Gluten Free Goodies

Listen to my chat with Peter Godfrey

On Wednesday night I chatted to Peter Godfrey about gluten free eating. While you’re probably aware I eat anything and everything, I’m always on the look out for gluten free recipes because a family member is a coeliac. As I mentioned to Peter, when we first cooked for my aunt (in the order of 25-30 years ago) the gluten free requirement caused a bit of panic and some careful menu planning. Now, all that panic seems really daft! But it demonstrates how much more information we now have (and largely thanks to the internet) and cooking gluten free is really easy.

I have been tagging recipes on Eating Adelaide as gluten free, but I tend to do this only when it’s a recipe you’d expect to contain gluten. So there are many other gluten free recipes on the site!

I’ve found really successful flour substitutes for baking have been things like rice flour and polenta (polenta and almond meal in a cake is absolutely delicious!). Besan (or chickpea or garbanzo) flour is a great substitute in a batter and I’ve seen it used in quite a few cake recipes but I’m yet to try that out myself.

Of course – there are plenty of great desserts where flour just doesn’t feature at all. Anything featuring a meringue will do the trick nicely!

Savoury wise, for crumbing (schnitzels, of course!), use a mixture of polenta and parmesan cheese, or polenta, almond meal and parmesan cheese.

What’s your favourite gluten free recipe or hint?

Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Jamie Oliver's Chocolate Puddings

I was looking around for a chocolate pudding recipe and when I found this one by Jamie Oliver I thought I’d give it a go, because it has the bonus of being gluten free. As you may know, despite living a very gluten filled life myself, I’m always on the look out for gluten free recipes, because I have a few relatives who are either coeliac or avoid gluten.

This recipe has also been posted relatively recently over at Just as Delish. If you’re interested in gluten free recipes, or recipes with a healthy slant, check it out.

Jamie’s recipe, originally featured in Jamie’s Kitchen, serves 6. As we were just two (this was originally going to be made for Andy’s birthday, but it took me a while to get organised) I halved things, made three puddings and fed one to my mum for morning tea.

Begin by melting 60g of dark chocolate with 25mL (5 tsp) of strong black coffee (espresso, if you’re in my household!). I did this as usual in the microwave and a burst at 30 seconds on high was long enough to cause the chocolate to seize. As this is a tiny amount of chocolate, with liquid, be very careful if you’re using the microwave. Otherwise, just chop up the chocolate and pour over the piping hot coffee. Pour the mix into small ice cube trays and freeze.

I used 4″ ramekin dishes as my moulds. Jamie tells you to use 3″ pastry rings or dariole moulds. This makes me pretty sceptical about his quantities for this recipe because even though I halved things and was using larger moulds, I still had enough mixture left over to make a generous sized ‘muffin’ of pudding (the fourth ramekin having been broken some time ago!). So, whether you’re halving or making a full batch, make sure you have a couple of extra moulds in reserve!

Butter the moulds well and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (conventional oven, not fan).

To make the sponge, melt 160g of chocolate with 60g of butter (unsalted). When this mixture has cooled, add to it 3 egg yolks, 50g of ground almonds and 50g of rice flour*.

Whisk the 3 egg whites until soft peaks form and then add 100g of caster sugar and beat until stiff. Note – just because you may have used the KitchenAid while the baby is asleep previously, there is a massive difference between making some brownies using the flat beater and vigorously whisking egg whites on full speed …

Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mix and ensure everything is well combined.

Spoon some mixture into a mould, top with a frozen square of chocolate and coffee, and then cover with more mixture.

Bake for 18-20 minutes (if you’re using a larger mould, like me, you may want to extend that by 5 minutes or so). The puddings will puff up a little while baking and should be reasonably firm.

When done, remove from moulds while hot and serve immediately. We served with cream, because, well, if you’re doing pudding, you may as well do it properly.

While these puddings were nice they were … just that. I thought it was a lot of effort to go to for a dish that didn’t really stand out. I disliked the ‘just in time’ nature of the dish – if you were entertaining you’d spend the pause between dinner and dessert in the kitchen making these as there’s so little you can do in advance. Of course, unmoulding anything is always fraught with danger (and, in this case – massive fail – but I think my puddings were slightly underdone) but there’s no harm in serving this dish unmoulded. It looks fine in the ramekin.

There are other Jamie Oliver recipes I return to time and time again (his spinach and feta pie, and also his brilliant cheesecake recipe, which I haven’t yet written about). But this will not be one of them.

* As mentioned once or twice in other places, rice flour is readily available in Australian supermarkets. Just make sure you buy rice flour and NOT ground rice! Also, if you are cooking for people who have a medical issue with gluten, always check that any products like this are gluten free (100% white rice). You’d be surprised at the places where gluten crops up.



When buying kitchen gadgets we generally adopt the approach of buying a cheap, entry level model first up to see if we actually use the toy, with the intention that if we hammer it and it breaks, we buy a better one and if we never use it we’ve not parted with two much cash. Invariably what happens is that the cheap model lasts and lasts and lasts. That’s what happened with our espresso machine and also our deep fat fryer.

We’d been talking about buying a fryer for ages before we actually bought one. We use it more than we thought, but not as much as we feared: we’ve not turned into little deep fried dumplings ourselves!

One of the things we’d like to perfect is the pakora. I’m a huge fan of chickpeas in all their forms – but turned into batter and deep fried? What could be better?

You barely need a recipe for pakora batter – it’s just chickpea (also known as besan) flour with spices and some water. As chickpea flour is gluten free, this recipe is suitable for coeliacs (and anyone avoiding gluten for whatever reason).

But here we go. I based my approach around the recipe on India Snacks (probably a site I should visit more).

Take 150g of chickpea flour and add: the juice of one lemon, ⅓ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp ground chillis (or chilli powder – and obviously this is ‘to taste’ – you could leave it out altogether), ½ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp ground coriander and a generous ½ tsp of salt. Mix all these dry ingredients together well before adding a generous tablespoon of melted ghee and finishing the batter with enough cold water to make … a batter.

Set it aside to rest for as long as you are able (batters are always better if you can leave them overnight).

You want the batter to be reasonably thick because it needs to support all those vegetables you’re going to put in it. We added plenty of spinach, some finely sliced onion and some grated potato (if you’re using potato, don’t grate it too finally and make sure you get the excess water out before adding it to your batter). Because I’m lazy it all went in the same bowl, but there’s no reason it has to. You could use cauliflower or broccoli florets, slices of aubergine, mushrooms, even chicken goujons. Really – anything that will taste good battered and fried!

Heat your oil to 180°C and fry spoonfuls of your mix until golden and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper and serve. In my case – serve with plenty of hot lime pickle, but raita and mint chutney are also popular. This mix made more than enough for two greedy piggies for dinner.

This is really easy but I don’t recommend doing this on a school night – with fried foods like this you simply can’t be in a hurry to get them on the table. Because you’re cooking in batches (and quite likely quite small batches) you could well feel like you’ve been in the kitchen for hours. Best off saving this for a lazy weekend lunch or dinner when you don’t feel on a schedule.

And while they might be deep fried – pakoras do contain plenty of vegetables, so they’re healthy too!