Every year we see the number of ‘free from’ folk growing. I suddenly found out, 18 months ago, that I needed to alter my diet radically and it really hit home how difficult and awkward it can be to have a restrictive diet. Many kitchens are prepared these days to cope with all sorts of requests, but unless you give a restaurant or a host plenty of warning, you can end up feeling like your food is a bit of an afterthought.
It is so important to us at Big Event Catering that we produce delicious food for all dietary requirements, with no compromise on flavour, ingredients or attention to detail. We pride ourselves in ensuring that every person eating our food is licking their lips and shouting for more 🙂
I especially like these two gluten free recipes – they are adapted from Ottolenghi’s ‘The Cookbook’.
Gluten free pistachio shortbreads these are simply delicious – a really interesting ‘eastern’ twist on the classic shortbread. Turns your afternoon tea into a bit of a decadence.
Ingredients for about 15 – 20 depending on how thick you like them
8 cardamom pods
200g unsalted butter / or non dairy butters such as coconut (unflavoured unless you want the coconut hit)
25g ground rice
240g good quality gluten free flour
1/2 tsp salt
35g icing sugar
60g shelled pistachios (unsalted)
1 free range egg, slightly bveaten
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
Crush the cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar. Remove skin and crush the seeds to a fine powder.
Using the beater on your electric mixer, beat together the butter / fat, ground rice, flour, salt, ground cardamom and icing sugar. Mix till you get a paste.
Turn out the dough, dust it with a little flour, and using your hands roll it into a log 3 – 4 cm in diameter. Wrap in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for an hour at least.
Rough chop the pistachios with a sharp knife or on pulse in your food processor. You want it roughly ground with a few chunkier bits as well.
Brush the log with the beaten egg and roll it in the ground pistachios. Wrap back in cling film and leave in the fridge for another 30 mins at least.
Preheat oven to 150 C / Gas Mark 2. Remove the cling film and cut the log, with a very sharp knife, into slices 5mm – 1 cm thick. Lay them out on a baking tray line with parchment, spacing them at least 2 cm apart. Dust with the vanilla sugar.
Bake the biscuits for roughly 20 mins. Maybe a bit longer if you’ve made thicker biscuits. They must not take on too much colour but should remain golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before storing in a sealed jar. Best eaten within the week, though they’ll be lucky to last out 24 hours 🙂
Raspberry and oat bars Exquisitely delicious.
Ingredients for 6 – 8 slices
120g gluten free flour
1/3 gluten free baking powder
100g unsalted butter diced
60g caster sugar
pinch of salt
80g whole rolled gluten free oats
220g preferably homemade raspberry jam
70g flaked almonds
70g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
70g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
70g Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
100g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 170C / Gas Mark 3. Lightly grease a 20cm square tin and line it with baking parchment.
Base: sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the butter, sugar and salt and rub everything together with your fingertips to form crumbs. Stir in the oats. Spread the mistrue over the base of the prepared tin. Don’t press down too much, keep the base light. Bake for 20 mins or until light brown. remove from the oven and allow to cool a little, then spread the jam on.
Topping: place the nuts in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, heat up the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then pour the mixture over the chopped nuts and stir together. Pack the nut mix evenly over the jam and return to the oven for 30 mins or so, until the nuts have turned a golden brown.
Leave to cool, then remove from the tin and slice into bars or squares. Don’t eat them all at once !