Gluten Free Chocolate Loaf Cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Loaf Cake

This is a tasty rich chocolate loaf cake.

The recipe is based on the weight of two eggs


3 standard eggs
Take the same weight of two of the eggs of soft butter.
Take the same weight of two of the eggs in caster sugar
Take the same weight of two of the eggs in self-raising gluten-free flour.
Two large spoons of cocoa powder.
Vanilla essence.

Cream the sugar and butter until you have a smooth consistency.

Beat the eggs, add some vanilla essence.

Stir the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar with some of the flour and the cocoa, until the mixture is smooth and consistent.

Then fold in the remaining flour until it is combined with the rest of the mixture.

Spoon into a loaf tin and bake in a 180º normal oven or 160º fan oven for 35 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool and then serve in slices.

Time for some seafood

Staying overnight in Cambridge, well over in Madingley, which is just outside the city. I was wondering where I could get something to eat. In Madingley there is a really nice looking gastropub, but was out of my budget, so I looked into the heart of Cambridge. Yes the Midsummer House was a possibility, if I had loads of spare money and no budget, but I didn’t, so no that wasn’t a possibility…

I had downloaded a Zizzi voucher, quick and easy I thought. Checking where it was, I saw on the map the Loch Fyne. I have been curious about the place for a while now, there are branches in Bath and Bristol, but I have never been, mainly as it was usually quite pricey from memory. I thought I would look at the menu and see what I could be missing. Accessing the website I saw that they had a January offer, 50% off mains. Looking over the menu, I saw lots of things I liked the look of, so that was the place.

The restaurant is on Trumpington Street quite close to the impressive Fitzwilliam Museum. It’s an older building and inside there are lots of wooden beams and low ceilings.

I initially thought, well it’s January, cold and a Tuesday, it wouldn’t be very busy, boy was I wrong. The place was packed. I was left waiting for a while, and then asked to sit in the foyer style area, until a table was free. I waited some more. At this point I nearly left.

In the end I went with Loch Fyne Seafood Mixed Grill. The dish as described consists of Scottish salmon, Scottish king scallop, golden shell Hebridean mussels, squid, sea bass fillet, samphire, wilted spinach, lobster butter, and a side of sautéed new potatoes.

I knew the place was busy, so didn’t worry too much about the speed of service, but in the end it was quite quick. The plate looked delicious. There was a huge prawn in the dish, which was nice, as that wasn’t on the dish description.

As I tried the salmon, I realised that the king scallop was missing. Considering how busy it was, I didn’t think I would be able to get the attention of the waiting staff, but I was lucky. He was very apologetic and took the dish and returned shortly with the added scallop, well two scallops.

The dish was well cooked, I enjoyed the salmon and the bass as well as the scallops. The squid was nice, as were the mussels. I couldn’t really taste the lobster butter, but there was a richness there I enjoyed. It comes with a side of sautéed potatoes, which were smooth, buttery and rather tasty.

I was surprised by how busy the place was, but I did quite like the environment. The service wasn’t perfect, but I put that down to the number of people in the place.

Tasty Bao Buns

I quite like Bao Buns. I don’t actually recall when I had my first Bao Bun, a filled steam bun, but I think it was from the SheSellsSushi stall at one of the Bristol Street Food markets. I’ve had some really nice ones, and some which were rather disappointing.

Having enjoyed the buns from Master Bao the last time I was there, and needing lunch I decided to visit Master Bao again. As this is a shopping centre, there are a range of outlets all with a common eating area. You order at the counter, take a electronic gizmo and when it buzzes you collect your food. Not the best way I think of having a nice lunch, a bit too fast food for me, but it works. I ordered the lunch deal of two bao buns and a side dish

I had this before, but did enjoy it, the Shiitake Mushroom Bao – teriyaki shiitake mushrooms, pickled onions and miso.

Shiitake Mushroom Bao - teriyaki shiitake mushrooms, pickled onions and miso

This was mushrooms cooked in a teriyaki sauce and served in a hot fluffy bao. The bun was warm and fluffy, and the mushrooms very tasty. It was a bit messy to eat, but I got there in the end.

My second Bao was the Mr Bao – slow braised pork with house pickles, roasted peanut and coriander.

Mr Bao - slow braised pork with house pickles, roasted peanut and coriander

The pork was very tender, and the peanut added a nice crunchy texture to the Bao. I would have liked a little more coriander, but otherwise it was delicious.

Both Bao buns were soft and fluffy and full of tasty fillings.

I had enjoyed the pork dumplings last time, but this time I went with the fried chicken.

fried chicken

This was not as good as I thought it could be, but the chicken was nice and crispy with a tasty sauce.

Overall I really did enjoy the meal,



Homemade Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

I have used Jus-Rol puff pastry in the past and have been pleased with the results, so I was intrigued to see their gluten free puff pastry and wondered what it would be like to use.

Jus Rol Gluten Free Puff Pastry

It comes as a ready rolled sheet which I sliced in half and filled with some sausage meat before rolling it up and placing on a baking tray. I made slices in the top of the pastry and brushed with beaten egg.

This was then baked in a hot oven for around twenty minutes.

Homemade Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

They worked very well, the pastry I think it needed to be a bit more flakey, but it was really easy to use and tasted very nice.

Time for a rather nice Flat White

Harris & Hoole

When I am in London (and elsewhere) and needing a coffee I try and find somewhere not only new, but try and find a place which I wouldn’t find locally in the South West, whether that be an independent, or a “local” chain.

I enjoyed the coffee I had at Kiss the Hippo for example.

So on my most recent trip to London and arriving early for my meeting I decided to go for coffee and chose Harris & Hoole.

The welcome was warm and friendly and I ordered a flat white, as one does.

Flat White

The seating was somewhat communal with a large table and counters. There was additional seating downstairs, but I didn’t go down and have a look.

The coffee was really nice and I enjoyed it.

Time for a Flat White

I was at the services on the M42, and rather than go into the main building, I went to Starbucks, which stands alone, mainly as it is a drive through (not a thru) but has a “normal” bit as well with tables and chairs.

Flat White

I ordered a flat white, like I usually do, and I was reminded why when it comes to coffee that I rarely go to Starbucks as the coffee tasted as though the beans had been over-roasted, so great coffee taste, but left a rather unpleasant burnt after-taste.

Despite the coffee, the flat white had been prepared really well, the milk was smooth, velvety and light as it should be. I quite enjoyed it in the end.

Gluten Free White Choc Chip Biscuits

A simple quick recipe for Gluten Free White Choc Chip Biscuits.

 Gluten Free White Choc Chip Biscuits

This is a simple recipe for gluten-free biscuits. You could of course use the same recipe with regular flour.

They are quick to make and quick to bake.


1 standard egg.

Take the same weight of the egg in cold butter.

Twice the same weight of the egg in plain gluten-free flour.

Same weight of the egg of sugar.

Vanilla essence.

Handful of white chocolate drops or chips

Take the flour, and add the cold butter, cut into small cubes. Combine the butter and flour by rubbing the butter into the flour, until there are no lumps and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Then stir in the sugar and the white chocolate chips. You could of course use milk or dark chocolate chips if you prefer.

Add the egg and vanillla essence combine until the biscuit dough is smooth.

How you could take spoonfuls onto a banking sheet, but what I do is wrap the dough in cling film and cool in the fridge for a fair few hours. This firms up the dough, so then you can roll it into a 2cm roll of dough and then slice it into 1cm rounds.

These rounds can the be placed onto a baking sheet or tray.

One tip I have is to crunch up and screw the baking parchment into a ball and then unscrew it. This means it lies flat on the baking tray. The biscuits will spread to about twice their original size, so leave plenty of space around each

Bake in a pre-heated oven, at 180 degrees for about six minutes until the edges are brown.

Place on a cooling rack.


Two Three Bird Roasts

I blog about what we eat for Christmas lunch, mainly to remember things that worked well and for those that didn’t, not to repeat that mistake.

We now have a tradition of having our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. We’ve done this for ten years now. We do this for a few reasons. On Christmas Day itself, the children are often too excited to sit down for a long meal, so don’t eat or enjoy the meal or the occasion. It also usually means I spend a fair few hours in the kitchen, which means I miss them opening and playing with their presents. I also find it quite demanding to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, whilst creating a wonderful dining experience.

Having the meal on Christmas Eve means that we can both spend a bit more time preparing the meal (less stressful in itself) and enjoy eating the meal (as do the children). As a result for them it helps pass the time on one of the more exciting days of the year as they anticipate the arrival of a sleigh full of presents being pulled by eight tiny reindeer!

As to what we eat on Christmas day itself, well we have lots of lovely leftovers, cheeses, pickles, hot bread, etc…. quick and easy to prepare and delicious.

I had originally planned to cook three roasts for our Christmas lunch. With limited space in the oven and thinking we might have too much food, in the end I decided to cook only the two three bird roasts and leave the beef joint for Boxing Day, which was an excellent piece of beef and I will blog about at later date.

The main roast was a turkey stuffed with chicken and duck, along with a pork, plum and sloe gin stuffing. This was an excellent roast full of flavour

We also had a three game roast, which was a pheasant, stuffed with partridge , pigeon and a pork, apple, calvados stuffing. We were less impressed with this roast, it lacked flavour.

Overall it was a nice meal and enjoyed by all.

Time for a Coffee: Top Ten Blog Posts 2019

This year I have written 54 blog posts, last year I only managed 35 blog posts.

Tenth post was on how I found the Pork Ribs at Wagamama back in 2011

Wagamama Pork Ribs

The post at number nine was the time I had teriyaki lamb at Wagamama.

Time for teriyaki lamb

The eighth most popular post on the blog was about using a pre-prepared pack of ingredients from Morrisons, to make Chicken Fajita.

Chicken Fajitas “made easy”

Seventh most popular post, was about the time I was wondering what to eat in Sheffield’s Meadowhall, but in the end, went to Yo! Sushi.

I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for…

The sixth most popular post was not about just any pork medallions, but Marks and Spencers’ Pork Medallions.

Marks and Spencers Pork Medallions

Dropping two places, the third most popular post was Basil & pine nut margherite, a simple pasta recipe.

Basil & pine nut margherite

Like last year, reminiscing about Newquay Steam Beer was the fourth most read post on the blog.

Newquay Steam Beer

Third most popular post on the blog, climbing from eighth position, was about the Pret A Manger Italian Chicken Salad I had in 2013. I have had it quite few times since.

Pret A Manger Italian Chicken Salad

Second most popular blog, having been top for two years was Sirloin for Beef Wellington? This was a response to the high ranking of another post about using sirloin steak in a Beef Wellington rather than fillet steak due to the way people were (at the time) searching Google.

Sirloin for Beef Wellington?

In at number one Chilli Squid from Wagamama, maintaining it’s top position as the most popular post on the blog.. This post was one of the many on the blog about squid, however it is now quite old being from 2011.

Chilli Squid from Wagamama

So there are three posts in the top ten about my visits to Wagamama.

So popularity appears to be dependent on older posts being found via Google searches.