How to bake gluten-free - recipes

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Copy of ST AD Raspberry shortbread cookies 11 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Raspberry shortbread cookies. Picture: Antoine de Ras

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

200g cornflour

Sift the flours together and store in an airtight container.

 

CHOCOLATE CAKE

200g gluten-free flour mix B

5ml xanthan gum

10ml gluten-free baking powder

50g cocoa powder

180g butter

200g soft brown sugar

4 eggs

5ml vanilla extract

250ml milk

75g ground almonds

Icing

200g gluten-free chocolate

100ml cream

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

5ml xanthan gum

100g pecan nuts, chopped

Topping

50g butter

30ml water

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

Makes 15-20

250g butter, slightly softened

250ml icing sugar

5ml vanilla extract

2 eggs

300g gluten-free flour mix A

5ml xanthan gum

Filling

125g butter, slightly softened

375ml icing sugar

5ml vanilla extract

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.

 

CHEESE SCONES

Makes 12

300g gluten-free flour mix A

80g butter, cubed

10ml dried oreganum

3ml salt

10ml xanthan gum

15ml baking powder

250ml grated mature cheddar cheese

2 eggs, beaten

125ml milk

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.

 

CINNAMON BUNS

Makes 12

180-200ml warm milk

15ml sugar

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

15ml baking powder

10ml salt

125ml sugar

100g butter, melted

2 eggs

5ml vanilla essence

Filling

125g butter, softened

125ml castor sugar

20ml ground cinnamon

Icing

375ml icing sugar

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

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