Gluten Free Squishy Gingerbread

a cold and frosty morning
It’s been cold around these parts recently and I’ve got to say that after an exceptionally mild December and January this has been a little shocking to the system. (Hey, I’m British…we talk about the weather ūüėÄ ).

squishy gingerbread

Cold and frosty mornings, grey afternoons and icy evenings have triggered cravings for squishy, sticky ginger cake, thrumming with warm spices and satisfyingly substantial.

Wanna try some?

300g self raising gluten free flour
2-3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
250ml full fat milk (it has to be full fat!)
2 large eggs
150g butter
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
120g¬†brown¬†sugar (the darker and more ‘treacley’ the better – muscovado is ideal)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, mixed with 2 tablespoons hot water

For the Icing (which is not at all necessary but I like it!)
Fresh lemon juice – about 3 teaspoons
Icing sugar – about 4 tablespoons

Grease your baking tin (a 20cm square cake tin is a good size) and line with baking parchment.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170¬įC/325¬įF

Put the flour, ground ginger and ground spice into a largeish mixing bowl and make a well in the middle – set to one side.

Lightly beat eggs and milk together – set to one side.

Melt butter, sugar, syrup and treacle

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and treacle in a saucepan over a low heat.

Remove from heat, then mix in the beaten egg and milk, and the dissolved bicarbonate of soda.

add liquid to flour

Using a hand whisk to mix, slowly and steadily pour the the liquid ingredients into the flour, ¬†continuing to beat until smooth. ¬† The best way to avoid lumpy bits is to make a thick paste with a small amount of the liquid and then slowly whisk in the rest – don’t dump the whole lot in at once or you’ll be chasing little flour capsules for ages!

This is a very runny batter so don’t worry – improbable as it seems, that liquid mix¬†will¬†firm up and become gingerbread ūüôā

pour into prepared tin

It will start bubbling and fizzing as the bicarbonate of soda begins to¬†react, so you need to move quickly to make sure¬†you don’t lose precious¬†‘lift’ for your cake.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45‚Äď60 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. ¬†To decide if it’s done, use a finger to gently press the cake – if it’s springy, it’s done. ¬†If you use the toothpick test and your toothpick comes out clean, you’ve over baked it.

Carefully remove baking parchment

Leave in the tin to cool before carefully turning out and removing baking parchment.

drizzle with icing and cut into squares

To make the icing: mix lemon juice with icing sugar until you reach the desired consistency (about the consistency¬†of pouring cream). ¬†When you’re happy, drizzle over the gingerbread.

Let icing set before cutting into squares. ¬†As you can see, because the top of the gingerbread is sticky it will discolour your icing – it doesn’t affect taste!

squishy gingerbread and hot choc

If you fancy a steaming mug of luxurious, thick hot chocolate to go with this, you should look here ūüôā


Honey Mustard Glazed Sausage Pinwheels

The original point of messing around with sausages was to try out a gluten free sausage I’d not had before, and to come up with some ideas for Mum’s birthday BBQ/hog roast menu.

Gluten free sausagesThe trying out of the sausages went very well Рthey were delicious, good quality pork with well balanced seasoning.  Highly recommended if you live in the UK and can get hold of them.

I can’t say for certain whether it was the brand¬†or the¬†cooking method, but the mouth-feel of these sausages was much better than the coarsely ground meat texture I’ve come to associate with g/f sausages; I’d need to try them simply grilled to make a fairer¬†comparison with others I’ve sampled.

Regardless, they were perfect for this dish.

Cider, honey and mustardThe glaze, made of cider, mustard and honey, couldn’t really fail to be amazing…let’s face it, that’s some kind of holy trinity of flavours there, isn’t it?! ¬†The sticky goodness was the perfect foil for the pork sausage – truly delicious.

However, in terms of whether it’s suitable for Mum’s BBQ, I’m not sure. ¬†Without doubt, she and her guests would love these sausages, but I’m not sure how to pull it together without a frying pan and stove. ¬†Any suggestions or guidance would be welcomed and gratefully received ūüôā

Assuming you’re going to cook these using indoor facilities, I can confidently show you how:

To serve two

10-12 ¬†linked gluten free chipolata sausages, divided into 2 ‘chains’ (or gluten containing ones, as suits you)
A little olive oil
Approx. 250ml dry cider
3-4 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
4-5 dessert spoons runny honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Humming happily?  Hands clean?  Excellent!

Whisked cider, honey and mustardWhisk the cider, mustard, honey and seasoning together until the honey has completely blended with the cider.  Set to one side.

Sausages - linkedIf you don’t fancy messing around making pinwheels, just cut your sausage links into individuals and skip on to the frying pan stage.

sausage - untwistedStill with me? ¬†Want pretty sausage spirals? ¬†Fab! ¬†Let’s do it…

First, gently untwist the sausage casing all along each link.

Sausage - twisted endNow¬†you need to seal up the cut ends of the sausage links, otherwise you’ll be losing your filling at the next step. ¬†Simply pinch about 2cm of sausage meat out of the¬†ends of each¬†link and twist the casing¬†tightly.

Sausage - starting to mergeNow start gently¬†smooshing and smoothing¬†the sausage meat along the casing. ¬†You can be firm, but not rough – you don’t want to tear the casing. ¬†You might feel a little pervy doing this part ūüėÄ

Sausage - giantKeep pressing and rolling until you have one gigantic, skinny sausage.

Ignore the fact that when laid out like this it looks¬†like someone’s innards. ¬†I said¬†ignore¬†that!

Sausage - curled and pinnedWrap each sausage into a spiral and secure with wooden toothpicks or skewers.

Sausage - brownedHeat a tiny amount of oil in a frying pan, over a medium heat.  Cook sausages for 14-18 minutes, flipping occasionally to ensure both sides are lovely and brown.

TIP: ¬†make sure your pinwheels are flat before skewering them, otherwise it’s really hard to get them evenly coloured. ūüėČ

Sausage - in cider, honey, mustard liquidTurn up heat a little and pour cider mix over the sausages.

Sausage - in cider, honey, mustard reducedSimmer for 10-15 minutes, regularly basting and flipping sausages, until liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze.

Honey Mustard Glazed Sausage PinwheelsShown here served with triple baked potatoes, green salad and grilled cherry tomatoes.  It would be equally good with a zingy, yoghurt dressed, crunchy coleslaw and potato wedges.

Do you fancy a BBQ now? ūüėČ