Monday 1 February 2021

Chocolate sandwich Cookies


Is baking still one of the most popular lockdown activities? Or am I behind the times? 

I'm half way through my 1000th jigsaw puzzle, have redecorated the house twice, my cat is desperate to be left in peace, so back into the kitchen to create!

I'm using Teff flour for these - I recently discovered it and am obsessed! You can buy from Amazon (I use white teff flour if you can get it). I believe sorghum flour makes a good substitute if you can't get hold of Teff but haven't actually tried it in this recipe.

I've also found teff flour to be the best for making pancakes - much better than all the expensive mixes I've tried. 

These make 4 big cookies (because who wants small cookies) and are easy to make. 

You will need

  1. 100 g Teff flour
  2. 80 g potato starch
  3. 40 g cocoa powder
  4. 110 g room temperature unsalted butter or vegan alternative (I like the new Flora block)
  5. 80 g soft brown sugar
for the filling   60 g icing sugar, 45 g room temperature unsalted butter or vegan alternative, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

1. Preheat the oven to 180 c
2. Place the flour, the starch, the cocoa, sugar and butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand or using a handheld whisk until it comes together into a ball of dough.
3. Roll the dough out onto a sheet of baking paper (roughly 5 mm thick).  Cut into 8 rounds. 
4. Bake for 15 mins then leave to cool and harden.
5. Mix the filling ingredients together - you may need to add a little water or milk to get the desired consistency.
6. Spread the filling onto 4 of the cookies, then sandwich the other 4 on top.

You could also use Nutella or peanut butter to sandwich the cookies together.

Thursday 7 November 2019


I love soup & Butternut squash is probably my favourite! I use mild curry powder here, so if you only have a strong one, you might want to use just one teaspoon.

400g pumpkin flesh
2 dessertspoons light olive oil or other cooking oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
300ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons coconut yogurt
salt, pepper & chilli flakes to taste.

1. Preheat the oven to 180c

2. Chop the pumpkin/butternut squash flesh into chunks.

3. Mix the oil & curry powder together, then pour over the pumpkin. Toss the pumpkin pieces in the oil so that they are all evenly coated.

4. Bake in the oven for about 35 mins or until the pumpkin is soft & cooked.

5. Leave to cool. Then transfer to a blender, add the stock and coconut yogurt & blitz. Add in salt, pepper & chilli flakes to taste.

6. Decorated n the picture above with extra coconut yogurt & roasted pumpkin seeds. (Optional.)

Tuesday 5 November 2019


Lots of Coeliacs can't tolerate even gluten free oats - luckily I'm not one of them, but I wanted to come up with an alternative for those of you who are oat free as well.

2 cups of puffed rice
1/4 cup of flaked almonds
1 handful mixed pumpkin & sunflower seeds
2 dessert spoons dark honey
2 dessert spoons light olive oil
cinnamon to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 160c
2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
3. Lay a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray.
4. In a separate bowl mix together the oil, honey & cinnamon.
5. Mix the honey/oil into the dry ingredients. Use your hands to get the best result - making sure it's all evenly coated.
6. Spread the mixture out onto the baking tray.
7. Bake in the oven for between 20 - 25 mins until it's golden brown. 22 mins is usually perfect! After 10 mins take it out and stir in around a bit. The outside bits often start to brown first, so you want to break it all up a bit so that you get an even bake.
8. Remove from oven, leave to cool, then transfer to an airtight container.
9. That's it!

Wednesday 16 October 2019


For those of you thinking I'm completely mad if I think you have time to make your own mincemeat at the busiest time of the year, you can use shop bought ...…..although I do think this one is good & much lower in sugar than most shop bought! And for those of you thinking I'm completely mad if I think you have time to make your own mince pies at the busiest time of the year, they freeze well for up to 3 months. :)


75g raisins
75g sultanas
50g chopped apricots
Juice & rind of 1 organic orange
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar


225g doves farm gluten free plain flour or alternative plain flour mix
100g unsalted butter or dairy free alternative (I use Naturli vegan block)
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 egg yolks, 1 egg white

1. For the mincemeat. Place the lemon juice, orange juice & rind in a saucepan. Add the maple syrup, brandy, sugar & mixed spice. Turn the heat to medium high & stir well.
2.  Add the dried fruit & mix in well.
3.  Leave to simmer for about 10 mins until the fruit has absorbed most of the liquid & is plump & juicy. Take the pan off the heat, cover with a lid & leave to cool whilst you make the pastry.
4.  Combine the flour & icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
5. Beat the egg & egg white together in a bowl. Add the egg to the pastry to bind. You may need a spoonful of water as well if the mixture is too dry to come together in a ball of dough.
6.  Squish the pastry into a ball, cover with clingfilm/ beeswax wrap & leave in the fridge for at least  30 minutes. Meanwhile pre heat the oven to 180c.
7.  Lightly grease a cup cake tin.
8.  Roll out the pastry to the desired consistency. Cut into circles - slightly bigger than the holes in the tin.
9.  Press the pastry rounds into the tin. If the pastry cracks, just fill in any gaps using your fingers.
10.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven & place a spoonful of mincemeat into each mince pie.
11. Return to the oven for about 13 mins until the pastry starts to turn golden brown.
12. Leave to cool a bit, as they'll be easier to get out. I use a blunt knife round the edge to pop them out.

                        Serve with brandy butter, cream or ice cream (as shown).

Friday 4 October 2019


This is my current favourite breakfast.  As a coeliac, breakfast choices can be limited - especially if you are avoiding oats as well.  This is very simple - literally two ingredients -but not so quick to make. However it works really well to cook it ahead of time, store it in the fridge and then just warm it up when you're ready to eat :)

makes one serving - dessert size. If you're making it for a breakfast I'd use 1 1/2 oz rice and 450ml milk. (double the ingredients for two servings etc)

1 oz pudding rice
300ml plant based milk (My favourite one to use in this recipe is Valsoia walnut milk - available on Ocado. But almond, hazelnut or soy milk will work well too.)

1.  Place the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir well so that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom.
2.  Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. (My hob goes from 1-9 and I cook this on a 3 to give you an idea. )
3.  Leave to cook for around 1 hour . Give it a stir every now and again to prevent a skin from forming - although I don't tend to find that such a problem with non dairy milk.
4.  It's done when the rice is cooked and the consistency resembles the picture shown!
TIP if it gets near to the end of cooking time and it's still a very liquid consistency, just turn the heat up a notch or two so it's gently bubbling away. give it a good stir and leave on the higher heat until it's thickened up.
5.  Eat straight away or store in the fridge in a covered container & warm through when you're ready to eat it.

Shown here with some frozen strawberries, strawberry jam & nutmeg.
some other topping ideas are:
1  Apple and cinnamon
2  Banana and peanut butter
3  Berries & maple syrup
4  Maple syrup
5  Dried fruit and nuts
6  Nutella

Wednesday 18 September 2019


I have to admit I'm not the biggest fan of energy balls - but they are an easy carry around snack
when you're on a restricted diet and can't just grab whatever you feel like when you're out and about.
I much prefer the chocolate version - but thought I'd add the strawberry ones to give you another option.

Makes 6 balls

100 g ground almonds
100 g pitted Medjool dates
1 level dessertspoon cashew butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon freeze dried strawberry powder
desiccated coconut to decorate (optional)

1  Place the ground almonds, pitted dates and cashew butter into a blender and blitz.
2. Divide the mixture in half.
3. Add the cocoa powder to one half. Add the strawberry powder to the other half.
4. Roll into balls. Decorate with desiccated coconut. Job done!

Monday 29 May 2017


You can't beat a good chocolate cake and this one is both gluten and dairy free.
I used regular soft brown sugar here - you can use coconut sugar if you prefer.

preheat the oven to 150c


200g doves farm gluten free self raising flour  (or similar)
3 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
200g Mayonnaise
4 eggs
150g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

200g dark chocolate
125g soy cream

1. Line or grease an 8 inch cake tin.
2. Beat all the cake ingredients together & pour the cake batter into the tin.

3 Bake in the centre of the oven for about 55 mins. (All ovens vary - 55 mins is what it takes in my oven, and is a general guide.)
To know if its ready you want it to be firm but springy on the top and if you poke a skewer or a knife in the centre it should come out clean (ie no uncooked cake mix on it).
4 When ready, remove from tin and leave to cool (preferably on a wire baking rack.)
5 When the cake is cool it's ready to ice.
6 Break the dark chocolate into pieces and place in a heat proof bowl. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and then reduce the heat. place the bowl of chocolate over the top and leave until its all melted. remove from the heat and mix the soy cream (or oat cream or coconut cream) into the chocolate until its all mixed together. place in the fridge for about half an hour to cool and begin to set.
7 When the icing has cooled and thickened but is still spreadable spread it over the cake, decorate with anything you like (I used bee pollen and edible dried flowers here).
8. Cut into slices.

9. Eat!