I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.


Gluten and lactose are not my friends.


Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.


I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

January 14, 2011

Gingerbread


Allergy free Gingerbread does not mean taste free gingerbread!

If you are an unbeliever, just give these little lovelies a try.


I really wish I could take credit for these biscuits, but they are actually from 'Chef's Toolbox'. That's a party plan style company selling kitchen stuff in your or your neighbours home.

I was interested to see what they had on offer, and found a really cute silicon gingerbread house mold. I thought it would be good to make a dairy free chocolate house in. I was giving it the once over when I saw the companies recommended recipe sheet. It didn't look too bad- it didn't include egg, which was interesting, and it would be easy enough to convert by just swapping out the flour and fats. Of course you can vary the spices as well, I added extra ginger to mine.

I thought I'd give it a try.

125g brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
300g treacle or golden syrup
1 tablespoon ground ginger
180g butter or I used Nuttlex
500g plain gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, salt, treacle, ginger and butter together with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and mix until mixture forms a thick dough.


I admit to being sceptical. The dough was very, very soft. Perfect for squishing into the mold, but I wanted to make shaped cookies and cut outs with it as well. The secret was in the chilling.


As the dough is so soft it must be kept cold when rolling and shaping. Christmas for us Aussies is usually Hot. So I broke the process down like this:


1. make dough

2. chill dough

3. using small amount of dough, place on a thin sheet/board lined with baking paper. Place another sheet of baking paper on top, then roll out. Don't go to thin.

4. stick back in the fridge briefly

5. cut out shapes

5. again briefly chill- or freeze dough before transferring to a baking sheet lined with baking paper.





I know that this seems a lot of work, but it's not a lot more than normal really, just about 10 minutes or so.



Bake the shapes at * for 10-12 minutes, though this will vary depending on how thick your shapes are, and how big. My big thick ones took about 15 mins.


Let them cool on the pan. They will be get crisp as they cool.



They are a lovely tasty gingerbread that has a nice crisp bite to it. The dough also freezes well if you make too much, or you like to hoard a stash in the freezer for emergencies- or hungry moments.


I like to have some cookies "ready to go" cut or portioned out in the freezer, so if anyone says they're popping over I can get some in the oven before they arrive. This way I look so organised and domestic, that they are stunned and amazed (and jealous) by my awesomeness. I just smile a little, and let them think I just happened to be baking at the time. Please don't tell them my secret.




So dear Readers, do you have any secret tips for me? I promise I won't tell anyone, really....



15 comments:

  1. oooh yes I am totally stealing your cookies ready to bake idea :) Ingenius chef!

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  2. the mix does look like glue but the end product looks tasty.

    are those wing shapes? nice!

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  3. Whee, they look gorgeous as they hang from your teacup! I love the spice, and I use gingerbread spice for many savory dishes as well.

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  4. Oooh such cute cookies! Love that they hang over your teacup like that. I always add a bit of extra ginger to mine too :)

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  5. Love those cutters, the homemade one is a must have. I was looking for the silicon gingerbread house sheet though. Will try the recipe when I can get my hands on some brown sugar.

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  6. B, how cute are those! Where did you find the wonderful "handmade" cookie cutter? And I am always stunned and amazed at your awesomeness. :)

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  7. LOL at stunned and amazed at your awesomeness. I want some of that too! :D

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  8. Now that's a bit cool, hanging biscuits..... who doesn't love a hanging bicky :)
    I had to giggle at your awesomeness & nifty 'ready to pop in the oven' organisation there girl - not sure I could even go close to topping that sort of super chef skills, no wonder your the hostess with the mostess :)
    Congratulations on the award to lovely, you so deserve it :)

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  9. Delicious. The molded pattern is adorable too :)

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  10. Those cookies look fantastic and sooo delicious!

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  11. Cute moulds. I've been thinking about raw'ifying a gingerbread recipe of late and this post has reminded me to do that.

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  12. Love the shape of your cookie cutter, it has the perfect hook to perch on the teacup!

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  13. I absolutely use the same ploy as you - 'oh these cookies? I just whipped them up for you'! Love the gingerbread recipe, really simple. Where did you get the 'home made' cookie cutter?

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  14. Love that they hang at the cup :)

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  15. Hello Lovelies!
    They are cute cutters aren't they? They were actually Christmas presents from my dear friend Pony. The wings are Birkmann brand, and the Homemade is actually a stamp from the Suck brand. Pony tried to get them sent from the UK to Australia, but had to get them sent from the shop to an address in England, then sent across in a suitcase to Australia, then sent to her, then given to me!
    Us host/hostesses do need our little secrets, don't we? But don't worry, there is plenty of awesomeness to go around!
    xx

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