Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas and Thank-you from Pig in the Kitchen

gluten free recipes
May your days be merry and bright!

Do you like what I've done with my Christmas Cake this year?

I can tell you that my eldest daughter and I had some good Mother-Daughter bonding therapy as we squidged icing and she chastised me for getting the shape of the tree a bit wrong. (My brain doesn't really do mathematical shapes.)

Anyway, the cake is iced and I only have about four more hours of cooking, icing and 'stuff' to do before the big day hits.

I wanted to say I absolutely love getting your comments, emails, likes, tweets and re-tweets and thank-you so much for sticking with my randomness until you get to the recipe :-)

You are gorgeous, lovely readers and I hope you have a safe, happy and magical Christmas!

And may 2013 bring us all manner of bountiful goodness!


Pig / Mel

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Festive mincemeat slice (gluten free, egg free, dairy free, vegan)

gluten free recipes
Is the angle of that fork bugging the hell out of you too?!

Christmas is now Priority 1, Code Red URGENT! because there are just two sleeps until the big day.

In a minute I'll tell you a brilliant way to alleviate stress. But first, could I give a mildly feminist discourse?

Ladies, has the bulk of this extra Christmas work fallen to you? Have you been shopping, wrapping, planning and list making for at least a month? And all the while has a seething, broiling turmoil of resentment been raging deep in your gut?

"Why the f%*k am I ordering presents for your nieces/parents/brother?"

"There are 25 hundred presents to wrap, why am I doing them all?"

I have to point out that we have created this mess ladies. Somehow, somewhere, we let it happen.

Perhaps it's "quicker if I do it myself"? Perhaps it's "really no trouble if I buy all the presents, besides, he works all day"?


2013 needs to be the year of change.

The year where we wonder about the roles we are modelling for our children. The year we realise that in any other shared workplace - where both parties are of equal rank, intelligence and experience - it wouldn't be OK for one person to do 80% of the work. The year where softly softly (but firmly) we implement changes.

Anyway, back  to banishing that Christmas stress.

It is - pin drop, drum roll, lean closer to the screen, beg me to tell you - the car wash.

Who knew?

I went the other day and a completely unexpected calm infused my being.

First, someone washes the wheels and windows with a brush.   

Then they guide you onto a conveyor belt thing that immobilises the front wheel and - be still my beating heart - does the driving for you. All you have to do is turn off the ignition, engage neutral and relax.

There's a moment of silence as you wonder if the machine has broken and then pretty tri-coloured foam covers the car. This is actually the best bit. No-one can see you  and no-one will hear you scream. You are safe in a foamy, silent, secret cocoon.

Then the brushes begin. Noise and violence rages around but you are sheltered from the eye of the storm. 

Here comes the wax, lightly falling onto your car in a protective mist. Observe how the droplets repel the water!

The hot blower evaporates the moisture - fascinating to watch - and the belt moves you forward to the sign that says 'Drive off when your windscreen is level with this sign'.

You reach the sign.


The magic is over, but it was beautiful while it lasted. 

And now, once more unto the breach, dear friends... 

Beautiful, lovely, supportive readers, have a wonderful Christmas!

Enjoy the presents, the turkey and the lack of gluten, eggs, nuts and wheat.

And if it all gets too much, go the car wash.

See you soon!

Festive Mincemeat Slice (makes about 8 slices, maybe more)

I LOVE this recipe which my amazing friend Ali shared with me on Facebook. So much simpler than Mince Pies, I'm going to make some for gluten free Debs on Boxing Day :-) 

150g Doves Farm gluten free plain flour (although I used self-raising and it was fine)
30g ground sunflower seeds (put them in the grinder and grind)
30g ground golden linseeds
130g dairy free margarine
80g coconut palm sugar (or just evil sugar; it is Christmas after all)
About 100g mincemeat (more or less)
An extra tbsp of GF flour
Icing sugar for sprinkling (which kind of cancels out the palm sugar, but never mind)
  • Line a rectangular or square tin with baking parchment. Size? Hmm, about 20x20cm if poss, but if you don't have a small one, ruche the baking parchment up to form a barrier, but really don't worry, this recipe doesn't 'spread' (wow, this is possibly the most confused method I've ever written. Not even drunk)
  • Put the flour, margarine, sugar, sunflower seeds and linseeds into a bowl (or KitchenAid) and either rub the fat into the flour/seeds or turn on your KitchenAid. You are aiming to get it all mixed together into a pleasing, fatty mess
  • Pre-heat the oven to about 
  • Use two thirds of the mix and press it down into your tin to a thickness of about 50mm
  • Spread the surface with mincemeat (I bought some mincemeat the other day and it had no nuts, wheat, gluten or soya, amazing!)
  • Add a little more flour to the remaining mixture and 'crumble' it over the mincemeat
  • Bake for about 25 - 30 mins until the crumble topping is golden brown
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool
  • Dust with icing sugar - it looks like snow! - and serve
  • For next year, pledge to share the workload and go to the car wash at least once a month

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 20 December 2012

What Asda's Free From Christmas Pudding is really like

Ada's free from Christmas pudding
Is this pudding any good?
If we're to believe the chatter, the world is going to end tomorrow.

And it can, because the pinnacle of human achievement has been reached.

By Asda.

Yes, you heard, ASDA!

This behemoth of cut price consumption is selling a gluten free Christmas pudding. 'Big whoop' you say, 'so is Hale and Hearty.' That's true, but the fourth ingredient in Hale & Hearty's pud is free range egg.

What makes Asda's pud noteworthy is that yes! it's gluten free, yes! it's dairy free and yes! it's wheat free.

But let's save the best yes! 'till last...YES! It's egg free!

Finally a manufacturer has realised that if you're going to cater to most of the allergies, you may as well make it free from eggs too.

The acid test: what does this Free From pud taste like?

One word would suffice - gorgeous - but I'll carry on and add about 150 more.

The texture is pretty much identical to 'normal' Christmas pud. It's fruity and soft with a marvellous alcoholic kick thanks to the cider and rum. And I love that it has no artificial colours, flavours or hydrogenated fat and the ingredients list is relatively short; there's been no stuffing it full of sugars to make it taste 'better'.

My only teensy criticism is that it's waaay too small. Just 100g in each pot. Yes I did feel fairly full after eating the whole pudding in one sitting, but this is Christmas; I'm supposed to feel like a bloater. So my plea would be for an enormous GF pudding on which the whole family can feast.

And the best of all best parts? The sell by date is June 2014. This transforms the pudding from being 'seasonal treat' to 'daily requirement'. Genius Asda, just genius.

So stock up now because if this Mayan calendar end-of-the-world thing is right, you might have to shelter underground for a long time after the aliens have visited.

And what better snack to have by your side than an Asda Free From Christmas Pudding?
Fill your boots peeps, fill your boots.

The pudding is available online (search 'Asda Gluten free Christmas pudding if that link doesn't work), but given our proximity to Christmas and/or the End of the World, get yourself to the nearest Asda NOW

ASDA kindly sent me the puddings to review. I'm so glad they did...
© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Red Velvet Yule Log (gluten free, egg free, dairy free)

This cake was squidged, not rolled. I'm so cool.

So in my last post, I alluded to an unsavoury incident that may - or may not - have happened in my kitchen.

So here's what really occurred...

When I was fine-tuning my red velvet cake recipe, I decided to try making a 20cm cake as well as cupcakes. 

So I scraped the mix into the tin and placed it in the oven.

All went well until I lifted the tin out of the oven.

Oh, and what I'm about to tell you must stay between you, me and the world wide web. 

I fumbled and the tin fell - face down - onto the floor.

(My horror was compounded by the fact that I knew exactly how long ago the kitchen floor was cleaned.)

In a panic, I tried to flip the cake back into the tin. It didn't work. I scooped the chunks of cake into a mixing bowl and stared in despair.

And then an idea started to form...

And so, from trauma and misfortune sprang hope, two recipes and another allergy baking triumph. Sort of like a gluten free phoenix rising from the ashes...

So bake on my darlings in the face of adversity, filthy floors and unexpected mishaps. Together we will conquer the world!

Note: If you'd rather make cake pops with the 'it-fell-on-the-floor-recipe', you can. Just click here.

Red velvet chocolate log / yule log (gluten free, dairy free, egg free)

You will need one quantity of red velvet cake mix - get the recipe HERE - divided between two 20cm cake tins.

The advantage of this log is that - unlike my other recipe for chocolate log (quick plug) - there's none of the rolling of the sponge which can be quite stressful when you're working with a gluten free, egg free mix. This recipe uses the little known method of 'squidging'. 

Squidging will be big in 2013. You heard it here first.

150-200g dark, dairy free chocolate
1-2 tbsps dairy free margarine
1-2 tbsps agave syrup
icing sugar to dust
pretty decorations

  •  Prepare the red velvet cake and divide the mixture between two 20cm cake tins
  • Bake in oven until risen and springy, leave to cool
  • Place a large piece of baking parchment onto the work surface and dust with icing sugar
  • When the cakes have cooled, tip them into a large mixing bowl and crumble them up using your hands
  • Melt six squares of the dark chocolate in the microwave (or using a bain marie) and pour it into the crumbled cake mix
  • Mix vigorously to combine the cake crumb and melted chocolate. The cake crumb should now squidge together quite easily, but if not, add a bit more melted chocolate
  • Roughly squidge the cake mix into a yule log shape and place onto the baking parchment. Fold one half of the parchment over the log and roll backwards and forwards to make the yule log shape more perfect
  • How is it looking? Amazing? Or is it cracking a little and generally being annoying? Well, if it's the latter, don't worry. We're about to cover it with icing and that will cover a multitude of sins
  • Once you've got your yule log / chocolate log looking more or less fab, place it onto a serving plate
  • Now melt the chocolate in a bain marie and add the dairy free spread and a tbsp or two of agave syrup. When the chocolate mix is spreadable, start to cover the yule log and make it look...err...'log like'
  • Then add your decorations and leave the chocolate to set
  • Before serving dust with icing sugar
  • Voilà! 

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake Pops (gluten free, egg free, dairy free)

Gluten free red velvet cake pops
Allergy friendly food CAN look gorgeous

So in my last post, I alluded to an unsavoury incident that may - or may not - have happened in my kitchen.

So here's what really occurred...

When I was fine-tuning my red velvet cake recipe, I decided to try making a 20cm cake as well as cupcakes. 

So I scraped the mix into the tin and placed it in the oven.

All went well until I lifted the tin out of the oven.

Oh, and what I'm about to tell you must stay between you, me and the world wide web. 

I fumbled and the tin fell - face down - onto the floor.

(My horror was compounded by the fact that I knew exactly how long ago the kitchen floor was cleaned.)

In a panic, I tried to flip the cake back into the tin. It didn't work. I scooped the chunks of cake into a mixing bowl and stared in despair.

And then an idea started to form...

And so, from trauma and misfortune sprang hope, two recipes and another allergy baking triumph. Sort of like a gluten free phoenix rising from the ashes...

So bake on my darlings in the face of adversity, filthy floors and unexpected mishaps. Together we will conquer the world!

Red Velvet Cake Pops (gluten free, dairy free, egg free) Makes about...20? Maybe more...

You will need one quantity of red velvet cake mix - get the recipe HERE  - divided between two 20cm cake tins.

100-200g dark chocolate
4-6 tbsps Icing sugar for glacé icing
Pretty festive (edible) decorations
Green 'oasis' from the florists (that weird stuff that they use for flower arranging, play dough will do if need be)
Lollipop sticks
  • Prepare the red velvet cake and divide the mixture between two 20cm cake tins
  • Bake in oven until risen and springy, leave to cool
  • Line a few baking sheets with baking parchment
  • When the cakes have cooled, tip them into a large mixing bowl and crumble them up using your hands
  • Melt six squares of the dark chocolate in the microwave (or using a bain marie) and pour it into the crumbled cake mix
  • Mix vigorously to combine the cake crumb and melted chocolate. The cake crumb should now squidge together quite easily, but if not, add a bit more melted chocolate
  • Take small handfuls of cake and 'squidge' into balls. Place them on the baking sheets. Repeat until the mixture is used up
  • Place the first baking sheet into the freezer while you melt the remaining chocolate in a bain marie
  • When the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat and get the baking sheet from the freezer (put the second baking sheet in while you're at the freezer). Gently ease a lollipop stick into the cake ball to form a lollipop. If the ball cracks at this point, swear gently, squidge it all back together and try again
  • Hold the cake lolly facing downwards over the melted chocolate and carefully spoon chocolate over the ball. The chocolate should coat the ball and the excess will run back into the bowl. Keep turning the cake pop until the excess chocolate has stopped running
  • Stick the cake pop lolly into the oasis until the chocolate hardens
  • Repeat until all the cake balls are covered with chocolate

For the icing
  • Put the icing sugar into a small bowl and drip teensy amounts of water in - while mixing - to form a very thick icing
  • Using the handle of a teaspoon, place a tiny amount of icing onto the cake pop and spread it around a bit to mimic icing on a Christmas pudding. Add festive decorations and leave the icing to harden
  • Repeat until all cake pops are looking amazing
  • Now, maybe it's time to clean the kitchen floor?!

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Leave the chefs alone! Their recipes are not responsible for our obesity crisis

recipes without eggs
Couldn't get a pic of Nigella or Jamie (copyright) so here's a pretty pic instead

It's Christmas, so I'm allowed to go completely off piste. Here goes...

Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Hugh and Lorraine are in the spotlight today after a report by public health experts at Newcastle University. The report analysed some of the celebs' popular recipes and compared the nutritional content to a random selection of ready meals. It found that the celeb recipes contained less fibre and more energy, protein, fat and saturated fat than ready meals.

And because of that, they would be more likely to attract - gasp! - red 'traffic light' warning symbols. 

Oh. Dear. God. Haven't we missed the point here?

The real issue is not about the fat content of a home-cooked recipe; it's about gently educating those who consider a bucket of cake bites to be an appropriate meal for a five-year-old. And how should we do that? By casting doubt on the wisdom of cooking from scratch? Durr....

Scarcely a week passes without Jamie/Hugh/someone waving a bunch of green stuff at our screens and enthusing about its goodness. Should we frown on that enthusiasm for fresh veg simply because they then add a béchamel sauce with - horrors - some salt, pepper and a sprinkling of gruyère? 

Should we ask Lorraine stop with the butter? How dare you show people how to make pastry from scratch; get thee to Morrisons and buy some in a packet containing  Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids!

It's nonsense isn't it?

Yes, occasionally home cooking will be higher in fat than ready meals. Occasionally. 

But the point of home cooking is that it is a way of life. Sometimes it's plain, sometimes glamorous, sometimes complete overblown gluttony, hurrah!

What would you rather we taught our children? That ready meals are the way to go? That packaging is just an unfortunate side effect, but it's OK because your meal has an amber traffic light? And - hello - the salt content of ready meals? The preponderance of glucose-fructose syrup?

Gah - health experts - what planet are you on?

The way to a leaner nation lies in educating people about food (and exercise) and showing them that cooking at home with real ingredients - and yes sometimes they'll be high in fat - should be the norm. And that a ready meal from a microwave is not healthy just because experts say so.

So leave the chefs and bakers alone! Let them wax lyrical about the roux method and poaching and other skills that we are learning to forget. 

Maybe then we'll raise a generation that can rub fat into flour and can whip up a - salty - onion gravy should the need arise.

Do I hear an amen?

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Cake Pops, gluten free, dairy free, egg free

Christmas cake pops, gluten free, vegan, egg free, dairy free
Christmas cake pops. Everyone will love you.
 These little babies are coming soon.
Gluten free red velvet chocolate log, vegan, egg free, dairy free
A red velvet chocolate log. Everyone will love you AND want to kiss you.
And you will not believe how easy it is to make this chocolate log.

Not long until I post these'll get done sooner if you nag me!

A list of allergy friendly Christmas goodies!

gluten free recipes
Santa is LOVING my Christmas pudding!
Well it is just INSANE out there isn't it?

Only eight sleeps to go - the kids torture me every morning with a countdown - and my list is like the magic porridge pot; it just will not stop multiplying itself.

Thankfully Michelle at Foods Matter is calm, composed and completely on top of things.

And she's put together a list of fabulous allergy products to help your festive season go with a bang.

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Festive Mincemeat Slice gluten free, vegan, dairy free, egg free

Gluten free Christmas recipes
Eat me. NOW.
Weird stuff is happening.

I keep baking (weird occurrence number 1).

It keeps working (weird occurrence number 2).

I keep actually photographing the food instead of thinking 'I have no time!' (weird occurrence number 3)

I then plan to post the recipe (weird've got the gist).


I plan to post this sometime before Dec 25th, but don't fret; it's dead easy and you can rustle it up in 45 mins.

But you will need mincemeat. So get started on that and I'll be with you shortly.


© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Monday, 10 December 2012

Red Velvet Cake, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, vegan

Red Velvet Cake, gluten free, vegan, dairy free
Aww, cutesy Christmas scene
Stand by because I'm going to share with you.  (Stiff Upper Brits need to look away now.)

My childhood was fairly chaotic. Quite a few of life's traumatic events were dolloped onto my plate and it's truly amazing that I don't mainline Class A drugs on a daily basis. 

Most people actually think I'm sane. (Until they get me pissed and I tell them about trying to suffocate myself when I was 22.)

Ha ha, kidding!

Or am I?

Uncomfortable silence.

(Whaaa? No, she's kidding, right? She didn't just write that in a blog about cake??)

Anyway the point is; I have a really high threshold for chaos. Not in all areas of my life, but in the domestic, cleaning, tidying area; yep, I'm a Grade 1 slattern.

Obviously this is Not Good but if it weren't for the chaos tolerance, we would not have this blog my friends! How could I concoct recipes, photograph them and write about them if I had to clean floors and keep the washing pile under control??!

So this latest recipe is a triumph of sweet confection  over slatternly chaos. Or something like that.

 In a week when I was working like a dog in my other life and attending far too many nativities and carol concerts, I decided to step off the hamster wheel and bake.

But the damn recipe didn't work first time so it took longer than planned and as I baked in a frenzy the cobwebs grew longer and the beds have not been changed since ... muffled noise hand over mouth I'm not going to admit to that one here. 

Finally, it worked.

And so, just in time for Christmas, we have our very own allergy friendly version of red velvet cake!

And in my next post which will be BEFORE Christmas (I am on fire!), I'll tell you about the unfortunate thing that happened which meant red velvet cake landed on the floor but then I had a brainwave and you will not believe what you can do with spoiled cake! (Don't worry, I picked the dog hairs out of it first.)

Ha ha, kidding!

Or am I?

Uncomfortable silence. 

(Whaaa? No, she's kidding, right? She didn't pick cake up off the floor and then use it for something else??!)

Umm, am I a bit manic this time?

Not to worry, it will all come right soon. I'll do a bit of cleaning and magic elves will come to wrap all the presents that haven't yet been bought.

Crazy wide eyes, eyebrows raised to the hairline, high pitched laugh that is morphing into insane cackle. 

(Bad mood will definitely follow.)

Red Velvet Cake
I wavered a little with this recipe because I read that red velvet cake should ALWAYS have buttermilk in it. Hmmm. Well, I've included a version of buttermilk with coconut milk. But if coconut milk won't work for you, I'd use rice milk instead, cross your fingers and pray to the Christmas pygmies.

Eagle eyed readers will see that this is a version of my bog standard Chocolate Cake but hey; if the wheel ain't broke, why reinvent it? (Or something like that...)

All versions:
130g dairy free margarine
120g sugar
110g golden syrup
1 tbsp cocoa powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsps of coconut cream 
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1-2 tsps of red Sugarflair colouring paste (not liquid) I used 'Christmas Red' (obvs)

A tub of Betty Crocker's seriously delicious icing

Gluten free version
175g of Doves Farm GF self-raising flour
¼ tsp xanthan gum

With wheat flour

175g self-raising flour (no need for xanthan gum)

Egg free version

1 heaped tsp Orgran 'no egg' egg replacer
1 heaped tbsp ground linseeds
 tsp of xanthan gum (half a ¼)
4-6 tbsps rice milk to make a thick paste

With eggs

1 large egg

  • Find some lovely cupcake cases and put them in your muffin tin
  • Heat the oven to 180° Celsius
  • If using the egg replacing mix, whisk the egg replacer, linseeds, xanthan gum and rice milk together and set aside
  • Put the coconut cream into a small bowl and add the tbsp of wine vinegar and set aside
  • Put the margarine, sugar and golden syrup into a large saucepan and melt over a low heat
  • Add the red colouring paste and mix to remove any lumps
  • To the saucepan, add either the egg replacing mix or the (beaten) egg
  • Add the GF flour and xanthan gum (or regular flour), cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda to the saucepan and mix to combine (it might be easier to add alternate flour and coconut cream mix)
  • Add the coconut cream and mix
  • If the mixture is too stiff (you want soft, dropping consistency) gradually add more rice milk
  • Fill the cupcake cases about halfway (you want the cake to rise to the level of the cases, not much higher)
  • Bake in the oven for between 10 and 20 mins until risen and springy. Don't fret if they look flat rather than domed, the icing will cover a multitude of sins
  • Leave to cool and then slather with Betty's marvellous icing (or cream cheese icing if you can do dairy) and sprinkle with lovely Christmas sprinkles
  • Eat WAY too many and feel mildly sick
  • But it is Christmas, so feeling sick and chaotic is perfectly fine. (Just don't expect a clean house at the same time.)

Red velvet cake, gluten free, dairy free, egg free
Nom nom
© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Monday, 26 November 2012

Who is behind Pudology, the 'free from' desserts? Meet Lucy Wager...

gluten free recipes
Pudology. What gorgeous artwork!
I'm suspicious.

There's a new kid on the allergy block and she's done something amazing. She's made dairy free, gluten free, egg free desserts that taste delicious.

That you buy with unlaundered money, in broad daylight from a reputable supplier. You don't have to visit the Russian badlands to obtain them, or carry a semi-automatic weapon in case the fuzz turn up and bust ya.

Ooo, I went all New York at the end there. (Although I think 'fuzz' is no longer a credible term for the NYPD.)

And getting back to my point....

Lucy Wager is the force for good who has brought these desserts - aka Pudology - to the market. With suspicion in my right pocket and grateful thanks in the other, I tracked her down to a point somewhere north of the Watford Gap, in a place they call 'Cheshire'. (I'm from the South, these place names have no meaning.)

gluten free dairy free egg free puddings
Lucy, it's just you, me and the internet so you can come clean; have you used evil hydrogenated fat in your Banoffee Pud to make it taste so good?

No way Jose – we use simple ingredients that you can easily find in your own home, we just work really hard to think about how to put a smile on your face when you tuck into one of our Puds – our mission is to please and provide scrumptious Puds for everyone!

How much would I have to pay you to get your dairy free caramel recipe? Can you even give me a hint about the ingredients?

It’s something that money just can’t buy! But what I can tell you is that we use soya milk and coconut milk in our Banoffee Pud along with a fantastic Belgian Chocolate (dairy free, of course!). We make the gluten and dairy free biscuit base ourselves too – it was a great day when I put them all together and tucked into the very first Banoffee!!

Who developed the recipe? Do you have a team of oompah loompahs toiling away in a smoke blackened factory up here in the frozen north? Or do children still work as chimney sweeps here? Do you use children?

I often look longingly at my three nephews;  I do believe they’d make excellent Pudologists, but my sister insists on keeping them in school!  Jokes aside, I develop all the recipes myself, with a little help from my keen and willing family and I have an army of eager tasters – I like to make sure the Puds are well tested on people like me “intolerants” and other “normal” people…

gluten free dairy free puddings

Why dairy free, egg free and gluten? Is this a cynical attempt to make a quick buck out of those hapless allergy sufferers who are craving delicious desserts that don't make them ill? (Gosh, I'm being a bit rude, think I'm still channelling the gangsta from the Russian badlands.)

The first Chocolate Pud was made in a desperate attempt to ease a chocolate craving I had had for nearly a year – it’s all very selfish really – I avoid dairy, egg and gluten so I’m making sure there is an abundance of deliciousness available!

Where can people buy your puds? Do you have plans for world domination?

Absolutely! But I’m realistic enough to accept it may not happen this side of Christmas. For now you can find our Puds in Selfridges London and Birmingham, Fortnum and Mason and online through Ocado and Goodness Direct. The Puds are also available in a number of independent retailers – contact me if you’d like to know if there any near you!

The nut disclaimer on your products says: 'Not suitable for nut allergy sufferers due to manufacturing methods used.' Hmm, what does that mean in plain English? Is it the same as 'may contain traces'? Will there ever be a pud that doesn't carry a nut disclaimer?

I really hope that one day we won’t need to put this disclaimer on our packs, and it’s something we are working on at the moment! We decided to put this statement on our packs because nuts are used in other products made in the same kitchen and it’s really important for us to know that we are keeping our customers informed and most importantly safe! Watch this space as it would be fantastic if one day soon we could make this change….

dairy free egg free chocolate puddings

Now I'm sure people do this to you ALL the time, but do you want an idea for your next pud? Are you ready? Trifle. How delicious would that be? Gluten free sponge, vegan jelly, egg free custard, dairy free cream and beautiful GF sprinkles on the top? How long will it be until I can buy trifle in a pot? Or maybe you've got other killer ideas in the (nut free) pipeline?!

YES!  We love getting new ideas from people and always happy to hear anyone’s ideas – trifle is a fab idea, we’re working on our spring launches at the moment so you never know…

Lucy it has been a pleasure to put on my black leather gloves (and Bronx/Russian accent) and give you the third degree / interrogate you.

And putting my facetiousness to one side; I think your puds are fab and a brilliant addition to the free from - and 'normal' - market.  Long may you reign and I graciously bequeath my trifle idea to of royalties.


Thanks for having me J!!

Lucy Wager founder of Pudology
Lucy selling her wares in London town...

dairy free puddings from pudology

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Are Asda really selling a Christmas pudding without gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts and soya?

Free from Christmas pudding by Asda
They've made it without eggs! May Asda be praised
Although my blog is more of a tranquil backwater than a raging torrent - stay with me - over on Facebook and Twitter I'm all jazz hands and chit chat.

And on Facebook in particular, I have some lovely followers who throw titbits of allergy information my way.

And thus it was (Warning: I'm now slipping into biblical/Christmas/Nativity speak) that on this very morn, the fragrant Gill Cain offered up some news from yonder hill.

For verily in the East, a star has been born. And it shall be called Asda, Prince of Allergy Sufferers (who knew?)

Do not be afraid for I bring good news.

Asda are selling a Christmas Pudding that features not gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts or nay even not soya. (Got a bit  grammatically confused there.)

Ding Dong Merrily on High!

Whether you like Xmas pud or not, get your gratitude on and go and buy one!

If you're a Twitter user, flood your feed with messages of thanks to @asda!

Are you more of a 'liker' than a tweeter? Then go and 'like' their page.

Let not this opportunity pass you by (back to biblical speak now) for 'tis now on this frosty morn that we must show our support for yonder big retailers who are making an effort.

Gather your Frankincense, Myrrh and whatever the third one was and show your support!

God rest ye Asda Gentlemen (and women)!

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Monday, 19 November 2012

How do you bake cakes without eggs and bread without gluten?

gluten free chocolate and beetroot cake
Ta-daaa! A cake without eggs!
Years ago a terrible thought was keeping me awake at night: "It's my daughter's birthday soon. How will I bake an egg free, dairy free cake for her?"

gluten free focaccia
Introducing...bread without gluten!
But I had faith in the internet. I KNEW other people had this problem, they would have done all the hard work for me.

vegan courgette cake
No dairy in this bad boy
Pah! I found NOTHING online!

Well, a vague reference to using a mashed banana instead of an egg.
recipe for dairy free chocolate ice cream

I also found damned lies. "Just use x, y and z instead!" trilled some people, "it works a treat!" 

I wagged like a happy puppy! "It works a treat!" I repeated to myself as I followed the recipe.

Lying cheating trolls. Their recipes did not work.
gluten free pumpkin bread, egg free pumpkin bread
Gluten free, egg free, dairy free. What IS all the fuss about?!
So I flipped them all the bird and found my own way in the allergy world. And I have shared all that - ahem - expertise over on the Foods Matter website.

There are all sorts of top tips for baking without eggs, how to make GF pastry and which cheese substitutes don't taste like industrial putty. Plus handy links to lots of recipes.

So, as the festive season approaches and the rest of the (non allergy) world starts baking, don't be left behind!

Whip out your whisk, scrub up your silicone (spatula, not boobs) and shimmy up to the xanthan (running out of inspiration here)!
Christmas is coming, don't forget to make your pudding!

Go have a read my darlings and then get baking! Read the article here.

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Pear and ginger upside down pudding, gluten free, egg free, dairy free

gluten free recipes
This recipe is gorgeous, you must make it. (No false modesty here)
As a child, I hated museums/galleries/monuments/insert boring cultural type place here.

And I really hated the way adults sounded so amazed at what they were seeing. (It was clearly just an act to get me interested.) *Eye roll*

But see me last week catching the train to London with my brood.

It is time, I declared to myself, that the children know a bit about the capital city. I planned to spend five minutes in the National Portrait Gallery with 20 minutes squealing at the pigeons in Trafalgar Square.

But my second daughter had other ideas.

"Oh let's go to the Tower of London!" she exclaimed. "I've always wanted to go! Apparently Anne Boleyn carved her initials into the wall!"

For a minute I thought she was taking the piss. Was she really interested in going to a museum?

Seriously? You want to go to a museum?

It was a warm, sunny day as we hit London Town and posed for photos with Tower Bridge in the background. But how would it be inside the tower?


Why did no-one tell me?

It was AMAZING! Like a town within a town! All cobbledy streets and beautiful buildings and the stuff you can learn? Bloody brilliant.

We loved it! (Well, most of us)

Three of my four children shared the enthusiasm. My son? Not so much.

His favourite bit of the Crown Jewels? The moving walkway next to the display cases. 

No matter that we were looking at a spoon from the twelfth century, ("The 12th Century kids! That's incredible!") or a ceremonial (gold) punch bowl that holds 144 bottles of wine, ("Wow! Look at the intricate details!") he spent his time annoying tourists by playing on the escalator thingy.


The Yeoman Warders, Princes in the Tower and Guy Fawkes

We spent five hours at the Tower and I learnt TONS of stuff. The Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) who live within the tower walls told us that when the tourists have gone home, they have the run of the Tower. My kids were soooo jealous, hide and seek on the ramparts anyone?

In the Bloody Tower (yes, that did make us snigger), we had a go at guessing who murdered the princes and although we hunted for Anne's graffiti, we couldn't find it.

It was one of my best days, ever! I have definitely turned into a grown up because I did that squealing, amazed voice that I used to hate so much when I was a kid.

And we discovered that Guy Fawkes was held at the tower before getting his comeuppance in 1606.

So Guy, I dedicate this one to you, to the Yeoman Warders at the tower and to my fab daughter who insisted on going to the Tower of London!

Squidgy, moist, fragrant... a 'must bake' for Autumn

Pear and ginger upside-down pudding

These are perfect flavours for Bonfire Night, Halloween and Autumn in general. The black treacle is as black as Guy Fawkes' heart and adds a menacing, earthy taste. Or something like that. You'll need a hand whisk/kitchenAid/massive biceps for this recipe.

3 large pears
agave syrup for drizzling
165g dairy free margarine
140g dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar
30g stem ginger, chopped
115g black treacle
115g golden syrup (or honey or agave syrup)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsps ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
2 eggs
¼ tsp xanthan gum
enough rice milk/milk to give a soft consistency (approximately 50 ml)

  • Grease and line a 25 cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper
  • Peel and core the pears and chop into slim chunks and place into the base of the cake tin. Drizzle over a little agave syrup
  • Preheat oven to 180°Celsius
  • If using the egg replacer, place the no egg and xanthan gum into a small bowl and add enough rice milk to make a soft paste. It might be quite thick and gloopy, so you'll need a mini whisk to annihilate the lumps
  • Place the treacle, golden syrup, sugar and margarine into a bowl and soften in the microwave (or slightly melt in a pan). Add the chopped ginger
  • Using a hand whisk/KitchenAid/your massive biceps, whisk the egg replacing mix into the melted mixture. Try to get out the lumps, but don't stress too much if you can't.  If you're using eggs, it's a lot easier, just whisk them in
  • Add the flour and spices and mix until there are no lumps. You might have to add a little rice milk to get a soft mixture; this is quite a runny mixture
  • Pour the mixture over the pears and bake in the oven for about 30-40 mins until the sponge has risen and is springy to the touch
  • Leave to cool in the turn and then turn out onto your serving plate
  • Serve with dairy free cream, custard or the fabulous lemon ice cream from Bessant and Drury
  • And book your tickets for a trip to the Tower of London, it's well worth it :-)

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Gluten Free Guy Fawkes

Full of Autumn zing. Great with fireworks.
And after Halloween, (please click this link, I love the photo!) comes Bonfire Night and our annual ceremonial burning of poor old Guy Fawkes. 

It's been over 400 years since Guy was caught... us Brits really hold onto a grudge, don't we?

If I get my derriere into the correct gear, you should have this recipe in time for the commemoration of bombs, burning and the day we saved the Houses of Parliament (aka Bonfire Night).

Can you guess what's in the cake/pud?!

Guess no more...just take a look at the recipe.

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween Cookies, gluten free and vegan

gluten free recipes
Yikes! This pic was taken when I knew NOTHING about photography. Observe the harsh sunlight. Yuk. 
I am not ashamed to say that Halloween annoys me. 

Loyal readers know that I've blathered on about it before. And even though I used to enjoy Trick or Treating, I'm over that now.

Yes, I should be carving pumpkins and helping my children with outfits, but I'm not. And they are doing fine without my help, so that's another victory for benign neglect.

What annoys me most is that Halloween is interfering with mine and my husband's latest mission; to watch our way through Season 4 of Engrenages ('Spirals' to you :-)  It has just been delivered by Monsieur le and we're on episode 7. 

Each perfect 45 minute chunk features blood, violence, brilliant plot and, occasionally, that semi-pornographic sex that the French do so well. And beautiful, beautiful language delivered caustically by Audrey Fleurot, sexily by Gregory Fitoussi (fwooor!) and brusquely by Caroline Proust.  

I am completely obsessed by Engrenages at the moment particularly because [redacted] has just tried to top herself in the bath and I'm desperate to find out what happens next!

But instead of finding out her fate, I have to traipse the streets pretending to enjoy Halloween.

I reckon the kids can visit three houses - tops - and then it's straight home to bed (them) and the remote control (me).

Not sure they are going to go for that.

Anyway, if you're a much nicer mother than me, why not bake cookies for your children? (You can get the Halloween Biscuit Cakes recipe here.)

And you have my permission to feel smug and yummy and all the rest of it.

Me? I just want to perve over French actors and snuggle up on the sofa. 

Halloween, I have one word for you: Merde!

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved