A gluten free ice cream in a cone

This is a gluten free ice cream in a gluten free cone. I have been waiting three and a half years for this.

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Wherever I have travelled, I have tried to find a gluten free ice cream in a cone. I got close to finding one in London one day but it only managed to fill me with disappointment.

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Then Haitch came home from shopping one day with these. Eskal gluten free ice cream cones.

The cone is nothing like the picture on the packet but don’t be fooled by the insipid colour. The cones are delicious and crunchy and make a perfect ice cream for a hot summer day. Unfortunately, they didn’t last long. I took them with me on holiday with my family and when they saw me making my ice cream, they all wanted one. Of course I forgot to buy gluten cones for them so I had to share.  I should have made my ice cream when they were all out and then I could have eaten my ice cream with secret pleasure all by myself.

So now I don’t have any left and I am not sure where Haitch bought them. But I am sure he will remember.

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Abe’s gluten free bagels

DSC_0001Haitch does the supermarket shopping and a few weeks ago he came home with these.

Gluten free bagels! I love bagels and have been missing them so much. I used to buy gluten free bagels from Marx Bakery when they had a store open to the public, but that seems like such a very long time ago.

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So I couldn’t wait to try these.

And they were absolutely delicious. They tasted just like a “real” bagel. I am not sure whether it is because it has been so long since I have eaten a normal bagel or whether these really do taste just like a bagel.

Thank you Abe’s for this delicious gluten free product. 

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Gluten free dark chocolate and raspberry brownie tarts

Almost nothing tastes better than dark chocolate and raspberries.

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The week leading up to Christmas when I was still at work and wishing I wasn’t, I was having a coffee with Haitch in a local cafe, taking our time before we both trudged back to work. I picked up the local newspaper (NZ Herald) and as I was flicking through, I found this recipe for Donna Hay’s dark chocolate and raspberry brownie tarts with chocolate ganache.

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The recipe only has ¼ cup of flour so it must be easy to convert to gluten free. So I carefully and quietly ripped out the recipe and popped it into my bag. Sorry for those of you out there that hate people who do that.

I tried it just before Christmas and it was absolutely delicious. Very rich, particularly after pouring on the chocolate ganache but that is fine. You can do what I did and save half for the next day.

Gluten free dark chocolate and raspberry brownie tarts

Ingredients
200g dark GF chocolate, chopped (I used Whittakers Dark Ghana)
60g unsalted butter
1/2c brown sugar
1/4c pouring cream
3 eggs (I used my own free range eggs from my chickens)
1/4c gluten free flour (any gluten free flour mix should do)
250g raspberries

Chocolate ganache

Ingredients
300g dark chocolate, chopped
1c pouring cream

Preheat oven to 150c.

1) Place the chocolate, butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth.
2) Place the eggs and flour in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
3) Whisk in the chocolate mixture until combined.
4) Pour into 4 x 10cm round lightly greased springform cake tins lined with non stick baking paper. (I didn’t have small springform cake tins so I used greased and lined ramekins. The brownies came out perfectly for serving.)
5) Top with the raspberries.
6) Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. (Mine took 35 minutes)

To make the chocolate ganache.
7) Place the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. (I put mine in a glass bowl and placed over a pan of simmering water.)

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Serve the tarts smothered with chocolate ganache.

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The ingredients may be gluten free but has the pan been dusted with flour?

I recently went to a get together of a group of friends who share a similar interest. There is always plenty to eat and lots of laughs to be had.

On the heavily gluten ladened table, there were some mini frittatas. Most frittatas are gluten free but I thought I had better check before I ate them. The maker of the frittatas talked me patiently through the ingredients and yes, there was no gluten in the ingredients, so I ate one, and then another and another (not all at once of course).

That evening my tummy was bloated and I felt uncomfortable. I had also had breakfast at a cafe that morning but I couldn’t think of anything that may have contained gluten that I had inadvertently eaten.

The next day I contacted the host to say thank you for the lovely day and she said she had been feeling terrible and was hoping that I was ok because she had forgotten to tell me she had dusted the pans she had made the frittatas in, with flour. Oh dear. An honest mistake. A mistake that was to last a week. My tummy remained bloated and cramping for most of the week and on Wednesday the familiar feeling of exhaustion set in.

Exhaustion is a common symptom of Coeliac disease. It is an exhaustion (for me anyway) that is very hard to describe.  It is overpowering and all encompassing. When it first hit me on Tuesday, I had forgotten I had eaten flour dusted frittatas and thought that maybe I was developing sleep apnoea. I had such an urgent desire to just put my head down wherever I was, and go to sleep. Then I remembered the frittatas.

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Master of India Restaurant in Taupo, very gluten free friendly

Last time I went to Taupo I had a bad gluten free experience eating out at night.

This time I decided to play it safe and decided to eat at an Indian restaurant. Most Indian curries are gluten free but it does depend on where they source their spices but the majority of the time you can feel safe eating in an Indian restaurant. An English friend of ours had eaten the evening before at Master of India in Taupo and highly recommended the restaurant. So we tried it.

When we walked in we were warmly greeted by the staff. And yes, gluten free was not a problem as all of their curries were gluten free so I could eat anything from their menu apart from the breads. They even confirmed that the pappadums were gluten free. (Always check pappadums as they are not always gluten free.)

So we sat down and selected a dish each from their extensive menu. They had so many choices. Pages of curries and they all sounded so good. Curries that you don’t normally see on menus in most Indian restaurants in  New Zealand.

Our meal arrived and it was truly the best curry I have ever eaten. I know this sounds silly, but it tasted “home made”. The flavours were distinct and complex and I wish they had a branch in Auckland. Our friend who recommended this restaurant said that his daughter wanted the family to go to back to Taupo for her next birthday so she could eat here again.

So if you are looking for the best Indian restaurant in New Zealand, go to Taupo and if you happen to be gluten free, that’s ok too. And don’t just take my word for it, the Trip Advisor reviews give it 4 ½ stars.

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Don’t keep telling me how delicious glutenous food is when I am gluten free!

Three years on and I still have times when I get annoyed at having to be gluten free. Not very often. But now and again something triggers my sadness or my anger and I go through a wave of feeling sorry for myself all over again.

My husband, Haitch has recently been raving on to anyone who will listen (and that certainly isn’t me) about cronuts.  A cross between a doughnut and a croissant (don’t wanna know). Crispy on the outside (tell someone who cares), deliciously soft on the inside (lalala hands over the ears).

Last weekend he dared to buy these cronuts while I was with him. I looked the other way when he got a cronut out of the bag and took it towards his open mouth.
Unfortunately my nose could still absorb the delicious smell.
Unfortunately my ears could still hear the delicate crack as he bit through the crispy outside.
After he had eaten two of these beautiful things, he told me how delicious they were!

And then that evening we were at Eden Park for the All Blacks vs South Africa rugby game. I have posted before about the lack of gluten free food at Eden Park  but a comment had been left on my previous post that the pizza place based in Eden Park makes a gluten free pizza base. So while the others were greedily tucking into their burritos, I went on the hunt for the pizza place. I found it but unfortunately, they looked at me rather strangely when I asked if they had gluten free bases.

So I walked back to find the rest of my family, feeling hungry and just a bit annoyed with myself for not having eaten before I left home. Haitch tried to look slightly empathetic when I said there were no gluten free bases and then we walked on. Empathy quickly forgotten as Haitch turned to me, held out his burrito and said this tastes really good!

Then this morning I came across this blog written by a mum of an Australian teenage boy who has recently been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. I read through the entire blog and even three years on from my diagnosis I felt their pain, particularly with this post titled Gluten Free – the emotional roller coaster.

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Chelsea icing sugar is gluten free

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Chelsea icing sugar (powdered sugar) has always been gluten free but I notice the new packaging clearly labels it as gluten free.  Great idea.

Be careful with brands of icing sugar, as starch is often added to the powdered sugar to keep it free from lumps. Some brands are mixed with tapioca starch and some icing sugars are mixed with wheat starch.

Always check the ingredients if it is not labelled as gluten free.

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