Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

chocolate chip muffins

I’ve been meaning to try and make these for a while now, but kept making other things instead.

      • 125g gluten free plain flour
      • 25g cocoa powder
      • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
      • 1 large egg
      • 60g caster sugar
      • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
      • 100ml whole milk
      • 50g chocolate chunks
      • Dark chocolate chips for decoration.

Heat the oven to 180ºC or 160ºC for a fan oven.

In your muffin tin or tray add six muffin cases. 

Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a medium bowl. 

In a jug add the egg, sugar, oil and milk, then mix well together

Gradually pour part of the mix into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Then add some more, repeat until all the ingredients in the jug are combined with the flour, cocoa and baking powder.

Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Scatter a few dark chocolate chips on top of the muffins.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the muffin tray for 15 minutes and then remove from the tray.

Not 100% sure about the blue muffin cases, but you’re not going to eat them are you?

Gluten Free Choc Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Choc Chip Cookies

My son found a recipe online for choc chip cookies which we tried, though we replaced the standard flours with gluten free variants. These were nice, but they were a little too crisp and a little too sweet.

He then adjusted the recipe and the result was tasty chewy gluten free choc chip cookies. What I and my son liked about them was that they were very similar in taste and texture to the fresh (non-gluten) cookies you can buy at supermarkets that he use to enjoy before he went gluten free.

Ingredients

225g of unsalted butter
125g gluten free bread flour
125g gluten free plain flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
100g caster sugar
120g light brown sugar
85g plain chocolate chips
130g plain chocolate chunks or chopped chocolate bar
One teaspoon salt
One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Two teaspoons of vanilla essence

The adjustments we made to the original recipe was to increase the amount of flour, reduce the amount of sugar and swap the dark brown sugar for light brown sugar.

Melt the butter in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. The aim is to boil off some of the water off the butter. The recipe said to go ensure the milk solids got a nutty brown. I was a little wary in case of burning the butter, so didn’t probably go far enough. Once the butter melted and had turned slightly brown this was removed from the heat and cooled to room temperature.

Cream the liquid butter with the sugar, vanilla essence. The idea is to mix it until it is light and fluffy. The recipe calls for an electric mixer, ours was broken, so we did it by hand, which was hard work. Beat in the eggs until they are incorporated into the mixture.

Combine the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda.

Stir in the dry ingredients a third of it at a time until it is incorporated.

Using a wooden spoon fold in the chocolate chips and chunks.

Chill.

Place six small balls, about 2-3cm across, of dough on a baking tray and bake for 6-9 minutes.

This quantity of ingredients will make about eighteen cookies.

After cooking leave on the tray and then after three minutes move to a rack to cool further.

Eat!

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake

Though I do make my own cakes I sometimes use mixes, both for convenience, but also sometimes to try something new.

One pack we recently used, and really enjoyed was Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix.

Despite what you see on the box, you don’t get the icing, so you need to buy that as an extra.

As well as the mix you also need:

      • 125ml vegetable oil
      • 250ml water
      • 4 medium free range eggs

There are three steps:

      1. Mix the eggs, oil, water and cake mix gently together and whisk (by hand or electric mixer) for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
      2. Pour the cake mixture evenly into two greased cake tins.
      3. Bake in the centre of the oven for between 23-28 minutes or until a rounded knife inserted fully into the centre of the cake comes out clean. 

Once cool you can smother the cake with chocolate fudge icing.

It was rather good, and to be honest you wouldn’t know it was gluten free as it had the taste, texture and smell of a chocolate fudge cake even without the icing.

Rocking the Gluten Free Rocky Road

During the lockdown I have been making gluten free rocky road a fair bit.

In a large pan, gently melt 150g of dark chocolate, 50g of butter and 3 large spoons of Golden Syrup. The key here is gently, too harsh then the butter and chocolate will burn. Once it has melted then leave for 15 minutes. You need to leave it to cool down otherwise when you add the marshmallows they will melt.

Crush some gluten free biscuits. I usually use a 160g pack of gluten free digestives, but have used a 120g pack of Schär Viennese Biscuits as well (though these are a lot more crumbly than the digestives. You easily make your own biscuits instead. I also add 50g of gluten free chocolate rice cereal as well, for  added crunch. Then add 50g of small marshmallows. 

This mixture is then stirred carefully to ensure that all the ingredients are coated in the chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mixture into either a greased lined baking tray or a foil tray. Press down into the tray and ensure that it is evenly spread.

Then sprinkle the top of the rocky road with decorations. I use small marshmallows, white chocolate stars and fudge pieces.

Chill in the fridge and then cut into squares or slices.

Wow, delicious chocolates

We got sent sent a huge (expensive) box of chocolates that arrived in an even bigger box.

John Lewis & Partners Chocolate & Truffle Selection.

This was the John Lewis & Partners Chocolate & Truffle Selection.

71 white, milk and dark chocolates and truffles in a unique and innovative collection, carefully selected for the ultimate in chocolate indulgence. Each irresistible flavour combination has been made from a recipe exclusive to John Lewis & Partners.

21 flavours include: praline popping truffle, grapefruit and coriander, raspberry and hibiscus, mascarpone and lime, sloe gin ganache, coconut, rose and violet, butter caramel and passion fruit.

I don’t think I would have bought a box of chocolates like this, but I have been enjoying the chocolates. I’ve had posh chocolates before and not really liked them, these on the other hand are quite tasty. There are some strange flavour combinations in there, but they’re not overpowering.

Tasty and a lovely gift.

Space

Leicester College Court

Now and again I have to attend conference dinners, most of the time they are like “just okay” mass produced meals that are served without care, then there are those meals which become a really nice memory. At a recent training programme in Leicester College Court I did have a really nice meal. As well as being really well cooked and presented it consisted of things I hadn’t eaten before.

For the starter we had ‘Life on Mars’ this was described on the menu as planet’s surface with the fresh Leicestershire goats cheese, pickled mushrooms, herbs and porcini soil.

planet’s surface with the fresh Leicestershire goats cheese, pickled mushrooms, herbs and porcini soil

The “surface” was a savoury sponge that I have seen before on cooking programmes, but not eaten. It was a nice texture to add to the flavoursome goat’s cheese. I wasn’t enamoured with the pickled mushrooms, but they did add a contrast in flavour. The porcini soil added a nice taste and another texture.

For the main course we had pan fried spiced Gressingham duck breast with a duck leg pastille, salsify, sweet potato and Romanesco.

pan fried spiced Gressingham duck breast with a duck leg pastille, salsify, sweet potato and Romanesco

The duck breast was perfectly cooked, but I felt lacked seasoning and my portion was a little on the small side. The first plate I was given had a decent duck portion but was missing the pastille, so I was given a different plate, but a smaller portion of the duck breast. The pastille was interesting, cooked duck leg in filo pastry, something that might be called a spring roll. Again lacked flavour. I do liked grilled Romanesco, but when grilling something like Romanesco or cauliflower it really needs to be served straight away. It had been left too long since cooking and as a result was a little soggy and lacked the crispness that grilling can impart, nice flavours though. I enjoyed the sweet potato done two ways, a nicely cooked disc and a puree. The salsify was interesting but didn’t add much to the dish.

Desert was described as a chocolate and honeycomb moon, though to be honest it looked more like that space station.

a dark chocolate sphere, filled with a white chocolate mousse, honeycomb, mango and chocolate crumb.

It was a dark chocolate sphere, filled with a white chocolate mousse, honeycomb, mango and chocolate crumb. I was worried it might be over sweet, but actually was just right, a clever desert full of interesting flavours and textures and great presentation. A really nice end to a nice meal.

I want candy…

During my lunchtime walk, I noticed a new shop in Broadmead, actually I am not sure if it is a new shop, or had just moved from the Galleries. It is an American Candy store.

American Candy

As might be expected the store is full of American candy and chocolate, as well as some British sweets and European treats.

American Candy

As well as the candy, there are a few American products on sale, such as Lucky Charms cereal and Jack Daniels barbecue sauce.

I do wonder about the attraction of such a place (and to be honest it was rather busy) especially when you notice the pricing. I saw a peanut chocolate bar for £3 and the cupcake bites were £3 per box.

American Candy

The Jack Daniels barbecue sauce was ten pounds.

Did I buy anything? Not today. I have found in the past that American chocolate is over sweet and not to my taste, it has too much sugar in it. As for other things, again way too much sugar.

American Candy

I have noticed that these kinds of places are popping up all the time and even shops like WHSmith are selling American candy bars.

Do you buy and enjoy American candy?

Reindeer Cupcakes

Reindeer Cupcakes

These are the Reindeer cupcakes we baked last year, we are intending to bake them again this year. Lots of fun to make and the salted pretzels add a little something different.

The first stage is to make some chocolate cupcakes, I have a simple recipe that I use for cupcakes and the quantity can be increased quickly and easily simply by increasing the number of eggs.

The recipe is based around a single egg.

Ingredients

One egg
Same weight of self-raising flour, butter and caster sugar
One tablespoon of cocoa powder

Cream the caster sugar and butter together until smooth.

Add the egg and a little of the flour. Mix until smooth and then fold in the remaining flour and the cocoa powder.

Place spoonfuls of mixture into cupcake cases and bake in a medium oven for ten minutes. Once cooked, cool before decorating.

The cakes are covered in chocolate buttercream icing. Pretzels are used for the antlers and marshmallows for the eyes, spotted with black icing. The noses are homemade biscuits with a giant chocolate button, except for Rudolph who has a red icing nose.

Retro Chocolate

How many of these can you remember? Which were your favourites?

Retro Chocolate

What I like about this image is to compare the old branding and wrappers with the versions available today. The Mars brands of chocolate, Mars, Twix, Topic, have hardly changed, whereas many of the Cadbury bars are very different. The Rowntree’s bars, except the KitKat, look very different to their contemporary versions.

There are also a fair few Cadbury bars that I don’t recognise.

My kind of Aero

Anyone fancy a coffee Aero?

coffee Aero

When I was a kid there were lots of coffee flavoured chocolate bars and treats. You may remember the coffee flavoured Walnut Whip?

coffee flavoured Walnut Whip

Of course in any box of chocolate there were always the coffee creams… which always seemed to be the ones that were left at the end, alongside the turkish delight.

So do you miss those chocolate coffee treats? Or are you glad that have been consigned to the dustbin of history?