Gluten Free Red Onion Rings

Gluten Free Red Onion Rings

Having made some crunchy breaded chicken wings I had some of the seasoned flour and egg left. Not wanting to waste it and having enjoyed the onion rings I had cooked before, decided to mix it together with some milk and coat some onion rings and fry them.

As this was using leftovers, I didn’t measure anything out and so after mixing the egg and flour together I added some milk until the batter coated the back of the spoon.

I took a red onion and sliced it thickly across and then separated out the individual rings of onion. I kept the rest of the onion, diced for another dish. 

I used a smaller frying pan and shallow fried the onion rings in hot oil a minute or so on each side until the batter was cooked and a golden brown.

The end result was beautifully crisp onion rings, the batter had an excellent crunch, they had a succulent taste of onion on the inside. Unlike some I have had these weren’t greasy either, which I often think is a result of cooking rings twice.

These were delicious, the red onion providing a different flavour to the brown onion I used last time and a lovely light crisp batter.

As I had a little bit of batter left I did some green pepper strips as well.

Gluten Free Crunchy Breaded Chicken Wings

Gluten Free Crunchy Breaded Chicken Wings

It was time to prepare dinner and I was thinking about what to cook and how to cook it. I had decided to cook some chicken wings, and my usual recipe is to either make a sauce or use a ready made cooking sauce and bake them in the oven. I decided I would do the chicken wings two ways. One would be coated in miso sauce and for the others I would do as crunchy wings.

I usually cut off the nib of the wing and then cut them into two pieces, to make them easier to eat.

The wings were then coated in seasoned flour. I used gluten free self-raising flour (as we were short on plain four), some chicken seasoning, paprika and chilli.

I then set up a bowl of beaten egg and one of gluten free seasoned breadcrumbs.

Keeping one had wet and the other dry, the floured chicken is coated in the egg and then coated in the breadcrumbs.

These are placed on a lined baking tray (I use baking parchment for these). The chicken wings are done one by one and are then baked in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the coating is browned and the chicken is cooked. Mine took a little longer than planned as I had more in the oven.

They were lovely and crunchy on the outside and the chicken was moist and tender on the inside. Lots of flavour in the coating as well.

We went out to eat

Our initial idea was to go to the cinema, though there was nothing at the cinema we could watch, so made the decision we would go out to eat at Bella Italia at the Mall. Virtually all the major chains in Weston have closed now, so wanting to ensure that the menu had gluten free options, we decided to head to the Mall. 

Well as we hit the M5 northbound it was chocked full and slow moving, we thought we made a mistake. But eventually it thinned out and we could go faster. We got to Bella Italia just in time.

We had a lovely warm welcome from the staff and they showed us to our table.

We had a good look over the menu. It looked like there was a lot more on there than when I last looked (which was probably last summer).

Though I like starters I usually don’t have a starter, but as others in the family were going for garlic bread, I looked over the possible choices. The calamari would have been an obvious choice for me. So I decided on the Calzonetti ‘Nduj, as I was thinking about pasta for my main course. However a last minute change of thought resulted in me actually ordering the Arancini al Granchio

There are crispy rice balls filled with crab, prawns and fennel with a side of lemon & cracked pepper mayonnaise.

They were very nice, not outstanding, but they were nice. You could taste the crab and the mayonnaise with the crunchy exterior.

For my main course I went with a pasta dish, Salsiccia Mezzaluna.

Fresh mezzaluna pasta filled with Luganica sausage & radiccio, cooked in a sage butter and finished with toasted hazelnuts and a beef dripping pangrattato crumb. 

This just sounded divine and to be honest it was totally delicious. The pasta was al dente, the filling had a nice flavour, I think it could have been stronger, but I loved the sage butter and the toasted hazelnuts and pangrattato crumb added real silkiness and crunch to the dish.

I loved it.

I wasn’t full, so went for a dessert, the raspberry and pistachio semifreddo with white chocolate and marshmallow sauce.

This was nice, but I felt it could do with more pistachio and more sauce. Having said that I really enjoyed it.

As for the rest of the family, my better half went with the  Funghi Crema made with chestnut mushrooms in a porcini, mascarpone & pecorino cheese sauce with fresh mafalde pasta ribbons.

She really enjoyed the dish and it looked great.

My youngest had a gluten free Marghaerita, whilst my son had the gluten free Pepperoni with tomato, mozzarella, salami piccante, red onion, garlic and rocket.

They both enjoyed their pizza.

My son also had the warm gluten free chocolate brownie with white chocolate chunks served with vegan vanilla gelato and a sprinkling of honeycomb.

He finished off the plate of food

This was probably one of the best meals I have ever had at Bella Italia, really enjoyed the experience, the food and the service.

Gluten Free White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free White Chocolate Chip Cookies

The process I used is pretty much the same as the process I have used on other cookies I have made.

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
1 pack white chocolate chips
One teaspoon salt
One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Two teaspoons of vanilla essence

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. Once the butter melted and had turned slightly brown this was removed from the heat and cooled to room temperature. I find it is better if it is room temperature, too warm and the cookies are not as good.

Cream the liquid butter with the sugar, vanilla essence. The idea is to mix it until it is light and fluffy. Use an electric mixer if you have one, ours was broken, so I 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 raspberry and white chocolate.

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!

Cake disaster

So there I was making a couple of small gluten free sponge cakes.

Having had them in the oven for 20 minutes, they looked done, I did the skewer test, which came out clean.

However when removing them from the tins the middle collapsed!

A bit of a disaster.

I had to bake them all over again.

Gluten Free Onion Rings

Gluten Free Onion Rings

I wasn’t expecting these to be as good as they were, but I was well pleased with how these turned out in the end.

I quite like onion rings and if I am out and about eating out (well when I could) I would often add some onion rings to my meal. Though I have tried various shop frozen onion rings, I haven’t found any that I would say are fantastic. Also not seen any gluten free ones either.

This is a relatively simply recipe for making gluten free onion rings.

I took a large brown onion and sliced it thickly across and then separated out the individual rings of onion.

I kept the rest of the onion, diced for another dish.

In a mixing bowl, I whisked up half a cup of gluten free self raising flour with an egg and some milk. Adding more milk until you have a batter which will coat and stick to the onion. 

Now if you have a deep fat fryer you could use that, I don’t have one so I didn’t.

I took my large frying pan and shallow fried the onion rings in hot oil a minute or so on each side until the batter was cooked and a golden brown.

Gluten Free Onion Rings

The end result was beautifully crisp onion rings, the batter had an excellent crunch, they had a succulent taste of onion on the inside. Unlike some I have had these weren’t greasy either, which I often think is a result of cooking rings twice.

We will certainly make these again, as they were probably the best onion rings I have ever cooked and to be honest the best I have ever tasted.

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.

Gluten Free Dough Balls

Gluten Free Dough Balls

I have had a few attempts in the past at making gluten free dough balls. I have made a bread dough using gluten free bread flour, however these were rather heavy and heavy. Not quite the Italian dough ball experience I was looking for.

I then tried an experiment using a Davina Steel Gluten Free Focaccia Bread Mix.

I had used this mix in the past to bake focaccia bread with some success. However I have found that it works well for dough balls as well.

I follow the instructions on the back of the pack, however I don’t use the dried garlic or rosemary. I added 7g of fast acting yeast to the dry mix and then add 300ml of warm water and 30ml of olive oil. Mix until smooth. Leave for two minutes and then mix again vigorously for a further minute.

The end result is a smooth batter.

Then onto baking trays lined with baking parchment add separate desert sized spoonfuls of batter onto the trays.

If possible leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise, but I’ve not always needed to do this (sometimes didn’t have the time).

I baked the dough balls in a hot oven, 220°C (200°C fan assisted) for about 15-20 minutes. They should be light, crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.

Remove from the baking tray and serve hot with garlic butter or olive oil or other dips.

Gluten Free Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made a variation of the gluten free cookies I have been making recently.

My son found a recipe online for 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.

When I was buying cookies from places like Sainsburys I did quite enjoy the raspberry and white chocolate versions. So I was intrigued in Aldi in their store had a pack of raspberry and white chocolate for baking. It was in their specials area, which is a pity as we quite liked the cookies and it might be challenging to find a pack again, hopefully I can find an alternative from another supermarket.

The process is pretty much the same as the process I used on the other cookies.

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
1 pack of raspberry and white chocolate
One teaspoon salt
One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Two teaspoons of vanilla essence

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 raspberry and white chocolate.

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!

Loaf Cake Disaster

I have a simple recipe for a gluten free loaf cake, but despite usually having no problems, I did recently have a bit of a disaster.

The recipe is quite simple and 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

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 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.

The main issue I had was I thought it was cooked. I used a metal skewer to see if it was cooked and after inserting into the cake it came out clean. I think that was because it was only about 25 minutes into the cooking time.

However, alas the entire middle of the cake was uncooked, so though it looked okay after coming out of the oven, as it cooled it completely collapsed in on itself.

There was no way to salvage the cake, so I started over and this time cooked it for the right amount of time, so this time it worked.