and aluminum foil, large enough to easily cover the bowl, pleat them, and with the layers paper-side down, tie them tightly in place around the bowl with string.
Simmer in a boiler for three hours.
Store in a cool place. Do not break the seal or be tempted to remove the lid to look at the pudding. On Christmas day, simmer for another three hours before serving.
If your Christmas doesn’t consist of scoffing vast quantities of Yule Log then unfortunately you’ve been doing Christmas all wrong. There’s still time to redeem yourself by whipping up this gloriously chocolately beast of a log from Hannah Miles…
4 tbsp gluten-free icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
300 ml double cream
200 g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
sugar paste decorations
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. For the cake, melt the chocolate in a saucepan with the milk, then once the chocolate is melted, add the flour and whisk until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Put the egg yolks and caster sugar in a mixing bowl, and whisk together using a mixer or whisk, until the mixture is creamy, pale yellow and has doubled in size. Whisk in the chocolate paste.
Put the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks, then fold them into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin using a spatula. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the cake springs back when pressed lightly with your fingertips. Remove the cake from the oven and leave for a few minutes.
Put a sheet of baking parchment on a clean work surface. Invert the cake on to the parchment, cover with a clean damp kitchen towel and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the kitchen towel and lining parchment. Roll up the cake from the short end, using the baking parchment to help you, and leave to cool completely.
For the filling, mix the chestnut purée and two tablespoons of the icing sugar together in a bowl until smooth. Add the cream, and whisk to stiff peaks. Unroll the cake. Spread about two-thirds of the cream in an even layer over the whole sponge. Reroll the cake up tightly from one of the short ends, and place on a serving plate. Cut off one end of the cake at a diagonal angle and place it to the side to make a branch.
For the icing, stir half the cooled melted chocolate into the remaining chestnut cream and add the remaining icing sugar. Whisk until the icing holds stiff peaks. Spread over the whole cake, but leaving the ends uniced. Spread the rest of the cooled melted chocolate out thinly on a silicon mat, and allow to set. Once set, break the chocolate into thin shards. Decorate the log with the shards of chocolate. Dust with icing sugar and add sugar paste decorations. Chill for 3 hours in the fridge before serving. Best eaten immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Gluten Free Panettone
As you might be able to deduce from the name, Panettone is an Italian dish, that in recent years has experienced a surge in popularity here in the UK. When researching the cake we learned that its direct translation was “large cake”, something we were all a little disappointed by. Not entirely sure what we were expecting but perhaps something a little more poetic. Anyway, have a go at this fab little recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring…
350 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
100 grams sugar
3 teaspoons instant (also called rapid-rise or breadmaker) yeast
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon salt
grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
8 ounces dried fruit (I used dried blueberries and diced dried apples)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup warm milk (about 100 degrees F)
4 extra-large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
112 grams unsalted butter at room temperature, divided into tablespoons
Cream, for brushing on top
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, yeast, cream of tartar, salt and lemon zest, and whisk to combine well. In a separate small bowl, place the dried fruit and toss with a tablespoon of the dry ingredients and set it aside.
Add the vanilla, vinegar, milk and eggs and egg yolk, and mix on low speed to combine. With the mixer still on low, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, blending well in between each addition. Turn the mixer up to high speed, and allow to mix for about 6 minutes uninterrupted. Add the dried fruit and reserved dry ingredients, and mix until well-combined.
Butter a panettone mold (I used a 6-cup brioche mold, but you could use any sort of baking dish with high sides) very well while the dough is beating. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan (the dough will be like thick batter — see photo)), and smooth the top with wet hands. Place the dough in a warm and humid, draft-free environment to rise until it is about 150% of its original size.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while the dough is rising. Once the dough has finished rising, brush the top lightly with cream, and place it in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, until the top is golden brown and the loaf is firm to the touch, 35 to 45 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool briefly in the pan before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve right away, or store on the counter wrapped in waxed paper and serve within 2 to 3 days.
Have a great Christmas from all here at Too Good To Be!
The big day may have been and gone folks but that big ol’ Christmas turkey is the gift that keeps on giving. Perhaps turkey sarnies are your usual post-Christmas delicacy of choice, maybe you’re all about the turkey/oven chips combo, or maybe this year you’re looking to try something a little different. If it’s the latter, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured the web to find three tantalising turkey dishes that’ll have you ho ho hoping for an even bigger turkey in 2019. Enjoy…
Turkey Curry – Gluten Free Cuppa Tea
This first dish is from one of our fave gluten free bloggers, Becky Excell. This incredibly tasty dish is not only gluten free, but dairy free and low FODMAP, making it a great option for those with a number of intolerances. The best thing about these kind of recipes is that the measurements can be easily adapted to the size of your turkey, I.e. if dad went a little overboard at the butchers this year, just double up on the rest of the ingredients and bob’s your uncle!
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp gluten free plain flour
400ml gluten free chicken stock (for low FODMAP ensure your stock contains no onion or garlic powder)
A dash of gluten free soy sauce
2 heaped tsp of mild curry powder (I make my own to ensure low FODMAP, recipe linked above. Otherwise regular curry powder is fine.)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
pinch of ground cumin
300g leftover turkey (or as much as you have spare)
leftover veggies (if low FODMAP ensure the portion sizes are suitable)
fresh chives, chopped on top to garnish
In your wok, heat your coconut oil on a low heat. Once melted, add your gf flour, curry powder, cumin, chilli flakes and ginger to the wok. Mix it around in the oil for about 30 seconds or so.
Pour in your stock and add a dash of soy sauce. Mix thoroughly for a few minutes. You should see the sauce start to thicken, become smooth and consistent.
Add your leftover turkey (pre-cooked) and stir in, followed by any leftover veggies (also pre-cooked).
Allow to cook until everything is nice and hot (should only take a few minutes)
Serve on top of a bed of sticky jasmine rice and sprinkle some fresh chives on top.
In these uncertain times there’s always one thing that we can be sure of. It’s that Sarah Carter, the mastermind behind Wuthering Bites, is always going to offer up a tasty dish for us to get stuck in to. This leftover turkey hot pot pie could be her masterpiece…
Drop of Olive Oil
4 Rashers of Streaky Bacon or bits of sausage chopped into chunks
4 Spring Onions or White onion chopped finely
100g Mixed Mushrooms
Juice of Half a lemon
150g Cooked Brussel Sprouts chopped roughly (or other greens)
200g Leftover Turkey, shredded, chopped or otherwise
1 Heaped tablespoon of Gluten Free Plain Flour or Corn Flour
100ml White Wine
250ml Chicken/Turkey or Vegetable Stock
2 Heaped Tablespoons of Creme Fraiche or 100ml of Double Cream
500g Cooked Sliced New Potatoes or Leftover Roast Potatoes Sliced
Salt & Pepper
Bits of Butter and Leftover Cheese to top
Pop the oil into a deep saucepan or saute pan and heat up on a medium heat.
Add in the bacon/sausage bits and fry until they’re just turning brown.
Add a dash more olive oil along with the spring onions/onion and mixed mushrooms and reduce the heat slightly. Fry until the mushrooms are just turning soft.
Add in the roughly chopped Cooked Brussel Sprouts or other greens and the juice of half a lemon. Give it a good mix around and leave for a minute to heat up.
Sprinkle over 1 heaped tablespoon of Gluten Free Plain Flour/Cornflour and give it a good mix around.
Pour over 100ml of White Wine, and pop in the bay leaf and leftover turkey, give everything a stir and turn the heat up gently until the liquid has reduced slightly.
Pour in the 250ml of stock and leave to simmer for around 15-20 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
Pile on top of the mixture the spinach and wait until it naturally wilts down. Stir it into the mixture.
Add in the creme fraiche or double cream, season well and take off the heat. Stir in well and then transfer the filling to a deep ovenproof dish.
On top of the filling layer with the sliced leftover roast potatoes or sliced cooked new potatoes. Season well once more.
Top with any leftover cheese, dabs of butter and pop the dish under a grill for around 10-15 minutes so it turns nice and golden.
This dish is naturally gluten free and one of those “add in whatever leftovers you want to” kind of meals (maybe not the Yorkshire puddings but you get the idea.) It’s quick simple and pretty darn tasty…
450 g leftover turkey meat
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp sesame oil 1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp gluten free soy sauce 125 ml turkey stock
Handful each of thinly sliced vegetables (ie. carrots, beansprouts, green beans)
1 tbsp | 15 ml vegetable oil
Cut turkey into narrow strips or bite-sized pieces.
In wok or large fry pan, stir-fry cooked turkey in 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil and remove from pan.
Add vegetables, onion, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until vegetables are tender.
In a small bowl combine soy sauce, sesame oil, stock, and stir into vegetables.
Add turkey and stir. Cook until heated through.
Have a great Boxing Day, and don’t forget to tweet us your pics! @TooGoodToBeUK
Let’s get straight to the point. The two best things about Christmas is the food and the films. They also appear to be the two Christmas-related subjects upon which we argue most about here at Too Good To Be HQ. As the blog-crafting mastermind in the head office, I decided to utilise my fellow employee’s love for a good festive debate and up the ante a little bit with a question that combines the two – ‘What’s the best pie/Christmas film combo and why?’ Sure enough, fiery debate ensued, and after hearing them argue it out for well over half an hour I decided I had enough to go on and left them to it. Here are my findings:
*WARNING: Extremely tenuous links ahead*
Steak & Ale Pie / Miracle on 34th Street
As the oldest option in each of their respective categories it was only right that we pair these two together. We felt the original shared a certain rustic quality with the Steak & Ale Pie, and whilst the film centres around the belief and disbelief of Old St. Nick, there is no question as to our belief that this really is the greatest gluten free steak pie out there…
Sweets feature heavily in this Christmas favourite, leaving our treacle tart as the obvious selection. We’d further suggest bringing along a tub of ice cream, buckets of candy and perhaps an industrial sized sack of marshmallows. It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, right?
Picked for their loveable qualities, both Home Alone and chocolate are adored the world over making them extremely suitable companions. We’d suggest a big ol’ dollop of clotted cream and hot chocolate to accompany. A fantastic film and a healthy reminder not to forget your youngest child the next time you go abroad.
Love Actually is a known tear jerker, and along with copious amounts of Kleenex you’re going to want some serious comfort food. Stick one of our Quiche Lorraine’s in the oven around 25 minutes before the films finale and your custardy companion will be ready just in time for THAT SCENE.
We’re not sure this can be legally classified as a Christmas film, and we haven’t really got a valid reason to link the two, but after hearing Jake yell “Pork Pie Die Hard” repeatedly throughout the course of the discussion we felt it a necessary inclusion, if only to prevent backlash.
There’s the ability to connect with old school friends, there’s a wealth of previously-unavailable information on every possible subject you could wish to read up on, and then there’s Tinder; But everyone knows that the greatest thing about the invention of the internet is the sheer amount of recipes we now have access to. Those mysterious beings we like to call ‘bloggers’ are out there working day and night posting recipe after recipe for our own viewing pleasure and boy are we thankful. Put those books down Margaret, here’s where you’re going to find the best gluten free Christmas recipes this year…
The Gluten Free Blogger
It’s not hard to guess what this particular blog specialises in. In case you couldn’t work it out, Sarah Howells is a UK blogger known for whipping up incredible gluten free recipes. She has a whole section on her website dedicated to her fab festive recipes, and if you know what’s good for you, then you’ll have a crack at making these fab mince pies…
Free From Fairy
Vicky Montague aka The Free from Fairy, is a half scientist/half baker supermum offering up some of the best free from recipes we’ve found on the world wide web. Don’t believe us? Just look at this Christmassy Clementine & Cranberry Wreath Bread. Not bad, ey?
Gluten Free Alchemist
Whilst we only recently discovered this great little blog, we wish we’d found it a lot sooner. After her daughter was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2013, Kate embarked on a voyage of culinary discovery that was, as she puts it herself, “Born out of a need to understand a whole new world of gluten free cooking.” Check out her progress and while you’re at it, these delicious marzipan chocolates!
Mummy Tries is a fantastically honest and inspiring look into the life of mother-of-three, Renee. The blog covers a range of subjects with a focus on genuinely healthy, unique and free-from recipes. There’s a fantastic recipe for a non-alcoholic paleo Christmas cake that you NEED to try…
Gluten Free On A Shoestring
If you’ve been following us for a while, then you’ll know that we’ve got a lot of love for this blog. Nicole’s mantra is that if you can make it with gluten, you can make it without. Amen to that! In the run up to Christmas she’ll be posting some fab festive recipes so be sure to give a few of them a go, especially these Gluten Free Snowball Cookies…
Since we’re now well in to December we’ve decided that, as an office, it’s time to get completely and utterly unapologetically Christmassy. The tree is up and decorated, the Christmas Spotify playlist is blasting out anthem after anthem, and the motion for the compulsory sporting of Santa-hats was passed by a staggering 16 votes to 2. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be throwing a number of Christmas-themed blog posts your way but first things first…the mince pies. Below you’ll find a recipe for the perfect pastry followed by recipes for three of our favourite mince meats. The tough part is choosing which one…
300g gluten- and wheat-free plain white flour blend
5 tsp xanthan gum
175 g cold butter
1 large beaten egg
Milk & 1 beaten egg (for brushing)
Sugar (for sprinkling)
For the pastry, sift together the gluten- and wheat-free plain white flour blend, xanthan gum and a good pinch of sea salt into a bowl, and mix. Cut the cold butter into cubes and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture forms crumbs. Add the beaten egg to the bowl and mix in using a table knife. Gradually add 3-4 tablespoons of cold water, mixing after each addition. Keep adding water and mixing until the mixture just comes together to form a dough. Turn on to a floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide into two and wrap in cling film. Chill for 30 minutes, or until needed.
Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3-4mm thick. Using a 7.5cm unfluted round cutter, stamp out 24 bases; using a 6cm round cutter, stamp out 12 lids, rerolling as needed. Stamp out 12 pastry stars with a 6cm star cutter.
Line two 12-hole cupcake tins with the pastry bases. Put a spoonful of your choice of mincemeat into each and brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk. Top 12 pies with the smaller pastry circles, pressing the edges to seal; top the remainder with stars. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
These keep well in an airtight tin so it’s worth making plenty, or you can freeze the baked, cooled pies and reheat them from frozen – no need to defrost. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5, and bake the pies on a baking tray for 8-10 minutes.
As you can imagine, the question of “Trick or Treat?” was never a difficult one for us to answer. I mean, what kind of monster would choose a trick over a treat? Certainly not us! We live for the sweeter things in life, and you can bet yo’ bottom dollar if there’s an excuse to indulge, we’ll be embracing it with open arms. Now, our first idea for this blog post was to trick or treat around Nottingham and publish a shame list of those houses that gave us fruit, but we’ve been informed by the powers that be that a) we’re too old to trick or treat (disagree) and b) it’s illegal. So unfortunately today you’ll have to settle with a selection of our fave gluten free day-after-Halloween-left-over-pumpkin recipes!
We’re big fans of the muffin here at the office – we’d actually go as far to say connoisseurs – but we’re ashamed to say we’ve not yet experienced a muffin of the pumpkin variety. That’s why we’ll be knocking out a few of these tasty little cake dumplings on November 1st…
100 grams Whole Spelt Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Mixed Spice
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil melted
3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
150 grams Pumpkin Puree
Preheat the oven to 160*C and line a muffin tin with 6 muffin cases.
Place the spelt flour into a mixing bowl and sieve in the baking powder, mixed spice and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk together.
Gently heat the coconut oil until it is almost all melted and then remove from the heat, allow it to melt completely before adding it to the eggs with the maple syrup. Whisk to combine.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour and stir until just mixed together. Fold in the pumpkin puree.
Spoon the mixture evenly between the muffin cases and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Allow to cool on a wire rack and store (covered) in a cool dry place.
This next recipe has come from our boy, Jamie Oliver. This could either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your stance on Turkey Twizzlers. All we know is it looks, tastes and smells bloomin’ marvellous.
4 kg pumpkin
50 g unsalted butter
125 g golden caster sugar
4 level tablespoons gluten-free plain flour
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large free-range eggs
icing sugar to serve
FOR THE PASTRY:
250 g gluten-free plain flour
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
50 g soft light brown sugar
a pinch of ground cinnamon
125 g unsalted cold butter
1 large free-range egg
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Lightly grease a 25cm non-stick loose-bottomed tart tin with vegetable oil.
Halve the pumpkin, scoop out and discard the seeds, then roughly chop into large wedges (there’s no need to peel it). Spread out on a baking tray, cover with tin foil, then pop in the oven for around 1 hour, or until tender, removing the foil for the final 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sieve the flour and xanthan gum from a height into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Chop the butter into cubes, then use your fingertips to rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Beat the egg in a separate bowl, then add it to the mixture. Use your hands to bring it together into a rough dough, adding a good splash of milk (if needed), but don’t overwork it too much at this stage. Pat the dough into a flat round, roughly 2.5cm thick, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Once tender, remove the pumpkin from the oven and leave to cool. Roll out the pastry to roughly the thickness of a pound coin (if you find it crumbles too much, roll it out between two large pieces of clingfilm). Carefully place the dough into the prepared tart tin, gently pressing it into the sides. Trim away any overhanging pastry, prick the base with a fork, then place in the fridge to chill for another 10 minutes.
Place a layer of clingfilm into the chilled tart case, fill with uncooked beans or rice, then pop in the oven to blind bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the clingfilm and beans or rice, then cook for a further 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, scoop the cooled pumpkin flesh into a food processor, discarding the skin, then blitz until smooth. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until dark and frothy. Add the brown butter to the blitzed pumpkin with the sugar, flour, nutmeg, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and the vanilla extract. Whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl, add to the processor, then blitz again until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the cooled pastry case, using a fork or spoon to spread it out evenly.
Roll out the leftover pastry to roughly the thickness of a pound coin, then cut it into long strips, roughly 1cm wide. Place on top of the pie, crisscrossing them as you go to create a nice lattice, then trim away any rough edges. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the pastry. Place the pie in the hot oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden. Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon, then serve.
This big ol’ loaf will have that pile of pumpkin used up before you know it. If you went a little overboard then it may be worth considering baking a few of these – you won’t regret it…
400 g pumpkin puree
270 g caster sugar
3 eggs medium
160 g unsalted butter
125 g sweet white rice flour
110 g sorghum flour
100 g millet flour
65 g potato starch
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt
30 g pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon water
pinch of cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line and grease a 9 inch loaf tin.
First you want to turn your butter into melted brown butter. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. The butter will melt. Listen carefully and the butter will start hissing and cracking and forming little brown bits at the bottom of the pan. You want to wait until the noises start to subside, the butter smells toasty and is turning a darker colour. Remove from the heat as soon as it’s ready so it doesn’t begin to burn.
Pour the butter into a food mixer or large mixing bowl along with the pumpkin puree, sugar and eggs and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl sift together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt then add to the rest of the mix. Beat until well mixed.
Pour the batter into the baking tin and scatter the pumpkin seeds evenly over the top.
Bake for 55-60 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
Leave the pumpkin bread for 5 minutes to settle in the cake tin, then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave for a moment whilst you prepare the cinnamon syrup.
Pour the caster sugar, water and cinnamon into a small saucepan and turn the heat onto low. When the sugar has melted then turn the heat off and brush the syrup over the top of the pumpkin bread. Leave to cool completely before you slice and serve.
So…mug cakes are a thing. According to Lucinda from the office we’re ‘late the party’ on this particular food trend, but this concept blew our tiny little minds and we need to channel the excitement into some kind of creative form i.e. this blog post. So for those who aren’t familiar with the mug cake, and for those who’s deduction abilities aren’t quite all there, a mug cake is a cake, within a mug. And that’s not slang for some wacky new cake-making apparatus, this is just your every day cup o’ tea mug. We know?! Crazy!
So now we filled you in on the ins and outs of our discovery, we should probably provide you with a few gluten free recipes to get you started. Here are three of the best we’ve found so far…
This recipe is not only gluten-free but also suitable for anyone on the paleo diet. It’s easy to make and the end product looks and tastes AMAZING. Well worth a go if you have a spare 10 minutes:
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of fine grain sea salt
Pinch of nutmeg
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg (o 2 flax eggs)
2 tablespoons milk of your choice
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or butter), melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon milk of your choice
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Mix all cinnamon roll ingredients in mug, adding the baking powder last.
Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
In the meantime mix all the icing ingredients in a small bowl.
Possibly our favourite of the three for the sheer simplicity – we can’t get enough of it! This particular recipe requires a 15-minute cooling/condensing period after cooking which, as you can understand, is quite a challenge…
1/4 cup Nutella
1 large egg
1/2 tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder
Combine all ingredients in an oversized microwave-safe mug. Mix vigorously with a small whisk until batter is smooth and egg has been completely mixed in.
Cook in microwave for about 1 minute 10 seconds. Cake should be set but may be slightly wet on top. Let cake cool for 15 minutes before serving. Cake will condense down during this cooling process. You can replate in a smaller mug/plate/ramekin before serving. You can top with powdered sugar or chocolate syrup.
Well there you have it. Consider yourselves officially enrolled into the school of mug bakery. Do go away and give it a go, and send us a few pics of the results! Oh, unless we really were the last to know, in which case this has all been for nothing…
This week we’re going to be heading to what’s commonly known as the United Kingdom’s Second City – no not you Manchester, sit back down – we’re talking about the birthplace of such greats as Ozzy Osborne, Richard Hammond, Cat Deeley and Kenny Baker (R2D2). That’s right ladies and gents, we’re in Birmingham! Luckily for us we have a couple of resident Brummies lurking about the Too Good To Be offices, so we’ve been given a few tips to get us on our way…
For Something Savoury
Battered Halloumi @ Bistro 1847
Anyone with a gluten intolerance of some kind will know how frustrating it can be trying to find a good gluten free batter – whether it’s on fish and chips or something else. Let us save you the trouble on your next visit to the Midlands. This place has got it spot on. In fact, the dish as a whole was very, very good – it was so great that for a brief time we considered giving Harriet, the tip-giver, a pay rise. Unfortunately for her we decided against the wage increase but it’s the thought that counts, right? The battered halloumi was served with a lemon curd, pea puree and hand cut chips just like yo’ momma makes them. Delish!
For Something Sweet
Orange & Almond Cake @ Boston Tea Party
After a brief stroll round the city, we felt we’d burnt enough calories off to indulge in a heavy cake session. We’ve come across the cafe before in a couple of other locations but never actually tried out the food – we’d been told to test the Orange and Almond cake and that’s exactly what we did. The cake looked and tasted great, and the marmalade topping really got those taste-buds-tingling. We even took a few slices back for “additional research”…
For a Little Tipple
Celia Dark @ The Bottle Shed
The Bottle Shed is one of them cool little half bar/half shop establishments we’ve seen popping up around the UK, and with over 300 varieties of beer you’re bound to find something you’ll like. To be honest, their gluten free selection wasn’t huge, but they did have the dark edition of Celia Gluten Free Lager which we’d been meaning to try for a while. The lager was as fantastic as is expected from Celia, and the in-store retro arcade machines made staying a few more hours a very appealing offer…
Think your city should be next on our list? Drop us a tweet or a Facebook message and we’ll see what we can do!
September was a month that for most of us is pretty non-descript. No Bank Holidays (boooo), no sun, no Game of Thrones. The only thing it does have is the Great British Bake Off, but that partly belongs to October and we’re still not sold on life without Mary Berry. BUT ANYWAY, for a certain group of people, this month isn’t quite as lacklustre as it is for us civilians. For some it signals the beginning of a new way of life. A life of boozing, ring of fire (or ‘kings cup’ depending on your upbringing), supermarket trolley exploitation and most importantly student food. That’s right, we’re talking about you, Freshers; and whilst we can’t really offer any advice on the first three points, we can help you out a little on the last. Here’s the Too Good To Be guide to student cooking…
Right, let’s start with the most obvious – you’re going to want a boat load of gluten-free pasta. And we’re not talking about one or two packets, we’re talking kilos of the stuff. When you’ve blown your loan in the first week on 2 for 1 VKs at your local Walkabout and have nowhere else to turn, pasta will have your back. Throw a little pesto on it, sprinkle with parmesan, or if times are really hard (*really* hard), drizzle with ketchup – the possibilities are endless. What’s more, if you want to make your pasta go even further, we’d suggest sticking it in a big ol’ tuna pasta bake…
Student delicacy number two is something you may already be familiar with and that’s Haricots Sur Pain Grillé A.K.A Beans on Toast. Even the least kitchen savvy could rustle up a relatively edible version of this classic dish, and with more varieties of Baked Beans then ever before, there’s room for a little experimentation should you be feeling particularly adventurous. We’re sure by now you all have a go-to gluten free bread for the toast, but do check the label on the beans for any potential wheat contamination warnings…
Our third and final student delicacy is beer – A true staple of the Fresher’s diet. As a coeliac beer drinker, fresher’s parties can be a minefield and must be navigated as such. Always make sure that bartender is pouring the right beer into that plastic cup, and under no circumstances must you gluten yourself in a drinking contest for the sake of winning a free t-shirt. Those house parties are unlikely to provide a gluten-free alternative, but luckily for you, gluten-free beer is now readily available in most good supermarkets. P.S Do not, under any circumstances, drink the punch…
So that’s about all there is to it – Pasta, Beans on Toast and Beer. There are a few other little things like education, the journey into adulthood, adapting to independence, managing finances, but we felt it was best to offer you guidance on the more important aspects of student life…
Happy National Free From Week everyone! Now, we know for most of us Coeliacs every week is free from week, but this week is all about awareness and appreciation. It can be celebrated in a number of different ways. Maybe there’s someone you know who’s recently been diagnosed with some form of gluten-intolerance, in which case there’s no better time to take them out to that favourite gluten-free restaurant of yours. Or perhaps you know someone who needs a little help understanding the ins and outs of Coeliac Disease, giving you the perfect excuse to load up that educational power point presentation you’ve spent months working on. Here at Too Good To Be we’ll be celebrating this glorious occasion by bigging up some of our favourite brands on the free-from scene. So, in no particular order:
We’re a little obsessed with this brand in the TGTB offices, worryingly so in some cases (not naming any names, Jake), so naturally when it came to laying out our faves, Ten Acre’s award winning collection of gluten free hand-cooked crisps and popcorn were top of the list. Seriously, head over to the website and check out that list of flavours – they’re unbelievably good. P.S. try the Cappuccino Popcorn
The first of two amazing breweries on our list, Green’s are based all the way ‘Up North’ in a little town by the name of Stockport. When told of his gluten intolerance, founder Derek Green refused to settle for the usual gluten-free alcohol alternatives (gin, whisky etc.) instead developing his very own brew. A few years later and Green’s GF Beers are producing 10 delicious varieties and stocked all across the UK. Give it a go!
We actually mentioned this particular brewery on a recent edition of Coeliac Cities. Based in Edinburgh, Bellfield Brewery was founded by two gluten-intolerant friends in an attempt to improve the quality of gluten free beer out there on the market – and boy did they succeed! Their range is now available all over the UK and if you’re a big fan of GF ales we’d suggest trying a pint (or, three).
We’re actually already feeling a little peckish just writing the title of this next one. Honey Buns’ cakes and cookies are to die for, and anyone who’s tried one of their goodies will tell you the same thing. They’ve come a long way in the last 20 years, growing from one woman and her bike to a 30-strong team, based on an old dairy farm in the Dorset countryside. Want a recommendation? Their chocolate caramel shortbread is THE BEST.
Tenuta Marmorelle is a family run business based in Puglia, Italy. They’re mainly famous for their award winning extra virgin olive oil, but recently there’s been a surge in interest in their Gluten Free Pasta – and with good reason – it’s possibly the best gluten free pasta we’ve ever tried. The pasta is made from three entirely natural ingredients: cornflour, rice flour and water, then slow-dried and bronze drawn, preventing it from breaking up during cooking. We’d recommend everyone with a love for traditional Italian pasta gives this a go…
The Foods Of Athenry is an Irish family run business that was born in the 1920’s. “In bringing up our own family we firmly believed that ‘good food promotes good health‘, so we took great care in preparing our own breakfasts, lunchbox snacks and treats. When this way of life turned into a business, we applied that same simple rule to all our delicious products – whether they be VEGAN , GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, or not.” And might be add, their products are absolutely delicious.