I've been really enjoying my exploration into gluten free and nut free baking. I have been developing vegan recipes for many years, so it's second nature to me to ditch the eggs and butter. However, both nuts and wheat flour have featured heavily thus far. Since beginning my role as general manager at Cocoa Libre I am keen to immerse myself in the world of our customers. I'm always up for a challenge and will share with you what I have learnt on my journey.
I will be honest with you, I've always given gluten free products a bit of a wide berth. I think this is partly because I associated it with highly processed ingredients. However, the more I have looked into it, the more I realise that firstly it doesn't have to be like that and also gluten free flour is made up of rice, potato, tapioca and buckwheat. I'm not a health guru, but these ingredients sound pretty ok to me and whether you have a gluten allergy or not, it may be worth exploring the options of gluten free baking as many people like to limit the amount of gluten they consume.
I based this recipe from one I found the lazycatkitchen blog. Go careful when you add the milk, as my first attempt was too sticky. They tasted really yummy, but if I tried it again I would reduce the amount of milk. This really does depend on the type of flour you use and how accurate your weighing is.
I was really pleased with how these turned out. I'm not just saying it, but you really couldn't tell that they were gluten free. This is the genuine article and not second best.
Orange, Chocolate and Cranberry Biscotti
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
250g gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm Plain GF flour)
140g coconut Sugar (or ordinary caster sugar)
zest of one large orange
handful of dried cranberries
100g chocolate chips
1 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp fine table salt
135 ml plant based milk
50g coconut oil
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1. Mix ground flax with 75ml of the plant milk and set aside to thicken.
2. Melt coconut oil gently over a very low heat.
3. Heat the oven to 170C and line baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
4. Mix, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest, chocolate chips, cranberries in a large mixing bowl.
5. Combine the flax mixture, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract. Add the milk a bit at a time to achieve a pliable dough (you should be able to handle the dough).
6. Divide the dough in half and then shape each piece into a sausage, approximately 3-4 cm wide and 25 cm long.
7. Place on the baking tray and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until it is firm to the touch and lightly browned. Turn the oven down to 160C.
8. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. With a bread knife, using a sawing action slice into 1-1.5 cm slices. Lay on the side on the baking tray and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until browned.
9. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.