We’ve some friends coming to stay for the weekend in a few weeks time which we’re looking forward to and planning lots of fun activities for. One of them though is gluten intolerant. Now, those that know me will realise what a challenge this presents to me as I usually do a lot of baking for when people come to stay, but what do you do for people who need gluten-free? It’s a whole new concept for me and I must admit I was a little panicked when I first found out. Embarrassingly I’ll admit that I’m not very knowledgeable on the whole gluten-free subject, and naively I thought ok that just means she can’t eat bread and cake right? Wrong. I had no idea the problems it can cause people – and how there can be traces of gluten in all sorts of things (to my horror even wine!). The more I read on the subject the more I became interested. There are some great food blogs out there and I’ve found the sections on BBC Good Food and Delicious magazine websites really helpful too. I also, thanks to a colleague at work, discovered Deliciously Ella. I bought myself her book – which is full of inspiring information on changing the way you eat, not just gluten-free and I’ve already started to work my way though it (for the next few weeks I’m trying to eat at least once recipe a week from it).
Thankfully on further investigation it turns out our friend can have some things that have traces in (like vinegar and thankfully wine) it’s a case of the more obvious foods that cause an issue. I decided it would be a good idea to start trying out some recipes. To start, I took the Nigella Lawson brownie recipe from the Domestic Goddess book (which is the most foolproof recipe ever and one I use over and over again), I thought I’d have a go at it but substitute the flour for gluten-free – and added in a half teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder. It didn’t come out that brilliantly I didn’t think, the husband disagreed but then anything chocolate related he hoovers up. I think with a bit more adapting it would work, I think it was down to the baking times – perhaps a lower heat and cooking for longer would be better. I’ll report back. The most recent recipe I have tried is this gluten free carrot cake from BBC Good Food, this was scrummy, although a little crumbly so it had to be eaten with a fork but a definite improvement on the brownies. Next up I’ll be trying a scone recipe. It’s the baking that I’ve been more nervous about, actually cooking meals for gluten-free I discovered isn’t a great deal different from the sorts of things I would usually cook, but I’m having fun pulling together some menu plans as you would expect.