Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted caramel may be one of the most delicious flavours out there, it’s certainly one of the most popular flavours over the past few years. For some reason add salt to your caramel and it feels more grown-up. I think it must be because the salt balances out taste, curbing the sweetness of the caramel.

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Indulgent Gluten Free & Vegan Bakewell Tart

I love almond as a flavour, in general anything made from ground almonds has a beautiful gooey texture that feels super indulgent. I know it’s one of those tastes that some people don’t like, but if you do then this is the free from recipe for you.

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Battle Of The Breads – The Best Gluten-Free Brands

One of the core things that you have to go without when gluten-free is bread. Now, I have never had a free from bread that ever quite lives up to warm fresh bread, with a crisp crust and doughy center. Sorry, I can’t perform miracles. However I have had some pretty good ones, I think, it has been a while since I ate real bread. Let’s go with good for gluten-free.

For some reason not only is your loaf often tiny, seriously they look like toy slices? But the crust is always soft, which is fine in a sandwich, but when it comes to garlic bread.. And don’t even get me started on the fact that it always seems to taste sweeter and in worst cases has a powdery texture.

For a long time my favourite brand for bread was Genius, in general this is a brand I trust not to be horrendous. It’s not the cheapest retailing at around £3, but nothing is cheap when you have an intolerance. I fully recommend buying it when it’s about to go off and reduced, then freezing it. You unfortunately have to accept that it’s always from frozen with this method, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Genius has an almost normal sized slice, which is a big positive in a world of mini slices. The slices are still a bit smaller than normal bread but not as bad as some free from bread. Genius’ texture is fairly good, you can butter it without it crumbling to pieces. However it does have a fairly sweet flavour.

The toastie loaf tastes a bit stale in my opinion, I would only ever use it for toast if you buy this loaf, which it’s clearly designed for. Stick with white or farmhouse if you can. Oddly I think the farmhouse tastes the sweetest of all the loaves.

My new favourite free from bread brand is Warburton’s. It honestly is almost as good as real bread! It has the biggest slices I’ve come across in a free from bread, they’re actually the size of regular bread. It retails at a similar price to Genius (approximately £3) but is also available in a half loaf. Warburton’s is less sweet than Genius and still maintains a good crumble-free texture which isn’t as stale as other brands. It’s the best gluten-free bread I’ve had, but remember it’s still gluten-free so don’t get your hopes too high.

If you want cheap you want supermarket own brands, retailing closer to £2. They’re not normally as good as Warburton’s or Genius, in fact some are just gross. I wouldn’t recommend Sainsbury’s own brand, but Tesco’s isn’t bad.

The pit of the bread bin has to be long-life. The ones with two halves sealed separately may make economic sense at first, but the slices are always tiny and tend to seem stale. I avoid long-life supermarket own, as they always seem to disappoint. However if you’re planning on toasting the bread or making your own garlic bread then the Schar ciabatta long-life bread can be pretty tasty. Especially warm and lathered in butter or vegan spread alongside a hot soup.

Let me know if there are any brands I’ve missed here that I should try!

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Gluten Free & Vegan Shortcrust Pastry Base For Tarts

Missing out on pastry desserts makes me sad on the regular, so having a good free from pastry recipe is super important to me. This shortcrust pastry is ideal for sweet treats, when rolled out thick it’s almost like a biscuit casing your filling. Yum.

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My Gluten Journey – How The Options Have Changed

It’s amazing how many more free from options there are compared to 15 years ago, heck even compared to the last 5 years. The landscape has completely changed, and all I can say is, THANK YOU hipsters. Sure, people ask me why I don’t just cheat a little here and there, assuming I’m part of a FAD diet, rather than understanding the pure pain I endure if I eat gluten, but at least there is food readily available now.

With the free from section in shops growing, we even have choice when we eat out. For that, I will deal with being asked if it really makes much difference, now I’m no nutritionist, but it probably won’t if you don’t have an allergy. Although I appreciate that if you don’t eat the substitutes, cutting out gluten, can help you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods. So no judgement if you’re doing it for health benefits. However for me it’s changed my life, I never knew how good people without an allergy feel on a daily basis.

When my mum stopped eating gluten, 15 to 20 years ago there was basically nothing designed for celiacs in most places. If you wanted to eat out you had to carefully select the one thing on the menu that was most likely to be safe, and then ask about the ingredients, usually resulting in you just having the risotto. Or saying something along the lines of, “no gravy on that meat please” or “none of those delicious looking trimmings for me thanks”.

I always knew in all likelihood I would also have an intolerance since it runs in the family, but to me it seemed like the worst possible outcome, so I lived in denial. Like seriously, pretty sure I cried at one point cause it didn’t seem fair that my mum couldn’t eat our weekly treat. Good job I’ve grown out of that! Oh wait, I think I did also drunkenly cry once as an adult, cause I couldn’t eat the cake everyone else was eating. Really makes me respect those children that have to go without whilst watching their friends enjoy the fruits of gluten.

It was only when I went to university and suddenly my evening meals weren’t gluten free to accommodate my mum, that I really noticed that I was NOT okay. It may have been that tonne of pasta and pizza I ate in my first year, but who can be sure? Right? *cough*

The change I have seen even since uni, wow, there is so much more available, and naturally I try my best to eat it all! So coming up are some posts with reviews of gluten-free things I’ve tried. Sharing is caring because we’ve all eaten free from products where the main thing excluded seems to be taste or the texture closely resembles ash or it just doesn’t live up to the price!

Note: why can’t we have gluten-free buns at fast food chains in the UK like Spain? I’m looking at you McDonald’s and Burger King!!

‘Sin Gluten’… The words are beautiful ♥️

If you have any favourite free from brands please let me know!

Chocolate Ganache With A Vegan Option

It doesn’t get much tastier than ganache. It’s creamy, chocolatey and just delicious. You can use it as a filling, to make cake pops or cover a cake and that’s just the buttercream-esque form. Whilst you can make truffles, mousse style desserts or sauces out of ganache, I’m going to focus on the ratio for covering cakes.

Ganache is particularly great if you’re covering a cake with fondant, as you can get it really smooth. Plus it sets firmer than a buttercream, enabling you to get crisp edges or even restructure where your cake is uneven or crumbling.

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Gluten Free Burger Shaped Macarons

Is it a burger? Is it a macaron? All I know is it’s delicious!

Macarons styled like mini burgers are the epitome of classy finger food. Where any macaron is the perfect addition to afternoon tea, shape them like a burger and suddenly you’ve gone up a level. Can it get even better? Yes, this small change from basic macarons is super simple to do.

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Edible Modelling Paste Flames

Have you ever wanted to make your dessert look so hot it’s on fire? Don’t worry, now you can with an edible flame 🔥

If like me you actually would in all seriousness like that, then I have found a way to add a flame to your candle shaped cake or even just a cupcake. I don’t know why you need it, but here is a gluten free, vegan, 3D flame, that won’t burn your mouth.

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Gluten-Free Macarons

Macarons, the very embodiment of a delicate French patisserie. These light desserts are fabulous gluten-free because they’re traditionally made with almond flour, making them naturally free from wheat.

Using wheat flour is essentially cheaper as it requires less almonds, which means by not making this substitute, your macarons will actually taste BETTER! I know practically unheard of for those of us with an intolerance.

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