Tag Archives: xanthum gum

Tarte tatin


Create a little piece of French-patisserie heaven in your own kitchen.
Thought eating a tarte tatin was something you could never do? Now you can! As usual it really is worth the effort of getting the xanthum gum as it will make a difference to the pastry, but don’t worry if you can’t as the pastry will still work without it. But do buy local, organic apples as these will really add to the meltingly sweet taste of the tart.

preparation time 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time cooking 40–55 minutes serves 6

contains: egg, nuts

75g dairy-free margarine
100g fruit sugar
7 apples, peeled, cored and cut in half
rice flour, for dusting

75g rice flour
50g gram flour
50g ground almonds
50g fruit sugar
1 tsp xanthum gum
75g chilled dairy-free margarine
1 large egg, beaten

1 Sift the flours and the ground almonds into a large mixing bowl and stir in the fruit sugar and xanthum gum. Cut the margarine into small pieces and, using cold fingertips, rub it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2 Make a well in the centre and add the egg, mixing lightly with a round-bladed knife so that the mixture begins to hold together. Continue adding the egg gradually until it is all mixed in and the mixture begins to come together to form a sticky dough.
3 Shape the pastry into a ball. Wrap in greaseproof paper and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This amount will line a 25cm tart tin, 3cm deep, or 5 x 12cm tartlet tins, 2cm deep.
4 The pastry can also be made in a food processor. Simply tip the sifted flours, ground almonds and sugar into the bowl, add the margarine and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and blend for 20–30 seconds until the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough, adding more water if needed.
5 Heat the margarine gently in a 20cm heavy-based frying pan with an ovenproof handle until melted. Sprinkle the sugar over the top, then arrange the apple halves, cut-side down, in one layer.
6 Cook over a gentle heat for 20–30 minutes until the apples are soft and golden and the liquid has caramelized. Remove from the heat.
7 Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Roll the pastry out on a surface liberally dusted with rice flour into a round that is slightly larger than the frying pan. Be careful, as the pastry will still be slightly sticky. Trim the pastry neatly into a circle with a knife. Carefully lift the pastry with a metal spatula and place it on top of the pan, completely covering the apples.
8 Place the pan in the hot oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Take the tart out of the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 2 minutes. Place a serving plate, upside-down, over the top of the pan, then, holding the pan and plate together, turn them over so that the tarte tatin turns out onto the serving plate with the caramelized apples on top, and serve.

related ingredients: fruit sugar, gram/chickpea flour, oat milk, rice flour, xanthum gum

Christmas pudding


Christmas pudding is a great part of the countdown to Christmas. Traditionally you make it a few weeks (up to 6 weeks) before and, once you’ve piled all the ingredients into a large bowl, everyone has a good stir and a wish. This year, my daughter Zoe’s friend, Emily, came round to stir. We hope your wish comes true, Emily! Here’s the recipe I used – it makes a much lighter, yet still very rich and moist, version of the classic – and all without gluten or dairy. As with the Christmas cake, you can feed it with more brandy while you wait for the day. If you’re making it in advance, leave to cool in the bowl once cooked, then wrap tightly in foil and store in a cool place. Then recover with foil and steam for 1 hour to reheat. I made 1 huge pudding but you might prefer to either make 2 puddings or halve the quantities.
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Roasted vegetable tarts


Dive into these tarts – made without any gluten, wheat or dairy!
The sweetness of the roasted vegetables in here makes these utterly delicious – and the colours make them a show-stopper. Feast on them for dinner but they work equally well cold in a picnic, with a salad for lunch, or made into tiny, bite-sized nibbles. (They were one of the nibbles I served at my launch party and they went down extremely well!) It is worth making the effort to get xanthum gum as this does make a difference, but the pastry will still work if you can’t get hold of any.
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The ultimate gluten-free & dairy-free chocolate cake


A wickedly indulgent chocolate cake which is light and moist, with a rich, creamy icing.

The secret to the lightness and moistness of this cake is in the method. By using two cake tins, wrapping them in greaseproof paper and baking them for a longer, less heat-intensive time, the flours in the mixture cook through but don’t burn or get too dry on the sides. And I’ve used soya cream to make the icing. It’s worth getting this, even if you have to resort to mail-order, as it will keep in your storecupboard for a long time and makes all the difference to this cake!
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