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.

August 4, 2011

Golden Syrup Dumplings

What do you think of when you see this?

I bet it's not gorgeous fluffy dumplings is it?

Suet is a very old-fashioned fat that has rather gone out of vogue in today's low fat, low cholesterol, low carb society. Fortunately no one in my family suffers from high cholesterol so I am not afraid!

I remember riding my bike to the butchers to buy suet so my dad could make us these when I was little, and wondering what he'd do with it. Most butchers who break down their own meat should have it available.

This time the suet didn't actually cost me anything, when I asked my friendly market butcher for some he happily gave me an enormous amount for free. He said that pig and chicken fat were quite valuable, but not beef. Beef suet is a lovely creamy colour that sort of 'flakes' as you pull it apart. It doesn't smell, or have any blood, and usually comes from around the kidneys of the animal. It certainly doesn't add any beefiness to the dumplings, but when you use it in pastry it gives a lovely crisp shell that is quite firm and can be used beautifully for pies.

Anyway, I only needed 100grms, so my doggie happily gobbled the rest. I considered freezing it, but had a vision of someone pulling out a frozen lump of fat and trying to defrost for dinner before realising what it was. So I didn't.


100 grms of suet- yes you could use butter if you must :)
200 grms of SR gfree flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
lemon zest
100 ml water
1 egg
Good pinch of salt


1/2 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups water
1/2 butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Finely grate the suet. I used a microplane to give lovely thin shavings- the smaller the better.

Mix the flour, sugar, zest and salt into the suet and rub together well.
Add the egg and most of the water- you may need a little more or less as gfree flours can absorb more than 'normal' flours, and mix together to clump.

Turn out and knead lightly. You're after a nice smooth dough that's not sticky or dry. It should be elastic and pliable.
Split the dough in half, then cut into 8 pieces each, they should be about the size of a whole walnut. Don't make them too big or they won't cook through and be gluggy.

Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan- one with a lid, and bring to the boil. Let it boil for a few minutes,to thoroughly combine and turn syrupy.

Carefully add the little dumplings, let the sauce come back up to boil then put on the lid and turn the temperature down so they just simmer away.
Simmer for 10 minutes, then lift the lid and turn them over. Pop the lid back on and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Check one of the dumplings, they should be dry and fluffy inside. If they're still doughy let them cook a bit longer. Don't let them boil away too long though or they'll start to break down and absorb too much of the sauce.

Pull the dumplings out and serve them hot drizzled with sauce and a scoop of lactose free vanilla ice cream or cream.

If you like you can quickly reduce the sauce by boiling it vigorously for a few minutes and it will become thicker- but be careful as it'll get sweeter too.

These were really yummy, but boy o boy they were sweet! I reduced my sauce and I wish I hadn't. Even my dessert expert littlej couldn't finish her sauce and we really needed that icecream to cut through it all. Don't say I didn't warn you!

So my Readers Dear, have you ever cooked with suet before, or does the idea of it put you off?


  1. Gorgeous - true comfort food! And, while suet is unattractive, it makes dumplings taste amazing and is worth the slight discomfort in using it. But, Bec -where's the custard??

  2. Was the suet frozen when you grated it?

  3. Hi!
    I would like to make this for my sister in law, but she cant have lemon. Do you think it would work without or I could use citric acid instead? Thanks!

  4. I am a bit of a wus. Would like to try it but...
    I bought lard one time thinking that I would be brave but it just sat in the fridge until I eventually threw it away. I have heard that it is great in pastry etc...and those dumplings look and sound great. Maybe one of these days I will brave it!

  5. hehe I remember when I used suet in a Christmas pudding. I wondered how on earth that was going to make something delicious! But there you go, proof is in the dumpling ;)

  6. I've tried cooking with lard a couple of times, but Pete is quite sensitive to the taste and won't go near it. Which is a shame, as it's hard to make a real empanada without it..

    Your dumplings might just change his mind! :)

  7. Your dumplings look great but I'm still not sure if I would cook with it. Not having a sweet tooth doesn't help either since I would much prefer having savoury fat on a piece of steak instead :)

  8. Is it even possible to make Christmas pudding without suet?
    We tried to find it for our mid-winter pudding and had one hell of a job. Our butchers need to sharpen up - surely mid-winter is the most logical time to make suet puddings???

  9. Too true! Everyone seems to be on a health kick... salad and tuna for lunch.. OMG.. I'd die with no bacon or fat or anything fried!!

  10. EEGhhhhhh.... It sends a shiver down the spine, something about the texture. Really I've no idea how I made it through my apprenticeship with the stomach I have. On the other hand, your dumplings..... LOOK AMAZING!!!! So I reckon I'll just have to get the heck over it. :)

  11. Well Readers, suet seems to split us into two distinct camps doesn't it? I guess I'll let it's long history as an ingredient speak for itself!

    Amanda- That's the attitude Amanda! I know, but the plate looked prettier without any, make sure you make some next time for me OK

    Michelle- No, it was nice and fresh though so it was firm and waxy, so easy to grate. Definitely worth while using.

    Carly- Hi! No problem at all, the lemon is just to cut through and freshen it up a little. You could leave it out with no problems if you like. Hope she- and you- like it :)

    Spiceandmore- Give it a try, it's really not as bad as you think. I promise :)

    Lorraine- That's right, and sooo delicious! Great idea for the Chrissy Pud too, that and lots of whisky :)

    Celia- What a shame Celia, he must have super tastebuds! Empanadas are so yummy, and the lard is such an integral part of the dish too. :(

    Chopinandmysaucepan- I don't like super sweet much either. I'm with you on that, as long as it's got a nie brown crust on it. Remember, Fat is Flavour!

    Ninehundredandseventytwelverecipes- It's nice to know we can beat you guys at something! I even saw a tray of goat suet in the butchers window this week, mid winter is the perfect time to market it.

    Msihua- So true! Bacon makes the world taste better!

    Anna- It's nice and hard and flakey- not scarey at all, I promise! You'll love them :)

    Give it a try guys, it's always great to find a new ingredient.

  12. Never cooked with suet, and the idea of it DOES put me off, but that's not going to stop me from trying it. I'm not a sweet fanatic, but MAN do I want to try those dumplings!

  13. Lean back and relax! :D


  14. For those of you who can tolerate gluten, you can get shredded vegetable suet. It is called Atora and is made in the UK. You can find it in your local supermarket at the imported foods section. My mum always used this in her dumplings and is tastes great. Sorry to those who can't tolerate wheat.

    1. I have a really bad sweet tooth and despite reducing the sauce ; I STILL cleaned the bowl :) I'm in Australia and I go to a shop called UK central that sells Atora vegetable suet, though some of our supermarkets sell Atora suet mix (mix of flour suet and salt in the right proportions)