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Category Archives: Baking-Sweet

Not Ration Hobnobs

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Oh, hobnobs, how I used to love you, and then I was diagnosed, and GF hobnobs are not sold anywhere.  *Sigh*  Actually, it’s probably a good thing I’ve gone more than a decade without hobnobs, because they are so addictive.  That has come to an end though, because I recently tried out this recipe, and my oh my, are they good.  Daughter and I made them one afternoon when she was down with a cold, and they went perfectly with posset and tea.

Posset and home-made Hobnobs, the ideal cold remedy

Posset and home-made Hobnobs, the ideal cold remedy

I must admit that this is not a ration recipe.  225 grams of butter and sugar, each mind you, is a lot of butter and sugar.  To be fair, I did get some 35 hobnobs out of the recipe, so they will last us a while, I think, if we don’t go too crazy.  I do use a similar ration recipe, which I will post soon for comparison, but these hobnobs are noticeably sweeter and butterier than the ration ones (duh).

The only caveat I noticed with making these GF is that it is better to leave them in the oven ever so slightly longer, so that they are crisp all the way through.  Otherwise, they get a bit weak in the middle and fall apart.

Go on then, no need to despair about not finding GF ones, or not finding them at all if you live outside of the UK.  They do have oats in them, so that makes them somewhat healthy, right?

Cup for Cup review – Pancakes

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My father sent me a bag of Cup for Cup gluten free flour, with the request that I try it out to see how it works.  I gamely agreed to it, and I thought it would make a nice number of posts, since I rarely discuss what kind of GF flour blend I use most.

To be fair, I was a little put off by the price – $20 for 3 lbs, or thereabouts – especially since the ingredients are nothing special and are, in fact, quite similar to the GF flours you get through Schar and Dove Farms.  The Cup for Cup flour blend has milk powder in it, so it is not casein-free, but it does not contain soy flour (I don’t like GF mixes with soy flour in them).  My other caveat is that I am used to the GF blends we get in Europe, which are far superior to what you can get in the States (don’t ask me why, but it is true).

First off, I made whole grain pancakes.  I used a 50/50 ratio of my Schar whole grain GF mix and the Cup for Cup mix.  The mix came out gooey, much more so than normal.  It had the consistency of pudding, but I was afraid to thin it anymore.  Since it was so pudding like, the pancakes were thicker than normal, and not quite dry in the middle.  The taste was fine, but the consistency was a bit off.  We ate them, but I wasn’t too happy about how they came out.

Yummy cake

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Oh Martha, sometimes I adore you.  Every once in a while, you need a cake that is good enough for guests but doesn’t require anything special.   Here is that cake

Now, before you let me know that you don’t have cardamom, let me tell you that I don’t have it either and I used orange instead of lemon.  It turned out beautiful, since eggs, butter and sugar give it structure.  I dusted it with powdered sugar and served it with a vanilla sauce.  I’m sure the glaze would have been nice with it as well, but I didn’t want to use that much sugar.

So, whip it up and enjoy!

What to do with dry cake?

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First, let me say, I haven’t mastered the oven in our flat yet, which explains how it was possible to have dry cake in our family.  We have such a collective sweet tooth that a cake usually won’t last more than two days, so I have never had dry cake before.  But there I was, staring at the better part of half a cake that was too dry to eat.  I briefly considered dousing it in alcohol, but then thought that I could serve it with warm pudding, i.e. custard sauce, which is exactly what I did.

I cut the cake up into cubes and made vanilla pudding, which I poured generously over the dry cake.  It wasn’t the healthiest dinner ever, though the cake did have oats and apples in it, but it did the trick on a lazy Sunday night.  I also cut up some pears and apples as a side dish, and I could have thrown in some raisins too.

I still have some dry cake left over, and I am looking for more ideas.  I also hope to get a handle on the oven so I don’t have so much dry cake in the future…

Rhubarb Sponge

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Oh yes, I’ve managed to come up with yet another rhubarb recipe (the soft fruits aren’t in season yet).  This one is an MoF recipe from Marguerite Patten, which is why it is a bit dry.   No matter though, because the juice from the rhubarb gets soaked into the sponge, making it all nice and gooey.

Thinly slice one and one half pounds of rhubarb, then toss with two tablespoons of golden syrup (or honey).  Dump into a greased cake pan, not any larger than an 8 x 8.  In a bowl, rub 3 TBL of sugar into 4 TBL of butter or margarine.  Then add cream 1 1/4 cups of GF flour and a teaspoon of baking powder.  Beat an egg with about 1/2 cup milk and beat into the flour mixture.  Add in enough milk to make the batter a medium consistency, and pour on top of the rhubarb.  It doesn’t really matter if some rhubarb peeks out, because it all gets scooped together when it’s served.

Bake for about thirty minutes at 350 F/ 180 c/ Gas Mark 4, or until done.  To serve, spoon into bowls.

If you want to snazz this up a bit, you can add raisins or currants into the rhubarb, or you can add a bit of vanilla extra to the cake mix.  This recipe isn’t very sweet, so the tartness of the rhubarb comes through in a pleasant, late spring sort of way.

Roasted Rhubarb

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It is still rhubarb season, so if you get tired of crisps and crumbles, maybe roasted rhubarb might work.

Simply slice the rhubarb in pieces the length of your thumb and toss in a bowl with two tablespoons of honey, golden syrup, or brown sugar.  Spread out on a greased baking sheet and roast in a hot oven until soft and caramelized.  This will probably take about twenty minutes, depending on how hot your oven is and how much other stuff you have in there.

The possibilities of this kind of rhubarb are endless.  Serve on top of dry cake with custard, as a topping for ice cream or yogurt, or in a cheesecake.  You can, of course, just eat it plain too, which is my prefered method.

And remember, rhubarb is a vegetable, so this dish counts as one of your five a day too!

Rhubarb Crisp

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It’s still rhubarb season, and I’ve been baking rhubarb like mad.  We like the crumble, but crisps are still our favorite.

To make the filling for a rhubarb crisp, thinly slice about a pound of rhubarb and mix it with three to four tablespoons of brown sugar.  At this point, you can add in another fruit, like sliced pear or strawberries, or you can just leave it plain.  Depending on what you add in, then add the flavoring.  I’ve used ginger brandy with plain rhubarb, but also vanilla on another occasion.  With the rhubarb and strawberry combo, I used strawberry liqueur, possibly with a splash of vanilla.

Make the topping as in this recipe and bake at 350 F/ 180 C/ Gas Mark 4 for about 45 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft.