Thursday, 26 July 2012

Keeping your stash of gluten free food!

Going to an event, a party, wedding, even a funeral as a coeliac, you always have the dreaded thought of will there be something I can eat?

After going hungry and having to leave parties early so that I could eat some dinner, I soon learnt to have a stash of gf bars in my handbag. I have a stash of sesame snaps, and various gf health bars. So while everyone else is eating a scone or some delicious snack, I'm eating my gf snacks. The hostess always feels guilty when they see me eating my bars but there are some events in life, like a wake, where food allergies are the farthiest thing from anyone's mind.

My lovely readers, who are coeliac or who suffer from an allergy of any type know too well what I'm talking about. It's being invited to an event and having to contact the restaurant to ensure that they provide some gluten free food, before you can say if your coming or not.

It's being invited to a barbecue and bringing your own meats that are gluten free or telling your friends that you are gluten free. It makes everything harder from finding a gf pizza place, to trying to remember which Asian dishes are ok to take the risk and order.

A lot of entrees particularly at Thai restaurants are full of gluten, it's hard sitting and watching everyone else eat the lovely entrees that you can no longer eat. Some restaurants have a gf labeling system, making ordering, eating and the after effects so much more pleasant.

What many coeliacs of all ages find difficult is going to that conference, the weekend away, a bus trip, you have to declare that you are a coeliac very early on, this is so the chefs and other people involved in food preparation can organise our food. Unfortunately if we don't fill those forms in in the required time, or sometimes they just get lost, it's a scramble trying to find something safe that you can eat.

If you are lucky enough to own a caravan and be taking a trip around Austrslia or another country, my advice would be to stock up on your gf cereals, some easy meals, snacks, biscuits etc. when you come across very small towns they aren't going to have a huge supply of gluten free food, but if you have your stash you know you won't go hungry.

Happy shopping for your vital stash of gf goodies that will now take proud place in your handbag, your saviour from going hungry again!

For any more information just comment or email me.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

GF 80s Marble Cake

I was asked to do this post featuring a favourite cake or desert from the 1980s. I love the 80s, it was the decade I was born in, although it supports some of the most horrendous fashion trends, some of the best and most fun sing along party tunes originated from this decade!

My mind went wild with ideas, but I was restricted to a 20cm cake tin, which Baker's Secret kindly sent me. I was transported to my childhood and my mind went to marble cakes, the amazing three colour swirl cake, which fit with the Neapolitan ice cream. In the 80s in Australia, the ice cream choice was pretty much restricted to vanilla and Neapolitans, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, well that's what our parents led us to believe was available at the supermarkets. chocolate and vanilla were always the favourite and strawberry was left high up in the container!

Marble cake was made with the same flavours, it's a plain cake, divided into 3 bowls, one bowl you add 1 tablespoon of cocoa, the other a few drops of pink food colouring, the third bowl is left as the vanilla mixture. The trick is when you put in in the greased and baking paper lined tin, is you spoon tablespoons of each flavour into the tin and alternate until the mixture is all in the tin, swirl the mixture in and bang the tin on a hard surface to mix together.

Although marble cake was a hit in the 80s, it is still a hit now and I think will continue being a hit, children will still be marvelled at the blend of colours and flavours, something which takes a little extra time but is certainly worth the results.

The marble cake my mum made wasn't gluten free and there weren't many people diagnosed with coeliac disease in the 80s, I have provided you with a gf recipe. As soon as you get this cake out of the oven, turn in onto a cooling rack and cover with a tea towel, as gf cakes have a tendency to collapse I'm the middle, a handy hint to know when making future cakes.

I hope you have as much fun making your marble cake as I did making mine! Happy baking!

GF Marble Cake

Ingredients200g butter (softened)
1 cup caster sugar
4 large eggs
x2 3/4 cup gf self raising flour
2/3 cup rice flour
2/3 cup f corn flour
2 teaspoons gf baking powder
6 tablespoons lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons vanilla essence
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 drops pink food colouring
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 tablespoon cocoa

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. With electric mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth and light. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well. Sift the flours and baking powder into the butter mixture and mix, add milk to make a smooth, moist batter. Spoon the mixture evenly into three bowls, add cocoa to one bowl and pink food colouring to the other bowl, leave the third bowl as is. Grease a 20cm tin and line with baking paper. Spoon tablespoons of each mixture into the bowl, taking turns at each flavour to ensure and even colour mix. Swirl the mixture at the end and bang down on the bench. Bake in the over for 30-40 minutes (check with a skewer in the centre after 30 minutes), you may need the 40 minutes depending on your oven. To make the icing add the ingredients to a bowl and mix well, if the ingredients is too wet, add some more icing sugar and if the mixture is too thick, add more milk. Ice the top of the cake with the icing, leave the icing for at least 20 minutes allowing it to set.

If you would like additional information about Bakers Secret who where the brains behind this marvellous challenge here is there website
Thank you to these lovely people for giving me the opportunity to participate in this challenge.