At Healthy and Delicious we're always looking for a little bit of balance in our lives. Like most people, we like to be busy (but not manic), we like to be active (but not exhausted) and we like to be healthy (but still like to treat ourselves once in a while). Following a gluten-free lifestyle means that some of the traditional treats usually tucked into at afternoon teatime along with a cup of Earl Grey are off the menu, but...
...there are still plenty of scrumptious cake recipes which can be thoroughly enjoyed whether you're gluten free or not.
Although we're gripped by the Bake-Off every week and we love to leaf through the weekend supplements to savour the recipe columns, in actual fact - finding time to bake gluten-free teatime treats is a very rare occurrence. That's why our favourite cake and biscuit recipes are the speedy ones, with the simple ingredients and the methods which our children are keen to help out with.
Here are a few of our favourites, found on some of the most useful websites for fuss free gluten-free inspiration...
If you find yourself with a few spare minutes maybe you can pop on a pinny and rustle up something tasty. We can't promise they're completely failsafe but the chance of a soggy bottom is low and there's the definite likelihood of significant brownie points.
Good Housekeeping's Flourless Chocolate Brownies.
75g unsalted butter
250g dark chocolate
15g cocoa powder
2tsp vanilla extract
250g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4 and line a 20.5cm square tin with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan over a low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in cocoa, vanilla and sugar. Next, whisk in the eggs one at a time and stir in the almonds. Pour into baking tin, level and cook for 25-30mins (until firm to the touch). Remove from oven, leave to cool in the tin and then cut into squares.
(See www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk for more.)
BBC Good Food's Carrot Cake.
140g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
250g carrots (grated)
2 eggs, 200g gluten free sr flour
1tsp cinnamon, 50g mixed nuts
1tsp gluten free baking powder
Heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar till soft and creamy, then stir in the grated carrot and sultanas. Pour the eggs into the mix one at a time, whilst stirring. Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and chopped nuts and mix. Tip mix into loaf tin and bake for 50-55 mins (or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean). Remove from oven and cool in tin for 15 mins, then remove from tin and cool completely on a wire rack. A simple buttercream frosting, sprinkled with a little cinnamon and nuts works well to finish.
(See www.bbcgoodfood.co.uk for more.)
Spabetties's Raspberry & Lemon Cheesecake Cookies.
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder, a pinch of salt
a handful of fresh raspberries
zest of half a lemon
Preheat oven to 180C/ gas 4. Cream together coconut oil, cream cheese, sugar and beaten egg. Blend flour, baking powder and salt and fold gently into the coconut mixture. Fold in raspberries and lemon zest. Spoon mixture onto lined baking sheet and bake for approx 15mins.
(See www.spabettie.com for more.)
Jamie Oliver's Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies.
200g margarine 2 eggs
100g crunchy peanut butter
200g golden caster sugar
200g gluten-free plain flour
200g ground almonds
125g milk chocolate
Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4 and line 2 large baking trays with greaseproof paper. Beat margarine, peanut butter and sugar in a bowl for 5mins (until light and fluffy). Beat the eggs in a separate bowl then fold into the peanut butter mixture, adding the flour and almonds. Chop he chocolate and food in too. Place heaped teaspoons of the mix onto the trays (leaving 4cm between). Lightly pat the heaps to flatten slightly and put into the oven for 12-15mins or until golden. Take out, cool for 5mins and then cool completely on a wire rack.
(See www.jamieoliver.com for more.)
If all of that still just looks a little bit too much like hard work, or you'd actually rather opt for something even more special...
...why not take a look at our range of Healthy and Delicious gluten free desserts?
Available to order for home delivery, we have Italian dessert classics including Italian Apple Tart, Rich Chocolate Dessert and a range of gluten free cheesecakes to choose from. Yum.