Saturday, 21 May 2011

GF baking isn't easy

Gluten free baking is not like normal baking, cakes don't usually rise as much, dough has a different texture and things don't always work out.

I've had lots of success with gf cooking and baking but it is important to share there have been lots of interesting concoctions......

I remember one morning getting up to cook myself and my husband some pancakes for breakfast, I had a packet mix which a friend had given me. Good idea but a massive mishap! They turned out a weird grey colour and had the consistency of a glue like dough. My husband took one look at the pancakes and put some toast on, I had to prove a point, so I smothered a few pancakes in golden syrup and tried to eat them. Tried is probably the best word to use, I could only eat a few mouthfuls, they were rather disgusting! So the whole lot got tossed in the bin!

Then there's the shortbread that I attempted to make.... You have to make the dough and put in the fridge for 30minutes to 1 hour, we had to leave a family emergency and it was several hours before we got home. I got the dough out of the fridge when we returned and proceeded to cook it. I really don't know if it was because the dough was in the fridge too long (that's my excuse and I'm sticking too it!) but it wouldn't brown up and was in crumbly chunks! I tasted a bit and it did resemble shortbread but it was just too hard to eat. After all that time and effort, the shortbread too ended up in the bin. Washing up endless dishes after baking is bad enough, when you have an end product that you can eat and enjoy, it sucks when you ruin the dish and you are washing up what seems like thousands of dishes with no reward at the end!

My most recent blunder in the kitchen was actually the day I posted up the recipe for brownies! I've cooked these endless times before and thought it would be nice to have for afternoon tea. I was caught up in the excitement of starting the blog and mixed everything up but forgot to put the sugar in. As I poured it in the tin it didn't look quite right and I couldn't figure out why, then I tasted it. YUCK!!! No sugar, I poured the mixture back into the bowl added  sugar and put it back in the pan. It just didn't turn out right, it tasted a bit funny and stuck to the pan, most of it ended up in the bin too!

I thought it was important to share my blunders as well as my success stories. Each day I post up a recipe that I cook and it works out, but there are often things that don't. So don't be afraid to have a go with cooking and messing up a dish is part of learning, the important thing to remember is to make sure you get back in the kitchen and have a go again and have fun while your doing it!

Recipe of the Day
White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Hazelnut Sauce
From The Gluten- Free Kitchen by Sue Shepherd

I cooked this for the first time last night, everyone loved it, every last mouthful was eaten! I didn't have panna cotta moulds, so I just used some glasses.

Serves 4

1 cup cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used essence and it was fine)
1/3 cup sugar
50g white chocolate
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon powdered gelatine

Hazelnut sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons coco powder, sifted
11/4 tablespoons GF cornflour
11/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur (I used Frangelico)

Heat cream, milk, vanilla, sugar and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until chocolate has melted.
Combine the boiling water and gelatine in a small heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a larger bowl of boiling water, stirring constantly until the gelatine has dissolved. Stir the dissolved gelatine into the chocolate mixture. Pour into panna cotta moulds (or glasses, see picture if unsure of amount) and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight until set.
To make the sauce, combine the sugar, cocoa and cornflour in a small saucepan. Stir in a little milk to form a thick paste, then add remaining milk and mix well to ensure there are no lumps (I used a whisk for this). Stir over medium-high heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, then remove from heat and stir in hazelnut liqueur. Transfer to a jug, over and refrigerate until ready to serve, pour over the panna cotta.