Tag Archives: gluten free

Things I have been cooking lately #155: Gestational Diabetes friendly peanut butter brownies

When I started my virtually no sugar, low carb gestational diabetes diet I thought I was going to get mad sugar cravings and wake up in the night sweating and thinking of cake. That hasn’t happened. Although I sometimes dream of Ben &Jerry’s peanut butter cup ice-cream or wish I could just have a piece of fresh tiger bread, I have mostly been fine with getting to eat pretty much as much cheese as I want. What I have been missing is baking. A lot. Like a whole lot. So I decided to do a little experiment and rework one of my favourite brownie recipes to make it GD friendly… and it worked! Not only are these brownies very low in sugar and carbs but they’re also gluten free and passed the 15/30/45/60 blood sugar test advocated by the gestationaldiabetes.co.uk website. What that means is that I tested my blood sugar every fifteen minutes for an hour after eating one of these (paired with some creme fraiche) and all the readings were below my after food target. (Please note that if you have gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes and want to try these you should repeat the same test on yourself to ensure you are not missing a spike. Everyone’s tolerance is different).


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Things I have been cooking lately #67: Gluten free dark chocolate cake

This cake is the richest, moistest most decadent, chocolatiest thing you can imagine… and it’s completely gluten free just as an added bonus. I adapted this from a recipe found on La ChicFantastique (who is my former neighbour who I randomly reconnected with via twitter when she recognised by profile pic while I was ranting about Royal Mail after I she had already moved away), originally from epicurious.

Gluten free dark chocolate cake
110g butter
120g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat your oven to 180 C. Grease and line a 19cm cake tin.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat proof bowl with the butter. Put a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a very gentle simmer. Rest the bowl over the saucepan and carefully melt together the butter and chocolate.

Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and whisk until fully combined. Sift in the cocoa and whisk until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips if using.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes in the centre of the oven.

Serve warm with a scoop of ice-cream of your choice or cold dusted with icing sugar or more cocoa.


Things I’ve been cooking lately #47: Gluten-free chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache

This cake proves that gluten-free doesn’t have to be boring. This rich chocolate cake has a great, light texture and without the ganache is actually dairy-free too. So if you follow a dairy-free diet you could make it and just top it with a dusting of icing sugar. You could also substitute the rice flour with ground almonds but I’m allergic to nuts so I’ve chosen to stick with a gluten-free flour (and for those who eat whatever they like… lucky bastards… standard cake flour would also work).

Gluten-free chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache

For the cake

150ml boiling water
50g cocoa powder
150g rice flour (or ground almonds or cake flour)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
200g sugar
3 large eggs
150ml grape seed oil

For the ganache

180g dark chocolate, finely chopped
200ml double cream

Preheat your over to 170 C (or 160 C for a fan oven). Lightly grease a 22cm spring form pan and line with greaseproof paper.

Sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl. Add the boiling water and whisk until you have a thick paste. In another bowl mix together the rice flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a large mixing bowl and beat for three minutes with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add in the rice flour mixture. Mix well, scrape down the side of the bowl and mix one more time. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes. The cake should be just cooked through and a toothpick inserted into the centre should come out with a few crumbs attached rather than clean.

Transfer the cake onto a wire rack and allow to cool for ten minutes before carefully removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely on the wire rack before covering with ganache.

To make the ganache place the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat the double cream over a low heat until almost boiling. Pour the cream over the dark chocolate and leave it for 10 minutes without stirring. When the 10 minutes are up, whisk the cream and chocolate together until glossy, pour over the cooled cake and allow to set.


Things I have been cooking lately #30: Gluten-free gooey dark chocolate cookies

Gluten-free recipes can be a bit hit and miss but these cookies do not disappoint. Despite having no oil or butter in them they are rich and chocolatey with a satisfyingly chewy centre. I took them to work and they disappeared within minutes. I will admit that I wasn’t sure they were doing to work while I was making them but stick with it because the pay-off is totally worth it.

Gluten-free gooey dark chocolate cookies
Adapted from divine-baking.com

3 large or 4 medium egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 ½  cups icing sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon rice flour
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups (about 180g)  good quality dark chocolate chips (or if you can’t be bothered with chips, just hack up 2 slabs of Green & Blacks. The quality of the chocolate makes all the difference, so don’t skimp.)

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C. Put a pot of boiling water on the stove and rest a glass bowl on top of it. The bowl should not touch the water. Add one cup of the chocolate chips to the bowl and allow to melt, stirring occasionally. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave but if it goes wrong there is nothing you can do to salvage it. I prefer the old school, safe method. When the chocolate is completely melted, set aside to cool a little.

Now beat the egg whites to soft peaks with the cream of tartar using an electric mixer. This can be tricky, so here are my tips for doing it right:

  • Always use a glass or metal bowl – never plastic.
  • It won’t work if there is a drop of fat or yolk in the bowl so separate your eggs carefully and wipe your bowl with a piece of kitchen roll and a drop of vinegar before you start
  • The cream of tartar really helps
  • You will know you have soft peaks when you can lift the beater out of the egg white and it makes a little peak that flops over at the end. If the peak doesn’t flop over, you’ve gone too far!

Once you’ve got your soft peaks, add one cup of the icing sugar a little at a time, continuing to beat. Once all the sugar is in, keep beating until you get a creamy marshmallow texture. It shouldn’t take more than the few minutes. Don’t panic if you become surrounded by a cloud of white powder. Just make sure you vacuum after.

In a separate bowl, mix together another cup of the icing sugar, the cocoa, flour and salt. Now turn down your mixer to a slow speed and add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Then stir in the melted chocolate and remaining chips.

Put your mixing bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes for the dough to stiffen up.

In the meantime, grease two baking trays with a little oil and put your remaining icing sugar in a bowl.

When your dough is nice and stiff, take a tablespoon of mixture at a time, roll into a ball and then roll in the remaining icing sugar to thickly coat. Place on the baking tray. You should get 9 – 10 per tray. Bake each tray for 10 minutes. Prepare to be amazed!

Makes 18 – 20 cookies

Dark Chocolate Cookies