Johannesburg - Baking gluten free can be a costly challenge as the ingredients used to replace wheat flour are not cheap, and are sometimes difficult to find.
I found two books very useful and many of my recipes are adapted from them. They are Seriously Good! Gluten-free Cooking for Kids and Seriously Good! Gluten-free Baking by Phil Vickery.
Vickery has done a lot of research and testing of gluten-free recipes and recommends a combination of different flours for different applications. I found his mixes worked well.
Mix A is good for recipes with a fine texture like cakes and shortbread, and mix B should be used in chocolate mixtures or breads.
All baked recipes need xanthan gum. This improves the texture and shelf life of baked products.
It replaces the gluten and helps bind the ingredients, giving products a less crumbly texture.
Gluten-free flours are available from health food shops, Dis-Chem and many supermarkets in the health food section.
FLOUR MIX A
700g rice flour
200g quinoa or potato flour
100g tapioca flour
Sift the flours together and store in an airtight container
FLOUR MIX B
300g fine polenta
500g brown rice flour or sorghum meal
Sift the flours together and store in an airtight container.
200g gluten-free flour mix B
5ml xanthan gum
10ml gluten-free baking powder
50g cocoa powder
200g soft brown sugar
5ml vanilla extract
75g ground almonds
200g gluten-free chocolate
strawberries to decorate
Sift the flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder and cocoa into a bowl.
Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture. Mix in the almonds.
Spoon the mixture into a greased and base-lined 20cm springform cake tin.
Bake at 180°C for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.
When cold, spread on the icing and decorate with strawberries.
ICING: Combine the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and microwave on low for 2 minutes. Mix well until smooth.
Allow the mixture to cool until thickened.
Spread on the cake and decorate with strawberries.
SWEET POTATO AND PECAN BROWNIES
Makes about 15
2 medium sweet potatoes
150g gluten-free chocolate, chopped
100ml light olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
150g soft brown sugar
125g gluten-free flour mix B
5ml baking powder
100g pecan nuts, chopped
50ml castor sugar
250ml icing sugar
30ml cocoa powder
coconut flakes, lightly toasted
Bake the sweet potatoes at 180°C until soft. Cool slightly then scoop out the flesh – you need 250g. Put this in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and microwave on a low setting for 2 minutes. Stir well until smooth.
Mix in the olive oil. Add this to the sweet potato with the eggs and sugar and mix well.
Put the flour mix, baking powder and xanthan gum in a bowl, add the sweet potato mixture and mix until smooth.
Mix in the nuts.
Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 18x28cm pan.
Bake at 180°C for 30-40 minutes until set. Remove and cool in the pan.
Spread with the topping and sprinkle with the coconut flakes. Allow to set, then remove and cut into squares.
TOPPING: Combine butter, water and castor sugar in a small pot and heat gently until sugar is dissolved.
Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa and add to sugar mixture, beating until smooth and thickened.
Cool slightly and spread on the brownies.
RASPBERRY SHORTBREAD COOKIES
250g butter, slightly softened
300g gluten-free flour mix A
125g butter, slightly softened
375ml icing sugar
80ml sieved raspberry jam
Cream the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the flour mix and xanthan gum and mix until well blended. The mixture will be quite sticky.
Spoon the mixture in a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm star nozzle. Pipe round swirls on to a greased baking tray and bake at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until pale golden brown.
Remove and cool.
FILLING: Cream butter until fluffy. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat until well blended.
Boil the jam in the microwave on full power for 1 minute until slightly thickened. Cool completely.
Spread the flat side of each biscuit with some of the butter icing and dot with a little jam and sandwich together with another biscuit.
80g butter, cubed
10ml dried oreganum
10ml xanthan gum
15ml baking powder
250ml grated mature cheddar cheese
beaten egg for glazing
Put the flour mix into a bowl, add the butter and rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the herbs, salt, xanthan gum and baking powder and mix well.
Mix in the cheese.
Combine the eggs and milk and add to the dry ingredients. Mix gently to form a dough that is soft but not sticky.
Gently roll out the dough to about 2cm thickness and cut out with a scone cutter.
Place on a greased baking tray and brush each scone with egg glaze. Bake at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Remove and serve warm with butter.
180-200ml warm milk
2 x 10g sachets of instant yeast
250ml potato starch
250ml millet flour
250ml rice flour
125ml tapioca flour
125ml ground almonds
5ml bicarbonate of soda
15ml xanthan gum
100g butter, melted
5ml vanilla essence
125g butter, softened
125ml castor sugar
20ml ground cinnamon
3ml vanilla essence
water to mix
Put the milk in a jug and add the sugar. Sprinkle over the yeast, cover and set aside for the mixture to become foamy. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
Combine the melted butter, eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add to the dry ingredients with the yeast mixture and mix well using the K beater of an electric mixer.
The dough needs to be well mixed and will become less sticky the more it is mixed.
Cover the bowl with a cloth and set aside for 30 minutes.
Turn the dough out on to a heavily floured surface using one of the gluten-free flours and roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 5mm thick.
Spread with the filling.
Roll up from the long side. Cut the roll into 12 equal portions and place cut-side up in an oven tray that has been lined with non-stick baking paper.
Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes. Bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the rolls comes out clean.
Remove and cool for 10 minutes before drizzling over the icing. When cool, remove from the tin and separate the buns.
FILLING: Cream all the ingredients together to form a spreadable mixture.
ICING: Put the icing sugar in a bowl and add the vanilla and enough water to make a thick paste. Drizzle over the buns while they still warm. - The Star