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.

June 12, 2011

Lavender Grey Churros

The other day at work I was faced with a bit of a problem. We had 150 booked in for an all day function with many dietary requirements to juggle. All was well until afternoon tea when.... my gluten free meals wnt missing!
I have no idea where they were- I hadn't eaten them! But I had 15 mins to come up with an alternative that was yummy, quick, and of course, gluten free. No ovens were on, there was only rice flour on hand.... I thought of churros.
With deep fryers on 12hours a day, that was one obstacle cleared, so I whipped up the batter, deep fried the little suckers, tossed them in some cinamon sugar, and volia! Sadly there was no chocolate sauce for dipping, just some cream, but at least it was better than a piece of fruit- the ultimate gfree standby in commercial kitchens.

Anyway, I knew I could gussy-up the basic recipe to make it much nicer, and with some minimal efforet came up with these Lavender Grey babies for you dining pleasure!

I believe I may have mentioned once or twice how much I love Dilmah Earl Grey Tea, it's sooooo lovely and just right for a pick me up any time of the day, so the starting point for my churros is a strong cup of tea. You could of course just use water, but why not use the best flavour at hand, and of course make an extra cup for sipping while you cook.

1 cup of strong Earl Grey Tea
2 cups of gfree flour
1/4 cup lavender sugar
1 tb butter or Nuttlex
3 eggs
Oil for deep frying
Lavender sugar for dusting

First of all, make you lavender sugar. You could use cinnamon sugar if you like, but lavender is just so much more lovely and goes so well with the tea that it's well worth while the effort.
Place the sugar and a couple of tablespoons of culinary lavender buds in the bowl of a food processor. I used Herbies lavender, but you could use some dried buds from the garden if you're sure they haven't been sprayed with chemicals or by a nieghbourhood doggie.
Whizz the sugar around until the lavender is chopped up and distributed evenly through the sugar. That's it, nice and easy.

Now onto the churros:

Put flour, sugar and butter in mixer bowl.

Pour in cup of tea, and mix well. The butter will melt.

Add in the eggs and keep mixing until a nice elastic batter comes together.

Put some batter into a piping bag fitted with a fluted nozzle. Pipe directly (and carefully) into the hot oil. If you hold it close to the oil it won't splash up at you. The mixture is thick enough to pipe in slowly and not wet enough to spit excess moisture.

Cook until nice and golden brown, you'll have to turn them over half way through with tongs so both sides share the love. They'll puff up and get nice and fat, so don't crownd the pan or all the little churros will stick together into a blobby mass.

Toss the hot churros straight into the lavender sugar and make sure they're covered top to toe.

Serve straight away while the little lovelies are warm and crispy. Enjoy with another hot cup of Earl Grey Tea! Not that you need an excuse to sip on a nice cup of tea anytime.

In the spirit of full recipe disclosure, I have to admit that the full rice flour churros stayed crispy longer, but they weren't as fluffy inside. The gfree mix was softer but with more of a doughnut vibe. Next time I might try 1 1/2 cups mix and 1/2 cup rice flour just to see if I can get a longer lasting crunch.

So my Dear Readers, how do you like your nice hot cup of tea?


  1. Gee I'm impressed you came up with such a delicious gluten free option so quick. The lavender version sounds amazing, I love churros :)

  2. Those look and sounds amazing! What great on-the-spot thinking, I'm so impressed :-)

  3. Ah tea, my favorite it Masala Chia or some English Breakfast with almond milk and a bit of honey. Your churros look scrumptious and I am off to the kitchen!

  4. Oh churrosss... come to mama! Good on you for coming up with these at such short notice - that is culinary improvisation at its best!!!

  5. I have yet to try churros -the only source close to me is some guy that comes to uni in his van and I'm not sure if I trust him yet.. I think I may try your recipe first, your lavender infusion sounds awesome!

  6. Well done on thinking on your feet! You came up with something delicious and not the norm which I'm sure they appreciated! :D

  7. My favourite tea is Earl Grey as well. I prefer drinking my tea by itself.

  8. Great job! They look fantastic - I've never made churros before, but I'm keen to try, and you've just made me keener.. ;-)

  9. Lavender Grey Churros, bravo!! You're rather amazing, coming up with this fabulous treat in such a short time. What a panic I would have been in! Great flavour combination, and I think cream sounds like a nice dipping 'sauce' :)
    Heidi xo

  10. oh these are so gosh darn cute! Must make asap!

  11. I am really impressed with your 'emergency' gf afternoon tea. I am suffered through many a morning/afternoon tea offering of a sad limp piece of fruit for the gf option, while everybody else tucks into something fancy and delicious. So thank you for being a creative commercial chef!!
    And I am glad you added that bit about how the rice flour version turned out. Interesting. I make bombolini (Italian style yeasted doughnuts) often but never actually tried a gf version. You have inspired me to try.
    And yes, I love a good Earl Grey too, particularly for an afternoon pick-me-up. Have you tried French Earl Grey - it has lavender added. T2 has a really nice version.

  12. Oh that looks delicious, is it wrong that I am licking the monitor?


  13. Wow, these churros look amazing, like the lavender and tea flavor in it. Beautifully done.
    Have a wonderful week ahead :-)

  14. Now I am craving gluten free churros!

  15. yum - churros! I haven't tried making any form of gluten free donut, but I think this might have just pushed me over on the 'I don't miss donuts' war that was going on in my head!

  16. Your churros looks a lot more stylish than the usual blase straight long thin ones.

  17. Hello everyone! I hope you're all having a lovely week, and looking forward to the weekend as much as I am.

    Muppy- I like to have a few go-to recipes for emergencies!

    emm- It's amazing what comes out under pressure!

    Judy- Chai is so lovely too isn't it?

    Ladybird- I'm just glad they liked them!

    Lucy- get one of your friends to try one... then see if they survive before you take the plunge!

    Lorraine- I hate it when I pay the same as everyone, but get less, or just something second rate. We still deserve the best :)

    Simcha- You're not into Turkish mint tea now?

    Celia- You're the dough master, these shouldn't give you any trouble at all :)

    Heidi- Thanks! I think a white chocolate ganache infused with more Earl Grey would have nicer though.

    Lisa- Definitely give them a go, they're fun.

    Spiceandmore- I know, we're customers too! I hope I can get the other chefs educated for next time. Last week the apprentice cooked me pasta for lunch "but isn't that OK for you with gluten?" There's still so much work to do! Thanks for the tip on T2

    Michelle- You make me think of those puppy dog screen savers where they lick the screen, cute!

    Juliana- Thanks, you too!

    Tigerfish- It really does work together so well

    Petra- cove over and I'll make you some!

    Jas- I used to think they were a hassle too, until I tried them :) Also the first gfree doughnut for me in years!

    Chopinandmysaucepan- Thankyou, that is of course exactly how I meant them to turn out,cute and wriggly. The fact that my pot was just a bit too small ha nothing to do with it :) (but I do think they look nicer too!)

    Thankyou for all the lovely comments Readers, I hope you have a fantastic weekend and stay rugged up!

  18. Brilliant!! I adore churros. What's not to love, really?

  19. Wow - that's where a real professional shows: When you keep a clear head in such a situation and not only make the best, but something awesome out of it!

    I LOVE EARL GREY! Period. :)