Tag Archives: dairy-free milk

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 Torta di Riso (Italian Rice Cake)

Rice cake

Rice dishes are very common in Italy, especially in the northern areas, because rice was so plentiful (rice has been grown in Italy since the 15th century). Traditionally Torta di Riso was served as a celebration cake – for weddings, baptisms, Christmas and Easter. A particular favourite in Tuscany, apparently, it’s a flourless cake that uses risotto rice instead of flour, and can also be eaten as a dessert.

It’s lovely to make a cake without the usual flour-combination-method. Not for those on a low-carb diet(!), this cake is mouthful after mouthful of sweet, substantial comfort. The risotto rice is simmered in flavoured milk (I’ve used dairy-free, of course) until soft and creamy, then mixed with lots of beaten eggs and the remaining ingredients, before being baked in the oven. The vanilla and cinnamon imbue the cake with sweet tones, and the lemon zest gives a citrusy kick. Make sure you don’t overcook the rice in the first stage (take it off the hob while it still has some bite) and use really good quality eggs, preferably organic.

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free

Serves 4     Preparation time 15 minutes plus cooling time     Cooking time 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 50g/1¾oz dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g/5½oz/⅔ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 1.25l/44 fl oz/5 cups dairy-free milk
  • 250g/9oz/heaped 1 cup arborio or risotto rice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 large eggs, plus 5 large egg yolks
  • 25g/1oz/scant ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • icing sugar, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a deep, springform 20cm/8in cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Put the margarine, sugar, vanilla pod and milk in a large, heavy-based saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat. Add the rice and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is creamy and soft, but still has a slight bite. Remove from the heat and scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add, then add the cinnamon and lemon zest and stir in thoroughly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool completely.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and egg yolks until pale and thick. Fold the ground almonds, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum into the mixture. Make sure the mixture is well mixed but take care not to overmix it.
  4. Remove the vanilla pod from the rice mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the rice and stir gently until combined. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for about 60 minutes until firm to the touch and cooked through. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, sprinkle icing sugar over and serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cheese & Sun-Dried Tomato Muffins

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I’ve been on a quest to make gluten-free baked goodies all taste wonderfully soft and moist inside. It’s hard to get the right balance of flour to liquid when you’re baking gluten-free, and cakes, cupcakes, muffins, biscuits, bread and all such things, and they can easily come out of the oven too dry and crumbly. Generally, I reckon you need to use more liquid than when cooking with flour that contains gluten, as gluten-free flours generally soak up liquid when they’re cooking. But the difficulty is that different flours and starches soak up different amounts of liquid…

In the past, I’ve sometimes had to test and retest until the recipe is right. (Peter and Zoe have never minded tasting up to 3 versions of a cake, so it hasn’t been a problem!) I would dream up the recipe in theory, and then work out how to make it. But recently I’ve been working much more instinctively, and finding that it’s a better method. I made these muffins on the spur of the moment – with ingredients from my storecupboard and fridge – and making it up as I went along. I mixed everything I thought should go in, tasted it and decided what else it needed. And I poured in the amount of dairy-free milk I was expecting to use and then just added more and more until it felt right. And you know what, these muffins worked perfectly. They came out of the oven with a lovely firm texture on the outside, and a gorgeously soft, moist inside. And they taste great. Yay! From now on, I’ve decided that I’m going to trust my instinct more – and wing it more – and see what happens…

gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, nut-free (unless using nut milk), seed-free, citrus-free

Makes 6 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g/3½oz dairy-free cheese, grated
  • 6 drained, bottled sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 75g/2½oz dairy-free margarine
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 175ml/5½fl oz/scant ¾ cup dairy-free milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and put 6 paper muffin cases in a muffin tin.
  2. Sift in the flours, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum and salt into a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. Add the dairy-free cheese and sun-dried tomatoes and mix in well.
  3. Melt the dairy-free margarine in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. Pour into another mixing bowl and whisk in the eggs, tomato purée and dairy-free milk until thoroughly mixed. stir quickly until mixed.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and gently mix in with a metal spoon. Be careful not to overmix, and don’t worry if there are some lumps in the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and just firm to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and eat the muffins warm or transfer them in their paper cases to a wire rack to cool.