Sunday, 29 January 2017

Perfectly Pretty Pink Pavlova with Berries & Nectarine - A Taste of Summer in the Cold (gluten free) and Some Tips & Tricks for a Perfect Meringue


I have been in search of the perfect meringue recipe for years and over the Christmas break, took some time to do some research to progress my quest.

I love meringue and particularly Pavlova...... that sumptuous crispy-gooey sugary meringue-based dessert which is invariably topped with whipped cream and fruit. It is always an incredible show-stopping end to a meal.

I have never had a major problem with meringue per se and often make it as a way of using up left over egg whites. If completely dried out, it is easy to store for a few weeks in an airtight container and means that there is a ready base when guests arrive either at short notice, or when I want to avoid spending too much time in the kitchen.

Sometimes however, it cracks slightly or weeps syrup when baking and I figure that however good something tastes, there is always a way to make it better.


My google searching eventually led me to a fab duo called The Meringue Girls....... and I thought that if anyone might have perfected the crispy sweet white stuff, it would be them! Just clicking through the images on their website makes my eyes widen and my mouth water. Best of all, it seems they are more than willing to share their experience. They are clearly experts..... so I watched their videos, read their recipes and borrowed their wisdom!

This is what I learnt about meringue-making :

1.  We all know how important it is to have a really clean, grease-free bowl right? Wipe lemon juice around the inside of the bowl with clean kitchen roll to get it spotless!

2.  Weigh your egg whites! You want a ratio of twice the weight of sugar to egg white..... and make sure absolutely NO egg yolk sneaks into the mix.

3.  To get a smooth, shiny, stable meringue mixture which doesn't ooze when baked, heat the sugar at 200 C for about 7 minutes, before adding to the egg whites and always use caster sugar.

4.  Start by whisking the egg white very slowly, so that it forms small stabilising bubbles and only whack up the speed when the egg white has reached a good frothy stage. You can then increase the speed until the meringue mix reaches stiff peak consistency. Make sure the mixture stays put when the bowl is tipped upside-down!

5.  Add the hot sugar to the stiff egg white very slowly (1 teaspoon at a time). If you add it too quickly, your meringue will flop! Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk at full speed for at least 5 minutes to achieve a smooth, thick, glossy mixture.

6.  When the mixture is fully whisked, check it by rubbing a small amount between thumb and finger. If it feels gritty with sugar grains, it is not ready.... whisk some more!

7. Take care with your flavourings. Use intense natural flavours, but avoid folding in anything too oily as this will deflate the mixture.

8.  Bake long and low..... Your oven should be set at about 110 C/225 F/Gas ¼ to carefully dry out the meringue. Don't keep opening the oven door..... the sudden changes in temperature may cause the meringue to crack...... Turn off the oven when done, but leave the meringues in there with the door closed, so that they cool with the oven.


The verdict? This meringue is the stuff of dreams! It is light, dry, crisp, airy, melt-in-the-mouth heaven! I think I have found the only meringue recipe I will need from here on in.....

And the Pavlova? It is the best I have ever made! Inspired to use the left-over egg whites from a Sunday dessert of Creme Brûlée (recipe coming soon), this Pav has a delicate border of pink raspberry-flavoured meringue swirls....... is filled with light, pillowy vanilla whipped cream...... is piled high with a fresh fruit salad made from raspberries, blueberries and nectarine with a hint of maple syrup...... and is topped with a drizzle of raspberry coulis.

A taste of Summer in the cold....... naturally gluten free....... and with Valentines coming up very soon, would make a sublime sharing dessert for lovers.


I am sharing my Perfectly Pretty Pink Pavlova with the following :

No Waste Food Challenge with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. Meringues and Pavlova are always a great way to use up spare egg whites.

Free From Fridays with Le Coin De Mel and Free From Farmhouse.





Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum.

Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation.



Gluten Free Fridays with Vegetarian Mamma.

Cook Blog Share, this week with Sneaky Veg.


Other Meringue desserts on Gluten Free Alchemist :

Layered Berry Pavlova
Orange & Lime Meringue Pie
Rhubarb-Strawberry Meringue Pie
Raspberry Meringue Pie
Zesty Lemon Meringue Roulade
Strawberry Meringue Nests

Perfectly Pretty Pink Pavlova with Berries & Nectarine (serves 8)

Ingredients

Meringue (basic method from The Meringue Girls)
150g egg white (from approx 4 large eggs)
300g caster sugar
a few drops of raspberry extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
red food colouring paste mixed with a little raspberry extract (to 'paint' the piping bag for the swirls)

approx 400 ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder

250g fresh raspberries
125g fresh blueberries
2 nectarines - de-stoned and cut into pieces
1 tablespoon maple syrup

a little (optional) raspberry coulis to drizzle - e.g. from this recipe
icing sugar to dust
edible glitter to decorate

Method

  1. Prepare the baking paper for your Pavlova by drawing a large circle (approx 10 inches/26 cm in diameter) on to baking paper and then turning the paper over (so that you can still see the circle). Place on a large baking tray (big enough to take the circle with room to spare). Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6 and line a small, deep baking dish with baking paper. Weigh the caster sugar into the dish and heat in the oven for 7 minutes (this helps to give the meringue a stable, glossy texture).
  3. Whilst the sugar is heating, whisk the egg whites (preferably in a stand mixer). Whisk slowly at first (to allow small stabilising bubbles to form) and gradually increase the speed, whisking until the egg white forms stiff peaks.
  4. Take the hot sugar from the oven and turn the oven down to 110 C/225 F/Gas ¼. Leave the oven door open to enable the oven to cool a little quicker.
  5. With the mixer on full speed, add the hot sugar to the egg whites a teaspoon at a time, whisking continually and making sure the mixture has returned to 'stiff peaks' before each addition. Continue until all the sugar has been added.
  6. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk on full speed for at least 5 minutes until truly stiff and glossy. To test whether the mixture is ready, rub a small amount of the mixture between your thumb and finger. If it is still gritty with sugar, continue to whisk until smooth.
  7. Finally add any flavouring to the meringue mix and whisk or fold through.
  8. Spread a good layer of the meringue on the baking paper to make a thick circle (to the line of the drawn circle).
  9. Take a piping bag, trim off the end and turn inside out (leaving about an inch inside the turn to grab and turn back). Paint three or four stripes of edible food colouring paste up the piping bag about half the length of the bag. Insert your chosen large piping tip and pull the point back through to turn the bag back the right way (the colour should be on the inside).
  10. Fill the bag with meringue, squeezing and squishing a little to remove any air pockets.
  11. Pipe swirls at the outside round edge of the white meringue that you have already spread onto baking paper, to completely encircle it
  12. Bake the meringue for approx 1 hour and 30 minutes (until the base comes away for the paper easily and cleanly). Turn the oven off, leaving the meringue inside to cool with the oven.
  13. Filling and fruit : De-stone and chop the nectarine into pieces and place the flesh in a small bowl. Add the maple syrup and stir through. Leave for about 20 minutes to mingle.
  14. Whisk the double cream with the vanilla powder until it forms soft peaks.
  15. When the meringue is completely cold, fill the central 'bowl' with whipped cream and pile the raspberries, blueberries and nectarines on top.
  16. Drizzle with a little raspberry coulis (if using) and top with a sprinkle of icing sugar and a little edible glitter (optional).
  17. Enjoy decadently!
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Celebrate #ChocolateCakeDay with 'Sponge' - Delicious Cakes by Post (including gluten free)


Do you believe in cake elves? This week I came home to find they had visited my house! Tucked safely behind a plant pot, under a dry, sheltered overhang, they had left us a large box....... contained within was a carefully packed, delicious, gluten free, home-baked chocolate cake, courtesy of Sponge.

How excited were we?! Being gluten free (even with the amazing advances in commercially available gluten free bakes), it is a rare thing to find good cake without having to make it ourselves. Much as we love to bake at GF HQ, there are times when I just want to be able to buy a decent cake...... one that is sizeable enough to feed plenty of mouths, doesn't fall apart when picked up or go stale within hours, tastes as good as it looks and is made with ingredients that fit its decadent expectation.


I think we may have just found it! Sponge is a small company based in Norfolk, who have been specialising in cake-making for sixteen years. Starting life in a cafe, the company expanded and evolved into an on-line business in 2009, to make their cakes available nation-wide. They provide a whole range of wheat-based cake, but also (and this is where is gets exciting for us gluten-avoiders) no less than FIVE home-baked gluten free sponges (with plans for more soon).

Made with free-range eggs and real butter, you can choose from Chocolate, Carrot, Victoria and Apple Crumble. Or if you are dairy free as well, you can opt for their Elizabeth cake (which is fruited with apricots, sultanas and lemon oil)....... All are available in 7 or 10 inch size, as well as mini cakes or a large 'sharing' cake with a quarter-size each of four flavours included. I have my eye on an Apple Crumble cake next!


Sponge also knows how important it is for us to feel safe when eating their cakes. All their gluten free sponges are prepared with extra care to ensure avoidance of cross-contamination....... baking on a specific day separate from gluten-based bakes and making sure baking areas and equipment are cleaned and sterilised. They have a reassuring understanding of gluten-safety and with plans to expand their range, hope to establish space and equipment exclusive to their gluten free baking.

We received a generous 7 inch gluten free Chocolate Sponge to try. It came beautifully packaged and when unwrapped, looked and smelled mouth-wateringly tempting. The sponge layers were deep and the cake was tall, with a thick layer of chocolate buttercream and all lovingly-finished with a sprinkling of chocolate shavings across the top. This is no factory-produced cake...... it is every inch home-baked in appearance and tastes as good!


The chocolate sponge is soft, moist and light with a good chocolatey flavour. It has a smooth texture (which would suggest a balanced flour blend..... in this case rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat) and is not over-sweet (which is so often the case with shop-bought cakes). The buttercream is rich and creamy with a good chocolate hit and ample sinfulness.

With Chocolate Cake Day this Friday (27th January 2017), Sponge are offering readers a generous 20% off their 7 inch gluten free Chocolate Cake. Order between 27th January and 3rd February 2017 using the code below to take advantage of this offer. If you fancy experiencing something new and a little bit special, this is a great chance to try it!


I am sharing this post with :


Free From Fridays with Le Coin De Mel and Free From Farmhouse.

Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum.






I was kindly sent a chocolate cake from Sponge to try. There was no expectation that I write a positive review. As always, all views expressed are honest and are my own. 

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Miss GF Makes #8....... Dinner! Turkey Meatballs with Hidden Veg (gluten, dairy, egg, soy & nut free)

I am so excited to share this post with you. It seems there is no stopping Miss GF...... still only 11 (!), who treated us to dinner last weekend!


The photos are dire I know...... but she made such a fantastic job of feeding us with a healthy, balanced and nutritious meal, that I couldn't let it go unnoticed. How many 11 year olds can be bothered to make much more than toast or an occasional cupcake? Miss GF deserves a huge pat on the back for this one...... So I grabbed my phone and with the dark night outside the window and the kitchen lights in full glow, took a couple of quick snaps with a promise that her efforts would reach cyberspace.

Miss GF it seems, has been visiting Tesco's on her way to school and picked up a load of their 'Food Love Stories' recipe leaflets..... Desperate to cook us all a meal, these Turkey Meatballs have been recreated from the one titled 'Sunita's 'Secret Veg' Meatballs', are full of good stuff and are served with Sweet Potato Mash and some yummy Brussels Sprouts. Given that Miss GF wouldn't usually touch some of the vegetables used in the meatballs if they were undisguised on her plate, I am truly impressed that she would go to the effort of making something that hides them from herself to ensure she eats them. That's nutritional dedication for sure!


The end result was truly delicious and certainly a recipe we will be making again. So thank you Tesco.... your recipe shares are so easy, even a child can make them!

I am sharing Miss GF's amazing dinner with the following :


Free From Fridays with the Free From Farmhouse (and Le Coin De Mel)

Cook Blog Share - this week with Easy Peasy Foodie






Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too

Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation






Turkey Meatballs with Hidden Veg served with Sweet Potato Mash (Using Tesco Food Love Stories Recipe Card : 'Sunita's 'Secret Veg' Meatballs - slightly adapted)

Ingredients

1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 medium carrot - peeled & grated
1 medium courgette - trimmed & grated
180g closed-cup mushrooms - finely chopped
1 medium white onion - finely chopped
1 medium red onion - finely chopped
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
250g turkey breast mince

Sweet Potato Mash
500g large white potatoes (Maris Piper/King Edward) - peeled & cut into pieces
500 sweet potatoes - peeled and cut into pieces
dairy free spread (or butter if you can eat it)

Method

  1. Using a large skillet or frying pan, heat ½ tablespoon olive oil and fry the grated carrot and courgette and the chopped mushrooms over a medium heat until soft - about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside, but keep the skillet handy as you will need it again.
  2. Add ½ tablespoon of oil to a separate large saucepan and fry the chopped onions for about 5 minutes until soft, stirring frequently. 
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir through. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down allowing to continue to cook, just simmering for about 20 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  4. Whilst cooking the tomato and onion, mix the turkey mince with the cooked carrot, courgette and mushroom. Shape into about 16 balls with your hands. 
  5. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet/frying pan and gently fry the meatballs for about 15 minutes, turning frequently to ensure they are cooked through evenly. 
  6. Pour the cooked tomatoes over the meatballs and stir through allowing to simmer for a couple of minutes.
  1. Prepare your mash by boiling the white potatoes in a large saucepan of water for 5 minutes, before adding the sweet potatoes and boiling for a further 10 minutes. Make sure both have been softened before draining. 
  2. Put the cooked potatoes back in the pan and 'dry' slightly over a low heat, giving a little shake to steam-off any excess liquid.
  3. Turn off the heat and mash the potatoes together with a little dairy free spread (or butter).
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Pistachio, Lime & Olive Oil Cake with Blackcurrant Drizzle (gluten & dairy free)


Sometimes I think olive oil is in my blood. Maybe it's an Italian heritage, but I love it. The green nectar has become increasingly popular in recent years, with increased publicity about its health and nutritional benefits..... but how many of us would know how to recognise a good oil or can explain the difference between pure, extra virgin or light...... or which oil should be used for what in the kitchen?

It is like wine...... there's good and bad out there, with varying depth of colour and a huge array of flavour notes dependent on where it has been grown and how it has been produced. For any good foodie who has undertaken an oil tasting, these differences will have been appreciated and once you have tasted really good oil, there is no taking away that leap of understanding or the awareness of something which is substandard.


For this post, I have teamed up with Jamie's Italian to share the Olive Oil Buyers Guide...... A beautifully crafted infographic to help you think about your olive oil with new eyes and taste buds....... How to taste, experience and appreciate its qualities and which oil is best suited to your cooking and eating. Don't always reach for the same bottle in the supermarket...... it really is worth trying oils from different countries and producers to appreciate how amazing this ingredient is and to find which variant you most enjoy. Use this guide to help you choose and taste with care..... you may be astounded by the contrasts between them.



The last time I enjoyed a tasting session, I was in Greece, which interestingly, is understood to have the highest consumption per person of olive oil in the world...... and their oil is good! Whenever I visit, I bring back litres of the stuff. I would bring back more, but the excess baggage would be too costly.


Pressed from the fruit of the olive tree, this beautiful oil has amazing health properties. Apparently a 'spicier' oil is indicative of good levels of oleocanthal, a polyphenol which may just help to protect you against some types of cancer and ageing. Reported in some studies to help push abnormal disease-responsible proteins out of the brain, oleocanthal has been mooted as having beneficial properties towards reducing the risk of Alzheimer disease and reducing cognitive decline.

The high levels of polyphenols in olive oil, combined with abundant antioxidants (especially vitamin E) might also decrease the risk of some cancers. And if you are worried about heart disease, strokes or high blood pressure, olive oil's richness in monounsaturated fatty acids may support your protection.

What's not to love?


In celebration of this incredible, natural product, I have made an amazing cake which is both gluten and dairy free. It is my 'adapted beyond all recognition' version of Nigella Lawson's Lemon Polenta Cake.

I have not used Lemons or polenta for a start...... I have utilised the awesome qualities of olive oil in place of butter....... have substituted most of the almonds for ground pistachios and have used the zing from limes and blackcurrants to pair with the sweet softness of the sponge. In fact, I would go so far as to say this is actually a completely new cake recipe, but since my inspiration started here, I feel it only fair to acknowledge the domestic goddess herself!


This cake is (in my humble opinion) temptingly delicious....... soaked with a drizzle of deep purple hue, it screams late Summer! Okay...... so we're out of season, but hey....... I was determined to use blackcurrants for their tartness and beauty and having found a pouch of freeze-dried blackcurrant powder in my cupboard, nothing was going to stop me! Combined with a handful of frozen blackcurrants (that I snaffled from a frozen supermarket smoothie fruit mix), they were the perfect choice to pair with the rich, earthy sweetness of the pistachio and olive oil cake and were a great match to the sharp complimentary lime.

I made the cake as a tray-bake, although ummed and ahhhed over the possibility of a single large round version. Sprinkled with a handful of extra bright green Iranian pistachios, either would have been stunning, but tray-bakes always seem to produce more slices and the further you can share cake-love, the better!


I am offering this delightful Pistachio, Lime & Olive Oil Cake with Blackcurrant Drizzle to the following linkies :


Love Cake with Jibber Jabber, who's theme this month is Nuts about Cake...... Perfect for pistachios!

Treat Petite with Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer



Cook Blog Share - this week with Easy Peasy Foodie

Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation






Gluten Free Fridays with Vegetarian Mamma

Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too








Free From Fridays with The Free From Farmhouse & Le Coin De Mel



Pistachio, Lime & Olive Oil Cake with Blackcurrant Drizzle (makes one 20 cm (8 inch) square cake - 16 slices)

Ingredients

sponge
150g ground raw pistachios
50g ground almonds
100g plain GF flour blend (preferably without any added xanthan gum) - or use fine ground polenta
1½ teaspoons GF baking powder
160 ml good quality olive oil
200g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
zest 2 limes
juice 1 lime

drizzle syrup
juice 2 limes
10g freeze dried blackcurrant powder (I got mine from Healthy Supplies)
50g icing sugar

sugar-icing 
juice 1 lime
70g caster sugar
1 teaspoon freeze-dried blackcurrant powder
a handful frozen or fresh blackcurrants

chopped pistachios (I used Iranian pistachios) to decorate


Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  2. Baseline a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) square, loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Weigh and mix together the ground pistachios, almonds, flour and baking powder, making sure the ingredients are well-blended. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the sugar with the olive oil until pale and thickened (about 5 minutes).
  5. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs together. 
  6. Alternately add a little of the egg followed by a little of the flour mix and beat between each addition. Continue to add until all the ingredients are combined.
  7. Finally, beat in the lime juice and zest.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and spread to all edges, ensuring the top is even.
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. 
  10. Remove from the oven and set aside, leaving the cake in the tin.
  11. Prepare the drizzle syrup : Mix together the lime juice, blackcurrant powder and icing sugar in a small saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring until the ingredients are fully combined, the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has just reached simmer point. Remove from the heat.
  12. Run a knife around the edge of the sponge in the tin to loosen and pierce lots of holes deep into the cake with a skewer.
  13. Whilst the cake is still warm, take the still-hot syrup and slowly drizzle and spread across the surface, allowing it to penetrate into the holes made in the sponge. Set aside.
  14. When the syrup has become less tacky, carefully remove the cake from the tin (I turned mine upside-down onto baking paper, then turned back upright and cautiously removed the baking paper as quickly as possible, to avoid too much sticking).
  15. Cut the cake into about 16 squares, but then push back together into the square cake shape to close the gaps.
  16. Sugar-Icing : Mix the blackcurrant powder with the lime juice and about half of the sugar and blend over a low heat in a small saucepan. 
  17. Remove from the heat and add the remaining sugar and fresh/frozen whole blackcurrants and stir through. 
  18. Pour and spread over the sponge surface and leave to cool completely. 
  19. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios to serve.
This post is supported by Jamie's Italian. The recipe however, and any expressed opinions are my own. 

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Deliciously Healthy Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola (gluten free, dairy free, optional vegan)


By the time this post goes live, my batch of Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola is already a distant memory, the last bowl having been devoured with this morning's breakfasting in the GF household. So good was it, that Miss GF is already demanding another batch and to be shown exactly how to make it, so that it remains available at all times!

No doubt we will move onto another recipe and another fad fairly soon, but for now, this is the breakfast (and snack) of choice. I am happy with that! This granola is full of really healthy ingredients which are perfect for energising the day ahead.


Packed full of crispy-crunchy, immunity-enhancing, cholesterol-busting, slow-energy releasing oats, this is a bowl that seriously satisfies. It's loaded with a generous quantity of protein-rich pecans and almonds. Both are known for their high ratios of healthy unsaturated fats, which support a lowering of cholesterol, as well as containing positive quantities of flavonoids which help fight inflammation.

Sweetened with natural unrefined sugars in the form of maple syrup and coconut palm sugar, the chocolate in this granola is also on the virtuosity continuum, being a hefty dose of cacao...... Packed full of antioxidants, cacao will also boost your serotonin levels to literally put a smile on your face!

And if that isn't enough good news ingredients, I also used coconut oil to roast and bind the mix, which we all know is fantastically good for you at a whole number of levels, as well as being very trendy!


This granola is totally delicious without the addition of the fruit, but throwing in some dried pear and cherries took it to a higher level. Both compliment the chocolate really well, adding an alternative chewy texture and zingy tang to the mix. I recently discovered the dried pear (from Whitworths) in Tesco's and can't get enough of the stuff. It comes in individual snack packs and is perfect for keeping in the car for traffic jam munchies!

All in all, this is a perfect breakfast and is so easy to make. Not having made granola before, I thought it would be a bit of a faff, but it really is a case of mixing and then baking to dry it out! Store it in large Kilner jars or airtight food-savers and it will stay fresh for ages, although I challenge you to have any left after a few days....... I (stupidly) left ours in full view on the kitchen table and couldn't walk past without dipping my hand in. Whilst it tastes amazing in a bowl doused with ice-cold milk, it also makes a very moreish snack..... beware!


I am linking my Deliciously Healthy Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola with the following :

We Should Cocoa with the lovely Choclette at Tin and Thyme, who works tirelessly every month to help us showcase our lovely chocolatey treats.

Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too





Cook Once Eat Twice (or make a huge batch and eat everyday for breakfast!) with Searching for Spice

Cook Blog Share, this week with Hijacked by Twins



Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation




Free From Fridays with Le Coin De Mel (& Free From Farmhouse)

The Foodies 100 Healthy January Linkup


Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola

Ingredients

400g gluten free oats
60g cacao powder (available from health shops)
100g raw pecan nuts
40g flaked almonds
65g coconut palm sugar
large pinch fine sea salt
160g maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g extra virgin coconut oil - melted
1 large egg white (optional - if egg-intolerant or vegan, leave out)

90g dried pear pieces (I used Whitworths) 
100g whole dried cherries (I used Tesco's)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 C/300 F/Gas 2.
  2. Line a couple of large deep'ish baking trays/roasting tins with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, weigh and mix together the oats, cacao powder, pecans, almonds, coconut sugar and salt.
  4. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and melted coconut oil and stir through thoroughly, until the mixture is completely 'damp' looking.
  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg white until light and frothy.
  6. Add to the granola mix and fold through thoroughly.
  7. Spread the granola mix onto the trays, ensuring the layer is not too thick. 
  8. Bake for 20 minutes and then toss the granola with a spatula to turn over.
  9. Bake a further 20 minutes and toss again.
  10. Bake a further 10 minutes (approximately or until the mixture feels dry) and then turn the oven off, leaving the granola on the trays in the oven to cool as the oven cools.
  11. Remove from the oven when cool, tip into a large bowl and add the dried cherries and pear. Stir through evenly.
  12. Store in an airtight container and enjoy as a snack to nibble on or with your favourite milk for breakfast.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated