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

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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 :-)

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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.

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