I’m Kathie, a food blogger for The Soil Association &
Food Mag, an enthusiastic recipe thinker-upper and a mummy. I was inspired to write some free-from recipes when I heard about a friend’s son having allergies to dairy, egg and nuts.
Now, as someone who weaned my own kids without having to tackle allergies, I couldn’t begin to imagine
how hard to would be to throw this extra challenge into the mix. This got me thinking about trying out some free-from recipes at home.
I love cooking and tinkering around in the kitchen and when the chance came up to write this little collection of recipes, I was pretty keen to get experimenting. I do, however, realise that for me to have a play with free-from recipes does not reflect the constant challenges faced by someone who has allergies and intolerances.
However, I am hoping that, approaching this as a cook who normally has free-choice of ingredients rather than free-from ones, I have been able to come up with a few recipes for goodies that are enjoyable, fun and sweet. I cook for my children mainly, so you may spot a bit of a kiddie theme in these recipes. In fact, I wanted to create things you could pull out for a party, a picnic or a pudding that everyone can enjoy without feeling like they are missing out on something. I hope you like them!
I have tried to give different free-from options in the recipes, this means if you are gluten free, but okay with dairy, you can always use butter instead of baking fat etc. I made them as fully free-from as I could manage, but you should feel free to tailor them to your own needs. If you haven’t used baking fat (vegetable oils) before, it’s in the butter aisle and is in a wrapped block, just like butter.
Kathie has three blogs:
What are we doing today mummy?, her Soil Association blog, and her Food Magazine blog
and you can follow her on Twitter at @KathieAuton
Click on the name of the recipe to go to it.
Coconut refrigerator cakes
Cardomom and coconut bread and butter-less pudding
Choc nut picnic slices
Gluten, wheat, dairy & egg free
Keen cooks! Kathie's children hard at work decorating the pink cakes...
These pretty cakes are perfect as cupcakes, but you could also use the mix to make a round or sandwich cake too with distinct birthday cake possibilities, they will take longer to cook though. There’s no colouring in them and the pink comes from fresh strawberries.
For the cake:
150g each of Gluten-free Self-Raising flour, baking fat, caster sugar & ripe strawberries (feel free to replace with butter or normal flour if that suits you better)
- Preheat the oven to 200
- Throw all ingredients into a bowl and give it a good beating with an electric mixer. Stop once the strawberries have broken up and it’s reasonably well mixed. It doesn’t want to be over beaten though, so a few lumps of strawberry are fine and will be delicious. It will probably be a good consistency, but if it seems too thick, thin it down with a tiny splash of water.
- Splodge the mix into cupcake cases (you’ll get about 12) and cook for about 15 minutes. If they are still hissing and aren’t firm, give them a few more minutes. Allow to cool.
For the icing:
- 50g baking fat
- 1 very ripe strawberry
- Icing sugar – how much depends on your strawberry!
Just mix and mash it together adding the icing sugar until you get a thick butter cream-like texture. Be vigorous with it!
- Ice the cakes however your fancy takes you. The icing mix should be pipeable if you want to do something pretty.
- Decorate with sprinkles, glitter etc – check the ingredients but you’ll find most of these sorts of things are pretty much free-from everything except sugar.
Coconut refrigerator cake
Gluten, wheat, dairy & egg free
Very easy for kiddies to make this one because there’s no oven involved and melted chocolate stays melted even after it’s cooled enough not to burn.
- 2 x 50g packets of creamed coconut
- 1 x 200g dark dairy-free chocolate
- 1 x 150g pack of gluten-free biscuits – ginger, coconut, choc chip, whatever you fancy (check they are dairy free too if you need to)
- A tbsp or so of desiccated coconut and chocolate flavour strand sprinkles (these are usually DF – but check the packet)
- 100g or so of those coconut mushroom sweeties – these are also dairy & gluten free
- Melt the chocolate however you prefer, I like to brave it in the microwave, but use a gentler method if you like!
- Stir in the creamed coconut until it’s melted
- Smash up the biscuits (we favour the biccies in a bag and a good beating with a wooden spoon technique) and stir into the chocolate mix
- Smush it down into a 8 inch round cake tin. Sprinkle over the desiccated coconut, sprinkles and poke the mushroom sweeties in.
- Put it in the fridge to set. Once it’s set, break into jagged pieces or cut with a sharp knife into cake-like slices.
Cardamom and coconut bread and butter-less pudding
Dairy, gluten & wheat free (egg-free option)
- 2 Gluten-free buns/rolls (check they are dairy free too if you need to)
- ½ tin Coconut Milk
- Handful of sultanas
- Couple of tbsp caster sugar
- 2 organic eggs (If you need to make this egg-free – see brackets below)
- Crushed seeds from two cardamon pods or ¼ teaspoon ground cardamon
- Demerara sugar to sprinkle
- Preheat to 180
- Slice the bread up and layer it up with the sultanas in an ovenproof dish, leave the crusts on!
- Beat the eggs, caster sugar and cardamon into the coconut milk (For egg-free, add coconut milk, cardamon, sugar and 2tbsp gluten-free custard powder to a pan, heat until beginning to thicken)
- Pour the coconut mix over the bread and give it a poke to encourage it to soak it up
- Sprinkle over demerara and bake for about 25-30 mins
Choc Nut Picnic Slice
Gluten, dairy & wheat free (egg-free option)
I have used nuts in this recipes, if you need not to, please use the same weight of dried fruit & seeds or pinenuts instead. I’ve included a Banana ‘Butter’cream Icing, but feel free to leave it off if you want a healthier, sugar-free version.
- 5oz dried fruits of your choice – I used apricots and raisins
- 5 oz nuts and/or seeds of your choice
- 1 heaped tbsp candied peel
- 1 or 2 oz glace cherries
- 2 heaped tbsp cornflour
- 2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 organic egg (or 150g plain chocolate, melted)
For the Banana ‘Butter’cream
- Scant ½ a small banana
- 1 oz baking fat
- 8oz Icing sugar (you may need to add more if it’s too thin)
- Zest of about ½ a lemon
- Small squeeze lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180
- Grease a small square cake tin and line with greaseproof paper
- In a food processor whizz up your fruit and nuts/seeds.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in the peel, cornflour & cocoa
- Squish in the banana, either with a wooden spoon or get your kids to squeeze and press the mix to combine
- Crack in the egg and stir well (or thoroughly stir through the melted chocolate for egg-free version – and DO NOT cook it, just leave to set in the fridge)
- Splodge it into the tin and smooth the top to make it even. Give the tin a bang so it gets flat and settles
- Bake for about 15-20 mins, it’s done when it’s reasonably firm and starting to rise a bit in the middle
- Cool slightly and invert it to get it out of the tin. Allow to cool
- Make the Banana ‘Butter’cream, Whizz the lot in the processor or beat with a spoon until smooth
- When the cake is cool, spread the icing over and add chocolate-flavour sprinkles
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