Redcurrant Flapjack Slice

Redcurrants are an under-rated berry. Often left on the side of a plate at a Christmas party pudding or turned into a jelly that’s only used infrequently. Personally I find the sharp taste of redcurrants is a brilliant contrast to a sweet pudding or bake and this is a perfect flapjack recipe to make use of wild or homegrown redcurrants.

Foraged Redcurrants

I’ve foraged these redcurrants locally during a nice walk and intend to make good use of them in this flapjack recipe.

Redcurrant Flapjack Slice

Start by preparing a jam from your redcurrants. Place them into a pan and squish with a potato masher before stirring through sugar. Cook on a high heat and bring to the boil before you switch down to a simmer and cook slowly for 30 minutes or so.

Then move onto the flapjack. I love flapjack as it is a simple bake which is easily veganised or made gluten free!

Melt dairy free butter in a pan and add either golden syrup or vegan honey (made from dandelions this is another lovely foraging recipe). Keep stirring until the butter is melting and warm and then add Demerara sugar.

Add gluten free oats and mix through thoroughly to combine into a thick mixture. Layer a baking dish with greaseproof paper and pack in a firm bottom layer of the flapjack mix.

Allow the bottom layer to set a little before topping withe redcurrant jam and adding another thick layer of flapjack mix.

Sprinkle a small amount of Demerara sugar over the top and bake for approximately 20 minutes. When cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing to create individual servings.

Vegan Elderflower Turkish Delight

I love this time of year when everything is in bloom. Even better is the fact that I can forage elderflower during a walk and use it in baking and cordials. This year I’ve looked for new ideas online and come across a recipe Elderflower Delight on River Cottage which I’ve altered to make vegan.

So Tasty

Using the recipe I found online o started by adding 700g caster sugar to a very large pan with 300ml of water and plenty of fresh lemon juice. Switch on the heat to a medium point and heat whilst stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

Mix together 100g corn flour and 100ml of water into a smooth paste and pour into the liquid, stir through then add a tablespoon of pectin. Stir using a whisk and bring the mixture to the boil. When boiling the mixture will start to thicken. Turn the heat down to a simmer.

At this point it’s time to add the elderflower. Remove the flowers from the elderflower sprigs (approx 20 sprigs) and wrap into a tied up muslin bag or cloth. Place it into the mixture so it is underneath and continue to simmer for 20 minutes before removing the elderflower.

Once simmered you should have a very thick and gooey Turkish Y mixture. Whilst you allow it to cool a little bit line a large tray with baking paper and dust with a 50:50 mix of icing sugar and corn flour. Pour the mixture into the dish, cover with paper and leave to set in a cool, dry place. I left mine overnight in the pantry.

Once fully set and fairly rubbery dust with more icing sugar and cornflour mix. Cut into pieces and roll the sides in more sugar (in for a penny in for a pound) and then enjoy as a delicious summer sweet.

This gluten free and vegan sweets are lovely. I hope you enjoy them too.

Almond Milk Rice Pudding and Homemade Cherry Jam

An old classic, rice pudding is great for coeliacs as rice is naturally gluten free. I’ve updated this recipe using almond milk and it pairs beautifully with my homemade cherry jam.

Start by adding pudding rice to a large pan and covering with almond milk and an additional 200ml water. I’ve used unsweetened almond milk but added carob syrup for a natural sweetness with a gentler sugarey feel.

Stir through thoroughly and then turn the hob on but keep the heat low. I used setting 3 / 9. The rice pudding takes nearly an hour to cook and will need occasional stirring and monitoring to see if additional liquid is required.

When the rice is fully cooked it will be soft and fluffy without much liquid. Taste to check the rice is fully cooked.

I’ve stirred through a little Alpro single cream and then topped with my homemade cherry jam as I always find almond and cherries a strong mix.

Vegan Easter Buns

I’m a little late sharing this post but due to lockdown I’m reviewing some of my previous baking and realised I hadn’t shared these tasty little treats.

These are so simple to make and I’ve made chocolate and marshmallow Easter nest buns.

For the chocolate Easter nests start by melting dark cooking chocolate and Golden syrup in a large bowl in the microwave or above a pan of boiling water. I’ve used Green and Black’s dark cooking chocolate as not only is it vegan but it is also Fairtrade. Once fully melted stir through to mix and then add cereal. I’m using gluten free own brand rice crispies. Spoon into paper cake cases and pop into the fridge to set. Once fully set I’ve decorated with Freedom Confectionery mini marshmallows as they are gluten free and vegan and added rainbow chicks and hand coloured paper eggs (as I couldn’t get vegan mini eggs).

The marshmallow nests are just as easy to make. This time mix golden syrup and marshmallows in a large bowl and melt either in the microwave or above a pan of boiling water again. Stir through thoroughly before mixing in the rice crispies or cornflakes and setting again. I’ve topped these with Mark’s and Spencer Easter sweets – Percy Pig spin off rabbits which are also vegan and gluten free. I’m sure to make these at other times of the year too and hope you can enjoy them as well.

Vegan Coconut and Pineapple Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is making a big comeback in my life as a naturally gluten free dessert which can be made vegan so easily and with so many options. Today I’ve made rice pudding with Alpro Coconut Milk, pudding rice, carob syrup and dried pineapple and papaya pieces.

Many coconut rice puddings will used canned coconut milk which is very dense and high in fat. I’m using the Alpro milk alternative made from coconut as it’s much healthier coming in at only 20 calories and less than 1g fat per 100ml. Start by adding 500ml of coconut milk to a pan and gradually bring to heat.

When the coconut milk starts gently boiling add in carob syrup. I’ve used 3 tablespoons to sweeten the pudding whilst still avoiding refined sugars. Thoroughly stir through the syrup until blended well with the coconut milk

Once the coconut milk and carob base is ready add half a cup of pudding rice and turn the heat down low to simmer for 45 minutes whilst occasionally checking in to stir.

Shortly before serving I’ve mixed through dried pineapple and papaya pieces to complement the coconut flavour.

Rice pudding is a classic which so much reminds me of Sunday dinner in Yorkshire with my gran (and a thick skin on top) but the tropical flavours and the hob cooking give it an adult twist making it fresh and tasty in the here and now.

Carob Syrup Crumble

Spring time is here so I’m starting to think about delicious light spring puddings. This carob syrup crumble with peach is super easy to bake and a very tasty vegan and gluten-free dessert.

Start by layering sliced peaches along the base of a baking dish. I’m using tinned peaches to save time and to make sure I don’t leave my tins too long.

Melt dairy free spread in a pan on a medium heat. I use Pure Soya as it is my favourite vegan alternative. Add a few tablespoons of carob syrup to the melted spread and stir through to mix. Carob syrup is an excellent alternative to honey and will both sweeten desserts and act as a binding agent.

Add gluten free oats to the syrup and melted spread mix and use this to top the peaches. Bake on 200° for approximately 20 minutes before serving warm and enjoying a tasty, peachy pudding.

IceDelight, Scottish, vegan ice cream

During a relaxing November break in the Scottish borders I came across a real vegan treat.


Being lactose intolerant and coeliac it can be difficult to find desserts so it’s not hard to imagine how excited I was to find this delicious vegan alternative to ice cream. I came across this at a deli called The Store just outside Dunbar and was pleased to learn the fruit was grown and the dessert was produced locally too.

I enjoyed the gooseberry and elderflower flavoured pudding but looking on the website there are additional flavours to tuck into.

http://www.belhavenfruitfarm.co.uk/icedelight.aspx

Despite the chilly November weather this dessert has been an excellent addition to my holiday. Tasty.