Friday, 25 October 2013


We are members of the Sainsbury's blogger Community and were asked about whether we use flaked almonds in our cooking.  Following a gluten free regime, almonds are an ingredient we use lots but we thought we'd try something new.  Having taken time to think of things we like to eat which feature flaked almonds, we decided to see if we could find a new recipe to try.  A quick search of the Sainsbury's recipes online and we found something - a Florentines recipe - which would be a good one to try to adapt to being Gluten Free.

Of course, as those of you who follow our blog will guess, we didn't *quite* stick to the actual recipe as some of the ingredients were tweaked a little.  For starters, we substituted Dove's Farm Plain Gluten Free Flour for the flour in the recipe.  Then, as Sous Chef J doesn't like brazil nuts, we decided to make use of some macadamia nuts.  We also used only raisins and sultanas, omitting the peanuts in the original recipe.  Finally, we were lacking creme fraiche, so used double cream instead.  So, our ingredients were as follows:-
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Gluten Free plain flour
  • 75ml double cream
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 125g raisins & sultanas
  • 50g macadamia nuts roughly chopped
The butter and sugar were melted over a low heat.  When fully melted, the flour was added and the mix was brought up to boiling.  Next, we stirred in the double cream and removed the pan from the heat before adding the spice, nuts and dried fruit.

Having mixed the ingredients together well in the pan, we placed tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with silicone sheets.

The florentines were then cooked in a pre-heated oven (160ºC fan) for 10-12 minutes.  BEWARE - they spread out LOTS!

We cooled the florentines on the trays for about 5 minutes before using a palette knife to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.  The original plan had been to drizzle them with melted dark and white chocolate (per the Sainsbury's recipe) but they were too tasty to leave for long enough for that to happen.

Next time we make these (as Christmas goodies) we'll use less mix in the 'dollops' and WILL drizzle or dip them in chocolate before storing in cellophane bags and giving as gifts.

Disclosure - we were sent a 200g bag of flaked almonds by Sainsbury's, some of which we used in this recipe.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Yum Yum!

Keeping our eyes open for new (to us) Gluten Free goodies when out and about is something we're very used to these days.  Luckily, there are far more options to be seen and found than when we first started on our gluten free adventure.  So, when we were in Marks and Spencer last week, it was great to find some Gluten Free Breaded Cod Fillets and then, even better, a Hot Chocolate Fudge Pudding (in the desserts cabinet) that was marked as gluten free. This would make our meal for the day much easier.

Having checked up on the products online when we returned home, we found the cod fillets are available from the 'M&S Food to Order' service.  Even better, M&S now offers 28 products from its Gluten Free range to order online and collect in store via its Gluten Free Foods to Order page.  This is something we didn't know about but, seeing as Sous Chef J likes to know what to expect and is keen on "planned surprises" this is a service we will be making use of in the future!

Once we got home, we cooked the cod fillets in the oven, as directed, and also made some of our Spicy Potato Wedges to accompany them together with peas and sweetcorn.  The cod was succulent and tasty and it was a simple meal solution for us.

Having baked the Hot Chocolate Fudge Pudding in the oven at the same time as the cod and potatoes, we allowed it to cool slightly whilst we ate our version of 'cod and chips'.  The now-not-so Hot Chocolate Fudge Pudding was served in wedges with clotted cream as our dessert.  It was VERY filling indeed.  With this in mind, the remaining half of the pudding was allowed to cool completely, before being stored in the fridge and used as coffee-time accompaniment the next day.
Whilst in store, we also picked up the M&S Christmas & New Year Foods to Order booklet (we like to be organised)... and were delighted to see how many Gluten Free offerings it contains!  We're each marking up a favourite food item and will see whether or not Father Christmas manages to place an order for us ;-)

Friday, 4 October 2013

Spiced Apple and Squash Soup

Sous Chef J spotted this recipe in the Waitrose weekly paper and liked the sound of the 'spicy bit'.  As our veg box had left us with a squash, we decided to give it a go.

We started by gathering together the ingredients:-

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
¼ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
Apple puree (we'd already made this from some Autumn windfalls but the recipe states 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced)
1 litre vegetable stock - we made this up using a Knorr stockpot

Having heated the oil in a large saucepan, the onion was fried for 3–4 minutes. Next the chilli flakes, cinnamon, squash and apple puree were added, mixed and cooked for a couple of minutes.

Finally, we added the stock, covered and brought to the boil before simmering for 20 minutes by which time the squash was tender.

Before serving, a stick blender was used to purée the soup. Seasoning was added to taste and it was served with some Genius Gluten Free Seeded bread and butter.

The recipe states it makes 4 servings but we had enough for 8 - I suppose it depends how big your appetite (and soup bowl) is!  Having made a panful, we decanted the excess soup into sterilised jars, cooled them and then stored in the fridge before heating up for further lunchtime loveliness.

Give it a go... it's a tasty, warming and simple seasonal soup!