Alpro – get yer nuts off our soya – UPDATE

1472010_1435311240015633_1447709268_aJUST A QUICK update on our campaign to keep nut traces out of Alpro soya products. If you haven’t had a moment to ‘like’ our Facebook page here, please do – and if you haven’t had a moment to email Alpro and ask them to rethink their plans, please do that as well (there’s a template letter you can cut and paste from the Facebook campaign page.)

And if you haven’t had a moment to post your displeasure on Alpro’s own Facebook page here please do that as well as well! Continue reading “Alpro – get yer nuts off our soya – UPDATE”

The “Peppa” cake

Dairy free, nut free, egg free

IMG_8222RIGHT – FIRST  disclaimer is I have never in my entire life iced a sodding cake, so the results that you see here are (a) fluke and (b) disguised by the blurry Hipstamatic lighting, which fuzzes over the cracks and wrinkles.

That in mind, the actual vanilla sponge cake recipe itself – plundered from the very talented Gemma McFarlane’s book Gluten, Nut, Egg & Dairy Free Celebration Cakes – is a winner. What you do with the outside of it is your call.

But, even if I do say so myself, the end result was a pleasant surprise. I had left it so terribly late (the night before tot’s birthday party) to attempt to make a Peppa Pig cake, the relief was massive when I realised it had actually turned out OK. Continue reading “The “Peppa” cake”

Absolutely the BEST cake recipe ever

Nut free, dairy free, egg free (optional: gluten and wheat free)

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I CANNOT even begin to say how easy and amazing this allergy safe cake recipe is.

As usual, I left it until the last minute to get prepping for Sid’s birthday (how clearly I remember last year pledging to perfect all manner of sweet treats by the time he turned three. Ha!) and in a state of panic tweeted my worries about finding the right recipe.

Back came a link to something called ‘Wacky Cake’, an American concoction apparently created during the Depression era when fresh ingredients were rationed. It contains no egg, no dairy, no nuts and can be baked with gluten free flour, too. It uses vinegar or lemon to replace the egg and it works.

Continue reading “Absolutely the BEST cake recipe ever”

AllergyBabe writes…

I JUST HAD to add a link to a blog by a fellow allergy Mum: AllergyBabe. Our sons are exactly the same age with many of the same silly allergies. Coming after my last rant, it goes to show exactly what sort of nonsense we have to put up with. And why it is absolutely vital that allergen control should become a compulsory aspect of every catering outlet’s basic hygiene training.

So, a great piece and a great blog to follow, too…

Read it here.

 

The dishes I wishes

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Sweet potato fries – a simple allergy free option

WHEN I FIRST turned vegetarian about, ooh, 28 years ago (gulp) it was pretty standard fare when eating out to get pizza with holes in it where the salami had been picked off, a plate of peas and potatoes while everyone else chomped on chicken and more baked beans than you could shake a farty stick at.

And in truth it’s only been in fairly recent times – say, the last five to ten years – that I haven’t always been faced with the same bloody meal every time I eat out.

Continue reading “The dishes I wishes”

Kinnerton’s a winner

4 FACING CLASSIC LOLLY SOT_F_2-1I CAN’T BELIEVE it’s taken me this long (herein proof it’s a bum ache finding allergy safe food) but I have just discovered that Kinnerton make a nut free, egg free milk chocolate for kids.

I knew they made the dairy free bars and lollies, which are pretty liberally stocked by the major supermarkets. But for some reason none of the supermarkets I have ever visited stock the milk chocolate versions.

Continue reading “Kinnerton’s a winner”

Higher Lank Farm’s fruity fairy cakes

Wheat free, gluten free, egg free, nut free, soya free (optional: dairy free)

IMG_6870I RECENTLY posted about our fab stay at Higher Lank Farm, where the lovely Lucy became the first person outside our immediate family to cook for Sidney. Among the treats were her fruity fairy cakes – little sponge revelations where spoonfuls of stewed apple or apricot replaced egg.

I wish I’d had this recipe months ago. It’s so easy – barely more than half an hour from start to finish – and even the non-allergics love them.

When Lucy appeared with a pile of mini apple ones during our welcome ‘high tea’, Sidney wolfed down five. They keep brilliantly in the freezer, defrosting in just half an hour if you need them in a hurry. They’re delicious plain, or iced with a glacé cherry topping, or decorated with a thick layer of lemon buttercream and sprinkles.

Even better, Sid was able to help Mum make a batch of them last week and immensely proud of his efforts he was, too: it’s heart-warming to see him baking. I so want him to take delight in food and not (always) view it with fear.

The only tweak I’ve made here is to omit Lucy’s inclusion of xantham gum. For some reason my early efforts resulted in horribly chewing gum-textured cakes (whereas hers were fluffy and light) and there seems to be no downside to leaving it out. In any case, xantham is already in the Dove’s Farm flour blend.

Ingredients

4oz caster sugar (I use Billington’s unrefined)

4oz Dove’s Farm gluten free white self raising flour

4oz unsalted butter or Pure Dairy Free Sunflower Spread

1tspn baking powder (try Barkat)

2 heaped tablespooons of either stewed apple or stewed apricot

The juice of one lemon if using the apricot recipe

Method

Peel and chop the fruit and stew without water, constantly stirring, until softened to a pulp. Mash well.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Ideally, use a food processor to really whizz it up – not enough mixing can lead to a ‘granular’ sugary texture.

Add in the sieved flour and baking powder, and two heaped tablespoons of the fruit. Add the lemon juice for the apricot cakes. A tiny touch of milk for the apple cakes can also help, but isn’t vital.

Whizz the lot in a food processor until smooth. Using an ice cream scoop or a dessert spoon plop the mixture into little fairy cake cases in a baking tray (these ingredients will get you around 12 cakes) and cook in a non fan oven on 180.

Bake until golden brown, which depending on your oven can take anything from 15 to 25 minutes. Don’t ask me why, but if I ever try to double this recipe and batch bake more the cakes sink – yet when I stick to the amounts here and bake 12 at a time, they come out perfectly. I read somewhere once that doubling up gluten free baking recipes isn’t straightforward so maybe there’s something in it.

For plain icing I mix Tate & Lyle or Whitworths superfine with water (most other brands contain an ‘egg trace’ warning) while I followed this lemon buttercream recipe to dress the apricot cakes and added Dr Oetker sugar strands, which are wheat, nut and egg free.

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Allergy-friendly holiday: Higher Lank Farm (Part II)

IMG_5707SO we booked, and we went, and we will definitely go again.

Despite the fact that he’s currently going through a poker-face-meets-wuss phase, Sidney had a wonderful time. No, he didn’t crack a smile when we bottle-fed the clamouring lambs with warm milk; yes, he took some convincing to perch atop Bill, the placid pony, leaning fearfully into me, his riding hat tipping drunkenly over one eye; and, yep, he did thrash about wailing when Ruby the goat made a bid for his bucket.

Continue reading “Allergy-friendly holiday: Higher Lank Farm (Part II)”