Different Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

I was wanting to make some gluten free chocolate muffins, and though I have been using this recipe recently I didn’t have any yoghurt in the fridge so needed to do something different.

175g gluten free self-raising flour
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
125g golden caster sugar
125g softened unsalted butter
2 medium eggs
100g dark chocolate chips
20g of dark chocolate chunks for decoration
1 tbsp milk

Heat oven to 180C or 160C fan and line a 12-hole muffin tin with 8 paper cases. 

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.

Beat in one of the eggs and then beat in the second egg.

Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, chocolate chips and the milk. 

Stir until smooth.

I bought my paper cases from Amazon, though I later found similar ones in Waitrose.

Spoon the mixture into the eight cases and then sprinkle the chocolate chunks on top.

Bake in the oven for twenty minutes so that they are firm to touch.

Put onto a cooling rack.

Eat.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

I made some gluten free chocolate chip muffins following a recipe from my blog. It was only after I started making them that I realised I didn’t have natural yogurt. Rather than throw the initial mixture away or go out to buy some natural yoghurt, I used some creme frache I had in the fridge.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. 

I bought my paper cases from Amazon, though I later found similar ones in Waitrose.

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter softened, plus 1 tbsp, melted, for greasing

140g golden caster sugar

2 large eggs

140g creme frache

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

250g plain gluten free flour

2 tbsp of cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g of chocolate chips (dark or milk)

20g of fudge pieces to decorate.

Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs and beat in for  about a minute. You then need to mix in the yogurt, vanilla extract and milk. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl with ¼ tsp fine salt.

Add this into the wet ingredients and stir in. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and divide the mixture between the muffin cases.

Bake for 5 mins, then reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for 15-18 mins more until risen and golden, and a metal skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then carefully lift out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

You can after a day or two, pop them in the microwave for 10-15 secs on high to freshen up.

Chewy Chocolate Flapjack

This is quick and easy recipe that results in delicious, moist, sticky chewy flapjacks.

150g unsalted butter
75g brown sugar
75g golden syrup
200g of oats

In a pan melt the butter, sugar and syrup together. I find the easiest way to measure the golden syrup is to put the pan on the scales, zero the scales and then add the syrup.

Once the sugar, butter and syrup are bubbling take it off the heat and stir in the oats.

My preferred oats are the Mornflake Whole Jumbo Oats.

Place the mixture  into a greased tin (or lined using baking parchment) and bake in a 180ºC (160ºC fan)  oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are browned. If you cook for too long the flapjacks will be harder and not chewy.

I cool the flapjacks on a wire rack.

I quite like chocolate flapjack, so I melt a bar of chocolate and cover the flapjack. Once the chocolate has set I cut the flapjack into squares.

Easter Eggs on sale

Though I kind of expect to see Hot Cross Buns and Cadbury Creme Eggs just after Christmas, but here we are not quite two weeks into January and Tesco already have a full aisle of Easter Eggs for sale.

Just a reminder that Easter isn’t until the 17th April.

Really?

Time for a Christmas Meal

Generally this time of year would be the time for Christmas meals, whether that be friends or family. I have been planning our traditional Christmas meal (for Christmas Eve) but in the past I have been to various Christmas meals for various things. 

My work would do a regular Christmas event with a meal, we didn’t have one last year (2020) due to the lockdown. I also didn’t go to the meal in 2019, as the one before in 2018 had been terrible. Rubbish food and awful service, didn’t want a repeat of that experience. I did  though have an excellent meal with the team I was in, in 2019 at the Mud Dock Cafe. Then I had a tasty homemade chestnut and parmesan gnocchi in a truffled mushroom and spinach cream followed by a rather delightful selection and beautifully presented board of cheese.

I am not attending an office Christmas meal this year, my (newish) team is rather geographically dispersed, but I did recently attend a festive gathering of our Scout Leadership team (I am a trustee). We went to the Fork ‘n’ Ale Taproom & Kitchen in Weston-super-Mare.

I drove down to the seafront, parked my car and walked to the taproom, it was blowing a gale and it was bitterly cold. I was reminded of Bill Bryson, who in Notes from a Small Island said of Weston-super-Mare.

First, you were born. This in itself is a remarkable achievement. Being born was easily the most remarkable achievement of your whole life. And think: you could just as easily have been a flatworm.

Second, you are alive. For the tiniest moment in the span of eternity you have the miraculous privilege to exist. For endless eons you were not. Soon you will cease to be once more. That you are able to sit here right now in this one never-to-be-repeated moment, reading this book, eating bon-bons, speculatively sniffing your armpits, doing whatever you are doing – just existing – is really wondrous beyond belief.

Third, you have plenty to eat, you live in a time of peace and ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree’ will never be number one again.

If you bear these things in mind, you will never be truly unhappy – though in fairness I must point out that if you find yourself alone in Weston-super-Mare on a rainy Tuesday evening you may come close.

It wasn’t Tuesday! Well at least it wasn’t raining, though I wish I had worn a hat. I opened the door to the Fork ‘n’ Ale and the wash of heat was welcome and needed.

First things first after finding everyone, was to buy some drinks. They had a really interesting selection of beers. As it was festive I went with the Christmas Nectar, a light beer which was delicious.

The service was excellent, friendly, warm and efficient.

For my starter I had the pulled chicken and maple bacon terrine. It was supposed to come with toasted chunky bread, but we had chunky bread (untoasted).

It was certainly an interesting concept and though I enjoyed the dish, I think it was something I wouldn’t have again. The bread was excellent though.

The turkey choice on the menu was a breaded turkey escalope with ham, and though it was turkey, the dish didn’t sound very festive, so I went with the lamb.

This was a lamb shank with a red currant and port gravy. It came with roasted potatoes carrot and parsnips. I don’t think it came with the butternut squash mentioned on the menu! Served alongside were the Forks collard greens, which was peas, beans, courgette and cabbage. 

The lamb was kind of what I was expecting, slow cooked lamb in a delicious gravy. The lamb was very tender and I enjoyed it. I expected it was brought into the pub and then heated as required and served, nothing special, but still tasty.

I did think though that the accompaniments were excellent, the roasted parsnip and carrots were delicious and I really enjoyed the collard greens. I could have done with a few more potatoes, but they were nice and crisp.

I would have preferred cheese and biscuits to finish, but that wasn’t on the menu, so I went with the brownie and ice cream. They had run out of coffee ice cream, so we were given a choice of a range of flavours. I went with vanilla.

The brownie was moist and had a rich chocolate flavour. That was a great end to the meal.

I have in the past had some terrible festive meals, this one was rather good. Some interesting choices made about the menu, but I did think there was some really tasty food on offer.

I had never been to the Fork ‘n’ Ale pub before to eat, actually not been there to drink either. They have a great choice of beers and the food was interesting, I think I would visit again.

Gluten Free Chocolate and Fudge Muffins

Having made some blueberry muffins, I also made some chocolate and fudge muffins. I have made chocolate muffins before, this time though I used a different recipe.

Gluten Free Chocolate and Fudge Muffins

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. 

I bought my paper cases from Amazon, though I later found similar ones in Waitrose.

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter softened, plus 1 tbsp, melted, for greasing

140g golden caster sugar

2 large eggs

140g natural yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

250g plain gluten free flour

2 tbsp of cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g of chocolate chips (dark or milk)

20g of fudge pieces to decorate.

Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs and beat in for  about a minute. You then need to mix in the yogurt, vanilla extract and milk. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl with ¼ tsp fine salt.

Add this into the wet ingredients and stir in. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and divide the mixture between the muffin cases.

Add extra chocolate chips and fudge pieces to the top of the muffins.

Bake for 5 mins, then reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for 15-18 mins more until risen and golden, and a metal skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then carefully lift out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

You can after a day or two, pop them in the microwave for 10-15 secs on high to freshen up.

Great Coffee

So nice to see Coco di Mama (near out London office) reopen for business. I obviously went in and had a great flat white.

flat white

Yes there was the little square of dark chocolate as well.

I also treated myself to a cross between a brownie and and a panettone. Rather rich and tasty pastry concoction.

brownie panettone

Nice to sit in and relax with some great coffee.

Time to go back and visit Wagamama

The last place we went out to eat before the lockdown in March 2020 was Wagamama at Cribbs Causeway.

We had thought that places might close or be restricted, so took a final opportunity to go out and eat.

Though we have eaten out since that visit, wanting to go out and eat for Father’s Day my children decided that we would go to Wagamama. The fact that we couldn’t book a table didn’t seem to deter them…

We drove up to the Mall, and like on our recent visit a few days earlier the M5 was rather busy.

However we did mange to get their okay. We had decided to eat at 2pm, so we could miss the lunchtime rush. Despite that when we got into the Mall there was quite a long queue for Wagamama. Though I prefer not to queue, this time I knew there were very few alternatives around and my children had their heart set on going there, so we decided to wait. The queue actually moved quite fast and we took the time while we were waiting to peruse the menu.

I was really torn about what I was going to have. I did think about having the cod mokutan soba which I had back in 2019 and despite the initial dish being burnt the returned dish was much better. Interestingly back then I said

It was the kind of dish I enjoyed, but probably wouldn’t have it again on another visit.

I did quite like the idea of having it again this time, shows what do I know about what I like!

Another dish which caught my eye was the grilled duck donburi. 

tender, shredded duck in a spicy teriyaki sauce. mixed with carrots, mangetout, sweet potato and red onion on a bed of sticky white rice and topped with a crispy fried egg, cucumber and spring onions. served with a side of kimchee

Or the teriyaki sirloin steak soba.

grilled sirloin steak with soba noodles cooked in curry oil with mangetout, bok choi, red and spring onions, chilli and beansprouts in a teriyaki sauce. garnished with coriander and sesame seeds

In the end after much consideration and flip flopping I went with the  shirodashi ramen

slow-cooked, seasoned pork belly on top of noodles in a rich chicken broth with dashi and miso, topped with pea shoots, menma, spring onions, wakame and half a tea-stained egg

The rest of the family went with their choices, yaki soba, chicken raisukaree, gluten free chicken ramen and chicken and rice noodles.

As is typical at Wagamama for me, everyone else’s dish arrived well before mine, and I was waiting for while for my food. The others trying to be polite wanted to wait, but I didn’t want their food to go cold. Anyhow I can eat quite fast, so was okay with them eating.

This serving as food as soon as it is ready, does mean that you get your food fresh, reality is that unless you don’t mind eating your dish whilst others have none, it strikes me more as lazy planning than “serving food as soon as it’s ready”.

Finally my food arrived and though not quite as good as the pictures on the website it did look nice.

shirodashi ramen  slow-cooked, seasoned pork belly on top of noodles in a rich chicken broth with dashi and miso, topped with pea shoots, menma, spring onions, wakame and half a tea-stained egg

I had anticipated the slow cooked pork belly to be tender and soft, but actually was crispy, which I wasn’t expecting.

I did enjoy the ramen and it was very tasty and delicious.

I did think about having a beer with my ramen, but in the end went with a  jasmine flowering tea – flowering lily and jasmine green tea.

asmine flowering tea - flowering lily and jasmine green tea

It looked great and tasted nice, it reminded me of the flowering tea I had at Tea Monkey in Bath back in 2012.

I wasn’t going to have desert, but was persuaded to by everyone at the table, and it was Father’s Day. Though I did think about cheesecake, I went with the smoked chocolate caramel cake.

For some reason I wasn’t expecting to get a slice of cake! But I did, the cake was layers of smoked chocolate mousse, salted caramel crushed biscuits, chocolate fudge brownie and chocolate ganache, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

smoked chocolate caramel cake

Not as rich as it sounds and the ice cream added freshness and balance.

Overall we all enjoyed the meal, and the service was excellent.

Nice to be back.

Gluten Free Mini Chocolate Loaf Cakes

Gluten Free Mini Chocolate Loaf Cakes

These are tasty tiny loaf cakes.

I had seen these mini loaf cake cases in Sainsburys a few times, but I bought a pack to try them out.

cake cases

The recipe is based on the weight of two eggs

Ingredients

      • 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
      • Vanilla essence
      • Two tablespoons of cocoa powder
      • Half a pack of chocolate chunks.

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, until the mixture is smooth and consistent.

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

Then stir in the chocolate chunks, leaving some to add to the top of each mini loaf.

Spoon into a the mini loaf cake cases. The mixture should be enough for five or six cases. 

Bake in a 180º normal oven or 160º fan oven for 25 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

You can add fudge icing for extra decadence if you wanted to.

Missing some Heroes

Over on the Twitter there was an image shared of an old Wilkinson’s Christmas Catalogue.

What caught my eye was the carton of Heroes.

We have seen the return of the Crunchie, but alas no Picnie, Time Out or Fuse (remember them).

Of course if you go to Wikipedia you can find out what is currently included and what has disappeared over the years.

  • Fudge
  • Dairy Milk Caramel
  • Dairy Milk
  • Wispa (Added in 2015)
  • Twirl
  • Creme Egg Twisted (Added in 2009)
  • Eclair (Added in 2008)
  • Double Decker (Known as “Dinky Decker”, added in 2019)
  • Crunchie (Originally as Crunchie Bite. removed in 2008 but re-added in 2019 as Crunchie Bits)

Missing or removed includes

  • Bournville (Added in 2008, removed in 2013)
  • Dairy Milk Whole Nut (Dairy Milk with added hazelnut in the centre. Added in 2002, removed in 2008)
  • Dream (Removed in 2008)
  • Fuse (Removed in mid-2000’s)
  • Picnic (Removed in 2007)
  • Time Out (Removed in 2007)
  • Toblerone (Added for Christmas 2013, 2014 and 2015)
  • Nuts About Caramel (Cadbury’s Caramel with added hazelnut in the centre. Removed in Mid-2000’s)

I did quite enjoy when they included Toblerone.