A Catch Up & A Recipe for Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free Scallywag - Hot Cross Buns

Hi. It's been a while since I've visited this space. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not really. Life got in the way and sometimes that just happens and I'm good with that. Plus it was a pretty good slice out of that delicious cake called life. The last two and a bit months since I shared my healthier take on the classic lemon slice have been crammed full of (mainly) wedding things. Yep, this girl who has never believed that a piece of paper was particularly important when she loves someone signed on the dotted line and married her prince (as my Mum puts it) just a few short weeks ago. It's true what they say that the day flies by and before you know it it's all over, but my goodness, you certainly collect some of the most awesome memories on that day of days . A day that was filled with friends, family, 186 polaroids, smiles, hugs, a few tears and jars of lavender, babies breath, seaholly and daisies dotted across tables while fairy light flickered our own starry sky inside the winery and a gluten free dessert table that would make a 6year old (coeliac) at a birthday party positively wet their pants with glee!

Hahahaha... yes, I just wrote that on a food blog - ha! It wouldn't have been our wedding without a bunch of surprises; such as me, The Bride, (my friend tells me capitals are required when saying that) jumping on the bus with the guests to the secret ceremony location, which I think was one of the highlights of the day, seeing their faces when I gathered my ivory gown in my hands and walked up to the top of the double decker bus in Margaret River's town centre - oh their faces! Oh the woops of joy, it was so much fun chatting and relaxing before those next big moments. Then that moment... I can't even explain, but boy was I happy to walk to himand finally hold his hands in mine... I may of may not have whispered 'I made it!'.

Although we couldn't serve Tokay or Muscat at the end of dinner due to the venue's liquor licensing, like we usually do when we entertain we did put on that gluten free, homemade from scratch dessert table thanks to the culinary genius of our Mums, my Nan, my gorgeous man and I and seeing every single guest pile their plate up high with those homemade desserts made the 5times that I made that banana cake worthwhile. If you follow me on instagram , you probably saw the testers. Although, I was disappointed that I got distracted halfway through my own piece of wedding cake and never got to finish it...

Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in 
Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, 
Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria

One day soon, I'll make that decadent, but not too rich brown sugar, almond banana cake layered with caramel and mascarpone icing (again) and share it with you, but for now all I can share with you are some rather belated images from our Easter weekend. Spent up in Daylesford , about an hour and a half drive North West of Melbourne, with friends, new and old. It was a delicious day filled with lobster risotto, lamb cooked on an ingenious McGyver'd spit in the back yard (seriously, the aromas of delicious roast lamb followed me around for two days afterwards), there was berry picking and then berry throwing after we deduced that they'd been sprayed and then there were the hounds who ran around us whilst we wandered down to the little tourist railway whilst the sun shone through the grey Sunday clouds. There was dessert, I brought along my favourite brownie cooked in my new favourite fashion; with blobs of dulce de leche and big chunks of milk chocolate dotted through and melting like chocolate lava and this plum cake that I need to share with you soon. 

I had attended one of my gorgeous friend, Ali's tasting nights at her gluten free providore Three Ducks in Richmond (If you live in Melbourne and you're Coeliac like me, then you should definitely visit) the week prior and whilst wolfing down too many samples of the gluten free hot cross buns I spotted the Springhill Farm recipe card for their own hot cross buns and knowing that I had a pack of their real bread mix at home I knew what my Easter Friday would be filled with... the sweet aromas of cinnamon wafting from my oven. These hot cross buns were exactly what my belly was after, or maybe it was the half centimeter of butter I slathered on top? Either way - oh myyyy!

Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria
Lamb on a McGyver'd spit, lobster risotto, berry picking (and throwing out as they were sprayed) spent with friends old and new in rural Victoria. Now, that's bliss.
Gluten Free Scallywag - Easter in Daylesford, Victoria

I'm looking forward to visiting Daylesford again sometime soon in my new emerald green gumboots (yep, that's me and yes, I wore those boots for half the wedding day!), so that I can traipse around the countryside and then wrap myself up in a big cozy cardigan in front of a fire and fall asleep reading a book with my husband. Yes, it's totally weird saying that, but when he confirmed dinner the night after our wedding and said 'My wife's Coeliac' I did do a massive happy dance and throw my arms around him. I also did a complete 'Pretty Woman', running and jumping (falling) onto the bed in my bathrobe whilst giggling my heart out, but then, I've always loved that movie!

Gluten Free Scallywag - Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Barely changed from the original Springhill Farm Recipe found here .

1 bag Springhill Farms Real Bread Mix (I used their fruit mix as it's all I had)

2tsp (7g) dried yeast

450ml warm water

1tsp mixed spice

1tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup castor sugar

1 1/3 cups sultanas

1 cup leftover christmas fruit mix with dried apricots too as you've run out of currants (or all currants if you have them!)

Glaze: 

Mix together 60ml boiling water with 1tblspn raw castor sugar & 1/2tsp cinnamon just as the buns come out of the oven.

Preheat oven to 200degrees celcius and grease and flour a 20cm round springform pan, or 20cm square pan with high edges.

Take 1/4 cup flour from your bread mix and set aside for later.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a sturdy stand mixer, Using the dough hook, beat on medium speed for about 10minutes. You could do this by hand for a fabulous arm work out, it'll just take a little more time (and effort)

Take half the flour mix you set aside earlier and dust your board and hands to stop the dough sticking.

Divide the dough into 10 or 12 equal portions and rolls or press into rough balls. Personally I like the rusticity of not quite perfect buns! As you roll the balls place them close together in your prepared tray. Cover with a teatowel or grease glad wrap and leave in a warm spot to rise for about 35-40minutes.

Mix the remaining flour mix with 1-2tbslp warm water to make a paste. Transfer to a small piping bag and pipe crosses over the buns.

Bake for 30minutes and they should be golden on top and firm to the touch. Oh, and your house will smell ah-mazing!

Remove from the oven and brush over the glaze. Leave the buns to cool for approximately 30minutes as they do retain their heat.

Serve warm with butter and jam if you wish.

Will keep for 3 days in an airtight container. Simply break off the buns you want, wrap tightly in alfoil and heat in a preheated 200degree celcius oven for approximately 10minutes.

Not a hot cross bun fan? Check out some of my gluten free chocolate recipes for your Easter instead.

Chicken & Leek Pie (NF)

I must admit that since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease I haven't really had pie. I've made pies with mashed toppings, like roast chicken with sweet potato and the traditional Shepard's pie, however I haven't had pie with a pasty top and/or bottom.

The other night whilst picking our fish for dinner, I wandered off (as I must admit I'm not a fan of looking at all those wet googly eyes, not to mention the smell)to peruse the shelves i found Emmaline's Gluten Free Chocolate Cake which is processed on a line that contains wheat, so this was clearly not going in my shopping basket - and I hope not in yours! I found gluten free meringues, but after the lemon meringue tart last week I just couldn't face them, a packet of dark chocolate coated apricots fell into the basket though, which was pure coincidence as the last packet ran out a little over a month ago and I was getting sick of having muscat for dessert... over to the frozen section and I eye up the various gourmet $19.95 for 500ml tubs of icecream and low and behold I FINALLY find The Pastry Pantry's Gluten Free (amongst other things) pastry! How excited am I (once get over the cost comparison of Sara-Lee v Pastry Pantry which is about right considering all Gluten Free groceries are more expensive) that I can cheat and not make pastry for a pie - ecstatic! I reach into the cold and grab the Rough Puff, popping it into my basket I head to the checkout at which point my man has picked out some lovely pink snapper and I (YAY!) didn't have to return to the fish market!

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I chose to simply use the pastry as the topping to the pie (with the unused bits thrown over some cinnamon and nutmeg stewed apples as an ad-hoc apple pie), however you can do top, bottom, sides, whatever you wish with yours. I must admit that I'm still mastering Gluten Free pastry which will eventually hit this blog, but in the meantime I am delighted to have this shortcut!

Gluten Free Chicken & Leek Pie

1 cooked chicken, stripped and in bitesize pieces

1 leek, trimmed, washed and thinly sliced

6 mushrooms, washed and sliced

400ml milk

1 cup parmesan

1/3 cup dry white wine plus extra for drinking whilst cooking

3 tblspn butter

2 tblspn GF cornflour

2tsp grain mustard

pepper

1 portion of gluten free shortcrust or puff pastry (homemade or bought)

In a fry-pan sauté the leeks in 1/2tsp butter, add mushrooms and sauté till leeks are transparent (I advise putting the lid on the fry-pan). Remove from heat.

In a medium saucepan melt remaining butter and mix in cornflour to form a thick paste, slowly add milk in small batches until all milk is in the saucepan, whisk if lumps have formed. Add wine and mustard and simmer for 5 minutes or so until sauce thickens, add parmesan and stir until combined.

Place chicken and sauce to fry-pan containing leek and mushrooms and stir until combined. Transfer to pie dish and cover with pastry, pressing down around the edges, create a small cross in the middle of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Heat in oven until hot and pastry is cooked and browned.

My mum always served this with rice so I continue to do so adding some steamed beans for 'something green' and of course a glass of white wine.

Lemon Meringue Pie (NF)

Due to an abundance of cream (thanks to the chocolate mousse from Tuesday) and lemons (thanks to the lovely tree that overhangs the alley way near the supermarket) in our household over the weekend I decided to make something that I have never tried before, which is mainly because I don't like lemon however my man was very happy as his favourite was about to be created, although it was going to be gluten free he was more than wiling to be my taste tester and the result: Thumbs up from my man and he'll be eating it alllllll week! (hopefully not alllll by himself!)

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Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Tart

For the Gluten Free Pastry:

(makes one 23cm pastry base)

125g cold butter, chopped

250g GF flour

100g pure icing sugar

1tsp xantham gum

pinch salt

2 egg yolks

2 tblspn cold milk or water

Sift dry ingredients together and place in food processor with butter, buzz until this mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Whilst buzzing pour in the egg yolks and milk or water. Mix on high until a ball forms, note that this will take a few minutes. Remove ball from food processor and wrap in glad wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

After an hour roll out between baking paper until it is approximately 5mm thick. Carefully lift into greased pie dish/tart, refigerate or preferably freeze for 30minutes and then blind bake in a 200Deg oven for 10minutes, remove baking paper and weights and bake a further 5-10minutes until slightly browned, remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the Filling:

4 eggs

160g castor sugar

160ml lemon juice

125ml cream

Whisk the eggs and sugar together. Add the juice and cream and whisk (lightly) until just combined. (will look like a thick nearly curdled custard) pour into the cooled pastry shell and bake in a 160deg oven for 25-30minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. It needs to be chilled completely before doing the meringue, although of course is equally amazing without the meringue and dusted with icing sugar.

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For the Meringue:

6 egg whites

330g castor sugar

generous pinch of cream of tartar

In a stand mixer using the wire beaters place the eggs and cream of tartar, turn up high and slowly add the castor sugar. Beat for 8-10 minutes until the mixture has whipped up and become thick and glossy. Pour onto the chilled tart (make sure you take a mouth full of meringue before cooking - it tastes just like roasted marshmallows!) and bake for approximate 8minutes in a 200deg oven or until lightly browned on top.

Allow to cool and preferably chill before serving.