Baking

Low-FODMAP Chocolate and Raspberry Pudding Cakes - gluten-free and vegan recipe.

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. I’m of the mind you shouldn’t restrict your romance and affection to one day a year. However, my daughter has other ideas and feels grand gestures should be compulsory. Therefore, I shall be demonstrating my love and affection to my family by making these low-fodmap, gluten-free, vegan, chocolatey-raspberry treats. In return they can show their love and affection to me by not bickering and doing their homework without me having to nag.

I’m using frozen raspberries as they’re readily available. You need to have 9 fairly good-looking ones for the tops but the others can be a bit battered. When using coconut cream, empty the can or tetrapak into a bowl first and beat with a spoon to thoroughly combine, before weighing out. Any unused cream can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container. Please do not panic if the tops go cracked – they’re going to be smothered in choccy topping. FODMAP friendly portion sizes at the bottom.

Squidgy

Squidgy

Makes 9 cakes

85g gluten-free self-raising flour blend

100g dark 72% chocolate, very finely chopped

85g dairy-free margarine

55g caster sugar

1 tbsp. golden syrup

125ml UHT coconut milk

36 frozen raspberries

160ml coconut cream

Pre-heat a fan oven to 150°C. Line a muffin tin with 9 paper cases and place 3 raspberries in the bottom of each case.

Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. In a small pan, melt the margarine, sugar, golden syrup and milk over a low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as it warms, do not let it get hot. When it no longer feels grainy on the spoon, stir in 30g of the chocolate and remove from the heat. Keep stirring until it is all combined and melted.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the well in the flour and whisk well with a balloon whisk. Pour the batter into a jug then pour over the raspberries, splitting the mixture evenly between all 9 cases. Bake for 25 minutes. When baked, leave to cool in the tin.

Place a tightly fitting heatproof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water. Add the coconut cream and stir until it is smooth and just warm. Stir in the remaining 70g of chocolate until it just starts to melt then remove the pan from the heat. Continue stirring until it is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk for 5 minutes using an electric hand-held whisk.

Keeping the cakes in the tin, spoon the chocolate on the cakes to as near to the top of the cases as you can. Leave to cool and set. Lift the cakes out of the tin using a palette knife. I like to remove the paper cases before serving. Place a ‘good-looking’ raspberry on the top and if you’re feeling fancy, sift over a little icing sugar.

Low FODMAP servings

Dark Chocolate – 30g

Margarine – 19g

Sugar – 14g

Golden Syrup – ½ tbsp.

UHT Coconut milk – 125ml

Raspberries – 10 berries

Coconut cream – not yet tested but it is processed in the same way as coconut milk so it is likely to have a similar results. It’s high fat content means it is possible it could be even lower in FODMAPs

This is a sample of how we do Valentine's Day - Homemade Moomin Cards. Like our family sayings - I have no recollection how we started this but after 16 years we're amassing quite a collection! They no longer look like Moomins but strange creatures that find themselves in a variety of unusual situations. 

This is a sample of how we do Valentine's Day - Homemade Moomin Cards. Like our family sayings - I have no recollection how we started this but after 16 years we're amassing quite a collection! They no longer look like Moomins but strange creatures that find themselves in a variety of unusual situations. 

Orange & Polenta Biscuits - Low-FODMAP, gluten-free recipe

These delicate little biscuits make a sweet accompaniment to my favourite January FODMAP friendly fruit, blood oranges. It’s always a gamble knowing how bloody an orange will be. Some will have a beautifully mottled ruby skin but a disappointingly plain orange interior. It’s not the end of the world, as these biscuits will work year-round with any sweet orange. The biscuits will soften slightly over time so keep in an airtight container if you are not eating them straight away.

I have tried making this recipe using a fan oven but it didn’t work as well as using the oven on a standard setting. I have made this recipe 3 times and each time the mixture has made 24 biscuits, the little dollops will be very small but will spread considerably, do leave enough room. 

No filters used on this picture so use the colour of the biscuits as a guide

No filters used on this picture so use the colour of the biscuits as a guide

Serve with one orange per person. To slice the oranges, cut the top and bottom off the fruit and stand on a chopping board. Using a fearsomely sharp small, knife, cut away the peel in strips from the top to the bottom, following the contours of the orange. Cut the flesh into slices as thinly as you can. 

Not as bloody as I'd hoped for!

Not as bloody as I'd hoped for!

Makes 24 biscuits, serves 4-6

80g soft butter

70g caster sugar

Finely grated zest of ½ orange

1 large egg, lightly beaten

75g gluten-free plain flour blend

25g polenta

Pre-heat a standard oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with non-stick paper or silicone liners. Adjust the shelves inside the oven until they are two-thirds of the way up the oven.

In a stand mixer, or using electric beaters, whisk together the butter, sugar and orange zest, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until it is light and fluffy. Whisk in the egg, it will look curdled to begin with but continue until it looks evenly combined.

Mix together the flour and polenta and add to the rest of the mixture. Whisk again until everything is fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula as necessary. Using a teaspoon, place 6 small blobs on each sheet, each blob being 2cm -2.5cm diameter.

Bake for 6 minutes, until the outside has brown and the middle still golden. Remove from the oven, allow to stand on the tray for 1 minute before gently lifting off the tray with a small palette knife and placing on a cooling rack. Remove the paper or liner from the trays, and ‘reload’ with the remaining mixture. Slide the blobbed liners onto the baking sheets and bake. Do watch these like a hawk – they can turn black within a minute! Use my picture as a colour guide.

Low-FODMAP servings

Oranges - FODMAP’s have not been detected in oranges but a serving size is suggested as 130g

Polenta – cooked 225g

Check the ingredients of your plain flour blend for High-FODMAPs

Butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates.

Sugar – 14g

 

Low-FODMAP Mini Mont Blanc - Gluten-free and Christmassy

They may not look like any mountain you've seen but they certainly taste better!

They may not look like any mountain you've seen but they certainly taste better!

Chestnuts don’t always have to be roasting on an open fire at Christmas: they can be sweetened and piled into tiny, mountain-shaped meringues, with cream and chocolate, for a low-FODMAP, gluten-free pudding. You don’t have to make your own meringues. If you do, you can simply shape dollop-y nests, using a dessertspoon instead of piping, although this seems like a missed opportunity to easily impress. You can see from the video that my FODMAP friendly mini Mont Blanc require very little skill!

Most people with IBS can tolerate 60g of whipped cream. Chestnut puree is made with boiled chestnuts, this serving is well within the low-FODMAP safe serving of 168g. Do check the ingredients for any rogue FODMAPs. If you can get ready sweetened puree from Clement Faugier, please do, it’s delicious! Otherwise I have given you a recipe to make your own. Depending on the size of your egg white you may have some cream and chestnut left over - I call these a breakfast bonus.

It is easier to use a stand mixer to whisk the eggs. You can use a handheld electric whisk but it would take a very long time if you were to use a balloon whisk. When you lift the whisk out of the whisked egg white, and it holds its shape in peaks, you have reached the stiff peak stage. When the cream holds its shape briefly before flopping over, you have reached the soft peak stage.

Meringues

1 medium egg, separated.

1.5 x caster sugar to the weight of egg whites

(My egg white weighed 32g so I used 48g of caster sugar)

150g whipping cream (do not use double cream)

50g plain chocolate

Either

150g of sweetened chestnut puree 

or

150g of unsweetened chestnut puree

½ tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. icing sugar

Preheat a non-fan oven to 120°C - you will need to watch the oven temperature like a hawk. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Place a piping bag, fitted with a large rosette nozzle, upright, in a tall glass.

Ensure your bowl is dry and entirely free-from all traces of grease. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking well inbetween to make sure all the sugar is combined. Stop when the meringue is looking thick, peaky and glossy. Fill the piping bag with the meringue. When piping it is really important you squeeze from the top down and not the middle.

Pipe the meringues onto the lined baking sheet in 5cm nests: it’s easier to start piping from the middle outwards and finish with an extra swirl around the outside edge. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour.

The meringues will be ready when they lift away from the paper. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for half an hour on the baking sheet.

If you are using unsweetened puree, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle (2mm is ideal) with the now-sweetened chestnut puree. Whip the cream until it reaches a soft peak stage, fill a piping bag with the same nozzle you used to pipe the meringues.

Lay the meringues on a platter. Pipe in some chestnut puree in the base of the nests, then cover with piped cream. Top the cream with squiggles of chestnut puree in a haphazard, craggy design. Finally grate the chocolate over the tops. These will get sticky and soft as they stand so try to serve within the hour. Alternatively, make all the elements separately and assemble at the last minute.

FODMAP friendly gluten free mini mont blanc dessert recipe

Low-FODMAP Meringues with Raspberry or Passion Fruit

Low-FODMAP Meringues with raspberry or passion fruit

We have a phrase at Our House For Tea, ‘is that Low-FODMAP or is it you?’ It’s shorthand for ‘Can you not eat this because it is high in FODMAPs or because it is another of your intolerances?’ Eggs and cows milk fall into the ‘me’ category but seeing as three-quarters of the household can eat eggs and half can eat cows milk, it would be churlish of me to deprive them of meringuey treats. Most people with IBS can tolerate 60g of whipped cream. Meringues are terrifically quick to prep but the cooking time is a little longer. I would plead with you to try making your own but if you really can’t be faffed, simply use the cream filling on shop-bought meringues.

These little meringues have a cream filling, flavoured with either Passion Fruit or Raspberry Syrup. If you are in the mood to impress your guests, make half of the meringues passion fruit flavoured and half raspberry flavoured. For accuracy's sake, I have given the cream measure in grams as opposed to ml.

You will need an electric hand whisk or stand mixer with whisk attachment fitted. When you lift the whisk out of the whisked egg white, and it holds its shape in peaks, you have reached the stiff peak stage. When the cream holds its shape briefly before flopping over, you have reached the soft peak stage.

Serves 4 – makes 8 meringue sandwiches

Prep –  15 minutes + 1 hour baking. 

 

1 medium egg, separated.

1.5 x caster sugar to the weight of egg whites

(My egg white weighed 34g so I used 51g of caster sugar)

120g whipping cream (do not use double cream)

 

For passion fruit flavour

1 tsp. Passion fruit syrup

1 flesh of 1 Passion Fruit

For raspberry flavour

1 tsp. Raspberry syrup

2 tsp. freeze-dried raspberry pieces

 

Preheat a non-fan oven to 120°C - you will need to watch the oven temperature like a hawk. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.

Ensure your bowl is dry and entirely free-from all traces of grease. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking well inbetween to make sure all the sugar is combined. Stop when the meringue is looking thick, peaky and glossy.

Spoon the meringue onto the baking sheet in 16 well spaced, dessertspoon sized, peaky dollops or pipe into 16 smarter rosettes. Either way, the meringues should be between 4.5cm – 5cm in diameter. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour.

The meringues will be ready when they lift away from the paper. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for half an hour on the baking sheet.

Whip the cream until it reaches the soft peak stage, add the syrup and briefly whisk again, taking care not to over-whip and split the cream.

Sandwich the meringues together with a very heaped teaspoon of cream. Scatter the cream with either passion fruit pulp or the raspberry pieces.

 

THE BEST Low-FODMAP, Gluten-free, Vegan Chocolate-chip Cookies!

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     Gotta catch 'em all!

Gotta catch 'em all!

Please excuse my excitable heading and font – but these really are THE BEST low-FODMAP, gluten-free, vegan chocolate-chip cookies EVER! Anyone who follows my Instagram feed (@ourhousefortea) will have witnessed the baking disasters I’ve created whilst getting to this point. I kept trying to replace the eggs with various ingredients and it was only when I wondered what would happen if I didn’t, that these little beauties emerged. They are crisp on the outside and a bit squishier and crumblier in the middle - perfect. I must confess I’ve had no breakfast but have eaten three cookies in a row… bad low-FODMAP evangelist ;-) Won’t ramble on now and will let you get to the good stuff. I’m just about to try substituting half the chips with crystallised ginger pieces*, will let you know how I get on, promise you’ll tell me how you get on too?

Makes 16 Prep – 10 minutes Baking time – 12-14 minutes

125g free-from sunflower margarine (Pure Sunflower for preference)

75g caster sugar

50g soft light brown sugar

2 tsps. vanilla extract

200g self-raising gluten free flour blend (Doves Farm for preference)

Pinch of salt

1 tsp. baking powder

2 tsps. almond milk

150g dark (semi-sweet) chocolate chips

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   FYI, the raw dough won't do you any harm...

FYI, the raw dough won't do you any harm...

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof baking paper.

Using an electric hand whisk beat together the margarine, sugars and vanilla in a mixing bowl, until light and fluffy. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift flour mix into the margarine and stir until it is combined. (If you use the electric beaters for this stage, the flour will fly everywhere.) When the flour is safely combined, add the almond milk and then whisk until you have a smooth, sticky dough. Stir in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.

Dollop the dough in dessertspoonfuls onto the baking sheet, keeping them well spaced apart. You should have 8 dollops per sheet. Smooth the tops a little with a clean finger until they are around 6cm across.

Bake for 14 minutes, turning the sheets halfway through to ensure they brown evenly. Allow to cool on the tray for 2-3 minutes to harden slightly then move to a wire rack to cool. If you are going to store them, wait until they are cold and store in an airtight container.

Eaten warm, (she says from experience) they are delicious with a glass of milk, or whatever you’re drinking these days that passes for milk. The chips are still a bit soft and the chocolate can travel a surprisingly long way, particularly if for some reason you have it on your elbow. How?!

*Half ginger, half choc chips worked! I also added 1/2 tps. of ground ginger with the flour - delicious!


As a special treat here's a pic of one of my many disasters - follow me on Instagram for more kitchen disasters @ourhousefortea

Hmm...

Hmm...

Parenting the poorly - learning to feed yourself Low-FODMAP and fairy cake recipe

Cocoa Lumps

Cocoa Lumps

Little Miss Low-FODMAP has been poorly with some sort of viral rash that was suspected to be shingles but having spoken to other parents I suspect wasn't as severe as all that. She had a couple of 'peaky' days but the rash has scabbed over and she's back, oh yes she's back! It was the bouncing off the window seat onto the sofa whilst singing 'Let it Go' that convinced me.

 Poorliness may not demand a lot of medical attention but it does demand a lot of attention. There is no point trying to fight that as a parent you are expected not only to be the constant carer but also the entertainer. As you'd expect, in our house my entertainment tends to involve a lot of cookery. Luckily, the poorliness co-incided with the arrival of some Masa Harina from Sous Chef (www.souschef.co.uk). She really got into the hang of making tortilla and there have been 5 different tortilla-based meals. It was worth every penny of the tortilla press! We've also had the ubiquitous green cheese sauce drowning anything that stopped moving long enough.

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     Tortilla faces in the sunshine.

Tortilla faces in the sunshine.

However, my favourite cooking activity was making Cocoa Lumps. Cocoa Lumps happen when you unclench for long enough (Let it Go) to let your children to invent something. It is highly unlikely it will be haute cuisine but it's only experience that divides those who can cook without a book from those who can't. What better time to get this experience in than now?

 Use a little gentle guidance to make sure the invention isn't an unmitigated disaster - the idea is for children to learn what does and doesn't work, not to scare them off from ever trying again!

 If you are cooking meat, be sure you cook it for the right amount of time and at the right temperature, Google if you need to.

 When using sugar, as a general rule if you bake it below 175C your baked goods will be soft. Above that will make for a harder biscuit/ cookie/ splodge.

  I'm of the school that often it is best to smell if something's cooked, particularly baked goods. If the kitchen smells of biscuits they're probably cooked. If it smells of burning use a time machine and get them out 5 minutes earlier.

Very painted nails.

Very painted nails.

Chocolate and orange goes together, lemon and sultanas go together but don't let yourself get too hung up on these details. Be curious - someone came up with the idea of salted caramel once and now there's no getting away from it. Worst-case scenario, it won't taste very nice and you won't make it again.

 Take notes. If you happen upon a brilliant idea or recipe you can replicate it. If it's awful you won't make the same mistake twice. If the experiment is 'almost' there, it's easy to fiddle with next time. Note-making is lots of writing and weighing practise that children may not even notice they're doing.

 When baking you need some sort of raising agent - self-raising flour, whisked egg whites, bicarbonate of soda, yeast, baking powder - see what happens when you don't use any and see what happens when you use too much!

 Experiment with substitution - if you have a recipe that you're missing ingredients for what happens when you use white sugar instead of brown, raisins instead of chocolate chips, maple syrup instead of golden syrup? We are constantly trying to make meals Low-FODMAP so this is particularly significant if you have a child with a restricted diet - they need to learn how to feed themselves!

Chalk Drawings

Chalk Drawings

If failure is not an option, make a basic sponge. You can ice fairy cakes if you feel so inclined or if you've run out of any other activities. The following guidelines makes enough for 12 fairy cakes but you can easily double or halve the ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole bun tin with paper cases.

 Weigh 2 eggs, then weigh out the same amount of (gluten-free) self-raising flour, soft butter or (dairy-free) margarine and caster sugar.

 Cream the butter and sugar together using a wooden spoon, electric hand beaters or mixer until pale and fluffy. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add to the butter and sugar with a tablespoon of flour. You can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you fancy. Mix together thoroughly, it will curdle but that will not effect the final result. Fold in the remaining flour until it's thoroughly combined. Add a tablespoon of milk until it makes a 'dropping' consistency.  This is nothing more than it dropping off the spoon in a splodge but I suggest you use the term for added credibility. Gluten-free flour sometimes needs a 1/2 tbsp more and we would use coconut milk.

 Spoon the mixture as evenly as possible into the cases (remembering to let the child have some input) and bake for 20 minutes. Clear up during this time, it's as an important a lesson as the cooking. The cakes will be cooked when the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a rack.

 Decide whether you can bear the thought of decorating the cakes or whether it's now time for the millionth viewing of Frozen.