Double chocolate pancakes

The kids are off school Friday-Monday for the May weekend (well they have been back nearly two weeks so it was about time for a break *rolls eyes*). We’ve no grand plans as we’re all choked with the cold and it is properly freezing. Like snow freezing!! This is the view out my window last night!

  
After a lazy long lie in watching back to back Transformers episodes with my boy my daughter appeared and requested chocolate for breakfast. While I wasn’t up for Easter chocolate for breakfast – that’s purely something we do on Easter Sunday and how on earth does she still have chocolate?? The boy had polished his off by Easter Monday! – I was up for something chocolatey so I threw together double chocolate pancakes with chopped dates and banana. Free from gluten, milk, eggs & nuts. They were so simple and so good I thought I’d share. 

Double chocolate pancakes

Makes approx 12 

Ingredients

1 cup gluten free self raising flour (I used Doves Farm)

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons cocoa (I used Tesco’s own)

1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed 

3 Tablespoons water

1 cup dairy free milk (I used Koko)

Generous squirt of lemon juice

Handful chopped dates

Handful dairy free chocolate chips (I used Plamil)

1 chopped banana

Sunflower oil for the pan

Instructions

Place the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and sit aside

Squirt some lemon juice into a cup measure then fill with dairy free milk (could use a teaspoon cider vinegar but my fridge was closer than the cupboard)

Measure 1 cup self raising gluten free flour into a bowl, add sugar & cocoa and whisk to combine

Add the flaxseed mix and the dairy free milk to the bowl and mix well

Stir in the dates, chocolate and banana 

Heat a frying pan wiped with oil on a medium/high heat. I use 7 on my induction hob

Spoon a small amount of mix onto the pan to check its hot enough. If it is bubbles will rise to the top, flip with a spatula and cook for a few seconds on the other side. 

Cook by generous spoonful, 3 – 4 at a time depending on the size of your pan. Stir well between batches as the chocolate chips are inclined to sink to the bottom of the bowl. 

  
Once cooked place on a plate lined with a piece of kitchen roll while you make the rest

  
Serve warm with dairy free spread and toppings of your choice. The boy had jam and honey and big sis had maple syrup. 

Proper yum!

  

Spiced mini muffins with cream cheese icing 

I love these muffins, they are pretty and packed full of veg. Always a bonus when feeding children!

The recipe makes 48 mini muffins which is masses but I freeze small bags of them for future snacks. 

  
These muffins are teeny. You could make bigger ones, they’ll just need baked for longer. 

Ingredients

2 cups plain gluten free flour (I used 3/4 cup rice, 1/4 cup Teff, 1/2 cup sorghum & 1/2 cup potato starch)

If you don’t need to be gluten free use plain flour and omit the xanthan gum. 

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

3/4 cup brown sugar 

1/3 cup sunflower oil

1/4 cup apple sauce (I use baby purée)

1 cup grated/processed veg (I used one carrot, one parsnip & one courgette which yielded about 2 cups)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/3 cup dairy free milk 

Icing 

60g Creamy Violife

2 tablespoons dairy free spread (I used Vitalite)

1 cup icing sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180C and line 2 mini muffin tins (24 muffins each) with paper cases. I think these would be lovely without cases baked in a greased mini muffin tin but the cases disguise the veg better!

Wash/peel/chop the carrot, parsnip and courgette and whiz them in a food processor until finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor you could grate them. I sometimes make soup or veg to put in shepherd’s pie at the same and keep a cupful for the muffins.   

 
  
Measure out and sift the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda,baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger into a large bowl and whisk well to combine. 
In another bowl combine the veg, oil, apple sauce, vanilla extract, cider vinegar and dairy free milk then stir in the sugar. 

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just moistened then measure by teaspoonful into the prepared tins. 

  
Bake one tray at a time for 12 minutes, allow to cool for a few minutes in the tray (until it’s cool enough to handle) then transfer to a cooling rack. 

  
While the muffins are cooling make the icing.

Mix the creamy Violife and the dairy free spread together (I used my mixer) then slowly add the icing sugar and mix till smooth. The icing is quite runny, if you’d like it to be thicker add another half cup of icing sugar. There will be enough to ice at least half the muffins depending on how many you plan to freeze. Any extra can be stored in the fridge and (if you are anything like me) eaten on any biscuit/cake/loaf you like or just by the spoonful. 

  
Once the muffins are cool you can ice them either with a spoonful on top or piped on but as it’s very soft it doesn’t hold a shape. Iced muffins should be stored in the fridge. Muffins can be frozen until you remember you have some. I should probably say 3 months but I found some I made about 6 months ago and they were grand defrosted and iced! 

  

Double chocolate soft cookies gluten free & vegan 

I am obsessed with soft American style cookies after making Lucy’s Friendly Foods lemon & ginger ones recently. http://lucysfriendlyfoods.com/2016/01/05/cold-busting-lemon-and-ginger-cookies/ they are such a lovely texture and the kids loved them. I’ve been inspired to make strawberry & dairy free white chocolate cookies following the basic recipe and today I tried double chocolate. Wow. These are really good! My son ate two then said can I please have ten thousand more of those? I’ve adapted this recipe from Lucy’s to make it gluten free and chocolate. I’ve had success with several biscuit recipes recently doing a straight swop of plain flour for gluten free flour + 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum.

Ingredients – makes approximately 20

1 + 1/4 cup plain gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm)

2 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup of dairy free chocolate chips (I used Plamil dairy free catering chocolate)

1/2 cup dairy free spread (I used Vitalite)

1/2 cup caster sugar

2 tablespoons golden syrup

2 tablespoons dairy free milk (I used Rice)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 190c

Cream together dairy free spread, sugar and syrup then stir in dairy free milk

Sift flour, cocoa, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk well

Slowly stir dry ingredients into the spread/sugar mix until you have a soft sticky dough then stir in chocolate chips

Drop mix by heaped teaspoon onto two baking trays (I don’t line mine as they are excellent and don’t stick but you may need to line with baking parchment if you prefer)


Bake one tray at a time for 8 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the tray then transfer to a cooling rack.


Enjoy with a cold glass of dairy free milk

Warning!! It is really hard to stop eating these!

Freefrom Fish cakes

I’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables into my children. One will willingly eat carrots and sweet corn (but not baby corn) and the other will eat broccoli and any kind of corn. Both like baked beans but I’m not sure they really count. They are also weird with potato. They’ll eat it on top of shepherds pie, roasted or potato smiley faces (which are a safe option for us! How cool is that?) but look at mashed potato on their plates like I’m trying to poison them. I feed them fish cakes made with mashed potato and extra veg purely for my own amusement. I do a lot of crazy mummy laughing in my head when they demolish them!

I don’t have a set recipe as it’s a great thing to make with leftovers so amounts differ. Also I made enough for 8 hungry people last night (to feed 4) so I’m not really to be trusted with amounts.

Usually I make fish cakes with left over mashed potato, a tin of tuna, a tin of sweet corn and some gluten free flour. Depending on how seasoned your potatoes were you can add salt & pepper and lemon juice to the mix.

Last night I had a large cooked salmon fillet to use so I boiled 6 large potatoes in a huge pot till soft then mashed them with a splodge of Vitalite and some salt and pepper. I boiled 2 carrots and parsnips then blended them and mixed them into the mash. If you were using tuna this would not be a good way to hide carrot as the mix was a bit orange! When my daughter commented on the colour I said it was the pink salmon she could see….

I then added a cup of gluten free flour to the potato mix, removed the skin from the cooked salmon, flaked the fish with a fork and stirred it in. I seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

How to

Heat a large frying pan on a high heat (I used 8 on my induction hob) with enough oil to cover the base.

Take the fish/potato mix by the handful and shape into a pattie. Could make smaller ones for little kids.

Coat the pattie in a light dusting of gluten free flour by sitting it on a plate of flour then gently turning it to coat the other side.

Place gently in the pan using a spatula to avoid splashing yourself with hot oil. Fry for approximately 2 minutes on each side until golden (also known as not too pale, not burnt). I cooked 4 at a time and prepared the next batch while they were cooking.


If you are making masses you can keep them warm in the oven till they are all cooked. Let them cool a little before giving them to children.

When it’s just me and the kids I serve the fish cakes with lemon juice and a big blob of tomato ketchup for dipping but we went posh last night since it was salmon and had extra veg. 2 fish cakes was ample for the kids. I ate 3 but would have been fine with 2!

Chocolate orange cake 


My daughter turned 10 recently so I needed a fabulous cake and I needed it to be free from wheat, egg, milk and nuts so her brother could have a slice. I made a double layer cake with two kinds of icing and orange chocolate shapes to decorate. It turned out gorgeous! Safe for my boy but still super yummy. The cake was adapted from this recipe http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/11223633/The-New-Baker-Vegan-and-gluten-free-chocolate-pumpkin-cake.html

Chocolate cake ingredients

240mls dairy free milk at room temperature (I used Koko)

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

120mls coconut oil melted

200g granulated sugar

125g Cocoa (I used Tesco’s own)

225g pumpkin purée (I used Libby’s tinned pumpkin, apple sauce also works)

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

2 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water

290g rice flour

60g potato starch

20g corn flour (tapioca also works)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

I baked the cake the night before so it would be cool for me to decorate on her birthday.

Heat oven to 180c/350f and grease two round cake tins

Combine the dairy free milk and the cider vinegar and allow to sit for 5 minutes

Place the pumpkin purée, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and coffee in a large bowl and beat until smooth

Stir in the milk/vinegar mix

Sift remaining dry ingredients together and whisk to combine

Add to wet ingredients and mix until well combined. It will be quite thick

Divide the mix between the two tins, smooth and then bake for 30-35 minutes (I baked for 35 and my cakes were a teeny bit scorched)

Allow to cool completely in the tins

‘Butter’ icing

220g icing sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

6 tablespoons dairy free spread (I used Vitalite)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tsp orange essence

Beat ingredients together until fluffy then pipe onto one cooled cake reserving some for attaching chocolates. I sliced off a thin layer of the cakes to even them out before icing.


Chocolate ganache icing

Half cup icing sugar (approx 75g)

1/2 tablespoon golden syrup

40ml tinned coconut milk (could use df cream)

90g dairy free chocolate (I used Plamil choc chips)

1 teaspoon orange essence

Place chocolate, coconut milk and syrup in a pot and heat gently stirring until melted, remove from the heat and stir in the orange essence and icing sugar

Place the second cake onto the iced cake then pour over the chocolate ganache.

I made chocolate woodland animals and trees by melting dairy free chocolate and stirring in orange essence then poring it into moulds and setting them in the freezer. I attached them to the sides of the cake using a splodge of the ‘butter’ icing. I used Tesco dairy free white chocolate buttons (contain soya) to write 10 on the top of the cake. The cake made 12 generous  slices. It was lovely on its own and it was lovely with dairy free Ice cream (and I believe it was lovely with custard). We ate it over 3 days and stored it in a plastic container on the kitchen counter.

Ice cream cones

I bake a lot with varying degrees of success but every so often I make something and it is spectacular. A bit like when I made egg free meringues and they looked and tasted like actual meringues, something I thought my son would never eat. Or when I got a note home from school to say they were tasting traditional Scottish foods the next day and I rustled up dairy free tablet.

Tonight I made gluten, dairy, egg and nut free ice cream waffle cones for the first time fully expecting a disaster and they were incredible. Like lets all stop a moment and say wow…… You can buy gluten free cones but I’m yet to find a brand free of all the top allergens and the majority of recipes I looked up contained egg. After some time googling I came across http://www.forkandbeans.com/ and a recipe for gluten free vegan waffle cones and today I bought a waffle cone maker in Aldi for £9.99! The cone maker was a special a couple of weeks ago so I was lucky (and very excited!) to find one.

This is the recipe I followed http://www.forkandbeans.com/2015/05/22/gluten-free-ice-cream-cones/

I did not have the exact ingredients so I substituted a couple. This is what I used

1/3 cup Millet flour (quinoa in original recipe)

1/4 cup Tapioca starch (instead of Arrowroot)

1 tablespoon psyllium husk (I buy Holland & Barratt’s Colon care)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup caster sugar

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon rice milk (could use df milk of choice)

2 tablespoons sunflower oil (instead of avocado oil)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup dairy free chocolate melted (I used Plamil dairy free dark chocolate drops microwaved for 1 minute, stirred and microwaved for a further 20 seconds) optional

Measure flours, psyllium husk, baking powder and salt and sift into a large bowl. Whisk to combine.

Mix dairy free milk and sugar together then stir in oil and vanilla extract.

Combine with the flour mix and stir until smooth. The mix looks thin but hang on a minute! It thickens on standing! I realised this after I made my first one…


I added an extra tablespoon of flour without realising leaving it for a couple of minutes would do the trick!

The waffle iron I used is hot when the green light is on. I greased the waffle plates with sunflower oil and wiped it with kitchen roll.

Place 1 tablespoon of the mix in the centre of the cone maker and close and cook for 3 minutes. The next bit will take some practice and co ordination to master but with my husband working as my glamorous assistant I removed the waffle using a plastic slice and he rolled it around the plastic cone.


The waffles stuck to the top plate and I had to work quickly to remove them before they hardened. My husband commented on how forceful I was but the waffles are quite hardy before they set. Depending on how asbestos your fingers are you can wrap and press together with your fingers or use a clean kitchen towel to hold the cone in place. It hardens really quickly!! It took us maybe 3 goes before we mastered a usable cone! The scraps tasted fab though so we persevered!

We dipped the set cones in melted dairy free chocolate and would have allowed them to cool and set if we had had any patience and it hadn’t been 8pm. I dropped a mini marshmallow into the cone to block the small hole at the bottom and served it with a small spoonful of dairy free ice cream.


The joy in making my boy something I can’t readily buy for him is worth all the mess and the dishes and slightly cooked fingertips. He loved his cone but was fairly matter of fact about me making them. This is his Mummy after all who made dairy free creme eggs at Easter and an Angry birds birthday cake without wheat egg or milk. It’s really (feel free to replace really with an appropriate swear word) hard being an allergy mum but tonight I am a superstar.

P.s you can mould the just cooked waffle into a small bowl/muffin tin to make an ice cream bowl.