Oh hey, did you notice those two wee letters in the title of this post? I heard your prayers and have been baking my little butt off to learn to make gluten-free bakes, because I appreciate that everybody wants to eat cake, and allergies shouldn’t prevent you from doing that. I used to dread gluten-free baking, but I think I’m getting better at it – so thank YOU for the motivation.
Click here to enter the treasure trove of gluten-free desserts, and go bake yo little heart out.
Being an adult is a funny thing. I don’t just spend my time baking gluten-free cakes, you know – I seem to spend my time doing lots and lots and lots and lots of things. So many, in fact, that anytime I get to sit down for just five minutes, my body begs me not to get up, and I sometimes end up just staring out the window, watching the sunset dapple the Edinburgh rooftops pink and gold and amber. It’s so pretty where I live. I haven’t enjoyed it as much over the summer as I’d like because, ironically, I spent a lot of time indoors – learning a new craft at my job, which I love, or improving my flat and in so doing, learning DIY. It’s been a year of learning.
Learning to make ends meet on a job that didn’t even pay me a living wage. Learning to say yes to my intuition. Learning to take a deep breath, and plough on, and on, and on, no matter how hard it gets. Learning to say no, this isn’t working anymore, and say goodbye. Learning to fix things by myself. Learning to say, you know what, you don’t get to speak to me like that – fuck off. Learning to be alone, and to be ok with that.
You spend a lot of time doing lots of things you’d rather delegate to someone else when you’re an adult. And I’m lucky, cause I still live on my own so I don’t have to answer to any husband or discipline misbehaving children. (Let’s not pretend like the cat actually listens to me, the cheeky bugger does what he pleases. But hey, he’s low maintenance.) I spend five days a week working in an office, and I find the quick succession of weekdays and weekends makes the year go by in a flash. Is this what the next 42 years have in store for me? The thought makes me feel unsettled sometimes, and not a little anxious that time is slipping by and I have no control over anything at all.
So these days, it’s a rare treat when I take the time to bake something as pretty and delicate as madeleines, and dip them in chocolate ganache and then think, you know what, I’ma dip this in crushed pistachios just because I want to. Looking at how sophisticated they were, I felt quite grown-up indeed.
- 135g (2/3 cup + 2 tbsp) gluten-free plain flour
- 3 tbsp icing (confectioner's) sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 60ml (1/4 cup) melted coconut oil
- 125ml (1/2 cup) soya milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 75g (1/3 cup) dark chocolate chips
- 4 tbsp soya milk
- 50g (1/3 cup) shelled pistachios
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/gas mark 4). Grease a madeleine pan and lightly dust with cornflour, then set aside.
- Pour the soya milk and apple cider vinegar into a cup and set aside to curdle.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, lightly mixing them together with a fork. Make a well in the centre and pour in the curdled soya milk, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Fold the wet ingredients with a spatula, stirring until no lumps remain.
- Pour about a tbsp of the batter into each madeleine mould. You don't want to fill the moulds all the way to the rim but if you don't add enough the madeleines will be thin and really quite small.
- Bake for 17-18 minutes, until the edges look just golden and the tops, when lightly pressed with the tip of a finger, feels firm. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the ganache.
- Add the chocolate chips and soya milk to a small saucepan over low heat. Wait for the chocolate to start oozing into the milk, then stir with a wooden spoon until it's melted. Set aside to cool a little.
- Meanwhile, chop the pistachios quite finely. Place the chopped pieces in a small bowl or cup.
- To assemble: dip each cooled madeleine into the somewhat cooled chocolate ganache (it should still be liquid but barely warm), then into the chopped pistachios. Lay it out on a plate or wire rack, and repeat the process with the remainder of the madeleines.
- Consume within 24 hours to enjoy the madeleines at their freshest.
- If you want to make these with regular flour, use the same amount as you would for GF.
- For those bakers who aren't too concerned with 'healthifying' recipes, feel free to swap the coconut oil for melted vegan butter/spread. It makes the madeleines moister and fluffier.
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Love and cookies,