Sunday 29 January 2012

Christmas Tree Biscuits

A little bit belated (or extremely organised for Christmas 2012!), this is my recipe for edible Christmas Tree decorations. I'd made these for many years as an annual tradition in my wheat-eating days, but this is one of those examples of an adapted recipe which works really well with Gluten and Wheat Free flour. The original was from a BBC Good Food Calendar from a number of years ago.

3 oz (85g) Margarine
4 oz (100g) Golden Caster Sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2tsp Mixed spice
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
9 oz (250g) Gluten and Wheat Free Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

  1. Beat together the Margarine and Sugar for about 3-5 minutes with an electric mixer.
  2. Add the egg slowly and beat in.
  3. Stir in the vanilla, mixed spice, golden syrup, flour and baking powder. It tends to be quite a sticky mixture, so if necessary, add more flour.
  4. Bring together into a ball, wrap in cling film, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour (I sometimes leave it overnight, and find that it is often better the longer it is left).
  5. Roll out half of the mixture onto a generously floured work surface until it is about 4-5mm thick. Cut out the biscuits using a tree or star cutter and place them on a lined baking sheet. Repeat this process until all of the dough is used up, re-rolling all of the off-cuts each time.
  6. If you wish to hang these as decorations, the hole needs to be made at this stage. Use a cocktail stick to create the hole, bearing in mind that it will shrink when cooking.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160fan/gas 4 for 10 minutes until just browned.
  8. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  9. Decorate and thread ribbon through when cooled.

Apple Cake

Apples are another thing which we've had a glut of from the allotment this year. James did a grand job with making vast quantities of chutney (much of which was sold in aid of Hospiscare), but I thought that for a bit of variety I'd try and make an apple cake. 
James's lovely display of chutney and jelly for sale

I had a couple of apple cake recipes to try courtesy of Mum's recipe scrapbooks, but neither of them had quite everything I fancied in, so I combined the two, and this is the result:

12 oz (350g) Gluten and Wheat Free self raising flour
8 oz (225g) Margarine
6 oz (175g) Sultanas
6 oz (175g) Light brown soft sugar
3 tsp mixed spice
1lb (454g) Apples – peeled, cored and chopped in to small pieces
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ pint (55ml) soya milk
Few apple slices and demerara sugar to top
  1. Grease and flour an 8 inch round cake tin.
  2. Sift the flour and mixed spice into a large bowl and rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3.  Mix together the sugar, sultanas and prepared apples and add to the flour mixture.
  4.  Mix the milk with the beaten eggs in a jug and stir gently into the rest of the mixture until well combined.
  5.  Spoon into the prepared cake tin.
  6.  Top with the slices apples and demerara sugar.
  7.  Bake at 170˚Cfan/325˚F/gas 3 for 1 ½ hours or until a skewer comes out clean.
  8.  Leave on a wire rack to cool before turning out.