Sunday, 26 March 2017

Baileys Ice Cream - No Churn Perfection that takes just 10 minutes to make!


Love Baileys? Love Ice-cream? Then you absolutely, definitely, no doubt about it, HAVE to make this.

When I went into Tesco last week, the Baileys was on offer at just £12.00 for a litre bottle. Now..... I'm not one to buy stuff I don't really need and we did already have a half bottle in the cupboard that was still to be drunk...... but with £8.00 off a litre for my very favourite liqueur, there was no question that this was going to end up in my shopping basket.


Which got me thinking...... what to do with the 'excess'? Whilst I could quite happily drink my way through the lot, I have been wanting to make a Baileys ice-cream for way too long.

Although my distant past plans had included every intention to make an egg-custard, churned ice cream, the day job is currently in the midst of a month-long formal inspection, which has left me exhausted and significantly less creative than usual (so that's really really incapable of thinking out of the box!). This ice cream needed to be straightforward and quick..... and it is!


No kidding. If you have chilled your condensed milk in advance, this ice cream takes about 10 minutes to whip up. The rest of the work is done by your trusty freezer. It must be the simplest recipe on the planet.

And it is divine...... creamy, soft, smooth, melty, rich and perfectly balanced with a strong, alcoholic kick of Baileys...... If you can bear to share, it would be a perfect dessert to end a dinner party.

Sorry kids. This one is strictly for the grown ups!


I am sharing my Baileys no churn Ice Cream with the following :


Free From Fridays with Le Coin de Mel and The Free From Farmhouse.

Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum.



Cook Blog Share with Easy Peasy Foodie

Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching For Spice







Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too.

Saucy Saturdays with Mid-Life Croissant, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and The Flavor Blender


Baileys Ice Cream (no churn) makes approx 1½ litres

Ingredients

600 ml double cream
½ teaspoon vanilla paste
1 x 397g tin condensed milk - chilled
approx 180 ml Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
60g grated dark chocolate (+ extra for decoration)

Method

  1. In a large, chilled bowl, whisk the double cream and vanilla until it forms soft peaks. Set the whisk aside (you will need again later).
  2. Add and fold in the condensed milk and grated chocolate. 
  3. Add and fold in the Baileys about a third at a time, tasting the ice-cream batter to check you are happy with the intensity of flavour. 
  4. The batter will have loosened, so whisk again until it begins to thicken and starts to hold its shape.
  5. Transfer the batter to a large, airtight freezer-safe container and grate a little extra chocolate on to the top.
  6. Freeze for several hours until firm.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

Monday, 20 March 2017

No Bake Creme Egg Biscuit Cake - #FreeFromEaster (gluten free)


Easter isn't Easter without a bit of Cadbury Creme Egg creativity.... right? There is something about the thick chocolate shell encasing sweet, gooey white and yellow fondant which is simply irresistible..... And if you are a food blogger, they are a photogenic gift!

Every year there seem to be more and more recipes that spring up across the internet and challenge the boundaries of versatility for this innocent little Easter icon...... and whether you love or hate to eat them, there is no denying they make for pretty pictures.


This recipe for gluten free No Bake Creme Egg Biscuit Cake, is born out of a need to develop a recipe to share as part of a monthly themed collaboration that I have joined with an amazing group of very talented free from bloggers. I feel very honoured to be part of it as they are such a creative bunch, who seem to be able to work baking miracles regardless of how many allergies or intolerances they have to cater for.

Last month we celebrated Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) with a series of #FreeFromPancakes. With Easter almost upon us, this month we are tackling seasonal Easter delights with recipes linked to our hashtag #FreeFromEaster. You can find a list of involved bloggers and links below..... go check them out.

If you've never made a biscuit cake (also known as a fridge cake and not to be confused with Rocky Road which contains marshmallow), you really should give it a go. They are the simplest of 'cakes' to make, being "no-bake, throw everything together, tip into a tin and leave to set" jobs. Perfect for whipping up with the kids!


There are various ingredient combinations for biscuit cake mixture out there, but many of them add condensed milk, which I find can make it quite sickly sweet. Given that Creme Eggs add a serious sugar rush, this recipe avoids condensed milk and also uses dark, rather than milk chocolate for the same reason. Using mini Creme Eggs rather than the larger version also cuts down on excessive sweetness, yet still gives a distinctive Creme Egg hit...... although if you prefer more fondant, go ahead and use the big ones.

To tie in with the colour and to cover up the craggy surface, drizzle melted white and yellow-coloured chocolate across the top and decorate with some extra eggs. Beautiful huh?

This biscuit cake tastes amazing..... and is very very addictive! Miss GF couldn't get enough of it and even Mr GF (who can be very reluctant around sweet stuff and tells me he doesn't like Creme Eggs) thought it was (and I quote) "bloody lovely". If it can pass his taste test, I am pretty sure it will go down well in most households.......


I am sharing my No Bake Creme Egg Biscuit Cake with


Cook Blog Share - this week with Easy Peasy Foodie

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






Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too

We Should Cocoa with Tin & Thyme







Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

No Waste Food Challenge with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary - perfect for using up excess Easter chocolate


The most amazing, interesting and unusual Creme Egg recipes from around the web

The one that broke the internet : Creme Egg Cheesecake - Taming Twins
The sweetie one : Creme Egg Fudge - Kerry Cooks
The microwave one : Creme Egg Chocolate Mug Cake - My Fussy Eater
The imposter : Scotch Creme Eggs - Amuse Your Bouche
The dinner party one : Creme Egg Mousse Cake - Gluten Free Alchemist
The sophisticated one : Creme Egg Chocolate Tart - Easy Peasy Foodie
The frozen one : Creme Egg No Churn Easter Ice Cream Cake - Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary
The little ones : Creme Egg Cup Cakes - Gluten Free Alchemist
The dark, squidgy one : Creme Egg Brownies - Supergolden Bakes
The drinkable one : Creme Egg Milkshake - Fuss Free Flavours
The French One : Creme Egg Macarons - Butter Hearts Sugar
The eggs with eggs one : Creme Egg Pavlova - Taming Twins


Other #FreeFromEaster Recipes from the amazing Free From Gang

Easter Biscuits - Mel at Le Coin De Mel
Hot Cross Bun Chocolate Rolls - Vicki at The Free From Fairy
Chocolate Marshmallow Crispie Squares - Nath over at The Intolerant Gourmand
Berry Breakfast Easter Nests - Emma at the Free From Farmhouse
Easter Rocky Road - Nova at Cherished By Me
Laura at Dairy Free Kids
Vegan Apple, Date & Walnut Hot Cross Buns - Midge at The Peachicks Bakery
Quick Chocolate Cream Nests - Rebecca at Glutarama
Mini Simnel Cakes - Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie
Easter Cupcakes - Kirsty at Hijacked By Twins
Easter Fruit & Nut Chocolates - Mandy at Sneaky Veg
Spiced Carrot Muffins - Chloe at The Adventures of an Allergy Mummy
Mini Eggs White Chocolate Fudge - Grace at Eats Amazing

No Bake Creme Egg Biscuit Cake

Ingredients

150g butter - cut into cubes
200g dark chocolate - chopped 
50g golden syrup
20g cocoa powder
200g gluten free rich tea biscuits (I used Schar)
150g Cadburys mini Creme Eggs - halved
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

80g white chocolate
yellow/orange food colouring paste
an additional 6 mini Creme Eggs to decorate
a little grated dark chocolate

Method

  1. Prepare an 8 inch round/square cake tin by completely lining with cling film (so that it hangs over the sides) and on top of this, base-line with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place the butter, dark chocolate, golden syrup and cocoa powder into a large, microwaveable/heatproof bowl. 
  3. Microwave on medium heat at 30 second bursts stirring between each, to melt all the ingredients until completely blended and smooth (if you don't have a microwave, you can heat in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring frequently).
  4.  Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Whilst cooling, prepare your biscuits, by either breaking with your hands or bashing (in a clean food bag and using a rolling pin) into smallish pieces. Alternatively, you can cut into thin sticks with a sharp knife. Set aside.
  6. Cut your mini Creme Eggs into halves lengthways.
  7. In a large bowl, mix together the chocolate mixture, biscuit pieces, 150g halved creme eggs and vanilla extract.
  8. Tip the mixture into the cake tin and push to the sides, so that it is evenly spread. It will look quite lumpy on the surface, but that will be covered by the decoration.
  9. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours until fully set.
  10. To decorate : Remove the fridge cake from the tin and peel off the clingfilm and baking paper. Place on a serving plate. 
  11. Melt your white chocolate in a small microwavable (I use glass) bowl, on medium heat at 30 second bursts, stirring between each until just melted and smooth (or place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring frequently).
  12. Use a spoon to drizzle about half the chocolate over the top of the biscuit cake.
  13. Add a little yellow/orange food colouring paste to the remaining chocolate and mix thoroughly, then drizzle this over the cake as well.
  14. Whilst the chocolate is still unset, top with mini Creme Egg halves and a sprinkle of grated dark chocolate.
  15. Leave to set in the fridge.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Gluten Free Alchemist in Blogosphere Magazine...... So Exciting!


OK....... I've 'ummed' and 'aahhed' over posting this. I am not usually one to put myself 'out there' or to 'blow my own trumpet', but on balance, I decided I couldn't let this achievement slip by without some acknowledgement........ My little blog has made it onto the pages of Blogosphere Magazine!

The lovely Dom over at Belleau Kitchen picked Gluten Free Alchemist as one of his five selected blogs....... Really? Me? I was in there with Dolly Bakes, Mark's Veg Plot, Parsonage Cottage Kitchen and Gingey Bites.


If you have never seen it, Blogosphere Magazine is written by bloggers for bloggers and brings together the best of the blogging world in a quarterly independent print publication. Looking through 'my' issue, it is full of features on amazing blogs...... from travel, photography, fashion and beauty to fitness, food, lifestyle and parenting. It's "an offline guide to the online world" (blogospheremagazine.com).


Launched in 2013 by Alice Audley, the magazine has grown and evolved to include advice columns, listings, articles on social media stars and fascinating interviews with bloggers, who are clearly experts in their field. I feel quite humbled to be in amongst such talented and interesting people.


My page features my Roasted Vegetable Soup recipe from back in April last year, garnished with croutons made with my gluten free Brown Bread-Maker Loaf and Crispy-Fried Parsley. It is so exciting to see one of my recipes in print....... When I first started blogging in 2013, I just occupied my own little corner of cyberspace..... blogging a record for my daughter. Although I still see Gluten Free Alchemist as a tiny player in a huge social media world, I am proud at what I have achieved in my four years, especially alongside the pressures and time constraints of parenting and a full-time job in the public sector. Getting recognition is not something I ever expected, but it is so good when it comes...... and it is great motivation to finding continued time to cook, photograph, write and post in an ever chaotic world.

So thanks Dom. Much appreciated.

Sadly, I didn't manage to get to the launch party in London as we are currently going through a major, month-long inspection at work and my hours have been stretched and my energy depleted. I was gutted to say the least, but sadly, that's life! At least I have my copy of Blogosphere to hang not to.....




I am linking this post to this week's Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum





Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Iron-Rich Spinach & Parsley Green Houmous - vegan & free from gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, egg.


How vibrant is this bowl of loveliness? It is a wonderfully luscious iron-rich, Spinach and Parsley Green Houmous.

We eat gallons of houmous at GF HQ, but sometimes the basic recipe can get a little 'same old same old'. Fortunately, the blend of chickpeas and tahini lends itself to an incredible versatility of flavour combinations and pretty much anything can be thrown at it in effort to tickle the tastebuds.

Back in August last year, I ventured to make my first home-made houmous..... deliciously fringed with a hint of nuttiness from the use of walnut oil and spiced with paprika and cumin. The biggest revelation though, was how easy it was to make and I began to ask myself why I eat so much of the commercially-produced stuff.


Whilst I confess, as a busy Mum with a full time job, the super-convenient supermarket houmous pots still sneak into my basket, when time is on my side, I have enjoyed making my own and experimenting with new flavours and ingredients. The recipe that I share here is one of those experiments....... and it came from wanting my houmous to be green.

Well green I got. Bright bright green! With a combination of spinach and parsley, this houmous is not only beautiful, but also really healthy and packed full of nutrients known to improve vitality and energy levels. The high levels of iron found in both these leaves improve the quality of your blood, by helping with the effective transport of oxygen round the body. Both are also fantastic sources of vitamins A, K, C and folic acid too, essential for maintaining bone health, good immunity, healthy skin and bones. And because they are used raw, none of the goodness has been lost to the cooking pot.


If it sounds too good to be true, wait until you taste it. This houmous is smooth and rich, with a back-hit of garlic and lemon. Perfect with tortilla chips, crackers, as a dip for crudités or eaten with delicious gluten free toast made using my Revolutionary GF Brown Bread recipe.

Spinach is coming into full season right now, so make the most of it! It's also a perfect recipe for St Patrick's Day......



I am sharing my Green Houmous with the following :


Meat Free Mondays with Tinned Tomatoes.

Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching for Spice.







Simple & in Season with Feeding Boys

Eat Your Greens with Allotment 2 Kitchen and The VegHog.



Cook Blog Share - this week with Hijacked By Twins.

Simply Seasonal with Hijacked By Twins.







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


Spinach & Parsley Houmous

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas - rinsed & drained
90g tahini
55 ml extra virgin olive oil
40 ml lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 large clove garlic (coarsely chopped)
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
good grind black pepper
80g baby spinach leaves (washed)
20g flat-leaf parsley
approx 5 tablespoons (75 ml) cold water

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender, except the water.
  2. Adding the water a tablespoon at a time, blend at high power until the houmous is smooth. Add a drop more water to 'loosen' if you need to.
  3. Enjoy with toast, tortilla chips, etc.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Scotch Eggs (free from gluten, dairy, nuts,) - because it's almost Easter....


With Easter fast approaching, it is the time to start thinking about all things 'egg'........ and why limit yourself to chocolate?

This week I managed to get hold of my first goose-egg of the season from my wonderful free-range egg supplier (my daughter's old childminder), who's parents chickens, ducks and geese lay the most amazing farm-fresh eggs. I think it may find its way into a delicious frittata in the next couple of days.


One of the things we have most missed since going gluten free, is the yumminess of crunchy breadcrumb-coated dishes. I know you can make some lovely breadcrumbs from stale, heat-dried, gluten free bread, but there is something very nostalgic in my head about the 'orange' coloured commercial breadcrumbs from my childhood....... the one's that my Mum used, which were about as far as 'convenience' cooking got.

Sadly, I am older than I would like to be and when I was a kid, most of what we ate was home-made...... there was no such thing as a ready meal until I was a good way through childhood. When they did arrive..... at first tentatively and then in abundance..... we all thought they would revolutionise our lives, along with the clunky-looking 'robots' that would cook them for us and clean up afterwards.


It never happened...... the robots are still not serving our every need and most ready meals contain way too much salt, sugar and preservatives. We are increasingly castigated if we view them as 'food' for anything more than an occasional panic-eat. I am not complaining....... home cooked food is still the best and most healthy way to eat.

As for 'orange' breadcrumbs...... a couple of years ago, I found an amazing gluten free version when visiting the Allergy & Free From Show in London. I do my best to visit the show every year. It's my best source for checking out new products and companies.


These gluten free 'Crunchy Crumbs' are from Esgir (a gluten free cereal company based in Spain) and are made with a base of corn and rice. Although nye on impossible to find in UK shops, you can get them from Ocado and on Amazon. If you don't use Ocado, they are worth buying in bulk from Amazon (a few packs at a time - they don't seem to go off) and that way they won't work out excessively expensive. Believe me.... they are worth it if you want a good crunch coating to your croquettes, chicken nuggets, fish, or in this case..... Scotch Eggs!

Retro they may be, but Scotch Eggs (hard boiled eggs encased in sausage meat and a crisp breadcrumb coat) are actually really easy to make and are packed full of protein. They make a sustaining, easy to carry meal..... hot or cold...... fab for packed lunches and picnics too.

I like mine best served warm with the yolk still soft and a little bit gooey, but if you prefer a firmer yolk, just boil the eggs for a little longer.


If you are gluten-intolerant, make sure you use gluten free sausage meat, which is now more widely available. I used Tesco's finest gluten free Outdoor Bred Pork Sausage Meat, which is beautifully seasoned.

I am sharing my delicious gluten free Scotch Eggs with :


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

Cook Blog Share with Hijacked By Twins






Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too

Inheritance Recipes with Coffee & Vanilla and Pebble Soup . These retro snacks are a blast from my childhood, de-glutened for the 21st Century.



Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Treat Petite with Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer


Other savoury egg and crumbed recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist :

GF Ham & Potato Croquettes
Goose Egg Frittata with Spiralized Roasted Veg
Japanese Fried Tofu with Egg, Spring Onion & Bonito Flakes
Mini Quiches
Summer Tortilla
Tuna Nicoise Salad
Roast Dinner Quiche

Scotch Eggs (makes 4 large scotch eggs)

Ingredients

350 to 400g gluten free sausage meat (I used Tesco Finest GF Outdoor Bred Pork Sausage Meat) - if you use unseasoned sausage meat, season to taste. 
4 large free range eggs
corn flour (corn starch)
1 additional beaten egg
gluten free bread crumbs (I used Esgir Crunchy Crumbs)
vegetable oil for frying.

Method 

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and gently lower 4 eggs into it. Boil the eggs for 4 to 5 minutes for a softer boiled egg (or longer if you prefer a firmer yolk).
  2. Remove the eggs from the pan and plunge into a bowl of cold water. 
  3. Once the eggs have cooled, peel the shell and set aside. 
  4. Prepare your sausage meat by dividing into 4 equal sized balls and flatten slightly into wide strip that will fit around the egg.
  5. Prepare three flattish bowls : one with a couple of tablespoons of cornflour; one with a beaten egg; one with breadcrumbs.
  6. With a floured hand, mould a piece of sausage meat round an egg, easing it so that it covers the whole egg in a reasonably even layer and pinching the sausage meat together to seal the joins.
  7. Roll the meat-covered egg in cornflour and then coat in the beaten egg, before rolling in the breadcrumbs to fully cover. Set aside on some baking paper.
  8. Repeat the process in steps 6 and 7 above with the other three eggs, topping up the bowls of flour and crumbs if you need to.
  9. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  10. Take a large frying pan/skillet and pour a layer of oil (about 1 cm deep) into the base.
  11. Heat over a medium heat until hot. Check the temperature is good by dropping a cube of bread into it and seeing if it sizzles and browns. 
  12. Shallow-fry the Scotch Eggs until crisp and golden, turning frequently to ensure an even colour. 
  13. Remove from the pan with tongs or a draining spoon and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper towel to soak up any remaining excess oil.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated