Product Test: Isabel’s Baked Donut Mix

Plate of donuts

I haven’t done any gluten free baking for a while, resorting instead to buying a few ready made commercial products because I prefer to spend my free time sewing or card making. And I normally steer clear of packet mixes as the long, long list of unnatural ingredients usually puts me off. But I don’t mind making an exception for Isabel’s products, as the ingredients list is refreshingly “normal” (and no, they’re not paying me to say so!)

So when I saw Isabel’s Baked Donut Mix on offer in Morrisons last week, I decided to give it a try. I used a medium egg, and reduced the amount of sugar to 40 g but as you can see, this made no difference to the result.

Close up of donut

I only had a 12-hole mini muffin pan so I filled those & spooned the remainder of the mixture into a pudding basin. The muffins cooked in the allotted time, and as you would expect the pudding took slightly longer. I sprinkled the donuts with icing sugar & served them to non-GF guests, who all thoroughly enjoyed them!

I reheated the pudding in the microwave later & it still tasted great. Unfortunately, now I’ve tried this mix I think it will be a regular purchase, and my waistline will not thank me for it!

 

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French Danish Pastry!

I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since I last posted on my gluten free blog, but I suppose that reflects how little baking I’ve done in that time due to life getting in the way.  Today’s recipe only came about because it was very quick to do, and also because a kind French friend knows how hard gluten free pastry can be to make. She brought me a present from a recent trip back to her home city of Lyon:

pinwheels5

Feuilletee is puff pastry, so I set about finding a suitable recipe to create a gluten free treat and came across a recipe for Maple Pecan Pinwheels. Not knowing what to expect when I opened the packet, I prepared to do battle with an oblong block of pastry (rolling out pastry is not one of my skills!) but was very pleasantly surprised to find a circle of pastry thinly rolled out into a circle, ready to make a pie. So the rest of it was easy peasy, and the resultant Danish-type pastries were utterly delicious:

pinwheel_collage

I made 9. They were gone within a couple of hours! With the offcuts I made some cheese straws which were similarly demolished.

All in all, a very enjoyable & successful return to baking:-)

Coffee & Walnut Muffins

Coffee Muffins

I bought some Trex a LONG while ago to use in baking but it had languished, unloved, in the fridge, for quite some time until I came across this recipe over on the Trex website. Of course that isn’t a gluten free recipe but I find that when I adapt a non-GF recipe, Doves Farm flour seems to work most times as an almost exact replacement.  I used a handheld mixer because I couldn’t get the mixture smooth enough, but it looked pretty good once I’d done:

Mixture

I didn’t have two 6 inch cake tins to make the cakes so decided to make muffins instead. Other than swapping the flour, I added an extra tablespoon of the coffee mixture (an espresso made with a Nespresso coffee & vanilla flavoured pod) as gluten free flours usually need a little bit more liquid; on this occasion I also added some chopped walnuts.

 

 

Recipe Test: Gluten Free Triple Herb Overnight Dinner Rolls

Photo of bread roll

Long time no post! Shortly after my last post my husband became seriously ill so normal life has been put on hold for a while. Things are finally on the up but it’s going to be a long while before we’re back to normal again.

Anyway, yesterday this recipe for Triple Herb Overnight Dinner Rolls caught my eye because I liked the mix of flours it contained, and the sourdough-esque long, overnight rise appealed to me, so I could have a fresh roll with some bacon this morning.  Or not . . . . a word to the wise: when you’re reading a recipe, if there are lots of comments about how runny the batter is – take heed! The amount of milk stated is WAY too much. I added an extra half cup of flour (buckwheat for a bit of variety) but it was still too runny. I should have added even more flour but I didn’t, so cutting a cross into the dough was never going to happen! Despite my reservations about the batter I put them in the fridge overnight and they rose reasonably well, but removing the oiled cling film from the top also removed some of the still-quite-runny batter.

You can see in the photo above that they’re a little bit overcooked on the outside because I converted the oven temperature incorrectly for my gas cooker. Oops! The texture of the bread is great, very sourdough-like but the batter spilled over the top of the muffin pan so the rolls came out like flowerpots!

The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of salt and I think this, also, is too much. I enjoy salty food but eat bacon with these? No thanks! I left out the herbs as I prefer a plain roll, perhaps the herbs would have made them taste less salty?

I would try making these again, but I would reduce the liquid and salt by half, only adding more liquid if I needed to.

.

Gadget Test: Cuisinart Sandwich and Waffle Maker

I love gadgets of any sort, but crafting & cooking gadgets in particular. Yesterday I bought the Cuisinart Sandwich and Waffle Maker which was on offer at Costco, so today I decided to have a go at the gluten free waffle recipe from the book. The only substitution I made was Almond Dream milk instead of skimmed milk to make the waffles dairy free.

Close up of wafflesThe waffle maker was really easy to use; it cooks two waffles at a time and they only take 3 or 4 minutes to cook. The bottom plate cooks the underside of the waffles more quickly than the top so you need to be careful they don’t burn. The recipe made the exact quantity it was supposed to make (is it me, but recipes often don’t make the quantity they’re supposed to?), and what’s more, they tasted delicious with a little maple syrup & some blueberries!

Waffles and syrup

Sage Scraper Mixer Pro Test – Raspberry Cupcakes

Raspberry Cupcakes

For a long time now I’ve wanted to buy the Sage Scraper Mixer Pro; yesterday, I noticed it was on offer in Lakeland so I finally got my wish! This morning I put it to the test on one of the starter recipes included in the instruction leaflet for Raspberry Cupcakes. As I always bake gluten free (for me) and dairy free (for my son), I used Doves Farm Self Raising Flour, Pure Sunflower Spread and plain rice milk for the equivalents in the recipe. Not that the flour is listed in the ingredients, they somehow managed to miss that out – nice one Sage! I only realised this as I was already part way through making the cakes (note to self: read the recipe first!) so I looked on the Sage website, thought I’d found the recipe but then realised that the quantity of sugar was different;-)  Hey ho, too late by then.

The scraper mixer is designed to prevent you needing to scrape the sides of the bowl down, and I found that worked really well, although it did seem to take longer than the recipe stated to reach the stage where the sugar had melted. However, this may be because I wasn’t using butter. This was the mixture after the Pure & sugar had been creamed. I  hadn’t needed to scrape the sides down at all:

Creamed mixture

And this was the finished mixture, which came together really quickly:

Cupcake mixture

I found they took about 25 minutes in the oven, but as you can see they rose really well & they taste delicious!

Cupcakes on rack