What possible better use of a wet afternoon could there be than indulging in the British tradition of tea? And by tea I refer not to the mere drink, but to the entire occasion that it encompasses.
Continuing with my week of inspiration from other bakers, I yesterday created some delectable delights from Dan Lepard, one of my all-time favourite bakers. (Apologies Mrs Beeton.) Mr Lepard posted a range of gluten free tea time treats a few weeks ago, and there were two that I was particularly keen to try. You can find his easy to follow recipes here; http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/14/dan-lepard-gluten-free-teatime-bakes
I am an unashamed spice lover, all I need to do is catch a whiff of spices in an ingredient list and the urge to make it is over powering. Spice is a background to all my cooking, cardamom pods even find their way into my coffee and turmeric into my milk. (Yes, really. If you haven’t tried turmeric milk with ground peppercorns, ginger, cardamom, honey and a drop of coconut oil you really should. Delicious and marvellously healthy.)
So when I saw that Dan Lepard had a recipe for gluten free ginger financiers I simply had to try it. The results were wonderful, a sweet and spicy hit that went perfectly with the coffee. Yes I had coffee at tea time. I’m afraid you’re just going to have to accept that and move on.
I found the recipe made 12, not 8 financiers, but that could be my muffin pan. The crystallised ginger I use takes the form of rather large lumps, so I sliced them into smaller pieces, all of those that I didn’t devour whilst mixing of course. Utterly delightful.
To balance out all of the sweet with a savoury, I also tried his recipe for gluten free buckwheat cheddar bread. I have been continually disappointed with attempts at bread making since having to eat gluten free, especially as I can still just about remember the taste and texture of the delicious loaves, ciabattas, and buns I used to make, but this bread defied expectations.
I’ve never lied to you and I won’t start now. It does not taste like “bread” in the sense that if you were looking for a white bread Hovis replacement this is not it. It does however have a pleasingly crumb like texture, none of that strange after taste typical of gluten free loaves, and went wonderfully with butter, Marmite, and a sun dried tomato dip, so is certainly versatile. I use buckwheat flour in my gluten free pie crusts, and also make flat breads out of it, but this was my first attempt at using it in a loaf like recipe.
Having enjoyed the recipe in its unadulterated state, I am planning on using it as a base for experimentation. I used to make a delicious sun dried tomato and olive whole wheat ciabatta, and I have a happy and hopeful feeling that this may be the base for its replacement. Over the next few weeks I shall be experimenting with adding these lovely Italian ingredients in, and will let you know whether I succeed in creating something marvellous.
Stuffed full of spice, and yearning for them to rename buckwheat to something less confusing for us gluten intolerant bakers out there, Halo from the Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie in Birmingham UK is off to experiment…