Wet weather just makes me want to bake. And Queensland certainly has had its fair share of rain recently! Even though it's not cold here, there is something about rain that conjures up images of cosiness, and freshly baked bread from the oven just completes the picture.
Easter is often rainy here and while we are bombarded with cheap hot cross buns at supermarkets and bakeries, hardly any are gluten free (and the GF ones are not cheap!) This, as well as the gloomy weather, can make Easter a bit depressing for a Coeliac. Which is why I'm going to share this gluten free Hot Cross Buns recipe with you which I found in an old Coeliac Australia cookbook. The best part about it, is that all the ingredients can be found in a regular supermarket and they are super easy to make.
Although these GF Hot Cross Buns taste like the real deal in flavour, I was disappointed with the texture. The texture is more like a dense crumbly cake, rather than the squishy dough-like texture of your non-GF hot cross bun. It could be just the GF bread mix I used (Easy Bakers) that made them crumbly and dry like this, without retesting using a different bread mix it's hard to know. If you have better luck with another brand, let me know! Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns
Here's what you'll need...
- 4 cups GF bread mix (found in the health food aisle in the supermarket)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 310ml water
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup sultanas and/or currants
- 1/2 cup mixed peel
- 1/4 cup GF plain flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp boiling water
- 1 tsp gelatine
And here's how to make it...
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
- Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl, add 250ml water and beaten eggs and mix for 2 to 3 minutes. This makes a rather stiff batter. Stir in fruit and mixed peel with spoon.
- Spoon mixture into prepared cake tin. With a knife dipped in water, mark mixture into 9 squares. Mix plain GF flour and remaining water together. Pipe a cross on each bun.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes until well browned and a skewer, when inserted, comes out clean.
- Mix together sugar, water and gelatine and brush tops of buns, while hot, with this mixture.
- Allow buns to cool in tin for 5 minutes, before removing and cooling on a rack. Break buns apart to serve.
Makes 9 buns, preparation and cooking time 1 hour.
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Date of Review: 10 April 2014
Within a short walking distance of the ocean, but not within ocean views, Elk is an eclectic mix of retro and homemade love. The decor is quirky but stylish and the vibe is warm and welcoming. Unless you know about it, Elk would be hard to find as it is tucked away from other popular cafes in Broadbeach down a residential side street. There is indoor seating and limited outdoor seating - the only downside was that our table seemed to be perpetually surrounded by flies.
After enquiring what could be made gluten free, it turned out pretty much everything could (including the burgers!), plus they stock delicious gluten free bread. I had heard rave reviews about the coffee, so started with my signature latte, which did not disappoint. For my main, I opted for the scallop salad, which was substantial and delicious. The creativity of flavours worked well together.
The lunch menu is reasonably priced with the more expensive options being around the mid-20 mark.
TOTAL SCORE: 24/30 or 80%
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Chocolate. Just the word conjures up images of sweet and satisfying indulgence. But did you know that a good quality dark chocolate can actually deliver multiple health benefits?
Dark chocolate is classified as containing more than 70% cocoa. The higher the percentage of cocoa (and bitterness in taste), the greater the health benefits. So forget the cheap sugary dark chocolate and try gluten free organic ones with a high cocoa component.
My personal faves are Alter Eco's Dark Blackout (85% cocoa) and Dark Quinoa Crunch chocolate which are available in health food stores throughout Australia.
The news of health benefits coupled with chocolate is welcome news to an addict like myself, although a disclaimer follows that that sadly even dark chocolate needs to be eaten in moderation (20g or less a day), due to its high calorie count.
So what makes dark chocolate such a superfood?
5 Facts About Dark Chocolate You Didn't Know
- High in fibre, iron and magnesium. Many people with coeliac disease also have low iron levels - in fact, that is how I first found out I was coeliac... so that is another reason to incorporate some yummy good quality dark chocolate into your daily diet!
- Antioxidant rich. Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants and can provide a benefit beyond basic nutrition. These include flavonols which may help maintain cardiovascular health, improve insulin sensitivity (rejoice diabetics) and even boost brain power.
- Dark chocolate can make you more beautiful. It's true! Dark chocolate is said to help combat beauty's public enemy number one: stress. Cocoa helps reduce stress hormones, which means less collagen breakdown in the skin, and fewer wrinkles.
- It contains the "bliss chemical", a type of lipid called anandamide. Usually this chemical is easily broken down by the body, but dark chocolate contains chemicals that inhibit the breakdown of this lipid, giving you a lasting sense of peace and well-being.
- May help you lose weight by decreasing your appetite. Of course, this only works if the dark chocolate is eaten in moderation! You see dark chocolate contains healthy fats, which slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. That helps prevent the dreaded insulin spike, which directs sugar straight into your fat cells.
Check out my Recipe for Black Forest Chocolate Brownies
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