Category Archives: Desserts

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Crème Caramel

Creme caramel 2

When I was young, I loved Crème Caramel. I adored the taste and texture of the slightly burnt caramel against the soft, vanilla custard. Sometimes when we went to visit my granny, we’d go out for lunch. She had a favourite restaurant that we invariably went to – and they often had this on the desserts trolley. (They also had steak for 75p extra – which my father always let us have when he was able to join us.) Happy times!

When I found out that I was allergic/intolerant to dairy products, this was just one of many, many recipes I couldn’t eat. I stored it away in my mind. I hadn’t thought to try making a dairy-free version until recently, when I saw Bonne Maman Crème Caramels in a shop, and thought I’d give it a go. It was surprisingly easy – and brought lovely memories of lunch with my granny flooding back…

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Serves 4     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

dairy-free margarine, for greasing
150g/5½oz/⅔ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
350ml/21fl oz/scant 2½ cups dairy-free milk
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract

    1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas 2 and grease four 250ml/9fl oz/1-cup ramekins with dairy-free margarine.

    2. Put 125g/4½oz/heaped ½ cup of the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and add 3 tablespoons of water. Shake the pan gently to incorporate the water into the sugar. Heat over a medium-high heat for 6–8 minutes, without stirring, until the sugar has turned a deep golden brown and caramelised. Make sure you don’t leave the sugar for too long as it will turn dark brown and burn. Pour the caramel mixture equally into the ramekins.

    3. Meanwhile, pour the dairy-free milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and pour the dairy-free milk through a sieve into a bowl.

    4. Using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and egg yolk, the vanilla extract and the remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl, until pale and thick. Add the strained milk and beat thoroughly.

    5. Divide the mixture into the ramekins and put them in a large baking dish or roasting tin. Pour enough boiling water in to the dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30–35 minutes until firm to the touch and starting to turn golden.

    6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. Cover with cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Serve cold.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Apple, Blackberry & Hazelnut Crumble

This delicious crumble is made with gluten-free oats. Recently it was discovered that oats don’t actually contain gluten – but because they are generally produced and packaged alongside other gluten products, especially wheat, they often have a certain amount of gluten in them. Great news! I’ve always loved oats but have definitely experienced reactions from them in the past. But Coeliac UK have confirmed that oats are naturally gluten-free, within their parameters of less than 2 parts in 1 million (although not all organizations agree). For me, the gluten-free oats you can now get are definitely ok, and I don’t get any reactions. My favourites are made by Nairns and you can find them in most supermarkets and health stores.

This is a great recipe for everyone, especially little ones. I’ve made the crumble with honey and apple juice instead of sugar, so it won’t cause a ‘sugar hit’. Oats are one of the best slow-release carbohydrates so they helps concentration and brain function. Hazelnuts are particularly rich in omega-9 fatty acid, also known as oleic acid, which boosts the immune system. And the humble apple is a brilliant fruit. High in antioxidants, including vitamins B3, C and beta-carotene, it’s also packed full of a soluble fibre called pectin, which helps to regulate your digestion. Make sure you use lovely ripe blackberries, preferably picked fresh on a leisurely Sunday afternoon…

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, egg-free, seed-free

Serves 4     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 35 minutes

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 225g/8oz/scant 2 cups blackberries
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp apple juice
  • 60g/2¼oz/½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • 175g/6oz/2 cups gluten-free porridge oats
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp apple juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Put the apples and blackberries in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the lemon zest and juice. Drizzle over the honey and apple juice.
  2. Mix together the hazelnuts, oats, oil and apple juice, then spoon the mixture over the fruit and press down gently.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, then serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Raspberry & Almond Clafoutis – in Hello! Magazine

 

Recently I devised some recipes for Kallo, for their new range of organic soya milks (which are delicious!!) One of the recipes I created was a Raspberry and Almond Clafoutis. I adore clafoutis – it’s a a baked dessert in a custard-like batter, similar to pancake batter. Originally a French dish, it was traditionally made with cherries, but you can find many variations using summer/autumnal fruits such as plums and blueberries. It’s easy to make a good gluten-free and dairy-free batter, but it is important to use good soya milk. This recipe combines raspberries and almonds – a classic combination of tastes – with an extra kick of almond from the almond extract. Super-easy to prep and assemble – and thoroughly delicious!

gluten-free, wheat-free, yeas-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 35–45 minutes     Serves 4

  • dairy-free margarine, for greasing
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g/5½oz/scant 1 cup raw cane sugar or fruit sugar
  • ⅛ tsp almond extract
  • 25g/1oz/scant ¼ cup rice flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup ground almonds
  • 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup Kallo Original Soya Milk
  • 550g/1lb 4 oz/4½ cups raspberries
  • 40g/1½oz/heaped ½ cup flaked almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Lightly grease a large (approximately 20 x 20cm) ovenproof dish with dairy-free margarine.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a mixing bowl with an electric whisk until thickened and creamy. Beat in the almond extract, then sift in the rice flour and add the ground almonds. With a metal spoon, carefully fold into the egg mixture. Gently stir in the soya milk.
  3. Put the raspberries on the bottom of the dish. Pour the batter over the top and scatter the flaked almonds over the top. Bake in the hot oven for 35–45 minutes, depending on the size of the dish, until risen and set, with a golden-brown crust formed on the top. Remove from the oven and serve.

Dairy-Free Raspberry Ice-Cream (made in a Vitamix)

This recipe is adapted from one of the recipes in the Vitamix cookery book. It’s incredibly easy to make and full of beautiful flavours from the raspberries and rosewater. And it’s made with yogurt instead of cream (I’ve substituted dairy-free soya yogurt here), so it’s wonderfully light – and healthy!

I adore my Vitamix machine – and I think they’re incredible. Billed as much, much more than a blender, they can chop, grind, puree, crush, whizz, mince, crumb, mill, shred and blend – and make nut milks, batters, pancakes, crepes and muffins, juice & smoothies, sauces, dressings & marinades. And, extraordinarily, they can make hot soups from raw ingredients and then ice creams! What’s more, they’re incredibly healthy. The machines pulverize veggies and fruit to a cellular level, so nutrients and antioxidants are released, making them more bio-available for your body. Research backs up that you get a significantly enhanced nutrient intake from the foods. And the machine uses friction heat generated by the rotation of the blades to cook the food, rather than heat, therefore preventing loss of valuable enzymes and nutrients. All brilliant!

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Serves 4–6

Ingredients:

  • 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup dairy-free soya yogurt
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • 300g/10½oz frozen raspberries
  1. Put the ingredients in the Vitamix machine in the order listed and secure the 2-part lid. Select variable speed 1 and turn the machine on. Increase the speed to 10 then turn the machine to high and use the tamper to push the ingredients onto the blades.
  2. In about 30 seconds the sound of the motor will change and 4 mounds should form in the mixture. Stop the machine and serve immediately.

Tropical Fruit Salad with Chilli, Star Anise, Cinnamon & Lime Dressing

 


This gorgeous fruit salad comes from spice master John Gregory’s Smith‘s book, Mighty Spice. Inspired by his travels around the world, John wrote the cookbook to show how you can use spices to add amazing flavours – including spicy, zingy, fiery and tangy – as well as delicious aromas. Instead of having to use a whole load of different spices, John uses a total of only 25 spices – and a maximum of only 5 spices for each recipe. And there’s a wonderful selection of dishes from all over the world. Brilliant!

This recipe literally took no time at all to prepare. I cheated (!) and bought a pre-prepared tropical fruit salad. So I simply made the syrup and mixed it into the papaya, pineapple, mango and passion fruit. So easy. And the flavours here are stunning – a combination of fiery chilli, zesty lime juice, and sweet, aromatic cinnamon and star anise – all mixed into the different fruit flavours. We ate this after a beef stir-fry, making the whole meal a fantastic mix of tastes and aromas. It’s wonderful to find new inspiration for fruit and this is fast becoming a new favourite in our house!

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free

Serves 4     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 10 minutes

  • 90g/3¼oz/heaped ⅓ cup caster sugar
  • 5cm/2in cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • juice of 2 limes
  • seeds and pulp of 3 passion fruit
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
  • ½ pineapple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 papaya, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
  1. Put the sugar, cinnamon, star anise and chilli flakes into a large pan with 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Stir continuously for 1 minute, or until all the sugar has dissolved, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, shaking the pan occasionally, for 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced to a thin syrup. Transfer the syrup to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool. Remove the cinnamon to stop its flavour overpowering the dressing, but reserve for decoration.
  2. Once the syrup has cooled, pour in the lime juice and passion fruit and mix well. Add the mango, pineapple and papaya, then toss together so that the spicy, sweet-sour flavours of the dressing coat the fruit. Serve at room temperature or chilled.